One missed step can make you stumble,
you set yourself up for a fall.
You punish yourself for each failure,
dogma beat out alcohol.
When all of your principles were fashioned,
you thought that your new rules made you new.
But maybe those X’s on your hands,
are what’s killing you.

chorus

The Cross of Saint Andrew,
never meant to take His place.
The Cross of Saint Andrew,
echoes of His grace.

When Saint Andrew knew the measure,
he knew the cost of sacrifice,
he left all that he knew behind him,
great things come at such great price.
But all of this never brought the answers,
obedience comes with controversy,
what changed him changes me today,
Christ has mercy.

bridge
All your sins can be forgiven,
all of this was always free.
Jesus loves without condition,
this is what freedom means to me.

Nihil ergo nunc damnationis est
his qui sunt in Christo Iesu qui non
secundum carnem ambulant.
(There is therefore now no
condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the
flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8:1,2)


Lyrics submitted by mollyxbiscuit

The Cross Of St. Andrew song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is talking about die-hard Christians who feel as thought they need to beat themselves up (physically or emotionally) for the times they sin (common in, say, the Puritan church) but the message of Christ is one of forgiveness both for sins in your past and your future, being a Christian just means we rely on Christ to save us and thus we are acting unChristian in condemning ourselves when we make the mistakes we are bound to make... the person Reese is singing to has misinterpreted the piety of St. Andrew and has nearly confused St. Andrew's cross, (lifestyle) with that of Christ because he has forgotten how Christianity is rooted in mercy.... maybe...?
    greatthenateon July 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm probably wrong on all of this, like I am for most FIF songs, but here we go.

    St. Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross. What I think Reese is trying to say in this song is that for a lot of people, their life is becoming more about their scene (and their straightedgeyness) than it is about Christ. ("The cross of Saint Andrew never meant to take His place").

    And if there are any error in these lyrics.. I copied them from what roper posted on frenzyboard. So take it up with him. ^^
    mollyxbiscuiton April 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThats what my impression of the song was.
    RichieMac3on October 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first verse reminds me of all the scene kids who claim straightedge and months later I run into them and they're complete burnouts.

    And in the bridge Roper is definately talking about how everyone messes up and sins, but Jesus forgave us of that so we are set free from it and do not have to return to that crappy lifestyle just because we mess up.

    FIF sings a lot about freedom.... like every other song
    Ringlon January 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's actually about the Protestant Revolution, and them breaking from the Catholic Church.

    "You punish yourself for each failure,
    dogma beat out alcohol." Saying how the purists say since alcohol can be taken to excess, it shouldn't be used at all.

    "When all of your principles were fashioned,
    you thought that your new rules made you new.
    But maybe those X’s on your hands,
    are what’s killing you." Saying that when they broke from the Church, making their own set of rules, they thought they were making a whole new truth, when really they were taking away some of the truths of the Catholic Church while retaining others that they liked.

    "The Cross of Saint Andrew,
    never meant to take His place.
    The Cross of Saint Andrew,
    echoes of His grace.

    When Saint Andrew knew the measure,
    he knew the cost of sacrifice,
    he left all that he knew behind him,
    great things come at such great price.
    But all of this never brought the answers,
    obedience comes with controversy,
    what changed him changes me today,
    Christ has mercy." Speaking against those Christians that say Catholics are going to Hell for "worshipping" Saints. It is saying that the whole idea of having Saints is not to worship them, but instead to have those rolemodels of holyness that will turn our eyes towards Christ. To let us know that it is possible to live holy, to live as we should, through the help of Christ.

    That's my take on it... I'm not sure whether Five Iron Frenzy is Catholic or not, but there are alot of themes in their songs that have led me to suspect this. The great thing about music is that one song, and even one line of a song, can have multiple meanings. There is a depth to music that allows it to mean many different things, on many different levels. So, while it may mean something, there may also be a deeper level to it.

    Thanks for listening.

    Docendo dicimus. (Through teaching, we learn.)

    Pax Christi vobiscum, (Peace of Christ be with you all)
    ~ Steven Cimprich.
    Guster101on September 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about how so many people try to follow the rules and do everything right, but that that distracts them from the real message of the gospels. I think he's trying to say that all of their rules mean nothing, that "Jesus loves without condition".
    IAMED_2on October 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have to agree with Steven Cimprich about the "catholic" themes, in reality, Chrsitianity and cathoicism are not really very different, so what can seem to be a protestant to one person ay seem catholci to another. And i don't know what denomination the church they were (before breaking up) affiliated with is, but I know it is the Scum of the Earth Church, and from what i have read about it, it seems to be extremely open to everyone from any walk, wihtout being all uppity about it.

    ANyway, I'd have to say that I have always thought the song was about being so caught up in the appearance of being Holy, or the appearance of portraying God in a non-conformists style "when all your principles were fashion", that you forget why it is that you are trying to be different. You forget that it is not about yourself, but about God.
    Gambithon October 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this song seems to remind me that it doesn't matter what church or denomination you are from. whether catholic or protestant. You should live a life like Christ, not like the Christians.
    Jesus was the only perfect human being to walk the earth. it shouldn't matter which part of the religion you are from.
    You all worship the same God.
    He died on the cross for your sins.
    He loves you unconditionally.
    Nothing else matters except for being a light of the world for God.
    where0meets15on February 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Cross of St. Andrew signifies a huge landmark in my walk with Christ. It helped to finally make Christ's identity and passion and how it connects to my life click.

    I believe Reese compares St. Andrew's death on an X shaped cross (for reasons similar to Peter's not feeling worthy to be crucified the same way Jesus was) to a product of salvation, not as a means to it. But not only the big picture, with salvation, but as a constant state of being, not unlike how we have come to understand sin as a condition of separation from God and not just every individual instance that we stumble.

    Also, in the Catholic and Lutheran liturgy a kyrie which repeats "Lord have mercy" is sung. Now, I understand why it is phrased that way; as a means to tune your heart to the right mindset for receiving God's graces, but most people understand it literally; as God's mercy is not constant on His people. I know I was confused and led astray by it (I grew up in an LCMS Lutheran church), so I believe it should be done away with. I think Reese Phrases it "Christ HAS mercy" to signify the fact that God's grace is sufficient and constant; it doesn't disappear when we sin.

    As Reese would say,
    Godspeed.
    darthnozoon February 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOkay, I know this song is old, but I have to say this because some of these explanations are reaching for things far afield of what this song is clearly about.

    This is a song about the shortcomings of the straight edge movement. Period. Straight edge kids used to draw Xs on their hands (which is also the shape of the Cross of St Andrew). This was meant to signal to people at concerts and clubs that they weren't interested in any drugs or alcohol.

    Reese's point here is that this one ideology and identity can't replace Christ's message of grace. If your identity is all about some rules and you break them, you have nothing. By contrast, Christ will forgive anything you've done. This can be seen as a broader commentary on the problems of legalism in Christianity in general, but it was written in a very specific time and is clearly about straight edge to people who went to a lot of concerts at the time.
    Solojoneson June 23, 2017   Link

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