home
RSS
Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists
Minister-turned-atheist Jerry DeWitt speaks at ReasonFest in Kansas earlier this year.
June 13th, 2012
10:47 AM ET

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

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - 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.

During his speeches, he talks about the process of leaving his preacher job. “If you don’t believe, then you will be like me - you’ll suddenly find yourself where you only have two choices,” DeWitt told a group in Johnson County, Kansas, earlier this year.

“You can either be honest that you don’t believe ... or you can pretend that you do,” he said. “Which is what so many people are doing and that is called faith.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The transition from preacher to outspoken atheist has not been easy, and DeWitt is trying to smooth the way for other former believers. He is executive director of Recovering from Religion, an organization founded in 2009. Its slogan: “Thousands of organizations will help you get INTO religion, but we’re the only one helping you OUT.”

But a relatively new effort goes a step further than his own group by focusing on helping clergy in particular. In March 2011, a coalition that includes national groups such as American Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Richard Dawkins Foundation helped launch the Clergy Project, which is aimed at giving doubting and atheist preachers a community in which they can talk about their disbelief.

The program's ultimate goal: to help unbelieving preachers to “come out” in real life.

A safe online community

The Clergy Project’s key component is a private online community of active and former pastors discussing their conversions to lives of active disbelief. It lets congregational leaders come out anonymously, using an alias.

“It is important to focus on any group of people who are in a lot of pain,” said Linda LaScola, a co-founder of the Clergy Project. “That is why the Clergy Project exists, and it wouldn’t be growing if there wasn’t a need for it.”

When it launched last year, 52 clergy signed up for the online community, according to LaScola. A little more than a year later, 270 members are contributing to the message boards and connecting anonymously with one another.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

According to LaScola, the community includes some rabbis, imams and Catholic priests, but the majority are Protestants.

Members are barred from disclosing what is discussed on the boards, but DeWitt said it’s a blend of humor, advice and encouragement. DeWitt, who left his congregation just over a year ago, is considered the group’s first graduate.

“It gave me confidence to come out,” DeWitt said of the Clergy Project. “Knowing that I was not alone, that I was not a fluke, that I was not a freak of religious nature, but that this is a process; it most definitely gave me confidence and a purpose.”

Jerry DeWitt, far right, in his days as a minister.

DeWitt said that after connecting with people on the message boards, he realized he faced fewer obstacles than some others who are trying to leave the ministry. For example, DeWitt's wife and son already knew about his disbelief, while other questioning preachers had not yet told their families.

“I think it is important when you are struggling that you talk it out, that you write about it, that you find support,” said Teresa MacBain, acting executive director of the Clergy Project. “I still try to reach out to people who are questioning, who are doubting, clergy people and laypeople alike, and let them know they are not alone, that there are people who care.”

How does he feed his family?

For 44 years, MacBain was involved in some sort of ministry, from organizing worship music to being a senior pastor at a Methodist church in Florida.

At a recent American Atheists convention in North Bethesda, Maryland, MacBain first publicly announced her atheism, inspiring a roaring round of applause. American Atheists President David Silverman walked onstage and hugged her as MacBain began to cry.

"I was the one on the right track, and you were the ones that were going to burn in hell," MacBain told the crowd. "And I'm happy to say as I stand before you right now, I'm going to burn with you."

She said she sees plenty of growth potential in the Clergy Project. In the near future, she said she hopes to incorporate it as a nonprofit and begin raising funds for clergy who have decided to leave ministry jobs. She also wants to compile a group of employment recruiters to help former clergy find new jobs.

DeWitt, for his part, is struggling financially and said his house could be foreclosed on in the next few months.

For former preachers in search of work, their old skills can be hard to translate into new fields. What references do former ministers use if they have disappointed their congregants by leaving the pulpit?

MacBain said that some “formers,” as she calls ex-clergy, have left their hometowns for new jobs in fields ranging from radio to counseling.

To aid those transitions, Recovering from Religion has started the Clergy Professional Relief Fund, dedicated to “helping ex-ministers have a soft landing after coming out of the ministry.” Though little money has been collected so far, the hope is to help former ministers with job training and relocation expenses.

“Even if you have a degree in divinity, that doesn’t really mean anything,” DeWitt said. “That is the biggest fear that a nonbelieving clergy member has. How does he feed his family?”

