Skip to comments.Baptist Congregation Votes Jesus Statue Out for Being 'Too Catholic'
Posted on 05/30/2018 4:56:29 PM PDT by marshmallow
In this 2007 file photo, Bert Baker, an amateur artist, had recently finished a 7-foot-tall sculpture of Christ at Red Bank Baptist Church. Credit: Gerry Melendez/The State Newspaper, Columbia, SC
Charleston, S.C., May 30, 2018 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Jesus is being evicted from a South Carolina church, and he must be out by the end of the month.
Red Bank Baptist Church in Lexington, about 120 miles northeast of Charleston, has voted to remove a statue of Christ and its accompanying reliefs after 11 years, because they are believed to be too Catholic in nature.
The white, hand-carved statue in question shows Christ with his outstretched and stepping out of the wall, while the reliefs depict images from Christ's life, death and resurrection.
Red Bank Baptist Church leaders sent a letter to the artist, Bert Baker Jr., earlier this month, informing him that the congregation had voted to remove the statue because it was being perceived as a Catholic icon and was causing confusion among churchgoers.
We understand that this is not a Catholic icon, however, people perceive it in these terms. As a result, it is bringing into question the theology and core values of Red Bank Baptist Church," church leaders Jeff Wright and Mike Dennis said in the letter.
Baker, a former member of the churchs congregation himself, was commissioned to make the statue for Red Bank in 2007.
In a response letter, Baker told the church leaders that he wanted the Christ statue to appear to be stepping out in a symbol of the Lords commission, and that the other images in the reliefs were based on basic facts about Christ's life which can be found in the Bible.
Under each arm the reliefs depict scriptural and historical events that we as Christians........
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicnewsagency.com ...
I feel bad for the artist. From the article it says the statue has been up for 11 years already!! The artist sounds like an upright guy:
“Red Bank offered Baker the chance to remove the statues himself before May 31 if he wanted to reclaim them, but Baker said that he made the statue and reliefs for the church and that it was their choice to do with them as they wished.
However, he said he hoped the art would not be destroyed and that it instead might be donated to another church or sold to support a mission.
“I was commissioned to make the sculpture, and whatever they choose to do with it is their prerogative,” Baker told The State. “I just didn’t want it destroyed. I don’t want to take it down personally, but I hope they find another place for it.”
Hopefully the church can find a church that would find the artwork more suitable.
I’m not sure I would call it hatred to have the artwork taken down. It’s not like the Baptist’s ran across the street and toppled some figures over at the Catholic church.
In the more “conservative” interpretation of Baptist theology, having statues creates the opportunity and possible support for, idolatry. It is also believed that Catholics practice idolatry by praying to statues, icons, bones of saints etc.
Further, greater emphasis is placed on Jesus teaching on how to pray, where Christians are taught to pray directly to God. Not to Jesus, not to Mary, not to the Apostles or any other person or being.
John of Damascus, “On the Divine Images”
Because they are...FLAGS?
The SBC has no doctrinal position against statues or paintings, but you won’t find many in a SBC church. Most baptist churches are very plain, by intent. Christmas will have a nativity scene. Ours was about 3’ long and 18” high. You’ll see crosses (empty) and sometimes wreathes. Often (but not always - some baptists strongly object) an American flag.
Baptists do not worship images of Jesus or Mary.
Neither do Catholics
Why would anyone have a Jesus statue? It’s bound to be inaccurate, and He doesn’t look like that today. See Rev. 1.
RE: It’s idolatry no matter what or who it is
This is the error called iconoclasm; mistaking any image for an idol. The Muslims go even further and won’t allow any pictures of animals or plants. However, they make exceptions for photos and pictures inside books (without which things like textbooks, news images, maps, medical diagrams and such would be a problem). Try to imagine what life would be like if there were absolutely no images allowed anywhere, and you ought to be able to see why this is an error.
I understand as a Baptist we have empty crosses because Jesus defeated that cross
Part of it has to do with denominational emphasis.
In Catholic theology, they "sacrifice" Jesus on the cross every week as part of their liturgy. The emphasis is on Jesus's death on the cross.
In Protestant theology the emphasis is on the empty cross and tomb, the risen Christ of Easter.
All Christians believe in Jesus death and Resurrection.
Why there is different emphasis in worship between denominations leads to endless debates which haven't been resolved for hundreds of years and it is not likely that debating this on FR will reach some sort of unifying breakthrough.
I’m sure a big part is cultural. I also believe some concerns for idolatry are valid. Not in the USA, perhaps. But in the Philippines? I’ve got family from there. And I’ve heard that if I wanted my prayers answered, then as a military guy, surely I know to follow the chain of command...
Not saying that is good Catholic theology. But I can see where the Reformation wanted to make some changes.
For the church in question, I’d have told the “artist” his art is poor and needs to be removed if only for that reason. I’m not real good at subtlety. All the local leaders needed to say was that the large majority of the members wanted a different look. We’re trying to get enough money to change the carpet in our sanctuary. It isn’t worn out. Completely. But a number of members just want new carpet. Nothing wrong with that. No reason needs to be given other than, “We wanted...”
“Because both statues and paintings are artistic renderings of the image of Jesus ...
there is essentially no difference between them.”
But is not a statue a “graven” image, whereas a painting is not?
This is why the Orthodox have those great Icons (that’s what they are called, isn’t it?) - mosaic or other flat images of Saints, Jesus, etc.
Oh please, nobody yell at me, I am not equating Saints with Jesus, just trying to give examples.
Good point there. No need to “theologize” taste. “We don’t want that statue because we’re going for a different look” -— that’s all they’d have needed to say.
Well, as long as those baptists didn’t begin idolizing it - kneeling in front of it, praying to it, kissing it, touching it, watching to see if it bleeds...
They certainly idolize them.
"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols."
I understand where you are going, but have to make subtle corrections.
Holy Mass, among other things, re-presents (presents again) the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a public proclamation of all that Jesus did for us, and our belief in those things. It reminds us of His sacrifice, once for all eternity. It reminds us of His resurrection, and the promise of Heaven.
Holy Mass is the reading of the Word, singing the Psalms, proclaiming the Gospel, and seeking communion with the Immortal, and Ever Living God.
If a church wants or doesn’t want a statue of Jesus, that’s none of my business.
There is also something about Jesus no longer being on the cross as compared to how Roman Catholicism continues to portray Him on the cross.
Many protestants don't even allow a cross in the church because we don't worship the cross but the one that was on it. If you have a cross with Jesus on it, we are reminded that He is not on it any longer. Stop trying to make images to worship, but worship the true and living God. I go to a non denominational church and it took years to get a cross mounted on a back wall just to please some.
Any statue or portrait could be an image of uncle Joe for all we know. Davinci painted Jesus as some blue eyed European with blue eyes eating a french bread loaf at the Last Supper.
It's all ridiculous. Stop practicing religion and start to worship the living risen Savior.
Is the statue of Abe Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial idolatry?
One of the weakest Tim Staples apologetics ever.
People don't bow before pictures of their parents and pray to them, or reply upon them for salvation, or any of the myriad of false doctrines assigned to Mary as witnessed in Roman Catholicism and their idols of Mary.
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