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Dear God (One of my Last Posts Before I Deconverted)

dear god

What follows is a post I wrote for my blog, Bruce Droppings, months before I walked away from Christianity in November, 2008.

Dear God,

I can’t pretend anymore.

I can’t lie to myself anymore.

I can’t lie to others anymore.

And most of all, I can’t lie to You.

I still believe that You are the Living God.

I still believe Your Word to be Truth.

I still believe I am your Child.

But I can’t stand some of Your Children.

Their hatred wounds.

Their self-righteousness cuts.

Their narrow-mindedness tears.

And I can’t have those kinds of people in my life anymore.

What is a man to do when all that he has ever known is found to be a lie?

What is a man to do when hatred and self-righteousness are passed off as virtues?

What is a man to do when he can’t find God where God should be found?

This man quits.

I am sure to be judged as Hell-bound.

And that is fine with me.

For the religious Hell I have lived in for these many years is too much for me.

God, if You can only be found in buildings made by men, You will remain lost to me.

God, if You only speak through men in buildings, I will remain deaf.

But God, if You still speak in the still of the night . . .

If You still speak through the truth of Your Word . . .

If Nature and Conscience still declare Your Name . . .

I am still listening . . .


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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    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Dear Steve,

      I know you are dead, but I want to say that I miss you. I miss your humor and thoughtful comments. I miss your friendship. I miss our late-night chats. I just plain miss YOU. Sometimes, life sucks. 🙁


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    I’ve said it many times…but the last request was 5 years ago. You know what I got? A book “Cold Case for Christ”. Terrible answer.

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    For me it was more groveling and then depressed silence, then anger and grumbling…. then the peace of decision, the surprised relief and increase in lung capacity, the fullness of the solitary dawn…. (and of course dire warnings, cautions, cajoling from the beloved ‘corp’.

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    I loved this post. I struggle with this. I want there to be a Supreme Being so badly. I am not sure why, but I suppose it’s the whole “in loco parentis” thing since my parents are gone, but I’m middle-aged now anyway. I’ve been out of the Christian faith for about five years now, though I’ve dabbled in Deism and some spirituality. I’ve had a couple of very short bouts of resuming a very liberal Christianity and the longest one lasted three days, LOL. I don’t know if I’ll stay in atheism or not, honestly, as I spent 25 years indoctrinated and generally have a religious bent thanks to being stuck in Fundamentalism so long (although in that case, what came first? the chicken of my fundamentalism or the egg in the fact that my personality is geared that way anyway?).

    Long story short, I had found a rabid bat on my back porch, and stupid me, picked it up without thinking and got bit. The bat tested positive for rabies, and I had a tetanus shot and I’m currently taking rabies shots. It got me to thinking: what if God is trying to get my attention? And my blasphemous mental response is, what kind of a terrible God would be so petty and cruel? If it is the Christian God, then I feel no desire to worship what amounts to a heavy-handed Cosmic bully. I’m left with only two conclusions that seem rational to me: that either there is no God at all, or at best, there is an impersonal God who truly acts in mysterious ways and is not omnibenevolent according to the definition of the word. As for a rabid bat showing up on my back porch, life happens I guess. There are bats in my area, though bat rabies is mostly 100 miles or so away in a big city, or so I thought.

    Bruce, I have been reading an Apologetics book by Paul Copan, “Is God A Moral Monster?”. Have you heard of it? It’s actually a decent apologetics book (assuming those two adjectives ever go together). But when I got about halfway into it, I finally figured out that he is just trying to rationalize a defense for his faith while ignoring the most likely possibility that it’s all man-made, and trying to spin that appearance into a deliberate attempt by God to reach us where we are and interface with our humanity. He admits that the OT laws are less than ideal. So somehow a perfect God deliberately gave imperfect laws which were deliberately temporary and would also give way to a more perfect system of laws according to a perfect plan, but an omnipotent, omniscient God is kind of hamstrung by his less than perfect followers and this was the best he could come up with at the time. OK, sure, roger that…. Explain away the better possibility of it being invented by humans with more primitive thinking in favor of the less probable and more palatable idea that a divine God cares about his people and works in ever-so-mysterious ways. Sorry, a little bit of sarcasm is sneaking out right there.

