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Twitter Discussion with an Evangelical Christian: Accusations, Threats, and Silence

lisa elise on twitter

Repost from 2015-2016. Edited, updated, and corrected.

What follows is a brief discussion I had on Twitter with a Christian by the name of Lisa Elise. Lisa objected to what I wrote in the post Jesus is the Only One That Matters.  Like all such discussions, this one ended with a threat and silence. Usually, I don’t respond to tweets from Christians. Twitter discussions with Christians are 100% of the time, each and every time, an exercise in futility. In Lisa Elise’s case, I thought I’d tweet a bit and see what came of it.

Lisa: Wow, bitter much?

Bruce: Ah, bitterness, the first word used by zealots to marginalize a person and dismiss their argument out of hand . . . what’s next? Anger, jaded, hurt? Anything but engaging the person’s argument.

Lisa: Or. . .You just seem bitter. Btw, liberals are the EXPERTS at marginalizing those who disagree with them.

Bruce: I just spent the day with my wife of 37 years, six kids, ten grandkids. Such a bitter experience I have without your Jesus.

Lisa: Then go to bed and relax. You seem quite angry and bitter, attacking a dead person and a person u don’t know on Twitter.

Bruce: Public writers, public critique, that’s the way it works. Want a private life? Don’t put stuff on the Internet.

Bruce: Evangelicals seem to get butt hurt anytime someone pushes back at their beliefs and ideas. Don’t like it? Turn off the Internet

Bruce: I believe you tweeted me, yes? I didn’t attack you. I challenged your faulty judgment. Doesn’t the Bible say you should refrain from judgment until you know a matter?

Lisa: U should know. U preached the Bible most of ur life, things didn’t go the way u wanted. Now u mock those who believe what u did.

Bruce: Critique, not mock. A fair number of Christians read my writing and find it helpful.

Bruce: I don’t have a prob with critique. Plenty of it on the Internet, including sermons that have been preached about me.

Lisa: You’ll meet Jesus 1 day. What a tragedy, to have preached him all your life & denied him in the end.

Bruce: Ah yes, the parting threat of judgment and hell. Sorry, I do not fear. 8 years of people like you have made me immune to threats.

Lisa: When u preached the gospel all ur life did u see it as threatening people with hell?

Bruce: Of course it is a meaningless threat. No God, no hell. The only person I fear is my wife.

Lisa: Why would u preach a false threat for 25+ yrs, yet now mock those who believe same thing? Seems strange.

Bruce: At the time I believed it to be true. New evidence, new conclusions.

Lisa: Evidence? Constantly criticizing those who don’t yet have your new found “evidence”. Hmmm.

Bruce: Evidence meaning investigating the claims Christians make for the Bible . . . evidence meaning taking a fresh look at Christian belief and practice. Held up to the light of skepticism and reason, Christian belief comes up short.

Bruce: Constantly? A few hours a day is constantly?

Bruce: The Bible is not what Christians claim it is. Once free of its bondage and authority, I was free to see life in a new light.

Lisa: Bible can be hard to understand. Yet makes more sense than ANYTHING the world offers as answers to my existence.

Bruce: I don’t find it hard to understand. Spent thousands of hours reading and studying it, preaching over 4,000 sermon. But, by all means, show me that my reasoned conclusions are incorrect. And show me doesn’t mean quoting the Bible.

Bruce: 8,000,000 people think Mormonism make sense, yet Evangelicals consider them a cult. Hundreds of millions of people say Islam makes sense, yet Evangelicals say it is a false religion. When it comes to our existence, all we can know is what we see.

Bruce: Anything else requires faith, a faith I do not have. The central claim of Christianity is that a dead Jesus came back to life.

Bruce: Everything I see and know tells me this is not true. Feel free to believe this by faith, but I shall not do so without proof.

Silence

Rapture?

Silence

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.

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12 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Steve

    Wow! She was a cutie! (At least, that picture was, lol! Ashame she was a religious asshole:)

    My favorite part: “all this I have without your Jesus”. I was like, “oh SNAP!!”
    Lmfao!! ????

  2. Avatar
    Gene

    I looked up her Twitter account. She has bought the whole evangelical package hook line and sinker. She hates liberals, hates Obama, and quotes the likes of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

  3. Avatar
    Monty

    I went a very similar thing the other day, but I knew the person when I went to the ROC. I stated on SOMEONE elses post that I support same-sex marriage and a womans right to an abortion. Outbof nowehere he starts attacking me. When I pushed back, hard, he had a major problem withbit and used every tactic he knew to attack me; my drumming, being abused by the church, etc. It didn’t work but it’s a stark reminder to me as to why I will never go back to church again.

