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Category: Atheism

Do Christian Apologists Really “Love” Atheists and Other Non-Christians?

i love you

Spend enough time in the trenches battling Evangelical apologists and you will more than likely be told by one or more of your combatants, I love you. Over the past fifteen years, I have had countless Christians say they loved me. Sometimes, such pronouncements irritate me. A particularly obnoxious Evangelical told me that he “loved” me, to which I replied, sorry, I am not gay. The man in question missed my dripping sarcasm and thought I was making some sort of homophobic slur. What I wanted this zealot to see is that I didn’t buy the notion that he “loved” me. In fact, based on my understanding of love, none of the Christian Romeos who have professed their love to me actually do.

Evangelicals are taught from an early age that God commands them to love everyone; that demonstrating this love is evidence that they are children of God; that the two great commandments are to love God with all your heart, soul, and might and love your fellow man. Why is it then, that some of the nastiest, most hateful people on earth are Evangelicals? Long-time readers of this blog have witnessed numerous Evangelicals spew venomous bile in their comments about something I have written. Yet, these preachers of hate can turn right around and say, Bruce, I love you, often adding, and God does too).

Many Evangelical apologists believe that telling people the “truth” — truth being their interpretation of a Bronze Age religious text — is an act of “love.” When confronted with their hateful, bombastic words, Evangelicals will often respond, I am just telling you what God says! In other words, God is to blame for their words, not themselves. What a cop-out, right? This allows Evangelicals to rail against LGBTQ people, adulterers, fornicators, abortionists, liberals, Catholics, and atheists without being held accountable for their words. All these zealots are saying is, THUS SAITH THE LORD!

People raised in Evangelical churches likely remember being told by their pastors that Christians are to speak the truth in love. This idea is found in Ephesians 4:15: But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. However, when taken in context, this verse teaches that Christian pastors and evangelists are to speak the truth in love to the CHURCH, not the world at large. Context is a bitch, eh?

Evangelical apologists who use hate and bigotry to preach their warped gospel of “love” do great damage to their cause when behaving in ways that cause non-Christians to feel hurt and shame. Of course, these zealots think that feeling “guilty” after being preached at is a sure sign of Holy Ghost conviction. I sat in countless church services growing up where a “man of God” stomped, spit, and thundered as he savaged and abused the congregation for whatever behavior(s) he deemed an affront to the thrice-holy God. A preacher skilled at manipulating human emotions can cause congregants to suffer emotional stress; that, come invitation time, will result in much weeping and wailing at the church altar. And then at the next preacher’s meeting, pastors will share stories about how God used their sermons to bring conviction and repentance. No, what brought conviction and repentance was skillful manipulation of human emotions.

True love is not found in words. Countless men have told women they “loved” them just so they could have sex with them. Women suffer and endure physical abuse because their abusers apologize and say, I love you. The Bible says that the Christian God is a God of love. However, his behavior suggests otherwise; that God is, in fact, a mean, violent, sadistic son-of-a-bitch. There’s nothing in the Bible that remotely suggests that God is a loving deity. What about God demonstrating his love to us in the atoning death of Jesus? Sorry, but even here, God comes off as a bad person. According to Evangelicals, God, the Father violently and viciously punished Jesus, his Son, on a Roman cross. The father’s torture of his son led to his death. Why did the Father do this to his Son? Not because of anything he did. Oh no, God rained physical terror down upon Jesus because of what other people did — namely the human race. What kind of father acts this way toward his innocent progeny? Love? Not a chance. The death of Jesus and his father’s culpability in his death is better suited for an American Horror Story series or an episode of Criminal Minds.

The Bible does contain a wonderful passage that illustrates true love. I Corinthians 13:1:8,13 says:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.Charity never faileth . . . And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

When is the last time you have seen this kind of love coming from Evangelicals — especially those who roam the Internet and social media seeking opportunities to attack and condemn unbelievers? Not often, if ever.

