Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

page: 1
13
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join

posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 07:57 PM
link   


Jerry DeWitt entered the ministry when he was 17, launching a 25-year career as a Pentecostal preacher. He traveled all around his home state of Louisiana, preaching and ministering wherever he could.

All these years later, DeWitt, 42, is still on the road, and now takes his message all over the United States. But the nature of that message, along with his audience, has changed dramatically.

DeWitt is now an avowed atheist, and his audiences are made up of religious “nones,” the growing number of Americans who are atheist, agnostic, humanist or just plain disinterested in identifying with a religion. Today, DeWitt preaches a gospel of disbelief.



I found this article very interesting, and one I can easily relate to.

I grew up in a loving and wonderful Baptist home. My church truly was a big family and I was very involved in everything the church did. Went on countless mission trips, did community work, etc.

Anywhoo, I decide to become a missionary after school. Specifically, I wanted to work in foreign mission fields with education (mainly help start schools for children in very poor areas). So I majored in theology while getting my undergrad. Did so well in my chosen field (which was heavily male-dominated and I caught a lot of flack for being female) that the school sent me to study Baptist history at Oxford University. All of this was wonderful and exciting, but something was changing and I did my best to ignore it.

By the time I graduated from college, I could no longer push those nagging doubts aside. So I pulled them out and really examined what I believed. I was shocked when I realized I no longer had faith that the Bible was God's dictated word, or even if God exists.

You can imagine the turmoil and upheaval this entire journey caused.

Today I call myself agnostic. I'm not an aethiest; the fact is, I don't know if there's a God or not and I'm not sure people can truly comprehend that God if he exists. I do like the idea of a benevolent God watching out for us, but then I see the hate and bigotry practiced in the name of religion and I've had enough.

So, to the article. Apparently this man was a preacher for many years before realizing he didn't believe in God. He now travels the country helping other pastors "come out" of the aethiest closet.

Good idea? Bad idea? What do you think?




posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:10 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Dear smyleegrl,

I am a Christian and a I deliver sermons on the weekends. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with this man exercising his free speech, he is not promoting hurting anyone that I can tell, just his beliefs. I have a big problem with Christians calling for harm to anyone and some do. It is not uncommon for preachers to lose their faith or their way, an occupational hazard and we are all just human. The problem is not preachers losing their faith, the problem is that many continue preaching; but, they change what the bible says. I can respect anyone who tells their truth; but, I cannot respect someone who teaches something they don't believe just to get a check. Peace.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:15 PM
link   
reply to post by AQuestion
 


Very elegantly stated, my friend.

May I ask how long you've been in the ministry and how you've managed to keep your faith? Do you ever have doubts?

If these questions are to personal, just tell me so and that's okay.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:18 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I think that ALOT of Christians don't believe the BS that they espouse but they are too afraid to admit it to themselves because if they did, and they were wrong, then they would burn in a firey lake and suffer in anguish and agony for eternity.

Yeah, I was afraid of that too for a while until I reached a point where I would rather take my chances than
keep my mind in a prison for the rest of my life and be told WHAT to think and HOW to think.
There are actually classes you can take advertised on the radio, "Come learn what you believe and how to defend it, so you can witness to others with confidence".


The jig is up on Christianity as well as religion in general.
People are waking up to the scam......and they're pissed.

Pissed off for being lied to and misled their entire lives.

Yes, there are many a Christian who are too afraid NOT to believe in the good book.
edit on 13-6-2012 by Screwed because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:19 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Dear smyleegrl,

I will send you a U2U with my answer as I don't want to derail your thread. Peace.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:20 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 

Hey Smyleegrl - interesting topic.
My journey was a little different than yours...but quite similar in the latter conclusion/s.
I suppose I have some trouble with the former evangelist's change-of-venue and audience... Seems to me that he's still doing the same thing he was before -- holding himself out to be the one they should listen to...
When I "turned", I told my immediate family (children and wife)...but did not attempt to dissuade them from their lifelong beliefs (true - my children would probably not have held such beliefs if not for me...but...).
Nevertheless - it did not take long for "the news" to spread like wildfire, and I became "anathema" to family and friends almost without fail (though not my children & wife).
I don't know that changing from life-long believer...to mid-life unbeliever...is any better for the human psyche than...believing in stories with flawed premises.
What do you think?



