The Beginning of the End

I cannot tell you my name, at least not yet; the security of my career, my family, and my life all hinge on my secret.

I am a licensed minister with a nationally traveling ministry.

I am an evangelist, but I have a secret… I am an atheist.

This Blog will chronicle my journey to come out to the world within the next 12 months and begin the next chapter of my life.

For a couple of years now, I have been struggling with leading two separate lives. The dissonance between my public and private lives, and the fear of being discovered, have become to taxing to continue.

I have a wife and children. 90% of my income comes from sharing Biblical messages in churches and associated church events. If it wasn’t for my financial obligations I would already be out and open about my non-belief. To further complicate this transition I am actually making more money right now than any other time in my career.

I am very well known in the religious realm. I have taken the pulpit in many of the world’s largest churches. I am friends with some of the nations top religious thinkers and apologists. I fear for the backlash and I dread potentially hurting my friends and family.

When I come out, it will cause pain and problems for me, my family, and many Christians who know me and who find inspiration in my ministry. I know that, and that pain is what I dread the most. Most of my own family does not know, and most will not understand.

Join me as I document my progress out of the church. I am opening my heart and life as I traverse this difficult process. Maybe along the way some people will understand what I am going through. It is my sincere hope that others will also find solace if they are suffering in a similar situation and want to leave religion.

I don’t know what to expect. I just know this is not going to be easy.

98 comments

  1. Dutch Thomas · September 28, 2015

    Wow, what a situation. Not just some background pastor in a small town, but an active evangelist traveling the country. I hope you find the inner strength and the help of the online community to carry you through this transition.

    I am looking forward to this blog! Added it to my RSS feed reader…

    Like

    • adisillusionist · September 28, 2015

      Thanks Dutch! I am nervous but excited. It has been the toughest thing I have ever done. I appreciate you following! I am going to be very honest and vulnerable on here.

      Like

  2. Mason · September 29, 2015

    I admire your courage in taking and sharing this journey. Have you thought about seeing if a documentary film company would be interested in your story? Since you are well known as an evangelist I think it may be a real possibility. What’s the situation with your wife if you’re married? Do you have a financial plan for the transition? Does anyone at all in your real life know you are an atheist now?

    Like

    • adisillusionist · September 29, 2015

      Mason,

      I have not thought of a documentary. It seems awful risky to try to shop around. I am married and my wife and I went through the process together. WE talk, prayed, and studied together for hours a day through ever step of the way.

      Our plan is coming together to get by financially. I have work to do in that department. I will post more details on here as ideas come together.

      Very few people in my real life know about my unbelief. I told my best friend and he completely cut off relationship. It was months before he even returned a text. That made me gun shy to even tell people I trust.

      Thanks you for your interest.

      Like

      • Peter · October 1, 2015

        You are in a tough position. in regard to the actions of those of those of faith, surely they would be be better to apply Jude 22, “be merciful to those who doubt”.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

        Even if they do, I no longer doubt. I absolutely do not believe. So, I don’t think that will help. But they should be nice to me to help me reconvert. We’ll see if that happens. I can say I will not reconvert because I have lived a life of completely believing with every fiber of my being that god existed and loved me. I have also lived without a belief in any concept of god that man has contrived. I can honestly say The world is a better place and makes more sense without any existing concept of god.

        Like

      • Peter · October 2, 2015

        I have been treading a similar journey. I kept sort of expecting that ‘God’ would intervene in some way to show me that I was in error, but that never happened and of course could not happen if there is no ‘God’ to act in that way. Everything in my experience has been consistent with there being no ‘God’. I had sort of hoped that ‘God’ might speak to me through other Christians, but their lack of any sort of supernatural insight just confirmed that if there was a ‘God’ he was not speaking through them.

        It looks like you have a good group of people here offering support so I wish you well.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 2, 2015

        Thanks Peter. I can totally relate to your experience. God should have at least told me I was wrong or was mad at me, or loved me anyway. I got nothing from any supernatural being whatsoever.

        Like

  3. Mason · September 30, 2015

    So if I understand correctly your wife is a Free Thinker now too? If so, that’s a huge plus. I’ve read so many stories of those who told their spouse they no longer are a theist and they were immediately told that would mean, and did mean, a divorce. I understand your reluctance to do anything that would expose you and endanger your successful financial transition plan. Has the best friend kept your secret? Did you think when you told him that he would be understanding of your new way of thinking? Of the few people who know of your unbelief are any atheists?

