Updated : Dec 29, 2019 in Công Nghệ✅

FreeOK 2015 – Ryan Bell: The Slow Death of God

Ryan Bell spoke at the 2015 Oklahoma Freethought Convention on June 20, 2015 in Tulsa Oklahoma.

For 19 years Ryan was a pastor, most recently the senior pastor of the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church. In March 2013 he resigned his position due to theological and practical differences. As an adjunct professor he has taught subjects ranging from intercultural communication to bioethics.

Currently he is an educator, writer and speaker on the topic of religion, irreligion and humanism in America. In January 2014, Ryan began a yearlong journey exploring the limits of theism and the atheist landscape in the United States and blogs about that experience here at Year Without God.

He received a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

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  • He traded one community for the other, I'm glad he got a real warm welcome in this gathering. And for Mr. Bell, you don't give up unraveling the knot, you slice it apart. Great speech, very insightful.

  • You're right on all of this. I left the SDA church (5th Gen, over here) with such similar experiences it's almost scary to hear your story! But it's really great to hear that you're no longer the SDA version of a Borg Drone! I mean, that's what it really is – a hive-mind. So glad you're not burdened with all that horribleness anymore!!! PS. That room with the dolls… I have a relative I had to stay with for a weekend who had a room like that. Makes me wonder if it's an Adventist thing, where the older women are just uber-creepy, with all their porcelain dolls on shelves like that. They collect them because they assume they'll be "valuable someday." No, not really. How can they be, when so many Adventist women do the same thing???! Anyway, I feel you! The one that really creeped me out was the miniature jester.

  • Thanks for sharing your journey!

    I see a parallel between your experience and my own.

    You lost a LOT in life. Wife. Job. Career. Sense of place in the world.

    So to lose your religious faith wouldn’t have cost much. You had no community left to risk losing. That’s similar to where I was. We were both tossed out of everything.

    I suspect that your abdication of faith was similar to whatever I went through; some form of cleansing of the things that don’t fit, while you were rebuilding a new foundation on what made sense in your new world.

    Just some thoughts.

    Thanks again!

  • Not only do they believe signs like that at 24:00 ish will induce people to visit, the more conservative groups think ONLY that sort of advertising should work. As someone who grew up and spent most of my life on extremely conservative churches, anything more modernized or entertainment focused is deemed "unscriptural" and "too liberal" to be allowed to be used by the church, on church property, or using church funds.

  • Thanks, Seth, for this one. This was very interesting. He was a pastor for many years and it's obvious he's no stranger to public speaking, but at the same time, like some other commenters noted, he does seem a bit nervous here, like he was still adjusting to the drastic change of audience.

  • This country was set up for capitalism not religious idealism. Their consern was grabbing as much of the resources as possible to establish a monopoly over their competition.

  • Brilliant opening analogies. Thanks for the insight. It reminded me of my mother's angry response decades ago to my questioning her Catholicism " I've never thought about it, I just believe it!"

  • Our friend had an awkward moment saying "My Lord" around 35 minutes. Hard habit to break. I say "jeez" a lot. It's probably a New York thing and I'm a southerner. I'M CONFUSED!

  • Was I the only one annoyed with this speech of him stopping and studdering and giving us his boring Christian life story? I feel like I just wasted 40 minutes of my short life.

  • Everything is so much more miraculous when you remove the concept of deity . The sequence of accidents and spectacular events such as a big planetoid smacking into
    the proto earth to form the moon and blow off excess atmosphere so we didn't end up like Venus, is only one of the astronomical unlikely events that went into forming us . The story the middle eastern sheep herders came up with is silly and boring .

  • I'm a vegetarian for a variety of reasons. Why on earth do the Seventh Day Adventists abstain from meat? I'm pretty certain the bible doesn't encourage that.

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