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Deaf Church Pastor Signs 'I'm Atheist'

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO [ASL/CC] - Virtual Deaf Church: I have become an Atheist.

Justin Vollmar: When I was 18, I was drawn to a strict Christian sect known as Independent Fundamental Baptists. They convinced me that they were the only true church and I became a born-again, washed-in-blood Christian.

I left Gallaudet University, the nation’s premier school for Deaf students, to enroll at Capital Baptist Deaf College, where I graduated with an unaccredited bachelor's degree in pastoral studies.

For the next seven years, I was a pastor in Silver Spring, Maryland, working 60 hours a week for little pay. My senior pastor was a harsh taskmaster, scolding me and always pushing me to work harder. Meanwhile, he earned $80,000 a year and played golf two times a week. I lived in poverty and did not see my children much. I got burned out.

I resigned my position and was shunned by the church. My faith in God was severely shaken. I started to have doubts about the Bible’s claims. I questioned whether God’s love, which is supposed to reside inside Christians, was real. Still, I didn’t quit the church.


"I am coming out of closet. I no longer believe in God. I am an Atheist now. This video explains my journey to doubt."

Rather, for two years I became a pastor at a church that is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. I called myself a “contemporary Baptist,” in the vein of megachurch pastor Rick Warren's “purpose-driven church.”

But that pit-of-the-stomach worry stayed, as I wondered whether I would leave the church and go through another shunning.

During that time, I established an online preaching ministry, Virtual Deaf Church, for Deaf people like myself. I had a fairly sizable audience - averaging 3,000 viewers for each video or vlog - about the same as a good-sized flesh-and-blood congregation.

But I still had lots of spiritual questions and studied shelves of theological books in search of answers. I struggled with many more contradictions I continued to discover.

For example, how could dozens of Christian denominations fight and call each other false churches? Why are there thousands of conflicting interpretations among Christians? How could God be so loving when he will send millions to hell? ... Read more: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/10/deaf-pastor-atheist-a-big-surprise-to-his-congregation/

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