December 1, 2013
Wearing the Crucifix is now a fashion statement with no religious meaning, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said the Cross has been trivialised and ceases to shock or challenge people.
Archbishop Welby wrote that the symbol should represent the ‘deepest encounter and radical change’ for Christians.
He added: ‘For those early Christians it was a badge of shame.
‘Today it is more commonly seen as a symbol of beauty to hang around your neck.
‘As a friend of mine used to say, you might as well hang a tiny golden gallows or an electric chair around your neck.’
In a foreword to a book which will be published in the run-up to Lent next year, Archbishop Welby continued: ‘Are we now living with a symbol emptied of power by time and fashion?
‘Christianity with a powerless cross is Christianity without a throne for Christ or an aspiration for Christians.
‘A cross that has no weight is not worth carrying. To look through the cross is to seek its weight.’
Archbishop Welby wrote in his foreword that the fact that the early church stuck to the story of the crucifixion – despite attacks on it – proves that it is true.
He added: ‘For God to be fully human, and then to die an ignominious death reserved for a criminal, seems so extraordinary and pointless as to be inexplicable.
‘Indeed in the early centuries of Christianity many of the accusations against the church started with the assumption that you could not seriously believe in a God who undertook such a terrible and dishonourable death.’