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.
Not believing theism and pretending to not believe theism is not the same thing. What makes this idiot think he can do that? Sounds like Pascal's Wager in reverse - which is stupid in forward gear.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Corky. All the best to you as well.ReplyDelete
Ryan, Corky's comments do not represent the thinking of all the rest of us who comment here. Most of us had experiences in a sabbatarian group which was closely related to the SDA movement, although in our case, the beliefs were modified by the extreme teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong. So toxic were HWA's teachings that many who left became disillusioned with the entire concept of God, becoming non- believers, and even anti-theists. It's about all a person could do as a detoxification process. My own detox required 30 years, but I am happy to share that I am once again a believer, although with completely different understanding from what we had been taught by Herbert Armstrong.ReplyDelete
I wish you well in your journey.
SDA is a kook religion and it's no wonder an intelligent minister within it would question the craziness.ReplyDelete
Others (such as Byker Bob) have taken similar journeys.
It's good to take stock of not just what you believe but what you CAN believe and these days that's a really tough call with all sorts of opinions without scientific substance trotted out promoted as being some sort of reality.
Here's hoping Ryan looks in all the right places and comes to a semblance of the truth.
When he's finished, I hope he can enlighten all the rest of us because as sure as death, taxes, revenge and the fury of a woman scorned, it's tough to figure out religious truth.
Now if you are talking about practical things like technology, that's quite another matter and there can be no equivocation that DNA evidence has now successfully shot down a number of religions living in the lies of racist opinions.
Ha! Name just one "religious truth"...just one, one that was discovered by religion.Delete
Wow, this post didn't carry on as far as I thought it would. I would have thought that an atheist charade would have attracted a lot of attention.ReplyDelete
I don't get the impression that it is a charade at all. Quite the contrary.Delete
I thought that "charade" meant pretense or a faked act...maybe I'm wrong.Delete
Nope, that's right. But how you judge this as a charade is beyond me.Delete
Because he said "I will...live, for a year, as an atheist. It’s important to make the distinction that I am not an atheist."Delete
Living "as if" one is an atheist when one is not an atheist sounds like a faked act to me.
Agreed. It's not a charade, it's an individualized search for truth, indicative of amazing open-mindedness, and there is an element of danger.ReplyDelete