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The Crucifix

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by EnhancedSpirit, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. EnhancedSpirit

    EnhancedSpirit High Priestess

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    Ok, I was brought up in a southern baptist church, and my mom re-married into a catholic family. And I have cleared up alot of the confusion of the King James Version, but one thing about this that I just cannot understand. As a child I absolutely loved baby Jesus, and 'yes, Jesus loves me' was my favorite song and the first time I saw a huge crucifix in a church I was terrified. When I was a little older, I learned how other cultures treat there dead with so much respect, I felt people with crucifixes in their homes or churches were like huntsmen, with their trophies stuffed and mounted on the wall. But now that I'm a parent, it bothers me even more. I see a crucifix here and in another church, I find his mother, the Blessed Virgin, weeping. If I were a mother who lost her child to a drunk driver, and say I started a M.A.D.D. chapter and the death of my child saved the lives of others because of changes my loss caused to happen. I certainly would not want them to use the crime seen photos of my child as the campaign posters. And when you look at it like that, now think how other cultures can see our religion as barbaric. Please, help me understand this. Does this bother anyone else.
     
  2. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    No.

    When you see a person with a crucifix, remember they probably also believe Jesus is alive. The cross, to those of us who venerate it, is a symbol that symbolizes Christ's death, brings to mind His resurrection, denotes the ownership of Christ, and calls to mind the Christian duties.

    It doesn't do all those for everyone, but it does so for me. As such, I think Mary is overjoyed when she sees someone accepting it. She knows her Son is alive, and that He has conquered death, and she would be happy to see His conquest shared by the rest of us.
     
  3. Studies

    Studies Member

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    I agree with NO*s on this one, I wear a cross, I do not think its wrong to do this. Each time I see a cross it says to me that Jesus bore all of our sins on that cross , he died for us on that cross he did this because he loved us and I think its something that all christians need to remember. We all know he was reserected and sits on the right hand side of the Father. So I realy do not see the harm in haveing crosses in churches or in wearing one.:)
     
  4. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    I have to disagree with No*s and Studies, i don't mean that i disagree with their interpretation of the symbol, i just think there are more appropriate images that would better represent the religion. Like maybe the old symbol of the fish (now used to represent those 'born again') or perhaps christ after he is risen. The scene of a dying man in the process of being executed seems a little morbid, especially for younger church goers. It also seems too much emphasis is placed on his actual death, i think the important parts are his teachings and the resurrection.

    When i think of Jesus i see in my minds eye a man on a hill, happy and smiling as he preaches his heart felt beliefs to others, i feel its a shame that some people might immediately think of a hanging corpse when someone says Christ.
     
  5. Prima

    Prima Well-Known Member

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    No*s is right - don't forget that when it comes to the Catholic church, there's usually symbolism involved! The crucifix is the ultimate Christian symbol for a few reasons.

    One of my favorites is that it's a 'turn around' Christ conquered death, and turned our lives into something worth living. The crucifix is similar - it used to be a sign of despair, and now Christ has turned it into a sign of hope. We use it to remember the monumental change Christ has made.

    I think what you're saying is that the problem you have with it is the graphic detail of Christ, correct? (crucifix as opposed to a cross?) As for that, I can say that it's a very important reminder. Which means more to you - when someone you love has extra time so they come visit you, or if they cancel appoinments, work, and go out of their way to come see you? The second, of course. In the same way, it's important to see just how much Jesus went through for us. The amount of suffering someone will go through for you directly correlates with how much they care about you.

    Are you an iconoclast? Many Protestants turned Catholic are (especially Southern Baptist! that's quite a switch!)

    The reason for the graphics in the Catholic Church are simple - it makes things easier! in the middle ages, how many people could read? Definitely less than ten percent of the population, probably less. Because they couldn't read the Bible, everything was in pictures. I have some amazing art if you want to see what I'm talking about. Although now more people can read, the amount of time, effort, and patronage the early Church poured into art made a big difference in the way people thought of religion. Even still, people understand a lot more when they look at what Christ did (or another scene) as opposed to reading it. It makes the story that much more real.
     
