“Dr.” David Tee (not his real name; his actual name is David Thiessen), a self-described Evangelical theologian and archeologist, doesn’t like me. My feelings are so hurt. 🙂 Yesterday, he wrote a post on his blog objecting to my post, It Only Takes One Errant Word to Destroy the Inerrancy of the Bible. Tee, an ardent, closed-minded Fundamentalist, had this to say about my post:
Over the years as we have followed God’s call to work with Christian pastors in our limited fashion, we have come across a lot of different people. Many of those people are like Mr. Bruce Gerencser a deconverted Christian or former pastor who used to believe the Bible (Or however he describes himself).
We are sad that he is sick but that is life and we all suffer at one point in time or another. We have known Mr. Gerencer for many years and never see eye to eye like the owner of Muskrat Musing.
In one of his articles on his website, Mr. Gerenscer has written It Only Takes One Errant Word to Destroy the Inerrancy of the Bible, which we do take issue with. (sorry had to change colors as it blended in with the link color).
The impression we got from reading his content, is that he thinks his eyes were opened to the truth and that he received the truth, which is why he downgraded the Bible and left his pastorate, career, and calling.
There is a lot of content in his article that should be refuted and we will bypass the Dr. Ehrman quotes for this article. The gist of the content is that Mr. Gerenscer thinks he has the truth, and all the fundamentalists and Christians he hates do not.
That is impossible as Jesus said he was the truth and he did not say the Bible was in error or had any errors in it. He told s if things were not true, he would have told us and we have received no divine scripture that corrects the biblical content.
At best, he points to works written by secular authors or scientists and claims that they have the truth over God’s writers. But how can that be when Jesus said the Christian is to be the light unto a dark world.
It is not the secular world or secular science that has the truth. If they did, Jesus would not have been needed nor would we need him to die on the cross. We would go to the person leading those secular people instead.
He is very misguided and deceived as it is not the Christian, their faith, the Bible, or Jesus that are harming those people who refuse to repent of their sins. The person harming those people is the one who traps them in those sinful activities and fights to keep them from being converted-the devil.
The Christian is showing the love when they try to rescue those unbelievers from that trap while Mr. Gerenscer and people like him are showing their hatred towards those people by helping evil keep its hold on them.
Mr. Gerenscer, and people like him, listened to those who do not believe over God. The people who infect young minds with falsehoods are those who stop believing God and accept the words of unbelievers who were not at the event they are trashing.
Mr. Gerenscer moves on to social issues and claims there are proof texts prohibiting certain preferences etc. Those are not proof texts but God’s communication on how he feels about certain things.
Yes, many believers get the verses wrong and apply them in a wrong fashion but that is due more to immaturity and bad instruction. Not to errors in the Bible. If God did not say those words, then we do not have God’s view of those social activities or preferences.
In other words, Mr. Gerenscer and others like him, want to live life their way and be god declaring what is right or wrong, good or evil, moral or immoral. They do not want to humble themselves and accept God as their God and live by his rules.
You cannot solve problems if you are going to leave the answers at home or in your car but then Mr. Gerenscer does not want to solve problems, especially God’s way. He wants people to remain in their sins because he has determined that God and his word are wrong (according to his limited thinking).
If people are going to trash me publicly, I wish they would at least spell my last name correctly. How hard can it be, right? GERENCSER.
I “love” Tee’s passive-aggressive comment about me being sick. What Tee is saying is this: everyone is sick now and again. Quit talking about it, wimp. As you shall see in a moment, Tee thinks I am “weak.” Besides, what does the fact that I suffer from gastroparesis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis have anything to do with inerrancy? Of course, Tee said very little about the subject of my post: the inerrancy of the Bible. Instead, he went after me as a person. Tee can’t square my story with his theology or personal experiences, so he attacks my character instead. Sadly, this is common behavior by Christian Fundamentalists. Instead of critiquing my writing, they zero in what they believe are character flaws/failures. Tis the price paid for being a public figure, I suppose. Such behavior only drives people farther away from Christianity. One of the reasons I publish the stuff people say about me is that it shows readers the ugly underbelly of Evangelical Christianity. And, it’s fun.
Tee wasn’t done with me. Today, he wrote post titled, We Call Them Quitters. While Tee used plural pronouns in the article’s title, the body of the text reveals that the title should have been, I Call Bruce Gerencser a Quitter. The post is excerpted below. My response is indented and italicized.
