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Evangelical Young Adult Pastor J.D. Rodgers Says Bruce Gerencser is Still a Christian!

jd rogers

J.D. Rodgers is the young adult pastor (young adults associate director) at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. Recently, Rodgers delivered a sermon that categorically stated that once a person is saved (born from above) he can never, never lose his salvation. No matter what a person says, does, or believes, once he is married to Jesus, it’s forever.

Rodgers said:

If you can revoke your salvation, you are saying that the Holy Spirit can be unsealed, that the Holy Spirit won’t keep His promise to give you your inheritance. What is your inheritance? Glory. Eternal life. John 3:16 says that we will as Christians’ receive eternal life.’ If there’s something that you can do to take back the gift of eternal life, was it ever truly eternal?

He [ Jesus] lived on the earth 33 years. He then died a sinner’s death on a cross. He hung there. And on that cross, He took every sin that you committed against God that deserved death. He took it and He died in your place on the cross. And if you put your faith in that, what happens? You are justified. You are now a Christian because you’ve been justified by faith.

You were once opposed to God. Now, therefore, ‘because we have been justified by faith, we now have peace with God.’ Because of the death, burial and resurrection, Jesus went to the grave [for] three days. Three days later, He rose from the grave, conquering sin, conquering your shame, your guilt. So now, you don’t have to be afraid of death. You don’t have to be afraid of a penalty. You can stand free before God because of Jesus. You are justified.

Rodgers went on to say:

[Christians who say you] “can lose your salvation” [are saying they can] “change the definition of the gift of eternal life that you receive the moment you were saved. To say you can lose your salvation [is] to say that God is not trustworthy, that God will take back what He’s promised and God will take back the gift that He’s given to you. All three of those things are inconsistent with what the Bible says is the character of God. God is trustworthy. God has given the gift of His Son of eternal life freely. He’s not taking it back. No matter what you’ve done

So there ya have it, once saved, always saved. I was saved at the age of fifteen at Trinity Baptist Church in Findlay, Ohio. Two weeks later, God called me to preach. Four years later I enrolled at Midwestern Baptist College to study for the ministry. I married a pastor’s daughter, and for twenty-five years I pastored Evangelical churches in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. By all accounts, I was a devoted follower of Jesus. I loved the Lord, my God, with all my heart, soul, and might. Colleagues in the ministry and parishioners recognized that I was a man who loved Jesus; a man who devoted his life to preaching the gospel, winning souls, and ministering to the church. That’s the facts. Anyone who suggests otherwise has an agenda or wants to discredit me.

In November 2008, I walked out the doors of the Ney United Methodist Church for the last time. A few months later, I sent out a letter to family, friends, and former church members declaring that I was not a Christian. It was not long before I self-identified as an atheist.

According to Rodgers, I am still a Christian — a Christian atheist. πŸ™‚

Recognizing that he has a theological conundrum on his hands, Rodgers, ends his sermon by completely contradicting what he said earlier. Realizing that there are people like me who “once proclaimed they were ‘in the faith’ left the faith to practice a different lifestyle or became an atheist,” Rodgers states:

“The problem with these two oppositions is they come with the assumption that these people were actually Christians to begin with.”

“1 John also actually says that, ‘if you walked with us, and you looked like us, and then you walked away, you were never one of us.’ 1 John 2:23-24, it says, ‘No one who denies the Son has the Father.’… So if there’s any point in your life where you say, ‘No, I don’t believe Jesus has done this for me,’ you do not have the Father. You never had the Father. That’s what the Bible would teach.”

So which is it? Am I still a Christian or was I never a Christian? Rodgers miserably fails to account for people like me. Either he must claim that I was never a Christian; that I was a false prophet; that I successfully deceived scores of Christians over the years, or I am still a bought-by-the-blood child of God.

Arminians, of course, will argue that I once was saved, and now I am lost; that I was a Christian who fell from grace. The problem with this position is all the Bible verses that suggest that once a person is saved, he can never lose his salvation. Who is right? Both appeal to the Bible to justify their positions. How can I possibly ever know whether I’m going to Heaven or Hell? πŸ™‚ Not that I care. I’m an atheist. I will leave it to God’s chosen ones to debate and settle the eternal destiny of my non-existent soul. In the meantime, I’ll be cheering on the Reds and Bengals and having wild sex with my smoking hot heathen girlfriend. πŸ™‚

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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10 Comments

  1. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Ironically enough, this guy makes his God sound like an abusive spouse or lover. He/she won’t let go and upon realizing the relationship is over, claims that it never was.

    I once believed. What anybody wants to make of that, I don’t much care: That part of my life helped to make me what I am now, but it is long past. Then again, faith didn’t consume as much of my life as it did for Bruce or others who devoted everything they had to it.

  2. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    @Dave, love that comment! 🀣🀣🀣

    OK Bruce, I’ll see you in heaven if there’s a heaven and “once saved always saved” applies. I’ll see you in hell if there’s a hell and we’re both of the “never a true Christian” ilk. Or we’ll just both cease to exist one day, which is sad, but it’s the most likely scenario.

  3. Avatar
    Lacy

    ” So now, you don’t have to be afraid of death. You don’t have to be afraid of a penalty. You can stand free before God because of Jesus. You are justified”.

    Since losing my religion, I no longer feel the mental strain of trying to decide whether or not I’m going to heaven or hell when I die. I used to feel the guilt and shame of my normal human thoughts and emotions and struggled with whether or not I was “saved” enough to enter the kingdom. The bible is contradictory on the subject, so it goes without saying. Once I “unbrainwashed” myself, I felt comfort knowing it was all hogwash and no longer feared the afterlife-because it doesn’t exist. I don’t think these folks understand the damage religion does to children and adults alike. Just accepting yourself as a normal human being, instead of a flawed sinner worthy of death, makes life worth living, in and of itself. In other words, I became a better person after dropping religion. Less selfish, more giving and definately, more self aware.Once I stopped worrying about, “what’s in it for me”, my life opened up to new possibilites. I no longer had to worry about my seat next to the throne and could live for others’ as well as for myself. I’m perfectly fine with not existing after I die. I didn’t exist before being born, either, and this leaves the door open for living in the moment and enjoying life TODAY. These people keep trying to convince others’ that they are nothing without Jesus.

    I’m a better human being without belief in some centuries dead deity in my life.

  4. Avatar
    DavidTees DoseofTruth

    i was raised Catholic. I’m still a believer, but I’m not Catholic and haven’t been for close to 30 years. The RCC still considers me Catholic too. Whatever blows their hair back, I suppose.

  5. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    Slightly OT here, and maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing tripping me up, but I was taught that Jesus died on a Friday afternoon and his resurrected person was first encountered early on the following Sunday morning. And yet, I’ve always heard that it was three days between death and resurrection. Friday afternoon to Sunday dawn is less than 48 hours. Can someone make sense of this for me?

    It’s wondering about stuff like this that created the first doubts about Christianity in my mind.

  6. Avatar
    Troy

    I’d make one criticism of the blog post, as you are conflating “Christianity” with “salvation”. If the Jesus as sacrifice theology is correct, everyone would be saved. It wouldn’t be like gravity in cartoons: Wil-e-Coyote doesn’t get to walk off a cliff because he’s hasn’t looked down or hasn’t studied gravity in school. “Salvation” either works or it doesn’t, and while it might give comfort to those who believe it, belief has nothing to do with it “working” or not. That said, like all theological balloons, they are easily popped and reveal that salvation is nothing but hot air.

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Bruce Gerencser