Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Dan Barker's Journey From Evangelicalism To Atheism

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Many readers are asking for a list of how senators voted to restore Obamacare. Here is a link to the news story: "25 Senators Vote To Give Reid Cloture, Allowing Simple Majority To Restore Obamacare Funding."

Dan Barker is the co-founder of America's largest atheist organization.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has 20,000 active members and claims to be the largest such organization in America.

The organization is very well funded and very active.

They continually work to strip every vestige of God and religion---particularly Christianity, from the public square of America, all under the guise of "separation of church and state."

Nearly every lawsuit filed challenging an individual's right to religious expression is filed by this organization.

It wasn't always like that for Dan Barker.

Barker was once a Bible believing, conservative, evangelical evangelist, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ from church to church.

In fact he wrote a Christian musical "Mary Had A Little Lamb" to assist churches in sharing the story of the birth of Jesus.

He still receives royalty checks from the sales of the musical.

But things have changed for Rev. Barker.

He says "it wasn't overnight"---it was a process.

Now he no longer works to lead people to Jesus Christ, but instead wages legal battles against perceived conflicts between church and state.

Much can be taken from Barker's "process."

Barker has described his journey from faith to atheism in his book, "Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One Of America's Leading Atheists."

He told Christian Post this week that his "movement from from born-again Bible believing evangelical conservative Christian to atheist, happened within Christianity."

He said, "I didn't just jump from 'Oh, I have a doubt, now I'm an atheist'...my migration took four to five years."

His "migration" is very revealing.

"First," he says he, "began to question the Bible---the historicity of Adam and Eve."

He says a turning point for him personally was a conversation he had with a pastor. Barker was a guest speaker, so the pastor shared confidentially that there were people in his congregation that did not believe Adam and Eve were literal historical people. The pastor didn't want to make waves, so he avoided the issue.

Barker says, "This was were it donned on me that there were other Christians with other points of view."

He was conflicted, because he had believed the Bible to be the infallible, inspired Word of God. However, he decided to accept the fact that people see things differently and have different points of view on the Bible. He concluded that it is more important to just find common ground of agreement and "what really matters is how we live our Christian life."

He said he didn't want to "come across like a know-it-all, or black or white absolutist."

Tolerance and relativism.

Many truths. Who am I to question someone else's truth?

He says the teaching of being hot or cold--- spit out of the Lord's mouth if we are lukewarm, as taught in Revelation, was also a problem for him, "When in fact most Christians live their lives in the gray areas."

But "most Christians" is not the model by which we define Christianity. Christianity is defined by Jesus Christ. We've got to keep our eyes on Him, not "most Christians," or anyone else.

Barker says he evaluated the stories of the Bible. "We all know," he says, "that the teaching of the prodigal son is a parable. Jesus taught in parables or made up stories, not actual stories.

Consequently, he concluded that Adam and Eve were also parables.

At first he says he thought he was "maturing" in his Christian faith. As a result, he saw his sermons begin to change. The emphasis was no longer about heaven, hell, sin redemption, righteous and eternal life; but was about how to have a happy life.

"Finally," Barker says, "I got to the end of that four or five year process" and was convinced that the prodigal son, Adam and Eve and the other accounts and characters were all a metaphor.

He says that once some Christian ministers get to that point, they continue to preach from their pulpits, proclaiming a liberal message, "But I realized ...the whole thing was a story...with no basis in evidence or argument or even coherent definition."

"God Himself," he concludes, "is a literary character who was invented by the Israelites, then later by the Christians to tell an important moral story about human nature."

Finally, in the mid 1980's he says he concluded, "I guess I don't believe in that being anymore."

I wonder why, if one is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that God does not exist, does one work so very, very hard to invalidate someone who doesn't exist?

Dan Barker and his wife Laurie Gaylor, co-founders of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, hosted the organization's 36th annual national convention last week in Madison Wisconsin.

They awarded Dan Savage, founder of "It Gets Better," a homosexual outreach to kids, their 'Emperor Has No Clothes Award" for his outspoken criticism of religion.

This is the story of one man's "migration" into deception.

Much can be taken from his story, in fact his explanation raises more questions than it provides answers.

One thing is clear. Deception is incremental.

The conversation Eve had with the serpent was an "evolving" discussion, with her conclusion, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate the fruit" (Gen. 3:13).

Paul expressed concern for New Testament Christians writing, "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ" (II Corinthians 11:3).

In the same letter, Paul wrote, " Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light..." (v. 14).

Relativism is Satan's "angel of light" act for this generation. "Tolerance" is its vehicle.

We live in a sea of deception today.

I Timothy 4:1 is pretty direct. "The Spirit clearly says that in latter times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."

I'm talking a little more about this on the radio today, live at 9 AM PDT and rebroadcast at 7:30 PM PDT. Here's how you may listen from anywhere in the world.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.


