in 5 Simple StepsAdapted from the bookHope After Faithby Jerry DewittFromPentecostal Preacherto Atheist
?How in the world doesa Pentecostal preacherbecome an Atheist?
????It’s a simple question, but as you would expect,not a simple answer. The answer took a lifetimeto live and it has take...
God LOVES everyoneInfluential Person - My Pentecostal grandmother.Despite the fact that the Pentecostal doctrine is judgme...
God SAVES everyoneInfluential Person - William Morrison Branham.A cassette tape containing one of the late Brother Branham...
God is IN everyoneInfluential Person - Bishop Carlton Pearson.During the course of Pearsons lifelong endeavors, he built a...
Theological View - Inclusion. The doctrine of Inclusion in Bishop Pearsons ownwords: "The Gospel of Inclusion is the excit...
God is everyone’sINTERNAL DIALOGUEInfluential Person - Joseph Campbell.For the first time in my studies, questions were ac...
God is a DELUSIONInfluential Persons - The Four Horsemen: Richard Dawkins, DanielDennett, Sam Harries and the late, great ...
CONCLUSIONAs you can see, I didn’t suddenly wake up as a nonbeliever. Infact, the seeds of my atheism were inherent in my ...
Jerry DeWittis an American author,public speaker, andleader in the Americanatheism movement.He is a former pastor oftwo ev...
HOPE After FaithAN EX-PASTOR’S JOURNEY FROM BELIEF TO ATHEISMby Jerry DeWitt with Ethan BrownThis book is available on :
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From Minister to Atheist in 5 Simple Steps

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Adapted from the book "Hope After Faith" by Jerry DeWitt with Ethan Brown

"How in the world does a Pentecostal preacher become an Atheist?"

http://www.hopeafterfaith.com/

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  • Mr. Dewitt,

    Thank you for the slide show synopsis of your developmental awakening, your birthing process. You have truly been 'born again' through an immersion in the light of truth (internal philosophical reason & external scientific observation). I imagine that your drive to discover the truth was fueled by your compassion to help others. It is this compassion for humanity that drives many like yourself to seek out better solutions to our species, past and present, sociological challenges and differences.

    Karpf, Robinson, Curry, & Seese your words were so supportive and kind. It is a community of people like you that builds a better world for everyone. You are reasonable and caring people not because your schooling, your government, or your religion tells you to be but because you choose to be. You understand through your own natural common external experiences and internal reason what most wisdom traditions, at their core, have been attempting to communicate. Thank you, you are the caring community the world needs.

    Mr. Dewitt, my journey was much like yours (note the similarities):

    Grandmother Pentecostal

    Heard recordings and read writings of William Marion Branham (visited grave site)

    Christian Trinitarian - Ministerial License Nazarene Church

    Writings of Joseph Campbell - Hero with a 1,000 Faces (Star Wars Mythology, etc.)

    Deep study of Scientific Method, Evolution (all stages from micro to macrocosm), etc.

    Ken Wilber's general Integral Philosophy and specifically Integral Psychology

    Deist - Founding Fathers

    Ivy League Masters Degree

    Worldview of highly educated Rabbi's within Reformed Judaism (Humanist Congregation)

    Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, and the late Hitchens (add Neil deGrasse Tyson as the warm and jovial heart at the center of the Four Horseman)

    At the end of my journey, I arrived at a Universal Ethics based on Natural Law. A Natural Law firmly established through common human experiences across cultures and throughout history. A Natural Law that has been clarified by philosophical reason and further verified by referenced scientific observation.

    From Kant's Universal Maxim, the universality of the Golden Rule, to the balanced Virtue Ethics of Aristotle, we can derive a sound Natural Philosophy that ends many of the religious and political debates. An objective Universal Ethics that places the dignity and rights of the individual first for the purpose of protecting and supporting the interests of the common good.

