After spending almost a year without God, Former Pastor, Ryan Bell announced that he no longer believes in religion.
Former Pastor, Ryan Bell, opened 2014 with a very unusual outlook and goal for the year. He decided that he was going to spend the entire year of 2014 living as an atheist. Being that he was a pastor with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, this decision did not come easily, and it greatly surprised those in his life. He spent the last 12 months blogging his journey as he decided to set aside the church, and he came to some interesting conclusions.
Ryan Bell did not come to this decision lightly or quickly- he took time to address various aspects of his life that involved his faith. In fact, when he first laid out his plans for his faith to be set aside for a year, he was immediately dealt a blow by Azusa Pacific University, which fired him as an adjunct professor for no longer subscribing to their faith. However, he was not left completely alone, and quickly found support from the Friendly Atheist organization, which helped to raise $27,000 to support him on this personal journey.
— Religion NewsService (@RNS) December 30, 2014
As he spent more time as an atheist, Bell’s views on life began to change. What began as an initial case of religious doubt blossomed into his new belief that there is no God watching over everyone. He now says that “I don’t think that God exists. I think that makes the most sense of the evidence that I have and my experience.” This transformation is viewed as almost unprecedented for a person who was once so driven to have a closer relationship with God would now deny the very existence of such a being. While it has taken Ryan Bell a fair amount of time to embrace this new anti-faith stance, it has not changed every aspect of his life.
Ryan Bell now continues to live his life searching for a worldview that will bring him even closer to the reality around him. He has still dedicated himself to a position that is able to help other people, and he now serves as a worker for PATH. This organization helps the homeless people, showing that Bell is really much the same as he was deep down inside, but now he uses a more practical approach to helping people that are in need. While he has admitted that atheism is still a rather unusual fit for him, he has found that his questioning nature has made his new lifestyle enjoyable and engaging.