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Tag: Blood Atonement

Is It Ever Right to Vandalize the Property of Unbelievers in the Name of Jesus?

satan hates america

Christianity is a blood cult. Catholics (and Greek and Eastern Orthodox), for example, believe that when they partake of communion the elements supernaturally transform (transubstantiation) into the flesh and blood of Jesus. They are (literally) drinking and eating the blood and flesh of Jesus. Other sects such as Lutherans practice consubstantiation; the flesh and blood of Jesus are present in communion elements, but the elements do not supernaturally transform into the blood and flesh of Christ. Methodists, Presbyterians, and other protestant sects generally believe in the real presence of Jesus in the communion elements. Most Evangelicals practice memorialism. Communion is a memorial to the blood sacrifice and death of Jesus. It is a reminder of what Christ has done on our behalf on the cross.

Regardless of how the communion elements are viewed, the focus of the ritual is the shed blood of Jesus; his atonement for humankind’s sin. This is why Christianity is a blood cult, no different from sects that in the past or present either use animal or human blood in their worship practices. While Christian communion has become normalized, its history traces back to blood cult worship practices of Canaanite tribes.

Let’s suppose I start a church that is opposed to blood cult rituals; a church that views communion as an affront to all that is holy and true. Let’s suppose I wrote a Bible for this new church, one that said offering blood sacrifices to Jesus is a mortal sin and an affront to the one true god, Loki. Let’s suppose this church believes that Christian churches are cult temples, places where children are indoctrinated into believing nonsense such as transubstantiation, consubstantiation, or memorialism.

Believing these blood cult practices are a threat to the health and future of our country, this new church decides to vandalize Christian churches by spraying WARNING BLOOD CULT! DO NOT ENTER UNDER RISK OF ETERNAL DAMNATION! on the exteriors of their buildings. There is one true God, and Loki is his name! The Bible says __________! Surely, our vandalization of Christian church buildings would be justified, right? After all, we were just standing up for our God and the teachings of the “real” Bible. Shouldn’t religious beliefs trump everything, including laws governing vandalizing the property of others?

Americans with any understanding of the U.S. Constitution and our legal system will object, saying that it is never right to vandalize churches, even if one disagrees with their beliefs and practices. The Constitution grants Americans freedom of (and from) religion, regardless of beliefs and practices. In other words, Americans are free to believe crazy shit; and believe me, crackers and wine turning into flesh and blood of Jesus is “crazy shit,” as is the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and the various “miracles” attributed to Jesus. Crazy stuff, to be sure, but people are free to believe as they wish.

You would think that Evangelicals (and conservative Catholics and Mormons) would be big defenders of the freedom of (and from) religion and the separation of church and state. Surely Evangelicals want the government and outsiders to stay out of their business; if they want to engage in blood cult rituals, they should have every right to do so. And I agree with them. If snake-handling Primitive Baptists in Kentucky want to handle rattlesnakes during their worship services, believing, according to Mark 16, that God will protect them if they are bitten, who am I to object? Evangelical churches do all sorts of stuff that outsiders might view as whack-a-doodle nonsense, but just because others can’t or won’t understand or accept a religious practice doesn’t mean Evangelicals should stop doing it.

Unfortunately, many Evangelicals give lip service to the First Amendment when it comes to religion. They want the freedom to practice their religion as they wish, yet they don’t want to grant that same right to non-Christian sects, pagans, atheists, agnostics, humanists, and Satanists (both those who worship Satan as a literal being and those who view him as symbol, as is the case with The Satanic Temple).


I am a member of The Satanic Temple. I support and applaud their work defending the separation of church and state. I appreciate their frontal assaults on Christian privilege. Christian churches and parachurch organizations have been abusing the U.S. Constitution my entire sixty-seven years on planet Earth. Wrongly thinking the U.S. is a Christian nation, Evangelicals, in particular, think Christianity should receive preferential treatment. They want the right to have release time programs at public schools such as Lifewise Academy, but don’t want non-Christian groups to have the same right. The Satanic Temple is challenging the preference and reverence public schools give Christian groups by sponsoring After School Satan Clubs for non-Christian children. Predictably, clueless to their own preferential treatment, Evangelicals and other conservative Christians are outraged over school boards permitting “Satan” in public schools.

