Pastors Who No Longer Believe in God

on November 13, 2010

ABC News (U.S.): “Atheist Ministers Struggle With Leading the FaithfulIn a story that reveals just one of the many dark consequences of extracting the Bible from culture and supposed reality, we learn about pastors who no longer believe in God.

“Reading the Bible is what led me not to believe in God,” one pastor, who now describes himself as an atheist, told ABC News. “Jack,” as the report refers to him, is a Southern Baptist pastor who has spent more than two decades in ministry. He explains, “I spent the majority of my life believing and pursuing this religious faith, Christianity. And to get to this point in my life, I just don’t feel like I believe anymore.”

Sadly, Jack points to questions he had about the Bible as the root of his atheism.

Sadly, Jack points to questions he had about the Bible as the root of his atheism. “The more I read the Bible, the more questions I had. The more things didn’t make sense to me—what it said—and the more things didn’t add up.” He specifically named the account of Noah’s Ark as one of the passages that tripped him up, calling it “improbable.”

Another pastor, pseudonym “Adam,” says, “I live out my life as if there is no God”—a telling statement given that he also claims we can’t “prove that there is not a God.” He also notes that he “live[s] no differently than [he] did when [he] was a fervent believer.” For Adam, it was the work of atheists like Richard Dawkins that drove him away from the faith. He claims that before reading Dawkins, he had “never really looked at secular teaching or other philosophies.”

Both Jack and Adam told ABC News that they now prefer to teach from passages in the Bible that they still believe in, such as passages emphasizing good behavior. They would leave the ministry, but the current economy prevents that, they say.

We are greatly saddened by stories like Jack’s and Adam’s, especially given that doubts about the truth of the Bible are at the center of their stories (given that the “new” atheists spend much of their time attacking God’s Word). That’s why it is crucially important for the entire church to learn why the Bible can be trusted on all topics it addresses, from Noah’s Ark to the existence of God, which is at the heart of our mission.

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