Why I Hate Jesus

american jesus 2

I don’t hate the flesh and blood Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Palestine, nor do I hate the Jesus found in the pages of the Bible. These Jesuses are relics of the past. I’ll leave it to historians to argue and debate whether these Jesuses were real or fiction. Over the centuries, Christians have created many Jesuses in their own image. This is the essence of Christianity, an ever-evolving religion bearing little resemblance to what it was even a century ago.

The Jesus I hate is the modern, Western Jesus, the American Jesus, the Jesus who has been a part of my life for almost fifty-eight years. The Jesuses of bygone eras have no power to harm me, but the modern Jesus – the Jesus of the three hundred thousand Christian churches that populate every community in America – he has the power to affect my life, hurt my family, and destroy my country.  And I, with a vengeance, hate him.

Over the years, I have had a number of people write me about how the modern Jesus was ruining their marriage. In many instances, the married couple started out in life as believers, and somewhere along the road of life one of them stopped believing. The still-believing spouse can’t or won’t understand why the other spouse no longer believes. They make it clear that Jesus is still very important to them and if forced to choose between their spouse and family, they would choose Jesus. Simply put, they love Jesus more than they love their families.

Sadly, these types of marriages usually fail. A husband or a wife simply cannot compete with Jesus. He is the perfect lover and perfect friend, one who is always there for the believing spouse. This Jesus hears the prayers of the believing spouse and answers them. This Jesus is the BFF of the believing spouse. This Jesus says to the believer, you must choose, me or your spouse. It is this Jesus I hate.

This Jesus cares nothing for the poor, the hungry, or the sick. This Jesus has no interest in poor immigrants or unwed mothers. This Jesus cares for Tim Tebow more than he does a starving girl in Ethiopia. He cares more about who wins a Grammy or ACM Award than he does poverty-stricken Africa having food and clean water. It is this Jesus I hate.

This Jesus is on the side of the culture warriors. This Jesus hates homosexuals and demands they be treated as second class citizens. This Jesus, no matter the circumstance, demands that a woman carry her fetus to term. Child of a rapist, afflicted with a serious birth defect, the product of incest or a one night stand?  It matters not. This Jesus is pro-life. Yet, this same Jesus supports the incarceration of poor young men of color, often for no other crime than trying to survive. This Jesus is so pro-life he encourages American presidents and politicians to slaughter innocent men, women, and children. This Jesus demands certain criminals be put to death by the state, even though the state has legally murdered innocent people. It is this Jesus I hate.

This Jesus drives fancy cars, has palaces and cathedrals, and followers who spare no expense to make his house the best mansion in town. This Jesus loves Rolexes, Lear jets, and expensive suits. This Jesus sees the multitude and turns his back on them, only concerned with those who say and believe “the right things.” It is this Jesus I hate.

This Jesus owns condominiums constructed just for those who believe in him. When they die, he gives them the keys. But, for the rest of humanity, billions of people, this Jesus says no keys for you. I have a special Hitler-like plan for you. To the ovens you go, only unlike the Jews, I plan to give you a special body that allows me to torture you with fire and brimstone forever. It is this Jesus I hate.

It is this Jesus who looks at Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, Universalists, Secularists, Humanists, and Skeptics, and says to them before you were born I made sure you could never be in the group that gets the condominiums when they die. This Jesus says, and it is your fault, sinner man. It is this Jesus who made sure billions of people were born into cultures that worshiped other Gods. It is this Jesus who then says it is their fault they were born at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Too bad, this Jesus says, burn forever in the Lake of Fire. It is this Jesus I hate.

This Jesus divides families, friends, communities, and nations. This Jesus is the means to an end. This Jesus is all about money, power and control. This Jesus subjugates women, tells widows it’s their fault, and ignores the cry of orphans. Everywhere one looks, this Jesus hurts, afflicts, and kills those we love. It is this Jesus I hate. What I can’t understand is why anyone loves this Jesus? Like a clown on a parade route, he throws a few candies towards those who worship him, promising them that a huge pile of candy awaits them when they die. He lets his followers hunger, thirst, and die, yet he tells them it is for their good, that he loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life. This Jesus is all talk, promising the moon and delivering a piece of gravel. Why can’t his followers see this?

Fear me, he tells his followers. I have the keys to life and death. I have the power to make you happy and I have the power to destroy your life. I have the power to take your children, health, and livelihood. I can do these things because I am the biggest, baddest Jesus ever. Fear me and oppress women, immigrants, orphans, homosexuals, and atheists. Refuse my demand and I will rain my judgment down upon your head. But, know that I love you and only want is best for you and yours. It is this Jesus I hate.

Perhaps there is a Jesus somewhere that I could respect, a Jesus who might merit my devotion. For now, all I see is a Jesus who is worthy of derision, mockery, and hate. Yes, hate. It is this Jesus I hate. When the Jesus who genuinely loves humanity and cares for the least of these shows up, let me know. In the meantime, I hate Jesus.

071316

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258 Comments

  1. Aram McLean

    Well said. Jesus sucks.

    Reply
    1. Brian Wozniak

      I agree. The modern Jesus I have met lets my torn ACL that moves my knee cap get banged up, once a day. Lets a jack ass clerk cause me to injure it again. My ACL has been torn for 12 weeks. It’s been sheer agony.

      They Jesus I know lets my younger brothers girlfriend die in a hit and run accident. lets my mothers twin brother be killed in a hit run accident, lets my mother be orphaned and for her to live in multiple foster homes for most of her childhood.

      He lies and says he’ll protect you. While sickos and narcissist attack me in my community.

      The Jesus I know is braggart, and is narcissstic and ego driven.

      He does not protect the innocent from hatred.

      He is a liar and a lunatic. He is not Gods son. He is crazy.

      Reply
      1. Andrew Beltz

        So Bruce admits he is a hater. O.K. He has legitimized hate.

        Now I can tell you Bruce that I hate you, you fat disgusting thing, because you were no good as a pastor and you hurt our family.

        Yes, Bruce, I remember.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          In response to Andrew’s comment, I sent him the following email. Unfortunately, he used a fake email address.

          Andrew,

          Before I post your comment, I would appreciate it if you would elaborate more on the claims made in your comment. I have no recollection of pastoring anyone with the last name Beltz. I see that you currently reside in the Goshen, Kentucky area. I have never lived in Kentucky. Perhaps you moved away from one of the areas I pastored. Which church were you a member of or had a negative experience with me?

          Thank you for taking the time to respond.

          Bruce Gerencser

          Reply
          1. Michael Mock

            Be interesting to see if he responds.

        2. Brian

          Andrew, you speak as a hater and express hatred or is it more pain than hatred? You attack Gerencser’s appearance (bullying and shaming) and then you express your only conclusion, that because he was not good as a pastor he hurt your family. You might want to express a bit more detail or you will remain Andrew Beltz who merely calls somebody names. Gerencser is naming names in this blog and allowing responsibility to be his if that is what is indicated. If you do any reading at all here you will discover that he regrets that he encouraged others to take an extreme stance in belief. Is that how he hurt your family? Did you all become IFB preachers? What do you remember, Andrew?

          Reply
        3. Jane

          Bruce you are a tool used by our arch enemy of this world satan, to ridicule and deceive. There will be a day of reckoning for those that rail against Almighty God. You have the right to disbelieve the creator of the Universe and the precious gift of eternal life made possible by the death and resurrection Of Jesus but to mislead and ridicule the many faithful by the sins of a few is cruel. We all know we are born in sin and are not perfect just forgiven. Those that profess to know it all are fools.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I don’t know it all, but I do know that your God is a mythical being and your Holy Book is an admixture of fact, fiction, error, and contradiction.

            Why is it cruel to tell my story; to point out that what Evangelicals say about the Bible isn’t true; to posit that claims made by Christians about Jesus — virgin birth, resurrection, walking on water, walking through walls, healing blindness with spit and mud — are faith claims that cannot be rationally, intellectually sustained.

            You believe your little sermon here is you preaching the truth. Why am I not permitted to do the same? Surely, Christianity can withstand the words and critique of little ‘ole Bruce, right?

            I’m proud to be called a tool. I only wish I was a big tool. I’m sure my wife would love it if I was a big tool.

          2. GeoffT

            Jane, please explain the following

            “We all know we are born in sin and are not perfect just forgiven.”

            I wasn’t born in sin, nor was anybody else I know. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done lots of bad things since, many of which I’m ashamed, but ‘born’ as though I’ve already done something wrong. I really don’t understand and nor, I suspect, do you.

      2. Zach

        Honestly, do you speak of Jesus or the devil? Jesus never stated that his followers would have a good life. He said, “in this world you will have trouble” Jesus isn’t to blame for the crimes of humanity. Humanity is. Your problems are humanity based and caused.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Ah yes, the Flip Wilson excuse — the Devil made me do it. You totally missed why I wrote this post.

          Reply
          1. Zach

            I wasn’t addressing you there Bruce, apologies for that. The devil made me do it is a terrible argument, yes, and that has zero bearing on my statement. You being a seminary trained study of the book you seemingly despise would very well know that the father of lies can only influence at most (not speaking of all the junk in revelations). That’s not to excuse either that most every person has the fully developed capacity to influence themselves to do terrible things. As I see it, all minds have 2 voices at minimum: the self, and the evil deciever (to borrow from Descartes). I have terrible thoughts pop into my head many days, it could be me, or it could be the evil deciever; at the end of that thought, I have fully ability to act or not act on that thought.

            To address your article: its misguided in my mind because you blame a modern Jesus (jesi to be plural?) instead of the true villains: people. People are who you hate that enact these qualities, not a deity. Just dumbass people misusing a banner of belief to justify their actions (Spanish inquisition anyone?) I won’t stroke your balls as many here are doing because your arguments aren’t compelling, they’re depressingly misguided at best. Or you’re mockingly writing this, I don’t know. Sure, you have a great deal of biblical knowledge and knowledge of the various sects of the belief and their defining divisions, and their arguments, but I don’t see wisdom. I agree with you that mainstream Christians are weak and miserable interpretations of their belief where the outsides are decked in crosses (a symbol of terror and shame in early times and to invert a symbol of terror is somehow modernly demonic?) And the insides of people are as black as ever. I hate that too, but that ain’t Jesus, God, or any deity, that’s a human. Doing things in the name of a deity doesn’t mean a deity is doing it. Hate whatever you wish, but assign blame where it’s due. What has God done to you to make you hate Him? Sounds like you just got sick of the bullshit of ‘christians’ but you yourself never looked inward to see that you have that bullshit inside you too, but it’s easier to point outward than inward.

          2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Of course it is only people since there is no God or Devil. That said, Evangelical say they represent God and speak on his behalf. Thus, I refuse to separate the skunk from his smell.

            I hope you have read the commenting rules. Please leave the psychoanalyzing to my counselor.

      3. Todd

        According to the “Rules” of this blog, the above message should not be approved by Bruce Gerencser; otherwise, it looks like a one-sided set of rules like most of the “churches” you all are whining about.

        If you remember history: Jesus went through an illegal trial and beating by the Jewish Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin; after which, the Romans beat and scourged Jesus then executed him on a tree. and, For what crime was Jesus executed? The sins of the whole world (yours and mine).

        We all can agree that Jesus was a victim who was beaten, abused and killed: So, how is it that any of these “I hate Jesus…” comment are permissible according to “Bruce’s Rules?” Therefore, “Any comment that denigrates abuse victims…will not be approved:”

        smh

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Jesus was not a victim. Everything that happened to him was decreed by God, by Jesus himself. Jesus, as the supposed son of God, could have stopped anything and everything that happened to him. Yet, to portray himself as a helpless martyr he let people abuse and kill him. Not that it was a big deal. After a three day weekend, he came back to life, almost good as new. I’ve suffered more in my life than Jesus has, and I know many other people who can say the same.

          Thus, your comment is without merit. Nice try. Keep on moving down the road. This blog, by the way, is an autocratic kingdom ruled by Bruce Almighty. Maybe you’ve seen my movie.

          Reply
          1. Todd

            Nice try but the “logic” on this site is still “written by man,” hence, it’s about as useful to its readers as the “bible written by man” is to you and your writers.

            Jesus was still a victim, though he allowed himself to be; as evidenced by: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

            “Bruce Almighty”: kinda catchy but the one prudent thing you’ve said on this site was mentioned above: “Keep on moving…” I will follow that counsel and…
            I’ll take heed to what the True Almighty warned:

            “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” and, I definitely don’t want to be like these whiners on this site who are afraid of “a god that doesn’t exist…”

            I really feel sorry for you blokes.

            Later. smh

          2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            No one, I repeat no one, on this site is afraid of your imaginary friend. That would be silly. Why would anyone fear your mythical God?

            All human writings, including the Bible, are written by humans. You are indeed ignorant and uneducated if you ignore the writings of men. That’s all we have by which to educate ourselves.

            I hope you realize quoting the Bible carries no weight here. Many regulars on this site have read the Bible countless times from table of contents to concordance. We know the book. We just don’t buy that it is in any way special. While certain passages are still helpful, much of what the Bible says is unhelpful, out of date, and even criminal. Anyone truly living by the words of the Bible will end up in jail. Perhaps it is time for Christians to write a new Bible.

            It would have been nice if you had engaged the actual content of this post. Instead you tried to make an inane argument, and I, according to God’s word, answered a fool according to his folly. You wasted your one opportunity to put a good word in for the man, the myth, the legend — Jesus H. Christ.

          3. Todd

            Comment deleted. Thou shalt not profane the name of Bruce Almighty.

          4. Todd

            Comment deleted for violating the law of Bruce Almighty.

          5. Todd

            Is the “Bruce Almighty” so bold with his pen and tongue when debating the Quran? I don’t think so; otherwise, you’ll end up on the same list that the Danish cartoonists are (were) on.

            See, it’s easy to pick on the meek and lowly Jesus and his followers but you become “Bruce Nobody” when it comes to believers in god who “hold a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other.”

            Also, deleting comments that you don’t like is a copout; similar to when you were a hireling (supposed pastor): you ran away from being a responsible adult in charge of teaching ppl about god to “move on” by trying to be on easy street: telling ppl lies. Even Voltaire saw his folly but attempted in vain to call out to Jesus on his death bed: he crossed god’s deadline and became a reprobate…

            Before you die, you ought to repent and call on god in mercy that he may delete your comments from his book of deeds… you have fewer yrs in front of you than behind you. And, it will be a sad day when you see all your grandchildren following in your footsteps, hastening to the pit.

            “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him [Bruce Nobody].”

            smh

          6. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            *sigh*

            No further comment of yours will be approved. Your nasty, abusive words are not welcome.

            Bruce

    2. Joseph E Pilon

      I like your argument. Wielding Jesus as a club is not the Jesus of the New Testament. He was as much against legalism and indifference as you are. You remind me of Jesus and I do not hate you.

      Reply
    3. Joseph Spedaliere

      It is hypocracy, and greed that you hate, not Jesus that you hate. There are true followers of Jesus in this world who are working on the poorest and most depleted parts of the world, bringing hope and love to the “least of these”. Most people hate Jesus because He exposes them for the hypocrisy they are. He did it when He walked the earth and He continues to do it today. Instead of having these false i.she’s of Jesus, why not love the real Jesus and follow His example of love and sacrifice for ofhers?

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        In other words, follow and love your version of Jesus, right? There are as many Jesuses in the world as there are Christians. Here a Jesus, there a Jesus, everywhere a Jesus. I assure you that the Jesus I love, followed, and served for almost fifty years was every bit as “real” as yours. He lived in my “heart” just as he lived in yours.

        Reply
        1. Lynn

          So Bruce its “Christians” then and not Jesus you hate? Asking seriously no time to read all that is here so forgive me if you have already answered this question.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I hate this version of Jesus; the Jesus of tens of millions of American Christians. The concept, the myth is the problem.

            Why would I hate Christians? Their religion is the problem.

      2. JulieBarks

        There are atheist who are working in the poorest parts of the world who do so without preaching to them. They give freely of there time and without brainwashing the people they help. No indoctrination required.

        Reply
  2. Infidel753

    Great post. Humans always create God in their own image, and you’ve described perfectly the deity which American fundamentalists have created in theirs.

    Reply
  3. kittybrat

    You said it, Bruce. Damn, you’re good!

    Reply
  4. Marlena

    If I were a christian and superstitious, I would think the devil was masquerading as this version of “Jesus” just to make him look like a jerk. But, I am neither. People are so messed up sometimes.

    Reply
  5. Steve

    Superb, man, but they’re going to flame your ass off for this one!!

    Reply
  6. Charles

    Bruce. I don’t think you really hate Jesus. I think you hate the “Fundie Jesus,” meaning the Jesus Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have manufactured by twisting scripture to their whims and adding an abundance of their own personal tripe to it. I suspect that if the Jesus of 33 A.D. had read your article, he would have asked to sign on as coauthor.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      My Jesus hate goes far beyond Evangelicalism’s Jesus. I am sure there are some Jesus’s out there who I could admire and respect. Even the two people who I think are closest to the Christian ideal pray every night for those they fear are going to hell.

      Reply
    2. It's just me

      Bruce, how do you deal with assholes like this Charlie asswipe? People that want to tell you what you REALLY think and REALLY feel and REALLY mean. no matter how well you explain yourself. Because you know, they think they know you still do believe in god, but you’re REALLY lying or exaggerating because you are angry and bitter towards god.
      I have found these people in my life too. They think I’m just mad that something or other happened and that I’ll get over it soon and come back to church. I can’t believe the degree to which they are brainwashed or that I was ever that brainwashed myself.
      My hat off to you, Bruce Gerenscer. I could never be so patient to these blowholes.

      Reply
  7. Kerry

    This is an excellent analysis Bruce! Just an FYI, I mentioned this blog over on Debunking Christianity about Hector’s new book.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Thanks Kerry!

      Reply
  8. Ed Chapman

    Did you ever happen to think that the doctrines were wrong, and the Bible is right? People screw up a good thing, not Jesus.

    Ever read Romans 2:14-16? Ever read Romans 5:20 or Romans 5:13 or Deuteronomy 1:39?

    Ever read where God states that he wants mercy, not sacrifice? Ever read that he wants us to love one another, and to feed the poor, which in turn is the same as loving him, feeding him.

    One thing that I find strange about your vision of Jesus, is that Jesus does care if you go to hell. It isn’t his desire. He makes it clear that it is your choice, based on your decisions.

    Now, if you have a problem with Calvinism, I understand. Calvin’s Jesus is a different Jesus. So is Catholicism. Augustine created their Jesus.

    I post comments frequently on a spiritual abuse blog, and that blog is based on the spiritual abuse coming from Calvinism, where women are the second class citizens. Catholics concocted the idea that a remarriage after a divorce was evil. Catholics and Calvinism are strange doctrines. Calvinism is the ones who are peddling the 6 literal 24 hour day creation crap. Catholicism is the one who peddles the sprinkling of water crap on people who don’t even believe in the first place, nor can they believe, because they aren’t even old enough to wipe their own nose.

    I find that the Law of Moses was nothing more than a test, a test to show that no one can pass. All is needed is the faith that Abraham had. But not many want to “believe” that. They think that they must “do” something to gain approval, act a certain way, or dress a certain way.

    Romans 7 shows that one does not die a spiritual death until they have KNOWLEDGE of good and evil. The same happened to Adam and Eve. Born again is a spiritual rebirth.

    You should know all of this, and if you did, as a pastor, then the Jesus that YOU discuss is not the Jesus that you should have learned of the Bible.

    Doctrine is wrong, not the Bible. The Law (Torah, not the law of Moses) events are historical events to tell a spiritual story.

    Take for example Moses…the redeemer, Jesus, the redeemer. Babies murdered to prevent Moses from being born. Babies murdered to prevent Jesus from being born. Moses escorts people to the “promised land”, yet dies before he gets there. Jesus escorts people to the promised land, dying to save people.

    Why do you think that Moses never made it to the “promised land”? Think spiritually. Because Moses represents the law, and no flesh is justified by the law, for all have sinned. So it is by grace thru faith, like Abraham, that we get to the promised land.

    That is spiritually interpreting events of the Law and the Prophets. Israel exists. Jerusalem exists. They are not fictitious cities. What you call Palestine is not promised to Arabs. It was promised to Abraham, hence, promised land. Circumcision is the promissory note. It belongs to the Jews.

    Yes, I am a Zionist believer. The Apostle Paul took a trip on a road to Damascus. Damascus exists.

    How can you disavow Christianity based on what people invent about Jesus instead of countering their Jesus with the Jesus of the Bible? I’m not getting that in you.

    I am against the Jesus of the Catholics, and the Calvinists. I am not a Lutheran, etc. I am just a non-denomination Christian, and I believe.

    Respectfully,

    Ed Chapman

    Reply
    1. Becky Wiren

      Ed, Bruce has been writing about his journey for YEARS. And the regular readers of his blogs over the years are an assortment of atheists, agnostics, some Christians, mostly liberal, and other theists, but ESPECIALLY former fundies etc.

