the new Jesus

You’d think the way things are going that the idea of all things being reconciled has been an epic fail. Like the rapid curing of concrete, theological positions are hardening. Jesus would seem to have changed.

What I’ve noticed is that it really doesn’t matter what you believe. What matters is that you are cool, confident and cocky. You can even be an extremist in your conservatism. People will follow you. Even into the abyss.

Rachel Held Evans has an interesting conversation going on over here.

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THE COMMENTS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT OR EXPRESS THE OPINION OF THIS BLOG, NAKEDPASTOR, OR THE WRITER, DAVID HAYWARD, BUT ARE SOLELY THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED BY THE WRITER OF THE COMMENT.

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47 Responses

  1. Eddy Hooper says:

    David, your comics really hit the mark. I think that’s the sad thing about being followers of Christ. In many people’s eyes they feel they are being “loving” when they do that and not realize there is nothing Christ like about it.

    My Sunday School lesson dealt with the volatile topic of gay marriage. To hear some of the things levied at the LGBT community dehumanized them to make their entire lives surround just a sex act and nothing else. The way some went on it made it seem gay people are troglodytes roaming the world devouring everyone and everything in some ritualistic acts.

    Dear God, thank goodness Jesus never “revised” his Sermon on the Mount to sound anything like that at all. His influence would be dead in months.

  2. ed cyzewski says:

    Well said and on the mark.
    And the sad part is that we can be rude, cocky, and cool when opposing those who are rude, cocky, and cool… Or something like that.

    Lord save us from ourselves and help us understand what it means for the meek to inherit the earth.

  3. Steve Martin says:

    I wonder why Jesus bothered telling the woman caught in audultery, to “go her way and sin no more”.

    That’s a little judgemental isn’t it?

    He should have just said, “go your way and have a ball”.

    We want what we want and NOBODY’S gonna tell us how to live our lives!

  4. Kevin says:

    it’s really hard to visualize Steve Martin being such a prude

  5. Tony Lorenzen says:

    This is wonderful. It reminds me of the Christian vs Christ Follower YouTube clips based on the Mac vs PC ads. I think what calls itself Christianity today is more a religion that has been made up about Jesus, often quite uncritically. This is a poster for that religion’s Jesus.

  6. OneTrueKinsman says:

    But Mark Driscoll isn’t the only one with that viewpoint…

    Look at Rush Limbaugh…Glenn Beck…Bill Donohue…Michelle Bachmann…and that’s just the American side of bigotry…

    ‘Liberal’ Christians criticize these folks left, right, and center…but in private. I have never seen a liberal Christian call these bigots out in public to say ‘that’s your point of view…we don’t all share that’.

    The problem I have with non-bigoted Christians (the ones who don’t chastise gays for being, well, gay…who support evidence-based science education…who support a woman’s right to choose) is that they are waaaay too silent. The loud ones, standing on their soapbox, getting the media attention they don’t deserve, are the ones that are heard by the masses…heck, we can draw many parallels between Driscoll and Pat Robertson, or Jimmy Swaggart, or Peter Popoff, or, or, or…

    If Christianity wants to survive for the next 2000 years, it needs to change…which is ironic, isn’t it? If it changes (from the so-called inerrant word of God), then it isn’t the word of God, is it?

  7. OneTrueKinsman says:

    I should add that the same applies to Islam as well…the moderates should be the ones standing up against the extremists…

  8. Ed Fernandez says:

    Here’s an alternate dialog for this cartoon…one that is right out of my own experience in the institutional church:

    “You have heard me say,…be humble, forgive, love, and show mercy. But now I say unto you, report those who disagree with you to the church or denominational authorities, label them heretics or say that they raise “red flags” and let everyone know not to listen to them, criticize their positions without ever going to them personally to find out what they actually believe and are teaching, align them with other “heretics” without ever researching their books, writings, and messages, and above all, side with your friends against them even if you personally have never been hurt or offended by them. So you will be like your ancestors the Pharisees and will succeed in keeping their doctrine and character alive and well in the Church today!”

  9. Darren Moore says:

    ummm, isn’t this kind of doing the same thing is a high brow-mocking way?