    Nature exemplifies a 'life affirming principle' through its increasing complexity via 'self organization' over the 'trajectory' of time. It is not an 'intelligent designer' that creates nature, it is nature that creates 'intelligent designers'! These 'intelligent designers' utilize reason backed with a very healthy dose of compassion. They love the 'truth' with all of their minds and hearts. They also love their neighbors as themselves by being a humanitarian and asking the simple question, 'What can I do to help?'. This sums up all of the law, the prophets, the saviors, and the sages into one revolutionary evolutionary perspective. A perspective where you and I, as 'intelligent designers', have the responsibility to be 'life affirming' co-evolvers with nature. As 'life affirming humanitarians' we become metaphorically the very 'logos and consciousness of nature' made manifest through our flesh.

    To 'help' one another by better 'organizing' our world in accordance to our current best understanding of the 'truth', this is part of natures 'life affirming principle' made manifest in the 'humanitarian'.
    In the immortal words of Brother Curry, I leave you with the following:
    'So think about it. If we can find solace, beauty, and truth in a myth (some of us at least), then why not also in reality?'
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  • How do you 'meet' someone who doesn't exist? You imagine it. How do you have a 'relationship' with someone who doesn't exist? You imagine it, because you want ti to be true. I had a personal relationship with Christ and spent my day in communion with Him. It took years for me to understand the true nature of that 'relationship'. That starts with the love of Truth. To everyone who has a personal relationship with Christ and who experiences Grace, all I can say is that your imagination is wonderful, the Grace you feel is you forgiving yourself and the good you express in your life is not Christ working through you , it IS you. YOU are better than you know, and you don't need your imaginary friend to be the good person that you are. I know exactly how a Pentecostal preacher becomes an atheist. He is true to his own nature as a reasoning, loving, caring man who loves the truth as much as he loves everyone around him and realizing that living for an afterlife is waiting for death and not living at all. When he gets to the point that he can no longer hide behind scripture when the truth is staring him in the face, then he joins the rest of us.in living out the one life the universe has given him however he wishes. Grounded in reality, driven by his love for life and expressed in his humanity, living the one life, instead of waiting for the afterlife.
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  • Ayn Rand did it to me in 15 minutes in three paragraphs in her book 'Atlas Shrugged,' and it reads like this:

    'It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some inexplicable claim upon him—it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.

    'The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin, 'A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.

    'Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a 'tendency’ to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is. like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.'

    And once I read this third paragraph it took about 10 minutes to absorb it and realize I could no longer believe in Christianity, the whole house of cards had been knocked over. That was 1978.
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  • I have yet to encounter any god that can be distinguished from make believe, yet the power of human beings to embrace myth even to the point of superstition should not be underestimated.

    In this sense, at least, the explicit atheism of one who has dealt with such questions is a beacon of hope that lights a path to freedom. For those clinging to a merry-go-round of faith and belief at any price, the world around them looks like a dangerous, dizzy place. Nevertheless, they are the ones spinning in circles, not the world around them. Jesus, like Osiris, Allah, Zeus, and Thor--like all the myriad gods--is for all practical purposes only a myth.

    So think about it. If we can find solace, beauty, and truth in a myth (some of us at least), then why not also in reality?
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  • I'm very sure that there will be a lot of religious fundamentalists (read as extremists) attacking you on here. Just know that your true brothers and sisters of humanity are with you Jerry! Stay strong my friend. - Rich
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From Minister to Atheist in 5 Simple Steps