  6. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    While the Orthodox Church frowns on the graphic representations in general, I'd like to underscore what Prima is saying. The images give things a dimension that can't be found from the book alone.

    Heck, Christ's incarnation was an act of giving us just such an image: God become flesh :). The images and symbols really are important parts of the faith to help us learn. Seeing a picture of what was done does drive home the reality of it.

    Christianity is built around the dying and rising Christ. It's what we teach everyone, even children. We couldn't get around it if we tried. For instance, how could we avoid describing this to a four year-old when they know that the wine and bread are body and blood? It's a pretty essential thing for us to teach even kids.
     
  7. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    Micah 5:8-11

    And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among beastsof the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces,and none can deliver.
    Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine advasaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. and it shall come to pass in that day , saith the lord, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots, And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds: and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shall have no more soothsayers:


    Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shall worship no more the works if thy hands.

    :tsk: Neither signs, nor images ever speak. As symbols they can never represent the Kingdom of Heaven, where there is neither sign nor images made with hands.(THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.) For the (PREACHING) { to exhale words, or publish them} of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us that are saved it is the power of God. (The kingdom of Heaven is not in word(lipservice) but in power).
    :jiggy: Later on I will show you that the mark of the beast, (Roman Empire) is the sign of the cross.
     
  8. Prima

    Prima Well-Known Member

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    This refers to idols - graven images is the term used to mean that. It's a translation bit. There's nothing wrong with artwork/images in and of themselves. The only problem there is is when people start worshipping them (idols)

    The other thing that this line refers to is the ultimate beauty of heaven. The idea is that when we make art, we are creating mere shadows of beauty, and when Christ comes, we will no longer need it, because we will have true beauty - heaven.
     
  9. fromthe heart

    fromthe heart Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with No*s...I don't wear a cross but when I see one it reminds me of the supreme sacrifice that was given for us on such a cross. I don't really approve of all crosses though being worn...some have a figure on them and that to me only speaks of the death and not the resurection...I've seen those figures dipcted and some feel just as strong about that as I do the cross free from any image. It's all about what you feel in your heart. I watched the Passion of Christ and I nearly stopped breathing due to the graphic nature...so I can imagine when the Holy Mother looks down and sees another soul saved by what her Son did on that cross she rejoices for that salvation in understanding that He was sent to die and allow us the freedom from Hell's fire.:)
     
  10. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    Jesus did say that these (signs will follow them that believe) In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.
    Serpents let (John)explain in Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath that is to come. So these serpents are not the snakes you see people handling in a church service, but people who seek to get in the way of others who would enter in to the Kingdom of heaven. These serpents are the tares which Jesus said would be among us who brought forth fruits which are worthy of repentance. :tsk:
     
  11. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    2Thess2:6-12 And now ye know what withholedeth that he might be revealed in his time.....that they might all be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteouness

    Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whethere by word, or our epistle. These traditions Paul is mentioning here are absent from those who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. But them that serve ungodliness. The time had long come for us who live in the world today to come to understand what traditions the apostles walked in. see how we can all read for ourselves and understand what the will of the lord is. Since also no prophecy of the scripture is given for private interpretation. We all have to come to the same conclu tion.

    I believe that we all shall come to agree that the sign of the cross is the mark of the beast. Even the world (heathen) shall agree and conclude that they who received it's mark and worshipped it's image and gave it power even to it's image to this day are in terrible error.
     
  12. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I await your evidence :). I believe it a mark of Christianity. The shameful becomes glorious in Christ's work.
     
  13. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    Then you're saying that the wars of the Cross {armagedion} 200 years of death in and around Isreal is glorious. Yet we see none of this behavior in any of his apostles. Even today the crusades (cross) is considered by everyone to be an abomination. And every cross at a grave site speaks to us.