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:22 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Almost the same ride I took. I am not any denomination now, but I suppose religious need to label me so they know how to hate me properly. What always cracks me up is they always assume you worship the devil. I watch people get physically disturbed when they ask me about my religious beliefs. They expect me to say something like they would say, but I tell them what I found out instead and they get unstable.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:23 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


We are all atheist at the core. Atheism is a rejection of the existence of gods, plural. So unless you accept the veritable horde that mankind has created over time, you are an atheist to someone.

As for "ex"-preacher, he's a grifter looking to create a flock and generate money to spread his "message."



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:33 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Belief in God doesn't come from education, it comes from personal spiritual experiences. No amount of education can give you that.

One thing is for sure. Trusting or putting faith in mankind only leads to continual disappointment. Sometimes it takes figuring this out before anyone can be ready to put your faith and trust in something higher.

I totally agree with the previous poster that anyone preaching God's Word should stop immediately if they ever start doubting their faith. I personally have no problem with someone telling their story on why they don't believe or "preaching" it to others. The people listening to them will either identify with it or feel uncomfortable with it. It's due to this level of understanding or uncomfort that leads each individual to search further for their true intentions.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:36 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


My own history of faith has been interesting (to me, at least). I started out in junior high school as a goth/Satanist, and then, at 14, pretty much overnight, I started studying prophecy. Initially, it was a fear of hell that made me believe. Admittedly, this was the wrong way to start, but it happened the way it happened, so I can't do anything about it now.
After a few years, I started questioning God and the Bible in favour of probability and science. Again, almost overnight, I began identifying as atheistic. This was sparked by a couple things, the most significant of which was my increasing disbelief in Creation and my inability to reconcile the idiots doing stupid things in God's name with a sovereign God.

Then, for a university project, I interviewed a minister from my hometown whom I had never met before. My project was on "truthiness" - the fact that people make their own version of truth based on what they want to be true (as coined by Stephen Colbert). My intent was to show just how ridiculous religious people sound. What I hadn't anticipated was that this minister would actually be both intelligent and convincing in his defence of Scripture.

Ultimately, it was through him that the full Gospel was presented to me, and I was baptized into Christ. Now, I preach alongside the minister I had intended to undermine. I still find issues in the churches (our two congregations here are FULL of them), but I've since realized that we can't start blaming God for man's stupidity.

Anyway, this was really just one long anecdote. I was lucky in that I bottomed out before I entered the ministry. In fact, it was this failure of my previous faith that led to the new life in Christ that I have so much joy in today. I certainly can't claim any strength in where I am...I'm here because of what proved to be my biggest weakness. Unfortunately, some preachers only realize that they have this weakness after they get established in ministry - case in point, the subject of this thread.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:55 PM
link   

Originally posted by Noncompatible
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


We are all atheist at the core. Atheism is a rejection of the existence of gods, plural. So unless you accept the veritable horde that mankind has created over time, you are an atheist to someone.

As for "ex"-preacher, he's a grifter looking to create a flock and generate money to spread his "message."



I am not an atheist. I do not know if a god exists, but I am very open to that possibility and I'm actively searching for answers. An atheist, on the other hand, firmly believes there is no god. If anything, atheism requires as much faith as theism.

And I agree with your assessment of the guy. Money.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 09:06 PM
link   
Drowning oneself in anything is not healthy, no matter if it's religion or Taco Bell. It's unsustainable.

Balance is the key for the mind, body and soul.

So only eat Taco Bell once a week or so. Same goes for exposure to religion



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 09:41 PM
link   
It requires a Baptism, but not by water as that is just a declaration of "fellowship", one must receive the Holy Spirit in order to be "born again"!

Regarding John the Baptist, speaking to the Pharisees and the Saducess: REV 3:11



I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire;


I present this message with a video of Pastor Charles Lawson (he is without question "awake" and 'aware" of these times)



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 10:15 PM
link   

Originally posted by Screwed
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I think that ALOT of Christians don't believe the BS that they espouse but they are too afraid to admit it to themselves because if they did, and they were wrong, then they would burn in a firey lake and suffer in anguish and agony for eternity.

Yeah, I was afraid of that too for a while until I reached a point where I would rather take my chances than
keep my mind in a prison for the rest of my life and be told WHAT to think and HOW to think.
There are actually classes you can take advertised on the radio, "Come learn what you believe and how to defend it, so you can witness to others with confidence".


The jig is up on Christianity as well as religion in general.
People are waking up to the scam......and they're pissed.

Pissed off for being lied to and misled their entire lives.

Yes, there are many a Christian who are too afraid NOT to believe in the good book.

