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My Response to Matt, An Evangelical Christian

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Dear Matt,

What follows is my response to your recent comment on this site. My response is indented and italicized.

Christian means Christ Like.

I assume you are an Evangelical Christian or what is commonly called a Biblical Christian. I assume you also believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God.

The word Christian is mentioned three times in the New Testament: Acts 26:28, 1 Peter 4:16, and Acts 11:26. The Greek word for Christian (s) is Christianos, which means a follower of Christ, not Christ-like, as you allege. A Christian, then, is one who follows Jesus, not one who is like him. If, as Evangelicals believe, Jesus is God, is it not impossible for any Christian to be Christ-like? Further, one need only observe how Christians behave to know that if Christ is the standard for saving faith, no one is a Christian.

We are all anything but that. To strive to be Christ like means to lay aside our own foolish pride. Set aside our own differences. We are alike in that we all want to go to the heaven we have all heard of.

Are you not being prideful when you say that you have something that I don’t have, that Christians are headed for Heaven, while Bruce Gerencser, atheists, agnostics, and other unbelievers are headed for Hell?

You assume that I want to go to Heaven. Why would I want to spend eternity in a place overrun with smug, arrogant, self-righteous people who spent their lives on Earth causing division and harm? You say we should set aside our differences, but you really mean that everyone should believe in Jesus as you do. The goal, is it not, is conversion, rather than understanding and mutual agreement?

Going against the word of God is like pushing the tides of the ocean; futile.

This is only true IF one believes the Bible is a supernatural book. I don’t. I once believed as you do. However, once the Bible lost its authority, power, and control over me, I was then free to determine what my beliefs really were and how I wanted to live my life.

We need to focus on the things at hand. I do not wish ill of any person, but neither am I likely to follow just anyone.

The problem, Matt, is that you think your life and experiences are the measures of what should be the “focus on the things at hand.” In your mind, Jesus is the end-all, all that matters. However, I am an atheist. Jesus is a man who died 2,000 years ago, end of story. I categorically reject the claims Christians and their Bible make for Jesus.

I daily struggle with serious health problems. I can safely say that I am dying, that sooner rather than later, I will be no more. It is certainly possible that I could live for years, but I doubt it. My body tells me that I am running out of time. Believing this to be true, I choose to focus on what matters to me: my wife of 42 years, my six grown children and their spouses, my thirteen grandchildren, writing, traveling, and watching/listening to the Cincinnati Reds. I have no time for God, Jesus, Christianity, the Bible, or God-botherers. The only reason I am answering your comment is that I hope my answer will be instructive or helpful to readers of this blog.

I believe in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe that he died and was raised from death on the third day. Not only because of my faith but also logic. Romans had every chance to debunk this as they searched high and low for the man that miraculously disappeared. Pontius Pilate had every reason to find the man that he never could. The most powerful man in the region was in dire straights trying find Jesus after his death, but never could even at the amount of men at his disposal searching.

What evidence do you have for these claims? I have ready EVERY historical reference for Jesus, and not one of them mentions these things. The Romans didn’t have to look for Jesus. They knew exactly where he was — in a tomb. You have no direct historical evidence for the empty tomb. The gospels were written decades after the death of Jesus by unknown authors. At best, these authors wrote down oral stories that had been passed down. At worst, they made shit up. How do you know which is true?

You claim Jesus resurrected from the dead. You think Jesus’ empty tomb is proof that he resurrected from the dead. However, there are other explanations, one that is even mentioned in the Bible. Perhaps, Jesus’ followers removed his body from his tomb and buried it somewhere else. Or perhaps the Romans did. Are not both of these possibilities more likely than Jesus magically resurrecting from the dead? All the available evidence tells us that dead people stay dead. Claiming that a book says a dead man resurrected from the dead doesn’t work for me. You will have to provide better evidence if you want me to believe that Jesus is still alive. How about Jesus making a personal appearance — anywhere? It’s been 2,000 years since anyone has seen Jesus. I think we can safely assume that he is dead and he ain’t coming to the family picnic.

I do not try to hate nor do I try to condemn. it is not my place to say where each one will go at the end of his time. I can say though that Jesus dealt with love not with hate. He loved the prostitute as much as the disciple, and was seen cleaning the feet from the apostles. He was a servant not acting as a worldly king, but as a divine king of the most high.

Matt, please be honest. You are a “Bible-believer.” You believe the words of the Bible came straight from the mouth of God. Thus, you know exactly where I am going when I die, right? Don’t hem and haw, own your abhorrent theology. Quit trying to paint yourself in a good light. You think anyone who doesn’t believe as you do will go to Hell when they die; that they will face eternal punishment for their sins. If I told you I was going to torture my children every day of their lives, all because they believe differently from me, would you consider me a good father? Of course not. In fact, you would call law enforcement and report me for criminal behavior. Yet, your God daily tortures billions of people and plans to torture billions more after they die. Pray tell, what kind of Father is your God? Why would anyone want to worship such an abominable deity?

