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Paster to Athiest

* * * * * 1 votes How does that happen

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30 replies to this topic

#1
tigger398

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How can a paster that supposed to know God and his word, becomes a athiest. That makes no sence.



#2
shiloh357

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How can a paster that supposed to know God and his word, becomes a athiest. That makes no sence.

He was never a believer to begin with.  No genuine believer who is truly transformed and indwelt by the Holy Spirit can become an atheist. 



#3
OakWood

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Some people would like to believe or they want others to think that they believe.



#4
FresnoJoe

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How can a pastor that supposed to know God and his word, becomes a atheist. That makes no sense.

 

He was never a believer to begin with.  No genuine believer who is truly transformed and indwelt by the Holy Spirit can become an atheist.

 

~

 

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 1 John 2:19



#5
Butero

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Some people get into the ministry as a job.  It is just a career choice.  I tend to agree with Shiloh.  I can't believe this guy was a genuine born again Christian. 



#6
gray wolf

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It is revealing to read some of the exminister tales:  what ever happened to Dan Barker, John Loftus and Bart Ehrman?  It seems that turning away from the faith would never give one peace.  Ehrman admitted that sometimes he awakens at night in a cold sweat envisioning Hell.  Wouldn't there always be a smoldering remnant of faith that vexes them?



#7
Chris.

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One guy I always feel sorry for was an evangelist and counterpart and friend of Billy Graham called Charles Templeton that fell away and turned agnostic. I often think if this and wonder how it could possibly happen.

http://www.reclaimin...ide-to-believe/

Edited by Chris., 05 June 2014 - 11:09 PM.


#8
Qnts2

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I have spoken to a few pastors who have discussed their beliefs as well as some who were missionaries who later became atheists or agnostics. 

 

One pastor was still a pastor at the time. He was a friend, and I asked him a rather thorny question about some Christians believing the Jews killed Christ. (Jesus said that He laid His life down, and that no one could take His life except He laid it down Himself). This pastor told me that he believed Jesus was not meant to die, but things got out of hand, and he was killed prematurely. That statement surprised me at the time, because it meant that the pastor could not believe that Jesus is God or that He came to die for sins. The pastor was not a biblical Christian.

 

One former missionary was writing a book about leaving the faith. Before and during their time as a missionary, they kept a diary, which they allowed me to read. It was so clear in the diary that they were attracted to the comradery of this group of missionaries and wanted to be a member of the group for the comradery and the excitement. So they, 'accepted Jesus', to be more a member of the group, and then went on to be trained as a missionary to be part of the inner circle. No where in their diary did the really comment on believing on Jesus. They commented on their excitement on now being a part of the group and how great that was. They went out and preached the gospel as they had been trained, but the stress of rejection from some of those they shared the gospel with took a toll, and the sacrifices they had to make in their life as a missionary was too great for them, as they did not truly believe in Jesus. The psychological pressure of living the life of a missionary (without a true belief), caused the missions organization to give them a psychological leave of absence. They felt rejected by the group, and their so-called belief in Jesus was only the card which had gained them entrance into what they really desired. The rejection and anger came to a head with them renouncing Jesus, and writing a book about their experiences which was very negative. During their time as a missionary, you would have seen excitement as they preached the real gospel, and what appeared to be great dedication and sacrifice. But, inside, there was no real belief.

 

So, from my experience, there really are people who are pastors or missionaries who do not truly have faith in Jesus. I would say that the pastor and the evangelist mentioned in this thread, never really believed. I would suspect they were attracted to those positions due to their personal desires for status, a name, or maybe the excitement, or friends. I do know of people who entered the ministry because of the apparent honor, and status of others in ministry.           



#9
Jay-with hope

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How?  I think pain and hurt, when allowed to replace love, could do it.  Without love, God would not be allowed to have any much change to dwell within.  The love must have been replaced by something else, creating a void.  This void could only be defined as God not existing.  That is how I see a person possibly going from pastor to atheist.



#10
shiloh357

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It should be pointed out that going from pastor to atheist isn't necessarily the same as going from "Christian to atheist."  There is no reason to assume that all pastors are Christians.



#11
LadyKay

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Sometimes people lose their way. Even pastors.



#12
gray wolf

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Yes, sometimes it is so hard to go on. What we see in the world runs counter to what we believe.

#13
Butero

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Lady Kay, you didn't say one way or the other so I am asking you about your comment.  When you say that even Pastors can lose their way, do you mean a Pastor who is a born again Christian can lose their faith to the point of becoming an atheist?  I am not looking to jump on you and say you are absolutely right or wrong regardless of your position.  I am just trying to understand what you mean.  I would ask you the same thing Gray Wolf.  Do you believe a born again Christian can lose their faith because of things they see taking place and become an atheist?  Can a true Christian completely turn from the faith?  This has been a topic of much debate over the years, and I would like your opinion. 



#14
Fez

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It should be pointed out that going from pastor to atheist isn't necessarily the same as going from "Christian to atheist."  There is no reason to assume that all pastors are Christians.

Which is what I was about to say! Especially in rural Africa, where being a "Pastor" sometimes is the way people make an income. We talk against it in our training times with pastors all the time. What then happens is "elders"  then see money can be made and start their own church. It's a cancer......



