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My Answers to Dr. David Tee’s “Questions”

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In January 2021, my friend Ben Berwick wrote:

Returning for a moment to something put forward on Blogging Theology, we have this sweeping notion that atheists believe murder can be ok, due to subjective morality. I’m not aware of anyone who has suggested murder is ok, but I am aware of several Biblical passages where victimless crimes are punished by death. There are quotes in both the Bible and Quran that speak of the destruction of entire civilisations for not believing in God. We are led to believe such wholesale slaughter is justified and morally right, yet when asked if they would carry out such acts if commanded to, the devout often refuse to answer. I wonder if any of my usual sparring partners will explain how the numerous violent acts of God in holy texts can be considered beyond redoubt, but not believing in God can automatically qualify someone has a supporter of murder?

Twenty-two months later, Dr. David Tee, whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen, responded to Ben’s post in an article titled If God Asked You to Kill Me:

Would you do it? That is the question MM asked us some time back. He was not thrilled with our answer as he was looking for a strict yes or no response. Our answer was that God would not ask us to kill him.

The reasoning is simple, God is not in the murder business. Anyone in the NT era who says they were told by God to kill someone, was not hearing the voice of God. In the OT when he told the Israelites to kill certain people groups, it was not a request but a command.

God has his perfect reasons for issuing those commands. One of them was that the people were so far gone that they probably could not be redeemed. We see that situation in the pre-flood world as all they thought of was evil.

We are getting to that attitude in today’s world. Many people only think of doing evil and they are not in a position where they will be open to redemption. But even in this new situation, God will not ask his followers to kill unrepentant sinners.

He still wants all men to be saved and he will exhaust all avenues to achieve that goal. When they are exhausted, he will not ask his followers to kill anyone. he will end this world as we know it and bring the final judgment upon everyone.

God does not need us to kill anyone. The time when unrepentant sinners are sent to hell is coming close. also, God is not going to tell his followers to do any sin. He will not ask or command anyone to murder someone else.

….

When the question was posed to us by MM, it was merely an attempt to create a strawman argument against God and sinners and to provide him with justification for his refusal to accept Christ as his Savior.

There was no legitimate reason to ask that question since it is the Muslim who claims their god commands or asks them to kill those non-Muslims he does not like. Christians are not commanded to kill and the Crusades were not of God but of man’s desires fueled by evil influences.

Note that Thiessen didn’t answer Ben’s question: if God told you to kill me (as God commanded Abraham to kill Isaac) would you do it? Having read Thiessen’s writing for years, I can tell you that if he believed God was telling him to do something, he would do it. I have no reason to believe he wouldn’t murder Ben — as God’s hand of judgment — if he were certain his peculiar God was telling him to do it. This is a man, after all, who testified under oath that he hears voices.

Ben has written several posts on his interaction with Thiessen and another apologist: Disturbing Silence and If God Asked . . . . Thiessen quickly responded with a post titled Here is the Question, revealing he does not pray or contemplate before responding to his critics. In his rambling, at times, incoherent, post, Thiessen asks two questions. While he primarily directed these questions to Ben, he also directed them to me (unbelievers). What follows are my responses to his questions.

#1. Is MM so bad that God needs to send someone to kill him?

As far as we can tell, MM has not gone over the edge or past the point of no return so why would he be concerned that God would send someone to kill him? This fascination with the topic has us wondering what MM is doing in his private life.

I have no doubt that if I suddenly died, Thiessen would claim that my death was his peculiar God’s judgment on my life. I am certain he would think the same if Ben suddenly died.

Thiessen subtly wonders out loud if Ben is doing something in secret that would warrant God sending someone to kill him. Thus, he believes that there may be times when God will send someone to kill unbelievers; and if he is honest, he will admit that if he is the one chosen by God to do the killing, he will gladly do so.

But in the NT age who would be bad enough for God to send someone to kill him? After all, God has let Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and other evil people live long enough to do their dirty deeds,

We do not think that MM is a serial killer on the level of the Green River Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, and or John Wayne Gacy nor is he a criminal like Whitey Bulger or members of the Mob in any era, so why is he so worried about God sending someone to kill him?

God is very patient and wants MM to be saved just like he wants everyone else to be saved. 

Ben, of course, is not worried about God sending someone to kill him. He may, however, be worried that someone thinking God is whispering in his ear might cause him harm. I too have similar concerns. Religious fanaticism — and make no mistake about it, Thiessen is a fanatic — can and does lead people to do all sorts of bad things.

This leads us to God’s next question: #2. Since MM thinks he is so bad and he knows the gospel message, why hasn’t he done something about his sinful spiritual condition?

I don’t think Ben has ever said he is “bad.” The best I can tell, Ben is a decent bloke. I wished he lived closer. I’m sure we would hit it off and down a few beers on Fridays at the local pub.

Yes, Ben knows the “gospel.” So what? Ben has read and understands the gospel, but he rejects its claims, as do I. Ben hasn’t done anything about his “sinful spiritual condition” because he isn’t a sinner in the Evangelical sense of the word. Thiessen wrongly thinks that if he believes something to be true, everyone should believe the same thing. As a Fundamentalist, he has a narrow worldview; one that has no place for any other viewpoint but his own.

We know he and others have heard the gospel so he knows there is a way out of his sinful situation why has he not acted on it properly and asked Jesus to redeem him? One reason he hasn’t is that he is too focused on us and other believers and will use us and other believers as his excuse for not accepting Christ.

Both Ben and I are unbelievers (agnostic and atheist, respectfully). We don’t believe because we have found the central claims of Christianity to be false, or lacking evidence for their justification. Personally, I reject the notion of “sin,” thus there is no “sinful situation” for me to get out of. I haven’t asked Jesus to forgive me because I reject the Christian concepts of redemption and forgiveness. When I cause harm to someone, I ask for their forgiveness. God doesn’t exist, so I have no need of his “forgiveness.” Again, Thiessen wants to force everyone to conform to his peculiar theology, and when they don’t conform, he attacks them personally, impugning their character.

Is he trying to be like Ghandi refusing salvation because the Christians he sees do not act the way he wants them to? But he should realize that Jesus is not calling him or any other unbeliever to follow other Christians.

Ignore anyone who can’t spell Gandhi’s name correctly. It is evident that Thiessen knows very little about Gandhi’s life; his religious, political, and social beliefs and motivations.

Jesus is calling MM and other unbelievers to FOLLOW HIM. Then if MM is so upset at other believers, why does he not protect himself, change his eternal destination, accept Christ as his personal savior then follow Jesus correctly showing every other believer how it is done?

If Jesus is calling, his flip phone must not be working. I have not received one call from the Big Kahuna. Thiessen says he is a Christian. Fine. What in his behavior commends Jesus to unbelievers? I see nothing in the life of Derrick Thiessen that is remotely attractive. He is a hateful man, a liar. He repeatedly attacks people he disagrees with. If he is a Christian, why would I want to be one? No thanks. I have pointed this out to Thiessen numerous times, complete with Bible verses. He ignores me, saying that unbelievers have nothing of value to say to him. But, what about what God said? — crickets —

This is the way it is with unbelievers. They do not understand the faith or how it is lived, yet feel they can critique the lives of those who believe as well as criticize the faith etc., yet do nothing to change their lives.

I can’t speak for Ben, but I most certainly do understand “the faith” and “how it is lived,” and Thiessen knows this. I was part of the Evangelical church for fifty years. I was born again at age 15. I pastored churches in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan for twenty-five years. I know “the faith” and “how it is lived” inside and out. Thiessen has no evidence to the contrary. I am more than qualified educationally and experientially to critique Christianity, including critiquing the lives of those who claim to follow Christ. “By their fruits, ye shall know them,” the Bible says. Unlike Thiessen, I don’t hide in a foreign country under an assumed name, leaving behind a track record of immoral and criminal behavior. My life is an open book. If someone has a question, all he or she has to do is ask.

My life is fine just the way it is. Do you know what pisses Thiessen off? I don’t need his God; his Jesus; his Bible; or his religion. He cannot wrap his mind around someone not being like him.

MM and unbelievers are not in a position to criticize Christians as they refuse to live life following Christ. Their lives are not better than the Christians and they have nothing to offer anyone so they really cannot complain about God, his plan of salvation, or how Christians live their lives.

