At an early age, Kevin Wesley was on a mission to find God. When Kevin was three years old, his mother passed away, and he moved in with his grandmother. At the age of 15, Kevin’s grandmother passed away, this forced him to search for answers. Kevin needed God to fill the void that was created by the death of his maternal figures. He couldn’t understand why his mother died so young, why his father wasn’t around, why his grandmother passed away, and why his life was so tough. During Kevin’s struggle to find meaning in his life, he found a church home. His pastor filled the void of his absent father, led him to Christ, and encouraged him to go into the ministry. After Kevin became a youth minister his pastor and father figure died. At the request of the first lady of the church, Kevin assumed the role of co-pastor. Kevin’s intense search for religious and spiritual truth would result in him later doubting his faith. Earlier this year, Kevin Wesley made a Facebook post in which he said “I don’t believe in The Bible or any character in the Bible” (including Jesus Christ). This post went viral and was picked up by various media outlets.
Kevin Wesley isn’t alone in his rejection of Christianity. According to several news outlets, a small but growing number of African Americans are leaving Christianity. In 2016 and 2017, Vice.com published stories entitled ‘Jesus Hasn’t Saved Us’: The Young Black Women Returning to Ancestral Religions and I Left Christianity for an Ancient African Faith. In 2011, The Grio published an article entitled Are Blacks Abandoning Christianity for African Faiths? Below is my interview with ex-pastor Kevin Wesley about his controversial Facebook post, his views on religion, and his views on the holiday season.
Phillips: Why did you decided to post that controversial Facebook post questioning The Bible?
Wesley: I remember this very clearly. Before posting my viral video, I had already been posting about my beliefs and what I had learned from my religious research. Most people would just ignore my posts or wouldn’t comment. In my viral post, I said that “I believe in God but I don’t believe in the Bible or any character in the Bible” and I think that must have hit a nerve for some people. After the video spread throughout the internet, many of my friends, family members, and loved ones couldn’t believe that I was questioning my faith.
I didn’t post this video with the intention of becoming a social media star. At the time, my Facebook page was private and I blocked all of my co-workers from my page. The post went viral because someone stripped the video from my Facebook page and posted it online. After the video went viral, I received several phone calls from people saying that everybody is talking about your video and some people think that your comments were out of line. I didn’t think my comments were out of line and I was ready to challenge anyone with my biblical research if they thought my comments were out of line. Later that afternoon, I received a phone call from my regional manager who asked if my viral video was going to cause a problem with my performance at work. I told my manager that I don’t discuss my religious views at work and I was prepared to work just like any other day. My manager said that he was concerned that someone might try to physically attack me at work or that customers might not want to work with me because of my viral video post. I replied, ‘I’m sure it won’t be a problem’. The next morning, when I arrived at work, I was handed suspension papers stating that I was suspended until further notice. On my drive home, I was shocked and relieved at the same time. Two weeks later, my former employer sent me a letter stating that they were terminating me without any detailed explanation. North Carolina is a right to work state, so we can be fired with or without just cause.
Phillips: Please tell our readers about your religious journey. What led you to Christ and how did you get into the ministry?
Wesley: When I was 3 years old, my mother died and my father was not present in my life. I lived with my grandmother along with 14 other children. Because of my early childhood experiences, I always felt like something was wrong because my life was too hard. I felt like I needed something to give me hope during a time of despair. One day, I was walking near a church and something told me to go inside. The church members were inside talking about how Jesus changed their lives. At the time, I was nine years old and I gave my life to Christ. Afterwards, I regularly attended church and I was there every Sunday. Later on, I started playing the drums in that church. Shortly after I started playing the drums, I left my first church home because my grandmother died. After my grandmother passed away, I was forced to grow up fast and make it on my own. When I was 16, I was living across the street from a church but I wasn’t attending church but I was a Christian who was constantly in prayer. The church across the street was always playing really loud music that sounded good so one day I decided to visit the church. After the worship service, I met the pastor who later became like a father to me. He came into my life at the right time because I didn’t have a male role model. After becoming active in the church, I started working at the church. Several years later, my pastor passed away but his wife didn’t want to close the church. So, she decided to allow several ministers to take turns preaching each Sunday. On every 4th Sunday, I served as the youth minister.
Before I started my own church, I woke up to the truth. My process of waking up began in the church. I became the guy that they didn’t want to talk anymore when I began to figure out that we weren’t practicing Christianity according to The Bible. I would go to church and teach them about pagan holidays and how they aren’t in agreement with biblical teachings. I remember preparing a Sunday message and imagining the impact that it was going to have on people’s lives, only to find out that some people already knew the truth or just didn’t want to hear it. After my Sunday message, one church elder told me that he already knew that many of the Christian holidays were originally pagan holidays. I was offended by the elder because I spent 29 years reading and studying the bible and I had no clue what the word pagan meant until I started doing serious research. I asked the elder “How could you love Jesus and worship pagan holidays? I thought you wanted to be like Christ?” The elder told me that his family left their last church because their pastor didn’t want to celebrate Christmas anymore. The conversation with the church elder taught me a lot and encouraged me to study the bible more and that’s when my faith began to break apart. I don’t celebrate Christmas and most other “so called” Christian holidays because I know that Jesus is not real. I tried really hard. I tried to prove that Jesus was real but Jesus wasn’t even his real name. During the time that people believe that Christ lived, the letter J didn’t exist. The letter J was created about 400 years ago. My big issues with the name Jesus and the letter J is; why would someone change the name of the son of God? After years of research, I learned the Hebrew name for Jesus is Yeshua. My belief in religion fell apart after I found out Jesus’ real name and did research surrounding Jesus’ divinity and the history of Jesus.