Losing faith, losing friends

As a young fresh-faced minister, DeWitt was first confronted with his disbelief when he “became the person who got the burden of preaching about hell,” he said. “I really loved the people I preached to, I loved them like family. So imagine preaching that if you don’t do this, you are going to burn in hell. That wasn’t easy for me.”

After doubt about hell, DeWitt began to research other schools of thought about God and belief. He began to develop other doubts, about certain biblical translations and about healing.

“The next big issue was the failure of prayer,” DeWitt said. “People are passing away, whenever we pray for them to live. People aren’t getting jobs, whenever we pray for them to have jobs.

“The harder we tried to alleviate suffering within our church, it seemed like the worse things got,” he said. “It didn’t seem like prayer made any difference. It just continually crushed my heart.”

When DeWitt decided to come out as an atheist, some in his congregation appeared shocked.

“I was very heartbroken actually because his family means so much to me; they are actually like family,” said Natosha Davis, 30, who attended DeWitt’s church for four years. “I was very heartbroken for him that he had to go through that and struggle.”

Many congregants were less charitable. “Some people where he lives just totally turned their backs on him,” Davis said. “He was ostracized, excommunicated. It is like he has a disease, but he doesn’t.”

When DeWitt runs into people he used to preach to, he still averts his eyes. Going to the post office and to Walmart, he said, can be stressful because of the possibility of running into a former congregant.

“It is because places in which you were once admired now you are suddenly scorned or pitied,” DeWitt said, who admits not having many friends anymore. “It makes for an extremely uncomfortable life.”

And yet DeWitt said his atheist life mirrors his old religious one in some key respects. In some ways, he said, he’s still a minister.

“The origin of the symmetry is me, is my personality, my love for people, my love for ministering,” DeWitt said. “What I have always tried to do is to minster from where I personally am at.

“When I was 17, I preached what I believed was best for people at the time; when I was 20, it was a little different; at 25 it was different, too,” he said. “And now at 42, I am still the same guy preaching what I see is best for people.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity

soundoff (5,298 Responses)
  1. Mark

    My hats off to this preacher because he finally realized that there is no "god" and you can pray until you turn blue and nothing is going to happen. Prayer is just a great waste of time.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  2. aaron

    Sounds to me like he didn't know the faith he was going into when he went into it, and he certainly doesn't know what he left, or where he's going. "Agnostic" would be a better term for him. Unfortunately, he probably doesn't know what that means... Get the rope and mill stone out - that "would be better."

    June 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      Apparently you don't know what 'agnostic' means either, because it isn't a position between atheism and theism. One has to do with knowledge, the other with belief, and they are not mutually exclusive.

      One can be an agnostic atheist, most atheists are.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  3. Rachel

    For every aetheist that comes there are always more who are turning to God each day.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • tony

      Another lie.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Horus

      That would be in stark contrast to the Pew Survey in this very blog......

      June 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • James PDX Mostly Straight

      Is that why the number of people who claim to be Christian continues to decline? Your faith is working over time when it can completely disregard proven facts.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Getreal

      That is very false. The declining membership in the worlds religions as a whole has many churches closing,and consolidating. People are waking up to find that they do not have to conform to what the people around them believe and this has been weakening the strength of ALL organized religions. Religions are born from ignorance...why are we here?,How did this all come to be? I don't know, so there MUST be a deity. It is amazing how many religions are based on the principle "I don't know = God".

      June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • bembol

      Rachel, please reference the ARIS and Pew surveys. You can find them here in CNN too.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  4. Zakir

    LOGICAL CONCEPT OF GOD

    My first question to the atheist will be: "What is the definition of God?" For a person to say there is no God, he should know what is the meaning of God. If I hold a book and say that ‘this is a pen’, for the opposite person to say, ‘it is not a pen’, he should know what is the definition of a pen, even if he does not know nor is able to recognise or identify the object I am holding in my hand. For him to say this is not a pen, he should at least know what a pen means. Similarly for an atheist to say ‘there is no God’, he should at least know the concept of God. His concept of God would be derived from the surroundings in which he lives. The god that a large number of people worship has got human qualities – therefore he does not believe in such a god. Similarly a Muslim too does not and should not believe in such false gods.

