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Why the cross at all?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by samgeorge11, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. samgeorge11

    samgeorge11 Member

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    I just have a doubt about the "cross" if someone could clear it.
    Why do most Christians revere "the cross" soo much, or even why they believe in it at all.
    I mean, Jesus (PBUH) was crucified on it, but then, so what? Did he ever ask to use the cross as a symbol of Christianity. Many people believe he was just a Prophet rather than being the son of God(or as highly revered as God himself).
    Isn't using the cross an invention(people made it a symbol, it was never asked by God or Jesus) in the religion?
     
  2. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Sam,
    We don't "revere" the cross, but it is a symbol of Christianity. It is both a symbol of Christ's sacrifice for us and his resurrection.

    While *many* people may believe he was just a prophet, Christians do not. We believe he is the risen Christ.
     
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  3. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Although I do not personally do as you suggest, I do believe i know why some Christians do.

    As I'm sure you know, we christians believe that Jesus was crucified on a cross. Over time, it has become a symbol. It is a symbol of the punishment that Jesus went through for us. Those that wear crosses around their necks or put them on the tops of their churches, do so as reminder of this.

    Personally, It is not only His death, but His resurrection that defines my faith.

    1 Corinthians 15:14 - and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.

    Edit: Well said, Melody. I didn't see your post until after I posted my own response. Sorry. :eek:
     
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  4. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not use the cross as a symbol of any kind, and we are frequently criticized for this. While we don't object to its use by other Christians, we prefer to focus on Christ's resurrection than on His crucifixion. It was such a horrible way to die, and we believe He would rather we picture Him in his glorified, immortal state than hanging in humiliation and agony.

    When you stop to think about it, the cross is probably the last thing the first century Christians would have used to remind them of their Savior. I certainly can't imagine Mary or one of the Apostles wearing a cross around their necks as a reminder of the torture He endured. But, as I said before, we don't condemn anyone else for the use of this symbol if it contributes to their worship.
     
  5. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    The cross does focus on his resurrection....or it wouldn't be empty, but at the same time we do not want to forget the great sacrifice He made for us. Humiliation? No...only in the minds of those who didn't understand that He did this willingly. There was no humiliation except in the minds of those who did not understand.
     
  6. samgeorge11

    samgeorge11 Member

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    Okay, so its just a symbol for remeberance of the pain and humiliation Jesus (PBUH) bore. But thats what I like to know, isnt it made by the people(yes ofcourse, who truly loved him)? Isnt this how some people start worshipping there influences, idols(like celebrities, players etc - by wearing there symbols, chains etc..).
     
  7. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    You asked why the cross at all. One person, whose faith does not use the cross, said they didn't use it was because it was a remembrance of humiliation.

    Two of us....whose faith does use the cross said it was a remembrance of His sacrifice *and* resurrection. The two are entwined and nowhere did we ever say it was in remembrance of his pain and humiliation.

    I believe the question was "Why the cross at all." Not "why not the cross at all". Which means your answer must come from those who do use the cross. Not those who do not.

    It's a bit like asking people why they like coffee and coming to the conclusion that coffee is horrible because all the tea drinkers said it was.

    Finally, wearing a symbol is not the same as worshipping it. A symbol is just that....and is not the object of reverence.
     
  8. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Well, as I said before, Melody, I really don't have a problem with the use of the cross as a symbol, and I recognize that the empty cross is supposed to represent something different than a cross with Him dying on it. But I don't really see an empty cross as being indicative of the Resurrection. Had He not been resurrected, His body would still have been removed from the cross. In other words, it would have been empty one way or another. Besides, the crosses used by a lot of Christians do show Him still on it.

    I can see your point with regards to my use of the word "humiliation." I agree, He died willingly, so maybe that was not a good choice of words. Still, I just prefer to think of Him as He is now. But I agree that we don't want to forget His sacrifice. If the cross helps people do that, I'm fine with it. He paid a horrible price for something He was entirely innocent of and we need to remember that.

    Kathryn
     
  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    I have no Idea when the Cross became the accepted symbol For Christians. But the earliest used in Rome was a Fish. You still see it used to day here in the UK.
    All religions have Symbols of one sort or another at the least as identifiers. I don't think any worship them.
    Terry
    ____________________________
    Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall behold their God.
     
  10. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    the cross was when christians were pursecuted - when they met people they would draw the fish in the sand - if the other person was not a christian they would carry on walking think that person was wierd - but if the person was a christian they would draw the eye in the fish's head in response

    when christ was ressurected didnt he show the two desciples his wounds from the cross - that and the fact that he died on the cross for our sins is more than sufficient reason for me to wear my silver cross round my neck

    God Bless
     
  11. Saw11_2000

    Saw11_2000 Well-Known Member

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    I heard a comedian say once,


    "well if Jesus is going to come back, I really doubt he's going to like to see crosses everywhere."
     
