Members of a Baptist church in Red Bank, South Carolina, have caused a stir for recently voting to remove a statue of Jesus from the front of their building because it appears too "Catholic in nature."

A WAFB report said members of the Red Bank Baptist Church voted 131 to 40 to remove the statue that was created by a former member and graced the front of their church for more than a decade, because it was causing confusion about their theology among members of the church community.

Jeff Wright, Red Bank's senior pastor, and Mike Dennis, the church's chairman of deacons, said in a letter dated May 10 that former member and artist Bert Baker, who hand carved the statue for the church in 2007, now has until May 31 to remove the statue.

"God has gifted you with a tremendous artistic ability and we are thankful that you shared it with our congregation and are using this talent to bring God glory," the church officials wrote Baker in the letter.

"Recently, it has been brought to our attention that the art is causing confusion in the community. We have discovered that there are people that view the art as Catholic in nature. We understand that this is not a Catholic icon, however, people perceive it in these terms," the letter continued. "... It is bringing into question the theology and core values of Red Bank Baptist Church."

Responding to the church's concerns, Baker said he found it odd that the sculpture is just now causing confusion after being at the church for 11 years.

"These sculptures have been gracing the front of RBBC for 11 years and at no time then or now has anyone ever been 'confused' as to who Red Bank Baptist is nor has anyone ever suggested that they are 'Catholic' in nature," Baker wrote.

"I am stunned that your letter both insults the intelligence of the Red Bank Community (as not intelligent enough to know that Red Bank Baptist Church is a Baptist church despite having a large sign stating as much); and, more disturbing, singling out the Catholic church in such a manner as to suggest that their denomination is deficient in theology and lacking in Christian core values," he added.

Explaining that he did not want to see his work destroyed, Baker urged the church officials to give the statue to another church or sell it and use the proceeds for missions.

He further told The State on Tuesday that the reason the church has given to remove his statue is "crazy."

"I'm not interested in stirring the pot, but people not liking it because it looked too Catholic is crazy, man. It's been up there for 11 years. I don't agree with the letter, it bothers me," he said.

Both the letter from the church officials as well and the response from Baker are now being circulated online by concerned Christians, like Rhonda Davis, who argue that discrimination should not exist between Christian denominations.

"It is both disturbing and sad that in a time when we are all needing to come together as brothers and sisters in Christ to project and reflect His love to a lost and dying world, Red Bank has decided to single out another denomination as the reason behind the decision to avoid any real or imagined fear that they would somehow be associated with them AND to further insult the intelligence of an entire community who for 11 years never once has been confused about who Red Bank Baptist Church is with or without the sculptures," Davis noted.

https://www.christianpost.com/...too-catholic-224497/

Original Post
gbrk posted:

What goes next the Cross?  If I'm not mistaken Catholic churches have Crosses all over so guess they will have to eliminate the cross(es).

Catholics have a lot of crucifixes as well as crosses. I wonder how it came about that other Christian churches have crosses but not crucifixes.

The nuns always warned us that when we misbehaved in church [mass every morning before school] it was like spitting in Jesus's face as he hung on the cross. Geez, the guilt as you looked at a crucifix and saw the suffering on his face.

I think Jesus would be very sad about that church and members worrying about possibly being mistaken for a Catholic.

There was a show, a while back , that made assumptions of what Christ would look like based upon many different factors and data and it came up with more of an olive/dark skinned man like of middle eastern origin.  The one thing that was sure and that was that he wasn't as portrayed in many of the Jesus photos with the white skin and long Fabio type hair.

I think that people, today, make many assumptions that would be so far from reality with respect to religion and Christ life.

gbrk posted:

What goes next the Cross?  If I'm not mistaken Catholic churches have Crosses all over so guess they will have to eliminate the cross(es).

I hope we don't get to the point where churches start removing everything they have in common with other churches. Aren't there 200 different denominations give or take of churches in the Christian region for example? If 199 churches have to remove something just because 1 church has it what will be left once all is said and done? I am afraid to think about it honestly. Something like a cross you would think at least most (if not all) Christian churches would be proud to have on display as they believe Jesus died on a cross.

I think it makes perfect sense that there will be no different
denominations in Heaven. So why so many on earth.?
I guess the Christian Bible is flawed, misunderstood or corrected
as seen fit by the reader. How many can say they take the Bible
as serious as they let on... 

 

Christ, in John 14 promised that G-d's Holy Spirit would soon come into the lives of each believer as Christ, Himself, leaves Earth to go and prepare for His return for the Saints/Believers at the Day of the Lord.  G-d's Holy Spirit dwells within each believer along with mankind's inner spirit/soul and in Galatians 5:22-25 is listed just some off the benefits of G-d's Holy Spirit being within.  Part of this intimate personal ministry, of G-d's Holy Spirit is application of G-d's Word (the Bible) to each believer's life.  The Holy Spirit also helps us in our understanding of the Scriptures.  