  1. It's amazing how many people start off questioning the authority of the Word based on... their own opinions. As if the opinion of one cog in a small wheel of the Divine plan is somehow able to trump, by sheer nature of its volition to disbelieve, the legacy and historicity and divine work of Scripture and God. It is the ultimate trade between subservience to a Holy and Merciful creator and the desire to elevate one's self to a position.

    The real test is whether he can survive mortality. If he can't, then I can conclude with 100% accuracy that this ex-Christian, if he ever was one to begin with, will discover all too sadly that he wasn't in fact a God, or a judge of one, after all...

    1. Why is it "amazing" that people question the authority of the Word based on "their own opinions," but not "amazing" that they put faith in the authority of the Word based on -- yes – “their own opinions”?

      Why do you believe we are “cogs” in a small wheel of the divine plan? Likely because you grew up in a family or culture where the belief was prevalent. You learned it or were exposed to it through your family or culture despite the fact you never receive proof or anything similar of God’s existence. Blind faith.

      Your beliefs put you in this hamster-wheel of circular reasoning: You can’t question the existence of God because you’re just a small cog in his divine plan. Yet, if there’s no God, you’re not a small cog in anyone’s plan, so you CAN question God’s existence. Which is it?

      I find it “amazing” that people equate blind faith to fact. God just exists because that’s what I’ve been taught. Our religious leaders tell us that questioning this supposed fact is the work of Satan -- a pretty handy way to keep people from really exploring this issue. Be afraid, don’t think.

      Billions on this planet grow up in cultures where they are never exposed to Christianity. It’s highly unlikely that an individual who happened to be born in Turkey, or Thailand, or Japan, or India will become a Christian. Are all these people destined to hell? Travel the world a bit and you start to see how unlikely it is to believe that Christianity – or any religion – is truth.

    2. 1:11

      Yes, the 'truth' is that almost all of these devout christians would be devout muslims had they been born on a different continent. Their need for a controlling religion has more to do with their brain wiring than anything else.

    3. I guess that's why there are devout Christians in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, etc. See, it doesn't matter where one is born, if they seek Jesus Christ, they will find him.

      I wasn't raised in a Christian home at all, for most of my life I did what I darn well pleased regardless of the consequences.

      Then I met the risen Christ! I thought, this is too good to be true.....I'm a sceptic at heart, so I did the due diligence, studied the Scriptures .....looked at the hard science behind it. The archeology, mathematics, history, logic and guess what?

      I found that the proverb which states "the fool says in his heart there is no God" to be true.

      So much for blind faith.

      Craig in Lacey

    4. There will always be exceptions to the norm, but you need to look at percentages of population.

      Your family may not have been christian, but it was the predominant religion around you. After reading your posts, Craig, I have no doubt that you would have been among the most radical muslims. Your brain seems to be just wired that way. You dismiss hard evidence in favor of faith, and you lock onto that faith unquestioningly, regardless of new information. It's called blind faith, and fortunately adherents are declining in number and influence.

    5. New information? Enlighten us please....... The Bible is still the most thoroughly documented book in history,bar none! The hard evidence points to the truth that Jesus of Nazareth was precisely who he claimed to be His enemies, the Pharisees and Sadduces couldn't deny the miracles he performed in front of thousands of people, including themselves. He appeared to over 500 people after his resurection, many others were raised as well and were seen walking around.

      If this was not so, his enemies would have pounced on the opportunity to discredit the Scriptural accounts. Where are they?

      Jesus' birth in Betheham was predicted to the day, hundreds of years before he was born. Dismiss hard evidence? Hardly, as I said, I'm a sceptic at heart. Due diligence to find the truth led me to Christ, as it will anyone who truly seeks it.

      Lock onto that faith? You better believe I did, the "just shall live by faith"

      Blind faith is believing in something you can neither prove or see, like atheism. Good luck with that, stock up on ice: ) Or maybe you just believe in the latest favor of the month? Won't save you either..

      You seem to be willingly ignorant 9:07, that's very sad and extremely dangerous,............

      Eternity is a long time to think about what you should have done...

      I'll pray for you, bro..... maybe, just maybe, you'll heed Jesus' call upon your heart......... Sshhhhhhhhh! LISTEN!

      Craig in Lacey


    1. Thank you for illustrating my point of using the fear of Satan as a deterrent to doubt.

    2. I do believe in God and I also believe that God has given us brains with an intellect that far exceeds that of other beings on earth. I would find it impossible to believe that God would give us such a great mind and then not want us to use it. Science, with deep rigor, did not come into existence until the 1500-1600's. The various chapters of the Bible were written long before that. I do not believe that the Bible teaches science -- it teaches faith, religion (a way of living). It needs to be understood within the context of the age, the period of time that it was written in. One of the best explanations of the Adam/Eve Genesis account is found online, Barron-comments-on-Misreading-Genesis

      Yes, it's the Catholic way. But we do not discount science, nor the God-given gift of a mind. At the very least, if you listen to his short explanation, you might find it stimulates you to think more on this topic. Agree. Disagree. All is fine. It's apathy that is the problem. I encourage you to take a minute to listen. (It's not evangelization at all!)


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