Why did I stop believing in God? The shortest answer would be that I ran out of excuses for him. Pentecostal Christianity stresses that God is actively involved in the believers’ lives, answering their prayers, communicating with them, and changing events around them. As a teenager, I loved this idea. I was raised in traditional Catholicism, where God, while powerful, was very distant. I always thought that if there is a God, I wanted to have close contact
I am a senior (age 74 at this writing) and only recently admitted to myself that I am an atheist. I was brought up in a conservative (aka fundamentalist) Presbyterian church but went to a “liberal” Presbyterian college (The College of Wooster) where I was introduced to a more scholarly approach to scriptures. From there I earned a Masters in Religious Education at Union Theological Seminary.
The son of recent German immigrants, I was born in Western Canada in 1956. My mother grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home where guilt and shame were generously dispensed by her mother and later also by her grandfather. My father was a skeptic and nominal Lutheran who found it hard to stomach Christian hypocrisy and thus
I’m a former Mennonite minister who served in two congregations in Kansas for a total of 30 years before resigning and entering the business world as a human resource manager. I distinctly remember reading through the Bible in 6 months when I was eight years old. I was surprised by God’s anger and destructiveness. Still I believed.
It was November 1965 when, while still in my twenties, I walked out of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses as a disfellowshipped person.Because I had come to disagree – quite strongly, in fact – with many of the teachings of the Watch Tower Society, I was summoned before a judicial committee to give an explanation for myself. They probed and questioned, and questioned me again. Surely this was all just to cover up some other wrong-doing,
My life was the church. I grew up in the church. I went on numerous mission trips. I got a college degree designed to prepare me for church ministry. I worked as a youth pastor for several years. I got my masters degree in seminary. Finally, I found a great job as the senior pastor in a fantastic, growing evangelical church. It was a wonderful place to work and I loved my job for over half a decade.
In Southern Baptist circles, they say “once saved, always saved” as if there’s no going back. They say something similar about alcoholics so I can’t help but picture myself seated in a circle in the middle of a gymnasium, waiting for my turn to stand up and say, “Hi. My name is Ches and I’m a Jesuholic.” Anyway, I’m from Houston, married with three children, and I work as a computer tech at a middle school. I have a background in art and I’m also an
John serves on TCP’s Screening Committee. Where to start??? I grew up in the home of a Southern Baptist minister in North Carolina. I started Wake Forest College (WF) in 1960 and graduated in 1967. I would say that is because I am a slow learner but the truth is I dropped out of college in the fall of my sophomore year and spent the next 3 years in the US Army (doesn’t mean that I’m NOT a slow learner!). I Was
My single-parent mother was not excessively religious, but she sometimes told me Bible stories with the assumption that they were true. She also sent me to a fundamentalist Sunday School because it was the nearest church. She attended church for a while but then stopped going. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was turned off because the congregation leaders canned the pastor in a very dirty way—gave him a pair of airline tickets to visit