Alan writes – in the ‘Crucified God’ Jurgen Moltmann states - The cross in the church symbolises the contradiction which comes into the church from the God who was crucified ‘outside’.
Every symbol points beyond itself to something else. Every symbol invites thought.
The symbol of the cross in the church points to the God who was crucified not between two candles on an altar, but between two thieves in the place of the skull, where the outcasts belong, outside the gates of the city.
It does not invite thought but a change of mind.
It is a symbol which therefore leads out of the church and out of religious longing into the fellowship of the oppressed and abandoned.
On the other hand, it is a symbol which calls the oppressed and godless into the church and through the church into the fellowship of the crucified God.
Where this contradiction in the cross, and its revolution values, is forgotten, the cross ceases to be a symbol and becomes an idol, and no longer invites a revolution in thought, but the end of thought in self-affirmation.
(The Crucified God – Jurgen Moltmann. SCM Classics p35)