Greetings from New Delhi! I see many disciples wearing crosses of gold around their necks as jewelry. Isn't this idolatry? In India, we ask Hindus to give up every form of idolatry before becoming a disciple of Jesus, and then they see disciples wearing a cross around their neck and ask whether this also isn't idolatry. Some leaders whom I spoke to defended the practice, saying this is just a sign of Christianity. I disagree, as this causes many Hindu-background disciples to stumble. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks. -- Prakash D'Sa
I think it’s different than the Hindu custom, since in Hinduism it’s the false gods to whom various accessories may point that are wrong, not the practice itself. If I want to put colored ash or paste on my forehead when I go to church, that action would be neutral. But in India, such deeds support idolatry.
A cross in no way justifies Hinduism. It doesn’t point the wearer, or his/her viewers, to Shiva, Lakshmi, or Krishna. If anything it points people to Christ. If the jewelry is worshiped, then that’s idolatry. But it isn’t; it’s Christ who is worshiped.
I would strive to educate the new Christians about the difference between religious jewelry / paraphernalia and the sin of idolatry. If this is still a stumbling block, then perhaps for a while the stronger Christians may want to give up the practice (Romans 14 is the key chapter).
That's how I think about the matter.