Many Evangelicals believe that they have a duty to tell sinners (anyone who doesn’t believe as they do) the “truth.” It matters not whether they were given permission to do so. Sinners need to hear the gospel even if they don’t want to. These soulwinners likely have been told by their pastors that if they don’t witness to sinners when given the opportunity and these sinners die and go to Hell, God will hold them accountable for the sinners going to Hell. Ezekiel 33:8,9 says:

 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

The majority of Evangelicals never share their faith, never witness, never preach the gospel to sinners. They might invite those sinners to church so their preacher can evangelize them, but outside of that, most Evangelicals keep the world’s greatest story to themselves (and we should be very glad that they do). The remaining few believe God has commanded them to preach the truth in love. Unbelievers, like it or not, will have to endure being harassed, cajoled, and shit upon by people who “love” them.

I spent fifty years in the Christian church. Twenty-five of those years were spent “loving” people as detailed in this post. This warped idea of love caused me to view unsaved family members, friends, and neighbors as prospects for Heaven. I wasn’t interested in them as individuals. All that mattered were their souls. If I determined they were unsaved, I attempted to evangelize them — either verbally or by giving them literature/tracts. Holidays with unsaved family were opportunities to witness to my heathen relatives. Several times a year, I would have evangelists come and preach to the churches I pastored. The evangelists and I, along with zealous congregants, would make a concerted effort to knock on doors and witness to the lost. I would ask church members to submit the names and addresses of people they believed needed salvation. We would then go visit these sinners and attempt to evangelize them. Having their names ahead of time gave us an in, much like a vacuüm salesman who knocks on your door and say, Hello Mrs. Jones. My name is Clarence. Betty Jones, your sister-in-law, gave me your name and asked me to stop by and share with you the dirt-cleaning power of the Rainbow vacuüm cleaner. May I come in and share the good news of clean carpets? Most people aren’t interested in getting “saved” (or buying a vacuüm cleaner), but once their friend or family member’s name is mentioned, they feel obligated to listen to the sales pitch. (There is a close connection between door-to-door sales methods and the techniques used by many Evangelicals to evangelize unbelievers.)

love 1 corinthians 13

During the deconversion process, I realized that I had a warped understanding of love. I had to learn to love people without conditions or expectations. Evangelicals can often be busybodies, sticking their noses where they don’t belong. Believing that the Bible is some sort of divine blueprint or owner’s manual will do that to a person. Having marital problems? Let Evangelical Sally “share” with you what the Bible says about marriage. Having financial problems? Let Evangelical George “share” with you God’s plan for economic prosperity. Whatever problem people are facing, Evangelicals have a Bible proof text meant to address their “need.” Behaving this way is seen as “love,” but it is anything but.

Polly and I decided fifteen or so years ago that when our children became adults and later married that we would not “lovingly” meddle in their lives. We love our children enough to let them live their lives on their own terms. Do they make stupid decisions? Absolutely. Do we have opinions about the choices they make? Sure. But, as long as they are not doing something that causes physical harm, we leave them alone. And we expect the same from them. I am sure our children have opinions about decisions Polly and I have made. Because of the love we have for one another, we recognize personal boundaries and don’t cross them. Now, if one of my children asks for our opinion or advice, then we will give it. If not, mouths are zipped.

In the same manner as we treat our children, Polly and I treat our neighbors, friends, and coworkers. We love these people as they are, expecting nothing in return. We love them because they matter to us and we want them to have happy, prosperous lives. Again, this doesn’t mean we agree with everything they say or do.

One other thing I have learned post-Jesus is that I don’t have to love everyone. That’s right, not everyone is worthy of my love. In fact, there are a few people I despise and hate — here’s looking at you, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Margorie Taylor Greene. Generally, I try to treat people with respect and I expect the same in return. Those who don’t respect me for who I am are quickly erased from my iPad contact app. I couldn’t do that as a pastor. Frankly, I had to “love” more than a few asshole church members. I find it refreshing to shower my love on those deserving of it. Life is too short to spend time trying to love those who hate and despise who and what I am. Does this make me a bad person, an unloving man? I don’t think so. I have great capacity to love others — even people with whom I disagree. The people closest to me know that I am polite and respectful to everyone I come in contact with. It’s not in my nature to be mean or hateful. That said, I won’t go out of my way to love people who have misused and abused me or my family.

