A guy who has a blog called Eternal Life Blog with the subtitle “covering all aspects of eternal life” (I do like thoroughness, don’t you?) thinks it’s a tragedy when clerics escape.
Sadly, spiritual tragedies do occur in this dangerous spiritual environment. That is why Christians are told to guard themselves, hold on, keep themselves, etc. One of the most recent and openly publicized spiritual tragedies among preachers losing their faith would be Jerry Dewitt. Jerry DeWitt, from Louisiana, became an atheist after more than twenty-five years of Pentecostal ministry! He was senior pastor of a congregation when he became an unbeliever and now claims he could not be happier because he feels he has regained his integrity.
Emphasis his. Formatting his. Alternation between bold and italics his. Anyway he’s amazed that a former minister could be happy because he feels he has regained his integrity. I, on the other hand, find that thought completely intelligible. It’s similar to what I always think when I try to imagine myself taking up religion for any of the consequentialist reasons people so often cite – community, tradition, support in life’s difficulties, that kind of thing. It’s the fact that it would feel like such a gruesome surrender and cheat that makes it fall to the floor before it gains any respectable altitude. I couldn’t do it, because of integrity.
If Jerry DeWitt, Teresa MacBain or any atheist ever came to initial salvation or not, I can’t say. It is possible they were once saved at some point before getting back on the road to hell as they are now. As sad as it is for them to openly reject the existence of God (and therefore Jesus Christ), it is even worse when one ponders the many under their influence who might also be hurt by their horrible example. It is horribly bad for any professing Christian to renounce his faith, but even worse when a person who is considered by some to be a spiritual leader does it.
That poor man – he thinks there’s such a thing as “the road to hell” (or he professes to – who knows, really). Sucks to be him. He’s frantic about something that is not at all a bad thing. He’s throwing away his life on fictions and useless terrors.