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I Wish Evangelicals Would Make Up Their Minds About My Salvation

saved or lost

My writing can be found all over the Internet: on social media, Reddit, websites, and private discussion groups. Recently, an ex-Catholic Reddit group was talking about my deconversion. Many of the participants actually found my story helpful, and for that I am grateful.

In other places, my writing is used as fodder to deconstruct my life. One such discussion can be found in the Christianity subreddit. Titled, “Former decades-long pastor who became an atheist proves how ridiculous the concept of “Once-Saved-Always-Saved is” participants argued back and forth about whether I was a Christian in the past or whether I was presently still a believer. Let me give you several examples

Shamus:

That “pastor” never knew Christ personally. He admits it [I most certainly did not]. What he did do, however, is just go through the motions. Putting on the show. Saying all the right things. [This is a baldfaced lie.]

That is what is called a false convert. One can be a false convert for a day, or for an entire lifetime.

No sinner is saved by saying some words. If all one knows is ABOUT God, but one does not KNOW God…then they too are just going through the motions.

As the cliche goes: relationship, not religion.

Roll2Tide:

God’s word is forever true. This pastor’s salvation will forever be secured from God’s perspective.

Separately, this pastor is free to change course and reject that salvation, which he is currently doing.

The OSAS is most commonly spoken to or about a person who is afraid of having their salvation taken from them, and virtually never about a person trying get rid of salvation.

If that pastor doesn’t understand these things………I mean, seriously, this is vacation bible school level knowledge.

RicketyTicketyTock:

So, without getting into pretentious acronyms and big words that try and prove a point. I was raised in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church as well, from birth until I was 18, I didn’t leave because I lost my faith, I left because I didn’t agree with the ridiculously strict rules that we were made to live by. That being said, they believed in the idea that if you asked Christ to be your personal savior then you were saved from that point on, forever. If you made a mistake, if you hurt someone, then it didn’t mean you lost your salvation. They also believe that there is no one sin that is greater than another, that all sin is sin, so whether you tell a white lie to your child or commit murder, sin is sin and there is no measure that a sin can be so bad that you lose your salvation.

The Bible tells us that no man can do anything to separate a saved individual from God, the only way to have your name removed from The Lamb’s Book of Life is to remove scripture from The Bible. No man can remove your place in heaven, not even yourself.

BigCountryRon:

No it doesn’t. I don’t care if you are an atheist or not, if it has been confirmed through confirmation, you are always a Catholic.

Dude is still saved.

TheApostleJeff:

None of those passages in scripture you quoted speak to OSAS, they speak to patterns / habits / fleshly behaviors that are so dominant that anybody displaying them regularly does not have eternal life in them.

I’d argue the pastor in discussion was never saved, nor were the ‘Christians’ he is comparing himself to. As evidence – nobody who has tasted and seen the Lord is good and then walked in that freedom for 40 years would ‘leave the faith’.

At the end of the day, nobody knows who is truly saved and who isn’t but God

There were sixty-eight comments in this discussion thread. According to these Christians, I was: never saved, still saved, or lost my salvation.

Which is it, Christians? If the Bible is the inspired Word of God and true in all that it says, why can’t the followers of Jesus figure out whether I was or still am a Christian? The Bible says that there is ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, and ONE BAPTISM. One faith, but Christians argue amongst themselves about what that faith is. And yet, they expect unbelievers to figure out which salvation shtick is true.

Perhaps the real issue here is the fact that the Bible can be used to prove almost anything. That’s why Arminians, Calvinists, and once-saved-always-saved Baptists wage war against one another over which of them is right. Allegedly, getting saved is the most important decision you will make. Why, then, can’t the author of the Bible, God, make the matter crystal clear?

I’m waiting God. . .

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

6 Comments

  1. Avatar
    thatotherjean

    “That pastor never knew Christ personally.”

    How could he? Jesus, if such a person has ever lived, has been dead for two thousand years. All that is left of him, if he existed, is writings left behind by many other people, most if any, of whom had never known him personally, either. Further, before the invention of the printing press, scribes–deliberately or accidentally, altered those writings over time. They were lost, they were mistranslated,, they were rejected as being unreliable. How could anyone know these faint traces of a person (or people?) “personally.”

    And yet Bruce Gerencser believed in Jesus, and preached his understanding of Jesus faithfully to congregations for years. Eventually, he was no longer able to believe in Jesus, or in other aspects of any god. If Bruce is wrong, and there is a god who will sit in judgment on whether or not he believed, I find it difficult to think that a god who is merciful, omnipotent, and loving–as the Christian god is represented–would reject a man who wanted to believe, but found that he had such doubts that it became impossible.

  2. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    One unit and faith my butt. Christians will fight over ANYTHING, including what salvation means and who qualifies. And for Bruce to become a ball tossed around in the argument of whose soteriology is correct is just ridiculous.

  3. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Following the logic (?) of the folks Bruce mentions, I am a blue-collar Italian (and other nationalities: my grandfather wasn’t entirely truthful!) American Catholic dude. No matter the study and thinking I’ve done or the work Dr. Marci Bowers did on my body: The Church counts me not only as a member, but also as a male.

    Now, as for being Italian American: I wouldn’t given that up, even if I could. And while I can hardly call myself blue-collar, I cherish my connection to that class: The people I love, and have loved, most and longest belong to that class. And they all recognize me as a woman and atheist.

  4. Avatar
    Sage

    Why do people feel the need to redefine someone based on their own views? Bruce apparently has no real understanding of himself, others have to explain it to him? The arrogance of people is amazing.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away!

Bruce Gerencser