you can stay or leave

I have always felt it is of utmost importance to allow people their right to choose and walk their own spiritual walk, no matter where they are or where it might lead. It’s their right! Respect it.

Did you know it is possible to help people leave the church, stay in the church, stay away from the church, return to the church, or to become an atheist, or to choose another religion? It’s their choice. Respect it.

Yesterday I got two separate emails from two different people. I kind of shook my head at how much different they are. I’ve taken a sentence out of each of them for you to read:

I feel you played a huge part in us growing away from the church and I want to thank you for that!

But I want to acknowledge that your art gave me the courage to sort of follow the route ahead, even if I started to see that I was re-gravitating towards Church.

But when I thought about it, I realized that they are essentially the same. These two different people found the courage, the independence and the joy of making their own spiritual choice. Respect it.

You are free to walk your own spiritual walk. You have the right to take the path that has been laid out before you. It’s your privilege and responsibility to stand where you want. Be confident but not proud. Be courageous but not careless. Be wise but not cocky.

Respect yourself.

Do you want to talk with me? I’m available: CLICK HERE.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Maggie

    Wonderful! So very true. It’s not about getting everyone to or away from the church. It’s about giving them the freedom and respect to go where they feel they belong.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    true :)

  • Emily

    I don’t want to assume that my path will always be toward/within/alongside the church, but at present, it is, and I truly appreciate your respect, and truly respect you in return. I wonder if those of us inside the church can truly cultivate an attitude that does not look down upon those who are outside of it, and who (perhaps for very good reasons) decline the invitation to enter in? What would that church look like?

  • Syl

    Emily, I think it would look (or feel or sound) a lot like David’s blog and the accepting space he’s created. :-)

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    hi emily: i tried to pastor my churches that way, but the resistance is remarkable. i found it difficult and sometimes even impossible. but i still believe it can be. totally.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    And we all have the right to jump off a cliff.

    But I wouldn’t push anyone in that direction. :D

  • Gary

    Steve is nothing if not predictable. LOL

  • http://www.boredwithchurch.info Steve

    I know that my desire is to simply work with people who are not finding the church everything they need. People who want to explore spirituality outside the confines. Allowing them to admit that church is not everything is so important – staying or leaving is their choice, once they know that it is a choice. And once they realise that leaving church does not mean leaving Christianity.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ SocietyVs

    “And we all have the right to jump off a cliff. But I wouldn’t push anyone in that direction.” (Steve)

    Interesting, do you understand how all your decisions effect and have effected other people? You may have stance on global warming or even the gay issue that may actually push people ‘off cliff’s. How can you be so sure that what you believe and say is not harming other individuals?


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