Yes, the Religious Bible Believers are running scared. Their book is being examined under the proverbial microscope, and people are waking up to all of the lies and BS being preached to them laden with fear and destruction. People are seeing the dead, ghosts, which makes them certain there is life after death, and seeing Alien Craft in the skies, with disputes Bible teachings. I have never in my life met and talked to a Christian who did not have the fear in their eyes.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 11:09 PM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Good idea. If they aren't believers they shouldn't be leading the sheep. That would be a wolf in sheep's clothing. If they don't believe they should resign.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 09:03 AM
link   
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


Any view that says a preacher should continue to preach even if he stops believing is likely classifying preaching as a job in the world rather than a work in Christ. Preaching to unbelievers and teaching to believers are works done in the name of Christ for the glory and edification of his Kingdom. Anyone who would continue ministering after a fall from Grace is likely doing so only for personal benefit. It certainly wouldn't be a work in Christ any longer...it would become a job like any other.

Case in point, my father. He's about as vocally anti-Christian as you'll find. If I'm preaching, he wants me to be making money at it (though I refuse to steal money from churches). He doesn't even like me preaching in place of the regular minister, because, to him, the minister is just using me to do his job for him. He doesn't understand that it's my work now, as well, to show love and grace to the lost and to edify (and, if need be, rebuke) the assemblies. It's not a job, it's just what I'm here to do.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 09:42 AM
link   
One thing to consider is that some people such at Mother Teresa have times of doubt that can last for decades. Then apparently they come to have faith again. So a pastor or priest who has invested a lot of time and money into his/her profession might be very tempted to continue in spite of personal doubts while hoping that the doubts will pass - especially if there is a congregation of people who depend on him/her. I think that's why we have so many pastors and priests who are apparently just going through the motions.
edit on 14-6-2012 by cloudyday because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 10:07 AM
link   
I have been on the fence throughout periods of my life. Reading NDE's has influenced my beliefs. I have to discredit the bible because it is so biased. When Jesus blessed Israel, I changed my whole philosophy. Not that I don't like Israel but that He would single out a race. And the fact that others have written their own agenda in the bible......kind of loses it's factuality.



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 10:13 AM
link   
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I completely understand how you feel right now as I have been there. You have doubts, you then feel guilty, you want out, you don't know how to get out, you feel a fool, you don't know how to go from this to that, you know you need to lose face, you worry you're making a mistake, you feel like a fraud ignoring your doubts.....

MENTAL TORTURE!!!!


It's a terrible terrible thing and we have to do what we can to ensure there is an end to it soon. If it's hard for an adult to go through, imagine what it must be for a child. As a side note, we must also ensure there is an end to children fearing the lake of fire. Terrible psychological abuse and it must end. If it was worded in any other way, parents would risk having their kids taken off them.

Fortunately, I am no longer suffering this gut wrenching torture. I have become a fully fledged atheist. I will never again feel afraid of the dark and will never again worry that someone is jotting down all of my thoughts and silently tutting away. I will never again see non-believers as foolish losers deserving of their fate. I will never again feel superior just because I believed a five foot Jew was beamed up by Scotty and is now watching everything. I will never again focus anything less than 100% of my energy on life as opposed to death, I will never again think this world is inferior and irrelevant compared to a better place I've no proof exists...

....BUT....I will do what I can to save as many people as possible from a fate worse than death.....that being a life spent focusing on death and torturing yourself over it.

Read this and investigate further and then you will be one of the very few truly free people in the world.

new.exchristian.net...

As you will see from the comments, it makes sense to many.
edit on 14-6-2012 by TheFogHorn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 10:15 AM
link   

Originally posted by CLPrime
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


Any view that says a preacher should continue to preach even if he stops believing is likely classifying preaching as a job in the world rather than a work in Christ. Preaching to unbelievers and teaching to believers are works done in the name of Christ for the glory and edification of his Kingdom. Anyone who would continue ministering after a fall from Grace is likely doing so only for personal benefit. It certainly wouldn't be a work in Christ any longer...it would become a job like any other.

Case in point, my father. He's about as vocally anti-Christian as you'll find. If I'm preaching, he wants me to be making money at it (though I refuse to steal money from churches). He doesn't even like me preaching in place of the regular minister, because, to him, the minister is just using me to do his job for him. He doesn't understand that it's my work now, as well, to show love and grace to the lost and to edify (and, if need be, rebuke) the assemblies. It's not a job, it's just what I'm here to do.


Amen CLP. Any person who doesn't have faith, and especially anyone who is not a seeker themselves should never lead others who are trying to be.




top topics
 
13
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join