This week has been full of everyone from ad agencies to moonies attacking the Cross.
A SUNSHINE Coast Catholic priest has been accused of undermining church teachings by saying the crucifix should never have become the symbol of Christianity and that Jesus would have been crucified naked.
…He wrote that the fascination of sexuality in a negative form has long been a feature of Christianity and that the crucifix had been rendered unauthentic by this negative sexual mindset.
“Most certainly Jesus would have been crucified naked, as was the Roman practice,” Father Dobson wrote. “At some stage it was decided that Jesus’ sexuality must be covered up, and so he was draped in a loincloth, which somehow would make him more presentable in polite Christian company!
“It is also as if sex had to be removed from this powerful image.”
Father Dobson said the crucifix should never have become the symbol of Christianity because it was a means of execution.
“If Christianity means life it is the resurrection that is our real symbol,” he wrote.
“But maybe the crucifix is the appropriate symbol for such negative, confining thinkers who are terrified to think in a more lateral, open way.
This is the same type of reasoning that some Protestants have used to denounce use of the crucifix and more frequently now the reason used by Catholic to replace a crucifix in the church with a resurrectifix. Were an Easter people they say. Easter Sunday without good Friday becomes meaningless. Jesus died as a sacrificial victim in both his kingship and priesthood for our sins. To concentrate just on the resurrection is to say only that he rose for our sins. We want to play monopoly theology where we go strait to Easter and do not pass Good Friday. Why concentrate on those negative aspects like personal sin and death? With just an Easter theology we can be happy-happy joy-joy people, oh and by the way what did we need to be saved from anyway?
With this type of theology the Creed is shorter and easier to remember since it would start at “And on the third day he rose again.” As is usually the case the Church gets it right in the eternal Catholic Both/And. We rejoice in Easter because of Good Friday, but we also work to continuously repent because of our sins having lead to Good Friday. Some would want to receive a diploma without the sacrifice of studying and working for it, and there are those who would grab salvation, the work of redemption, without sacrificing and conversion. Christ calls us to pick up the cross daily, and the world calls us to it down and run from it.
In some ways the Crucifix has become an orthodoxy rating system for a Church. In my limited experience and the Churches I have attended the orthodox parishes have a crucifix behind the altar, while the more heterodox ones invariably have the figure of the resurrection.