Complicated Seventh-day Adventist Guilt Story

Editor’s Note: In the non-believing clergy study that Dan Dennett and I conducted, I interviewed “Michael” because wanted to include a Seventh-day Adventist. They live in a very tight community, which we thought would involve unique and possibly dire consequences if a member of their clergy stopped believing in God. We were right. ======================= By [Read More…]

Quick but not Painless Way to Dodge Clergy Guilt

Editor’s Note: Like recent poster Bob Ripley, this former minister managed to avoid guilt by leaving the clergy before he stopped believing in God. Ending his 30-year career wasn’t his idea, though, and he wasn’t even having doubts when his time as a man of the cloth abruptly ended. ====================== By Dave Warnock Questions 1 [Read More…]

This Atheist Ex-Pastor has More Questions and Insights than Guilt

Editor’s Note: This writer is an example of someone who left his pastorate while still in the doubting stage (that is, the stage that’s supposed to return to faith but didn’t in the case of the 800 members of The Clergy Project – and countless lay people – who no longer believe in the supernatural.) [Read More…]

Seminary Professor Handles the Guilt of Non-Belief

Editor’s Note: Unlike those who have responded so far to the “guilt” questions, this Clergy Project member was a seminary professor, not a pastor. It hasn’t been easy since he left his faculty position, but he feels sure he’s done the right thing by being open about his change in beliefs. Confiding in an understanding [Read More…]

Categorically Shedding Decades of Clergy Guilt

Editor’s Note: I first met this poster as “Adam Mann” in 2009 when I interviewed him for the Dennett-LaScola Study pilot study of non-believing clergy. He was closeted then and so fearful of being exposed that we met in a town 30 miles from his home. To say he’s changed is an understatement, as you [Read More…]

The Curious Guilt of a Formerly Fundamentalist, now Progressive Pastor

Editor’s Note: The following responses to my “Guilt” questions come from the somewhat unique perspective of a very fundamentalist pastor who switched to being a pastor in one of the most liberal Protestant denominations – the United Church of Christ (UCC), sometimes jokingly referred to as “Unitarians Considering Christ.”  He’s happy and fulfilled there and [Read More…]

Scenes from “Caught in the Pulpit”, Play-in-Development

I’m excited to tell you about a recent program “Caught in the Pulpit: Exploring 
the Journey from Religion to Reason” presented by the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). My colleague Dan Dennett participated in it, along with his colleague, Michael Gazzaniga and Marin Gazzaniga, the playwright. The program was moderated by SFI president, David Krakaur and [Read More…]

Feeling Lots of Guilt; Moving On

Editor’s Note: I met “Stan” a couple of years ago shortly after he joined The Clergy Project. He was angst ridden and feeling desperate about his situation. Well, it hasn’t been easy, but since then, he’s made many changes and things are definitely looking up for him. Still, he carries a lot of guilt about [Read More…]

Guilt #2 – Deep Regret for Teaching Heaven’s Eternal Reward

Editor’s Note: Continuing the “clergy guilt” theme, we take a look at how guilt at becoming a non-believer played out for a missionary who was far, far from home. ==================== By John Lombard What are some of the things you regret, if any, about staying a member of the clergy after you no longer believed? [Read More…]

Feelings of Guilt among Non-believing Clergy – Part One

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series on non-believing clergy guilt, inspired by a question put to blog contributor Bruce Gerenscer who had listed the many Christian organizations he had formed during his years as a fundamentalist minister. The commenter “PoFarmer” said: “Don’t really know how to politely ask but… Do you ever feel [Read More…]