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Anna, the Evangelical, Hides Her Christianity Under a Bushel

light under a bushel

The Bible says in Matthew 5:14-16:

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

According to Matthew 5, Jesus went up to a mountain, gathered his disciples together, and taught them the aforementioned verses, and others. Jesus told his followers that they were the light of the world; a city on a hill that cannot be hid. When someone lights a candle in his home at night, he doesn’t put it under a bushel, concealing its light. He puts the candle in a location where it provides light for everyone in the house. So it is for Christians. They are light on the hill, providing light for all to see. The “light” in this context is their good works; works that glorify God, the Father, which is in Heaven.

Countless Evangelical children are taught the song, This Little Light of Mine. The lyrics state:

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Don’t let Satan blow it out,
I’m gonna let it shine
Don’t let Satan blow it out,
I’m gonna let it shine
Don’t let Satan blow it out,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Shine all over Somerset
I’m gonna let it shine
Shine all over Somerset
I’m gonna let it shine
Shine all over Somerset
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Let it shine til Jesus comes,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine til Jesus comes,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine til Jesus comes,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Can’t get that song out of your head, can you?

Some Evangelicals who send me emails or leave comments on this blog try to hide the fact that they are Christians, in direct disobedience to the teachings of their Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ. Why would some Evangelicals hide what they are?

Take Anna, who sent me the following email last week:

What if you are wrong? Then what happens.

Do you believe in right and wrong? Good and bad?

I wrote a post answering Anna’s question. You can read it here.

As is my custom, I sent Anna the link to my response to her questions. What follows is our email “discussion”:

Anna: I never said I was a Christian I just asking a question. You take people’s money for what. Haha your religion sounds as ridiculous as any other.

Bruce: So, you aren’t a Christian? Yeah, that’s what I thought. No non-Christian is going to search for a post on Jeremiah Johnson’s false prophecy. And your questions? I’ve received scores of emails/blog comments asking these very same questions. All from Christians. So, I ask again, are you saying you’re not a Christian?

As far as money is concerned, I don’t “take anyone’s money. No God-mandated tithes or offering, even though I am a God (Bruce Almighty—you might have seen the movie about me). People willingly donate because they like the work I do in helping people see the truth about Evangelical Christianity and the Bible. My “religion” continues to grow, all praise be to Loki.

Anna: Also you said if you were wrong, but “I am not wrong ” was your statement. So you are setting yourself up as a god. Who says you can’t be wrong. Seriously dude you need to get over yourself and maybe become a car salesman. Haha “I’m not wrong” Wow what an ego.

Bruce: You have provided no evidence for the existence of your peculiar version of God. If you have empirical, verifiable evidence for the existence of the Christian deity, I’d love to hear it. I’m quite open to changing my mind about God if you provide persuasive evidence that would warrant such a change. So far, instead of standing up for and defending your God, you hurl insults at me.

I am not wrong about the Christian God because I’ve seen zero evidence for his existence. I can say the same about every extant God. You have all sorts of beliefs you are certain are right. Does that make you God? Or does that make you an informed adult?

As far as getting over myself, how can I? Millions and millions of people worship me and think I’m a loving, benevolent man with supernatural powers (that I only use on December 24 and 25).

Anna, your insults will not work with me. Your fellow Christians have insulted and verbally assaulted me more times than I can count. You are an amateur compared to them.

I do have a 2010 Ford Focus for sale 87K miles, only $3,000.

— end emails —

I was in the Evangelical church for five decades. I was an Evangelical pastor for 25 of those years. I have spent the last 14 years engaging, interacting with, and responding to Evangelical apologists and critics. I can spot an Evangelical in the dark, at 300 yards, with my eyes closed. Kinda like spotting holiness people or homeschoolers in the store. You just know, right? Yet, Anna refuses to admit that she’s a Christian. Why is that?

Years ago (mid-1980s), I was eating lunch at the Dairy Queen in Somerset, Ohio with Evangelist Gerald Fielder. Fielder was in town holding a revival for me. As evangelists are wont to do, Fielder tried to evangelize the young woman who took our order. Here’s how it went:

Fielder: Ma’am, I’d like a hamburger, order of fries, and a Coke.

