After living without God for a year, former pastor Ryan Bell no longer believes

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(RNS) Ryan Bell — the former Seventh-day Adventist pastor who spent 2014 living as an atheist — is ready for his big reveal. After chronicling the last 12 months on his blog Year Without God, Bell — who now works as director of community engagement at People Assisting the Homeless in Southern California — announced in an interview with NPR that he no […]

  • Doming

    I can understand that, knowing that Ryan was an Adventist. It is good that he realized how the Adventist theology is NOT the totality of Truth. I wish he gave the Catholic Faith a try. The beginning paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is sure to get him started which I am reprinting below:


    “FATHER,… this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”1 “God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”2 “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”3 than the name of JESUS.

    I. The Life of Man—To Know and Love God

    1 God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

  • Kirk Taylor

    I am happy for Ryan. He has discovered that not believing in God did not change anything, and that the labyrinthine construct of religion and faith in a supernatural power is actually a burden. Living without gods is a liberation.

  • Ryan Bell,
    Belief in God is a personal choice based on faith. Yes, there is no proof that God exists or doesn’t exist.

    However, for a technical theory about how all the miracle stories in the Bible happened without violating the laws of physics and not conflicting with the basic tenants of the Jewish or Christian faiths, see the book: How Did God Do It? A Symphony of Science and Scripture. Info on the website

  • Of course he no longer believes. They based their idea of God with rules, regulations, do’s and don”ts. People like this never find real fulfillment in life and never seem to have any type of joy. Basically they are just going through the motions. God is not a God of rules and regulations. He is a God of love, surrender and real relationship through His Son Jesus. He want you to live life to the full. He wants to to enjoy this life on earth through relationships with people on earth. He wants us to have fun, laugh, go on vacation and get the rest we need. He wants us to be well balanced people and use our minds and not be oblivious to things around us. If rules could cut it, then this guy would still believe. It’s about having a relationship with His son Jesus. If you are religious and are having a hard time with keeping all the rules, do the following. Say God, I need you. I realize I cannot do this on my own. I need your help. So now I accept the finished work that your Son Jesus did on the cross by shedding His blood for my sins. I thank you God for having me in mind when you sent your son to earth in the form of a baby. One that came to this earth for one reason, which was to redeem us back to you. Thank you God for your love. Amen. Now Go online and visit center for manifestation. Look through the archive messages and Bible studies to help you with your walk with Jesus. He loves you and there is nothing you can ever do to change that. I hope this guy has an encounter someday with the true Jesus.

  • P. Killick

    I find it odd that some people look at belief as a choice. As an action. As something we either do or fail to do. It’s neither. It’s something that either does or does not happen to us. We can’t claim credit for it nor should we be vilified for a lack of it. True, we have control over what we profess but that’s often in spite of what we believe. Try believing in Zeus if you want to test this.

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  • Katy

    Although the last two paragraphs were quite nice, not sure what else he expected, having been a Seventh Day Adventist and ignoring the Bible’s saying that leaving the faith means you were never of it to begin with.

    Much like being the cook at a restaurant doesn’t necessarily make a person a chef, spending some time as working as a pastor didn’t make you a Christian, Ryan.

    Interesting point made as well, P. Killick.

  • Mary


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  • TommyC

    You’re saying he backed the wrong horse in the race. He’s saying the race is irrelevant.

  • Ryan’s coming out of the religion I did in what appears to be a different way than I did (to say the least), but I say welcome! The water’s warm…and cool…and relieving.

    Janice, yes the SDA’s do have rules and regulations — and their own prophetess but then most churches have much of that and it’s simply untrue to suggest that Adventists have no joy, fulfillment. I know I got a measure of that. I wonder why you need to discount Ryan’s experience, walk with God as he then understood him to be. How unChristian of you!

    And Katy? The form of address in 1 John always rubbed me the wrong way before I came out and the presumptuousness of suggesting I was never a real Christian after I came out did too. Now I’m far enough away and free enough not to be bothered by the verse anymore. Why? Because I no longer believe in a god so ironically puerile as to allow those words to appear in his book in the first place. And that’s the least of the words I’m no longer irrationally bound up by.

    Your mileage, of course, may vary.

  • Richard martinez

    “I wish he gave the Catholic Faith a try.” This has to be one of the most “I totally missed the point” comments I’ve ever read. And howdy sister. Catholicism is absolutely one of the worst. You don’t celebrate your religion, you mourn it. If I were going to choose (Which i never will) I would go with the unitarians. Those guys love everyone and judge no one. Plus they accept you whether you believe or not. Not all subscribe to that dogma, but most of the ones I met did.

  • Kate Gray

    “It’s something that either does or does not happen to us.”

    And yet, it’s something that Ryan Bell chose.

    I chose.

    You can deconstruct your own beliefs, and should. You can change them, if you have a good reason to.