From the website of Jehovah's Witnesses. Notice how two questions are asked;
- did Jesus really die on a cross?
- should Christians use the cross as an object of veneration?
Look at that picture. Imagine you're an "honest-hearted one" and you've visited the Watch Tower's website for more information. Your heart is breaking and you're burdened down with guilt about your sin and separation from your Father in heaven. The first thing you see on the website is a picture of the cross. But does the article address Christ's death to atone for your sins and the wonderful freedom he bought for you through his death, how his righteousness is imputed to you, making you right with God and giving you the rights of a child of the King?
The article is all about whether Jesus really died on the cross. Once again, the Watch Tower Society chooses to preach a different gospel and steers people away from Jesus and his crucifixion   .
Why do the Governing Body object to the cross? They try to claim Jesus did not die on a cross, but rather an upright stake. They make the assertion that the cross is a pagan phallic symbol*, which it probably was at one point**.
But does the cross being pagan and phallic mean that Jesus wasn't executed by the Romans on one? Let's imagine that history is as ambiguous as the Governing Body claim and that Jesus did not die on a cross. What would that prove?
Well, that leads us into the second question.
Should Christians use the cross as an object of veneration? Absolutely not. Flee from the use of idols, the Bible says. I've been attending churches for almost two years and I've never seen the cross venerated or idolised or used in worship. I've seen people get a bit emotional when they meditate on what happened on the cross, ie. Jesus dying in agony for our sins. But that doesn't equate to veneration.
The point is, the Governing Body loves to create these little straw men arguments; did Jesus really die on a cross? But what does it matter! They pour out gallons of ink to argue that he died on a stake, but completely miss the point; he died for our sins! The method of execution is secondary, why get so hung up on it (no pun intended)? Jesus could have been shot with a rifle. The same end purpose would have been achieved; his punishment for the forgiveness of our sins. I would love to see the Watchtower magazine spend as much time and effort on that topic as they do on trying to debunk the cross as Jesus' means of execution.
But then, Jehovah's Witnesses need reasons to prove to themselves that they are the true religion. 'Judge' Rutherford carefully created a siege mentality among the Witnesses, making them more and more 'different' from Christendom. After all, when Jesus allegedly chose the Watch Tower Society in 1919 they used the cross on the cover of their main Bible-teaching publication. He clearly didn't have problem with it 91 years ago. The cross is one way that JWs believe they are superior from Christians; they reject that Jesus died on a cross and reject veneration of the cross.
Just because, though, Catholics use the cross in worship does not mean that Christians do so. And it also doesn't mean that Christ didn't really die on one.
Jehovah's Witnesses, please start directing attention to Jesus Christ alone, and not your unique beliefs.
* what is an upright stake if not phallic? And as for pagan, research the sacrificial poles that the Ba'al worshippers used. Both pagan and phallic.
** the Watchtower's double-standard kicks in here; the cross was perhaps once viewed as pagan and phallic, but is that the case these days? What about wedding rings, pinatas, etc?