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Dear Evangelical

writing a letter

Updated May 21, 2018

Dear Evangelical,

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog. You probably came to this blog via a web search, Facebook, a link on another website, or a link in an email sent to you by someone asking if you had seen this blog. Whatever path you took to get to here, I want you know that I appreciate you taking time to read my blog.

Let me tell you a little about myself. Here’s the short story:

I am a sixty-one year old man who lives in rural Northwest Ohio. I have been married for forty years, have six grown children, and twelve grandchildren. I was in the Christian church for fifty years, and for twenty-five of those years I pastored Evangelical churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. In 2005 I left the ministry and in 2008 I left Christianity. I am now an atheist and a secular humanist.

If you want more details about my life, please read the ABOUT page. If you want to learn more about my journey from Evangelicalism to atheism, please check out the From Evangelicalism to Atheism series or the WHY  page.

I have been blogging since 2007. Most Evangelicals who visit this blog fall under one of four categories:

  • They have questions and doubts about Christianity and are seeking answers
  • They are a former friend, family member, or member of a church I pastored
  • They are curious about my life
  • They want to let me know they are praying for me or they want to evangelize me, correct me, preach to me, lambast me, quote Bible verses to me, tell me I am going to hell, or tell me how wrong I am.

If you have questions or doubts about Christianity and would like my help, I am more than happy to help you. Please send me an email via the Contact form and I will get back with you.

If you are a former friend, family member, or member of a church I pastored, I appreciate you reading my blog. I know it must painful for you to read about my deconversion, but I hope you will do your best to try to understand my journey. I try to be open, honest, and transparent — character traits you at one time admired. If you are perplexed by the fact that I am now an atheist, I think you will find these posts helpful:

Dear Family, Friends, and Former Parishioners

Dear Friend

Dear Ann, A Letter to My Fundamentalist Grandmother

Dear Bruce, A Letter to My Youth Pastor

From Evangelicalism to Atheism

If you are curious about my life, it is likely you have read a number of my posts. I appreciate you being willing to try to understand my journey. There are three posts I would like to point out to you that I think would be very helpful: Why I Stopped BelievingThe Danger of Being in a Box and Why it All Makes Sense When You Are in a Box and What I Found When I Left the Box. If you have any questions or need me to clarify something, please email me via the Contact form.

If you came to my blog so you could let me know you are praying for me or you want to evangelize me, correct me, preach to me, lambast me, quote Bible verses to me, tell me I am going to hell, or tell me how wrong I am, I want you to know that I am not interested in what you have to say. After ten years of being psychologically brutalized by people like you, I have zero interest in what you have to say. Based on years of experience, I know you are likely not interested in dialog or in understanding my point of view. In your mind, you already know all you need to know. You have read one, two, or five posts and are now ready to pass judgment. You are ready to leave the mother of all comments, and I am sure you will be peacock proud when you are done.

To save you some time, I have made up a form that should make your commenting easier. This information also applies to Evangelicals who are “led” to email me via the contact form.

Here’s the form that should make things simple for you:

Name: (Put in fake name because you are so fearless)

Email Address: (Put in fake email address because God knows who you are)

Reason for Contacting Bruce Gerencser (Check all that apply)

_____To tell him he is wrong

_____To preach to him

_____To quote Bible verses to him

_____To evangelize him

_____To tell him he doesn’t know anything about the Bible

_____To let him know God still loves him

_____To let him know I am praying for him

_____To tell him he never was a Christian

_____To tell him he is going to hell

_____To tell him he is still saved and can never be un-saved

_____To tell him he was/is a false prophet

_____To tell him he was/is a wolf in sheep’s clothing

_____To tell him he is angry

_____To tell him he is bitter

_____To tell him his writing shows he has been hurt

_____To tell him he is fat

_____To tell him I hope he burns in hell

_____To tell him that I am praying God will kill him

_____To tell him that he has a meaningless, empty life

_____To tell him he is going to die soon and then he will find out THE TRUTH!

_____To tell him that I know THE TRUTH about him!

Once you have completed the form, cut and paste it into your email or comment.

