C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    30 replies to "Jesus is My Homeboy"

    • PeteRock

      1. A male friend or acquaintance from one’s neighborhood or hometown.
      2. A fellow male gang member.

    • Dr_Mike

      OK, he can’t be a homeboy. Can he be a boyfriend? Pal? Dude? Big bro’?


      I don’t think there is a difference, other than the relative respectfulness of the two terms. For example, I refer to my spouse as my “wife,” not “my main squeeze” or “ho.”

      But maybe that’s just me.

    • Cadis

      Along with the lack of respect I think there is a difference in the terms in a definate way.
      I can have a king for a friend but we will not be equal in status, the king would be a friend or an ally but never a homeboy. Homeboys are equal in status and usually companions in crime(sin). Jesus is my friend, in that he is on my side, but he is also my Lord.

    • cheryl u

      I’m sorry CMP, but every time I see that picture it just causes an ache deep inside. I reckon it is what we older folks would call, “grieving my spirit”.

      I think that picture shows the “homeboy” concept very well–frankly it reminds me of “The Fonz” in the old Happy Days show. To me it is, as Cadis said, not only disrepectful, but pulls the King of Kings and Lord of Lords down to our level making Him our equal. Which of course He is not at all. Yes, He once walked this earth as a human. However, He is now in Heaven in His glorified state and I don’t think this picture is appropriate at all.

      I know you put it here to spark dialog, which it has done. But I honestly can’t wait until it isn’t staring me in the face when I check your blog!

    • Dave Z

      So who came up with the silly thing anyway?

    • Jay Saldana

      Wow, please don’t take this as a chastisement but how are you guys gonna reach the poor in the inner city if you already have negative opinions about the way they communicate and the language they use.

      A “Homeboy” for all of you raised in the south or rural area of the US is a person from your neighborhood. i.e> Boy from Home. Homeboy was used as slang for membership because gangs originally developed as neighborhood protection. Kind of like we call each other Brother or Sister or for the more cool “Bro” and Sis”. The “ho” thing was a way of taking the sting out of the judgment made by the middle class about the way they dress. It is not meant as a put down. What they were attempting to do was give them an inside joke that made the white middle class look foolish when they attempted to “save” them without relating to them as persons.

      Back to the question: I would love Jesus to be my homeboy. We could have lunch, laugh at all the silliness that passed for religion maybe He would just hug me and I could sit at His feet and listen. So unless you thing eating with that robber baron Zacchaeus (Lk 19) is a problem too … I love all you Hommies!

      jay saldana

    • Dave Z

      Ah, a movie – found it on Wikipedia. Also found a site called T-shirts and stuff. There’s a story behind it.

    • EricW

      I suspect that if Clarence Jordan were alive and writing today, his Jesus would be a “homeboy.” 🙂

    • Leslie

      It is from the movie, “Dogma.” I saw this film several years ago (before I was a Christian, actually). The statue was located and unveiled outside of the Catholic church featured in the film. The statue and was designed to get more people to come to church. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

    • #John1453

      Hmmm, I always figured that if Jesus said I was his friend, then that is what I was. I also figure that if Jesus wasn’t ashamed of having a real flesh and blood body, then he’s not ashamed of being someone’s homeboy. The post strikes me as nothing more than linguistic prejudice based on stereotypes. As far as I’m concerned, Jesus is totally dope (to mix two different linguistic dialects).


    • cheryl u

      I still think there is a difference between the way Jesus is our friend and the connotation usually thought of in homeboy, in my understanding any way.

      In our friendship for us, Jesus does not become our equal. He retains His “otherness”, to maybe coin a word here, and stays utterly holy.

      Maybe I am looking at the term homeboy in the wrong way. But I just can’t see it being applied in that way.

    • #John1453

      Given the presentation of Jesus in the Bible, I have every reason to expect that that we will be friends with him in the same way that the disciples and other people of His time (i.e., earthly time) were. The Father will also give Jesus the whole cosmos, and Jesus is also divine, but that does not remove his very humanness.

      We should be referring to and addressing Jesus informally, and not just as if He is the school principal, Mr. Jesus. If I were talking to people quite a bit younger than me, I would be able to say, “Jesus is sick”.


    • cheryl u


      I agree in part with what you are saying. And please don’t misunderstand, I do believe Jesus is our friend.

      I think, however that if you take a look at John’s experience in Revelation 1, it tends to give throw a whole different light on things. John the Apostle was, after all, Jesus’ closest earthly friend. Yet when He saw Him in His glorifed state, his reaction wasn’t to speak with Him informally, it was to fall on his face as though dead! Jesus did touch him and tell him not to fear. However, it seems to me that John’s whole relationship with Him changed when He appeared to Him as He is now–it added a whole different dimension to it.

