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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Coach Dave Daubenmire Exposes His Racism For All to See

dave daubenmire

I am proud to be white.

….

But I am proud to be white and no matter how much you try to shame me you will not be able to make me recant. Beat me with a stick, ridicule me in public, email me all kinds of hateful comments, but you will not stop me from being proud of who I am.

It is like the story I heard about the young kindergartner who pinched his fellow classmate in a dispute.

“Tommy,” the teacher scolded. “You apologize and return to your seat.”

“OK Mrs. Jones, I’ll sit down. But I am still standing up on the inside!!”

Well, I am still proud on the inside. No matter how “racist” you say that I am.

Proud does not mean superior. Being proud of my heritage does not make me a racist…or a bigot…or a hater.

I am a proud nationalist. I think that our government should put the needs and the interests of Americans first. I didn’t realize that being a nationalist required identification with skin color. I hope all blacks are nationalists. I hope all Chinese are nationalists. I pray all Christians are nationalists. The fact that I happen to be Caucasian should not exclude me from being proud.

….

Racism is a made-up ideology.

….

I am proud of what I have done. I am proud of what I have overcome. I am proud of my heritage. Can someone please explain to me why that makes me a racist? Would everyone feel better if I were ashamed of being white? Sorry Chief. I ain’t gonna do it.

I’m proud of my heritage. I am proud to be white.

— Dave Daubenmire, Pass the Salt, I’m Proud to be White, August 27, 2017

The attack that’s going on in America today is against the white, heterosexual male. That’s the battle. If Satan can get control of the family, if they can get the white, heterosexual male removed from the scene, if they can get him ‘de-balled,’ if I will, if they can do that, there is nothing to hold back the forces of darkness in America.

It’s not racist, it’s the truth.

— Dave Daubenmire, YouTube Video, May 26, 2016

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Should a Christian black family be able to be in relationship with a Christian white family? Of course. Should a Christian American family be able to be in relation with an Asian Christian family? Of course. Does it require intermixing?

Today, interracial marriage would be considered honorable, when 40 years ago it would have been considered a disgrace,” he said. Now is it a disgrace or is it honorable? Has the mixing of culture been good for America or has it been bad? Is America stronger today than we were 40 years ago or are we weaker today? And could it be are we weaker today because multiculturalism is spiritual AIDS and has brought an infection into what was once a great Christian American culture?

— Dave Daubenmire, YouTube video, October 17, 2017

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Let me just lay it out there, because most people won’t say it because they don’t want to sound racist. Prince Harry’s wife is half-black. Now, wait a minute. That ain’t that royal bloodline lineage there, is it fellas? Isn’t there a little bit of mixed blood coming in there?

Did you see who performed the service? Was it the Bishop of Canterbury or some official WASPy guy? Was it? Did I miss something? Or did we see the ultimate—umm, how do I say this?—a blending of the races; one new world order, one-world government, the blending of the [races] in the House of Windsor coming together for the first time.

I’m going to tell you something, if there was any chance that Harry was ever going to be King of England, do you think they really would have let him just choose any woman he wanted? Of course not. So what’s the message that is being sent to us? … Is it a psy op that now, all of a sudden, sixth to the throne, he ain’t never going to be king, now it’s okay for the crown to be diverse?

— Dave Daubenmire, YouTube video, May 21, 2018

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And yet, Daubenmire still insists he is not a racist. Sorry, Coach, but if it walks, talks, and acts like a racist, it is a racist.

Thanks to Right Wing Watch for their recent article on Daubenmire’s racist beliefs.

Black Collar Crime: IFB Preacher Cameron Giovanelli Accused of Sexual Assault

cameron giovanelli

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Cameron Giovanelli, the president of Golden State Baptist College — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution operated by Pastor Jack Trieber and North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, stands accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a church teenager when he was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, Maryland. As of the writing of this post, no criminal charges have been filed. Giovanelli’s name has been scrubbed from Golden State’s website.

