caution Christians

caution christians cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

A show interviewed me today. I’ll post it as soon as it is up. But I was asked an interesting question. He asked me how I stand being criticized every day and getting nasty emails and messages all the time.

Well, for one thing, if I give it I have to take it. I’m in the critiquing business. I always check my work before I post it to make sure it is constructive criticism and not just mean. I wrote a whole post about the etiquette of critique, and I always try to make sure I follow my own advice. I always want my critiques to be fair and done in such a way that it doesn’t prevent, damage or jeopardize my relationship with others.

Secondly, I said that you get used to it after a while. You develop a thick skin. When you are certain about what you are doing and are passionate about it, you can withstand pretty severe criticism and attacks. It’s like playing the guitar. After a while you develop callouses on your fingertips that enable you to play better and longer.

What was most interesting to me though was that the interviewer knew how much I got negative press. He said that he sees all that goes on around my blog and the things that are being said. That was interesting. There is a storm around nakedpastor. That’s for sure!

I tell everybody that engaging others online, like on Facebook, is like the Thunderdoom. You don’t come out of there without some cuts and bruises. But if you like a good fight and you think the fight is worth it, then you do it gladly. But expect to get stabbed in the back, slapped around, spit upon and kicked while you’re down. Some people delight in doing that.

I have some friends that have quit Christianity altogether just for this reason. They were tired of the infighting. It is just too ridiculous for them to put up with anymore.

I understand. I still want in the game though. In fact, I want to go to the big league.

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.

  • Pat

    One of the best drawings yet!

  • http://thought-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte
  • Cynthia McClaskey

    David, I always look forward to not just your drawings, but what you SAY underneath them. What you say has just as much, if not more, impact as the drawing. keep up the great work.

  • http://nakedpastor.com David Hayward

    thanks cynthia!!

  • Caryn LeMur

    Brigitte: thank you for the link. I was not aware of the amount of explosive response that the Roman Catholic church was receiving in Brussels. And, I am not aware of the separation of the Roman Catholic church from the affairs, and laws, of Brussels, Belgium.

    In my American Church mindset, we normally ‘vote with our feet and money’ – so, we walk out of the church when it closes it mind to questions, and cease to give it any money. We seldom attack a preacher, pastor, or bishop (even an attack with water). But we are not Europeans… we have, in America, a strong separation of church and state… so, most American believers do not feel radically threatened by a church-based speaker that states in a private church-setting that ‘homosexuality is blasphemy’ or ‘celibacy is God’s choice for homosexuals’…. until that church-based believer tries to influence the state laws or Federal laws.

    I may challenge them in that private church-setting as one believer to another… but not with a physical attack…. wow….

    Good grief… let the people that serve the Law of Moses continue to serve it. Let those that serve the Law of Christ continue to serve it.

    Again, thank you for the link… it is good to think beyond America. Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Adam Julians

    David – I know we don’t always agree, but I am drawn to your blog and I think the reason I am is because I see what you are doing and I see much need for what you are doing. It personally helped me through a time of difficulty in recent months to know I am not alone in the way I am thinking and in my experiences. And to know that there are people like yourself out there who are brave enough to say unpopular things and to take the flak for doing so.

    In moments of peace I have had recently, I read the words you have written and am reminded of what Jesus said about being blessed. Matt 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.

    So in that sense I believe David that you are a prophetic voice, calling the church to do what it is meant to. This is not me being a kiss ass or out of any desire for your approval, but what I genuinely believe is at work through you in God’s plan. And the backstabbing you will receive for doing things because of Christ will be as Christ spoke of “Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country” (Jn 4:44).

    Again, I don’t agree with everything you stand for and I hope that where we have disagreements on debatable issues we can agree to disagree. But I write for your encouragement and empowerment in the battle against false teaching, false prophesying and in calling the church to what Jesus commissions it to do.

    The Jewish scholar Heschel says that there is a pardox in the words that a prophet speaks, they are both words that are harsh but also of compassion. I need to add that the condition you talk of about the church is also a reflection of humanity in wider society. The theologian Miroslaf Volf says that too often what happens in the church often merely reflects the sickness of the surrounding culture.

    Unless the power love and sound mind that is in Christ is engaged with for transformation then we have no hope but for things to stay as they are. I would suggest a need for repentance and a lifestyle that reflects continuing repentance and enabling in the Lord for good.

  • Carol

    Whew, David, you are really crankin’ ‘em out! I can’t keep up with you.

    This is not a complaint or a suggestion that you slow down. When the muse moves, you gotta move with it or lose the momentum.

    I am just venting my frustration that my responsibilities is actual space time are preventing me from spending as much time as I desire in virtual cyberspace, considering all of the great insights that you have been sharing at an accelerated pace these days.

  • http://nakedpastor.com David Hayward

    i’m not sure if i should apologize or not carol ;)


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