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OMG! Dr. David Tee Has Challenged Me to a Street Fight

kangaroos boxing

Dr. David Tee, whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen, is upset at me, so much so that he has challenged me to a street fight. 🤣

Thiessen has written five posts about me in the past week. Think of all the subjects he could write on, yet he is obsessed with what I say on this blog, becoming more hysterical with every post he writes. I fear he is going to have a stroke or hire a Christian hitman to kill me if he doesn’t change the channel.

I can’t stop him from raging against Bruce Almighty. I can either ignore — which I typically do — or rebut his nonsense. I’m in a rebut mood, so Thiessen can expect me to respond to him, if warranted. The following excerpt from his blog post, There is One Statement, requires no response. Thoughtful readers will see his post for what it is:

In BG’s [Bruce Gerencser’s] response to our Prove It article we [I] will address [what, exactly?].  It falls right in line with what we [I] were [was] saying in that article:

[Who’s keeping anyone from believing anything? No, what…is afraid of is people learning that he is peddling a lie.]

All we [I] can say in response is PROVE THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IS A LIE. He has failed to do so and has failed to produce any real, credible, and verifiable evidence supporting his assertions and claims.

Put up or shut up BG [Big Gonads]. Your time of reckoning has come. [I am laughing hysterically as I read this.] You have spouted off for 11 years, give or take a year [seventeen years], now it is time to pay the piper and put your ‘evidence’ on the table to be examined by those who are experts in this field. [This doesn’t apply to Thiessen because he’s not an expert on anything other than personal attacks and fallacies.]

Or are you too chicken to show your readers that you can’t do it? [Im still laughing.] Your word is not enough so let’s see what you have that shows the Bible to be in error and that Christ does not exist. [Christ does exist, Derrick. I have never said otherwise. He lived, he died, and is buried in an unknown grave.] Follow the guidelines we [I] posted in our [my] Prove It article. [Dammit, Derrick, quit asking me to expose myself to you. Disgusting, Dude.]

We [I] and the rest of the world are waiting. [The only person waiting is Thiessen. The 5,000 posts I have written on this site speak for themselves.]

{Oh and by the way, while spelling errors may exist, Grammarly and us [I] do not always catch them so give it a rest already}. [Thiessen has repeatedly claimed that Ben Berwick and I have edited his posts, comments, and emails. This, of course, is untrue. This is why I always say that any quotes from Thiessen’s site are his alone, complete with bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I use Grammarly too. It is a good tool, but I still need an editor to proof my writing.]

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Does the Bible Command Parents to Beat Their Children?

dennis the menance being spanked

The Bible speaks, you decide. And please, no revisionists who hilariously say that a “rod” is actually a shepherd’s crook used to gently guide the sheep (children) along.

Video Link

The Bible says:

  • Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3
  • Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Colossians 3:20
  • In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. Proverbs 10:13
  • He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Proverbs 13:24
  • Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15
  • Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13,14
  • A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back. Proverbs 26:3
  • The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Proverbs 29:15
  • My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth, Proverbs 3:11,12
  • If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? Hebrews 12:7-9

These verses are often used to justify the brutal, violent beating of children and teenagers. God demands obedience, and children who refuse to obey should be beaten into submission. Through the centuries, countless Christian parents have used paddles, whips, hairbrushes, books, belts, extension cords, or anything else that was handy, to beat their children. Better to beat them than lose them to the Devil, right?

spanking

Most of us who were once Bible-believing, sin-hating, devil-chasing Evangelical literalists now see that our disciplinary methods were abusive, cruel, and ineffective. It’s hard to look back at how we disciplined our children as “unto the Lord” and not feel regret and shame. I know that’s how it is for me.

I was a stern taskmaster. I believed the Bible laid out the pattern I had to follow IF there was to be any hope of my children turning out well. I can now say that my children turned out well DESPITE the whippings I gave them. Their love, respect, and forgiveness overwhelm me. I don’t deserve it.

They know I was just doing what I thought God commanded me to do, but knowing that I inflicted unnecessary pain on my children is heartbreaking. I am often asked if I think all spanking — which is actually beating — is child abuse. In general, yes I do. I think there are better ways to discipline children than by hitting them. While I make some allowance for slapping a toddler’s hand now and again, I do not think hitting, punching, or slapping a child is the best way to get them to obey or conform.

Yes, the Bible says ___________________, and we who desire to live in a less violent world must be willing to say that the Bible is w-r-o-n-g. The authors of the Bible likely reflected the way children were disciplined during their time, but we have come to the place where we now know that beating children, for whatever reason, is not only unproductive, it is also abusive.

spanking with belt

If you are a parent with young children, how do you discipline your children? I am an old man, the product of a bygone era, an era when violence against children was the rule and not the exception. If we truly want to live nonviolent lives, it must begin with our treatment of those who are innocent, weak, and vulnerable. If you had to give discipline advice to a young father or mother, what would you tell them? Please share your advice in the comment section.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Dr. David Tee Continues to Rage Against Bruce Gerencser, Demanding He Shut Up

dr david tee's library
Dr. David Tee’s Massive Library

Dr. David Tee, whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen, is on a downhill roll lately, complaining, bitching, whining, and raging about me and my British friend Ben Berwick. Today, Thiessen wrote a post titled, Christians Do Not Have to Provide Proof, directly contradicting what the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15: But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

What follows is my response to Thiessen’s post. All spelling, grammar, punctuation, and irrationality in the original.

