First, he's a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. Or he was. You know; Ellen G. White, the Third Angel's Message, Sabbath services, the Mark of the Beast, Textured Vegetable Protein and Corn Flakes...
Then came a crisis of faith:
I couldn't affirm the teaching that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was the “remnant church” — God’s chosen people to prepare the world for the last days. If fact, there was a lot about the church’s beliefs concerning the last days (and the more proximate days) that troubled me.
In March, I stood my ground on these issues and was asked to resign. I didn’t want to resign but I finally agreed. My family and my health had suffered over the past several years but my faith had suffered most of all.Crises like these can lead in unplanned directions. Bell's next step was pretty radical:
So, I'm making it official and embarking on a new journey. I will “try on” atheism for a year.And, this being 2014, Ryan Bell is blogging his way through the twelve months so we can all share in his journey.
In short, I will do whatever I can to enter the world of atheism and live, for a year, as an atheist. It’s important to make the distinction that I am not an atheist. At least not yet. I am not sure what I am. That’s part of what this year is about.You can follow Ryan Bell's blog here. The quotes above come from his December 31 post, which also appeared on the Huffington Post.