Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Why I Stopped Wearing My Crucifix

For about 20 years I have been wearing a fairly ornate gold cross on a fancy gold chain. I wore it for two reasons. The main reason was that I wore it as a reminder to myself of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, taking on the pain that I deserved to receive from the Father. The second reason was to show others that I was a committed Christian.

There were times over those years when I'd hear about how the cross was really an instrument of torture. But, I still thought "OK. But, it's important to remember what Jesus suffered." I'd go on wearing the cross anyway. However, as I have begun to read church history I realized the cross was not a symbols of the early church. It was not used for several hundred years after Yeshua's death. It was around the 4th Century that the cross begins to show up in Christian art. This was after Constantine made Christianity the state religion. Even then the image is not of Jesus dying on the cross. It's Him in front of the cross in majesty and praise. The cross is no where to be found in the catacombs (the tombs) of the early Christians. The symbol used most commonly by the early church was the fish (Icthus). Legend has it that when two Christians would meet one would make half of the fish symbol and the other would complete it. Icthus is Greek for "fish" and is an acronym for Jesus Christ Son of G-d, Savior. It's a play on word or a pun that the acronym equals the Greek word for "fish".

As I've been growing as a Christian and as a human, I am more focused on this life than the after life and on improving the world rather than assuring my place in heaven. While I acknowledge the importance and necessity of Yeshua's death on the cross (see the article "Why Did Jesus Have to Die" on this site), I am now more focused on His life and His example of how I should live, than on the circumstances surrounding His death. So, I gave up the cross and traded it in for a very simply sterling silver fish pendant.



jazztheo said...

my brother,

Finding your blog was like water to my soul! There aren't many of us darker hued folks engaging in the postmodern, emergent discussion. I shall return.

bruced said...

Same here, bro. I am looking forward to reading your stuff and getting to know you. Big blessings!

margretkline9672 said...
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Geo said...

Hi B,
I found your site from my friend bruced at YBMT.
I like your writing and will return.


Brian said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement. Please spread the word about my site and others that I've linked to here.


Boltono said...

Hello Brian,
Second time of trying to send this!
Back around 1990 or so and before I went travelling I read a booklet by J. Preston Eby, and it was called "Just What Do You Mean...God will have all men to be saved". I just looked up a weblink for you:-
http://www.kingdombiblestudies.org/tablecontents.htm It changed my perception of God and resonated within in a living way which freed me from the nonsense taught in churchianity which tried to cover my spirit. I found your writing encouraging. Thank you. I invite you to bob over and check my postings at http://boltono.typepad.com I'm not sure if you've already visited. Usually I write seriously but sometimes a bit tongue-in-cheek.
Best to you. Love in God.

Roy Naka said...
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Linux Unix said...
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