For Protestants, Catholics will go to heaven

Cross for Protestants?

If a Protestant Christian is sitting in a Catholic service, he can quickly become confused. For example, when all the worshipers cross themselves, some Protestants are a little perplexed. Why do you cross yourself at all and why do Catholics do it?

There are many options for holding hands when signing the cross. Protestants can take a look at Catholics here. In depictions of Jesus, such as the mosaic in the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Jesus only extends the middle and index fingers to cross the cross. It stands for the unity of God and man. The Pope, on the other hand, keeps all fingers outstretched when he crosses himself, others only use the 3 middle fingers as a symbol of the Trinity.

This is how Pope Francis explains the crucifixion (on Facebook)

What speaks against being crossed?

In Luther's “Small Catechism”, the reformer explains: “In the morning, when you get out of bed, you should bless yourself with the Holy Cross and say: God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit rule. Amen. ”According to Luther, the same should happen in the evening“ and then slept quickly and happily. ”Why don't Protestants cross themselves when even Martin Luther recommends it? There is no historically confirmed justification. Sometime in the period from the Reformation in 1517 until today it was lost. The "Obermain Tagesblatt" dates the removal of the cross in the article "What does it mean to be Lutheran" to the 18th century. At that time the evangelical faith had become more secular, i.e. more worldly, so that the religious crucifixion was abolished. Dr. Thomas Melzl from the Worship Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria assumes that Evangelical Christians wanted to consciously differentiate themselves from the Catholic Church by omitting the sign of the cross. At the time of the change, Melzl said: "The gesture of crossing oneself [...] was still a common practice in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which was only just emerging."

The sign of the cross has not completely disappeared

Nevertheless, you can still find the crucifixion in Protestant church services. The pastor draws a slightly enlarged cross in the air as a blessing. At the Lord's Supper, too, a cross-shaped movement is performed over bread and wine.

Should I cross myself now?

If you want, you can cross yourself as a Protestant - nothing speaks against it. Martin Luther even speaks for it. Whether or not you cross yourself is ultimately up to you. The background information in this article may make your decision easier.