Jehovah`s Witness/Assemblies of God
QUESTION: Do the Assemblies of God have an image of a cross in it's worship?
ANSWER: The A/G does not practice the worship of crosses, either.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: My question was not do you think the Assemblies of God worship the cross,it was again ,Do the Assemblies of God have an image of a cross in it's worship?
Your answer that A/G does not practice the worship of crosses suggest then that this religion does have the image of a cross in its worship.
Would you go into a structure that had a pentagram on top of its building? you will say of course not because they worship Satan and the pentagram is wrong,yet you have said worshiping the cross is wrong as you said you seen that in a Church,in that Church was a cross on its structure where the worship you said was wrong,yet you claim you were brought to Christ in a structure where there was a cross on its structure. What then you are saying is the Assemblies of God do not worship the cross ,which would be the same as you going into a structure where a pentagram was but saying they dont worship Satan.What do you consider Idolatry? Would a cross on a building be considered idolatry? Is not a cross an image? Did God warn against the usage of images in Exodus?
You know, I highly suspected the original question was designed to "bait" me for something bigger, due to the short and abrupt nature of it. That is why my answer was also short and abrupt. And it turns out, I was correct in my suspicions.
Calvin, as I have stated, I am trying to work on the remainder of my response to Eddie regarding the death of Christ on the cross, which I plan to have posted by the end of the week. The truth is, the answers to your objections here, are actually already covered in my first reply to him. I would suggest reading it again, as there is nothing you have raised here, that is not covered there.
So, I will simply give you a short summary, in answer to your question. As I said, I am trying to devote my spare time to finishing the response I promised Eddie. Any further follow-ups or questions, will be delayed until after I finish what I am working on.
Now, you state...."My question was not do you think the Assemblies of God worship the cross,it was again ,Do the Assemblies of God have an image of a cross in it's worship?
Your answer that A/G does not practice the worship of crosses suggest then that this religion does have the image of a cross in its worship."
REPLY: Well, I'd love to know how you arrived at that conclusion, Calvin. So, when I tell you that the A/G doesn't worship crosses, this is actually a suggestion that they do?
Or PERHAPS, you SHOULD have phrased your question a little bit more clearly. Such as...
"Do the Assemblies of God have an image of a cross in their CHURCH BUILDINGS?"
When you ask if they have one in their WORSHIP, I take that to mean that you are asking if they worship the cross, or use it IN their worship. And the answer to that question, is No. Do they have crosses in their churches? Some do, and I imagine some don't. My guess is, that would depend on the building.
As I stated in my reply to Eddie, having a cross hanging in the church is not unscriptural in the least...any more than having a painting on the wall is idolatry. To worship it, is unscriptural, AND idolatrous.
Let's just say that you visit the local A/G church in your town, there in Oklahoma. You walk in and sit down, and you notice that there on the wall, behind the baptistry, is a cross. You know right away that this is a symbol that you are in a Christian Church....not a Muslim mosque, not a Hindu temple, not a Jewish synagogue, nor a Buddhist temple. You know right away that these people are identified as believers in Christ. When you see a cross today, you don't think of a sex organ. I hope you don't, anyway. You think of Christ.
Now, you sit there in the church all through the service, and through many prayers, singing, and the preaching, waiting for that dreaded and much-anticipated moment, when the congregation in unison, falls into a trance and makes their way to the cross in the building and proceeds to bow down before it. And you will notice something...that moment never comes. NOT ONCE is a prayer directed at the cross. Not once does anyone go forward and kneel before the cross. Now, Jesus' death on the cross is alluded to several times, and the cross may very well be the message that is preached on, just as it was PAUL's message...He said so himself.
You will look around and notice people in worship, by lifting up their hands, singing, vocalizing their praise to God. But not ONCE, will you see the cross have any part of this at all.
In fact, you could go there for several years, and you would STILL not see the cross have any place in the actual worship.
Does THAT answer your question, Calvin?
Now, about your next question. You ask...
"Would you go into a structure that had a pentagram on top of its building? you will say of course not because they worship Satan and the pentagram is wrong,yet you have said worshiping the cross is wrong as you said you seen that in a Church,in that Church was a cross on its structure where the worship you said was wrong,yet you claim you were brought to Christ in a structure where there was a cross on its structure."
REPLY: Not the same thing, Calvin. Not even close. Now granted, I did have a difficult time trying to decipher this "sentence", as your thoughts seem to be running together. But I THINK I have possibly figured out what you're trying to say.
