Deconversion stories from The Skeptical Review
Douglas R. Larson
A Former Pastor...
Within the past few months, I've been sitting in my study, reading, thinking, and absorbing material found on the internet. Presently, I'm on infidels.org and I have been left speechless. Night by night, I read the material presented, and I find myself digging out all the unanswered questions I had put upon the "mental shelf," realizing that someday I would begin to pull them down, one by one, seeking answers to all my unanswered questions.
Why am I writing this? Well, I'm a former pastor, who preached his last sermon in July of this year. I have been keeping track of the "theological contradictions" contained within scripture hoping that someday I will be able to share my "notes" with those on the internet. The nature of "Jehovah God" has always been puzzling at best. Even the kids I taught in Confirmation (Lutheran) would point out God's "paranoid-schitzo" qualities that included a heavy hand in murder. I nearly drove myself crazy trying to bring a reconciliation of the two natures possessed by God and His Son Jesus (God).
I no longer can. I no longer have "all the answers" that I once possessed as a "Christian Apologist" (note email address). The mental hold that "Christianity" has upon my soul runs deep--I often wonder if I'll ever escape its guilt, fear, and shaming qualities as it lays a question mark across my eternal destination. Now, I find the internet to be a very useful tool, in finding material that I can read, and resources that can help me see through problems that I cannot escape on my own. I found your ad for a free one-year subscription to The Skeptical Review. Please, if you think this resource can help me, could you put me on your list? Also, on the issue of "Biblical Inerrancy," can you recommend a very detailed book that explores the nature of the "Biblical God?"
It's hard for me to request such a thing. I and my wife have spent hours and hours discussing this issue. After requesting a removal from the clergy roster, I found out how many friends I have left in this world. None! You wouldn't believe the treatment I've received from the brethren, and you would really be amazed at how denominational heads react. I could just as well have an "H" tattooed upon my forehead for "heretic" or the proverbial "A" for apostate.
Thanks for hearing me out!!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Larson was, of course, added to the subscription list. He has also joined firstname.lastname@example.org and [has made] some valuable contributions to the discussion of inerrancy issues. The mental anguish and turmoil that I went through when I quit the ministry is now 34 years into my past, so Mr. Larson has brought fresh insights into the inner conflict and other problems that a minister experiences when he can no longer practice the profession that he entered with youthful optimism and idealism. I know all too well what he means by the loss of friendship that accompanied his decision. The New Testament teaches Christians to love their neighbors, but they don't have much love for preachers whose doubts force them to resign from the ministry.
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