    Jeremiah 10:14-16
    Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
    The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Isreal is the rod of his inheritance : The Lord of hosts is his name.
    there is also Phillipians 3:17-19

    The sign of a true believer is a new creature; (let your light shine... which glorying is in Christ.) For I tell you the truth that they that boast in Jesus become what is written of them. I used to listen to the PTL club when it was in the beginning and if there was nothing that Jim Baker did was right then when He closed his program each day with Romans 10:9-10, then at least he did that andit was right and it is good, because in this verse is the complete work and operation of God. Which is to continually confess that which is eternal, that that might remain in you which is the Word of God.
     
  14. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Dr. Kahn, that wasn't a very good start. If the Crusades are your objection, then you neglect several things. First, the Early Church clearly venerated the cross. Justin Martyr in the second century goes to great pains to demonstrate the cross as a sign of nature, and from this, to demonstrate the truth of Christianity. Jesus demanded His followers take up their cross and follow Him (10.38). St. Paul goes so far as to make the symbol of the cross synonomous with the Gospel "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect" in I Cor. 1.17. In the same book Paul asserts "For I am determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (2.2).

    The cross is a part of Scripture, and it's an important part. The next thing your response forgets is not all of the Christian bishops footed an army. I would like you to name the Orthodox bishop who did so. Further, Christians were victemized by the Crusades. They were massacred in the Holy Land, and the holy city of Constantinople was mercilessly sacked and pillaged. All the victems venerated the cross. Why focus on the agresors alone and not the victems? The cross predates the Crusades, survives afterwards, and was used by all Christians.

    There is also the problem of the Bible. The Bible was used by the Crusaders to justify the Crusades. The logic you're using above would also make the Bible an evil symbol on the same level. You obviously do not feel the same way about the Bible. In fact, while the cross was used to mark shields the Bible was used to justify it. Why condemn what was painted and accept what was preached and quoted from?

    Lastly, you need to look at the Crusades as a real political event in a real time. It wasn't simply a bunch of guys saying, "Hey, there's infidels over there! KILL!!!" Rather, no holy war had been launched by Christianity, and Islam had been attacking it for 300 years before the first crusader came out. What sparked them was a combination of several things. Islam was expanding militarily, and they seemed to be well-nigh unstoppable when approached defensively. In fact, not long before the Crusades the Turks took a significant amount of land from the Roman Empire and had taken a good portion of Spain. This sort of militarism made people scared. It made them really scared. Further, the Muslims were destroying holy sites and killing pilgrims. If you want a parallel, look at the Cold War. They were no less scared, and this was in a far more aggressive age. The soldiers didn't need persuading; they thought they were fighting for their very survival, and I'd wager that there was lots of talk at the dinner table that they were doing more for Christ with their swords than the priests in the services.

    Does any of that make it better? No it doesn't. The Crusades were deplorable and brought terrible suffering on Eastern Christianity. Were they wrong? Clearly.However in condemning them, you are doing so from centuries after the fact, and are at a very warm safe distance. It's much easier to cast stones from this distance than when you have reason to believe your very civilization was in danger.
     
  15. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    The cut off point is Constatine..... The book of Revelation makes it clear the behavior of the anti-christs....

    The action of the very first christians was the they sold all their living gave it all to the apostles for equal distributon; their next step is to publish the good news with their mouth, they endured persecution they did not save their life their world came to an end. the remanant made their conection to the emperor of Rome they discontinued their communion with god as before. They believed a lie and are condemned. The dark ages and the plagues came on them and all the rest of the judgments that are written; today we see coming out of those dark ages that was not in the apostles is the sign of the cross, images and making war; None of these are in the apostles. Every seed produces after its own, kind. They Rome and Christianity mingled their seed and produced the crusades and a false image of Christ. The book of Daniel tells you this. The bible in Daniel says that they shall not be able. (Iron and clay ) cannot mix. That which is both iron and clay is dross. Government and Christianity State and Church do not mix lest that government is Jesus. So who committed commited fornication with all the kings of the earth. And what President committed fornication with the whore at least twice before our eyes. (while he was running for office:verymad: ) .
     
