deafening

god's silence is defeaning prayer from the cell by nakedpastor david hayward

Honestly, you can pretend to hear from God and it will work for you and for those you tell. More than that, you can actually believe you hear from God and that is even more powerful and convincing. You can believe anything you want and the world will rush in to substantiate it. We need to realize that this happens.

Have you read Endo’s “Silence”? If not, you should. It’s a powerful and honest writing about the silence of God.

This isn’t to say I don’t feel as though I’ve received direction or revelations from without. But they fall under a totally different category. I don’t even know how to explain them, and they have been, generally, scary as hell.

Have you visited davidhayward.ca?

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.

  • Ms. Jennifer Élise Atchison

    aaah… listening with the wrong organ… I can’t get him to shut up! ;)

  • Jacquie

    I hear ya David….God is another matter. I can remember the days when I am sure I did hear God’s voice (I still believe that was so) although working on my intuition may have produced the same kind of results. Usually ‘hearing God’s voice, although not always, was as a directional clue…like do this, don’t do that…etc.

    I would welcome God’s voice if it came through though I must admit…but would have to take ‘the voice’ on trust and that isn’t an easy state for me to accept these days.

    Thanks David for yet again a great thought-generator.

  • Stephen

    I find that he’s quite vocal in my life, once I learned that he wanted to speak to me and that it was possible. It took a few years of discovery, but having encounters with him daily is amazing for me. Bless you, David.

  • David

    Hi,

    Interviewer: What does God say to you when you prayer?
    Mother Theresa : Nothing
    Interviewer: What do you say when you pray to God?
    Mother Theresa: Nothing

    Thomas Merton: God is nothing

    Now I understand

    David

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com Sabio Lantz

    Some of us take “years of discovery” to fool themselves, others of us are naturals at fooling ourselves very quickly, with little effort.

    @ David,
    Do you think that all the various Bible authors felt that God was silent? Which ones agreed with you and which don’t?

  • http://www.julieannchristian.wordpress.com Magdalena (Julie Armstrong)

    I have read Endo’s “Silence.” Endo had a lot of influence on my faith. I hear from God best when I am not trying to force God to say something.

  • cass

    david, i am huge fan o your work, your vulnerability, honesty, etc and my path has paralleled your own, lately though I keep getting the feeling like you need to save some money and travel, go out. Do you think spending hours a day on these websites cud set you up from living in a mental bubble, like a lake with no streams pouring in? granted its obvious you read a lot, but something feels stagnant. Pls dont take offense to this, I deeply appreciate you, and if im wrong i apologize.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    God speaks to us in His Word and sacrament.

    Notions, or feelings, or audible messages or dreams, oir whatevers…may also be of God…but more than likely are just our imagination, or last night’s pizza, or whatever.

    And it could even be the devil.

    That’s why we ought stick to what is trustworthy, in every instance, His Word and sacraments. We can count on those things.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    thanks David. always loved that quote.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    if i could afford a vacation i would. thanks for your thoughts cass. i’m in the middle of a huge and significant transition in my life. you’re reading the documentation of my travels. but i don’t like the word “stagnant”. that scares me.

  • Emily

    At the moment, I’m trying to focus not so much on God speaking, but on God being present. I feel like I’ve been trying so hard to figure out my own consistent theology as of late that I’ve been living with a faith that’s too much in my head and not enough in my entire being. Sure, it’s important for me to endeavor to make sense of God, but that will be a lifelong journey that I will never complete to my own satisfaction. But the simple acknowledgement of the presence of God, not trying to explain Godself, nor necessarily endowing me with any great vision, but simply being and loving and filling the silence, that is what’s most important.

  • Jacquie

    David (NP)… I think you are far from stagnant. The new website takes a lot of preparation and thought to feed your “congregated members”…an extension and furtherance of your ordained ministry.

    I am very thankful for that, David. You are feeding us all (spoiling us even with your great content and the contributions that enables from all the members of the website).

    Check it out people davidhayward.ca

  • Natalie

    Thank you for the suggestion of the book. I immediately went to the library’s website and checked it out. This sounds like EXACTLY what I need because it really is exactly the kind of questions that I have.

  • Crystal ( the original )

    Yes, I read Endo’s “Silence” – a thought provoking book, and one that every Christian should read before spouting out their endless proclamations about God answering all their prayers and coming to the rescue of every believer! Sorry, folks, it isn’t always the reality. Sorry to burst your bubble., but get real, and maybe you’ll attract more people to your faith.

  • http://www.whatisspiritual.com Richard Harty

    There are more connections within 1 square centimeter of the human brain than there are stars in the Milky Way. And in the post synaptic cellular matrix there are trillions of microtubules that contain a full compliment of holographic molecules designed to form logic gates. Don’t you think that it’s more likely what people call the voice of god is simply a complex awareness created by the human brain which has been evolving its ability to recognize patterns for millions of years?

    More and more I recognize the need to have some kind of god out there is based on ego and fear. Why else would violence so often be connected with religion? Why else would religious people have such exaggerated reactions to people who question their beliefs?

    The need to have sacraments and holy books is pure ego.

  • Beth

    Richard Harty – What you said here echos much of what I’ve been thinking lately. Ego and fear – you make a well stated and excellent point.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    i agree richard. i have a question for you: have you read “Silence”? It is a powerful read and I’d love your impression of it.

  • Jacquie

    I’ve not read “Silence” but I have just ordered it from a private seller via Amazon for £.01 plus P&P.

    I am looking forward to receiving it, based on the comments here, it should prove to be a stimulating and thought-provoking read. Thanks for the thumbs up.

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com Sabio Lantz

    Western Buddhism is significantly different than most of Buddhism around the world which, like Christianity, is full of superstition where believers pray for their loved ones and themselves to get healthy, get jobs and be happy.

    Buddhists don’t believe in a God, but many think Boddhisatvas (sort of the equivalent of Catholic Saints) answer prayers. So I am curious how they toy with their theology when the Boddhisatvas are silent. They don’t have to change their idea of God (since they never had one), they can let go of the Boddhisatva power, but they still have the Buddha. But I wonder how they really feel when the magic disappears.

    Christians redefine God, and move toward mysticism or drop into Agnosticism or Atheism. But if there never was a God in the story, I wonder what happens when the magic fails?

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com Sabio Lantz

    OK, I ordered Endo’s ‘Silence’ (on CD) too. I read and write Japanese and lived there for 7 years, graduating from a Japanese University and knew a few Japanese Christians in my days. They always seemed a bit odd to me. Sort of like Jehovah Witnesses here. Since Christianity is a minority religion there, the motivations for converting breed a unique Japanese-Christian crowd. See my post on “Motivations for Embracing Religion“.

    So I will be curious to hear the author’s mind behind what I know of the type of folks that convert to become Christians in Japan. I am curious what I will hear.

  • http://www.whatisspiritual.com Richard Harty

    I have not read “Silence” yet. I did a little research and read some comments on the book. I may read it to have a more direct experience of its narrative. From my reading of the summary it appears to be the story of a priest sent to Japan to convert the Japanese to Roman Catholicism and to investigate the apostasy of an earlier tortured priest. And when being persecuted by the rather cruel Feudal Shoguns the priest expresses his thoughts on the silence of god within his suffering.

    I think some background is important. The Catholic church had been the early spear into the Philippine Islands. This had been integral to the ability of Spain to take over the rule of the Philippines. The church had also brought the inquisition to India where it began to burn people at the stake and torture others. When the Japanese saw this they realized that if they let Christianity in, European rule would soon follow. Their solution was to outlaw Christianity much like Christianity had outlawed all other religions. In a twisted sense they were following the Christian example given them.

    So it makes it difficult for me to empathize with the character in the book, because his religion had created the suffering he was going through. I feel empathy for his suffering, but I also pity him for his ignorance. I feel much the same way about contemporary Christians because their belief system creates the very suffering they seek a cure from.

    Viktor Frankl’s work on the problem of suffering is far more valuable to me because it is based in reality and doesn’t require an imaginary deity to resent for not acting.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    yes, exactly richard, which is why i feel the book must be read by “christians” so immersed in a “christian” ideology.

  • ylenia

    i dont know if people here still view the bible as literal, but its interesting to me that many who say they trust the bible or sacraments over direct experience of God seems ironic considering the bible details from beginning to end story after story of Gods supernatural intervention time and time again. From Adam and eve in the garden, to jacob and the angels ladder to moses and the burning bush, to daniel and visions to elijah and power over elements to Jesus where it is written that he performed so many more miracles than were written down, to the experience pf the apostles time and time again supporting their message through supernatural events…….doesnt anyone think it ironic….how different it looks now and how rationalistic (and invented) our arguments and logic seem to explain that away?

  • ylenia

    by the way I have read ENdo’s silence, read a lot of eastern works, work with chinese medicine theory as well as ayurvedic and am half middle eastern myself. I believe its two seemigly opposing truths, paradoxes, that are reflections of two sides to the same coin. pros and cons to both

  • cass

    i deeply appreciate you documenting your travels, I wish I would have documented mine more, Im grateful for your work, it has helped and inspird me David, only wish you the best as your journey on…cheers mate!

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    Thanks Cass. I don’t take your words lightly. I don’t want to be stale or stagnant. I needed that nudge to always do my best.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    ylenia: thanks for your thoughtful comments. i suppose the problem for many is the nature of scripture.

  • Jacquie

    You’ve been very kind to reassure David of his creativity and how his posts and drawings have influenced your walk. Have a blessed day, Cass.

  • cass

    it was in my own journey, where I had isolated myself from most anyone’s input bc those around me could not see past very small boxed views of God that one day someone rare, somone who understood gave me a serious nudge. I knew immediately it was totally different. AsI came to separate who I was as spirit and soul from my ego or flesh and the latters coping mechanisms the inimacy with a few others became a place i not only went to for encouragement, transparency and to heal that inner child but also a place for clarity, to be remided who I really am, where those who’ve come to know me see me, help divide through the bone and marrow per se. Those levels of honesty are true relationship and I love it when they bring clarification or nudges bc it helps move me towards manifesting poteential and freedom. I only wish more relationships could come into this freedom. I say that to mean David that I see your enormous potential as a spirit after truth and in sharing my “view” whether right or wrong, it was nowhere near meant to out diwn, rather a reminder that “hey, i see you, and this is what I feel”…that is all. Your comics are the bomb, and thankyou for engaging with me maturely, it says a lot! all the best david!

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    thanks Cass. i would LOVE a vacation. both lisa and i. she has one more year of nursing school. i was laid off two months ago and am trying to make what i do online with nakedpastor and davidhayward a full time endeavor from which i would receive my income. so i am tired. exhausted really. but i have hope this is all going to work out. my chief desire is to help others in their spiritual walks. i do appreciate your kindness and candor.

  • cass

    thanks for what you do David, you are in my wife and I’s prayers, thanku for your humanity int he midst of it, keep it up!


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