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Tag: Bruce Gerencser

I’ve Worked Sixty-One Jobs in My Lifetime

work experience

What follows is a list of the jobs I have worked from age fifteen to today. PT=Part Time. Add this to the list of places I’ve lived, and, — well — I have had a busy life. 🙂

  1. Lawn mowing PT
  2. Snow shoveling PT
  3. Bryan Nursing Home (taking out the trash) PT
  4. Summer work program for teens whose parents were on welfare
  5. G&B Trains (Dad’s hobby store) PT
  6. Bob’s Dairy Queen (cook) PT
  7. Red Barn (cook) PT
  8. Twin Fair (inventory) PT
  9. Bill Knapp’s (bus boy)
  10. Everhart’s Restaurant (kitchen) PT
  11. Meyer Marathon (gas attendant, mechanic)
  12. Ely’s Furniture (deliveries) PT
  13. Food Giant (stocker)
  14. Yellow Front (stocker)
  15. Bob’s Gun Store (Dad’s gun shop) PT
  16. Foodland (dairy manager)
  17. Kroger (meat department)
  18. Unnamed Machine Shop
  19. LaRosa’s Market (stocker)
  20. Orchard Lake Cleaners (delivery driver)
  21. Springer Shell (attendant, mechanic)
  22. Anderson Honda (mechanic)
  23. Felice’s Market (dairy department)
  24. Unnamed Machine Shop (machinist)
  25. Bill Knapp’s (bus boy)
  26. Bolt Extrusion Factory (machine operator)
  27. American Fireplace (machine operator)
  28. Kirby (vacuum sales)
  29. Hoover Chemical (foam manufacturing)
  30. Bard Manufacturing (shear department)
  31. Holabird Furniture (trailer furniture manufacturer)
  32. Deco Grande (machine shop)
  33. Montpelier Baptist Church (assistant pastor)
  34. General Tire (mill operator)
  35. Aro (shipping and receiving)
  36. Time Warner (repairing cable boxes)
  37. American Tools (tool manufacturer)
  38. Arthur Treacher’s (general manager)
  39. Long John Silver’s (new store team manager)
  40. Home Restaurant (breakfast short-order cook)
  41. Emmanuel Baptist Church (assistant pastor)
  42. United Insurance (sales)
  43. Village of Buckeye Lake (grant manager, building code enforcement, federal block grant manager)
  44. National Life Insurance (sales)
  45. Somerset Baptist Church (pastor)
  46. Newark Advocate (motor route driver)
  47. Zanesville Times Recorder (motor route driver)
  48. Nyoka’s Family Restaurant (kitchen manager)
  49. McGaughey’s Gas Station (attendant, mechanic)
  50. Community Baptist Church (pastor)
  51. Charley’s Steakery (general manager)
  52. Olive Branch Christian Union Church (pastor)
  53. Our Father’s House (pastor)
  54. Self-employed (computer builder and repair)
  55. Victory Baptist Church (pastor)
  56. Self-employed (office cleaning)
  57. Allegro Medical (office manager)
  58. Radio Shack (sales)
  59. Self-employed (network administration, office cleaning) PT
  60. Self-employed (writer for this site)
  61. Self-employed (website maintenance and design for my sister’s business) PT

Due to pervasive health problems, I stopped working in 2005. While I would love to have a job, I can’t drive and my accommodation requirements are such, that I am unemployable. I did try my hand at answering calls for Amazon. I failed miserably.

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.

How Many Times Have You Moved in Your Life?

My sixty-fifth Birthday, 2022

I am a restless soul. Let me tell you why. I’ve moved thirty-six times in my sixty-five years of life. I’ve lived in 45+houses, apartments, and mobile homes.

Bryan, Ohio — born 1957
Ney, Ohio — toddler
San Diego, California — kindergarten to second grade
Bryan, Ohio — third grade
Harrod, Ohio — fourth, fifth grade
Farmer, Ohio — fifth, sixth grade
Deshler, Ohio — seventh grade
Findlay, Ohio — eighth grade to tenth grade
Tucson, Arizona — tenth grade
Mt. Blanchard, Ohio — eleventh grade
Findlay, Ohio — eleventh grade
Bryan, Ohio — dropped out of high school
Sierra Vista, Arizona — age 18
Bryan, Ohio — age 18
Pontiac, Michigan age 19-21, college, married Polly
Bryan, Ohio —1979
Montpelier, Ohio — 1979
Newark, Ohio — 1979-1981
Buckeye Lake, Ohio — 1981-1983
New Lexington, Ohio — 1983
Glenford, Ohio — 1983-1984
New Lexington, Ohio — 1984-1987
Junction City, Ohio — 1988-1989
Mt. Perry, Ohio — 1989-1994
San Antonio, Texas — 1994
Frazeysburg, Ohio — 1994-1995
Fayette, Ohio — 1995
Alvordton, Ohio 1996-2003
Clare, Michigan — 2003
Stryker, Ohio — 2003
Yuma, Arizona — 2004
Newark, Ohio — 2004-2005
Bryan, Ohio — 2005-2006
Alvordton, Ohio — 2007
Ney, Ohio — 2007 to present (my final resting place)

