Are you feeling like a black sheep?

"Jesus and Black Sheep" (cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward)
“Jesus and Black Sheep” (cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward)

Order an affordable print of “Jesus and Black Sheep” HERE.

Are you feeling like a black sheep? Part of the reason is because the white sheep are disturbed by the fact that you are enjoying or fighting to enjoy your rights and privileges. Not  your problem!

Ultimately, none are excluded. What ends up happening is that the exclusive ones end up excluding themselves from the party. It’s there problem.

It’s the old parable of the older son fuming outside while his prodigal brother enjoys the party. It was his problem.

Maybe you used to be a white sheep, but because of some decisions you’ve made to set yourself apart and live your own life, you’ve morphed into a black sheep. Well… good for you!

I hang out with a bunch of black sheep at The Lasting Supper, our online community. Come join our party!

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12 Replies to “Are you feeling like a black sheep?”

  1. Nicely done David. Being comfortable in our own skin is dramatically important.

    In the beginning of deconstructing my Christianity, I naturally felt like a black sheep. But now I no longer feel different in a rejected, misunderstood way. Instead, by leaving an exclusive religion that thought about salvation in terms of correct belief, I joined the rest of humanity: a jumbled-up, confused, inconsistent and equal to each other. It is we-are-unique religionists who make the ugly black-white sheep analogy or goats-sheep analogy. The next step in deconstruction is to escape that metaphor totally and personally.

    Just after leaving Christianity, I thought I was a black sheep until I grew real comfortable not being religious and the feeling of being misunderstood disappeared because I didn’t care what religionists thought. It took a while to get there, though.

    Your Lasting Supper sounds like a great aid to those reconverting or deconstructing the lies they once embraced.

    Today I wrote a short post about pebbles (with a pretty picture). When you leave closed-Christianity, you appear as a painful pebble on the bland dogmatic sidewalk of religion. But once you fully join the other pebbles, the journey is more comfortable:

  2. This is great! I’ve been sad because I have felt alienated lately. Feminists don’t want me simply because of my faith and my feminist politics keeps my quiet around my Christian friends and family. Its hard to feel alone and like my voice doesn’t matter. There’s so much pride with both groups that it simply drowns out any other ideas or opinions.

  3. Ya know, Pauline, this makes me think that the Jesus created by the writer of Revelation 3:16 who made his Jesus say:

    “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

    is very different from NP’s Jesus.
    Revelation’s Jesus wants fanatic Christians as some feminists want fanatic feminists. They all want a divisive world — because they know what is right for everyone.

  4. Sabio Lantz. i am currently in that exact position you were in when you deconstructed your former beliefs. i’m beginning to see that its not about holding the correct beliefs. there is such a deeper meaning to salvation and im just now scratching the surface. i would have never dug through the bible and its meanings, but i took my christianity so seriously that the questions that stirred in my head had to be answered instead of swept under the lazy rug. now i feel i have to defend my questioning and new found beliefs to people who just believe what they are told to believe. its frustrating because i feel i need to explain to them my reasons for changing my beliefs and they just want to stick with what they are told by the church and i’m the black sheep. ugh! hopefully i will eventually be comfortable with not fitting in.

  5. I’m with Sabio – too often the reason we HAVE the concept of black sheep is because of the desire to keep a pure image.

  6. I left working in the media industry to do something more worth while. .. led by faith. I went to a small town in the midwest to work for a non-profit thinking it’d be like chicken-soup-for the soul… INSTEAD it was a fundamentalist nightmare… it was NOT just small town mindedness… I could hardly find a church with out people wondering – why is this attractive woman in her early 30’s unwed (or at least divorced with 3 kids) people were cold and unfathomable judgmental and sometimes downright hostile eager to quote scriptures seemingly un-lead by the Holy Spirit. I understand that God is not a feeling… but I know the feeling of love… and I didn’t experience it most of the time I was there. Helping the kids I was assigned was incredible working in a ministry based program… left me spiritually attacked confused and down right frustrated. It didn’t help that despite the fact I LOVE JESUS I happen to be one of those deep-thinking-philosphical-types with pension for eccentric taste in fashion, and music. So people just couldn’t handle it… I felt like a black sheep and after two years… I was DONE!!! My whole world flipped working there… I moved but God is so good… he renewed me and I feel as though my ministry has been witnessing to those who have been BURNED by the church… I’ll take the fellowship but the cliques of the church the close minded coldness the leadership that doesn’t quite no how to reach out… I’ll leave that in the past!

  7. Ha Sabio. I sometimes dabble in mathematical complexity where the term “NP” stands for “nondeterministic polynomial time” with things like trying to factor VERY large products and the time it takes to do it grows exponentially (or some non-simple multiplier) of the number of digits (or some such measure). I chuckle when you use the term “NP Jesus”. It is like a Jesus that is much more complex than the simple version of Jesus the bible worshipers have.

  8. There are ways to be a black sheep and get away with it in a fundamentalist environment.

    For example, if you don’t like bowing your head with your eyes closed during congregational prayer while in church, you can hold your head up with your eyes open and get away with it if you are holding a clipboard and are acting like you are writing down names of other people not praying correctly.

    If you bring up penetrating theological questions and are challenged about it, you can say that you only did it to try to draw out any wolves in sheep clothing within the congregation and that you really believe every word of the bible.

    If you stop going to church and encounter an intervention from the congregation, tell them that the church is too liberal for your tastes and you are looking for a more fundamentalist one. Mention some extreme fundamentalist church that is not actually in your area…


  9. In the real world, I’m not a slave to Boolean logic. Jeff P and Jeff Not P can coexist. 😉

  10. I remember Jesus telling Peter “feed my sheep,” not “feed the outcast and outsider to the wolves”

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