Jesus Does the Breaking Up

jesus breaks up cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

“Jesus Does the Breaking Up”

Man do I ever remember the fear that I lived in wondering if Jesus was ever going to do this to me. I was never devoted enough. Never committed enough. I was always of being lukewarm and being spewed out of his mouth. What the heck’s lukewarm exactly? I was always living in fear that Jesus was going to drop me like a hot potato.

Fear is an awesome motivator. Powerfully effective. That’s why it is the most popular weapon in the religious arsenal. It really works!

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.

  • Kathy

    This is totally hilarious, why is this so funny? Is it the idea of Jesus repeating the words of millions of women, world-wide? Is it the idea of Jesus saying “I don’t think you are even going to miss me.”? Good one, D. You are so on it! lol. This is really sort of shocking to me and maybe that is it. You really know how to hit that religious nerve, man! lol.

  • roseyaire

    And let’s not forget that God is a jealous God! If he’s so omnipotent, who does he have to be jealous of? Why so insecure?

  • Shary Hauber

    So well said the fear that I use to live in. It is being used to silence the abused. If you don’t forgive God will not forgive you. Therefore don’t make any trouble about your abuse and forgive your abuser (so he/she can go on abusing).

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    When He says, :I will never leave you nor forsake you…He means it!

    We, on the other hand, run to first pretty face or fancy car that comes along. And yet He STILL loves us!

    What a God!

  • CassandraToday

    Maybe we can still be friends?

  • Adam

    Yeah that is funny with you using the words a woman would use for Jesus.

    And yes fear being something that is used as a weapon. I think or Orwells 1984 in which fear was used to control the proleteriat. The action of govenmnet with fear of “the other”, cults, religious hypocricy, in fact worse of all, any misrepresentation of Jesus. Thankfully he doesn’t give up easily on humanity!

    And in the light of that some very important voices being expressed about a contrived kind of fogiveness that enebles abuse, and a form of jealousy that is insecurity that misrepresents God. As Brendan Manning has been quoted as saying, this being in his view the kind of thing that is the single most contributor to atheistism. And who can blame anyone choosing athesim if this has been their encounter with those representing God.

    I don’t think when the bible talkg about forgiveness and not forgiving leading to God not forgving, it is about enebling abuse. I think it is about fair treatment, of being treated as one would treat others. I’ve heard a saying that forgiveness means letting the prisoner go free and realising the prisoner is yourself. This is not an insensitivity to the pain anguish and even wounding that has been done be the one being forgiven. Elsewhere there is the directive to guard one’s heart. The last thing anyone woud do if they are attentive to that would be to enable wounding for themselves or act in a way that any existing wound be aggrevated, but take steps for healing. And the bible promotes times to be angry. Remeber scripture that says be angry but in your anger do not sin? So, there is place for healing justice and fogiveness. The alternative to fogiving is ugly.

    And God being jealous. Well I don’t think of that as an insecure kind of jealous. I think of it as a loving jealous a sign of deep commitment. Just as a hasband would have a deep commitment to a wife. And as demonstated by Jesus as he wept over Jesusalem as he longed to be like a mother to the city but the people there would not let him.

    Of course others would see differently and may even mistake the words they read in this comment as enabling abuse and wounding. And would want to treat what has been written here as inappropriate. The same happend to Jesus. Just as anoyone who represents Jesus and God badly will face judegement for that and thoes they abuse find justice either now or at some pont in the future, those that act as Jesus did, will also be hated by those misrepresenting God and / or being unjust.

  • Carol

    There are not only narcissistic individuals, there are narcissistic communities.

    Is not the Church the Bride of Christ? Fortunately Christ is more like the prophet Hosea than your cartoon Jesus.

    If the Kingdom of God were a meritocracy, we would all be screwed instead of “saved” (whatever that religious cliche might mean in church-speak: http://www.batteredsheep.com/church-speak.html).

  • http://sspjut.com Shawn Spjut

    Once I got over the quickie part LOL I had to agree with D. Somewhere along the way we thought any or all of this was our doing: as if it were us pursuing Him, or we were responsible for even keeping the relationship going. Didn’t John the Eldar say that the only reason we even love Him is because He first loved us? The cycle of the Beloved is God gives, causes us to receive, helps us give it back, then pours out His goodness and His love on us all over again.

    Most ministries teach us that it is our job to please God (and if that is true, then I certainly don’t need Jesus – I’ll just do it myself thank you very much) – which only results in narcissism and failure.

    No wonder we’ve become fearful that He’ll leave us if we fail to please Him >like an emotionally abusive marriage, we’ve assigned Jesus the role of sadistic manipulating husband and us the masochistic receiving wife. Dear God…no wonder the world says ‘No Thank You”…got enough of that going on already…don’t need any more.

