Bob Gray, Sr., retired pastor of the Longview Baptist Temple in Longview, Texas, is a super-duper salvation-dealing machine. Gray is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) who religiously subscribes to the Jack Hyles Easy-Believism, cheap-grace way of evangelizing lost sinners.
I was taught this kind of evangelism while a student at Midwestern Baptist College, but I came to see that it was little more than a cheap gimmick that allows preachers such as Gray to say: Look at how many people I won to Jesus. (Gray knows to the soul how many people he has won to Jesus over his long, illustrious preaching career.) It promotes a vacuous Christianity that does a real disservice to people who take the commands and teachings of Christ seriously.
Several years ago, Gray was in Albuquerque, New Mexico to hold a preaching meeting. While at a local Subway, Gray decided to do some soul winning. Here’s his account, which has since been pulled from his blog:
… Flew to Albuquerque, NM, and was picked up by Pastor Brent Lenetine who pastors the Gospel Light Baptist Church of Rio Rancho, NM. I will be joined by Evangelist Allen Domelee Sunday night and Monday. This is a great soul winning church!
After resting for a while I went next door to the Motel to get a bite to eat at the Subway Restaurant. I sat at a table next to a man named Bill McDermit. We joked a little bit together and after a while I went over to his table and continued our conversation. He lives alone in a house trailer and was a devout Catholic. After a few moments I presented the Gospel to him and he took me by the hand and prayed to receive Christ as his personal Saviour.
WOW! That old KJB is still preserved inspiration and is THE incorruptible seed that brings life to a dead soul! Don’t treat this issue of preserved inspiration lightly. He who sticks his head in the sand gets his behind kicked! Either the KJB is inspired or it is not! Which side of this issue are you on?
Let me summarize Gray’s testimony:
- Gray is on the prowl for souls in Albuquerque.
- Gray is hungry, so he goes to Subway to eat.
- He jokes around with the elderly trailer-living Catholic man next to him. The joking is a pretext for what comes next.
- After a few moments, Gray shares the Jack Hyles IFB plan of salvation with the Catholic man.
- The life-long Catholic sees the error of his way, takes Gray’s hand, and prays the sinner’s prayer. Holding the hand is important, much like the salesman giving you the pen. Hold their hand and you are more likely to close the salvation deal.
- In but a few moments this man goes from a headed-for-hell Catholic to a . . . uh . . . let me think . . . oh, I know! A Catholic who prayed a prayer so the busybody preacher would let him finish his sub.
- And don’t forget that Gray used the all-powerful 1611 King James Bible to win this man to Jesus. It has supernatural powers that perverted, Satanic, non-inspired versions do not have.
This is the bankrupt gospel preached in countless IFB churches.
What I want to know is whether Gray was wearing this shirt:
I originally wrote parts of this post in February 2015. At the time, Google listed this site on the first page when searching for “Longview Baptist Temple.” This is still the case today. The same can be said for searching for “Bob Gray Sr.” I love cozying my apostate atheist blog right up next to IFB church websites. That way it will be easier for them to know how to pray for me.
Here’s an interesting photograph of one of Gray’s books (circa 2002?). It will tell you everything you need to know about Bob Gray, the man, the myth, the legend.
Not mentioned is the fact that his penis is 3 feet long! Size matters in the IFB.
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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Those kinds of things make people feel so awkward. You wouldn’t do that to anybody else with any other topic in life. Sleazy salesman. I remember one time at Pensacola Christian College I went “soul-winning” and they sent us to some public housing project. Khaki skirt wearing, non-street smart, sheltered girls with ribbons in their hair into a ghetto! We walked door to door to nasty old men sitting on their porches leering at us. Holy creepy. Not safe at all! There was this young woman standing next to a Dumpster that I tried speaking with. She was out of it and her eyes were all glazed. I had no idea what was wrong with her. As an adult looking back she was obviously high out of her mind on drugs. “soul-winning” HA!
Not to mention that we were not allowed to go off campus with males, but we were totally encouraged to go into the housing projects ALONE with just a bunch of girls. How backwards is THAT!!!
Well you believe in “1-2-3- REPENT after me” which is works salvation.
Jonah 3:10 “and God saw their WORKS, that they turned from their evil way.”
You fool. You build a complete straw man against the true gospel of whosoever believeth. You falsely claim that Gray, and other sound baptist preachers, teaches that a prayer saves you. That is a strawman. BELIEVING in Christ as your only way to heaven saves you. Period. When have you ever heard Gray say “just believe these little facts and pray this prayer to be saved.” You never have. But that is exactly what you insinuate. In reality, what is actually emphasized is “TRUST IN JESUS ALONE” to be saved and recieve eternal life by faith, not of works lest anyman should boast. But of course, an unsaved false prophet like you does not believe that simple promise. So you add another step to salvation – repent of your sins- a phrase not found in the entire bible. NOT EVEN ONCE. In adding this work to salvation, you pervert the gospel and cause people who believe in that false gospel to REMAIN UNSAVED, because they are still trusting their repentance of sins (WORKS) to save them. They still believe the same thing they did before “You must be willing to turn from your sins to go to heaven.” Except now they superficially add Jesus to it as wrapping paper. The same false works salvation that every false religion teaches. You are accursed of God. Go to hell.
