jesus and his rainbow robe

jesus rainbow robe cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

(click on image to shop, or contact David if interested in original cartoons & prints)

Of course this didn’t happen. But I thought it made for an interesting story.

Plus there’s the guys playing games while something far more important is happening. It actually reminds me of a lot of the debate going on around the sexuality and gender issues. They sometimes seem like such silly word games when human freedom and equality are at stake.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Shelley

    The rainbow is the symbol of the promise that God made to everybody that He will not destroy the whole earth by water ever again. That is the true meaning that is behind the rainbow. Yes Jesus loves the homosexual but He does not love sin and that’s what homosexuality and any type of sexual act that is outside a marriage of a man and a woman. In the scriptures where it talks about when Jesus said “whoever has no sin, let him cast the first stone” and no one did and walked away, but when Jesus helped Mary Magdalene up, He said “you are forgiven but sin no more”. If you repent to the Lord Jesus Christ, He will forgive you and then give your life to Him and walk God’s way. God Bless!!

  • Caryn LeMur

    In a way, I agree with you, Shelly – the rainbow was a wonderful promise by God to not destroy the earth by water.

    Jesus said to Pilate that there are greater sins… and therefore, by simple logic, there are also lesser sins. Homosexual marriage certainly strikes me as a lesser sin, than say, divorce (which Jesus very much spoke against). As Jesus said, ‘let your yes mean yes’. I also wonder if ignoring the six categories of need is a greater sin than gay marriage, or even a greater sin than heterosexual divorce and heterosexual second mariages – after all, meeting the needs of the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the naked, the sick and the prisoner will be Jesus’ standard on Judgment Day (Matt 25).

    So, Shelly, I often encourage my gay married friends to avoid divorce, to honor their vows, and to help those in need – that way, they will indeed sin no more.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Ptr Myke

    hOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A SIN. yOU ARE BOTH WRONG.

  • Gary

    @Shelley,
    The typical right wing Christian sexual ethic promoted in most evangelistic churches is MAN MADE. Scripture most certainly does not state that all sex outside of marriage is sin. There is much about property rights in the OT and about acting in love and avoiding engaging with temple prostitutes and such in the NT. There IS NO within marriage mandate to be found anywhere within the bible. And the case against homosexuals has been INTRODUCED to scripture in the last 100 years.

  • Adam Julians

    As I see the rainbow I am reminded of the rainbow after the flood of Genesis being a symbol of God’s love. And wiht the cross in the cartoon another symbol of gods love, the giving nature of God in the soldier posessing the rainbow coloured garment and not forgetting what Jesus said on the cross “father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing”. Even in that agony, and being unjustly treated, him thinking of others and coosing love for his opressors. I am in awe at that.

    What I also remeber is Nelson Madela desribing South Africa as a “rainbow nation”. Still many things wrong with the country as there ares still many thigns wrong with attitudes regadring sexuality that you raise David. Yet, in what Mandela has achieved in some ways being and example of rconciling and not giving into hatred of his former opressors. What would the world look like if there was more of this is a challenge I would offer.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Well, Shelly and Peter Myke: I see I used ‘aikido’ logic in my reply to Shelly – I was just adding weight to her approach. To understand this form of argumentation, imagine Shelly as sitting in a canoe with me – each of us on extreme ends of the canoe. The canoe is balanced. To ‘unbalance the argument’, I get up and sit next to Shelly (and the canoe begs for more paddling to stay under controll). Sadly, this style of argument is normally done in the non-verbals (which did not show well in text). Next time, I will try to remember to say things like, “So…. given you believe in X, do you then believe in X-extended, as well?” Clumsy of me.

    Nonetheless, Shelly, your reply appears to beg for a definition of ‘sin’, and greater and lesser ‘sins’, as well as what someone should do that is gay, already legally married, and that comes to believe in Christ (after all, Paul writes that ‘whatever state you are in when you believe, remain in that state’).

