This is an older story from This American Life. It’s about an up-and-coming pastor of a megachurch in [Oklahoma*] who started to think a little too much about his Christian beliefs. He started thinking some of the same thoughts that I did — if Christianity is true, then billions of people will not only go to hell, but will go to hell without even a chance to hear about the Christian religious that “could have saved them”. It’s really an ugly situation. Of course, if you think a little too much about Christianity, you can start to see problem after problem. I guess that was my problem – I was a bright kid who thought a little too much about my religion, I refused to sweep the problems under the rug, and was always honest with myself.
This particular pastor (Carlton Pearson) talks about his break with the evangelical, fundamentalist movement because it just seemed like an ugly, broken system unworthy of a loving God. I came to the conclusion that God didn’t exist or didn’t care – somewhere between agnosticism and atheism. He, on the other hand, maintained his belief in God, but thinks that everyone goes to heaven. That belief made him a heretic in the eyes of the evangelical movement. Pastors (many of them nationally known) and people around him stopped talking to him as a result. It’s really a fascinating story.
Full 1-hour program:
* Thanks, NewTrollObserver, for the correction.