Southern Baptists: Drawing Lines Where Christ Erased Them

"Drawing and Erasing Lines" by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Drawing and Erasing Lines” by nakedpastor David Hayward

[Like this cartoon? Buy a print HERE.]

The bible is a strange power.

If your mind is divisive and exclusive, it will strengthen that.

If your mind is unifying and inclusive, it will strengthen that.

So the Southern Baptists tell pastors to hold the line on gays.

Drawing lines in the sand.

Lines of separation.

One of the verses of the Bible that actually helped to liberate me from this kind of dogmatism was Ephesians 2:14:

“For he himself is out peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”

Decades ago I understood this to mean that it was a done deal. This means that there is therefore now no separation and that we are indeed all one. The separation we perceive is only an illusion. A very powerful one. But an illusion nevertheless.

The bible, if read divisively and exclusively, that same cure turns into a virus that fortifies division and exclusivity and make it even more resistant to change. It can reinforce a fundamentalist mindset.

However, the bible also carries a cure that annihilates a divisive and exclusive hermeneutic.

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7 Responses

  1. Bart Breen says:

    No Worries!

    It only took the Southern Baptists until 1995 to fess up and apologize for their role in that whole unpleasant “slavery” misunderstanding.

    Being optimistic, it might only take them about 100 years to remove their collective heads from their nether regions, assuming they exist at that time as anything more than a lingering fart in the theological flow of things.

  2. Caryn LeMur says:

    Hatred and exclusion are powerful and unifying forces.

    It is a pity that love has been redefined in terms of illogical and impossible-to-execute pureness (‘love the sinner – hate the sin’; ‘welcome the person but not the behavior’).

    It is to our eternal shame that the opening of a church’s doors are, in actuality, filled with exclusionary bars and filters.

    Yet this is the Jesus that the world sees. A Jesus of hatred and exclusion. An angry and defiant tribal God.

    It is no wonder that not a person comes to Christ and becomes a new believer, year after year.

    And this morning, I feel sorry for these churches.

  3. “The bible is a strange power.

    If your mind is divisive and exclusive, it will strengthen that.

    If your mind is unifying and inclusive, it will strengthen that…… ”

    Love this!

    This feels like such a harrowing journey I’m on….but so very liberating. I can feel it, underneath all the questions and chaos…the breaking through to the calm.

    Thank you, for being brave, and forging ahead.

  4. Sabio Lantz says:

    Fantastic cartoon! Really well done.

    Using one Bible verse to fight other ones seems a mistake.
    Reading the Bible as a source of authority seems a mistake.
    So I’d ask for a more radical cure – stop reading the Bible that way.
    Don’t fight them by playing their game.

    Likewise with any “sacred” literature.

  5. Besides, in Christ, there is neither male, nor female, so issues with gender and/or sexual orientation are a moot point. We are all the same in that regard, as well as in any other. There should be no other more accepting place than the Body of Christ. “Should!”

  6. Caryn LeMur says:

    Sabio: in a sense, I hear you.

    Do we argue within the paradigm or outside of the paradigm?

    I like the cartoon and the write-up, because it shows an inconsistency ‘within the paradigm’ of Christianity. This is how Bible-lovers are shown that they are ‘cherry picking’, and not trying to live the Bible (but trying to live only selected parts that appeal to them). Hopefully, they will question their own belief system and break free into a more loving system.

    Yet, I hear you outside of the paradigm. Why use ancient literature to prove whom should be a slave or whom should be free? Why use the quote attributed to a dead man to argue in favor of opening the doors to any seeker of a religious experience? Why not appeal to the more noble concepts of humanity?

    However, most believers are immature in reasoning and are not prepared to argue outside of their religious scripture. The idea of arguing within the structure of human ethics is amazingly foreign to the believers I have known; even arguing within the constructs of human law is amazingly difficult to a believer.

    In essence, an immature believer says ‘human ethics need to be subordinate to my interpretation of scripture’; and they also say ‘human law needs to be subordinate to my interpretation of God’s law’.

    So, how do you propose one would argue against the absurdity of the Southern Bap leaders encouraging followers to continue discrimination and bigotry?

  7. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Caryn
    Well said, I agree fully.
    Right, people still in the system, who still buy into some of this stuff are the best to argue against those Southern Baptists — sad as that is.
    Quoting anything else but their Bible would never reach their ears,
    But arguing with the Bible just reinforces that mentality that truth lies in their anthology than in other religious anthologies or even non-religious writing.
    Necessary evil, I guess.
    Again, well said, of course.