Sunday, March 24, 2013

The latest Christian fad- Is wearing a sideways (horizontal) cross good, or bad?

Kelly Ripa has one. Taylor Jacobson, Rachel Zoe’s assistant has one. Jessica Biel wears it too. Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Jennifer Lopez, Kourtney Kardashian, Jillian Michaels...all sport one. (And if you know who those people are, more power to you.) It has been described as "wildly popular", "the hottest trend," "totally cute", and the "in fashion." What is it? The sideways cross necklace.


Any time there is innovation related to anything in Christianity, we perk up. Our first question should be "What does it mean?" Why do we ask this first? We must be reverent--

"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe," (Hebrews 12:28)

"And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great." (Revelation 19:5).

Fads are nothing new. They affect Christianity just as they affect the world. Most often, fads are related to doctrine, movements, or worldwide phenomena in the ecclesiology department, affecting preaching. As Phil Johnson says of fads,

"In the past two decades we have seen a relentless parade of phony miraculous phenomena, and literally millions of Christians have jumped on this bandwagon, running from one charismatic fad to another, desperately trying to get in on the latest display of divine power."

But there are Christian merchandising fads, too. Love Dare diaries from Fireproof, Courageous Decree, WWJD bracelets, prayer blankets... fads, fads, fads. As Phil Johnson asked in 2005 of the merchandising fads, "Shall we sell our birthright for a mess of faddage?"
"So why has the recent culture of American evangelicalism—a movement supposedly based on a commitment to timeless truths—been so susceptible to fads? Why are evangelical churches so keen to jump on every bandwagon? Why do our people so eagerly rush to buy the latest book, CD, or cheap bit of knockoff merchandise concocted by the marketing geniuses who have taken over the Christian publishing industry?"
Some of the beginner-level fads have seemed harmless enough—evangelical kitsch like Kinkade paintings, Precious Moments® collectibles, singing songbooks, moralizing vegetables, bumper stickers, Naugahyde® Bible covers, and whatnot. Such fads themselves, taken individually, may not seem worth complaining about at all. But collectively, they have created an appetite for "the ugly and the superficial." They have spawned more and more fads. Somewhere along the line, evangelicals got the notion that all the fads were good, because the relentless parade of bandwagons gave the illusion that evangelicals were gaining significant influence and visibility. No bandwagon was too weird to get in the parade. And the bigger, the better.
Johnson goes on to say that somewhere along the line bandwagons become Trojan horses. I recommend Pastor Johnson's essay in its entirety. He sure can write. (His retirement from blogging left a huge hole! Wah!)

Is it bad to wear a sideways necklace? I'd written a few days ago about hair, clothes and jewelry, here: "Adorned in Christ, how should we dress for Holy Week?" In that essay I'd mentioned, " 1 Timothy 2:9 says "likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire," and went through the historical reasons for that admonition and the one in 1 Peter 3:3.

So we ask again, is it bad or wrong to wear a sideways cross necklace? is it respectable apparel?

I looked for a definitive interpretation of the horizontal cross, and though a definitive one was lacking, I found the following in most places I looked:

One interpretation holds that wearing the cross sideways means that "humanity is positioned right in the middle of heaven and hell. This makes it a neutral symbol."

This seems like an innocuous and even a pleasant notion. But, no, there is no neutrality. There is no middle road. In fact this is an insidious teaching that is contrary to what the bible teaches. Either you believe and you're saved as a son of God, or you do not believe and you are condemned already as a child of hell. (John 3:18, Matthew 23:15, Hebrews 3:19). Humanity is already in either heaven or hell.

Another interpretation holds that: "Because of this meaning, some people say that wearing a sideways cross necklace means that you are aware of your place in this existence; And that you are grounded here on earth."

Again this is contrary to what the bible teaches. Christians who believe by faith in the Gospel have a home in heaven. This earth is not our home. (Hebrews 13:14). We are not to love the world or anything in the world. (1 John 2:15). If you are a Christian wearing a sideways necklace to show you are grounded here on earth, either you have a flawed idea of what Christianity is or you have no clue about the glory that awaits.

"There are also people who believe that the sideways orientation of a necklace symbolizes Jesus Christ carrying the cross, this is one of my favorite interpretations."

But He is not still carrying the cross. He died and rose again from an upright cross, declaring that it is finished. (John 19:30). That trumps the Savior's carrying of it.

"It has also been based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The horizontal orientation of the necklace connotes that Jesus Christ has actually risen and that the cross has already been laid down to signify that humanity has been saved."

This is also a false notion. It sounds Christian-y but it is actually untrue. First, He didn't lay down the cross. And nether are we commanded to lay it down, we are to take it up (Mark 8:34).

Secondly, humanity has not been saved, only those who are in Christ are saved. For the unsaved billions, a sideways cross would be a futile symbol. What about them?

