God with attachments included

god with attachments cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

You can get a fine art reproduction of this cartoon, as well as other art, cartoons, and Sophias, in my store.

Attachments should augment the product, not diminish or dilute it.

So many attachments! So many accoutrements!

I realize that along with some things other things come along as well. Like my marriage: I’ve got love and I got bills. But bills are part of the package to help sustain our love.

Attachments that get in the way: cut them loose.

Check out The Lasting Supper, a great place to shed attachments!

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.

  • Pat68

    I’ve observed that often it seems like the accouterments become the main entree. Like in certain Christian circles, dressing up is the norm. Nothing wrong with that per se, but when it becomes what church is all about, then there’s a problem. Wearing your Sunday best is one thing. Making it an unpenetrable norm for worship, is another. You could substitute dress with just about anything else that is tradition that seems to have replaced what the tradition is meant to support.

  • Elexa Dawson

    Oh, man. Makes me crazy when I hear this advice given to fresh-from-the-sinner’s-prayer-Christians: “read your bible every day and find a good church home.” as if running on that treadmill will solve all your problems.
    How about just “Get to know Jesus! Rest in him!”

  • Cecilia Davidson

    That’s also a treadmill on its own. “Get to know Jesus through our interpretation, rather than your own.” How about we leave treadmills for the gym and the bedroom? : P

  • Jon Fermin

    Religious Solipsism is perhaps a worse treadmill. one could ague it is better to have an interpretation that is external to the self than to have one by relying entirely on one’s own interpretation, for one, it’s at least a far more coherent ontological position.

  • Gary

    An interpretation that is external to the self will never be anything other than someone else’s interpretation.

  • Jon Fermin

    far better than the extremes of being fully internal and fully external is the truth, which is universal and exists both internally and externally. there is no such thing as a truth which exists only in the self, the name for that is a delusion. this is not an argument against God, for I believe He exists, but rather an argument against the idea that God is contradictory, a statement which is the direct consequence of thinking that our understanding of His nature depends on our own personal interpretation of scripture.

  • Gary

    I would never recommend operating within the “extremes” of internal or external. However…the truth remains that an external interpretation is and always will be someone else’s interpretation. This in no way suggests that external opinion/interpretation should not be considered, but is rather a rejection of the notion that internal interpretation is to be rejected or not trusted.

  • Jon Fermin

    Define your terms. your position on truth is confusing. the way you are presenting it seems to indicate there are no universal truths. this is an unsustainable position.

  • Gary

    Would you have preferred I said the “fact” remains? Do you dispute that an external interpretation is, by default, the interpretation of someone else which one may or may not agree with? Otherwise it is not “external”. In the context of our discussion…this seems like an odd point to take issue with??

  • Jon Fermin

    odd perhaps but an interpretation is meaningless without a subject of interpretation. if it is a truth we are examining for example, it remains as truth qua truth regardless of interpretation. therefore an observation can be more than just an external interpretation, but a reflection of reality. so can internal interpretations. if there is the existence of a universal truth, then this talk of interpretations is essentially meaningless. it is a call to either find the truth and embrace it or wallow in perpetual navel gazing wondering over our own interpretations.

  • Gary

    But I would submit that the existence of “universal truth” is, and will remain to be, impossible to collectively define, prove and/or agree upon. Therefore…if “wallowing in perpetual naval gazing” represents the value you place upon the process of interpretation…I would recommend you not trouble yourself with the search for truth in the first place.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Gary, I agree with you. If you start fro the assumption that there is something “out there” call UNIVERSAL TRUTH, then in the pursuit of finding or discovering this truth, one must either look inwards or outwards to others. If you look outward to others, at some point in that chain, someone must have looked inward. Therefore, I think it must start from within.

  • Jon Fermin

    Gary is your proposal that the existence of universal truth is impossible to define universally true?

  • Jon Fermin

    no need to make a strawman Jeff.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Are you even reading what you type?

  • Gary

    Aren’t you cute.

  • Gary

    Did you edit this comment?

  • Jon Fermin

    only for the sake of clarity.the content is pretty much the same.

  • Jon Fermin

    It’s an interesting question. you should try answering it sometime.

  • Gary

    You mean you edited it in a failed attempt to save face. Not much point in pursuing further discussion with you.

    LOL

  • Gary

    Nah…you’ll just go back and change your answers after my responses in an effort falsify our conversation anyway.

  • Jon Fermin

    The only one attempting to save face is you Gary, by refusing to answer my question and looking for any excuse to not answer it.

  • Jon Fermin

    I’m not asking for my own edification. I’m not here to win a popularity contest because I know I’m already in the minority on this board. in fact you don’t have to answer here on the board. I will give you an out. just simply say you cannot answer it, and that will be the end of it.

  • Gary

    Dude you are seriously cracking me up. Wow you do seem to think very highly of yourself. Seems like you would have more respect for internal interpretation…LOL.