  10. Mary Ellen Mayo says:

    I recently had this kind of experience on Facebook with some rabid attack dogs on a certain Southern Baptist leader’s Facebook page. It was like getting hit with a two-by-four, emotionally and spiritually….killed any hope of my ever being reconciled to them…the only thing I would add to this, David, is: “Invade their personal and emotional space as often as possible, and pour salt into their jagged open wounds” as a couple seem to be doing here, and many more are doing so on Facebook…heaven forbid they should just let you have some space to yourself and others who have the same experience, and not harrass you even there…

  11. We empower our ‘enemy’ when we ‘fight’ him. Laying down our light sabers like Obi Wan and the ‘spiritual heavies’ like Darth Vader will be baffled; a bafflement that might eventually lead to their awakening, enlightenment and ultimate reconciliation.

    With apologies to George Lucas.

  12. OneTrueKinsman says:

    @Dylan…

    ” bafflement that might eventually lead to their awakening, enlightenment and ultimate reconciliation.”

    Sounds like wishful thinking. The impression I have gotten from the ‘spiritual heavies’ is that they are not likely to change their thinking…there is no ‘enlightenment’, no sudden ‘revelation’ that they are wrong in their mindset, especially if they’ve been indoctrinated to think this way since birth.

    While I can somewhat agree that fighting an enemy can empower them, it really depends on the situation. For example, if what you say in a public debate makes more ‘sense’ than what Driscoll says, then you’re more than likely to gain support from the masses because your stance is more logical. Even those that would ‘secretly’ support Driscoll’s stance may turn to your opinion out of realization that it makes more sense.

    Considering the fact that a majority of Americans support change in law to allow for gay marriages, civil unions, etc., I would say that Driscoll’s supporters are ‘small but loud’.

  13. FreedbyJC says:

    Sweet…Todd Rhodes picked up your cartoon and is blogging about it

    http://www.toddrhoades.com/how-we-carry-out-jesus-instructions/

    …great exposure for you and good convo opportunity…

  14. fishon says:

    Man, you hit the nail on the head when you said:
    “…ridicule those who disagree with you….”
    ———Rob Bell using terms and attack language like: “hijacking,” “misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts,” shows his intolerance for those who disagree with him. Yipper, NP, you hit the nail on the head.

  15. Doug Sloan says:

    It is important to name and list what is NOT the Good News.

    Sin is that which separates you from God. It can be adultery. It can be idolatry of the Bible. It can be theological arrogance.

    Dylan – that was one of many points being made by George Lucas in Star Wars.

  16. tina says:

    the exact same thing is true about being cocky and cool and slick in your liberalism. liberal Christians are just as guilty of conservatives of being elitist, feeling and acting like they’ve arrived at a higher place of enlightenment.

  17. Brigitte says:

    You must be able to see the oppression that happens the other way around. All over the world teachers and schools are pushed to teach little children that all kinds of families are healthy, etc. This causes untold anguish to people who would like to raise children the “right” way.

    Indeed, there is obviously a “natural” way, which “nature” itself teaches us. Men and women are made to function in a complimentary way. You don’t need a Bible for this. Thus most people “naturally” respond in a highly charged way (especially males, I would say). The most “irreligious” people don’t want to have this taught to their children.

    To then turn around and call people rude and belligerent, amounts to some degree to “crazy-making.”

  18. Steve Martin says:

    Kevin.

    I’m anything but a prude.

    I just have some respect for God’s law. Not that I always keep it. Far from it.

    I just am not in the habit of asking the church to affirm my sins.

  19. fishon says:

    Tina and Brigitte,
    Absolutely correct.

  20. Johnfom says:

    It seems that it was ever thus. Galatians 5:14-15 – The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

    Paul’s solution seems to be very similar to the ‘old Jesus’ of the cartoon.

    I still get a touch of longing when I read the letters between Karl Barth and some of his most critical theological opponents. Those were the days when Barth (love him or hate him, he was the ‘Alpha brainiac’ in his day) could say ‘Here’s why you are dangerously wrong, but it might be just me being dim, and by the way we are really looking forward to staying with you on the holidays.’ (Can you imagine Piper and Bell heading out to the ranch for some quality time ‘chillaxing’ together? or the Benny’s: The Pope and Hinn)

    Theological debate nowadays looks like kids running around going, ‘You suck!’ ‘No, you suck and you’re going to hell.’ I take comfort that it probably won’t get back to the ‘good ol’ reformation days’ where it was ‘You are wrong, and I’m going to kill you for it.’

  21. Ed says:

    I used to love to go to regional pastor’s meetings and hear the wild and wacky stories about the lengths congregations would go to to jockey for position, etc. Thankfully, I never had the topper story, but I have had a few. I always felt it was a pity that church folk were so intent on disparaging others, they missed what’s great about Christianity.

