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Copen

Are crosses idols of God

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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?

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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?

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

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

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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.

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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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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

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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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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.

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Posted (edited)

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.

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

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Posted (edited)

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

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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.

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Posted (edited)

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

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

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!

You are not explaining the concurrence of the circle with the cross is so much church masonry my friend, there was no hoop behind that wooden cross.

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Only going to say this once: Stick to discussing the subject, not one another. Name calling will not be tolerated. Have a problem with someone's post, report it, don't call others out.

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You are not explaining the concurrence of the circle with the cross is so much church masonry my friend, there was no hoop behind that wooden cross.

Are you referring to your earlier statement:

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.

I assume you are talking about the Celtic Cross?

I don't find it a particularly powerful psychological symbol that adds to their 'mystique'.

From Wikipedia:

"In Ireland, it is a popular legend that the Celtic Christian cross was introduced by Saint Patrick or possibly Saint Declan during his time converting the pagan Irish, though there are no examples from this early period. It has often been claimed that Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross, to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun. Other interpretations claim that placing the cross on top of the circle represents Christ's supremacy over the pagan sun."

It is common knowledge that when pagan areas were being 'Christianized', it was not a problem for them to retain some of their old symbols. They are just part of the culture and heritage.

The circle may represent the sun for pagans. It may represent the unbroken circle of infinity which is God. It may represent the halo around Christ's head.

I know Christians who have tatoos with various symbols on them. It doesn't mean they worship the sun, or whatever.

However, if you wish to attach some weighty, psychological significance to them, then that is your prerogative.

A symbol is only as meaningful as the meaning you attach to it.

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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.

It also sounds like a very good way to get rid of somebody you didn't like. Sneak up one dark night and scratch a cross on his door.

I wonder how many of those put to the sword were actually christians :)

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It is just wood, or metal, or stone, etc. Why kiss wood, metal, or stone and think that act is paying reverence to God? There were symbols on the alter, and the temple; but no one kissed them. They were true symbols. A cross is more than a symbol.

In this post I have read several mention that looking at the cross makes them think on Jesus and be thankful. But the 10 Commandments say, "Thou shalt have no other gods BEFORE me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any carved image, or any likeness of anything in heaven....Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them...."

If looking at a cross makes you reflect UP to Jesus, does it come "BEFORE" Jesus? When Christians bow at a cross, is that wood, metal, or stone that they are bowing before or is it something precious like Jesus? "Paul hath persuaded... people saying that they are no gods which are made with hands." Are crosses made with hands?

By the way, these pretty cross necklaces look nothing like the actual cross Jesus hung from. It was ugly. It was not something you would want draped around your neck. It was not something a person wanted to look upon. Jesus said it was a cursed tree. How can these beautiful silver and gold crosses convey the real cross of Jesus?

Under the present thinking of Christians today, Demetrius, a silversmith, would have been ok if he had just switched from making idols of Goddess Diana to making images of Jesus. Wonder why Paul didn't make a deal with Demetrius and split the money?

God bless us all is my prayer

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Posted (edited)

From what I can see, and I am definitely not religous, the cross is not an idol or an image being worshiped. It is merely a symbol though which christians remember and worship their god. It is not the actual cross which they are worshipping.

I think you (Copen) are making too much of this 'idol worship' thing in trying to say that the cross is an idol.

In my opinion it is not an idol.

However, what do I know, not being of a religous nature. (Sometimes it is good to get an outside opinion) :)

edit to add :)

Edited by Englishgent
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The bigger the cross they bear, the less I trust them.

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Plenty of national flags carry crosses, it is a symbol that resonates with something deeeeeeeeeeep within us.

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I've read a lot of blah blah blah on this topic but seriously, its idolatry. The an ancient Hebrews never kissed the ark of the covenant only revered it. Bowing isn't a sign of worship in Judaism anyway. Jew pray standing up bending at the knees. Hence the rocking back and forth at the wailing wall. Not to mention worshipping Jesus (a man) is idolatry. Even if.the Messiah came today no Jew would worship him but we might feed him falafels and send him home with some delicious hummus for a midnight snack.

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What if he ordered bacon and eggs ?

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