In our last article, we wrote about one man who turned away from Christ and left his faith. He actually represents all the people who have done the exact same thing since Christ was here.
Tee believes in original sin and the substitutionary death of Jesus. Simply put, when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden 6,023 years ago, humanity sinned. We had no choice in the matter. We don’t become sinners — we are sinners. Of course, since Tee believes we are created in the image of God, that means that God either gave us our sin natures, or God himself is a sinner, and we are just like Daddy.
When the virgin-born, sinless son of God, Jesus, was executed on a Roman cross, he died to provide atonement for human sin. We deserved to be executed (why? Jesus is one who did what he did, not me) but Jesus died in our place. His Father hates sin and those who do it. If the All-Father (tell me you get the reference) had his way (you mean God can’t have his way?) all of us would end up in Hell for eternity. Jesus, the mediator between God and man, stood between humanity and his angry Father, dying on the cross on our behalf (unless you are a Calvinist — then Jesus just died for the elect. Non-elect need not apply). Even today, Jesus sits at the right hand of his Father, interceding on our behalf. This makes me think that Jesus’ Father needs to take anger management classes. Blaming billions of humans for what Adam and Eve did doesn’t seem just or fair. Regardless, that’s the plan the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit — the “we are not three gods, just one” deity — cooked up from before the foundation of the world.
Much like Adam and Eve and Jesus, I too represent a group of people: those who turned away from Jesus Christ and Christianity. I, Bruce, Gerencser, am the substitutionary Christian-turned-unbeliever. Not just Christians who are now atheists or agnostics, ALL Christians-turned-unbelievers. Awesome, right?
We are not singling him out as he just parrots the same words all the rest of the former Christians say and nothing is new coming out of his mouth or from his keyboard.
Hell, David, at least be honest. You most certainly are singling me out.
The Bible talks about running the race, fighting the good fight, and keep on doing it till the end. But Mr. Generscer and the people like him, have decided that they know better than God and quit the race, etc.
We do not support their moves, call them intelligent, or think they have something to offer. Instead, we call them quitters. They could not handle the fight, strive to the end, and did not take the right precautions to protect their faith.
Generscer? That’s a new one.
According to Tee, I am a quitter. Instead of running the race set before me, wearing a faith condom, and persevering to the end, I just up and quit. Instead of trying to understand the complexities of my story, Tee reduces my life to that of a quitter.
I attended Midwestern Baptist College, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution, in the 1970s. Dr. Tom Malone (who had a doctorate from an accredited university, Wayne State University), president of Midwestern and pastor of a nearby megachurch, Emmanuel Baptist Church, frequently railed against quitters in his sermons. Quitting was viewed as a cardinal sin, a sign of weakness. I heard this theme repeated over and over again at IFB Bible conferences and pastor’s meetings. Good Christians never quit. The fact that my six-month pregnant wife and I, recently unemployed, left Midwestern after three years was proof to Malone, our professors, and classmates that we were weak. I vividly remember a close friend of mine telling me as we were packing up the U-Haul to leave, “If you quit, God will NEVER use you.”
Seven years later, Malone was preaching at a Bible conference at the Newark Baptist Temple in Newark, Ohio. The church was pastored at the time by Polly’s uncle, James Dennis. Her father, Lee, was the church’s assistant pastor. At the time, I was pastoring Somerset Baptist Church in Mt. Perry, Ohio. In the mid-80s, the church grew quickly, reaching 200 in attendance — quite a feat for a country church. Hundreds of people were saved through my preaching. By all accounts, I was an up-and-coming pastor.
My father-in-law told Malone about my exploits for Jesus. Seeing that I was sitting in the pews, Malone called me out by name and then said, “If Bruce had stayed any longer at Midwestern, we would have ruined him.” Everyone laughed. I thought, “I wonder what those people who called me a quitter think now?”
I have quit all sorts of things over the years. I suspect most of us have done the same. No big deal, right? Tee, however, is using the word “quitter” as a slur. People who “quit” Christianity are weak, unlike Mr. Tee, the True Christian®.
When you look at their websites, there is a common theme to them. We won’t quote from Mr. Gerenscer’s site, we will just link to his commenting rules page as that is where you find this common element found among all those who have left the faith.
Now we are to one of the reasons Tee’s feathers are ruffled, why he has written two posts about me in recent days. Tee doesn’t like the commenting rules for this site. He doesn’t like that I don’t let him and other Evangelical zealots publicly masturbate (it’s a metaphor, David)) in the comment section. Tee wants the right to whip out his Bible Dick whenever he wants on this site. Me telling him to put it away, zip up his pants, and move on down the road is an affront to all that is holy and true.
