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Tag: Elizabeth Prata

Elizabeth Prata Reveals She’s Never Talked to an Evangelical-Turned-Atheist, But Knows They Never Were True Christians

hear see speak no evil

It’s Tuesday. A new day for Evangelical zealots to read the minds of Evangelicals-turned-atheists and tell them why they “really” deconverted, and what their “real” motivations were for abandoning Christianity. Elizabeth Prata is one such tone-deaf Evangelical.

In a post titled, Can You Be an Ex-Christian? Prata stated:

There’s no such thing as an ex-Christian. Look at 1 John-

They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” (1 John 2:19)

John is saying here that people who ‘backslide’ and then fall away from the faith entirely, never really were saved to begin with. “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him,” (Titus 1:16).

For many professing “ex-Christians”, it starts with apostasy, something Paul said there would be plenty of in the last days.

….

So the apostate’s progression is: profess Christ by mouth… but since there was no visible fruit to show the state of grace they were claiming on the inside, they were never really saved; fail to walk closely with Jesus by procrastinating in discipleship, bible study, prayer, and/or worship, furthering the distance between themselves and Jesus; listen to or promote destructive heresies that either they knowingly or unknowingly begin to believe, start doubting Christ’s sufficiency; doubt more, and then slide to full blown renunciation and end up in a state of atheism.

….

The end result of a Christian in name only – that is, one who claimed Jesus but never really believed – and is one who is at risk of being tempted by destructive heresies, and ultimately of apostasy. What comes next is atheism.

Atheism is a natural cul-de-sac in the road away from the cross.

….

After apostasy settles in and atheism rears its head, a person is well and truly now in the dangerous pits of despair, misplacing their burgeoning faith in something for a faith in nothing that will last forever.

I’m should just say “sigh” (please see Why I Use the Word “Sigh”), but for the sake of the children 🙂 I will respond to Prata’s awful prattle.

It’s evident Prata has never meaningfully talked to Evangelicals-turned-atheists. Instead, much as countless other Evangelicals have done, she ignores their stories out of hand, justifying her boorish behavior by quoting the Bible. Much like Joe Sperber did in his email interaction with me, (please see Joe, The Evangelical, Likens My Life to Driving Off a Cliff and Committing Suicide) Prata uses 1 John 2:19 to justify her out-of-hand dismissal of deconversion stories:

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.

According to Prata’s interpretation of this verse — a common interpretation — Evangelicals-turned-atheists were never Christians. Why? True Christians never leave the church. And make no mistake about it, the “us” in this verse is the local, visible church, and not the invisible, universal church. True Christians go to church and continue going to church all the days of their lives. Evangelicals-turned-atheists stopped going to church, so this is “proof” that they were never Christians.

This is akin to a man who was married to a woman for fifty years before divorcing his wife. The Pratas of the world say to the man, “you never were married.” Absurd, right? The man was married, and now he’s not. No amount of revision can change the fact that the man was married for fifty years. So it is when it comes to the deconversion stories of former Evangelicals. These people were once Christians and now they are not, regardless of what the Bible says. Facts are facts. Surely, that’s a “fact” we can all agree upon.

Here’s the money quote:

So the apostate’s progression is: profess Christ by mouth… but since there was no visible fruit to show the state of grace they were claiming on the inside, they were never really saved; fail to walk closely with Jesus by procrastinating in discipleship, bible study, prayer, and/or worship, furthering the distance between themselves and Jesus; listen to or promote destructive heresies that either they knowingly or unknowingly begin to believe, start doubting Christ’s sufficiency; doubt more, and then slide to full blown renunciation and end up in a state of atheism.

According to Prata, Evangelicals-turned-atheists never had “visible fruit to show the state of grace they were claiming on the inside.” In other words, their “works” didn’t match their words. Prata confidently states “Evangelicals-turned-atheists, procrastinated in discipleship, bible study, prayer, and/or worship, furthering the distance between themselves and Jesus; listening to or promoting destructive heresies.” Does this sound remotely true to you, especially those of you who were pastors, evangelists, missionaries, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, deacons, Christian school teachers, and Evangelical college professors? Does this remotely sound true to those of you who were in church every time the doors were open? Of course not.

