The Instigator
Xera
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
InquireTruth
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Using a crucifix as a symbol of faith is idolatry

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
InquireTruth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,590 times Debate No: 6279
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (6)

 

Xera

Pro

To begin I will provide a framework in which I am requesting this debate:

I prefer to avoid semantic debates. Please only take this debate if you are willing to seriously argue that using a crucifix as a symbol of faith is not idolatry. I have no wish to debate the relevance of religion.

Definition of idolatry: Princeton.edu

the worship of idols

Worship: dictionary.com

adoring reverence or regard

My argument is simple. When one uses a crucifix as a physical symbol of faith, that person is practicing idolatry by using the idol (crucifix) as the focus of the reverence. When a Christian grabs his / her crucifix necklace to gain comfort in times of trial, he or she is in effect worshiping the crucifix, thereby practicing idolatry.
InquireTruth

Con

Introduction:
I am willing to seriously debate against the notion that a crucifix as a symbol of faith is idolatry.

I hope that my contentions are not what my opponent would consider semantics. I am merely trying to argue the resolution as stated.

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Points that need to be addressed:

"When one uses a crucifix as a physical symbol of faith, that person is practicing idolatry by using the idol (crucifix) as the focus of the reverence. When a Christian grabs his / her crucifix necklace to gain comfort in times of trial, he or she is in effect worshiping the crucifix, thereby practicing idolatry."

1. My opponent's point can only stand IF the crucifix becomes the focus of reverence. However, when the crucifix is only used as a symbol of faith (as the resolution states), it is neither receiving worship nor focus. A symbol of faith is not equal to worship of that symbol. Similarly, when a stout Darwinist fashions a walking fish on his bumper, he is not worshiping the fish, he is using it to represent his particular ideology.

The crucifix symbol is not the focus, it merely draws attention TO the focus, that is, Jesus Christ and Him crucified (if you are a protestant the cross will be empty, representing the resurrected Christ).

2. In the Bible God appreciates many such symbols of faith. For instance, the Nazirite vow in which the adherents would not cut their hair as a symbol of faith to God (Samson is the most notable)(1).
The Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of God's faithfulness to the Israelites. David, king and psalmist, is recorded as dancing around the Ark of the Covenant saying, "I will become even more undignified than this!" He was appreciating God's faithfulness, not worshipping the Ark itself (2).
Jesus himself told us to practice such symbolism when he established the Eucharist – he said, "Do this in remembrance of me (3)." Such symbols are not objects of reverence, but symbols of remembrance.
God sets into place symbols of his glory and covenant with man. For instance, he put into place the rainbow to remind man that he will not flood the earth en masse again (4).

3. My opponent defined idolatry (the worship of idols), but conveniently forgot to define idols. An Idol, by definition, is "a statue or other object that is worshiped as a god (5)." Therefore, it must be shown that object of worship is not merely being worshiped, but that it is being worshiped as a god.

This should suffice for now. I look forward to my opponent's response. Thank you

Sources:
1. Numbers 6:1-21, see also http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. 2 Samuel 6:15-22
3. Luke 22:19
4. Genesis 9:13
5. Macmillan Dictionary, see also Dictionary.com's definition under "bible"
Debate Round No. 1
Xera

Pro

I am going to make this very short because sitting up is very painful.

First of all I would like to thank my opponant for accepting the challenge and for offering a well thought out response.

:1. My opponent's point can only stand IF the crucifix becomes the focus of reverence. :

The act of holding onto the crucifix as a symbol of faith is placing the focus on the symbol. In particular in the Catholic faith, upon entering the cathedral one is expected to kneel to the crucifix hanging on he wall. Further those that practice this faith will make the symbol of the cross (forehead to chest and left to right) in asking God for pretty much anything, protection, forgiveness, etc. This type of reverence is not limited to Catholicism either. Further, in giving the crucifix the power to represent the whole of the faith, those that do so are revering it. My opponent has conceded that with this reverence my point stands.

:The crucifix symbol is not the focus, it merely draws attention TO the focus, that is, Jesus Christ and Him crucified (if you are a protestant the cross will be empty, representing the resurrected Christ).:

The United States Court has agreed that the wearing of the cross is a religious foundation and is an active part of exercising religion. http://www.pawd.uscourts.gov...

