For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
The cross is the key cornerstone symbol of Christianity. Therefore it is desirable and logical to have it in churches and for people to wear it as a decoration provided they wear it with the correct intention.
To the jew it's a stumbling block to the Greek it's foolishness but to those who are called it's the power of GOD unto salvation.
Yes Jennifer I never actually thought of it in the way you say but there is truth in what you have stated Well said!....:-)
You both have very good points and truths. However, in the following passage, it gives me the thought that people can wear a cross as a symbol of what they are doing for Jesus.
Mark 8:34 NIV
[ The Way of the Cross ] Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
I myself do not think a cross should have images on it. We can not truly say what Jesus looked like and yes, it is only a statue and can become an idol. But the cross as a symbol of what Jesus said in Mark 8:34 could clearly be a showing of what Jesus told us to do.
I definitely don't believe we should kiss these things or build a shrine around them in our homes. This would be idolatry. Personally I don't wear any crosses but I could see it if they were worn as a representative of one's hardships, which I think Jesus meant when he said to take up their crosses.
I think kissing the ring on the Pope's hand is also idolatry. Why would we kiss a ring? I was Catholic once and I can remember when we had to kiss the feet on the subject on the cross. I don't think this is right.
I was raised Catholic now a non denominational Christian,but mostly attend a pentecostal type church and also believe that the day of worship is Saturday or the Sabbath Day.
I like to wear a cross sometimes. It reminds me of the fact that Jesus died for me and others. I am not worshiping the cross it'self but rather what it represents.
Being raised Catholic I believe in Mary Jesus Mother, but people need to realize that Catholics don't Idolize Mary they simply honor her as being Jesus Mother, Just as we should honor our own Mother and respect all Mothers. Honor and respect are different from Idolizing.
Let us not forget that Mary was a very special woman.. God thought so.
Actually, Jesus himself did not want us to even Idolize him, He always pointed everything towards his father in Heaven.
However Jesus always gave examples to his followers, So therefore the Cross, Mary and other things we use to point us towards God should be just that a point of reference and not something we Idolize.
I think stained glass windows in a church tell a story and help us to remember things about the story.
When we explain things to our children we sometimes use a story in order to get a point across. Jesus used stories. The Bible is a story to help us to understand and learn. So if we look at all of this as a story simply to help us to picture things and how things were then there isn't anything wrong in doing so... Visual aid is helpful in a lot of things and is especially helpful in helping us learn about spiritual matters.
The mind can make anything wrong if you let it. Jesus said in the mind is where sin begins. This is so true.
I am grateful to have things remind me of God and Jesus. Every day there is beauty all around us that helps remind us of creation. Why would a beautiful picture of Jesus or Mary or a cross or a stained glass window be so wrong to look at if it reminds us of someone so beautiful as Jesus?
Do we not keep a picture of our Father or Mother or children around to look at to remind us of our family? Why not a picture of Jesus or Mary or a cross or something else that reminds us of Jesus? Don't idolize it, just look at it and remember Jesus and what he did for us.
I love art and beauty and beautiful buildings, so therefore I will always have these things in my house.
I keep a picture of Jesus walking in the sand in one of my rooms because I love the beach and the picture reminds me of the beach and the waves and Jesus... Jesus was always around water near a shore or in a boat, and besides when I can't get to a beach I can simply look at those pictures and remember....
the beach, a boat, the water and seashore and Yes even Jesus!
How wonderful it is to have a sense of these things and a mind to visualize. God gave these to us and we should use them.