    Well done David.

  • Adam

    Can I just pick up on a few things raise by the well put concerns of everyone that has contributed?

    David – with the fear
    Carol – With the narcissism and Christ being morel like Hosea than the cartoon Jesus.
    Shawn – with pleasing God.

    All brilliant points.

    When I think of the fear, I think of Peter saying to Jesus to get away from him because he was a “sinful man”. Why was it that he reacted that way I wonder. Perhaps he had been beaten down by religious teaching to think less of himself than was proper. Perhaps he was so overcome by the holiness of Jesus that it felt too much for him. Perhaps neither of these, perhaps both but fear does certainly seem to be present.

    And if it becomes all about us (how often have you heard in society messages that it is all about you?) then we do indeed not need God. We separate ourselves from God by our own choices.

    It seems to me that God is more concerned about us, just as the father was more concerned about the son that was still alive than what he had done in the story of the prodigal son. And then in receiving that love, then if we are inclined to let that same love flow out to others, this being the thing that God would be pleased with. I see this as what overcomes fear and narcissism. How can any of us be afraid of Jesus if we know he has got us covered and how can any of us be narcissistic if we know that it is God’s love that we are vessels of rather than what we exhibit that comes from ourselves. It seems to me that when we get this right, it takes 100% commitment and 100% the power, love and sound mind that is God in the form of the Holy Spirit. The thing that Jesus prayed for his disciples, that they would be at one with the father just as he was.

    I like Phil 4:8 “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.

  • http://sspjut.com Shawn Spjut

    Yes Adam. I think too often our theology becomes about us rather than the incredible manifestation of love demonstrated in and through Jesus. I think Peter’s response to Jesus was “Peter” centered, just as “Adam’s” was “Adam” centered after the fall. But Jesus came to show us a different picture – one of “For God so loved the world that He…” When our hearts can see that kind of love, then the fear of abandonment or misogynistic abuse has no place in hearts any more.

  • Adam

    Indeed Shawn fear or abuse has no place in our hearts with God’s love.

    It is easy to make abuse about mysgyinsm. While it is true that most positions of authority are held by men it is not always the case that men are the abusers or women are innocent victims of abuse.

    I have referred in other postings to have been wounded by a female family member which was then treated in a church as me having been the one who have acted inappropriately with the presupposition of men having been in power and God dealing with men in the first instance. Not only was this unhelpful with regard to the wounding I had expereinced, it inflicted further wounding. When I spoke against this with regard to the leader that treated me as such I was told “I can’t have that” by the pastor. At the same time he said “we love you ad we value you”.

    This is a pattern I have found to be repeated elsewhere. So, I learn to keep quiet about such things or risk further wounding by taking the courageous and vulnerable step to share my expereince. I expereince fear now in anticipation of a respose I would receive from this comment. And so I face that fear and share, instead of being quiet and fearful. If that is not God working then what is?

    I hope this gives encouragement to people to talk about what they have survived. I’ve known percious moments of such shared expereinces and the power of healing in such. Listening to others who have survived and been able to turen their life around from what the enemy has done to harm to what God has turned into good has been an inspiration!

  • http://sspjut.com Shawn Spjut

    Adam:
    Let me just say that the deception among many abusive leaders runs so deep it takes a miracle of grace for them to recognize, let alone acknowledge, that what they are doing is in no way representative of the kingdom of God. They truly don’t see it and are, for the most part, completely blind to the reality of what it is they are doing.

    As a former abuser, I ask your forgiveness. I used to be one of those who abused the sheep in the name of Jesus – even thought I was the prophetic arm of the Lord. Then that abuse was turned on me and I had first hand knowledge of just how twisted the ‘gospel’ had become in the hands of many who have been appointed to lead. It’s a very sobering thought to wake up one day and discover that you’ve spent a considerable amount of time misrepresenting the very One who held all power and authority – yet choose to rule by loving rather than ‘lording’.

    Yet his grace and his love is truly amazing and now I’d rather love you than presumptuously try to manipulate, co-hearse or lead you. It’s not my job to tell others what to do or even how to do it. It’s only my job to be loved by God and share the journey.

  • Adam

    Shawn,

    Thank you for your response. I’m having tears as I have read it, and they are healing, releasing tears. You honour my courage to have shared what I did.

    As for forgiveness for things you have done as a fomer abuser, you haven’t done anythign personally to me in need of forgiveness. And I would not want to presume on the behalf of others. So in hoestry I don’t think it appropriate for me to do that. What I can do thought is be an advocate for you to father God for his forgiveness which I do for things you did in ignorance that you woudn’t have reconised or ackowledged at the time.

