Monday, February 11, 2008

Crosses - Should we have them?

The noticeable difference between standing in an LDS chapel and standing in other churches is the obvious lack of adornment in an LDS chapel. Some flowers are a moderate decoration compared to stain-glass windows, crosses, and possibly statues etc. Then there is the question of whether we should wear crosses? Did Christ's Apostles wear crosses? The answer to that is very simple. No! Had they done so they would have been stoned.

Deut 5:8 "Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth."

In plain English the law given by God to Moses forebad Israelites from making likenesses of anything whatsoever - no art or sculpture. When Solomon built the temple he had to get Gentiles to sculptor, and the things remained in the temple only. Archaeologists can't find any Israelite art because there wasn't any.

Some will quote something like the following text and propose that this vindicates wearing crosses.
Matt 10:38 "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."

I can assure you that he wasn't referring to a concept of wearing crucifixes. As is demonstrated in his own case, people who were to be crucified had to carry their own cross and then be crucified. Christ chose a dreadful thing and used it to make his point. That we must be ready to suffer the worst of things. This is in context of the verses around the statement. The whole subject matter is one of being prepared to sacrifice friends, family, comforts and life. It isn't a declaration of what jewellery to wear.

Let's consider the idea that our neighbour's son was murdered saving your life. By someone using a knife. Would you think of wearing a knife around your neck when you went to visit your neighbour? Would you regard that he would see this as some kind of respect? Because it is the last thing I would wear. I think he would see that as very sick.

God spoke strongly against any physical representation of him to Israel of old. What would make him change his mind now and think that physical representations (such as crosses) of him or his Son are acceptable? If you want to demonstrate your belief in Christ, live a Christ like life and people will see it in you (as Christ stated).


JayFlow22 said...

The message of Jesus Christ rests in the empty tomb, not in the cross of Calvary.
However, an empty tomb is hard to put on a necklace and sell for a profit.

Doug Towers said...


It is true that the resurrection is a wonderful thing. And it is a blessing that Christ has given to all regardless of good or evil.

His atonement for the truly repentant is also a wonderful message.

I suppose I think of him as the person who has come and talked with me face to face. A living Christ full of love.

But I don't feel that he wants us to wear any symbol other than a righteous life.

yeti said...

i was tihnking about this, and how it makes sense to not have graven images. Now i wonder where one would draw the line between and image that leads us to worship God and an image that causes us to worship the image its self.
Are not many Mormon Temples topped with figures of Angel Moroni, and the Churches filled with pictures? I don't think the cross should be worshiped,but is Moroni just taking the place of a cross?

Doug Towers said...


interesting thoughts.

The statue of Moroni is placed in a spot where people would have difficulty worshipping it. If they are going to worship something way up there, then they will find something to worship anyway.

The pictures in the meetinghouses are placed in hallways etc. Not in the chapel area itself. This is done for that very reason.