Is the box you think within complimentary?

"Complimentary Box" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Complimentary Box” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

own this cartoon

As you can see, this cartoon is about six years old. It’s still one of my favorites, as well as the favorite of many others. In fact, the original of this one was sold when it first came out to a father who bought it for his daughter.

Don’t let your thinking get stuck!


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23 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    For so many years my thinking never wanted to go outside that box. I was proud of the fact that I was not even tempted to wander out. It was a badge of faith worn proudly and displayed for others to see. I looked down on those whose faith was so weak they could not stay in the box. When the logic of my box began to unravel it was a scary time for sure.

    The world is so much bigger now. Life is so much fuller now. It is even easier to love people now. And clearly my concept of God is HUGE now.

    One of my favorites as well!! 🙂

  2. Brigitte says:

    What an infomercial Gary. Your God is obviously bigger and better than my God. My God rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. VERY small.

    “If we would sincerely pray the Lord’s Prayer and ask for our daily bread, God would surely hear us and send us fine, capable, and learned spiritual leaders. We are at fault more than they. These days we find people whom God punishes by so hardening their hearts that they not only fail to recognize our untrained clergy as a plague, but even take delight in despising them and making light of this deserved plague of God, whereas they should really be weeping bloody tears, if this were possible, over such a serious and severe plague inflicted on us by God. I want you to know that God has never yet punished the world more harshly than by allowing blind and ignorant leaders to exist, who destroy us by withholding the Word of God and our bread. Let the Turks be Turks. This plague surpasses them. Woe unto us for not realizing this and praying for it to cease!

    “On the other hand, God has never been more gracious to the world than when he granted it well-informed and devoted spiritual leaders, who supplied this Word daily and abundantly. Christendom, and every Christian soul, is born in and through the Word of God. Therefore they must also be nourished, preserved, and protected by it. Without it, they will perish more wretchedly than does the body when deprived of its physical bread.” –Luther

  3. Gary says:


    As I believe someone else tried to communicate with you recently…I share from my own experience and my perspectives. The fact that you seem to feel slighted by my reminiscing about my personal growth is a reflection on you…not on me. What you read INTO my comments apparently comes from the chip you seem to be carrying around on your shoulder, and your snarky comment to me reveals much.

    For the record “My God” also rode that same donkey.

  4. Tom says:

    Its true those that think outside their religions box are few and of those few even fewer expose themselves as thinking outside the box for fear of rejection by churches and other religious organizations.

  5. Caryn LeMur says:

    For me, rethinking within the box was my craft and skill for many years.

    But when many people began to post original documents on the Internet, in free libraries for your own review, I took a chance. I read to see if what other authors proposed, checked out in the original documents.

    The box unraveled for me. For a time, I grieved its loss. But the chance to have community with so many people just blossomed for me. I embraced that opportunity, and have not looked back since.

  6. Caryn LeMur says:

    For example, I studied the art of ‘victim blaming’. I had no idea that it was common-place among the church culture.

    The abuser simply says, ‘it is your own fault, you should have been doing X. Because you do not do X, you got what you deserved. Therefore, you should change – and not me.’

    Take for example the above quote attributed to Martin Luther. I will break it down:

    It is your own fault: “We are at fault more than they.”

    You should have been doing X: “If we would sincerely pray the Lord’s Prayer and ask for our daily bread….”

    Because you do not do X, you got what you deserved: “These days we find people whom God punishes by so hardening their hearts that they ….” “God has never yet punished the world more harshly than by allowing blind and ignorant leaders to exist”… (in short, God is punishing you – you are getting what you deserved)

    Therefore, you should change – and not me : The first part is very implied by the entire statement. However, Martin threw himself into the victim group… so, he is not directly saying that he (Martin) will not change.

    In short, this is a great example of ‘victim blaming’ going all the way back to Martin Luther.

    In this quote, Martin is blaming himself and all of us for corrupt spiritual leaders. We all got what we deserved – inept leaders – because we were not praying the Lord’s Prayer often enough and/or sincerely enough.

    Yes… if only we said, “Give us this day our daily bread” with more sincerity, then wonderful things would have happened… instead, God is justly punishing us for not praying sincerely…

    This is part of our victim-blaming church culture. It is incredibly a deep thread running within the American Church culture.

    Why do we have corrupt Televangelists? – it is because we did not pray “Give us this day our daily bread” with enough sincerity.

    Why do we have a plague of inept Christian Leaders? – – it is because we did not pray “Give us this day our daily bread” with enough sincerity.

    The fix is not to challenge the leader, but to be silent, and pray in secret all the more…..

    Be silent… be silent… go and pray… it is your fault….


  7. Gary says:

    Curious…Why would someone dislike David simply saying thank you to me for stating it is one of my favorites??


  8. Gary says:

    Caryn…LOVE your last comment. I’m done with the victim blaming game too.

  9. Brigitte says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing, every, Caryn. I can only blame it on post-modern bliders. If anyone ever did anything to promote knowledge among the common people, the translate books into the vernacular language, to oppose oppressors far and wide through education, putting his life on the line, etc. etc. goodness gracious it’s the 500 anniversary of the Reformation. REFORMATION. But it all begins with prayer. And it begins with humility and with looking at what I am doing wrong (now), not just in the past. It’s this constant, “I am so much better now” chorus that is so nauseating. “Victim-blaming” is just another catch-phrase. Ya, it occurs, but to find it in this instance is true blindness.

  10. Brigitte says:

    Pastor Harrison’s Wednesday in Holy Week meditation is on the top: Dare to see yourself in Judas.

    I dare you. I dare me.

  11. Shazza tha dazzla says:

    Really Brigitte??? Wow. I don’t know how you can call what Caryn wrote “blindness”.

    Read Martin Luther’s life. Yes he made some good changes, but he was also a man who was blind to a lot of the harm he did as well. Read about all the peasants who died thanks to good old Martin! No-one’s perfect, and I doubt that he was even aware of his own biases, but history certainly displays them if we’re honestly willing to look. Perhaps Brigitte none of us is aware of our biases???

    I would call Martin Luther’s quote “Just World Theory”. Another way people and organisations limit their thinking. “The world is a just place. If you do the wrong thing, bad happens. If you do the right thing, good happens”. It suits us. It’s black and white. And it is totally simplistic and untrue. Jesus tried to put the disciples right when they tried to espouse it.

    “Why was this man born blind? Who sinned?” Poor Jesus tried to set them straight, but still we hang on to this belief because it gives us a sense of control. But in reality? Bad things happen to good people who don’t deserve it, and good things to bad. It isn’t fair! And bad church leaders exist, and stay there because people are so caught up in their narrow beliefs about what God is or isn’t doing, that they can’t see what is bleedingly obvious to others.

  12. Brigitte says:

    Well, Shazza, I am taking the admontion to heart. I will pray more for the things that I think the world needs, not less.

  13. Shazza tha dazzla says:

    And so will I!

  14. Gary says:

    Victim blaming is ugly…perhaps ugliest when it is directed at one’s self. Martin Luther had some cool strengths, but in other ways he was quite confused.

    Martin Luther and Copernicus
    Dec 18, 2006 by Gary DeMar 0 Comments

    The war between religion and science has mostly been manufactured. The following is attributed to Luther and appears in his Table Talk series and is hardly representative of the scholarship found in 90 volumes of his published works.

    “There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. But that is how things are nowadays: when a man wishes to be clever he must . . . invent something special, and the way he does it must needs be the best! The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth.” `Martin Luther

    He was of course…just a man.

  15. Gary says:

    And that was by someone seeking to defend Luther…but yet still the statement stands. Luther, like all men and women, was bound by the limits of his own understanding.

  16. Brigitte says:

    Google harder Gary. The Wittenberg university sent a man to study with Copericus, even though Lutherans were not allowed in Catholic lands.

  17. Brigitte says:

    Also a table talk is not a reliable source, certainly not something that is a teaching or sermon, or confessional material. Someone wrote down something he supposedly said over dinner at home.

  18. Caryn LeMur says:

    Interesting that a ‘Table Talk’ is a statement by an eyewitness, and that Brigitte offers that eyewitness accounts are not considered reliable within the Lutheran tradition. However, I would tend to agree that a statement by Martin himself would carry more weight than an eyewitness of his words.

    Also, I see in my Internet research, that it is possible that Martin used the ‘table talks’ to force conversation among students. So, it is possible that Martin was being sarcastic to playing devil’s advocate.

    That said, I studied the reference from Brigitte. I find that Wittenberg University did not ‘send’ Rheticus. Rather, this quote from Rheticus himself:

    “Rheticus wrote:

    I heard of the fame of Master Nicolaus Copernicus in the northern lands, and although the University of Wittenberg had made me a Public Professor in those arts, nonetheless, I did not think that I should be content until I had learned something more through the instruction of that man. And I also say that I regret neither the financial expenses nor the long journey nor the remaining hardships. Yet, it seems to me that there came a great reward for these troubles, namely. that I, a rather daring young man compelled this venerable man to share his ideas sooner in this discipline with the whole world. ”

    It appears that Rheticus sent his own self to study under Copernicus, and to compel publishing of Copernicus’ works.

  19. Caryn LeMur says:

    Continuing with the theme that Martin was just a man – with brilliance and bigotry.

    Concerning the latter, the following link will draw from Martin’s own statements.

    And we will see a man filled with hatred towards the Jews:

    “In 1543 Luther published [a book titled] “On the Jews and Their Lies” in which he says that the Jews are a “base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth.”[13]

    They are full of the “devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine.”[14]

    The synagogue was a “defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut …”[15]

    He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness,[16] afforded no legal protection,[17] and these “poisonous envenomed worms” should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time.[18] ”

    I find it of interest the following statement (same link as above):

    “In 1983 The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod denounced Luther’s “hostile attitude” toward the Jews.[91] At the same time, the LCMS in convention also rejected the use of Luther’s statements to incite “anti-Lutheran sentiment”.[92]

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in an essay on Lutheran-Jewish relations, observed that “Over the years, Luther’s anti-Jewish writings have continued to be reproduced in pamphlets and other works by neo-Nazi and antisemitic groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan.”[93]

    I offer that Martin was just a man. Gary has offered that Martin was bound by the limits of his own understanding…. and I add, also by the limits of his own bigotry.

    What is the point of all this? Simply this:

    Martin was human, just as we are. We need to see the good, bad, and ugly of the “Reformation”.

    We need to examine carefully the quotes of Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church, and look for the good, and the bad, within those quotes.

    The Lutheran church has learned to reject some of Martin’s teachings – – we should practice due diligence, and do no less.

  20. Brigitte says:

    Nobody said Luther was not just a man. The head of the “Lutheran” church is Jesus Chris, as of the entire Church, whom it was we wanted to have faithful teachers about, when we started out this thread. “Lutheran” was originally a put down as a name, as to denote a heresy.

    Since Luther is a voluminous writer himself, we need not depend on table talks to extract doctrinal teachings. Any serious interest in that regard should take itself to the Book of Concord, which is easily found on-line, or more simply to the catechisms which are also found, there. A whole library of very engaging sermon exists. They are worth discussing as are the Bible commentaries. The table talks are often fun, but as we said not confessional material.

  21. terri jo says:

    Yes another thought-provoking cartoon. You know, David, your “cartoons” are not so funny like haha. And again, loaded with meaning for me. Yes I see I have been in many boxes throughout LIFE, not just amidst the faith boxes. Boxes at places of employment. Boxes in social groups. These boxes were safe places for me, as I emerged into the middle part of my life with many false beliefs (I must confirm or else it will be social death!). Also affected by heavy trauma, and miniscule self-worth. I survived at best, well confined to many boxes. Suffocating and trapped, but I knew what the expectations were, and for that I was grateful. After many incarnations of the Higher Power as my 12 Step Box beckoned me to discover….. I needed the so-called 12 step box to show me a different way. To demonstrate that there was a life possible free of chaos, pain and sedation. That there was a power greater than the evils of addiction. I eventully found the teachings of Christ Jesus. It is enough, it is everything, it is food. For me. I am not resonsible or in charge of anyone else, including my husband. He follows a different path. We meet in the middle with patience forgiveness truth and love, alongside of some squabbling and disagrrement as we both have potential for rebellion and arrogance. Beautiful teachings and examples abound. Jesus is my example one day at a time.

  22. Sometimes I can do funny haha 😉