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Dear Atheist Talk Show Hosts: Please Learn About Christianity Before Critiquing It

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I listen to several atheist call-in shows and podcasts, particularly late at night. I take three medications at night to help with insomnia and pain, yet it still takes two to three hours for me to fall asleep. Typically, I watch TV shows/movies on my iPad Pro or listen to YouTube videos. Instead of saying bedtime prayers to the ceiling God, I fall asleep listening to videos/podcasts produced by the Atheist Community of Austin, Jimmy Snow, Matt Dillahunty, Rationality Rules, the Godless Engineer, and other atheist content producers.

Of late, I have become increasingly troubled by several atheist talk show hosts and podcasters who show a lack of understanding about Christianity and the Bible. If you are going to critique Evangelicalism and the Bible, then you should, at the very least, have a working knowledge and understanding of that which you are criticizing.

One call-in show host said that Jesus, during his lifetime, had LOTS of followers. This is patently false. According to Dr. Bart Ehrman’s book, The Triumph of Christianity, it is likely Jesus had around 20 followers in 30 CE. That group “exploded” to a few hundred people by 60 CE. In Acts 1:13-26, after the death of Jesus, 120 people gathered in the upper room for prayer, to listen to a sermon by Peter, and choose a replacement (Matthias) for Judas. One thing is certain: a relatively unknown, obscure itinerant Jewish preacher did NOT have lots of followers.

Another call-in show host said that Jesus started a new religion. He most certainly did not. Jesus was a Jew; his followers during his lifetime were observant Jews who worshiped at the Temple in Jerusalem. According to Acts 11:25-26:

Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Jesus was not a Christian. Jesus didn’t start First Baptist Church in Jerusalem. If we take Acts 11 as accurate history, the first time the followers of Jesus were called Christians happened 40 years after the life and death of Jesus.

And finally, another call-in talk show host, an ex-Jehovah’s Witness, objected when a caller said Christianity was a cult. The host vehemently disagreed, saying that her former religion was a cult, but garden variety Christian sects were NOT cults. This host, for some reason, thought it important that the word cult be reserved for just “bad” religions — her former religion. The host showed a real lack of awareness about other Christian sects, particularly Evangelical denominations. Fortunately, the show’s co-host gently corrected his fellow host’s incorrect assertions.

I have noticed that some atheist call-in talk show hosts have a hard time saying “I don’t know” or admitting that they lack understanding about a particular subject. Wanting to be viewed as authoritative, these hosts (at times) speak beyond that which they know. I am in no way suggesting that these hosts are deliberately saying untrue things. I suspect that the problem is a lack of knowledge. It’s important to know what we don’t know. I don’t pontificate on this blog about science or non-Christian religions. While I am not ignorant of some aspects of these things, I am not an authority. Want to talk about Evangelicalism or the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement? I’m your man. I know what I’m talking about. I try to stay in my lane, focusing my work on subjects for which I have expertise.

To these show hosts and podcasters, I say, do better, my fellow atheists, do better. Christians deserve to have their religion, in all its flavors, accurately represented. Atheists don’t like it when their beliefs are straw-manned, and neither do Christians. If you are going to critique Christianity in general and Evangelicalism in particular, please put in the work necessary to know what the hell you are talking about. If you are unwilling to do your homework, please turn off the microphone.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

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.

Evangelical Zealot “Dr.” David Tee is Infatuated with Bruce Gerencser

things religious say to atheists

“Dr.” David Tee (David Thiessen) — an Evangelical zealot — is an expert in passive-aggressive writing. Of late, Tee has written five or so posts about me. I am starting to think that Tee has a man-crush on me — even though I am not gay or bisexual. Sorry, David, I know you want me, but it ain’t going to happen. 🙂 My three wives and 666 concubines keep me way too busy — wink, wink, if you know what I mean (just following in the footsteps of Solomon, the “wisest” man in the Bible).

I have responded to Tee several times:

David Tee Says I Am Envious and Jealous of Evangelical Churches

David Tee Says I’m a Quitter and Have Nothing to Offer People

Tee warns Christians — especially “immature” believers — not to read my writing lest I lead them astray. Evidently, I am more powerful than God. Cool, right? Tee views himself as a Bible expert. I suspect what irritates the heaven out of him is that I know as much as he does (if not more) about the Bible and Christianity. He knows that my writing can and does lead people to the light — of skepticism, reason, and intellectual inquiry. So, he rages against me, hoping that the few people who read his blog will be warded off from this site. Much like the gospel he preaches, his efforts are doomed to fail.

Tee has written two posts about me (and others) this week. The first post is titled Applying Scripture. Here’s an excerpt from this post:

We have done many articles recently using two non-Christian websites as a source for our topics. It is not wrong to do so and we may address more of the issues they raise n future articles.

What is important though, is how to respond to these people. One of the keys to approaching those that either do not believe or did believe and turned away from their salvation is that they do not accept God’s definitions, God’s thinking, nor anything to do with God.

That makes it very tough to deal with because they will avoid the truth as much as possible.

….

