Thursday, April 19, 2012


Because this drawing is explicitly violent, I recommend you read the background information to better understand what it is about:

The idea originally came to me in the context of I Corinthians 12:
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (NIV)
Here, rather than the foot feeling like it is not part of the body because it is not a hand, the foot is feeling like the hand is not part of the body. The additional influences are the idea that the church is missing out on the gifts which other parts of the body bring to it, and the idea of Christ being the head and the church being the body ("Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior" Ephesians 5:23b).

One day, as I was developing the drawing, I had outlined the body and then it came to me that I needed to add a particular implement. Drawing this implement was a disturbing experience for me due to the additional degree of violence it brought. Later, as I considered the drawing and what it meant, the words which are written below it came to me. While they are shocking at one level, there is also an element of hope and safety in them, tying in to Romans 8:38-39:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
Ecclesia, by the way, is from the Greek word for church or congregation.

So we must ask, what parts of the body of Christ is the main part of the church rejecting? Who are these Christians who are being cut off and called "not body"? What is this costing them, and what does it cost the rest of the church?

rob goetze


  1. I might suggest, from my post-Christian experience, US conservative Christianity tends to have a lot of trouble with who is "Us" and who is "Not Us" - when I came out (despite my lifetime of faith) suddenly I was in the second category for many of the Christians in my life. When, at the same time, I also found it necessary to walk away from my faith, I was placed in the second category by another, larger set of Christians.

    I did, and didn't understand it. Sure, Christians gather together to share faith- but faith bonds aren't the only ones we share. Family and friends alike told me that I was no longer a part of them. Yes, true, I no longer participate in a church experience because it lost all meaning for me. But in terms of the family relationships - the friends whom I loved like family (and thought they felt the same way) - Why must a belief trump all other bonds? (I believe the answer to this question is probably also the explanation for why so many denominations.)

    The drawing feels emotionally true for me, as one who was excised.

    1. Hi Brian:

      I think you're dead-on about conservative Christianity having trouble with "us and them". Thanks for sharing at a personal level about how Christians in your life shifted you from "us/in" to "them/out" as you first came out and then later left your faith. I'm so sorry that the people in your life let sexuality and faith beliefs overshadow the value of being in relationship with you for *you*.

      Tragically, there are many for whom this drawing will be true...