The NakedPastor | Episode 48

How does a pastor deconstruct their faith, are you on a path of deconstruction too? If God is what we think He is, is there, maybe, something that is beyond our idea of God? Is the God we believe in perhaps a reflection of who we are more than a separate entity to ourselves?

In this podcast episode, Billy and Brandy Eldridge speak with David Hayward aka NakedPastor.

Meet David Hayward aka the NakedPastor

After 30 years in the church, he left the ministry to pursue his passion for art. NakedPastor uses words and images to challenge the status quo, deconstruct dogma, and offer hope for those who struggle and suffer under it.

David is no stranger to belief systems – he holds a Masters in Theological Studies, as well as Diplomas in Religious Studies and Ministry, and University Teaching. His art expresses the stories and struggles of spiritual refugees and independent thinkers who question, doubt, or oppose the confines of religion. Each piece encourages difficult conversations and acts as a catalyst for critical thinking.

He is an artist and writer who supports LGBTQ+ people and groups, BIPOC and women artists, creatives, journalists, and more, and encourages others to do the same.

Visit his website. Connect on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Why the NakedPastor?
  • Be aware that abuse can happen anywhere, even in church
  • We pick our own Gods

Why the NakedPastor?

For David, the NakedPastor, the title was won in an auction that he was not even aware of being a part of, but it developed into a title that he uses in order to portray real, raw honesty for him behind the role of pastor.

Not only to share the victories and the growth but to also share the struggles, doubts, and conflicts in his blog with his followers, sharing brutal and sincere honesty behind the role of being a pastor while being fully clothed.

Be aware that abuse can happen anywhere, even in church

I say the church is the perfect culture for abuse to occur and you have to work against it, pastors and leaders and churches have to work and they have to be diligent 100% of the time because the gravitational pull towards communities is towards the dehumanization of its members. (David Hayward aka NakedPastor)

With spiritual abuse, there is no evidence of it, because it is all a strange feeling of questioning and doubting yourself, feeling the need to submit and putting your needs aside or it can be an unquestionable adoration of a leader: these are all examples of spiritual abuse in David’s experience.

For Billy, his faith was only based on what he had been taught and told and nothing more. As an adult, the cognitive dissonance began to set in where he saw the inconsistencies but did not feel he had the space to question them, and so began his suffering.

[It was like] if you open your mind up too much your brain might fall out, why did they have to keep us from things? Why did they have to control us? It was more about fear and coercion, it wasn’t about being consecrated into something beautiful and free, we were being shackled. (Billy Eldridge)

We pick our own Gods

We pick and choose to believe in the type of God that we feel worthy of following. Some people who are vengeful, hateful, and deeply dislike themselves may believe that God is punishing them or wants them to punish themselves and that they can only receive absolution in this way.

Other people may feel that God is compassionate, forgiving, and all-knowing and therefore act in that way to those around them. We, in this sense, create our own version of God to follow that works with how we feel about ourselves because how we feel about and treat ourselves is how we react to and treat others.

God, in essence, the version of God that we choose to believe in, is more of a reflection of who we are, what we need, and fear than who that God is.

Books mentioned in this episode

James Breech – The Silence of Jesus
David Hayward – Questions Are the Answer: Naked Pastor and the Search for Understanding
David Hayward – Til Doubt Do Us Part: When Changing Beliefs Change Your Marriage

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Meet Billy Eldridge

billy-eldridge

Meet Billy, the resident beta male. For Billy, this is a place to hang out with other beta males and the people who love them. We’re redefining what beta males look like in the world. I have learned to embrace my best beta self, and I can help you to do the same. As a therapist, I understand the need to belong. You belong here. Join the REVOLUTION.

 

Meet Brandy Eldridge

brandy-eldridge

Hello, Beta friends. I am an alpha personality who is embracing the beta way of life. I feel alive when connected with people, whether that is listening to their stories or learning about their passions. Forget small talk, let’s go deep together. Come to the table and let’s have some life-changing conversations.

 

Thanks for listening!

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