Bathtime Baptism

Between the Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason but the most deceitful one for calling the religion of this land Christianity…
– Frederick Douglass

Mom used to sing us a bathtime song—

we’ve come this far
by faith
every, every, every day
leaning on the Lord

that the god of American religion
was not our God.

The faith of Frederick taught us
to see the widest possible difference
between the Jesus who was hung on a tree
and the one who hung us on them.

The baptism of bathtime—
when we were immersed
into a long tradition
of faithful resistance.

Oh, can’t turn around
we’ve come this far
by faith.

Drew E. Jackson is a poet who writes at the intersection of justice, peace, and contemplation, having a passion to contribute toward a more just and whole world. His debut poetry collection, God Speaks Through Wombs, is set to be released by InterVarsity Press in September 2021. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. While he’s not traversing the world of poetry, Jackson spends his time pastoring Hope East Village, a church that he planted in 2018. He also serves as the President of Pax, an organization focused on promoting the peace of Jesus in the 21st century. You can download a mini collection of Jackson’s poetry for free.

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