The Christian Post is currently publishing pieces about people who walked away from Christianity (much to the disappointment of the site’s own commenters).
They just published an interview with Ryan Bell, the former pastor of a Seventh-day Adventist church who announced in 2014 that he would “try on” atheism and “live as if there is no God” for 12 months. By the end of the year, he said he no longer believed in God.
How does he feel about religion and atheism now, years after that journey? I really appreciated this response to the question of whether any part of him still misses Christianity.
Not anymore. In the beginning, I missed the rhythm of the year and the way Christianity helped me mark time. I missed the community I was a part of, to a certain extent, but I was also burned out on the community — constantly caring for a community, nurturing it, giving to it. It’s a Sisyphean task in some ways and I was relieved to be done with it. I used to miss the positive eschatological narrative, captured by popular sayings like “Love wins” and “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.” But now that just seems hopelessly naive to me.
Bell also offered wise advice for Christians worried about the exodus of young people from the faith:
I’d also encourage folks to try to understand that those who are leaving are in pursuit of truth. They’re not in open rebellion, as I sometimes hear Christians say. The same thing that led many people to Christianity (the pursuit of truth) has led many out of it. Perhaps that’s something we can share in common.
The whole interview is worthwhile. Give it a read. And then check out the comments, which are even more enjoyable.
(Screenshot via YouTube)