    Look…I don’t give two squirts of piss whether you give me “an out” or not. Your deceptive alteration of our communication stream and your silly diversionary tactics of seeking to build a (very lame) straw man have simply made you irrelevant to me.

  • Gun Nordström

    The universal truth of all Masters is that we are all ONE and that we are able to find this truth only by seeking within. The source of ALL THAT IS is LOVE and by eagerly seeking within our hearts we will find the answers to all human problems and we will remember who we are. This reconnection cannot be argued about nor defended but show by living a life without fear in the everlasting home of the now.

  • Jon Fermin

    I’ll take that as an inability to answer the question. Thank you Gary.

  • Mark

    And, “Realize that the bible you have is just one of many religious texts, which are merely man’s attempt to make sense out of his relationship with God. Don’t judge another just because his beliefs are different than yours.”

  • Mark

    I think there is universal truth. In science we are getting to more of the truths every day. As to the nature of God, that is something we may or may not ever know. As humans we can only search, and find answers that work for us individually. So, while I agree there is universal truth, it is not in this life where we can find it.

  • Gary

    Then you would take it wrong. I find the question to be a decoy, a lame attempt to trap me with a straw man rather than actually engage in respectful dialogue. Re-read my previous comment…look up the term irrelevant…and then simply piss off.

  • Gary

    This statement of course represents your interpretation or belief, not a universally agreed upon absolute truth. Again…interpretation forms belief.

  • Jon Fermin

    Respect is a two way street Gary, I don’t agree with you, but we’re not going to resort to crude language and insults are we? you have a good night and sleep this off, I promise you’ll feel better in the morning.

  • Jon Fermin

    Thank you Mark for taking up the topic. I assume since you are saying that universal truth is not in this life, do you then posit as the scriptures posit that God qua Jesus is not only one who tells truth but is truth ontologically itself? if so, do you think perhaps it is possible to deduce some aspects of the nature of God by way of logic and reason and God’s own revelation (via scriptures and the incarnation?) without grasping the totality of God’s being?

  • Gary

    I feel great now. In spite of your inference to the contrary…you really don’t have the ability to change that. I stopped engaging you when you deceptively changed your comment and engaged in insulting diversions when you could no longer respond intelligently. And fuck yeah… I love what you refer to as “crude language” and find it to be totally appropriate at times. Especially when I am speaking to a fundy who fixates on it with self righteous indignation.

    LMFAO

  • Melody

    So true which is too bad really.

  • Gary

    Mark I think when when we use science as an example we are confusing truth with fact.

  • Mark

    Well, Gary, the “truth” of the matter is, I get confused a lot more now that I used to. And that’s a fact. :)

  • Mark

    Jon, the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, and my vocabulary is not as good as yours; but, I think I get most of what you’re asking. Here’s what I think: the Old and New Testament scriptures were written by men seeking to understand their relationship with God. So, yes, I do think we can deduce some aspects of the nature of God. But I also think Hindus, Muslims, and native Americans can through their scriptures and stories, deduce some aspects of the nature of God. When the writer of John quoted Jesus as saying “I am the way…none cometh to the Father but by me,” I think he was either putting words into Jesus’ mouth, or Jesus meant something other than “you guys are all gonna have to become Christians, or burn in Hell.”

  • Gary

    LOL – Yeah I’m with you there.

  • Gary

    Mark…would you agree that even the belief in the existence of God is based upon personal interpretation? As such one cannot claim it to be a universally recognized “truth” or “fact”. Some facts can be proven of course. But this certainly ain’t one of them.

    When we are discussing religion/spirituality, I believe we are operating in the realm of philosophical truth which is based upon an interpretation of experience/evidence. Even to say it is truth that either (a.) God exists, or (b.) God does not exist, is not in fact a universal truth as many would submit (based upon their interpretation of perceived reality) that there are more choices than just those two. The more we delve into attempting to “deduce some aspects of the nature of God”, the further into the realm of personal interpretation we go.

    BTW – Even though your assessment in this sentence of yours is based upon interpretation…

    “When the writer of John quoted Jesus as saying “I am the way…none cometh to the Father but by me,” I think he was either putting words into Jesus’ mouth, or Jesus meant something other than “you guys are all gonna have to become Christians, or burn in Hell.”

    …it is an interpretation which I agree with totally. :-)

  • Jon Fermin

    I thank you for the reply. elsewhere in this thread I was accused of being a “fundie” I want to offer you my assurances up front that this is not true. I am not even a protestant, therefore don’t expect me to bust out any lines from “sinners in the hands of an angry God” anytime soon, but you should know I will be viewing things from a perspective which is largely Thomistic in nature and I openly reject the kind of calvinism that the former fundamentalists who come to places like this so often disdain. With that out of the way, let’s consider the question of truth and what we can deduce about God and how they relate.