      I think we lose something of the fear of God when we think of Jesus as a familiar friend and don’t have that added sense of awe and majesty and whatever else John saw that dropped him flat on his face before Him.

      Also, if we read on and hear the messages that Jesus gave to the seven churches and the description of Himself that He gave them, we don’t see a familiar friend. We see a majestic God that not only gives encouragement to them when He can, but demands repentance and tells them there will be severe consequences if they don’t.

      What I have just spoken of, along with the negative connotations that can be associated with the term “homeboy”, make me very uncomfortable with personally approving the use of this term for Jesus. Does that make any sense?

    • #John1453

      cheryl u, It seems that you would agree that given the flexible and changing nature of language, not all words carry the same meanings and connotations for everyone. I wouldn’t expect, nor desire, that someone use words that they are not comfortable with or that carry baggage, meanings and connotations, that they feel are inappropriate. As for me, “homeboy” is a neutral term, but though I could use in relation to Jesus, I doubt that I would because it’s not part of my typical vocabulary.

      Post resurrection, Jesus appeared as he did pre-resurrection to many people–a normal human (well, except for the walking through walls bit). The Bible does not state that Jesus will only appear or relate to us in one way, so I think it’s open to believe that we will relate to Him (and He to us) as both friend and glorified God. And in the time before His second coming, I think it appropriate to do the same (relate both ways). The devotional literature of the church over the years certainly gives evidence of both kinds of experiences happening and being appropriate.


    • cheryl u


      Again, I agree with most of what you are saying. I think I have had the sense, correctly or not, that when the term “homeboy” is used referring to Jesus, you probably end up with a much more laid back, friend only view that is leaving out the other aspects of Jesus. That picture in CMPs post certainly lends itself to that idea in my eyes at least. As a matter of fact, as I said before, the picture reminds me very much of a “Fonzie” type image. Even in Jesus human friendships with people while on this earth, He was still very much completely holy in all that He did. I don’t see that connotation in the “homeboy” image and certainly not in the picture above. In my mind, at least, that picture portrays Jesus as one entering into life with us where we are and partaking of all it with us and not holding Himself truly apart from our sin. Maybe no one else sees it that way, but to me that is what the wink and all of the rest speak of.

      Also, you mention Jesus in His post resurrection appearances to people. That was before His appearance in a fully glorified state in Heaven where He is now and where John saw Him in Revelation. It seems to me that may make a big difference and did to the Apostle John too.

      I guess I have just seen such a great lessening of the whole concept of a healthy fear of God in the church over the last years and an extreme emphasis on Jesus as our friend that the whole thing really bothers me. It is very dangerous to leave out the fear of God and focus solely on Him as a friend.

    • cheryl u


      I think I see the homeboy concept as similar to the white haired grandfather or Santa Claus image of God from the past. The friendly, laid back giver of all good things while winking at sin.

    • #John1453

      cheryl u, I do agree with you regarding the picture. However, that picture is not what “homeboy” means either to me or to those who use that word as part of their regular vocabulary.

      I also agree with you regarding the deplorable buddy buddy concept of Jesus where He winks at our sins, and does not demand holiness or full devotion.

      Like Jesus being true man and true God, He is also true friend and true Conqueror to be worshipped at His feet. Similarly the Father is both abba and also one whose holiness burns like a coal on the tongue. It seems to me from Scripture that we will do both in the new kingdom, in the new earth: sit by a fire and eat fish with Jesus, and at other times fall at his feet in worship. We will both call the Father “daddy”, and at other times join the choir in songs of worship and adoration before His blazing glory. But these thoughts of mine are not something I would go to the stake over.


    • cheryl u

      Hi #John,

      I guess the whole discussion hinges on what the term homeboy means to those who would be influenced by the “Jesus is my homeboy” slogan.

      In my mind, and the mind of many others, it has a very negative connotation. Therefore, I can’t personally see it any other way than I have talked about. It is not a concept I think I would likely ever be comfortable with because of that.

      It is, as you call it, “the deplorable buddy buddy concept of Jesus where He winks at our sins, and does not demand holiness or full devotion”, that troubles me and comes through to me here. But maybe that is not what comes through to many others, as you have indicated.

    • cheryl u


      You threw this whole concept out here for discussion. And there has been quite a bit, both pro and con. I am really curious, what is your take on this???

    • Jay Saldana

      Ok, it seems to me that we have a very narrow personal cultural view of the terms what is “holy, majestic, fear and homeboy” I would suggest that our concept of “holy” is not consistent with the reality of the “heroic” in the Bible. How many “holy” people have we met? Or maybe a better questions how many ‘Holy” people have we missed becasue we were looking with our cultural eyes and not our informed spiritual ones. For instance would we call a man who gave his wife away as his sister to save himself discomfort “holy”? If you wouldn’t then you need to review the life of Father Abraham. I know you could argue it was for mutal protection but call him “holy”?

