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The story that started all this

October 11, 2010

This isn’t a continuation of my previous post, just a quick link to a story that Baptist Press (the SBC’s news service) ran earlier this year.  The original blog post by Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY goes a bit more in depth than the blurb on the BP.

When I read this I realized that there are probably many others involved in the ministry who have come to disbelieve their faith, either become agnostic or atheist or at least doubt some key tenant of their denomination and yet are unsure of what to do about it.

Of course, Dr. Mohler says that we are terrible, horrible monsters, preying upon the faithful.  I used to feel a bit like that, but I no longer do.  I do feel dishonest, but as of right now I have no other option than to be something I am not.

Update:

I know this is included at the end of Dr. Mohler’s blog, but I felt that I should include the link to the actual study here.  It is a PDF file.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. godlesspaladin permalink
    October 11, 2010 4:57 pm

    Dr. Mohler can shove off. There *are* a lot of disbelievers in ministry positions, but they’re just the opposite of what Mohler tries to paint them. If it’s your only means of livelihood and you’re not telling people to stone homosexuals and independent women, then I see nothing that would make you a bad person. I can’t remember if it’s in the “Chariots of Iron” podcast
    ( http://www.chariotsofiron.com ) or in the Atheist News podcast ( http://www.atheistnews.org ) but the subject of closet atheist ministers comes up from time to time.

    (Those are both excellent podcasts btw. Chariots of Iron was started by 3 guys, then one left and started up Atheist News which is co-hosted by the founder of that Atheist Nexus site I told you about. He was a pastor for most of his life until he couldn’t do it anymore and left)

    One of the things they keep mentioning with regards to non-believing ministers is that the Atheist Community doesn’t really have many charismatic people. (That’s not to say that Atheists aren’t charismatic, but it’s just that we could really use those atheist pastors for their people skills)

    But yeah, check out those podcasts, some other ones that I like to listen to are “Godless Business”, “The Good Atheist”, and “Reasonable Doubts”. They’re all up on Itunes for free.

  2. Three Ninjas permalink
    October 12, 2010 12:34 pm

    “He feels hypocritical, but no longer believes that hypocrisy is wrong.”

    I am very skeptical about this. Is that what the minister actually says in the report, or is that Mohler assigning the minister the values he wrongly thinks atheists have? Based on my own experiences, my money is on the latter.

    • Three Ninjas permalink
      October 12, 2010 12:54 pm

      Here’s the original report. I haven’t read it all either.

      http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/Non-Believing-Clergy.pdf

      • Three Ninjas permalink
        October 12, 2010 12:57 pm

        Oh, looks like I was wrong:

        “I’m where I am because I need the job still. If I had an alternative, a comfortable paying job, something I was interested in doing, and a move that wouldn’t destroy my family, that’s where I’d go. Because I do feel kind of hypocritical. LIt used to be the word ‘hypocritical’ was like a sin. I don’t hold that view anymore: there is goodness, and there is sinfulness; it’s one or the other. It’s black or white. That there’s ultimate absolute truths that are mandated in scripture or given by a supernatural being. I don’t see those anymore, so I use the word ‘hypocritical’ differently, as in, I’m just not being forthright. But, at the same time, I’m in the situation I’m in, and rationally thinking about it is what I’ve got to do right now.”

    • October 12, 2010 1:02 pm

      I pulled up the original report, which I’ve now linked the PDF of in this post and it looks like Mohler is interpreting Adam’s intentions, and poorly.

      “Because I do feel kind of hypocritical. It used to be the word ‘hypocritical’ was like a sin. I don’t hold that view anymore: there is goodness, and there is sinfulness; it’s one or the other. It’s black or white. That there’s ultimate absolute truths that are mandated in scripture or given by a supernatural being. I don’t see those anymore, so I use the word ‘hypocritical’ differently, as in, I’m just not being forthright. But, at the same time, I’m in the situation I’m in, and rationally thinking about it is what I’ve got to do right now.”

      It isn’t, I think, that he no longer sees hypocrisy as wrong, just that he doesn’t see it as sinful since he no longer believes in a deity.

Trackbacks

  1. More detail from two unbelieving ministers « The Secret Atheist
  2. The Anniversery of My Unbelief (sort of) « The Secret Atheist
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