    If a non-Muslim believes that Islam is a merciless religion with something to do with terrorism; a religion which does not give rights to women; a religion which contradicts science; in his limited sense that non-Muslim is correct to reject such Islam. The problem is he has a wrong picture of Islam. Even I reject such a false picture of Islam, but at the same time, it becomes my duty as a Muslim to present the correct picture of Islam to that non-Muslim i.e. Islam is a merciful religion, it gives equal rights to the women, it is not incompatible with logic, reason and science; if I present the correct facts about Islam, that non-Muslim may Inshallah accept Islam.

    Similarly the atheist rejects the false gods and the duty of every Muslim is to present the correct concept of God which he shall Insha Allah not refuse.

    (You may refer to my article, ‘Concept of God in Islam’, for more details)

    June 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • tony

      A non existent god leaves no traces of his presence of activity, nor acts when god power is needed.

      Just like our universe for the past 13 Billion years.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      first you need to present your view of islam to those that act in the manner that help portray it in a negative light to those non-muslim amongst us. Once you have those convinced then come back to us and we'll talk.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  5. demwit

    Poor guy must be blind..., I see God all around me.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Eric Spivey

      You must be delusional or on drugs. Which is it?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Herby Sagues

      And how do you know it is God what you see? Everything you see can be explained without a God. What's more, even if you, for some reason, assumed there HAS to be a God, how do you know it is the God of your parents? Everything you see could be explained by the Lords of the Valhalla, or by Rama, or by Quetzalcoatl.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      i bet you also hear voices too.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  6. Zakir

    Normally, when I meet an atheist, the first thing I like to do is to congratulate him and say, " My special congratulations to you", because most of the people who believe in God are doing blind belief – he is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; he is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him.

    My Muslim brothers may question me, "Zakir, why are you congratulating an atheist?" The reason that I am congratulating an atheist is because he agrees with the first part of the Shahada i.e. the Islamic Creed, ‘La ilaaha’ – meaning ‘there is no God’. So half my job is already done; now the only part left is ‘il lallah’ i.e. ‘BUT ALLAH’ which I shall do Insha Allah. With others (who are not atheists) I have to first remove from their minds the wrong concept of God they may have and then put the correct concept of one true God.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Hey Zeus!

      Hey Zakir... Fuck off!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • James PDX Mostly Straight

      Your Muslim religion is just another in a long line of Christian/Judaism offshoots due to people wanting to redesign their religion and God to suit their own personal needs.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • bembol

      He he he, gotcha plagiarist! You are copying an imam's speech. it's in youtube!

      June 14, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  7. BeLogical

    Just another person trying to capitalize on human ignorance. Why would anyone need to form a group to spread the news of something they don't believe. Wouldn't it be simpler to just ignore it and keep on your merry way?
    "Not having friends anymore"..it's no different than dating someone for months saying you're a virgin then pop up with 7 kids...they are not going to want to deal with you after that. The silliest story ever.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • QS

      Your comment contradicts your screenname.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Hey Zeus!

      That's a shitty analogy.. and you're an idiot

      June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • tony

      I'm all for having ex-pastors get a soft landing. Think how many less innocent children are going to be lied to and corrupted, if they can more safely leave their pulpits.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Herby Sagues

      Because if only people that believe in myths "preach" and people that don't don't preach, over time reason dies.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  8. Dave

    R.C. Sproul wrote a good book called The Psychology of Atheism. Anyone considering non-belief may want to read it.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Getreal

      R C Sproul is a minister. This is someone who has taken the Bible ( a work of men) and extrapolated it into his book.Nowhere in the bible do I see any word of god.I see peter says god said, I see John said god said, but no where does god say a thing. All religions are created by men, for men, to answer questions that are unanswerable, or have not yet been answered. The more you open yourself to be educated and ask the hard questions, and realize that we still do not know the answers, the more enlightened you will actually become.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  9. James PDX Mostly Straight

    Faith is the ability to believe in things you know are not likely to be true. If they were likely, faith would not be a component and belief would be easy. If you know it's not likely to be true, why would you dedicate your life to it? Many people forego faith for common sense and reason.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  10. WhatWhatWhat?

    In the US, there are two visions of the future, one in which we go to Mars and explore the Solar System, and one where a guy riding a horse in the clouds pulling a sword out of his mouth comes down and kills everyone he doesn't like. It's our responsibility to the future to ridicule this nonsense out of existence.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • heroicslugtest

      Lol, it reads like a poorly written, self published fantasy novel at times.

