Skip to comments.Unbelieving Preachers Get Help to 'Come Out' as Open Atheists
Posted on 06/13/2012 6:40:02 PM PDT by marshmallow
(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 dont believe, then you will be like me youll 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 dont believe ... or you can pretend that you do, he said. Which is what so many people are doing and that is called faith.
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 were 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.....
(Excerpt) Read more at religion.blogs.cnn.com ...
If a person can no longer defend what he thought was defensible, that’s cool, but it is an immoral act to take a living from an organization that you can no longer support.
>> the growing number of Americans who are atheist, agnostic, humanist or just plain disinterested in identifying with a religion.
I have to ask why individuals with this affliction would go to the trouble of listening to a sermon about it. Isn’t that identifying with a faith system?
No shock that an atheist would lie and steal from people who trusted him.
And they need to be shown the door.
This guy is a liberal’s dream. Since liberals tend to denigrate religion, they will love someone like him, who for whatever reason, has fallen away from faith.
He’s probably been doing this for years already, and CNN is just helping him with publicity.
There have been times when I've been bitterly let down by God but I know my life is worthless without Christ and I would rather kill myself than live without that belief because I already know how futile life is otherwise.
The only thing that keeps me going is the belief that, in some way, God has a plan and a reward for me. If that's not true, my life was already wasted.
“A little more than a year later, 270 members are contributing to the message boards and connecting anonymously with one another.”
Wow, 270 people on an online message board and CNN thinks it’s a story! Forums for flat earthers probably get more participants than that.
I am all for unbelieving clergyman “coming out” as long a they resign their positions and renounce membership in their church.
This is an anonymous, on-line forum where religious hucksters can exchange techniques in scamming parishioners. These are people who faked it from the beginning to gain power over the faithful and accumulate riches under a tax-exempt status. The clergy is riddled with sociopaths.
The proper way, I believe, to express this feeling is: "There have been times when I have felt let down by God..." When God does not answer our prayers as we would like, that just means He has another plan for us - one which is ultimately for the best.
Some have abandoned their faith when things did not turn out as they wanted, or they felt that God did not help them out of some difficulty. There are no easy answers when bad things happen to us. In such times we can only trust all the more in His unfailing love for us.
All the best and keep looking up!
From the last paragraph of the article:
“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.
“... what I believed was best for people ... I am still the same guy preaching what I see is best for people.” OK. So, what has changed? My guess is that the “gospel” he used to preach was not really the gospel. The truth of God’s word was just his rendition of what he saw as truth. This guy is so full of himself that there is no room for Anyone else.
p.s. What the devil (term used advisedly) was he doing preaching at 17? What possible good could come of that? (1 Timothy 3:6)
Actually you had every day in which you could have renounced your faith. Paul said "I die daily". He chose every day to renounce this world and embrace His Savior. His life was under attack daily (by Satan) as well.
“...17, launching a 25-year career as a Pentecostal preacher.”
There is the beginning of the problem. He was too young to be given that responsibility, and most likely unprepared for it. His real problem is that he has never had a real job, one where he doesn’t live off of others. Let him earn a real living for awhile, and then tell me what he believes or doesn’t believe. At least then, he ill have earned my consideration.
This isn’t a suprise to me. Many ministers are most likely fakes. Jesus said (to those who worked in his name) that on the last day he will say, “Depart from Me; I did not know you.”
It doesn’t surprise me that CNN has a place in their news for this. For them, 277 people saying what they want to hear is an important story for them.
By the way, I’ve been a minister for 25 years. All true believers will have moments of doubt—but I’ve “cast my lot” with Christ. I will not deny what I believe through the scriptures.
He could be an Episcopalian Bishop.
How can one even ponder (it would kill me to even think about this) denying the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection: It is the only thing that can give life-through Him!