No, more to the point, if you're going to symbolize things, 'Lay down your arms" means it is being dispensed with. It is over. Done. Fighting is stopped. You accede, acquiesce, quit, surrender.
 
Yet Christians are called to pick up our cross, not lay it down. (Luke 9:23). We are called to arm ourselves and fight, taking up the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:13). Wearing a sideways, laying down cross seems antithetical to what we are called to do in scripture.

And how many times are we called to stand? We are not standing in our own strength, either, but stand in Jesus. (Romans 14:4). His cross is still standing! Why would we ever signal that we are laying down our Christianity?

If you are not all that into symbolical interpretations of these things, and just want to wear a horizontal cross without all the hoo-haa, then before wearing sideways cross jewelry, ask yourself these questions:

Does it make you, the wearer, consumed with how the jewelry makes you look? (1 Peter 3:3).

It's trendy, but should we join hands with the world and monkey with the 2000 year old symbol of our faith just to be "in"?

Would you be offended if your church laid the cross at the church altar on its side?

Is it a silent statement against Christianity, a jewelry wearer's rebellion?

Is it making a commodity out of the Gospel by monkeying with its traditionality for the sake of fashion and money? Remember, Nadab and Abihu innovated a sacrificial service, and were killed for it. (Leviticus 10:1-2). Not that I am saying you will be killed by God if you wear a sideways cross, certainly, but is innovation proper? God gave us our faith, the holy bible, and its symbols. The most important one is the cross. God didn't have Jesus die on a guillotine, or by the sword. He died on a cross, and that was for a specific, holy, perfect reason. Do you really want to innovate that, when God set it forth in perfection in the first place?

If there is this much confusion about its meaning, can it be good?

Does it exalt Jesus? Or bring confusion to the symbol and its universally understood meaning for the past 2000 years?

Are you succumbing to a merchandising fad? "That is the culture the evangelical movement deliberately created when it accepted the notion that religion is something to be peddled and sold to consumers like a commodity. That was a major philosophical shift that created an environment where unspiritual and unscrupulous men could easily make merchandise of the gospel." ~Phil Johnson

The bible says that there will be fads and they come on the backs of greedy teachers bringing false words- "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (2 Peter 2:3).

Here is the most compelling reason not to wear a sideways cross!

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up," 

John 3:14, Numbers 21:9

77 comments:

  1. I would agree with you about this. Interesting just how much people DO make merchandise out of you! (or for you)

    I don't know about the other celebs you mentioned at the beginning, but a red flag on Jillian Michaels -- she is gay & she and her partner have children together! {ICK! I always feel for the kids born into this kind of sickening God-abomination lifestyle!) Anyway, given someone like her wears one -- that's enough for me to want to NOT wear one!

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    1. Anonmous, Ick is right! Ew. That would be enough for me to swear off one as well!

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    2. Re: Jillian Michaels

      That surprised me. And now I'm sad. :( Well, on the one hand I don't think I've seen more than 5 Biggest Loser episodes in my life. On the other, it really breaks my heart for the poor children who get taken up in these relationships--talk about fads, the kids are treated like designer objects that must be had and proudly presented for everyone to ooh and aah over.

      It wasn't until recently that I found some solid answers to why it's bad for the children. Phrase it this way: At least one of a child's biological parents are forbidden from interacting with them for their whole childhood. What if the surrogate/donor changes their mind and wants their child back? Nope. Law has taken your child and you have no rights to them.

      And that's just the beginning. Then there's "baby farming," and a ready supply of willing poor mothers who will gladly provide children for money -- a form of slavery. The kids and their parents are treated like cattle.

      When I realized that, then I was truly disgusted. I don't waver on the issue anymore.

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    3. What you describe in your second paragraph is no different than adoption. Do you find adoption reprehensible as well?

      Also, I'd love to see any credible source you may have that suggests that "baby farming" actually exists, as opposed to a weird, invented evil used to support undefendable ideological arguments.

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    4. I was researching the symbolism of the sideways cross because my teenage daughter had expressed that all her friends had them, but she wanted to make sure it wasn't an offense to her own Christianity. And After reading this post we decided that its not something we want to support. .But we also don't support the judgmental and hate filled comments left by some of posters. As Christians, we are supposed to love one another and leave the judgment to our father in heaven. I have taught my children that same sex relations are wrong but at the same time, you love your sisters and brothers in Christ. We pray for them not condemn them. .Christians whom act with hate are the reasons why our churches are so empty

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    5. Hi Anonymous, I'm glad you & your daughter decided against the sideways necklace!

      I'm sorry you see some comments as judgmental and hate filled. Which comments offended you?