The commenting policy was crafted due to me spending the past thirteen years dealing with the David Tees of the world. For those who have not read the comment policy, here’s what it says:
— begin comment policy —
All commenters are expected to use a functioning email address. The use of a fake or non-functioning email address will result in your comment being deleted.
Pseudonyms are permitted. Please use one, and only one, pseudonym when commenting on this blog. People using more than one will have their comments deleted.
All first-time comments and comments with more than one HTML link are moderated. Depending on the time of day, It might take hours for me to approve your comment.
The following type of comments will not be approved:
- Preachy/sermonizing comment
- Bible verse-quoting comment
- Evangelizing comment
- I am praying for you comment
- You are going to hell comment
- You never were saved comment
- You never were a Christian comment
- Any comment that is a personal attack on me personally, my family, or the readers of this blog
- Any comment that is not on point with what the post is about
- Any comment that denigrates abuse victims
I write about issues that might not be child-friendly. Please be aware of this. I also use profanity from time to time, and I allow the use of profanity in the comment section.
The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser is not a democracy where visitors have a right to say whatever they want. This is my personal blog and I reserve the right to approve or disapprove any comment. When a comment or a commenter is abusive towards the community of people who read this blog, I reserve the right to ban the commenter.
If you can be respectful, decent, and thoughtful, your comment will always be approved. Unfortunately, there are many people — Evangelical/Fundamentalist/IFB/Conservative Catholic Christians in particular — who have a hard time playing well with others. Using a passive-aggressive approach in the comment section will not be tolerated and will result in a permanent ban.
This blog is also not a place for hardcore atheists to preach the gospel of atheism. While I am an atheist, some of the people who read this blog are not. Frank, honest, open, and passionate discussion about religion, Christianity, and Evangelicalism is encouraged and welcome. However, I do expect atheists not to attack, badger, or denigrate people who still believe in God. If you are respectful, decent, and thoughtful, you will be fine.
Generally, I will post one comment from a preachy, Bible-quoting, evangelizing Evangelical. If this describes you, please make sure you say all you need to say in your comment. By all means, say whatever it is you think “God” is leading you to say, but understand that no further comments will be approved once you have said your piece.
My writing is direct and pointed, and so is my response to comments. Please do not confuse my directness and pointedness with me attacking you or your religion. This is a grown-up blog, so cries that I offended you or “attacked” your religion will fall on deaf ears.
If you can play by these rules, I hope you will become a part of our community and join the discussion.
If you have further questions about the commenting policy, please use the contact form to email me.
— end of comment policy —
I determined long ago that my target group was Christians (primarily Evangelicals) who had questions or doubts about their faith and people who had already left Christianity. This blog is for them, not Evangelical apologists. That said, EVERY Evangelical commenter is given one opportunity to say whatever it is they believe God is laying upon their heart. If they show that they can play well with others, I will approve further comments. If I have learned anything over the years, I have learned that most Evangelicals are pathologically unable to play well with others. Give them the opportunity to comment, and they will show their true colors. When Evangelical commenters DEMAND further access to the comment section, I typically tell them to fuck off and to start their own blogs. Such people can start a blog in five minutes. Then they are free to critique my writing, deconstruct my life, or attack my character. Go for it!
As you read those rules, you will see that he, and others like him, act worse than they claim God acts. They are little dictators who demand that their readers and commenters follow their rules exactly or they will be excluded from public viewing.
I act worse than God? Really? I don’t believe I have ever committed genocide or slaughtered the whole human race, save eight. I am, in every way, a better person than God. All one needs to do is read the Bible to see that Richards Dawkins was right when he said:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
They hate God for excluding sin from his paradise, yet their own little world comes with worse rules than what God has set up. Violate them in a minute way and you are gone.
Sorry, David, I don’t hate God. You know this. I have told you this before, dude. One has to believe God exists to hate him. I don’t. I don’t hate mythical beings. Doing so is a colossal waste of time. Do you hate Santa Claus?
Again, Tee’s post is about him not being allowed to comment on this site or not being permitted to say whatever he wants. (He is not presently banned.) Imagine me going to an Evangelical church and demanding that they let me speak. I want to share with them the Gospel of Bruce Almighty. Do you know of any church that would let me preach to them the unsearchable riches of Bruce? Of course not. So it is with this blog. I want to be a help to people who have questions and doubts or have left Christianity. I use the comment policy to protect the people that matter to me. Well, that and the fact that I haven’t heard an original thought from Evangelical zealots in years. I’m bored, people.