This past week, we saw this played out in Iowa. The Iowa legislature allows groups to put up displays at the state’s Capitol. Evangelicals, of course, have put up creches and other pro-Christian displays. The Satanic Temple put up a display, one that featured a statute of Baphomet. Local Evangelicals were outraged over “Satan” making an appearance at the Capitol. One Christian, Michael Cassidy, vandalized the statute, removing its head and throwing it in the trashcan.

Cassidy explained his actions this way:

The world may tell Christians to submissively accept the legitimization of Satan, but none of the founders would have considered government sanction of Satanic altars inside Capitol buildings as protected by the First Amendment. Anti-Christian values have steadily been mainstreamed more and more in recent decades, and Christians have largely acted like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot of water. I saw this blasphemous statue and was outraged. My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.

Cassidy was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. You would think that Evangelicals would condemn Cassidy’s criminal behavior, but that is not what has happened. Instead, Cassidy is being applauded for his stand against Satan and his defense of Biblical Christianity.

Ray Fava, at the Evangelical Dark Web, said:

The actions of Michael Cassidy were lauded by Christians online as an example of confronting idolatry.

Paul Brown, a writer for Protestia, stated:

Cassidy’s actions, while in defiance of the Radical Two Kingdoms Ideology of many American evangelicals, are reminiscent of those of the 8th-century missionary Boniface. When confronted with the fact that the Saxons had cultivated a type of syncretism that allowed for the worship of Jesus as one of the many gods in the pantheon, Boniface took an axe to their theory, chopping down Thor’s tree, a pagan shrine, in an act that showed the impotence of the pluralistic pantheon of the Saxon’s. Rubbing the noses of the pagans in their idolatry, Boniface used the wood of Thor’s tree to construct a church.

While many of the “mostly peaceful protestors” of 2020 who destroyed statues escaped prosecution, it is likely that Michael Cassidy will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for his actions. The act of smashing idols in the Iowa Capital will undoubtedly be at the center of the “Christian Nationalism” debate in the days to come. However, one thing is certain: Baphomet, a mere creation of idolaters, is just as weak as Baal, and he won’t be defending himself or his adherents.

David Morrill, another writer at Protestia who can’t or won’t see the forest for the tree, pontificated thusly;

Good brothers are disagreeing about the moral and ethical particulars of what happened (almost as if the “Satan” stunt was designed to drive us even further apart), but we can confidently say both that the display was not actually about the real Satan and that Iowa lawmakers should never have gullibly approved of its display.

In our free speech legal tradition, citizens are not discriminated against by not having open access to put up displays in a government building, nor are their rights violated by seeing a display that they disagree with or find offensive, even in a government building. Speech is not violence. The “Satanic” Temple’s identity as a religion is itself a lie, and their adoption of Satan (who is real and has a defined moral identity) is itself a promotion of lawlessness and evil. Our country does not recognize a right to lie nor a right to openly advocate for lawlessness, and Iowa lawmakers should have rejected the group’s childish display as the silly stunt that it was.

As believers, we know that idols and idolatrous displays (much like the food sacrificed to them) have no power. They cannot harm us. In this case, the goofy display of Baphomet put up by the “Satan” group merely joined the chorus of offensive expressions against God that believers are subjected to daily. It is proper that we are offended when we hear or see expression offensive to God, yet in this case we should also be offended by the lack of courage and/or competence of lawmakers who fail to understand that expression cannot be disconnected from meaning.

Much like we are morally obligated to the objectivity of language by insisting (for example) that “male” and “female” correspond to biological reality, a group that identifies with “Satan” should bear the identity of all that Satan implies. They do not get to redefine it, and they don’t get to troll everyone with Satanic idols and then claim “Why you mad, Bro?” non-theism as soon as everyone reacts as if they are truly overtly worshipping Satan. It was a lie, and Iowa lawmakers were stupid for going along with it.

