Image in Search of a Caption

(from Jesus Creed)

Just to warm up the crowd —

“And so that’s how to tell whether an example is binding!”


54 Responses

  1. …and that’s how you get to my house for the potluck picnic! See you there in about 15 minutes!

  2. Any more questions about why I believe my neighbor is the prophesied antiChrist?

  3. What do you mean you didn’t understand anything after the first line?!!!

  4. …and that, in a nutshell, is why silence is prohibitive. Any questions?

  5. Does anyone remember where we left off before lunch?

  6. So, you see, salvation is really quite simple.

  7. . . . and so that is a summary of Realized Eschatology . . .

  8. . . . and so that’s how the Church is resurrected out of dead Judaism!

  9. “I’m persuaded that if they’ll understand the gospel as I teach it, unity will be easy.”

  10. How does the guy write at the top of the board?

  11. how pathetically true!!

  12. “And there you have it class, a brief summary of our tax code.”

  13. “…And this is how Matt and I compiled our list of the top 25 Progressive Church Of Christ blogs.”

  14. “Class, be sure to thank the Nephilim for allowing us to borrow their chalk board.”

  15. I checked. The Lotka Curve is not up there.

  16. Any questions?

  17. Uh bub, uh bub, uh bub that’s all folks!!!

  18. So it can be very clearly inferred, my dear brethren, that the wine, so called, which Jesus’ miracle did wrought, was indeed nonalcoholic grape juice.

  19. For any Sunset alumni….

    Ed Wharton finally learns to cut his chalkboard notes down by 50%.

  20. “… so those are just a few the preliminary computations we would have to make in order to be able to make some initial progress, experimentally. God, of course, would only have to say, ‘Let there be light!'”

  21. “HUH” I believe that would be the prevailing question

  22. “…so that’s what i did on my summer vacation. next.”

  23. “…..So, this clearly proves that the reason the chicken crossed the road was to see Gregory Peck!

  24. This proves the Churches of Christ really are the Lord’s Church!

  25. Welcome to the first annual Contending for the Faith School of Preaching CHART SERMON workshop.

  26. In light of April 15th—“and that is how you figure out minister’s income tax.”

  27. And this is how we get the Temple instruments into the New Testment Church.

  28. “The clearly outlined new hermeneutics of the progressive movement”



  29. And that’s why these instructions were for the situation of the 1st century church only.

  30. How have we complicated a simple instruction to “follow me” from Jesus…

    Simple, we biblicisize command, example, and inference then thow in adjectives like “direct”, “apostolic or approved”, and “necessary” and add to that a principle to silence and if that is not enough, we train everyone by practice that the Bible is our script to cut and past (proof-text) as we feel free so that we can justify our little human creeds on what we think Christianity should be while side-skirting the real issues of discipleship like learning to care for the least of these, loving one another regardless of race or social standing, loving and praying for our enemies, accepting the unity God has made us even when we don’t agree on every little demoninational variant, and so on.

    I don’t know what the “progressive” hermeneutic is but the BIBLICAL (DISCIPLE’S) hermeneutic is quite simple…follow Jesus. Learn to live like, think like, act like Jesus.

    Simple? yes! Easy? Absolutely not! Perhaps that is why some prefer to stick with their complicated CEI hermeneutic with all of it add on conditions. 🙂

    Grace and peace,


  31. Jay, I laughed aloud all the way through these brilliant comments ~ and the timing could not have been better. Thanks for ALL you do!

  32. “And that’s how it was possible for Elijah to outrun Ahab to Jezreel…any questions kids?”

  33. Is it really appropriate to ridicule beliefs your brothers hold dear? However far-fetched you may find them, is that really a loving thing to do? To make fun of their case for their convictions? If unity is our goal, is that kind of behavior conducive to that end? i’ve experienced more respect for diverse beliefs among the atheistic faculty in my grad philosophy department than i’m seeing on this post.