I still want to move. My wanderlust never goes away. However, I know I’m where I need to be, close to my doctors, children, and grandchildren. It is here I will die, though my ashes will be spread by Polly and my family on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Why? That’s a story for another day. ❤️❤️

Short Stories: Somerset Baptist Church: A Trip Down Memory Lane

somerset baptist church mt perry ohio auditorium
Somerset Baptist Church Auditorium after Remodel, 1992

In July of 1983, I started the Somerset Baptist Church in Somerset, Ohio. In 1985, we bought a Methodist church building near Mt Perry, Ohio for $5,000.00. The church building, built in 1831 and one of the oldest Methodist buildings in Ohio, would be the church’s home until Polly and I moved away in March 1994.

During the eleven years I was pastor, hundreds of church members came and went and we hauled thousands of kids to church on one of our four buses. For five years, we operated a private Christian school, open only to the children of the church. It was tuition-free.

bruce gerencser 1983
Bruce Gerencser, Somerset Baptist Church, 1983

This was the church where I came of age as a pastor. In 1983, I was a hardcore, Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor. When I moved away in 1994 to co-pastor Community Baptist Church in Elmendorf, Texas, I was a committed Calvinistic, Reformed Baptist pastor. I went through tremendous intellectual and social transformation during these eleven years.

Several years ago, as I scanned the pictures from this era, my mind was flooded with memories of the shared experiences I had with the church family. Yes, there were bad times, stupid times, dumb ass times. Yes, I was a Fundamentalist and that brought all kinds of baggage with it. But, as I looked at the pictures, I didn’t think about beliefs. My thoughts were about people and the wonderful times we had. Yes, Fundamentalism psychologically and emotionally harmed and scarred me (and the people I pastored), but that does not mean there are no good memories. There are lots of them. In fact, the vast majority of the memories I have are good ones. Sometimes, when people deconvert they often become so fixated on the negative which happened that they forget the good times. I know I did.

bruce gerencser 1991
Bruce Gerencser, 1991, Somerset Baptist Academy

As I looked at these photos, I also shed some tears. There were a handful of people in the pictures who are now dead. Cancer, heart attacks, and car accidents claimed their lives and all I have left of them are the pictures and our shared memories. After I posted the pictures to Facebook, I heard from a number of people who were once part of the church. Most of the people I heard from were children when I was at Somerset Baptist Church. They are now middle-aged with families of their own. Their parents, like me, are old and gray. It was nice to hear from them.

The photos aren’t very good – the best a $20.00 camera could offer. Nothing like the photos I took with my professional $4,000 camera years later. In fact, they are down-right terrible. But, infused into the photos are memories, and it is those memories that matter.

bruce and polly gerencser 1985
Bruce and Polly Gerencser, Sweetheart Banquet, 1985

I feel old today — a dying man who has lived a long life. But I also feel blessed to have lived a good life, a life marked by contradiction, conflict, grief, and change, along with happiness, joy, and goodness. It is the sum of my life.

bruce gerencser 1990's
Bruce Gerencser, Somerset Baptist Church, Early 1990s
bruce gerencser 1987
Bruce Gerencser, Somerset Baptist Church, 1987
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.

Media Interviews

bruce gerencser august 2021

What follows is a list of video, audio, and print media interviews I have done over the years. I’ve done others that are no longer available or are behind paywalls. They are not listed here.

Video and Audio Media

Preacher Boys Podcast with Eric Skwarczynski

Atheist Talk Interview with Scott Lohman

The Angry Atheist Podcast with Reap Paden

Interview with Neil the 604 Atheist

The Corpsepaint Interview with Jay

The Freethought Hour Interview with John Richards

Atheists of Florida

Vice News Interview: QAnon Conspiracies Are Tearing Through Evangelical America

Better Late Than Never — Talk Given to Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie

Print Media

VICE News Story on the Intersection of Evangelical Christianity and QAnon

Interview with Manny Otiko

Freedom From Religion Foundation Article

Buzzfeed Article

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.

What an Ancestry DNA Test Revealed About Me

ancestry dna
No Hungarian in My Woodshed

For most of my sixty-four years of life, I believed Robert Gerencser, a Hungarian (please see My Hungarian Grandparents, Paul and Mary Gerencser), was my biological father. I wondered over the years whether “Dad” was my father:

At the age of fifteen, I learned for the first time that Mom got pregnant with me at the age of seventeen, and that she was pregnant when she married Dad in November, 1956.

Two Christmases ago, I decided to have my DNA tested. Six or so weeks later, the answers to doubts and questions were finally revealed: Dad was not my biological father. I was NOT Hungarian, as the graphic above clearly shows. My Ancestry DNA report revealed that I had a brother; that my biological father was a man named Jim Edwards. I also learned that I have half-brothers and sisters, one of whom (Bill, who lives three hours from my home) I met late last year.

I learned that it is likely that my biological father, a truck driver, had a fling with a seventeen-year-old girl, my mother, who was a waitress at The Hub Truck Stop in Bryan, Ohio.