The unbelieving world is always demanding that Christians prove their faith is true.

I have NEVER asked a Christian to “prove their faith is true.” Faith, by its very nature, is beyond investigation. However, the claims Christians make can and must be investigated to see if extant evidence justifies, verifies, and bolsters their claims. If Thiessen wants atheists to buy what he is selling, he must provide verifiable evidence for his claims. So far, he refuses to do so, choosing to dismiss, ridicule, and call names instead. According to the Bible, Thiessen’s behavior is inconsistent with the Christian faith.

Yet, that is an arrogant demand as the unbeliever sits in the judgment seat and then tells Christians what is or isn’t proof.

Logic, science, and common sense determine what is and isn’t evidence for Christian claims. (I wish Thiessen would quit using the word proof. Proof is a mathematical term.)

The Christian can never win when this tilted playing field is used. Christian scientists have spent decades providing scientific proof, Christian archaeologists and astronomers have done the same, and so have many other researchers.

If Christian scientists have provided persuasive evidence for Thiessen’s claims, I haven’t seen it. If said evidence is what Thiessen says it is, why don’t Evangelical scientists show their work by publishing in reputable journals? Thiessen, a Bible literalist, believes the universe was created in six literal twenty-four-hour days, 6,027 years ago. Everything science tells us about the universe and our biological world says these claims are false. Thiessen demands “proof” from atheists, yet fails to offer persuasive evidence for his “scientific” claims apart from saying, “The Bible says.” According to him, the Bible — as interpreted by him — is inerrant and infallible, the ultimate authority and final answer to every question. This position, of course, is absurd. Sadly, Thiessen wants to argue science claims by appealing to faith. This may work with like-minded believers who accept his presuppositions, but will get him laughed out of the room by scientists and skeptics.

For the most part, the unbeliever just sits there, denies the evidence, and continues on their merry yet sin-loving way. The Christian has to learn that we do not dance to the unbeliever’s tune. What they demand doesn’t matter to us.

Thiessen’s peccadilloes are well known. A man who abandoned his family (including a child) and fled the United States to avoid paying child support, is in no position to lecture anyone on morality.

Of course what unbelievers “demand” matters to Thiessen. He has spent the past three years blogging about unbelievers, namely Bruce Gerencser and Ben Berwick. He has written hundreds of posts that directly or indirectly mention us. Yet, instead of engaging intellectually and rationally, Thiessen attacks our character or quotes Bible verses.

Once again, I challenge Thiessen to a public debate on YouTube. Let’s settle these issues once and for all, Derrick.

What matters is what God wants us to do in a given interaction with unbelievers. he knows their hearts and what will or won’t work with the individuals of that people group, so there is no sense jumping to meet the demands of the unbeliever.

Thiessen justifies his boorish behavior and lack of persuasive arguments by saying he’s just “doing what God wants him to do.” How can Thiessen possibly know what God wants him to do? How does he know the voices in his head are “God”?

I’m pleased that Derrick admits my lack of faith is God’s fault; that if God wants to save me, he will provide Evangelical apologists with the requisite tools necessary to bring me to saving faith. I’m dead in trespasses and sin, unable to save myself. My eternal destiny depends on God and Christians. So, I am waiting for God and his representatives on earth to come through. Until then, how about them Cowboys?

We listen to what God wants us to do and present the gospel meeting that instruction. If God does not want us to provide evidence, then we do not. Christians are under no obligation to provide physical evidence to unbelievers.

Evidently, Thiessen’s Bible is missing 1 Peter 3:15: But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

This verse says: Derrick, always be ready to make a defense of your beliefs to Bruce Gerencser, Ben Berwick, and other unbelievers. And do it, not with name-calling and personal attacks, but with gentleness and respect.

Is this not, Derrick, exactly what the B-I-B-L-E says?

If the unbeliever does not accept changed lives as evidence, then there is little hope they will accept evidence from 2000 to 4000 years ago. The Silver Scrolls has been around for 50 years approx., showing that the Bible has not changed since the 7th century BC.

OMG, did Thiessen really say that “the Bible hasn’t changed since the seventh century BCE ( BC and AD are no longer used by academics other than Evangelicals)? I challenge Thiessen to provide actual evidence for this claim. Better yet, this would make an awesome debate topic. Of course, Thiessen will NEVER debate me on this subject. He knows, or should know, anyway, that his claim has no evidentiary basis. And I mean NONE. Thiessen’s claim is contrary to what Evangelical and secular scholars alike tell us about the nature and history of the sixty-six books of the Protestant Christian Bible and its underlying Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts.

Yet, few people accept that as evidence that the Bible is true and not edited. So what do we do with the evidence Christian researchers discover??

Simple. Provide empirical evidence that the Bible is inerrant/infallible (true) and has NEVER been edited. Of course, no such evidence exists. Instead, we know that the Bible is errant and fallible, and has been edited countless times. This is a fact, not a claim, as the relevant academic literature shows. Again, I point to Dr. Bart Ehrman’s bestselling books on the history and nature of the Bible (and I can give Thiessen a list of numerous other Bible scholars and theologians who agree with Ehrman).

