Earlier this month, at the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s annual convention, Carter Warden finally came out of the closet as an atheist. Until that point, he had been a Christian pastor who used the pseudonym “Adam Mann” as he explored his godlessness.
Is there really an all-knowing, all-powerful, loving, intervening God as revealed in Scripture?…
My conclusion after 10 months of intense study, and following study, and still to this day, is “No, there is not. You are correct.”
So instead of deepening my faith, my intense study left me no choice but to abandon my once-precious faith. I did not “lose” my faith as though it was something that regrettably slipped away. Rather, I chose to discard it because it no longer made sense to me.
There’s one question I’ve had ever since I heard his announcement: What do the members of his former church think about all this?!
The Johnson City Press (Tennessee) spoke with Crossroads Christian Church lead minister Curtis Booher, who knew Carter well when he was a pastor at the church, and his response will bring a smile to your face:
“One of the great freedoms given to each person by God is the opportunity to choose to believe or to not believe,” Booher said. “I understand that Carter has chosen, in his words, ‘to discard my faith.’ Our choice is to not discard a relationship with Carter. Carter and his family were a part of Crossroads Christian Church for many years and we still consider them family. We love Carter and we want only good things for him.”
What an incredibly gracious, kind response. Nothing about how Carter is wrong. Nothing about how he hopes Carter finds God once again. Nothing snarky or mean or dismissive. Just a sincere acknowledgment that Carter no longer believes in God and an admission that that’s the only thing that has changed between them.
If only all churchgoers were that generous when people walked away from the faith.