Justin Vollmar, a pastor who has been heading the Virtual Deaf Church online for the last four years shocked his followers by declaring he is an atheist on February 7. In his blunt and bold YouTube video, he renounced Christian teachings, the existence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus being the son of God and his mother being a virgin at the time of his birth. He also said God is an illusion and Christianity is all nonsense.
“This may shock you completely. Yes, I have become an atheist. Atheism mean[s] I believe that there is no God. Yes, God is just an illusion or theological concept. Jesus is not the son of God, he did not rise from the dead nor is he born of virgin mother. I completely deny those… There is no such thing as the Holy Spirit. Word of God is not an inspired God-breathed book. Church is completely men's invention. All I believed previously as a Christian has been turned upside,” Vollmar said.
He reportedly reached his decision “after a long and mighty struggle” while attending a Masters of Arts program in theology. He explained how the clarity he sought resulted in a “profound and wonderful change” in his life.
“My mind just completely shifted to the other side. So my integrity did not permit me to continue,” he said of his de-conversion.
Since his declaration, Vollmar has joined the Clergy Project, which is a confidential community of 556 preachers who no longer have faith in God. However, some of the members still continue to be leaders of Christian congregations.
There is “no God,” asserted Vollmar near the end of the video, “It is all nonsense.”
Many atheists have praised Vollmar for his act of bravery and honesty though his decision also sparked a moral debate online.