Wearing the Cross

I’m not so sure exactly what the first quote is meaning when it comes to wearing the cross as jewelry. Obviously there are people who wear it and have no idea what it means or even use it sacrilegiously. For a while I was rather against using the cross as adornment, although not having a problem with others who know what it means wearing it, but this second quote makes me think. Let me know what you think. (Scripture added)

The cross has become a piece of jewelry, a beautiful decoration in a church, a symbol of faith. It is difficult for us to pass back through the centuries of tradition to see crucifixion as a form of capital punishment so horrible that polite people would not so much as mention it… If the idea of crucifixion was abhorrent to decent people in the ancient world, imagine the difficulty of trying to convince them that a god—indeed, the God—had willingly endured such a punishment.

— Thomas Schmidt (from A Scandalous Beauty)

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Once a Muslim expressed to me his disbelief and even scorn at the idea of Christian wearing crosses: “How can Christians wear with pride the instrument of torture and humiliation? If your brother were killed in an electric chair, would you wear an electric chair around your neck?” I replied that it depends: “If my brother happened to be Jesus of Nazareth and his death in an electric chair brought about my salvation and was the means by which evil was defeated and creation renewed, then he would have transformed a symbol of shame and punishment into something glorious.”

–Paul Copan, Is God A Moral Monster?

Colossians 2:13-15
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

5 Responses to “Wearing the Cross”

  1. 1 Gary Zimmerli

    That’s powerful, Jeff. That could easily change my mind about cross jewelry.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    I think so too, especially along with Col. 2:15 if that makes any sense. Unless you meant the other way around.

  3. 3 Nancy

    Symbols are a powerful reminder and serve many times as a point of contact and remembrance. The OT in Joshua 4:5-7, gives an example that I feel is also applicable to the wearing of the cross. We should always be prepared to give an answer to the question:
    “What means this cross?”

  4. 4 MK @ Teach Sunday School

    Wow—that second quote that you shared definitely struck a chord with me. I own quite a bit of cross jewelry, which has been given to me over the years, and I will definitely think more about how that cross honors what Jesus did to save our souls each time I put on a piece of cross jewelry. This is an interesting topic that I haven’t put much thought into before. But I’m glad to say that I look forward to sharing this blog post with friends and fellow Christians and seeing what they think. Thank you for sharing!

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    You’re welcome. For a long time I never really considered what’s in the first quote and then didn’t like the idea of using it as decoration (not just because of that quote). But now the second quote helps me see it a different way again.

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