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We need to keep the unbelievers honest as they will say anything to hide from the truth. The unbeliever does not have any hidden smoking gun physical evidence proving the Bible false. If you read BG’s response to yesterday’s post, you would have seen that he presents nothing to support his denials.

Sigh. I’m not going to write an academic paper every time a Thiessen gets his pink Victoria’s Secret panties with the days of the week on them in a knot over something I wrote about the Bible. I have covered these issues numerous times over the past seventeen years. Further, I have publicized the work of scholars such as Ehrman, Dr. Dan McClellan, Dr. Kip Davis, Dr. Joshua Bowen, and others — all of whom sport actual PhDs, unlike Thiessen’s unaccredited, diploma mill “doctorate.” I have also publicized debates featuring Matt Dillahunty and Alex O’Connor.

Video Link

Why doesn’t Thiessen ever respond to their work, other than calling them names, belittling them, and asserting, without evidence, that they are wrong? Why are they wrong? They are unbelievers, and, according to Thiessen, unbelievers don’t know anything. Only Christians know the “truth.” (I assume Thiessen only sees and uses Christian doctors, lawyers, dentists, optometrists, auto mechanics, and contractors.)

That is because they have no physical evidence to prove their denials are correct. They have nothing thus they decide to be arrogant and demand Christians to prove their faith is true. Unbelievers are not in charge of what is or isn’t evidence.

Actually, logic, reason, and science determine what is and isn’t evidence. It’s absurd to appeal to an ancient religious text as the foundation and rules for what is evidence. Thiessen has made up his own rules of discourse and intellectual pursuit, demanding everyone play by his rules. He is akin to someone wanting to play poker with the rules for Go Fish. That ain’t going to work.

They would not know the evidence if it hit them in the face.

….

Sure we would, but Thiessen rejects academic consensus, choosing instead to appeal to only Evangelical scholars or those who hold positions roundly dismissed by most Bible scholars, archeologists, and other experts in their relevant fields. It is up to him to empirically show why academic consensus is wrong.

And I am not saying academic consensus is always right. However, since neither Thiessen nor I are scholars, accepting consensus scholarship on any given issue is generally a good idea. As a pastor, I believed that if I came up with an interpretation contrary to academic consensus, I was likely wrong. Thiessen, on the other hand, thinks just because he can read the Bible in English that he is right.

….

Do not cast pearls before swine and have the evidence trampled under their feet. If you do, you may lose what God has provided for you to remain strong in him. You never have to present physical evidence when sharing the gospel with unbelievers.

Again, 1 Peter 3:15 says: But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

Evidently, Thiessen doesn’t believe and practice the whole Bible —only the verses that suit him or justify his beliefs.

….

The men recorded having their lives changed including one who used the Bible to roll his cigarettes and became a Christian when he got to the Gospel of John. Another example is the man who wrote the movie Ben Hur, another was an agnostic doctor, and more.

If the unbeliever cannot accept the fact that Christ changed lives, then it is doubtful they will accept other evidence. Dead men do not change lives, especially millions of them around the world throughout history.

Thiessen refuses to accept the fact that subjective experiences and personal testimonies prove nothing.

Seven million Americans are Mormons. To Derrick, I ask, are their subjective experiences and personal testimonies true? How about those of Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholics, Charismatics, and other religious groups? I know how Thiessen will answer, but let’s see if he will actually expose the absurdity of his claim.

We are ignoring BG’s [Bruce Gerencser’s] response because it is unhinged, irrational, illogical, and unworthy of further comment. He gave up his faith and little can be done for him. Since it is not his faith anymore, he needs to shut up and mind his own business.

He and other atheists and people who left the faith are in no position to demand anything.

I don’t demand anything from Evangelicals (the only true Christians in Thiessen’s book) other than if they make claims and demand I accept them, I want to see evidence for their claims. If you say a virgin-born God-man, who later was executed and resurrected from dead, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, turned tap water into wine, walked on water, walked through walls, teleported from one place to another, and worked so many miracles that all the books in the world, if they were written down, could not contain them, I’m going to want evidence for your claims; the same evidence Thiessen asks Muslims, Mormons, and other non-Evangelicals to provide for their claims. The Bible is not evidence, it is a book of claims. If Thiessen wants unbelievers to accept his Bible claims, he must provide evidence that supports his claims. It’s not enough to say “the Bible says.”

Derrick, I ain’t going away. No matter how many times you call me names, attack my character, or belittle my story, I plan to keep writing until I can physically no longer do so. That could happen soon — I hope not — but until it does, I will continue to share my story and help people who have doubts and questions about Christianity or who have left the faith. Rage against me all you want, Derrick, but I ain’t going away. I suggest you buy some Preparation H for what ails you.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Dr. David Tee Blows a Gasket Over My Latest Post

dr david tee's library
Dr. David Tee’s Massive Library

Dr. David Tee, whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen, recently blew a gasket over my post Never Underestimate the Power of Jesus. Evidently, this post irritated the Hey-Zeus right out of him; so much so that he wanted to swear at me. Instead, he told me to “shut my hole.” Which hole, Derrick, which hole? 🤣

Here’s what Thiessen had to say. All spelling, grammar, punctuation, and irrationality in the original. Comments in brackets are mine:

We [I] get tired of those people who choose not to believe, refuse to believe,, or have walked away from the Christian faith asserting that Jesus is not real. [I’ve never said that Jesus wasn’t a real person. Thiessen knows this, yet he continues to say otherwise.] If you do not want to believe, then shut your holes. [Which hole, Derrick?] It is not your faith and you have no business sticking your nose into the beliefs and reality of Christianity. [Sure, I do. It’s called public discourse. If it’s wrong for me to write about Christianity, it’s wrong for fake Dr. Tee to write about atheism.]

