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Old 11-10-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Atheist Ministers Leading the Faithful - ABC News

I have said time and time again that I suspect that LOTS of people preaching in the pulpit, if they have been doing it long enough, will come to a point where they do NOT believe in the bible or what they are preaching ESPECIALLY in this day and age. The ministers and preachers you see on TV do it because they can't let go of the fame, the prestige, the money, etc. The ministers down the street continue because they don't want to hurt people, have no courage to do so or just plain old scared to venture into the big, bad, evil world out there fearing they will not know how to function .
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Wow. So sad. But not really surprising. I'm sure there are many people who don't want to go around announcing they have lost their faith. I imagine there are many people in this tired, old world who are deeply troubled about having lost their faith, so this is not particularly shocking. It's probably akin to a bad marriage in which a person does not leave and just goes through the motions because he/she has no where else to go, nothing else to seek.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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I feel sorry for the ones that have fallen away or turned from their faith. It's a shame. If that's how they feel, they should step aside, because they are now a stumbling block to the growth of believers they are supposed to be leading. It means, IMO, that watered-down sermons will prevail, avoiding the truth that must be told. It means, IMO, they will be raising a generation that will also be confused and eaisly swayed by the false teachings of this world.

I've been a believer for over 30 years and have not lost my faith. I know pastors who are passionate about their faith and are not just going through the motions. I know churches that are feeding the hungry, finding the lost, professing Christ both in word and deed. I know that this is becoming more and more scarce in our time. Just one more instance of God's word being proved true yet again.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:10 PM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
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In numerical terms you could say lots of people are pastors, preachers, or priests so if only a small minority of them lost faith it could still be "lots of" them. "Lots of" is a rather imprecise term.

I would imagine most don't. They may have periods of uncertainty or even skepticism about God, but consistent to the point of just "being atheist" is probably not that common. Although there's really no way to know.

In these particular cases in the article though I could see it because it sounds like they were in very Sola Scriptura narrow worlds. "Adam" had apparently never looked much into secular philosophy. "Jack" sounds at least somewhat similar. So when confronted with things they didn't understand it's maybe not too surprising they folded like origami.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:10 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
In numerical terms you could say lots of people are pastors, preachers, or priests so if only a small minority of them lost faith it could still be "lots of" them. "Lots of" is a rather imprecise term.

I would imagine most don't. They may have periods of uncertainty or even skepticism about God, but consistent to the point of just "being atheist" is probably not that common. Although there's really no way to know.

In these particular cases in the article though I could see it because it sounds like they were in very Sola Scriptura narrow worlds. "Adam" had apparently never looked much into secular philosophy. "Jack" sounds at least somewhat similar. So when confronted with things they didn't understand it's maybe not too surprising they folded like origami.
Thomas, I realize the semantics at play, but still I maintain that there are enough, IF THEY WERE HONEST, would admit they don't take a literal appraoch to the Bible or believe much of it is even applicable today. some probably even believe the words are NOT inspired nor are they derived from a divine being.

For example, there is a young man over on Facebook and he is a newly ordained minister. He went to seminary and prior to becoming a minister, he barely believed much of what was written in the Bible and made this public on Facebook. when I asked him why he was still pursuing the ministry if he does not believe anything from the book which he will use to teach from, he frankly had NO clue why. This I just don't get.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:40 AM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
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That is odd. The only thing I can think of is he's doing it to please his family or because he feels it will gain him respect in the eyes of others or he just thinks it's expected of him.

I do know there were people who became Catholic priests because they wanted to please their parents or, more darkly, because they wanted the prestige/power they felt it gave one in the community. (Or even more darkly as a cover for odd predilections and that happens in the Protestant preacher world too, I have a distant relative who's an incestuous preacher) So I'm not saying it never happens. I'm just saying there's no way, that I know of, to know how common it is so I lean toward less than more. Although more I suppose is defensible.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:57 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
That is odd. The only thing I can think of is he's doing it to please his family or because he feels it will gain him respect in the eyes of others or he just thinks it's expected of him.

I do know there were people who became Catholic priests because they wanted to please their parents or, more darkly, because they wanted the prestige/power they felt it gave one in the community. (Or even more darkly as a cover for odd predilections and that happens in the Protestant preacher world too, I have a distant relative who's an incestuous preacher) So I'm not saying it never happens. I'm just saying there's no way, that I know of, to know how common it is so I lean toward less than more. Although more I suppose is defensible.
Well, he is a black young man and I think the office of clergy runs in his family. It was well said here by another member that in the black community, there still resides (in some places) the idea that the best thing a black man could be is a preacher. Once upon a time in this country, it was the best and most a black man could aspire to be as all other fields or any kind of prominence was basically closed to him.

I also know of another guy (Jamaican and VERY intelligent) who I've watched over a long period of time on a Jamaican forum. He too has gone through seminary. I've watched his theology go from rabid and fundamentalist to doubt to questioning to taking a much more liberal approach to the scriptures. I have not seen him for a while now and I'm beginning to think he is going through a transformation because I am not sure how he is able to maintain the conflicts in his head and heart.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:58 AM
 
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Just the law of averages at work.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
In these particular cases in the article though I could see it because it sounds like they were in very Sola Scriptura narrow worlds. "Adam" had apparently never looked much into secular philosophy. "Jack" sounds at least somewhat similar. So when confronted with things they didn't understand it's maybe not too surprising they folded like origami.
Agree agree agree! At least one of them had a seminary education - I wonder what kind of seminary does not teach a deep enough understanding of Bible reading and interpretation to help a future pastor get past the improbabilities of Noah's ark! But, my church and its seminaries do not take the view that every single word in the Bible is to be taken literally, even in its original language, let alone in a translation. I've always been impressed with my pastors' knowledge when preaching or teaching the Bible - they can talk about different interpretations of passages, what they mean and and where they came from. The more you know, the better you are able to understand and articulate your own doubts. I think the pastors in this article were let down by their church denomination or doctrine and their poor seminary training.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:04 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by SmalltownKSgirl View Post
Agree agree agree! At least one of them had a seminary education - I wonder what kind of seminary does not teach a deep enough understanding of Bible reading and interpretation to help a future pastor get past the improbabilities of Noah's ark! But, my church and its seminaries do not take the view that every single word in the Bible is to be taken literally, even in its original language, let alone in a translation. I've always been impressed with my pastors' knowledge when preaching or teaching the Bible - they can talk about different interpretations of passages, what they mean and and where they came from. The more you know, the better you are able to understand and articulate your own doubts. I think the pastors in this article were let down by their church denomination or doctrine and their poor seminary training.
You would be VERY surprised! There are liberal seminaries that treat the bible like just another work of literature and there are those that treat it like it just dropped out of heaven from god overnight.
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