  16. jimbob

    jimbob The Celt

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    you have to remember that we keep Jesus on the cross so as to remind us the terrible suffering that he went through for us.
     
  17. Dr. Khan

    Dr. Khan Member

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    I consider Martin Luther the beginning point for Christians to be restored in the earth, like that firstfold found in Revelation 6:9-11.
    You may find the Voice of the Martyrs, Inc. of particular interest.
    There you can see a multitued who loose their religious beliefs for the pure form of Christ. I don't know about you but I want my offspring th bear the image of Jesus; not religiousosity, not another man's idea. All these false images are whats in the way of others without, who want to find God as he really is. If they inherit religion and not Jesus then their relition is in vain.
     
  18. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    You should address my points above. You did not do so in this post. In fact, you continued with the same line of reasoning without even considering that one of my points had already refuted it:

    My Church was present at the time of the Crusades. It is the Church at the time of Constantine. It has never launched a Crusade. Your argument on the results is simply false. My Church never took part in them, and it is the one at the time of the Emperor Constantine.

    Next, you need to realize that the biblical authority you appeal to doesn't exist at the time of Constantine. There was no Bible. It hadn't been settled yet. Some people accepted some books, while others accepted others. It was close to being settled, but we still had dispute over Hebrews, Revelation, Hermas, 2 Peter, and so on. If you accept the Bible of the Church that Constantine had corrupted, then I'd like to see why you see everything else as corrupt except the choice in what belongs in the Bible. It's rather convenient.

    The leaders of the Church at the time of Constantine were bishops who had had their eyes plucked out, were beaten, had limbs cut off, or were otherwise tortured. They had stood up to the Roman government and held to their faith. I don't think that they're going to compromise it simply because Constantine asked them to. It defies their previous behavior.

    Lastly, images are not forbidden in Scripture. God commands the creation of the brazen cherubim, oxen, and so on that adorn the Temple. Likewise, God commanded the construction of a brazen serpant, which when the Israelites were bitten were to look to and be healed (a form of veneration). God commanded the building of the Ark of the Covenant with its cherubim, upon which the highest sacrifice in Judaism was to be offered. This was also a form of veneration. Finally, God became man, which is a living, breathing image. I've already mentioned the uses of the cross in the NT (which have been ignored).

    Images aren't forbidden in the OT, and they aren't in the NT. The question to put to you is, why have you condemned all images instead of some uses with images? The latter practice is biblical and Christian. There simply is no blanket condemnation of images.
     
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  19. martha

    martha Active Member

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    I am a catholic christian and I can understand how you feel. The crucifix is a very sad image, but powerful one at the same time. I have a card glued to my bible that has this statement on it......I asked Jesus, "How much do you love me?" " This much," He answered, and He streached out His arms and died. Another phrase is, No greater love has man that he should lay down his life for his brother. I might not have quoted the second one correctly, but I think we can understand the thought.

    Can one honestly imagine going to be crucified for the love of others? This was an extreme sacrifice! The crucifix is a symbol that should leave no doubt in the eye of the beholder, that this One loved us without reservation. The symbolism of lifting high the cross is used so that no person should ever forget His love.
    Yes, He loved us that much, that He would suffer tourture and ridicule for our sake. The crucifixion was prophesied and when it happened, it happened in such a way that it would be remembered for all time. Do we think that if Jesus just took a beating for us we would have remembered? No. He paid the ultimate price, that generations would remember. Don't be horrified at the sight of a crucifix, be thankful for His love.
     
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  20. martha

    martha Active Member

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    Sorry I hit submit button twice.
     
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