      It sounds like you read this one blog post and think you get where Bruce is coming from…you don’t. So do a little more reading, especially the ABOUT section, COMMENT RULES, and DEAR EVANGELICAL sections. If this pisses you off to get this advice, then I will warn you there’s no point in coming back. Because many, many Christians have come and commented, pretended to be nice, and when we disagreed with them they turned into, quite frankly, a$$holes. And instead of following that “love your neighbor as yourself” pesky quotation from Jesus, those Christians have morphed into ugly, mean, self-righteous and vicious people. Which pretty much alienates all of us.

      Reply
      1. Ed Chapman

        Becky,
        Yep…I came here based on an article on the whack job Mark Biltz’ blood moon nonsense, and I loved how Bruce presented it. I had no idea he was atheist. But I did see the comments where others were indeed unbelievers.

        My roommate is also an atheist. My other roommate is a fan of Mark Biltz, and we live about 1/2 hour from Mark Biltz. In regards to my atheist roommate, his is atheist based on Catholicism. He was raised Catholic. We debate all the time…for fun. So I have no problem visiting this site on a regular basis. The reason…I am interested in how one can be an atheist at all. I’ve told my atheist roommate that Catholicism produces atheists on a normal basis, so if his debate to me is based on Catholicism, I am going to agree with him. Well, the same goes for Calvinism. I hate Calvinism, whether it be the new brand, or the old brand. I’m not a Lutheran, I am not a Catholic. I am not religiously college educated…I don’t have a title of Dr., or reverend, or pastor, or any other money making title. I am just a guy who reads and studies, with a black pen, college ruled paper, a bible (KJV), a Strong’s Concordance, and a lot of coffee. And I, for the life of me, can’t figure out how a former pastor can be an atheist, no matter what his explanation is.

        Why do I say that? Because I know that the Calvin “doctrine” is not in the Bible, after years of study. Bruce is in his 50’s. I am 50. Can’t he fight the doctrine, rather than fighting Christianity? I am not getting this Bruce guy, but I would sure like to figure him out.

        Don’t know if you are familiar with Spiritual Sounding Board, or not, or the name Julie Anne Smith, but that is where I post comments from time to time. Calvin’s doctrines are extremely abusive, and dangerous.

        Ed

        Reply
        1. Becky Wiren

          Bruce answers a lot of those questions in the suggestions I made for you to read. He’s been on quite a journey, from being a Christian for 50 years, a minister for 25 years, to being an atheist. Once you read those things and get a better idea of where he’s coming from, then…you may have NEW questions! Ha. He struggles with chronic pain and illness too, so I thought I would give you a head’s up on where to start.

          Reply
          1. Ed Chapman

            Thanks, Becky. Guess I got some reading to do. Been working a lot lately, and I work nights, so I’ve been scarce on the blogs as of late…but this is quite interesting stuff.

            Ed

    2. Linda

      Question for you Ed. Part of the Lord’s Prayer is and lead us not into temptation. Why does God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden of eden and then tell Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit. Nice guy, eh?

      Reply
      1. Geoff

        Had the people who wrote the bible foreseen the internet, they would have been much more careful with their wording. As it is, the sole intention was to ensure that ordinary people were controlled by texts they couldn’t even read, never mind understand. As soon as the texts were exposed they could be seen as the nonsense they were.

        I don’t think there’s a single part of the Adam and Eve story that stands the slightest scrutiny, and that’s ignoring the fact that it can be shown absolutely to have been impossible.

        Reply
  9. Len Koz

    Would the plural of Jesus be Jesi? Like 1 octopus, 2 octopi?

    Reply
    1. Dale

      LOL, like “Return of the Jesi”? But then, that’d make the singular of Jedi…Jedus?

      Len, you’ve opened a can of worms :-).

      Reply
  10. Scott

    Oh noes! Bible verses and the “Wrong” version of “Jesus”.

    Really, Ed. That’s not going to work. You’ve not read the stuff Bruce has out there on things to read before posting, so give that a try.

    He’s with Bart Erhman on there being a historical Jesus who was a preacher/rabbi/something of that sort. I’m leaning towards the mythicist camp. Telling us we’re “believing” in the “wrong version” of Jesus is why there are 30,000 plus versions of Christianity out there. Every new Christian Sect changes Jesus to meet their needs. It’s like finding the “right” version of Robin Hood or King Arthur. Both of those characters had a “real” origin person, who is nothing like what the legend has become. However we humans like a good heroic story. As we go through time, we tend to add to those characters and the stories change over time making the characters more and more legend/myth/super hero like, the further we move from the origins.

    Telling us that you’re one version or another of a Christian sect does nothing, nor does waggling Bible verses at us. Also “spiritual ________” is complete BS in terms of understanding anything. Try keeping it fact based. “Spiritual” and it’s variations is one extremely abused word and it’s impossible to get two people to agree on what it means.

    Nice try.

    Reply
    1. Ed Chapman

      Yes, really, Scott. I am not talking “my version”. I am saying to stop listening to anyone’s version, and just study the one book. Calvin’s doctrines are abusive and dangerous, and Bruce is coming out of a Calvin doctrine, and his debates are “probably (as I have yet to investigate his arguments)” coming from a Calvin slant.

      The reason that I throw scripture out is due to the fact that Calvinism DELETES those verses when teaching.

      Take for example Romans 5:13. If you ever study Calvinism out, you will see that when Romans 5 is taught, they will stop at verse 12, and pick up again at verse 14. They don’t like verse 13.

      Do you see what I am saying?

      Ed

      Reply
  11. David

    Bruce, I share your distain for the corporate, fundie Jesus that you describe here. I think that the historical Jesus (even Richard Dawkins admits that an historical Jesus probably did exist) would likewise share your distain. I tend to think that the Jesus you describe is a manifestation of a collective cultural ego that has developed over the centuries through a process of social Darwinism and maintained by a program of systematic abuse designed to engender a sort of collective Stockholm Syndrome among the faithful.

    Consider this from Wikipedia:

    “One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.”

    In my opinion, this is why people continue to believe in the cruel, corporate, social Darwinist Jesus and his sadistic, sociopathic father Yahweh. This also explains why many Christians who may otherwise be perfectly “nice” people often hold to cruel and repugnant beliefs. It’s a survival mechanism. The individual ego is broken down through years of systematic psychological abuse and replaced by the collective ego represented by a great omnipotent, jealous and wrathful but “loving” God. The individual attempts to appease the wrath of this “God” by taking on aspects of its behavior thus renewing the cycle. It is no wonder marriages are ruined when one spouse begins to question their shared faith. Perhaps the would-be apostate has begun a process of reclaiming their selfhood from the collective ego but, to their spouse, they are willfully abnegating the _collective_ selfhood that bound them together in faith and marriage. If the apostate’s spouse has no sense of self beyond the collective tribal ego they would risk fragmenting and damaging the only sense of self they have ever known. That’s how it goes when you unplug from the Matrix. When you awake from the Dream to see things for what they really are you’d like to free everyone but the fact is not everyone can be freed or wants to be free.

    The Jesus you describe above is a very modern notion and reflects the values of a certain segment of our society that, in my opinion, came about, in part, as a result of the process I describe above. Modern religion is merely a tool for asserting social control and the modern notion of Jesus as the, corporatist, elitist, social Darwinist reflect those values. Even though I do believe that there was an historical Jesus I also realize that there is very little that we can infer about him and his teachings from the canonical texts. The gospels were all written hundreds of years after his death by men who never knew him; all, no doubt, interjecting their own notions and opinions. Many other writings that may have been a lot closer to the true teachings of Jesus have been destroyed and or suppressed through the centuries because they do not lend themselves to being made tools of control and manipulation. The Gnostic writings contained within the Nag Hammadi library contain some texts that provide a very different view of Jesus than the one we find in the “approved and sanctioned” canonical texts of the Bible. I’m not saying that they are the “true unaltered words of Jesus” but many of them provide a picture of Jesus that is more in line with my own philosophy of loving-kindness and some _may_ be closer to his esoteric teachings. Jesus is many things to many people. To me he was/is a mystic, zealot, activist, philosopher, and a reminder that there is a spark of the divine within every single human being that connects us with the universe as a whole. His words reach to my from across the eons to remind me that separateness is an illusion and love is the only “true” way.

    Be well Mr. Gerencser,

    David Lee Stanton

    Reply
    1. Scarykitty

      Seriously, did none of you apologists actually read this post? Bruce said, right up front, that he had no real problems with the historical Jesus, that he was talking about how Jesus has been constructed in the West, in America, at this particular time in history. Trying to turn him back to the faith or trying to shore up your own by saying “yes, but” and quoting Bible verses at him is not only pointless, it’s insulting; you are, essentially, telling him that what he feels and believes and writes doesn’t matter, because you know better. The hubris would be amusing if it weren’t so effing annoying.

      Reply
  12. Daniel Wilcox

    Preach it, brother!;-)
    Seriously, this justice speech rings with poetic force.

    And I know you have repeatedly emphasized that your ethical views (being kind, loving, concerned with the needs of others etc.) haven’t changed much since leaving Christianity…if anything become stronger.

    So I am baffled how you could ever have been a Calvinist. I’m not confused about how you came to the Reformed view because of your belief in an inerrant Bible.

    What confuses me is the dedication you would have had for unconditional election and reprobation.
    Or behind your role as a minister, did you always have doubts about God
    hating the reprobate and foreordaining us to eternal damnation before the world began?

    Help me with this if you don’t mind, or refer me back to one of your posts I probably missed.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I was committed to inerrancy and I sincerely wanted to believe the truth and do the will of God. Calvinism, intellectually, made sense to me. It still does, from a Bible perspective. I think, hands down, Calvinism is a better explantation for many of the verses in the Bible.

      But, it was my compassion and love for others that ultimately caused me to abandon Calvinism. I reshaped God into a deity that fit my liberal, progressive beliefs and values. While this God was in conflict with the OT God, it was the only way I could continue to do the work of a pastor.

      Reply
      1. Daniel Wilcox

        Thanks.

        Reply
      2. Timothy Potter

        Dear Bruce,

        Have you ever developed a proper human love for GK Chesterton? I recently finished “What’s wrong with the world” and this, on the deep chumminess of calvinism and modern Western atheism, stuck with me … I’ve attached it at the end by my ***.

        Calvinism is the serious Bible student’s black hole, their heroin, from which there is No Exit. It kills the soul while compelling us to another hit. In its atheist form, it destroys all reason and smashes the compass of thought, erasing any kind of true North (TEST: do you admit all the poor fundies you despise are predestined by the cause-effect chain of the unfeeling universe to behave and think exactly as they do? do you admit you are too? where’s the correct/incorrect, right/wrong, in a universe like that? and where’s your sympathy for their common plight?)). In its Christian form, Calvinism gives us the grand vision of All-That-Is, God, playing with finger puppets that have the appearance of “consciousness” and “will” to amuse himself. I’m guessing you wrestled with these ideas and with the objections of Arminians ad nauseum in your decades in school and ministry, and learned the slippery apologetics well, but as for my own reading, I’ve never seen any Calvinist get beyond the vacuum-sealed thought box that is their school of thought. I’d be so curious to know if you ever did. And I rarely hear any Western freethinkers as honest as Shaw who will admit they are neo-Augustinians and Calvinists, that they have simply replaced God with space-time and mass-energy.

        Yet i see that David, when confronted with that ineffable place of sovereignty, sat down, unlike Calvin, properly humbled. “You hem me in before and behind — Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:6). How I wish Calvin had said that, instead of madly asserting that he knew the moment when Adam, and we with him, lost his free will — as if a will-less descendant of Adam can write meaningfully about any topic at all, uncertain as he should be that his intellect is not just the toy of a mad topsy-turvy God who is, let us admit, the substance of both Jehovah and Satan. I hope against hope for some Calvinist (or neo-Calvinist like you might still be) someday to admit that the theory of the God who predestines all things is the theory of the God that exists alone in the universe, for He has made no other agents. But as you point out in this blog, that arbitrary God treats the other things, whose destiny He has molded completely, as if they were actually agents, and punishes them as such. Perverse beyond words, if there were a measure in such an arbitrary, nominalist world by which to define perversity. But in reality, there is no “them” to punish (just as in the atheistic version of Calvinism there is no “they” to champion Darwin or oppose him, and the god called space-time is utterly alone and self-amusing). I’m not sure why Calvin’s god bothers to be a trinity — why wouldn’t Jesus be just as false an “other” as humanity is?

        The Jesus I’ve found is with God and is God — just as we are with God and inivited to be in God. The humanly-unsolvable riddle of agency within predestination, the same existential fate-vs-choice question that humanity everywhere has tried to solve, is solved, though ineffably, in Him. He validates time and consciousness and humanity and otherness, while awesome sovereignty over time and space is maintained in the Father. The Son “can” rebel against the Father, against His other self, but before the foundation of the world, He won’t. He is agent and He is predestined, eternally begotten of the Father. In His Colossians (high Christological) self He upholds the physical universe, which (I think) means He validates and participates in time and the world of causes and effects and open futures, even (I think) subjects himself to them, as He hints at in Mark 13:32 In His oneness with the Father, He brings that world of real (not 100% “free” but real) will into the Godhead (into the Holy of Holies, so to speak), where the predestiny of it all mixes it up in ways we can’t (and like David, don’t quite need to) imagine. The Jesus (the Logos) I know is the only answer I have ever seen in any philosophy or epistomology that establishes and buffers both choice /agency (the only grounds humans have to conceive the reality of individual existence or human reason) and destiny (the obvious implication of both Scripture and physics / cosmology, the air of environment that all otherwise-disembodied and individual will must be blessed with if they wish to breathe and move and interact with a world). This Logos and this Logos-sponsored real agent (humanity) is on every page of the Bible. Relatively few verses delve into the mystery of the place of sovereignty, that heavenly Holy of Holies. Thank God these are so few, or we would have all gone mad, like many have who strode too far down that path.

        Calvinism (in Christianity) is superficially intellectually satisfying, like an oversized sealed refrigerator that people climb into for the rich meal it promises — the only problem is that once the door is closed, the light goes off and it’s pretty well predestined to run out of food and air. The only problem with Western post-Christian atheism is — it doesn’t actually open the door and let you out.

        I am, like Ed Chapman, a “layman” (perverse term he didnt use) and a “non-denom” (perverse term he did use). I’m totally bothered by all the things you’re bothered by — but more bothered by the root of all that, by a Church that let the subtle “wolves” of authoritarian rule come in circa 1800 years ago and has never kicked them out. They taught us to introduce artificial hierarchies and inward-church-focus into the flat-structured, servant-led, organic and outward Kingdom-focus that Jesus gave us. Augustine, Anselm, Calvin, and the Anglicans tied us into these perverse cells of separation-by-fixed-destiny even more inexorably. Christians (e.g. the Celts, Francis, the Moravians) escaped the vortex a precious few times and places here and there, but in the 20th century, after the tragic blessing of Mao Zedong, the Chinese house church movement has escaped it, I think, permanently. I think many of India’s Christians are out of the box as well. God bless them, and may He unite us , bottom-up, worldwide, organically, like He is uniting them, through His Django-unchained Spirit. And may the mountain of the Lord draw in all the nations, under whatever cultural or religious name they organize their identities — as He indeed is doing. And may we over-privileged, over-aged, old-wineskinned Western Christians and post-Christians be graced not to miss that boat.

        We Western heirs of Augustine and Calvin and Spinoza and Darwin and all their little boxes would do well to go sit down at the feet of some Chinese peasants with stripes on their backs (both Buddhist and Christian) and unlearn and then learn a few things. (ah Lord God, thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and Thy outstretched arm — why didst thou not make doer-Patrick more influential than thinker-Augustine?!). The greatest movement in at least 1800 years of Christendom is the stripping and building project experienced by the Chinese since 1950, when, if we learned anything, we learned that the organized pyramidal, traditional, set-in-ways, top-down Western church does a better job at obstructing than at aiding the miraculous, empowering, and transforming work of a justice-loving God who flattens mountains and raises up the lowly and illiterate from dunghills. I recommend “God is Red” by atheist Tiananmen-veteran justice-fighter Liao Yiwu for some evidence on this.

        Why can we screw with our God’s plans so badly? Or if it’s a more sterile universe , why can we screw with nature so badly?
        Well, may I meekly suggest, it’s because we really exist, and neither God nor the Universe (or Multiverse) are totalitarians.

        ***
        “The real reason why I did not answer Mr. Shaw’s amusing attack was this: that one simple phrase in it surrendered to me all that I have ever wanted, or could want from him to all eternity. I told Mr. Shaw (in substance) that he was a charming and clever fellow, but a common Calvinist. He admitted that this was true, and there (so far as I am concerned) is an end of the matter. He said that, of course, Calvin was quite right in holding that “if once a man is born it is too late to damn or save him.” That is the fundamental and subterranean secret; that is the last lie in hell.”

        https://books.google.com/books?id=e9NuBAAAQBAJ&pg=PT134&lpg=PT134&dq=whats+wrong+with+the+world+shaw+calvinism&source=bl&ots=eBMIteNzWk&sig=Rd7bWAYCuDrXqigV3XjwgQlfkQg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAmoVChMI3eLz15PHxwIVxRKSCh1CdQNK#v=onepage&q=whats%20wrong%20with%20the%20world%20shaw%20calvinism&f=false

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Timothy,

          I’ve read Chesterton. My atheism is the result of a lack of evidence, not because of any particular theological system.

          As far as your long, waaaay too long comment, please answer a couple of questions:

          1.) Must a person be saved, believe certain things to go to heaven when they die?
          2.) Is there a hell? If you answer yes, then I would ask what determines if a person goes to hell?

          Bruce

          Reply
        2. Becky Wiren

          TL;DR. If you seriously think all of us are going to wade through your post, well, you’re wrong. Editing is your friend.

          Reply
          1. Timothy Potter

            Should I really be sorry for being thoughtful? Has our culture surrendered that deeply to marketability, that you have more fatherly advice for me on how to get read in a blogsite than you have responses on how I should see the world?

            @ Becky: Speaking for the group to announce the policy that “all of us” have, of abstaining from the effort it takes to read through thoughtful comments, on a blog post that starts with the words “I hate…, is not a good sign. Haters hate — some others use stong language but are thoughtful, and respectful of the opposition. But is this blog group committed to sound bites and ad hominems (ie ad Jesus) as the only proper means of communication? The most important subjects in life do require a few words to answer.

            My (site-deleted) reply to Becky, “then the post wasn’t for you,” was quite serious — those who think something valuable (like in this case my time & experience) is beneath them should leave it alone. It’s fine not to listen to someone, but it’s coarse to mock someone just for trying to speak.

            Bruce, From your various replies, I have no confidence you read my post thoughtfully either. Quizzes on hell and on qualifications for salvation are a bit of a non-sequitor to all my comments. I put fair answers (by email) to your “which box are you?” questions, which I think may have sqeezed me out of all your boxes and made me “peculiar” (at least in my take on Christianity), but your only reply to me there (aside from blogging-coaching) was “Discussions with Christians is not high on my value list.” Then why write a post like this? Just to “hate”? Gross stereotyping does not serve anyone’s search for Truth. (But, Quid est veritas?)

            Your final reply to me was ” I don’t believe in God, any God, so there is no real benefit to have a discussion about a being you think exists and I think doesn’t.” This misses the point. My real point is not “I believe in God and you should too,” (and I think that was obvious). My point was “you are still a Calvinist, and you should admit that … and there’s no need for such nihilism.”

            You have not begun your journey toward reality as long as you stay locked in that echo-chamber you entered so long ago. I’m simply inviting you to step out and BEGIN, I’m not telling you where to end up. But I am answering your super-generalized points against Christians, quite well I think.

            If it offends you that I am resurrecting this conversation after signing off, then don’t post it. But the ice-wall you showed me stayed cold in my mind and made me both sad and angry, and today, if only for truth and justice, I had to address it.

            Following is a list of bullet points from my way-too-long post, for anyone who may happen upon it and possibly profit from the experience. You needn’t worry, Becky who likely hasn’t made it this far, you don’t have to read any of this. Again, though, this post fails the criteria of either being an easy-skim modernish sound bite, or starting a petty ill-mannered argument to help you bolster the points you make above, and therefore, I’m sure it has little value to this blog.

            1) Calvinism has an atheist form, which is modern, Western atheism (which G.B. Shaw admitted to GKC in my quote). Calvinism, in essence, is still your (Brice’s) belief system — you once fell into it, and have never escaped. It posits an iron-clad, tightly-sealed universe without agents, and the non-existence of you and me except as finger-puppets on the hands of the Creator (in this case, impersonal space-time, quantum fluctuations, or whatever starts and composes universes like ours).

            2) A “TEST” of reason that I still invite you (Bruce) to answer: do you admit that all your enemies are locked in to their pre-destined beliefs just as you are? From where, then, comes your values system and your ability to disapprove of ANYthing? We are all meaninglessly opinionated and damned to non-existence (currently, not just in the future) and irrelevance. Your opinions and practices are just as meaningless as all those you lambast here. Don’t borrow from the other side’s worldview to condemn them! Or cease being an atheist and learn why and how the universe is more open than you think. Which are you, a believer in responsible action and opinion, or a believer in a valueless universe?