Please understand that the purpose of this blog is to help people who have doubts and questions about Christianity  and to help and encourage people who have already left Christianity. Those who frequent this blog are like family to me, so I hope you will understand if I don’t let you fill up the comment section with your trollish, abusive, argumentative, and judgmental comments.

Please don’t try to claim that you have a First Amendment right to say whatever you want on my blog. You don’t, and you know it. But I will make you an offer: I will allow you to say whatever you want in the comment section IF I can come to your church on Sunday and preach my atheistic beliefs. Deal? That’s what I thought…

Generally, I give Evangelicals one opportunity to say whatever they want. I know my writing constipates them, so I want to allow them one enema to clear out their metaphorical bowel. Just one. Say what you think “God” wants you to say and move on. And 99% of the time, I will not post any other comments after the first one. For the 1% of Evangelicals who leave a decent, thoughtful comment, I am willing to continue approving their comments if they can abide by the comment rules:

All commenters are expected to use a functioning email address. The use of a fake or non-functioning email address will result in your comment being deleted.

Pseudonyms are permitted.

All first-time comments and comments with more than one HTML link are moderated.

Before commenting, please read the ABOUT page to acquaint yourself with my background. You might also want to read the Dear Evangelical page.

The following type of comments will not be approved:

  • Preachy/sermonizing comment
  • Bible verse-quoting comment
  • Evangelizing comment
  • I am praying for you comment
  • You are going to hell comment
  • You never were saved comment
  • You never were a Christian comment
  • Any comment that is a personal attack
  • Any comment that is not on point with what the post is about
  • Any comment that denigrates abuse victims

I write about issues that might not be child-friendly. Please be aware of this. I also use profanity from time to time, and I allow the use of profanity in the comment section.

The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser is not a democracy where visitors have a right to say whatever they want. This is my personal blog and I reserve the right to approve or disapprove any comment. When a comment or a commenter is abusive towards the community of people who read this blog, I reserve the right to ban the commenter.

If you can be respectful, decent, and thoughtful, your comment will always be approved. Unfortunately, there are many people — Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christians in particular — who have a hard time playing well with others. Using a passive-aggressive approach in the comment section will not be tolerated and will result in a permanent ban.

This blog is also not a place for hardcore atheists to preach the gospel of atheism. While I am an atheist, some of the people who read this blog are not. Frank, honest, open, and passionate discussion about religion, Christianity, and Evangelicalism is encouraged and welcome. However, I do expect atheists not to attack, badger, or denigrate people who still believe in God. If you are respectful, decent, and thoughtful, you will be fine.

Generally, I will post one comment from a preachy, Bible-quoting, evangelizing Evangelical. If this describes you, please make sure you say all you need to say in your comment. No further comments will be approved.

My writing is direct and pointed, and so is my response to comments. Please do not confuse my directness and pointedness with me attacking you or your religion. This is a grown-up blog, so cries that I offended you or “attacked” your religion will fall on deaf ears.

If you can play by these rules, I hope you will become a part of our community and join the discussion.

Here’s one thing I have learned over the years: most Evangelical zealots will ignore the comment rules. They think they have a right to say anything they want because they think they speak for God. But, invoking the name of God carries no weight here. If God really wants to speak to me, I am sure he doesn’t need you to carry the message. God knows where I am and he can speak to me any time he wants. So far, God has not said a word. Either he is busy, mad at me, or doesn’t exist. I am going with the last one.

If my unwillingness to allow you to foul the comment section offends you, I encourage you to start your own blog. You can have your own blog in as little as five minutes (BloggerWordPress, and Tumblr) and then you can rage against me and deconstruct my life all you want. Be aware that several people have, in the past, decided to do this and they have found it hard to faithfully and regularly deconstruct my life (see Tony Breeden).

Most of all, I hope you will consider what your words and actions say about you as a person and the God you say you serve. What in your behavior would draw me to Jesus and compel me to come back to the Christian religion? Hundreds and hundreds of Evangelical zealots have come before you. And in every case, if given enough space to expose who and what they are, they have proved to be poignant reminders of why I am glad I am no longer a Christian.

I wish you well.

A sinner saved by reason,

Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser