Aw… Baby Jesus takes on Satan!

"Baby Jesus takes on Satan" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Baby Jesus takes on Satan” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Some people view the coming of Jesus as the launching of some kind of purity culture where we should become obsessed with personal sins.

But what if the story is more interested in the usurping of power, the annihilation of controlling people, and the end of deceit to achieve noble ends?

Like this cartoon attempts to illustrate, Jesus is pointing forward to the greatest display of apparent powerlessness. The Jesus story is clear that it isn’t a show of strength, but the display of what appears to be weakness that defeats the principalities and powers that dehumanize people.

My concern is that the church is the perfect culture for the principalities and powers to play. In fact, I claim the church is a power that often gives in to the forces of evil that the story of Jesus exposed. My experience and observation is that the church is a safe haven for abuse, manipulation, control, bullying, and strong-armed tactics that chew people up and spit them out, leaving countless voiceless victims in its wake.

Until we see and admit that the gravitational pull of all institutions is towards the dehumanization of people, and until we exercise due diligence in addressing it, then the forces of evil win.


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4 Responses

  1. Caryn LeMur says:

    One of the theories of motivation, is that people are driven by Status, Power, and/or Peer Approval.

    My reading of the Gospels shows that status can be obtained by giving and praying in secret; power comes to the quiet servant; and god’s approval is upon those that work among the wounded, poor, widows, orphans, hungry, thirsty, sick, prisoners, homeless, and unclothed.

    In that sense, the church institution may still succeed if they change their emphasis from attendance and building projects, being ‘in the spot light’ and hating other people’s “sins”, and avoidance of the locally wounded, downtown poor, the widows among us, the children of single mothers, and so forth.

    In that sense, the church institution needs to beat its sword into a plow. With small steps, the battleship can become a hospital ship.

  2. nexar says:

    Caryn you are ‘hoping’ for what David is showing is NOT available from the church. I think you are both on the same page except you are hoping that the ‘church institution’ will change and David is somewhat sadly accepting that it isn’t going to.

  3. Caryn LeMur says:

    Ah, Nexar… perhaps I am too hopeful… but it is hope in theory.

    In reality, I’ve abandoned the church institution in order to make my own hospital ship, so to speak.

    It will be up to other sailors to stay on board, and try to change its course.

    I have watched David Hayward grow an amazing community on The Lasting Supper… so, he too is building an outstanding hospital ship. The whole, the wounded, the seeking… David allows them all on his ‘ship’. He allows them all to ‘comfort others with the comfort God gave them in their distress’… so, there is little preaching (as such), but much healing.

    In that sense, David Hayward is well ahead of me. He has my admiration as a pioneer of the Emerging Church… which has turned out to be an emerging community of equal voices.

  4. grant says:

    I’m thinking that all groups and individuals who see themselves as Church, will make the following choice: 1) Center their focus on a list of correct doctrines. laws, commandments and behaviours, or 2) Center their focus on love (i.e. self-donating, god-inspired love). When they choose 1, they devolve into a thousand different sects all arguing, fighting and even killing one another in the name of Righteousness. If they choose 2, they have the potential to fundamentally change themselves, everyone around them and eventually the world – for the better. History shows us which choice most people usually make.