All the parties to this story, except me, are dead. Many questions are left unanswered:

  • Mom was roughly six to eight weeks pregnant when she married Dad. Did she know she was pregnant?
  • Did Dad know Mom was pregnant with another man’s child?
  • Did Mom hide the fact she was pregnant from Dad when she married him?
  • Did my grandparents know about my paternity?

I later learned that my grandparents and aunts and uncles questioned my paternity. How could they not? I literally looked like the milkman’s son. Why didn’t any of them tell me about this? Even when I started asking questions, my concerns were turned away as rumors or gossip. “Surely, Mom would have told you, Butch (my family nickname).” Mom and I were very close. Did she know what I now know and withhold it from me, or did she not know and was as ignorant as I was? Mom died thirty years ago, so there’s no way for me to find out what she actually knew.

I recommend DNA tests. Just remember, you might learn more than you bargained for. 🙂

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 Stumbled Upon a 2014 and 2016 “Discussion” About Me on Baptist Board

peanut gallery

Today, I found two discussions about me on Baptist Board from 2014 and 2016, respectively, while doing an Internet search on my name. What follows are excerpts from these discussions. Many of the men discussing me are Baptist pastors. Lies, distortions, attacks on my character, with a few thoughtful comments sprinkled in. Granted, these discussions are eight and six years old, so the commenters did not have the breadth of autobiographical material that is available today. Would their opinions about me have changed if they had more in-depth posts about my story to read? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Give their comments a read and let me know what you think. All spelling and grammar in the original.

Enjoy. 🙂 And for the record, Earth, Wind, and Fire is a fucking prick. 🙂

2014 — Pastor Turned Atheist

Earth Wind and Fire:

Interesting read…this guy was a Baptist pastor….so what are your thoughts?:

http://quitplayingchurch.wordpress.com/tag/bruce-gerencser/

Aaron:

Ooooh, another let’s-indict-believers-and-elevate-the-vomitus-of-the-apostate thread.

We are not commanded to live for unbelievers. We are commanded to live for the believer, specifically, the one who is weak in the faith. Willing to forgo your beer for his sake?

Revmitchell:

That is baloney. Based on what I have seen so far there is no real complaint to be made. Just someone wanting to tear down Christians and the church. Otherwise specifics could be given.  

Winman:

Ok, you will hate me of course, but this guy was a Calvinist, so that might have made a difference.

So, this guy not only converted over to Calvinism, but it also seem he converted to Lordship Salvation with it’s extreme stress on performance. This may have had a lot to do with this fellow falling away from Christianity.

He does indicate in this particular article that he and his wife having many children, believing this was obeying the Lord might have been the first crack in his faith.

Again, get mad if you want, but there is a big difference between being a Calvinist, and a non-Calvinist. If I had first heard Calvinism preached, I do not believe I would have ever become a Christian.

That said, and to be fair, this doctrine of having a “quiverfull” of children is not limited to Calvinistic Christians, and I ought to know. I have eight children myself. This seems to be what first started his discouragement with the faith.

But I could see an extreme stress on Lordship driving any person away.

Winman:

Here is his article on why he left the faith.

http://brucegerencser.net/series/from-evangelicalism-to-atheism/

Winman:

I read all four articles of how he left the faith, plus several other articles. I believe he tells us what really caused his shift in beliefs, and that was reading many, many books outside the Bible.

Interesting articles, and I do respect this fellow for his honesty.

Van:

From professing Christian to professing Atheist is a good read.

First he was not taught that turning and trusting requires a full blown comment to Christ, as our only priority rather than one of our priorities. Easy Believism claimed another young victim.

Next, he went from the frying pan to the fire, switching to 5 point Calvinism. Which again demonstrates he relied on the writings and thoughts of others (Calvinist books) rather than learning how to critically read God’s inspired word which is trustworthy and reliable and authoritative for living our lives.

Aaron:

My experience is that folks who blame Christians for leaving faith are simply making excuses for their own vices, bitterness and unbelief. Why doesn’t he just say, I don’t believe it? Why the whiny-butt-you’re-all-a-bunch-of-hypocrites rant?

Just let Bruce go. If he leaves Christianity, he never really was one.

If Adam couldn’t point at Eve, much less can Bruce point at Christ’s Bride.  

Earth Wind and Fire

Ahhhhh, didn’t you see the DONATIONS button on the right hand side of the blog?

Zaac:

I don’t understand the confusion. He was quite clear. The lives of many Christians look like the lives of the lost. What details are needed? Look at the person you think is a heathen and recognize that when the average lost person looks at the life of a person who says he is a follower of Christ, he doesn’t see anything different.

We excuse away our drinking.
We excuse away our smoking.
We excuse away what we watch.
We excuse away what we listen to.
We excuse away why we disrespect authority.
We excuse away how we support a man who rejects Jesus while purporting to still want folks to come to Christ.
We excuse away the way we dress.
We excuse away our prejudices.
We excuse away our lack of love.
We excuse away our judging outside the church.
We excuse away our gluttony…our gossipping…and our phonyness.
We excuse away our desire to win an argument as defense of the faith.
We excuse away our nastyness in how we respond to others.
We excuse away the truth and ask for unneeded examples when we well know exactly what is being talked about.

