January 22nd, 2010, 11:21 AM
Mega Church - No Cross?
I attended a speaking engagement with two friends last night at a big mega church. The speaker had rented the facility; this was not church sponsored. The building was beautiful, interior was immaculate with seating for approximately 1,000 people. As soon as we walked in, all three of us noticed the lack of a cross anywhere inside. Is this normal????????
January 22nd, 2010, 11:32 AM
it's normal for the seeker-sensitive, purpose drivel types.
January 22nd, 2010, 11:57 AM
yep i agree its normal for those who seek to worship how they want to who think that by attending church 3 times a week takes away there sins. Pray for them as jesus commanded. I dont think that everyone that goes to these types of churches is blind however alot of these mega churches pastors are, always wanting more and more gold. Ya know, hundreds of years ago the roman cathloic church said it was possible to pay for the forgiveness of sins. Not to worry we know who jesus is and what he did for us Pray for these people and as it is written sometimes the blind lead the blind and they both fall into a ditch. For the lord said in that day many will say Lord lord did we not prophesy in your name and cast out devils. And he will say, depart from me you worker on iniquity i never knew you. All we can do is pray and trust that it is in Jesus' hands. amen
January 22nd, 2010, 12:01 PM
I was in Chuck Swindolls church in Plato Tx, 6 yrs ago now, met with him as I was traveling thru, but during his sermon, sorry I can't remember why he gave the reason they have no crosses in their building either, non in the worship hall at least..I found it odd then..
January 22nd, 2010, 12:22 PM
The cross is an offense to those who refuse to see the necessity of it.
It is becoming more common.
January 22nd, 2010, 12:31 PM
I attended Willow Creek Church in the mid 70's when it was first new. Bill Hybels was in his twenties. It was a very small congregation, numbering less than 100 people. Since there was no church building, the congregation would meet in a local theatre - willow creek theatre, hence the church name. As the church grew, they found the theatre set-up very accomodating to their new way of giving a church service - through drama, live music, multimedia clips.
It took them about 5 years to collect their church building fund. So when it came time for a church building to be designed, they adopted this theatre form. Having not had a cross or any other typical chrisitan church elements for 5 years, I think they decided to maintain this idea - that they didn't need a cross or other symbols in order to worship. As time passed, other seeker friendly churches followed this model.
January 22nd, 2010, 12:32 PM
The one I just left had one in the sanctuary - made of white carpet contrasting with field of the blue carpet on the steps leading down from the stage where people stepped on it!:There's another one in another room - on the tile floor where people can step on it! Or maybe I'm just being sensitive?
January 22nd, 2010, 12:57 PM
Feeling a little less like a freak now. We arrived 20 minutes before the presentation began. It took me that long to recover from the shock of the missing cross.
January 22nd, 2010, 01:28 PM
well, its been a long time since iposted here. (think i know why)
so there isnt a cross in the church means that it is not a Bible believing, God fearing, Jesus is the only way to salvation church?
seriously? listen to yourselves! Gateway Church, Southlake. Lifegate Church, Denton. The Villiage church, Hickory Creek, my own church.
these churches do not have the cross hanging up however there is absolutely NO FALSE teaching in any of these churches.
so instead of blasting these churches, go read the statement of faith and mission statement of thse places. their bilaws. and on top of that, church is where two or more gather in Jesus' name. not a building, so unless you carry a cross with you everwhere and display it when ever you witness or talk about Jesus you are all in the wrong too!
January 22nd, 2010, 01:40 PM
Maybe I could live with no cross, but when the only crosses are there are ones you can step on? I think some of the early churches didn't have crosses either. But I agree with HisBride - seeker-sensitive churches don't include the cross because it's an offense to unbelievers.
Originally Posted by alrdyreg
January 22nd, 2010, 01:55 PM
It was not my intent to say this particular facility taught false doctrine. For the record, our family does not attend a physical church. We choose instead to worship and read the Bible together at home each day.
As a child, I attended churches of various denominations. I cannot remember a single one that DIDN'T have a cross in the sanctuary. I guess I just assumed I would see one when I walked in this sanctuary and it caught me off guard. This facility was far larger than anything I've ever been in.
January 22nd, 2010, 02:05 PM
I wouldn't judge a church solely on the absence of a cross.
My first church was a large city fundamental Baptist Church, solid in doctrine.... and it had no cross. Why?
It was explained to me that the cross is merely a symbol, not an idol. And so there were no prominent crosses (except on the lids of the communion plates) to tempt a weaker brother into worshiping it, rather than Jesus Christ. Since I came from an Anglican background where there were crosses everywhere, and I was acquainted with RC idolatry, this made sense to me. Some Christians won't wear a cross as a charm on a necklace either, for the same reason, while others see nothing wrong with it.