It is so easy being among others saying that you do not believe. However in the dark of night being alone, how confident are you of your own mortality?

Are you not in the majority — those who believe in the existence of God? It is easy to believe in God, especially in the United States. Nothing is required of you. Your faith costs you nothing except an hour or two on Sundays and the shekels you toss in the offering plate.

People gather at sites like this because they are part of a small, often marginalized community. Try walking in atheists’ shoes before suggesting that in the still of the night we believe differently from what we do in the day. Besides, even if what you say is true, do not Christians do the same? What do Christians ponder in the dark of night? Where’s God? Why is God silent? Why, why, why? Existential questions are part of the fabric of human existence.

We all contemplate those times when by ourselves we wonder what will happen. If you feel that going into the abyss of darkness at the end of your life then what are you living for? IF there is no rhyme or reason to life then what is the purpose?

I don’t wonder about what will happen. I am sixty-three years old. I am sick, broken down, and nearing the end of life. I know EXACTLY what awaits me: death and nothingness.

You seem to suggest that non-Christians should kill themselves because they have nothing to live for. In your mind, this life is just preparation for the life to come. Perhaps you should ask yourself what YOU are living for? A mansion in Heaven? Deliverance from sin? Separation from unbelievers? Day and night worship of God? Is this what your life has been reduced to?

I have much to live for: my beautiful wife, my wonderful children, my awesome grandchildren, finishing my train layout, planting new trees/bushes, traveling to new places, eating good food, watching the Reds and Bengals, writing for this blog, finishing my book, finally publishing my first podcast, and most of all, having bowel movements that are not constipation or diarrhea. Not throwing up would be nice, too, as would making it to the bathroom without embarrassing myself.

God wants to hear from you, and wants you not to rely on yourself but Him.

If God wants to hear from me, he knows where I live. He also has my email address and cellphone number.

Question? Why did you leave this comment? To quote Astreja, “If your god wants to hear from us, mortal, then it bloody well needs to come talk to us in person instead of sending human messenger boys like you.”

Remember that being a Christian is not going to be easy, nor is it going to be without sacrifice. We all give up something to gain something more. We have to keep moving forward and keep his commandments. Loving one another is the greatest of all commandments.

Have you read my story? If you have, you know I sacrificed everything for Jesus for most of my adult life. I now know that I sacrificed my life, marriage, children, economic well-being, and health for a lie. I have lived life on both sides of this discussion. I can tell you that I am happy with where I am today — pain and suffering aside. Why would I ever want to return to the garlic and leeks of Christianity? Why would I ever want to return to the chains of bondage? No thanks. You have nothing to offer me, Matt. I am not sure what you hoped to gain by leaving this comment, other than hearing yourself talk or putting a good word in for Jesus. What possibly could you say that I have not heard (or preached) countless times before? How did you fail to understand that people like me are not prospects for Heaven, that we have no interest in what you are peddling? Yet, you commented anyway.

We live by example, we show others the way to live and love not hate. Nobody in the Bible is without sin other than Jesus. Even when we stumble he is there to pick us up. We have only to ask. Knock and the door will be opened.

Ask yourself, Matt, what example have you left for the people who will read this post? What in your behavior emulates Jesus and makes Christianity appealing to unbelievers? Can you not see that your comment comes off as little more than an Evangelical Christian masturbating in public? Your comment might have made you feel good, but all it did for me and the readers of this blog — people who know the Bible inside out, many of whom were pastors, missionaries, evangelists, and fervent believers — is remind us that Evangelical Christians are narcissists who just love to hear themselves talk. Your comment comes off as a sermon, not an honest interaction with a former follower of Jesus.


Bruce, a sinner SAVED by Reason


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
    Julie S.

    What an awesome response, Bruce! Best one I’ve ever seen. I too spent many years steeped in the IFB cult, from infancy til age 33 (ah! I’m like Jesus!). The 3x a week, every time the door is open, KJV believing, Christian school pushing,(the list goes on & on) cult that is the IFB. I am still amazed and shake my head at these brainwashed fools. The all-encompassing arrogance of these Evangelicals is mind-boggling. Your response was excellent. I loved every word of it!

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    Excellent. I doubt this man will hear and think about what you said. That would require him to step outside of his box, the fundie/evangelical hater of liberals, gays, Dems blah blah, and he won’t.

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    One portion of the young man’s text deeply concerned me. He talked about washing the feet off of the 12 disciples. If that were really true, which I doubt, the disciples would have been left with no feet to walk on—just stubs. I like language gaffs. They make the old editor happy. Happy day to everyone!! Well, what if you don’t want to have a happy day? Then—-don’t. It is largely up to you!!!

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    According to the Bible it was the lower class, the down and out, disabled people, those looked down upon such as prostitutes who were receptive to Jesus’s message. Sure a couple of his followers were respectable members of society but most of them weren’t. The problem Matt is that you are evanglising the wrong kind. I know from experience that churches are only interested in people who have families, good jobs, nice cars or young people. If someone is like the people in the Bible they only get accepted if they keep their mouths shut and conform to a version of ‘transformed by Jesus’.