On May 11, 2018, the victim, Sarah Jackson, posted the following on Facebook:

sarah jackson facebook

Stacey Shiflett, the current pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, Maryland — the church Giovanellli pastored when he allegedly assaulted Jackson — released the following video:

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There’s much about this video that irritates the living hell out of me, especially the fact that the pastor “investigated” instead of immediately calling law enforcement. If the allegations against Giovanelli are true, then he sexually assaulted a minor girl while he was in a position of authority over her. This action, in most states, is criminal. I also don’t like the fact that the pastor used the word “consensual” in describing the relationship between Giovanelli and the victim. Again, in most states, the relationship, legally, could not have been consensual. And the general IFB verbiage about ministry, loyalty, and the appeal to authority and personal experience, were, at least to me, unnecessary.  I do give Shiflett credit for one thing: he was willing to publicly call out Cameron Giovanelli, Jack Trieber, and Golden State Baptist College. Kudos for speaking the truth and letting the shit land where it may. Shiflett says in public what many of us have known for years: the IFB church movement tends to cover-up criminal behavior out of fear of damaging their “testimony.”  Here’s to hoping that the light that Shiflett turned on the IFB movement will lead to the exposure of other sexual predators who have been hiding in plain sight for years.

Update

I received an email from Pastor Shiflett about this post. He clarified his use of the word consensual and shared with me that his investigation was for his own peace of mind since Giovanelli was a friend and the former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. He made it very clear that if such things happen at his church to a minor, it is immediately reported to law enforcement.  Shiflett, as you can imagine, has received a flood of emails, comments, etc. Most pastors would not do what he did, so he deserves a lot of credit for doing the right thing. That said, it should continue to trouble everyone that way too many pastors are either sexual predators/abusers or they go to great lengths to cover-up misconduct in their churches. Imagine how much better it might be for sexual abuse victims if their pastors not only listened to them but acted morally, ethically, decently, and responsibly on their behalf. Instead, abuse victims are often told to shut-up or are blamed for what happened. It is for this reason, that I continue to post Black Collar Crime stories, regardless of the threats and abuse hurled my way. Why? It’s the right thing to do.  I know this blog has high traffic numbers, and leveraging this traffic to expose alleged sexual abuse seems, at least to me, to be something I can and must do. On this point, I stand with Pastor Shiflett.

Golden State Baptist College released the following statement:

It has come to our attention that allegations of inappropriate conduct have been made against Cameron Giovanelli, a member of our staff. Upon receipt of the notice of the allegations, we immediately placed him on administrative leave of all activities and responsibilities, to conduct a thorough and honest investigation. During the course of that investigation, Cameron Giovanelli tendered his resignation to the ministry and his resignation has been accepted. All responsibilities of any nature whatsoever, were permanently and immediately terminated with receipt of his resignation. There were no allegations of wrongdoing of any nature that involved the ministries of North Valley Baptist Church or Golden State Baptist College. Please keep our ministry, the Giovanelli family and all others involved in your prayers.

Catch-All Bible Verses: Is the Human Body the Temple of the Christian God?

fat preacher

Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preachers love to preach on “sin.” Thanks to their extra-Biblical rules and personal interpretations of the Bible, these preachers often have long lists of behaviors that are deemed “sinful.”  No two preachers have the same sin list. Many IFB preachers believe it is a sin for women to wear pants, while other preachers believe it is okay as long as the pants aren’t form-fitting. The same could be said about whether it is a sin for men to have long hair, mustaches, or beards. Here’s one thing I know: take any behavior humans practice and it is likely you will find an IFB preacher somewhere who believes that behavior is a horrific sin against his version of the Christian God. (see An Independent Baptist Hate List and The Official Independent Baptist Rulebook)

IFB preachers are big on having “proof” for their beliefs. I attended and pastored IFB churches well into my late 30s, and I said and heard preachers say countless times, The BIBLE says or GOD says . . . These anti-sin crusaders are adept at molesting the Bible, grooming it so it will comply with their every authoritarian, controlling wish. Being raised in such an abusive environment conditions people in such a way that they believe the abuse is normal; that whatever the preacher says is true, straight from the mouth of God.