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

      My wife is a free thinker also. It is huge! My friend will keep the secret. He does not want his family to know he is friends with an Atheist. We have discussed things in great detail and he will not fully understand because things do not have to make sense to him because he has faith. There are a few atheist who know and they have been super supportive and extremely kind!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. John Compere · September 30, 2015

    This journey is going to be challenging, anxiety-making, and eventually very, very rewarding. I will be most interested to follow your story.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

      I am pretty sure you are right across the board, John. Thats for following. I am not sure where it will lead or how it will turn out. That is pretty scary to me.

      Like

    • Elizabeth Claire Ryder. · December 8, 2015

      Adisillusionist, I have found your article very interesting. I still have faith in God because of answered prayers, but I got depressed in my early 20’s about the doctrine of hell and researched stuff on youtube I no longer believe that the bible is the literal word of God. I am no longer a fundamentalist Christian and feel so much freedom in my mind. I am looking forward to following you and discovering who you are in time. You have my full support. I am a songwriter and still intend to write Christian songs. My thoughts are with you. Be blessed by the human support around you. x

      Liked by 3 people

      • adisillusionist · December 8, 2015

        Thanks Elizabeth! I appreciate it. I surely went through a place in my life where I was convinced god existed but not the one from the bible. It took a time, research, and opening myself to be totally honest with myself and what I might find to be where I am at right now. I decided that I really wanted to understand the best I could what was true and not what was comfortable before I could look at the existence of god in an unbiased frame of mind (I realize we are all bias at least a little).

        I appreciate you following my blog and being interested in me and my journey. I also look forward to hearing more of yours and sharing life together here.

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · December 8, 2015

        With Xmas just around the corner, AD, here’s a little carol for the season —

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Mason · September 30, 2015

    That is HUGE and so good to hear that your wife is with you in this. I’ve found that it only takes a believer to honestly entertain one cogent thought for the deck of irrational cards to start to fall. This site has been very useful for anyone who is brave enough to take a serious look at their theistic beliefs. http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ It’s wonderful you have some real life atheist friends. During my many years as an atheist I’ve found in dealing with atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, pantheists, that they are far more straight forward, honest, reliable and credible than the the believers I dealt with for 30 years. I think this is because they are not theistically delusional and don’t have an “invisible friend/god” who can overrule what they’ve told you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ratamacue0 · September 30, 2015

      FWIW, IMO, the skeptic’s annotated bible presents the persuasive along with the misleading. It can be a useful starting point, but I hesitate to recommend it in general.

      Like

  6. Mike Hale · September 30, 2015

    Your journey ahead will be difficult, but with your wife there with you it will be bearable. My deconversion was heart wrenching, but my journey out of the ministry was fairly easy since I always worked outside the church while serving as pastor in a church. The most difficult part is I cannot talk to my wife about why I’ve left the ministry and no longer go to church at all. Let her think whatever she will, but she needs the faith and I can’t hurt her by openly telling her I no longer believe. I have family and friends who I guess assume I “got hurt” in church and have dropped out. No one nags me trying to get me to come back. I don’t talk about my unbelief with any of them since it would hurt them. They need the faith. Fortunately I do have a sister who has gone through the same thing I have (except she never was a religious professional). She and I communicate frequently and openly by e-mail. That helps me a great deal.
    Best wishes to you as you go forward.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

      Well, some of that is good to hear and some is not. Thanks for being so honest. Do you think there would ever be a chance your wife could ever get by without faith in a god concept? Could she realize the strength she is relying on is actually inside herself? Could she make that conversion and maybe even to find more strength to face life, knowing the power was in her all along?

      Like

      • Mike Hale · September 30, 2015

        Thanks for the response. Your questions are valid, and ones I’ve considered a great deal. If we were younger, perhaps. Twenty years ago or so, as I struggled with the faith (while preaching the faith), I tried to share with her my struggle. It scared her quite badly. About 12 years ago, I finally admitted to myself that I basically do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead, hence He is not Lord. She was declining in health, and I reasoned that it would not be good to put her through the stress of my unbelief. Today, her health is pretty poor. I suspect she knows more about my unbelief than I realize, but she doesn’t try to reconvert me. I can return the courtesy by not trying to convert her to my world view. I am fortunate that my believing family and friends do not put pressure on me by trying to reconvert me. I suppose, that my position toward them is that I return the courtesy. I think I am happier and freer now than I have ever been. I remain quite active with bicycle riding, bowling, volunteering on a tourist railroad, and a few other things (as well as still work). My wife’s poor health prevents her from being active with me in these things. However, we have a good relationship. I really appreciate what we do have since so many who have gone through what I’ve gone through have lost their spouse as a result. Everyone is really unique and must answer these questions as they see best. This is just what seems best for me in my position.