Incidents like this are far more useful to the enemies of Christ than to his people. We were already outraged at the display and at the lawmakers who allowed it. While less consequential, a conservative Christian destroying property to “awaken Christians to government promotion of anti-Christian acts” (despite the categorical difference between allowing expression and endorsing it) is judicially identical to tearing down a statue of Mary outside a Catholic church or spraypainting “Christ is Lord” on the side of a Mosque. It gives fuel to the enemies of Christ by granting undue influence to those seeking to marginalize the Gospel as a message that needs violence and censorship to advance.

Jeff Maples, the operator of Disntr, chimed in:

The display in question featured a statue of Baphomet, a demonic figure that has long been associated with various occult and mystical traditions and is often interpreted as a symbol of Satan. This particular statue’s presence in a state capitol was a deliberate attempt by the Satanic Temple to assert their “rights” under the First Amendment.

Cassidy, however, took it upon himself to tear down this idol, a brazen embodiment of anti-Christian sentiment, and behead the silver ram’s head of the statue. According to Cassidy, it was a statement about a religion, Christianity, that is under siege in places where it should be respected.


This statue of Baphomet, a demonic figure, wasn’t merely an expression of artistic freedom—it was a calculated affront, a provocative act designed to incense and belittle the Christian community. The mere presence of such a symbol in a government building is a mockery of our nation’s Christian heritage—a heritage that has been the cornerstone of our moral and ethical compass.


While Cassidy’s actions have led to legal repercussions, with him facing charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief, his bold stand has resonated with many. The financial support pouring in to cover his legal fees is a testament to the widespread support for his cause—a cause rooted in the defense of faith against the encroachment of sacrilegious mockery.

In times like these, where the lines between right and wrong are blurred by the brushstrokes of political correctness and cultural relativism, it takes the courage of men like Michael Cassidy to remind us of the values we stand for. His actions, while controversial, demonstrate that there are still those who are willing to take a stand against the tide of secularism and sacrilege.

As the legal proceedings unfold, Cassidy’s stand at the Iowa State Capitol will undoubtedly continue to spark debate and discussion. But one thing remains clear, his actions have become a symbol of resistance, a resistance against the encroachment of blasphemous symbols in spaces that should honor our nation’s foundational values. Michael Cassidy’s story is not just about a legal battle, for many, it’s about the battle for the soul of a nation.

James Lasher, a writer for Charisma News, opined:

In an act of religious conviction, Michael Cassidy, a Christian and former military officer, recently tore down and beheaded a controversial Satanic altar at the Iowa Capitol. The display had already sparked ongoing debate about the role of religious displays in public spaces and the limits of free speech.

The Satanic Temple of Iowa had recently received permission to install the exhibit, which included a statue depicting the idol Baphomet holding a pentacle and surrounded by candles, on the first floor of the Iowa Capitol near displays of the Nativity. Cassidy pushed over and decapitated the statue before discarding the head in a trash can.


In comments exclusively provided to The Sentinel, Cassidy said that he destroyed the shrine to “awaken Christians to the anti-Christian acts promoted by our government.” He cited 1 John 3:8 as an additional motivation for his actions: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Some have questioned whether the Constitution or the original intent of the founding fathers would allow for the existence of the shrine. Andrew Walker, an associate professor of Christian ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, argued that the state should not promote any “outright celebration of evil, darkness and perversity” and that “moral evil has no intrinsic rights” within a Christian and historically Western legal framework.

Cassidy will be represented by Davis Younts, an attorney and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who served in the JAG Corps. “My client was motivated by his faith to peacefully protest a display that is a direct affront to God,” Younts told The Sentinel. “When others, including elected leaders, were unwilling to act, he peacefully removed the display. It is my hope that the citation will be dismissed when my client’s actions are understood and that he will not face prosecution because of his faith.”