      Let’s look at “fear” : the fear of God. 1> If you FEAR do you avoid sinning against that person or do you rather avoid the person and sin anyway and hope not to get caught – especially if you have no more reality on the punishment than you do the person you are to fear.
      2> If you have a relationship with that person do you FEAR that you might disappoint them? Do you fear “hurting” the one you love. Do you fear that your friend might see you as less if you behave less than their standards. Who do you hold in higher regard: The mayor or your friend. If you are saying friend then I assert that Jesus is your Homeboy.

      3> majesty: This is such an interesting word. I have met a few people with “majesty” in my life both spiritual and corporal.
      King Juan Carlos of Spain. He has majesty and dignity and laughs out loud and makes everyone his friend.
      Thomas Merton shortly before he died. He had serenity and majesty and carried a peace with him that surrounded the air around him.
      Mother Teresa of Calcutta. had that same air about her. I have meet several people in my church we call “prayer warriors” who project that same peace.

      All of these majestic people share/shared themselves without hindrance. They were/are very open and vulnerable and yet immensely strong.

      So i would ask you is Jesus more likely to be like them or more likely to be like our cultural icon of conservationism. Which image do you think would be more likely to suffer and die for you. And equally so which one would you FEAR their rejection/loss of you.

      Gang members die for one another all the time. I pray when or if my time comes I can do the same for my homeboy Jesus.



    • cheryl u


      Nobody but you is equating “holy” to “heroic”. They are NOT the same thing.

      When I speak of a holy God, I mean a sinless, perfect God. Not one that winks at sin.

      And when I speak of a majestic God, I am speaking of one like the glorified Jesus that John saw in Revelation. Not exactly the same majesty as a Thomas Merton, Mother Teresa, or an earthly King had.

      And as to which one would be more likely to suffer and die for me? I think the Biblical record speaks for itself. The holy, and majestic one that the Bible speaks of, the one that I was referring to, has already done that.

    • C Michael Patton

      Ha, you expect me, Cheryl, to interact with my own post? 😉

      I certainly see it as a disrespectful imagery.

      I like the saying, “What you win them with is what you win them too.”

      “Homeboy” in my area of the woods is like saying “he is my boy.” Very condescending. Can Christ be spoken down to in such a way.

      Even when we refer to him as “friend” we must first accept him as Lord and God. Only then does he become a friend. From a Christ “marketing” standpoint, this gets the cart before the horse.

      God is loving father, Lord, supreme. Once we see him and accept him as such, then Christ becomes our brother and friend.

    • cheryl u

      Thanks CMP!

      And thanks for clarifying what “homeboy” means in your neck of the woods.

    • Jay Saldana

      Actually Cheryl u “heroic virtue” is the only way to describe “holy” in my opinion. Anything else is beyond our means to reach or attain. Sorry if my post did not make that distinction.

      And as far as i know winking does not equate with devaluing the horror of sin. All that is added by the viewer. Like a bad interpretation of scripture added to suit the purpose of the reader/viewer.
      My understanding is that the purpose here was to get away from the “easy” folk theology. To examine our unconscious ways of viewing scripture and people it effects. It is certainly easy in the more conservative parts of the world to say that that image is demeaning. It is not at all my favorite image. But is it really demeaning or did we add that to that image? I would say we added to that. I would say that we have made “our neck of the woods” St. peters chair and forgotten about the other 6 billion 800 million others in the LA’s and Paris’s and India’s fo the world who might – I say MIGHT – see it differently.

      I realize that you were speaking of the Glorified God in John’s vision. But we also spoke of the Jesus in the Restoration, New Earth. That is the majesty I was speaking of. It some times seems to me that we make the hypostatic union more about being God and lessen that He is FULLY human. I was not arguing at all against anything that you said as much as I was arguing for more than you said.

      It seems to me that you cannot have Jesus as your “friend” without accepting Him as He is, “Lord and Savior” with all that that means; otherwise, He is not Jesus. And I would argue that my examples were not about Jesus but about our concepts of what “holy, Majestic, ect. mean or look like.

      I was hoping to have a working definition that we could converse about not challenge you but your concept of them. In my opinion, the concept was too narrow. just like, in my opinion, the concept of Homeboy is too narrowly defined. If you wanted to say that that image would not work in most of our churches, I would say that is probably true. But to condemn it out right is too narrowly cast.

      While I agree with most of what Michael said I disagree that it is disrespectful becasue it simply does not fit into our cultural concept of what Jesus Looked like or should look like. I say again we are adding the other things. Nowhere does that image say sin is ok. Nowhere does it say treat Jesus like you do your neighborhood buddy’s. Actually, I would read the image as saying you are one of mine. The ghetto/barrio version of I love you.

