Jesus, the church, and CPR

"CPR" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“CPR” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


My thoughts about Jesus, the Christ, have radically changed. So this cartoon would mean something totally different to me today than it would have, say, ten years ago.

I think we can at least agree that the church could use a serious resuscitation by the teachings of Jesus.


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25 Responses

  1. Adam Julians says:

    Good point and great illustration of it with your cartoon. Though I would say both our views are expressed through the looking glass of being western. It would be interesting to hear views of different parts of the world which I suspect would offer a different perspective.

    Nevertheless although there are some pockets of life in churches in the West, it seems common for many to be as if there is a need for oxygen to be breathed into asthmatic lungs, sadly

  2. RollieB says:

    David, are you sure Jesus wants to resuscitate the church. Perhaps he wouldn’t mind if the current facsimile of church went away and a new organic church took its place. I see a cartoon where Jesus shows up at church with a demolition crew and then a construction crew. Just an idea…

  3. Good question Rollie.

    Yes Adam I do generalize.

  4. Gary says:

    RollieB makes a great point. I am of the opinion that the church should not be revived as I do not believe it represents it’s true calling and has not for many centuries.

  5. I like Stringfellow’s, Brueggeman’s, Wink’s, and other prophetic voices’ idea that the church is a creature, like all creatures, and must be prophetically challenged and restore itself to, as you say Gary, its true calling.

  6. Adam Julians says:

    I passionately agree with your comment about prophetic challenge David with the caveat that not everyone that claims to be a prophet is one.

    Yes, in agreement. Sadly I think you have a good point too Gary for much of the church that is too far gone and will simply just have to be left to die off.

    At the same time, I’d hate to write all of the church off if there are parts of it where breathing in oxygen perhaps with prophetic voices you talk of David could bring about restoration of life.

  7. Gary says:

    Sounds funny to hear myself say this…but I would support a church reincarnated. 😉

  8. Bernado says:

    Adopting the Jefferson Bible or that of Professor Gerd Ludemann (see his version of the NT in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 694-695, where he lists the NT passages that are judged to be authentic –5% of the current version of the NT) would be a good place to start the CPR.

    Other possibilities would be the Jesus Seminar’s version published as the Five Gospels (1993) and the Acts of Jesus (1998).

  9. RollieB says:

    The church we left about a year ago is holding its last (closing) service at the end of December. Several of us now worship with other like-minded folks in a private home. Last Sunday there were 17 of us. We call ourselves The Dones. None of us can picture ourselves sitting in a pew ever again. There’s something wrong with institutional “church.”

  10. Gary says:

    Although Jefferson rejected the triune deity of orthodox Christianity, he did believe in a supreme being which sustained the Universe. He boldly stated that we should question everything, even the existence of god. (I totally agree) But his writings suggest he was a man who ultimately rejected the claims of Christianity without rejecting the presence of a creator. In other words…he was a man of reason rather than blind dogma.

    Rather interesting to see his work used to support the notion of blindly dogmatic atheism.

  11. I think that story is familiar with a lot of people RollieB.

  12. Bernardo says:

    After starting with Jefferson’s Bible et al for some religious CPR, one should finish with a good dose of Buffett, Gates, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Philip Roth, Hitchens, Hawking and Dawkins.

  13. Fundamentalists from the Other Side.

  14. RollieB says:

    Our group of Dones are really wide open theologically. Some quite traditional. Many perennialists. At least one Druid. The discussion is rich and thought provoking. Those who are still strongly Christian are often those who ask the clarifying questions. But the commonality of a creative force being real holds us together.

  15. Adam Julians says:

    That sounds great RollieB.

    With some counsel about me being creative and finding belonging in creative environments this is where I direct my passion now. I still attend church but one with a good minister (pastor) who teaches well and where I can have a high level of autonomy and keep out of the politics. I go to a Christian meditation group where we have some great conversations.

    This clip about says it for me.

  16. Adam Julians says:

    What was that you said to me about feeding the troll Gary?


