Jesus, the Church, and identity theft

"Identity Theft" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Identity Theft” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

The church claims to be the body of Christ. It claims to be the presence of Jesus in the world.

How’s it doing?

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10 Responses

  1. Adam Julians says:

    It’s probably doing the way it always has done with varying degrees of being the presence of Jesus in the world and a pseudo Christ like bunch of false prophets and false teachers and followers.

  2. Caryn LeMur says:

    One of the key questions to me is this: do we structure the military to win wars, or to promote from within?

    I was part of the peace-time military in the US. It became inward-facing: promotions and training were the emphasis. And then, in the background, the officers created small kingdoms, and promoted from within their kingdom. The mental stress of ‘remote tours’ was handled poorly to fairly well.

    Twenty years after I resigned my commission, we had completed 9 years of war in the Middle East. ‘Engaging the enemy successfully’ had become the goal. Massive restructuring had happened. Rethinking of training had ensued. Promotions included combat tours in reality. Wounded soldiers were a reality, and were being addressed… and mental stress was PTSD, not just a remote location.

    Real war changes the way we think.

    The structure conforms to the real goal.

    When Jesus said that the battlefields (that mattered to him) were the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the sick, the prisoner, and those in need of clothing – – he essentially invited church institutions to ‘make war’. This is repeated 4 times in the Parable of the Sheep and Goats – an unheard of approach to story telling at that time.

    Where is the elder in charge of the food pantry? Where is the elder in charge of reaching the homeless?

    Where is the elder that organizes the hospital visitation and is at the lead? Where is the elder that ensures the men’s and women’s prison is visited by herself and others?

    Where is the elder that ensures clothing donations happen, and are distributed?

    Which elder runs (or works with) the AA and AlAnon and NA that uses the facility? Is she trained? Is there a subsidy program for LCSW marriage counselors (perhaps 50% paid by the church and 50% by the couple)? How are we handling our wounded (poorly or fairly well)?

    When the peace-time church determines the battlefields are the worship team, the tithe, the new building project, the coffee bar at the front, and the next series of ‘how to win people to Christ’ – – coupled with ‘labeling’ the wounded as ‘sinners’ and exercising avoidance, insistence on only repentance, and isolation – – the structure conforms to the goal. And the church ultimately implodes.

    Real war changes the way we think.

    The structure conforms to the real goal.

  3. Adam Julians says:

    It’s interesting that you talk in in terms of “real war” Caryn and contrast with the empire building with the “small kingdoms”.

    So yes in the light of the OP to what extent is there the kingdom of heaven building and heaven suffering violence and violent men taking hold of it with empire building.

    Watching the news last night about the killings in Paris, I was aware of the fear that engendered and the rhetoric of retribution form David Cameron. At the same time, I saw people coming together in the spirit of freedom, equality and fraternity that the French are proud of.

    I also see Creflo Dollar now getting funds for his $70 million executive jet to facilitate “aggressive” “preaching”. I speak with a Nigerian of wealthy false teachers in her home country getting rich off the backs of the suffering of those they preach to, desperate for hope, even if the hope is false.

    I like the way the apostle Paul put it about those that care only for themselves but make out to be the presence of Jesus as uprooted autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead. Does he not say to Timothy to have noting to do with them?

    Let’s hope people get that message?

  4. purvez says:

    David this is BY FAR the BEST, MOST SATIRICAL CARTOON you’ve ever done.

    Thanks SO SO VERY MUCH for the giggles. Trying to get myself off the lfloro. There does the last word prove it?

  5. Your work is incredible. When is this identity theft piece going on etsy?

  6. Z says:

    Today on my way to work, I decided to brave the local Christian radio station in hopes of listening to some Christmas music. I forgot it was Sunday, when they play a church service, but decided to listen anyway. The sermon, where I tuned in, was about being happy where you are, that if you wait for _x_ to happen before you can be happy, you never will be. Ok, fine, that’s true. Then the pastor continued on to “and if you’re single, thinking marriage will make you happy…” and the entire congregation laughed.
    I am not a violent person nor do I normally curse. But there were many words as I punched my dashboard. Let me tell you why.
    As a single person over the age of 24, I do not feel welcome in the church. I am a joke. The one time I managed to say that out loud, I was actually told to “get a boyfriend, then”. The church seems to expect me (and others) to go away and not come back until a wedding is imminent. (and yet, one church spent years telling me not to date, but then turned around and pretty much said my worth as a woman means only as much as my worth to a man. Even the liberal church I grew up in doesn’t know what to do with me – I got shoved off to the little kids’ table…when I was 26). Here’s the other problem: I don’t need – or want, right now – a romantic relationship. I am mostly happy to be single. What I need are friends and confidants. I need neighbors who can be references for job searches. I need a place to join, to sing, to listen, a place where I can use my talents, to help others.
    And what I keep finding is people who tell me, by words or actions, that I am not important enough for them to care. That I cannot possibly have anything to offer without a significant other (of any gender). That is why I stopped going to church 4 years ago, because people were poisoning my relationship with a God who I know does care. How do I see God’s hands if nobody wants my help and nobody wants me, and all my problems aren’t as real as their problems, because they’re married and I’m not? Yes, I realize being married comes with its own set of problems, but being single doesn’t mean you’re somehow free. It means you have to deal with all the problems on your own. Nobody will ever be there with a hug after a tough day.

    What I desperately need is a community – the presence of Jesus in this world. And every time I try to come back, I get kicked in the soul.

    Don’t come back until you have a boyfriend. We don’t know what to do with you.

  7. Powerful, Z! Interesting… but this morning I woke up with a cartoon idea… not developed yet… about “10 signs that indicate you are probably a woman in the church”… something like that… and one of them was exactly your point! Thanks for this.

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