Cassidy’s actions mirror King Hezekiah’s in the Bible when he tore down the High Places. Second Kings 18:4 says, “He removed the high places, broke the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and crushed the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the children of Israel had made offerings to it.” Like King Hezekiah, Cassidy felt compelled to take action against abominable idols that were abominable to the Lord in whom they both trust.

These Evangelicals make it clear that Cassidy was justified in vandalizing the statute. Why? It was an affront to Christianity; a mockery of the faith of millions of Americans. Should any of us be permitted to vandalize and destroy anything that offends our personal beliefs, religious or otherwise? Of course not, but the Evangelicals quoted above think otherwise. If Evangelicals can behead “Satanic” statutes or destroy the holiday displays put up by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, why can’t I and my aforementioned new church spray in bright red letters WARNING BLOOD CULT! DO NOT ENTER UNDER RISK OF ETERNAL DAMNATION! on the front of Evangelical churches? Surely “freedom” of religion applies to everyone, does it not?

Numerous Evangelical leaders and politicians have said that constitutional protections of religious expression and practice don’t apply to The Satanic Temple; and that the United States is a Christian nation. Presidential hopeful and professional asshole Ron DeSantis stated: “Satan has no place in our society and should not be recognized as a ‘religion’ by the federal government.”

Lucien Greaves, the co-founder of The Satanic Temple, replied:

We don’t want to yield some kind of power to the government to begin picking and choosing between religious groups. People might hate us and people might want to exclude us, but that simply opens the door to more sectarian battles, and it certainly won’t stop there.

These pro-vandalization Christians think the law applies to non-believers, but not them; that the criminal destruction of the property of others is justified if personal Christian beliefs are offended.

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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Is Christianity a Blood Cult?

blood of jesus

A cursory reading of the Bible leads to only one conclusion: Christianity is a blood cult. The universe was only a few weeks old before Adam and Eve listened to a suggestion from a walking, talking snake and partook of fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of God and Evil. Before breaking God’s one command, Adam and Eve strutted around Eden sans clothing — the original nudists. The strange thing here is that Adam and Eve didn’t know they were naked. I don’t know about you, but when I’m naked, I know it. But, Adam and Eve didn’t; that is until they committed a big no-no by eating an apple from God’s private orchard. Immediately afterward, Adam realized, for the first time that Eve had a vagina and Eve realized her significant other had a penis. Thus began Puritanical Christianity. Adam and Eve sewed together fig leaves to use as aprons to cover up their genitals. Many artistic depictions of Eve wearing her fig leaf Versace apron covered her breasts too. Adam was free to show his mammary glands to the world, but not Eve. Thus began the sexualization of female breasts.

According to Genesis, God came to earth and took a stroll in the Garden of Eden. Which God? I ask. There are multiple Gods mentioned in Genesis 1-3. If, as Christians say, God, the Father is a Spirit and the Holy Spirit is a Ghost, was it Jesus who came to Earth to get in his Fitbit steps? If it was, that leads to yet more questions. I thought the first time Jesus came to earth was at his incarnation? Was Jesus some sort of alien, visiting earth on and off over the centuries before he made his grand entrance as a Holy Spirit-inseminated egg in the womb of a virgin girl? Again, so many questions . . .

According to Genesis 3, God was not happy with Adam and Eve. He had created them as perfect beings and placed them in a luxurious Garden. All they had to do was tend the Garden and stay out of his apple orchard. But kids will be kids, and Adam and his Rib disobeyed God. Dammit, God thought, now I am going to have to go to Plan B and kill some innocent puppies. And God did just that, killing and skinning some innocent puppies so he could make fur aprons to cover Adam’s and Eve’s genitals. Doesn’t this make God the original animal abuser? Imagine if PETA had an office in the Garden of Eden. Why, God would have been labeled a blood-thirsty puppy killer. And he was. From Table of Contents to Concordance, the Bible tells us that not only is the Christian God — including Jesus — a violent psychopath who relishes blood-letting, he also demands his followers do the same.