    Not only does science keep disproving the Bible but the majority of evangelicals don’t even really care about people unless they have something to give them. People see this type of hypocrisy.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    Earth to Matt : quit being such a damn pest ! Bruce doesn’t need you, of all people to preach at him. Leave the man alone,will you ! Bruce is a mature adult, and is able to call on God should be decide to. So just stop it, alright. Thank you William, you put the main problem succinctly. Churches only want people with no needs whatsoever. They want to rule you and take as much money as they can from you. Hey, Bruce . It’s good to see that you posted more articles today !

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    Thank you Yulya. Not to get too off topic but I recall a church I attended for a while. For various reasons I was curious about their accounts (all above board). After investigation I discovered that the church was hundreds of thousands in the black. I have nothing against saving for a rainy day but I couldn’t get my head round us as congregants were expected to live paycheck to paycheck and have faith that God would provide for us but the church wasn’t. Yet each Sunday the offering plate would go round looking for more money. To my thinking, what should have happened is that instead of putting money in, we should be taking money out. Why didn’t the church fill it up with money and pass it around for people to take out? What about Acts 2:45 which tells us that church money was divided up according to those who had need?

    But the church ‘had’ to have hundreds of thousands of pounds while the people who went often lived week to week or month to month. Such thing might make sense for a business but for a church? I think on looking at it it may be fair for me to say that such a thing is abhorrent.

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    matt is one of those “I’m only following orders Christians’ when he has no problem with his vicious god “I do not try to hate nor do I try to condemn. it is not my place to say where each one will go at the end of his time. I can say though that Jesus dealt with love not with hate. He loved the prostitute as much as the disciple, and was seen cleaning the feet from the apostles. He was a servant not acting as a worldly king, but as a divine king of the most high.”

    I’m sure a good nazi would say something similar. His Jesus is a nothing more than a tyrant, murdering anyone who doesn’t agree with it.

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    Matt, it’s like you’re speaking another language to us, a language we know well but no longer need to use. We no longer believe the tenets upon which your language stands – we have seen evidence that your precious Bible is not the inerrant infallible God-breathed message of a deity full of incontrovertible truth. There are many things within those writings that are untrue and frankly horrific, despicable behavior. While there are some useful nuggets that our ancestors picked up along the path of human evolution (which you probably don’t believe happened despite the overwhelming evidence otherwise), there is a lot of garbage in those ancient writings. Please try to understand that we are not afraid of eternal torture from your deity for following the evidence instead of surrendering to the demands of your specific religious sect. Your words may be more effective with people who are down and out and emotionally vulnerable and fragile, just waiting for promises of a living savior. (But really, I think you should offer them substantial help instead of empty promises and blaming the people themselves when the promises fail to materialize).

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    Matt, I spent many years trying to be a good person and literally denying myself, since I was told from a young age that the person I am (non-binary) was a result of sin, and I should pray harder, and get closer to god, so god could fix me. As it turned out, I’m not broken nor evil, nor do I need fixed. In all that time I chased that Christian god I found nothing but guilt and struggle, and for all my effort, can you guess how often god helped me or spoke to me? Wait let me count….hmm..exactly zero. So there is no need for me to search. And for what its worth, if god wants me I am easy to find. I’ve been in this same house ALL the time for over a year now. If god can’t find me now, then it’s hopeless.

    You believe people sit around at night, in the dark, all alone, so concerned about their mortal soul. I believe that is called projection. Maybe you have or do experience these late night worries, but I do not. I have been completely free of guilt since I escaped that hate of the christian church. That’s not to say I don’t have regrets late at night, but now I am regretting the ice cream I ate at 10:30 PM, or drinking beers with my neighbor far to late into the night.

    You write as if you may really believe that you are kind, caring, and just reaching out to someone out of concern, but in reality your post is full of passive-aggressive judgement. You post basically says “surely you are worried about your soul or going to hell. You know the truth, deep inside you, that god is real and you are sinning. You are just fooling yourself by pretending to disbelieve, because you want to be cool and be with your cool friends. Sure, its easy when you are among friends, but get away from that, and you know the truth. Come back to the fold and be with us… one of us…one of of us.”

    I am no longer indoctrinated in the teachings of a false religion. I am better for it, because I can exist as the person I am. And no – it’s not cool, it’s not easy, and certainly not popular. I am not like this to hang out with like minded people. In truth, I am finally the person I was meant to be, and the people around me accept me as I am. No need to change, act differently, look differently, or strive to reach some arbitrary standard defined by some self appointed religious authority. I live quite happily in my freedom from christianity and have no guilt or regret.

    I know all of this is hard for you to comprehend since the darkness of christianity keeps you blinded. I suspect your Sith training is nearly complete. But in reality there is a whole world out here free from the emperor’s hatred, guilt and control. If you quit roaming around in the darkness of judgement and guilt, you still might be able to escape. Darth Vader made it out, so there is hope for you.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away!

Bruce Gerencser