Do NOT take the deconstruction of your beliefs lightly!

"DECONSTRUCTION" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“DECONSTRUCTION” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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Do not take the deconstruction of your beliefs lightly! I’ve been through it. It works if done well. But it is a very painful process.

I did experience very disturbing emotions. I did experience a lot of confusion. I did go numb for a while. I did lose friends. Some of my family wondered what the heck happened to me. But I made it. I have peace of mind. It has not gone away.

However, I’ve found that having mentors talking me through it, as well as a community of other people experiencing deconstruction and those who have endured it, invaluable! I couldn’t have made it without them.

I started The Lasting Supper in 2012, two years after I left the ministry and the church. These people, most of whom are still there, were my traveling companions. We’re all supporting each other as we come to a better place.



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27 Responses

  1. Bernardo says:

    Repeat the following each day for the next six months and you will be well on your way to the deconstruction of the Abrahamic religions: NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true ”is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis,” observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to ”Etz Hayim.” But some congregants, he said, ”may not like the stark airing of it.” Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that ”virtually every modern archaeologist” agrees ”that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all.” The rabbi offered what he called a ”LITANY OF DISILLUSION”’ about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have ”found no trace of the tribes of Israel — not one shard of pottery.”

  2. Ducatihero says:

    I think it important to consider where the influence to deconstruct came from with Derridar and the tower of Babel. So, in the biblical account the tower of Babel was destroyed by God as judgement about them and then confusing them with giving them different languages so they didn’t understand each there for making it impossible to work together to build another tower.

    So deconstruction is necessary where there is something unhelpful that has been constructed through social programming. When applied to the church this can happen with wrong approaches to God. The well known person standing at the front of a mega church saying you don’t come to church because of God, you come because it makes you happy is one example.

    Tragically what can happen is a deconstruction of something that is not in need of being deconstructed and a reconstruction that like the tower of Babel incurs judgement and needs to be set right. There were false prophets saying peace peace in Israel’s history and only a brave few that swam against the tide with warnings of something quite different – that Israel was apostate and about to face judgement which came to be true.

    Neitzche is famous for saying “God is Dead”. What I think he meant by that is not on the atheist sense of enlightenment of ruling God out as non-existent but both society and church acting as if God is non existent. I am led to believe that before his death in 1910 he predicted wars much worse than any that had gone before as a result of this. Even Richard Dawkins says the two world wars were nothing to do with religion.

    Surrounding oneself with friends who say peace peace when there is a war going on is being delusional. When someone comes along with truth they need to be listened to else one is setting oneself up for a greater diasater further down the line than the pain of hearing the reality and acting on it.

    Consider what it was like for David when he was confronted by Nathan over his sin of adultery with Bathsheba.

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    The other day, I was going through some emotion stuff with a dear friend and realized I was wrong about a certain issue. I told her “I am pretty excited to discover I was wrong. I’m sorry.” She was puzzled why I was “excited”. And I said, “Well, I love learning and I find that I learn much more from my mistakes than my success.”

    All to say, “deconstruction” (willingness to throw out wrong beliefs or behaviors) should be our constant habit. It may be a major effort with religion because religion is essentially a “don’t doubt” system. But even after deconstructing your religion, deconstruction should continue constantly. Well, it certainly does for us folks who are not so bright and constantly make mistakes. 😉

  4. Ducatihero says:

    Hehe – yup constantly making mistakes – more fun to be had in that than always being right? 🙂

    Again when I her the word religion, being British I go by the values of the Equality act 2010 where religion is described as “any religion and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion.”

    So Christianity secularism, atheism even Haywrdism all being religions by that definition.

    In that sense I’d see thing a little differently to your view of religion being a “don’t doubt” system. anyone with a modicum of biblical knowledge knows of doubt being expressed in the Psalms, in the gospels one character saying “I believe, help my unbelief” and even Jesus himself saying “if there be any other way let this cup pass by me” and “why have you forsaken me”.

    Likewise there are some within atheism that while holding that worldview are open to the possibility of the reality being different.

    So for me this is about attitudes rather than any stand on belief or religion. There are those with whom healthy dialogue is possible. There are others who with their fundamentalist views hate others with opposing perspectives and don’t care who gets wounded in the crossfire.

  5. Yasmin says:

    I learn so much from your blog, David, precisely because I have never been spiritually abused (or abused in any other way), and I have never had to deconstruct my beliefs. I learn so much about churches that cause this kind of damage, and it’s opened my eyes. Thanks to you and many of the other posters here, for educating me. It helps me to understand what others are going through.

  6. Kris799 says:

    Hi David!

    Deconstruction is scary but so worth it!

    TLS has really helped me learn that under all of the outside trappings of religion, I have a very rich spiritual life. Religion was actually suffocating my spirituality. Thank you for helping me find the true me.

  7. Thanks guys. We’re not alone 🙂

  8. Hamsahandgirl says:

    Fuck yeah, I’m ready!!!