    Peter Myke: again, my apology for poor presentation of my argument. And, I agree that homosexuality – the orientation – is not a sin of choice. However, could you share your thoughts on definitions of ‘sin’? Do you believe in sins-of-choice, sins-of-ommission, sins-of-the-Fall, etc.? Or….?

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Caryn LeMur

    Gary: you have me curious, now. Are you differing between consensual and non-consensual sexual relations? (I suspect you are, from your other writings)

    So, are you offering the argument that the NT mandates only monogamy/fidelity for an ‘elder’ position – ‘He must be the husband of one wife’? And thus, those believers ‘not in appointment’ are free to engage in consensual co-habitation, polygamy, concubinism, group marriage, and/or swinging?

    Or, is your argument from an entirely different perspective?

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Gary

    Caryn I am a bit puzzled by your question. Would not “non-consensual sexual relations” be rape? Are you really confused about where I would stand on such an issue?

    And as for the “husband of one wife” mandate, it was exclusively for elders, deacons and pastors. Furthermore it was Paul’s mandate, a man who (supposedly) also gave us the mandate for women to remain silent in church because he blamed them for the fall. And you also seem to be reading more into the passage than the text would warrant. A husband had responsibilities to provide for his wife/wives emotional and physical well being (especially in a culture which still deemed women as inferior and/or property) and apparently the burden of multiple spouses was too much in Paul’s mind to leave sufficient time to care for the church. Of course this statement by Paul would have been totally unnecessary if the mandate for all believers was simply 1 man and 1 woman. To imply that this was suggesting “monogamy/fidelity” as the only standard for believers is reaching well beyond the text…even if we were to accept that Paul’s mandates carried the same weight as God’s.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Gary: ‘non-consensual’ also includes arranged marriages, imo. I should have been a bit more explanatory, I suppose.

    Then again, perhaps I should make a new category for arranged marriages, as one PhD I knew (a woman in the USA) had agreed to her parents going back to the home country of India to find her a husband. So, hmmmmm…. it is not always non-consensual. I think I may have muddied the waters… lol….Your thoughts?

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Caryn LeMur

    Gary: I think I agree with your point that ‘if 1 man and 1 woman was a normal teaching of Paul’s’ for all believers, then it follows that the text either means ‘this is only for the elders and higher positions’ OR that the text was referring to some other situation, such as marrying a divorced woman. I think I lean towards the first explanation, since the second explanation could have been more clearly written by Paul, if that was his indeed his intent.

    At this time, I lean towards the ‘elder’ in Paul’s writings to be someone that we would call a fulltime pastor/evangelist/prophet/apostle; and further, assomeone recognized as such by outsiders/non-believers. After all, God appoints pastors within the Body of Christ as He sees fit – many of them are , imo, within the societies that the church-structured has abandoned, per Ez 34.

    Besides Ez 34, as a point of evidence, I have also met so many men and women with ‘the heart of a pastor’ encouraging, comforting, and working alongside of the forgotten societies: the homeless, the sick, the forgotten in nursing homes, the prisoners, the hungry and the needy…. the Lesbian and Gay, Transgender and transssexual, the leather, BDSM, clubbing, drinking, motorcycle clubs, even golf players and baseball fans….so many.

    I therefore see the Body of Christ as consisting of 2 pieces: the large church-unstructured and the smaller (visible) church-structured.

    By viewing two churches – the church-structured and the church-unstructured, I am able to more easily handle some of the paradoxes within the NT. For example, Paul writes that ‘there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus’, and the same Paul writes ‘now an overseer must be the husband….’. I have come to believe that Paul was seeing the formation of the two pieces of the Body of Christ before his eyes – a hidden church and a visible church.

    Hence, we have Agabus, the wandering NT prophet (and Barnabas and Saul, the best known of the prophet/teacher combos called to wander for a time); as well as the Pillars of the Church in Jerusalem. Hence, we have Paul’s writings of the church universal in Ephesians; we have his writings of (and to) a specific church in Corinth.