Phillips: Did you have an “Aha Moment” before you lost your religion?
Wesley: O Lord, Yes! I can tell you the exact moment. When I was having doubts, I didn’t want to share my doubts with my friends, family, and loved ones. Every day, after work, I would go in my garage and study about religion. I wanted to know the number of different religious group. I found about 4,200 different groups and some experts said more existed. Then I remembered a bible passages that says “a slave who knows what his master requires and doesn’t deliver, he will be beaten with many blows but a slave who does not know what his master require and doesn’t deliver, he will be beaten with few blows.” So, I guess this scripture teaches us that even if you die not knowing that Jesus is God, you still going to be punished, you are still going to hell forever.
But a slave who doesn’t know what his master wants can be beaten according to the word of God. Then, I began to ask myself more questions: Are all the people who never heard of Jesus going to hell? Why would a loving all-knowing God punish people for not knowing? That’s when it really started to hit me, there is no way God wrote this book. That’s the moment when I woke up because I started to think for myself.
Phillips: You said The Bible wasn’t written by God. If The Bible wasn’t written by God, who do you think wrote it?
Wesley: The Bible was written by many authors during different periods of time. My research says about 40 different authors contributed to the Bible. If you view the Bible as the word of God, you are going to have a difficult time objectively researching the Bible. When you move beyond the fear of going to hell for asking questions and thinking for yourself, you will be able to find the origins of The Bible. We are approaching the “holiday season” so let’s talk about Christmas. In the Bible, when it’s describing what most people think is Christmas, it’s really describing astronomy and astrological events. During the biblical times, they didn’t have Smartphones or watches to tell time, they used the Sun and the stars to tell time. Our time pieces are a modern version of a sundial which was used in Egypt to tell time. The Washington Monument is an example of an obelisk. Horus was the Greek name of an Egyptian deity named Heru who had the attributes of the sun and was symbolically the sun. The word hour is derived from Horus which mean where is Horus now? When Europeans conquered Egypt, they borrowed the astrological story of Horus and created Jesus. I know some of your readers might be saying “How can this be truth?” Jesus was born of a virgin mother and Horus was too. Egyptians celebrated Horus’ birthday on December 25th and Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on the same day.
Phillips: What are your thoughts on the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas holiday? According to your research, are Christians supposed to celebrate these holidays?
Wesley: No, if you are a Christian the literature says that you shouldn’t celebrate those days. In Galatians, it says that one cannot walk into the woods, chop down a tree, decorate that tree, and sing songs to it. This is what is referred to as a celebration of paganism and the Bible specifically says not to celebrate pagan holidays. When you celebrate Jesus on December 25th it makes Jesus looks like a pagan sun god. Are you celebrating, the birth of Jesus, Horus, Krishna, or Dionysus? Several pagan gods were born on December 25. The biblical text in Jeremiah 23 says ‘for the customs of the people are vain, one cutteth a tree out of a forest with the hands of a workman and with an axe and they decorate it, they sing songs to it and the Bible tells you that it is vain. Now, this tree is neither good or bad but it becomes an idol when you begin to do this, it was told to them not to celebrate.
Not only are Christians celebrating Jesus’ birthday but they are celebrating it on the day of another man. How would you feel if your woman asked you to celebrate your birthday on the day of her ex-husband or ex-boyfriend? I know you wouldn’t go for that! Church folk know the biblical description of Jesus’ birth doesn’t line up with December 25th but they go spend lots of money buying and decorating a Christmas tree to sing “Oh Christmas Tree” instead of “Oh Jesus”.
Phillips: What advice do you have for people who have doubts their religion?
Wesley: When you start to doubt your religion, that’s when I suggest that you begin to really study. The reason that you have doubt is because your mind is beginning realize that you’ve been lied to and it’s trying to make sense of what you’ve been told to believe. Often times, people are afraid of losing their religion and are afraid of what else they might find if they begin to research. It’s important to be brave and find out what else is out there. If Jesus is real, then you must give your life to Christ, attend church, and give tithes to church. If Jesus isn’t real, then you weren’t born a sinner, you aren’t going to hell, you can stop going to church, and you aren’t required to giving away all your money to the preacher. If any of your readers are having doubts about their religion, I suggest that they explore their doubts. They should consider checking out documentaries like Hidden Colors, watching YouTube videos of Dr. Ray Hagins, and following me on social media.