Just to name a few.

He is absolutely correct. The folks in the church look a whole lot like the folks outside the church.  

Zaac:

Because that’s what he experienced. People expect to see something different when they go to the church. And lately all they are seeing is folks whose lives look no different than their own.

I mean personally I think some of you have got the nastiest dispositions I’ve ever seen and if I were questioning my faith and encountered a bunch of folks in church who act like some of you, i could understand someone leaving.

Earth Wind and Fire:

If what? Can you convince him better than the Holy Spirit can? See Aaron views him as a reprobate……do you know what that is? Here is where ones point of view as to understanding scripture comes into play…..and I find the whole thing fascinating!

And Go Further with this……look at his wife & her present position & prospective. Then note that they were both raised up in the Fundy church……could there have been any subtle indoctrination going on there? Again utterly fascinating….. From Fundy Baptist Pastor to avowed Atheist. Track the progression……its fun.

Winman:

Here is the article everyone should read;

http://brucegerencser.net/2014/02/stopped-believing/

And here is the REAL reason he lost his faith:

The reason this fellow became an atheist is because he lost faith that the Bible was inerrant, inspired word of God.

That is why I am a King James only, because I MUST believe that God’s perfect and preserved word is in the world today. If I believed it was not, I would throw my Bible in the trashcan and live any way I want.

Now, don’t turn this into a versions debate, I am just saying I can understand this fellow’s point of view. He allowed men to convince him the Bible is not really true, and that very moment his faith failed.

Inspector Javert:

1.) I’m not interested in the carping of Christ-haters. When I was younger, I used to take the accusation and verbal vomitus against Christ’s sheep seriously.

I have since learned that The servants of Satan are constantly searching for ways to excuse their sin and attack the body of Christ. I do not believe in their intellectual honesty, and I care nothing for what they have to say against Christ’s children.

2.) This is (like most accusations against the believers) simply a “but, but, but you people are hypocrites!!” complaint.

“Hypocrisy” is the only concern of those with no morals. It provides the godless with the chance to preen themselves over their goodness since all it takes to not be a “hypocrite” is to have no morality and no moral standards whatsoever.

Call him what you will……but Ted Bundy was no “hypocrite”. He was merely a rapist and murderer.

This man is pointing out the failure of Christians to be perfect as an excuse to live a life for himself and exalt himself against the knowlege of God. Men like this are a dime a dozen…and there are probably 1,000 blogs with men just like him:

Sacrificing their children to the fires of Molech while accusing God’s people of not being perfect.

I simply rejoice that he no longer poisons the pulpit in one of God’s Churches.

Inspector Javert:

The blogger probably doesn’t really have any, that’s why.

The blogger is falling back on a commonly used excuse that he has learned will soothe his conscience. (And he knows all too often that modern Christians will fall for it and laud him for trashing them and the God they serve). He probably has nothing but generalized accusations which cannot be verified or compared nor defended against.

For every imperfect carnal Christian he knows, he can probably point to just as many who live up-standing lives which honor Christ. He won’t want to dwell on specifics….he just wants to latch onto a convenient excuse.

Were he to break down the specifics….he probably knows MANY MANY truly Godly loving wonderful Christian people. I know I do….I see them in Churches everywhere I go.

Annsni:

I think there was an even stronger reason: He was trying to make God meet HIS terms.

JamesL:

I read the article, and it seems to me that the pastor-turned-agnostic/atheist was trying to reconcile tradition with scripture, and simply couldn’t.

He was bound in the shackles of confusion, unable to answer tough questions about evil and sin, supposed righteousness that still looks very evil, carnality in a supposedly righteous saint, worldliness in so many children of God.

I could once relate to his appetite for intellectualism, love of knowledge, his love for books and appreciation for scholarly authority. He wanted to have concrete answers for life’s tough questions, and thought that men could adequately provide them.

I’ve read Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels, with their heavy appeals to the Gnosticism and all their empty rhetoric, and numerous other “scholars” with their pompous claims of authority on spiritual matters.

I’ll admit that those “scholars” make some compelling arguments that appeal to intellectual pride, with the feeling that one has been enlightened above all others. But in the end, they are simply shipwrecked by empty philosophy and a prideful desire to define truth by what seems right in their own eyes

Who goes to a self professed agnostic for concrete answers? By his own admission, he has no concrete answers.

What I see in that agnostic is someone who was convinced of his Christian doctrine by men, and was not firmly grounded in truth by the Holy Spirit. Then when other men came along with seemingly better rationale, he fell headlong into the same ditch.

Van:

From Easy Believism to 5 Point Calvinist to Atheist:

1) Embrace another gospel, one that values dead faith.

2) Embrace the idea that nothing we do will change the outcome of our lives.

3) Therefore embrace atheism, since nothing we do will alter the outcome of our lives.

One, two, three – its as easy as taking broccoli from a baby.