  9. Caryn LeMur says:

    It has been quite a journey… with every anchor I pulled up, there was a sense that my boat would sink, or be at the mercy of the storms…

    But I found that the rocks of the harbor were far more dangerous, and the seas far more welcoming than I dreamed.

    Hugs! Keep going!

  10. I will keep going, and i want you guys with me.

  11. Ducatihero says:

    Relationships are two ways David. You want folks with you I want to be free to express what I find to help such as practicing forgiveness with your affirmation given this is a positive approach to the issue of abuse that frequently is a theme here.

    What I don’t want is what I have experienced here which has been me defending either this or anything else that is positive that I bring for it to be met by you wrongly accusing me of supporting abuse, which is what has happened.

    I accept your apology and welcome your confession of having been abusive and I forgive you for when you have wrongly accusing accused me.

    However what my experience has taught me to do is have a thicker skin with you and be stronger. When a friend acts like a bully they are no longer being a friend but a bully. The only language bullies understand is strength. Until there is change from you, this is what you should expect from me.

  12. Gary says:

    Ducatihero. Seriously? This is an open forum where people express themselves openly. Whatever ego stroking you think you need, it gets old hearing hearing you whining about it. Just post and be happy. No one is abusing you. DAMN.

  13. Ducatihero says:

    Gary, you are not getting the point are you?

    David and I have had this conversation privately. For your benefit I shall explain.

    There are two things – the emotional and the intellectual. I can do something that I see has upset you and I can apologise for upsetting you. I can be sad about what has happened so I can address the emotion you have felt at my conduct.

    If I also say I am sorry for making you feel like you have been an abuser rather than someone that has been been a participant in abuse and you must admit that you do this when you have not participated in abuse then I insult your intellect.

    You are then left with choices, do you accept what I say about you as being the reality when it is not and therefore maintain the relationship with me that you had previously. Or do you address my inappropriate attempt to make you out to have been supporting abuse when you have not?

    Going by interaction I have had with you and have seen you with others I suspect you would choose the latter.

    Why then expect different from me for me to address David? I don’t hear David complaining and I don’t hear him complaining when the proverbial hit the fan and I advocated forgiveness for him for what he had done with confessing to abuse and in the interest of the reconcillation that he desired with those who by they comments have shown to be consistent with those who have felt betrayed by him, causing him pain.

    Or maybe like some others you find my talk of forgiveness, and speaking out strongly with direct action when it comes to issues of abuse to be inappropriate? I would say if you are then you are participating in the cycle of abuse.

    Perhaps my comments along this line not is not like another behaviour that you find “repulsive”? In which case Sir, I suggest that’s your issue, not mine.

    By the way – the “repulsive” reference was a joke (kinda) in response to your request to post and be happy.

  14. Ducatihero says:

    Oh one last thought – you wrote”it gets old hearing hearing you whining about it.” on another time you have called me a cry baby for talking about something I was legitimately pissed off about.

    David has apologised for making me feel pissed off, perhaps you can consider apologising for your comments about alleged whining and being a cry baby that similarly have pissed me off.

  15. Gary says:

    So you had a private conversation with David, which you now very publicly reveal without permission, and seek to publicly shame him, and you think I owe you an apology? You’re lucky David is more gracious than me.

  16. Ducatihero says:

    Gary – again I don’t hear David complinig – he’s a big boy, I’m sure he deon’t need you to do his talking for him.

    As I have advocated many times forgiveness along with direct action is conducive to an abuser feeling shame. Forgiveness is not about letting someone off the hook or supporting abuse, it is powerful.

    You have pissed me off with your inappropriate talk of whining an cry baby when I was legitimately pissed off.

    If you wish to attribute shaming to anyone I suggest you consider the standard by which you attribute that and that you consider your conduct as much as anyone elses.

    You are wasting my time with your comments and insulting me. I have better things to do than discuss and debate with someone who calls people cry babys and whiners like some schoolboy playground taunt for getting legitimately pissed of about something. Think about it.

    This will be my last comment towards you Gary on this thread and if you comment towards me as you have here I shall treat it as trolling as it should be treated and ignore it

  17. Jason Benner says:

    David has a history of using the guise of privacy to control the narrative. I see nothing wrong with Ducatihero bringing a manipulative private communication into the open. Who knows maybe it will be a catalyst for change in David. If David looks back to our own initial private Facebook communications, he will remember he was even in favor of exposing such things in others. My hope is that he would learn to reflect on his own pattern of destructive ways and not destroy the good he has done. I hope that bringing these things into the open will help him acknowledge what he has thus far been unable to do privately. Deconstruction shouldn’t be just for the harmful beliefs one has absorbed but also for the destructive patterns of behavior that one exhibits. Criticism is often an integral part of the deconstruction process that I hope David will learn to accept for himself some day.