  34. And that’s why Jesus just told the rich young ruler to keep the moral commandments.

  35. Guy is right. I apologize.

  36. Guy,

    Several of these comments poke fun at me personally. Several poke fun at my religious convictions. Some quote me verbatim. I find most hilarious and none inappropriate.

    As I said recently, if we lose our senses of humor, we admit that we consider our views too weak to stand up to even good natured humor.

    I’ve enjoyed these comments immensely. I hope those who agree with my views did as well, and I hope those who disagree with my views did as well.

    Let’s PLEASE not become so easily offended that we can’t crack the occasional joke. Speaking for myself, the credibility of my views will not be hurt by a little kidding. In fact, it’s good to know the perceived weaknesses in my arguments so I can learn to express them better down the road.

    Thanks to everyone for their participation.

  37. Jay,

    i’m sorry, but i really don’t think anyone who is offended is necessarily insecure about the strength of their view. Do you think Muslims get offended by dutch comic strips because they’re fearful that Islam is false or weakly supported? It’s not about secretly thinking your view is weak and thus being touchy about that fact being exposed. it’s about certain things or beliefs being dear and sacred to us. i don’t want people making fun of my mother. Why?–because i’m scared that what they say in jest is true? No, but because she is dear to me and i want her honored.

    Do you really think Paul would be okay with the stronger brothers making fun of their meat-abstaining brothers’ convictions? i’ve been in positions where people made fun of my views before. i wasn’t any less convinced i was right or scared that those convictions were weaker than i thought. i was hurt however because it felt clear to me that my own spiritual sibling didn’t take me, my heart, my thoughts, my convictions seriously nor consider them worthy of respect or regard. i can say first hand that after that incident, i certainly did not feel nor see how that person’s actions helped he and i be “one in jesus.”


  38. Guy said, “I really don’t think anyone who is offended is necessarily insecure about the strength of their view. ”

    Do you really believe that is what Jay actually said?

    Progressives and conservatives alike have had fun coming up with captions and ribbing each other a bit. If someone from outside the Church of Christ stumbled onto this thread they’d understand that generally speaking the two sides actually like each other. That doesn’t come through in a lot of the threads on this blog.

    Jay, I think your caption was the best, but Anne’s made me laugh out loud too. I hope there continues to be fun stuff like this on the blog so the converstion isn’t always so heavy.

  39. Guy,

    I think I get what you are saying. I also think I get why Paul might laugh at some of the comments on this blog. And I think we might all be surprised at what gets a laugh in heaven.

    Jesus went years before he stumped the Pharisees one last time with a question they did not want to answer as they were poking fun at his teaching. Most of us have never seen anything near the intensity of their ridicule, and yet we take offence. Even as he silenced the Pharisees, Jesus did not take offence. He wasn’t outraged at their humor, but distracted by it. And the time had come to focus more than ever.

    When you are facing a similar time of testing, let me know. Until then, I have one more …

    “…simple, huh?”

    With nothing but love and joy,


  40. I finally thought of one:

    “This is how we will determine the top 25 Church of Christ blogs.”

  41. ” . . . and that’s why the Howells took all that stuff with them, even though it was only a three-hour cruise.”

  42. I struggle to find what is confusing about the chalk board, I mean he did leave out a couple of the standard steps, but really, those are obvious to the casual observer. Granted, some of the writing is small, but the figures show that he is discussing magnetic fields and their propagation in three dimensions. The figure at the top right is the basic inducement of electron flow through a conductor by an alternating magnetic field. Come on Jay, simple stuff.

  43. When two people are divided and are hurt because of former conflict and generally don’t trust each other, making fun of each other’s personal beliefs and opinions is hardly a way to repair that relationship. Making fun of someone doesn’t always come across as trying to be friendly. And making fun of beliefs or convictions that a person holds dear hardly communicates affection. If the two people already exist in a situation of trust and cammaradery, then perhaps those boundaries have been established where that kind of sarcasm is acceptable. But when a relationship is broken, when people have bruises and injuries, it’s hardly time to start jabbing and poking at them.