Rightousdude2:

I can’t see any rational person, especially one who came to Jesus, become an atheist. When I look into the night sky, I know, that I KNOW, that there is a creator of that massive expanse. When I gaze into a mirror and see the wonders of the human body and the miraculous things that needed to happen in order for life to exist [just the mystery and chemistry of blood, blood gases, etc.] are a marvel that tells me there is more to this life than what we see, feel, touch and assume to know!

The personality and love of God are all around us, and once a person reckons with themselves that there is a creator, and that creator is Jehovah Jireh … to turn back to empty beliefs makes me wonder if the guy ever, EVER believed beyond simple book knowledge.

In my heart of hearts …. there may be fleeting wisps of doubt [where the devil will try to whisper in my ear, our you sure. Are you REALLY sure?], but when it comes down to atheism versus God and creation, there is no other choice or option, at least for me!

In fact, with age has come wisdom, and I think the devil has about given up on me; because he got tired of asking me if I was really sure? Because each time he asked, I came up with more reasons to believe. He saw that wasn’t working! That’s the neat thing about the devil, you and temptaton! The more he tempts us, the more confident we become in our faith … because temptations [at least for me] always takes me back to square one, and once I’m there [at square one], the decision to give that temptation a boot in its red hot rear, becomes just that much easier.

Maybe that’s why he only tempted Jesus three times. Once he heard the answers, he decided that it was a hopeless battle plan.

So, IMHO, I can’t see a true believer giving way to atheism!

evenifigoalone:

I can kinda see it happening, in a way. Just going by my own experiences in the past with doubts, I mean. But in the end, God wouldn’t let me leave and I came out of those experiences more encouraged than ever before.

I tend to agree that a true believer will never be able to truly leave, but at the same time I can see how the arguments of atheism can seem very persuasive. IDK, I can see and kinda understand the thinking behind atheism, even though I’m quite sure it’s false. If I weren’t a believer and didn’t have a faith in God or experienced the things I have, I’d probably be an agnostic atheist.

Earth Wind and Fire:

Correct….he was always a reprobate but he has added whistle blowers to his resume….and now he takes donations! I find that hilarious….now he is a hypocrate with a tin cup.

jkdbuck76:

Sounds like he was not grounded and was double-minded. I’d sooner put a gun to head and pull the trigger than go to websites about debunking Christianity “for answers”. He did it to himself. If he truly is an atheist, then he was NEVER indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Bruce is gonna have to answer FOR HIS OWN ACTIONS on the dreaded Day of Judgment, and “gee, American Christians were too worldly” will not cut it. The goal is Christ, not our peers.

Here is the better thing: how many former atheists are now Christians and even pastors? Let’s focus on them. See what God has done in their lives.

Earth Wind and Fire:

The only thing he wants outa you is a donation

In 2016, is Bruce Gerencser saved?

bruce-gerencser-heaven-after-death

jppt1974:

Praying for him to go back to Christ before he leaves this earth or Jesus comes back on the white colt! To get us all. Will leave it at that!  

JonC:

While it is impossible for me to know, I suspect that Mr. Gerencser is a man who came to a particular realization prior to hearing those words “I never knew you.” The reason I say this is he presents himself as being indoctrinated rather than converted into the faith. I appreciate his honesty here because I believe it a legitimate issue in how we work with those “born into the church.”

As Christians we are, I believe, told to take the man at his words. We judge the fruit, not the heart, and are to treat him as if he is as lost as his profession indicates. We are fruit inspectors – not botanists.

JamesL:

This was posted here a year or so ago….by ? I don’t remember

Anywho…

I very much appreciate his distinction between theological fundamentalist and social Fundamentalist

he makes some unwarranted assumptions and runs with them, such as the notion that every Evangelical would agree with the idea that we are to obey everything contained in the Bible.

I know that is the right wing, fanatic, Fundamentalist, legalistic way. However, a true Evangelical who is sharing the good news of the Cross of Christ will recognize that we are not obligated to the Mosaic law.

But I appreciate the man’s candor. And I can sympathize with the fact that he was brainwashed by a fundamentalism which does not stand up to scripture

I think he was taught to have unrealistic expectations, and was not able to shake them. And that ultimately shook his faith

I think it would be very interesting to sit across the table from him, maybe a different doctrinal take would have yielded different fruit

Salty:

What is interesting is that over a period of a couple of years – he visted scores of churches – Bap, Protestants, Catholic, Mennonite – Methodist – you name it, he probably attended.

He did not find any that he felt comfortable in.

TCassidy:

agree, in this case, that we should take him at his word and treat him as an unbeliever. However, we must also remember that “by their fruits ye shall know them” in Matthew 7 is referring to false prophets. We can know false prophets by their false teaching. But it is a one way street. You cannot tell whether or not a person is saved by his fruit, or lack thereof.

TCassidy:

When a person can’t find any church he can agree with and feel comfortable in, we can rest assured the problem is not the churches, it is the person.

