Former So. Cali Pastor Decides To Take a Year Off from God?

Former Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Ryan Bell

Former So. Cali Pastor Decides To Take a Year Off from God?

We need to pray for this man. He is really confused or is allowing the enemy to turn him away from God. Read below on his story which is pretty sad.

Former Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Ryan Bell made an unusual New Year’s resolution: to live for one year without God.

He used to lead a congregation in Southern California, but in March, he was asked to step down after voicing some of the doubts that led to this decision to “try on” atheism.

Just a few days into the new year, after announcing his resolution, Bell was asked to leave the teaching positions he held at the Christian Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary.

Bell spoke with NPR’s Arun Rath about his flirtation with atheism and how he arrived at the decision to put his work as a religious leader — and follower — on hold.

Here are some interview highlights…

About the expectations of belief for church leaders

My entire adult life, I’ve been a leader in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. And I think the expectation of church leaders is that they would have fewer questions and more answers, and that the members or seekers or people that come to the church are the ones with the questions. And I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t wrestling with my faith. I think faith is one of those things that people wrestle with.

…About  experiencing doubt

When things start to come unwound, sometimes they unwind all the way. And then, you know, perhaps you can wind it up a little bit again later — who knows? But I feel like I lost my church leadership position and then I really didn’t have any compulsion to go to church internally, like I just didn’t feel like participating in church. I tried a number of times.

And it woke me up to the kinds of things people had been saying to me all these years, like, “I love what you’re doing at the church, but church just isn’t for me.” …

So I just decided not to fight it. I just decided to say, “Well, let me just give church a rest.” And as I did that, I just began to wonder about the very existence of God.

Whoa! This is something. He needs to leave the church if he wants to ‘try out’ atheism. If he is losing his faith and belief in God then he needs some real soul searching, counseling and repentance. If he wants to ‘go without God’ for a year, then he is leaving God. Period. We pray he gets back to God and make a new stand in the name of Jesus!

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