God could have kept Adam and Eve and their progeny from sinning, but he didn’t. He could have chosen a bloodless way of “saving” the human race. but he didn’t. Instead, the God of the Abrahamic religions patterned his religion after other extant blood cults. Christianity is hardly the only blood cult. History is replete with stories about cultures that believed only blood sacrifices could satisfy their deity’s wrath and atone for their sins. Some cultures would sacrifice humans, others would use animals. The followers of the Christian God did both, using animal blood sacrifices until God issued a new memo saying that he was going to come to earth himself, be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, brutally die on a wooden cross, resurrect from the dead three days later, and then ascend back to Heaven. Since that time, Christians have been preaching up the blood, the precious blood of Jesus. While technically it was the DEATH of Jesus that provided redemption and the forgiveness of sins, Christians choose to focus on the bloody aspects of Christ’s death. Evangelicals literally fight among themselves over whether it is Jesus’ “blood” or his “death” that redeems lost sinners. Years ago, Fundamentalist megachurch pastor John MacArthur said:

It was His death that was efficacious . . . not His blood . . . Christ did not bleed to death. The shedding of blood had nothing to do with bleeding . . . it simply means death . . . Nothing in His human blood saves . . . It is not His blood that I love . . . it is Him. It is not His bleeding that saved me, but His dying.

At the time, MacArthur was crucified by fellow Fundamentalists over his view, and to this day many Evangelicals believe he is a heretic. MacArthur may have been technically correct, but what’s a blood cult without blood?  The Bible is hardly ambiguous on the subject:

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.(Leviticus 17:11)

And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it . . . And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.  (Exodus 12:7,13)

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:9)

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Ephesians 1:7)

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:14)

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20)

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:13,14)

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Hebrews 9:22)

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. (Hebrews 13:12)

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:19-21)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 5:7)

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:5)

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (Revelation 5:9)

Just read Leviticus. It is one long bloody Quentin Tarantino movie.

Here in the land of God, Guns, and Republicans there’s a local Evangelical church that goes out of its way to remind locals that Christianity is all about the blood of Jesus. Free Christian Church of God in Continental, Ohio annually presents an Easter production called “Journey, The Story of the Blood.” Thousands of area Christians pay $5 a pop to be reminded that Christianity is all about Jesus’ bloody death. While the resurrected Jesus will certainly make an appearance in this production, make no mistake about it, Free Christian and the cast of over 200 people want viewers to know that divine blood sacrifice is required for the forgiveness of sins.

According to a feature article in the April 10, 2019 edition of the Defiance Crescent-News, James Fry, pastor of Free Christian said:

The message of the Bible is linked from Genesis to Revelation, with God telling us the same story over and over again in many different ways so that we will understand the relationship He desires to have with us, and the length he will go to in order to save us from our sin and restore that relationship. Everything is connected. Only God could give us such a wonderful book.

We are trying to make clear that Jesus is the Ark of Covenant and it is his blood that falls on the Mercy Seat where salvation is found.

During the show, the audience becomes part of the production, which enhances the experience. We don’t just want people to watch ‘Journey,’ we want them to feel part of it because this isn’t just a Bible story, but it is ‘our story.’ The ending is my favorite part. We want the audience to leave on a high, and what could be better than to get a glimpse into what God has in store.

Pastor Fry wants people to know that:

The Easter season isn’t about bunnies and eggs . . . but it is about the culmination of 4,000 years of history taking place with the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is God showing us that the only way to atone for the sin-curse of man is through the shedding of blood. Without it, there is no forgiveness of sins. May we never trivialize the greatest event in human history.

In other words, either buy into the myth or go to Hell. Either you let Jesus wash you clean with his blood or you’ll go through life as a dirty, filthy sinner and then spend eternity in the Lake of Fire being tortured by God (Jesus?) for not believing one of the most absurd stories ever told.