What this tells you is that those who have left the faith have nothing to offer anyone, especially their former Christian counterparts. If they had such a better way, why is it not present in their rules and their conduct?
I can say this much, thousands of people read my writing every day. So much for not having anything to offer anyone. I would be glad to compare traffic numbers with Tee. I suspect we will find out who it is that really has nothing to offer anyone. Size matters, David.
If they found something better than God why is it not permeating their words and actions showing the believer there is something better than God and his ways? When you read their content and comments, all we are seeing in them is more of the sin that Jesus is trying to save everyone from.
There is nothing in these people’s words or actions that show the world that they have found something no one else has. They just glorify sin and revel in it. That is not worth giving up eternal life.
Another common element you will see in their words and actions is hatred. They hate God, Jesus, and those that follow them. They hate other people who cling to their Christian faith, they hate hearing other people’s points of view if it is religious in nature.
Yep, this blog is all about sinning. Wait until you see the photos of me doing my Santa striptease act. I wish I could do more sinning. I am too sick to do so. Of course, I am being sarcastic. Well, not about the sinning part. I suspect that my life would measure up quite well with that of Saint Tee and his merry band of critics. Tee can’t bear that I am happy post-Jesus. Nope, in his mind, I sit around all day raging against God, the Bible, and True Christians®. Sure, dude, sure. I’m going to the zoo tomorrow with my youngest daughter’s family. And Sunday, Polly and I are going out on a date. I don’t have much time to hate on Hey-Zeus.
Sorry, David, you have concocted a picture of my life in your mind that is not true. That Bruce Gerencser does not exist.
Oh, our pingback from the other post was never approved, which backs up our point (we checked several times). Then they hate it when people disagree with them or try to bring them back to the faith, which Peter has said is impossible.
Ah, now we arrive at the real reason Tee is upset at me. I allegedly didn’t approve a pingback. What is a pingback, you ask? WP Beginner describes it this way:
“Pingback allows you to notify other bloggers that you have linked to their article on your website. Although there are some minor technical differences, a trackback is basically the same thing as a pingback.”
I approve ALL ALL ALL legitimate pingbacks. I have received no pingback from either of Tee’s posts. It must be my fault, right? What else could have gone wrong? As long-time bloggers know, the pingback system is not infallible. Just like the Bible. . .
Here’s the irony of Tee’s complaint. I have mentioned several of his posts over the years. I have pingback enabled on this site. That means Tee has received pingbacks from this blog. Where are they, David? Not one pingback from this site is shown on your posts. Why is that? Hypocrite. (Update: Several pingbacks have now miraculously appeared on Tee’s blog.)
What Tee wants is attention, and outside of this post, I will not give it to him. Per the comment policy, I will grant him one comment on this post. Let ‘er rip, big boy.
We are not and do not try to preach to Mr. Gerenscer and others like him as that would be a waste of time. We just point out the errors in their thinking to protect believers.
Those people have nothing to offer you but like the evil they follow, they will try and rob you of eternal life with Jesus. You have to take care to protect your faith as no matter what level in life the unbeliever enjoys, they have nothing over God to offer you.
Their education and experiences are used against them to ruin their faith and they are no trying to do to you what was done to them. At best ignore them and point out their fallacies to others so you can win souls for Christ instead of losing yours to Christ’s enemy.
The unbeliever has nothing to offer you even if they are the greatest scientist, teacher, leader, athlete, and so on in the world. Just do not be fooled by their fake claims of being a Christian.
I am just one man with a story to tell. That people find my story helpful or compelling is not my fault. Perhaps, the real question is WHY my story resonates with people. (Look in the mirror, David.) I am content to write and leave it at that. I have received thousands and thousands of emails, comments, and social media messages from professing Christians over the years — some of whom still read this blog. Not one time I have ever tried to deconvert someone. My goal has never been to make atheist converts. Helping people had always been my objective. I leave it to readers to determine whether I have done so.
I suspect Tee’s real issue with me is that he sees my congregation growing. He sees my words influencing and helping others. He reads stories about people who praise me for helping them in the deconversion process. Thus, Tee feels the need to demonize me and attack my character (and the readers of this blog). He simply can’t stand losing.
And dammit, my last name is spelled Gerencser. Get it right! 🙂
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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