Questions for Catholics

Hi, This is Hilltop,

First time post,

I am a non Catholic but have family members who are Catholic. I am a sinner saved by Jesus Christ since 1948.

I have three questions about the Catholic church. Every cross I have seen in the Catholic church leaves Christ on the cross. Christ was not left on the cross but he died,and rose again. So why do you leave Christ there?

I have invited several Catholic friends to small Home Bible Study classes but they say they would like to attend but the church would not allow them to do it. Why?

Can a non Catholic go to a priest for confession?



Good for you. We Catholics are saved that same way. [size=4]You might wanna take a look at my blog article called How Is A Catholic Saved? [/size]

I have three questions about the Catholic church. Every cross I have seen in the Catholic church leaves Christ on the cross. Christ was not left on the cross but he died,and rose again. So why do you leave Christ there?

My good friend John Martignoni of the Bible Christian Society has an outstanding response to this on his site under 2-Minute Apologetics. He says,

**I had a friend ask me why Catholics have Crucifixes in our churches…don’t we believe Jesus has risen? Why do we keep Him on the cross?

First of all, you would want to check out 1st Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 23. Paul says, “…but we preach Christ crucified…” Why does Paul preach Christ crucified? Doesn’t he know Jesus has been raised from the dead? Of course he does! But, he knows that it is through the power of the crucified Christ on the cross that the bonds of sin and death are broken. As Paul says in verse 24, Christ crucified is the “power of God”.

1 Cor 2:2, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Again, didn’t Paul know that Jesus had risen from the dead? Of course, he did.

Paul preaches Christ crucified because an empty cross has no power. The cross that bears the beaten, battered, and bloodied body of Jesus Christ, however, that cross is the “power of God”. This is why, we “keep Jesus on the cross,” because we, too, preach Christ crucified. The Crucifix reminds us not only of God’s power, but also His love for us - giving His only begotten Son up for suffering and death.
Also, here in this life we do not share so much in the glory of the Resurrection, as we do in the suffering of Jesus on the cross; after all, we must take up our cross daily if we are to follow Jesus, as it says in Lk 9:23.

And, we must die with Christ in order to live with Him as Romans 6:8 tells us. Where did Christ die? On the cross. The Crucifix serves to remind us of these things.

One other passage to keep in mind is Galatians 3:1, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” Did you catch that? Jesus was publicly portrayed, before their “eyes”, as being crucified. Sounds kind of like they may have been looking at a Crucifix, doesn’t it?

I have invited several Catholic friends to small Home Bible Study classes but they say they would like to attend but the church would not allow them to do it. Why?

This has been discussed many times here at CAF. in [size=4]fact there is a current thread on this at Should a Catholic attend Protestant Bible Studies?[/size]

Can a non Catholic go to a priest for confession?



The staff apologists have answered this many times. I suggest that you see.

*]Can a non-Catholic go to Confession?
*]How are Protestants’ sins forgiven without going to confession?
I have a[size=4] couple of articles on this on my blog called Catholic Confession and Scriptures About Penance [/size]

  1. A not-so-subtle reminder to ALL of us of the most selfless sacrifice of all time. Every time I see the crucifix, I hear; “would YOU have done this?” The death and resurection were for US. Personally, ingratitude is the human trait I despise the most. The crucifix reminds me to NEVER take Christ’s sacrifice for granted. He DID rise from the dead, but does that mean we can or should forget what he did for us?

  2. Not sure why that would be. Could it be that whoever discouraged them from attending might be concerned that you may try to sway them from Catholic teaching with your own personal interpretation of the Bible? You will have to ask them to be more specific about why they turned you down. Or… you could ask their priest yourself.

  3. While you’re asking the priest about # 2, ask him about this one, too. You could get two answers in one trip! Or let your fingers do the walking and call the priest on the phone. Just don’t call tomorrow. Sundays are their busy day :wink: However, if you want to talk to a priest in person, Sunday is an EXCELLENT day to go.

Good hunting!

I have been in Catholic churches that have a resurrected Christ, but normally, it is crucified Christ. This is so because that is the ultimate sign of love, that he gave his life for our sins. It is the epicenter of the entire Passion, so to speak. As Paul said, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” (1 Cor. 1:23) Surely we do not have to remind Paul that Christ is risen, do we?

I believe that you would benefit greatly from a copy of Catholicism for Dummies. It is an easily read and understood explanation of Catholic beliefs and practices. I learn something each time I read my copy.


  1. Paul preached Christ crucified. Catholics take that to heart.
  2. Catholics are usually outnumbered and put in an uncomfortable defensive position.
  3. If you need a Catholic confession, you should be Catholic. Under emergency conditions, yes it is possible.

For strarters, the crucifix is not a voodoo doll - images don’t work like that. In that sense, no one is “leaving Christ on the cross.” :wink: (For the record, the Catholic church nearest my school - there aren’t that too many of them here in Japan - has a resurrected Christ on the cross, but that’s another matter entirely.) What we are doing however is that we are reminding ourselves of what Jesus did. After all, Jesus died on the cross, didn’t He? And (going by St. Paul) shouldn’t Christians boast of the cross of Christ and preach Christ crucified?

I should note that the earliest portrayal of the crucified Jesus (and perhaps one of the earliest portrayals of Jesus) is this graffiti in Rome from the 2nd-3rd century portraying a man worshipping a donkey-headed figure nailed to a cross with the mocking legend in Greek, “Alexamenos worships [his] God.”

Welcome to CAF Hilltop.

I don’t know whether you find Old Testament “types” or “prefigurements” helpful and interesting, but I do. So, in addition to the responses already given regarding Catholic crucifixes, I would mention an OT incident regarding the bronze serpent.* Numbers 21:5-9 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So** Moses made a bronze serpent**, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. *Something I find interesting is that the serpent Moses was commanded to display on the pole was not an actual destructive serpent, but rather a manufactured replica.

Next, ponder the above incident with Our Lord’s words in St. John’s gospel. (Eg. What was the purpose of having the Israelites look at the image of the dead serpent; why connect that particular situation - looking at an image - to the NT reception of eternal life; …) * John 3:14-15 “And as **Moses lifted up the serpent **in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” * Applying this to Catholic crucifixes, when we look at an image of our crucified Lord, it causes us to have so many basic Christian truths and affections come to mind (seriousness of our sins, what our redemption cost Our Lord, depth of God’s love for us, appreciation for what He suffered, …) that an empty cross would not arouse. At the same time we also remember and are grateful for the redemption that is ours if we “look” at His sacrifice – that is, learn & know about it, believe it, obey His instructions on how to receive the new nature He merited for us. (cf. Eph. 3:22-24; Col. 3:9-10; 2 Peter 1:4).
There are just so many Scripture passages – both Old and New Testament – that can come to mind when looking at a crucifix and prayerfully meditating on what it depicts; what it accomplished; what led up to it and what followed it. It is central.

Thank you for enlighting me. Your respondence is very helpful and understandable.

God Bless You


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