Tim71:

If this man is saved. Wouldn’t Hebrews chapter 12 vs 5 thru 11 apply? If you’re Gods child he going to take you to the wood shed and if you continue in disobedience he will call you home.

evangelist6589:

False convert who was a victim of the modern gospel message. Refer to Judas and a passage in the Synoptics of the many that will stand before him on the day of judgment.

This is all the more important why we must preach law to the proud and grace for the humble.  

Bro James:

Ain’t no atheists in heaven–none headed there either.

Ecumenism is alive and growing on planet Earth.

The Lord knows them that are His, and they are sealed forever.

Now what? Pray for the lost and others deluded.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Earth Wind and Fire:

BINGO!!!!

You also notice that he is enormous! Out of that his health has been affected.

To quote my hero, Reggie Van Gleason……”Boy, are you fat!

BlueFalcon:

I prefer not to engage in the question whether he was ever really saved or not, whether he will still be in heaven or not. I have my own view, but those questions miss the point of his blog posts.

So-called deconversion is all the rage now. Several things seem to have led to Mr. Gerencser’s deconversion.

His parents’ divorce. He does not mention this as a cause or even talk about it in the linked posts. Still I would like to probe his mind to know if he thought at the time that one of his parents must have been not a true believer. Divorce is kind of like the unpardonable sin. One can do anything just about and still serve in the church unless one’s divorced.

His education at Midwestern Baptist College seems to have differed greatly from the real or critical scholars he read later, leading to disillusionment or the feeling that he was lied to or not told the truth about much of the Bible. In this sense it’s somewhat Ehrmanesqe, except that Ehrman came to his conclusion much earlier than Gerencser, probably much to Gerencser’s chagrin.

The Hyles scandal. He does not go into much detail, but reading in between the lines, if the best Christian man in the world is a damned narcissistic heretic liar, the whole thing is rigged and the fools are those who stay in the church to be preyed upon by these predators.

Many other scandals and in general the hatefulness of so-called Christians and many other adjectives to describe almost every church (over 300 apparently) since he stopped pastoring.

Readers need to read his blog for themselves. It is an indictment from an atheist who once was on the inside. Ironically, the indictment (namely points 3 and 4 above) is not unlike Jesus’ own indictment against some of the best known and on-fire churches of the first century (Rev. chs. 2-3).

BlueFalcon:

After reading a couple dozen of Gerencser’s blog posts, one conclusion is certain: Christianity as he taught and practiced is totally bankrupt and always has been, evidenced by his own words and ultimate experience of deconversion. In one post he talks about being angry at another pastor for not just having a TV (Gerencser didn’t) but watching it Saturday night when he should have been praying and preparing his message. Can you say, pharisaical? Apparently in his Baptist circles at the time all the pastors lived in separate mobile homes within earshot of each other on church property.

Gerencser has a long post on why he hates Jesus, or at least the “Jesus” construct he was taught and spent most of his life “living” for. His version of Christianity and the many pastors he depicts within that circle are, when you read his posts, picture-perfect of the biblical Pharisees, those whitewashed sepulchers, judging others but who are guilty in thought or deed of the same things for which they judge others. And it is against these hypocritical Pharisees that Jesus reserved his highest calls of condemnation. The NT Pharisees hated Jesus, so why should modern day Pharisees hate him any less? These posts on why he hates Jesus, at least, give a good idea of his version of Christianity.

Gerencser uses profanity in most of the posts I read. As an outsider looking into this man’s somewhat vulnerable posts, I wonder when this started or if he’s always been a proficient cusser. On occasion Gerencser confesses his outbursts of anger and verbally abusive language. What Gerencser has not posted much of, at least not in what I’ve read so far, are any private character flaws (he doesn’t believe in sin anymore, by the way). So on the one hand, his posts seem pretty vulnerable, but on the other, after reading them one feels like he isn’t sharing the whole truth about his inner self (not that that’s wrong — it’s his own blog, after all — but the impression he gives is that he’s baring all, when the feeling I get after reading is that he’s hiding most of his real vulnerabilities).

His main reason for deconverting is clear from other posts. He no long believed that the Bible was inerrant or inspired, and further that the God presented in the Bible was evil and not worthy of belief. Theodicy is a major problem for Gerencser. On more than one occasion he says something to the effect that if God could help his own pain or suffering or for that matter that of millions of others, he has chosen not to. That makes sense to him now, since to him God doesn’t even exist.

It is also clear from Gerencser’s posts that he is really into himself, constantly checking how often links to his blog are clicked, by whom they are clicked, how many times each person has clicked a link, etc. He really likes to state how much he likes to read, how many books he has read, etc. etc. I have and have read three of the four books by Ehrman he recommends (I’m lacking How Jesus Became God) — all of which are beginner and popular level — and even some of his he didn’t, like his The NT: A Historical Intro and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, which are more scholarly, especially the latter one, which is my favorite Ehrman book by far.

Gerencser seems insincere in that he says he doesn’t want to disturb anyone or keep anyone from turning from Christianity, but if the God of Christians is really as evil as he says, then Gerencser himself is pretty evil for not trying to keep every last person in the world from believing in this evil God construct that destroys the lives of anyone and everyone who may be deceived into believing in it.

