It was almost a year ago when Ryan Bell decided to “try out” atheism. I didn’t agree with his methodology at the time, but when he got fired by his Christian employers for merely questioning his faith, you all came through and helped raise more than $27,000 for his family.
Yesterday, the LA Times ran a front page story about Bell as he comes to the end of his year-long journey:
On Christmas, the former pastor will give gifts and thank his family and friends. He has no plans to attend services but isn’t adamant about staying away. He says he still loves the rituals, whether he believes in Jesus’ virgin birth or not.
After that, Jan. 1. The journey will be over.
Skeptics and nonbelievers are ready to officially welcome him to the fold. Bell has heard from Christians who pray he’ll return to their side. “I am hoping he will come around, back to some form of Christianity, hopefully to Adventism,” said Lecourt, his college English teacher.
There will be an announcement on where he stands, most likely on his blog. For now he won’t divulge exactly which camp he’ll end up in.
It’s really a fascinating look at what his year has been like and what the future has in store for him.
Bell will make his announcement sometime in the next week or two, and I suspect he’ll do what so many Americans have done over the past few years: Admit that he doesn’t believe in God without actually embracing the “atheist” label. Personally, I’m fine with that. The label isn’t as important as the mindset. I wish him the best no matter what he decides and I hope others follow his lead and take this journey for themselves.