Sunday, July 27, 2014

Venerating the cross

When I was first converted to Christianity I used to wear a gold cross around my neck. When I began preaching the gospel and making the rounds around the local churches I was approached by a church elder who asked me why I wore the image of the cross. I replied that it was a reminder to myself of the things that the Lord had suffered for me and the rest of humanity. He responded by simply asking me if Christ had been executed on an electric chair would I wear the image of an electric chair on my neck? It was right then and there that I realized that he had a good point. After some thought I came to realize that it was not the cross but the person who died on the cross that was the source of my salvation. I took off my crucifix and never wore that image again.

Venerate: to feel or show deep respect for (someone or something that is considered great, holy, etc.)

Idolatry: the worship of a picture or object as a god

Worship: the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god : the act of worshiping God or a god
: excessive admiration for someone

After becoming an atheist and examining my former beliefs more closely I came to realize how pathetic and weak Satan and his minions were for fearing the sign of the cross. It's akin to Dracula and his vampires hissing and cowering in fear when shown a cross in the old vampire movies genre.  Today many claiming or professing to be Christians wear these images (especially Catholics) and rely on them for protection as you would if you were wearing some kind of magic talisman. They kiss their crucifixes and bless themselves before going out by making the sign of the cross across their own bodies. This is not veneration it is worship and in the end it is nothing more than idolatry. 

4“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them;... Exodus 20:4-5

According to the ten commandments as outlined in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 God prohibited the making  of images. But later on in Numbers 21 this same God punishes the Hebrews for complaining about their lot and so he sends snakes to bite and kill many of the Israelites. In response to this Moses prayed for the Lords mercy and he commanded Moses to make a bronze snake!

8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. Numbers 21:8-9

I guess like the rest of the commandments it's only a sin when God says so. Every once in awhile he makes exceptions to his own rules. For instance the famous "thou shall not kill" commandment is repeatedly violated by the Hebrews in the O.T. under the direct or indirect orders of God himself. 

Have you ever wondered what happened to that snake? The Bible said it was destroyed by King Hezekiah because they (Israelites) began worshiping it by burning incense to it. 

4He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan. ) 2 Kings 18:4

Many of today's Christians are guilty of the sin of idolatry not just on the matter of the cross but in their excessive devotion to the Bible. Some like to put an open Bible in their rooms or in the dashboard of their cars to ward off evil or to obtain God's blessings. Using the cross or the Bible in these ways is simply idolatry no matter how you spin it. Catholics like to burn incense and candles to saints and even for the dead. All of these acts are not based on biblical principles. Nowhere in the Bible does it say to pray to dead saints for favors. In fact, the role of intercessor belongs to Christ alone. 

Those of you who do the above mentioned acts should read your Bible's before you try to refute atheists about matters you yourselves know nothing about. The cross itself has no power Christ was not the first man to have ever been crucified in history. This was a very common form of execution utilized by the Romans in the first century. The Bible by itself is just a book it's not the book itself that has power but the words contained in the book. Now that is a lesson for you from you friendly atheist.

Note: All word definitions are taken from the online Merriam Webster Dictionary  which I have linked to and all scripture citations are from the New International Version of the scriptures.


  1. This reminds me of a time back in high school when I tried wearing a cross pendant. I don't know why I had it, I found it on the floor. What compelled me to put it one, that I cannot remember as well. It was in the morning, some time around first period classes.
    I wasn't a Christian. I had very little knowledge of both the bible and Jesus.
    What I do remember was the feeling of wearing it. It felt really wrong.
    I wore it for no more than 15 minutes before taking it off and placing it into my pocket for the rest of the day.

    I think that might have been an early sign of what would later lead to my identity crisis around the end of school and months then after.

  2. I've known people who place their rosaries in the seam of an open Bible. These uses of the cross or the Bible are not Christian nor biblically founded practices. These items become a talisman and lead to idolatry. In my opinion this also applies to praying to so called saints for intercession or help.

  3. Dear Chatpilot, yes one should atleast have a general knowledge of Scripture before debating anyone - especially non-christians. Still, whenever i read posts from people who have claimed to have read the Bible from cover to cover, i can't help, for the most part, to be skeptical, because each paragraph is so packed. Unless one has an iq of 300, how can one retain even a small fraction? All i know is, if i am one of His, i am glad His kingdom is forever - because it's going to take that long for me to completely retain all of His Word. Forever to read and reflect (worship) and no stupid laundry, boring job and people's drama to have to deal with. Yyaayyyyy ;) By the way, years ago, i wanted to be an atheist because i didn't like the way the Lord ran His universe. But the atheism didn't stick, a Godless universe was too desolate, too pointless.

    1. "But the atheism didn't stick, a Godless universe was too desolate, too pointless. "

      That's the thing! Life is really what you make of it and when you come to the realization that we only have one you appreciate it more and make the most of it. I find meaning in my life in my kids, grandkids, my wife, family, friends, etc.

      There is no empirical or objective evidence for the existence of the biblical deity or any god for that matter. I find the idea of eternal life repulsive especially if I have to spend it telling God how good and how great he is all the time. In the scriptures vanity is condemned yet there is no creature although imagined more vain than God.

      I have read the Bible from cover to cover four times one of those times I even read it in Spanish. I found that the more I read it the more repulsive I found this biblical deity to be. He is not a loving father but rather a murdering tyrant who apparently takes pleasure in human and animal suffering. Hitler was called a monster and a maniac for being responsible for the murder of around 6 million Jews and another 5 milllion others but God destroys the world and he is called just! If that is not a double standard then I don't know what is.

  4. I find this confusing and highly discouraging to people that want to believe and are new to learning about being a follower In Christ. I want to know the truth but to me if God is not real then i suppose it doesn't matter how anyone in this life acts and what is the value and purpose. I don't worship or idolize crosses or any image. I read the NIV. I'm still new to learning. but if god is not real then why do people practice satani and demons things if there isn't something to it? why doesn't anyone try to debunk or expose that? real things have happened to people that have messed with black magic and oijia boards. personal stories I know from friends that were not making it up. so if there are evil deities and entities, then doesn't it only make sense that something even greater than that also exists? Not making an argument, just wondering.

    1. Sabine, thanks for your comment. I will try to explain my position in the simplest way possible to hopefully help you understand why I have started this blog.

      "if God is not real then i suppose it doesn't matter how anyone in this life acts and what is the value and purpose."

      In order for a society to function there must be order. You don't need a god in order to act like a civilized person. I for instance do good deeds for my fellow man because it makes me feel good to help when I can and I am able. I don't do it to win brownie points in an imaginary heaven nor to keep my feet out of the fire of the imaginary hell.

      Peoples personal experiences in religions and cults are referred to as subjective experiences and have nothing to do with the falsity or truth of their respective religions or their beliefs. I have had experiences with a Oija board myself and have read the Satanic bible. In fact, my ministry's focus was in deliverance from demon possession or oppression.

      At the time I interacted and helped liberate many through what I believed to be the power of the Holy Spirit using me as a vessel for God's power. I now know that a lot of what I experienced had to do with certain aspects of hypnosis common to charismatic churches beliefs and practices.

      In life there are good and bad people and we don't need god or demons to be either. There are plenty of natural explanations as to why things happen or appear to happen a certain way. A good place to start is to read a book by James Randi called The Faith Healers where he personally debunks and exposes many of the methods used by many of the most prominent Christian evangelists of the time.