God’s love tells everyone to forsake evil, wrong behavior, and so on. However, only God defines those categories and places different actions in each category. Star Trek and unbelievers do not have the authority or power to change that categorization.

All they can do is create something that continues to corrupt people and leaves them in their sin. They call it by other terms but it certainly is not love. Then there is Bruce and his views on abortion (We are tired of trying to type his last name).

….

It is impossible for Christians to talk to unbelievers and quitters because they have a low view of human life and think it is okay for women to murder or kill. They change the concept of an unborn child in hopes of relieving any guilt or regrets from disposing of human life for selfish reasons.

A woman has no right to kill anyone including an unborn child. Pro-abortionists do not have the power or authority to change the status of the unborn child. The pregnancy period is God’s choice and life starts at conception no matter what sinful term is used to describe it.

These are the situations where applying scripture correctly will help believers focus their energies on topics and issues that really matter. That application takes correct discernment.

First, you have to discern if it is really God leading you to interact with these people. Then if that is so, you need to discern which scriptures will help you in that interaction. Both steps are governed by your going to your prayer closet and praying.

You will need prayer to protect you from the subtle attacks of unbelievers and those that turn away. Then you need to ask for wisdom and understanding to tackle the interaction. Having the correct knowledge will help as well.

One of the biggest complaints atheists have had over the years is that believers do not know anything or they know very little. Getting the right knowledge is not wrong as your ability to discern will help you use that knowledge with God’s help in a manner that is effective and convincing.

Bruce tends to complain a lot when evangelicals make comments on his website about his desire to return to the faith and so on. Those comments are not very discerning as they ignore what Hebrews says in chapter 6:

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame

Sometimes it is best to ignore such people and just use what they write on their blogs as teaching tools to show believers what to watch out for. Remember that unbelievers will camouflage their deceptive thoughts with a lot of truth.

For example, in the quote above Bruce mentions that right to life people are only right to be born advocates. That is true in many circumstances. He wasn’t the first to say it, as Robin Williams said it before him and we may have beaten him to that fact as well.

But that fact does not mean we stop being anti-abortion supporters. We just have to broaden our methods and reach more people through a better strategy that only God can give. Also, the Bible does not say to focus on saving the unborn only. They are plenty of other innocent people who need our help.

That is where discernment comes in. Knowing which strategies to use and where to apply them will help make you a better success for God than ignoring God’s instructions in hopes of saving those who cannot be saved anymore.

When you get the correct discerning powers, you will notice that the unbeliever, etc. will think they have been enlightened, that they came to the truth, and that they alone can make determinations for everyone else.

….

No, we are not hypocrites because we are doing what God says to do. We do not listen to unbelievers because the Bible instructs us not to; we do not accept sinful positions because they are wrong and sinful; we do not have ultra-literal interpretations because we are doing what Christ said to do- know the truth.

Meerkat is upset because his ideas are being rejected and he has no say in the Christian way of life. But he rejects God and his ways so why should he expect to be accepted when he attacks the very belief of those he wants to accept his views?

It is neither rational nor logical and discernment lets you know that and that he is doing nothing but trying to ruin Christian lives and get them sent to hell. He may not realize that is what is taking place but Christians with discernment see it very clearly.

Bruce is the same way. He wants his views to be accepted but he will reject anything to do with God, the Bible, and Christianity. The two are hypocrites because they say one thing but in reality, act differently from what they say.

As you can see, Tee thinks of himself as a uber-mature Christian who is called by the Evangelical God to “protect” weak, immature followers of Jesus. Evidently, the Holy Spirit, who allegedly lives inside every Christian, is too busy playing golf to protect them from atheist bloggers. Christians should be glad that Mr. Tee is on the job, protecting them from an evil Meerkat and Santa Claus. (Please see Ben Berwick’s blog, Meerkat Musings.)

I love that Tee has finally admitted why he refuses to take the time to spell my last name correctly. He’s too lazy to do so. Tee can write thousands of words about me, but he can’t spell my last name correctly.

Today, Tee wrote another post about me. Titled Inside the Mind of an Atheist, Tee purports to peer into my mind and know what is going on therein. Polly would love to know how he does this, as would my counselor. 🙂 Here’s an excerpt from this post. Paragraphs in bold font are from my post Understanding Christianity From a Sociological and Economic Perspective.

We all know what is going on inside the mind of an atheist. But it is nice to have them make confessions once in a while. B.G. (Bruce Gerencser) has written a little confession that clears up any confusion. His very first line tells us everything we need to know about atheists:

Atheists of every stripe agree that all the gods of human religions are false; that these gods do not have magical, supernatural powers; that they do not answer prayer, heal the sick, or raise the dead. These gods are made and shaped by human hands and do not, as many religionists suggest, live beyond the space-time continuum.

The only thing true about this comment is that it describes exactly what the atheist believes and thinks. The Bible says the fool has said there is no god and this is not something that has suddenly appeared in the 20th or 21st century.

It has been going on since almost time began. B. G. is saying nothing new and after all these millenniums you would think the atheist would come up with something new and better. They don’t because they have nothing to offer anyone.