  18. Gary says:

    Ducatihero you are a hoot. This is not TLS and things are a little more raw here. Like how you get called on being a cry baby and making private conversations public without consent. I don’t speak for David I speak for me. And frankly I don’t give a fuck if you consider me trolling or not. You act like a child and you might get told so. Ain’t an open online forum great?

  19. Ducatihero says:

    David this comment is for you.

    In your apology you wrote:

    “I will delete comments fully or partially that I believe harmfully misrepresent me, or the members of my community.”

    You also wrote: concerning comments made by Gary that he “finds it personally repulsive when he thinks of himself having sex with a man.”

    I would request please that you consider these in the light of the above comments that Gary has made and the potential effect on the representation of TLS, that he as a member is.

  20. Gary says:

    I have not been a member of TLS for quite some time now. And you are so cute to pretend you are not talking to me. Well I am talking directly to you ducatihero when I say. Kindly fuck off. LMAO

  21. Ducatihero says:

    I can see why you needed to have a word with Gary about how he was coming across in TLS David. Perhaps it’s good for the safety of folks in TLS that he’s no longer there.

  22. Gary says:

    You are just so cute. Grade school antics but cute as hell. You really do go into a snit fit when you get your little ego bruised don’t you? I hope you keep posting to me but not to me. I am really getting a good chuckle out of it.

  23. Ducatihero says:

    OK David,

    I mentioned before that I felt unwelcome here and not listened to. This led to my decision to leave on a previous occasion. Your mentioning that you were sorry to see me go is what led to me changing my mind.

    I hear your concerns and your pain about those who have left feeling they have been betrayed by you. I hear your apology and I hear your belief in the possibility for change.

    I’ve tried to follow your advice about having a tough skin and not letting myself be derailed acting on this in combination with what I adhere to with forgiveness and direct action.

    I note your apology for having caused me to be sad and pissed off. I accept that and I forgive you. I note also your non-apology for wrongfully making me out to be supporting abuse for practicing forgiveness and arguing for it. Doing so by saying that you were sorry for the difficulty that was experienced but not taking ownership for the difficulty you caused in that.

    I appreciate what you are trying to do with addressing abuse and the manner in which you are attempting it with humour and the cartoons. I truly believe you that you have the will to do what is conducive to this. However I fear that this has become an unhealthy meduim with what you are doing and where you have the will you lack or at least are severely challenged in having the ability to carry that will out.

    I fear that if I were to continue to be involved here that I might unwittingly become part of that. Gary’s comments have helped me to come to a decision. My decision is that I shall be moving on. I wish no conflict with him or with you but I feel that as long as things stand as they are, for both our interests are served best by me not contributing by way of comments here.

    I am happy to keep up communication in private however if that is what you would like in the light of what you have mentioned about desire for reconciliation.

    I wish you well in you aims here with nakedpastor and with the community at TLS.

  24. Caryn LeMur says:

    Ducati: it is hard to be on the open forums. It simply is. These forums are most often unpoliced.

    In the past, you and I have agreed on some points; and also had good conversations on others. The majority of times, we just read each other’s comments, and press on.

    The concept of an ‘unhealthy medium’ is very real, and I offer that each person must make their own choice of ‘self-care’. [By the way, I recently also left a forum and will not return, because the moderator openly insulted my testimony/statement. I am use to other posters insulting… but when the moderator decides to insult…well, I wish them peace and move on.]

    All I can offer is that you consider staying, stating your thoughts, engaging with others (if they wish to engage), politely disagreeing with some, and ignoring others. You bring a different perspective here to NP… and that is good.

    If you do carry through with your decision and depart, I also wish you well on your spiritual journey.

    Sincerely; Caryn

  25. Ducatihero says:


    Thank you for responding. I frequently find your comments helpful and this one is no exception. I appreciate your compliment about bringing a different perspective and that being good and for your encouragement for me to continue commenting and for your well wishes. Thank you.

    I am sorry to hear about your experience with the moderator insulting. As you will be aware, this is my reason for moving on from here. It is an insult both to accuse someone of supporting abuse for giving a testimony about forgiveness and then an insult to ones intelligence when one asks for an apology and is met with a non-apology. You know the kind “I am sorry for the difficulty that was experienced” but with no ownership being taken for the difficulty, implying one has been the cause of it rather that the one who should be apologising. something David has called an “abusive ” apology. So by his standard both confessing to being abusive and continuing to abuse.

    Why would I want to stick around for that to happen? All Gary did was give me a nudge in the right direction. He did me a favour.

    So you see, your sharing about your experience affirms this as being the right decision for me.

    Should it become apparent that someone with a different perspective such as mine is welcomed at np rather than the hostility experienced then I’ll give it my consideration with coming back. David at the moment is unrepentant. An apology is a start but without change then it would be folly for me to continue here and expect anything different.

    I hope that this will happen and there may come a time here where the issues that have come to light recently will have been resolved for the good of everyone, David included.