      If I offended you, I apologize. I am sure over time my writing skills will improve.



    • cheryl u


      Thank you for clarifying what you meant. I at least agree with you more now than I did before!

      I don’t know that you offended me personally. I just thoroughly disagreed with what you said, or at least what I thought you said.

      The fact remains that a large segment of the population seem to think of this slogan as disrepectful of our Lord. At the very least, given that fact, don’t you think a person should be very careful in using it in order to not give the wrong impression of Jesus, or even to avoid offending your fellow Christians?

      Finally, you made this comment, “Actually Cheryl u “heroic virtue” is the only way to describe “holy” in my opinion. Anything else is beyond our means to reach or attain. Sorry if my post did not make that distinction.”

      I was not speaking of a holiness we attain at all. I was speaking of the holiness and sinless perfection of Jesus. That is what I believe is downplayed in the “Jesus is my homeboy” slogan, at least as many see it and understand it.

    • Jay Saldana

      Thank you for acknowledging my reply.

      One of the things I have learned from Michael is that my speaking and by extension my writing is imperfect and not precise enough. It is something that I suspect I will be working on for a while. As fairly New Christian, in the protestant sense – only 11 years or so, there are a few things that drive me to distraction. One is that we often and I am not pointing any fingers here but speaking in general terms, speak of Faith as a noun. Like “I have Faith”. Or “Just have Faith”. For me, and how I have read scripture, Faith is belief as a Verb. That is, that having expressed belief expresses faith. Faith is what we DO not what we Have. Loving God requires me to honor Him not just in prayer but as a function of God being God and Jesus being Jesus and the Holy spirit being the Holy Spirit. Because I believe I must express Faith by what it is I do. I hope this is not to convoluted. My belief calls me, incites me, demands of me that I do as God commands and that is my “Faith”.
      The second thing is also part of the First thing. Our expression is often described solely as personal thing (between me and God only)as if it had not expression as “community”. The sole exception is “the Church”. WE are part of the body of the Church. But the problem with that description is that when we say “we” we mean the people around us. WE don’t seem- at least in my experience – to see all the souls living and dead as part of the Church. The Muslims, and the Hindi, and those Roman Catholics who are deep into their error with no concept of the word, Or the protestants and evangelicals to who have quirky ideas of the God head and the preachers who preach them errors. I am not saying they are Christian or even part of the Christian community. I am saying That Jesus died for them and we don’t weep for our inability to restore them to, or their loss to God their Father. I am saying that our “body” is missing limbs and fingers or at best dis-eased becasue of our missing brothers and sisters.

      So why did I bring up these two things… becasue when we say large parts of our communion may be offended the question I want to ask is: “should they be?” If they should then I must stop. If should not be offended then I,we, must find a way to lift them up and encourage them to restore the expression of their belief.

      The last thing I want to say is that I may be totally bonkers. I may be a looney tunes. A poor man’s Cervantes tilting at windmills. I believe God led me here to find out. To clarify my theology and see what I am missing or what needs to disciplined or corrected.
      While I may be looney tunes I am not foolish to think I know more than those around me. I am here to stir up the dirt of my thinking and make sure the seeds of my life are planted in His very best soil. But like any garden I may have to pull a few weeds.

      I promise to go at it heavy but love well.

      as always I am at your…

    • rey jacobs

      Homeboy is less blasphemous than malevolent lottery comissioner.

    • Samantha

      I don’t think any disrespect is meant here. Jesus was both Divine AND Human. His entire exsistence was designed to make it easier for humans to better relate to God, to the Divine. Pious notions aside: Jesus was cool, embracing, accepting, thought outside the box, and did what he wanted to do in his life. Criminals, prostitutes hung with Jesus because he wanted us to know that ALL are worthy of Divine love and acceptance. Do you really think he’d mind the Homeboy reference? Really? If he lived in modern times, I bet he’d employ the term to embrace some of the youth of today. Times change. Ideas change. Christ is timeless. Humanity and language are what get in the way of that timelessness. Relax. Enjoy the idea that Jesus might actually “be” one of your Homeboys. We’re not going to ask him to start rapping or wearing thuggish clothing. He’s still in his robes. But don’t ever forget: Jesus was human in the most human of ways. He had anger and wrath and did the messy work to bring people closer to God.

      So Relax, already.

      Samantha Henry

    • Brother Stumblefoot

      Jay Saldana, I just wanted to thank you for the kind words over on the “What if my children are not elect” post. I don’t get a lot of kind words on most of these comments, and for some reason, the “Post a comment” access apparatus is now missing from where I read the post. I appreciate your even handed response to what I had said, and I wish you God’s blessing.

      I have been wondering lately, perhaps the comment response access should be eliminated altogether, as the product of it all is usually the proverbial “more heat than light.” Grace to you.

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