The first line in that quote doesn’t prove anything except that the atheist is not using fact, physical evidence, reality, or even truth to make their decision. They also use no authority either. They have just decided that is the way it is and then attack anyone brave enough to admit that they cannot do life alone.

Their statement that there is no God is not fact just what they wish it was. They hope for this because they have been deceived and do not want to think about the ramifications of their decision.

They also ignore all the evidence proving that God does exist. They are not enlightened but simply deceived. They do not have the truth ut gave it up for whatever false promise they have been given by evil.

Then they think they are winning because they are being successful in turning people away from God. How sad that is because they are aiding evil in its hatred against God and destroying people’s eternity and lives.

They mock those who hold onto their faiths and that is a sign of weakness, as most people who can’t, mock those who can. They are too weak to take the step of faith and live the life that Christ wants them to live so they do whatever they can to harm those who can.

The atheist may not realize it as they are blind to what is going on in their lives and who is pulling their strings. These people are too afraid to deal with reality so they deny the existence of evil as well.

Those denials leave them in a quandary as they now have no source for good and bad behavior. They have no standards to measure themselves or others to see if they are on the right path. Instead, they failed so they deny everything that would remind them of their failure.

Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of gods. While there may be a God that has not yet revealed itself to us, such a possibility is improbable. Most atheists are comfortable living their lives with no thought of God or religion.

This is another sign of weakness. They do not want to draw a line in the sand so they leave a little opening there just in case. What they are really saying is that the God who has revealed himself to everyone is not real and they are waiting for a god that does what they want.

In other words, they want to be in charge of their god and have it do what they say. We know they are not going to bow down to that god who may reveal himself eventually because they refuse to do it for the one who has revealed himself.

Of course they are comfortable living their lives that way. They get to make their own rules, make judgments, lie, sin, and do whatever they want because they reject the rules of the God who has revealed himself.

The atheist wants to be master of their own lives even though they are ruled by evil and that goal will never happen.

Many Christians believe that Christianity gives them a one-up morally on the rest of the world.

It goes without saying that we are morally superior to the atheist. Not because we have created our own moral system like the atheist has. But because we are courageous enough to admit that we cannot live morally without Jesus.

We recognize our true state and seek to change our lives through belief in Jesus and following his ways. Some are more successful than others. Those that refuse to do this mock those who can and have.

We also recognize that we cannot create our own moral state. That our human capacity is not great enough to accomplish that goal. We also recognize that we do not have the authority to create great moral codes.

Even those Christians who have tried to create a system they believe is right falls short of what God has created already. We know we cannot do better than God and even if we tried, there would still be people who claim it is wrong, inferior, exclusive, racist, sexist, and so on, then reject that human-created option to design their own.

It takes a lot of courage to live the Christian life and one has to be brave to do it. However, atheists have shown that they have neither characteristic as they cowardly leave the faith or reject it and join the unbelieving world.

They must think there is safety in numbers but they are wrong. They are not safe, it is just an illusion and denying reality only proves they are weak and not brave.

A religion need not be true for people to benefit from it.

While this is a true statement, that does not mean that all religions are false or fake. False religions exist for the same reason atheists exist. To deceive people into thinking they have been enlightened and know the truth.

Without one true religion, no false belief would exist nor would atheists. There would be nothing to reject or avoid nor would there be anything that people would need to be deceived about.

The best way to understand religious belief in general and Christianity in particular is to view both from a sociological and economic perspective.

This is not a true statement for it demands that people ignore all the truths about Christianity and look solely at the faith from a deceived standpoint. The best way to understand Christianity is to examine it with all of its characteristics intact using an open mind.

Evangelicalism is numerically in decline.

This is not news to the Christian. Not only did Jesus tell us this would take place but he also said that people love darkness over light. B. G. and other atheists are not proclaiming some phenomenon here or that they have the truth and are winning the battle against evil.

Christianity is not evil. It is the best thing that could happen to this world. we have a better way to live and treat others, we are not deceived and living a lie and we have promises to hold onto to help us meet the challenges that come with life.

The criticism hurled at Christians by B. G. and other atheists are without merit as they look at things through blind and deceived eyes. They deny the existence of the enemy and the work it does to successfully destroy believers like they were destroyed.

They cannot see the reality of life because they live in a state of denial not a state of illumination. That is why Christ came to earth and why his followers continue to cast that light.

We are not losing, it is just that sinful men do not love God enough to change and be brave enough to live the Christian life. We do not take B. G. seriously as he has said that when he was a preacher and following God, he was quite successful.

Yet, he denied and denies the very evidence for God that took place in his own life. If he was as successful and on fire for God as he claims, then he should be ashamed. He let evil destroy him so that success could not continue.

That is not something to be proud of.

I could write a series of posts on Tee’s lies and half-truths about atheism in general, and the infamous B.G. in particular. I won’t do so, however, because I have covered Tee’s objections to atheism and B.G. before. I might change my mind on this if readers are interested in me doing so. What say ye, dear heathens and false god worshipers?

Thanks, Mr. Tee, for the comedy bit. Keep it up. You are an awesome evangelist for the one true religion — atheism.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

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.

Bruce Gerencser