            3) Calvinism (theistic and non-theistic) kills reason. It never had any justification within Christianity, and like a worm, it eats away reason in your atheistic version of it as well.

            4) Something that may be new to you: Jesus, in dusty Palestine, but more properly in a real (non-Calvinist, more-like 3-leafed Patrician) Trinity, is the only thing in epistemology that makes the admixture of real-will and predestination in the universe begin to make sense — preserving a sovereign order without killing Reason or Existence. In VERY brief form (for the topic) I try to make that point in the 4th paragraph, for anyone interested in starting a dialogue on how that might be. You may not be interested in Christianity any more, but I hope you are interested in Reason, for post-Calvinist Atheism has no foundation for that. Presumably you are (interested in Reason), if you bother to run a blog site.

            5) My last three paragraphs attempt to answer the rather silly challenge at the end of your post, which (in apparently willful ignorance, but you still don’t believe in will) implies that no one proclaiming allegiance to a living (resurrected) Jesus, anywhere, is doing anything good for society. Your focus on “American Jesus” ignores the great reality of our day, that Christianity has moved on from the West, toward the “least of these” whom you mention, who are generally in the Global South. I VERY briefly give some reasons that the Church of the West was fated to end up so ugly, since we made bad decisions 1800 years ago. There is a treasure-trove in the book “God is Red” (whose author is atheist) to directly counter all you say here, but not in a mere petty point-on-point way, but systematically and overwhelmingly.

            All of this is thougtful, challenging, and extremely pertinent to your point. The points I make are complex and extremely controversial (MORE controversial and maybe hard to hear among Christians than even among atheists). But with all the replies you get, I’m sure you’ve learned to be good at skimming and pigeon-holing. You as much as state that you have nothing to learn from me, since you know so well what I am. Until you proved to me in writing that you either had not slowed down enough to read my post, or were unwilling to take my post seriously, I told you I would rather communicate with you man to man, which to me was simply a matter of taking up the challenge you laid down. You were not interested in my “peculiar” (rather New Testament word, isn’t that?) Christianity.

            Maybe someone out there IS interested in my “peculiar take,” someone broad-minded enough to acknowledge that a thing needn’t be marketable to be valuable

          2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I read your comment. I read your email and responded. Don’t like my response? That’s too bad. I’ve seen your type uncounted times over the years. You think you have some special insight that will bring some sort of eureka moment. It’s just the same shit in a different package. What’s worse is that you think you have had some sort of dream/divine vision.

            The fact that you made no attempt to distill your argument (s) down so readers could better understand them leads me to believe you are one of these guys who likes to theologically/intellectually masturbate in public. I’m sure, for you, it feels wonderful. For the rest of us? Yuck.

            I will assume that you have said all you intended to say. Per the commenting rules, you’ve been given the opportunity to say your piece. I will not approve any further comments from you.

          3. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I checked the server logs to see what you have read on this site. You are in no position to make any judgment about my POV or character based on reading a post or two. If you had bothered to understand who and what I am you would have understood Why I Hate Jesus was not anti-Jesus or anti-Christianity. It was my response to a particular flavor of Western Christianity.

          4. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Since you posted part of my email, I thought readers might be interested in reading the entire email and your response:

            My email:

            Timothy,

            I do not. I don’t believe in God, any God, so there is no real benefit to have a discussion about a being you think exists and I think doesn’t.

            Your comment was as long/longer than the post you replied to. This is normally a sign that your comment is way too long and that if your goal is for people to hear and understand your POV, then you need to be more concise and to the point, especially when you are giving your peculiar take on Christianity.

            I receive numerous emails from people who are considering leaving Christianity or who have already left. Since I have a limited window of time each day when I am well enough to answer emails, write, etc, I try to focus on those things that have value. Discussions with Christians is not high on my value list. I am sure there are other websites and writers who might be interested in your POV, your dream, but I am not.

            Thanks.

            Your response:

            Fair enough. We each have to decide what has value and what’s worth our time, and hope what we decide is as near the truth as possible.

            All the best,

            Tim

          5. Ed Chapman

            In a sense, I partially agree with Tim. For example, my roommate is an atheist. We both really enjoy debate…really, we do. However, he is former Catholic. I am a protestant. I’ve told him time and time again that if he was going to base his argument on Catholicism beliefs, I have no rebuttal.

            I get the idea, also, that you are basing your non-belief in Christianity solely on Calvinism, whether you admit it or not. That was my take on you from the Beginning Bruce. Really.

            Therefore, if you are going to base your non-belief in Christianity, based on “western” whatevers, then still, why are you not a Christian based on Eastern whatevers? But, again, we see it as Calvinism, not Western.

            That’s like saying that you aren’t a Christian because Christians are hypocrites. OK, so what? Every human is a hypocrite. But, we Christians call it, “struggling with sin”, not wanting to sin, but doing it anyway. The 12 Steps calls it, “we are powerless…”

          6. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Your comment reveals you have no clue as to not only my journey but the motivations and reasons for my deconversion.

            My non-belief is rooted in the fact that I see no evidence for the existence of God. Any God,not just the Christian God. That you don’t understand this is astounding.

          7. Ed Chapman

            You are right…I don’t understand why anyone doesn’t believe in the existence of God. One thing that always gets my roommate blood boiling angry is when I ask him where our consciousness comes from. He thinks that he can just get away with responding, “I don’t know.” and leave it at that. So I press him as to why he doesn’t know. In the debate that Ken Ham (a lunatic who believes in literal 24 hour days of the six days creation) had with Bill Nye, the moderator asked Bill where consciousness came from, and he pulled the same trick, by saying, “I don’t know”, and he left it at that. But, that is a major question unanswered by the experts who don’t believe in God. You can see a brain, but you can’t see a mind. That little voice in your head, no one can hear it but you, and that is your thoughts. No one knows your thoughts until you speak them. Consciousness.

            Ed Chapman

          8. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I don’t know is an honest answer. You assume what we don’t know equals God. Let me, for the sake of argument, grant your premise. I then ask, which God? Why should I accept your God as the answer to the question? Why not one of the other gods humans have invented?

            I will gladly admit that I understand how someone can look at the night sky and think a God of some sort created the universe. But, no Christian has ever successfully demonstrated the bridge necessary to get from a generic God to that God being the God of Christianity. Once someone makes an argument for the creator God being the Christian God…well they have trapped themselves within the boundaries of the Bible. Let the games begin.

            I think science will someday give us a suitable explanation for consciousness. What then, Ed? What will Christians do when science has shown one more time that we don’t need a God to understand the universe?

            Part of the problem is that Christianity is rooted in certainty. It purports to have THE answers, yet science continues to chip away at that assertion. I am content to live with ambiguity, believing that science will continue to give the best explanation for the world we live in. The power of religion comes from ignorance, especially of science. That half of Americans deny evolution, think the earth is less than 10,000 years old, and global warming is a myth, is proof of this ignorance.

          9. Carmen

            I’d also add, Bruce, that “I don’t know is an honest answer” is absolutely true. When Ed – or anyone else – says (as an explanation of consciousness) “It’s GOD” (meaning, of course the CHRISTIAN god, seeing how you live in the USA) . . . well, that’s hubris. It’s amazing how much hubris that Bronze-Age text, written BY men, FOR men, has created. 🙂

          10. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Many theists are unable comprehend that someone like me can have a sense of wonder, awe, and amazement without having to invoke the name of the tribal God.

            I spent most of of my 58 years thinking I had all the answers. I now have far more questions than answers. While I continue to seek knowledge, I no longer need to have all the answers. I’m content to live with I don’t know, especially when it comes to things like consciousness, a matter that has little to do with my day to day life. For the theist is is important. For me? Meh.

          11. Carmen

            Bruce, glad to hear you say that you have more questions than answers – that’s me, too! The older I get, the more questions I have. Perhaps we (and others on this thread, I’ll bet) just have inquiring minds?? I am hoping that’s it! 🙂 Funny that you should mention that, because we had a (United Church of Canada) minister in the early 80’s who always told us to ask lots of questions. He used to say that he didn’t know the answers to most questions, and that he didn’t know too many people who DID have all the answers. He used to tell us that if we ran into anyone who had all the answers, (about religion) it was probably a cult! I am reminded of him when I read the comments from fundagelicals who really seem like their answer is always, “It’s (a) god!”. But then I think that it’s probably much easier to use that pat answer than to think about anything too deeply. . .

          12. Ed Chapman

            Bruce,

            I believe that God gave us carnal examples of eternity. The Universe is just one of those examples. Seed is another. And there is more.

            Many atheists that I know, and I really do know atheists, debate based on carnal only, not even taking into consideration the eternal. For example, they talk tons about a body, more specifically the death of the body in regards to killing, i.e. that my God is the moral monster, but they do not consider the spirit (ghost) of the person. The Calvinism argument of the Pharaoh is a good one. They think that the Pharaoh is in hell fire. But I don’t believe that for a minute. I believe that God gave him mercy due to his ignorance. Remember that Paul got mercy due to his ignorance, too. Romans 2:14-16 shows that the Amazon people with bones in their noses and spears in their hands do by nature the things contained in the law…showing that their own conscience will judge them, even tho they don’t know who Jesus is, or God.

            But, getting back on track, I went off on a tangent, I know, but what convinced me that the Christian God is the God? First of all, it’s the Jewish God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Secondly, the word Israel is biblically defined as “Struggles with God and prevails”. I cannot deny our struggle. I see the Bible as not only a historical, but a spiritual, in the Egypt is spiritually defined as “sin”, and Israel is spiritually defined as Heaven. We are in the desert struggling with God, and when we cross the Jordan river, that is spiritually defined as our carnal death. Moses freed the slaves from Egypt, Jesus freed the slaves of sin.

            What convinced me is that Christianity is the most hated religion in the whole world. And if it is hated so much, there must be something right about it. There is nothing scientific about that, and to me, there doesn’t need to be.

            But prophesy of the land of Israel, and the Jewish people did a lot to convince me. What God would die on a cross to save his own creation? My God. What God besides my God only requires us to just believe and live our belief, i.e. Abraham, and the children of Abraham? Other gods require a scale of good deeds vs. bad deeds. What God considers us his prize, as well as us considering him our prize? My God.

            In regards to global warming, I don’t believe in it, either. In the 70’s, they were telling us of a global freeze. Besides, I don’t really care if it gets 2 degrees warmer in the winter, or summer. Those who warn us about green house gasses are the same ones flying in jets making more. To me, it’s a money making scheme to make the rich pay more taxes. It’s all about the money, not the polar bears.

            I’m always skeptical of people who flippantly use the word “ignorance” in any debate, using it as a derogatory means to silence the opposition, by the way. Some of us do not consider ourselves to be ignorant. We oppose, and we generally know the arguments against our position. We are not ignorant about that. I once heard from someone that it is always good to know the tactics of your adversary. We do know the meaning of the word, ignorance, and we are not ignorant.

            Ed Chapman

          13. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            My use of the word ignorant was a general observation, not addressed to you specifically.

            You find value in the Bible, I do not. Outside of the sermon on the mount, Ecclesiastes, and few chapters here and there, I find the Bible to be an irrelevant ancient text. I spent most of my life studying the Bible, having read the Bible from cover to cover numerous times. Throw in thousands of hours spent reading theological tomes, I’ve had enough of the Bible and Christianity to last three lifetimes.

            So why do I write about Evangelicalism, Christianity, and the
            Bible? Simple…look at all the hysteria over the jailing of Kim Davis, same-sex marriage, and the seventeen religious clowns stuffed in the Republican candidates for President clown car. From the denial of civil rights to gays to the continued subjugation of women, Christianity is to blame. Christianity lies at the heart of the cancer that is killing us. We’re making progress, but ignorance is not easy to eradicate. When most of a populous thinks mouthing words to an invisible deity changes their lot in life…well that shows me we have a lot of work to do.

            I think many Christians grossly underestimate the damage their religion has done to millions of people. Over the past eight years I’ve interacted with hundreds a of people who were at one time devoted followers of Jesus. (and tens of thousands more who read this blog and don’t comment or email me yet find help through my writing) These wonderful people were abused, misused, and savaged by those who say they speak for God and are his followers. Deep, lasting emotional and mental damage was done by those who sing with gusto My God is an Awesome God. In some cases, physical abuse was perpetrated by men of God, from molesting children to rape. (And please don’t suggest these are outliers, a few bad apples)

            The reason I don’t spend time engaging the Tim’s of the world is because my focus is on helping those who are trying to break free from toxic Christianity and helping those who are free and are trying to build a new life for themselves.

            I give each Christian commenter an opportunity to say their piece. I know my writing constipates them so I give them the opportunity to have an enema of sorts. Say what you want, feel better, move on. It’s not that I am intellectually unable to engage them. It’s a matter of wise use of time and energy. Since I have a small window of time each day to do the most good I can, I focus on those I can help.

            Devout Christians aren’t looking for help. They want to put in a word for Jesus, preach, evangelize, straighten out ignorant Bruce, or let everyone know how smart they are. They don’t want dialog or explanation. No need, since they already know the truth. To quote Paul, I know whom I have believed.

            I enjoy discussing my journey with Christians who sincerely want to understand how I got to where I am today. Unfortunately, such Christians are quite rare. A few years back I talked to my counselor about how hostile Christians are to my writing. (Not all Christians, because a fair number of liberal/progressive Christians read this blog, including some Evangelicals who think my critique of American Christianity is spot on) My counselor told me that I was naive to think Christians cared about what I think. He said, they don’t give a shit about what you think, Bruce. Once I understood this it made it easier for me to stop engaging in tiresome, unproductive discussions with Christians who have zero interest in what I think and are only here to make a point for their God or their peculiar flavor of Christianity.

          14. Ed Chapman

            Jail cells for preaching Christ are common since the beginning of Christianity. That’s not new. What was the response of those sent to jail? They would rather suffer shame for his name, and…obey God than man.

            Civil disobedience in America is nothing new, either. But, here is a question…a woman is in jail due to her religious beliefs, and that isn’t supposed to happen in America. Our beliefs are dead if they are not backed up by action. We are Free (true meaning of Freedom in America) to worship the Christian God, including our actions of faith, because faith without works is dead, without reprisals, retribution, punishment, fear.

            Christian morality was indeed at the forefront of our nations founding. I see in the blogs much denial of that, but their denial doesn’t negate out our founding fathers beliefs in the Christian God. Our founding fathers laid the foundation of this nation, and gays getting married was not on the agenda, for it was not even a thought in anyone’s mind, being Christian, and all. Some say that they were deists. Regardless, they believed in Natures God, and that the laws of Nature were created by God, and some things just goes against the laws of nature, even if monkeys go against the law and hump a same sex creature.

            In regards to “subjugation of women”, that’s a Calvinist thing, not a non-Calvinist protestant thing. That’s exactly why I stated that your atheist arguments come from a Calvinist leaning theology.

            But again, Christianity is the most hated belief in the world, and since it is, then that is the right religion, point blank. Jesus said that it would be hated, and he said to not marvel about it, for it is him that people hate. What a coincidence that Jesus would say that the world would hate us, and boom…the world hates us. Imagine that!

            Ed Chapman

          15. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            So, all I need to do is find out what is most hated and then I know that’s the truth? Sure you want to go with that, Ed? If so, atheism or Islam wins hands down in America and Barack Obama is the best president ever.

            No one denies that the founders were influenced by Christianity, albeit a Christianity that bears little resemblance to the Christianity of today. To extrapolate from this fact the belief that they intended to found a Christian nation is absurd. I hate to use the word ignorant again, but a comprehensive reading of American history clearly shows the secular underpinnings of our Republic. If they wanted to establish a theocracy they could have, but they didn’t.

            If a Muslim clerk refused to give a drivers license to women because his religion said women should not drive a car, would you be OK with that? Of course not. Yet, that is exactly what Kim Davis is doing. She has a legal and constitutional duty to perform. If her religion precludes her from doing it she needs to resign.

            Many Christians are butt hurt over this issue, not because of the vileness of homo sex, but because our culture has removed them from their preferred status as the arbiter of truth and morality. Thanks to the Internet, young adults have free and ready access to a plethora of viewpoints and are exposed to facts often hid by those wanting to maintain the American/Christian myth. This is why authors like Bart Ehrman have been so devastating to the Christian narrative about the nature, history, and authority of the Bible. He dares to show that preachers have been lying about the Bible, or at the very least withholding data every person should know before making a decision on the historical claims of Christianity.

          16. Ed Chapman

            Bruce,

            First of all, this nation was not founded upon the belief of the Muslim God, therefore, when you state “If a Muslim clerk refused to give a drivers license to women because his religion said women should not drive a car, would you be OK with that?”, I would respond that Christ set us FREE, and that there is no such custom in Christianity (1 Corinthians 11:16).

            Second, our founding fathers departed a theocracy, therefore, our founding was based on freedom to worship the Christian God based on your own conscience, not based on the state telling you. In this case, the woman jailed is worshiping God based on her conscience, and to force her to go against her conscience of faith is UN American. Therefore, based on our nations founding, the atheists are forcing their non-belief on us, not us forcing our beliefs on them.

            Third, We the People are the government, and that includes the woman jailed. She believes that the law passed is an unjust law. Well, so do I. Civil disobedience. She is in jail, just like Peter and James, and Paul, and a whole slew of others. She will get a righteous reward for it later. We are never to allow, in America, for a Christian believer to do something that goes against their own religious conscience. For a Muslim in regards to drivers license…we have no such custom (from the bible).

            Ed Chapman

          17. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Again, all I can do is sigh

          18. Ed Chapman

            Bruce,

            I almost forgot…

            You had said:
            “So, all I need to do is find out what is most hated and then I know that’s the truth? Sure you want to go with that, Ed? If so, atheism or Islam wins hands down in America and Barack Obama is the best president ever.”

            My response:
            As dumb as my premise sounds, yes, I want to go with that. I know it sounds dumb. But to me, it’s smart, as God uses the foolish to confound the wise. In regards to Obama, he has had some very derogatory things to say about Christianity, therefore, he does not represent America as our past Presidents have.

            Ed Chapman

          19. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            So, only the most hated is true IF it agrees with your POV or theology. Okey dokey.

            This is where I sigh

            Good night,

          20. Ed Chapman

            Good night, Bruce…

            And a huge shout out to my friend Carmen,too!

            Thanks for the conversation people.

            Ed

  13. Carmen

    Well, well! Fancy meeting YOU here! ** she waves to Ed**

    I hope Bruce replies to you; it makes for very interesting ‘conversation’! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ed Chapman

      Bruce’s sarcasm really got me!! I loved it! And, you know my sarcasms, so I thought I would fit in nicely here. I’m already getting the warm welcome from Scott (note my sarcasm)!!

      Ed

      Reply
  14. Ed Chapman

    Hey, Carmen!!! What a surprise! I should have known, huh? Great seeing you here!

    Ed

    Reply
    1. carmen

      Now, just behave yourself, Ed and you won’t get hurt. (Don’t mention how much you loved that movie, “God’s Not Dead” in this crowd) 😉

      – Carmen

      Reply
      1. Ed Chapman

        Ha!! Kinda hard to do that now…you already told them!! However, I didn’t get a chance to see the NEW movie, “Do You Believe?”, as I was too tired from working nights, lately. But, I plan on still seeing it. Former Seattle Seahawk Brian Bosworth is in the movie, as well as the 6 Million Dollar Man, Lee Majors, and Sybil Shepherd, is also in it.

        Now, in regards to SSB, you know that I defend the abused, and really give a hard time to those who defend the abusive doctrines…but I also defend Christianity. The only ones that I make enemies of, are those who defend the abusive doctrines, calling it Christian. And, you know that I don’t bash atheists, just the whack job Christianity doctrines, aka, Calvinism, Catholicism, etc.

        Ed

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Well, if you are friends with Carmen. 🙂 I don’t have a big problem with religion in general. I’m not an atheist who spends his time saying DIE! DIE! DIE! to religion. I think fundamentalism is a problem wherever it is found. A lot of the people who read this blog are religious, progressive/liberal Christians. I respect them even though I intellectually can not embrace their reasons for believing.

          Reply
  15. Ed Chapman

    Hi Bruce,
    Pleasure to meet you. Yes, Carmen and I have blogged together for a while on another blog. And yes, I agree with you in regards to fundamentalism. I am learning within the last few years, that most, if not all, of the fundamentalism is coming from the Calvin side, not from the non-Calvin side. I’m certainly not “liberal” in my beliefs, but I am certainly not rigid like the Calvinists.

    The Calvinists I encounter are Law/Grace intertwined people…but then again, so are the 7th Day Adventists, and folks like Mark Biltz. Me, I am law vs. faith, not law plus faith, not law plus grace. I know that faith is not a work, or a gift. I know that God gives us free will to choose. I have a few blog articles of my own in regards to a few topics that you have written on. One of them is about the faith thing, and another in regards to the Ken Ham strange doctrine of 6 literal 24 hour day creation. I also loved how you used your sarcasm about that 100,000 year thing.

