On using the cross

and graven images

for worship

“In the chapels [of the Church Of Christ], there are no crosses … There are no statues …” (Harper, 2017). This was the author’s―and many others’―observation on the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ). They have taken notice that inside the houses of worship of the Church Of Christ, there are no graven images, not even a cross.

Using such articles for worship is against the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. It is the Lord God Himself Who forbids the making or possessing of graven images to be used for worship, as written in Exodus 20:4-5:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image­­―any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.” (New King James Version)

This prohibition remains in effect even in the Christian Era:

“Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.” (Acts 17:29 NKJV)

“And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things … who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” (Rom. 1:23, 25 NKJV)

Nowhere in the New Testament can it be read that the disciples of Christ used graven images in their worship services. Nor did they use the cross in their worship, for such is not a commandment of God and of Christ. It was not an instrument in Christian worship but rather an instrument of execution, as what the Catholic authorities testify:

“Before the time of Christ the cross was the symbol of shame, ignorance and dishonor. Like the guillotine, the noose, or the electric chair, it was the instrument for the execution of the worst criminals.” (Crock, 1938)

The true Christians follow the commandment of the Almighty God that His people worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) which is to worship His name and fulfill His will (Matt. 6:9-10)―not before statues or the instrument used by the executioners who crucified the Lord to death.

Harper, Anne. 2017. Understanding The Iglesia Ni Cristo: What They Really Believe And How They Can Be Reached. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock.
Crock, Clement H. 1938. Discourses On The Apostle’s Creed. New York: Joseph Wagner.