Ask Doug, Featured, The Christian Life, Theology
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Posted by canonwired on December 28, 2012 10:42 am
Ask Doug: What do you think of Protestants who cross themselves when they pray?
– YouTube version.
– MP3 version.
“If a million Protestants decided to cross themselves…” that would be different?
Um, there are about 80 million who do. They call themselves the Anglican Communion.
On my fathers side of the family he had Anglican ministers for realtives. I grew up Roman Catholic because my mom was. Even when I was a little girl going to mass, I didnt cross myself. heh
I have a friend who is catholic and wants me to “come home” I say no thanks.
Good Point Tim Nichols, I believe that Lutherans pray the sign of the cross too.
Douglas Wilson says this is about language and what we are saying to God and those around, and he is spot on.
Now I’m Catholic (please pretend for now like I didn’t just write that) and we Catholics are well aware of this fact that when we make the sign of the Cross, we are declaring the Cross of Christ to the world. As Christians, we freely share the Cross of Christ, out of love for God, not in strife or division.
Let’s keep in mind that when Christians make the sign of the cross it is not from obligation. It is actually a prayer of personal devotion to the Triune God (literally prayed, “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen”) who bought us with his blood. In a greater sense, yes, the one who prays the Cross must also recognize and devote themselves to the big picture of Christ’s salvation, the Church, even to those early saints who began this prayer. But first, it is a clear sign of devoting one’s own being directly to God through the cross of Christ. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
The problem is the assertion that declaration of faith in the Cross of Christ is bad strategy for the advance of Christendom, because Catholics do it and Catholics have that dank eschatological mojo we postmils gotta get, the kwan, the swag, the gravitas. So we’ll go somewhere else. Maybe worship on Saturdays. Huh?!
Right now, the motor is finally humming and I really want to go wide open. But for love’s sake I won’t. Just think about it.
Meanwhile at work in the Air Force this last weekend, I was dragged into debate with an angry baptised Atheist who outranks me by so much. But by the end I was glad, because the Lord worked and we actually opened up on a spiritual level. Problem is the poor guy didn’t know that faith is a divine gift. He hates not having something that he can’t get by himself.
Point is I encountered and gave answer for a great many misconceptions about Christ and the faith, which were taken for granted not just by him, but by the small crowd that gathered. Most you might label specifically as fundamentalist or more generically speaking, as relativist assumptions. But while I felt indignant about having to give an answer for the “other guys” shortcomings it was worth it. They had no use for denominations, they wanted to see someone defend Christ.
BTW Elisabeth, come home! Relativism is played out.
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Doug is right about crossers who are confused or are posers. And this video hits the spot on that regard. Love this guy. Best teacher I know. But he’s just not as informed on who and why so many others like and use this symbol in public or private. Can’t win ‘em all.
“…who and why so many others like and use this symbol…”
For example, Martin Luther! In his Small Catechism, he tells heads of families how to teach their households to pray:
“In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say: ‘In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.’ Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer…. In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say: ‘In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.’ Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.”
And in one of his sermons on the Gospel of John, Luther recommends using the sign of the Cross as a way of being Protestant! “How do I approach this Savior and Redeemer? By means of cowls or monastic orders and rules? No! Just cling to the Son in faith…. Therefore attach yourself to Him, and you will tear through death and devil; for this text [John 3:15] assures us: “Whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.” Accept the truth of this miracle of God’s love for the world, and say: “I believe in the Son of God and of Mary, who was lifted up and nailed to the cross.” Then you will experience the new birth; for death and sin will no longer accuse, harm, and injure you. Whoever believes in the Son will have eternal life. Cling to His neck or to His garment; that is, believe that He became man and suffered for you. Cross yourself and say: “I am a Christian and will conquer.” And you will find that death is vanquished.”
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