    I know I’ve got a lot of reading to do on your blog. Look forward to more conversations! Thanks for the welcome!

    Thanks Carmen!

    Ed Chapman

    Reply
  16. John Arthur

    Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for this excellent analysis of the modern Jesus’s of the American and Western churches. I summarised it over on my blog with due accreditation as to its source. It so so good, I didn’t think it needed being added to. I hope you don’t mind too much.

    Many Thanks,

    John Arthur

    Reply
  17. Jaisen

    Bruce,

    Of course you hate Jesus. You spent 25 years as a false teacher imitating John Calvin instead of Him, dishonoring His mother and denying the divinity of His body and blood. Reinventing the wheel and recreating His image without any authority, and then wondering why it didn’t work out. And then it’s supposed to be some great surprise that you “lost the faith” and that other “fundies” act exactly as you do now, only still attached to the evangelical mold that you propagated for so long. Is it really a great surprise to you that you were filled with grace at baptism (the other two didn’t count by the way, clearly), only to watch that grace diminish over the years through your denial of the priesthood, confession and Eucharist, leading to this obvious and glaring state in which you find yourself? It’s clear as day to me. Even the demons believe and shutter. Yet even still your pride reigns in you, the same pride that yelled at Catholocism from the pulpit for years now yells hysterically, “You’re attacking my character!” That same pride that led you away from Jesus tells you that you know who He is now better than ever and you’re going to pollute everyone else’s idea of Him, just from a different pulpit. All the while pretending it’s not your intention to tear down anyone else’s faith. Can you smell the hypocrisy of your own atheistic fundamentalism? Pride truly is the root of all evil. However, the only unforgivable sin is to go to your grave denying the Trinity and all that it entails, not the sin of homosexuality (another false teaching you no doubt helped to spread). As I said before, the doors are always open to you. Grace can always be restored. You may hate the Jesus that you helped create, but the real Jesus still loves you.

    P.S. This Jesus you speak of sounds a lot like every liberal and socialist of the Democratic Party. Which reminds me, aren’t you all three?

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Ah, but you keeping reading. That is until I blocked your newest IP address. Why is that, Jaisen?

      This is fun, Jaisen and instructive. Lots of questioning or doubting folks read this blog. You had an opportunity to share the love of Christ and the value of the Catholic faith. Instead, you have brought shame to God, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary through your vitriolic attack of me personally and those who read this blog. Thank you for allowing us to see the real Jaisen. Just another hateful, self absorbed, full of religious certainly Christian.

      Reply
      1. Jaisen

        Comment deleted.

        Reply
  18. Ed Chapman

    Jaisen,

    One of my roommates is a former Catholic. He is an atheist. I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian. I know many former Catholics that are atheists. I often state that Catholicism has produced more atheists than most religions of all the world. I say that, because it is true.

    I deny the trinity. I am not Pentecostal, either. I believe that Jesus is the ONLY God. Why?

    Jesus stated that God is a SPIRIT. Well, spirits reside in bodies, and Jesus is the body of God. Jesus is God alone. God is not three people playing the role of one God.

    Father = Spirit
    Son = Body
    Holy Spirit = Mind (soul) of Christ

    We are made in the image of God, and we are three in one.

    When the Apostles Baptized, they did not use a phrase, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and in the Name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit”.

    Do you know what they did? They actually used a name. One name only. Jesus.

    However, since you are a Catholic, bashing Calvin, that is why I stepped in to the conversation. You both came from Augustine.

    And, I know that Catholics are not allowed to “interpret” bible. That’s why you have a spokesperson, i.e. Papa.

    Lastly, all Christians are priests. And, your priests can only forgive sins to those who sinned against them personally. And, we all have that authority. It isn’t a job description.

    Ed Chapman

    Reply
    1. Michael

      Ed,
      how can there be a “relationship” between the Son and the Father, then? It’s like I would demand a same-person marriage to myself and then say I have a relationship with myself. Would that be a homosexual marriage? 🙂

      Michael

      Reply
    2. Suzanne

      Ed, Catholics ARE Christians regardless of what your uneducated fundamentalist pastor is telling you…

      Reply
  19. Jaisen

    Comment deleted

    Reply
  20. carmen

    I read Jaisen’s first comment while I was at school. Interestingly enough, my Gr. 9 students were practising skits. As I read his comment I thought, “Geez! He must be performing his “Pretend you’re Pat Robertson” rant. . . . 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Jaisen is a good example of the fact that the Catholic Church has a fundamentalist wing too. They can be every bit at hateful, nasty, and hostile as a fundamentalist Baptist.

      Reply
      1. Jaisen

        Carmen,

        “And you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I am going to vomit you from my mouth.”

        Reply
        1. Dale

          Well, Jaisen, you made me want to vomit after reading all of your bullshit.

          Dammit, I hate being so late to discussions. What am I, two months late now?

          Reply
        2. Michael

          Jaisen,
          I think you spread so much hate because you hate yourself. You say the sentence “Jesus loves you.” just as phrase with no meaning at all. It’s because you do not believe He loves you, Jaisen. It’s a phrase for you, too. And you don’t know how to escape it, how to escape not feeling good enough. You want to feel loved, but your religion deosn’t give it to you and you are too scared to doubt things because you believe doubting is heretical. Maybe someone in your life has been telling you over and over that you are not good enough and now you think Bruce thinks this of you, too. But that is not true. You are just as good as any other person in the comment section. God and Mother Mary loves every fiber of your body and everything else is a lie. His and Her love for you are so unconditional you cannot escape it and all He wants is to patiently tear down the self-hate you have for yourself. Please, before you reply anything unkind to me just let the comment sink in.

          Have a nice day, Jaisen.

          Michael

          Reply
      2. April G

        Yeah, I was raised Catholic and some in my family are quite fundamentalist when it comes to Catholicism. 🙁 From my experience Catholics do run the gamut from the uber liberals to the wackos. Very glad to not be a bible believer anymore. That barbaric belief system makes decent people into hurtful and mean people. 🙁

        Reply
  21. Carmen

    It’s the damnedest thing about thinking one has the absolute truth, and the ONLY truth, eh?? – the hateful, nasty, hostile bit, I mean.

    (when – as most people commenting on this blog realize – Bruce is “Truth Almighty”!!, and WITHOUT the nasty bits)

    Reply
  22. Jaisen

    Poor fella, those buttons aren’t working anymore. Rest of comment deleted.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      No, I realize assholes do what assholes do. I’m content to just keep deleting your comments. No work around for that.

      Reply
  23. Jaisen

    Comment deleted.

    Reply
  24. Jaisen

    Comment deleted.

    Reply
  25. Jaisen

    Oh, I get it. You only want to have a dialogue with people who think at your level. No room for dissent or alternate opinions. Roger that. Enjoy your “open-minded, free-thinker” society. Or would that be “me-thinker”? Doesn’t matter. Have a hypocritical day!

    Reply
    1. Becky Wiren

      Bruce isn’t hypocritical, as he doesn’t pretend. Whereas, you say you’re Christian and yet you’ve pretty much decided everyone reading this blog is lost. I have to assume that, as you are a horrible representative of Catholicism. The funny thing is there are people on here who WANT to be Christian, maybe even Catholic. Reading your comments will help push some of them out the door. Because they’ve been treated horribly by so-called Christians, and your comments will merely affirm to them that Christians aren’t really into “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

      Reply
  26. David

    My daily prayer: ” Jesus protect me from your followers.” … and a damn fine song.

    Reply
  27. Jaisen

    Aww, Beckers. Bruce is pretending he’s open-minded while deleting my comments, editing them to make him look smarter, etc., aka, hypocritical to free thought. I never said anyone was lost on here in any of my comments, but hey, you stated the problem there when you said, “I have to assume that…” While you’re welcome to your assumptions and putting words in my mouth, it doesn’t make your assertions any less false. It’s really just par for the course at this point. Bruce’s opinion of how Christians should act is not only irrelevant, it’s also the reason why so many leave: We’re not called to be pandering, politically correct, over-feminized beta-males who won’t stand up for the teachings of Christ. THAT is why so many people lose their faith, because it simply does not work that way. Bruce will delete this comment because he doesn’t want any of those questioning and doubting folks to wonder onto his blog and find somebody actually saying something that makes sense. That’d be bad for business. (oh by all means, I will post THIS comment. It makes perfect sense)

    Reply
    1. David

      Hey Jaisen, just wondering which teachings of Jesus are you standing up for? Turn the other cheek? Love your neighbor as yourself? It seems to me that you are not standing up for the teachings of Jesus rather you are defending your own _personal_ interpretation of your Church’s teachings. I detect quite a bit of egotism in your tone so I won’t hold it against Catholicism that you have chosen to present yourself in such an un-Chistian manner; not that I don’t find fault in your Church’s teachings. There are many people who have been damaged by your Church and its mile-high bureaucracy that stands like a great wall between God and humanity. Although you don’t realize it you, Jaisen, are one of those damaged people. Your comments above about the “pandering, PC, over-feminized beta-males” is most telling. Correct me if I’m wrong but you seem to think that the liberal values of love and tolerance somehow make one weak. This is strange coming from someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus whose central and most enduring message, despite the Church’s bureaucratic meddling and corruption, has always been one of love. If those are the teachings that you are defending then take a break! Jesus doesn’t need you to defend his teachings! Love of the kind taught by Jesus doesn’t need culture warriors to defend it. It is by its very nature unassailable. Love, my friend, is the most powerful force in the universe and no mere human being can defend or destroy it anymore than we can defend or destroy the force of gravity. I can tell you that when you embrace love as the central aspect of your being the last thing you will feel is weak. Love is fearless, love is bold, love is eternal. My friend, I sincerely hope that one day you will come to know the true power of loving-kindness. No church can give you such a gift of Grace as that bestowed by a kind and loving heart.

      Be Well,
      David Lee Stanton

      Reply
    2. Rhoda

      Well, in reality it’s the other way round.
      I lost my faith partly because of the sexism and homophobia of Christians. It’s your type who put people off Christianity. And the really funny thing is you sound exactly like the evangelicals but they would turn round and say Catholics are not Christians. (Ah, evangelicals; if I’d never met any I might still be Christian).

      Reply
  28. Zoe

    I’m glad you posted that last comment Bruce. If there was any question before there isn’t now.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Yeah, Jaisen is the Catholic equivalent of Matt and Jason, from a year or so ago. People like this are clueless or don’t care what damage they do to the witness of their particular religion. Instead, it is all about attacking the atheist, the apostate, the reprobate. I have engaged in uncounted discussions with thoughtful, polite people of faith. However, after 7+ years of doing this, I have zero patience or tolerance for people like Jaisen. I let them say their piece, which according to the Comment Rules they are allowed one comment. Knowing that people like Jaisen need a metaphorical enema, I allow them to say whatever they want. I see their comments as instructive, a poignant reminder to those of us who have left the faith of why it was the best decision we ever made.

      I plan to use Jaisen as the subject of an upcoming post. I am glad he provided me with plenty of material. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Jaisen

        Exciting! Will this upcoming post be about how the judgmental Dear Leader doesn’t like to be questioned or challenged?! Or about how if you stop by Bruce’s corner of the internet to invite him to your church and wish him well you’ll be derided and disparaged (against Dear Leader’s comment rules I might add)?! I’ve yet to see your thoughtful reply to Mr. Ed up top addressing his heresies and omission of Matthew 28:19; will it be about how I should undermine my own convictions by respecting the heresies of others?! I’m sure whatever the topic it’ll be super intellectually stimulating without a thread of truth about anything I’ve said, or the fact that I’ve simply responded to you and your antagonizing readers with the same lack of respect shown me. Not to mention any attempt to correct you (you REALLY hate that!) or your libel will show up as “Comment Deleted.” Either way, you’re welcome. Can’t wait!

        *The sarcasm in this comment is in no way an endorsement of the author of this blog’s hypocritical views of other’s convictions.

        Reply
        1. Ed Chapman

          Jaisen,

          I’m not deleting Matthew 28:19. But since you are not allowed to “interpret” scripture, you fail to see that none of the Apostles used a “phrase”. The Apostles did indeed baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” when they Baptized in the name of Jesus.

          By the way, what is the name of the Holy Spirit?

          And we all know that if it isn’t Catholic teaching, then it is classified as either “unorthodox”, or “heresy” by Catholics.

          Acts 2:38
          Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

          Acts 8:16
          (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

          Acts 19:5
          When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

          I guess that the apostle forgot Yahweh…and again, what is the name of the Holy Spirit?

          Ed Chapman

          Reply
        2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          You do understand talking about “heresy” on an atheist’s blog is silly? I don’t believe there is a god, so any discussion about theology is purely an intellectual exercise for me. I am quite happy to engage in such discussions with anyone who is respectful and polite, two qualities you lack. Lots of people of faith, from a variety of sects, read this blog, thoughtfully comment, interact with me on Facebook, or email me. I am sure, to the person, they see your comments as an example of everything that is wrong with Christianity. You “may” have the right beliefs, but your behavior bears no resemblance to the Jesus you say you follow. Like all fundamentalists, you can not see that you are the problem, not everyone else. You are convinced that you have THE truth,and anyone else, be it Ed, Becky, Carmen, Bruce, or any other person who disagrees with you, is wrong. You are certainly free to think this way, but on this blog you are not free to verbally abuse others who differ from you.

          Here’s the thing, Jaisen, or should I say Jason Jones, your real name, your behavior from your first comment forward is like a person who walks the through the door of someone’s home he doesn’t know and proceeds to drop his pants and shit on the floor. You are surprised at my response, or the response of others? You shouldn’t be.

          I encourage you to get your own blog. Easy to do and won’t cost a dime. Then you will be free to wow people with your beliefs and mastery of Catholicism. Wouldn’t this be better? You could call it Jason Jones, the Catholic Truck Driver.

          One question? I assume you respect the Pope? I wonder if he read your comments what he would think? I wonder if he’d think you are advancing the cause of Catholicism or evidencing the fruit of the Spirit? I suspect Pope Frank would tell you to stop!

          I wish you well, Jason.

          Reply
          1. Jaisen

            comment deleted

  29. Jaisen

    Comment deleted.

    Reply
  30. Jaisen

    comment deleted.

    Reply
  31. Tristan Vick

    Couldn’t have put it better myself, Bruce. Excellent article!

    Reply
  32. tara

    Your work has been so helpful. This might be one of my favorites. I want to share it, and yet I feel I need to reach out to certain IFB folks from my past, who have helped me when I was young, or to my family and apologize or explain first. I need to find a way to be open in my beliefs, my questions, without apologizing for it. Until then, thanks for this awesome window of truth and authenticity that allows us to listen, watch, learn and be supported.

    Reply
  33. Melvin Von Regal

    You welcome comments, but only if they meet your criteria. That’s pretty funny. Sorry to disappoint, but I won’t be telling you how right you are. I think you’re wrong in countless ways, but it’s clear nothing will change your mind and I’m not even going to try. No, the way you see it is that you are the omnipotent, grand poobah, most exaulted potentate. You rule your cyber kingdom and don’t wish to be criticized. What I think about your stance is immaterial. Deny, denounce, and badmouth all you like. For your sake; I hope you’re right. If not, well..it’s gonna suck to be you! I’m not willing to take that risk nor believe it’s all about me. So carry on sunshine and shine on.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Since you came to this site via a search for Steven Anderson, is there something in my post about him that is not correct or is there some factual error? I certainly want to paint an accurate picture of the Man of God from Tempe.

      Funny how you object to me having comment rules and controlling who may comment. I’d love to speak next Sunday at Anderson’s church on The Bankruptcy of Evangelical Christianity. Do you think that would be OK? Of course not. Same thinking applies here. This blog is not the wild west where anyone, especially asshole Evangelicals, are allowed to say whatever they want to say. There are plenty of blogs where you can do that if you wish. Here? My goal is to help those who have doubts, are considering leaving Christianity, or who have already left. I have little to no time for people who want to argue, debate, or put in a good word for Jesus.

      As the comment rules state, I give every Evangelical one opportunity to say whatever they want. You had your chance and you used it on this comment. I’m sure Jesus is quite disappointed that you did not mention him one time.

      Reply
  34. April G

    Must say- that I feel the same way! thanks for writing it Bruce.

    Reply
  35. Dale

    Couldn’t have said this any better myself, Bruce. It’s hard to figure out how the Jesus of the bible, who had compassion on the poor, the widow, the prisoner, those at the bottom of the heap of humanity, turned into a blood-thirsty capitalist who would have voted a straight republican ticket and trampled over the rights of “the least of these”.

    Reply
  36. Jim

    No wonder you get depressed!

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Thank you for professional diagnosis, doctor.

      Reply
  37. De Benny

    It’s an idol, a false god. You are absolutely right to hate this Jesus. And as long as Jesuses are created in the image of Christians, you will hardly find a perfect one. Because people are deficient. What some consider perfect is rotten to others.

    So the Jesus that would merit your devotion is your image of Jesus. And to me it appears this image has much less flaws then the “American Jesus” you speak of. (but again, I’m a human)

    Now the “American Jesus” is just an image, your own Jesus as well. But as the followers of the “American” Jesus are Christians, you who demand love for humanity, are also a Christian just by doing so. You have your image of a loving Jesus and you are a follower of this Jesus. This makes you a Christian, like it or not.

    It’s maybe no form of Christianity you have come across yet among others, it’s maybe not a Christianity you will ever find (or be able to found) a congregation for, but it still is a form of Christianity – that is rather incompatible with “American” Christians who follow “American” Jesus. They won’t consider you a Christian because you don’t fit into their definitions (and as this is where you come from you don’t consider yourself a Christian though you write about a Jesus that would merit your devotion). But why follow their definitions, after all, the are following a false god.

    Reply
  38. Brian

    De Benny, Oh boy, that’s all figured out then!

    Reply
  39. Dale

    Ed, you said:

    “But, here is a question…a woman is in jail due to her religious beliefs, and that isn’t supposed to happen in America.”

    Instead of posting an angry and rambling response, since you’re not that bad of a chap, here’s probably the best quote I’ve heard in quite some time (I’m assuming you speak of Kim Davis) by Rachel Held Evans:

    “No one’s being jailed for practicing her religion. Someone’s being jailed for using the government to force others to practice her religion.”

    Reply
    1. Ed Chapman

      Dale,

      I’m not angry, nor am I rambling. However, I am not in agreement with Rachel Held Evans. She is a bit bitter, due to the nature of the church that she came out of. I am very well aware of her. She came out of a very toxic church that is not Christian, but uses the name of Christ as a weapon against everyone, not just gay people. I am glad that she got out of that church, but she needs time to be angry, and heal. Her intentions are good, however, but I disagree with her.

      Ed Chapman

      Reply
      1. Dale

        I could have phrased that better. I wasn’t accusing you of being angry or of rambling…that’s what I tend to do toward certain folk who love to go on and on about “my right to say what I want here, but Bruce does blah blah blah blah…”

        Sorry about that. Dale get angry and rambles. Not Ed. Dale.

        Reply
  40. Carmen

    Oh dear Ed, you DO realize that every fundamentalist who doesn’t like what ANY woman has to say calls them ‘bitter’, don’t you? It’s that ‘don’t pay any attention to her, she’s bitter so anything she says should be devalued’ card – played by every man who wants to cast aspersions on a woman’s opinion. You need to realize that Rachel Held Evans is held in extremely high regard by many people, Ed. She’s intelligent, compassionate, and well educated. Her opinion is gold. And she’s bang-on in regard to that religious bigot in Kentucky.
    And Ed, another thing. You aren’t the first religious person to take the high road in regards to other ‘christians’ — since there are so many definitions, as Christopher Hitchens would say, “There can’t be one right definition so they must all be wrong.” (or something to that effect) Since there’s something like 35,000 different variations of christianity, do you really think you’re the one who has it RIGHT??? Hubris, Ed. Hubris.
    But thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ed Chapman

      Carmen, you do realize that she is bitter, don’t you? I didn’t say that out of any religious reasoning.

      When you lay the facts out on the table, she was in a toxic environment, and is confused as to what Christianity really is.

      So, yes, I do take the high road on Christianity. One thing that Catholics do, is to tout how many denominations that there are in the protestant world. Well, you are doing that too, by quoting Hitchens. Any church that advocates abuse is not a Christian Church. They are wolves in sheeps clothing. We all know that abuse happens, but that is NOT what Christianity is all about, and you should know that. However, just because there are many denominations, that does not matter. What matters is how one loves thy neighbor as thyself, AFTER acknowledging Jesus as the savior that forgives sin, and that he died on a cross and rose on the third day.

      The church that Rachel Held Evens belonged to, they did not love they neighbor as thyself. And Rachel has the right to be angry, and bitter. She is confused, and that is OK. It’s part of the healing process.

      Atheists love to use the word “bigot” against us. Isn’t that special, to quote the church lady of Saturday Night Live. I do not give credence to that word in regards to the Christian foundational beliefs.

