Tag Archive: Fundamentalism

Why Do People Attend Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) Churches?

ifb preacher phil kidd

IFB Preacher Phil Kidd

Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches are known for their commitment to literalism, Biblical inerrancy, and strict codes of personal conduct. Demographically, IFB churchgoers tend to be white, Republican, and middle to lower class. IFB churches also have anti-culture tendencies, as revealed in their support of the Christian school and home school movements. The IFB church movement has spawned numerous colleges, including Hyles-Anderson College, Tennessee Temple, Midwestern Baptist College, Baptist Bible College, Pensacola Christian College, Clarks Summit University, Maranatha Baptist University, Massillon Baptist College, Crown College of the Bible, Faith Baptist Bible College, and West Coast Baptist College. Though not explicitly IFB institutions, Bob Jones University, Liberty University, Cedarville University, and Cornerstone University are sympathetic to IFB beliefs and practices, and attract a number of IFB students. You can find a comprehensive list of IFB secondary institutions here.

Millions of Americans attend IFB churches. Add to this number those Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches who hold similar Fundamentalist theological and social beliefs, and IFB churches are a sizeable minority within the broad Evangelical tent. While some IFB apologists trace the movement’s genesis to the Modernist-Fundamentalist battle of the 1920s, most would say that the IFB church movement was birthed out of opposition to liberalism in the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1950s and 1960s. Many of the fathers of the movement were Southern Baptist pastors who pulled their churches out of the Convention. I attended numerous Sword of the Lord conferences in the 1970s and 1980s where big-name IFB preachers trumpeted the astronomical numerical growth of their churches while delighting in spouting statistics that showed the SBC was in decline. I heard Jack Hyles, then the pastor of the largest church in the world — First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana — run down the list of the largest churches in America, pointing out how many of them were IFB churches. Hyles, along with countless other IFB preachers of that era, believed that their churches’ growth and the SBC’s decline were sure signs of God’s approval and blessing.

Today, the IFB church movement is in steep numerical decline. Churches which once had thousands of members are now closed or are a shell of what they once were. IFB colleges have also seen drops in enrollment due to the fact that the feeders for these institutions — IFB churches — aren’t sending as many students to their schools. The Southern Baptist Convention, on the other hand, has been reclaimed from liberalism and many of the largest churches in America are affiliated with the Convention. (The SBC is the first denomination that I am aware of that has reversed its course and returned to its Fundamentalist roots. The Convention is now home to a burgeoning Calvinistic movement. Many liberal/progressive SBC churches broke away in the 1991 (1,900 churches) and formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Liberals who remain will either seek out friendlier associations or be excommunicated.)

For countless Christians, the IFB church movement is all they have ever known. Their entire lives, from baby dedications to graduation from an IFB college, have been dominated and controlled by Baptist Fundamentalism. In many ways, the IFB church movement is a cult that shelters families from the evil, Satanic outside world. All that congregants are required to do is believe and obey. Is it any wonder that the hymn Trust and Obey is a popular hymn in many IFB churches? Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. For those born and raised in the IFB bubble, all they know is what they have been taught by their parents, pastors, and teachers. Encouraged to make professions of faith at an early age, these cradle Baptists know little about the world outside of the IFB bubble. The bubble protects them from outside, worldly influences and helps to reinforce IFB beliefs and practices. (And when IFB youths run afoul of the strict rules found in IFB churches, they are sometimes sent off to IFB group homes and camps so they can be “rehabilitated.”)

The video below graphically (and beautifully) illustrates how deeply and thoroughly Fundamentalist beliefs dominate the thinking of those raised in Fundamentalist churches. Sung by Champion Baptist College (now Champion Christian University) tour group, the song I Have Been Blessed, is a compendium of IFB beliefs. The young adults singing this song really believe what they are singing. Outsiders might label these singers ignorant — and they are — but I choose to be more charitable, knowing that their singing of this song is simply a reflection of the tribal religion they have been a part of their entire lives.

Video Link

I have great sympathy for people who know only what they have been taught in IFB churches and institutions. From the early 1960s to the mind-1990s, I was one such person. My parents were saved at an IFB church in the 1960s and from that day forward we religiously attended IFB churches. When my parents divorced in the early 1970s, I continued to attend IFB churches. In many ways, these congregations became my family, giving me love and structure. After high school, I attended an IFB college, and from 1979 to 1994 I pastored IFB churches. (One church, Community Baptist Church in Elmendorf, Texas, would not call itself an IFB church due to its Calvinistic beliefs, but its social practices and anti-culture beliefs put it squarely in the IFB camp.) I was, in every way, a true-blue believer, never questioning my beliefs until I was in my 40s. I know firsthand how IFB indoctrination affects a person intellectually and psychologically.

