Repost from 2015. Edited, rewritten, and corrected.
I have spent the past twelve years answering questions about WHY I stopped believing in the existence of God. Yet, some readers still can’t understand why I am no longer a Christian. I even wrote two posts answering the WHY question: Why I Stopped Believing and Please Help Me Understand Why You Stopped Believing. The former was written for an obstinate Christian commenter, and the latter was written for a former parishioner — who later unfriended me on Facebook because she found my story so troubling.
What follows are sixteen reasons WHY I am not a Christian. There are many more reasons than these, but this list should satisfy those who continue to prod and poke, trying to find the REAL reason(s) I am no longer a Christian.
- I no longer think the Bible is a God-inspired text.
- I no longer think the Bible is an inerrant text.
- I no longer think Jesus is God.
- I no longer think Jesus was virgin-born.
- I no longer think Jesus turned water into wine, walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, or performed any of the other miracles the Bible says he did.
- I no longer think Jesus resurrected from the dead. Jesus lived and died, never to be seen again.
- I no longer think there is a Heaven or a Hell.
- I think the belief that God will torture all non-Christians in Hell for all eternity is repugnant, abhorrent, revolting, repulsive, repellent, disgusting, offensive, objectionable, cringeworthy, vile, foul, nasty, loathsome, sickening, nauseating, hateful, detestable, execrable, abominable, monstrous, appalling, insufferable, intolerable, unacceptable, contemptible, unsavory, and unpalatable.
- I think the Bible shows a progression of belief from polytheism to monotheism.
- I think the Bible teaches multiple plans of salvation.
- I think much of the so-called history found in the Bible is fictional.
- I think the Bible God is an abhorrent, violent deity, one I would not worship even if I believed it existed.
- I think science best explains the natural world.
- I no longer think humans are sinners.
- I think humanism provides a moral and ethical basis for life.
- I see no evidence for the existence of the Christian God; thus I am an atheist.
These reasons are based on a lifetime spent studying the Bible and studying the textual, historical, and moral underpinnings of Christianity. These studies led me to conclude that the Christian God is a fiction, as is much of the Christian narrative.
If I had any doubt about these things, twelve years of interacting with Christians on this blog have led me to conclude that Christianity, as currently practiced in the West, is bankrupt. I see nothing in Christianity that would ever cause me to reconsider my rejection of the Christian God.
While I have many online friends who are liberal/progressive Christians, I cannot intellectually embrace their beliefs. Since none of them thinks I’m headed for Hell when I die, I hope they understand why I cannot embrace their faith.
I refuse to let others control my storyline. It’s my life, and who knows it better than I do? All I know to do is tell my story. Each reader is free to accept or reject what I write.
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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