Remote Control Members a Pastor’s Dream!

"Remote Control Members" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Remote Control Members” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

[GET THIS CARTOON FOR YOU OR YOUR PASTOR!]

No not every pastor is like this. But I think many would love to be able to control their members a little more! Who wouldn’t?

But it’s not that easy. We are all human beings, meant to be free… free to make choices, free to be who we are.

For me, the burning question is (since I facilitate a very exciting online community): how can I be free without violating the freedom of another? That is, how can we function without bumping into each other in hurtful ways?

Ah, yes Grasshopper!

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5 Responses

  1. Caryn LeMur says:

    Yes, I think that is the great difficulty, or the great question, on TLS – how do we ‘do’ deconstruction as a group of diverse people?

    Thus far, we have done it within a community.

    So then, I ask myself ‘what are the good, better, and best community standards?’

    And… I have watched the answer grow over the last few years there. The answer has matured quite a bit… but I am still not certain we have a fully-matured answer.

    But… that is ok. Because I think this answer is a living creature that is maturing over time.

    Time…

    It takes time to learn what type of people are intrinsically attracted to a place that allows you to question the shear ‘certainty’ of your religious experience…. and its far-reaching ripple effect into marriages, alternative marriages, vocations, and relationships.

    It takes time to read (and process) why people dare to experience such honest and vulnerable communication. It seems that some need/want to know that they ‘are not alone’ – and are satisfied. Others want/need a network of people that will stand with them. Others need much more time, much more communication, and sense their own growth is much faster among others that are also honest.

    It takes time to learn how ‘my’ grieving process – with its anger, bargaining, and depression – can be communicated to any group without damaging other people.

    It takes time to share similar stories, or different stories, rather than to police or correct others.

    People that have been abused by religions of various flavors seem to join TLS… . Yet, the issue thus far has only occasionally been doctrinal, but rather, the issues appear to be these: can we impart to them a spark of bravery in owning their own voice, owning their own right to disagree with their prior religion, owning the right to grieve their loss, owning their own right to reason, and owning their own right to do it again, and again, and again… each time a bit differently?

    Can we also give them room to reconstruct, as well as deconstruct? And again, giving them the right to do it again, and again, and again… each time a bit differently?

    Thus, in my opinion, the answer to the question ‘what are the good, better, and best community standards for TLS?’ continues to mature.

  2. Caryn: I like this very much. Continues to mature. I’m happy about that. But you articulated so well what I’ve been feeling about TLS. So good.

  3. Adam Julians says:

    Can I start first of all David and Caryn by offering my appreciation for what the give here.

    David – I often find through your art and your comments I am touched and have something to reflect on.
    Caryn – I often get a sense of a fellow journeyer with you and almost always find your comments engaging.

    I’d love some day to sit around a table and just chat.

    I’ll try and keep this comment short as there is so much I would like to discuss. First, I would say thanks for your latest cartoon David, it makes mee appreciative of my minster (pastor) who is not like the caricature of the pastor in the cartoon.

    Second – I’ve had resistance to this term “deconstruction” but am more likely to engage with it now there has been a similarity drawin with St. John of the Cross’s “Dark Night of the soul”. For me, the latter has more hope to it as i can relate to is more readily. Equally I respect anyone else’s journey where “deconstruction” is helpful.

    The thing with studying Derrider and his thing about deconstruction is that what has become apparent is that his approach is resistant to being deconstructed, which is why I have an issue with it. He basis it on the tower of babel ba-bel literally being “city of God” and it being associated with God’s judgement on the people there and throwing them into confusion. So the signified name in city of God being associated with confusion and so with God the association of confusion.

    It lends itself to a nihilistic world view. I would deconstruct the assigning of confusion to the name “God”. And suggest another association with this name – love. That the judgement on babel was about justice, people gone astray as we all do and this sense of consequences in the destruction of something that was not helpful. So in the process of deconstruction or the Dark Nigh of the Soul, facing often pain and fear, becoming dysfunctional even in order that the dross on our lives either of our own making or that of others comes to the surface and is burned off so we become freer, more able to be loved and more able to be loving.

    This is my understanding at present.

    So can I suggest that “bumping into each other in hurtful ways” is inevitable among imperfect human beings especially during darkest times? Therefore can it be said that forgiveness, grace to one another is needed and acceptance that with being loved and loving inevitably the heart will be wrung and possibly broken as CS Lewis talks of in if you love you are vulnerable?

    So “without damaging other people” can we accept that we all have been damaged either by what we have experienced or by our own choices and the reality is that we will continue to damage and be damaged as non of us are perfect? This is not to be depressed or anxious about it but to accept reality and suggest that there is perfect love the universe has to offer that we can all connect to that can bring healing, connection beauty, life etc.

    I hope in a little way that has been helpful. Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading if you have made it though it. I would have made it shorter if I know how to and get the points across!

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    Adam: good post. And yes, we are both sometimes long-winded… lol.

    I accept that we shall accidentally continue to damage one another. We shall bump into each other in hurtful ways

    And hopefully, after the damaging encounter, we will then re-think our differences, and apologize for our part in the damage, and then continue to allow our own thoughts to evolve.

  5. Adam Julians says:

    Hopefully, yes