      For example, if a house was on fire, would I be a bad guy for warning you to get out of the house, or else you will die? Well, that is what it is like being a Christian accused of being a bigot. It is an unfounded accusation. The Apostle Paul put up with a lot of badmouthing from people, calling him a shit load of names, too. It’s NORMAL for us to be badmouthed by those who do not believe in Jesus or God. It goes with the territory.

      Christians are being labeled a bigot for just believing in Christianity. You should also know that a Christian is not allowed to just believe (have personal faith), without action to back it up. We are not allowed to keep God in a box (church only).

      Ed Chapman

      Reply
  41. Carmen

    I’ve never got the impression that Rachel Held Evans was bitter or confused – in fact, she seems very forthright, honest, and what I’d call a progressive christian. Except for the fact that she believes in the holy spook, I really admire her actually. 🙂

    Don’t even get me started on your apostle Paul, Ed. Like I told you on another blog, you need to read other books besides the one I call My Least Favourite Fiction.

    It’s good that you can come here to get your ‘persecuted christian’ fix, anyway! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Bitter, angry, jaded, hurt….these are words used to marginalize those who dare challenge the official narrative. Ed takes it further by suggesting Rachel wasn’t in a true Christian church and subtly questioning whether she is a real Christian. (Bad fruit from a bad tree)

      My mistake with Ed was assuming that because he came to my blog through you that he had a similar POV. I now see that I was quite mistaken. 🙂 Now that Ed has taken to preaching and Bible quoting…that pretty much puts an end to the discussion.

      But what do I know. I am a bitter, angry, jaded, hurt exChristian. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Ed Chapman

        Bruce,

        My intent was not to marginalize, but to give truth to her situation. If she wasn’t bitter, she would still be in that false Christian church. So her bitterness is a good thing, not a bad thing.

        Ed

        Reply
        1. Dale

          Ed, I could not care less about her background or spiritual history. The quote states quite succinctly what I wish I could say. Unfortunately, I’m one of those who thinks of a really good comeback ten hours later. What Rachel said is the truth. Period.

          Reply
  42. Ed Chapman

    I don’t believe in such a thing as a “progressive” Christian. That is compromising.

    In regards for her being an advocate against abuse, I applaud her. But that is about as far as it goes.

    We have a saying, about people who are sincere, in that they are sincerely wrong.

    I will not adjust my beliefs based on popular opinion of the progressives. I will stand firm.

    1 Corinthians 16:13-14 The Message (MSG)

    13-14 Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.

    In regards to persecution, I don’t see that I am being persecuted here, nor by you ever. But the woman in jail…she is. However, I do get called a bigot on the Yahoo Blogs, and you just called that jailed woman a bigot. You’ve never called me a bigot, but I do realize that you may think of me as one.

    Ed

    Reply
  43. Carmen

    “We have a saying, about people who are sincere, in that they are sincerely wrong”

    little bit of irony there, eh Ed?? 😉

    Reply
  44. Ed Chapman

    Not at all, Carmen. Tell me that Christian conduct is not outlined in the bible towards people. Holding signs that state “God Hates Fags” is not a Christian conduct.

    When people leave a cult, they still hold on to certain beliefs. They still have to learn to walk and ride a bike. All they knew before is how to destroy the bike, and not know how to ride it.

    The behavior of a Christian is well outlined, and anyone professing to be a Christian, and does not “do” the word, in the “perfect law of liberty” of “faith”, under Christ, then how in the hell can they be a Christian?

    Reply
    1. Carmen

      So, from your comment above, we can all assume you’ve given away all your earthly possessions and spend your days helping the poor then, Ed?

      You know, that ‘christian conduct’ thing. ..

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Yep. ?

        Every Christian thinks they are a true Christian, have right belief, and right conduct. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism? Where? Supposedly, every Christian is indwelt by the spirit of God, yet they can’t even agree on core beliefs like salvation, baptism, communion, the Law of God, ecclesiology, eschatology, etc.

        Reply
        1. Ed Chapman

          If I am not mistaken, the Catholics started that confusion, and since the first reformers were former Catholics, they still held to certain beliefs.

          As a non-reformer, non-Catholic Christian, I go to the source, the Bible, whereas the reformers stuck with Augustine, the Catholic/Calvinist guru.

          We all have a Bible now. We don’t have to speak Latin anymore. We reject the Pope, any pope.

          And, I am not a fan of college educated theologians, calling themselves doctor such and such, as their beliefs/opinions/dissertations are based on the belief of their instructor/professor. In addition, Greek/Hebrew scholars are a dime a dozen, and as you rightly say, not even they can agree with one another. That’s why I don’t go to them for instruction. I love to do my own research…research in my military job was lots of fun.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Nice try. Not even Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John could agree on what constitutes salvation.

            There never has been pure Christianity. From the beginning there was competing beliefs and it was those Catholics that brought the canon together and gave Christianity a cohesive theology. Or was that the Gnostics? Damn, maybe it was the Essenes? So many Christianites, yet “poor” Ed has the true Christianity and he knows he does because he knows he does,

          2. Carmen

            . ..sigh. . .I know, Bruce. What makes Ed’s stand even more ironic is that he CANNOT see that every other person who feels they know the meaning of a what a REAL christian is, is every bit as convinced as Ed that THEY know the true meaning.

            . . and fundamentalists wonder why skeptics shake their heads. .

          3. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I’ve concluded that there are as many Christianities as there are Christians. Each Christian has their own version of God, Jesus, and what constitutes salvation. Every Christian appeals to the Bible, yet none of them believe and practice all of it. Every Christian picks and chooses what to believe and practice.

            Which one is right? Why they all are. Each can prove their peculiar version of truth by the Bible. Each appeal to history, distinguishing themselves from the “bad” behavior of the other Christians. As I have said many times, the Ed’s of the world distance themselves from the Phelps clan, but they have far more in common than the Ed’s are willing to admit.

            At least the Phelps’ are honest. God does hate fags. He created them, gave them sexual desire, and then condemns them to hell for acting on the sexual desire he gave them. (Never mind the fact that Jesus could have been gay) Reject this argument? Fine. Let’s go with God hates sin and those who do it. Reject this argument? Fine. Let’s go with the Romans 1,2 argument…that homosexual sex is a sign of reprobation. God not only hates the reprobate, they also can’t be saved. There are kinds of people and behaviors God hates. Shouldn’t a devoted true Christian put on a placard who and what God hates? Full disclosure, right?

            And underneath all of this is the notion of hell. Is there a heaven and hell? What determines who goes to hell? What happens to those in hell? Orthodoxy teaches that God will punish/torture non-Christians night and day for eternity in a place of fire and brimstone. For this to happen God must equip the non-Christian with a body that can withstand an eternity of torture. Awesome, right?

            None of this should surprise us. From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 we see a violent, capricious God who kills all who dare to get in his way or disobey him. God even went so far as to kill a devoted follower for daring to keep the ark of the Covenant from falling over.

            Here’s the good news. Most Christians are far better people than their God.

          4. Ed Chapman

            Been unavailable the last few days. It’s amazing to me the things atheists say about “believers”.

            God does not hate fags, by the way. For God so loved the world, that he died for them, too. So, how can anyone proclaim that God hates fags?

            And, I might add, that just because denominations cannot agree on issues, that does not negate out that they are saved, even tho some may accuse other denominations that if you don’t believe such and such that you cannot be saved.

            It’s so simple. How was Abraham “saved”? He didn’t have the law of Moses. He just believed. That’s it. And he was justified by the fact that he lived his faith. We Christians are children of Abraham.

            Again, the carnal story of Abraham and his seed is the spiritual story of Jesus.

            The atheist group seems to only see the carnal, negating out the spiritual.

            I’m still going to say that Bruce’s arguments are based on his disdain for Calvinism, which is also mine, just like my roommates arguments are from a Catholic disdain, which is also mine.

            Calvinism is a toxic religion. Julie Anne’s blog started because her former pastor is a Calvinist…albeit a run amuck Calvinist who does not have any authority above him.

            Calvinism is the most dangerous religion besides ISIS that I have ever seen. And Bruce came from Calvinism.

            Ed

          5. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Ed,

            You are wearing out your welcome. Why? Because you refuse to let me state my own beliefs and my own reasons for deconverting. Instead, you have some lamebrain theory that the fact that I was a Calvinist is a problem. I will tell you for the last time, it is not.

            Part of the problem is that you have not bothered to read all of my story. Instead, you focus on one aspect of it and this results in you coming to an errant conclusion. By all means, come to any conclusion you want, but I am quite tired of reading it here.

            As far as God hating “fags.” I gave you two examples from the Bible that could be used to justify such a belief, yet you think if you wave the God loves the world wand over the discussion then it makes the arguments go away. It doesn’t. If you are going to come on my blog and discuss, debate, argue using the Bible, then I expect you to engage the arguments I give. Not that I believe these things. I am engaging you to show that all Christians are quite hypocritical and inconsistent when it comes to their use of the Bible. IF you’d rather talk about the “love” of God, as found in the Bible, I’m game for that too.

            So, we just bullshitting here or do you really want to talk about what the Bible does and does not say? I have given you far more space than I do most Christians so I hope you will use it wisely.

            Bruce

          6. Ed Chapman

            Bruce,

            If you are going to make statements about the Bible, in regards, for example, “God hates fags”, then by all means cite Bible books, Chapters, Verses.

            I stand by what I said about your non-beliefs. It’s the only conclusion that I can come up with, since you don’t like the Western Jesus, that tells me that you like the Eastern Jesus.

            You state in your “About” that you are agnostic, yet you make a firm statement that there is no heaven and no hell. I read that from you.

            Ed Chapman

          7. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Best I can tell, based on the server logs, you have read two posts on this site, this page and the about page. You are in no position to make any judgement about what I do or don’t believe.

            You also show that you don’t have a good understanding of atheism either. If you did you would know why I am an agnostic and an atheist. (As is Richard Dawkins)

            You’re done here, Ed. I appreciate your comments, but I will not approve any further comments.

            Bruce

          8. Dale

            That’s like saying since I hate the wicked witch of the west that I will automagically love the good witch of the north. What if I don’t believe in witches?

          9. kittybrat

            “The atheist group seems to only see the carnal, negating out the spiritual.

            I’m still going to say that Bruce’s arguments are based on his disdain for Calvinism, which is also mine, just like my roommates arguments are from a Catholic disdain, which is also mine.”

            Ed, you see that you are making up your own narrative, right? The narrative that makes sense to you, rather than what is factual, is what you have just set out here.

            Atheists like me do appreciate the spiritual, as we have experienced it in all its glory. It is the religion, the Bible, the whole “belief” that we have found flawed.
            The spiritual aspect, in all its glory, can be scientifically explained, leaving aside the need for cognitive dissonance.

            It is absolutely the open, inquisitive minds of the atheist that negates the whole of Christianity, or any other mythology.

          10. Michael

            Why do you think the Bible is better than what the reformers stuck with? The Bible was put together in a few centuries by “people” who chose what to include and what not to include. And even within the Bible itself there is not one common form of “doing Christianity”. The Jewish way was 100 miles away from the converted gentile way. If you think that there once was the true one and only original way you are terribly mistaken. There never was. You say that only baptism in the name of Jesus is correct. Okay, let’s go further. Can it be a still water or does it have to be a river? What about the temperature of the water? I’m sure that if you don’t get +/- 5 degrees of the first century baptisms your baptism doesn’t count 🙂 (just joking). What is the most fundamental part of the baptism? Is it what is said, done, or is it something more and the former things are just a way to express it?

  45. Ed Chapman

    Carmen, Carmen,

    Jesus said that to a rich man, testing him. That was not a commandment to Christians. It was just a test to see where that rich man’s heart was. Besides, I don’t own much to begin with. I’m in the poor house, so to speak. My income is below the poverty level. I get food stamps, and ObamaCare.

    So, if we are to give to the poor, I am the poor.

    But, you can give me your money, if you want. Washington State does accept Canadian money!! LOL.

    Reply
  46. Carmen

    Well, Ed. ‘Poor’ is a relative term, isn’t it? Besides, I have come to know that you are a good person. And Ed, let’s be clear – I realize that one can be good without (a) god, although that realization has escaped you thus far. But I think you’ll come ’round. 🙂

    Reply
  47. Ed Chapman

    Call it what you want…I am poor. Free is my favorite four letter “F” word.

    But, I am gonna up one on ya. You only call me good. I am gonna call you great. How do you like them apples?

    However, I agree with you that you can be a good person without God.

    I know that Bruce isn’t too keen on me quoting bible, but even the Bible states that we are supposed to have a great report among the people who do not believe. Our conduct is supposed to be a light, not a deterrent.

    Remember the Patrick Swayze movie Roadhouse?

    His number 1 rule was to “BE NICE”, until it’s time to not be nice.

    Ed

    Reply
  48. Carmen

    Ed – ha, ha! You don’t know me very well if you refer to me as ‘great’, that’s all I can say!
    Besides, Bruce and I have a mutual friend, Julie Anne, who also says good things about you. Her opinion is gold, also. (even if she believes in the holy spook. . 😉 )

    I’m here trying to keep track of my two little grandchildren (Bruce, I used the proper word, there!) who are under four. Can you say, “Distracting!” ??

    There’s a mantra I’ve read on many non-believers’ sites – “Don’t be an arsehole” . It works for me!

    Reply
  49. Kittybrat

    Bruce,

    My favorite comment from you, to date!

    “Bruce Gerencser(Post author)September 6, 2015 at 9:59 pm
    I’ve concluded that there are as many Christianities as there are Christians. Each Christian has their own version of God, Jesus, and what constitutes salvation. Every Christian appeals to the Bible, yet none of them believe and practice all of it. Every Christian picks and chooses what to believe and practice.

    Which one is right? Why they all are. Each can prove their peculiar version of truth by the Bible. Each appeal to history, distinguishing themselves from the “bad” behavior of the other Christians. As I have said many times, the Ed’s of the world distance themselves from the Phelps clan, but they have far more in common than the Ed’s are willing to admit.

    At least the Phelps’ are honest. God does hate fags. He created them, gave them sexual desire, and then condemns them to hell for acting on the sexual desire he gave them. (Never mind the fact that Jesus could have been gay) Reject this argument? Fine. Let’s go with God hates sin and those who do it. Reject this argument? Fine. Let’s go with the Romans 1,2 argument…that homosexual sex is a sign of reprobation. God not only hates the reprobate, they also can’t be saved. There are kinds of people and behaviors God hates. Shouldn’t a devoted true Christian put on a placard who and what God hates? Full disclosure, right?

    And underneath all of this is the notion of hell. Is there a heaven and hell? What determines who goes to hell? What happens to those in hell? Orthodoxy teaches that God will punish/torture non-Christians night and day for eternity in a place of fire and brimstone. For this to happen God must equip the non-Christian with a body that can withstand an eternity of torture. Awesome, right?

    None of this should surprise us. From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 we see a violent, capricious God who kills all who dare to get in his way or disobey him. God even went so far as to kill a devoted follower for daring to keep the ark of the Covenant from falling over.

    Here’s the good news. Most Christians are far better people than their God.”

    Reply
  50. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

    Way back yonder in the comments, a man by the name of Timothy Potter left a lengthy comment, along with another lengthy response to several readers,including myself, who responded to him. Potter has also sent me several emails.

    Potter is offended that I misrepresented him by suggesting he had some sort of vision or dream from God. I based this conclusion on his bio on his blog where he says he is “a restless dreamer at heart” and “I can only boast in Jesus and my dreams”. Evidently, he meant something different by these statements than how I took them. Fair enough. I withdraw my statement about Potter having a vision or dream. Everything else I said stands, including my conclusion that Potter is someone who likes/needs to theologically/intellectually masturbate in public. He could have chosen to restate his argument or opinion in a succinct manner so readers could better understand his viewpoint, but he chose not to. That’s fine. I granted him the same freedom I grant all Evangelicals….one comment, say whatever you want. Feel better? Great, now move on down the road.

    Reply
  51. Becky Wiren

    Why is it that so many Christians come on here, and start telling Bruce he is wrong about what he experienced? Why can’t they just accept him where he is, and THEN talk about the Bible or theology? No, I see lots of arrogance from them. BTW, I’m not an agnostic or atheist. But I am NOT impressed.

    Reply
    1. Ed Chapman

      I originally came here NOT to accept or reject Bruce. I came here because I liked his article in regards to Hagee and Mark Biltz. I never imagined that Bruce was NOT a Christian. Bruce has the same kind of sarcasm about him that I have myself, and I liked his sarcasm. Little did I know that Bruce was sarcastic due to his atheistic beliefs. I supposed I should have just bowed out after I learned that, but, I can’t figure out for the life of me why anyone does not believe in God. I can’t fathom that.

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        And you might have found out if you had bothered to read a bit of my autobiographical posts.

        Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Ed, like many Christians, refuses to allow me to tell my own story and give the reasons for my deconversion. I simply have no time for such people. I gave him some space because he knew Carmen. He got the benefit of the doubt because if someone is friends with Carmen…well they must be a-ok. 🙂 Lesson learned.

      Reply
      1. Becky Wiren

        He might be a great guy, but as a visiting commenter, he’s a bit of a bust.

        Reply
  52. Terry Stevens

    It’s probably a waste of time, but I will still make the suggestion to Bruce that he do a little research on Simon Greenleaf, who was an atheist and then he was not. Bruce wants evidence as to the existence of a real Jesus, and when one of Greenleaf’s students challenged him to apply his research techniques to that task, well, you can read the book for yourself. As for your stand on evolution versus creation I would direct you to Anthony Flew, prolific writer of dozens of books on evolution, who came to believe in a creator God a few years ago, only to be shunned and ostracized by his peers. Go figure.

    As for me, I let the locusts eat on me for nearly 46 years before coming out of the darkness and into the light. Yes, false religion is truly the playground of demons.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I already believe in a real Jesus; one who lived, died, end of story.

      Anthony Flew? At best he was a deist. According to Wikipedia, he denied the resurrection of Jesus, the afterlife, and God as the source of good.

      Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I will offer you the same challenge I have offered others who have come before you. If you have some new argument for the existence of the Christian God by all means present it. I will gladly give you the space to do so. If all you have are old arguments in new clothing, don’t waste my time.

      Reply
      1. Dale

        WAIT A SECOND…THAT’S THE PLOT OF “BIG DADDY?”!!!!!
        https://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0055/0055_01.asp?Store=True

        Reply
      2. Michael

        I am just interested in the properties of the argument you would be willing to accept. If you do not state them then you can turn down literally any argument given. Most of them by saying that “the person’s bodily/mental senses didn’t work” or “science will find explanation for that later on”.

        I personally believe that you do much more for Christ by doing what you do and believing what you believe and finding out He actually is real would diminish the amazing healing impact of everything you do [I used the word do four times 🙂 ]. So my personal preference would be that you would remain an atheist on paper.

        Sorry that I literally flooded this article with comments! I’m just so blessed by everything that is going on here.

        Michael

        Reply
    3. sgl

      re: “… Simon Greenleaf, who was an atheist and then he was not.”

      DagoodS investigated the claim that greenleaf was an atheist, and there is no indication that this is true.

      http://sandwichesforsale.blogspot.com/2010/10/simon-greenleaf.html

      “Nothing contemporary indicates he ever was an atheist, or even a theist who disbelieved the resurrection. All the evidence we have demonstrates Simon Greenleaf was a lifelong Episcopalian! He is reached the position of being on the Standing Committee for the Episcopalian diocese of Maine as of 1927. He was at the Maine Episcopalian Convention of 1831 And at the Maine Episcopalian Convention of 1832

      Remember, this was all before he became a professor, let alone write his treatise on evidence. ”

      and another oft-claimed atheist-to-theist conversion:
      http://sandwichesforsale.blogspot.com/2010/10/sir-william-mitchell-ramsay.html

      of course, i’m sure that as a promoter of TRUTH, you’ll be sure to amend your own thinking, and also correct anyone in the future who happens to regurgitate these lies. because we all know who the author of lies is, right?!

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Thank you for sharing this information. DagoodS is a lawyer and a meticulous researcher and I trust his research on this subject. I knew about Anthony Flew’s supposed conversion, but I was not familiar with Greenleaf.

        Reply
  53. Prof. Humez

    But do we not need myths, every one of us? Myths (including the mythologiozed Christ) are “lies that tell the deeper truth” — they may be absurd on their literal face but speak to fundamental questions we all have (Where did I/my people come from? How did the world begin and how will it end? How do I get along with my brother because you’re supposed to but he’s a total schmuck? Is there a life after this one, and if so what happens in it? Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea are mighty in power? and so on). While it is possible in theory to live a rational life wholly, without basing any action on imaginary considerations, I think it is extremely difficult even for the most intelligent and cerebral of us, and just to take one example makes for a rather prosaic love life. Aristotle posits a category of sins against the intellect and perhaps an unquestioning belief in divinities is one of them; yet I wonder if (as Murray Code points out in his excellent book )we may not be committing a serious error in the reductionism of a rationality that excludes any other sort of knowing but the positivist-empiricist model. Are we the weaker because we go to church and come away feeling more at one with a god who may not exist and our fellow human beings who most certainly do? Is this simply epistemic cheating? Or is there a place for myth in a reasonable person’s mental life? I do not pretend to know the answer to this, but I think my students may have been helped to search for one by being exposed to the variety of beliefs about imaginaries at the core of various western mythologies. A waking life without myths seems to me a lot like sleep without dreams; my intuitive feeling is that we need both, though I cannot prove this.

