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If You Go to Hell It is Your Choice, Not God’s

bruce gerencser not afraid of hell

Bill Wiese is an Evangelical grifter whose claim to fame is allegedly spending twenty-three minutes in Hell before returning to share with people everything he saw and experienced.

Yesterday, Wiese wrote an article for Charisma to answer people who say, ‘I Refuse to Believe in a God Who Would Make Hell.’

Wiese says that unbelievers reject God due to either their refusal to turn from a sinful lifestyle or their ignorance of the Bible. To that I say “sigh.” (Please read Why I Use the Word “Sigh.”) I was part of the Evangelical church for fifty years. I was a pastor for twenty-five years. I have a Bible college education and spent over 20,000 hours reading and studying the Bible. I know the Bible inside and out. Where can I take an exam to test out on this idea that people who reject God do so because they are ignorant of the Bible? Wiese insults the intelligence of millions of former Evangelicals with his suggestion that they are ignorant of the Bible. We know the Bible. Doubt us? Ask!

Wiese also says that unbelievers reject God because they refuse to repent of and abandon a sinful lifestyle. Again, “sigh.” Can unbelievers do bad things? Sure. Humans do what humans do. But it is ludicrous and dishonest to suggest that unbelievers are worse than believers or that Evangelicals inhabit some higher moral plain.

I can confidently say that I am, on balance, a “good” person. Not perfect; not without fault, but I am generally a good person. And so are most of the unbelievers who frequent this site. I am sure I have readers who are bad people, but they are not the norm. Yet, Wiese says that self-proclaimed good people are:

guilty of lying, cheating, arrogance, envy of others, sexual immorality, disobedience to their parents, greed, unforgiveness, complaining, being unthankful, backbiting, gossip, cursing and evil thoughts. They don’t read the Bible or pray. They don’t assist the poor. They don’t even keep one of the Ten Commandments, and they support ungodly laws and leaders. The list goes on. When looking at this list, surely you must realize that none of us are good.

While all of us on any given day can check off a few things on Wiese’s list, I suspect most people are innocent of the charges Too-Holy-For-Me Wiese levels against unbelievers. In fact, instead of worrying about how unbelievers live their lives, I suggest Wiese focus on the lives of his fellow believers. Plenty of sin to go around in his backyard.

Wiese shares three things he wants unbelievers to know about Hell:

1. God is the one who has provided the only way to keep you out of hell. If you choose to reject Him, hell is exactly where you will be going.

2. The God you think of as cruel for making hell is the same one who suffered a horrible death on the cross. He died in your place for your sins in order to save you from hell.

3. Hell was prepared for the devil, not for man. It is a horrible place because God withdrew His goodness from it.

All of these are standard Evangelical nonsense that has been challenged and debunked countless times. Exposed for all to see is the fact that Wiese holds aberrant theological beliefs; that he has no understanding of the sovereignty of God and his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. God, knowing the end from the beginning, knew who would be saved and who would end up in Heaven from before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4, Matthew 25:34, John 17:24, Hebrews 4:3, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 17:8)

Wiese says, instead,

Each person sends himself to hell by his own rejection of Jesus Christ. Yes, hell is horrible, but that should not be your focus. How to stay out of hell is what you should be concerned with. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the only way to heaven. You have the choice to believe Him or not. You decide. If you are willing to turn from your sin and put your trust solely in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you will escape hell. But if you choose to reject Him, you will suffer the consequences of your foolish decision.

While Wiese’s theology is, at best, heterodox, it is not uncommon, especially in Charismatic circles, to find preachers who believe that all humans have naked freewill; that we alone choose whether or not to be saved; that our eternal destiny rests solely on us. The Bible says, however, that “salvation is of the Lord.” Jesus himself said in John 6:44: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Could Pharoah, Judas, or even the Jews come to Jesus for salvation? Not according to the Bible. God hardened their hearts, rendering them unable to be saved. The same can be said for apostates and reprobates such as myself. I can’t be saved. I have crossed the line of no return. (I wish Evangelical zealots would get the memo and leave me alone. I am not a prospect for Heaven.)