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    6. Thanks for the great article. To the author who said that it is wrong to "judge" wrongful things like homosexuality, you need to read your bible. we are to condemn things that are against the Lord. It is an abomination! We are told to hate the sin, not the sinner. Judgement is only wrong when it is hypocritical. In other words on the homosexual issue, wrongful judgement can only come from a homosexual condemning another homosexual. This passive, do not offend "Christianity" is not biblical, it is very new age! Please read Romans 2. If you love the sinner tell him or her when they are enraging the one and only God of salvation. We are called to it!
      In Christ
      Angela

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    7. Hi Angela,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I agree, judgment is wrong when it is hypocritical. Matthew 7:3-5 shows us that. We are to take the plank out of our own eye before judging others, so we can make a righteous judgment.(John 7:24).

      I'd go further with your comment and say that any Christian, if they have taken the log out, can and should make judgments about sin. So not only a homosexual judge a homosexual's behavior, but a believer condemn *any* other sin a person is engaging in. It would be an unrighteous judgment for a Christian engaged in adultery to judge a gay person. Or someone in the throes of embezzling money to condemn the actions of a homosexual. Etc. That is what take the log out means, make sure we have repented of our own sin before judging others' sins- any sins.

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    8. I wasn't aware of the sideways cross at all until I was flipping through the channels and saw the psychic Kim Russo on celebrity hauntings wearing one.And I know what the bible.says about that kind of stuff.So to see her with one on,well that sure tells me a whole lot right there.And all the other celebrities that wear them,you can only deduce how much of a Christian any of them are.The majority are now into that scientology cult.God bless you all.Jeremiah

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    9. Anonymous March 24, 2013 at 3:33 PM
      The "ICK" posts about gays convinced me to buy a sideways cross. You are the most ignorant people I have ever encountered. I hope God says "ICK" you try to get into heaven.

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    10. Us saying "ICK" didn't convince you. You want a necklace because you want one.

      God said that homosexuality, and I quote, is an "abomination", "unnatural" and a "perversion." (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-17, Jude 1:7). Unnatural perverted abominations *are* icky.

      There is a significant 'ick-factor' to homosexuality, one that the gay lobby and homosexual agenda has tried to diminish in favor of falsely promoting this sin as "love", "civil rights" ,and "marriage equality." There is currently a debate underway in fudnamentalist circles to remind people to reclaim the ick-factor when debating this sin with non-Christians.

      Mike Huckabee:
      http://www.mediaite.com/tv/mike-huckabee-defends-ick-factor-comment-on-fox-news-sunday/

      Thabiti Anyabwile
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2013/08/19/the-importance-of-your-gag-reflex-when-discussing-homosexuality-and-gay-marriage/

      There is a reason that every culture in the world throughout time has proclaimed homosexual sex icky- because it is.

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    11. In addition, the original comment that used the word 'ick' was referring to two lesbians raising their child within their lifestyle. THAT is even *more* of an ick-factor because they are exposing children to perversion and abominations at such a young age, where the child will be quickly corrupted from innocence to perversion before they have the ability to consciously choose to disobey God. That is the ickiest thing of all, messing with the innate morality of children!

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  2. Hi Elizabeth, great post!
    If we take art as an expression of the culture and a mirror in which we look at ourselves, then maybe we can agree that in fact this piece of faddish is a expression of the sad reality of what´s happening on the christian scene.

    One of the interpretation of the cross many years back is that the vertical bar symbolizes our relationship to God and the transverse bar our relationship between man. It shows in fact where the cultural realities lie. From the side way cross to the upside down satanic cross, it only a matter of 90 degrees south. The devil loves incremental deception.

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    1. Thanks Jean-Louis! I love your phrase "incremental deception". I agree with you, it is a sad reality. We stupidly bound off like a puppy chasing celebrity fads even when, especially when, they seem Christian-ish.

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    2. Absolutemant oui!!!
      He tries to usurp God and steal and bastardize symbols.
      Years ago all the people using the cross as jewelry.
      I recall that some Bishops mentioned Cher and she retorted that they should keep their own houses clean before criticizing her.

      Now all this clothing is coming with crosses all over them and it is another of these attempts and watering down the true cross meaning.
      Now I am wearing a simple wooden cross encased in the fish symbol lest no one be confused.
      I am a Christian not a faddist

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  3. Oh Elizabeth, you are so gentle and diplomatic. When I saw the illustration of the sideways cross all I could think was, "That looks so WRONG. That is so wrong." Enjoyed your commentary on this, but everyone really needs to look at its source, I.e.the people wearing it.

    Oh my,.... This is just sickening.

    Thank you for all of your hard work. You are touching so many lives. Please keep doing what you are doing.

    May The Lord bless you,
    Diana

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    1. I've been thinking the same thing,even had a bracelet in my hand one day,but I can never do it,because I keep hearing it's wrong in my head,too. Probably,the thing that sticks out the most is,the celebs all wearing them. If anyone knows about the Illuminati,and celebs,and the symbolism,I'm certain this is just another sly trick from the enemy himself. God Bless

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  4. It is so wrong being worn sideways. There has to be some meaning behind it that Satan just seethes in laughter about.And what's most egregious is Christians wear it that way thinking it's cute because they are following the ways of this world.