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

        Mike, I think that is the best way to handle your situation. I am glad it is working out for you! I wish the best for you and your wife! Thanks for sharing!

        Like

    • archaeopteryx1 · October 4, 2015

      Then too, Mike, the internet has the greatest number of support groups you could ever hope to find. I have made friends with other atheists all over the world (including Islamic countries), that I will never see, but we trade experiences, newly-acquired knowledge, and sometimes just BS, but it’s good to know that there are others out there who accept you exactly as you are.

      I could recommend a few blogs if you had an interest, starting with that of Mz NeuroNotes, below —

      Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 4, 2015

        Sorry, didn’t mean to exclude John Zande and his Superstitious Naked Ape

        Mea culpa, John! (But hey, Victoria’s prettier than you are –)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. MP · September 30, 2015

    Mike, I’m glad you said that. I root for the people finding the path to deconversion through their own processes. But there are many in my life, including my elderly father, other family members, and dear friends, who I would never encourage to do it unless they were already headed that direction. In most cases, they are loving grounded people who don’t use their religious beliefs to persecute others, and I can tolerate that. On the other hand, their faith outlook helps them get through some rough stuff.

    If questioned, I’m honest about my views, and I’ll still joust with them over scripture if it comes up, but as long as it isn’t harming me or anyone else, I figure it’s not my call to rip that security blanket away from them.

    Now, if they are joining a rabid political campaign in order to “protect their religious freedoms”, that’s a whole ‘nother story. . .

    Like

    • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

      It is good to hear from someone who cares more about how people feel than being dogmatic about being right and pushing it on others. Thanks MP

      Like

  8. Mason · September 30, 2015

    I think a common experience, eventually, for those of us who have discarded the God delusion”faith” (I didn’t lose it 🙂 ), is that’s it’s like a child who finally gets rid of training wheels on a bicycle, …”holy Moses, what took me so long to get rid of those!”, and some kids never even need the training wheels.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

      In some ways I am amazing I did not see the truth years ago.

      Like

      • Mason · September 30, 2015

        I actually saw the truth when I was age 5 and asked good questions, but I was bullied by my parents and the adults surrounding me into the indoctrination, accepted the inane guilt of being born with as sinful nature and blah blah blah. Of course they told me the really big lie, “you’ve got a choice,”…sure I did,.. believe or be shamed and shunned by family and end up in hell fire. 🙂 So I just suppressed my rational thoughts about the crazy stuff I was told, but eventually the rational came raging back and won out over a delusional mind-set, and I’ve had Sundays free and a wonderfully enriched life for 44 years free of theistic nonsense distorting my mind.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

        I am so glad you saw the difference. I hope others came around to see you were not just “rebelling out of sin”.

        Like

  9. john zande · September 30, 2015

    Easier than you think.

    BTW, you need a Follow Blog By Email widget thing. It makes following much, much easier

    Liked by 1 person

  10. adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

    John, thanks for the suggestion. I have never done a blog before so I did not know that exists. I will work on it.

    Like

    • john zande · September 30, 2015

      Great! It means notifications of new posts will be sent by email, rather than just in the Reader, which I, for one, never look at. It’s in the Widgets icon.

      BTW, are you a part of the Clergy Project?

      Like

  11. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · September 30, 2015

    Hi, and welcome to WordPress. I look forward to reading your future posts, following your journey and lending what support I can. So many of us were once devout believers, went through a deconversion completely alone, and are still not fully out yet in our communities for various reasons. My immediate family knows, though they didn’t take it well and are still in denial. I deconverted 10 years ago, and it has been a lonely journey that did cost me my marriage, my social network, and a couple of jobs. I live in the Bible Belt. I am grateful for the online community.

    I was wondering if you are aware of The Clergy Project? http://clergyproject.org/

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

      Thanks for your support and follow! My wife and I pretty much went through the deconversion alone but together for a long time. We recently told a few people. Most did not take it well. We had one family member ran outside and threw up profusely.

      So, sorry it cost you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · September 30, 2015

    Ooops, I just notice John asked the same question about the Clergy Project. 😉

    **waves to my good friend**

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

      Is there a way to private message someone on here?

