Those churches that build up the cross insist that the cross is only a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice, not an idol. However, when we look at their definition about idolatry, we can see that their insistence is self-contradictory.
- John Calvin, “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” Vol. 1, Chap. 11, pp.110-111?10. Image worship in the church?Those who assert that this was not done heretofore, and within our memory is still not being done, lie shamelessly. For why do they prostrate themselves before these things? Why do they, when about to pray, turn to them as if to God’s ears??Indeed, what Augustine says is true, that no one thus gazing upon an image prays or worships without being so affected that he thinks he is heard by it, or hopes that whatever he desires will be bestowed upon him . . . We do not call them “our gods,” they say.?Neither did Jews nor pagans of old so speak of them, and yet the prophets did not hesitate repeatedly to accuse them of fornications with wood and stone?[Jer. 2:27; Ezek. 6:4 ff.; cf. Isa. 40:19-20; Hab. 2:18-19; Deut. 32:37]?only for doing the very things that are?daily done by those who wish to be counted Christians, namely, that they carnally venerated God in wood and stone.
“Institutes of the Christian Religion” was written by Calvin, a religious reformer who is acknowledged in the Protestant churches. Calvin pointed out that the prayer and worship toward any image are immediately led to idolatry.
According to the teachings of the Bible about idolatry, according to the historical origin of the cross, and according to the insistence of theologians whom they acknowledge, the act of setting up the cross is nothing but idolatry God forbids.