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The Cross a graven image?
Sat Feb 23, 2008 , 03:25 PM
Post: #1
The Cross a graven image?
I would like to throw something out for discussion and input. Not too long ago I had a fellow tell me that having a cross displayed in Church is a graven image and is prohibited by the Bible. I cannot find anywhere in the Bible this is said. I was wondering what anyone else had to say about the subject. This is the first time I have ever heard this and it has bothered me ever since he said it.

In Christ,
George

(Galatians 5:1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
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Sat Feb 23, 2008 , 08:26 PM
Post: #2
RE: The Cross a graven image?
I would say so, yes.

David

Job 19:25 But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth, And at last he will stand up upon the earth:
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Sat Feb 23, 2008 , 08:43 PM
Post: #3
RE: The Cross a graven image?
I have always understood the phrase "graven image" to refer to something that is being worshiped. Although I have not studied out every single occurrence of the phrase I believe it is always used in association with something being worshiped.

If the mere fact of having a graven image was wrong, then would not God have been causing the Israelites to sin when He had them make a serpent of brass in Numbers 21. This brass serpent suspended on a pole was a picture of the cross, therefore, I do not see anything wrong with having a cross in a church or anywhere else for that matter.

The brazen serpent did not become a "graven image" until the children of Israel began to worship it which we find out in II Kings 18:4 when Hezekiah brake it into pieces because of their worshiping it. If we hold up a cross to worship then it becomes a graven image and therefore becomes wrong. If we are merely using it as a symbol of remembrance then I see nothing wrong with it and believe that the Bible backs that up in principle and example.

In Christ,
PreacherE

Jeremiah 20:9b
'But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.'
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 , 02:54 AM
Post: #4
RE: The Cross a graven image?
Bro George,
Preacher E is correct. It's the "worship" that determines correctness. Jesus told the disciples to pick up their cross and follow Him. Paul also said that the Lord sent him to preach the gospel, in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that the cross of Christ, would be effective and that the "preaching of the cross" is the power of God - 1 Cor 1:17-18.

In Galatians 6:14, Paul gloried in the cross of Christ.
In Ephesians 2:16, he says the cross was used for reconciliation.
In Philippians 3:18, Paul warns against the enemies of the cross.

However, there are some who teach that the cross is a symbol of death (which it is) and we shouldn't openly display it. Again, though, we aren't worshipping it, so having it in a church isn't wrong or unscriptural.

I asked a Mongolian carpenter to build a pulpit for our church here in the Gobi, and did not specify how or what it was to look like. He finished it in about a week, and guess what was prominently displayed on the front? You got it - a cross! That symbol identifies us with The Lord Jesus, and the world is well aware of it!

"Always correct the Bible critics with the King James' text and never worry about doing it. Do it cheerfully, prayerfully, and with thanksgiving, giving the glory to God and being assured that at the Judgment Seat of Christ, you won't have anything to worry about." Dr. Peter S. Ruckman
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 , 05:44 AM
Post: #5
RE: The Cross a graven image?
Quote:I have always understood the phrase "graven image" to refer to something that is being worshiped.

But the cross IS wworshipped in RC circles. How many bits of the supposed "Holy Cross" have they got? Do they not cross themselves, thus worshipping it?

Most Bible based Baptist churcches, and evengelical churches, that I know, would not display a cross.

Some believe that the cross is the mark of the beast, being given by a finger of the right hand upon the forehesd. During the muddle ages, it was also forbideen to buy and sell if you did noy submit to the RCC by having this mark.

Quote:In Galatians 6:14, Paul gloried in the cross of Christ.
In Ephesians 2:16, he says the cross was used for reconciliation.
In Philippians 3:18, Paul warns against the enemies of the cross.

Paul is not refering to the actual cross, as far as I can see, but what happened on it. When jesus said "Take up your cross and follow me." he did not mean us to lug a cross around the streets as some RCs do. In the last town we lived, the "Churches Together" used to march from their respective churches to the market place. the Anglicans carried a large cross which was erected in the Market Place. They then sang hymns around it. I do not believe that this is what our Lord is referring to.

David

Job 19:25 But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth, And at last he will stand up upon the earth:
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 , 09:12 AM
Post: #6
RE: The Cross a graven image?
Davo Wrote:
Quote:I have always understood the phrase "graven image" to refer to something that is being worshiped.

But the cross IS wworshipped in RC circles. How many bits of the supposed "Holy Cross" have they got? Do they not cross themselves, thus worshipping it?

Then that would make it a graven image to the Catholic church. However, if a church displays it merely as a reminder and a symbol then it would not become a graven image for them because they are not worshiping it.

Davo Wrote:Most Bible based Baptist churcches, and evengelical churches, that I know, would not display a cross.

This may be the case where you are at, but I can't say as I have ever seen a church that did not have a cross displayed somewhere. Many churches in my area have crosses displayed outside as well as in. Of course I use the term church loosely when referring to them as many of them are apostate.

Another thing, how would you explain the case of the brazen serpent in Numbers 21?

In Christ,
PreacherE

Jeremiah 20:9b
'But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.'
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 , 12:20 PM
Post: #7
RE: The Cross a graven image?
Actually Brother David I believe it is not the cross which is worshiped in the RC circles but the crucifix. There is a vast difference. They still have our Lord hanging on the tree. I believe that is what makes the crucifix a graven image. It is false and it contains an image of God.

Quote:However, there are some who teach that the cross is a symbol of death (which it is)

Brother Servant do you really believe the cross is a symbol of death? I believe it to be more a symbol of life. I guess actually it is a symbol of life, death and resurrection. For me to limit it to merely being a symbol of death does not come close to doing to justice to its actual meaning.