    The upside down cross that many thing is supposed to symbolize peace is far FAR from what they think. I listened to a guy once who used to be a Satanist before the Lord saved him and he said that the upside down cross is very pagan. He said "The upside down cross is a mockery because it literally means Christ did nothing at the cross."

    "The supposed symbol for peace is actually a symbol of the broken cross. It has never been, nor will it ever be a symbol for peace. When a person is initiated into satanism he is given a ceramic cross and told to turn it upside down and take the two points and break them down symbolizing that there is no God."

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  5. I don't really have an interest in the latest trends and tend not to notice the jewelry people are wearing so this is entirely new to me. When I saw the photo, I immediately thought of it as symbolically bringing Christ low. To me, this isn't just trendy or cute, but seems irreverent.

    Just considering it's wild popularity and apparent celebrity endorsement, it deserves some scrutiny. If one considers the plethora of different symbolic interpretations, it should certainly make one question its origins and whether it should be worn.

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    1. "bringing Christ Low", exactly what I thought as well.

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  6. Elizabeth, I'm trying to get the Bible verse pop-ups to happen on my blog. I see you have it on yours, just like GotQuestions.org also does. I followed the instruction on this page: http://blog.logos.com/2008/06/adding_reftagger_to_a_blogger_blog/ .

    It didn't retroactively highlight any scripture verses I'd put in my posts. Is it supposed to? Or will it do it for future posts?

    :D 'Appreciate any help on this matter.

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  7. (Update re: the ref tagger) I got it to work on individual posts at the least. Worst case scenario, I can add it to each new post if I have to.

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    1. Hello Hakam,

      I remember installing it as a widget on blogger and it took almost no time at all. I believe it made all scripture I've posted hyperlinked retroactively.

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  8. The Cross is The symbol of Jesus' perfect love. The Cross is perfection, any change makes is less perfect, it's a perversion.

    This "fad" is just the diminishing of something that should not be altered and the wearers of this meaningless horizontal cross are just highlighting their ignorance and self absorption.

    It's all really sickening but that's the world we live in today.

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  9. Hhmmm, sideways . . . nope, sounds too much like sidewinder! Snake-ish! Next they'll tell you to wear it on a serpentine chain? I'll pass.

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  10. It just strikes me wrong!Christ carried the cross upright and died on it upright for me!.....I just feel that I am being very disrespectful by laying it down......kinda. like laying my bible on the ground!can't do it! out of respect for Gods word!any one else feel this way?

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    1. No one could have carried the cross upright. That doesn't make sense.

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    2. At the time, the condemned person carried the crossbar over his shoulder, making his body the trunk of the cross, in a picture sense. He was also crucified upright (as opposed to others, who were crucified on a circular cross or with their body handing upside down.)

      After reading the article and the scriptures, do you think there is a problem with wearing the cross sideways, or no...?

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    3. I saw this cross in a small shop in Jackson, Tn. It made me think of Jesus carrying the cross for our sin's, and if anyone ask me about it that is my answer. I don't know all the so called star's wore it! I bought it because it moved me to tear's thinking about the act itself, Jesus carrying a cross to die for me. That's it! If people read more into it so be it, I know why I wear it.

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  11. Hello Elizabeth.
    On seeing your picture my first thought was: The cross has fallen for the wearer.The world has flattened Christ once again, or is at least trying to. Never seen one nor would I ever even consider wearing one. I believe in Jesus. I believe in God and I believe that every symbol given to us by God has significance.
    Blessings and thanks for many very interesting posts, Geoff.

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  12. Not down with the sideways cross at all.. I definitely think it is disrespectful and make a mockery of the One who laid his life down on the cross for us!

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  13. There is nothing intrinsically "sacred" about a piece of jewelry shaped like a cross. The preaching of the cross is central to the NT and to our faith. However, in the earliest years of the Christian faith, the cross as ornamentation or symbol was so offensive that Christians would not have used it for fear of antagonizing their pagan neighbors.

    Crucifixion in the ancient world was reserved for the lowest of the low. Pagans regarded crucified people with something akin to the disgust people in our age regard child molesters. If a non-Christian saw someone wearing a cross they would have had the same visceral reaction that we'd have if we saw someone wearing a noose around their neck--"Who is that disgusting weirdo?"

    While Christian's preached the cross and while our salvation is founded on the cross, it wasn't until the 300 or 400s that it became a popular symbol to designate Christianity. Instead the early Christians used other symbols and anagrams. The most popular symbol was the fish because in Greek the word "Ichthus" used the first letters of a phrase that meant "Jesus Christ God's Son Savior." The other popular anagram were the first two letters of Christ--chi and rho--that were fused together to make a symbol that looked something like a large X that intersected with a P.

    What I'm saying is that the Christians have had many different symbols to identify their faith, so it is not necessarily the case that a sideway cross is disrespectful.

