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Sign of the Cross - a sign of the devil?

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  • Sign of the Cross - a sign of the devil?

    Being a Catholic, I have been accustomed to make the sign of the cross before and after praying -

    --In the name of the Father
    and of the Son
    and of the Holy Spirit--

    I've found nothing wrong with this. However, I've been hearing some other religion (christian) comment on this practice and go as far as saying that the sign of the cross is the sign of the devil. What is their basis for this? How dare they make such statements when they're Christians themselves?

  • #2
    Originally posted by lindbergh View Post
    Being a Catholic, I have been accustomed to make the sign of the cross before and after praying -

    --In the name of the Father
    and of the Son
    and of the Holy Spirit--

    I've found nothing wrong with this. However, I've been hearing some other religion (christian) comment on this practice and go as far as saying that the sign of the cross is the sign of the devil. What is their basis for this? How dare they make such statements when they're Christians themselves?
    You have found nothing wrong with this? How? Have you determined there is nothing wrong with making the sign of the cross from Tradition or Scripture? Most Protestants tend to jettison any practice that doesn't align with Sola Scriptura.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      If it's not in the scripture, does that automatically mean that it is evil?

      Is celebrating Christmas on December 25 evil too? Yes, it's not the true birth of Jesus but that doesn't make it evil right?

      I believe that something is evil if it is bad. And I don't think it's bad... Just my opinion.. :)
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by lindbergh View Post
        If it's not in the scripture, does that automatically mean that it is evil?

        Is celebrating Christmas on December 25 evil too? Yes, it's not the true birth of Jesus but that doesn't make it evil right?

        I believe that something is evil if it is bad. And I don't think it's bad... Just my opinion.. :)
        You avoided answering the question. Ya kinda posed a right by majority argument. You stated how can others dare make an insinuation, yet you yourself have proved nothing of that tradition being truly Christian. While I am not suggesting that making the sign of the cross is of the devil, I am suggesting that it is a tradition and not derived from Scripture.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Leaving aside the issue of sola scriptura, there is actually scriptural support for making the sign of the cross.

          Making the sign of the cross is putting oneself under God's protection.

          The prophet Ezekial tells of God’s judgement about to fall on the idolatrous in Jerusalem. Before that happens an angel is sent top put a mark on the foreheads of those who have remained faithful.

          “And the Lord said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark.” (Ez 9:4-6).

          Similarly in Rev 7:3 an angels goes through the earth and puts a seal (mark) on the forehead of those who are to be protected from the wrath of God.

          The mark in Ezekial was a cross, possibly an ‘X’ but more likely an upright cross. It was the Hebrew letter tahv (Taw).


          Tahv
          Spelling: tahv vahv
          In shape, the tahv resembles a dalet joined to an upside-down vahv (some say a nune). In shape, it appears similar to raysh, but the ‘face’ is emphasized — and the little foot may represent a beard, implying ‘The ancient’ or ‘the revered one’.
          In the proto-hebraic script, tahv was an ‘x’, and represented the extremely general concept of a mark, and also of unification and crossing over. Like the signature of an author, tahv is the ‘seal’ of the Holy One upon the processes and relations, interreflections and functions of the letters. (Alphabetics: tahv)

          Actually it’s more like an upright cross than an ‘X’

          Taw, Tav or Taf is the twenty-second and last letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew Taw (Modern Hebrew: Tav) ת
          The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Tau (Τ), Latin T, and Cyrillic Т……
          Taf is said to have come from a mark; or asterisk-like marking, perhaps indicating a signature.
          (Wikipedia)


          The Ancient picture [IMG is a type of "mark", probably of two sticks crossed to mark a place similar to the Egyptian hieroglyph of a picture of two crossed sticks. This letter has the meanings of mark, sign or signature.
          The Modern Hebrew, Arabic and Greek names for this letter is tav (or taw), a Hebrew word meaning, mark. Hebrew, Greek and Arabic agree that the sound for this letter is "t".
          The early pictograph [IMG] evolved into [IMG] in the Middle Semitic script and continued to evolve into [IMG] In the Late Semitic Script. From the middle Semitic script comes the Modern Hebrew ת. The Early Semitic script is the origin of the Greek letter T and the Latin T.
          (The Ancient Hebrew Alphabet - Tav)

          Unfortunately the pictograms [IMG] don't copy across in the last paragraph, but if you follow the link you can see them.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by Bede View Post
            Leaving aside the issue of sola scriptura, there is actually scriptural support for making the sign of the cross.