Take Ephesians 4:27; six little words that IFB preachers turn into rants against a plethora of behaviors they deem sinful. The verse says, neither give place to the devil. In other words, don’t let the devil gain access, influence, or control your life. Seems pretty straight forward advice for people who believe there’s a devil and hosts of demons walking to and fro on the earth, seeking whom they may devour — as the Bible says in I Peter 5:8. Unfortunately, however, many IFB preachers use this verse as a jumping off point, launching themselves into slobbery shouts against behaviors they deem to be “giving place to the devil.” Years ago, I heard a notable preacher at a pastor’s conference in Columbus, Ohio, preach on Ephesians 4:27. He made no attempt to exegete the text, nor did he pay any attention to its context. He had a truckload of axes he needed to grind, so after reading these six little words, he launched into a forty-minute sermon that labeled numerous human behavior sinful, including attending the wrong college, using the wrong Bible, or fellowshipping with the “wrong” preachers. As was the custom at such meetings, the preacher of the hour received countless AMEN’S and YOU PREACH IT BROTHER! Never mind the fact that his sermon was thirty seconds of Bible and thirty-nine minutes thirty seconds of bullshit and personal opinion.

Another six-word verse used in the aforementioned way is 1 Thessalonians 5:22. Abstain from all appearance of evil, the inspired, inerrant King James Bible says. These kinds of verses are what I call a catch-all verses, verses meant to cover bad behaviors not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. I played high school basketball. My coaches taught me to avoid doing things during games that looked like fouls. If it looks like a foul, it is a foul, I was told. One of the most irritating moments in a game is to be called for a foul you didn’t commit. I may not have committed the foul, but in the eyes of the official it looked like I did, and that’s all that mattered (I much preferred the no blood, no foul rule of summer playground games). The six words of 1 Thessalonians 5:22 are the IFB version of if it looks like a sin, it is a sin.

For many years — eleven, to be exact — I picked up an older woman at her home and drove her to church. She was legally blind, and was twenty years older than I. She was not in the least attractive — at least to me, anyway. For the five years our church operated a Christian school, I would pick up this woman so she could watch our children while Polly and I taught classes. She was a wonderful, delightful woman who would do anything for us. She was tragically killed a few years back in an automobile accident.

One of the resident Pharisees in the church took issue with me picking up this woman for church. She and her husband even floated a rumor that suggested this woman and I were having an affair. The legs of this rumor were 1 Thessalonians 5:22 — abstain from all appearance of evil. In the minds of accusers, the mere fact that a woman who was not my wife was riding in my car was sufficient grounds to accuse me of impropriety. This type of slander happened several times during the twenty-five years I spent in the ministry. I had many faults, but having affairs was not one of them.

I refused to let such people turn my good works into “sins.” I knew that no matter what I did, someone might consider a certain behavior of mine sinful. Some colleagues of mine were so paranoid about giving the appearance of evil that they, for example, wouldn’t go a movie theater to see a G-rated kid’s movie because the theater also played R-rated movies. And if they happened to be seen by a church member coming out of the theater, why, that person might think they were watching one of the R-rated movies. This same logic applied to renting movies. I knew pastors who wouldn’t frequent a video store lest someone see them and think they were renting movies other than Bambi or Five Mile Creek. One former friend of mine, to this day, won’t eat in restaurants that serve alcohol. Why? Abstain from all appearance of evil. This same man would buy groceries at stores that sold booze and buy gasoline at convenience stores that sold beer and Hustler, but he refused to enter a restaurant that served the devil’s brew. This man loved to eat, especially meat, but because he was so worried about giving the appearance of evil that the best steak he ever ate was a gristle-filled, packing-grade, beat-all-to-shit piece of meat at Ponderosa — or as we in our home called the place, a-pound-of-grossa.

Another pertinent passage is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

According to many IFB preachers, 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 teaches that the bodies of Christians are temples in which God, the Holy Ghost lives. Non-Christians, of course, are empty temples in need of filling. This is another one of those verses that is used as a catch-all. Every IFB preacher has his own list of behaviors that he believes pollute the temple of God. The two biggies? Alcohol and tobacco.

