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> The Celtic Cross, Your Opinion Please!
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Shadows 
Posted: 01-Jul-2005, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE (TheCarolinaScotsman @ 01-Jul-2005, 08:00 AM)
Just saw this thread. The Celtic cross is very often used by Presbyterians. My father (who was a Presbyterian minister) told me the circle stands for the Risen, Living Christ as opposed to the figure of the killed Christ on the crusifix. I don't know if this was just his interpretation or Presbyterian teaching.

I'm sure there are several explanations equally as valid. Both symbols, the cross and the circle, predate Christianity. In my opinion, the interpretation depends on the person or group displaying the symbol. Remember that the swastika was an American Indian peace and friendship symbol long before Hitler used it and a burning cross, long a signal for the clan or group to gather, is now a symbol of hatred and bigotry.

The Native American symbol you refer to is not the swastika as used by Hitler, if you look you will see the arms of the native symbol are reverse of the dreaded nazi symbol.

The Celtic cross pre-dates christianity... so in my opinion it is not a christian symbol, but has been adopted as such... much like many pagan symbols and holidays.


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DesertRose 
Posted: 05-Jul-2005, 01:18 AM
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You know? This is probably a stupid question, but just wondering what is considered a Christian symbol? I know the cross was supposed to be, but if it predates Christianity, do we as Christians have any such symbols? Just wondering your opinions.


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 05-Jul-2005, 01:22 PM
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If there is something inherently memorable or moving about a symbol, in an archetypal way, it would seem reasonable that more than one group over time would use it and assign meaning special to their particular interests -- but you would also expect that if the meaning is in some way inherent, the interpretations would have some resemblance or something in common as well. It's an interesting topic. smile.gif

Here are some Christian symbols and some other applications to which they have been assigned. Christianity is relatively young, so it stands to reason that some of these would have been reinterpreted when the followers of Christ began to spread the gospel.

http://www.kensmen.com/catholic/symbols.html
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DesertRose 
Posted: 05-Jul-2005, 05:52 PM
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Thanks Stoirmeil. I had forgotten about the dove and the fish. I loved what it said about the Celtic cross. Tassie will like this since he is going there and will be getting him a cross from Iona. smile.gif

Celtic Cross ("the Cross of Iona"): stone crosses in this form dot the landscapes of Ireland and Scotland and are associated with the evangelization of these lands
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 28-Jul-2005, 08:30 AM
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Allen,

I haven't read this entire thread, so if I'm repeating something or otherwise making a moot point, then I apologize.

Symbolism is an important thing for humans. It is a way to communicate, it can invoke certain feelings or emotions, and can help identify things, whether they be people, ideas, dangers, direction, what have you.

As for how symbols are used and their interpretations, they are quite varied. A little known but factual bit of history is the use of the Christian Cross by the Ku Klux Klan. Back in the Klan's heyday, during the 1920s, they flew the Cross as a flag and used it in the form of signs and statuary. We all know how they burned the cross too. Their use of this symbol did not do damage to the people who held it as a sign of love and salvation. It remains today as the same symbol it has always been.

Another symbol with Christian meaning is the Confederate battle flag. Few people know that the X in this flag is a Christian symbol--St. Andrew's Cross. If you take away the stars, and change the background to blue and the cross to white, you have the Scottish flag. St. Andrew, as you probably know, was the patron saint of Scotland. He was to be crucified, but asked not to be so on the same cross as Jesus, and so his life was brought to its conclusion on a cross in the shape of an X. The negativity surrounding the Confederate battle flag did not surface until the 1950s, in the height of the Equal Rights movement, and the misuse by--you guessed it--the KKK.

The point of all this is to demonstrate that interpretation of symbols can be, and often are, quite different depending on who is viewing them. If you believe that the Celtic Cross will cause people to find you pagan (assuming the purpose of wearing it is a form of communication), then perhaps you should consider keeping it unexposed. If, however, you feel that it is more for your own personal enjoyment (which it should be), and you are prepared to explain to people who might ask, then you could reasonable look at it as a way in which to bring the message of salvation that is in Christ to any interested party. Regardless of how others interpret it, you have connected with it, and that is an area in which you should consider yourself justified. The choice seems obvious to me, but you have to be comfortable with what you decide.

Much luck to you with it!

Robert


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