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Bruce, You Are NOT an Atheist

bruce gerencser april 2021
Bruce Gerencser, STILL, A Christian!!! (April 2021)

Evidently, because I use the word “God” in my writing, this is proof that I am r-e-a-l-l-y some sort of secret Christian. Years ago, an Evangelical man said something similar, suggesting that because I capitalize the word God, that means I really, really, really, deep down in the depths of my nonexistent soul, believe in God. Unable to wrap their minds around my story, some Evangelicals think that I am still a Christian; that I will yet return to the fold, all glory and praise to Jesus!

Several years ago, a piss-ant Evangelical named Tom attempted on Facebook to help me see the error of my way. I banned him, but he took to emailing me his “thoughts” about my life and my current standing before the Big Kahuna. Here’s the latest:

my friend let me leave you with some things to think about.

especially with your heath issues. I know that you hate my guts and will mock this email to the other lost souls to whom you are advocating atheism/anti-theism.

I have studied your blog.

and you say that no “card carrying atheist you know has ever became a Christian”

well listen to yourself and read your posts.

you are not an atheist.

I have talked to very few people that label themselves that who are “ATHEISTS”

you even admitted to being an agnostic.

and used phrases like “my divorce from God”

you know the truth because you preached it for 25 plus years.

but did you ever REALLY Believe it?

NOTE: I’m not saying you were never saved.

but asking.   did you truly trust Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation?


Mr Bruce,

Jesus loves you he died for you and wants you to place your faith in him or come back to him.

truly acknowledge your sin problem

Be willing to turn from it and trust Jesus Christ sincerely with all your heart.

I hope you have a blessed day.

T Baker

Here’s my take on his email:

  • Tom, we are not friends.
  • Tom, I don’t hate you. I don’t know you, so I can’t hate you. And I certainly haven’t seen your guts, so I definitely don’t hate them.
  • Tom, nice, subtle threat of Hell — using my health problems as a tool to get me to see the light.
  • Tom, if you have really studied my blog, you wouldn’t have written this email.
  • Tom, you are clueless about my motivations for writing and the purpose of this blog.
  • Tom, I am an atheist. I actually do have an atheist card somewhere. I am a member in good standing of American Atheists, the American Humanist Association, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  You need, for some reason, to believe that I am not what I claim I am. Why is that? What is so threatening about my story that you will go to great lengths to deny what can clearly be seen: Bruce Gerencser, who was once a devoted follower of Jesus, and now he is not?
  • Tom, most atheists are agnostics. You need to do some study on atheism and agnosticism. You know, read a fucking book. Your ignorance is showing.
  • Tom, the phrase “divorced from God” is a rhetorical tool. I intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally divorced myself from God.
  • Tom, are you saved? Sure you are, right? And so was I. I spent fifty years in the Christian church. I was saved (the last time) at the age of fifteen. I preached the gospel for over thirty years, including pastoring Evangelical churches for twenty-five years. I was in every way a true-blue, committed, filled-with-the-Holy-Ghost Christian. That you can’t wrap your mind around this is YOUR problem, not mine.
  • Tom, I hope you know that hundreds and hundreds of your fellow Christians have used the same tactics as you have as they attempted to win me back to Jesus — all to no avail. By all means, keep trying. I am always in need of new material for this blog.

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.


  1. Avatar

    Since you’re too nice to say it Bruce I’m just gonna go ahead and say it to Tom – Fuck you Tom… I saw Tom’s bullshit on your FB and he’s really an asshole. Ain’t no love of Jesus there. It’s always the ones screaming the loudest for Jesus that act the most like rude body parts.

  2. Avatar
    Michael Mock

    Tom isn’t real good with nuance, subtext, context, or even basic empathy, is he?

    Right, here’s a protip for any fundamentalists reading atheist’s accounts of their lack of belief or their deconversions: if an atheist says something like “I divorced myself from God” or “I left God behind” or “I was done with God” — any time one uses the word “God” this way — it’s shorthand for “the concept of God” or “my belief in God” or something along those lines.

    Similarly, if I say something like, “You know, the more I look at the Old Testament, the more I can’t help but notice that God can be a right bastard even to his own worshippers,” that doesn’t mean I believe that such being actually exists. It’s simply a comment on the personality of a character in a story, no different than if I were to say, “After re-reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories, I can’t help but notice that Watson is actually smarter than the Great Detective in a lot of ways.”

    Atheists and agnostics are not distinct categories. Atheism is lack of belief in gods. Agnosticism refers to whether you’re sure of the answer. It is entirely possible, and in fact quite common, for someone to have concluded that God isn’t out there (atheist) but still be willing to admit that they might be wrong or they aren’t absolutely certain (agnostic). I realize these terms often have different meanings among Christians, but you’ll find them a lot less confusing if you’ll look at how unbelievers are using them rather than assuming that they mean the same thing you do.

    Finally: atheism isn’t a positive belief. It’s simply the lack of one particular belief. I know of at least one person who both atheistic and devoutly religious; she follows a particular version of Shinto that venerates ancestors but doesn’t worship any deities.

    • Avatar

      Yes, just because you use the word God, since that’s the word god is named by, doesn’t mean you believe in him. It’s just a way of talking about religion, it doesn’t mean you acknowledge the god in question. This seems to be really hard to get somehow…. that God is seen as a character much like characters in books and films, but nothing more.

    • Avatar

      Michael, I agree with all you say but I would add a caveat. I think I’ve reached a stage where my atheism is more than simply a passive non-belief in a, in fact any, deity. I don’t just think there is no evidence for a god, and being exposed to Western culture would specifically address the Christian God, I think that such evidence there is points relentlessly to there being no god.

      So I am turning my lack of belief into a positive philosophical world view, though absolutely not ‘faith’, and trying to focus on what I can do to make the world a safer, happier, more tolerant place. There’s not much I can do personally, but it beats wasting countless hours in church every Sunday, or on my knees giving thanks to a non-existent creator, or strapping bombs round my waist.

  3. Avatar
    Gene Bauer

    Just a suggestion:. I have trouble reading the text from the responders (e.g. T Baker). Perhaps you could make it darker text?

    Thanks, Gene

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Bruce Gerencser