Wow Mr Guerrero. It appears you have an agenda – preaching against repentance. Mr. Gerencser doesn’t believe in repentance for salvation. If you read this site you may pick up on his beliefs quickly…
In any case I would like to respond to you, since I am a Christian. The Bible message of salvation always includes repentance. If a person is not turning from his sin then he is not truly turning to Christ. Consider as an example how Christ handled the rich young ruler. He was ready and Christ led him in a prayer right?
Gray’s message and I guess yours as well is a cheap imitation that leaves one in their sins but gives them a false assurance in some cheap prayer. This makes them a twofold more child of hell.
Unfortunately an atheist knows more about what true salvation looks like than you.
And he shows a lot more compassion than you too.
It’s people like you that remind me of why I gladly left Christianity, churches and religion.
I couldn’t agree more, Monty. I get a shiver when I think about the Christian indy fundy lifestyle I led for so many years. Living so much more happy, free, and compassionate now. I feel bad for that guy being so wrapped up in hate. Sad. I hope some day he will be freed from it and open his eyes.
Oh, bitch please. What an utterly vile post. If anyone is headed for hell (which isn’t real btw), it’s definitely you.
I was quite happy with the content and humor in the article itself, but what really tickled my funny bone is the god fearing King James Bible expert; a seemingly serious and devout christian who declared you “accursed of God’ just before ordering you to the tortuous pits of hell.
Since this article is in part about the evangelical position and one super soul winners account of soul winning; however dubious, I just knew I could count on a fervent “christian” to chime in on the comments section with a heated, indignant warning to the writer/Bruce. It is wrong/do I care that I was hoping to get a giggle?
“You are accursed of God. Go to hell” certainly did have me giggling. What an authority. Something a medieval king might say. Or, a medieval minded christian who is an ambassador for the King (James Bible).
Good times. Another great read, besides. Bruce, have any of them contacted you to ask where they can buy the shirt? You could offer it as a weekly prize, just a thought. One other thing, not sure if it a reading comprehension issue or flat out denial but why folks choose to use biblically based arguments in an attempt to sway you is a subject of regular fascination and bewilderment to me.
Well said Tara
That poor Catholic. His spicy italian was probably getting soggy. That was likely more a motivation than repentance.
Or at least getting out of a hostage situation…
I love how they claim “4600 in attendance” I live in Longview. Drive by LBT almost daily heading to/from work and other errands. It’s hard to miss. They used to store their bus fleet on the grounds, but have since moved it to at least two different locations. It’s easy to get 4600 in the seats when they have a fleet that rivals the local school districts in size.
I have seen their buses over 100 miles from their church, with some guy preaching the entire way as the bus is rolling. And look at their website, the photos on the header…so many kids. I hate to think what lies they’ve told the parents. I doubt the parents are all there with the kids every Sunday. They prey on the kids because the adults are smart enough to see them for what they really are.
I wonder how many “souls won” were just people trying to get him/them to shut up. I’ve lost count the number of times they have come knocking at my door. One of the funniest, not to make fun of anyone in the church but it was funny, was a guy that came “soul-winning” one day when I was in high school. It was just my friend and I at home, he is just a few months younger than I am. The guy thought my friend was my son. I was like…wow….really smart there. And then it was hard for him to even read the pamphlet he had in front of him. Just goes to show you the type of people they love to attract in this church. God help anyone if they try to think for themselves and stray from the flock.
The church DOES do some good. They host a food pantry similar to numerous other churches in the area, but other than that it just screams cult, with “Dr.” Gray and his son(s) leading the sheep.
Somebody needs to run those numbers. Not even Jesus had those kind of numbers!
I agree. The odious Steve Anderson uses the term ‘soul-winning’ a lot in his crusades. I followed his ‘mega soul winning outreach’ to Malawi a couple of years ago because I wrote to my MP to get him banned from the UK en route,which happened. He wrote, for example, ‘Went into a school, 46 souls saved, 10 more souls saved in the restaurant where we ate and team members, out soul winning door to door got 30 more’…etc etc. It’s like notches on their belts. Then he did a rant against the Malawian church there with whom his team were partnering, and told everyone to keep away cos the pastor had a shiny new car and his finances were dodgy. (Steve got deported of course, he was too homophobic for even homophobic Malawi.)
Soul-winning – in a college parents Facebook page a parent was listing the types of posts that the admins should have removed but didn’t. One was in regard to a student suicide – the commenter stated that if the young man had had Jesus in his life maybe he wouldn’t have committed suicide. What an insensitive load of garbage.
In earlier guest posts and comments, I have mentioned that evangelistic groups thrive on campuses (or, at least, they thrived when I was in school) because people at that age are in flux; Many are away from home for the first time and thus have their first opportunity to break away from, or simply question,, what they have been told all of their lives. That can be an opportunity for growth, but it also leaves young people vulnerable.
As I read about the Catholic eating his sandwich, something else occurred to me: Students migjht “accept Christ” as “Lord and Savior” because they are likely to see their would-be “soul winners” every day and want believe that by telling those self-appointed ambassadors of the divine what they want to hear, they will keep the peace. Little do they know…
Yes, Obstaclechick… and Christianity is not merely ‘insensitive’…. It is downright determined to hurt people. It calls ‘correction’ love when it is manipulation and ignorance.
Funny (not) how every time fundies show up, they have to tell you that you’re going to hell. Not once have I been attracted to the message they have, which is accept Jesus or be damned. They can’t even fake being loving to win souls! That’s the most telling there.