Reading his blog makes me appreciate even more Francis Schaefer’s The Great Evangelical Disaster. How prescient that man was!

I may read more of his blog as I have time. He seems to think of himself as sincere. He says he deals even handedly with both atheists and Christians, but just reading the comments section one can see that the atheists are allowed to use invective cursing and all manner of ad hominem attacks against the Christians, but Christians are quickly blocked if they happen to post a Bible verse (a violation of one of his rules). So his sincerity is quite self-contrived. I will never post on his blog. I wonder though why anyone would. I take that back. I can see why atheists and former “Evangelicals” from the same swamp of damned pharisaism that he hails from, jump in for the proverbial high-fives. I’m sure these at least provide a good level of self-gratification for his efforts.

Finally, I actually approve of his blog and recommend it. It’s easy to read and actually quite helpful. It is hoped that his blog will keep as many people as possible from entering the kind of churches that he was a part of and that the numbers in those churches will continue to dwindle until they are no more. And may the true church of Jesus Christ last forever. Amen.  

John of Japan:

So you are accepting the depiction of an atheist apostate of the pastors in his “circle” without hesitation?

I don’t run in that IFB circle per se, but my wife graduated from the same Bible college, and I know some of the men who graduated from there. In fact, I knew the founding pastor, and he was a greatly used man of God. My wife’s pastor was on the board of the school for years, and he is one of the most godly men I’ve ever known and a dear friend. He is now retired from the ministry, and it is always a joy to spend time with him and his extremely sweet wife.

Frankly, I think it’s pretty silly of you to accept the word of a bitter, atheist apostate about Baptist pastors; oh, yes, and also to recommend an atheist apostate’s blog.

annsni:

I wonder if sometimes God doesn’t use an unregenerate person for a time to bring His message to people – similar to Baalam’s donkey. I would say this man was never saved – the “epiphany” seems quite suspect, IMO.

Aaron:

1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

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.

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1998: The Theological Beliefs of Evangelical Pastor Bruce Gerencser

bruce polly gerencser our fathers house west unity
Polly and Bruce Gerencser, Our Father’s House, West Unity, Ohio Circa 2000

Excerpt from Our Father’s House website, circa 1998. Edited slightly for spelling, grammar, and adding links

Often I am asked “what does your church believe about__________?”  This is not an easy question to answer because our church is a body made up of individuals, and even in a smaller church like Our Father’s House, there are “differing” views on what the Bible says about some things. We do not set any particular creed or statement of faith as a requirement for membership in the church. Rather, if a person has repented of their sins, and by faith trusted Christ for salvation, AND has a desire to be taught the Word of God, we encourage them to become a part of our assembly. We accept the Apostle’s Creed as a summary statement of belief. Please see our church constitution for further information.

So, when asked “what does your church believe about__________?” it is better for me to say what “I” believe and to share the viewpoint that “I” teach from.

I am an expositional preacher. The primary Bible version I use is the KJV [I later moved to the ESV]. Some church members use the NKJV.  Usually, I preach on random passages of Scripture, and at times will preach through books of the Bible. I believe the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. It does not just contain the words of God, it IS the Words of God, every jot and every tittle.

I am an Evangelical. I willingly embrace all those who claim the name of Christ and walk in His truth. I believe the denominational fragmentation that is seen today is a dishonor to the God of Heaven. The world will know we are Christians by the love we have for one another. One of my desires is to promote love and unity among God’s people. Lest someone think I am an ecumenist, I oppose the Evangelicals and Catholics Together statement. While I readily grant that there are many Roman Catholics who are Christians (and I embrace them as such), the official doctrine of the Roman Church is salvation (justification) by works.  In the name of Christ, I embrace God’s people wherever they may be found, but I strongly oppose the false gospel of works taught in many churches. A sinner is saved (justified) apart from the works of the law. (or any other work like baptism, joining the church, being confirmed) Sinners are not saved by works but UNTO good works. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

I am a Non-Cessationist. I believe that spiritual gifts are for today and that they are in operation today. While I would not call myself a charismatic, I do find a common bond with men such as John Piper and Martyn Lloyd Jones and ministries such as People of Destiny [now Sovereign Grace Churches]. I do not believe that many of the so-called charismatic gifts exercised in many Charismatic/Pentecostal churches are of God. Such churches preach a gospel according to the Holy Spirit, not a gospel that finds as its foundation Jesus Christ. Any gospel that requires a person to speak in tongues, evidence the fullness of the Spirit, etc. is a false gospel. I also stand opposed to the modern prosperity gospel preached by men such as Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Frederick Price, et al. The modern charismatic movement is an admixture of truth and error and is best described as a mixture of the Corinthian and Laodicean churches. I also stand opposed to most of the Charismatic teaching regarding demons, territorial spirits, and demon/spirit possession. There is a real Devil who can and does possess his children (John 8:44) and our battle is with him, but much of the spiritual warfare teaching is according to the philosophies of men and not of God.

