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Why I’m Still an Atheist

On the last Sunday in November 2007, my wife and I walked out of the Ney United Methodist Church for the last time. We decided that we were done with Christianity, that whatever we were, we weren’t Christians. Initially, I claimed the agnostic label. Several months later, I abandoned this label, choosing instead to self-identify as an atheist. Thirteen years later, I am still an atheist.

While my beliefs have become more nuanced over time, I remain unconvinced that the central claims of Christianity are true. (Please see The Michael Mock Rule: It Just Doesn’t Make Sense.) Thousands of Evangelical/Roman Catholic/Greek Orthodox/Muslim apologists have emailed me or left comments on this site. Their objective? To evangelize me or reclaim me for Jesus. Whether the goal is salvation or restoration, they hope I will see the “light” and abandon atheism. That hasn’t happened, and it is unlikely to happen in the future. There remains no new argument for apologists to make for Christianity. I have heard their best (and worst) arguments. What could they possibly say that would change my mind?

I am a confirmed apostate, a heretic, and a reprobate. I am NOT a prospect for Heaven. With all the low-hanging fruit in the world, why do zealots bother with me? Is it that they really care for my “soul”? Or is it that they have a pathological need to hear themselves talk? Maybe they think that there is a .00000001 percent chance that their words will strike pay dirt; that I will repent and rejoin Jesus’s blood-washed band. Trust me when I say . . . that ain’t going to happen! Winning the lottery has better odds than me becoming a Christian again.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 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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9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Sage

    Imagine the bragging rights of anyone who leads the apostate Bruce back to the fold. It would be a great “look what I did”…no wait… “look what god did through me” story.

    In fact, I am tempted to give you a return to Jesus pitch. If it works, I could tell the story of how God used me, a depraved, sin filled, bisexual, non-binary person to lead reprobate Bruce back to God through the power of his Holy Spirit while I remain hopelessly doomed due to my perverted, self serving nature.

    What better way to show the power of Christ’s redeeming blood? If Trump can be a vessel used by God then it can’t be that hard.

    This might even work well in the new ministry you mentioned earlier. Just imagine the possibilities!

  2. Avatar
    Infidel753

    why do zealots bother with me?

    They probably think you’re exceptionally dangerous because your outspokenness and knowledge have the potential to lead others away from Christianity. Sage has a point about “bragging rights”, too.

    But also, the fundies who contact you probably mostly represent the dumbest 10% or so of the fundie population. Smarter ones would realize that, with your background, there’s nothing they can tell you about Christianity or the Bible that you haven’t already heard. The ones who are too dim to even think of that are the ones who keep pestering you.

  3. Avatar
    BJW

    Bruce, you’re an anomaly here. An open, socialist atheist in rural NW Ohio! You might as well be Satan to some of the ignorant ones here. (I know you know this.) Now, I think a lot of people here, even Christians, may be live and let live. But the nutty fundie Q types are loud and proud. I don’t really mix with a lot of people here so we can sort of keep our heads down. But sometimes we’ve gotten occasional things happen that made us wonder if our liberal stances weren’t appreciated.

    Anyway, glad you’re keeping up the good work annoying fundies.

  4. Avatar
    Davie from Glasgow

    As noted above, every true-believer wants to be ‘The Man/Woman Who Re-Converted The Ex-Preacher Atheist – With The Website That’s Always Airing Our Dirty Washing & Making Us Look Bad’.

    On the one hand you can probably take it as quite a compliment that your seen as so much of a threat.

    On the other hand though, I can’t imagine how tiresome it must get.

  5. Avatar
    Obstaclechick

    I feel like some of the Christians who contact you to try to win you back are really just wanting to make their arguments/points to reaffirm themselves. You’re just the excuse for them to self soothe by doubling down on the apologetics they’ve learned.

  6. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    If you knock off the head, the rest of the body will follow. That seems to be the mindset of evangelists and others who want to eradicate their opposition and remake the world in their vision.

    I can’t help but to think that they believe that if you can be brought down, the rest of us will capitulate, eventually.

    Bruce, this could be part of your new “ministry.” You could be “brought back” and use your “power of the Holy Spirit” to “bring back” awed onlookers “into the fold.”

    As someone who’s taught, I can say that teaching is a performing art, and a classroom or lecture hall is a kind of theatre. I suspect the same could be said for preaching and a church. You, Bruce, could give us the greatest show of all. And I would volunteer to be one of the “lost souls” you “save.” Heck, I’d even go butch to show just how “powerful” the “Holy Spirit” is!

  7. Avatar
    BJW

    You know, I’m thinking we’re ALL missing an opportunity for fame and riches. Combining with Bruce’s previous post where he becomes a preacher and makes big $$$ from returning to the fold, we could all join him. We could be his faithful coterie who have also seen the light, and now follow him around to help him make the money. We could all be rich, you all! All we need to do is give up our dignity and belief in truth and caring for our fellow man, and we can make the big bucks! Ha ha ha. Sorry, I wouldn’t be tempted to make money based on lies and hurting others, and neither would Bruce and the rest of you all do that, either.

  8. Avatar
    William

    If there was a way to reconcile scientific facts (science, falsely so called ironically is Ken Ham’s Genesis ark) then I would still believe. The absolute fact is that Christianity under examination becomes as convincing as Norse mythology. I can’t help but think all this is a bit sad. It’s such a huge part of so many people’s lives and it’s waiting to die.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away!

Bruce Gerencser