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Quote of the Day: Dear Evangelicals, I Believed You. Were You Lying?


By Chris Kratzer

What the hell did you expect me to do?

You told me to love my neighbors, and to model the life of Jesus. To be kind and considerate, and to stand up for the bullied.

You told me to love people, consider others as more important than myself. “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.” We sang it together, pressing the volume pedal and leaning our hearts into the chorus.

You told me to love my enemies, to even do good to those who wish for bad things. You told me to never “hate” anyone and to always find ways to encourage people.

You told me it’s better to give than receive, to be last instead of first. You told me that money doesn’t bring happiness and can even lead to evil, but taking care of the needs of others brings great joy and life to the soul.

You told me that Jesus looks at what I do for the least-of-these as the true depth of my faith. You told me to focus on my own sin instead of trying to police it in others. You told me to be accepting and forgiving.

I paid attention.

I took every lesson.

And I did what you told me.

But now, you call me a libtard. A queer-lover. You call me “woke.” A backslider. You call me a heretic. A child of the devil. You call me a false prophet. A reprobate leading people to gates of hell. You call me soft. A snowflake. A socialist.

What the hell did you expect me to do?

You passed out the “WWJD” bracelets.

I took it to heart.

I thought you were serious, but apparently not.

We were once friends. But now, the lines have been drawn. You hate nearly all the people I love. You stand against nearly all the things I stand for. I’m trying to see a way forward, but it’s hard when I survey all the hurt, harm, and darkness that comes in the wake of your beliefs and presence.

What the hell did you expect me to do?

I believed it all the way.

I’m still believing it all the way.

Which leaves me wondering, what happened to you?

Grace is brave. Be brave.

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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    He’s calling out those who speak of doing good deeds but do evil themselves. Those who say lord lord. It’s about hypocrites and hypocrisy.

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    MJ Lisbeth

    This piece says it all.

    Christian lives, as Chris Kratzer describes, can be lived by people who believe in Christ, believe in somebody or someone else, who are questioning or don’t believe in anything supernatural. On the other hand, some who profess to being Christians are among the most hateful and hypocritical people of all.

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    It’s been said many times before, but many of us left the faith not because we were carnal Christians; to the contrary, we took the teachings of Jesus more seriously than many of our fellow believers. We believed he really meant all that stuff about turning the other cheek, not storing up our treasures on earth, and not making a public display of our prayer and giving.

    We left in part because we came to see that others don’t practice what they profess to believe. Beginning around 2015, it became clear to me that American evangelicals as a whole weren’t all that interested in what Jesus taught. He was just a mascot for their political party. That awareness in turn drove me to reevaluate the claims of the Bible, and I found them lacking after decades of fervent belief.

    We believed it with all of our hearts until we realized it wasn’t real.

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      Yes, my feelings matched yours completely as I began to question my ardent 50yr faith. I really couldn’t believe I hadn’t been a True X-tian all that time. God knew my fervour and devotion, so if I was completely off track, why on earth hadn’t he told me so? I ‘d have corrected my mistakes immediately. As Captain Cassidy said in her old blog, ‘I Jesus-ed my socks off 24/7.’ Then Neil Carter blogged something which also resonated and helped me on my journey out of faith, ‘We didn’t deconvert cos we were lukewarm x-tians, we were totally committed 24/7 and it was with extreme reluctance and mounting horror, we came to see it was all a fiction.’

    • Avatar
      Yulya Sevelova

      Good points ,all of them. The whole ” do as I say,not as I do,” kind of thing. Yes, American Christianity is nothing to emulate or practice. And bringing up the rear, is a cabal of hardcore ” American Patriarchy” types like Eric Conn, of Right Response seminars game. They’re salavering over Trump victory. As for WWJD, it doesn’t work in American culture, because people are too rude and belligerent to begin with. And take pride in that.

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    When 2016 rolled around, and I saw people I had looked up to as a child/teen/young adult spouting hateful rhetoric toward “the least of these”, I was shocked. I had left evangelicalism about 20 years before 2016, had taken a “break from religion” for several years, and had only started actively deconstructing (books, blogs, etc) in 2015. But it wasn’t until I SAW how “good Christian” evangelicals were speaking that I truly understood how hypocritical and un-Jesus-like many had become. It was a wakeup call for me to realize how hateful evangelical rhetoric is, and that so many of my former Sunday school teachers, former Christian school teachers, people from the church I used to attend as a kid, and family members were actually mean, bigoted, judgmental people. The Jesus of the gospels said to love and care for people, not to punish them for not being (fill in the blank). This realization furthered my deconstruction.

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