Well, we can do whatever we want. FREEDOM!

Thiessen is the one who has nothing to offer to anyone. Just the other day he said he was thinking about shuttering his blog. Why? Nobody reads it except God (and God never comments). If visitor, pageview, comments, and email numbers mean anything. a lot of people think I have something to offer. In 2022, this site will once again pass one million page views. My presence on social media is growing and I continue to receive speaking engagement requests. Even to Thiessen, I have something to offer: blog fodder. He would have nothing to write about without me or Ben.

Especially when they do not recognize the adversary that hinders the Christian’s spiritual growth. With that refusal, they are criticizing Christians based on 1/4 to 1/2 of the story. That is not right nor is it fair.

So we challenge MM and other unbelievers to honestly answer those questions. We do not expect MM to be honest as he never is and will find some way to deflect the true content and distort it into something he can criticize.

Consider Thiessen’s two questions answered. 🙂

Saved by Reason,

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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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30 Comments

  1. Avatar
    GeoffT

    Two things to me make Mr Tee unreadable. Firstly his claim to the title ‘Dr’ to which he clearly isn’t entitled. Secondly his ridiculous pretentious style of writing in the first person plural. I can assure Tee that it deters many readers, and that’s ignoring the poor content.

  2. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    I get a kick out of the way some Christians try to justify the (fictional) God-commanded genocides of the OT. They bothered me when I was an evangelical, and now I just find the arguments egregious.

    • Avatar
      Ben Berwick

      So much of their ‘defence’ of the OT is that we cannot judge God by human standards of morality. That’s fortunate for God, for humans would be horrified by the Old Testament violence.

      I’m developing a post, intended to respond to a participant over at another fundie site (said participant struck me as at least being capable of being civil, something SoM and Derrick know nothing about). It asks how humans would react to the OT violence, if learned about in isolation. I imagine most people would be revolted by it.

      • Avatar
        Augustus

        At a risk of running afoul of believers of other religions, I am sure you could just use a comparable event from another religion’s mythology. There are SO MANY RELIGIONS asides from Judeo-Christian faith, surely ONE would also have genocide with divine sanction.

    • Avatar
      Silence of Mind

      Chick, If there existed a society of Hitlers, Stalins, and Maos, I mean an entire society, from Granny to new born, of genocidal maniacs, would it not be best to eradicate that society from the face of the earth? The Allies did just that during World War II. And that is exactly what God did during the millennia written about in the Old Testament. Atheists, by creed, think that everything just happened all by itself. Our civil society of today was made possible by all the evil that was wiped from the face of the earth during Old Testament Antiquity.

      Atheists blame God for the evil that men. Is such blame shifting rational?

      • Avatar
        BJW

        This is incoherent. The allies went to war to stop Germany and Japan. Their societies were NOT eradicated. We can argue about the rightness of the the allies bombing Germany’s major cities into rubble. We can definitely oppose nuclear war and the destruction of 2 Japanese cities. But, since Japan and Germany are 2 major and thriving countries almost 81 years after the US entered WW2, I think you don’t have a point.

        Also, let us suppose a loving deity did create man. Why couldn’t said deity simply fix his creation? Instead, the supposed loving god kills and eradicates entire societies (according to the OT), where children and babies were to be slaughtered?

      • Avatar
        Bruce Gerencser

        It’s ObstacleChick.

        Atheism has no creed, neither do atheists think “everything just happened by itself.”

        Atheists don’t blame God (s) for anything; he doesn’t exist. It would be silly to blame a fictional being for anything.

        You make a lot of sweeping historical claims, for which you provide no evidence.

      • Avatar
        Astreja

        Silence of Mind, if there did exist a society such as you describe, it would quickly eradicate itself and there would be no need to take action against it. We are civil towards one another because it’s in our own best interests to create a safe, cooperative community.

        Furthermore the Allies did not commit genocide against the entirety of the German, Russian and Chinese nations. I’m appalled and disgusted that you would say such a libellous thing against the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way during WW2.

        Finally, the Noachide flood is a myth. The flood itself is physically impossible, and “our civil society of today” is not descended from Noah’s family. The whole story is just an exaggeration of earlier Mesopotamian myths based on local floods. (And if you believe that the species Homo sapiens sapiens is only a few thousand years old, I’m just going to sit here and laugh at you.)

      • Avatar
        Ben Berwick

        Considering the brutal violence of the Old Testament, is it any surprise that violence has been a part of Christianity from the start? I wonder if you will ever address the Crusades?

        You suggest evil was wiped away in the Old Testament. Do you condone eating babies, SoM?

      • Avatar
        Kel

        SoM, your argument to defend the Old Testament violence fundamentally rests on the assumption that the wiped out nations were incorrigible.

        That those Amalekites, Amorites, and dwellers of Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked beyond any possibility of rehabilitation. Your argument is very similar to the one once made by the Calvinist Paul Washer – he compared the totally depraved human race to the orcs from the Lord of the Rings series. Evil through-and-through; deserving of total annihilation. (At least Tolkien never subjected the orcs to eternal torture.)

        But were they? And how evil were they exactly? You know, God seemed keen on saving the inhabitants of Nineveh. These evil Assyrians seemed to be corrigible, after all. What made the pagan Assyrians different from the pagan Mesopotamians who lived in Sodom?

        And by the way, Jesus supposedly said in the Gospel that the sins of unbelief shown by the people of his generation is much worse than the sins committed by the people of Sodom and Nineveh. That on Judgement Day, the people who rejected him will face an even worse fate since they rejected his signs, the one who was supposedly greater than Lot and Jonah. THAT is the definition of being incorrigible, no?

        So why didn’t Jesus unleash an automatic judgement on the people of his generation then? Instead, he forbade his disciples from calling on fire from heaven to consume some unbelieving Samaritans. Why didn’t he resort to the Gomorrah protocol? Why the change in attitude?

        If he had only done that, who knows there would have been no more evil left in this world, no more Stalins, no more Hitlers, no more Maos. At least according to that logic of yours.

        In the end, I think that trying to explain away the OT violence by saying that those people were beyond redemption doesn’t work since mercy seemed to have work in many other occasions, as recorded in the bible itself. In the end, the answer seems to be “God did it, that’s all”.

      • Avatar
        GeoffT

        SOM, no society is like this, but the thinking reflects the psychological motives of those humans who like to war with other tribes and other nations. Warring leaders stir their followers into this silly nonsense that whole races and nationalities are deserving of extinction, when the vast majority are just ordinary, decent people. Even in Sodom and Gomorrah! It’s why the entire bible is so obviously written by men and why continuing to believe it can convey anything meaningful in this day and age is harmful.

  3. Avatar
    Astreja

    Everyone is in a position to criticize Christians (and in fact anyone and everyone else.) Stop being such a hypocrite, Derrick – you criticize non-Christians constantly.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      His latest post is a hoot. I see that he has deleted his contact page and did away with comments. Maybe he will folllow though and delete his blog (which is mostly made up of our content).

      He’s pissed because I finally figured out how he was accessing my blog, and now I’ve blocked him. This makes it harder for him to get access to my writing. Still possible, just harder. 🤣

      • Avatar
        Trenton

        That post is hilarious, I dont want to give him more clicks but that is some pure grade A usda certified bullshit with a side of schadenfreude and projection🤣🤣🤣. Derrick, we do not have a problem with you changing your name, it’s the hypocrisy, lying and slander as well as your total inability to admit your wrongdoing and take responsibility for your own bad behavior that we have a problem with. Talk about missing the point and making excuses. I needed a good laugh and his last post certainly had me chuckling🤣

      • Avatar
        Ben Berwick

        He’s issued a salty response to us. The name thing in particular seems to bother him, but as I said elsewhere, if he wants to be called David, he can start by calling us Bruce and Ben. His laziness is something he needs to own.

    • Avatar
      Troy

      I went over and read about the name change thing. It is also interested that he uses plural pronouns, even when he is obviously referencing something that could only be a singular person. (“The Dr. title was added after we completed our earned Doctorate”). Not sure what he is complaining about, aliases are typically listed when one wants to account for someone’s identity.

  4. Avatar
    BJW

    I wonder why Augustus (whose comment was deleted) seems to think Ben should compare stuff to another religion besides Christianity? After all, this is a blog devoted to exposing the serious issues with the IFB, a form of fundamentalist Christianity. While I also find other religions fascinating, that’s not the purpose of this blog.

    • Avatar
      Ben Berwick

      I can only guess that they wish for me (and perhaps others) to ‘ease the burden’ on Christianity, by being equally critical of other religions. I have been critical of other religions on my own sites, but that isn’t relevant to Bruce’s site, nor his discussions and debates with his Christian detractors. Bruce’s site isn’t even relevant to every form of Christianity, only those extremist fundamentalists of the IFB.

    • Avatar
      Augustus

      Allow me to clarify a bit. My point starts with Ben’s then-ongoing project with such a goal:
      “I’m developing a post, intended to respond to a participant over at another fundie site (said participant struck me as at least being capable of being civil, something SoM and Derrick know nothing about). >It asks how humans would react to the OT violence, if learned about in isolation<. I imagine most people would be revolted by it.”

      Functionally speaking, learning about the most gory aspects of a religion you never came into prior contact with is the same as Ben’s stated goal. Which was what I intended to say, but I guess I did not make myself clear.

      And the other thing is, this is Bruce’s blog, not Ben’s.

  5. Avatar
    Charles S. Oaxpatu

    Just for the record, I don’t give a damn what David Tee thinks about any subject. Can you write less about him? When you respond to him, it gives him publicity. He knows that, and he is using it to take full personal advantage of the large audience your blog attracts.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      I rarely write about him, though it may not seem like it if you check in on a particular day when I am responding to him. Since the end of July, I have written 150 posts. Eight of those posts were about Tee — all responses to something he had written about me. For every post of his I respond to, I don’t respond to five or more others. Go read his blog and see how often he writes about me and Ben Berwick. Typically, I respond to people calling me out publicly. That has always been my practice, regardless of the person. I have written very few posts ABOUT Thiessen. Most of my posts are responses to something he has written about me — as I will do again, tonight.

      Even though I properly link to Thiessen’s blog, very few people from this site go to his. Readers typically take my word for it that I am accurately quoting him. That said, at least two other hateful zealots have “found” Thiessen through my blog. I am like a dating service for haters. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      I thought I would approve this comment so readers can see the shit that Justice is spewing now. Note that he has thrown his weight behind Derrick Thomas Thiessen. Revival Fires and other hatemongers have done the same. Birds of a feather flock together.

      As far as readership numbers, More people will read this site in a day or two than read Thiessen’s blogs (he has two) in a calendar year. Stats don’t lie, but Christians like Justice, Thiessen, Kluver, Revival Fires, and others sure do.

    • Avatar
      Trenton

      Charles, I would like to point out that this is Bruce’s blog and he can post whatever he damn feels like posting(praise be to Loki). You, on the other hand do have the option of skipping a post with a subject you don’t like. It is very similar to changing the channel on a tv if you don’t like the show. I also feel like this is something that should be obvious to grown adults 😁. You did choose to read this article and you also chose to comment on this post, so please take this as a growth opportunity in a positive direction.

    • Avatar
      Ben Berwick

      I’m with Bruce on this one. I know where you’re coming from Charles – it can be exhausting to deal with this sort of thing, over and over again – but Bruce could be completely silent, and the Thiessens and Victors and Dumpster Fires would still come at him. They will never stop, and so there needs to be a counterpoint to their words.

  6. Avatar
    Brocken

    https://laist.com/news/criminal-justice/manson-family-guide-where-they-are-now. The author of this blog should also take note of Derrick ” David” Thiessen’s inaccuracies in his discussion of Patricia Krenwinkel being denied release from prison.https://theologyarchaeology.wordpress.com/2022/10/17/misc-topics-2-2/. Our master of disaster incorrectly stated that all of the other members of Charles Manson’s group of murderers were all now dead. David Thiessen thought that Patricia Krenwinkel should have been released from prison and that Gavin Newsom had made a mistake in not grating her release from prison. Actually, by checking the first link on this email I learned that several of Charles Manson’s murderous group are still alive. Some are still in prison while a couple of Manson’s followers are now out of prison.

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Bruce Gerencser