    Reply
    1. Michael Mock

      Could you repeat that again in English? I think it almost made sense.

      Writing does horrible things to tone and inflection, but what I’m saying here is that I would be fine with a religion that was explicitly metaphorical and focused only on who we are as a people, and what we value most.

      I’ve written several myself. However, I have to say that if I were going to try to define myself by way of a story, it wouldn’t be one of mine. It would be Clive Barker’s _Cabal_.

      Most religions, though, insist on making empirical claims, e.g. “If we allow Gay Marriage to become the law of the land, God will smite our country!” And I won’t do that about my personal mythology. I won’t tell you about how you once could actually find Midian north of Athabasca, east of Peace River, near Shere Neck and north of Dwyer, how you could meet with the monsters who would accept your secret face. It’s not, in any sort of empirical sense, true.

      And that matters.

      Reply
  54. Michael

    You are an utterly amazing man, Bruce. I am so proud of your honesty and kindness.
    Every new comment I read convinced me there’s no fake in you whatsoever.
    There’s so much genuine love in you.

    Cheers from Slovakia! The autumn is beautiful here.

    Michael

    Reply
  55. Rachel

    Wow, this is the first time I have seen your website. I got saved myself back in 1980. Changed my life for good. Unfortunately, what I read didn’t jive with what I saw. My husband and I got saved and started attending an IFB church. The pastor called black folks niggers from the pulpit. When I talked to the pastor about it because I didn’t agree with him, I was told I had put my hand to the plow and was looking back – a total misuse of scripture. I might have been a new believer, but I knew that was wrong. Needless to say, we didn’t stay there long, perhaps a few months. But we went from the fire to another frying pan: we attend another IBF church. We didn’t survive. Our marriage fell apart due to the wrong teaching of submission. The “good ole boy” environment which taught men to control their wives and children ruin my marriage. Since my husband had full control of our lives which marginalized my place in his life, I fell out of love for him. I don’t blame my ex as we were young christians and still learning. I couldn’t fight the influence of the church in our lives, though I tried. We got divorced. I suffered terrible emotional pain that took me down a dark road for a while. I do believe in God, in Jesus and the Holy Spirit and they have not failed me, the church did. The church today is full of all kinds of a different Jesus, something I am seeing now. I think perhaps that is why I stop many years ago watching tv preachers as they drove me nuts. It is embarrassing to me and it breaks my heart to hear those millionaire preachers ask for money. Throw in scandals of all sorts and it becomes too much! I wandered without a church home for years, though I tried to find a church that truly address the real issues that are ruining the church and bringing shame to the name of Christ. Today, I content with my life, and I finally found a church that does see and believes in accountability to the greater community around us, and most of all, toward God. I really do understand why people hate Christ because many believers are mean, unkind and have no compassion. I cringe when so-called believers go to gay celebrations holding signs calling them faggots, queers and worst. I could cry. How can they possibly think their actions are holy? I do ponder about the events/horrors/sin happening in the church. Even so, I still believe in God, and my own personal experiences with the transforming power of the gospel keeps me believing. Mr. Gerencser, your blog is illuminating and I will continue to visit from time to time. The state of the church burdens me and honestly, I feel like putting on sackcloth and ashes……

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Oh brother, Rachel, would you relax and have a popsicle please? It is not up to you to work out the conundrum of the universe. Unburden yourself and breathe in slowly and deeply. Try not thinking and just breathe, for Gawd’s sake, if you need that… Just stop! Gay folks do not need you to save them from Christians; and you are one, after all… One that has apparently found the right tea mix now and knows that they are all wrong….. sheesh. You have a heart and compassion worth believing in and caring for.. why do you attribute it to something at church or elsewhere?

      Reply
  56. Rachel

    My compassion and heart comes from the gospel, but not necessarily from the “church”. And as far as working out the “conundrum of the universe”. Gee whiz, give me a break! This site opinions the views of enlightenment many feel they have attained because of the erring church, mine is in the gospel. There is a lot of assessment going on in this website which is quite passionate and much more intense than my own. Nor do I see that anyone should stop, breathe slowly and deeply. Why should anyone do that? This blog is all about passion. Which is why I felt I could contribute in the manner I did.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Well, as long as you promise not to dress up in sackcloth and ashes, then… I am sorry that you lost your spouse to patriarchal Christianity and still recommend the the slow, deep breaths sometimes, for good health and contemplation. Churches fail because Christianity fails. It tells people to believe in the invisible, to enocurage their own delusions in talking to nobody and nothing. Your compassion and heart come from the gospel? Well, if you say so but I would hazard that your compassion comes from your humanity. Seriously though, the sackcloth and ashes thing just has to go…..;-)

      Reply
  57. Sonya

    I hate the Jesus that makes animals suffer. What sort of God creates animals that would tear each other to bits, just so they can survive? This is one of the many reasons that made me dislike God and no longer believe in a “loving” God at all. If the God of the Bible exists, he is a monster.
    What about the millions of suffering animals in factory farms? Where is the commandment in the Bible telling humanity to treat animals better? It isn’t there, like those lives don’t even matter.
    What about all the animals that died in the flood? They didn’t sin, yet they suffered. It’s not fair one bit.
    The whole concept of the Bible ( humans being sinners since Adam and Eve, God forever punishing humans, and then if you believe in Jesus, you go to heaven etc) is so unfair. If the Bible was true, it would make God VERY unjust and unkind. A monster…like I already said. Animals don’t even go to heaven either , it never says anywhere they do.

    And then all the billions of people born in the wrong place and at the wrong time, they all go to hell to suffer for all eternity? WTF? Really? So God creates, and it is all part of his plan, and the only way you are “saved” is by faith in Jesus? Yet, billions of people are not saved by that definition! I would say either God didn’t make a good plan, OR he is…a monster…most likely he does not exist!

    Prayer and the Bible: It says our prayers will be answered in several places, yet, even when I used to be a very faithful fundamentalist Christian, like you used to be, they were NOT! I kept a list and kept track. Some prayers were always answered ( the easy ones) , some almost never ( the harder ones) and some never ( the hard ones).
    Prayers do nothing

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Sonya, prayers do nothing you might desire them to do…. but they do allow one to cry out for help or mercy or retribution! They do allow a certain expression of feelings from the biped that might otherwise be buried! It is bullshit of course with regard to the fact that there is no God to answer prayer but the entreaty is worthwhile in human terms, if you ask me. To be able to openly feel and express is not ‘nothing’….
      Because God does not answer is no reason to not desire an answer in things and to cry out for it, The cry is being human…

      Reply
  58. Harmony

    Wow. Just wow. I tend to avoid these types of sites as I am very vulnerable to feeling bad when I get around other hurting and regretful people, but I found my way here and read this and it is fabulous. Exactly how I found myself separated from ‘the church’

    Reply
  59. Pingback: An Atheist Perspective on Jesus | Flee from Christian Fundamentalism

  60. larisa domodedova

    i understand that you hate jesus. okay. go ahead. why do you have to tell the world about it? i hate peanuts. i keep it to myself, as it is nobody else’s business. good luck

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      You missed the point of this post.

      I also find it quite funny that you tell me to keep it to myself using a public comment on a public forum.

      Reply
    2. John Arthur

      Hi Larisa,

      Don’t you hate the American Fundamentalist Jesus who supports wealth, privilege and power? Don’t you hate the Jesus of right wing capitalism who supports only the Republican Party? Don’t you hate the Jesus of wrath and judgement who tortures people in hell forever? Don’t you hate the Jesus who supports Yaweh’s command to the Israelites to put whole populations to the sword, including defenceless women, little children and babies, then to make sure that they do a thorough job, Yahweh commands them to burn the cities to the ground? Or do you love these Jesuses?

      What about a “Jesus” of mercy, compassion and loving-kindness? Do you love or hate him? What about a “Jesus” of peace and non violence? Do you love or hate him? Of course, whether such a person in real or mythical, is your life based on peace and compassion?

      Shalom,

      John Arthur

      Reply
      1. peter

        Well said John. It has always puzzled me why so many politically active Christians seem to espouse policies that are the opposite of the practices of the early Church (pacifism and socialism) and the opposite of the teaching of the sermon on the mount.

        Indeed I go further and suggest such folk seem very much like the ‘goats’ in Matthew 25. Well lucky for them I don’t think any of it is true.

        Reply
      2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Larry and Larisa are likely the same person. Same IP address.

        Reply
    3. J.D. Matthews

      You hated this article. Okay. Go ahead. Why do you have to tell the world about it? Fuck off.

      Reply
    4. Geoff

      Big difference between peanuts and Jesus.

      I know that peanuts really exist.

      Reply
  61. Ron A. Zajac

    I’ve been saying for a long, long time that if I really wanted to be a truly amazing blasphemer, I’d need to become an evangelical. Until that day comes, I’ll just have to limp along, I guess….

    Loved this writing. I’m reminded of reading the Jennifer Hecht book _Doubt_, and she talks about an interesting philosophical strain that sprang up in Judaism: The view of their school was that a truly pious person would act in a manner indistinguishable from an atheist.

    Reply
  62. Bill

    Bruce, I scorn you. For over 25 years, you were a Christian leader. You loved your Rolexes, Lear Jets, and expensive suits. By your own definition of yourself, you either enjoyed these things or joined in the pursuit of them and weren’t clever enough to attain them. SHAME on you! My own father, a humble pastor, has NEVER owned a new car in his life. He gave up his career in early life to pursue what you NEVER did–the Jesus of the Bible. The jesus you described is not the American Jesus. Nope. He was the Bruce-Gerencse-Jesus. And, unarguably, there are many of your type out there to be sure. In fact, the pastors that I’ve sat under have continually warned me all my life about your type of pastor that you were. Now you’ve made your pile of money and decided to get out of the American-Bruce-Gerencse-Jesus business, and mock those still in it.

    By your own admission, you spent at least 25 years as a horrible fiend. You served a personal version of jesus that a normal, decent Christian would have abhorred. You claim that you saw the multitudes and turned your back on them, and you were only concerned with those who said and believed “the right things.” Buddy, you are to be scorned.

    You looked at Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, Universalists, Secularists, Humanists, and Skeptics, and believed that they would burn forever in the Lake of Fire, yet you settled yourself down in cushy Ohio, Texas, Michigan–places where you could enjoy the praise of your fellow Gerencserites who, according to your own testimony, subjugated women, told widows it was their fault, and ignored the cries of orphans. You were one sick man.

    You never left your comfy home and go to Africa or Asia or South America where you truly believed people had no access to what you believed was the only remedy that could spare them from eternal damnation. You and other “Christians” of your type disgust me. You were so heartless. Of course, you would one day cash out of enjoy your hard earned payoff and walk away from you “jesus,” now you gloat in the life you lived and lump everyone else in with you nasty old self. Your guilt and self-loathing has filled you with hate for the jesus got you your car

    How could you repeatedly threaten to abandon your wife and children if they didn’t kowtow to you and your jesus? What an awful life you shoved their faces into! I couldn’t image my dad doing something to us like you did to your family. You were a monster!

    Many of the ways you describe the jesus you served for over 25 years–TWENTY-FIVE YEARS!–is worthy of derision, mockery, and hate.

    At your request, I shower on you the DERISION and MOCKERY you so richly deserve. Be a man, pal, and return all that money your bilked from all those widows and poor families.

    Who am I? I am a little man who has spent the past decade living in a third-world country spreading the message that you refused to spread while claiming to believe that your negligence was damning precious souls to eternal fire. While you admittedly made a full career of lusting after fancy cars, palaces and cathedrals and of oppressing women, immigrants, orphans, homosexuals, and atheists, I have made a simple career of reading my Bible and trying–quite poorly–to emulate the Jesus who I found there. I have never asked anyone or any church for a penny. I work an honest job. More importantly, I am acquainted with many, many more folks who are the opposite of what you described yourself to have shamefully been for over a quarter of a century.

    I hate the Gerencser jesus far more than you now claim to. Now your lifelong disingenuousness has morphed into a sly insistence that the Gerencser jesus represents all of us. You. Are. A. Liar.

    Reply
    1. Steven ransom

      great post bill, keep on keeping on in His Mighty Name. there comes a point when people must be allowed to fall into the manure heap of their own making.

      Reply
  63. Brian

    Hey Bill, I am the son of and IFB preacher. Was your dad in that club or another? You express yourself with a rabid love that smells of delusional Christianity and, possibly, drug use? Care to come clean? Let’s talk! What is your honest job, ESL?

    Reply
  64. Samuel Buick

    Hi. I read this with interest, and sharing the common pain which you speak of. The Jesus I know is not like any of it. Mind you the “many Jesuses” you speak of I have encountered over my entire 58 years. Being the son of a missionary/church planter/preacher, and an ordained preacher myself for over 20 year, I walked away from “institutional Christianity” for many of the same reasons you espouse. Unlike you I am not an agnostic or atheist. I have known God to intervene in my life far too many times to dismiss him. I cannot and will not forsake the Jesus I have come to know. I am sorry for the pain and the abuse you have suffered at the hands of those who have pimped their versions of Jesus as being authentic. Most of these Jesuses have no resemblance to the Jesus that lived and walked among us. Again, I am sorry for what has happened to you. I know of that kind of spiritual abuse and the rejection that comes along when you resist these fundamentalist views. I am so sorry. Keep writing and sharing your heart. Peace. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. J.D. Matthews

      It’s interesting how so many like you say that God has intervened so many times in their lives, and that they absolutely know it was him, and not just random dumb luck… but then they never bother to elaborate or spell out specifically what it was that God did.

      I wonder why that is.

      I would ask you, kindly, to please detail these interventions that God has made “too many times.” Tell us what happened, how it could be none other than God, and give us proof, please. It would benefit my life immensely to become a believer again, so I’d humbly request if you have any evidence, share it here, in detail. Please don’t cop out with “you’d have to see it to believe it” or the idea that I’m so set in my ways that I’d deny it anyway. Don’t be coy or vague. Let’s hear your evidence.

      Reply
  65. Kel

    Yeah man jesus sucks,its crazy how you suffer for him but he would not anssee your prayers, you can ask him the perfect request but somehow He makes even that difficult

    Reply
  66. steve

    bruce says: I don’t hate the flesh and blood Jesus who walked the dusty roads of Palestine, nor do I hate the Jesus found in the pages of the Bible.

    but you go on to say how you hate the God who condemns homosexuality and supports incestuous relationships because a woman cannot have an abortion who has been raped by her family member (or some very similar scenario you have painted). you’re pathetic bruce, you’re whipping up an emotive nave-lgaze fest in your mind. do you actually believe your own hype? you’re actually a cult leader whose followers love your every utterance. you are completely deluded and you’ve fallen in love with your own blind alley logic. i am so glad you have not caught me up in your web of self-serving nonsense. ooooohhhhh say bruce’s adoring fans, how bitter and twisted is this man, how very shrill, how very clearly does he prove our point. no bruce, youve been left too long to ruminate on your own wisdom and youve fooled youreslf into believing youve got something insightful to say. you havent , youre just another bitter boring athesit

    Reply
    1. Geoff

      Steve, I’ve found from bitter experience that it’s best not to post after you’ve been drinking. Your comments here when you stopped by sometime ago were illogical and incoherent, but at least they were grammatically not bad.

      Now you’ve lost it completely. It’s also deeply, personally, embarrassing that you are from the UK and so a countryman of mine.

      Reply
      1. Brian

        I beg to differ, Geoff. The closer the drivel approaches a complete collapse of communication, the better (as I see it from the mountains of B.C.) By the way, isn’t an athesit somebody who has finally settled into a comfy lack of belief, probably in his own athesit lounge?

        Reply
  67. steve

    just as darwin suffered from the most extreme nervous conditions, triggered and fed largely as a result of the weight of guilt he felt over the evo-fallacy he regurgitated (and i say regurgitated for of course evolution has a long history of being regurgitated every so often before it dies again) i would define an atheist as somebody who on the outside smiles from time to time but on the inside, cannot escape the reality that God has written His Name on each of our hearts. Bruce, you’re a master in the art of ‘framing the language and thus the argument’ but to those who understand and recognise this style (emotive appeal to conscience bla bla bla) your atheistic arsenal is but damp cat litter

    Reply
    1. Michael Mock

      Ah, yes. The old “God has written his name on our hearts, therefore you must know that I’m right” approach. Designed to… do what, exactly? Prick our consciences? Make us wonder what color the sky is in your world?

      It’s a stupid thing to assert, as even a brief glance around the world we live in shows that it cannot possibly be true.

      http://nagamakironin.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-not-to-talk-to-unbelievers-part-ii.html

      Reply
      1. steve

        ah yes just as patriotism is the favourite retreat of the politician cornered, likewise the old ‘even a brief glance around this cruel, capricious world bla bla bla’ – is the same favourite philosophical retreat for the atheist (i would say godless but that’s not true of course)

        Reply
        1. Michael Mock

          Heh. Of course you’d say that.

          But walk this through with me.

          According to you, I know that God exists.

          According to you, I know that God is all-knowing and all-powerful.

          Therefore, I claim he doesn’t exist because it benefits me by… No, wait. Under those conditions, that changes absolutely nothing. It makes no sense for me to claim that. No, if that really is the case, and I really know that, then the only sensible response is for me to do the best I can to please Him.

          Yet I don’t.

          Which only makes sense if I genuinely don’t believe He’s out there. Likewise, the simple existence of the vast number of other religions — in the world around us — immediately and irrefutably contradicts the idea that the existence of the Christian God is clearly evidenced by the world we live in.

          The problem of pain is a valid objection to any concept of a monotheistic deity who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good. But that’s not the objection I’m making. The problem of variety of beliefs is what I’m pointing out, and that’s a massive objection to Paul’s idea that God’s presence and nature is so clear that nobody should be able to argue about it.

          And that’s not to mention that maybe someone who had to be struck down by a bolt of divine light before he could recognize his Lord and Savior shouldn’t be giving advice on just how clear and obvious God’s presence and nature should be to everyone else…

          Reply
          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I must remember this one:

            “And that’s not to mention that maybe someone who had to be struck down by a bolt of divine light before he could recognize his Lord and Savior shouldn’t be giving advice on just how clear and obvious God’s presence and nature should be to everyone else..”

            Paul even admitted that he had strange visions. What if he was describing some sort of psychosis? Wouldn’t it be funny if the entire foundation of Western/Pauline Christianity is built on a 1st century man’s dreams? ?

          2. steve

            why should i walk anything through with anybody who ends up telling those who oppose him to FUCK OFF! ? you don’t deserve any walkthrough, you poured your offal over me the last time around, why bother, your saccharine entreaties might paint you in a good light in some people’s eyes but not mine

          3. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            You have an interesting take on our previous interactions. Your comments (and mine) are there for all to read. I’ll leave it to others to decide whether your behavior warranted a “fuck off” from me. I gave you a lot of space, Steve and you squandered it. Yet, here you come…..seven months later ranting like a drunk man, throwing feces at me and others. And then you wonder why people tell you to “fuck off.”

            And let’s not forget that Michael Mock graciously offered to engage you in a discussion on his blog seven months ago. No nicer guy around than Michael. Much less temperamental than I am. ?He’s not a “fuck off” kind of guy. At least so far, anyway.?

            Any hoo….unless you have something meaningful to say, Steve, it’s time for me to open the door to your cell in Gerencser Hell. So far, there’s only one other person in Gerencser Hell. I hope he enjoys your company.

          4. Michael Mock

            I “poured my offal over” you? I listened to your evidence, watched your video, weighed it all in the balance, and found it wanting. I said at the time that I didn’t think you were stupid or uneducated, just that the evidence you’d offered didn’t support the assertions you were making. I even offered you the chance to continue, though I did note that it probably wouldn’t make any difference.

  68. steven

    no bruce, master of the passive aggressive, you evidently dont read your posts, like i said it was michael mock who told somebody to do just that – to F off. so why should i waste any time on the man? anyway, this is the last post goodbye everybody. you all win, well done, i am the loser, hip hip hooray

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I doubt Michael did so, but if you have evidence to the contrary, please post the relevant link. I checked the hundreds of comments on the two posts you have commented on, and I found no ” fuck offs” from Michael.

      Reply
      1. Geoff

        Am I allowed to tell him to fuck off?

        Reply
  69. steven

    and you are right bruce, and i apologise unreservedly to michael it was jd matthews, so michael, i am truly sorry for misrepresenting you. but, either way, i really cant be bothered to go through this all again with people who believe they are spotless compared to the christians they love to mock. my understanding of this site remains the same and i will no longer be posting

    Reply
  70. Jim Martel

    Bruce,

    Today, May 10, 2017, I burned every piece of Christian literature I have. A slew of bible resource books including five bibles. My deconversion is complete. You didn’t inspire me to do this. The slanderous demonizing, self-righteous, condemner of people, JOHN MACARTHUR inspired me to do this. What a relief!

    Another person instrumental in my de-conversion is my messed up AOG cousin, Dr. Gary ****. I hadn’t seen him in 40 years and he had NOTHING good to say about me. Another thing that was instrumental was the constant condemnation I was getting from ‘christians’ that I’m going to hell for NOT believing in a trinity.

    Now I can move on with my life and NOT be pissed off at the followers of the dysfunctional religion of christianity. I’m disconnected!

    NOW. I’m either taking down my web site or selling it.

    Reply
  71. Kendel

    I have only this to say about “Why I Hate Jesus”. I’m sorry. I’m sorry this is the Jesus you have been shown. I’m sorry for all of the pain you have been through on this journey. I’m sorry the church failed you so deeply. I’m just sorry.

    Reply
  72. Ryan

    Here’s my 2 cents for what its worth…Let me start off by saying, I was raised a hindu but since I started on a journey to find god or even some semblance of quantifiable evidence for the existence of god. I came up with absolutely nothing. Through the process I have read many religious texts and sat in on many church sermons and the likes and now when someone questions my skepticism. I simply ask them if they have read the bible and how they justify all the atrocities ordered by their god(Only christians have a problem with my apparent non-believer status)…On a final note to you Bruce, Thank you for an excellent read and my personal opinion is that your reasoning can be applied to any modern day religion and have the same results(For humanity to move forward, Religion must first loosen its grip)

    Reply
  73. Keith McKenzie

    Wow! What pain you’ve been through. Thank you for publishing your “Journey”. I’m working on my own blog, so this is double education for me.

    Who wouldn’t hate the “Jesus” you described! The Jesus I know saved my physical life in two automobile accidents, saved my sight and confounded the Doctors, and teaches me how to love the unloveable. However, I understand that not enough people have met this Jesus. The Evangelicals churches so misrepresent Him, that its no wonder that so few people have met Him!

    I should mention that I have two Degrees (including a Masters) in Engineering. I spent 35 years in a satellite ground system based Aerospace Engineering career. Much of it surrounded by Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims. Many good people, a few not so good.

    My faith is intact because it is not reliant on the church, which is increasingly becoming an embarrassment and a failure in the West. Thus my desire to establish a video blog and web site to begin expressing my extreme displeasure with the state of the church.

    Most biggest issue that in most churches, it is IMPOSSIBLE to express displeasure WITH ANYTHING, without being “labeled” rebellious.

    Someone needs to show some courage and confront these arrogant Pastors and Bishops, the way Martin Luther did!

    Of course, you Pastored churches that were financially struggling. And they let you do it, perhaps pressured you to do it, without thought for your personal security, or that of your family.

    Excuse me while I vomit.

    Praying for you Bruce. There is a real Jesus worthy of worship out there. But don’t try to find Him in one of your local churches. You might have to travel a long way to get there.

    BTW: I have read a little of Dawkins. Love his writing on Memes. Also watch some of Hutchins. Interesting views on economics.

    Reply
  74. Geoff

    Keith you said

    “Who wouldn’t hate the “Jesus” you described! The Jesus I know saved my physical life in two automobile accidents, saved my sight and confounded the Doctors, and teaches me how to love the unloveable.”

    How can you possibly know that Jesus was responsible for these things? If you credit him with saving you in two car accidents then why not blame him for letting them happen in the first place? How many perfectly decent people, including Christians, die in such accidents, so why are you so favoured? And your sight seems to have been saved by doctors who, whilst surprised perhaps, were not confounded. Unexpected, but perfectly natural, happens all the time.

    I’m not looking for debate or argument, just pointing out that something you see as personal revelation is nothing of the sort to others. For the sake of completeness I might say that I’m not convinced as to the historicity of Jesus, whatever attributes you may think he had.

    Reply
    1. Keith McKenzie

      Actually Bruce, the Doctor’s were confounded. Twice. In fact, we were told that such things don’t happen. But they did.

      I remember years ago seeing the movie “Close Encounters” with Richard Dreyfuss. The Dreyfuss character of course had an encounter with an alien craft, and it turned his world upside down. He began to behave in what his family believed was a bizarre fashion, but made sense to him. When you have such an encounter, you are never the same again.

      The Western Church, and Evangelicalism has mistaken religiosity and churchianity for Christianity. And people hating their version of Jesus is the inevitable result.

      If there is still a part of you that wants to believe, you might benefit from looking outside of Evangelicalism. God is performing miracles, even today.

      https://youtu.be/m1est65LcdI

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Geoff is who responded to you. As far as God/Jesus/Christianity/Salvation/Heaven? That ship has already sailed. I have zero interest in Christianity, regardless of the flavor.

        Reply
      2. Michael Mock

        You make a mistake in assuming that Bruce (and the rest of us) have never sought for God/Jesus/anything outside of Evangelicalism.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Correct. It is a common problem I face when people assume my life of faith was static; that I was always a Fundamentalist Baptist; that I was always an Evangelical. When I first started blogging, I was still a Christian — quite progressive in my theological and political views. Andrew Hackman and I met when I first started blogging,and he can give testimony to the fact that even then there were certain types of Christians who didn’t think I was saved. At the time, I said that the emerging/emergent church would become the new Christian liberalism, and it has. In time, they will likely, as some of them already have, adopt some form of universalism.

          Reply
  75. Walter Johnson

    Bruce,
    Isn’t a historically resurrected Jesus the primary ‘proof’ for God’s existence that you are saying doesn’t exist? (I sometimes wonder what acceptable level of ‘proof’ one would expect a God to furnish to discerning people in order for us to confidently believe He exists).

    I want to be careful how I word this, but I think it is not intellectually honest for you to say that God hasn’t furnished ‘proof’ as being the reason you are an atheist. His resurrection, in part, was intended to authenticate that, right? (Unless you can intellectually refute Christ’s historical resurrection in a non-prejudiced way that I’m not able to).

    Do you think that the real basis for your atheism isn’t actually a lack of ‘proof’, but rather you simply hate the God that He has revealed Himself to be through Jesus? Or, do you possibly see hypocrisy in some followers of Jesus as the basis for denying God’s very existence and thereby affirming your atheism?

    It seems that for you atheism is NOT an intellectual conclusion from a lack of ‘proof/evidence’. Rather, It seems to ultimately be a philosophical conclusion because you have disdain for the God he ‘would’ be if the resurrected Christ was indeed God. Therefore, it would be better if He did NOT exist….therefore you are an atheist who would rather deny His existence out of a hatred for Him than contend with His reality, or willingly subject yourself to Him. That, to me, just seems to be the ultimate reasoning for your ‘atheism’ (as evidenced by your Why I Hate Jesus article). That is ok, but I just wish that is what you would make very clear. But, to me, that isn’t really atheism…..it just seem you have a disdain for God/Jesus of the Bible…..and that somehow gets labeled as atheism. It is understandable if you say that you hate God, but your reasoning for saying God doesn’t exist seems from the heart….not the brain. It seems to be a philosophy, not an intellectual conclusion.

    I think it would be more intellectually honest for you to say that reasonable historical inquiry would show that Christ likely DID raise from the dead…and I hate him anyway…even if He gave substantial evidence as being divine.

    And yes, I (me) am fully assuming that if Jesus be resurrected, then it is safe to conclude He is the God He claimed to be. Whether we love or hate that god is irrelevant really, for the purposes of defining atheism.
    And if he was NOT resurrected, then that intellectual conclusion should be the primary basis for your atheism…..as well as my own….not some philosophical hatred of Jesus because he doesn’t line up with our political or moral ideology.

    I just feel there is a confusion here between EXISTENCE of GOD vs. a HATRED of GOD (Jesus) in your blogs that I have read thus far. Could you confirm for me if I’m off in evaluating your true reasons for your ‘atheism’.

    I’m not looking to convert you whatsoever. But ultimately, in your analysis, did Jesus raise from the dead? That is the fork in the intellectual road that would help me understand the root of your ‘atheism’ a bit better. As I would define atheism, a TRUE atheist would need to have intellectually concluded Jesus did NOT raise from the dead, and be able to intellectually and historically defend that position. How one feels about Jesus’ teachings, His morality, His politics, or His followers is wholly irrelevant to the EXISTENCE of God. His resurrection is wholly relevant to the EXISTENCE of God, however.

    I contend it is possible for someone to believe God exists (because of the resurrection)….and hate Him anyway. Is that you?

    Respectfully,

    Walter

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      *sigh*

      Nowhere on this blog have I stated that Jesus resurrected from the dead. In fact, I have on numerous occasions said the exact opposite. Boom! Another mountain of Christian bullshit comes crashing down.

      In the future, try to understand my viewpoint before preaching and showing your ignorance.

      Jesus lived, died, end of story. Dead people stay dead.

      You might want to “think” about the purpose and meaning of this post. When the little light in your head comes on, let me know.

      Bruce

      Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Forgive me, if I seem short with you. Years of dealing with Christians, answering the same questions over and over, tries my patience.

      The intellectual basis for my rejection of Christianity is my rejection of the central claims of Christians concerning the Bible, God, Jesus, sin, man’s need for redemption, eternal life, etc. The Bible is central to Christian belief. If it is not what Christians claim it is, then Christianity as now practiced is false. All arguments about Christianity ultimately lead back to the Bible. It is for this reason I encourage people to read Bart Ehrman’s books about the history and nature of the Biblical text.

      Reply
    3. Michael Mock

      Hi, Walter.

      I realize you were addressing Bruce, but I’d like to have a go at this. It covers a number of misconceptions and failures of perception/understanding that come up very commonly when Christians try to examine why atheists don’t share their faith.

      I’m going to put your essay in quotes and italics; my responses will be in plain text.

      “Isn’t a historically resurrected Jesus the primary ‘proof’ for God’s existence that you are saying doesn’t exist? (I sometimes wonder what acceptable level of ‘proof’ one would expect a God to furnish to discerning people in order for us to confidently believe He exists).

      I want to be careful how I word this, but I think it is not intellectually honest for you to say that God hasn’t furnished ‘proof’ as being the reason you are an atheist. His resurrection, in part, was intended to authenticate that, right? (Unless you can intellectually refute Christ’s historical resurrection in a non-prejudiced way that I’m not able to).”

      A historically resurrected Jesus would be a very good argument, if we had proof that such a thing actually happened – but even then, it would be really hard to rule out the possibility that first-century medicine was simply mistaken about what had happened. Did he come back to life after three days? Or was he just in a coma?

      It seems to me that you take it for granted that both Jesus’ life and His resurrection are clear historical facts. From where I’m sitting, that’s a very large assumption to build your argument from.

      You seem to be asking Bruce to provide some kind of proof that Jesus wasn’t resurrected — “Unless you can intellectually refute Christ’s historical resurrection in a non-prejudiced way that I’m not able to” — but that’s missing the point. As far as I’m concerned, the question isn’t, “How do you know Jesus wasn’t resurrected?” The actual question is, “Why should we believe that He was?”

      We have secondhand accounts, written years or even decades after the events they purport to describe — and not just that, but written by people who were involved in creating a new religion at the time. Yes, some of those people were willing to “die for their beliefs”, but that doesn’t require that their claims were true. (Indeed, the same could be said of several early figures in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.) We have Josephus’ account, of course, but even if we assume that wasn’t a later interpolation (arguable), Josephus was writing well after the fact and atheists tend to assume the he was simply recording what he had been told (whereas Christians tend to assume that he was confirming what he had been told).

      Taken together, that seems like a fairly flimsy foundation for believing that someone who was somehow both God and the Son of God walked this Earth, was put to death, and returned to life three days later — a idea that, if you pull back and look at it, seems unlikely to the point of absurdity.

      Admittedly, absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence, but in this case taking it for granted that the Resurrection was a historical event requires — pardon me — a huge leap of faith.

      Bruce and I disagree on the historicity of Jesus, by the way. Bruce thinks He actually existed, but didn’t perform miracles or return from the dead. I’m not at all convinced that Jesus was anything more than a character in a story.

      (You wondered what might constitute an “acceptable” level of proof. I would suggest that a deity who was still around, active, and accessible would be a very good start. Unfortunately, Jesus isn’t the sort of entity that you could introduce me to, where we could all go out to eat and maybe order margaritas while I touched the wounds.)

      “Do you think that the real basis for your atheism isn’t actually a lack of ‘proof’, but rather you simply hate the God that He has revealed Himself to be through Jesus? Or, do you possibly see hypocrisy in some followers of Jesus as the basis for denying God’s very existence and thereby affirming your atheism?”

      Simple answers: No, and no.

      Those are the sorts of things that can cause people to start questioning, but that’s only the beginning of the process.

      “It seems that for you atheism is NOT an intellectual conclusion from a lack of ‘proof/evidence’. Rather, It seems to ultimately be a philosophical conclusion because you have disdain for the God he ‘would’ be if the resurrected Christ was indeed God. Therefore, it would be better if He did NOT exist….therefore you are an atheist who would rather deny His existence out of a hatred for Him than contend with His reality, or willingly subject yourself to Him. That, to me, just seems to be the ultimate reasoning for your ‘atheism’ (as evidenced by your Why I Hate Jesus article). That is ok, but I just wish that is what you would make very clear. But, to me, that isn’t really atheism…..it just seem you have a disdain for God/Jesus of the Bible…..and that somehow gets labeled as atheism. It is understandable if you say that you hate God, but your reasoning for saying God doesn’t exist seems from the heart….not the brain. It seems to be a philosophy, not an intellectual conclusion.”

      You’re mistaking a single (and somewhat ironic) article for a definitive description of Bruce’s philosophical worldview, and in the process both missing and confirming the point of the article.

      The word you’re looking for, by the way, is antitheist. It is possible to be both atheist and antitheist, though Bruce is actually a pretty soft antitheist (and is sometimes criticized by other atheists because of it). Here’s a piece I wrote on terminology, if you’re interested.

      “I think it would be more intellectually honest for you to say that reasonable historical inquiry would show that Christ likely DID raise from the dead…and I hate him anyway…even if He gave substantial evidence as being divine.”

      That would indeed be more intellectually honest, if it were the case that reasonable historical inquire showed that Jesus did rise from the dead. However, as I outlined earlier, it is not.

      “And yes, I (me) am fully assuming that if Jesus be resurrected, then it is safe to conclude He is the God He claimed to be. Whether we love or hate that god is irrelevant really, for the purposes of defining atheism.
      And if he was NOT resurrected, then that intellectual conclusion should be the primary basis for your atheism…..as well as my own….not some philosophical hatred of Jesus because he doesn’t line up with our political or moral ideology.”

      True, but very much missing the point (and misunderstanding the origins) of this article.

      “I just feel there is a confusion here between EXISTENCE of GOD vs. a HATRED of GOD (Jesus) in your blogs that I have read thus far. Could you confirm for me if I’m off in evaluating your true reasons for your ‘atheism’.”

      That’s a fair question. Bear in mind, though, that this particular article wasn’t written as a defense of atheism or even a comprehensive outline of Bruce’s philosophy. (I realize I’m kind of speaking for Bruce here, but we’ve been friends online for a number of years; he’ll correct me if I’m off target.) It’s probably also worth remembering that people almost never act (or react) from pure philosophical/intellectual evaluation; emotions and experiences are always, always a part of it. One of the things that I enjoy about Bruce’s writing is that he really doesn’t try to keep everything separate — and that some of his essays are written with tongue partly (or firmly) in cheek.

      “I’m not looking to convert you whatsoever. But ultimately, in your analysis, did Jesus raise from the dead? That is the fork in the intellectual road that would help me understand the root of your ‘atheism’ a bit better.”

      If you’re asking an atheist, the answer is that we don’t think Jesus rose from the dead. Some of us aren’t sure He ever existed in the first place. But, again, I feel safe in saying that this piece wasn’t written to explain what atheists in general and Bruce in particular mean by “insufficient historical evidence” and “lack of adequate proof” and suchlike.

      “As I would define atheism, a TRUE atheist would need to have intellectually concluded Jesus did NOT raise from the dead, and be able to intellectually and historically defend that position. How one feels about Jesus’ teachings, His morality, His politics, or His followers is wholly irrelevant to the EXISTENCE of God. His resurrection is wholly relevant to the EXISTENCE of God, however.”

      I think pretty much everyone here would agree with you on that.

      “I contend it is possible for someone to believe God exists (because of the resurrection)….and hate Him anyway. Is that you?”

      I suppose it’s possible for someone to be the sort of pure antitheist that you’re describing, but I’ve never met one. But atheists? Atheists are atheists because we don’t believe there are any such beings out there. We may hate the idea of God — what I’d call the social construct of God — as Bruce has described in this article, but God Himself? Nothing there to hate.

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Thanks, Michael.

        Reply
      2. Geoff

        That’s a great response Michael, well done.

        I’ll add only that I dislike the conflation of the words ‘proof’ and ‘evidence’. Proof is almost impossible outside of the realms of pure mathematics and, in reality, when we refer to proof in every day speech, for example in courts of law, we really mean a preponderance of evidence. Which leads me to a second comment. I agree with you that the evidence for the existence of Jesus as a historical character of any kind is weak. Yes, bible scholars seem intent on dismissing as foolish anyone challenging historicity, but they do rather have ‘a horse in the race’. I’m not even sure where I sit in the debate, but what I can be sure of is that if the very existence of Jesus is in doubt, then there can be no convincing evidence whatsoever of the more exotic stories surrounding him.

        Reply
  76. James

    I’ve read only a few of your writings so far. What I think as I’m reading, so far, is what an indictment of the Evangelical church & thank God I didn’t grow up in it. The opinions you express as beliefs of that church & the feelings that it evokes from you are screwed up. Although I am a part of an organized religion, a Christian one, we are taught to never ever believe what we hear from the pulpit or from anyone else but to study it for ourselves. And, that we never have the answers but to keep studying. And that life is complicated, messy, unfair, as well as good. Don’t know what sanitized version of the Bible you guys read but it’s not the same one I do it seems. The other thing I think as I read is that you didn’t lose your belief… you lost your feeling. Too many in this country, Christian & Atheist alike, mistake feeling for belief even the act of thinking. I’ll end this by saying, one day, if you’re honest, you’ll not only see Atheism for the nothingness that it is, but how much more murderous it is as well. The Bible, the non-sanitized one, teaches there are many roads, and we can be happy on them, but I would never choose one that advocated murder as a way of life. Maybe I’m biased since I actually experienced communism as well. You Americans are very spoiled. But your day is coming, unfortunately. Good luck with your murderous ideals. And no, I won’t be commenting any further, but I will read more. The Evangelical church sounds quite trippy.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Every Christian thinks their reading of the Bible is the “right” one. Why should anyone accept your interpretation or your sect’s interpretation as the “right” one ?

      As far as my “honesty” is concerned. There was no greater honest moment for me than when I realized and admitted that the claims of Christianity are not true: that the Bible is not what Christians say it is; that true freedom can only be had by unshackling one’s mind from religious dogma that binds, controls, and kills.

      As far as your comment about feelings. All I can say is *sigh*

      Reply
  77. Terry Lee Miller

    Bruce I can fully understand why you ‘hate Jesus.’ I have been in the independent/Southern Baptist camps for over 50 years. Was ordained by Dr. Tom Malone, knew him well in the sixties. I now after about 5 years studying the doctrine of damnationism or endless torment in the Lake of Fire for eternity, clearly see that the ‘Jesus’ you hate does not exist, except as a ‘created Jesus’ created by Augustine as a perversion of Biblical Christianity. The true Jesus of the Bible never taught ‘endless’ (aidios, Gk) punishment but rather temporary indefinite duration punishment (aionios). So breaking news as follows: The KJV when studied in the light of the original languages, teaches that all men will be saved, eventually. Jews, Gentiles, Hindus, Buddhists, drug dealers, whoremongers, atheists, agnostics, the worst (and best) of society, all will be eventually saved. Jesus loves all men of all ages and will eventually win all to himself and eternal everlasting salvation. Jesus loves you, Bruce, though you are, as the majority of the Christian churches today are, really ignorant of just who He really is. The real Jesus is full of love, compassion, and is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance. This Jesus will love woo and win the hardest and most wicked heart ever to Himself and to endless eternal salvation. If you will notice after the Lake of Fire, reserved as a final place of punishment for the unsaved, in Revelaion 21, that the old heavens and earth and ALL THAT IS THEREIN PASSES AWAY WHICH INCLUDES THE LAKE OF FIRE. The final enemy Jesus destroys is DEATH. No more death for anyone, anyone at all since at the end of the punishment in the Lake of Fire, Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to Jesus, embracing Him and becoming born again through His precious blood. Yes if someone dies unsaved, yes he or she will go to hell, the temporary holding place awaiting the final judgement of the Lake of Fire, where men will be punished not eternally, but ‘according to their (temporal) works. Terrible pain and suffering, but at the end of that universal salvation for all. [book plug removed]

    Reply
    1. Michael Mock

      http://i.imgur.com/B7R9t.jpg
      Not sure if that image will show; if it doesn’t appear in thread, please click on the link – because it summarizes one of the two primary reasons why I’m sitting here shaking my head at everything you’ve just said.