    So here’s my take–I believe admitting gossipers into the church causes more damage than admitting homosexuals does.

  22. Jane Smith says:

    A brilliant cartoon!

    I don’t think anybody’s said this yet, so here’s my input:

    The best thing to do with moral and theological bullies, as far as facebook, blogs and cyberspace is concerned, is to simply not engage with them. In other words, ignore them.

    Doing anything else (including disagree with them publicly or call them to account in some way) simply encourages them.

    Of course, the basis of their behaviour is insecurity – this holds true whether they are conservatives or liberals.

  23. zero1ghost says:

    speaking of which, whatever happened to fishon? oh… there he is..

  24. fishon says:

    zero1ghost
    July 13, 2011 | 12:31 pm

    speaking of which, whatever happened to fishon? oh… there he is..

    —There you have it, David. I am a bully cause I voice my opinions and beliefs.

  25. nakedpastor says:

    actually it’s good to hear your voice again fishon. been thinking about you!

  26. zero1ghost says:

    c’mon, that was funny!

    and you could be right about the liberal Christians too… truth hurts sometimes.

  27. fishon says:

    zero1ghost
    July 13, 2011 | 1:20 pm

    c’mon, that was funny!

    —–You know, it was funny. I should have taken a chill-pill before I shot my fingers [mouth] off.

  28. fishon says:

    nakedpastor
    July 13, 2011 | 1:07 pm

    actually it’s good to hear your voice again fishon. been thinking about you!

    —–I’ll be around. Things are going well in my neck of the woods. Having a great time preaching on the Holy Spirit. My Pentecostals/Charismatics are on cloud nine–my Cessastionists are terrified that the Pentecostals will break out in tongues. I’m having a blast with the subject.

  29. Steve says:

    This is what we call making a caricature of an ideology when you don’t have a substantive argument to oppose it.

  30. Marcel Kincaid says:

    fMRI studies show that, when someone is asked what they think God wants, the exact same part of their brain lights up as when they are asked what they themselves want. This evidence supports my belief that God is a human invention that serves as a rationalization for people’s beliefs and behaviors … good or bad, but of course it’s the bad that’s prevalent and problematic; if religious folk just used God to rationalize altruism, selflessness, and generosity, I wouldn’t have much of a problem with them, although I don’t think such fictional rationalization is necessary (most atheists are very good people).

  31. Marcel Kincaid says:

    “Indeed, there is obviously a “natural” way, which “nature” itself teaches us. ”

    Homosexuality is common in nature. You make up your own facts to justify your evident bigotry.

  32. fishon says:

    Murder is common in nature, too.
    Just ask the gazelle about that lion chasing him.
    So lets all murder cause its natural in nature.

    It is common and natural for Hyenas to steal other animals food. So the way you phrase it: “Indeed, there is obviously a “natural” way, which “nature” itself teaches us, ” then stealing is obviously natural in nature, let’s all do it.

    If you are going to use “nature” as your point for justifying sinful behavior—–then you can’t pick and choose. Hence, the lion and the hyena.

  33. OneTrueKinsman says:

    @fishon…

    Do lions and hyenas build super structures? How about hospitals? Have they traveled to the moon and back? How about something generous, like establishing laws which all other lions and hyenas need to follow?

    There is a difference between humans and all other living creatures on this planet…we think. It is both a benefit and a bane to our existence that we think…a benefit because we, humanity, found medicine, and shelter, and technology, etc…

    A bane because there is so much lousy thinking out there, for people who misuse their minds and don’t ‘think’ about the issues, or don’t use their noodles effectively (the irony is that someone like yourself would say your brain is ‘god given’…in my opinion, this god would smack you upside the head for not using it as he intended).

    We don’t ‘murder’ because we know it’s wrong…

    We don’t ‘steal’ because we know it’s wrong…

    We don’t discriminate against homosexuals because we know it’s wrong…

    This isn’t picking and choosing…this is common sense.

  34. fishon says:

    OneTrueKinsman
    July 14, 2011 | 10:44 pm

    @fishon…
    There is a difference between humans and all other living creatures on this planet…we think. It is both a benefit and a bane to our existence that we think…a benefit because we, humanity, found medicine, and shelter, and technology, etc…
    ____Aha, there you go, man. You point out, correctly, my silly comparison, but I made it to only show the sillyness of Marcel using, “Indeed, there is obviously a “natural” way, which “nature” itself teaches us. Homosexuality is common in nature.”