#15
LadyKay

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Lady Kay, you didn't say one way or the other so I am asking you about your comment.  When you say that even Pastors can lose their way, do you mean a Pastor who is a born again Christian can lose their faith to the point of becoming an atheist?  I am not looking to jump on you and say you are absolutely right or wrong regardless of your position.  I am just trying to understand what you mean.  I would ask you the same thing Gray Wolf.  Do you believe a born again Christian can lose their faith because of things they see taking place and become an atheist?  Can a true Christian completely turn from the faith?  This has been a topic of much debate over the years, and I would like your opinion.


I do think that a born again Christian can lose their way. If they become overwhelmed by probleams in this world. If they beome weak in their walk and try to cary the weight of this world on their own instead of going to God for help. I do think that we who are born again can be fooled by the devil's lies and lose are way. This is what I think.

#16
gray wolf

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It is not so simple as to say, well these people never were truly saved. The testimonies of some lead you to think that they were indeed children of God. It leads you to wonder, am I really saved? How do I know that something that seems genuine turns out not to be so in the future and I fall away? Then you have the people who fall away, only to return to the flock.
There are no easy answers. I am not really sure.
For an added complication, you have to consider those who switch faiths and put their heart and soul into a different set of beliefs. And you have those that do not stop believing in God, rather just cannot believe in the Christian concept of God. Are these people in the same situation as atheists? I don't think so.

#17
Chris.

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Sometimes people lose their way. Even pastors.

The devils job is a tempter and a deceiver, I guess if you get busy for Jesus maybe that is what could happen you are attacked with the weapon of doubt.



#18
FresnoJoe

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In doing research for his latest book, The Case For Faith (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), Strobel sought out and was granted an interview with Templeton in his penthouse apartment on the 25th floor of a high rise in Toronto, Canada.

 

During the course of their conversation, Charles Templeton had again vigorously defended his disavowal of God and his rejection of the Bible. There was no apparent chink in the armor of his callused soul. Then, Strobel directed the old gentleman’s attention to Christ. How would he now assess Jesus at this stage of his life?

 

Strobel says that, amazingly, Templeton’s “body language softened.” His voice took on a “melancholy and reflective tone.” And then, incredibly, he said:

 

“He was the greatest human being who has ever lived. He was a moral genius. His ethical sense was unique. He was the intrinsically wisest person that I’ve ever encountered in my life or in my reading. His commitment was total and led to his own death, much to the detriment of the world.”

 

....But the interview continued.

 

Strobel quietly commented: “You sound like you really care about him.”

 

“Well, yes,” Templeton acknowledged, “he’s the most important thing in my life.” He stammered: “I . . . I . . . I adore him . . . Everything good I know, everything decent I know, everything pure I know, I learned from Jesus.”

 

Strobel was stunned. He listened in shock. He says that Templeton’s voice began to crack. He then said, “I . . . miss . . . him!” With that the old man burst into tears; with shaking frame, he wept bitterly.

 

Finally, Templeton gained control of his emotions and wiped away the tears. “Enough of that,” he said, as he waved his hand, as if to suggest that there would be no more questions along that line.  https://www.christia...-jesus-christ-a



#19
shiloh357

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It is not so simple as to say, well these people never were truly saved.

 

Actually it is that simple.  A genuine follower of Jesus is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and that precludes a true Christian from apostasy.   The problem lies in some people's theology regarding the true nature of salvation.

 

 

The testimonies of some lead you to think that they were indeed children of God. It leads you to wonder, am I really saved? How do I know that something that seems genuine turns out not to be so in the future and I fall away?

 

If a person has to ask those kinds of questions, it demonstrates a lack of assurance and that should really cause them to re-examine the authenticity of their intial profession of faith. 

 

Then you have the people who fall away, only to return to the flock.
There are no easy answers. I am not really sure.

 

I think there are some very clear answers.  The problem is that some people don't want to face them.

 

For an added complication, you have to consider those who switch faiths and put their heart and soul into a different set of beliefs. And you have those that do not stop believing in God, rather just cannot believe in the Christian concept of God. Are these people in the same situation as atheists? I don't think so.

 

Christianity isn't merely adopting or believing a set of propositional truths.  It is a transformation of the heart.   God gives all kinds of real assurances to us when we genuinely saved.  The problem is that people are trusting in belonging to the right religion or they are depending on being a good. religious person and doing the right things in order to be saved.  They are hoping that they have done enough and picked the right religion and truthfully hell is full of people like that.

 

Salvation is by grace through faith alone, in Christ alone.  Absent that a person will end up in hell, when they die.  Salvation is through Jesus not through a church or a religion.

 

They may not be in the same position as an atheist, but they will end up spending the same eternal fate as the atheist, if they don't have Jesus as Lord and Savior.



#20
gray wolf

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Back to my question of how does one know it is genuine? I mean you do what you think that God expects; truly repent and accept jJesus as your Savior. But what if there comes no consistent walk of faith? What if Jesis seems remote? You feel you're letting God down, that you just don't have it? You pray and pray and still Christ does not seem present. What do you do? The sinner's prayer again? It can go on for decades like this. I suppose one consolation is that you're still seeking and all is not lost yet.




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