A Pentagram has NO relevance to Christianity, and nothing pertaining to our eternal salvation happened on a Pentagram. This cannot be said of the cross. Whatever wrong uses the cross may have been used for, does not mean the cross doesn't have meaning for a Christian. It does....because it IS (like it or not), the instrument that was used to crucify Christ, and it was on the cross, that our salvation was purchased. The cross was not just something that happened...It was part of God's foreordained plan for our redemption.
The Pentagram wasn't.
The other OBVIOUS flaw in your reasoning, is that the very SIGHT of a Pentagram does not make one think of Christianity, or the Savior. It is automatically connected with Satanic worship, and as I said earlier, nothing happened with a Pentagram that plays into our salvation as Christians.
So yes, I have said that worshipping the cross is wrong. You are correct on that. You are incorrect, that the cross being the SYMBOL of what Jesus did for us, is the same as worship.
You said..."yet you claim you were brought to Christ in a structure where there was a cross on its structure."
REPLY: Say what???? Where you people dream up this stuff, is beyond me. Sir, I have NEVER once stated that I was "brought to Christ in a structure where there was a cross on its structure".
I HAVE stated that I came to Christ in an A/G church. How do you know this particular A/G church had a cross on its structure? That was 28 years ago, and I don't even remember that detail myself...How would YOU know it? There may be a cross in the church somewhere, but I couldn't tell you where its at, which should actually PROVE that my coming to Christ did not involve bowing before, or praying to, a cross. If so, I think I would remember a little more detail about the cross being there, or not being there.
So, I think you just proved my point, about it NOT being a part of our worship, or our prayers. I can assure you that my coming to Christ, was in no way even remotely connected to bowing before, or praying to, a cross.
Secondly, coming to Christ has nothing to do with the STRUCTURE you are in! Your comment that I "claim" to have come to Christ in a structure that has a cross, is sort of implying that this isn't possible. You really need to tread carefully on this one. Are you implying that Christ will not hear, and SAVE, a teen-age boy who calls on Him out of a pure heart of repentance, and asks Him to be his Savior, if there is a cross on the structure? If that is the claim you want to make, this could make for an interesting discussion, with a whole host of Scriptures for you to explain.
You said..."What then you are saying is the Assemblies of God do not worship the cross ,which would be the same as you going into a structure where a pentagram was but saying they dont worship Satan."
REPLY: No, that is what you are attempting to twist my words into saying. It is not what I am saying that is the problem...its your comprehension. This is not a new problem in dealing with JW mindset.
Tell me, Calvin...Would Jehovah refuse to hear the prayer offered by a person, if they happened to be inside a building with a Pentagram on it? I would like to know your position on this.
How about if someone spray paints a Pentagram onto the side of the building? Is the building cursed because of that? What if a Christian church RENTS a building, that is also rented by a Satanic group?
And besides that, your comment was just plain silly. It didn't even make sense. You said, once again..."What then you are saying is the Assemblies of God do not worship the cross ,which would be the same as you going into a structure where a pentagram was but saying they dont worship Satan."
Calvin, why did you CHANGE the subject? Why did you say "saying they don't worship SATAN", instead of "saying they don't worship THE PENTAGRAM"?
That IS what we're talking about, is it not....Worshipping the CROSS? Not worshipping GOD, but the CROSS?
You are correct...If I drove by a building and saw a Pentagram on it, I would conclude they worship Satan. I would NOT conclude they worship the PENTAGRAM ITSELF. Do Satanist's worship the Pentagram? I have no idea...never been to one of their services. But I wouldn't make that assumption. I WOULD assume that they worshipped Satan, the one the Pentagram is ASSOCIATED WITH.
Just as if I was passing by a Christian church with a cross, I would assume they worshipped CHRIST.
And your comment, whether you realize it or not, proves the point....A Pentagram would automatically be associated with Satan, just as a cross is automatically associated with CHRIST.
EXCELLENT POINT, Calvin! Thank you!
You said..."What do you consider Idolatry? Would a cross on a building be considered idolatry? Is not a cross an image?"
REPLY: As I said, I believe I already covered this quite extensively in my response to Eddie. Anything I say here, would simply be repetitive. Read the response again, as I clearly draw distinctions between what constitutes WORSHIP, and what constitutes a symbol or a reminder.
In short...Idolatry, from the Scripture, is the worship or veneration of an object, statue, image, or ANYTHING ELSE, that is either in addition to, or in place of, our worship to Almighty God. In a greater sense, "idolatry" can also be anything we LOVE more than Him, like a hobby, such as sports, fishing, etc. Anything that draws our affections from Him, is an idol.