            Making the sign of the cross is putting oneself under God's protection.

            The prophet Ezekial tells of God’s judgement about to fall on the idolatrous in Jerusalem. Before that happens an angel is sent top put a mark on the foreheads of those who have remained faithful.

            “And the Lord said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark.” (Ez 9:4-6).

            Similarly in Rev 7:3 an angels goes through the earth and puts a seal (mark) on the forehead of those who are to be protected from the wrath of God.

            The mark in Ezekial was a cross, possibly an ‘X’ but more likely an upright cross. It was the Hebrew letter tahv (Taw).


            Tahv
            Spelling: tahv vahv
            In shape, the tahv resembles a dalet joined to an upside-down vahv (some say a nune). In shape, it appears similar to raysh, but the ‘face’ is emphasized — and the little foot may represent a beard, implying ‘The ancient’ or ‘the revered one’.
            In the proto-hebraic script, tahv was an ‘x’, and represented the extremely general concept of a mark, and also of unification and crossing over. Like the signature of an author, tahv is the ‘seal’ of the Holy One upon the processes and relations, interreflections and functions of the letters. (Alphabetics: tahv)

            Actually it’s more like an upright cross than an ‘X’

            Taw, Tav or Taf is the twenty-second and last letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew Taw (Modern Hebrew: Tav) ת
            The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Tau (Τ), Latin T, and Cyrillic Т……
            Taf is said to have come from a mark; or asterisk-like marking, perhaps indicating a signature.
            (Wikipedia)


            The Ancient picture [IMG is a type of "mark", probably of two sticks crossed to mark a place similar to the Egyptian hieroglyph of a picture of two crossed sticks. This letter has the meanings of mark, sign or signature.
            The Modern Hebrew, Arabic and Greek names for this letter is tav (or taw), a Hebrew word meaning, mark. Hebrew, Greek and Arabic agree that the sound for this letter is "t".
            The early pictograph [IMG] evolved into [IMG] in the Middle Semitic script and continued to evolve into [IMG] In the Late Semitic Script. From the middle Semitic script comes the Modern Hebrew ת. The Early Semitic script is the origin of the Greek letter T and the Latin T.
            (The Ancient Hebrew Alphabet - Tav)

            Unfortunately the pictograms [IMG] don't copy across in the last paragraph, but if you follow the link you can see them.
            I see nothing in your scriptural references that suggests that the mark is a ritualistic/traditional sign of the cross. While I don't personally have an issue with making the sign of the cross, I tend to stay away from doing it as to prevent any confusion as to whether I am Catholic or Protestant. I find it rather a superstitious gesture. I think that accepting or rejecting the sign of the cross ultimately comes down to regulative or normative principals. I also think if a person refuses to make the sign of the cross, this needs be addressed as whether it is something that is in error to be corrected. While allowed by the normative principal, I can definitely see why this would be objected to by the regulative principal.
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by William View Post

              I see nothing in your scriptural references that suggests that the mark is a ritualistic/traditional sign of the cross.
              The mark was in the form of a cross of the shape that Jesus died on.

              Also consider this:
              “he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2Cor 1:22)

              seal here is Strong 4972
              to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation

              Or Thayer’s version:
              1) to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal
              1a) for security: from Satan
              1b) since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter), to hide, keep in silence, keep secret
              1c) in order to mark a person or a thing
              1c1) to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal or a stamp
              1c2) angels are said to be sealed by God
              1d) in order to prove, confirm, or attest a thing
              1d1) to confirm authenticate, place beyond doubt
              1d1a) of a written document
              1d1b) to prove one’s testimony to a person that he is what he professes to be.

              As Christians we are sealed, or marked, as the possession of Christ.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by Bede View Post

                The mark was in the form of a cross of the shape that Jesus died on.

                As Christians we are sealed, or marked, as the possession of Christ.
                Again, I see nothing in the Scriptures of the mark being a cross, not that there is no mark. Baptismal water is the sign seal and mark of the NT covenant.
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by William View Post

                  Again, I see nothing in the Scriptures of the mark being a cross, not that there is no mark. Baptismal water can also be the sign seal and mark of the NT covenant.
                  The word mark in Ez 9:4-6 is Hebrew taw - the last letter of the hebrew alphabet. At the time of Ezekial that was in the form of an upright cross. See the link I gave in my earlier post.