      Oh wait, it is! Bible: The oldest and most influential literary trash in history.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • QS

      Yeppers!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  11. Ron

    Americans LOVE going from one extreme to another, please STOP lumping Atheists and agnostics together it is ignorant to do so since they are 2 completely different things. Atheism is a religion since it claims to have unconfirmed answers to the formation of the universe which are based solely on the big bang or other unattested belief system's . While agnosticism on the other hand claims that all these theories are unknown or unknowable.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • James PDX Mostly Straight

      I actually find atheism to be almost as foolish as religions based on deities.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      So that's the definition of religion, thinking you know how the Universe came into existence? You don't know much about religion, do you?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest

      Atheism is not a religion dumbass

      June 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • KK Denver

      Atheists don't ask the question at all and agnostics rely on empirical data to make the decision.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      You sir are an idiot!!! Atheism is not a religion! There are Atheistic type religions, just as there are theistic type religions. Not every theist is a christian, just like not all atheists are buddhists.

      To clarify some definitions for you:
      Atheist=disbelief in god(s)
      Theist=belief is god(s)
      Gnostic=a claim of knowledge
      Agnostic=does not claim knowledge

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • tony

      I'm an atheist and I'm not in the least bit religious. I do try my best to be a good, kind, helpful and loving person. And I don't need to worship anything to feel like that.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • steven harnack

      If you think that there is still a possibility that there is a being in some heavenly kingdom that created the universe then you're not the glorious sounding "agnostic" that you think that you are, you are just looking for religion. Science doesn't claim to absolutely know the answers, just the best theories that physics, math, and reason and study have so far. They're still looking, you're just a pseudo whatever.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  12. Jean Malloy

    Makes me wonder which, " believing " r not believing, is most profitable for him? Maybe he figured the field of "believers" is too crowded. He had to go for a hustle less traveled. I'm going to wax poetic...Two roads deverged in a yellow woods... sorry I could not take both...I took the one least traveled...

    June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bill Duke

      Exactly. He's a scam artist and this is his latest ploy to separate the rubes from their money.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Steve Perry

      Doooon't stop beliiiiiiiiiievin'......

      June 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest

      Bill how exactly is he making money

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Bill: He's not making money. He saw what he had been brainwashed to believe as being the fallacy that it is and had some tough decisions to make. It's not always easy for Atheists to admit disbelief...they risk family and friends. I've heard this man speak and read his story, this transition was not easy for him. (http://clergyproject.org/)
      Now if you want to whine about someone making money from stupid foolish sheep dumb enough to give it to the church, whine about that ass Creflo who is a prosperity minister.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  13. DrJStrangepork

    I have always wanted Christians to explain why Christianity is the one right religion and the others are wrong.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • James PDX Mostly Straight

      That would be hard to do, since Christianity is just a bunch of gentiles too lazy to make up their own religion and stealing one from the Jews.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • MK

      I would LOVE to hear the answer to that question as well. Anyone??

      June 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Jean Malloy

      Who told you that Christians say they are the only "right" religion to follow. Obviously not many are truly believing it. How else would you explain the state of the world today? how will you explain how people join religions that are inherently evil? How may TRUE Christians you know? I'm not talking about those to talk the talk. I mean the ones who walk the walk. If you ever found one of them , you or no one would ever have anything negative to say about THAT type of Christian. Apparently you ar basing you beliefs about Christians on the false followers, which in the final analysis, aren't about S@%* and has done more to create anamonisity toward TRUE Christians. This also may be said about any religion/faith. I guarantee you this: Any faith regardless, that teaches hatred toward another human, who supports unwarranted taking of life, unwarranted destruction of anything except evil, ignorance, is NOT a religion, but an evil cult. We need to start distinguishing the difference, then the world would be a better place.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • steven harnack

      The nature of the beast is that they don't have to explain it because god told them they were right. Circular logic that will drive you crazy. My advice? Just stay away from anyone who smells like a christian.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • DrJStrangepork

      @ Jean Mallory... All true Christians must believe the other religions to be wrong according to the 10 commandments. I am not trying to be critical of people that follow the golden rule (not a commandment btw). But there is no escaping... if you are a follower and hold the 10 commandments to be the word of God, you must consider all other religions to be wrong. I am attempting to get an understanding of why this one religion is right and the others are wrong. Of course the question applies to other religions, but this is the USA, and blah blah blah.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  14. dman