You have no mandate to ‘expose Christianity’ because everything about the Christian faith and God is already exposed and has been known for 2000 years. [The Canon wasn’t even settled for three centuries. Christianity has always been an evolving religion. Thiessen’s rigid Fundamentalism drives him to irrationally think he believes the exact same things the Apostle Paul did.] You have the freedom to choose, now let those that have chosen to believe the Bible an din Christ enjoy their faith without your unverifiable, unprovable, and unsubstantiated subjective claims. [Who’s keeping anyone from believing anything? No, what Thiessen is afraid of is people learning that he is peddling a lie.]

What put us in this less than tactful mood [or this is why I’m being an asshole] is a post by BG [Bruce Gerencser] who makes those same claims yet refuses to produce one shred of credible, verifiable, provable physical evidence.

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Prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Just saying that people die and stay dead is not proof or evidence. [Sure, it is. Everyone dies, Jesus included.] It is an assertion that has no basis in reality. [Reality shows everyone dies. No need to make an assertion.] Prove the resurrection is false using science on Jesus’s body, grave, and grave clothes, and not on anyone else. [Please provide the body of Jesus, along with his grave clothes and the location of his grave, and we will do so. Of course, Thiessen can provide none of these things. His evidence for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? The Bible says so. Color me unimpressed.]

However, we know that Jesus rose from the dead because of the millions of changed lives that have taken place since his resurrection. You do not get those change dives from believing in a dead person who did not rise. [The size of a religion proves nothing. Catholicism, Islam, and Buddhism have numbers much larger than Thiessen’s peculiar brand of Christianity. Using Thiessen’s logic, this means these religions are true.]

We have the evidence for his resurrection in those millions of lives, what does BG [Bruce Gerencser] or other atheists have? They need to present their own evidence that Jesus did not change those lives and not simply create some fanciful explanation not supported by real physical evidence. [Thiessen is living proof that Christ does not change lives. So are others just like him who despise and demean anyone who believes differently from them.]

….

We [I] call BG [Bruce Gerencser] to provide credible, verifiable, and real physical evidence that the accounts talking about Jesus are myths. Just because myths and legends exist, does it mean that those biblical accounts are myths. [The Bible is a book of claims. Until the Thiessens of the world provide empirical evidence for these claims, that all they are — claims.]

BG [Bruce Gerencser] and other atheists cannot just point to secular myths and claim that because these myths exist, the biblical accounts are myths. [I have never done this.] 3Nor can they simply point to the fact science cannot prove those accounts.

Science is not designed to study the supernatural and is disqualified from use. [No one suggested otherwise.] Plus, science cannot determine what really took place in the past because it cannot see into the past to see what did take place. [Thiessen can’t see back to the beginning of time, yet he feels qualified to do so anyway. He wants one set of rules for atheists, and another for himself.]

Come up with something else. [Okay, I think the designated hitter rule should be banned.] The fact that millions of people are believing the same accounts without alterations is proof that the biblical accounts are not myths. Do millions and millions of people believe that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and other superheroes exist? 

They follow the comics but does their belief bring those imaginary characters to life? Do those imaginary characters get involved with real human lives and change them forever while granting them special gifts and paradise to live in when they die? [Again, these are claims for which Thiessen provides no evidence other than “The Bible says so.”

Not one superhero has offered eternal life to anyone who believes they exist.[Fine, I Bruce Almighty offer eternal life to everyone who sends me $1.] Plus, not one superhero has changed one life and rescued humans from sin. However, Jesus has which is why millions of people believe in him. [Why didn’t he change your life, Derrick? Your tree is barren.]

Plus, Jesus does not need anyone to believe in him to exist. He exists even if no one wrote about him. But BG [Bruce Gerencser] and other atheists need to provide the proof that the biblical accounts are myths first. [This is presuppositionalism at its worst. No argument can pierce the ignorance.]

….

This is head-in-the-sand thinking which does not provide any evidence to their validity. All it does is show the lack of rational and logical thought on the part of BG [Bruce Gerencser] and other atheists. Bring [where should I deliver it?] verifiable and credible physical evidence that there is no evidence supporting the Bible, its instruction, and its historical foundation.

….

BG [Bruce Gerencser] needs to prove that Jesus was not there during those times [when my in-laws suffered tragedy.]. just because the results were not what BG [Bruce Gerencser] wanted to see does not mean Jesus was not there. [Ah yes, a Jesus who is “there” yet is invisible.] He needs to bring credible, verifiable, and real physical evidence proving Jesus abandoned them and other Christians.

….

BG [Big Gonads] needs to prove that Jesus is fraudulent. Appealing to other unbelievers is not evidence nor is it proof. Ehrman does not have the truth nor does any unbeliever so what good would reading their books do? Nothing.

BG [Ball Grabber] needs to prove with credible, verifiable physical evidence that Erhman has the truth and Jesus is a fraud. Too many people who have experienced Jesus know better. If he does not have the proof, then his claims are false.