    Anyways, I know not everyone here is an unbeliever. Some do believe, to varying degrees of conviction and devoutness I guess. I don’t think there’s anything I could say which would shock anyone familiar with this blog. But I totally get this post. It’s how I feel right now—wanting to be religious and just not being able to believe because I think the best reasons are not necessarily the most comfortable ones.

    • Avatar
      August Rode

      “Long story short, I had found a rabid bat on my back porch, and stupid me, picked it up without thinking and got bit. The bat tested positive for rabies, and I had a tetanus shot and I’m currently taking rabies shots. It got me to thinking: what if God is trying to get my attention?”

      If God was trying to get your attention, could he not do so in a manner that wasn’t as ambiguous as what you describe?

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        Yes, good point. I guess that’s the strength of religious thinking, or weakness, depending upon how you look at it. Roughly two weeks prior to that I was on that same back porch having a wonderful morning and I thought I had some kind of spiritual experience. That high lasted for a few days, and then I tried to be rational and objective about it. Then this happened. If nothing else, the brain is superb at trying to rationalize and harmonize data. But I think I have had a confirmation bias here.

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    God bit me once, the prick. I was suddenly terrorized by the fact that Hell is really real and really hot as Hell and would melt the skin off me but I would not die and so forth. I was about 7 ish and pretty bug-eyed about it all. Why does God bite little kids? He’s a prick. (Well, if he was a real thing, then it is definitely a prick he’d be.)
    I would say, Byroniac, that you might indeed be a snake-handler Christian at heart and just need to find the right bat-crazy church. If you believe, then no poison can harm you. God has dropped your ministry right on to your back porch and what do you do but question the almighty.

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      LOL. Yes, I should. But I’ve read too many news articles, and know exactly where I would wind up with that. At least I’d make the news, even though it would probably be the last thing I ever did, quite literally. Like the saying goes, science works whether you believe in it or not. Well, the flip side is, crazy religion doesn’t work, whether you believe in it or not! And it can be a fatal mistake.

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    Only a few people know my current thoughts about the God issue. Most don’t know or understand the deep sadness. I don’t “preach” about it any more than I ever preached about my past faith. Anyone that asks is told that I have never told anyone there ain’t no Santa Claus and don’t plan to change. Oddly enough, I see more evidence for Santa than God. People seem to think it’s all fun and games. Great post Bruce!

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    Yulya Sevelova

    Deep sadness. Disappointment and disgust. That sums up my state of mind when it comes to the American church experience. What really got to me is how children are treated ! I never got used to the sight. I’m still on the fence when it comes to reconverting. I don’t like the Bible God, though not having access to God feels strange. I can’t help it though, I can’t stand how he does things. He should at least intervene on behalf of children. And church people are very off-putting. I’m debating advocates of child mistreating right now, on a podcast about child abusing parents. There are actually people who see abusive behavior as a ” right” and they become angry when you challenge them. They often hid behind the Bible when doing that. That’s the main reason I quit church.

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    Adam Thiry

    As an KJV only Christian myself, and an extremely fundamental one at that I have one thing to say. I’m ashamed. Not of you Bruce, you are being honest about your beliefs and got out of Christianity when you could no longer believe it. That speaks volumes. There are lots of preachers who don’t really believe the Bible, but the money is too good, or they are afraid of losing their social circle etc. I’m ashamed of my fellow Christians coming on here and bashing you. And thats just the comments you post. I’m sure there are tons more that you don’t even share. I mean, I took my time to read alot of your deconversion posts and I see a man who painfully left all he ever knew. These people obviously didn’t read before commenting. So I’ll just say this man, I hope you find/have found peace. Thanks for the writing and the insights you share.

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Bruce Gerencser