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The Sounds of Fundamentalism: Evangelical Bill Wiese Preys on Dying Atheist

bill wiese

This is the one hundred and seventy-ninth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism features a video clip of Evangelical Bill Wiese talking out how he evangelized a dying atheist. Wiese, a con-artist for Jesus, is best known for his claim of having an out of body experience that landed him in hell for twenty-three minutes. Wiese has made a lot of cash off of this con, so there is no reason to believe that his atheist story is true either, or at the very least it happened as exactly as Wiese says it did.

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

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Series Navigation<< The Sounds of Fundamentalism: Donald Trump is God’s Chosen One Says Mary ColbertThe Sounds of Fundamentalism: Catholic Woman Eats Puke Instead of Leaving Jesus in a Plastic Bag >>


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    I don’t buy this story. He claims the man was an atheist, but that he lacked knowledge about the salvation of Jesus. If the man spoke of being an atheist previously, I doubt he was ignorant about Christianity. And supposedly this man was so grateful to hear the salvation message in his hospital bed because he almost died and was surrounded by darkness before being pulled back into his body. Whether this story is true or pants on fire, I think I would scream my last breath for someone to leave me alone if they came to my deathbed to preach to me.

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    JESUS offers the only way to Heaven. It is not difficult but some are so arrogant or get off on their unbelief. The problem with that is this life ends in a blip. Life is just a vapor. Choose Heaven…over hell. Are these people with these incredible experiences all making it up? All of them? Be serious.

    We shall all die and be totally forgotten…except by GOD thankfully.

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      Mike, you buy this stuff too readily. It’s best if you do some real investigating on Christianity’s dirty history before falling for the con. Jesus and his apostles are never mentioned once in the secular historical record for the first two centuries, that’s 0-199 CE. The only place that Jesus is talked about is in the Bible and among the early church leaders, but history itself hasn’t the vaguest clue about who Jesus and the 12 were. The gospels were not written by eyewitnesses. They were written by anonymous Greek scholars 80-120 CE long after Jesus and the 12 were around. Other than the Bible, which is a piece of Christian propaganda, nobody knows about Jesus being crucified or the empty tomb or the 12 seeing him risen or his ascension. This put Jesus, the 12 apostles and them dying for their faith and all the stuff you have been programmed to believe squarely into the realm of myth and legend. Hell is a pagan myth. It was started by the Zoroastrians in Persia 1000 years before Jesus. Christian leaders picked it up because it was an effective tool for coercing pagans into joining Christianity–“join or burn for eternity” is the most effective evangelizing tool known. Bill Weiss is a scoundrel and liar for Jesus. He is among the lowest of the low. He proves in spades that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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        Jack, to be fair there are two extra biblical references to Jesus in the timeframe to which you refer, Tacitus and Josephus. The quality of the evidence that each provides is fairly poor (one of the Josephus references is almost certainly forged) but scholars generally acknowledge them as genuine. Having said which, proving that there really existed a person on whom the character of Jesus was based and establishing the truth of the biblical Jesus are two completely different things.

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          Geoff, I read this a lot from fundamentalists and having studied the topic as much as I have I have learned that none of these extra-Biblical references to Jesus (exception, Josephus which I will address momentarily) actually mentions the name “Jesus” or “Yeshua”. Rather, Tacitus, writing circa 120 CE or so refers to “Chrestus”. This has caused considerable controversy, in part because later Christians whited out the “e” in Christ” and made it into an “i”. This can be seen quite clearly if you go to the link below and look at the 2nd image

          Suetoneus also refers to “Chrestus”:
          “Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.”
          Notice it was a living man named Chrestus who was instigating the Jews to riot.
          Now the matter of Josephus is troubling. Almost all secular Biblical scholars have concluded this famous passage was largely an interpolation done by 4th century churchman, Eusebius. It gets too lengthy to discuss the matter here. I refer the reader to Wiki:

          Thank you,

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    Mike, I believe that any actual historical Jesus has been dead (and probably in a Roman mass grave) for nearly two millennia.

    I also believe that both heaven and hell are fictional places, and that to die and be totally forgotten -is- the destiny of all who live, and that no amount of hoping and praying can alter that destiny.