Of course, nothing I say will change Wiese’s mind. He’s been to Hell and back. The only hell I know is the one we humans have created on planet Earth. My goal is to lessen the hell for everyone and increase their happiness and well-being. Threatening people with eternal torture in a lake of fire — where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched — does neither.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 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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    I liked the explanation that Allie gave her son Chip when he asked about his kitten dying. She said that some people believed in Heaven and the kitten would go there and there were others that thought death was just like turning off a light. I found comfort in that.

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    So the guy has a night terror, falls on the floor, and now he’s a theology expert? Maybe I should publish that nightmare I had of an evil dark being trying to crush me. There seems to be big money in publishing delusions.

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    As I always point out, there’s no way that Weise can possibly know either that it isn’t really atheists who get to go to heaven, whilst believers are dispatched to hell, nor that the bible isn’t just a trick played by Satan, and that in reality he has God locked away in chains somewhere. Even his so-called visit to hell may have been trickery by Satan.

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      Threatening hell DOES seem like God’s way of separating the sheep from the goats. If you live and let live, you go to heaven. But if you threaten “sinners” with hell, you go there.

      He may hide in the clouds, but he knows how to trick folks into revealing their true selves.

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    “guilty of lying, cheating, arrogance, envy of others, sexual immorality, disobedience to their parents, greed, unforgiveness, complaining, being unthankful, backbiting, gossip, cursing and evil thoughts. They don’t read the Bible or pray. They don’t assist the poor. They don’t even keep one of the Ten Commandments, and they support ungodly laws and leaders. The list goes on. When looking at this list, surely you must realize that none of us are good.”

    🤣 How many “Christians” do we all know that do all of these things??? And I’m talking the ones who are constantly shouting from the rooftops they’re “Christians” and judging others for the very things he lists off. Good grief look at all the MAGA evangelicals out there supporting “ungodly laws and leaders”. Some of the worst people I know — meanest, judgemental, dishonest, idolatrous, ungracious, arrogant, gossiping, etc. people are the most obnoxious about their so-called faith. SMDH

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    “He’s been to hell and back” – love it! I’m sure a lot of people throughout history can actually make that claim, like civilians in Gaza, people in Nazi concentration camps, survivors of Hiroshima, etc….There are literally hundreds of real life examples throughout history that do not include dreams someone had while safely in bed.

    Here’s a problem I have with general evangelical beliefs about hell and salvation. According to evangelicals, God made everything – including heaven, hell, and the whole salvation method. The Bible clearly states that God says he created evil (Isaiah 45:7). It seems utterly ridiculous to talk about an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent deity that would knowingly create a system in which the God knows the very 1st humans will screw up and that he’ll damn all their descendents to hell unless they hear a certain story, believe it, say a certain prayer, and thus are saved for eternity. It’s utterly ridiculous when examined critically. And really, one’s brain doesn’t need to be fully mature to spot the glaring problems inherent in this story because I questioned this all at age 11. I couldn’t do algebra yet, but I coukd clearly see how messed up this is.

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      ObstacleChick analyzes it perfectly. Yeah well it ain’t fair but I can’t recall God being particularly fair or equitable. So there. That’s tough but it is what it is. For those of us burdened with a compulsive need for things to be logical, we just can’t twist ourselves into that kind of thinking.
      This guy, Wiese, reminds me how easy it was to write fiction a couple times I tried. I found just letting my mind wander, I could make up similar fantasies. It must take a shameless anti-social mindset to employ fairy tales to manipulate others. I’d suggest the next time he finds himself in Hell he should stay which would be fitting since it seems like his proper venue. For the sake of such people I wish Hell was a real place.

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      Whatever was true of the original cool creator god (if anything), got twisted into a pissed-off persecutor of humanity. Only humanity could conceive of such a monster. After all, they only had to look themselves in a mirror to have a model.

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    (Bruce) “The only hell I know is the one we humans have created on planet Earth.”

    Your logic is inescapable, Bruce. Whether they admit it or not, they know in their hearts that you’re right about the bloodthirsty, barbecuing god of Bible. But gosh darn it, they always resort to their favorite fall back position: Pascal’s wager.

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    Brian Vanderlip

    Billy Shit fer brains, If I go to hell, it’ll be yer ugliness that will greet me at the gate and it will be you and yours that boxcar me there… fuck off.

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