One doesn't pray to an ob<x>ject. One prays to God.
it chokes me up to imagine it...
I don't pray to mooses. jk
Good question.<br />
I suppose humans need to focus their minds by concentrating on a visual. There is no harm in it per se if people don't kill and hate in the name of that symbol.
Probably. Or perhaps they would have stuck with the fish. In any case, the cross is just another symbol, another idol. People need that subtle idolatry. Even in religions like the original Buddhism, where the Buddha said idols were stupid and rituals were unnecessary, ineffective pageantry, people found a way to deify him, involve hundreds of other gods and very formal, specific rituals. Even the Islamic church, for all its iconoclastic values, prays to a sacred city built around a sacred shrine housing a sacred stone so holy it's like a piece of Allah. People (with, I'm sure, some exceptions) need idols. It's just how our faith button tends to work.<br />
What people don't realize is that there's nothing WRONG with identifying an ob<x>ject with your god. The key is just in knowing that the idol/icon is NOT a god in itself, merely a single representation of a single aspect of the Divine. When you know the address, the name of the envelope is just for looks. God even opens mail marked "Resident".
This is the question of the swastika. The swastika used to mean "GOOD" (3000 years ago) Because it was used in more modern contexts (the nazis) it has been banned in some places (e.g. German). If early Christians had decided to use it as a symbol of their belief it would have attained a whole different meaning by our time and, probably, become stylized in some way.<br />
UPDATE: Yeah, that sounds right.
In the Mormon church there are no crosses on the buildings because the cross is a symbal of death and we believe in the Living Christ. However the church doesn't belittle or condemn other Christians for using the cross as a symbal of Jesus and their faith.
Yes, perhaps (it wouldn't be my decision). And you would compose your question the other way round.
Good point. Fish, noose, cross or statue, people would still pray to an ob<x>ject.
Or Dear Lord who died on the cross. 99.9 % of the people that pray hold a vision in their head of their perception of "God" and it's usually the Jesus with the crown of shame guilt and stress on his head and the nails in his wrists. Only 1% have gotten past that to realize that "God" is the vastness. The Peace beyond understanding, which is not "hanging on a cross somewhere" or dragging "the old rugged cross" behind them.
Speculation on whether or not he was hung remains open. ;)<br />
If he were hanged, I'm sure a noose would have been incorporated into religious imagery.
no dummy he was on a cross and I pray to GOD his father. I guess you don't read a lot
Doesn't that picture give you a warm fuzzy feeling.....<br />
Yes that was sarcasm.