In the research I have done I believe that when anything that is made or graven becomes an object of worship, which means we place it in our lives before God, then it is wrong. I do not believe Christians worship the cross but rather the cross is a symbol of what we worship. It is a reminder if you will.

Now some say the same about the symbols the RC folks use in their worship. Yet I know for a fact they do use graven images such as the aforementioned crucifix as objects of worship. To me this is akin to their prayers to Mary and the myriad of saints they pray to.

Please understand as this discussion goes along that I did not start it to try to step on anyone's toes or to cause any kind of contention. I have felt for quite a while we need some subjects we can freely discuss and trade ideas and opinions on here on the forums. This particular subject seemed appropriate too me. I would like to hear from some others.

Brother Jim, do you have any input?

In Christ,
George

(Galatians 5:1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 , 12:43 PM (This post was last modified: Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:45 PM by Jim.)
Post: #8
RE: The Cross a graven image?
Hello Brother george. I have been following this thread this morning and was not intending to post so I could see what came out of it.

Like you, I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY that:

Quote:I have felt for quite a while we need some subjects we can freely discuss and trade ideas and opinions on here on the forums.

This is what I have been aching for, for quite some time. I am not sure why anyone would continue to want to post on this site when they do not agree with the statement of faith:
http://www.fundamentalpreaching.com/stat...t-540.html

Anyhow, Here is what I see:

Leviticus 26:1
Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image (06459), neither rear you up a standing image(04676), neither shall ye set up any image(04906) of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.

Here the Hebrew uses three different uses for the word image, and they are as follows:

Quote:06459 - ??? - pecel
1) idol, image

04676 - ???? - matstsebah
1) pillar, mastaba, stump
a) pillar
1) as monument, personal memorial
2) with an altar

04906 - ????? - maskiyth
1) show-piece, figure, imagination, image, idol, picture
a) show-piece, carved figure (of idols)

This describes the physical attributes of what the Lord commanded to the nation of Israel.

Like PreacherE and Mongol servant have stated, the end of Lev 26:1 makes it very clear: ...to bow down unto it...

This was added for the heart. The actual making of these things is not the issue (except for the attempted imagery of Jesus CHrist, which I disagree with completely), it is the worship of them that is the problem.

So I also agree with your pointing out of the difference between the cross and the crucifix, they are diametrically opposed to one another, in image and in intended use.

The cross is a symbol, to the believer, of a great many things, one of the most important being a reminder of why we are christains, for without the cross, we are nothing.

I also agree that the taking up of one's cross is symbolic of one's daily walk with Christ. According to Luke 9:23, we are to "...let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

This is an excellent reference to the desire to be a slave to Jesus Christ. The fact that our will should not be our own. These three things are a complete daily supply for us to make our Lord and Saviour pleased with us.

Just my thoughts,

Love in Christ,

Jim

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 , 05:00 PM
Post: #9
RE: The Cross a graven image?
Jim,

I don't know if you are referring to me, but I don't think I have said anything that contradicts the statement of faith. I have just re-read it and I certaily agree with it.

Quote:12.We believe that the Lord's Supper is a memorial of the death of Christ and that only those who have been saved through faith in His atoning blood and are walking in obedient fellowship with Him ought to partake of it

Roman Catholics would bow to a "piece of the true cross" as they say.

I went to the funeral of my wife's aunt, a couple of years ago. She was a Weslean Methodist. As the Methodist church was closed for refurbishment, they were meeting with the Anglcans. The funeral services was conducted jointly by the ministers of the Methodist and Anglican Churches. At the end, they both bowed to the large cross on the chapel wall, which to my mind was worshipping it.

Our curch, which is an Independent Evangelical Church does not have a cross displayed, inside or out. Neither do any of the other non charismatic Independent Evangelical Church that I know of. I would admit though that we do have a number of crosses displayed, which I doubt that most people would not, of have, notice(d). We have a large text behind the pulpit that says: Jesus Christ, the same, Yesterday, Today and Forever. This is in old English type script. In each of the first two capital letters there is a design which if you look carefully is a cross. Also on the rear legs of our communion table there are a number of small crosses. At the front is an Alpha on the left leg and Omega on the right. Likewise my daughter's Independent Evangelical Church does not have a cross, except one carved into the communion table which I doubt if most people would notice. Neither would be any use in aiding remembrance. I have also been to six or so Grace Baptist Churches and one Gospel Standard Baptist, and a number of Brethren, none of which have crossses displayed.

I have only stated my opinion, and do not wish to argeu with brothers. I respect your opinions.

David

Job 19:25 But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth, And at last he will stand up upon the earth:
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Sun Feb 24, 2008 , 10:14 PM
Post: #10
RE: The Cross a graven image?
Laughing No brother, I was not referring to you at all.

Why did you think I was? Guilty conscience? Lol, JK.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
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Mon Feb 25, 2008 , 12:27 AM
Post: #11
RE: The Cross a graven image?
Bro George,
You are correct - I didn't take the thought far enough. The cross is a symbol of our Lord's life, death, and resurrection. I only mentioned "death" initially, because they're some Baptists (hardshell, primitive, & others) that teach it is an instrument of death with a curse on it, using Galatians 3:13 for their backup. I agree with your three-fold indication - life, death, resurrection. But, as previously stated, we still don't worship it.

"Always correct the Bible critics with the King James' text and never worry about doing it. Do it cheerfully, prayerfully, and with thanksgiving, giving the glory to God and being assured that at the Judgment Seat of Christ, you won't have anything to worry about." Dr. Peter S. Ruckman
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