| From Minister to Atheist|
Warning- this link has audio as well as transcript. If anyone is very weak in faith I would advise you not to read or listen to this.
I actually was introduced to this lady through a podcast of 'living after faith' and then I noticed NPR picked it up. I heard the longer except of this woman's speech and it made me weep inside.
Yet, I post this for several items in this story. This lady came to a point in which she realized she was an atheist. She only generalizes in this as to why. It deals with contradictions in the bible to the point which she just no longer believes. Her husband is a christian and they are not divorcing. Something that really concerned me in the article was the apparent response of the church in which she was a minister. I believe it is responses such as this which will turn many away because it becomes the complete opposite of what the church is even if someone did turn their back on it.
What do you folks think about the situation?
by the way, when this lady confessed to a group of Atheist that she was an atheist and she repented to them for coming to their door to witness the crowed clapped furiously for over a minute.
| 2012/5/1 15:57||Profile|
| Re: From Minister to Atheist|
I have read a similar story of a man named bruce and had conversations with him. Here is the analogy I used with him.
A man says I used to be married but now I dont believe that my wife ever exsited.
Such a statement would mean either:
A) He only imagined he was married, however powerful that imagination was (like he bought a second car to keep in the drive way, drew a picture of what he thought his wife might look like, etc)
B) He was married and is now is so angry or hurt that he will deny his estranged wife even existed
I read her own words it is clear she never knew Christ, not even a false conversion experience to share. I actually feel sad for her as her whole life including now is one big lie that will burn on the day of judgment. her words are worth less than nothing.
In Christ -jim
[edit to fix typo]
| 2012/5/1 18:11|
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Also - what a powerful testimony of Gods judgment on american churchianity and the UMC.
| 2012/5/1 18:23|
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Excellent post brother Jim!
If a person has every been truly born of the Holy Spirit then they can never be an atheist.
The problem today is many assemblies (local churches)are void of the Holy Spirit. Many have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. The bible teaches us to depart from such fellowships.
Blessings...from brother rbanks
| 2012/5/1 18:49||Profile|
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You certainly won't be an atheist while you are believing.
Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
I don't believe in "the security of the unbeliever."
| 2012/5/1 18:54||Profile|
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That was a great analogy Jim. I'll probably use it in the future.
| 2012/5/1 21:32||Profile|
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Jim, I think that hits the nail firmly on the head. Very true analysis.
| 2012/5/2 8:30||Profile|
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Frankly... the only thing that matters is what the Bible says about such a person. It's very simple, that person was never regenerated and born anew to begin with. The fact that that walked away and now claim to be an atheist prooves this. It is the manifestation of the truth about them.
1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us."
I think this daily devotion speaks well to this very subject, tho I'm sure some will disagree:
THEY WENT OUT FROM US
Within the Protestant tradition, there have been two major concepts of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation): the Reformed view and the Arminian view. The doctrine of salvation taught by each system contains many points, of which we do not have the space to consider today. We will, however, discuss the security of the believers salvation, since todays passage offers insight into this subject.
When we speak of the security of salvation we are trying to answer the question: will the one with faith in Christ maintain this faith, or, is it possible for someone with faith to abandon Christ and lose his salvation? Generally speaking, Arminian theology teaches it is possible to be converted genuinely and then later fall away from faith permanently. Reformed theology, on the other hand, teaches that all those with saving faith will persevere and never lose their salvation. Believers might waver in their profession, but over the course of their lives they will persist in the good works that evidence justification and finally be glorified.
Some profess Christ and later fall away, persuading many of the Arminian view. Verse 19 of todays passage, however, tells us that when someone falls away, he never possessed saving faith. As we observed in 1 John 2:1214, it was Johns audience that had true faith. It was this audience that believed in the incarnation, personal holiness, and love for other Christians. Had those who left the community truly been a part of it, they would have remained in this orthodox confession. They had but a transitory faith and did not hold to their confession. Thus their membership and conversion were false. All of those who abandon Christianity never knew Jesus in the first place. John Calvin comments on these verses that they who fall away had never been thoroughly imbued with the knowledge of Christ, but had only a light and a transient taste of it.
Some who call Jesus Lord are not true believers (Matt. 7:21). Faith-professers (the visible church) are not necessarily faith-possessers (the invisible church). Those who fall away finally never really knew Jesus in the first place.
