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Are crosses idols of God


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#1    Copen

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 02:49 AM

If crosses are not idols of God, why do Christians kiss them and kneel before them? If crosses are not idols of God, why didn't Paul encourage Demetrius to switch from making idols of Goddess Diane to making Jesus on the cross or just plain crosses?


#2    The Id3al Experience

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:38 AM

Because the  event of Jesus happened? and It marked the sign on a new world (Jesus dying for our sins) -

If Jesus returned, do you really think the first thing he wants to see is a cross?

Watch this space

#3    Habitat

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:13 AM

:angry:  I get very cross about threads like this.


#4    Aus Der Box Skeptisch

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:25 AM

View PostThe Id3al Experience, on 25 June 2012 - 03:38 AM, said:

Because the  event of Jesus happened? and It marked the sign on a new world (Jesus dying for our sins) -

If Jesus returned, do you really think the first thing he wants to see is a cross?
I guess we'll have to cross that bridge when he gets here...

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#5    Philangeli

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:12 AM

View PostCopen, on 25 June 2012 - 02:49 AM, said:

If crosses are not idols of God, why do Christians kiss them and kneel before them? If crosses are not idols of God, why didn't Paul encourage Demetrius to switch from making idols of Goddess Diane to making Jesus on the cross or just plain crosses?
Perhaps this extract from Wikipedia (Idolatry and Christianity) will help:

Catholics use images, such as the crucifix, the cross, in religious life and pray using depictions of saints. They also venerate images and liturgical objects by kissing, bowing, and making the sign of the cross. They point to the Old Testament patterns of worship followed by the Hebrew people as examples of how certain places and things used in worship may be treated with reverence or venerated, without worshiping them. The Ark of the Covenant was treated with great reverence and included images of cherubim on top of it (Exodus 25:18-22), and certain miracles were associated with it, yet this was not condemned.
Christianity interprets the commandment not to make "any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above" to mean to not "bow down and worship" the image in and of itself nor a false god through the image. Christian theology offers the following explanations of liturgical practice that features images, icons, statues, and the like:
  • Catholic theology expressly affirms that the image of Christ receives the same latria or worship that is due to God; see St. Thomas, Summa, III, 25, 3, but "no reverence is shown to Christ's image, as a thing---for instance, carved or painted wood: because reverence is not due save to a rational creature".[5] In the case of an image of a saint, the worship would not be latria but rather dulia, while the Blessed Virgin Mary receives hyperdulia. The worship of whatever type, latria, hyperdulia, or dulia, can be considered to go through the icon, image, or statue: "The honor given to an image reaches to the prototype" (St. John Damascene in Summa ³).
  • Orthodoxy teaches that the incarnation of Jesus makes it permissible to venerate icons, and even necessary to do so in order to preserve the truth of the Incarnation. Indeed, following from the Summa reference above, the veneration of icons is mandatory; to not venerate icons would imply that Jesus was not also fully God, or to deny that Jesus had a real physical body. Both of these alternatives are incompatible with the Christology defined at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and summarized in the Chalcedonian Creed.
  • Both the literal worship of an inanimate object and latria, or sacrificial worship to something or someone that is not God, are forbidden; yet such are not the basis for Christian worship. The Catholic knows "that in images there is no divinity or virtue on account of which they are to be worshipped, that no petitions can be addressed to them, and that no trust is to be placed in them. . . that the honour which is given to them is referred to the objects (prototypa) which they represent, so that through the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover our heads and kneel, we adore Christ and venerate the Saints whose likenesses they are" (Council of Trent, Sess. XXV, de invocatione Sanctorum).
  • The vast majority of Christian denominations hold that God particularized himself when he took on flesh and was born as Jesus; through this act God is said to have blessed material things and made them good again.[citation needed] By rising physically from the dead, ascending bodily into Heaven and promising Christians a physical resurrection, God thus indicates that it is not wrong to be "attached" to physical things, and that matter is not inherently evil, unlike the ancient teachings of Gnosticism


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#6    odas

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:57 AM

Whrn did christians start using the cross and other statues as symbols? Any idea for the time period?


#7    Habitat

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:07 AM

The cross, and particularly the cross inscribed inside a circle, are powerful psychological symbols that the Christian churches have co-opted deliberately, or unwittingly, to add to their mystique. Anyone finding that hard to believe should consult the works of C.G. Jung, who saw an age-old symbolic represention of the opposites ( the cross) resolved in totality (the circle), far pre-dating Christ. Certainly, the very strong association of the cross and the circle in the church is only half-attributable to the cross of Calvary.


#8    Philangeli

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:09 PM

View PostHabitat, on 25 June 2012 - 11:07 AM, said:

The cross, and particularly the cross inscribed inside a circle, are powerful psychological symbols that the Christian churches have co-opted deliberately, or unwittingly, to add to their mystique.
Or, maybe, it was just a quick way of scratching a sign on a door (like the fish symbol), so they could recognize each other, especially early on, when they were being persecuted. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the best one.

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#9    Habitat

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:20 PM

View PostPhilangeli, on 25 June 2012 - 12:09 PM, said:

Or, maybe, it was just a quick way of scratching a sign on a door (like the fish symbol), so they could recognize each other, especially early on, when they were being persecuted. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the best one.
Not sure I'd want anyone scratching symbols of a persecuted group on my door, whether I was a member of said group or not. Sounds like wearing a tee-shirt with "kick me" printed on the back. :P


#10    Philangeli

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:24 PM

View PostHabitat, on 25 June 2012 - 12:20 PM, said:

Not sure I'd want anyone scratching symbols of a persecuted group on my door, whether I was a member of said group or not. Sounds like wearing a tee-shirt with "kick me" printed on the back. :P
I know you know what I meant, but just to clarify for the others: when Christian disciples were travelling around, under threat of arrest and execution, they would recognize a Christian door to take refuge behind if there was a cross or fish sign scratched on it. Not a terribly foolproof method of security, I must admit.