                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Of course there are a lot of religions and churches out there seeing things different.
                    But as a catholic you do not have to be afraid of it being the sing of the devil. The cross is holy and part of our daily ritual.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bede View Post
                      The prophet Ezekial tells of God’s judgement about to fall on the idolatrous in Jerusalem. Before that happens an angel is sent top put a mark on the foreheads of those who have remained faithful.
                      Originally posted by Bede View Post
                      Also consider this:
                      “he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2Cor 1:22)

                      seal here is Strong 4972
                      to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation
                      God commanded and angel to put a mark on the righteous people and the Holy Spirit seals those who believe but neither of these actions is the same as a person making the sign of the cross.
                      Clyde Herrin's Blog
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by theophilus View Post

                        God commanded and angel to put a mark on the righteous people and the Holy Spirit seals those who believe but neither of these actions is the same as a person making the sign of the cross.
                        I don’t see any necessity for there to be exact equivalents. We can extract principles from scripture.

                        There are different occasions when we might make the sign of the cross.

                        One is to put ourselves under the God’s protection. Or perhaps it might be better to say to invoke God’s protection. The angels marked the righteous people as a sign that they should be protected from harm.

                        The seal in 1Cor is a sign of Christ’s ownership of us. We belong to his flock. Sheep often have a mark on them to signify who owns them. Making the sign of the cross reminds us of whose sheep we are.
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          I don't know why some people regarded the sign of the cross as evil. From what I've read, the sign of the cross can be found in:
                          • Exodus 17:9-14
                          • Revelation 7:3
                          However, it's not the sign of the cross per se, it's just a simple cross sign in the forehead. The verses do not require any person to even do ritualistic sign of the cross gestures. I do practice the sign of the cross as well, like you said it represents the trinity: God the father, Son and the Holy Spirit. For me, there's nothing wrong with using the sign of the cross as long as you have a purpose for doing it. Sadly, it has become a ritual for some people, they do the sign of the cross but don't really know why they're doing it.

                          So the sign of the cross is neither positive or negative, you can do it or not do it, it's up to you. But make sure that if you do the sign of the cross, you know its purpose and you're not just blindly following what others are doing.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bede View Post
                            The word mark in Ez 9:4-6 is Hebrew taw - the last letter of the hebrew alphabet. At the time of Ezekial that was in the form of an upright cross. See the link I gave in my earlier post.
                            It took some time for to take note of this post but since I have I must address it. The links provided in post 5 prove nothing because they are not written by scholars. In fact both are nothing more than hacks.

                            The first one, Organelle, offers no references to even check the claims given. The author, whoever it is, has no expertise in this subject and offers nothing more than a contrived mysticism. The author of the site states:

                            Secondarily Organelle is a record of contact with a nonhuman intelligence. What this means is open to interpretation, however some of the material comprises translations of themes and concepts which were explained to me during my contact experience, beginning in May of 2002, and lasting for approximately 10 months.
                            He got it from a nonhuman intelligence. Yeah, right! Sounds more like non-intelligence human.

                            The second one is by a fellow named Jeff A. Benner. So what are his credential? None, and he even says so. However he does claim that he has spent "thousands of hours... ...in research and study." So what? Credentialed scholars who actually know the languages have spent thousands of hours in research and study. I for one would take their word over his any day of the week. My next step was to check his website bibliography. This is how I know for a fact that Benner does not know Hebrew. The books listed there are either, dated, not scholarly, or both. I know which Hebrew grammars, lexicons, and language studies are up to date and scholarly.

                            Given this information concerning your links, I suggest that you vet your sources rather than simply accepting their word for it.
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lindbergh View Post
                              Being a Catholic, I have been accustomed to make the sign of the cross before and after praying -

                              --In the name of the Father
                              and of the Son
                              and of the Holy Spirit--

                              I've found nothing wrong with this. However, I've been hearing some other religion (christian) comment on this practice and go as far as saying that the sign of the cross is the sign of the devil. What is their basis for this? How dare they make such statements when they're Christians themselves?
                              Interesting question.

                              Here's another argument might be similar: "I heard someone say that closing our eyes when we pray is evil, yet I haven't found anything wrong with it."

                              Anyone care to address that argument?


                              God bless.
                              Comment>
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