  17. Gary says:

    You’ll note Adam that I did not address the troll directly. I think providing accurate information on something to correct a misrepresentation is very much different then engaging a troll directly and hoping for a reasoned response. I don’t give a fuck how the troll responds…my comment was not intended to garner a response from him. He is nothing more than a closed minded simpleton blinded by radical dogma. And I don’t pretend that he will suddenly start engaging other posters with any semblance of intellect or civility.

  18. Adam Julians says:

    I hear you Gary so that would be you taking an indirect approach to “correct a misrepresentation ” whereas you perceive my direct approach as “feeding the troll” in order to “garner a response from him “.

    I’m not gonna argue with you over this.

    Interesting point you make about Jefferson being a man of reason who rejected the “claims of Christianity ” and not a creator.

  19. Gary says:

    If you truly do not understand the distinction between posting factual information to clear up misleading information, and of actually engaging a troll in conversation then…yeah, I think avoiding trying to argue with me is a good choice on your part. 🙂

  20. Adam Julians says:

    Thanks for making it clear about what your perception is about how I come across in this regard and what your engagement is Gary.

  21. Gary says:

    Aren’t you just too cute…LOL

  22. Adam Julians says:

    Everyone forms their own opinion and that happens to be your’s Gary.

    Whatever I say or do I am not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and I’m ok with that.

  23. Adam Julians says:


    You wanted me not to be “engaging a troll in conversation.” I and others, David and Caryn have talked with Bernardo. I don’t understand why you have chosen to direct your comments towards me and not made them general to everyone.

    You have responded indirectly to his comments to “correct a misrepresentation” where mine has been direct. I will give you that. So yes I’m not going to argue with you about whether that is engaging with him or not. Was your last comment an intention to make what I am doing out to be silly, lacking in internet savvy, lacking in self awareness or something? I have not done what you want with Bernardo and it appears to me that you trying to make it look as if there is something lacking in my approach for not doing as you say.

    That’s OK Gary, I’m used to this kind of thing happening online. David has kindly given me helpful advice before to have a thick skin and not let myself be derailed by anyone in online conversation. But I would have found it more interesting to have a conversation about what you said about the church not being revived and what you mentioned about Jefferson rejecting “claims” of Christianity without rejecting the presence of a creator.

  24. Gary says:

    Adam, that conversation might (and still could) have been possible. .But I will remind you that my comment about not feeding the troll was a general observation for the benefit of everyone. You made it personal with your cutsie post throwing my words in my face above, which was why I responded with a clarification. (I even overlooked all of your mockingly dismissive responses before about how cute he was and that he made a good “pet”) I don’t recall David or Caryn mocking me with my words the way you have chosen to as they seemed to recognize that my comment about feeding a troll was my view and respected that. Whether they choose to take that advice or disregard it is of course entirely up to them. I would have had no reason to engage you about it at all had you followed their example. Instead you chose to infer I was some sort of hypocrite and I responded. You keep jabbing at me about something and guess what Einstein, eventually I am going to respond and it may be rather direct.

    Perhaps you need to work harder at taking David’s advice. If I criticize or disagree with someone’s stated view I expect they will respond and it may not be to my liking. It seems as if that is a lesson you have yet to learn.

    You know Adam, once you finally dropped the martyr woe is me because I was neglected syndrome and started posting views without all the emotional baggage you became a thoughtful (if not a little verbose…lol) participant here. I do hope this does not signal your intent to start playing the victim role all over again.

  25. Adam Julians says:

    I think we have both been “cutise” Gary.

    Any of my comments that have been like that have been done with a smile on my face, and a twinkle in my eye, like I do with a friend. I had hoped we could banter but it hasn’t worked out that way. If I have misrepresented your words then I apologise.

    I think I David has indulge me enough with my part in the conversation with you Gary and I have no wish to outstay his welcome on this.

    I would enjoy talking with you about Jefferson etc and to have friendly banter if possible. In my experience this kind of thing more often is possible with folks who show as much willing to take on board constructive criticism as to share opinion and critique others.