I was in the Evangelical church for fifty years, and a pastor for twenty-five years. I slavishly, passionately, and devotedly loved and followed Jesus. I forsook my houses, lands, and material possessions for the “sake of the call.” I devoted my life to preaching the gospel, winning souls, and building up the people of God. I daily read and studied the Bible, spending thousands and thousands of hours immersed in the Word. I preached 4,000 sermons. For years, I was an expositional preacher. I was not perfect, sinning daily in thought, word, and deed. But, the bend of my life (to quote John MacArthur) was towards holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. I raised my children up in nurture and admonition of the Lord. My wife and I, along with our six children, separated ourselves from the “world.” Personal holiness was important to us. We homeschooled our children, doing everything we could to train them up in the ways of the Lord. My theology certainly moderated and changed over the twenty-five years I spent in the ministry, but never strayed beyond Christian orthodoxy. Based on my story alone, it is abundantly clear that what Prata says about Evangelicals-turned-atheists is not true. I know she reads this blog, so I call on her to immediately repent and apologized to those whose character she has besmirched. Will she do so? I doubt it. Evangelicals drive cars that don’t have reverse gear. Certainty breeds arrogance, and arrogance precludes Evangelicals from admitting they are wrong.

Why do Evangelicals refuse to accept the stories of Evangelicals-turned-atheists at face value? Why do they close their eyes and plug their ears, pretending to not see and hear what is right in front of them? Why do they continue to quote Bible verses and sermonize? Why, if all else fails, do they turn to violence and torture porn, threatening Evangelicals-turned-atheists with eternal, everlasting torment in the Lake of Fire? Why do the stories of Evangelicals-turned-atheists bother them so much, often causing them to erupt in outrage? Why not just ignore those who deconvert, giving them over to Satan as the Apostle Paul did?

Here’s what I think: our stories scare the shit out of them. They know our stories ring true, yet we walked (or ran) away from God, Jesus, the Bible, and the church. And if this can happen to us, it could happen to them too. Over the years, several former church members — close friends — ended their friendships with me. Why? They found my story to be disconcerting. How is it possible that the man they called Preacher, the man who led them to Christ, baptized them, and taught them the Word of God, is an atheist? Unable to come to terms with my loss of faith, they distance themselves from me lest my atheist cooties rub off on them. One close ministerial colleague of mine, upon learning I left the faith, came to my home to beg me to reconsider. After hours of begging and pleading, it became clear to this man that I would never return to Christianity. (Please see Dear Friend.) He then begged me to NOT tell anyone about my deconversion, fearing that my doing so would lead people away from Jesus. Of course, I could not honor his request.

There’s nothing more powerful than a well-told story. This is why I am just one man with a story to tell. I write, people read, and decide for themselves whether my story rings true. Traffic numbers suggest that my story rings true for thousands and thousands of people. I receive frequent emails and comments from people thanking me for my writing. I am humbled by their kind words, reminders of the fact that my story matters. And so does yours. If you have not told your story, I hope you will consider doing so. Please contact me if you would like to share your story on this site.

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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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Atheists Know There’s a God, Says Elizabeth Prata

romans 1:20

Elizabeth Prata, a “Christian writer and Georgia teacher’s aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children,” recently pontificated on the existence of God; how EVERYONE, including atheists, KNOWS that God exists:

Why does every culture in the world worship something? I’d learned in my twenties that every culture that ever existed worshiped something greater than themselves in some way, from the beginning of recorded time to this moment. Why is that, I’d wonder, and why is it that of all the animals on earth, that none other ever attained that transcendence of self, and looked up to a God?

Could it be…because God designed it that way?

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The fact of the matter is, whether a person believes in God or not, all of Ecclesiastes reminds us that life without God is empty and vain. Every person ever created has the opportunity to see the world and His invisible attributes within. Every person has the opportunity to seek the fulfillment of that empty place inside us where we groan and discover what it is we groan for. The Lord made us with sinews and blood and DNA and a place in our brains (it seems) where the seat of heavenly longing waits for the Holy Spirit to connect with it and AWAKE our soul unto Jesus. The key is whether a person suppresses the truth in unrighteousness and continue kicking against the goads. There IS a solution for that burden of sin and guilt we all carry.

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Will you harden your heart to the questions that arise in you? Will you push out of your mind the unanswerable that is before your eyes? Or will you accept the Holy Spirit’s conviction and seek until blessed belief in repentance to Jesus overwhelms you with love and grace?

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I urge all of us to think these things. If you are speaking with an unbeliever just know that they already believe in God because they can see His invisible attributes through His creation, they suppress it though.

His creation has His signature on it. His formation of humans has in us implanted longing for His Magnificent self. If you have ever looked at the beauty of the world and wondered Who made it, or felt within yourself a longing and unfulfillment, a seeking for something more, it is the Spirit knocking on the door of your heart ready to reveal the kingdom to you. If you only believe, and ask.

Where, oh where, do I begin?

First, let me be clear on Prata’s behalf, when she talks about “God,” she doesn’t mean “choose one from the panoply of deities worshiped by humans.” Prata believes there is only ONE God — her God: the Calvinistic Christian God. Her use of a “generic God” in her post is a smokescreen meant to hide the fact that she believes worshiping other Gods is just a path to the true God — the triune God of Protestant Christianity.

