On twitter celebrity atheists revealed – to the surprise of some – that they have crucifixes in their homes.
In the UK it is Father’s Day and some atheists are making the point that God having his son crucified, rather than just forgiving humanity, might make Him not deserve a card. Let alone breakfast in bed.
Yet not everyone has an aversion to the cross as an instrument of torture. Ricky Gervais tweeted a photo of his cat. However, people commented on the background wall at the turn of the stairs:
Ricky was not alone as Gary Numan tweeted him:
As an iconographic symbol, that predates Christianity in human consciousness, can understand the artistic appeal.
For St Paul the cross had a real personal significance as these quotes from his letters indicate:
“For Christ sent me not to baptize; but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made void” I Cor., i, 17
“With Christ I am nailed to the cross” Gal., ii, 19
Christ . . . . “might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross” Eph., ii, 16
“For many walk . . . enemies of the cross of Christ” Phil., iii 18
“Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross” Col., ii, 14
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world”. Gal., vi, 14
It seems clear, therefore, that for St. Paul the Cross of Christ was not only a precious remembrance of Christ’s sufferings and death, but also a symbol closely associated with His sacrifice and the mystery of the Passion. (FERNAND CABROL-1895)
Art and symbols have a significance in people’s lives – whether aesthetic or spiritual – giving purpose or added meaning. Sometimes though it really is just art for art’s sake. Your salvation, whether in beauty or what moves you, family, companionship of friends, or a cause that means everything, is for you to find for yourself.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog