Today, I received the following comment from an Evangelical man named Donald. Based on the server logs, he read all of one Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) related post. My response is indented and italicized.
What caused you to be so bitter?
What makes you think I am bitter? Because my beliefs are different from yours? Because I think your God is a fictional being? Because I think the Bible is an errant, fallible book littered with mistakes and contradictions? Because I think the universe is 14 billion years old, and God had nothing to do with its formation? Or is it because my moral and ethical beliefs upset you? Or maybe, you just don’t like sexy, hot men with white beards and bald heads? What is the real reason, Donald, you think I am bitter? Or is this just a word you use to disparage and dismiss anyone different from you?
Would it matter to you if I told you that I don’t have a bitter bone in my body? Just ask my wife of 43 years, my six adult children, my editor, or my counselor. Bitterness is simply not part of my DNA. I am a pragmatic realist. I accept things as they are. I think you will search high and low and come away empty for one post that remotely suggests I am bitter about my past or present life.
I await your apology, but I won’t hold my breath. Evangelical cars don’t have a reverse gear.
I can somewhat understand your disdain for religion but why the effort to destroy something you don’t believe is real.
Do you really think one little ‘ole atheist who looks like Santa named Bruce Gerencser can destroy Evangelical Christianity? My, oh my what powers I have. Maybe I am Santa. The name of this blog is The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser: One Man’s Journey From Eternity to Here. As the title suggests, this blog focuses on my story, my experiences as a Christian for 50 years, and as an Evangelical pastor for 25 years. I use my story to help others, especially those who have doubts and questions about Christianity or who have left Christianity altogether. I don’t evangelize for atheism. I write, people read, and we discuss via emails, messages, and blog comments.
Evangelicalism is destroying itself. At best Evangelicals-turned-atheists such as myself are picking off strays, people who realize Evangelicalism is a house of cards built upon on a crumbling, rotting foundation. Unlike Evangelicals, I am content to help people where they are, no strings attached. That a number of people, including pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and professors have found my writing helpful in their deconversions is humbling and gratifying. However, I have never coerced anyone into becoming an unbeliever. I’m content to be a friendly, honest voice in a sea of belligerent religious extremism and harm.
Why fight so hard? Why not just let people believe as they will?
Do you fight hard for the “faith once delivered to the saints?” Do you share your faith with others? Are you content to let your family members, friends, and neighbors go to Hell? I suspect not. Why should it be any different for me and my fellow agnostics and atheists?
Surely you believe in the free marketplace of ideas; the public space where competing ideas and beliefs compete for followers? Or, are you one of these Christians who think that only Christianity should have a seat at the table?
I don’t spend anytime attempting to convince people that Bigfoot doesn’t exist, their belief is not a threat to me. Again, why the effort to discredit?
But I bet you spend time trying to convince people your God is real, that the Bible is true, and Satan walks to and fro on the face of the earth seeking whom he may devour. I don’t spend any time on Bigfoot either. Why? Because Bigfoot is a meaningless fairytale. Evangelicalism, however, causes psychological, and at times physical, harm to others. Evangelicals are the primary reason behind the 2016 election of Donald Trump. Who are the people behind the various conspiracy theories infecting our nation? What is the largest group of anti-maskers, unvaccinated people in America? Who is behind the current culture war? Who wants to criminalize abortion, make same-sex marriage illegal, and return the United States to the “good old days” of the 1950s? Who is behind the increasing hostility toward LGBTQ people, atheists, and Muslims, along with people of color? Evangelicals, that’s who. The people who sold their souls to the Devil for a bowl of pottage, people who traded faith and personal piety for raw, naked political power.
So I hope you will forgive me if I openly and forcefully push back on beliefs and ideas that, if left unchecked, will be lead to bloodshed, death, and the loss of our democracy. And If I have some time, maybe I will write about why I don’t think fairies, elves, and liberal Evangelicals are real.
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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