Not everyone, of course, is born into the IFB church movement. Others become members due to the movement’s aggressive evangelistic efforts and methodology. Particular targets are people who have messy, unhappy lives or have drug/alcohol addictions. Wanting deliverance from their present lives, these people are often quite receptive when they come in contact with IFB preachers and church members who promise them that, if they will believe the IFB gospel, then Jesus will make their lives brand new and deliver them from their chaotic, broken lives. Once saved, these newly minted Christians are encouraged to join the churches that cared enough about them to share the Good News® with them. And many of these people do indeed join IFB churches, but unlike those raised in such churches, these outsiders often have a harder time accepting IFB social strictures. More than a few of them stop attending church or seek out congregations that aren’t as extreme.

And then there are the people who deliberately seek out IFB churches to attend. Drawn to such churches by their need for doctrinal purity, certainty, and a safe haven from the world, they are thrilled to find churches that believe the Bible from cover to cover (even though, as anyone who has studied the IFB church movement knows, IFB preachers and congregants pick and choose beliefs just as non-IFB Christians do). Perfectionists, in particular, find IFB churches quite appealing. If IFB churches and their pastors are anything, they are certain that their beliefs and practices come straight from the mouth of the Christian God (God wrote the Bible, so its words are his). Perfectionists — as I know firsthand — love structure, control, and order.

Perfectionists make the perfect members. They joyously buy into the go-go-go, do-do-do, work-for-the-night-is-coming-when-no-man-can-work, better-to-burn-out-than-rust-out thinking that permeates IFB churches. There’s no time for rest and comfort. The Bible is true, judgment is sure, hell is real, and there are billions of lost souls who need to hear the IFB gospel. How dare anyone who truly loves Jesus live a life of ease while sinners are dying in their sins and going to hell. On and on go the clichés. I suspect that most successful IFB preachers have perfectionist tendencies.

Video Link

Many IFB church members were once members of Evangelical or mainline churches. Concerns over perceived liberalism drive them to seek out churches who still believe in the Book, the Blood, and the Blessed Hope. Tired of pastors who refuse, they believe, to preach the whole counsel of God or to stand against worldliness, these disaffected Christians often find that IFB churches believe what they believe, so they leave their churches and join with the Baptists.

While I could give other reasons people attend IFB churches, those mentioned above cover the majority of people who attend Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven 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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Christian Fundamentalist Shares the Sweet, Sweet Love of Jesus on Facebook

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Earlier today, I stumbled upon the Facebook wall of a Fundamentalist Christian woman my wife and I attended church with in the late 1970s. After reading her loved-filled words about liberals, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, I took a few screen clips to share with readers of this blog. Enjoy.

 

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David, the Fundamentalist Catholic Attempts to Slay Bruce Almighty

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Religious Fundamentalism is not alone the domain of Evangelicalism. Take David, a recent commenter on this blog and on my Facebook page. Here’s how the conversation with David started:

David: Jesus is real. He is God. And, He is alive. To deny that, is to deny the Truth.

Bruce: *sigh* So glad you stopped by to let us know that your flavor of ice cream is the one true ice cream. Now take your ice cream truck and keep on moving down that narrow, straight road you mentioned on Facebook. Blessed be the God of reason, forever and ever, amen. [At this point I thought David was an Evangelical.]

David: Sir, you claim you are not evangelizing for atheism. However, by posting these reports of alleged christian molesters, you are in fact, evangelizing for atheism, otherwise, you would also post stories of molesters from other beliefs. I don’t see that you are publishing reports of any muslim molesters, or atheist molesters, or hindu molesters, or Democratic party molesters, or any molesters from any other groups. No, you focus only on professing christians, because you want to harm the Church of Jesus Christ and more particularly Him and cause others to abandon the faith or never become a believer to begin with. You know what you are doing. So, you see, you are in fact, a liar. And, that would make you the son of you know who…

Becky added several comments.

Bruce: Funny that you are more concerned with my posting the reports than you are the reports themselves. Evidently preachers molesting children doesn’t bother you as much as an atheist making the public aware of such vile things. This blog focuses on Evangelicalism–as I told you on Facebook. I can’t be all things to all men, so I don’t try. I focus on Evangelicalism because it is the dominant American religion and one that I am most familiar with. If, through my writing, someone leaves Evangelicalism, good for them. However, I do not evangelize. I don’t go to Christian blogs/Facebook pages and leave atheistic comments/sermons (unlike you). That you impugn my character says more about you than it does me. I’m quite proud of the fact that my writing causes hemorrhoidal inflammation for people such as you.

David: Looks like I struck a nerve with you Bruce. Truth has a way of doing that to antichrist agenda driven people like you.

Bruce: Davey, my man, I hate to disappoint you, but you are little more than buzzing gnats swarming around my head on a warm summer day. Smack, end of annoyance. I presume, by now, you have read the comment rules. Please act accordingly.