Fry cautions people to never “trivialize the greatest event in human history.”  Only cult members believe Jesus’ death was the greatest event in human history. Indoctrinated from a young age, Christians accept the Biblical narrative about Jesus’ divinity, human life, blood sacrifice, and resurrection without question. It’s just true, most Christians think, believing that the only way for them to be happy and have purpose and meaning is to continually wallow in the blood of a dead man. We perhaps can excuse Abraham, Moses, and first century Christians for buying into this nonsense, but, come on man, it’s 2019!

bucky katt and garfield

How dare I mock the blood of Jesus, Christians might indignantly say. However, before their righteous indignation hits a TEN, I want to ask them, what about other cultural religions that have blood sacrifices, even human sacrifices? Should we not accept their religions as truth? After all, Christianity rests on a foundation of human sacrifice. Why shouldn’t we accept other blood-based cults as equally valid? What makes Christianity superior to that of other religions? What if on Garfield’s birthday (who shares a birthday with me) I slit the throats of ten dogs and offered their blood as a sacrifice to my God, Bucky Katt? Would you be okay with that? After all, Christians want me to accept their Bronze age blood cult’s beliefs without question, going so far as to threaten me with eternal torture and damnation if I don’t. Of course, no Christian would be okay with me killing ten dogs, yet they don’t think twice about teaching their children about a God and his ancient followers who slaughtered countless animals just because a delusional man said God told him to tell them to do so. Perhaps what Christianity really needs is a new Bible and new narrative. The current one is way too violent and bloody for modern sensibilities.

I am sure this post will be met with outrage. I have no doubt that I will be reminded of the fact that the B-I-B-L-E says:

Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29)

I plan to keep on trampling under my feet the blood of Jesus. I no more fear the Christian God than I do any of the other countless deities created by human minds. Sorry, but I’m more afraid of my wife than I am your God. You can take THAT to the bank.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve 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. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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Stuart the Evangelical Asks Bruce the Atheist a Theological Question

naked adam and eve
Comic by Hilary Price

The most-read post on The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser is the post titled, Why I Hate Jesus. Written four years ago, this post is also the most misunderstood post. Many Evangelicals wrongly believe I hate the man, myth, and legend named Jesus Christ. Bound by a literalistic approach to life, they fail to see that the post is really about their religion and not a flesh and blood dead man named Jesus. As I shall make abundantly clear in an upcoming post, there are many, many, many Jesuses; that every generation of Christians shapes and molds Jesus into their own image, according to their peculiar theological, political, and social beliefs. To deny this is to deny reality. To suggest that you worship the first century Jesus and practice Christianity (Judaism) just as the Apostles did in 35 CE is ludicrous and a denial of 2,000 years of Church history. Christianity started evolving the moment Jesus called twelve illiterate men to be his disciples. These men and other followers interpreted and reinterpreted the life and words of Jesus, fashioning their own versions of Christ and what it meant to be a follower of him. This evolutionary process continues even to this very day.

An Evangelical man by the name of Stuart left several comments on the Why I Hate Jesus post. Standard Evangelical stuff. I tried to blow off his first comment with a bit of snark — suggesting I was a porn star — but Stuart was bound and determined to put in a good word for Jesus. In his second comment, Stuart wrote (in response to Zoe, a fellow Evangelical turned atheist):

I no longer believe in the existence of Santa, therefore i wouldn’t go to the trouble of creating a website explaining how i came to no longer believe in Santa, simply because it would attract attention from people who do believe in Santa. And frankly i have no appetite for engaging with such people.

Bruce, by creating this space has invited interest from the vast internet audience on the matters he discusses on this site. It would be naive to think compassionate Christians would not do their duty and offer support in the only way they know how in trying to heal the wounded or help pick up the fallen. Bruce knows that, you likely know that, so really, what else do you expect?

If i didn’t believe in something i wouldn’t waste a single moment on it. Atheists are a different breed though. They are evangelical in their denial and latent hatred of God. Personally i love engaging with intelligent people regardless of their ideology or belief. I have yet to meet ANY atheist with any meaningful grasp on theology.

