A few days ago, I was traveling around in Quito, Ecuador. In one of the Taxis, the driver was sporting a crucifix on his odometer. Roman Catholic influence is pervasive here, and normally I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. It struck me though, that having an image of Christ bloodied and hanging there on his odometer was his way of always looking to the cross. Displaying the crucifix is not limited to Roman Catholicism, but is practiced by many within Christendom. I’ve heard many objections as to why this might be wrong including, but not limited to:
- It’s a violation of the Second Commandment.
- It signifies that Jesus is still hanging there.
- Jesus continues to be punished for our sins.
- There was no resurrection.
- It’s not the way we’re supposed to remember Him.
- It’s idol worship.
The Second Commandment is, “You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4
A further commentary by Moses on this passage states, “You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are. Deuteronomy 4:15-20
Perhaps when Paul the Apostle said, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 it justifies using the crucifix as a way to remember Christ’s work. Perhaps not. None the less, here are a few questions:
1. What’s wrong with the crucifix?
2. Is it idol worship?
3. Of the reasons you state for the crucifix being anti-biblical or wrong, are you practicing anything similar?