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“God is a delusion”: I was a Pentacostal preacher — until I lost my faith

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.—Romans 5:3–4

For the first time since I’d entered the ministry, I settled in my mind that the spiritual fix I sought in order to return to preaching was unlikely to be found. I was going to have to live my life without a spiritual resolution. I needed to face the cold fact that I would not be back behind the pulpit anytime soon. Preaching at a somewhat traditional Pentecostal church was going to be impossible and I’d even been unable to make the liberal Pentecostalism of Grace of DeQuincy or First Community work for me. But I could not completely let go of the ministry: I had been ministering for nearly twenty-five years and from the very beginning it was not a career but a mission. Perhaps, I reasoned to myself then, I’ll find a mentor in the church and quietly work under him—or maybe I’ll pastor to the faithful individually. But as the spring of 2011 began, I had to push my spiritual crisis even further back into my mind. I was just emerging from the training period with Ronnie, which meant that I’d soon assume real responsibilities at BIG. The promotion would be a big boost to Kelli and me financially as we were just beginning to rebuild from the near financial collapse of my Village Profile period. With a happy, contented wife and a boss who treated me as both a business partner and a brother, life was good again. I couldn’t allow my questions of faith to consume me.

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