The atheist and other unbelievers have made extraordinary claims about Jesus, God, the Bible, and Christianity thus the onus is on them to provide credible, verifiable, and real physical evidence to show they are correct.

if they do not, then they need to shut up and mind their own business.

….

BG [Bruce Gerencser] and MM [Ben Berwick] whine and complain about our using those initials and not ‘referencing’ their websites. [Yes, we ask you to follow Internet guidelines for using the material of others. Instead, you steal our content and refuse to properly link to our sites. Seventeen years, Derrick, and you are the only blogger who behaves this way towards me.] But both people have acted in a horrendous manner towards us[me] that they [I] lost our [my] respect for them and their decisions. [And I don’t care. What I wish you would do is move on to someone else to harass and molest. Three years, Derrick, and you are still blogging about me several times a week. I offered to send you a nude picture of me if that would put an end to your unhealthy obsession with me. It’s icky, Dude. I’m not gay. Please stop.]

The above-quoted beliefs of one atheist [Bruce Gerencser[ just make it harder to respect them and their wishes. If they do not like how we [I] do things on OUR [MY] website, they can shut up. [The post Thiessen is upset about has nothing to do with him.] Just like they need to shut up about how bad Christianity and Christians are. [If Thiessen wants atheists to stop pointing out bad Christian behavior, I suggest believers try harder. You know, stop being Assholes for Jesus. I predict Thiessen will write a post defending child molester Robert Morris. Thiessen has yet to meet a child molester he couldn’t defend.]

They have no proof to support their denials and positions so they need to talk about other things, not Christianity. [Okay, let’s talk about penis size.] The last words [You will never say another word?] are to them BRING your verifiable, credible, and real physical evidence, or never say another word about Christianity again. [Sure Derrick, sure.🤣]

Faith and the Chair

dog in a chair

I suspect that most of us who were raised in Evangelical Christianity have heard the faith/chair analogy. If you have not heard it before:

Faith is like deciding to sit in a chair. You don’t know that the chair will hold you, yet by faith you believe it will, so you sit down in the chair.

Quite deep theology there, brethren.

Here’s the problem with this analogy: sitting in a chair does not require faith. Let me explain it this way. I am a big man, so making sure a chair will withstand my considerable ass sitting in it requires me to use the scientific method of inquiry.

Before I ever sit in a chair, I ask myself, does this chair LOOK like it will hold me? Now looks aren’t enough, as I learned several years ago at a Toledo Olive Garden. After the hostess brought us to our table, I glanced at the chair and quickly sat down. Except I didn’t make it all the way down. As I started to put my weight on the chair, it kicked out from me and I landed flat on my back in the middle of Olive Garden. I hit my head on the cement floor and could not get up. The manager came running in to make sure I was all right. The only injury was to my pride. So, was the chair defective? Not at all. The chair had casters and I didn’t see them. As I started to sit down, the chair rolled out from underneath me and I fell. Because I didn’t pay attention to the construction of the chair, I ended up on the cement floor. This is what having faith in the chair got me.

Most of the time, when we go out to eat, I carefully check not only the construction of the chair, but the ingress and egress. As a disabled man, I want to know the lay of the land. Where’s the bathroom, can I easily walk to it? As far as the chair is concerned, I rock the chair back and forth and side to side, making sure it is solid, and I press on the seat, making sure it will hold me. I have been to more than one restaurant where I’ve had to ask for a different chair lest the one they wanted me to use leaves me on the floor. The only thing worse than a chair breaking is the embarrassment that comes from it (though my editor suggests that getting injured would be worse).

Using the scientific method, I test a chair to make sure it will hold me. After I have done so, and it passes the tests, I feel confident that the chair will support my 6-foot, 310-pound body. I have been a big man most of my adult life, and this method of determining chairworthiness has never failed me. The only time I have ever had a chair break is when I “faithed” it.

The faith/chair analogy breaks down in another way, because the chair is an inanimate object that I can see and touch. God can not be seen or touched, and believing in God requires blind faith.

This is one of the reasons I am an atheist. I see no evidence for the Christian God. Believing in such a deity requires faith, a faith I do not have. For me, seeing is believing, and I do not “see” the Christian God.

Hebrews 11:1,3 states:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

What is Christian faith?

  • The substance of things hoped for
  • The evidence of things not seen

Perhaps the wording of the NIV will make it clearer:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Many Evangelicals get upset when someone suggests that their faith is a blind faith. But isn’t that exactly how Hebrews defines faith: believing without seeing; that faith is the proof of belief in that which can not be seen?

Creationists would do well to read Hebrews 11 the next time they try to scientifically “prove” creationism. Hebrews 11 makes it clear that believing God created the universe requires faith. It requires faith to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence for the formation of the universe, earth, and life. Creationists embarrass themselves and besmirch their religion when they try to make creationism fit into a scientific box. And when their efforts fail, what do they do? They retreat to the safety of faith, a place they should have stayed to start with.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Never Underestimate the Power of Jesus

there is power in the name of jesus

Often, atheists and agnostics grossly underestimate the power of Jesus. I am sure that some of you are already thinking or saying out loud, Bruce, are you nuts? Have you renounced atheism and become a follower of Jesus again? We don’t underestimate the power of Jesus because he doesn’t exist. End of story!

