Theological dispute breaks out over ‘laying on of elbows’

Share via:

ADELAIDE, SA – A theological dispute has broken out within a South Australian Baptist Church over the use of the ‘laying on of elbows’ for prayers of healing and receiving of the Holy Spirit.

In the Baptist tradition, the laying on of hands is an act in which religious leaders place their hands on a person in order to confer some type of spiritual blessing. However, this practice has been banned by the Baptist churches of South Australia due to COVID19, and has been controversial substituted with elbows.

Prominent Baptist theologian, Rev Dr Cliff Ross, has expressed outrage at the shift away from literal biblical interpretation.

“We shouldn’t assume we can just twist scripture to suit current circumstances,” he argued.

“Can you imagine Jesus going around healing people with his elbows? If he tried to cast out demons that way they would have laughed him back to Bethlehem!”

“The Lord chose hands for a reason. Even if some do get healed with elbows, you’ll probably have an even greater number who are injured!”

However, popular Baptist writer Mike Freeze has said that Christianity must move with the times in order to stay relevant and safe.

“I don’t see why the power of God can’t be transferred through less conventional body parts.”

“During this pandemic, I would also propose we look at other biblical verses to see what necessary adaptions should be made.”

“Perhaps we should be lifting up holy elbows in praise, not let our right elbow know what our left elbow is doing, and praying that God’s Mighty Elbow would lift us up.”

It is further reported the church has experienced an increase in ‘Holy Spirit power’ as parishioners are being thrown backward, though some claim this is simply due to clumsy elbow prayers.

Sign up to the Damascus Dropbear for more theological dispute updates. For a deeper discussion around biblical interpretation, check out Trinity College Queensland.

The Damascus Dropbear exists to develop satirical news which helps people laugh, then think, about theology, culture, church and politics from a biblical worldview. Our mission is to help others to engage with the Bible, explore questions around religion, and ultimately see Christian principles and ethics inform our society. If you would like to support our project click here.

Most Popular