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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

16 February 2006

Ring as Pledge to God

Q: I am a Christian woman. I have a question. I want to wear a ring to honor my commitment to God. I’m single but it was something I wanted to do to as a symbol to represent my commitment. What do you think? Is it right or wrong?

Chi RhoA: I imagine that you could find individuals — even entire church bodies — who think such a thing is sinful. I’m not such an ill-favored extremist. If wearing such a ring reminds you of your closeness and commitment to God — and even more so, of His closeness and commitment to you — then feel free to wear it in good conscience.

Many religious orders have used rings to mark their members. Speaking personally, I regularly wear my class ring from seminary. It’s pretty and a nice reminder of my school days, but the main reason for wearing it is similar to yours. The stone includes a metal inlay of the “Chi Rho,” the superimposed Greek letters looking like an “X” and a “P,” which form the traditional abbreviation for “Christ.”

As I look down, I have a visual reminder not only who I am but whose I am: I belong to my heavenly Father because of the saving work of His Son Jesus Christ. I see no problem with any Christians, whether single or married, using their jewelry as part of their confessions of faith, so long as they don’t begin treating such items with superstitious reverence.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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