Nice start, now how about the rest of them?
Church pastors become atheists
Houston-area pastor one of first to make decision publicPublished On: Jun 06 2012 02:43:39 PM CDT
More than 200 church leaders across the country now say they no longer believe in God, including a Houston-area pastor who was one of the first to publicly announce his decision.
Mike Aus, who was pastor at Theophilus church in Katy, made that announcement during an appearance on a Sunday morning show on MSNBC.
"Hardly anyone reads the Bible," said Aus on the "Up with Chris Hayes" program. "If they did, the whole thing would be in trouble."
Theophilus church members told Local 2 Investigates they were blind-sided by the announcement. They said they had no idea Aus had completely changed his beliefs until they saw him on the program.
"Are you going to preach next Sunday?" host Chris Hayes asked Aus.
"I'm going to go back next week and meet with my leadership and talk about where we go from here," said Aus. "We'll see."
Aus was a long-time Lutheran pastor at churches in the Houston area, but now he said he no longer believes in the message he had been preaching for almost 20 years. Aus declined Local 2's request for an interview. He said his statements on MSNBC explained his loss of faith.
"As I started to jettison the beliefs, I came to realize fairly recently there wasn't a whole lot left," Aus said.
The effect was immediate on his church with about 80 members. Weeks after his announcement, the church dissolved. Members did not want to talk with Local 2 on camera, but they said their pastor's complete change in faith was devastating.
"When a pastor comes forward and says, 'I don't believe anymore,' it rocks their world," said Dr. Keith Jenkins, a Methodist pastor and former president of the Houston Graduate School of Theology. "Members see pastors as spiritual super heroes."
Jenkins said many church leaders question and then lose their faith, but never before has it been a public phenomenon.
"It's almost gone viral," said Jenkins.
The website www.clergyproject.com has become a confidential gathering group for pastors, ministers and other church leaders who no longer believe in God. The group said it has more than 240 members. Some like Aus have gone public. Most other church leaders in that group have kept their new lack of belief hidden from others, including their congregations. They are secret atheists still serving churches and ministering to members even though they don't believe in what they preach anymore.
"I'm sure there are many pastors actively serving in churches who are going through a faith crisis and have lost their faith, but they haven't left because it's their livelihood," said Jenkins. "But they need to move on. They don't need to stay with a church and use their position as a pastor with sacred trust to try and take others with them."
"The social theory of ethics substitutes "society" for God-and although it claims that its chief concern is life on earth, it is not the life of man, not the life of an individual, but the life of a disembodied entity, the collective, which, in relation to every individual, consists of everybody except himself. As far as the individual is concerned, his ethical duty is to be the selfless, voiceless, rightless slave of any need, claim or demand asserted by others (or someone who claims to be a victim). The motto "dog eat dog"-which is not applicable to capitalism nor to dogs-is applicable to the social theory of ethics. The existential monuments to this theory are Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia." - The Virtue of selfishness, by Ayn Rand
Objectivism - the philosophy of Ayn Rand. "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." - Ayn Rand
From: ptittle7 <ptittle7@...
Sent: Thursday, June 7, 2012 8:24 PM
Subject: [CanadianAtheist] new funny atheist fiction - The Blasphemy Tour, by Jass Richards
Check this out! The Blasphemy Tour, by Jass Richards
Here's the blurb (from amazon or smashwords or somewhere):
Two Canadian atheists go on a cross-country speaking tour of American Bible Colleges, and oh god, they end up committing all sorts of blasphemies.
Irreverent. Definitely irreverent.
(In The Road Trip Dialogues, the prequel, Rev and Dylan are charged with blasphemy for adding "`Blessed are they that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stone.' Psalms 137:9" to a Right-to-Life billboard just outside Algonquin Park. As a result of a well-publicized court trial, the American Atheist Consortium offers an all-expenses-paid speaking tour of American Bible Colleges. The Blasphemy Tour tells the tale of that tour.)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]