"Ryan Bell speaking at the AHA conference in May 2018" by Richard Thomas / CC BY-SA 4.0

Former pastor Ryan Bell on why he abandoned his Christian faith: I gave it my best shot

Oct 30, 2019

By Leonardo Blair

Ryan J. Bell, former pastor of the Hollywood Adventist Church in California, launched an experiment to live without God on New Year’s Eve in 2013 after preaching for 20 years. A year later, he concluded that God did not exist. Five years into that decision, he admits that for a while he missed Christianity, but not anymore.

The decision to abandon his faith cost him dearly in the beginning. He lost his job at two Christian universities and found himself struggling to make ends meet at one point. He recently responded to some questions from The Christian Post about his life after Christianity and how he now feels about his lost faith.

CP: You served as a pastor for 20 years and taught at two Christian universities before concluding about five years ago, after a one-year experiment of life without God, that the basis of your faith in God wasn’t true. How have you been? How has life changed for you in the last five years?

Bell: I’m well. The transition was not without its challenges. Honestly, the most dramatic change was in my career. All of my education and experience was in Christian theology and ministry so when I was dismissed from the church I didn’t have a degree or vocation to fall back on. I went through several years of periodic unemployment and underemployment, resulting in mounting debts. But today I’m on much more solid footing and beginning to tackle my debts.

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