:2. In the Bible God appreciates many such symbols of faith. For instance, the Nazirite vow in which the adherents would not cut their hair as a symbol of faith to God (Samson is the most notable)(1).:

:Jesus himself told us to practice such symbolism when he established the Eucharist – he said, "Do this in remembrance of me (3)." Such symbols are not objects of reverence, but symbols of remembrance.
God sets into place symbols of his glory and covenant with man. For instance, he put into place the rainbow to remind man that he will not flood the earth en masse again (4).:

These as act of devotion. There is a district difference between actions and physical symbols of faith. Prayer is also an action, and I would easily concede that this is certainly worship, however actions and physical objects can not be compared.

:3. My opponent defined idolatry (the worship of idols), but conveniently forgot to define idols. An Idol, by definition, is "a statue or other object that is worshiped as a god (5)." Therefore, it must be shown that object of worship is not merely being worshiped, but that it is being worshiped as a god.:

I contest this definiton of idol and offer instead any of the following:

A graven image or representation of anything that is revered, or believed to convey spiritual power; A cultural icon, or especially popular person en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Idol

a material effigy that is worshiped wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

An idol is a representation of something in the heavens or on the earth. (Exodus 20:4).

A graven image or representation of anything that is revered, or believed to convey spiritual power en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Idol

Ladies and gentlemen I offer that using an object to symbolize faith is revering said object, physical objects and personal actions are not the same thing, and my opponents definition of idol should be replaced with one that would actually fit the resolution.

if I badly misspelled anything I apologize. If I missed any of me resources I will post them after I get much better pain meds on Monday.
InquireTruth

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for replying despite her pain induced inebriation. All grace should be given for any spelling or grammatical mistakes made.

Moving forward:

1. My opponents point can only stand IF the crucifix becomes the focus of reverence

Remember, we are not just talking about focus, but the focus of reverence. If merely extending focus to something means you are venerating it, then my opponent must consider all things focused on, other then God, idolatry. But merely holding a cross as a symbol of faith is no different than putting a rainbow in the sky as a sign of a covenant. It is no different than wearing a wedding ring as a sign of commitment.

2. In the Bible God appreciates many symbols of faith

My opponent suggests that there is a difference between actions and physical symbols of faith – and this can account for the passages that I listed. However, you will find that the Ark of the Covenant is a physical symbol of faith. Growing your hair out IS a physical symbol. The bread and wine of the Eucharist are physical symbols.

"In particular in the Catholic faith, upon entering the cathedral one is expected to kneel to the crucifix hanging on he wall."

How is this act of devotion any different than King David dancing around the Ark of the Covenant? How is this any different then the rituals the High Priests were commanded to do before they could go before the Ark? The sacrifice of lambs and the burning of incense? How is this any different from Moses building a bronze serpent in Numbers 21:4-9? How is this any different than symbolizing wine and bread? These things are USED to draw reverence to God, not the symbol.

3. Incorrect definition of Idol

You may contest the definition, but you are not using an adequate biblical definition of Idol. Within the context of biblical idolatry, Old Testament writers were dealing with pagan god worship. They did not have a crucifix problem. They had the problem of people worshipping golden calves as gods, statues of Moloch, and other such grave symbols of decadence and decline.
Debate Round No. 2
Xera

Pro

Xera forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
Perhaps we could try again when she is healed.
Posted by Im_always_right 8 years ago
Im_always_right
She missed the last round because she twisted her knee again.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
well the morphine has worn off now ( I posted right out of the hospital) and the loritab the surgeon prescribed don't do a darn thing, so tomorrow I go see my regular doc and ask for something much stronger. I actually think I can respond better on drugs than in pain, so hopefully my closing arguments will be better than this rounds
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
Eek, I'm sorry to hear that. I am glad that you are at least willing to try. If it is of any consolation, you sounded mostly coherent just now.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
Inquire Truth, I appriciate the manner in which you accepted my debate, and I hope to give you a good one, but last night I broke my knee cap in 3 places and am currently highly drugged, and not making much sense mot of the time, so I may not provide a well thought out response, I will do my best however.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Yoni 8 years ago
Yoni
XeraInquireTruthTied
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Vote Placed by mastajake 8 years ago
mastajake
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Vote Placed by DevinRichardson1 8 years ago
DevinRichardson1
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
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Vote Placed by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
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Vote Placed by DiablosChaosBroker 8 years ago
DiablosChaosBroker
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