      Like

      • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · September 30, 2015

        <cite?"Is there a way to private message someone on here?"

        Not to my knowledge. We all either communicate via email, FB chat, Skype or phone. Many of us post our email addy in our gravatar.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · September 30, 2015

        The link takes me to your blog. Forgive my ignorance, but I do not see a private message button or link or whatever. I guess I will need more instruction. (Now it is a wonder I ever found my way out of religion).

        Like

      • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · September 30, 2015

        Click on my gravatar (picture) you will see my email addy to the left. Also, I don’t think WP has a private message system.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

        I feel like a real idiot. I cannot find an email addy. I have clicked on and hovered over every picture that wasn’t a banner or add.

        Like

      • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · October 1, 2015

        Don’t feel like an idiot, lol. It takes a while to learn how to navigate here and perhaps you haven’t updated your gravatar profile under your settings, and that’s possibly why you can’t see others. So when I run my pointer over your gravatar just to the left of your name in the comment section, it will show “view profile”. When you run your pointer over my gravatar (picture to the left of my name) do you get the same message? If so, click on that. It should take you into my gravatar profile. I’ll stand by and see if that works. If not, it may be that you need to establish a gravatar profile, and I can help walk you through that, if you’re up for it tonight. I’ll be offline tomorrow morning and early afternoon. My email addy is neuroresearchproject at gmail.com. Not going to write it out fully so it doesn’t get indexed. You will need to replace at with @.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

        It does not. I get no message and if I click on the pic it takes me to your blog.

        Like

      • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · October 1, 2015

        Hmmm, OK. Brb.Probably because you haven’t established a gravatar profile yet. Be right back.

        Like

  13. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · September 30, 2015

    Btw, in case I need to clarify, when I wrote *waves to my good friend* I was directing that at John. He is a good friend, and was the one who brought your blog to my attention, which I appreciate. 🙂

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

      Excellent!

      Like

    • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · October 1, 2015

      OK, first, you will need to see if you’ve activated the gravatar hovercard.
      At the top left, on the bar, you have two options, My Sites and Reader.
      Click on My Stats
      Click on WP Admin
      The second to last symbol is Settings. It won’t say settings. It’s a square box. Click on that
      Click on Discussion
      Scroll down do Avatars and right under that is Gravatar Hovercards.
      Check the box next to “View people’s profiles when you mouse over their Gravatars”

      It should work then. I’ll stand by.

      Like

  14. Richard Wade · October 1, 2015

    Thank you for doing this. I admire your willingness to share your journey so intimately.

    I am on the counselor vetting team of the Secular Therapist project, an outgrowth of the Clergy Project. From my perspective as a psychotherapist, I am curious if you are taking advantage of any evidence-based counseling from a professional to help you with what must be an enormously tangled knot of emotions. Or perhaps you have already worked through most of that in the previous two years?

    In an advice column on Friendly Atheist, I have written many responses to letters from mostly young people who are in the same predicament: Their dissonance between their true thoughts and their outward pretending is driving them nuts, and like you, many of them have much material loss at risk as well as love at risk. This can include things like parents cutting off their college funding or even physically kicking them out and abandoning them while they are still underage. Yet most of them express more worry about the hurt their loved ones will feel than the hurt their loved ones will inflict on them when they finally come out as atheists.

    Keep in mind that the hurt your friends and loved ones will feel comes from the myths, misconceptions, and outright lies about atheists that they have been fed most of their lives. None of that is your fault, and none of that is a healthy or positive part of their religion. It’s an unhealthy compensation for the inadequacies of their religion. So if a few of your loved ones at first reject and shun you, try to avoid the two extremes of either taking on all the guilt, none of which is yours, or adopting a counterattacking anger and resentment against them. Somewhere in the middle you might find a place where you can be patient without accepting abuse, and where you can keep your side of the door unlocked. The love can flow again, if they decide to unlock their side. You might be surprised that several people eventually come around to treating you with decency and respect. They might find that they can shrug off the prejudicial fear and loathing against atheists even though they retain their faith. They will be better off without that bigotry, and in a way, they will be better Christians. They likely would not have made those changes if not for your willingness to face their reactions to your honesty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

      Wow!!! Thanks for the post! I have worked through most things. It has been very trying. I have shed many tears. I am becoming more comfortable in understanding myself and my predicament.

