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.