This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The cross and the fish in Christianity

My family honored both the symbol of the cross and the symbol of the fish. They are both reminders of Jesus Christ, and they both have a place in a Christian church, and home. I was curious about these symbols and did a little research. This is what I have found out.

The cross is a symbol representing the device that the Romans used 2,000 years ago to not only execute people, but to do it publicly. It was a very terrible and slow way to die, and contrary to popular belief, a human body could not be held up by driving nails through their hands. Not that the nails would fail, but the hands would tear away. The bodies were lashed in place, the nails were there simply to hold the arms and legs in position. This symbol represents the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus Christ did for mankind.

The fish represents the words of Jesus saying, "I will make you fishers of men". That is, spreading the word of the gospel. And the fish takes on a greater meaning as Christianity is outlawed. It becomes a symbol that can be secretly written in the sand, and then covered up. That's why it's always drawn that way. It can be drawn with two curves with a stick, or your finger. When being a Christian carried a death sentence, it was something that needed to be quickly shown to the right people, and quickly hidden from the wrong people.

The need for Christians to go "underground" ended when the emperor of Rome, Constantine the Great, issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, allowing toleration of Christianity, and all other religions, in the empire.

If you're a Christian, you know that there is no right or wrong way to honor Him, in spite of what so many people might lead you to believe. Protestants, like my family, tended to stay away from wearing crosses, as it was seen as "too Catholic", but it's appropriate for all Christians. So is displaying the fish.
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