Barbara Curtis, who is converting to Catholicism, has noted the importance of the crucifix and she said it very well here:
Catholics are faulted for showing the image of Jesus on the Cross. I understand this now. I understand that though Christ died once for my sins, I need to remember it vividly to stay grounded in humility. Yes, I am saved by grace. But that does not make me worthy now - and I need to keep that in mind or though I might say the right words, my life will reflect a different reality.
Candy is trying to make a differentiation between a plain cross and a crucifix, as though Catholics (and Orthodox and Anglicans and Lutherans and other Christians)aren't "really" Christians if we don't wear the cross the way she says that it should be worn in the shape and style she says it should be. It always seems to me when Candy gives these little encyclicals that she wants to be the Pope of her own little church, and indeed, judging by some of her readership, she has succeeded to some degree. Still it was heartening to see that some of her readers have asked some challenging questions, notably this one by a lady named Lucy:
I wear a crucifix, because to me, a cross is just a cross. Lots of people died on crosses. And a cross doesn't even have to be a symbol of a crucifixion cross - it could be anything. The only reason "the cross" means a thing is because of Who died on it, why He died on it, and then what happened next. The resurrection only has a meaning of hope and joy because the cross came first - if the Lord Jesus had died of old age and then been resurrected, it wouldn't have necessarily had any redemptive purpose so far as I can see. To me a crucifix is beautiful because it portrays the depth of my Saviour's love for me and mankind, and is a continual reminder of His love and suffering and the sacrifice He made.
and even my nemesis Amy asked some good questions!
I'm confused as to how one kind of copying pagan symbols (the cross necklaces and Christmas trees) is OK but the copying of the statues is different? Is it because they show veneration to the statues and not the tree?
It seems to me Candy wants to have it both ways! She wants some the "pagan" symbols, but she wants to chastise folks who to her mind have other "pagan symbols."
The pagans had feasts. Does this mean then, that Christians should not eat? The pagans sang and danced unto their false gods. Does this mean then that it was pagan of King David to dance unto the Lord when he was celebrating the returning of the ark of the covenant?
"But wait, you say... The pagans had it all wrong." And so they did. :-) Now we can move on:
I actually agree with her statement her, but of course she means as long as the CATHOLICS haven't adopted them! She just forgot to add that little exception.
In the comment section Candy writes:
As for the pope picture - a graven image is a statue of anything or anyone. If a person is bowing before it, then they are showing homage to it.
Even if the person is bowing before it, but in their hearts they are bowing before God and praying to God, that's not what it looks like to curious on-lookers. This could then be constrewed (sic)as an appearance of evil, and the Bible says to avoid even the appearance of evil.
The bible also says:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
For more information on crucifixes see this article from Fisheaters. Also see this very well written, researched and biblical letter from Defenders of the Catholic Faith on the crucifix and statues here.