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Should a Christian wear religious jewelry, such as a crucifix?


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Question: "Should a Christian wear religious jewelry, such as a crucifix?"

Answer:
There is debate as to whether or not it is appropriate—or even sinful—to wear religious jewelry like crosses and crucifixes. Christians did not begin wearing crosses around their necks until after crucifixion was no longer the primary source of capital punishment; therefore, it is not equivalent to a modern-day person wearing a miniature death chamber around his neck, as some have suggested. Many look at the cross as simply the instrument of death used to slay our beloved Savior. Others see it as symbolic of Jesus’ death and resurrection, a potent reminder of the sacrifice and victory of Jesus, and a reminder of God’s gift of grace in offering us salvation. Because it was God’s will, Jesus willingly went to the cross, taking upon Himself the sins of the world, cleansing those who believe in Him of their own sins.

The only reason Scripture would forbid wearing religious jewelry, like a cross or crucifix, would be if the object became an idol used for worship (1 Corinthians 10:14) or if the wearer were consumed with how the jewelry made her look (1 Peter 3:3) or if it became a stumbling block to others (1 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 14:13). Many people wear religious jewelry as a fashion piece without concern for its symbolism or a desire to represent Christ. But that should not mean Christians can’t or shouldn’t wear it. Many Christians wear crosses as a proud expression of their love, respect, and service to Christ, along with a remembrance of what He did for us.

Another concern is when people allow objects such as crosses, crucifixes, figurines, rosaries, bumper stickers, etc., to take the place of the true change that should take place in our hearts. The things we wear, carry, or put on our cars are not what make us Christians. God is not concerned with what we wear as long as we do not dress in a way that would cause anyone to stumble in his or her walk with God (Romans 14:20) and we are not absorbed with our looks or our possessions. He is searching out our hearts to find who is faithful to Him and whether we encourage and show love to others. It is not for any of us to judge whether wearing religious jewelry is proper or not; every Christian has to seek God’s approval in all he does. If it is not clearly outlined in Scripture whether a practice is lawful or edifying, then the practice is one better left to each person’s conscience.

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