Ex20:4-5 " You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them."
What does God teach us about idolatry?
Is it okay to make an idol as long as we do not worship it?
God commanded us not to make an idol in the form of anything.
So, we must not make an idol in the form of anything and worship it.
Can the cross be an exception from the words," in the form of anything"?
No, the cross cannot be an exception.
Making a cross is to disobey God's commandment.
Lev26:1 " Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God."
Here, an image, a sacred stone and a carved stone are all idols.
When a man worships an image made of wood or stone, it is idolatry. Then what about a cross made of wood or metal?
The cross is also man-made idol. The cross has no power to save us.
Jer10:2-5 This is what theLORD says: " Do not learn the ways of nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, through the nations are terrified by them. For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do harm nor can they do any good."
Worshiping s man- made image is idolatry. Idols cannot harm us or do any good. What about the Christians these days? Many christians wear a cross or carry it in their cars. However, the crosses can never give them salvation.
Then why do may churches erect cross?
It is because they regard it as sacred, and they believe that the cross has power to save them. However, the cross is nothing but an idol. What will happen to those who erect the cross?
Dt27:15 "Cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol- a thing detestable to the LORD, the work of the craftsman's hands? And sets it up in secret."...
What will happen to those who set up an idol in secret? ( They will be cursed)
If they are cursed by God, can they be saved?
Te Bible testifies that the cross is an idol.
Whoever erects the cross cannot be saved.
What happened to those who worshiped idols in the Old Testament times?
Jer2:27 They said to wood,'You are my father.' And to stone,' You gave me birth.' They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say,'Come and save us!'
In the time of Jeremiah, people worshiped idols made of wood or stone.
What happened to them?
They were cursed and destroyed.
Today, many churches worship the cross, an idol.
What will happen to them?
They, too, will be cursed and not be saved.
What was the cross used for in the time of Jesus?
At that time,the cross was an execution tool.
That's why Jesus and many saints were sacrificed on the cross.
For this,let's refer to a theological dictionary.
The public use of the cross was adopted by the Christians as a symbol at the time of Constantine.For the early Christians, surrounded by crucifixion as a grim fact of common experience, there was no danger or beautifying the cross by sentiment.
- Baker's Dictionary of Theology, p.152-
At that time, the cross was a horrible execution tool. The cross had not been used in the church for centuries after Jesus' ascension.
Then how did the cross find its way the church?
Constantine, the Roman emperor, authorized Christianity(313A.D.)
As time passes by, the church became secularized. And the execution by crucifixion was abolished(315A.D.)
After that, in 431A.D., the cross started to be used in the church and church offices. Around 586A.D. It was erected on church steeples.
This means that cross-reverence started as it became secularized.
However, today's churches keep worshiping the cross until now.
Please distinguish the true church, which follows the teachings of the Bible,from the false churches.
We have to remember Jesus's sacrifice by keeping the New Covenant which Jesus established even before his death, not by worshiping the cross itself. The New Covenant was the will of God which he left for us and present for his children. World Mission Society Church of God celebrates the New Covenant.
Do you want to know about WMSCOG?