While I was drawing this cartoon, I was listening to “Elysium”, the theme song from the film Gladiator. Now there was a man who, even though they took everything else, didn’t let them take his soul. Even though Jesus didn’t say these words, I think they are heard.
Here’s a story from my good friend Julia. Her husband Doug and I co-pastored the last church I was in for so many years. We are probably best friends. We’ve been through so much together, including a devastating church split. Julia left a comment last night and I asked if I could use it in a post, so here it is:
Hi everyone. I’d like to answer a few of these questions.
No, this hasn’t been my experience because I have hidden my changing beliefs from almost everyone I know. Looking back over the past several years, I think my beliefs have gone underground. I lived so many years with my spirituality open and on display for everyone to see so that when I went through a devastating church split ( the same one the Nakedpastor went through), it became repulsive to me to display any spirituality at all- if that makes any sense. I stopped praying in public (and later on a personal level)and talking about God. And my conscience hasn’t allowed me to open the bible for quite a few years. It’s a stretch for me to even verbalize what is happening to me/my beliefs. It’s almost as though I have run out of a language that is in any way adequate in expressing my beliefs, or the lack thereof.
So, please overlook my deficient wording as I struggle to find words I can live with. Now, I find it excruciatingly painful to even listen to someone talk about God in the traditional way. I feel bad about this but that type of conversation (and all the assumptions that go with it) makes me want to run!
This place seems safe though. I’m actually encouraged by so many professions of unbelief! Haha. I fit right in!Most of the time I can’t believe there might be something out there beyond ourselves and I’ve been living as though there isn’t. This is a great relief to me. It’s like a millstone has been lifted from around my neck.
I guess not praying, not reading the bible and not talking about God have all been rewarding steps in the long run – albeit painful at the time because I didn’t understand what was happening to me.