    The problem for me is that it doesn't add any meaning to an already significant symbol, but is a fad, The sideways cross will go the way of all fads. It will have a brief run and then fade from view only to be replaced by another fad.

    Rev. Michael A. Weber, United Reformed Church, Clifton, NJ

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    1. Thank you Michael! After reading much of this, I think the true winner here is the enemy. How well he was to get our focus off Christ and what he did on that cross bringing it to what it may represent and which celebrities are wearing it and why.

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  14. If you judge homosexuals in a manner that harms them/ostracizes them/ you are not only in violation of several of the 10 commandments, for attempting to raise yourself to God's level, but YOU are in deeper trouble than homosexuals are.

    Homosexuality is not amongst the 10 commandments, attempting to stand in God's place is, several times.

    You've been informed now. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. The next time you attack homosexuals (or anyone else) in God's name, you will stand before God and be judged for it.

    Just stop it, lest you discover that there's a reason God raised standing in his place to the level of multiple commandments, while homosexuality does not rise to that level.

    In other words, do not be among those that offend God to the extent that YOU wind up being rejected from Heaven for that which he made clear he does not tolerate, while a homosexual is forgiven and goes in, in your place.

    Stop now, before it's too late.

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    1. Anonymous, saying that something is a sin is not a sin. Here are bible verses which say that homosexuality is a sin:
      Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."1
      Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them"
      1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
      Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper."

      Carm.org says, "Unlike other sins, homosexuality has a heavy judgment administered by God Himself upon those who commit it - and support it. This judgment is simple in that those who practice it are given over to their passions - which means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins." http://carm.org/bible-homosexuality

      Homosexuality is condemned in the bible. In personal evangelism, when the Gospel to the world, we must confront sin.
      "Personal Evangelism 101: Confront Sin"
      http://www.gty.org/Blog/B130603

      "It’s critical to bring the sinner face to face with the guilt of his sin—to lead him to measure himself against the holy law of God and feel the weight of divine judgment on his corrupt life. How else will he ever come to true repentance and faith?"

      Sadly, people like you proclaim that confronting sin IS the sin. It's not.

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    2. Very well said Anonymous!!

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  15. I must say, even as a non-religous person I could tell that this was no good, its sacrilege . I wanted to get a necklace for my fiance when I saw it. I decided against it but asked her about it later and she confirmed my speculations.

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    1. Thanks for your input, Anonymous. I'm so glad your antennae were up for this one. Thank you for being so sensitive toward your fiance :)

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  16. I loved this. Thank you so much for writing this and using the scripture to back up what you said. My mom and I were sitting here watching t.v. and we noticed that so many people on certain shows are wearing this necklace. I was curious as to what this trend was, so I googled it. Your blog came up and as I was reading this my spirit agreed with you 100% on this topic. This trend seems like its a cult following and I for one do not want anything to do with it, if it means I could be hindering my own faith and how I walk out my life in front of those that don't know Jesus.
    Again thank you for listening to your spirit and writing about this topic on your blog. Many Blessings!!

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  17. I once found a tattoo forum where a man asked what symbolizes atheism. Someone responded "a sideways cross means Christianity has fallen." If people are really under that impression I don't want to wear a sideways cross and give the wrong idea.

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  18. I would like to say that I'm 22 years old and was not raised with a religion and for that reason have always felt a bit lost. Recently I've become interested in Christianity as I saw it as a beautiful faith, and have found comfort in bible verses I've read over the years. I was researching the meaning of a sideways cross because I've been thinking about getting one and really starting to devote myself to Christ and His teachings. But after reason the comments on this blog (ex: ick to Jillian michaels and all of the other petty digs at homosexuals) I've decided I want no part of a religion that includes so many crooked people. It is one thing to preach against homosexuality because it does not go along with your beliefs. It's another to act like a petty middle schooler making cheap insults. You're attitude has turned at least one potential converter against your religion. Congratulations. Get your attitudes and your ages in check.

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    1. Anonymous, and you are one of those crooked people. You need Jesus as much as anyone. "And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17 ESV

      Homosexuality is a sin- not 'my belief' but the condemnation of Jesus. The fact is, sinners need Jesus: you, homosexuals, me, gossips, murderers, adulterers, liars...and there is none righteous, not one. (ROmans 3:10). So that means we all need Him. It is your own belief that has turned you against Jesus- the false notion that you aren't crooked.

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    2. Jesus taught me to love everyone. Sure the bible says that being gay is a sin, but its no more sinful than cutting someone off on the road. Don't judge someone for how they live, unless you have never sinned. That goes for the necklace, all I see is a symbol of my savior. I could wear a cross, no cross, sideways cross, but the only thing that will bring people to Jesus is my actions.

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    3. Hi Anonymous,

      You’re right, all sins are an affront to God. Mumblers and grumblers are sinning as well as homosexuals.