Young Woman: Will that be all?

Fielder: That’s it. I would, however, like to ask you a question.

Young Woman: Sure.

Fielder: If you died today, would you go to Heaven?

Bruce thinks to himself: OMG, really?

Young Woman: I am a Christian, but I don’t want to talk about it. (She attended the local Methodist church.)

Fielder: Well, I’ve never met a Christian who didn’t want to talk about it.

The young woman said nothing. It was evident she was thoroughly embarrassed by Fielder’s public interrogation of her. I quickly stepped up, thanked her, and changed the subject. I am sure my behavior irritated Fielder. There he was trolling for souls, and I got in his way.

While Fielder’s approach was certainly offensive, his point was not. Most Christians, especially Evangelicals, want to talk about their faith. They don’t want to be grilled and interrogated as Fielder did with this young woman, but generally Evangelicals love talking about God/Jesus/Christianity/Church/ the Bible. Why is it, then, that Anna refused to admit she was a Christian? Was she ashamed of Jesus? All I did was ask her a question. When she asked me questions — which I have answered numerous times before — I patiently and directly answered them. Why didn’t Anna return the favor?

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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8 Comments

  1. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    Thanks, Bruce, now I have that stupid song in my head!

    I haven’t had anyone try to evangelize to me in years. The last time there were 2 Asian ladies trying to win shoppers in Target over to their female deity, which might not have been so bad, but as I have a huge aversion to proselitizers of any ilk, I didn’t stick around for their spiel.

  2. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Proselytizing 101: This course will show you, in very short order, how to ignore personal boundaries and defeat common decency while expressing curiosity and concern in an interaction with a stranger. If they resist Jesus (you as his agent on the earth) then you must march towards them with hellfire and brimstone. You do not need to shout unless it is clear that it upsets your listener and perhaps will provide a way for Jesus to enter a heathen heart. Remeber to smile as you assault each ‘devil’ clerk or shopper, each child, each young person. Praise be for the one who brings a sword of truth!

  3. Avatar
    Troy

    This reminds me of Ray Comfort’s shtick. “Are you a good person?”, “YES?”, “Never lied cheated or stole anything?” “Oh you have! Then you’re a sinner! And a sinner needs a redeemer, I got one right here, JESUS!”

    I wonder if that is a Ray Comfort original idea? …or (more likely) he stole it from someone else.

    Reminds me of an infomercial: 1. Define Problem in exaggerated way 2. Give the solution for 4… make that 3 easy payments! 3. Problem solved!

  4. Avatar
    Michael Mock

    Yeah, “I never said I was a Christian,” is not terribly convincing under the circumstances, and “Ha-ha! I have caught you leaping to a well-justified conclusion!” is not really the winning counter that some people think it is. This is especially true when you have just just asked the sort of question that only ever comes from Christians, and then turn around and try to deride an atheist for their “religion”. (You know who thinks of atheism as a religion? Christians.)

    Hey, Anna? If you read this? If you have actual questions and want actual answers, comment. But if you’re just playing “Gotcha!” you’re wasting everybody’s time, including your own.

  5. Avatar
    clubschadenfreude

    “I never said I was a Christian I just asking a question. You take people’s money for what. Haha your religion sounds as ridiculous as any other.”

    amazing how Christians lie with no problem at all. It seems that poor anna is treating her god like a vending machine; she lies, asks for forgiveness and then lies again. All assuming her god doesn’t notice that she’s a return shopper.

    What kind of a stupid god does she think she has?

    pity that the poor dear doesn’t read her bible or know what Romans 3 says. I’ll save her a seat in hell. but alas, it’ll be full up with christians already.

  6. Avatar
    Charles S. Oaxpatu

    Hi Bruce. I have a question for you. It’s about that ancient oil lamp in the above photograph. Do you have any idea how many hours one of those lamps, when full of oil, will burn and give out good light? My specialty is American archaeology, but it occurs to me that you might know about this from your life-long studying of things Christian and Judaic, including the ancient history and archaeology of the Mediterranean region. Just how long would that “little light of thine” actually shine?

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