All About Christian Crosses: Their Types & Meanings
The symbol of the cross is easily recognizable by everyone. You'll see it everywhere, from inside churches to inside people's homes, and as a use of symbol and god on clothing, jewelry, accessories, and even decorative household objects. No matter what religion you worship, the cross is identifiable as a symbol of Christianity. You may be interested in learning more about how this symbol came to be used and what it means today.
The Cross Symbol and God
The cross features a long line with a short line about one-third of the way through the long line. It's a very simple symbol but has a vast meaning. In Christianity, it's better known as representing the crucifixion of Christ. Believers in Christ will wear and worship this meaningful symbol. It can be found inside churches, on the walls, altars, and church ministers' vestments.
Christ had his arms stretched out, and his hands nailed to either side of the cross. This is an extremely horrendous way to die. Basically, his strength failed him; his body dropped, likely making him suffocate to death with the position he was dangling from. The loss of blood may also have played a factor, as well as dehydration and shock. As a result, Jesus Christ became a martyr, and a new religion began, as there was someone to admire and worship for giving his life on the cross for his believers.
Early Pagan Meaning
The cross itself is a simple symbol, so you may be wondering if it was in use before the early Christians adopted it.
Yes, it was definitely in use before the Christians used it. Back in the 19th century, some people believed that the early version of the cross was in reference to a phallus and that the pagans utilized the cross as their symbol of fertility. You can imagine how outraged the Christians were over this.
The Pagan Druids from the Roman Empire practiced polytheism, basically worshiping more than one god. They were believed to be pagan because they didn't solely worship Christ, and thus the Christian Romans believed they worshiped false gods. These Pagan Druids made crosses from oak tree branches that were stripped of their leaves. This cross was called "Thau," or a belief of symbol and god.
Around the 4th century CE, the cross was more the symbol of a criminal rather than of a martyr. Early Christians may have been reluctant to use this symbol as its meaning is rather unpleasant when you think about it, particularly when public executions were conducted this way.
Eventually, it was adopted by Christians as their own symbol, especially when crucifixion was no longer done. Soon, the cross's meaning evolved to reinforce one's Christian faith and how it represents your love of God and Christ when you wear it.
Also, the Christians saw how the Pagans utilized this symbol and created their own version of it, much like how they created Christmas from a winter festival celebration and the Easter holiday from a fertility festival, thus rendering these "celebrations" to be a more acceptable way to celebrate.
Symbol and God Cross Types
If you're puzzled over the difference between the cross and the crucifix, the cross is in reference to the basic symbol. In contrast, the crucifix is a more graphic representation with a "corpus" or the body of Christ himself dangling from the cross.
If you've ever seen the ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol, you may have been puzzled. This symbol is similar to a cross, but the top has a loop rather than a vertical line. This symbol is not representative of Christianity and has, in fact, been around for longer than the Christian religion has been.
It's been used in hieroglyphs or the ancient text of Egyptians. Today, it's often found in decorative items, jewelry, and clothing souvenirs from Egypt. This symbol basically means "long life."
The Latins had a version of their cross with unequal arms. You may see the cross in various other renderings, such as a double-cross, a triple-barred cross, a cross with smaller crosslets, and heraldic variants with more decorative elements with animals and shields and flowers.
Do All Christians Worship the Cross?
No, some refuse to have these beliefs. For instance, the Jehovah's Witnesses do not use anything that promotes idolatry or the worship of one person. In this religion, they believe that Christ died on a basic stake rather than on the cross. They haven't used the cross in their worship since 1936.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also does not promote the cross and god symbol. They believe that their message is a declaration that Christ is still alive, not dead.
Modern Day Usage of the Cross
No matter what form the cross is, it's still widely in use today. It's more common as a form of worship as a dainty cross pendant worn on a necklace for men or women. It may be in a crucifix form attached to a chain but is used more for worship, such as for Hail Marys, or hung above a doorway to protect the inhabitants. It can also be in decorative items that are placed around the home.
The cross symbol may still be utilized by Pagans, atheists, goths, or others to wear or place in the home as decorative elements. Many music cultures utilize the cross, such as heavy metal, death metal, or gothic music.
You certainly don't have to be a strict Christian to wear this symbol. The cross may have a unique meaning for you. You may purchase a cross item as a memorial to a loved one, a decorative item for Halloween, or as items to decorate your recreation room at home.
I See Something I Want, Is It Respectful to Wear?
Today, most of us fear that we might offend someone by wearing something we shouldn't. But the great thing about the cross and god is that it's acceptable to wear or have in the home for a wide range of purposes. Even items involving the upside-down cross can be controversial, but once you understand the meaning, it's acceptable to wear or use those symbols.
If you see an item of clothing bearing the cross, or jewelry, or decorative home items that you love, most of the time, it is acceptable to make your purchase. When wouldn't it be? Well, for instance, if it's disrespectful to a group.
Shop from a Trusted Online Shop
If you're searching for items bearing the cross and god symbol, you want to know that you're shopping at a trusted online shop, where you won't have any problems or issues with the items you purchase, and that you know you'll receive in your mailbox in a timely manner.
The symbolism of the cross has a long interesting history. Whether you choose to buy a cross as a symbol of god for jewelry, clothing, or decorative items, you'll feel comfort and happiness every time you look at it.