I believe that G-d wants us to concentrate on ourselves and our relationship with Him rather than trying to govern each and everyone else's lives.

gbrk posted:

I believe that G-d wants us to concentrate on ourselves and our relationship with Him rather than trying to govern each and everyone else's lives.

But what about the commandment about graven images.?

Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth.

Historically America (the United States) has not suffered from the contentious relationships that plague the rest of the world.  In other words Protestants and Catholics were literally at war in Ireland but those conflicts remained across the ocean.  Arabs and Israelis have been warring for eons of time defining conflicts in the middle east but in America  you often have Arabs and Israelis living side by side without any problems.   Much of being American is accepting our differences and diversity and gaining strength from those rather than  descending into anarchy and hate.  

America has been called the melting pot of the world and I believe that is one of our Nation's strengths.  I'm not trying to say that everything is kosher and we aren't all holding hands singing kumbaya  all the time and there are, as illustrated here, at times, disagreements between Catholics and Protestants but I do believe there is a measure of mutual respect that  keeps us civil and respectful.  We all have differences and various diverse beliefs that are very personal and intimate to each one of us but it's such that often people of the same religion or denomination can't see eye to eye.  

The nice thing about America is that we all may be from different areas or geographic regions but when people come to America and become citizens then we are Americans and we meld into a uniform group and we leave our prior allegiances for a new one to this Nation and Constitution.  Lastly one strength of the Constitution is that while it respects Religion and G-d  it separates our Government from the Church.  The Government is a government of and by the people and is not a Theocracy because many of the World's ills and conflicts center around differences involving Religion itself so our Constitution and founders were not only intelligent but wise in keeping the two apart. 

Kraven posted:
gbrk posted:

I believe that G-d wants us to concentrate on ourselves and our relationship with Him rather than trying to govern each and everyone else's lives.

But what about the commandment about graven images.?

Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth.

What I think of when reading this is going back to what G-d wants for each one of us.  The Law (Ten Commandments and all the laws that spring from them) were given unto the people, through Moses, and for guiding and ruling of the people.   G-d's laws also extend down through history in the Scriptures recorded for us and applicable to us today just as then.   Salvation though is through faith and a faithful person will seek to honor and follow what G-d desires of us and what He requires of those who follow Him.  Again though this is something I believe each person is responsible, to G-d, for themselves and not for everyone else.   

I will answer for myself as you will for yourself and I'm not saying we should ignore each other but rather support each other and under the rules/advice Paul gives in Romans 14 conduct ourselves in love rather than judgment.  While there are things that are dogmatic there are many things that are debatable and fall more in the area of doctrine rather than dogma. 

I don't know though if you are mentioning this command with respect to the statue that is being removed.  As for the decision to remove the image of Christ that was given to the Church I can see where one might make the argument that this would be in violation of that specific command that you cited but that's not the reason that the Church decided to remove it, or at least wasn't the justification I read for removing it.  

I think that the Church, though, does have it's right to remove it if the majority of the Church members believe it needs to go.  I just hope it isn't a decision that is brought about by a minority of people who just don't like it and are poisoning other's opinions and feelings on the image/statue.  Either way the reason for deciding to remove it doesn't make sense, at least not to me. 

Kraven posted:
There was some talk about this back in the days of Bill Gray
and he told me Jesus wasn't dead on the cross, he's in
Heaven, so there's no use for the crucifix and a cross was enough.
Which I thought was brilliant.  

With just a cross you know that that is how Jesus died. Crucifixes, showing the crown of thorns, the nails through his hands and feet and the agony on his face shows how he suffered and was a good example to little kids to behave because you could see what Christ went through for our souls. A plain cross doesn't make you feel as guilty as a crucifix.

direstraits posted:

Careful, if one follows all those old commandments, there will be no silk/wool blend fabrics. And, always tie the left shoe before the right shoe. 

Not to mention, no shellfish or catfish, for you.   Nor, bacon or pulled pork BBQ. 

That's right, Jesus said don't be so concerned about what goes into
the mouth, but what comes out of it. So don't curse the cook over
the bacon. Jesus didn't come here to change but to make new.
peede coober 2 posted:
Kraven posted:
There was some talk about this back in the days of Bill Gray
and he told me Jesus wasn't dead on the cross, he's in
Heaven, so there's no use for the crucifix and a cross was enough.
Which I thought was brilliant.  

With just a cross you know that that is how Jesus died. Crucifixes, showing the crown of thorns, the nails through his hands and feet and the agony on his face shows how he suffered and was a good example to little kids to behave because you could see what Christ went through for our souls. A plain cross doesn't make you feel as guilty as a crucifix.

Jesus appreciates the Crucifix for the reminder to never forget
what he did for your salvation, he also gives us credit to know
the difference between a false god and what he deems holy in
Heaven. That command was rightly given to the hardened people
Moses had to guide. We know the different but it doesn't stop
there when we place money and stuff over G-D.

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