I believe in the validity of the law of God. God’s law is pure, holy, and true, and man is enjoined by God to obey. I emphasize that the believer is to progress in sanctification and holiness. Saved people LIVE like saved people. I find much in common with the good men and women. of the Chalcedon Foundation. They are a small voice in a large wilderness declaring the validity of the law of God.

I am a Calvinist. I believe in the Sovereignty of God and that salvation is of the Lord. No man can save himself. I do not believe man has an innate ability to believe. Unless the Father, by the power of His Spirit, draws a man to salvation, that man will never be saved. I believe in the perseverance (preservation) of the saints. God keeps His own until the day of salvation. I consider the doctrine of eternal security preached in many Churches to be a perversion of the truth because it denies a connection between the saviorship and lordship of Christ in a man’s life. There is a direct connection between a man who is saved and how he lives. The same God who saves a man has also ordained that that same man would live a life of good works. No holiness, no heaven! While I consider myself a Calvinist, I stand against hyper Calvinism and its denial of the free offer of the gospel. I also reject double predestination as a doctrine rooted in the philosophies of men and not the Word of God. As a minister of the gospel, my desire is not to convert Arminians to Calvinists, nor is it to promote a system. I preach Christ. Calvinism is the best description of how and why God saves a sinner. I, without hesitation, affirm the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith as an accurate statement of that which I most surely believe.

I am posttribulational, and amillennial. I believe the church will go through the tribulation, and that there yet awaits a day when Jesus Christ will come again and judge the world.

I believe in the Lordship of Christ. We do not make Him Lord, HE IS LORD. Because He is Lord, we are called on to live holy, separated lives. The standard for such living is the Word of God. I reject all man-made standards of living, for God has given us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. Legalistic standards of touch not, taste not are rejected as the philosophies of men.

My favorite theologians and authors are JC Ryle, Wayne Grudem, Donald Bloesch, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Watson, Gardiner Spring, John MacArthur, and most anything written during the Puritan era. Truly a minister is known by the books he reads.  My favorite bookstore is the Cumberland Valley Bible and Book Service. They are an excellent source of sound doctrinal books and, of course, they carry a large supply of Puritan books

So there you have it . . .this is not all I believe . . . but I have given you enough so that you can decide what kind of preacher you think I am. After you decide, if you are still interested, please do stop and visit. We will be delighted to have you as our guest. If you have a question please email me and I will promptly reply.

Pastor Bruce Gerencser

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.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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And Santa Came A-Tumbling Down

santa fallling

The Friday after Thanksgiving, Polly bought a fresh Christmas tree from the Bryan Lions tree lot and brought it home. We have been putting up a fresh tree most of our married lives, 38 years, to be exact. Last Saturday, Polly, with the help of our oldest daughter, decorated the tree. I am a Lionel O-gauge train collector, a youthful hobby I have revived since I retired in 2019. Typically, I put a circular train track around the tree. In recent years, our youngest son, Josiah, has put the track up for me. This year, I decided to do this myself.

Last night, after Polly went to work, I slowly made my way upstairs, retrieving some train track, a diesel engine, a steam engine, cars, and a transformer. I am not supposed to go up or down the stairs by myself, but I did so anyway. I successfully made it up and down the stairs without incident. “See, Bruce, you can do it.” The Not-So-Good Book says, “pride goeth before a fall.”

I plopped down on the floor and started putting the track together. Once the oval was completed, I put the Santa Fe F3 A-B (A being the powered unit, B the unpowered unit) engines on the track, along with a selection of boxcars, a car hauler, a Gulf Oil tanker, and a lighted 70 year old caboose. I then turned on the 100-watt MTH transformer, powering the track, and the train began to move around the tree. Woo! Hoo!

Proud of my work, I put my hand on the credenza, pulled myself up, and started to pivot on my feet. And then . . . before I could blink — literally — my feet and legs went out from under me, sending me crashing headlong into the Christmas tree. The tree broke, pulling the trunk out of the tree stand and landing the tree on a nearby recliner. Christmas ornaments rained down on the carpet. I landed on top of the cast-iron steam engine that sat inside the track circle. I lay moaning (and cursing) on the carpet for several minutes. Bethany, our daughter with Down syndrome, frantically tried to help me. I suspect she thought I had killed myself. Eventually, I crawled to the couch 8 feet away and pulled myself up, much like my toddler grandson trying to climb on the couch to harass Grandpa. And there I remained until Polly came home from work at 2:30 am.

Damage? Two broken box cars, broken ornaments, a huge bruise on my hip, along with a cut on my side and scrapes on my arm. Today, I feel like someone beat me with a baseball bat. The tree, of course, is ruined. Tomorrow, we plan to go to Menards and buy an artificial tree. That is if I am able to move.

Polly, of course, is upset with me, and rightly so, though she has been compassionate and understanding. I know the rules. I know I can’t do certain (many) things anymore. I know I have a tendency to fall. But, in my mind I still think I can do what I want, that I am healthy, strong, and steady on my feet. Those days are gone — forever. I must embrace this new reality of mine, but damn, it’s hard — and depressing too.

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.

Bruce Gerencser