When vlogger and pastor of the Virtual Deaf Church stopped posting sermons online, followers began posting messages asking why there have been no updates. Justin Vollmar surprised his followers in his response, where he announced his decision to become an athiest after encountering a "profound, wonderful change" in his life, in a video via YouTube.
Vollmar, the former deaf pastor who preached his sermons using sign language, created a new vlog to explain why he stopped posting sermons. In the video, he denounced Christianity and God, signaling that "Jesus is not the Son of God" and is merely a theoretical concept.
He briefly uncovers the reasons why he converted to atheism. The process in becoming an atheist was not an overnight revelation, he said, rather a cumulation of "four long years" where he struggled with many contradictions he found in the Bible and the Christian religion that have left him "incomplete."
Enrolling in a Master's of Arts program in Theology, Vollmar began to study the Bible profusely and discovered many contradictions against God and the Word. He accused the church of failing to preach the roots of the Bible and settled with teaching only minor "basic information."
"I was exposed to many criticisms against the belief in God." he said. "After studying theology and philosophy, I realized the Bible was not the word of God."
Vollmar briefly expressed his new beliefs. His transition to atheism includes the belief that the Holy Spirit doesn't exist and that the foundation of Christianity, the resurrection of Christ from the dead, never happened. He "completely denied" Jesus' birth of a virgin and that the Word of God is not inspirational or "God-breathed." Ultimately, his dissatisfactions with answers in his research about the Bible and God would lead him to encounter atheism, which he described as a "mind-blowing experience."
While most of the comments left on Vollmar's video were commending Vollmar's change of heart, he said in the video that the "explosive" reactions were about equal, where Christians were devastated and skeptics and athiests were delighted. He has received hundreds of negative comments and e-mails from the Christians and hundreds of positive comments and e-mails from the skeptics.
While the story has made headlines in CNN and other publications, Christian deaf celebrity Sue Thomas gave an alternative yet powerful defense of God's existence through her own life transformation after coming to know the true nature of who God is. Her testimony offers insights to the struggles that a deaf person or any one with disabilities may face. But it also stands contrary to that of Vollmar's abrupt "realizations."
Thomas, 64, who was the first deaf person to ever work as an undercover FBI investigator, told The Christian Post in an interview that she was blindsided by Vollmar's decision to publicly renounce Jesus and wants the deaf community to know that God is real.
Thomas recounted her journey which began from having this rage towards God for her deafness, questioning God that He makes mistakes. This rage eventually caused her to leave behind her FBI job to search for the answer at Columbia Bible College and Seminary in South Carolina, known today as Columbia International University. It was there 30 years ago that she "met God and wrestled. He won."
"That is a story in itself, a story of lies, of deceit, and living in it until I loathed my life and became physically ill," she said. "God's hand was heavy on me." Yet God gave her a spiritual healing, she said, as the college was praying for her physical healing.
When she turned 35, Thomas experienced a transformation, where her hatred and bitterness over her deafness were completely overturned to not just acceptance, but the embracing of what she once despised.
This happened, she said, when she finally surrendered her all and truly repented and came to the foot of the cross in "brokeness and shame."
Thomas realized that the silence that came from her deafness would become her best friend. "It is only in the silence we truly hear the still small voice of God. The silence will teach us, if we listen."
Her story did not end at the cross, but it began there, she said. Her story of the first deaf undercover FBI investigator was made into a TV series, "Sue Thomas: FBEye" that aired from 2002 to 2005, and sydicated throughotu 65 nations around the world.
Although afflicted with multiple sclerosis, she now travels around the world "proclaiming the one and living God who makes no mistakes."
After reading the coverage on Vollmar, Thomas said her heart is saddened, and she could not remain silent on this issue.
"Will CNN not rather seek the miracles of life for which much has been given or will they, too, be deaf, and be dead to those who are alive?" she said.
Addressing Vollmar, Thomas gives the following response:
"The deaf man screams that there is no God. Well, he never knew Him. He is spiritually dead and He is deaf as a stone to the voice of a living God."
"I can attest that God does speak in a voice that even the deaf can hear, if they will listen."