    There are two groups or “extremes” in the CoC who are not unified right now. Many of these people do not trust the other side. Conservatives see progressives as trying to change a lot of rituals and beliefs that those conservatives have found comfort in and trying to cut loose a lot of boundaries that have made those people feel safe–and portrayed as villains who just care more about rules than people. Progressives feel held down and judged and bad-mouthed by conservatives–insulted as people who are bratty and care more about having things their way than doing the right thing.

    If some such conservative read the captions on these comments that mock conservative beliefs, do you honestly think that would motivate them to seek a closer and more intimate relationship with the people who made those comments? Would such mockery really communicate to such a person, “i respect you, your beliefs, and i want to be your friend”?

    If some such progressive read the captions on these comments that mock progressive beliefs, do you think that would motivate them to seek a closer and more intimate spiritual relationship with the people who made those comments? Would such mockery change that progressive’s opinion of conservatives for the better?

    i don’t think the CoC is divided merely because of incompatible beliefs. But there are also caracatures and stereotypes of both sides that are demeaning. Do these comments help dissolve such prejudice or reinforce it?

    Some of the most serious things are said in jest. i seriously doubt Pharisees or Sadducees mocked Jesus out of friendliness or colleague-like-respect. Rather, it was a manifestation of their lack of respect for Him and His views. Barring the fact that He was such a threat, they thought His ideas were a joke or at least worthy of ridicule. If Jesus didn’t care for their words, does that really mean that Jesus had a problem of being offended *too easily*?


  44. “Any more questions about the biblical length of shorts?”

  45. “Here is how our new ministry flow chart looks. As you can see, it is now streamlined, for our deacons to more easily understand.”

  46. I like that one Dave, it caused me to think up this similar one:

    “Here is this week’s bulletin. Paper copies are available in the lobby.”

  47. Guy,

    Your thoughts are convicting. I am one who is highly insensitive to being made fun of. The more biting, the better. Therefore, I think others should enjoy the same humor from me. Doesn’t always work out that way.

    But I’ll switch sides for a moment. Couple random thoughts:

    1) Growing up, I was hard-core ultra conservative. Our preachers made the Who’s Who list for the CFTF. One specific preacher received some criticism for the fact that he was unfriendly, never light-hearted, and NEVER smiled. His response: “There is no record of Jesus ever smiling or laughing in the bible.”

    2) The best non-bible teacher at Lipscomb (Jim Thomas) made a fascinating observation in class one day. He said, “Guys, I’m not saying I buy into this. But I read something interesting the other day: this writer said that the any time we laugh, it is at the expense of something else.” Dr. Thomas went on to say talk about how it was just an interesting concept–something to ponder. I’ve thought about that for ten years, and it is true. Sure, it’s not always at the expense of a human (you laugh at your dog, etc.) But the root of any laughing is the expense of something else.

    I always thought our preacher’s response in my point #1 was ridiculous…but point #2 gave it a slightly different texture several years later.

    No judgments from me. Just something I find interesting to observe. But for me, it definitely made me consider what exactly I was/am doing when I “joke around.”

  48. Hey, JMF I just noticed that one of my captions rips off one of yours. Sorry, I guess Iam a sub-conscious plagerist.

  49. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”–Lk 6:21

  50. JMF,

    i don’t at all mean to make a complaint against humor generally–not at all. i don’t think there’s anything anti-Christian about levity. i think several of the comments are quite funny.

    Rather, i think making light of things *that happen to be particular sore-spots that are currently dividing brethren* is a terrible idea. i think that would amount to belittling and disrespect given those circumstances.