    Carlin said it best: Stand in awe!
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o&w=640&h=360]

    June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • cykill

      George is right, been telling people for years.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Nice, LMFAO!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Jimi

      And he's regretting every second of it now. Nothing funny about Hell. If George could speak to you now he would tell you the same thing. It's all fun n games while your still breathing, but before you take that last breath here on earth you better make sure you have a personal relationship with JESUS and not releigion or think your a good person. Eternity is a long time to be wrong. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. Jesus said that I am the Way, the Truth and the Life no one comes to the father except thru me. Jesus spoke more about Hell than Heaven because he loves us and does not want anyone to suffer in Hell. This is why he died for us, so if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior we may be forgiven of our sins and not have to spend eternity in Hell, but in Heaven with Him. You reject Him now, He has no choice but to reject you later. Know B4 you go. God Bless.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • dman

      He's in hell? Oh no! Have you spoken to George? Well you just seem to know so very much about it you must have some inside info. Please tell George we all miss him and that his words live on to help others, of course it's not in the way that Christ's do. George wasn't spewing vile hatred of his fellow humans while standing in judgement over them, he works in more subtle ways. But please do let him know, I am sure he would be happy to know that.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Jimi

      The only reason your angry, is because you know that it is true, but choose to live in denial anyway. I know I use to be the same way. The truth will set you free. We will all be held accountable for what we did or didn't do while we were in the world. George Carlin was just another pawn used by Satan to distract people from the truth and God. Might want to do some research on how the devil works and you'll find it in the Word of God. You still have time to make the right choice. I pray that you will as well as everyone else. God Bless.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • dman

      Please save your prayers for yourself and whoever you may have any influence over. Your blind faith will lead you off a cliff someday.

      June 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Jimi, you don't actually know that anyone is in hell. Do you know why? Because there is no proof that there is any heaven, hell, god, devil or afterlife. All you have is your own personal beliefs and hopes. Pretty much all you are saying is that you hope that George Carlin (and all other non-christians) will suffer in eternal torment because they don't believe exactly what you do.

      Nice belief you have there, Jimi.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  15. PARKER

    IF THERE IS AN ALL POWERFUL GOD, WHY DO 20,000 INNOCENT CHILDREN DIE EVERY DAY FROM DIARRHEA AND MALNUTRITION?

    June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bill Duke

      an even better question...why don't you know where your Caps Lock key is?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Vic Torrey

      Because we live in a "fallen" world. Biblical Christianity is the only logical explanation for everything that exists in the world; past, present, future.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Ralph Henson

      The same reason when we ask God to bless America after we chase Him out of school and government. God treats good or bad the same, we are the ones that change.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • James PDX Mostly Straight

      I did find one good reason in the Bbile for why the human race might be so ignorant and dumb. Apparently we're all the descendants of a family of redneck incestual Jews led by their father, Noah.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Biblical Christianity is the only logical explanation for everything that exists in the world; past, present, future."

      ok, seriously, if you are going to say such stomach-hurting comedic gems at least give us some warning.
      'only logical explanation'......hehe, im going to be chuckling on that the rest of the day.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • cykill

      i think the first question may be a little more important.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  16. JOE

    HERE THESE WORDS CAREFULLY AND REMEMBER THEM . IN MY EXPERIENCE MEN WHO HAVE GONE APOSTATE AFTER ONCE HAVING BEEN ENLIGHTNED BY GOD WHO THEN WILLINGLY TURN AGAINST HIM HAVE BUT A SHORT TIME TO LIVE. GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED. THIS MAN MUST REPENT AND SOME HOW FIND THE MERCY OF JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HE DIES. HELL IS REAL AND UNLESS HE REPENTS HE WILL BE THERE SOON. YOU CAN PUSH GOD TO THE POINT WHERE HE STATES HE WILL CUT YOU OFF AND THAT WITHOUT A REMEDY TO GET BACK TO HIM. GOOGLE PEOPLE WHO DIED AND WENT TO HELL AND SEE WHAT AND WHO WAS SEEN THERE. HE WILL SOON BE ONE OF THEM IF HE DOES NOT REPENT. REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO SAM KINNISON THE COMEDIAN ONCE A PREACHER TURNED VULGER AND ANTI GOD COMEDY AND WAS EARLY IN LIFE KILLED IN A CAR ACCIDENT. THE STEPS OF APOSTOSY AND ATHIEISM LEAD TO HELL