But I guess when even atheism’s poster boy Dawkins is a theological illiterate there is little hope for anyone following in his footsteps.

There was only ever one Jesus, there is currently only one Jesus and there will always forever be only one Jesus. Anyone who tells you different is like an atheist – they simply fail to understand Scripture

And Bruce’s story isn’t wrong, but it is clear he has been deceived. And knowing that there are many many more like Bruce is honestly heart breaking to me.

I responded thusly:

I grew up in the Evangelical church, attended an Evangelical Bible College, and pastored Evangelical churches for 25 years. Yet, according to you, I have no meaningful grasp of Christian theology. I spent thousands and thousands of hours studying and reading the Bible, yet, according to you, I don’t have a fundamental understanding of Christian belief. Surely, you see how irrational and stupid such a statement sounds.

The real issue here is that you don’t like my interpretations and conclusions. Thus, instead of meaningfully interacting with them, you rage against Bruce, the man.

The purpose of this blog is to help people who have doubts about Christianity or who have left Christianity and are looking for support. You, my friend, are not my target audience. I let people such as yourself comment because you provide reminders to ex-Evangelicals of the arrogant, self-righteous beliefs we left behind.

Please keep preaching your gospel, Stuart. People such as yourself win more people to atheism than I ever could.

Earlier today, Stuart sent me a question: Why were the fig leaves not acceptable? I assume his question is some sort of test to see if I really know anything about Evangelical theology. What follows is my answer.

The Bible says in Genesis 3:1-7:

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

In Genesis 2, the Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were originally created naked, without sin, and unashamed before God. In Genesis 3, a walking, talking snake came to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and questioned the command God had given them to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The snake — whom Evangelicals believe was Satan — said, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Eve replied, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” The snake replied, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Eve looked at the Tree’s beauty and saw that it was good for food and would make her wise — the Ginkgo Biloba of the Garden. She picked a fruit from the Tree, took a bite, and gave it to Adam to eat too. And just like that, Adam and Eve plunged the entire human race into sin. Since that fateful moment, every human is born a sinner, alienated from God. Humans have no choice in the matter. We are forever doomed by a man and woman we don’t even know taking a bite from a piece of fruit. Or so the story goes anyway.

adam and eve wearing fig leaves

Immediately afterward, Adam and Eve realized for the first time that God had created them with genitals. Ashamed that they were naked, Adam and Eve gathered some fig leaves, sewed them together, and made themselves aprons to hide their genitals. Later, God came to the Garden of Eden and took a stroll in the cool of the day. Fearing God, Adam and Eve hid among the trees, hoping that God would see not see them. Alas, God, after playing a quick game of Where’s Waldo (Wally), found them. Adam said to God, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Wait a minute, I thought Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together for aprons. Why weren’t they wearing them when God made his appearance in the Garden? Maybe the leaves caused chafing, and Adam and Eve decided to return to their natural state. Whatever their reason, God was none too happy. To the first man and woman he said, “Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” A rhetorical question? Or did God not know? Regardless, Adam replied to God, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Ladies, want to know where Evangelical men blaming you for everything comes from? You need look no further than Genesis 3 and Adam blaming Eve for his errant fruit-eating.

talking snakes

God then turned to Eve and asked, “What is this that thou hast done?” A rhetorical question? Didn’t God know what Eve had done? Regardless, in classic Flip Wilson style, Eve responded, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” In other words, the DEVIL made me do it! God, pissed off at Adam and Eve’s bad behavior, cursed all humans and cursed the earth. Ever had to pull weeds from a flower bed or garden? God’s doing. Worse, God condemned all humans to death; instead of unending life, we would now have a fixed time to live and die. And then, to put an explanation point on his anger, God killed a bunch of puppies, skinned them, and made fur loincloths for Adam and Eve. The first person to shed blood of earth was God, not man. In fact, it can be argued that God has shed more blood than all of humanity combined. Either by direct action or commanding his followers to do so, God had slaughtered millions and millions of people. Yet, Evangelicals say he is a God of love, peace, and guacamole.