      I have been working on how to tell family and friends. It is not easy. I will let them know I will always love them regardless of how they feel towards me or my situation.

      I have also realized their emotions and reactions are things I cannot change or control. I am not responsible for any of that. I also know that I cannot turn off my own feelings and will feel bad for the pain that is caused to them. I am preparing to separate my pain for them and the guilt or pain others might try to assign to me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 4, 2015

        If you’re not familiar with Neil Carter, you might like to read of his experiences when coming out, in Godless In Dixie. He lost his friends, his job, and unlike you, his wife and children.

        Like

  15. Mason · October 1, 2015

    Someone asked about email notifications of posts/comments. Below the reply box, when you’re posting a reply is a place to fill in your email info, and below that are boxes to check for Notify me of new comments & Notify me of new posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carolyn · February 22, 2016

      Thanks!

      Like

  16. Mason · October 1, 2015

    One thing that was very heartening and supportive for me was when I realized that so many (maybe most 🙂 ) of the good, brilliant, exceptional people in human history have been atheists. There are many such lists available on the Internet now. Here is just one by category. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_atheists

    Liked by 1 person

  17. maura · October 1, 2015

    welcome to the real world and best wishes. i wonder if you have seen this blog Pastor No Faith

    Like

  18. Christopher Schneider · October 1, 2015

    Man… can I ever relate to this! Much respect for you!!!

    Leaving AA and the fellowship behind was a very difficult decision for me. Not only did I lose my support network, my sponsor who I trusted and had been with for 7 years, and a lot of what I thought were friends (that’s more my bad for thinking that and I own it), I also left a huge chunk of my private IT business clients behind as they left me as soon as I defected. But I wasn’t being true to myself by staying in. I couldn’t preach it anymore. I couldn’t sponsor guys anymore. I just couldn’t sell the bullshit anymore. I got asked to speak around Chicago a lot and was good at it, but my experience on staying sober became irrelevant and unwanted as soon as my story didn’t include the “god of my understanding” as sold in AA.

    The clergyproject.org is an amazing organization.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

      I hope as my story unfolds on here you can continue to relate. How is everything for you now? It there another support group you use?

      Like

  19. Darlenia Killen · October 1, 2015

    I hope you with embrace the large atheist community on the Web and on FB. We are here for each other. This transition will be the most difficult of your life, giving up your entire life and identity in a way. Coming out will not be aided by your current company. It’s totally against what they believe.

    The atheist community is here to support you and your wife. Just reach out.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

      Thanks!!!!

      Like

    • archaeopteryx1 · October 4, 2015

      This transition will be the most difficult of your life, giving up your entire life and identity in a way.

      Granted, Darlenia, but at the same time, he will no longer be faced with the dissonance of standing behind the pulpit, delivering sermons that he knows are misrepresenting his true beliefs – essentially lying to his congregation – that must require great acting talent. Frankly, I can envision an enormous weight being lifted from his shoulders.

      Like

  20. ejaysnet · October 1, 2015

    I am with you. Will friend you on The Clergy Project 😉

    Like

  21. charles · October 1, 2015

    Congratulations! This is going to be a rough couple of years, but it’s worth it. Pretending is not sustainable.
    I deconverted about 1.5 years ago. The WP community has been a great support.
    I look forward to reading more.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

      Thanks! I am trying to stay level headed and not get too down or too up. I know having support on here is great (and much needed), but it won’t replace personal, live support at home.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Richard · October 1, 2015

    Wow, this is already a compelling blog. I have to admit I’m curious as to who you are. One question if I may: what was the first domino knocked over in losing your faith?

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 1, 2015

      Great question and hard to answer. I think it was more several bricks in the wall started to weaken together for me. I think I will actually write a blog post on this question to give it more room. Thanks!

      Like

  23. Dan Arnold · October 2, 2015

    I’ve talked to many clergymen who, thru education and experience, have realized they no longer believe the primitive version of Christianity they grew up with and that their congregants believe. Tho’ I appreciate the pain of the transition, to linger in it long is to live a lie. I suspect you do not respect this. This is a road many of us have trod. It’s high time to be not just honest, but candid.

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 2, 2015

      Dan, I do respect your comment. I am being honest and candid. I believe you probably mean I should expose myself as to who I am. I am in that process right now. I will be revealing my identity, but I cannot do it immediately because I do not have everything I need in place financially to cover my bills if I walk away from ministry right now. I am not willing to be homeless right now. I have a wife and kids.