    June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • QS

      Actually, "god" can be mocked....right along with your butchering of the language.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Pokydoke

      Pure and utter nonsense. You are thoroughly brain washed and unable to think critically about your beliefs and religion.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • JWT

      Yawn. Rubbish through and through

      June 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      funny but my father was a server in a church in his late teens and early 20s when he suddenly realised one day that it was all nonsense and never went back.
      He will be 72 this year.
      god had better hurry up and deliver his vengence or my dad will die of old age before he catches up to him.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Joe: You do realize that hell can't be proven with evidence to exist, right? I'm not afraid of a road to anything...it's part of the thrill of not believing...I don't fear your fairy tale lands any longer. Maybe if you attempted to grasp the fact that the book you believe in was written 2000 years ago by sheep herding men who knew nothing and that this is the 21st century, you'd enjoy not living in fear. Non-belief is liberating.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • bembol

      Joe, kindly take lessons in spelling, please?

      June 14, 2012 at 12:50 am |
  17. Felix El Gato

    Better to be a real atheist than a fake Christian.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Bill Duke

      Atheism is just another religion

      June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • James

      Actually, there is no difference between a real athiest and a fake christian, you will both havre the same eternal destiny.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • KK Denver

      What are it's tenets?

      June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Pokydoke

      Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or any gods, no religion required. As an Atheist I am willing to change my mind about the existence of a god providing adequate proof of that god, so far that proof is lacking. faith doesn't cut it.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Bald is just another hair color.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      James, you forgot to include "real christians" in your list of people who have the same eternal fate. There is no evidence to indicate that death is anything other than the ultimate end.

      June 14, 2012 at 1:01 am |
  18. Dave

    It is really wonderful that we have religious freedom in this country. It is awful when governments have the power to tell people what to believe or how to live. But that doesn't change the truth. Believing in something doesn't make it true. Religious people need to understand that when they come out of their church, the outside world is still there, and reality doesn't have religious beliefs. Outside of the church, people need to set their religious beliefs aside and coexist with everybody else. It's good that people can have their beliefs and bad when they confuse belief with truth.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Paul Buckley

    This guy was tring to be God not follow God .When you study the manuscripts ,prophacy,historical evidence ,and statistical evidence of the Bible it takes more faith not to believe . I feel for this man but the fact is he was never saved ,sanctified and born again .I believe if I was a pastor for most of my life and not called to the ministry and not saved by the blood of Christ ,I would have doubts too. I find it funny he now will spend the rest of his life fighting and preaching about something he believes doesn't exsist. The reality is if you don't believe go feed the poor ,dig wells in third world countries make a difference instead of fighting against something that you believe doesn't exsist . The path is narrow and few will find it according to Jesus .I wish you well and the salvation that comes only from Jesus .

    June 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Oh, this should be fun. Let's hear all of this historical "evidence" that you have.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Parth

      Amen!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • JWT

      There is only one god and that is a goddess known as my wife. You have your true beliefs and I have mine.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • JOHN G.

      HI PAUL: I was going to research my answers to the non-believers from the Holy Bible. I may still do that but you said what I have been thinking and put it all neatly in a nutshell and saved me the time. Congradulations you said it all. John

      June 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • steven harnack

      The fact that some men wrote down what they believed is not proof that those beliefs are true. Get some unbiased proof. Otherwise I could prove to you the existence of Middle Earth by quoting "The Hobbit".

      June 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "it takes more faith not to believe"

      really? it takes more faith to not believe than to believe some all powerful magical supreme being created everything, for some unknown reason yet to be determined, maybe he was bored, and then created a system whereby you live your life to determine where you go when you die, again for some as yet to be determined reason, on a planet that has known nothing but wars, famine, death, destruction etc etc throughout the history of mankind, apparently all because some woman ate an apple?
      uh huh, ok then.

      June 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  20. TexasCentrist

    These guys' "conversion" should be better publicized for those who still live in the religious bubble.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Billy

      Good for him!!! This world would be SUCH a better place if religion had never been (man) created!!

      June 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.