David: Bruce. I notice in your blogs you have one concerning a molesting Catholic Priest. So, I caught you in another false statement. You said you are only concerned with reaching evangelicals. But, then you undermine that assertion by your Roman Church priest blog. So, I am proven right again. You are on the warpath against Christianity, the Church and Jesus Christ. Why not tell the truth Bruce? Why maintain the facade of honesty when you are not being honest?

Bruce: The focus of my blog is Evangelicalism — like 99% of my posts. On occasion I write about other things: sports, photography, politics, family, technology, and yes priests who rape/molest children. That you would rather impugn my character than understand what should be easily understood by anyone with a fifth-grade education, reflects poorly on you and the Christ you say you serve. By all means, keep commenting. Your words are preaching a far louder sermon than any atheist could preach.

David: Bruce, the more you attack and deny, the more you prove my assertions. I wonder why you can’t see that. And, laughably you resort to the time dishonored atheist reaction of attacking the intellect of those with whom they disagree. Atheists cannot be gracious. They ALWAYS resort to personal attack of the intelligence of the Christians, alleging by implication that intelligence and intellect are a contradiction to belief in Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of all, Who is God.

Bruce: I’m not gracious to assholes, nor do I need to be. And I don’t need to let them fill the comment section with bullshit. Bye, bye Davey. All further comments will be deleted.

Bruce: I should make it clear to readers that you are a Fundamentalist Catholic, not an Evangelical, proving that Fundamentalism can be found in all religious sects.

Geoff, Justine, and Suzanne added comments.

On to Facebook. It is harder to recreate the conversation flow on Facebook because David DELETED all of his comments. Yep, deleted every last comment.  What follows is, at best, a partial transcript of what transpired on Facebook. Fortunately, Suzanne captured many of David’s comments for her Jerks4Jesus page.

David sent me the following message:

What is the point of these reports. Jesus said that wolves in sheeps clothing would infiltrate the Church. Paul wrote the same thing. So, no surpirse. And, anyone who does these things, has ceased being a follower of Jesus Christ at that point. Sinners can repent and be saved again. But, an apostate cannot. See Hebrews. Sir, you may feel smug at this point, thinking you are doing good in the humanist sense, but your real objective is to try to harm Christianity since you are no longer a believer, and have fallen away. My question is: were you ever a true believer, or was being a pastor merely a way to make a living? If you were a true believer, what caused you to fall away from the truth? Do you have some sinful behavior that you were not able to give up? Was it pride? Jesus is real, He is alive, and He is God. I know this for a fact. And, you probably do also, but you choose not to submit to Him.

I responded by telling David to read my blog.

Here’s some of the comments left by David that he has since deleted. Unfortunately, by deleting his comments, David also deleted some of my responding comments too.

David: Bruce, as you well know, the public is already well aware of the matter. The atheist media has had a field day and non stop reports and is reporting on how these non Christians posing as Christians have infiltrated the Church and committed these acts… But, you are fine with muslims and politicians doing the same. Interesting dichotomy. How do you intellectually justify that.  And, by the way, they could not have been Christians when they committed those crimes. By definition, they ceased to be Christians or never were to have committed those acts. Read your Bible and you will see that it is impossible for a true follower of Jesus Christ to do such things. You must have bought into the once saved always saved lie when you were a pastor.  Good night, pee wee. It must be way beyond your bedtime over there in never never land.

Bruce: They were Christians when they committed their crimes. Consensual adult sexual behavior is fine in my book. I don’t care one bit who fucks who, when, where and how. I do, however, despise men who use their places of authority to rape, sexually assault, and sexually manipulate children, teenagers, and adult congregants.

Bruce: No I’m not, but there are other sites that focus on Islam. Hey, here’s an idea….why don’t YOU start a blog and write about atheists and Muslims? Do something productive instead of trolling my page/blog.

David: Bruce, baby, you are one challenged individual. Do you ever tire of your childish antics?

David: Coward, you could not answer nor counter the truth of my assertions, so you blocked my posts on your blog page. That is so atheist of you. Another truth challenged professing atheist bites the dust. LOL

David then took to attacking Suzanne.

Realizing that I was quite snarky in our exchange, I thought I would make one, and only one, good faith effort to answer whatever questions David wanted me to answer.

Bruce: David Collins, second request, “So, here’s your chance. Give me your top five questions/challenges and I’ll answer them on my blog. No more bullshit from you, David. This is your one and only chance. Take it or go fornicate with yourself. “

And, in classic Fundamentalist fashion, David responded this way in an email to me:

Listen, Satan. I have already blown your assertions to smithereens on facebook. If you like, go get that dialogue and post it, including the ones you deleted like the coward you are. My facebook responses on your facebook page,  to your assertions, taunts and lies,  completely obliterated you and your false paradigm. You lost. Deal with it. I have no reason to repeat myself in your ludicrous blog. I have already exposed you for the liar and hypocrite you are. Deal with it.

