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It was almost a year ago when Ryan Bell, a professor and former pastor of a Seventh-day Adventist church, announced that he would “try on” atheism and “live as if there is no God” for 12 months.
I didn’t agree with his methodology at the time. I felt like he was just exploring an alternative option, not actually “becoming” an atheist. Hell, most atheists don’t even read books by Richard Dawkins or attend gatherings with other non-believers, so how would doing those things give Bell a real sense of what being an atheist was like?
But he got a taste of what being an atheist was like much sooner than expected. Less than a week after announcing his experiment, Bell was fired by his Christian employers at Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary because, according to Bell, “They simply feel they cannot have me as a part of the faculty while I’m am in this year long process.”
Readers of this site came through in a big way and helped raise more than $27,000 for his family as they coped with this sudden unemployment.
That year has come to an end. So what has Bell decided about God?
There’s little or no freedom of religion for Chinese Christians:
Two days before Christmas, members of a rural Christian congregation in the eastern city of Wenzhou welded some pieces of metal into a cross and hoisted it onto the top of their worship hall to replace one that was forcibly removed in October. Within an hour, township officials and uniformed men barged onto the church ground and tore down the cross. … Provincial authorities have toppled crosses from more than 400 churches, and even razed some worship halls in a province-wide crackdown on building code violations.
Many Christians say their faith has been singled out because authorities, wary of its rapid growth, are seeking to curb its spread. …
A court in Mauritania on Thursday sentenced a man to death for “insulting” the founder of Islam.
The man, Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, 28, was arrested a year ago for writing an article that was interpreted by some as being critical of the Prophet Muhammad and saying that Mauritania allows a discriminatory caste system, an extremely delicate subject in a country with deep social and racial divisions.
In a move that would be right at home in the GOP, the Crow Nation tribe last year passed a resolution “proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord”:
The Crow Constitution protects “full exercise of religion,” but, unlike the U.S. Constitution, does not contain a clause that prevents the government from the establishment of religion.
“As a sovereign nation, we’re not bound by separation of church and state,” said [legislator Conrad J.] Stewart, who penned the resolution. “People are afraid to say, ‘Jesus,’ in the political arena…”
And now, they’ve gone a step further by putting up a 33-foot sign saying “Jesus Christ is Lord on the Crow Nation.”
Because Jesus won’t know it unless He can see the sign from miles away.