the cross or the christ?

At the beginning of the 4th Century the Roman Emperor Constantine employed a man by the name of Eusebius 2 compile the only history of early Christianity that still xcists 2day.

Constantine had just made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire and he needed a doctrine of One God, One Religion‚ 2 help solidate his claim of one empire, one emperor. Un4tunatly Eusebius drew not only on facts, but also on myth, legend and his own imagination so as 2 please his emperor, and so 4th Century distortions have been passed on 2 us as fact.

This Christian emperor, who oversaw the creation of the Nicene creed that is still repeated in churches 2day, had his wife suffocated and his son murdered. He remained unbaptised until his deathbed so that he could continue his atrocities and yet still b guaranteed a place in heaven by bing baptised at the last moment, in short he was a typical Roman emperor.

How then can we trust that we r being told the whole Truth?

Take the sign of the cross, y is this image found in ancient pagan churches? Y r there artefacts bearing the image of the pagan God Dionysus being crucified on a cross and y r there no representations of the crucification of Jesus until the 5th Century?

The gospels themselves r not consistent in their telling of Jesus's death, according 2 Paul Jesus is hanged on a gibbet‚ and Peter, in the Acts of The Apostles states that he was hung from a tree. Even when the word cross is used it has been translated from the Greek word stau-ros, this word in classical Greek meant merely an upright stake, or pole not a cross.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica states "Various objects, dating from periods long anterior 2 the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world. India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples.The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times and among non-Christian peoples may probably b regarded as universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship." (1946, Vol. p.753) 2 the ancients the cross was a sacred symbol, the 4 elements of the physical world (fire, earth, water and air) were represented by its 4 arms. These 4 elements bound the 5th element, the spirit or soul, 2 its earthly materiality. The image of a man nailed 2 a 4 armed cross represented the predicament of the soul trapped in a physical body.

How would u feel if one of ur dearest friends was xecuted on the basis of false charges? Would u make a replica of the instrument of xecution? Would u cherish it, or would u rather shun it? The New Catholic Encyclopaedia admits "The representation of Christ's redemptive death on Golgotha does not occur in the symbolic art of the first Christian centuries." (1967, Vol. IV, p.486)

So is it the cross that we should b venerating and remembering, or The Christ?