Jesse Morrell, an open air (street preaching) missionary, recently released a two-minute YouTube video about cigar-smoking Calvinists. There’s been a recent trend in Evangelical circles for believers to trim the sharp edges of their social prohibitions. Drinking alcohol and smoking are two “sins” that have now been, in the eyes of some Evangelicals (especially Calvinists), deemed okay for Christians to do. Over the years, I have received numerous emails from Evangelicals wanting to impress me with their “worldliness.” These sinners want me to know that they are NOT like the Evangelicals I write about, that they have the freedom to drink an occasional glass a wine and smoke a stogie. In their minds, these behaviors only become sin when done to excess — with excess never being clearly defined. Evidently, one man’s excess is another man’s let’s party liberty.

Morrell will have none of this. In his mind, any form of smoking is s-i-n, an affront to his God. Every time someone takes a puff on a cigar he is polluting God’s temple and aggravating the Holy Spirit’s asthma. Here’s what he had to say:

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Growing up in the IFB church, I heard a lot of sermons about not polluting the temple of God. Believing that God lived inside — oh where oh were does he live? and surely there’s a sex joke that needs telling about God being inside you — of everyone who was born again, preachers would preach thunderous sermons against drinking alcohol, smoking, or taking illegal drugs. I heard several preachers who even questioned taking prescription drugs, calling on sanctified followers of Jesus to ask themselves, do I really need to take these pills? I knew people who suffered with pain because they refused to take doctor-prescribed pain medications. Fearing addiction, polluting the temple of God, or wanting to show that they could valiantly suffer, these Christians chose to have bodies wracked with pain rather than risk God getting high. (see Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, Dinosaurs, and the Sin of Smoking)

What I found ironic is that many IFB preachers were overweight. Some of them were obese as I now am. These overweight, out-of-shape consumers of way too many fried chicken legs and slices of cherry pie would, using 1 Corinthians 6:19,20, rail against drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes — smoking won’t send you to hell, but it sure will make you smell like you have already been there — while at the same time never mentioning overeating. My explanation of this fact back in my preaching days was simple: virtually every human behavior was a sin, so overeating was the one sin Baptists were going to indulge in without feeling guilty. IFB congregations love their chicken dinners, potlucks, fellowship meals, and numerous other food-focused events. Bless God, beer and Marlboros have never touched their lips, but fat-laden, high-calorie food? Bring me another plate, Sister Maybelle. It’s time to feed the Holy Spirit!

All that this shows, of course, is that the Bible can be used to “prove” anything is a “sin,” and once something has been deemed sinful, IFB preachers feel it their duty to regulate and control human behavior, making sure church members toe the line. Never mind the fact that most of the “sins” IFB preachers preach against are not mentioned in the Bible, or that the some of the behaviors now deemed sinful were practiced by none other than Jesus himself two thousand years ago. Yes siree, Bob, Jesus drank wine. I bet the man, the myth and the legend even over-indulged a time or two, or fifty. That’s a Biblical and historical fact, yet some IFB preachers will go to great lengths to prove that Jesus drank Welch’s grape juice, and not fermented wine. The Bible speaks of Jesus hanging out with sinners, but he brought a juice box so he didn’t have to drink Boone’s Farm, right? Such is the logic found in many IFB churches.

It is said that Baptist Fundamentalism is no fun and all mental. Sadly, this line accurately describes what goes on in many IFB churches. Imagine being immersed in such a culture your entire life and then one day waking up and realizing you were in a cult. That describes my wife and me. Polly was in her forties before she ever wore pants. We lived in Yuma, Arizona, at the time. One day, we were at Target and I suggested to Polly that she buy a pair of capri pants. Why, you would have thought I had asked her to strip and run naked through the store! After a bit of mental strong-arming, I convinced Polly to “sin.” No lightning from heaven, no being struck dead by the Evangelical God. Polly survived, and now it’s to the point where I say, it would sure be nice to see you in a dress every once in a while. Of course, I used to dress up when I went out in public; you know the whole having-a-“good”-testimony-before-the-world thing, but one day I “discovered” blue jeans and t-shirts. The rest, as they say, is history. These days, we will, several times a year, dress up and go out on a date. I will even wear dress shoes and a tie!