I have met numerous good people over the years through this blog. For those I have known for years, I have come to love them. Six years ago, a woman named Carolyn sent me an email that said, I love your writing, but your grammar needs some help! At first, I was offended, but then I realized she was right. From that point to today, virtually everything I have written for this site has been edited by her. We have become friends. We likely will never meet one another face to face, but yet we are friends and have a love for one another as good friends do. All of us, I suppose, have people we have met on the Internet/social media who have become friends we dearly love. Isn’t that awesome? I can love people all across the globe without ever meeting them in the flesh.

Have you experienced the Evangelical “love” mentioned in this post? Did you have to relearn what it means to love after you deconverted?  Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Why Our Christians Friends Leave Us When We Deconvert

church is a family

One thing being a part of a church does for us is give us a community through which we find meaning, purpose, and identity. I spent the first fifty years of my life in the Christian church. For many years, I attended church twice on Sunday and on Wednesdays or Thursdays for prayer meeting. These church families I was a part of were central to my life. Most of my friendships were developed in connection with the church and my work as a pastor. I spent twenty-five years pastoring Evangelical churches in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. I developed scores of friendships, not only with congregants but also with colleagues in the ministry. As a pastor, I would attend pastor’s conferences and meetings. It was at these meetings that I had opportunities to talk with my preacher friends, sharing with them my “burdens.” We would laugh, cry, and pray together, knowing that the bond we had as fellow followers of Jesus and God-called preachers of the gospel was rooted in loving each other as Christ Jesus loved us.  A handful of preachers became close, intimate friends with my wife and me. Our families would get together for food, fun, and fellowship — hallmarks of Baptist intimacy. We saw vulnerabilities in each other that our congregants never would. We could confide in each other, seeking advice on how to handle this or that problem or church member. When news of church difficulties came our way, we would call each other, or take each other out for lunch. These fellow men of God were dear to my heart, people that I expected to have as friends until I died.

As a teenager, I had lots of friends, male and female. Most of my friends were fellow church members, though I did have, thanks to playing sports, a few friends in the “world.” I always found it easy to meet new people and make friendships. I had no qualms about talking to complete strangers, a gift that suited me well as a pastor. As a nineteen-year-old boy, I enrolled in classes at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. I quickly made a lot of new friends, including one who sleeps beside me to this day. I lived in a dorm room with three other men. Virtually every waking hour of my life was spent with fellow students — at church, school, and social events. As anyone who has ever lived in a college dormitory will tell you, dorm life is busy and full of activity. Practical jokes were an everyday occurrence, and, as a consummate jokester, I found great satisfaction in pulling one over on my fellow students. I lived on a dormitory wing that was labeled the “party” wing. The other dormitory wing was called the “spiritual” wing. My fellow party-wing residents loved Jesus, but they loved having a good time too. The spiritual wing? They loved Jesus too, but frowned on doing anything that might be perceived as bawdy or mischievous.

One day, a pastor by the name of A.V. Henderson preached at chapel (students were required to attend chapel five days a week). I have preached and heard thousands of sermons in my lifetime. I remember very few of them. I do, however, vividly remember Henderson’s sermon, even forty-five years later. Henderson was the pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Detroit. Temple was an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) megachurch founded by Baptist luminary J. Frank Norris and later pastored by G.B. Vick. The 1970s were the zenith of the IFB church movement. Most of the largest churches in the United States were IFB churches. Churches such as Temple Baptist were pastored by men who were great orators and pulpiteers. Henderson was no exception. Henderson’s chapel sermon was from the book of Job. It was, by all counts, a thrilling, rousing sermon. However, Henderson said something during his sermon that I didn’t, at the time, understand. He said, with that distinct Texas drawl of his, that people will go through life with very few true friendships; that most people were fortunate to have two or three lifelong friends. I thought at the time, what’s he talking about? I have lots of friends! Forty years-five later, I now know that A.V. Henderson was right; that true friends are rare indeed; that if you have two or three such friends, you should consider yourself fortunate.

