Has the church lost its head?

"Church Loses Head" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Church Loses Head” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

[Get the ORIGINAL or a PRINT of this cartoon HERE!]

Apparently, this is true for any organization. They lose touch with their roots. They distance themselves from the founder.

Some try to fix this. Some don’t bother. Some don’t even see the need.

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17 Responses

  1. Bernardo says:

    Since only 5-30% of the NT is authentic, he was not much of a founder anyway. Then there is this:

    Paul of Taurus was first of the “necessary accessories”. He recognized early on the great wealth of Roman and Greek Gentiles so he wrote his epistles raising Jesus and his embellished life from the dead and the Gentiles “ate it up”. His promise of the imminent second coming was shear brilliance in gathering much silver and gold (the prime necessary accessory). The Romans got jealous ending the life of the first necessay accessory.

    Pilate, although not the founder of Christianity, was another “necessary accessory i.e. he could have easily sent Jesus to the salt mines.

    Constantine and his swords finished the “necessary accessory” scenario.

  2. Conspiracy theories!!!!! YAY! 😛

  3. Bernardo says:

    Conspiracy theories? No, just the observation that without Pilate, Paul and Constantine, there would be no Christianity.

  4. Adam Julians says:

    Haha – it’s amazing what some people are adamant about believing to be true in spite of contrary evidence and views. It seems in spide of all human advances, progression an the promotion of independence and individual thought, there are still many that are highly conformative to the point of arguing for a system and/or worldview which ultimately is destructive.

    Thankfullly that’s not all there is out there.

  5. Caryn LeMur says:

    I currently believe that:

    So long as Jesus is defined as doctrine, the church will believe it has and it hears the Head.

    And, so long as Jesus is defined as discipline, the church will believe it has and it hears the Head.

    But when Jesus is defined as the friend of the hopeless… the church institution must become deaf …

    lest it experience cognitive dissonance so deeply, that it becomes catatonic;

    or, experiences cognitive dissonance so deeply, that it deconstructs and reconstructs.

    Of those three hells, staying deaf is the safest and is yet the deepest.

  6. Adam Julians says:

    That’s interesting and thought provoking Caryn,

    It is a generalisation of church with the assumption that church expereinces congintive dissonance with being defined as a freind to the hopeless. This will be true in some instances, not in others.

    Equally, conginitive dissonance can result in those opposed to the church even to the potint of not perceiving any good in it when faced with obvious good that happens in churches or para church organisations for example city missions throughtout the world feeding and being a freind to the homeless at Christmas. I am proud (not arrogant) of being in Glasgow, Scotland where the city mission movement started.

    So deconstuction can also be deconstructed. Unless it is resistant to deconstuction which would be ironic if it is.

    Having said that I agree, staying deaf or an over attachment to doctrine or discipline cna be a living (if comfortable) hell and a more dangerous place to be in that the danger of existing in the authenticity of Jesus.

  7. Bernardo says:

    But was Jesus ever the real founder of said church? Many credit Paul for without his bringing the gentile monies into said Christianity, there would be no Christianity.

  8. I mostly agree with you Bernardo, minus the money part.

  9. Adam Julians says:

    I would suggest Bernardo that the clue to the “founder” is the name Christ in “Christianity.” Sometimes truth is simple.

  10. No I don’t agree Adam. Christianity, Christians, and the Church might look to Christ as the founder, but if we’re talking about who intentionally founded a new movement, it would be Paul.

  11. Adam Julians says:

    That’s an interesting nuance David.

    I hold to disagreement not always being bad but never disagreeing is.

    So you would make a distinction between Christianity, Christians, and the Church looking to Christ as founder (which would seem to be consistent with what I propose) but then in terms of “a new movement” would in agreement with Bernardo that Paul is the founder of the church (or “new movement”) whithout which Christianity would not exist.

    Well, I would suggest it is conjecture as to whether Christianity would exist or not if it were not for Paul. I would posit that an argument could be made for the existance of Christianity if Paul had not been invovled as equally valid, therfore this being a moot point.

    As for a “new movement”. Certainly Paul was significant in getting this off the ground but could it be laid claim that he was founder? What about when Paul was Saul, approving of the stoning of Stephen in Acts 8 with only the disciples not being scattered and others preaching wherever they went? Can Paul be considered founder and at the same time a persecutor of the church in its infancy?

    I hear what you are saying David but with respect, I’m not convinced.

  12. A lot of that history isn’t factual. It’s an attempt to describe, in a remarkable story, the rapid development and spread of The Way… followers of Jesus and his teachings… and of Paul’s interpretation and application of that in the Hellenist world.

  13. Adam Julians says:

    Well we are into what is fact and what isn’t then if we go down that path. If we take that approach what to we choose to welcome as true and what do we reject? Without any common gound as what is fact then how can there be an agreement on who is foundational to the church and Christianity.

    So one is left with deciding on a hemeneutic of faith or a hermenutic of suspicion when considering biblical texts. In which case interpretation is open to all and anything. How does any fact get established then? So given this, why consider someting being called “The Way” to be fact and not an “attempt to describe”?

    I suggest that we work with what we have and that either everything in the bible about the infancy of the church is relevant to the discussion here or none of it is. So what are the facts? Fact is the church exists in it;s many forms today and we have an account of it’s origins in the bible. Paul being described as approving of the stoning of Stephen and then later having a conversion expereince and having an important part to play in the infancy of the church is good enough for me with his intepretation and application of Jesus and his teachings in the Hellenistic world. But the account doesn’t show him there at the foundation.

    Therfore, on balance I would adhere to it being a moot point as to whether Paul was founder etc.

    More important, I think, is what you have described as a “remarkable story” of the development and spread of what the bible firstly called followers of the way and later Christians.

  14. We’re not agreed that the bible gives an accurate account of the church’s origins, although we may glean some insights concerning it from it.

  15. Adam Julians says:

    Right. And that is OK 🙂

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