      I will be ready soon. I felt like it would be more honest to post things each step of my path. If I wait until I am public with my identity I may post things as I remember them and not as they are (were).

      I respect anyone who was or is able to come out as soon as they turn from their faith, but I also respect people who think things through and wait for the sake of their family.

      If I was single things would have been entirely different.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mason · October 2, 2015

      Dan, if all the clergymen (and women) who no longer actually believe walked away, Christendom would immediately experience a tsunami level collapse and the sheep would stampede in utter panic.

      Like

  24. archaeopteryx1 · October 4, 2015

    Disillusionist – I ran across this, which if it’s true and not another cold fusion, could make your current position obsolete and put Pope Cuddles out of a job as well – Ancient Confession Found: ‘We Invented Jesus Christ’

    Good luck on your journey – I took mine early on, so I didn’t have as much to lose as you and yours. It takes a great deal of courage to walk away from a life-long belief system, and you have my greatest respect. I’ll be looking forward to your continuing saga.

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · October 4, 2015

      THANKS!

      Like

      • Elizabeth. · October 13, 2015

        Hello arch and ADisillusionist! The “Ancient Confession” might be a little on the cool side… mythicist Richard Carrier writes, “Joseph Atwill is one of those crank mythers I often get conflated with. Mythicists like him make the job of serious scholars like me so much harder, because people see, hear, or read them and think their nonsense is what mythicism is.” http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4664

        Mythicist Robert M Price found Atwill’s book “ludicrous.” http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/rev_atwill.htm

        Agnostic NT Scholar Bart Ehrman blogs, “More Conspiracy Nonsense” http://ehrmanblog.org/conspiracy-nonsense/

        Atwill might not be very far up the “must read” list at this point : )

        Thanks for the lead, arch; and, ADisillusionist, wishing you very well in your explorations!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · October 13, 2015

        Thanks!!

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 13, 2015

        If you’ve glanced through the above comments, Elizabeth, you will see that after investigation, I concur that Atwell is full of it – he didn’t pass the test:

        Like

      • Elizabeth. · October 14, 2015

        oops!! I’m sorry, arch! No, I missed your further comments on Atwill’s work… thanks so much! Since you agree with the cautioners, I can safely take the question mark off my reservations about him. I’ve just begun reading here, and appreciate all the thoughtful — and whimsical! comments. Look forward to getting to your later ones!

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 14, 2015

        Yeah, he’s a basket case. I’m even sorry I brought him up, but he was recommended by someone I trusted – I gather he didn’t do his homework, as, clearly, neither did I.

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 14, 2015

        Ever have one of those days?

        Like

  25. KIA · October 9, 2015

    looking forward to the ‘revelation’ 🙂 sorry, inside joke.
    traveling a similar path. former missionary and evangelist. not as much as you from what I read. sometimes wish I had never started asking questions I didn’t want the answers to, but overall we are better for embracing reality than hiding away in never never land. I will follow along too.
    -KIA

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · October 9, 2015

      I like the revelation joke, and I would not say my journey is any more or less than anyone else’s. I cannot put myself in anyone else’s shoes. I have to imagine it is tough to be a missionary and deconvert.

      Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 9, 2015

        I cannot put myself in anyone else’s shoes.

        Ancient proverb: “Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes – then, when you judge him, you’re a mile away and you have his shoes.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 9, 2015

        I would add, pick someone with nice shoes that are your size.

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 9, 2015

        That goes without saying, so I didn’t say it.

        Like

  26. Shane Fletcher · October 12, 2015

    Hi there,

    Introduced to your blog by Pastor No Faith. Will be working my way through your blog in chronological order to catch up. 83 comments here. I haven’t read them but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all positive and supportive and I’m damn sure the majority are. Let me add my voice to those wishing you all the best in this journey. I’ll have more as I read.

    Shane

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · October 12, 2015

      Thanks for following Shane! You are correct. I am amazed really at the tone of the posts and replies. Feel free to chime in anytime. Oh, and please feel free to invite others to follow and join in!

      Like

  27. ubi dubium · October 13, 2015

    I was going to comment to make sure you knew about The Clergy Project, but I see you have already joined! My other recommendation is to make sure you are aware of a website called ex-christian.net. There’s a very active and supportive group of commenters there, including ex-pastors, so it’s an additional place to share your thoughts and discuss your concerns.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. archaeopteryx1 · December 9, 2015

    We’ve got a birthday coming up —

    Like

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