Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Atheist Ministers - Oxymoron, or Just a Job That Didn't Work Out?

I never watch ABC News.  Diane Sawyer is boring; 90% of the time, it's easy to guess which way she's going to go.   When they mentioned the byline about ministers who don't believe in God, I remember Albert Mohler's blog, when he talked about Anglican priests who don't believe, and a female who said she was Muslim, and Christian, whatever that is?  So it's not like these guys were breaking new ground.  While I was watching it, I was struck by a couple of statements:

  1. One of them said, "I want to get out of the position that I'm in as quickly as I can because I try to be a person of integrity and character," Adam said. "With the economy the way it is, with my lack of marketable skills other than a seminary education, it has me in a tough spot."  So he's going to continue to lie to his parishioners?  If I was hiring someone, would I want to hire someone who lived a lie in their last job.  Instead of looking of what he was doing as a ministry, he looked at it as a job.  Now he's been swayed by writings of atheists.  He also goes on to say that his wife doesn't even know.  Unfortunately, I think there are other issues in play here.
  2. The other one said, "At first I feared if I lose my faith, I'm gonna become some terrible person," Adam said. "As I lost my faith ... I realized that really had no bearing on who I am and my character and my actions. I live no differently than I did when I was a fervent believer."  I'm surprised he didn't become a Muslim.  That's another works based religion.  I guess he doesn't understand it's not what you do, or who you are?  What happened to grace?  That's what we're saved by through faith, Ephesians 2:8.  Since he lost his faith, he made must have made the leap that he's not so bad after all.  What happened to the atoning blood of Jesus Christ?    Was he running around saying that because he was good, he was saved?  This is equivalent to putting a penny on the track, and derailing a train.  Unfortunately, this train has eternal consequences.
Listening to them, I was repulsed at first, but after thinking about it, I really felt sorry for them.  I prayed for them hoping after watching themselves, they might shake their head, and say "What the heck did I say!"  There have been times when I questioned my belief, and I pray, and I read the Word.  I get with my Christian brothers, and ask for their prayers.  I remember reading "Pilgrim's Progess."  I was encouraged by Christian's road to the Celestial City.  Also, when I read believers like Dinesh DeSouza, Chuck Colson, Nancy Pearcy, and Phillip Johnson, they have helped me in some areas that I had questions about.  Reading blogs from other believers have helped also.  

Wormwood has been hard at work with these guys.  Unfortunately, they are working in a job that from my point of view has eternal consequences if they don't present the Gospel correctly.  From their point of view, since they don't believe, they just feel like they're performing their job, to make these people just feel good

They should read Titus 1:9, and 1 Timothy 3:6.

I wonder how much of their congregation is complicit in this?  If the pastor doesn't believe any more, wouldn't that show up in their sermons?  I'm trying to get my arms around this, but this quote from the book shows sometimes how the congregation, and pastor work together to water down the gospel, and their soul.  This is how Wormwood worked; this is from "The Screwtape Letters" by C. S. Lewis, when Wormwood was trying to change the person he was assigned to to choose a church.  

"The two churches nearest to him, I have looked up in the office. Both have certain claims. At the first of these the vicar is a man who has been so long engaged in watering down the faith to make it easier for a supposedly incredulous and hardheaded congregation that is now he who shocks his parishioners with his unbelief, not vice versa. He has undermined many a soul's Christianity." -- P.74

Maybe they need to thinking about that...

One Random Stuff for 11/10/2010:

Chilean Miner Finishes New York Marathon from Jimmy Kimmel

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