Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Pastor denies the existence of God

I saw an article on Ekklesia about a Dutch Pastor who has recently been allowed to continue in his ministry by his regional Church body despite making it clear that he did not believe the existence in God.

In 2007, Hendrikse hit the headlines with the publication of his book titled "Believing in a God that does not exist: the manifesto of an atheist pastor" (Geloven in een God die niet bestaat - manifest van een atheïstische dominee). In the book, Hendrikse distinguishes between believing in God, which he affirms, and believing in the existence of God, which he rejects. Instead, he refers to God as, "happening".

The article goes on to state:

Research published in 2006 by the ecumenical broadcaster Ikon and the Free University of Amsterdam found that one in six clergy of the Protestant Church were either not sure about or did not believe in the existence of God.

The survey also found that clergy aged 35 years or younger tended to be the most certain of God’s existence, while clergy aged between 55 and 65 years were the most unsure. "Overall, the survey indicated that the younger generation was more 'pious' than older generations," the research report said.
With acknowledgements to Ecumenical News International.

I've frequently wondered whether it is an urban myth that some priests come out of theological college as non-believers, and yet go on to successful ministries. Where's the integrity? There are plenty of ways to provide spiritual and emotional support to the community without living a lie.

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