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The Best Portrayal of American Evangelicalism I’ve Ever Seen

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What follows is a 2019 documentary released by Java Films — a French film company. Produced by Sarah Fournier, the documentary provides the best portrayal of American Evangelicalism I have ever seen.

I am a former Evangelical preacher. I spent 50 years in the Christian church, 25 years pastoring Evangelical churches in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. I am well-versed in all things Evangelical. This video does a good job explaining Evangelical Christianity. No, the video is not all-encompassing. It doesn’t cover every shade or flavor of Evangelicalism, but its breadth is sufficient to give non-Evangelicals a good understanding of how American Evangelicals think. Of particular interest to me is how Evangelicals view atheists (who evidently are all communists).

If readers want to know what kind of pastor I was, this video describes the type of Christian I was for most of my teen and adult life. I have often wondered where I would have ended up had I remained an Evangelical Christian? Would my beliefs, theologically, politically, and socially, have become more stringent, narrow, and defined had I stayed on the straight and narrow? How different would my marriage and family be if I was still Rev. Bruce Gerencser? I shudder to think how things might have turned out. Fortunately, thirteen years ago in November 2008, I left Christianity and later embraced atheism and humanism. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to change the course of my life. The journey has been rough at times, but all in all, I am pleased with where I am in life. As you watch this video, remember I once was, as were thousands of you, just like the people portrayed in this film. Change is possible.

I have one quibble with the video. On at least three occasions, the narrator uses the word “evangelism” instead of “Evangelical.” Not a big deal, but I do wish media companies would have people familiar with Evangelicalism and its lingo proof their work, thus eliminating errors such as this one.

Please watch the video and let me know what you think in the comment section.

Video Link

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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 email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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5 Comments

  1. Avatar
    dale m.

    Very interesting documentary. I love that documentary. It explains so much. Ordinary families who are sheltered from the outside world. Brought up through the evangelical youth movement. I’ve only seen this once before. A documentary on the rise of Nazism. I would also suggest for our readers to take a look at the series “High Man In The Castle”. It can only be seen on Amazon Prime. 23% of Americans switched to “Nones”. That’s another rise of some7% of Americans in the last 5 years. The word “Nones” is an expression from evangelical religion. As the Nazis before them who felt threatened by the Jews = Communists, the Christian evangelicals feel threatened by the Atheists = Communists. They’re gearing up to persecute us and no one is building a militia to counter it. We still seem to believe in fairy tales. That it can’t happen to us. It will fall on the same deaf ears. Our side is way too meek to stand up to the coming horde. I wash my hands.

  2. Avatar
    Sage

    Christian bikers…😂😂

    I have always wondered why people pray for hedges of protection. Why not pray for a wall, or even better, a squadron of angels? It never made sense to me.

    Hmm..god, country, family…spoken like a true Christian nationalist. Doesn’t quite seem biblical tho…🧐🤨 and he never liked Obama either…really…I’m not surprised.

    It’s very sad to see the kids being indoctrinated. There is so much fear and emotional manipulation with kids that are very vulnerable.

    It’s just a sad story overall

  3. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    The brainwashing goes on… What other countries begin indoctrinating their kids in the womb with flag-waving and ‘holy’ verses? What other country publically hates others and calls it love? (There are answers to these questions but Americans think the questions are crazy.) America has a long history of harming itself with woo and it continues to do so even though the public numbers of so-called believers has fallen over recent years. I will have to watch this video in sections: It’s too triggering to see my family on film like this, to have to sit inside the business of faith and see what happened to my brohters and sisters and me. Holy shit.
    Bat-shit crazy does not easily go away.

  4. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    A,lot of this is what I grew up with, just more advanced than it was in the 80s. The saddest thing is seeing the children indoctrinated in this without having the critical thinking skills yet to defend against it.

  5. Avatar
    Don Rogers

    I certainly recognize much of this from sixty years as in the SBC. As I watched, I must say it seemed as though most of the video depicted the most extreme parts of evangelicalism. I hope that evangelicals as a whole have not become this extreme in the twenty years since I parted company with them.

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Bruce Gerencser