LOS ANGELES (CNN) – A former California pastor who lost everything at the beginning of 2014 is now getting help from an unexpected group, atheists.
Ryan Bell, 42, decided that he wanted to see how atheists view the world and would ‘give up God’ for 12 months.
Bell’s idea for the experiment was sparked last March, when he was asked to resign as the pastor of a Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Hollywood.
He said his liberal views, including his support for gays and lesbians in the church, clashed with others views.
So, he decided that he would create a blog and see whether or not a difference of views from traditional churches was to blame for some people becoming atheists.
He decided that he would live as an atheist for the next 12 months.
During that time, he wouldn’t pray, go to church or read the Bible.
Bell said, “I’m on this, in this space where I’m not a pastor anymore and was given some freedom and space to think about questions that I’ve had for a long time about the Bible and religion and faith. And I just decided to spend a year really exploring the other side of the coin.”
His decision has already cost him two jobs.
When he began to worry about how he would support his two daughters with no job, an atheist blogger came to his aid.
The blogger set up an online fundraiser to help with some of his bills.
In just one day, nearly 1,900 people donated more than $19,000 to help.