If I were you, I would test the speaker for sound doctrine, and not worry so much about the absence of a symbol. Instead look for the absence of a complete Gospel, the whole Word preached, and Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead.
January 22nd, 2010, 02:17 PM
I can understand why many associate a cross with a church but I also think it's a bit judgemental is it not? to assume that if the building doesn't have a cross that it automatically assumes that the church is heretic and doesn't preach a solid message of salvation? Is it that visible cross that makes the church a church or is it the message it teaches and the hearts of the believers that go to it that make it a church?
Maybe alrdyreg didn't exactly say it in the most friendly way...lol, but his rational is not far off. If one goes into the church and hears that heresy is being taught then by all means, call a spade a spade but until one actually hears improper doctrine being taught or the wrong Jesus being taught, is it really right to judge based on a cross being on the floor in the panels, or not present at all? Does the missing cross mean Jesus doesn't exist? I think we are allowing our own personal feelings to decide whether we think a church is right or wrong because there's no cross. Is there still the Gospel message being taught? If so then I don't understand what's wrong. I know when I was younger, our church for the longest time met in the gymnasium of a school, we didn't have a cross the whole time I was there but the full Gospel was taught every service and a call to salvation given every service.
January 22nd, 2010, 02:18 PM
Great post Nightelf, well said.
Originally Posted by Nightelf
January 22nd, 2010, 02:22 PM
When I walked around the church we now belong to, I was disappointed that the only crosses were more of a decorative sort and not the typical one I had grown up with. However, (I have know our Pastor for several years... but only as a "Pastor" for a year and a half now) now I realize that I was letting a symbol interfere with my judgement before I had even heard a sermon. Our church is very much Biblically based... and I have actually spoken to my Pastor about concerns of friends attending a charismatic church and another attending Lakewood. I was very impressed with his responses and advice. He is a HUGE believer in prayer- his next 3 or 4 sermons are going to be based on that alone!
January 22nd, 2010, 02:36 PM
I was bothered at first by no crosses because I just expected one. But what made me leave this church was it hypercharismatic/Kenneth Hagin doctrine and practices. I think in this church the cross is minimized because the Holy Spirit is pushed to prominence. In my area, the megachurches are typically charismatic seeker-sensitive types, not solid Bible churches, and that's why I think they don't display a cross. At one church I visited, the annex service turned out to be in a restaurant-type setting with the congregation sitting around round tables. Someone got up briefly to say something, people ate (you had to pay unless it was your first visit) and then people left. I was still waiting for the sermon, unaware that we'd had it. I heard ordinarily they pipe the service in from the main church (no cross either) but the rest remains the same. Yes, I know, that the early church served meals, but I doubt it was during worship!
I don't idolize the cross. I just see it as a visible reminder of what Jesus Christ did for me. I grew up in black Baptist churches, and we were anything but high church or full of icons. But there was/is a cross.
But I don't believe that the presence of a cross or lack of one determines the efficacy of a church.
January 22nd, 2010, 02:52 PM
I'm sorry, I cannot agree with your claims. It is much more than that.
Originally Posted by alrdyreg
The church I often go to doesn't have cross but has a large inscription of the name Jesus written on it as a substitute. Yes, we are saved in the Name of our Lord Jesus, and it is a good thing to have that on the inscriptions, but it appears to me that's because the church is like many typical evangelical churches in the West - the cross, which is the principal work of Jesus on earth - is often downplayed in significance. And the older pastor is at times reluctant to use the word sin and he wants to jump into the peace after salvation. The younger pastoral staff jumps straight into the Golden Rule and the whole book of Rick Warren.
I eventually understand why the senior pastor explained there is intentionally no cross there - "We are to jump into the experience of the post-salvation and dwell on the past sin" when he meant in reality "the cross itself is offensive to a lot of people, so we sidestep it."
January 22nd, 2010, 02:54 PM
Amen, the presence of the cross or otherwise doesn't necessarily mean the church is biblical. But in a church that calls itself evangelical, if they used to have a cross and removed it somewhere along the way, then this is a potential sign of some serious fundamental issues. <><
Originally Posted by ComeLordJesus
January 22nd, 2010, 03:06 PM
Originally Posted by JoelH
January 22nd, 2010, 04:19 PM
FWIW... here is the example of the crosses at our church:
Had to find one with only my kids, LOL! This is in the Sanctuary during VBS.