The Tiber Swim Team is Calling!

You know it’s really a week when I have to defend a Baptist artist.  Dear Baptist congregants, this depiction of Christ is what Catholics would call “Touchdown Jesus.”  It really doesn’t represent Catholic in a Catholic Church because, despite those who depict “Touchdown Jesus” in their churches, the big “C” Church prefers the depiction of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross as our primary depiction in the Church.  So, rest easy.  You’re not being too Catholic.  That said, there’s a bit of snowflake-ism found lately in the Baptist church. Let’s give it a look…

Jesus statue it deems too ‘Catholic’


A Baptist church in South Carolina plans to remove a hand-carved statue of Jesus Christ because some congregants believe it’s too “Catholic” for their place of worship.

The hand-carved, 7-foot (2-meter) statue and accompanying reliefs depicting scenes from Christ’s life have been displayed outside Red Bank Baptist Church in Lexington for a decade.

But in a letter to the artist, Pastor Jeff Wright said the art would be removed this week.

“We have discovered that there are people that view the art as Catholic in nature,” Wright wrote in the letter to Delbert Baker Jr. A friend of Baker’s posted the letter on Facebook.”


Got that?  There’s closet Catholicism in their midst.  It appears that it’s just art in general that is offensive.  It’s been there for 10 years but, suddenly, it’s Catholic.  Silly.

Wright wrote that the statue and reliefs bring into question “the theology and core values of Red Bank Baptist Church,” but he didn’t elaborate.

Well, I’d think you might possibly want to elaborate.  Honestly, it can only be the “graven images” as far as I can tell.  At this point I might remind the Baptists that God, Himself, designed the Ark of the Covenant.  He told the Israelites to carve angels, etc.  Duh.  There’s your Baptist snowflake-ism, people.  Someone is triggered by a depiction of Christ.

The pastor did not return telephone calls or respond to messages The Associated Press left in person with his staff at the church Wednesday.

The letter said Baker had until Thursday to remove the art if he wanted to keep it. If not, it would be destroyed. Workers at the church refused to tell the AP if that deadline remained in place.

When did the Baptists go all Jehovah Witness on us?

The dispute is a symptom of a larger “dysfunction” in the Southern Baptist Convention, said Bill Leonard, a professor of Baptist studies at Wake Forest University.

“Almost week to week there’s another incident in which southern Baptists portray themselves … having convictions that look like bias and prejudice in the larger culture,” Leonard said. “The bias is so deep that they even think they have the wrong Jesus is in front of their church.”

Wrong Jesus?  Bahahaha!  The anxiety level must be on high over there.

In his own letter responding to Wright, Baker explained his vision of the art, saying it was meant to show Red Bank Baptist had a focus on Christian outreach.

“This is why Christ is represented as though he is stepping outside of the building, not just confined to the idleness of inner walls,” Baker wrote in the letter, which his friend also posted on Facebook. “Under each arm, the reliefs depict scriptural and historical events that we as Christians believe represent the life of Christ.”

The reason that has been given for removing the art makes no sense, Baker added, because a large sign out front identifies the building as a Baptist church. Instead, the explanation makes it appear that congregants are disparaging Catholics, Baker wrote.

Looks, disparaging Catholics has been in vogue for quite a while (some days that’s my clue I’m in the right place) but I’d think someone should be able to give a solid explanation of why this artwork is considered Catholic before chucking a lot of art.

“I was obedient to my Lord in creating it and after much prayer I must respectfully decline to take part in its removal,” Baker wrote.

Baker did not respond to telephone messages from the AP on Wednesday.

I always wonder why these ridiculous things happen but maybe it’s for one man to examine the truth.  Maybe Baker is being called to the Church.  I’d assume he’s Baptist after his obedience quote, but, through this one silly case of worrying about being “too Catholic,” Christ might be sending him an engraved invite..  We’d welcome you in a heartbeat, Mr. Baker.


11 thoughts on “The Tiber Swim Team is Calling!

  1. Insanity is everywhere.

    I skimmed through this story at the original news site, in utter amazement. One cannot make this mind-numbing stupidity up.


  2. These Baptists can be forgiven for probably never having encountered the history of the long struggle in the early Church to end iconoclasm. If they did get deep into the history of the Church, they would likely learn that the Church founded by Christ on St Peter, i.e., the Catholic Church, has always defended the veneration (proskunesis) of images, from icons to statuary to mosaics, etc.

    I know of a FSSP seminarian who, raised a Pentecostal christian, drew closer to the Catholic Church upon encountering the art and architecture of the great European cathedrals whilst on a high school field trip.

    The greater contempt should be reserved for those who enacted a neo-iconoclasm by destroying beautiful altars in Catholic churches. After all, we Catholics, who should be students of (our own) history, should know better.

    Recommended read:


  3. These Baptists do realize where the Holy Bible came from, right? That too may be deemed “too Catholic” as are many of the verses contained therein. What will become of sola scriptura? So many questions.


  4. There is so much anti-Catholic venom in Protestant circles, not to mention snobbery. This is weird because if not for Catholicism, they wouldn’t know anything about God nor have bibles. There are thousands of Protestant sects so I’d like to ask them which one of them has a lock on all Truth.
    I’d be annoyed at their sniggling over this art but I can’t be annoyed because maybe if we had this level of vigilance our church wouldn’t be in full-blown apostasy.


    1. I think there is some venom in some circles but I’ve had more questions from Baptists than anything else.

      I’m still waiting to see what was so Catholic about the art that it had to be immediately be cast aside after 10 years.


  5. Good for them! As a Catholic, I’d prefer Baptists be Baptists, of which anti-Catholic bigotry is an inherent part. If they cease being anti-Catholic they might as well become Catholics themselves.
    There’s nothing worse than someone who thinks “we’re all one happy Christian family” as if there are no real differences.


  6. I still don’t get what is so “Catholic” about this statue? It’s white, there is no crucifix and it’s more cheesy looking than serious. If that is someone’s idea of ‘Catholic Art”, God help them. The fact that the pastor is such a weeny to take it down after 10 years, God help him.


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