    On the matter of John 14:6 which you quoted earlier, I believe that the dilemma you proposed, that either John made up this teaching or that as you say, “you guys are all gonna have to become Christians, or burn in Hell.”, is a false dilemma. When we look at the historical record and writing of the early church including testimony from roman courts, it is highly unlikely that John made this quote up. to affirm this quote as false also means denying Christ ever spoke of His own divinity which would have denied the reason he was ever crucified in the first place. in addition to this crucifixion which exists in roman record, there is no evidence to support the theory that John had to make this up. this leaves us with the other horn of the dilemma. we can infer from common sense that this world is less than ideal. and that we no explicit knowledge of who specifically is in hell and who is not, we also know individuals can be what is called “invincibly ignorant” that is to say, through no fault of their own, have no knowledge whatsoever of Christ, Christianity or God’s existence. there are circumstances which arise throughout the world which causes the situation to occur. it is in these situations, one can logically deduce these individuals are left to the mercy of God and He alone would have them in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory and then Heaven. thus, a third option exists in what would be considered your dilemma.

    with that understood, let us then accept that Jesus did say He was the way and truth and let us assume that He did mean it to say he was the universal truth. just as he did that He and the Father are one. to adopt the principles of Christianity, we cannot reject this principle, to do so, we directly contradict Christ which logically means we cannot truly call ourselves Christian. therefore can one be Christian and accept the truths of other faiths? Yes, but only to the point that they have no contradiction to the truth of Christ, which would override any contradiction. therefore when the Pima Native Americans say “Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.” this is just as true as when Jesus had said “Love your neighbor as yourself”, but it is not true when the Pima pray to multiple gods when there is only one God.

    therefore as I posit there is a hierarchy of truthfulness, to which some religions are more true than others, and that logical truth and reason ontologically exist, insofar that Christ and the Church he founded represents the fullest of these and the standard by which the truthfulness of the others is measured. this is the logical consequence of accepting the claims of Christ, to deny His primacy in truth is to deny Christ Himself or his divinity. there is no logical way one could avoid such a situation. His an exclusive claim. Now that I have introduced my position, tell me a little bit more about yours. Do you consider yourself a Christian? And if so, if you are in disagreement with my proposition, how would you resolve the paradox which would arise from it?

  • Mark

    I have to say I’m at least 98% in agreement with you. And I think that makes us agnostics. Maybe agnostic Christians, or agnostic Jews, or agnostic atheists, but agnostics, nevertheless.

    I’ve enjoyed this. Are you in the Lasting Supper thing? If so, how is that working out?

  • Mark

    I still respectfully disagree that there is universal truth in a theological/religious sense. See Gary’s post below – I’m with him. I respect your right to your worldview, but – no disrespect intended – I’m going to put away your book now and move on to something else. Thanks for the discussion.

  • Jon Fermin

    thank you for the reply. you have been certainly more respectful than others I’ve come across. It is not entirely on theological grounds that I believe our disagreement lies, (that and because i find the term “agnostic christian” a contradiction in terms) but also upon the nature of reason itself. David in his commentary of this picture has said “along with some things other things come along as well. ” He alludes to his marriage but conspicuously leaves absent his commentary of what comes (or what should come) with accepting the existence of God. I am attempting, as small as my contribution is, to help fill in those gaps through an application of reason cooperating with faith. From a purely logical standpoint, God can exist as the ultimate truth and in doing so resolves a fundamental infinite recursion problem in Epistemology. likewise it also has applications to it’s corollary in moral theology and philosophy. removing God or positing that the answer is unknowable leaves a very conspicuous gaping hole in our Epistemological landscape. in doing so this has not only consequences for our acceptance of the existence of God, but of truth itself. But even if one is not even bringing Christianity into it, the issue we have here is one of the nature of logic and how one can know a truth. there is not enough room to go into detail concerning this, but to examine this from a purely philosophic perspective, i highly recommend reading Professor Paul Boghossian’s book “Fear of Knowledge”. He’s a Silver Professor at NYU and his treatment on this issue is among the most succinct and readable I’ve read. His approach to epistemological realism is spot on. if you are insistent on putting down the bible, try giving this a read then. take care.

    edited: minor grammatical errors, done so one minute after the post was made for the sake of clarity, before a response could be made.

  • Gary

    I appreciate your perspective Mark and yeah…I think our views are quite similar. I am not much on titles…but if I had to be identified with one I would not have a problem with agnostic Christian. I accept the fact we can not prove our beliefs in God are real, at least in this life. I embrace the existence of God as what I consider to be the more reasonable explanation of reality as I know it. I also follow Jesus and as such would be considered a Christian, though I identify very little with the Christian church today as I believe they have wandered away from His core teaching.

    Yes I am a part of TLS and have enjoyed it for the most part. They do value freedom of thought and seek to practice mutual respect. There is a very wide variety of beliefs represented yet the discussions are mostly centered on the journey, not the particular paradigm one embraces. I think you would enjoy it very much.

  • Mark

    Thanks!


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