Traditions of men
I grew up in a culture where the cross was a traditional symbol of the Christian faith. Most everyone I knew had necklaces, earrings and bracelets with a cross to remind them of how Christ was crucified. In the old black and white vampire movies, Dracula and other vampires were defeated by even a shadow that resembled a cross. There are also non Christians who wear crosses on chains as a fashion statement only. There are others who wear this symbol upside down to mock the sacrifice of Yeshua/Jesus but Peter was said to have been crucified upside down because he said he was not worthy to die like His Lord. This comes from history and backs up what’s Jesus said in John 21. For believers today’s the cross reaffirms faith in the suffering of our Savior to give us eternal life. My opinion regarding this relic changed abruptly after something I heard in 2010.
Rethinking my views
My husband and I along with our two sons went to The Holy Land USA in Bedford, Va. which has since been shut down. At one point during our excursion our tour guide said something quite profound. She told us that the cross was not a gold and shiny thing of beauty. She emphasized that it was ugly gnarled wood where Christ suffered for our sins. Later I heard the late entertainer Prince say based on his Jehovah’s Witness views that the cross was not T shaped and that Christ’s arms were straight above his head on a pole. There are others who share these views and I wondered had we been taught wrong all of these years. From that point I no longer wore gold, white gold or sterling silver necklaces, and earrings because I agreed that the crucifixion was an ugly thing.
Some Christians are wary of cross jewelry because they say it comes from Catholicism where there are many relics. On the website Beyond Today the cross is said to be a pagan symbol. Some people wear crosses to ward off evil, but this does not always work. In reenactments of alleged haunted homes on television shows like Hauntings, the use of a cross can have several effects. I have seen people pray in the Name of Jesus and hold up a cross that had no effect on the supernatural activity in their home. Others have sent demons packing while calling on his Name and using a cross. A third result is cross necklaces ripped off of people's necks by unseen evil forces. All of this is a matter of personal faith.
In the eye of the beholder
Beyond today warns about worshiping symbols and turning them into idols. The website also states that there were 7 different types of crosses that the Romans used for crucifixion and we don't even know which one was used for Jesus. Keeping this in mind lets look at a few new testament scriptures. Apostle Paul said the following in Colossians chapter 3:
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
These first four verses tell us to focus on spiritual things and not anything that is in the earth. Our faith is to be in Christ and this would indicate we are not to trust jewelry with a cross to protect us. Even so, skipping down to verses 10-17 we read:
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Again this focuses on the spiritual and the condition of our hearts and not what we are wearing. It ends in saying that in all we do we do in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
The Bible does not instruct Christians to utilize cross jewelry but neither is it condemned. The issue seems to be where your hear is. You can go around in sackcloth and ashes giving the appearance that you are spiritual and be far from the Lord. Likewise wearing cross jewelry in no way indicates where you are in your personal walk with the Lord. The same could be said of carrying a Bible because they are outward expressions. If a believer wants nothing to do with cross jewelry that is a personal matter but if wearing a necklace, bracelet, or even rings with crosses encourages someone, what is the harm?
Recently my husband and I updated our wedding rings. The old ones were white gold. The new ones are white gold with a small amount of yellow gold on each side. I thought it unique and a wonderful accent. I did not realize until I got home, upon closer inspection that the gold was actually in the shape of a cross. All three rings have a gold cross to the left and to the right of the diamonds in the middle. I could not take them back because of the coronavirus and as I talked to the Lord here is what I believe He revealed to me. Revelation 14:14 says And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
When Christ returns He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will be crowned Lord of all and wear a golden crown. He defeated death, hell, the grave and the cross. My spouse and I shall wear our rings proudly because even though the crucifixion was ugly and humiliating and the cross an item of shame, once He rose it became a thing of beauty. That's how I feel but if someone else abhors cross jewelry then that is their right. This is personal choice just like the days and times of church services, speaking in tongues or not. Some things are not a one size fits all when it comes to our daily walk. Whenever I glance at my rings I will be reminded that because He lives I have eternal life.
All hail the power of Jesus Name, let angels prostrate fall
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on June 05, 2020:
Brillantly said :) Thank you for sharing :)
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on May 20, 2020:
It is really a heated debate...May God see us Home in Jesus name. Amen, then we shall know better. Good insight.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on May 19, 2020:
Thank you for reading and responding.
Jack Jenn from Living in hope on planet earth. on May 19, 2020:
I agree with what you've said in your article - the cross should be viewed as an object of horror on which our dear Lord and saviour was so cruelly nailed to, NOT as an idol to be worshipped. Wearing a cross will not save anyone and as you mention, it doesn't prove the wearer a Christian except as an outward show that means little.
The view of Christ nailed to the cross should be in every Christians heart as a reminder of what He did for all of us and it's from the heart that others can see who and what we live for. There are many who identify as Christians but are just lukewarm, which is reflected in their speech and their behaviour. In this age we find ourselves, being lukewarm is a dangerous condition and is visible to others and the pressures of the Tribulation so soon to come could cause you to go either way - on a steep and narrow pathway that leads home or the slipery slope that leads only downward. What comes from the heart is the true measure of who a person is and is easily discernable.
I agree with Margaret's last sentence in her comment.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on May 19, 2020:
Thank you for commenting. I dont know why non believers wear crosses.
Linda Courtney from Bloomsburg, PA on May 19, 2020:
I've never been able to figure out how the cross can just be a fashion statement. What does the cross symbolize to those who don't believe? I have some cross jewelry and even t-shirts as it is a reminder of what Christ has done for us to save us from our sins. It gives me strength. It has brought on conversations with other Christians too that I might not have had if I didn't have it on. But I agree with the article that it is just a choice to wear or not.
Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on May 19, 2020:
I once mistakenly thought a person was a Christian because he was wearing a cross. During our conversation, he told me he was an atheist and was wearing the cross necklace just as a fashion statement.
I believe wearing a cross is fine if it is done for the right reasons. I do frown against seeing people wearing a cross with Jesus still on it because the cross is bare and the tomb is empty. A depiction of Jesus on the cross implies the resurrection never happened.