“The Revelation” is a documentary that explores the struggles of pastors who remain in the pulpit, but are now atheists.
What if being who you are
meant losing everything you had?
There are people who live everyday with a secret that threatens their relationships, their careers, and their self-worth.
These individuals face an uncertain future, knowing that if they 'come out' they will be labeled as evil, or a sinner, or even an agent of satan!
Feeling isolated with no one to trust, they are at a crossroads of choosing a life that meets the expectations of others or being true to their own beliefs. They are pastors and ministers, preachers and priests who chose a life of ministry but are now atheists - preaching a gospel they no longer believe.
"The Revelation" is a documentary that explores the trials of pastors who remain in the pulpit, yet yearn for a way out. Risking the love of their family, the faith of their followers, and the career they've dedicated their life for. These clergy allow us to record their journey as they reveal their true selves - will it be a personal Revelation or a public Armageddon?
I want to make a documentary that explores the fundamental question - can we be who we really are? For hundreds of clergy in churches that range from Baptist to Unitarian Universalists, from Mormon to Jewish, there are individuals who have abandoned their faith yet remain in the pulpit or in positions of church leadership. The journey to non-belief has been a painful path for most as they continue to wrestle with the consequences of their new realizations.
If these clergy talk openly and honestly about their atheism, they risk the loss of everyone in their lives, from family and dearest friends, to their congregations and a society that labels them as liars and hypocrites.
Having devoted most of their lives to serving the church, most do not have marketable skills to pursue other employment or ways to maintain a living.
For some, they remain out of necessity and fear, living a life they know is a lie. For others, they are secretly working on an ‘exit strategy’ to transition out of their current role. For all of them, they find themselves at a crossroad of being true to their beliefs or holding onto a doctrine they no longer trust.
“The Revelation” will document the lives of clergy as they struggle with the ‘coming out process’ of revealing they are atheists.
“I am an atheist,” says “Jack,” a Southern Baptist with more than 20 years in ministry.
“I spent the majority of my life believing and pursuing this religious faith, Christianity,” Jack said. “And to get to this point in my life, I just don’t feel like I believe anymore.”
“The more I read the Bible, the more questions I had. The more things didn’t make sense to me — what it said — and the more things didn’t add up.”
Jack said that 10 years ago, he started to feel his faith slipping away. He grew bothered by inconsistencies regarding the last days of Jesus’ life, what he described as the improbability of stories like “Noah’s Ark” and by attitudes expressed in the Bible regarding women and their place in the world.
“Reading the Bible is what led me not to believe in God,” he said.
Jack said that his secret left him feeling isolated but that he would certainly lose a lot of friends when he professed to no longer being a Christian. His wife doesn’t know and he said it was possible he could lose her as well.
The idea for the documentary was born when I first heard a podcast concerning “The Clergy Project”, an online support community for clergy who have now become atheists. I related to their stories of inner-conflict, shame, and fear as they talk about their personal revelations of non-belief. Having been an evangelical fundamentalist in my youth, I had years of wrestling with faith and reason, a 20 year evolution from being ‘on fire for Jesus’, to agnostic, and ultimately to atheist. I knew their inner torment personally. Although I was never a pastor, although I had applied to bible colleges with the desire to be a missionary, I understood the joy and the sorrow of the journey to non-belief. It is a path that many people travel, from all religious affiliations, and much like coming out as gay, it is an experience that is filled with feelings of being the only one in the world to have this experience. It is my goal that “The Revelation” will not only tell the stories of these remarkable individuals, but also offer hope for countless others all over the world by showing them they are not alone.
How your contribution will be used.
Crew, equipment rental, travel/transportation, and post production costs.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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