It has been almost fifteen years since I last attended church; fifteen years since I have listened to preaching; fifteen years since I have sung the hymns of the faith; fifteen years since I have dropped money in an offering plate; fifteen years since I broke bread with people I considered my family. In early 2009, I sent a letter to my family and friends detailing my loss of faith. You can read the letter here: Dear Family, Friends, and Former Parishioners. I grossly underestimated how people would respond to my letter. In a matter of days, I received angry, venomous emails, letters, and phone calls. One ministerial colleague drove four hours to my home, hoping to turn me back towards the faith. You can read the letter I sent to him here: Dear Friend. I was shocked by how hateful and vitriolic my friends were to me. And here I am fifteen years later, and I still, on occasion, hear from someone who knew me and is shocked over my betrayal of all that I once held dear.

The friendships of a lifetime are now gone — all of them, save my friendship with an Evangelical man I have known for fifty-seven years (we walked to elementary school together). A.V. Henderson’s words ring true. I have one friend who has walked with me through every phase of my life. The rest of my “true” friends have written me off (2 Corinthians 6:14), kicked the dirt off their shoes (Mark 6:10, 11), or turned me over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh (I Corinthians 5). I was naive to think that it could be any other way.

Many people believe in unconditional love. I know, at one time, I did. I have learned, however, that unconditional love is largely a myth. (Please read Does God Love Us Unconditionally?) Unconditional love suggests that nothing we do to those we love can break the bond we have with them. Many people carry the notion of unconditional love into their friendships. We think, these people love me, no matter what. They will always be my friends. And then something happens. In my case, I spit in the face of God, pissed on the blood of Jesus, and used the pages of the Bible to wipe my ass, so to speak. I repudiated everything I once believed, and in doing so called into question the beliefs of my friends. The glue that held our friendships together was our fealty to a set of theological beliefs. Once these beliefs were questioned and discarded by me, that bond was irreparably broken. If the connection Christians have with their churches is akin to family, then when people walk away from the beliefs and practices of these families, they are, in effect, divorcing themselves from their families.

Marital divorce tears the bond between husband and wife. When Christians divorce themselves from Jesus, the bonds they have with their friends are ripped asunder. While this divorce can be amicable, most often it is not. My divorce from Jesus and the church was very much like a high-profile tabloid divorce. And even though the judge signed the divorce decree fifteen years ago, repercussions remain to this day.

I have learned that few friendships last a lifetime. Most friendships are dependent on time and location. Remember all your friends who signed your high school yearbook? Are you still friends with them today? Remember the best-buds-for-life from your college days? What happened to those friendships? Were these relationships true friendships? Sure, but they weren’t meant to last a lifetime. And that’s okay.

I don’t blame my former friends for the failure of our friendships. I am the one who moved. I am the one who changed his beliefs. I am the one who ripped apart the bond of our friendship. I do, however, hold them accountable for their horrendous treatment of me once I deconverted. They could have hugged me and said, I don’t understand WHY you are doing this, but I appreciate the good times we had together. I wish you, Polly, and the kids well. Instead, I was treated like dog shit on a shoe bottom; a person worthy of scorn, ridicule, and denunciation. By treating me this way, they destroyed any chance of restoration. Why would I ever want to be friends again with people who treated me like the scum of the earth?

I have spent the past decade and a half developing new friendships. These days, most of my friendships are digital — people who I will likely never meet face to face. This has resulted in Polly and me becoming closer, not only loving each other, but also enjoying each other’s company. For most of my marriage, Jesus, the church, and the ministry were my first loves. (Please see It’s Time to Tell the Truth: I Had an Affair.) It’s not that I didn’t love my children and wife, I did. But they were never number one in my life, and Polly and the kids knew it. I was a God-called man who devoted his life to Jesus and the church. Polly knew that marrying a preacher meant that she and the kids would have to share me with the church. (And her teachers in college and fellow pastor’s wives told her that’s how it had to be. God came first.) Little did she know that she would spend way too many years getting leftovers from a man who loved her but was worn out from burning the proverbial candle at both ends. Now that religion no longer gets between us, Polly and I are free to forge an unencumbered relationship. We have always loved each other, but what has now changed is that we really like each other too and are best friends. And in Polly, I have found one of the true friends A.V. Henderson preached about forty-five years ago. I am indeed, blessed.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

I’m a Satanic, Gay, Atheist, Former Pastor

peanut gallery

Last Fall, Vice News came to our home here in Ney, Ohio, to interview me for a video titled QAnon Conspiracies Are Tearing Through Evangelical America. So far, the video has been viewed 1,500,000 times.

Video Link

As one might expect, the comments, 11,000+, have been quite entertaining. Evangelicals have attacked me in every way possible. (And there have been a number of complementary, supportive comments too.) I knew this would happen. After all, the video exposed Trumpist Pastor Greg Locke as a nutjob and conspiracy theorist. YouTube comments can be vicious. Jesus’ followers seem to set their Lord’s commandments aside when commenting on social media. That’s why they find Locke so appealing. He’s a vicious, nasty, violent liar. Personally, I find their comments quite entertaining (and sad), reminders of what lies in the heart of many Evangelicals.

Recently, a man (maybe a woman) left the following comment:

satanist gay atheist

I am a former pastor who is a Satanic, gay atheist. 🙂

I AM a former pastor, and I am an atheist, but gay and Satanic? I am an atheist, so not only don’t I believe God exists, I don’t believe Satan/demons exist either. As far as being gay? Evidently, my rainbow-colored suspenders are a sure sign I’m g-a-y. 🙂 (I do occasionally wear them because I know they irritate the Hell out of Evangelicals. Other times, I wear them to show my support for the LGBTQ community. And, quite frankly, I like these suspenders. I have thirteen pairs of Perry Suspenders. I am a fashionista.) 🙂

Calling me “gay” is meant to be a slur, a way to personally attack me. Juvenile behavior by middle school boys who think it’s okay to call people fags, queers, or pussies. When, oh when, will God’s chosen ones grow up?

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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Four Major Reasons People Leave Christianity and Become Atheists

bible made me an atheist

According to Wintery Knight, an Evangelical blogger and apologist, there are four major reasons people leave Christianity and become atheists:

They want to do something immoral with impunity. This type of person wants to do something immoral that is forbidden by Christianity, like pre-marital sex or getting drunk in clubs with friends. They dump Christianity in order to have freedom to seek happiness in this life.

They want to make decisions based on their emotions, rather than wisdom. This type of person thinks that God’s job is to save them when they act irresponsibly. When God disappoints them by not make their recklessness “work out”, they leave the faith.

They want to be loved by people, not by God. This type of person thinks that Christianity is a tool that they can use to become popular. When they first try to articulate the gospel in public, they find that people don’t like them as much, and they feel bad about offending people with exclusive truth claims that they cannot back up using logic and evidence. So, they water down Christianity to get along with non-Christians. Finally, they jettison Christianity completely. This happens to a lot of young Christians the moment they hit college/university.

They don’t want to learn to defend their faith. This type of person is asked questions by skeptics that they cannot answer. Usually, this happens when people go to university after growing up in the shelter of the Church. The questions and peer pressure make them feel stupid. Rather than investigate Christianity to see if it’s true, they drop it, so they can be thought of as part of the “smart” crowd.

Sigh (please see Why I Use the Word “Sigh”).