    Can I also say i find your willingness to confess wrong doing as admirable, courageous and in risking disaproval or not liked shows a strength in the Lord that has earnt my respect for doing so. I believe God will honourr you for that, as he honoured the one who asked for mercy as opposed to the phasisee who thanked God that he wasn’t like him.

    You are right about the deception and I think it important to recognise it is the forces of deception that is the enemy not the people. The healing thing and release you have affored me is a direct antithesis in what you have said about the porphetice, to the leader who was claiming to be prophetic by treating me as having acted inappropriately when i was on the receiving end of mistreatment due to their presuppostion that as a man I had the power in the situation (which I didn’t).

    Indeed you are right about God’s grace and love, somehing that I have expereinced powerfully through the words you have written. I will sleep better tonight for you having done that.

    God Bless you.

  • http://sspjut.com Shawn Spjut

    Adam:
    Thanks for your generosity.
    I have many friends who move prophetically who have themselves learned that gifting is no excuse for lack of character. Yes we can only move in the understanding we have, but as with so many areas of our lives the enemy often twists what God intended as a gift for the empowerment of others, and deceive us into using it for evil (in the name of good). I am in no way excusing the abuse, but as I’ve pointed out, unless you have been an abuser, you have no idea how deep the deception goes. It took the Lord more than a year to help me get over what I’d become, and even now, three years later, the cringe factor hasn’t completely subsided.

    My advise is to pray that those who are moving in that kind of deception and false authority would have the eyes of their understanding enlightened to the gospel of grace and the Father heart of God. For its only love and grace that truly sets us free from the power of the law and the orphaned heart of leaders who don’t understand that it isn’t their gifts, title, or works that make them acceptable to God, but the sacrificial love of Jesus. :)

  • Kris

    I am with rosey here….why does an omnipotent and omnipresent God have to be jealous?

    It reminds me of the Sandy Hook tragedy, when many blamed it on God being removed from the schools. Did God just walk away with his tail behind His legs when the government ruled that mandatory prayer is not allowed in schools? That doesn’t sound like an Almighty Creator.

  • Adam

    Shawn:

    You are welcome

    I hear what you say about abuse and the awareness about how deep the deception goes. In the light of that, sometimes the only way to deal with such is with great courage in the face of feirce adversity.

    What you have do has been healing for me but I was miastken ealier. I thougth I would sleep better as a result of our convesation. But pain i am expereincing as a result of woundedness has come to the surface and i have been unable to sleep. I wish that our soceity woul dhav as much concern for this kind of thing when it happens to men as it does when mysogeny occurs and abuse expereinced by women. But there is a double standard in society with regard to this and i have to live with society as it is rather than how I woudl like it to be. For me, a worldview that regards men as being the ones in power and treating them as opressors even when they are being wounded is the kind of deception that is particularly difficult. A harming to the same extent that women expereince when men act as inappropriately.

    What you are suggesting is accurate. No amount of reasoning will bring about resolution at such times, it will merely lead to further hurt and frustration. As you know it is a directive of Jesus to guard the heart. Sometimes that means shaking the dust off the sandals as a tesimony against the abuser. In the case of my church expereince, I was faced with the option of continuing to expereince the consequences of the leader who was claiming to be prophetic with the wounding or to choose to not be around them when they were being like this. So i did what a follower of Christ would do with the the sandals and testimony.

    I hear what you say about it having taken over a year to have recoveded form what you had become. It must have been difficult for you to have come to that realisation. It just goes to show the harm it does both to the person doing it as well as the person on the receiving end of it. And the healing needed for both.

    I remeber visiting the Imperial War Museum in London. And at the exhibition of the holocaust I was deeply saddened by the mountain of shoes and glasses there, the pictures and stories of those that suffered and died as a result of the atrocities. There was somethign that caught me by surprise at the same time. It was a sadness and an empathy for those who were guilty of such crimes against humanity. What the atrocities they had committed much have done in terms ofthe effect it had on thier own dehumanisation and the consequences of that. Perhps this is what Jesus means by loving your enemies and praying for them. I know of some survivirs of concentration camps who have a high level of self esteem because they hadn’t given in to hatred of their captors.

    I also have Talked with Terry Waite who once was held for 4 years in solitary confinement. What he shared was that what he said to his captors was that they could do anythign physically to him wiht torture, but that his soul belonged to God, not them. then to survive, he reconuted happy memories of his childhood, poetry etc.

    Bottom line with the leaders is that they will be judged sooner or later and there will be justice for all by the grace of God. Equally, congregates will be judged for thier conduct towards leaders. Having heard form some pastors about what they expreince, I haven’t’ envied their position. As you say, there is misunderstanding in leaders when they don’t get it that it is not about them, but about God’s love as shown in Jesus at great cost. Sometimes all we can do is pray for them. From expereince, I know that prayer when done righteously is powerful!


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