      The other reason, of course, is that I don’t see any reason to believe that any of this works that way: the eternal, all-powerful creator and savior; the nature of human fallibility and frailty; judgement, torment, and redemption; any of it.

      And yes, I realize you were responding to Bruce, but I know he’s heard this sort of thing at least as often as I have, and I’m pretty sure that it makes him at least as tired as it makes me. Lend an ear, if you would, and pay heed: the New Good News that we don’t have to be atheists because it turns out that God isn’t quite the Asshole that some Christians have made Him out to be? That kind of message is pretty much wasted on those of us who see no reason to believe that He’s out there in the first place.

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Graphics won’t show. I wish WordPress would add this functionality to its self-hosted software. There are plugins that give this functionality, but I don’t like how they work.

        You are spot-on about Terry’s version of the Evangelical God. His God is a “nice” serial killer who smiles as he tortures you. Woo! Hoo! Sign me up. *sigh*

        Reply
        1. Michael Mock

          Demon: “Well, yes, it is a lake of fire, but I’m happy to say it’s only temporary…”

          Human: “Only temporary? You want me to step into a lake of fire because it’s only temporary?”

          Demon: “Not at all. We have many options. You could parachute in. There’s a diving board, so you could do a flip, or a cannonball!”

          Human: “Are there options that don’t involve burning forever?”

          Demon: “But I just told you, it’s not forever!”

          Human: “Okay, fine, it’s not forever. How long is it?”

          Demon: “Well, at the rate you humans are going, I can’t imagine that we won’t get to Armageddon and the Final Judgement within the next thousand years.”

          Human: “Strangely, this is not making me feel any better about the prospect of perpetual torment.”

          Demon: “Nevertheless…”

          Human: “Could I spend that time in, maybe, a tub of luke-warm whiskey?”

          Demon: {looks vaguely guilty}

          Human: {raises eyebrows} “You actually have a tub of lukewarm whiskey?”

          Demon: “Well, it’s more of an olympic-sized pool, but it’s usually reserved for demons…”

          Human: “But there’s lukewarm whiskey, and I could just sit in that until the final judgement?”

          Demon: “It… it is lukewarm whiskey. But the demons really would prefer to–”

          Human: “Sign me up for the lukewarm whiskey pool, please.”

          Demon: “You’ll have to do laps until the final judgement.”

          Human: “Deal.”

          Demon: {sighing deeply} “Very well.”

          Reply
          1. anotherami

            Looks like the old-fashioned side-stroke is going to be making a comeback…

          2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Thanks for this, Michael. It’s so good I’m going to use it in a post about hell. ?

          3. Michael Mock

            My pleasure. Steal away!

  78. JulieBarks

    A speech worthy off our Winstone Churchill well said.

    Reply
  79. Kimmy

    I’m reposting after moderation hopefully you’ll read:
    As to your atheism, I can actually understand it, and I genuinely have so much more respect for that than for the shallow mystical /liberal/therapeutic/legalistic spoof that has flooded the visible church. Really how different is it from New age or Buddhism or Islam? Not too much currently.

    The problem is that the religion you preached for 25 years and then left was not Christianity at all. I too, was right at the cusp of leaving the ‘christianity’ that i had followed all my life to be an atheist, back in 2010. I visited apostasy websites and found hundreds of former pastors, sunday school teachers, deacons, priests etc who also left and their lives are soo much happier, successful and meaningful as atheist or agnostic. Why? Because Christ did not come to the earth to give us these things, but only came to save us from our sin and God’s just wrath, and give us eternal life.

    The thing that bothered me most in that religion though was within, was that I found no peace, no way of overcoming my deep habitual sins, no assurance of salvation; I still felt fearful of death, always wondered if I was ‘sincere enough’ in my sinner’s prayer and my devotion. I saw all the failures in my life and concluded God must be false or if He exists He must have condemned me, clearly he wasn’t blessing my life. When I went to church I’d force myself into a ‘mood of worship’ or to feel close to God, even several times I spoke gibberish ‘tongues’ under the guise of Holy Spirit. It surely felt fake and my heart gradually hardened. It was like a drug that was losing even its temporary weak effects altogether. How did the apostles and generations of Christians gladly give their very lives for this BS? Was I missing something?

    In fact, yes. After a lifetime in church I had never even heard any true preaching of the law of God, man’s total sinful depravity imputed from Adam and what the Christ-centered God-glorifying Gospel of grace really is. I set out to learn about these strange ideas…It was shocking. The scriptures I’ve read in blindness began to make sense. I found myself led online to sites (e.g. CIC ministry, Fighting for the faith, SO4J) that explain the simple Gospel from Genesis to Revelation, not as a means to teach us how to live or what manipulative steps to take to obtain advantage or success in our selfish lives with a religious veneer (As I’d been doing all these years). But simply what IS:

    How man was created, how he fell into sin and how deeply fallen he remains and the various manifestations of this innate sin throughout man’s history. But simultaneously and intertwined, how God began His plan of redemption, right from the promise in Eden & covering Adam and Eve’s nakedness, how it unfolds all through history, from Abraham’s story foreshadowing Calvary, to Moses leading Israel across the Red Sea (baptism) and through the wilderness (our life) and Joshua (Jesus) leading them into the promised land with the sound of Trumpet’s (His 2nd coming), to David the shepherd King who was anointed but not yet crowned (hello, Christ!) and all his messianic psalms, and all the prophecies from Isaiah – Daniel – Micah et al, and how amazingly they culminate in the coming of Christ.

    And the life of Christ, all He did and taught that clearly demonstrate His divinity while fulfilling all prophecy, to the glorification at the Cross. Which now fully explains the law and how He fulfils it perfectly as both the sacrificial Lamb whose blood fully washes away our sin, and the eternal High Priest and King. And His resurrection confirms it and sets him apart from all others. Wow is that amazing. How can we possibly begin to even touch on the layers and depths of this? This is love, not that we loved him but he loved us, and gave himself for us. This is the Christian gospel that quenches our deep spiritual thirst and gives us life.

    And when you see the deep corruption, abuse, immorality in organized religion (not to mention all of human enterprise), it truly confirms one thing, that Man is Utterly Depraved. Even our religious acts and worship are wicked and tainted to the core. We just cannot do right or be pure. That is truly a terrifying thing to contemplate. We need a perfect and infinite Savior.

    Also see Youtube: Rod Rosenbladt: Gospel for those broken by the church

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      *sigh* You found “true” Christianity, a Christianity that has evaded millions of people of faith. Woo Hoo, you won the golden ticket (America’s Got Talent reference). I hope you will pause and think for a minute about how arrogant it is to claim that you and your little band of believers, out of the billions and billions of people who have ever lived on plant earth, are the only people to “discover” or “find” the one true faith.

      I hope you will take the time to read more of my site than just a handful of pages relating to Jack Hyles. If you do, you will find that I once believed exactly as you do now. Swoosh — that’s the air going out of your apologetical balloon. Now you must square the fact that I once believed EXACTLY as you do, yet I am now an atheist. You might want to read the posts found here — https://brucegerencser.net/why/

      If you have questions, I will answer them. If you have a gospel or sermon to preach, please don’t. https://brucegerencser.net/comment-rules/

      Reply
      1. Brian

        Kimmy doesn’t seem to get it. Kimmy’s post could easily be generated by a bot because it says nothing at all new and merely betrays another biped who woke-up to scripture and discovered the real real-er real-est truth and wept for joy at the incredible depth of depth and how deep depth really is! I mock, as is my bent sometimes but the truth is very sad indeed. Kimmy was unable to be merely human and decided instead to do harm, to say wicked things about the self and others and to follow along a depraved belief that is incredibly arrogant, as you say. Please Kimmy, stop preying. And regarding your link to Rod Rosenblatt, let me tell you how true his words are: He recognizes my sadness, my madness at having left the faith. I am very sad, Kimmy, that faith reduces human beings to self-denigrating slaves of churches/preachers/authorities. It saddens me to no end that you prefer to be blamed and shamed and beg forgiveness, than to allow that you are merely human, fully human and are not perfect. Why must you harm yourself over this? Why must you hold to magic and utterly wild histories of holy men? It saddens a man to watch others do this to themselves. If it didn’t sadden me, I would not be wholly human, If it did not madden/anger me to see what religion does in this world, I would be much less human, armored with denial as I see you are in your expression, Kimmy. I admit saddness/madness in these matters, Kimmy. But I know human joy in the noticed dawn of every day I am able to witness it. I am moved by mere life lived and write poetry to allow huan expression concerning feelings that overwhelm and are portals to fuller humanity. I have both up and down and inbetween. Go endlessly among the wordmongering theologians if you will and listen to the bulldozed ideas of a Rod R. or Steven Anderson, another preacher with the real KJV truth.
        If you can be sad, Kimmy, and not hate yourself so much you have to leap into denial, if you can be mad, Kimmy, and not fear what it brings to your mind and life, then you have begun to accomplish being human…. or, you can talk about the great life awaiting you in heaven, deny your full humanity and be happy in Jesus.

        Reply
    2. Michael Mock

      “We need a perfect and infinite Savior.”

      Yes, well, if you find one I’d like to hear from him.

      Reply
  80. Barbara adams

    My darling Bruce YOU have been a victim of the middle east and their desire to produce a certain messiah to get there BRIDE Jerusalem back. We’ve all been VICTIMS my darling. They were desperate to get a messiah to help them escape their lifestyle. These people are victims of many things so they invented their promised land to escape to. My sweet heart I’m so sorry you’ve been hurt so much. The church was built to get these people back their promised land. I spent 50 years in the church so I could experience the pain this kind of religion leaves behind. They were such emotional cripples they ran away from their desert life looking for comfort. They became VICTIMS of Jesus a ego MANIAC who wanted to rule the world. The Christian religion is a group of EXTREMIST who wanted to rule the world and get rich and famous using bleeding JESUS to win the hearts of men over and all their money. JESUS actually came and exploited all of humanity while pretending to be a representative of God’s love. My beautiful person this religion is not from the real God of love at all. My God of love is not wanting to send you to hell at all. Non of these revelations came from the real God of love at all. The book of revelation came from some extreme jihadist who want to scare people into joining the church. I want to tell you the Christian religion has been used to scare and torture MEN into the church by threatening them with hell. This Angel has been sent from the real God of LOVE that does not want to destroy this world or send men to hell. The way of the CROSS does not lead home my darling. You are loved and God understands,all your confusion. I love you and God loves you. Be at peace. This is God’s most beautiful ANGEL THAT GOD SENT TO TELL YOU THESE THINGS.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      *sigh*

      Reply
      1. Zoe

        Where does one begin?

        Is Barbara the angel or is the angel channeling through Barbara?

        🙂

        Reply
  81. Barbara adams

    You need a HUG you have been hurt by the exploitive MIDDLE eastern religion called Christianity. My sweetness the bible was written to control all of mankind. It is a matrix type of religion made to take control of the world for the benefit of certain people. The Jews became famous because of the bible. They were so famous they got whatever they wanted from the United nations in 1948. These poor little people went through so much somewhere in time they had to push their way into the lime light to get the worlds attention. These people have exploited us in so many ways. They convinced us there is only one God and it was their God and him alone because they wanted control the whole world and they wanted the whole world looking to them for answers. The heavens are so big MY beautiful ones there has to be more than one God up there. This unknown God is where I come from he sent me to tell you something you are LOVED MY BEAUTIFUL ONES AND HE WANTS TO SET YOU FREE FROM BEING EXPLOITED BY THESE PEOPLE FROM THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE RELIGION THEY INVENTED TO CONTROL THE WORLD. THEY HAVE THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD BECAUSE OF BIBLE THE GREATEST SELLER OF ALL TIME. NO WONDER MY SWEETNESS YOU HATE JESUS HE WASN’T EVER SENT FROM YOUR GOD OF LOVE. HE IS,AN INVENTION FROM THE MIDDLE EAST TO GET THEM MORE ATTENTION AND CONTROL OVER THINGS. THE REAL GOD OF LOVE CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. HE HAD TO SENT YOU THIS MESSAGE SO YOU CAN BE FREE FROM EVERY RELIGION IN THE MIDDLE EAST. JESUS became a cruel and abusive person that hurt you even though he professed he came from the God of love. His REVELATION were about being cruel and abusive TO his saints. Forget him. He became an outright SLAVE DRIVER to his saints in the book of revelation. You are loved and you need a HUG today.

    Reply
    1. GeoffT

      Barbara, please don’t take this personally, but you are a raving loony.

      Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Bye, Barbie.

      Reply
      1. Michael Mock

        Awwww, Bruce… Do you need a hug? ‘Cause I’m here for you, my man.

        Honestly, Barbara, you sound like you could use a hug, too – and possibly a long vacation as well.

        ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Sure, but not from Barbie. ? I loathe being called sweetie, dear, hun, hunny, etc by women I don’t sleep with. ?

          Reply
      2. Zoe

        She sure seems to know a lot about her “unknown” God.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          I’m sure Barbie’s god speaks directly to her in a special language only she understands.

          She’s a perfect example of how religion can fuck up the mind.

          Reply
    3. John Arthur

      Hi Barbara,

      You mean well. If God exists, the he/she/it can only be love. But what evidence do we have for the existence of such a god?

      I think I’ll go with compassionate and peaceful humanism, and focus on this life.

      Reply
  82. Barbara adams

    Bruce I know it’s hard to believe there is another side of heaven where there is a GOD OF LOVE. THERE ARE MANY SIDES OF HEAVEN. THIS CHILD COMES FROM THE NORTWEST SIDE OF HEAVEN. THERE IS A NORTH SIDE OF HEAVEN A SOUTH SIDE OF HEAVEN. ITS PRETTY BIG UP THERE. THE ONLY SIDE OF HEAVEN SPEAKING IN THE BIBLE IS THE ONE ABOVE THE MIDDLE EAST. he was,a,jealous God and demanding. He was brutal and horrible. I wanted to comfort you Bruce because you were being BEAT UP on by so many people. I’m sorry that your path has been so bad that you that you stopped believing in God at all. I’m an Angel of mercy so I have to try to support misunstood and HURTING people. An angel of love is a mother of love and your mother of love is here and she wants to support you. JESUS was so hard on Some of his saints they couldn’t take it anymore. That was so painful to go through. Bruce YOU are loved I’ve looked beyond your faults and seen your needs. Have a nice day.

    Reply
  83. madeline

    wow this this alot to take in…Bruce, the only thing i can say is, don’t depend on us humans too much, we get it wrong most days…less we become our own gods…not unlike the evangelical pastor…: )

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I am an atheist, so the only Gods I know of are of the human variety. All in all, humans are kind and decent. I generally think well of my fellow bipeds.

      Reply
  84. deano

    Gday Bruce. Glad you are out of the box…..a box of damaged goods! Books? Yes, you must be like a child learning the world all over again, History, Science, Evolution……and other different theorys and perspectives. Admire your truth, and obvious good heart, and brave enough to realize your mistakes in life and warn others of the dangers.
    I often see comments on true Christianity etc in the timeline of 33AD > 315AD? 400AD?….early Christians. It took at least 300yrs to first assemble the texts, and then make it Roman Law? Just who were these compilers/scribes/early church fathers fascinated me. We all know the OT was compiled by the Greeks of the Septuagint, but the NT?
    In my research, these fathers /desert monks like Origen and Eusebius etc are all well known, but the term EUNECH kept appearing…….not the Ethiopian, or Babylon gaurd……..so I typed in “Eunechs in the bible” to find anything else…….
    well, low and behold, Jesus himself talks about them when queried by the disciples on marriage >>>>

    MATT 19;12 ” For some are born Eunechs, some made Eunechs by men, and some become *Eunechs* for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Accept this if you can.”

    *In modern Bibles, the last *Eunechs* has been changed to *CELIBATE* or renounces marriage.

    WHY is Jesus talking about men castrating themselves to get to heaven, when he hasnt yet died for their Salvation?
    This should be alarm bell to all good christians……but I took the historical evidence path, and asked>>>
    Was there a group of men Castrating themselves in Jesus times???????? Unfortuneately, yes >

    In 200BC, the GALLI priests of Greek Pontus Galatia, came to Rome with their cult of Attis & Cybele(great mother). They became the augers/prophets of the Emporers. In March, they had a street festival, carrying the blood stained effigy of Attis on a pine trunk, dressed in yellow frocks, long blond hair, tiaras and mitres, in a frenzy, they would castrate themselves, to become like the Eunech Attis…..transformed into Cybele.
    A Gay Mardi Gras and Transgenders in Rome? I dug deeper…..and so should ALL christians….and most of this is easily confirmed on Wikipedia…..not some conspiracy site!
    # Attis ~ castrated himself under a Pine tree to be like the Virgin Mother Cybele
    # Cybele ~ the greek great mother/mater/Demeter……Sybelline Oracles?
    #Pontus Galatia ~ modern Turkey, the home of the Seven Churches of Revelation(Greek Asia minor)
    # Philadelphia Church ~ ……is this the Oracle of Delphi?
    # Vatican ~ the Vatican is built over the old temple of Attis & Cybele
    # Pigna ~ the Vatican has a giant bronze Pine cone flanked by gallus(latin-peacocks)
    # GALLI ~ the Eunech Priests of Pontus Galatia. Elites of this area were pedophiles too….
    #DIES SANGUINIS ~ Day of Blood. The 24th March, the festival the Galli castrated themselves on
    #Galatians ~ Pauls plea to stop their immoral debauchery (+ Jew circumcision?)
    #EASTER ~ Christamss is always Dec 25th. But his death date, changes every year. The SUNday, after the Paschal Full MOON apparently. But what I have found, is it is always after the 22nd March, the day the GALLI priests sacrificed a lamb under a Pine tree to start the Attis festival……..Pine Xmas trees?
    #CASTRATO ~ until recently, last one died 1920s, the Vatican had castrated choirboys to keep their angelic voices, because women arent allowed to speak in church apparently. 1600 – 1880s. 260yrs of castrating/eunech making?
    #ORIGEN ~ the key man of the NT texts. A eunech, his self-castration is even shown on Wikipedia page.

    GALLI? Man from Galli-lee? Gallician Church? Gaelic?Gallic Wars? This Galli name keeps popping up everywhere!

    Now who do we know, that are Celibate(eunechs) for Heaven, wear yellow frocks and jewellry and mitres, have blood sacrifice rituals, especially at Easter time, love angelic choirboys and promote Jesus as the Lamb of God?

    ATTIS ? Anyone ever heard of him? A Eunech Greek God worshipped in Rome? A couple of people have hinted that Jesus could have been based on Attis, but none have made all the other connections, and the more I look, the more I find. They have kept this little deity well hidden from us…….but there is many Roman texts, statues and knowledge of the GALLI priests and their sick eunech ritual of Attis. Transfromation? Transubstanation?Transfiguration?

    I dont Hate Jesus, I find it Hilarious. Oh, how we have all been decieved. Pedophilia and Closet Gays is now being exposed on a global scale and you have to wonder why the Catholic Church really doesnt like women, Eve the reason for Sin, Sarah and Hagar, and a Virgin Mother (thats an oxymoron). Brides of Christ? But NO women allowed?

    Is it any wonder they had to invent Jesus? I think these early christian martyrs were outspoken Galli. Effeminate long haired men were outlawed in the Roman Empire, despised and frowned upon. Ever wondered why they were celibate hermit monks living in desert or mountaintop monasterys? All those little boy cherubim images, or statues with genatalia removed?……there may have been a Yeshua galli priest, son of God ,NO.

    I Hate the Catholic Church ,its Lies, and Pedophilia predators . More evidence? Look at B&W photos of Nuns in group shots………Do they look like women to you? Seriously? ……..I cant respect this “Faith”(gullibility) at all.

    Reply
  85. Julie Barks

    Hi Bruce.
    I have boldly gone were so many Christians fear to tread. As a Christian, I learned the truth that we have been lied to and deceived. But it’s not easy. It took me about Five years for the penny to drop, but when it finally did I was free. All I can say to anyone who has some nagging doubts is read, watch online documentary about the history of how and who put the bible together. Ask questions with an inquiry mind. But above all do not be afraid, don’t let another human being tell you what the truth, is look for yourself and look in places your church tells you not to i.e books by Dawkins, Hitchens, Bart Ehrman, there is so much information out there that is not one-sided. I came out of a long dark tunnel into the light of truth.” And Bruce you have helped in that journey”. Thanks.

    Reply
  86. Mary

    I think the fundies and evangelies (which I call fake Christians) are wanting to paste a picture of trump on the drawing of Jesus’s face at the beginning of this excellent post.

    Reply
  87. 7come11

    I like the Jesus who was a Buddhist monk teaching in Judea

    Reply

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