Today, a man named Robert Bobinski left two comments on this site. What follows is my response.
∎ Comment number one on The Official Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Rulebook
I am certain you are far more intelligent a man than I am, so I do not wish to debate you.
Thank you for recognizing my intellectual greatness. 🙂 All kidding aside, I am just an everyday Joe, a man who tries to help those who have doubts and questions about Christianity or who have already left the faith.
I am not an evangelist for atheism. I have no interest in evangelizing Christians, hoping to convert them to the holy trinity of reason, skepticism, and humanism. I am just one man with a story to tell. Perhaps you should ponder why my story resonates with so many people?
My fifty years in the Christian church and twenty-five years in the ministry have given me deep insight into and understanding of Evangelical Christianity. I try to use what I know to help those who are trying to escape the hold Evangelicalism has on their lives.
I am grateful that many people have found my writing helpful. Some of the people I have helped deconverted and are now atheists or agnostics. Others moved on to kinder, gentler forms of Christianity or other religions altogether. At no time in the past fourteen years have I told some they had to become an atheist lest they face watching A Christmas Story on an endless loop for eternity — a true hell if there ever was one.
I was rejected by two independent fundamentalist Baptist congregations in two different states, but I stand in their defense.
Consider yourself lucky. The Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church movement is a cult. It will be a good day when the movement shrivels up and dies. In fact, I hope one of my thirteen grandchildren live long enough to hold a pillow over the face of IFB church movement as it lies on its death bed gasping for air. I hope my grandchild will say to them, “this is for Grandpa and Nana and countless other people you have misused, abused, and harmed.”
They are going out of their way to send a few to heaven, while you are going out of your way to send a few more to hell.
There is no Heaven or Hell. Do you have any evidence that proves otherwise? Outside of what unknown ancient authors wrote about a Heaven and Hell, we have no evidence for their existence. I reject the Bible out of hand. The only Hell I am trying to deliver people from is the very real and present hell caused by Fundamentalist religions.
I can’t for the life of me understand why, disgruntled as you are, you would go out of your way to take a personal hand in someone’s trip to eternal punishment.
I am not disgruntled. Bad word choice, Robert. I am quite happy in life — chronic pain and illness aside. I’m only disgruntled when the Bengals lose or the Reds trade away yet another player. The Bengals put a beatdown on the Steelers yesterday, so I am one happy fella.
I am an atheist, so I don’t believe in the existence of God, Satan, Heaven, Hell, or eternal punishment. Just because the Bible says something doesn’t mean it’s true. The Bible is not inerrant or infallible. Written by men, it is filled with errors and contradictions. Why should any of us pay attention to anything the Bible says?
If you have not read any of Dr. Bart Ehrman’s books, I encourage you to do so. Ehrman is a renowned New Testament scholar. I think you will find his books enlightening. Let me know what you think.
You ought to repent of this attitude and behavior while you are yet alive and repair your relationship with a God who undoubtedly still loves you, and stop taking an active hand in encouraging others to sin against a Holy God and ensuring their damnation.
No God. No sin. No Heaven. No Hell. No damnation. No relationship.
I am quite happy where I am, as I am. You have said nothing in your comments, Robert, that would remotely entice me to return to Christianity. Sorry, but thousands of people have come before you, slinging the same empty religious words, invectives, and judgments. You are going have to do better than this. Better yet, pray and ask God to reach down into my cold, hard, darkened heart and save me. Surely, God is able to do so, right? Why send middlemen? Jesus knows where I live. He even has my cellphone number and email address. Text me Hey-zeus and we will meet for lunch.
Shame on you, sir.
For what, telling my story or sharing my opinions about Evangelical Christianity? What is shameful about what I do? I keep my pants zipped, unlike the Evangelical preachers featured in the Black Collar Crime Series.
You have all the information you need to attack me for making this statement, but I assure you that there is very little left to attack. Good day, sir. And may you recognize your error while there is still time.
Do you feel persecuted, Robert? Really? Aren’t you the one who chose to comment on this site? I am the one who should feel “persecuted.” But, I don’t. Every Evangelical commenter gets one chance to share what the dead Jesus has laid upon their hearts. You have had yours. I hope you said everything God wanted you to say. (Please see Comment Policy.)
∎ Comment number two on The Official Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Rulebook
In your cynical statement about the seemingly unseen “book of rules,” you failed to mention that they ultimately came from a God who loves you, and has your best interest at heart.
All I did was share a list of the rules I heard preached in IFB churches over the course of fifty years. No cynicism, just facts. These rules were not uttered by Jesus/God/Holy Spirit. They came straight from the mouths of preachers — the only true gods of IFB churches.
Please look at the list and provide Bible prooftexts for each rule. Not inferences, interpretations, or opinions. What I want to see are the words straight from the mouth of God. Good luck, Robert.
My question is: Are you judging all IFB pastor’s and deacons by the standards you kept for yourself in the pulpit for forty-five years?
I am not judging anyone. All I am doing is telling my story, recounting past beliefs and experiences. If the shoe fits, wear it. No one is forced to read this blog. Whosever will let him read.
Or are you judging them by God’s word, which likely looks unfavorably on you? I may yet end up in Hell myself, but I won’t see you there, nor will you see me. We will be far too busy with other concerns of self to think about the presence of other’s we might by then hope would be there with us.
I have no worries about Hell or eternity. One life twill soon be past and then we are dead. End of story. I suspect I will be dead soon. I have come to terms with my mortality. I hope I live five or ten more years, but if I don’t I am confident that the only thing I will experience when I die is darkness and nothingness — much like when I came into the world.
What did you hope accomplish with your comments? Surely you know that nothing you can say will lead me back to Jesus. That ship has sailed.
Thank you for commenting.
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.
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