Last Thursday, Katherine Wandell, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor’s wife, left a comment on the February 2020 post, A Former Parishioner Asks: Please Help Me Understand Why You Stopped Believing. Wandell’s husband, Joshua, pastors Cactus Pointe Baptist Church in Laveen, Arizona. Katherine Wandell, age 30, is a Youtuber. Here is a video she produced entitled, 27 Life Lessons in 27 Years.
I hope what follows is lesson 28 she can add to her video. My comments are indented and italicized.
Hi there I read all your posts.
Since December 2014, I have written over 4,000 posts for this site. You saying that you read all of my posts is laughable. I know for a fact, based on the site server logs, that you read five posts. So, this means you’re lying. Evidently, you missed the verses in your trusty leather-bound King James Bible that call lying a sin.
I felt compelled to let you know what I think.
Who or what compelled you to tell a complete stranger what you think? Do you run around the Internet seeking out people you don’t know so you can tell them what you think about them? I left Christianity in November 2008. Over the past 13 years, I have never sought out a Christian stranger so I could tell them that their religion is untrue or attacked their character. What kind of person does this?
First, there is no way we are here by accident or big bang. God is real. You can see there is design and order. In fact He is the one holding your body together (Laminin).
What is your evidence for these claims? Are you a scientist? Do you have any post-high school science training? What training do you have that leads you to think you are qualified to make these statements? Reading books published by Answers in Genesis doesn’t count. The fact that we can see design and order at times in our world does not mean that your peculiar version of God had anything to do with it. Since you believe that your God is a perfect deity, wouldn’t that mean that everything we can observe in the natural world would be perfect? Even an IFB preacher’s wife should know that there many examples of bad design. Perhaps God was having a bad day when he created those things?
From what I read I think you did truly trust Christ for salvation, but the ministry was a heavy burden to you that after years of serving in, left you feeling as if it wasn’t worth it. You mentioned how little you were paid among other things and that life has “been better” since you stopped following Jesus.
I was in the Christian church for 50 years. I was an Evangelical pastor for 25 years. At the age of 15, I made a public profession of faith at Trinity Baptist Church in Findlay, Ohio — an IFB congregation. Several weeks later, I went forward again and let the church know that I believed God was calling me to preach. A few weeks after that, I preached my first sermon. From that time until the spring of 2005, I preached over 4,000 sermons and witnessed hundreds and hundreds of people make public professions of faith as a result of my preaching. My wife and I were passionate, on-fire followers of Jesus Christ. We devoted ourselves to following the teachings of Christ and laboring in God’s vineyard. So, yes, I really did trust Christ for salvation. I am so glad you stop by to tell me that. That means, of course, that I am still a Christian. Once saved, always saved, right?
I have written countless autobiographical posts over the past decade. (Well, I could count them, but you know what I mean. Well, maybe you don’t know what I mean. After all, according to you, “every” means five.) These posts detail the reasons why I left the ministry (2005) and later left Christianity (2008). At no time have I ever said that the burden of the ministry was the main reason why I stopped preaching. I never made a good living pastoring churches. That never kept me from doing the work God had called me to. I would have preached for free. Money was never the object of my ambition. I suspect that you have taken a few things that I said on this subject and twisted them to fit the narrative you have in your mind about my character and life. Too bad you couldn’t be bothered to actually read my autobiographical material. Had you done so, you would have had a better understanding of my life. (Please see WHY?)
Yes, my life is better in every way since I left Christianity. Why? Freedom.
You know the truth, God does not change. Our views can change and our hearts as well. When you first heard truth as a young man you believed it with gladness and trusted in it, in what? In God’s word. After leaving the ministry you read many books…did you search the good book? God’s Book? You said you were seeking the truth of Christianity, did you draw nigh to the Lord? No, you drew yourself to man’s ideas and opinions and found in them the validation of your doubts about your faith.
You, of course, believe that TRUTH=BIBLE. I reject such a silly notion out of hand. It is an irrational claim. That’s not to say that there are not good things in the Bible — there are. (For example, I love most of the Semon on the Mount, the book of Ecclesiastes, and a few Proverbs here and there.) However, the Bible is an antiquated, contradictory religious text. Some of its teachings are downright immoral. Since you are a “Bible believer” I assume you are pro-slavery, think incest is okay, and murdering non-Christians is morally permissible? Thus saith the Lord, right?
I read the Bible from cover to cover numerous times. I spent tens of thousands of hours reading and studying the Bible. I have likely forgotten more Bible than you will ever know. I’m not prideful or arrogant (well, about this, anyway), just stating the facts. If you want to talk about the Bible, I am game. Let’s start with your claim that the Bible is inerrant and infallible. Ready? The ball is in your court.
What did that do? It caused you to drift further away from God, further and further until you could not see him anymore, like a boat disappearing into the horizon. God did go anywhere or cease to exist because your view changed from the boat. He will always wait for you.
You have constructed a narrative about my life in your mind that is simply not true. All you would have had to do is read my autobiographical writing to know this. Let me share with you what God says to you: He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. (Proverbs 18:13) The Message translates it this way: Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.
The primary reason I left Christianity is that I no longer believed the central claims of Christianity were true.
I pray you will seek him again in this life, either way you’ll know the truth after death.
Ah yes, an IFB zealot can’t conclude a message to an Evangelical-preacher-turned-atheist without a passive-aggressive threat about Hell and eternal damnation. You know I don’t believe in the existence of Hell (or Heaven), right? Threatening me with judgment from a fictional deity has no effect on me. I am more afraid of my wife than I am your deity. She wields a mean cast iron skillet.
By all means, keep praying. Thousands of Christians have said the same over the years. My continued apostasy is a poignant example of the powerlessness of prayer.
This entire Chapter of the Bible is what God has to say about knowing the truth and then forsaking it. I hope you’ll read it. 2 Peter 2 [verses deleted, cuz I ‘fear the words of the Lord].
Well, shucky darn, girl, I have never, ever read 2 Peter 2. *sigh* Thank you for pointing this passage of Scripture out to me. God has now spoke to my h-e-a-r-t. Nope. I still don’t believe. Sorry, threats and incantations from a magic book won’t work with me.
I hope you now see how silly and offensive your comment was. I hope you will think twice, or even five times, before doing so again.
Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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