Polly and I faced many such conflicts once we began moving away from Fundamentalism. The list of things we first started doing in our forties and fifties is long: drinking alcohol, watching R-rated movies, going to the movies, listening to secular music, and expanding our sexual practices, to name a few. Every “sin” abandoned brought first a sense of guilt, and then relief. For Polly and me, we are, in many ways, experiencing for the first time things that normal people experienced as teenagers or young adults. Our only regret is that we waited this long to enjoy life. Well, that and wishing we had young bodies to enjoy the “sins” of our late-in-life teenage years.

This post has now passed the two-thousand-word mark, so it’s time for me to stop circling the runway and land this plane. Please share in the comment section your own experiences growing up in IFB/Evangelical churches. What were “sins” back in the day that you now heartily and lustily commit?

Note

Two other catch-all verses came to mind as I was landing the plane:

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. (Luke 17:2)

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven 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. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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Evangelical Man Upset That I Didn’t Show Reverence and Respect for the Bible

bible made me an atheist

I recently had a brief comment section discussion with an Evangelical man about the Bible. I posed some questions to him that I thought would challenge his beliefs, but instead of answering them, he replied:

The words you use to speak about the Bible are far away from ‘adult level’ as you demand /expect in your blog policy from others.

I will not respond to your statements anymore. Not that there is not enough things to address but I will not communicate on such a demeaning language level and rather use my time differently.

What did I say that proved to so offensive to this believer? Here’s what transpired (all grammatical errors in the original text):

Ronny: While it seems on the surface you are doing a good job defeating christianity, when one knows enough Bible it becomes evident that you are not right. Lets just say for example that ‘Christians live like the rest of us’. Which so called Christians did you get to know? Yes Christians sin acc. to 1 John. But they sin less and less as they grow in their faith. A REAL Christian IS different from the world. Those that you describe fall into the category of Mt 7. There is more to respond to you but my tram arrives in one minute so I say goodbye.

Bruce: The neat thing about the Bible is that it can be used to prove virtually anything. Actually 1 John says that those who sin are of the devil. Are Christians, then, of the devil?

The definition of what a REAL Christian is varies from sect to sect, church to church, and believer to believer. What makes you right and other Christians wrong? Why should anyone accept your peculiar interpretation over that of anyone else?

My observations about Christianity are both specific and general. I was a pastor for twenty-five years. I pastored a lot of people and knew many of their secrets. I stand by my observations.

Thank you for commenting.

Ronny: I am a bit surprised that you let me comment actually. I thought because I mentioned scripture that my response would have been deleted because of your policy. But how can we talk about christianity and not use bible verses acc. your policy…

Anyhow there is much to comment but if I e.g. take your statement that those people are of the devil – you have to look at the greek. And isnt poio/prasso speaking of a habitual lifestyle? And even if I am wrong here because I am not the biggest scholar, we ought to always take the full counsel of God and not one verse.

And I understand that you got to know many professing Christians, my point is that ‘many will say to me Lord Lord’ Mt7, and ‘broad is the way’ – people who profess Jesus but look like the world (James…) dont posess faith. And it saddens me that Gods name is put down because of such people. The fruit of the Spirit IS, yes, and it is seen in people like Paul, Jesus, John, and people of our day as well if you not just look for any professing people but Christians who do not play a game but take God and faith seriously.

I hope people who read this will not judge Christinity acc. to the majority of Christians who only are believers by name and not lifestyle.

Bruce: So let me see if I understand your argument:

1. We need to understand Biblical Greek to properly interpret the Bible; that the indwelling of the Spirit is not — contrary to what the Bible says — sufficient to teach and guide believers in truth.

2. The verses in question cannot mean what I say they do because they contradict your interpretation of other verses and don’t fit in your theological box.