What lesson have I learned from my “discussion” with David, the Fundamentalist Catholic?  That it is almost always a waste of time to engage Fundamentalists. Their minds are shut off from anything that doesn’t fit their narrow, defined “Biblical” worldview. Their goal is to evangelize, not engage and learn. In David’s mind, I am an anti-Christ, a false prophet. I am worthy of death, punishment, and the Lake of Fire. I KNOW they think all these things about me, yet I still, at times, allow myself to be drawn into foolish, fruitless discussions.

David is a good example of why I have a one-and-done rule on comments from evangelizing Christians — particularly Evangelicals. In David’s case, he is an outlier — a Fundamentalist Catholic.

As I type this post, Terry, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preacher, is fouling up the comment section. I’ll take care of him in just a moment. It never ends. My writing draws out the worst Christianity has to offer. The good news is that these commenters are preaching a sermon that is being heard loud and clear.

Fundamentalist Tony Breeden Returns to Deconstructing My Life After a Four-Year Absence

tony-breeden

On February 12, 2012, a man calling himself Preacher started an anonymous blog, How to Fall Down, so he could methodically deconstruct my past and present life. I did a bit of digital snooping, hoping to find out who this Preacher guy was, and it took me all of a few days to discover that it was the one and the only Reverend Tony Breeden. Breeden used to comment on a previous iteration of this blog until I banned him. Breeden’s deconstruction of my life lasted all of one month and thirteen posts.

Four years later, unable to get visions of me naked out of his mind, Breeden has decided to continue his voyeuristic peeking into my closet. While I don’t like his doing so, I know, as a public figure, that I must endure such inquiries into my life, beliefs, and motives. The difference between four years ago and now is that I no longer feel the need to correct those who view my life as a pornographic centerfold while they play with their Bible tool. Readers who have followed along with me over the years know the kind of man I am, as does my friends and family. That’s all that matters.

You can check out Breeden’s latest post here. I hope you will read it.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Godly Women Don’t Fart, Burp, or Stick Out Their Tongue by Lori Alexander

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Our youngest granddaughter, who sticks her tongue out because Grandpa is sticking out his. Little did I know that by our little tongue game I was turning her into someone Lori Alexander finds disgusting.

What follows is a perfect illustration of what happens when Fundamentalism so permeates your mind that you see “sin” in the smallest of behaviors; even natural ones such as farting and belching. Of all the things Lori Alexander could write about, she decides to tackle the evil of sticking out your tongue. What’s next, the evil of nose picking, butt scratching, or pulling up your underwear?

As many of you know, I have two new granddaughters. One was born in July and the other in August. They are beautiful and fun to watch. We laugh when their little tongues come continually out of their mouths. When they toot, we think it’s funny. When they burp, we all laugh and are happy they got their air out so it won’t cause a tummy ache. All of their noises are so sweet to all of us. However, when grown women are doing these things, they aren’t funny or cute anymore. It is disgusting and they are not being discreet.

Sticking out your tongue for pictures and having tooting and burping contests are common among women today. I hear it directly from them. They think it’s funny. The Bible tells us otherwise: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11) Even as our children grew older, they never stuck their tongues out or looked like the girl in the picture. We would never have allowed this. They didn’t burp or toot on purpose in front of us either. (I actually never heard them burp since they had healthy gallbladders.) We taught them from a young age to have manners.

Godly women are called to be discreet and not do anything to draw attention to themselves. They are not children anymore and should not do childish things. It’s amazing that I even have to teach younger women this today. When I was growing up, we never did such things. We would have been mortified! If we had to pass gas, we held it until we were alone. (If you have a lot of gas, you need to find out to heal your digestive system and I am sure less sugar and more real foods with probiotics will help.)

I don’t ever remember having a problem with burping….I would have never stuck out my tongue for pictures, ever. When I see women do this, it looks disgusting. Tongues are meant to help us talk and eat to enjoy our food, not show off to other people, especially when they are coated with a thick white film which usually means they eat too much dairy and other unhealthy foods…

Be a godly feminine woman. Show discretion in all that you do and don’t try to gain attention by doing something that is ugly….

— Lori Alexander, Always Learning, Taking Pictures With Tongues Out, September 29, 2016

The Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) Indoctrinates Children to Obey Church Leaders

religious pedophiles

What follows is a video put out by The Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ), a “Christian religion whose primary purpose is to worship the Almighty God based on His teachings as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ and as recorded in the Bible. The Church of Christ is a church for every one who will heed the call of God and embrace its faith — regardless of his or her nationality, cultural background, social standing, economic status, and educational attainment.” (website)

Video Link

The sect’s executive minister is Eduardo V. