Jesus, the law, and what are we doing?

"Oppressive Laws" by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Oppressive Laws” by nakedpastor David Hayward

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Jesus was to have said, “You’ve heard it said, but I say unto you…”. It was about liberating people from oppressive laws. It was about freeing people to live a life of love rather than a life of legalities.

The gospel stories of Jesus (whether they are historical or not, it doesn’t matter) describe a new way of living. I don’t mean according to just a new set of rules. I mean by upsetting old ones that dominate, control, and limit people in their freedoms.

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14 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    I get it David, you imagine Jesus as a symbol for social change and all loving acceptance. Good enough. People imagine the Buddha and Krishna similarly. Some look at Martin Luther King that way and more. Some people need their heroes as models to inspire themselves — I guess.

    But of course the (practically unknowable) historically Jesus didn’t abolish anything. He said some things, but they never caught on. He had no power. His claim that the son of man would return proved false, his hope for God to handle everything failed. He wasn’t an activist at all — he was a cult leader. He felt if you were inclusive, sold everything, gave up family and trusted God to take care of everything, then all would be OK. His mistake surprised himself and he was killed.

    He only had a small band of followers who had almost no impact on social structures. Jerusalem was destroyed a few decades years later. And hundreds of years later, even after accidentally becoming a state religion, the impact of his teachings did little to slavery or women’s rights.

    Heck Stoic philosophy or any number of other ideologies may have had the same impact or better had they prospered under a different set of historical accidents.

    Believer idealize what Jesus did, or they justify his minuscule impact by always looking forward to him coming back, establishing magical kingdom where all bad will be abolished.

    I don’t think the historical Jesus is really that great of an ideal to imitate at all.

    I also think lots of pastors really don’t believe anyway — they get the game, they are not in it to model after that cult leader. They are in it to be leaders — to have people listen to them while they wave the religion wand.

  2. esbee says:

    God will set his people free! And I wonder if what I see happening to the Duggars and what happened to their guru, Bill Gothard, is the tip of the iceberg where people will finally find out and see how Jesus fulfilled the law, thus freeing people from its bondage. (You do not have to be a Duggar to be a good Christian. You can have 0 children, too many cats, a messy house like me and still know that God loves you and does not require wearing dresses or making tator tot casserole (gag!) to be a good wife!

    Gothard’s teachings involve rules upon rules all dealing with the outward, dress, hair, smiling, bright eyes, no birth control or dating, no higher education for girls who must stay in the home until the father decides what they should do, how God blesses and is happy with you if you do such and such, so many rules, those who really wanted to please God were under the weight of things they could never accomplish…plus the male regime and women having to be careful not to defraud men by their dress or looks made it so easy for sexual predatory behaviors to take hold and the woman at fault for the man’s problems and such…ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder some of the children of this regime became athiests.

    Both Gothard and now Josh Duggar, and another family I personally know, who raised their family in the gothard way have had problems with sexual perversions and been caught. Victims finally coming forward.

  3. Ducatihero says:

    Your cartoon is excellent David with showing passion of Jesus expressed for releasing of the oppressed into freedom with those that don’t “get it”.

    So much of our pain (we all carry pain) results from the action of individuals going back to our earliest days and from society’s programming of us. Most of us have been strongly influenced by these since birth and have great difficulty in finding freedom we have not yet experienced the necessary renewing of mind.

    We take social institutions and rules very seriously. Society is heavily invested in keeping our minds occupied so we will not experience a renewal of the mind. Such investment often causes sickness – fixations on peculiar protocols, power structures, taboos and domination – all subtle forms of human bondage. This insanity can not only be tolerated by most of us but can be insisted upon it to the point of making what is wise appear to be foolishness and what is foolishness to appear wise.

    We can believe in social influences so forcefully we become willing to destroy anyone who offers a freeing, secure and loving alternative.

    Those of us that break out of this programming call other’s bluff, comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable, helping those of us who are lost.

    Real security and perfect love can never be found in any human or human movement. Instead, Jesus reveals divine truth and love, leaving a legacy.

  4. Doug Sloan says:

    The constant tension throughout the Bible is between the demand for us to be individuals of legalistic obedience and ritual purity, on one side and on the other, the call for us to be a community of justice and compassion. The Prophets, Jesus, the Disciples, and the beginning Church make it very clear that we are to be the later.

  5. Sabio: I thought of this just after I posted it… that people might assume this is my belief… when what I MEANT to say was, “According to Christian theology…”, which is how I might preface such things in the future.

  6. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ David,

    Interesting that you thought the same after posting it.
    I guess the cartoon then is meant for a corrective using inside language.
    Liberal Christians tell others how to live based on their make-believe Jesus, just like Conservatives do with theirs. When will people stop playing the make believe game and just talk to each other.

    Each group banks on using old stories — I see Hindus, Muslims and more do this. Heck, in the USA they use the “founding fathers” in the same way.

    So it seems like hero worship, ancient authority and much more are tempting items people keep using even as their religion supposedly changes or disappears.

    If Jesus existed at all — he was a weird dude.

  7. Ducatihero says:

    “a new way of living… by upsetting old ones that dominate, control, and limit people in their freedoms.”

    Julie McMahon
    April 27, 2015 at 5:53 pm
    I am just one casualty… I am sorry for all who have been mistreated and tossed aside… It’s wrong…

    “I would be crushed without my faith”

    (DH – Ducatihero, NP – Naked Pastor)

    DH “I am in favour of recovering the biblical understanding of shaming in the sense that “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” 1 cor 1:27… as an encouragement to anyone who is a victim (and therefore considered weak in the eyes of the world) that there is a greater power to call on in order to shame… any person in a position of power in the church that is using their power to oppress rather than serve… Does that help or hinder?”

    NP “I think that helps… Yes, I understand where you’re coming from.”

    So, David, you think it helps to recover a biblical understanding, that survivors of victim-hood (like Julie is) who would have been crushed without her faith according to her to know there is a power to call on in order to shame.

    I respect that you are adverse to any labeling of you. I hear what Sabio freely thinks I will understand you better if I think of you as an unbeliever and I hear that you are thought of as an unbeliever form what you freely say. It surprises me that you comment to Sabio about people assuming it is your belief given what you have expressed about not caring what people think of you. It doesn’t surprise me that you should be referring to Jesus with your experience as a pastor and Christians being your people or feeling that they are your people.

    I have learned to be content with what I don’t understand – to be in the cloud of unknowing.

    Having quoted from scripture, likewise there may be some who think of me as a so -called “believer” or “biblical Christian”.

    Well, when biblical Christian means that it matters to be favour of the biblical understanding quoted and having faith then I plead guilty, gladly. Also I kinda find that I bond with people who are either like that or regard it with respect, the collective consciousness, it’s good, sound, loving and powerful.

    If the culture you are in doesn’t like biblical Christians, you are in real trouble.

  8. Gary says:

    “Christian” belief is often shown the least respect of all here.

    No David…I don’t mean you.

  9. Ducatihero says:

    Gary,

    I wonder if there is something in what you say about that.

    I did have an opinion at one time that there was discrimination happening here against “Christians” and an unwilling to listen or welcome such. I had decided to leave here, however as David had mentioned he was sorry to see me go and Serbio had mentioned it would be “cool” to hear the opinion of someone he calls a “believer” then I decided to come back.

    I had then formed the opinion that perhaps I had been mistaken about such discrimination before, but now I am not so sure.

    I don’t know about discrimination explicitly with David but I have noticed that with the instance of arousal I was vulnerable about, he did describe it as an “issue” for me, and when you talked about your arousal and then mentioned that arousal is nothing to be ashamed of he was supportive of it.

    If “Christian” belief is shown the least respect of all here then surely David as owner of the blog has a responsibility to address that. If that’s not addressed then surely that is no better than how some of us here have expressed our experiences of church with being made out to be a troublemaker, not being nice etc.

    I know David to be worthy of respect with being fair about acknowledging ownership, my guess is that if there is any disproportional disrespect being shown to any group of people he will be concerned about that and want to address it.

    Copy of the conversation below.

    Nakedpastor David Hayward
    June 1, 2015 at 6:40 am
    Ducatihero: The fact that you were sexually aroused is your issue.

    Gary
    June 3, 2015 at 9:00 am
    arousal is completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of.

    Nakedpastor David Hayward
    June 3, 2015 at 9:27 am
    I agree Gary. Arousal is natural. And good.

  10. Sabio Lantz says:

    Ducatihero is so desperate to be heard, to be acknowledged and to get David to confess to being a Christian. Always trying to defend your favorite stories , your favorite self-images, seems like such a burden. Quoting David over-and-over, begging for confession is so pathetic. Seriously ?

    If David were discussing Hinduism, or Islam or Sciencism or any New Age-ism or any thing else that required right-belief and alliance to key phrases, I would jump in there to stir up the assumptions. Nothing special about Christianity — it is just another one of those. Don’t worry, you are not special.

  11. Ducatihero says:

    I laughed when I saw your first comment Sabio and I felt embarrassed for you. I counted over 20 assumptions in your comment – all opinion, about facts none being back up with factual evidence. Unsupported arguments make weak assertions.

    Again truth must be established by facts not opinion.

    Anyone can just as easily say that you are desperate, trying to defend and having a burden, begging and being pathetic and that it is ironic that you should be accusing anyone else of these things without any evidence to prove that is happening and it would be just as valid as what you are proposing.

    My horrendously uncool view is that those who appear to be weak in the world can shame those that appear to be strong in keeping with the bible verse I quoted. I irrationally affirm my lazy acquiescence to what Julie mentioned about being crushed if it were not for her faith. I justify my careless complacency and lack of effort by reference to all these powerful spokespersons who always seem to be right.

  12. Gary says:

    I actually applaud David for using restraint in NOT addressing it so to speak as I believe attempts by a moderator to control dialogue only weakens the blog. But as you have seen…there are some who appear desperate to ridicule and mock any who espouse belief in a higher power. Still I would not call on David to try to control it unless it digresses to the arena of personal attacks as I think it becomes pretty evident that personal bias driven mockery often reveals motives and as such the reader can effectively filter the comments. (Of course what constitutes a personal attack is highly subjective) 😉

  13. Ducatihero says:

    I hear what you are saying Gary and respect the points you are making. The one about subjectivity is an important one 🙂

  14. purvez says:

    Hehehe!! I love this cartoon. I can almost imagine the man with his hands folded across next to Jesus thinking:

    ‘Who is this idiot….interfering in OUR religion!!?’

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