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  12. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    :biglaugh: That is hilarious
     
  13. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    The Christian faith has been dealing with this issue for over a thousand years.

    From the Council of Trent, the 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic church, wich was held at Trent in northern Italy between 1545 and 1563:

    The holy Synod enjoins on all bishops, and others who sustain the office and charge of teaching, that, agreeably to the usage of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, received from the primitive times of the Christian religion, and agreeably to the consent of the holy Fathers, and to the decrees of sacred Councils, they especially instruct the faithful diligently concerning the intercession and invocation of saints; the honour (paid) to relics; and the legitimate use of images: teaching them, that the saints, who reign together with Christ, offer up their own prayers to God for men; that it is good and useful suppliantly to invoke them, and to have recourse to their prayers, aid, (and) help for obtaining benefits from God, through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is our alone Redeemer and Saviour; but that they think impiously, who deny that the saints, who enjoy eternal happiness in heaven, are to be invocated; or who assert either that they do not pray for men; or, that the invocation of them to pray for each of us even in particular, is idolatry; or, that it is repugnant to the word of God; and is opposed to the honour of the one mediator of God and men, Christ Jesus; or, that it is foolish to supplicate, vocally, or mentally, those who reign in heaven. Also, that the holy bodies of holy martyrs, and of others now living with Christ,-which bodies were the living members of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Ghost, and which are by Him to be raised unto eternal life, and to be glorified,--are to be venerated by the faithful; through which (bodies) many benefits are bestowed by God on men; so that they who affirm that veneration and honour are not due to the relics of saints; or, that these, and other sacred monuments, are uselessly honoured by the faithful; and that the places dedicated to the memories of the saints are in vain visited with the view of obtaining their aid; are wholly to be condemned, as the Church has already long since condemned, and now also condemns them.

    Moreover, that the images of Christ, of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints, are to be had and retained particularly in temples, and that due honour and veneration are to be given them; not that any divinity, or virtue, is believed to be in them, on account of which they are to be worshipped; or that anything is to be asked of them; or, that trust is to be reposed in images, as was of old done by the Gentiles who placed their hope in idols; but because the honour which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which those images represent; in such wise that by the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover the head, and prostrate ourselves, we adore Christ; and we venerate the saints, whose similitude they bear: as, by the decrees of Councils, and especially of the second Synod of Nicaea, has been defined against the opponents of images.
     
  14. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I agree Sam... the cross has been turned into an icon. Why someone would wear an instrument of death around their neck, I haven't a clue. A member of my church has come up with a new piece of jewelery. It is the empty tomb. Far more celebratory than the cross.

    Somehow, I don't think it was what Jesus was referring to when he said:
    Matthew 10:37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. NIV
     
  15. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Funny. I was just thinking how neat that would be.
     
  16. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I will try and get you the URL, Linus. It is made out of Rosewood, and has a small rhinestone where the angel would be.
     
  17. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Sounds cool. Thanks. :)
     
  18. kreeden

    kreeden Virus of the Mind

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    I could be wrong here , but did not Christ come not to preach so much as to die for our sins ? If so , then wouldn't the cross be symbolic to that Death ?

    Personally , I have always wondered why Christmas is such a big deal compared to Easter ? I would think it should be the other way around . But that is just my opinion . :)
     
  19. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    That's great if you're Catholic, but what if you're not?

    I believe the symbol of Christ should be a good example. His life and resurrection is so much more important than His death. His death was only a door through which He had to pass. Atonement was made in the shedding of His blood, not in His actual death. His resurrection is what brings us to life, and I celebrate that by living the commandments He taught, not by fixating myself on some lugubrious symbol. Take the movie The Passion, for example. Does it bring you closer to God? No it makes you want to vomit. But doesn't it help you to feel His pain? Not any more than reading the scriptures. You know how I feel His pain? I repent and I experience godly sorrow. I don't need to look at Christ's flesh being torn from His costals in order to feel bad for the sins of the world.

    How about making the Gospel good news instead of bad?
     
  20. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    true christians do not use the cross why not? an important reason is because Jesus Christ did not die on Cross. the Greek word generally translated cross is stau-ros it basically means an upright pale or stake, The companion bible points out that stau-ros never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle....there is nothing in the Greek of the new testerment even to imply two pieces of timber.in several texts bible writers use another word for the instrument of Jesus death,it is the Greek word xylon ..acts 5;30, acts 10 39 acts 13;29 galatians 3;13 and 1 peter 2;24 this word simply means timber or a stick ,club,or tree. and galatians 3;13 in the KJV says tree there is no evidence that for the first 300 years after christs death ,those claiming to be christians used the cross in worship. in fact it was the pagan emperor constantine who converted to apostate christianity that promoted the cross as its symbol the cross is in fact pagan in origin
     
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