3. And even if the verses mean what I say they do, they are talking about habitual sin, not one-off or infrequent sins. At what point does behavior become habitual? Using your logic, if a man only murders one person, that’s okay since it’s not “habitual.” Of course, the Bible says no murderers will inherit the kingdom of God. The Bible says the same about adulterers. Thus, anyone who divorces and remarries and anyone who lustfully looks at a woman won’t inherit the kingdom of God. The Bible is a real bitch, Ronny. By all means, dance your way out of the plain/rational interpretations and conclusions of the aforementioned verses.

4. You are a true Christian. The people I knew — numbering in the thousands weren’t true Christians. How convenient.

Do you sin? How often do you sin? How many sins does a habit make? The Bible says, be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Are you perfect?

As with all Christians, you have taken the Bible and shaped it into proof for the veracity of your beliefs and lifestyle. You are a true Christian. Why? Because your peculiar interpretation of the Bible says you are. Again, how convenient.

Here’s what I know. I took my faith seriously. I spent much of my life trying to live according to the teachings of the Bible. I was, in every way, a committed follower of Jesus. I was, at the same time, a sinner, yea, even a habitual sinner. The fruit of the Spirit was my goal, one that I never met. I’ve known countless dedicated followers of Jesus. They too strived to live according to the teachings of the Bible. Yet, they failed to measure up to the fruit of the Spirit standard. All these people, according to you, were false believers. Again, how convenient.

Bruce: The policy about Bible verses is the result of Evangelicals beating people over the heads with the Bible or suggesting that the people who frequent this blog haven’t read the Bible or don’t “understand” its teachings. Such behaviors are offensive, so I don’t allow them.

Evangelicals wrongly believe that the Bible is coherent in its presentation of theology and history. The Bible is, in fact, contradictory, often incoherent, and a source of endless debate. If the Bible is God’s Word, he must have been drunk or high when he wrote it.

As I told you previously, the Bible can be used to prove almost anything. For example, I assume you have a Trinitarian view of God. I can take Genesis 1-3 and show that God is not a triune being, that there are, instead, multiple Gods. The awesome thing about no longer being a Christian is that I no longer need to make the Bible fit a certain theological box. I can read the Bible and come to different conclusions than most Evangelicals. What if my interpretation is right? What if the Bible teaches polytheism, not monotheism?

Ronny: The words you use to speak about the Bible are far away from ‘adult level’ as you demand /expect in your blog policy from others.I will not respond to your statements anymore. Not that there is not enough things to address but I will not communicate on such a demeaning language level and rather use my time differently.

So, what did I say that was so offensive? I suppose the line, the Bible is a real bitch might beyond the pale to some Evangelicals, but there’s nothing in my responses that was the least bit offensive. Perhaps, the man didn’t like me suggesting that maybe God was high or drunk when he wrote the Bible (the Bible does say with God ALL things are possible). All I did was give my perspective and ask the commenter questions. What seems far more likely to me is that the commenter could not answer my questions, so he found something to be offended over, and this allowed him — in his mind — to justify ignoring and dismissing my questions.

This leads me, then, to this question: is the Bible worthy of reverence and respect? The short answer is “no.” Why should the Bible be treated differently from other books? Evangelicals have all sorts of rules about the Bible. Some Christians believe it’s a sin to write in the Bible, while other believers make copious notes and underline. In IFB churches, it was not uncommon for children and teenagers to have big-name preachers autograph their Bibles.  My pastor encouraged members to seek out the autographs of men “greatly used by God.” He also told us to record in the front of our Bibles the date, time, and place where we were saved. This way, we would never forget when it was that we were born again.

Some Christians believe it is wrong to put anything on top of the Bible. I attended Trinity Baptist Church in Findlay, Ohio in the 1970s. Teenagers were encouraged to carry their Bibles to school; not under your books, but right on top so everyone could see it. I was one of a handful of a students who displayed my religion for all to see. One day, an acquaintance of mine took my Bible and started a hot potato game with it. Around and around my Bible went, until my classmates finally tired of tossing my Bible around. After a few weeks, I decided to leave my Bible at home. While I was still quite vocal about my beliefs, I didn’t like the attention carrying my Bible brought.