      However I want to steer you to Matthew 7:1-5. You said not to judge anyone’s lifestyle unless I have never sinned. That is not accurately reflecting what the verse says to do. We should not judge unless we have made amends for and dealt with our own sin FIRST. See what Jesus says at the end of His lesson in verse 5:

      “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

      As John says, judge with right judgment. (John 7:24)

      So if we don’t judge someone’s lifestyle as against God’s standards, how will we ever evangelize them with the Good news of repentance and forgiveness? In your terms, you’d let them stew in their sin until they go to hell. That’s not loving everyone. That’s hateful.

      As far as your stand on symbols, where you said “I could wear a cross, no cross, sideways cross, but the only thing that will bring people to Jesus is my actions. “ First, do you wear a pentagram? A Muslim crescent? No. Because symbols MEAN something. Many verses in the bible are symbols. If you wear a sideways cross you're making a statement, saying something.

      I’m sorry, your actions don’t bring people to Jesus. Speaking the Good News does. We have a commandment to do the following: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. “ It doesn’t say “stay quiet about people’s lifestyles and as they watch your actions it will bring them to Me.”

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  19. I'd rather be crooked than hateful.

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    1. As I said above, we are all sinners and all therefore "crooked." Stating that sin is sin is not "hateful", rather, FAILING to tell of sin is the hate speech here. Otherwise how will a homosexual know he needs Jesus? How will a liar know he needs Jesus? How will a gossip know he needs Jesus? It is a fact, unrepentant gay people go to hell. Unrepentant liars go to hell. All unrepentant "crooked" people go to hell, including you, if you don't repent and follow Jesus. It's where I was headed until I repented by the grace and faith given me by Jesus. See? I loved you in love speech.

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  20. Again-I am not saying it's hateful to say homosexuality is a sin. I'm saying its petty to make remarks such as she is gay & she and her partner have children together! {ICK! I always feel for the kids born into this kind of sickening God-abomination lifestyle!). Grow up.

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    1. It's "petty" to remark that a les-bian is a les-bian and that she has a child? That's fact, not pettiness. The comment you quote was said by an anonymous commenter, though I did agree with it. I believe we have the right to condemn what Jesus condemns in the bible. A homosexual lifestyle IS an abomination and it is one of the worst of child abuses to raise a child in it! Doing so means the child is exposed to the *one* sin Jesus uses AS a judgment, (See Romans 1:18-32), and normalizes abomination (Rom 1:26-27). To 'grow up' is to be protective of children in any and all abusive situations, (Matthew 19:13-15) especially those who pervert their God-given sexuality and God ordained marital structure. There is a significant ick-factor to homosexuality, after all, it is called by God an "abomination" and an activity "contrary to nature". Would you feel better if I said Egad? In my opinion, I believe it is petty of you to worry about my use of the word ick. But I don't call your speech hateful. If you fell away from Christianity as you say because some lady on the internet somewhere said 'ick' to a couple of lesbians bringing up a child, then you have no faith at all.

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    2. Wait... We have the right to condemn the Bible? As in God's Word??????
      We are mere mortals on God's green earth! And we have to right to do what?????? The Bible is literally from God (2 Timothy 3:16 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,) and we have no right or say in the matter! What's so frustrating is that every time someone quotes a bible scripture to help someone see the Light, it's seen as hate speech! Smh! What??? I guess..

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  21. It looks like soon it will be worn completely upside down and people will claim it's a fashionable accessory then too. Dear God, please help them. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

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  22. When this kind of faddish, cutesy tootsy stuff becomes en vogue I look for less than honorable motivations. I can see a scenario where the Godless, apostate, pagan community of sin loving and pseudo-morality fostering, liberal God hating "intellectuals" want to make a statement by a seeming &%#}@?/ They've knocked to cross to the ground and made it none effect....

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  23. I think the best statement in the article is "but is innovation proper"
    We need not be looking to do this or trying this and certainly not participating in it.

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  24. It's just a necklace... Means nothing other than just another way to show your faith i.e. a rosary bracelet

    I attended Catholic school all my life.

    Have a good day!

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    1. So... the way we show our faith means nothing?

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    2. That's not what I wrote.

      Please carefully read posts in order to aviod misconstruing opinions.

      Thanks.

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    3. Yes that is what you wrote. And you didn't answer the question.

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    4. It is not just a necklace -and I went to Catholic school too-and by the way
      a Rosary is not jewelry and non believers and others wear it that way and stores put it on display with other jewelry -which I complain to the management about.
      If you have a jewel type of cross (which I will not have -a simple wooden cross is what I wear as a symbol for me tnat to others that I am a Christian

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  25. Faith is believing in what I can't see. Why should I have to wear a necklace to show my love for Christ. That's not having faith. I knew the moment I seen the sideways cross that there was something not right about it.

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    1. You don't have to.
      Something is not right about it.
      Those wearing it are clueless or guilty

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    2. "Those wearing it are clueless or guilty"

      OR, they just disagree with your interpretation.