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#11    Habitat

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:37 PM

View PostPhilangeli, on 25 June 2012 - 12:24 PM, said:

I know you know what I meant, but just to clarify for the others: when Christian disciples were travelling around, under threat of arrest and execution, they would recognize a Christian door to take refuge behind if there was a cross or fish sign scratched on it. Not a terribly foolproof method of security, I must admit.

Alright, but it sounds like a recipe for everyone behind the door to be put to the sword. I should add to my post about the Jungian symbolism ( really that of the mandala) that such symbols would frequently come to me in dreams and reveries long before I read of mandalas or even of Jung, so I have not the slightest difficulty in seeing the truth of it.


#12    Philangeli

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:23 AM

View PostHabitat, on 25 June 2012 - 12:37 PM, said:

Alright, but it sounds like a recipe for everyone behind the door to be put to the sword.

That's right, and many were. They are called martyrs. They were willing to die for their faith.


Quote

I should add to my post about the Jungian symbolism ( really that of the mandala) that such symbols would frequently come to me in dreams and reveries long before I read of mandalas or even of Jung, so I have not the slightest difficulty in seeing the truth of it.

Yes, there is a lot of stuff buried in our sub-conscious which bubbles up to the surface. The world is full of symbols.

The Christian cross is a symbol of Christianity because Christ was nailed to one. If he had been nailed to a wooden hexagon, then the Christian symbol would probably be a hexagon!

Edited by Philangeli, 26 June 2012 - 08:23 AM.

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#13    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:49 AM

View PostCopen, on 25 June 2012 - 02:49 AM, said:

If crosses are not idols of God, why do Christians kiss them and kneel before them? If crosses are not idols of God, why didn't Paul encourage Demetrius to switch from making idols of Goddess Diane to making Jesus on the cross or just plain crosses?


From being raised as Catholic, I can tell you that the holy cross is a symbol, seen and treated as a reminder of  how Jesus died for the sins of all and how  we are supposed to be grateful for that gift of salvation...  They even have what is known as the stations of the cross around their churches..

The stations take you thought each step  that Jesus took when he was sentenced to death, to carrying his cross, up until he died on the cross for the sins of mankind...  So the catholics in the church go around each station to constantly stay reminded of the sacrafic Jesus made for all ...Prayers are said in thanks to Jesus for his gift and what he did... That is what I was taught as a catholic ...The cross is a constant reminder, to know why you are chrsitian and why you should follow Christ..look at what he did for you..and how you all should be thankful and accept his gift...Never forget what he did is the main concern  <-- lost count how many times a nun or priest preached about that.whether it be in a school, or a church.. .!!

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 26 June 2012 - 08:50 AM.

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#14    Aus Der Box Skeptisch

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:57 AM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 26 June 2012 - 08:49 AM, said:



From being raised as Catholic, I can tell you that the holy cross is a symbol, seen and treated as a reminder of  how Jesus died for the sins of all and how  we are supposed to be grateful for that gift of salvation...  They even have what is known as the stations of the cross around their churches..

The stations take you thought each step  that Jesus took when he was sentenced to death, to carrying his cross, up until he died on the cross for the sins of mankind...  So the catholics in the church go around each station to constantly stay reminded of the sacrafic Jesus made for all ...Prayers are said in thanks to Jesus for his gift and what he did... That is what I was taught as a catholic ...The cross is a constant reminder, to know why you are chrsitian and why you should follow Christ..look at what he did for you..and how you all should be thankful and accept his gift...Never forget what he did is the main concern  <-- lost count how many times a nun or priest preached about that.whether it be in a school, or a church.. .!!
I still find it odd to use a cross to worship though. I see it often enough. I see people who refer to their cross when praying when you would only need to pray. The reminder is fine but the use of it for worship is where it gets sticky BM.

"Though I stand in opposition to you, I am not opposed to you. Night and Day stand in opposition to each other, but they are not opposed to each other -they are merely two halves of the same coin."

#15    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

View PostAus Der Box Skeptisch, on 26 June 2012 - 08:57 AM, said:

I still find it odd to use a cross to worship though. I see it often enough. I see people who refer to their cross when praying when you would only need to pray. The reminder is fine but the use of it for worship is where it gets sticky BM.

I understand what you are saying, but the praying to Jesus on the cross thanking him and accepting his gift has went on in the church  from the word go..   I had a dear old great aunt Mary... she recently died at the age of 106.. This women, who I might add I adored so much, used to take me around the stations of the cross when I was a young girl and she would show me what each station meant and why I along with others should be grateful of what Jesus did..

I'll be honest,  if the Catholics  look upon it as a way of being reminded and shown why they are there to know and to understand why Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice to save you all.. then that is their right and a belief .. .I see no harm in it... In fact I can fully understand it....I also remember being given a cross for protection.. I was told that by keeping it close, Jesus would protect me..  I later noticed other wearing them and they were not Catholics.. It seems some protestants believed it too


So them praying  as they look at it  or hold it.. is that worship?  Or is that just praying and being grateful to Christ for all he did?    Its your call..  I on the other hand will say, it is praying and showing Jesus their thanks and letting Jesus know what he did will never be forgotten and how thankful they are...  


Edited by Beckys_Mom, 26 June 2012 - 09:29 AM.

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