Second, Prata’s contention that EVERY culture “worship something greater than themselves” is patently false. Prata thinks cultures are monoliths, when in fact they are quite diverse. I’m sure she thinks that the United States is a Christian culture. However, there are tens of millions of Americans who are atheists, agnostics, humanists, and nones; people who do NOT “worship something greater than themselves.” For me personally, I only worship one person, my wife! 🙂 She is my partner, equal to me in every way. But worshiping someone or something greater than me? That’s absurd.

Prata refuses to accept the stories (testimonies) of atheists, agnostics, humanists, and nones at face value. According to her, she KNOWS what we really believe and who or what we really worship. How does she know these things? Cuz the Bible says so . . .

According to the Bible and Prata, when non-Christians look at the natural world, they KNOW the Christian God exists. They know there is a divine Creator. Yet, billions of people deny the existence of Prata’s peculiar God. To claim otherwise is a denial of how things really are. Of course, when you believe the Bible is Big T TRUTH, reality can be dismissed with the wave of your hand. “God said” becomes the answer to every question.

Prata tells her followers:

I urge all of us to think these things. If you are speaking with an unbeliever just know that they already believe in God because they can see His invisible attributes through His creation, they suppress it though.

Instead of accepting non-Christians at face value, Prata tells her followers to ignore their stories, knowing that they really, really, really know the Christian God exists, they just suppress that knowledge. This simply is not true. I do not suppress knowledge of God’s existence. First, what a weak God that I have the power to suppress knowledge of him; that I am able to withstand and deny God himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit. What a weak, pathetic God, that a broken down, disabled man can suppress knowledge of him. Second, Prata is a Calvinist, so I am perplexed about the notion that I can actively suppress knowledge of God. Isn’t God the author and finisher of faith? Can anyone save themselves? I thought it is God who draws people to salvation? Since our salvation rests in the hands of God alone, how is it possible that I can suppress knowledge of him? According to orthodox Christian theology, God is the sovereign Lord over all, including salvation. This God predestined who would and wouldn’t be saved from before the foundation of the world. How then, am I, in any way, responsible for not believing. God knows where I live. He even knows my phone number and email address. If he wants to save me, he knows where I am. If he wants me to “know” him, all he has to do is provide persuasive evidence for his existence. Instead, all I get are the Elizabeth Pratas of the world calling me a liar, denying that what I say about my life is true.

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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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Humans are Biologically Hardwired to Believe in the Christian God

romans 1-19

We are hardwired for [the Christian] God. We don’t need secular scientists to tell us that. It is life events, adults, and choosing unbelief that beats natural faith out of kids. Teaching them about Jesus isn’t jamming it down their throats. It is supporting a natural, hardwired tendency that already exists in them. To get a child NOT to believe what they already believe it takes hard work and years of indoctrination.

If we are hardwired for God then how did that happen if, as evolutionists say, we emerged from the primordial soup as a one-celled unthinking organism? Did evolution occur that included cognitive acceptance of a higher being? If evolution is true then that would have to be the case since all cultures worship greater beings in the supernatural realm.

But alas, we did not evolve to become cognitively hardwired for God. As children intuitively know, God created us and planted within us a seeking to know Him, because God desires to know us. He desires a relationship with His greatest creation: humans.

— Elizabeth Prata, The End Time, Hardwired for God, April 21, 2022

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.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Christians are Jesus’ Slaves, Not His Servants

who owns you

I got to thinking about being slaves of Christ. A believer’s true position in Christ has been diluted by the Bible translators’ choice of the word servant and bond-servant for the Greek word doulos. That word has consistently been translated as servant, when it really means slave. Doesn’t that change the flavor of service to the Lord? Being a servant indicates that we can and do serve Him at our own will and pleasure, and slave means we submit our will to an alien will and then the matter is out of our hands.

The Bible is clear in its description that believers are slaves, not servants.  In every case where the word doulos is used it means slave, and the New Testament uses it 130 times. We are not servants of Christ, we’re his slaves.

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I am reading the Bible through and I notice that a well-known phenomenon that will happen at the end of days also happened from the beginning. In the end, Revelation tells us the antichrist will place a mark on the hand or forehead of all who worship him. (Revelation 13:15-17). The mark allows people to buy and sell, but its reason for being is not the economy, it is a mark of allegiance and worship of the beast. That the mark allows a person to also participate in the economy is a by-product of its placement on the person.

Jesus also sends an angel to place a mark on the forehead of His 144,000 who evangelize the world. (Revelation 7:3-4).

Who brands his slaves? The master. Who puts a mark of ownership on his slaves? The master. Jesus is the ultimate Master and we are His ultimate slaves. That He puts a mark on us should not be surprising.

— Elizabeth Prata, The End Time, Being Slaves of Christ, August 26, 2020

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