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    3. Jesus is too precious to be wearing, saying, or doing things that indicate a flippant attitude toward Him. I hope you agree.

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  26. I was reachering the what the symobol behind the sideways cross was and now i don't think i want to buy one. But I am still coufused so is it bad to wear it and would it be a waste of money to buy one.

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  27. I'm so glad you published this article. I actually had a sideways cross necklace on and I immediately took it off after reading this.

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  28. Wearing a sideways cross promotes the belief that “Christ’s kingdom has fallen”. How can you bring souls to Jesus by your actions when you are proudly, and at this point, knowingly promoting such an egregious and an abomination filled act against God? And for the sake of what? Fashion? This is wrong. No way around it.

    As far as homosexuals go it is a sin to condemn them and ridicule them, however, these days people confuse correction and condemnation. These days if you simply quote a bible verse against homosexuality (or other sins as they are NOT exempt from this and NEVER will be), then you are “condemning” and “judging”. There is a difference in the two and many people need to understand that.

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    1. Good point, but I do wonder where "ICK! I always feel for the kids born into this kind of sickening God-abomination lifestyle!" would fall on your correction/condemnation continuum.

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    2. Anonymous, well I don't know, because I don't have a continuum. However, God does, so let's look at what He says about homosexual lifestyles, and children.

      1.The Bible absolutely condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9).

      That the bible condemns homosexuality as a sin, there is no question. There is no question that God abominates it as such. People are not supposed to engage in that named sin or live a life engaging in it, promoting it, or even endorsing it (Romans 1:32)

      2.God says we are supposed to train children in righteousness. (Romans 1:19). Exposing children to what the conscience already knows is a sin is wrong. (Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4, Deuteronomy 11:19) This also is a sin. God hates sin, so he would hate that adults who should know better are bringing children up in a sin He abominates. (Ephesians 6:4).

      God says that what is known to God is made plain to them from the beginning. Children understand there is a God. However, any adult who exposes them to sin and teaches them that THAT is the way, as Matthew 18:6 says, "it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

      Therefore, an adult engaging in homosexual behavior is under God's wrath, and bringing up a child in it is also storing up God's wrath unto himself because he is teaching the little one the ways of rebelliousness.

      I hope this answers your question as to what God's word says on the subject.

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    3. As for the upside down cross, some people say they are fine with wearing an upside down cross because Peter requested to be crucified on one upside down. My question to those people are, why wear an upside down cross representing a a man, when you can choose to wear a right side up cross that represents God?

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  29. This was a very informative article. I have seen two such necklaces and hoped there was information on it. I appreciate the article and your OBJECTIVITY. I don't know that I would wear one ever (my cross sits up nicely) but not because of all the speculations. I think you make a sound argument for not doing so but truly believe that most if not all are just following a fad not intending anything evil or unchristian and that was a relief (and enough for me). I have heard many Christians speak against contemporary Christian music ("hip-hop" and the like). However, I say, let the kids of today express their belief in their way, as long as they are believing and expressing it. I liken this latest fad as much the same. A "way" to express Christianity as cool. Just my opinion.

    And on another note (sure to open many cans of worms), I am fascinated with how the discussion quickly turned to homosexuality, adoption, baby farms, etc. Some say "Ick", I say Yikes! I'm really not interested in a sermon on who among us is the greater sinner but do feel I need to make this statement for the record. I am a "born-again" Christian having accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior 16 years ago. I was baptized by both water and the Holy Spirit. As many, no doubt, experienced miracles, spiritual war-fare, backsliding, etc. Not enough room for a full testimony here but suffice it to say that 16 years later my personal relationship with our Father is as close as anyone's as is my love and dedication to him. Doing his work and walking along side of Him. And I say all that to say that I stand firm on my Christian walk AND am homosexual. -- Wait...no bother. I have heard, read, told myself and prayed to him on it for years, so don't waste the time. Just know that you (whether you accept it or not) have Christian Brothers and Sisters that are true to Jesus, walk firmly by His side and identify as gay. Food for thought or not. Your decision to make. God bless. Evelyn

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    1. Hi Evelyn,

      Thanks for your comments about the necklace. I appreciate that you came here and read the piece and took the time to comment.

      I am sorry to hear you identify as gay. Unfortunately it is not possible to be a Christian homosexual. Now, I am not talking about having homosexual feelings or urges.

      Hebrews 12:4 says that we struggle against sin. Every person on the planet struggles against sin, some struggle to not indulge in too much alcohol, others struggle not to steal, still others, struggle against l-usting after a married person. Some struggle against having unnatural urges toward the same sex.

      I'm talking about indulging the sin. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God”

      You IDENTIFY as gay. You are not struggling against your besetting sin and therefore it is a sin which will exclude you from heaven. You embrace it and as Romans 1:27b says, you will be "receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error".