Let’s see, I have been married for forty-three years and I’ve never fucked anyone but my wife. I have no “secret” desires to sin. In fact, I suspect my godless life is quite Christian. Outside of my use of swear words, my TV viewing habits, and my love of whiskey, I am as moral and ethical as any Christian (not a very high standard, to be sure). Does Wintery Knight really want to get in a dick measuring contest to see who is more moral and ethical? (Please see the Black Collar Crime Series.) Wintery Knight thinks that Evangelicals-turned-atheists wanted to fuck with impunity (remember, it’s always about sex for Evangelicals) and that’s why they deconverted. Is that how it was for you? We can only wish, right? 🙂

Wintery Knight says Evangelicals-turned-atheists made decisions based on emotion, and when these decisions didn’t work out, they blamed God and deconverted. Was that the case for any of you? And let me be clear, all decisions are emotion-based. Humans are emotional creatures. “Wisdom” is a word used by Evangelicals to describe “thinking as God thinks” or “making decisions according to the Bible.” Atheists understand that we make the choices we do because we want to. Sometimes these decisions work out, sometimes they don’t. That’s life. I am almost sixty-five years old. I have made thousands of decisions in my lifetime. Good, bad, and indifferent. Unlike my wife, Polly, I have little problem making decisions. I spent most of my life working management-level jobs. Decision-making was expected of me. I have made some colossal mistakes over the years. Just ask Polly. 🙂 At no time as a Christian did I ever blame God when things didn’t turn out as I expected. (I asked WHERE was God in the post Dear Jesus, but I never blamed God for anything. I was a Calvinist, after all. Everything in my life was decreed by God, including my deconversion.) 🙂

Wintery Knight thinks Evangelicals-turned-atheists viewed Christianity as a way to become popular. Really? I mean, really? Does this remotely resemble your experience? Wintery Knight goes on to apply the slippery slope argument to Evangelicals-turned-atheists. We tried “to articulate the gospel in public,” found out [unsaved] people didn’t like us as much [duh, who likes someone who (unsolicited) interjects religion and politics in social settings?], and felt bad about offending people. So, we watered down Christianity to get along with unbelievers, and finally we “jettison [ed] Christianity completely.” I don’t know of one Evangelical-turned-atheist who would say Wintery Knight’s claim is true.

And finally, Wintery Knight says that Evangelicals-turned-atheists didn’t want to learn how to defend the faith; that they felt stupid when asked questions by unbelievers; so they deconverted so they could be considered part of the “smart crowd.”

Evidently, Wintery Knight hasn’t talked to many, if any, Evangelicals-turned-atheists. Most of the former Christians who read this blog are actually quite conversant in all things Christianity. They read and studied the Bible for years. In my case, I read the Bible from cover to cover numerous times. I spent thousands and thousands of hours reading and studying the Bible — roughly twenty hours a week. All told, I preached 4,000 sermons. I can safely say that I know the Bible inside and out. And I can say the same for the ex-Evangelical pastors, evangelists, missionaries, youth directors, worship leaders, college professors, and deacons, to name a few, who frequent this site. We left Christianity with full knowledge and eyes wide open.

Go read the full text of Wintery Knight’s screed on his site. His attempt to take down Dan Barker, a former Evangelical pastor and co-president of the Freedom of Religion Foundation, is a hoot.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Erwin Lutzer’s One-Minute Challenge to Atheists

laughing

What follows is Erwin Lutzer’s one-minute challenge to atheists. Lutzer is an Evangelical preacher and author, the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, Illinois.

Lutzer’s one-minute challenge is the stupidest, funniest thing I have ever heard uttered by an Evangelical preacher — and that’s saying a lot. 🙂

Let me know in the comment section if you think Lutzer’s challenge has any merit. I suspect every atheist, agnostic, pagan, universalist, Satanist, and other non-Christians will say no — that is after they get up off the floor from all their laughing. Trust me, Lutzer’s challenge is really, really, really d-u-m-b.

Video Link

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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Evangelizing Fools: Atheists Just Need Evangelicals to Intercede for Them, Love Them, and Tell Them the Truth

Oscar Amaechina

Recently, Oscar Amaechina, the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network in Abuja, Nigeria, shared with the readers of The Christian Post what Evangelicals should do for atheists, people he labels fools.

Here’s what he had to say:

Some people believe that the world is governed by chance, not by God, and that morality is man-made, not divine. This ideology did not start today. David identified atheists and called them fools: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” This verse in fact occurs in two passages in the Psalms (14:1 and 53:1).