  1. 1. in 5 Simple StepsAdapted from the bookHope After Faithby Jerry DewittFromPentecostal Preacherto Atheist
  2. 2. ?How in the world doesa Pentecostal preacherbecome an Atheist?
  3. 3. ????It’s a simple question, but as you would expect,not a simple answer. The answer took a lifetimeto live and it has taken an entire book to detail.As I travelled the country explaining it to people,I’ve realized that the only way my journey frombeliever to ardent non-believer can beexplained is through a series of steps.The understanding gained through the followingsteps ultimately lead to a confident theistbecoming a humble atheist at the age 42:
  4. 4. God LOVES everyoneInfluential Person - My Pentecostal grandmother.Despite the fact that the Pentecostal doctrine is judgmental and exclu-sionary, my grandmother was an example of inclusion and unconditionallove very early in my life.Influential Reference - John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that hegave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should notperish, but have everlasting life."Theological View - Grace. "Gods Righteousness At Christs Expense".Transitional Concept - Eternal punishment. Whatever comfort I re-ceived from believing that God loved the whole world was morally chal-lenged by the question, if he loves them, why doesnt he save them?1
  5. 5. God SAVES everyoneInfluential Person - William Morrison Branham.A cassette tape containing one of the late Brother Branhams messages was the veryfirst time I heard a minister challenge the idea of Hell, and it wouldnt be the last.Influential Reference - 2 Corinthians 5:19 "To wit, that God was in Christ,reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hathcommitted unto us the word of reconciliation."Theological View - Universalism. The idea that every person who ever livedwould ultimately share in and enjoy the bliss of a heavenly residence seemed tomuffle, if not in some small way justify the suffering displayed in the bible and in thereal world.Transitional Concept - Sonship. "Sonship" is a doctrinal expressionreferencing the family-like union between God the father and the saved individual.The sinners justification is so complete that his standing in Gods eyes is equal tothat of Christs, the only begotten "son" of god.2
  6. 6. God is IN everyoneInfluential Person - Bishop Carlton Pearson.During the course of Pearsons lifelong endeavors, he built a world-class ministryonly to watch it disintegrate after publicly renouncing the doctrine of Hell.Influential Reference - Acts 17:22-28 "Then Paul stood in the midst of Marshill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription,To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I untoyou. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord ofheaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshippedwith mens hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, andbreath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwellon all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and thebounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feelafter him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him welive, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets havesaid, For we are also his offspring.3
  7. 7. Theological View - Inclusion. The doctrine of Inclusion in Bishop Pearsons ownwords: "The Gospel of Inclusion is the exciting and liberating news that in the finishedwork of the cross, Jesus redeemed the entire world to God from the cosmic andorganic sin imposed upon it by Adam, the original man. In effect, the world is alreadysaved, they just dont know it; and, unfortunately, most Christians dont believe it.”Transitional Concept - The gospel of Inclusion turned the majority of myinvestigation inward. No longer burdened with making sense of the God, the Bibleand religious contradictions, I became interested in the nature of reality andparticularly in human nature.
  8. 8. God is everyone’sINTERNAL DIALOGUEInfluential Person - Joseph Campbell.For the first time in my studies, questions were actually being answeredwithout the creation of more questions.Influential Reference - Power of Myth and The Hero With a ThousandFaces.Theological View - Deism, moving towards Agnosticism.Transitional Concept - Biological Evolution and EvolutionaryPsychology.4
  9. 9. God is a DELUSIONInfluential Persons - The Four Horsemen: Richard Dawkins, DanielDennett, Sam Harries and the late, great Christopher Hitchens.Influential References - The God Delusion, Breaking the Spell, TheEnd of Faith, and God is Not Great.Theological View - Agnosticism/AtheismTransitional Concept - Secular communities and how to build them5
  10. 10. CONCLUSIONAs you can see, I didn’t suddenly wake up as a nonbeliever. Infact, the seeds of my atheism were inherent in my religion from thebeginning. I was pulled—or drawn—along my transformation byexploring the knowledge and boundaries of each step.No one book or article or lecture is ever likely to shake someone oftheir faith. It is a gradual awakening. It is, in some ways, like agraduation.I know that many of you are struggling with this right now and Iwish you the best. We’re each at different steps and I look forwardto meeting with you when you reach the end.
  11. 11. Jerry DeWittis an American author,public speaker, andleader in the Americanatheism movement.He is a former pastor oftwo evangelicalchurches, who publiclycame out as atheism in2011 after twenty-fiveyears of Christianministry. He is theauthor of the bookHope after Faith: AnEx-Pastors Journeyfrom Belief to Atheism.
  12. 12. HOPE After FaithAN EX-PASTOR’S JOURNEY FROM BELIEF TO ATHEISMby Jerry DeWitt with Ethan BrownThis book is available on :

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