There are many issues we learn about God and Jesus by studying His 6 hours on the cross. So why do so many Protestants object to the crucifix? Do you?


It is hard to say why most Protestants stay away from crucifixes in their churches. There is the reason they say they do not do this, and then, perhaps, there is the real reason. In my opinion, this was in part a pendulum-swing against the Catholic practice. In other words, whatever the Catholics did, Protestants, tended to reject.
If you ask Protestants, they will give a couple of reasons for choosing to not put crucifixes in their church buildings. 

First of all, they will point out that there is no evidence that the early church ever used crucifixes as a symbol. In fact, even the cross was rarely used as a Christian symbol in the first few centuries of Christianity. When Protestants rejected the innovations of the Roman Church, one of the things they rejected was the ubiquitous use of crucifixes which arose in the Catholic west significantly after the early church.

Another reason Protestants reject crucifixes is that they typically become objects of veneration. Protestants would descrive a crucifix as a kind of idol which draws attention–not to Jesus or to God–but to the object. Whether this is a legitimate criticism is debatable, but it is one reason given.

Another reason Protestants use is that they say Jesus is resurrected and not still on the cross, so we should not leave him on crosses in our churches. It is my opinion that this is a justification and not the real reason they do not use crucifixes, as both Protestants and Catholics believe that Jesus was crucified and that he was raised from the dead, but this reason is often used.

In my opinion, this is not a very useful debate. I am not a big fan of symbols in general, preferring a simple worship. I do not believe that simply having a crucifix is idolatry, though I believe that many Catholics (and perhaps others as well) do use it as a kind of idol. I believe that we are better off without using such symbols. However, it is possible some people might find an object can help them to focus on God. I do not feel I have a right to condemn this. I am not a fan, I would normally advise people to not use a symbol, but would never make an issue of this.

John Oakes

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