Genesis 3 ends with God throwing Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, leaving them and their progeny to fend for themselves. That is, until God got tired of having no one to play with and decided to make Abraham and some of his descendants his playthings. Or so goes the story anyway.

Stuart wants to know, “Why were the fig leaves not acceptable?” The correct answer from an Evangelical perspective is that Adam and Eve sewing fig leaves together to cover their genitals was a picture of human self-righteousness; an attempt by Adam and Eve to cover up their “sin” on their own terms. The thrice holy God would have none of that. According to a plan cooked up by him from before the foundation of the world, sin had to be atoned for with blood; that Adam and Eve’s sin could only be covered through God killing and skinning some puppies and making fur loincloths to cover their sins. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22, 27-28:

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission . . . And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The Abrahamic religions — Christianity, Islam, and Judaism — are, according to the Bible, blood cults. You can come to no other rational conclusion IF you read the Bible as most Evangelicals do — literally. Now, if you see Genesis 3 as a fictional story meant to impart a greater meaning, well anything is possible. It’s 2019, and thanks to five centuries of literalistic interpretations of a book they believe is an inspired, inerrant, infallible text written by God, Evangelicals are forced to defend all sorts of absurdities. And I get it. People such as Stuart have to preach the party line. Otherwise, they are admitting that Evangelicalism is built on a foundation of lies and misinterpretations. Without a real Adam and Eve created by God in October 4004 BCE, the Evangelical house of cards comes tumbling down. A real New Testament God-man requires a real Adam and Eve. The Last Adam needed a First Adam for the Evangelical gospel to make sense. Without original sin, there was no need for Jesus to take a thirty-three-year vacation on earth. If Adam and Eve were metaphors as liberal and progressive Christians allege, then it can be argued that Jesus was a metaphor too. Upholding what Christians will celebrate come Easter Sunday requires a literal reading of the Bible. Without it, the Christian gospel of atonement for sin and redemption makes no sense — at least to me, anyway.

Now, this hardly means that Evangelicals are off the hook. Literalism can be a real bitch. In fact, I don’t know of one Evangelical who is truly a literalist from Table of Contents to Concordance. All Evangelicals — when it suits them — spiritualize scriptures that don’t “fit” their literal reading and interpretation of the text. Evangelicals have what I call theological schizophrenia. Granted, Evangelicals try to make their peculiar interpretations mesh with one another. Countless Christian books have been written about Bible hermeneutics, systematic theology, and harmonizing the Biblical text. Try as they might, however, Evangelicals fail at this task. The Bible is an incoherent mess of contradictory texts, and if taken and believed literally, they lead to all sorts of nonsensical and harmful beliefs.

Yet, when I challenge Evangelicals to take EVERY word of Genesis 1-3 literally, they either say they do or start making excuses for while they don’t. I have challenged countless Evangelicals to let the words of the unknown author of Genesis stand on their own, and in doing so see that it is impossible to square Trinitarian Christianity with the text. In fact, honesty demands admitting that there were actually at least THREE Gods mentioned in Genesis 1-3, and that Christianity does not, in fact, rest on a monotheist foundation.

I double-dog dare Evangelical readers of this post to read the Bible as it is written, and not let theological presuppositions get in the way of what the text says. Read each book by itself and ask, “what is the author is trying to say?” Dare to ask yourself, as the talking snake asked Eve, “yea hath God said?” Just asking this question is the first step towards intellectual freedom; the first step towards freeing oneself of Evangelical bondage.

If you are an Evangelical who has stumbled upon this post, I am so glad you stopped by. Let me recommend several books you might find helpful as you weigh some of the claims I make in this post. If the Bible is “truth,” surely it will withstand intellectual investigation. Don’t take your preacher’s word for it. To quote the Good Book, seek and ye shall find . . .

Books by Robert Wright

The Evolution of God

Books by Bart Ehrman

The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

How Jesus Became God : the Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee

Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior

Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them)

Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth

Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question — Why We Suffer

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve 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. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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Bruce Gerencser