    The human brain is perfectly capable of concocting elaborate phantasms, especially in times of extreme physiological or psychological stress, and those illusory experiences tend to be informed by one’s life experiences. Someone who is raised in a Christian environment will probably fall back to heaven-and-hell illusions, whereas someone raised as a Hindu would more likely see imagery from that culture.

    In other words — Yes, in my opinion every single one of those “incredible experiences” is made up — maybe not by the conscious mind, but by the unconscious one.

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    Mike, in your belief system, there’s a divine Jesus, a heaven and a hell. That’s cool. But there’s no scientific evidence of heaven or hell, either as places or as dimensions that we are as yet unable to access. There’s no evidence that our thought processes continue after our brains die. It’s a comforting and nice story to believe that we will have perfect eternal bodies in a perfect eternal afterlife (if we believe the right things or do good things or maybe it’s universal, all depending on your particular beliefs). It’s even kind of a relief to think that the Hitlers and Stalins of the world will suffer eternity in hell, or will be annihilated in hell, depending on your belief system. It’s a horrifying story to believe that people with the wrong beliefs will be fitted with an eternal body to endure everlasting torment, merely because a deity thinks they are a piece of filth that didn’t hear his substitutionary atonement story, profess belief in it, and worship said deity. Again, there’s no evidence for all that, and before you say BIBLE recognize that people reading the same Bible came to different conclusions on that matter.

    Anyone who has taken Neurology 101 can tell you that the brain reacts to physical, chemical, and electrical stimulation, as well as to temperature changes and oxygen deprivation, by firing neurons all over the place so that the person may have all sorts of sensory hallucinations. That doesn’t mean those hallucinations were real events that others could verify.

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    Fred Harding

    Hi Bruce.
    I agree with your assessment of Bill Wiese and I have just published a 300 page book “It was a Nightmare: nope, nope, nope” as having been a nightmare brought on by Sleep Paralysis, Can you spread the word.


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    *Lying for Jesus must be a forgivable sin, although “thou shalt not bear false witness” comes to mind.

    In my lifetime and in my experiences, the most honest, forthright humans have been atheists, agnostics, non-believers, buddhists, wiccans and those NOT of the fundametalist variety. In fact, this past weekend was my son’s wedding and I traveled out of town. I booked a room for 2 nights, but when I got there, I could only afford one night, which I explained to the Hindi man behind the counter. This man brought me to tears with his kindness as he offered the room to me for the 2nd night and I could pay him when I had the money-in the mail.
    All this, while my fundamentalist neighbors scare the shit out of me and my dogs with their daily gunfire and bible shaming tirades. (I live in rural Texas where “god, guns and glory” is the theme)
    I didn’t stay another night, but wrote an impressive review for the world to see on his behalf. People outside of fundamentalism are kind and generous. People like this guy in the video, who actually commit “sin” by lying for Jesus, are part of the hypocrosy of Christianity.

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    Katrina R McAllaster

    What is so terrible about going to visit a dying man and sharing your faith? If the reader is opposed to Christianity, that is their choice. But if Bill’s story is accurate (I realize most here give him zero credibility) then he did a very kind and loving thing by sharing the truth. The dying man was obviously interested in what Bill was saying. Not every Christian is a liar and con! Often times those who protest so vehemently that others are intolerant are they themselves the most intolerant and simply enjoy projecting.

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      Bruce Gerencser

      You operate by the presupposition that Evangelicals have a right to evangelize people at any time and place. If the man asked to speak to Wiese, then fine. But, he didn’t. Just because he “listened” doesn’t mean the man wanted to. He is, after all, dying. How about respecting him as a person and respecting his beliefs? Evangelicals can’t do that, of course. Imagine, for a moment, that you are dying. You are a devout Christian. Imagine me coming to your room and trying to convince you that God is a myth; that there’s no such thing as Heaven; that you have wasted your life serving Jesus. Would you be okay with me doing this Of course not? Why can’t you grant unbelievers the same respect?

      Wiese is a con artist who has made a ton of money by lying about his trip to Hell. Do you have any evidence that proves Wiese’s claims? Should we just take his word for it?

      I am not tolerant at all of people who misuse and abuse people in the name of their peculiar deity. As a humanist, I respect people, period. When people are dying (as I am), all people want/need is love, kindness, and support. Too bad Evangelicals such as Wiese can’t respect the wishes of others.

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