    I therefore am very slow in dismissing Paul’s writings as being just cultural and ‘for Paul’s time and place’. I think Paul had two views of the church: one that I call the church-unstructured, and one I call the church-structured (or institutional church).

    Nonetheless, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I had a friend years ago that abandoned the teachings of Paul; I have some acquaintences now that are ‘Red Letter Christians’, as well. It is good to try to understand those viewpoints, imo.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Gary

    It would be incorrect for me to say I have abandoned the teachings of Paul as I am very grateful for much of what he penned. But it is safe to say I do not hold his teaching to be perfect. Many believe there is no way to know “truth” without embracing an inerrant scripture as our authority. I on the other hand believe that only when we let go of such a view do we even begin the journey towards truth.

    As for the arranged marriages comment…I thought we were talking about non-consensual SEX, not non-consensual marriages. There is after all a huge difference. Granted they may overlap (I believe rape is rape even within marriage) but they most definitely are not the same. And I suspect that very few arranged marriages are non-consensual. Forfeiting one’s choice is still making a choice. For example, when my wife and I are selecting a place to eat lunch I will often say (or she will) baby you choose. Forfeiting my right to choose in no way makes our meal together a “non-consensual” one for me.

    But that whole discussion really does not speak to my point at all. The bible in no place makes the declaration that all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman sinful. In fact there is very much evidence to the contrary. And no I am not stating that just because something is present in the bible it is not sinful. Quite the contrary in fact. I am saying that whether one believes we are under the law or under grace…there is still no biblical mandate of sexual abstinence outside of marriage unless one is a woman and the property of a man whose property value goes down once she is no longer a virgin.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Gary:

    Before I launch into this discussion, let me set up what I think are your opening arguments:

    If a human being has the gender of ‘female’ AND that same human being is the property of a man/woman/master, then the Bible, in both the OT and the NT, under Law and under Grace, endorses/mandates abstaining from sexual intercourse. Rationale is avoiding the reduction of property value.

    If a human being has the gender of ‘male’ AND that same human being is not the property of a man/woman/master, then the Bible, in both the OT and the NT, under Law and under Grace, does endorse sexual intercourse outside of marriage. Rationale:

    Do I understand your matrix /decision tree correctly?

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Gary

    Well concerning the matter of biblical cultural status of women then yeah I guess that is reasonable. Though that is not the focus of my point but rather a simple comment concerning the ONLY example of a scriptural command for abstinence until marriage. It is really more of a point that the bible neither endorses nor precludes sex outside of marriage, rather there is no apparent need to promote an absolute position at all outside of deference to the law of love.

  • Gary

    Having reread your question… “Do I understand your matrix /decision tree correctly?” I must admit that this statement makes little sense to me. Surely you don’t think my comment concerning the status of women in the biblical cultures has anything to do with MY decision making do you?

    Please understand that when I challenged the declaration that “all sex outside of a marriage between 1 man and 1 woman is sinful”, it was an attempt to get the poster to recognize that such a view is not biblically supported. These types of declarations are almost always based on a view of absolute biblical authority, which I don’t share anyway. But even if I did, it is a view that cannot be scripturally defended IMHO anyway.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Gary: I had thought that you were making a statement about your own belief system, which I find interesting. I did not realize you were addressing someone else’s belief system. So, I’ll let the decision tree concept go.

    As I recall, you hold to the Bible as ‘with error’, and I hold to it as ‘without error’, so then of course we have had, and will have, some very humorous exchanges. You appear to hold to a model of Biblical principle, as I do… yet our view of the Bible’s authority seems to differ, with me giving the Bible much more weight. Yet, I am OK with these disagreements and the humor in the exchange – after all, if I build the corner of a cut-stone house with a laser-guide that you believe is incorrectly calibrated, then any of my attempts to build upon that corner stone may be dismissed as inherently faulty. I am OK with our differences here. I still enjoy reading your writings.