    You missed the point, man. I noticed you didn’t tell Marcel, There is a difference between humans and all other living creatures on this planet…we think–in his point.

    YOU SAID: “…or don’t use their noodles effectively (the irony is that someone like yourself would say your brain is ‘god given’…in my opinion, this god would smack you upside the head for not using it as he intended).

    —Hehehe! Come off your high horse, Man. You climb on me for throwing back the same arguement that Marcel makes for homosexuality that he used to try and make his point.

    I use my “noodles” well enough. Well enough to see that you are inconsistent in your rebuking.

    Since you are making a list of “common sense,” I’ll add to it.

    We don’t ‘murder’ because we know it’s wrong…

    We don’t ‘steal’ because we know it’s wrong…

    We don’t discriminate against homosexuals because we know it’s wrong…

    This isn’t picking and choosing…this is common sense.

    We don’t particapate in homosexuality because we know it is wrong.

    Like you say, “This isn’t picking and choosing…this is common sense.”

  35. OneTrueKinsman says:

    “We don’t particapate in homosexuality because we know it is wrong.”

    …because you’re under the assumption that homosexuality is a ‘choice’…

    It isn’t a choice. Folks like yourself call it a choice because you need that as a reason to justify discriminating against homosexuals. If it were an innate trait (which it is for some people), then you wouldn’t have the freedom to discriminate (but you choose to ignore the science and maintain your ‘higher road’. Being born homosexual is no different than being born with different skin color…you can’t change it.

    “We don’t particapate in homosexuality because we know it is wrong.”

    YOU don’t participate in homosexuality because you are not a homosexual. If you were, you would participate in it and see nothing wrong with it. What’s the old addage “…you have to walk a mile in a man’s shoes to understand him…”?

    Your ignorance is shining through quite brightly. I’m wondering if you’ve ‘friended’ Driscoll on Facebook yet. :P

  36. fishon says:

    OneTrueKinsman
    July 15, 2011 | 10:31 am
    “…because you’re under the assumption that homosexuality is a ‘choice’…
    ——Assumption, no. The best selling book of all time says it is sin. And all sin is a choice.

    It isn’t a choice. Folks like yourself call it a choice because you need that as a reason to justify discriminating against homosexuals.
    —-Drunkedness is a sin. Hey man, is discriminating because I say that. Prostitution is a sin; does me saying that mean I am discriminating? Nay!

    YOU SAY: but you choose to ignore the science….
    ——–Site me one scientific community study that verifys that homosexuality is a choice. You can not.

    By the way, are millions of pedophiles born that way??? They say they are—–does that make it so?

    I’m wondering if you’ve ‘friended’ Driscoll on Facebook yet
    ——I know nothing about the guy. Why would I friend him? Millions of folks believe like me–Nay, I have better things to do than to friend stangers.

    OneTrueKinsman, your bigotry is showing through. Chill out, man!

  37. Christine says:

    Ok, can we please agree on two things:

    1. “Nature” in the sense of what animals do, will never resolve this argument.

    You can’t say, it’s obviously wrong because it’s unnatural, because it is “natural” in the sense of “occurs in nature”. (The word “natural” in English has a number of meanings, which is very problematic here, so I’m trying to be specific.)

    BUT, you aslso can’t say it’s “natural” (as in, occurs in nature) there fore it is right. because we consider lots of “Natural” things to be immoral.

    I think these are basically what a few people were saying.

    2. “Common sense” will never resolve this argument.

    People use the term “common sense” here whenever they believe something and they either have no idea why or can’t explain why (on both sides).

    Since no one can come up with useful or agreeable criteria as to what constitutes “common sense”, it really doesn’t get us anywhere.

    So, how about we dorp the “natural” and “common sense” talk and use criteria that matter.

  38. Christine says:

    Criteria that matter:

    1. (depending on your theological bent) What the Bible says.

    1a. What the Bible says on the issue specially, if anything.

    1b. What the Bible says on general principles.

    2. Harm

    2a. to those involved directly

    2b. to those affected indirectly

    2c. to the most vulnerable

    3. Justice and Compassion

    I’ve got points for both sides for all numbers. It’s just my attempt to list some of the things that might matter in the discussion. ot trying to take sides (yet) but to see if we can get a productive discussion going.

