The Cross, just a nice bit of jewellery?
I once heard the following story ...
Arriving at the checkout the man noticed that the checkout operator was wearing a gold cross earing.
"Are you a Christian?" the man enquired.
"No." replied the girl.
"What makes you say that?" she asked.
"It's just that you have a cross as an earing." he answered.
"Yes, it's nice isn't it?" she beamed.
"You don't see people wearing guillotines on their ears, do you?" he exclaimed.
"But that would be horrible !" the girl replied a little unsure about this chap.
"Yes it is." the man said sadly as he collected his shopping and walked away.
Make you think? It should, or did you miss the point?
Why is it that people think that the cruelest form of death ever devised by human beings makes such a nice piece of jewellery?
Well, if you are a Christian. Actually let me interrupt myself here a moment.
Most people (certainly in the West) would say "Yes" if you asked them if they were a Christian, they don't go to church except at Christmas, and can't really answer any questions about the Christian faith but they live in a Christian country and they do their best to live good lives.
So instead of using the term Christian as this can be confusing for Westerners (and yes I am one - Westerner that is although I can get a little confused at times, but I digress !) I will use the phrase "a follower of Jesus Christ".
So if you are a follower of Christ then it does make some sense to be wearing a cross or to have a cross on the wall or somewhere. It's still a gruesome way to die, but we can atleast justify it which is more than the checkout operator could.
The fish is a much nicer symbol, but we're talking about the cross here.
Q. So what's so bad about crucifixion anyway?
Well, once I find that book with the facts I'll let you know the gruesome details, but for now the person being crucified basically drowns on their own bodily fluids. Their lungs fill with fluid and because they are hanging there and don't have anyway to lever themselves up they can't breath correctly.
One can be hanging around for some time before you actually choke to death.
A guillotine on the other hand is over in a matter of seconds. Head on the block, release the guillotine and your head's in the basket.
Q. Okay, so it's not a nice way to die, but how come it's okay for Christians to wear crosses?
Well, if you're not a follower of Christ it makes little sense to be wearing a cross, as our story pointed out people don't go around wearing guillotines or any other forms of killing, as jewellery at any rate.
But for the followers of Christ, the cross (or crucifix) is a symbol, a means of representing the person who died on the cross. Plenty of people were crucified, but the cross is used to remind us of the one who died so that we can be saved.
Q. So do you worship the cross?
If we do then we are guilty of breaking the second commandment (Exodus 20:4). The cross and other religious symbols should be used to focus our minds, to remind us of what Jesus went through for our sakes. Quite often when I am in church I will look at the cross on the altar and say thanks to Jesus for dying so that I can have eternal life.
Q. But for other people?
Well all I can say is I don't know, but God does. If I don't know then I can not do anything about it, but I can make sure that my attitude towards these religious symbols is right, and leave God to do deal with other people. And if you use that as an excuse for not investigating the Christian faith further then you are simply looking for any little excuse to say no to God. If you want some more little excuses then you need to read the articles that I will be putting up. If on the other hand you want a really meaty excuse then I am afraid you are likely to be disappointed - but if you think that you have found one, then please let me know I would honestly be interested in hearing it.
Site created by Richard Coleman on 1st February 1998.
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All information in this page correct as of 1st November 1999.