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A Person Who Doesn’t Have Jesus Has Nothing, Says IFB Pastor John MacFarlane

mansion in heaven

John MacFarlane, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bryan, Ohio — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation — writes a daily devotional for True Christians®. Recently, MacFarlane wrote a post about the worthlessness of the life of Hank Williams and that of everyone who does not worship his peculiar version of the Christian God.

MacFarlane wrote:

There is immeasurable sadness of a life lived having been exposed to the Lord through church, the preaching of God’s Word, and even through the lyrics of songs – yet so far from God that a dying man [Hank Williams] says, “There ain’t no light.” How can a person be so close and yet so far away?


By the admission of his friends, Hank had nothing to do with “religion,” in spite of his mother’s attempts to persuade him. We can only hope that he had trusted Jesus and was just in a very backslidden condition. However, all indicators point otherwise. Williams himself said, “There ain’t no light.”

A person who has all the success, fame, and fortune that this world can provide and yet doesn’t have Jesus, this person has nothing and ends with nothing.  If you have Jesus but very little of this world’s goods, that’s okay because you have everything.

Here’s what MacFarlane is saying: billions of people have “nothing” lives. Every Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Shintoist, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, atheist, agnostic, and pagan has a “nothing” life. MacFarlane believes only a small percentage of earth’s residents worship the one true God. Only this select few, the chosen ones, have “everything” lives. MacFarlane arrogantly tells his fellow Fundamentalists that while they may be poor, with Jesus they have E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. MacFarlane never explains what “everything” means. Pain? Hemorrhoids? Suffering? Heartache? Loss? A favorite sports team that sucks? What is this “everything” MacFarlane speaks of?

Evangelicals-turned-atheists are familiar with the “everything” word. It’s not that True Christians® have everything in this life — they don’t. Life is filled with pain, suffering, heartache, and death for many, if not all Christians. There is nothing inherent to Christianity that makes life “better.” Jesus is not the cure for what ails people. No, what MacFarlane is actually talking about is one of his favorite subjects: God’s salvation lotto payout — a mansion next door to Jesus.

The foundation of MacFarlane’s post is perfectly illustrated in the gospel song, Build My Mansion Next Door to Jesus (sung by Dottie, Buck, and Reba Rambo). Give it a listen. 🙂 You will be sure to regret it.

Video Link

Unfortunately, MacFarlane sees no value in the lives of most human beings (except zygotes and fetuses, of course). Instead, he reduces the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world to a caricature, sermon illustration, or a cautionary tale. MacFarlane demonizes, marginalizes, and condemns “sinners.” Yet, he wants “worthless” locals to come join his merry band of Baptists at the corner of Union Street and Fountain Grove Drive in Bryan, Ohio.

I plan to join Hank Williams, Frank Sinatra, and the rock bands MacFarlane preaches against in Hell. Awesome music, better company (Steven Hawking, Christopher Hitchens, to name a few), and lots of Devil’s food cake and Devil’s brew. Why would anyone want to join the good pastor in Heaven?

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 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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  1. Avatar
    dale m.

    Join the pastor in heaven ?!? Why would anyone go to a place that’s been totally sterilized of happiness and life ?!? Now we know why so many angels including Lucifer had to get out. They wanted to live … not have the meaning of life sucked out of them. Yeah for the insurrectionists !!!

  2. Avatar
    Karuna Gal

    Bruce, where did you find the illustration for this article? It looks like a depiction of The Garden of Earthly Delights but situated in some Southern California cult compound. 🙂 All those attractive young people wearing very little clothing, some flying about or swimming, and two of them are making out right in the front of the picture! The haloes seem a bit incongruous with all the fleshy pleasures the people are enjoying. It’s a heaven of some sort, but it’s not a sexless one, that’s for sure.

  3. Avatar

    Over 25 years ago, I met John MacFarlane. Our neighbors went to his church (I think he was still the assistant pastor then) and he came over to my house. We chatted, I think he pointed out errors in my theological thinking, and that was it. Now, I sent my sons on the Wed church bus because I erroneously thought some religion was better than none. And they quit going when Jacob confronted some of the teachers about their bigotry against gay people. Now my youngest is an atheist and I’m not totally sure about Jacob, but he doesn’t practice any religion. Honestly? If the church people had made a bigger effort to welcome me I probably would’ve gone to that church. Good thing they weren’t welcoming.

  4. Avatar

    I see on the church website that there is no ministry to help the poor (which isn’t uncommon), but it really isn’t surprising people at the church would be told that having things in this life is nothing.

    Proverbs 19:4, “Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.”

    Proverbs 29:7, “The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.”

    It says in the bible for a fact that the poor are separated from their neighbours, and that a righteous man would consider their cause, and help. The point is that we have physical bodies and physical needs, if you’re without, it doesn’t cut it to be told these things don’t matter, they do. To be told that if you have very little but you ‘have’ Jesus sounds to me like a disregard to those who really do have little.

    • Avatar
      Yulya Sevelova

      These Mac Fairlane types are a dime- – dozen. I just wish I could tell that cuck to his face. Usually, it’s these greedy, well- paid Poof’s that tell their congratulations that they shouldn’t have anything, but for what they drop in the plate. I feel bad for those people who believe they’re trapped with him at that church.

    • Avatar

      One of my high school teachers once said that people would surely find it easier to be receptive to the so-called Good News when their stomach is full. Unfortunately, this part is often ignored by many churches.

      On another occasion, one of my friends once criticised the lack of ministry to the poor at my previous church. He was wary that we were essentially creating a church for the middle-class. Another friend replied by saying that there were just not enough people to do that kind of ministry and that the church had to prioritise. He illustrated his point by mentioning the account of Jesus’ resurrecting the young man from Nain. Why only one? Surely, there were countless other dead youths in the city but even Jesus had to prioritise, you know.

      The funny thing was: I was sure they had particular elders and deacons dedicated to music ministry. In fact, they were pretty big on “proper Christian music”. Ironic, considering the office of deacon – the first office to be established by the Apostles in the Book of Acts – was originally founded to deal with food distribution.

  5. Avatar

    Poor John. He can’t shwo which version of ol’ JC has to be followed nor show that anyone who doesn’t agree with him has “nothing”. Happily, he’s just a liar and I have everything I need. Now, I could use a million dollars but ah,wishful thinking.

  6. Avatar
    Barbara L Jackso

    This is why I reject religion in general. Ultra Orthodox Jews (Haredim) in some towns in Israel have chased women and girls out of their neighborhood for not wearing modest clothes and then harassed them at their homes.

    It is the same thing all over again. You will be damned if you are not part of my group

  7. Avatar
    Karuna Gal

    MJ, thanks for the link to the Mark Twain excerpt. And I really admire you for sitting through that evangelical music video. I just COULDN’T inflict that on my psyche, just COULD NOT. 😄

  8. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    That particular Dottie Rambo song puts me in mind of the honky- tonk bars from the 70’s, when Country music had that raw sound to it. I’d walk Pat those bars up North, and see people going into those places.. Kind of creepy, Deja Vu moment,lol.

  9. Avatar

    I think some of these evangelicals live super sh!tty lives if they need to think of some Europeanized Middle Eastern dude from 2000 years ago who wandered around begging for food with his 12 bro dudes telling stories and ticking off the authorities before supposedly being killed by Romans. Most of the superhero movies are better than the NT stories.

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