  39. Christine says:

    fishon (taking sides now for a second) – Believe me when I say there are scientific studies. It is the now overwhelming scientific consensus that, by the time someone is born, basic aspects of one’s sexual identity are already fixed. Some are born with an inherent “flexibility” let’s say, but many, both heterosexial and homosexual, are not. I’m at work, so I don’t have references with me. And I’d rather make sure they were credible instead of trolling the internet. But, they can be produced. If you are really serious, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association (I think those are the propoer names) should have plenty of rigourously tested information for you to look through.

    I acknowledge, though, that scientific evidence on birth versus choice won’t be the make-it-or-break-it point for you. And I think that, in some respects, that’s perfectly ok.

  40. fishon says:

    Christine
    July 15, 2011 | 1:18 pm

    Ok, can we please agree on two things:

    1. “Nature” in the sense of what animals do, will never resolve this argument.
    _____Yep. That was the point of my silly illustration to Marcel. However, Onetruekinsman didn’t get it.—-So yes, we agree.

    2. “Common sense” will never resolve this argument.
    _____Yes, again, with a caveat that I won’t go into.

  41. fishon says:

    Christine
    July 15, 2011 | 1:30 pm
    I acknowledge, though, that scientific evidence on birth versus choice won’t be the make-it-or-break-it point for you. And I think that, in some respects, that’s perfectly ok.
    _____Correct.

  42. fishon says:

    Christine
    July 15, 2011 | 1:22 pm
    I’ve got points for both sides for all numbers. It’s just my attempt to list some of the things that might matter in the discussion. ot trying to take sides (yet) but to see if we can get a productive discussion going.
    ____We could get a discussion going. However, we both know it would not be productive. And I am not sure what you mean by productive. I know my idea of it–but I am just guessing, your and my idea of produce it quite different.

    The fact is, you know every debate point I would/could bring up, and I know your’s as well. And neither one of us will budge.

    One thing I really appreciate about you is, you don’t see me as a hater of homosexuals because of my stance. So many people equate calling something a sin as hate and bigotry. If they follow that philosophy to its logical end, then if they believe stealing is a sin, then they, themselves must hate thieves.

    Nice talking with you again.
    jerry

  43. OneTrueKinsman says:

    1. (depending on your theological bent) What the Bible says.

    1a. What the Bible says on the issue specially, if anything.

    Leviticus 18:22 – You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. This seems to be the sole entry that has Christians in a fit about homosexuality. Oddly enough, it says nothing about not raping and coercing children. fishon, does this make pedophilia okay in Christian circles?

    1b. What the Bible says on general principles.

    What do you mean by general principles? Aside from commandments 6-9 (which are logical human criteria to live by), why do the others matter?

    2. Harm

    2a. to those involved directly

    How does homosexuality harm those involved? A relationship between homosexuals is a consenting one. Unless you consider the heartbreak when the relationship ends (no different than between a man and a woman) as harmful. That, though, is between the two individuals. fishon, how does homosexuality harm anyone outside of the relationship itself?

    2b. to those affected indirectly

    I’m not quite sure who will be affected indirectly. As per my point above, heartbreak is realized if the relationship ends. If the couple successfully adopted a child, I suppose the child may be affected indirectly; however, this would be no different than mom and dad calling it quits. Oh, and the fundies who would have a problem with the union to begin with, because it’s “unnatural”.

    2c. to the most vulnerable

    It is actually very rare that a pedophile is homosexual. (Von Krafft-Ebing, Richard (1922). Psychopathia Sexualis. Translated to English by Francis Joseph Rebman. Medical Art Agency. pp. 552–560. ISBN 1871592550.) Pedophilia is considered a psychiatric disorder, homosexuality is not. Homosexuality is not harmful to anyone but the people involved in the relationship.

    3. Justice and Compassion

    It’s odd you would bring this up, Christine. While I understand and appreciate the number of Christians who fight for social justice and are compassionate towards homosexuals, it is contradictory to the teachings in the Bible (see Lev. 18:22). This is what atheists shake their heads on…how can one call themselves Christian when they cherry pick the parts they like and discard the parts they don’t? If the Bible is the inerrant word of God, wouldn’t it need to be adhered to word for word?

    If it is cherry picked, then why have it at all? Why not establish a humanist set of rules we can all live by and call it a day?

  44. John says:

    So why isn;t this cartoon a form of bullying. O wait it is bullying it just agrees with the liberal point of view so its ok. Its ok to call people names, ridicule them and call them stupid, as long as you are a liberal doing that to a conservative. Hypocrisy and bigotry! This cartoon is just as much hate-speech as anything coming from the right.

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