You asked...."Did God warn against the usage of images in Exodus?"
REPLY: To use for WORSHIP purposes, yes. But not for any and all purposes. If you believe that, then you have several things to explain.
1. Do you own photographs of family members, which you may remember them by? Like perhaps, a deceased relative? If so, you have an IMAGE, which you are using as a reminder of someone. Sister T thinks that's a "no-no", although I'm quite sure she has a few herself.
2. Do you have any sort of statue, or figurine, in your home? Say, of a person, or even an animal? After all, Sister T told us that the Scripture CONDEMNS the use of any kind of image, for any reason, and one of the Scriptures she used, mentioned "ANYTHING IN THE EARTH". That would include animals (no doggie ceramic statues for decorative purposes), trees (get rid of any house plants), people, buildings, etc.
In fact, her Watchtower magazines have an image of the symbol of a Watchtower, which itself, has some pagan connections.
And I hate to tell you....JWs revere the Watchtower, FAR more than most Christians revere a cross.
3. Tell me, Calvin...Are you a sports fan? Do you have a child who is? If so, I hope you don't allow them to hang posters on their wall, of their favorite athlete. Or heaven forbid, they have a bobble-head figure of their favorite athlete! That is, after all, an image or "likeness" of the athlete.
What about a T-shirt with the image of an athlete, actor, or musician? Why doesn't that constitute idolatry?
Do you believe that is what those Scriptures are referring to, Calvin? That we are to have NO images of anything, for ANY reason?
"But that's different", you say, "because I don't WORSHIP any of those things, or hold them up to be venerated, and I certainly don't PRAY to them!!"
Ah yes, very good, Calvin. You see, Calvin, you are now learning to think things through with a little common sense, rather than just swallow someone's interpretation of the Scriptures, because they have a certain doctrine they want to make the Scriptures teach.
Its always best to go by what the Scriptures actually SAY, rather than what someone with a vested interest, SAYS they say.
So, you ask again, "Did God warn against the usage of images in Exodus?"
Again, it DEPENDS on the "usage". Its odd that you brought up Exodus, Calvin. I assume you are asking me if God prohibits the use of images FOR WORSHIP, in chapter 20, where we find the 10 commandments. If that is what you are asking, the answer is "Yes, most definitely".
However, did you bother to read 5 chapters later, in Exodus 25:1-22, Calvin? This is where God Himself COMMANDED images to be placed in the temple, and even specified WHERE they were supposed to be placed. He also gave instructions on what to put INSIDE the Ark of the Covenant. Isn't that sort of strange, especially given that you and the JWs are trying to imply that Exodus 20 prohibits the use of ANY images, of ANY kind, for ANY reason?
You see why its best to read ALL the Scriptures on a subject, and actually see what the Scriptures are saying?
The images in chapter 25 were NOT to be prayed to, or worshipped. But their placement in the temple was not condemned by God....it was commanded by Him. Had they been worshipped, then yes, that would be a direct violation of Exodus 20:3-5.
Its not accident that the verse that was used (Exodus 20:4), and taken out of context, by Sister T, is sandwiched between verses 3 and 5, BOTH of which verses show the context of what verse 4 was saying. Let's look at it...
Exodus 20:3- "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
(That sort of sets the stage for what verse 4 is talking about, doesn't it?"
Exodus 20:5- "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"
Well, I think the picture is getting clearer now. Verse 4, the one that Sister T mentioned to condemn the cross, was ACTUALLY referring to making an IDOL or a "god" to "bow down to", and "serve". This is forbidden, no question.
But it has nothing to do with the cross of Christ.
And Calvin, no matter how desperately hard you, Eddie, and Sister T may try, you are simply not going to succeed in trying to convince the world that born again Christians worship crosses, or that they are committing idolatry by using the cross as an identifier of their faith in Christ.
You all want to argue about whether we actually pray to, bow down to, or worship a cross.....I suggest you just go to one of our churches, and see for yourself. Take some good video, and come back and post it on here.
It looks like you have 2 options, Calvin. Either you can actually read the Scriptures and believe them in their proper context, without trying to add YOUR interpretation to them. Or, you can be one of the ones that Paul wept when he spoke of, that they are "enemies of the cross". That is the choice you will have to make.
Thanks for writing, Calvin, and sharing your thoughts and asking your questions. I hope I have answered them thoroughly, and to your satisfaction. And as I said, any follow ups will be answered AFTER I complete what I have been trying to work on, and complete by the end of this week.
Thank you for your understanding.