I was describing nakedpastor to someone today, and it helped me clarify a little more what it is about:
I realize that some of its readers are people curious about the crazies like me. And some are just interested in what’s an ex-pastor is up to. Others are curious about what heresy looks like. And some just like to argue theologically.
But for the most part, I think nakedpastor can be broken down into a two-fold purpose:
- nakedpastor is for those inside the church but are struggling to stay. They find in nakedpastor a mirror of their own doubts and questions, their own dissatisfaction with the system, their discontent with the institution and their frustrations with the organization. Perhaps some have experienced mild to serious spiritual abuse, and may live in a state of constant spiritual compromise in order to belong. Maybe nakedpastor gives them the strength, insight and humor to stay, or the courage, wisdom and independence to leave.
- nakedpastor is also for those outside the church. Perhaps they find a kind of community in nakedpastor that they didn’t experience inside the church. I hope that the cartoons and writings validate their decision and their journey, and theologically inform their independent spiritual path. Maybe they begin to realize that they don’t need to belong in order to believe. Or even further, maybe they can even bring belief itself into question, finally suspecting that the belief is not the thing. Having left the church, they find in nakedpastor a legitimizing of who they are and where they are in their spirituality.