  4. Avatar
    Jada

    Hmmm, when ‘conversing’ (if that’s what you can call it) with a fundamentalist christianist, they’re always the first ones to bring up the ‘bitter’ accusation. Blunt, declarative, truthful statements about my experience and my lack belief cannot accurately be construed as ‘bitterness.’ What they can be construed as is exactly what they are: blunt, declarative, and truthful.

    If people like Lisa are only able to parse this as ‘bitterness’ . . . well, it’s self-explanatory, isn’t it? If all Lisa ever perceives is ‘bitterness,’ then she might do well to ask herself why that’s always her go-to ad hominem. Once the ‘bitterness’ accusation is thoughtlessly cast about, the onus is on the bomb-thrower to apprise me of how exactly I’m ‘bitter,’ rather than simply blunt. I’ve yet to have one of them prove such a thing, much less understand that ‘blunt’ and ‘bitter’ have different definitions that are in no way related etymologically.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Spot on, Jada. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a bitter person. It’s not in my DNA to be bitter. I am quite matter of fact and stoic about life. I also am blunt, direct, and plain with my words. Most people don’t have a hard time understanding me. Those who do often are trying to parse my writing through some sort of theological grid or are attempting to project their beliefs and worldview on me. My wife and children are readily available on Facebook. Send them a note and ask them…is Bruce Gerencser bitter? If anyone would know, they would.

      I think many Christians use character attacks so they don’t have to deal with the implications of my story. Easier to say Bruce is bitter, angry, jaded, hurt, etc. This is way they can dismiss me out of hand without dealing with the fact that I was a Christian for 50 years, a pastor for 25 years, and I am now an atheist. Hmm..how’s that possible? 🙂

  5. Avatar
    Brian

    Evangelicals, all fundies of some stripe or another are schooled in shame/blame. Human feelings are chewed up with scripture and suddenly anger is a bad thing, criticism is questioning God: Authority rules the roost. It is a small second step to pull the BITTER card on anybody who has the wit to complain about the church-zone.
    I usually try to maintain that human feelings are valuable (all of them) and there for a reason. We learned to distrust our bodies and minds via churching and it is not a simple matter to claim back that real estate, to trust one’s own sense of things, one’s own feelings and journey in life.
    When you question the believer simply by sharing your own story, the hook is set and the fish starts to flap. You are harming Jesus by being yourself, by telling the truth. How could you do such a thing? Just get right with God. You will finally realize the glorious delusion again and know that God’s lie is better than your own truth! Yahoo! Another lost soul ready for churching!

  6. Avatar
    GeoffT

    Lisa refers to the bible as being hard to understand. That’s an understatement! Of course, what they really mean is that it’s so full of contradictions, inconsistencies, interpolations, and falsehood that even they struggle to bring it to any sort of logical conclusion.

  7. Avatar
    BJW

    I’m pretty sure people who once knew me have figured out I’m no longer a Christian. I have an aunt who is a dedicated member of the Church of Christ, who seems to be a lovely person…and she lives in Mississippi and pretty sure she’s a Trump follower. And would you like to have a friend or family member as a Qnut? (If you already do, my condolences.)

  8. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    The term, ” bitter/ bitterness” is a code word that bandied about in churches and their groups. If you are recovering from an abusive , have lousy parents, a cranky boss and you want out………oh, you’re bitter !”. That’s a code word. Forgiveness and reconciliation are not that same. One can forgive in time, but be unable to be around an unsafe person ever again. Fundies are big on forced reconciliation between abusers and the survivors.

  9. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    If I followed the rules in the Bible, I would have already stoned my kids for talking back, owned slaves, and probably would be dead myself from some infraction like eating shellfish or pork, or from wearing mixed fabrics or clothing that pertains to a man. So, yeah, not really looking to the Bible for life’s instructions.

  10. Avatar
    Astreja

    I think we should adopt the word ‘bitter’ and riff on it.

    “Christianity has set science back at least a thousand years, maybe more. It pretends to be the only possible source of morality while promoting a human sacrifice and terrorizing people with threats of hellfire. Don’t ever trust a business that has a JesusFish on their sign. Can’t get them to shut the fuck up about how great the End Times will be, because, hey, they’re going to heaven and you aren’t. They’ve burned people as witches, they’ve started war after war, they’ve outright murdered indigenous people all over the globe, and they mark their territory with city council prayers and 10 Commandments monuments and other stupid crap.

    “Damn right I’m bitter. And this is a bad thing… how, exactly?”

  11. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Bitterly determined to keep the Elise Elites out of my life. I have dealt with her types before. At any rate, bittersweet chocolate is great in baking, lol. Hot fudge sauce, too.

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Bruce Gerencser