    Suppose my spouse and i were fighting about something. There’s some point of tension or disagreement between us. Suppose she opens up to me and tells me her deepest feelings and beliefs about this point of tension. Then suppose i make fun of what she just said. i treat some of her deepest feelings and convictions like a joke. Is it likely that my mockery will edify her? Is it likely that my ridicule of her beliefs will bring us closer together? Will that communicate to her that i respect her, her feelings, and her beliefs? While i do think it’s important for me and my spouse to have a *general* atmosphere of light-heartedness, this is a *particular* case where such joking around is totally uncalled for and just plain dangerous.

    i believe the current state of the CoC is like that situation and some of the particular comments made on this post are akin to me making fun of my wife when she’s vulnerable. i don’t see how they could possibly be construed as communicating respect for each other’s deeply held beliefs and convictions. They pick on particular sore spots between brethren. Should we have a general atmosphere of light-hearted-ness? Absolutely. But that does not give us a green light to poke around at particular sore-spots between us. i don’t see how that’s edifying, unifying, or Christ-like.


  51. I see your point, Guy. And truly, I am considering it, and I bet many others are, too.

    But consider this other example: Do you remember back in the presidential campaign when McCain and Obama went to some black tie event (happens every election) and got up and told jokes…not only poking at their competitor, but also being self-deprecating?

    I love that stuff. It shows me that at the end of the day, two guys can have serious disagreements–and be planning on stepping back onto the battlefield the next day–but for now, they both respect and appreciate the other as a worthy opponent and as a fellow man.

    I think the analogy with your wife is fair–but I think it needs to be balanced with my analogy. Between the two is where the truth is likely found.

    Anyways, good banter. Best to you and yours…

  52. Who’s getting married?

    The marriage analogy really doesn’t fit, does it?

    Seems more like something between siblings. Humor is not the issue. Sibling relationships are the issue.

    In this context, the use of humor is very different. And so, too, are the rules of appropriate use.

    Food for thought along more applicable lines.



  53. Glenn,

    Marriage wasn’t the point. I’d make the same point if my brother or either of my sisters and i had some falling out. i don’t think it wise at all to poke at their positions in any particular point of discord between us. The point being made is not peculiar to marriage, but to broken relationships of any kind. Trust must be re-established. And mockery is not the way to do it.

    Justify it anyway you like. In the interests of unity and given the current circumstances, i don’t think it’s wise for conservatives or progressives to belittle each other’s beliefs.

    When i read these comments, they strike me as saying that people making fun of conservatives positions don’t take those positions very seriously nor respect them, and that people making fun of progressive positions don’t take those positions very seriously or respect them. i don’t see how such mutual low-regard can serve as grounds for trust, acceptance, or reconciliation. i do see, however, that it can serve as grounds for each side to believe themselves right and the other wrong. But we already had that before this sort of mockery started. Nothing gained.


  54. Guy,

    I see that the difference in our perspectives is in how one views these comments. You see them as mockery and disrespectful. I confess that I still struggle to see them in that light. If they had been offered as serious commentary upon another’s beliefs, I would have a different perspective, certainly.

    If these comments were directed at a particular brother or sister, instead of being offered as captions for a picture on a blog that often does take an altogether much more serious approach to some of these topics, again – I would view them quite differently.

    I do not know anyone in the picture, nor do I hold any ill will for them, and still I contrast the intricate and expansive notes on the board with the way our Lord so simply and directly addressed His teachings, (as I often do with any teacher, including myself), and the contrast is so stark that I am shocked into laughter at the folly of the way I make so much of human reason and so little of the simple and direct approach sometimes. And the relief I receive from such a perspective only contributes to the joy of seeing, finally, that I have taken something simple and direct and made a maze of it that hardly communicates at all. I do not find the confusion my former approaches created joyful, but rather the release of seeing that it was me that made such a mess of it, and the new-found clarity that will finally allow me to communicate, really communicate, that truth that needs to bridge the gaps between us.

    It is not disrespect that motivates my mirth. It is my joy in the hope that by sharing an anonymous picture we might share a smile and see together what has happened. Guy, I find that when I can share a smile with my brother or my sister, we may not resolve the issue, but we are well on our way to resolving the relationship between us. And I would gladly concede the issue to restore our peace. Wouldn’t you?



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