It is obvious that one of the characteristics of fools is that they do not believe in the existence of God. Their statements do not literally deny the existence of God but give them the impetus to continue in their wicked ways. These people are not only foolish but wicked as well. They’ve come to believe that God does not exist and that they are not accountable to Him at the end of their journey here on earth. This belief has given them the license to live freely and do what pleases them.

The unfortunate thing is that more and more people are joining them. Are they possessed by the devil? I do not think so because even the devil and his demons know that God exists: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe — and shudder!” (James 2:19). What could make man deny the existence of his creator?

It is obvious that the devil cannot outrightly tell anyone not to believe in God but can bring about circumstances and events that can create doubt in the mind of believers. So many in the Church nowadays claim that God exists, but do not revere or fear Him. When the custodians of the Gospel are playing games and politics with God, how do we expect followers and unbelievers to take Christianity seriously? “As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you’” (Romans 2:24).

In addition to this, when church leaders are robbing congregants in the name of God, what kind of testimony is that to the unbelieving world? In my country, many people are leaving the church because they have been shortchanged by their pastors. There is a trending news item about a pastor in Nigeria who is selling rapture tickets at the rate of $751 to Christians who want to go to Heaven. The world sees this and turns its back on the Church.

Hermeneutical perversion of the Word of God is another factor that contributes to the growth of atheism. When worldly messages are regularly preached, and fake promises are made to worshipers, people tend to be disillusioned. And when lies are dished from the pulpit, believers are inevitably pushed down the road of apostasy.

Most people who say that there is no God do not know what they are doing. Christians should emulate Christ and pray for them on a regular basis and ask God to forgive them. Instead of condemning and attacking atheists, we should regularly intercede for the mercy of God to triumph over the judgment that they are inflicting on themselves. A little act of Christian kindness and love of Christ can go a long way in making atheists see the presence of God in our lives. Instead of getting into drawn-out arguments with them, we should kindly and respectful engage with them.

Jesus died for all, and salvation is for all. Too many image-bearers of God are being destroyed for lack of knowledge. For us to attract atheists to the saving knowledge of Christ, we must regularly intercede for them, show them love and kindness and tell them the truth about our God.

According to Oscar Amaechina:

  • Atheists are fools. Why? The Bible says they are.
  • Atheists believe the universe is governed by chance.
  • Atheists believe morality is a human construct.
  • Atheists are “wicked.”
  • Atheists believe they can live any way they want without consequences.
  • Atheists are influenced by Satan, causing them to question and doubt the existence of the Christian God.
  • Atheists don’t take Christianity seriously because of the bad behavior of many Christians.
  • Atheists don’t believe in God due to hermeneutical perversion (a new term, for me) of the Bible by preachers. (I’m more into normal perversion.) 🙂
  • Most atheists don’t know what they are doing.

Amaechina then tells Christians what they should do when engaging atheists:

  • They should emulate Christ. You know, WWJD?
  • They should daily pray for atheists, interceding before God on their behalf.
  • They should ask their mythical God to forgive atheists.

Amaechina tells Christians to NOT engage atheists in lengthy discussions. Why is that? Shouldn’t Evangelicals be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within them? Shouldn’t they be ready to defend the faith once delivered to the saints? Amaechina wrongly thinks atheists are ignorant about Evangelical beliefs. While that may be the case in some corners of the atheistverse, here at this site, we are quite conversant in all things Christian. We know our Bibles inside and out. I was part of the Christian church for fifty years. I was an Evangelical pastor for twenty-five years. I read the Bible from cover to cover numerous times. I spent thousands and thousands of hours reading and studying the Bible, preaching 4,000 sermons during my ministerial career. Ignorant, I am not, and the same can be said of many of the readers of this blog.

So, to Amaechina I say this: leave off your phony “love them to Jesus” methodology. Bring your A-game and let’s dig into the things you say you believe. Stop standing on the sidelines, calling atheists names, and lying about their beliefs and motivations. Come into the lion’s den, Pastor Amaechina. I’m licking my chops . . .

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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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Bruce Gerencser