the church, your freedom, and now what?

"Free at Last" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Free at Last” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Something I’ve learned: there are people outside the church just as much not free as there are those within it. Being within or outside the church is secondary. What primarily needs to be understood is that one must realize one’s own freedom wherever we are.

For this guy, it took leaving the church to find his freedom. This is my experience.

Now that I know I’m free, I understand I’ve always been free. But I had to take certain steps and exercise my freedom in order to know I already had it. Granted, this says more about me than the church.

As a result, I can now have a healthier relationship to the church and to religion in general… because I have a healthier relationship to me!

This is my goal in helping others deconstruct and get in touch with their own freedom and independence, no matter what their relationship is with religion, with the church, with spirituality, or with any one or any thing. When we realize we’re already free, then we can live healthier lives.

I’m reading, again, the great book by Thomas Merton, The Asian Journal. I’m reminded of the fact that he had to go to Asia to realize he’d always been free as a hermit at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. Even though he was as free as a bird on his Asian trip, all clues indicate he was determined to return to his small hermitage back home. He was always free. Now he knew it and experienced it no matter where he found himself.

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5 Responses

  1. Ducatihero says:

    “I have a healthier relationship to me” Great! I identify with that.

    What I don’t identify with is having to leave church to find it. Though I didn’t find my identity in being part of church in the first place with coming to faith in my 30’s . Perhaps if I had been part of church all of my life, things might have been different. Although having said that I have had me moment of “leaving before cleaving” with kind of going through a teenage stage with it not longer being an adult/child church/me relationship but adult/adult.

    Going through spiritual puberty is a drag!

    So yeah, one example of this with finding my own way is rejecting the teaching that joy is (in order of preference) about being attentive to Jesus, Others, then Yourself. What I have learned is about nurturing true self in order to be free to encounter love for God and others as yourself and escaping the clutches of a false sense of self from social influences and less than helpful personal choices.

    I’ve found this to lead to life fulfilling joy rather than the life draining pseudo-joy of deferred hope making the heart sick.

  2. Caryn LeMur says:

    Oh! I had forgotten that old line, JOY equals Jesus, Others, then Yourself… lol. It has been years since I heard that meme

    And I agree with you on this one, Ducati, the meme is false.

    Unless a person’s self-esteem is solid, they cannot love God… they can serve Him, worship Him, and pray to Him… but to love someone is not an act of desperation, but of two adults with mutual respect.

  3. Ducatihero says:

    Exactly 🙂

  4. Rob Grayson says:

    Awesome, David. Love it.

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