Males have this fascinating ability to compartmentalize their lives, however there are some subjects that just defy that ability to do so. In liberal California, the logical standards are forever being tested with ideas that have made California known for its unorthodox belief systems.
So when a California pastor decided to live one year as if no God existed, it began a downward spiral for the pastor’s life that has put himself and his two children in financial and spiritual jeopardy.
The faith of a Christian pastor should be very solid, and in this case Ryan Bell as leader to the 7th Day Adventist Church in Hollywood, California, there were signals before his decision to live as an atheist for this year that the belief system for a Christian pastor was already on shaky ground.
Before coming out with his idea to live as though there was no God for a year, his personal philosophy did not mesh very well with his Adventist congregation. When you have too much liberalism for a Hollywood social setting, you are way out there.
Bell raised the ire of his church by pushing to have gays in leadership, campaigned against California’s same sex marriage ban, had had disputed deeply held church doctrines concerning the End Times. As either a pastor or church believer, there are certain standards that are not optional for interpretation.
There are church doctrines of Christian organizations or denominations that are not suggestions, in fact violating certain crucial tenants of faith would jeopardize one’s status of even being classified as a Christian. Bell’s questioning the Adventist’s doctrines of the End Times could well disqualify him as a pastor and also a believer depending on what Bell was disputing.http://voices.yahoo.com/eight-basic-beliefs-seventh-day-adventist-church-414255.html
His decision to live as though there was no God would be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. You just cannot be a Christian leader if one is in rebellion against core beliefs. Bell’s decision to live as though there is no God points to serious issues present before his controversial decision to take up an atheist lifestyle for one year.
Violating his oath for the Christian faith led to the demise of his Christian employment for two jobs, a prerequisite for taking the positions.
However Bell’s plight has raised the sympathies of atheists and Christians as more than $19,000 dollars has been donated by over 900 people.
Call it abandoning the faith, an attempt for notoriety, or just poor judgment, Bell seems determined to continue his journey as an atheist for one year. At the year’s conclusion it will prove interesting what Bell decides to do after living a year as though there is no God.
The Bible teaches that you cannot serve two masters, for you will come to love the one and hate the other. One could deduce that Bell’s faith journey has already been impacted long before his decision to experiment with godlessness for one year. Bell’s resistance towards Christian doctrine reveals that his affinity to not believing in God has been an ongoing process.
Without faith it is impossible to please God, and this fact may be the exact reason God does not respond to doubt. Also among the six things God hates is he who sows discord among the brethren according to Proverbs 6:16-18.
Having ideas that can be considered heretical towards the Christian truth is no place for a pastor that is expected to shepherd the flock. His dire responsibility is to preach and teach those under his spiritual authority and to lead based on God’s truth and not personal conjecture. The gospel truth is all about submission and not confrontation.http://carm.org/heresy
Taking a year off to purposely seek an alternative and opposite lifestyle between Christianity and atheism is pure lunacy. One cannot take a vacation for a year from what somebody firmly is expected to believe without damaging oneself and those around him.
Somebody is living a lie…you are either an atheist or a Christian and it is impossible to walk in integrity by claiming to be a Christian but becoming a true atheist for a year. It just does not honestly work that way.