But he does exist, and I think many atheists and agnostics forget this. In our desire to rid the world of the damaging effects of religion, we often forget that Jesus is alive and well.

Now, the Jesus who is alive and well is not an actual, physical living human being, and neither is he an actual, physical God or Son of God. The Jesus who was born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago is dead. The Jesus who, for thirty-three years, walked the roads of Palestine, is dead. The Jesus spoken of in the Bible is dead. We know that dead people do not come back from the grave. We know that once a person is dead, he stays dead. Jesus is dead, and there is no chance that he is coming back from the grave.

But, Jesus is alive and well in the myths and beliefs of millions and millions of Christians. In the mythical Jesus, people find comfort, meaning, and hope. In the mythical Jesus, people find what they think is lacking in their lives, and quite frankly atheists and agnostics don’t have much to offer in comparison to what Jesus can offer a person.

But, Bruce, believing in Jesus is irrational. Believing in Jesus is as rational as believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. Totally correct, but this doesn’t matter.

When suffering and loss come our way, our rationality often doesn’t do us much good. When our lives are in a heap of ashes, knowing the evidence for God not existing does nothing to comfort us. When we are struggling to keep from drowning, the books written by Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris, provide no help. All our rational, well-thought-out arguments do little for us when we are at those moments in life where the most precious thing to us is our next breath.

In these times, we look for comfort and hope. We look to those who love us and who are willing to do anything for us. In these times, our intellectual prowess does not matter. What we desperately want and need is a hand to hold on to, someone who will tell us it is going to be all right.

But, Bruce, shit happens and we are all going to die in the end. Atheists and agnostics don’t need sentimentality. Surely, we can face what comes our way with a rugged resolve, knowing we are right. Perhaps.

But is knowing we are right the most important thing? Is drawing our last breath knowing we were right about religion, God, Jesus, and the Bible really the grand objective?

Forget for a moment what you know about the Bible. Forget what you know about its teachings. If you were once a Christian, forget your experience in the church. Think for a moment about the essence of the Christian religion. What is the one thing that matters more than anything else? What is the one thing that allows millions of people to live in a state of cognitive dissonance? What is the one thing that allows Christians to shut off all the criticisms of Christianity and allows them to continue believing?

One word . . . Jesus.

The mythical Jesus, the Jesus of legend, the Jesus that is preached in countless Christian churches all over the world, this Jesus is the one thing that matters above all else.

Why is this? What is it about this Jesus for whom millions of people will abandon rational thinking? There is no evidence for what the Bible teaches on most anything. Few of the events in the Bible have any historical foundation. Why does Jesus have such power over people?

Jesus offers salvation. Jesus offers friendship, love, and compassion. Countless drug addicts and alcoholics have abandoned their addictions because of Jesus. Gang members have forsaken their violent ways, and thieves have turned to gainful means of employment, all because of Jesus. Only the most hardheaded and blind among atheists and agnostics would deny the fact that, for millions of people, Jesus makes a qualitative difference in their lives.

In Jesus, millions of people find meaning, purpose, and direction. In Jesus, they find the necessary strength to suffer and die. This Jesus promised never to leave them or forsake them, and no matter how hard we try to show that Jesus is AWOL in the lives of Christians, they still believe he is that friend who sticks closer than a brother.

I am sure there is some psychological or neurological explanation for why this is so, but such explanations have little value. People believe what they believe, and that is all that matters.

My wife’s parents were almost 85 years old when they died. When they died, I mourned their deaths. I loved them dearly. I grieved over the loss of two people I knew most of my adult life. Good people. Loving people. Caring people. And yes, devout Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) Christians.

They believed that Jesus was with them through thick and thin. Jesus was their faithful guide. According to them, Jesus worked countless miracles for them. To them, Jesus was as much a part of their lives as the air they breathe.

I could point out to them all the times that Jesus wasn’t there for them. Where was Jesus when they miscarried? Where was Jesus when their daughter was killed in a motorcycle accident? Their lives were filled with countless examples of Jesus leaving them for dead along the side of the road. He seemed to always be around when they needed a hundred dollars, but nowhere to be found when faced with job loss, economic troubles, or sickness. Yet, they still steadfastly believed.

Was it my place to expose their fraudulent Jesus? Was it my place to point out all the times when their friend Jesus was no friend? Perhaps I should have bought them Bart Ehrman’s books for Christmas so they could know the truth about the Bible and Jesus. But why would I want to do this? Would their lives have been better without Jesus?

I can’t think of any way their lives would have been better without their mythical best friend. Their whole existence was invested in him, and they trusted Jesus to be there when they were dying, to carry them home to their reward in Heaven.

None of this is true, BUT it doesn’t matter.

All that matters is what Jesus meant to them, and what value he added to their lives. If this Jesus gave their lives meaning, purpose, and direction, I have no reason to disabuse them of their beliefs. If this Jesus gave them peace and comfort . . . who was I to take that away from them?

Sometimes, we atheists and agnostics, in our zeal to rid the world of the evil of Christian Fundamentalism, forget that most Christians are not theocrats trying to take over America. They have sincerely held beliefs and, for them, Jesus adds value to their lives. Yes, we must battle Christian Fundamentalists who want to turn the United States into a Christian theocracy. Yes, we must battle attempts to teach creationism as science in public schools. Yes, we must battle attempts to codify Christian morals and ethics as the law of the land. We must battle all attempts to lessen the individual freedom we have to believe or not believe. But, beyond these things, it is not our place to rid the world of beliefs we think are silly or anti-intellectual.