Though verse 19 refers to the false teachers who left Johns audience, all those who permanently abandon the biblical Christ exhibit solidarity with false teaching and thus display that they also never had true faith. True believers will not fall away, but this does not mean that we are impervious to complacency (see 1 John 2:24). Being in the light means that we walk in the light (1 John 1:67), and so we must do good works of faith lest we be revealed as lacking it.
(From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343)
| 2012/5/2 8:45|
| Re: From Minister to Atheist|
"Deadn"...brethern, without seeming arrogant, i can NEVER "understand" how anyone can spurn the Living God.
i didnt listen to this "testimony", not cause it would "stumble" me....no, it would break my heart, and i do have things to DO, and cant tarry long on this computer.
but i must humbly and meekly thank God for the gift of Faith, and pray that very simple prayer the disciples prayed in the Gospels, and KEEP praying it, which is:
"INCREASE OUR FAITH!"
oh Jesus, dont ever let me get at ease, dont ever let me get arrogant, storms will come crashing against my soul, battering breaking storms, oh Jesus, let me weather them, unshaken, in this Most Precious Gift of Faith......i am Your servant, keep me in the Way, forever, amen.
you know my name Lord.
Lord, turn this woman back to You in Jesus Name, i pray, amen.
| 2012/5/2 8:56|
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It is no surprise that NPR is putting forward this 'pastor' as they have done similar things in the past. One of the problems is that there is often an underlying rebellion in these type of people that predisposes them to very liberal appraoches to the scriptures that undermine the authority of the canon, but also introduces various non-canonical writings that undermine what little belief in the claims of Christ the person may have started with. The pheneomena is instructive.
Tracing through the book of Hebrews we find the writer continually setting forth instruction, while simultaneously warning the reader not to harden their heart if they hear God's voice. The Reformers used to speak of what is known as the Noetic Effects of sin. That simply means that sin and rebellion has a direct negative effect on our moral reasoning. This plays out primarily on 3 levels:
1. His/her own personal sin and refusal to walk in known truth (Hebrews 5:12-14).
2. The devil that blinds their minds (2 Cor. 4:4)
3. God that sends strong delusion to those that have pleasure in sin. (2 Cor. 3:14, Romans 11:7, John 12:40, Matthew 13:11-15)
This subject could take 10 pages to iron out, but scripture teaches that people 'become' fools as a consequence of trusting their own wisdom while simultaneously denying the light of truth God has revealed to them. Professing themselves wise they became fools. Though they knew God, they would not glorify Him as God. They simply will not ACKNOWLEDGE God. They refuse to acknowledge the evidence.
Atheism is a like a modern paganism. The fool has said in his heart there is no God. Talking to a fool is like talking to the wall, but why? They cannot reason rightly about moral and spiritual issues and will even act out so that no one can speak to them, as we find in the life of Nabal (a name that means 'fool'). The story of his interaction with David and his men is very instructive and serves almost as a case study on the mentality of a fool. His carnal mind was at full enmity with God. But why?
We have a few clues from the Psalmist, The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. (Psalm 14:1 KJV) Here is our word Nabal again, only it is translated as fool in English. The word in Hebrew comes from a root nabel and it means 'to wilt.' We have this word used concerning those that delight in the law of the Lord, And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:3) Here wither is nebal. The Law is the revelation of God; that is to say, it is light. It is reduced to the two great commandments. Those that walk in the light as He is in the light will not wither. If we love God as He has commanded and our neighbor as ourselves; that is, if we will simply walk in the revelation of truth that God has provided us and delight in His word we will not wither. We would never behave like Nabal towards David. This word wither implies that the withering ones were once healthy. It is when a person begins to reject the light of truth and the dealings of God that they start down the patway to perdition.
A simple illustration from nature; wilting in plants can be caused by either lack of water or sunlight. If this condition progresses wilting becomes withering. Plants typically need water and light to maintain water pressure internally. When the pressure drops, wilting occurs. This is explained on a spiritual level in Romans 1:22, professing themselves to be wise they became fools. Became vain (emataiōthēsan). Empty reasonings as often today. Became fools (emōranthēsan). Notice the word became over and over. It was not the original state. The noetic effects of sin come to fruition. It is a terribe state and consequence of their refusal to acknowledge.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2012/5/2 9:10||Profile|