    By way of explanation, as a professional technical writer in the computer security field for over 27 years, I carry some baggage, so to speak. I use decision trees (and other forms of logic) to understand what is being proposed, designed, and built. I have come to believe that IF I can understand the engineers’ design assumptions, THEN I can better appreciate how/why the system was built over time.

    I offer that in every computer system, there are paradoxes, limitations, unmet expectations, and the occassional opportunity for a criminal mind to exploit. Belief systems are so very similar….

    Thus, I try to understand everyone’s (and your) assumptions, design, and the system of belief that is currently pragmatically ‘operating’ in their mind. I expect to find (and am often OK with) the paradoxes, limitations, and the honesty that surrounds unmet expectations.

    I believe that you and I (and several writers here) are not OK with some of the criminal minds that wish to exploit the ‘holes’ in someone’s belief system. To the criminal mind – whether Christian or otherwise – a writer’s doubts become opportunity for savage rebuke; their concerns become opportunity for crushing confrontation; their explorations become opportunity for insult, discouragement, or throwing them off-balance.

    Yet, in my view, a living system of belief requires doubts to birth research, concerns that give way to rethinking, and exploration of our own deep assumptions that let us realize our own humanness and limitations.

    A long answer, I suppose.

    Perhaps in a future exchange, we can discuss the Biblical definition of marriage, sin, and the statement that ‘all sex outside of marriage between 1 man and 1 woman is sin’. I think we shall continue to find some humor, and respect, in each other’s views.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • http://nakedpastor.com David Hayward

    Caryn: This: “I believe that you and I (and several writers here) are not OK with some of the criminal minds that wish to exploit the ‘holes’ in someone’s belief system. To the criminal mind – whether Christian or otherwise – a writer’s doubts become opportunity for savage rebuke; their concerns become opportunity for crushing confrontation; their explorations become opportunity for insult, discouragement, or throwing them off-balance… Yet, in my view, a living system of belief requires doubts to birth research, concerns that give way to rethinking, and exploration of our own deep assumptions that let us realize our own humanness and limitations.” is PERFECT.

  • Gary

    Caryn thanks for taking the time to explain. Yes now I understand why you asked the questions you did…grin.

    One thing that often throws people off when I write is that I will sometimes discuss my beliefs from a position of biblical authority when I am speaking with one who has that belief system. This is not because I hold to absolute scriptural authority, but rather because if they do hold such a belief I will usually lose an audience with them before any chance at a productive dialogue. My upbringing was in very legalistic churches where the “Word of God” could never be challenged. Now I reject the very reference to the bible this way as a form of blasphemy. But my early days of questioning the church were always in the context of seeking “biblical truth” when I found my views in direct conflict with those expressed in my church. As such I am well versed on scripture as it pertains to areas of interest to me. But it is true that my study of the scriptures themselves have lead me to reject my old belief in infallibility.

    But I particularly like one paragraph of yours above.

    “Yet, in my view, a living system of belief requires doubts to birth research, concerns that give way to rethinking, and exploration of our own deep assumptions that let us realize our own humanness and limitations.”

    I think this statement sums up my personal journey extremely well as I have tried to share with you earlier in this comment.

    Presently my chief focus is not so much on refining my beliefs pertaining to one issue or another. As the law of love becomes greater and greater in its significance in my thinking I find less and less need to resolve the specifics on any given issue. But where I do find myself drawn into more of a debate style of approach is when someone uses their beliefs to marginalize and exclude others. (What you refer to as the “criminal mind”) When this exclusion becomes particularly abusive, as in the right wing approach to the homosexuality issue, I believe it is even appropriate to confront such thinking and seek to change it. This approach actually worked with me…and I hold hope that I may influence others in the same manner.

    But on philosophical differences without an apparent victim…I too enjoy the open and often times humorous exchange of ideas.


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