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We must be careful that any symbol used does not become an idol, as in churches where people bow down to the cross. I do not like the song, "The Old Rugged Cross," for this reason. Think of the lyrics, "...so I'll cherish the old rugged cross..." WHAT? Cherish Jesus, not the cross! The cross gets infused with power in the minds of some, too, when it is used to ward off evil spirits (think Dracula). This is idolatry. I frankly find it odd that people choose to hang a method of execution around their necks.
Jennifer has some excellent points. To support her points, here is the best scriptural reference as delivered by God himself: Exodus 20:4, 5 4 “You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. 5 You must not bow down to them nor be enticed to serve them, for I, Jehovah your God, am a God who requires exclusive devotion, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation of those who hate me," So it's clear God is displeased with the making and veneration of items... particularly when the created becomes the Creator in the mind of the person wearing or viewing such item (Rom. 1:25). Jennifer's analogy of the "method of execution" is perfect. So imagine... you have a child that is brutally murdered by an unrepentant mob for simply speaking the truth. Those that claim they love and support you now not only wear a symbol of the murder weapon... some have even attached a figure of your child to the weapon! They justify their actions by telling you "Oh, we've changed what it means... we did it to make you happy!" How would you feel every time you saw those images? Would you feel peace and love? Or would you remember the hateful way in which your innocent child was deprived of life? And how do you think you'd feel about these insensitive, selfish people and their justifications? My King is no longer some helpless person nailed to a cross... He is powerful, and He is currently preparing for the Battle to end all battles.
I agree with John Appleseed and Julie Bruce. I also wear a cross and have a picture of Jesus Christ, every time I see them, it serves as a reminder to me on a daily basis what Jesus Christ did for us. And I would never cherish the picture frame or a piece of medal that my cross is made of. All is just a reminder. And I doubt that God would punish someone for having those convictions, because he knows our hearts and he knows that we are doing just that, "remembering Him" God Bless us all my sisters and brothers.
Church architecture has evolved since the 4th century with one goal i.e. the building should reflect the beliefs, practices and traditions of the Church. Crosses, paintings, stained glasses, statues, etc. Are carefully picked to show stories from the bible, making it easier to teach people the faith visually. Having crosses, paintings, stained glasses, statues, etc. In the church doesn't take the focus away from God, instead, these things point to God. Crosses are worn for the same reason - to remind people of the story that Christ used an instrument of torture to usher in our salvation. That we should not be afraid of death, for in Christ we have life. Crosses are holy objects and to wear one as if it is an ordinary jewelry defiles it.
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