The thing about Occult Symbolism is, it involves a belief the symbol itself has Magical power. I have said firmly that things like the mere sight of a Cross repelling Vampires is an inherently pagan philosophy, so I find it funny when I see Christians complain about the Cross losing it's power in much modern Vampire fiction.
And the thing with Secret Societies who may not always take the supernatural seriously. Is that the symbols are meant to conceal not reveal, only those in the know should recognize it. What The Cross means to a Christian is not hidden, we seek to make it common knowledge.
A Christian wearing a Cross is just a way to communicate that we're Christians as soon as we're seen.
Symbolism can be used in a purely text format. And Paul does use The Cross as a symbol of the Gospel in passages like 1 Corinthians 1:17-18.
"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."And Galatians 5:11 and 6:12-14.
"As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."And Ephesians 2:16.
And Philippians 2:8 and 3:18-19.
"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."And Colossians 1:20 and 2:14.
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"Hebrews 12:2 is arguably being literal not Symbolic.
And all that is why I favor The Cross over the other two symbols that are sufficiently Ancient, The Chi-Rho Sign and the Ichys Fish. Because Paul himself used it as a symbol of the Gospel he preached repeatedly.
But what about the question of if we depict The Cross accurately? Regardless of if The Cross Jesus was on actually looked like the common symbol we use (The argument that it looked more like an X is compelling), that that shape resembles the original Paleo-Hebrew design of the Tav, the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, I consider a valid Judeo-Christian basis for it. In a Paleo-Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1 three Tavs appear, the middle one being the untranslated Aleth-Tav in the exact middle of the verse.
Then there is the theory that the Israelites encampment in The Wilderness would have had a similar shape.
I sometimes hear from Torah Observant Christians, "Why would I use a symbol of suffering and death?" That happens to resemble how Muslims and sometimes Mormons criticize The Gospel. And frankly that attitude is exactly what 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 is directed against.
Like many things certain groups don't like, there is a desire to blame it on Constantine. Constantine didn't use it however, he used the Chi-Rho sign, that's what he saw in his supposed vision. As far as state sponsored Christianity goes the first to put Crosses on it's coins was the Kingdom of Aksum in Africa, the same people who claim to have The Ark, makes you wonder doesn't it?
Carvings of Crosses go back before that however.
None of this is an argument you HAVE to go around using The Cross as a symbol, I am not a Legalist. This is simply saying symbolism isn't bad, and refuting those who would go around shaming Christians for using a Cross.