      It is not 'my choice' to accept that I have "brothers and sisters in the faith" who are gay. It is God's choice and His standard that says you will not inherit heaven. Do not be deceived, you are not a sister I am sad to say! I appeal to you to heed these words, I truly want to see you in the heavenly realms for all eternity. Please repent of your homosexual sin, do not embrace it. You are apart from God and need His forgiveness for your sins.

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    2. Very powerful and True reply (per the Word of God)!

      While I respect Evelyn's overall tone of her opinion I definitely disagree to both topics of what she said.

      Cross:
      While I understand her saying, "let the kids of today express their belief in their way, as long as they are believing and expressing it.", it matters 100% how we express our beliefs. Proverbs 14:12 states "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." The fact is a sideways cross to atheist and those alike represent "Christ's Kingdom has fallen". WHY ON EARTH KNOWINGLY OR UNKNOWINGLY REPRESENT THAT ABOMINATIOUS LIE!? The devil is here to deceive us and will continue to do so unless we stand up for Christ!

      Homosexuality:
      Again, sin is sin. The difference is knowingly accepting and engaging in sin versus struggling and overcoming sin! Hebrews 10:26-27 states
      "26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries."

      Moreover, 1 John 1:6 states
      "If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth."

      In no way am I condemning you at all Evelyn, nor looking down on you for I have many sins I struggle with today. My prayer for US is that we will all defeat all sin and be found right before its everlastingly too late.

      Mike

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  30. Hello again my dear Brothers and Sisters,

    I respect your opinion and strong stance on YOUR belief and interpretation of the bible. Elizabeth, God bless you for your sincere concern about my status in the eyes of our Father. I thank you and do not at all reject your stance. There are, however, many arguments that can be made. Be it affirming the words of the Old Testament, the New Testament or any other use of scripture. Truly, I respect you and will not engage in a "debate" of scriptures. I have actually researched and read the writings of biblical scholars who speak of some of Jesus' beloved disciples being homosexual. The love he had for Ruth and Naomi amidst the love they had for each other for instance. Again, we can all extract what we will from The Book.

    Having said that my friends, sincerely, I know about my walk. I know how it all went for me. I “repented” and turned away from all of it when I accepted the Lord into my life. Years of struggles with my singleness, with my backsliding, with the spiritual warfare and years later hearing “Be still”. Again, I am fully aware that many would argue that the bottom line is that I backslid, gave up the struggle and just decided to continue sinning and as you say “embrace” the sin. I can only say that I know my walk, I know my personal relationship with Jesus on a daily basis and I am ok. Pray for me if you will and continue your walk. I appreciate that which you embrace. As for me and my salvation…I am confident that we will someday walk the streets of gold together.

    Finally I would like to leave you with my feeling toward those Christians that would reject me as a sister (I must say it saddens me Elizabeth that you feel so). I had a Pastor for years, which I love very much. I say had because unfortunately he was hired full time at another church and left ours. Pastor knew me for years and he and my church family were very loving to me. Not many of the members (if any) knew about my “lifestyle” but Pastor did. My partner on occasion also attended church with me, so Pastor and my church family knew her.

    Several years ago, I asked to meet with him and I asked him if he would marry my partner and I (I live in a state where same-gender marriage is legal). Pastor stated that he could not due to the biblical standards of the church. I certainly respected that. However, what he did and said after will always stick with me. He prayed over me and with me. His words to our Father went something like this: “Lord, I do not know why the bible and your words say what they do on this issue. But I do know my sister Evelyn and her friend. I know Lord that she loves you and is dedicated to you and I pray that you will bless her mightily my Lord….“

    That prayer and its sincerity meant the world to me. For you see, Pastor never once stated that my life and relationship with Karen was right before God. What he spoke was that while he did not know why our God spoke on homosexuality in the way that he did, he knew that I was a devoted daughter and one worthy of being blessed. Pastor’s stated mission at our church was…“Loving people to Life. “ I suspect that this is why our church was full of those that loved the Lord and knew that as far as the Pastor was concerned his mission was to love us to LIFE and let our relationship with Jesus be what He (our father) willed it to be. That my friends is what I feel I as a Christian should do. “Love people to life” and the rest…His will be done not ours. Much love and God bless.

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    1. Of course you won't 'debate the scriptures." They say that you're sinning in identifying as homosexual and persisting in it. They say you are not part of the body of Jesus. They say that your lifestyle is an abomination unto God. Your stance is biblically indefensible so you avoid the bible verses which say what you so not want them to say because you want to keep sinning. This clearly shows you do not love Jesus. John 3:20 says

      For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

      You 'know how it all went for you'. 'I feel that is what a Christian should do.' 'My pastor said it's OK and asked God to bless me.' Unfortunately these are not bible verses and a note from your pastor and personal feelings is not how to interpret the bible. Personal experience is always a flawed filter to understand God's revelation of His standards and warnings. I ask you to heed the scriptures, repent of your sin of homosexuality and join us in the body of Christ.

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