We must remember, those of us who are writers, that the Evangelical Christians who come to our blogs to debate, evangelize, and attack are not typical believers. Zealots and apologists deserve all that we give them, and I have little tolerance for such people. But . . . I must never forget that most Christians are not Bible thumpers. Most Christians are like my wife’s parents — people who love Jesus and want to live a good life.

All of us want a life that has meaning and purpose. We want to be loved, and we want to know our lives matter. In the end, we all die, and we will soon be forgotten by all but those who loved us. Let’s be careful in our zeal to rid the world of all the evils associated with religion, that we don’t lose those we love, and that we don’t trade being “right” for those who will be there for us when we draw our last breath.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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How My IFB Upbringing Kept Me From Having Fun

its fun being saved bob harrington

My religious lineage goes something like this: Christian, Protestant, Evangelical, and Baptist. Depending on your point in my story, my lineage also includes self-identifiers such as Calvinist, Reformed/Sovereign Grace Baptist, non-cessationist, Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB), Southern Baptist, and non-denominational. The first thirty years of my life were spent in the IFB church movement.

IFB believers are known for Bible literalism, inerrancy, and infallibility. IFB pastors and congregations are particularly known for their “Biblical” rules, regulations, and church standards. These standards govern virtually every aspect of life. Believers are taught to not fellowship with unbelievers and to abstain from the very appearance of evil. The “world” — everyone except IFB Christians — is the enemy, one that must be fought and vanquished every moment of every day — month in, month out, year in, and year out. Life is preparation for the world to come (Amos 3:3). IFB adherents are reminded weekly by their pastors of the sins of the flesh and how dangerous the unregenerate world really is. Self-esteem is deemed a sin, and giving in to carnal lusts and desires brings the chastisement of God.

Ask an IFB Christian what he does for fun, and he will likely list church-related, Jesus-focused, Bible-approved practices and experiences. As an IFB pastor, I planned all sorts of fun church activities: bowling, canoeing, roller skating, lock-ins, camping trips, hiking, and dinners, along with numerous promotional events used to draw large crowds to church. We had “fun,” but never apart from the centrality of the gospel and preaching. We NEVER had fun for fun’s sake. Jesus was at the center of, or lurking nearby, everything we did as a church.

Spending three decades in this sort of religious environment caused all sorts of psychological harm. Outside of our family attending dirt track races in the 1980s and 1990s, we rarely did anything “fun” that didn’t include Jesus and/or church. My partner, Polly, and I have six adult children. We took lots of road trips with our children loaded up in the back of a beat-up station wagon. While we saw all sorts of new things and had lots of fun, there was always a religious component. I would look for a church for us to visit while we were traveling, or better yet where I could do the preaching. There were eight people in our family, but Jesus always traveled with us, making sure we stayed on the straight and narrow while away from the prying eyes of other Christians.

Last Saturday, Polly and I attended a dance recital for two of our granddaughters. We had a delightful time. As I sat there watching my granddaughters do tap and ballet, I pondered how I would have viewed their performances if I were still an IFB pastor. I likely wouldn’t have even attended the recital. Why? I considered ALL dancing a sin. Worse, the dancers wore skimpy, sexually suggestive clothing — even the preschoolers. The dance routines were all performed to “worldly” music — even wicked, evil, vile rock-and-roll songs. ABSTAIN, BRUCE, ABSTAIN!

Several weekends ago, Polly and I discussed how different life would have been for us and our family had we remained Evangelicals; had I remained a pastor. I suspect we would have fractured, strained relationships with our children and grandchildren — especially if they weren’t Christians. Fundamentalism demands your all . . . all to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give, the hymn goes. Duty and obedience demanded surrendering “fun for fun’s sake” for the sake of the gospel. For IFB Christians, fun will wait till they reach Heaven. Until then, “fun” is what wicked, sinful worldlings do instead of going to church three or more times a week.

These days, Polly and I have fun because we can — no strings attached. Some of our fun is sinful, or runs contrary to our IFB upbringing. Southern Baptist evangelist, the late Bob Harrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street, preached a famous sermon titled “It’s Fun Being Saved.” (Please see Evangelist Bob Harrington: It’s Fun Being Saved.) Maybe I need to preach a sermon “It’s Fun Being a Godless Heathen.” When I compare my former IFB life to that of my present life as an atheist and a humanist, the here-and-now wins hands down. We no longer have to measure our behavior by the Bible or the teachings of our peculiar sect or the personal proclivities of our pastor (me). We are free to do what we want.

Ask former Evangelicals what they gained by deconverting, and they will say: FREEDOM. Freedom to live life on their own terms. Freedom to have fun and enjoy life without fear of offending God, the pastor, or the church.

How has your view of “fun” changed since you deconverted or left the IFB church movement? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Dr. David Tee Pontificates on the 2024 Presidential Election

dr david tee's library
Dr. David Tee’s Massive Library

By Dr. David Tee, whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen, TheologyArcheology: A Site for the Glory of God, Who Are They Going to Vote For, Then?

Everyone and his dog knows that Mr. Trump faced nothing but kangaroo courts and those verdicts are ludicrous. There was no justice in those trials and it was widely advertised that they would get Mr. Trump. That is not how the law is supposed to work yet in his case, that is how it went.

If there is anyone Christians should not be voting for it is Mr. Biden and the rest of the democrats. They are the party that supports sin and evil, calling them good and right, as well as normal and no Christian in their right mind can vote for such policies or people.

We have also seen the Democrats abuse and ignore the nation’s laws to fulfill their agendas. This is the point of why shaming Christians for removing their support from Mr. Trump. The opposition knows that it is the Christian block that can make or break an election and the democrats are doing everything in their power to ensure they win the election.

If they do win the election, say good-bye to America as that country needs to be destroyed for the one-world government to take over. Plus, with America out of the way, other nations will destroy their neighbors and too many innocent people will die for no reason other than the democrats want power and control over everything.

Don’t be fooled by the news pundits, the leftist politicians, and others who try to get Christians’ support away from Mr. Trump. It is not wrong for Christians to vote for Mr. Trump nor is it wrong to support his candidacy.

There is no perfect candidate in this race and there are no better ones to vote for. Mr. Trump has already proven how good he would be as president as we have his first 4 years providing us the evidence we need to see that he will do a good job.

Biden has failed in his four years and he is senile now. No one can vote for him as he is not qualified to be president. It is an embarrassment to see him led around by his wife. He is the leader of the strongest nation in the world yet he is not capable of walking under his own direction.

That is embarrassing and pitiful. Make your own choices for whom to vote and make sure you select wisely as your security and safety are at stake.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Challenging Christian Bloggers On Their Own Turf by Neil Robinson

i am right

Guest post by Neil Robinson. Neil blogs at Rejecting Jesus.

Is it ever reasonable for non-believers to comment on Christian blog sites? I know Bruce compares it with turning up at a church service and arguing with the preacher, and a recent comment on Debunking Christianity described it as ‘bad manners’. But are there circumstances where it’s reasonable to do it?

Can I suggest a couple of scenarios where it might be? I should declare first that I rarely comment on Christian sites – I have a life to live, after all – and have, I’d guess, done so no more than a dozen times in the past three or four years. This hasn’t been to promote atheism, but to counter the ignorance and intolerance of some Evangelical sites.

So here are my thoughts on when it’s okay to stray over to the dark side and engage with its denizens. First, is when True Believers arrive on my site and tell me, usually in no uncertain terms,  where I’m wrong. This is often for the same few reasons that are directed at Bruce: I don’t know the Bible well enough; I misinterpret it; I don’t know Jesus the way they do; I was never really a Christian. Having batted these ad hominems around for a while, some commenters decide there’s nothing for it but to recommend posts of their own. They provide links to their blogs that will set me and my reader straight. Now and then (but not always) I’ll take a look at and, if appropriate, comment on what they’ve written. After all, they have specifically invited me round to their place; I haven’t gate-crashed, they wanted me to visit so they could enlighten me. I have, as a result, the right to reply, to let them know they haven’t. I don’t, as a rule, argue theology or push any particular ideology, but I have been moved to point out that the Bible is open to multiple interpretations and theirs (or, I suspect, their minister’s) involves a considerable degree of cherry-picking to make it compatible with their orthodoxy. Of course, they have the right, and the means, not to publish my comment if it upsets them too much.

Second, Facebook’s algorithm – and that of other social media sites presumably — is fond of finding extreme Christian sites to add my much-neglected page. Invariably I delete these and tell the algorithm I want to see fewer posts of this sort. It complies for a short while before it decides I really do need to know that Jesus is my friend or that I’m headed straight to hell. (Honestly, you write a few articles that mention Jesus and God and the entire Internet thinks you want to become an Evangelical.) Now and then, and rather more frequently than I’d prefer, the nuttier sites that pop up announce that atheists have no basis for morality and are shaking their collective fist at God who’s feeling mighty wrathful about it. Alternatively, these sites find the need to headline the scourge of homosexuality, which likewise is bringing the Western world, and more specifically America, to the verge of destruction. Now I happen to be both an atheist and a homosexual (I don’t have any trouble with this word despite its use by some as a slur). I feel that, as sites disparaging either atheists, gays, or both have intruded on my FB page, it is again perfectly appropriate for me to respond, which, every few years, I do. Prejudiced, ill-informed, hateful opinions about me and my kind, be they atheist or gay, need to be challenged. These bloggers’ claims that their anti-atheist, anti-LGBT rhetoric is a ‘ministry’ or a demonstration of love are disingenuous. They are nothing of the sort.

So I suggest to these bloggers that they are wrong. I like, also, to remind them that their Saviour commands them to love their neighbours as themselves and to love and pray for their enemies, to which they invariably reply, ‘even the devil can quote scripture’. I have been known to point out too that Jesus expects them to feed the hungry, help the needy, and care for those less fortunate and that sitting at a computer for hours at a time, trashing non-believers and ‘sodomites’ (I do object to that one) isn’t what he had in mind.

Am I wasting my time? Almost certainly, but I can’t stand by as ‘loving’ Christians judge me, and others like me, as fit only for hell – and sometimes for more worrying, tangible fates in the real world.

Commenting on Christian blogs is not always for the faint-hearted, nor is it something I’d advocate. Many don’t even allow comments, so certain are they that they’re right. Occasionally, however – a couple of times a year – I feel compelled to counter the attacks on others.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser