Here’s a story that doubtless several Christian bloggers will have been reporting: Church removes ‘scary crucifix’. I have found my thoughts scattering on both sides of the debate.
At first I was saddened to read the church had had to take down this crucifix with its clear depiction of Christ’s pain. In an age when the Cross is little more than pretty jewellery to some people, a crucifix that artistically makes it clear what a cruel form of torture and death it is surely part of Christian communication.
On the other hand, I thought, wait a minute, I’m one of those who prefers an empty cross to a crucifix. That’s not because I want to avoid contemplating the agonies of Christ on the cross, it’e because I want to affirm that he is risen from the dead, too. Moltmann talked about holding together ‘the resurrection of the crucified one’ and ‘the cross of the risen one’.
And furthermore, the main motivation for removing the crucifix seems to be concern about distress from children. Isn’t that a sensitive thing to do? However, crosses were common around the countryside of first century Palestine and today’s children can often cope easily with gory material.
So my gut feeling is that there are arguments to be had on both sides from Christian perspectives. What do you think?