Regardless of what rules they might hold to, most Evangelical revere and respect the Bible. This makes sense, I suppose, when you consider that Evangelicals believe the Bible is an inspired, inerrant, infallible book written by the Christian God. In their minds, the Bible is different from all the other books ever written. It’s a supernatural book written by a supernatural God. Thus, to say anything negative about the Bible is considered offensive.

However, I don’t believe the Bible is a supernatural text. It is, at best, a collection of ancient writings. Its words may at one time have had great significance, but they no longer do today. While the Bible remains a top seller, it is also a book that most people never or rarely read.  Evangelicals base so much of their life on what their pastor says the Bible says, yet few of them have read it from cover to cover. How can someone be a Christian, a Bible-believer, and not completely read through the Bible at least once? If the Bible is so damn important, why do Christians treat it like a museum piece; something to be looked at but not read?

Ronny is not the first person to feign offense as a way to avoid my questions. I know how Evangelicals think about the Bible. I am conversant in all things Evangelical. So, I can quickly distill what it is commenters such as Ronny are trying to say. The Bible remains a book that can be used to prove almost any belief. That’s why there are thousands of Christian sects and thousands of Evangelical churches. Each denomination and church believes that they have the truth, and any “truth” that contradicts theirs is false.

My objective is to point out that their certainty is grounded in arrogance and not facts, and that there are competing and contradictory narratives in the Bible. Within its pages, readers will find multiple Gods and multiple plans of salvation. The Bible is a wonderful book, especially for buffet Christians. Eat what you want, ignore the rest. And all the people of God said, AMEN!

Books by Bart Ehrman

The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

How Jesus Became God : the Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee

Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior

Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them)

Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth

Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question — Why We Suffer

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven 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. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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Is Saving a Horse by Riding a Cowboy a Sin?

save a horse ride a cowboy

Some Evangelicals believe that women should be submissive in every way, including during sex.  For these Neanderthals, the missionary position is the proper, God-approved way to engage in sexual intercourse. No oral sex, no anal sex, no trying out the Kama Sutra, and most certainly no woman on top sexual intercourse. Why? Because when the woman is on top she is in a position of dominance and control. Can’t have that.  Thus, to answer the question posed in the post title: it is indeed a sin to save a horse by riding a cowboy.

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Black Collar Crime: Youth Leader Taylor Martin Accused of Attempted Sexual Assault

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The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Taylor Martin, a youth leader at First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, stands accused of attempted sexual assault and child abuse. The Lincoln Journal Star reports  Martin allegedly kissed a twelve-year-old boy and asked to perform a sex act on the child. The boy refused, and later told his counselor about the incident.  Martin no longer works for the church. He currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Black Collar Crime: Kenneth Rose Accused of Assaulting Girls in Basement of Milan Friends Church

kenneth rose

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Kenneth Rose, a volunteer children’s worker at Milan Friends Church in Milan, Ohio, has been indicted for sexually assaulting two girls in the church’s basement during church functions. The Sandusky Register reports that Rose has been charged with three counts of gross sexual imposition. The assaults allegedly took place on Sundays while the girls’ parents were in others parts of the building.

Black Collar Crime: United Methodist Youth Volunteer John Blaylock Accused of Sexual Abuse

john blaylock

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

John Blaylock, a youth volunteer at a Methodist church in Universal City, Texas, stands accused of  sexually molesting a thirteen-year-old girl. Fox-29 reports that Blaylock told the girl’s mother he planned to give her daughter tennis lessons. Instead, Blaylock allegedly took the girl to Crescent Bend Nature Park and sexually assaulted her. The girl provided investigators a description of a mole near Blaylock’s genitalia.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jack Woodburn Accused of Enticing Teen Girls to Commit Online Sex Acts

jackie jack woodburn

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Jackie “Jack” Woodburn, assistant pastor of Colonial Woods Missionary Church in Port Huron, Michigan, stands accused of enticing teen girls to commit online sex acts. Woodburn, now retired, also directed the church’s Christian counseling center. The Detroit News reports that authorities have identified over fifty victims:

Among the more than 50 victims whom authorities identified was a 13-year-old Texas girl who recalled chatting with someone she met online in 2016 using the handle “JD Walker” and claiming to be a teenager, the document said. He requested sexually explicit photos and asked her to perform similar acts on a web camera, she told officials in an interview.

