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I recently came across a cross. Or what someone told me was a cross.
As far as I know, the artwork was done with the right heart. The inscription said something like, “God told me to leave the cross open.”
What does this picture of an “open cross” mean to you? On a positive side, it could mean that the cross is open to all. And if that means all who want to develop a relationship with God can repent and accept Jesus’s death and resurrection, I’m all for it. God’s invitation is open to all.
Being a mostly organized person I appreciate order. Most of the time my desires aren’t pathological like Monk (the Obsessive Compulsive Detective). I like symmetry. I also like abstract and symbolic art.
But for some reason, I find this depiction of the cross to be… disturbing. It feels like an attempt to be modern gone bad. It crosses over into something new age. It waters down the truth. It makes the work of Jesus look incomplete and… cheap.
In fact, the more I looked at it, the more I felt uneasy. I see a swastika, not a cross. But apparently, the swastika is a cross of sorts — a hooked cross. To some cultures, it has a positive connotation but to others, it is associated with terror (according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika).
So, maybe this is a psychological test — a Rorschach of sorts.
What does my interpretation say about me? I’m more of a purist when it comes to truth. I look for the simple truth and become uneasy with trying to dress it up too much.
I like that God made men and women different with distinct preferences. I see consistency and meaning in gender. The physical appearance of our bodies is representative of the underlying spirit and personality God gives us. For more on gender see https://christianconcepts.com/why-gender-is-binary.
Here’s my attempt at an open cross.
I’m not saying this discussion is a matter of right or wrong. But for my own sense of peace and order, the first cross just… crosses a line for me.
What do you see and how do you feel about the first cross?
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.