Identifying Woodburn through his IP address and internet provider, investigators executed a search warrant in February at the 63-year-old’s St. Clair County home. Woodburn said he used the JD name on the website and sought teen girls there, the court filing claims.

One of the two computers that law enforcement seized from his residence revealed at least 70,000 Skype chat messages between “jd windwalker” and others — most appearing to be with minors, including the Texas teen, an FBI special agent wrote.

During an exchange recorded late on April 25, 2016, “jd” ordered the girl to expose and touch herself, the affidavit showed. When a storm cut electricity at Woodburn’s house, she apparently left.

“I’m really bummed out that we lost power….YOU are so very very beautiful and sexy….when you be home tomorrow after you home from school?????” he wrote, according to the message log agents obtained.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Church Members Accused of Unemployment Benefits Scheme

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The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Jerry Gross and his son Jason stand accused of bilking the state out of $150,000 in unemployment benefits. The Citizen Times reports that both men are expected to plead guilty to wire fraud charges. The Gross’s are members of Word of Faith Fellowship Church in Spindale, North Carolina. Authorities are investigating other church members in what could be a scheme cooked up by church founder Jane Whaley to “help” congregants continued to pay their mandated tithes.

The Associated Press reports:

Former congregant Randy Fields had told the AP that his construction company faced potential ruin around 2008 because of the cratering economy, so he pleaded with church leaders to reduce the amount of money he was required to tithe every week.

To his shock, Fields said church founder Jane Whaley proposed a plan that would allow him to continue contributing at least 10 percent of his income to the Word of Faith Fellowship while helping his company survive: He would file fraudulent unemployment claims on behalf of his employees. She called it, he said, “God’s plan.”

The unemployment allegations were uncovered as part of the AP’s ongoing investigation into Word of Faith, which has about 750 congregants in rural North Carolina and a total of nearly 2,000 members in its branches in Brazil and Ghana and its affiliations in Sweden, Scotland and other countries.

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Over the years, church leaders have owned and operated more than two dozen businesses.

Those stories led to investigations in the U.S. and Brazil.

As for the alleged unemployment scheme, interviews with former followers, along with documents reviewed by the AP, indicated at least six companies owned by leaders were involved with filing fraudulent unemployment claims between 2008 and 2013. Most of those businesses’ employees are congregants, the AP found.

The AP reviewed individual checking account records that showed unemployment benefits deposited by the state, along with income tax records summarizing how much money some of the former followers interviewed received annually in such payments.

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The church, of course, denies all of the allegations, stating that the AP articles are meant to incite hate crimes against Word of Faith Fellowship Church.

Previous Article: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Brooke Covington Tries to Beat the Gay Out of a Man

Please read WLOS-13 article titled, New Investigation into Abuse at Word of Faith Fellowship

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Kenneth Butler Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking Charges

pastor kenneth butler

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Last year, three Toledo, Ohio Evangelical pastors were arrested and charged with child sex trafficking. Cordell Jenkins, pastor of Abundant Life Ministries in Toledo, Anthony Haynes, pastor of Greater Life Christian Center in Toledo, and Kenneth Butler, pastor of Kingdom Encounter Family Worship Center in Detroit, all face federal charges that could land them in prison for life. Yesterday, Butler pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seventeen and a half years in prison. It is expected that Haynes and Jenkins will also plead guilty.

Previous articles: Black Collar Crime: Three Toledo, Ohio Evangelical Pastors Indicted on Child Sex Trafficking Charges, Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Cordell Jenkins Accused of Sex Trafficking Children, and Black Collar Crime: Another Toledo Evangelical Pastor, Kenneth Butler, Accused of Sex Trafficking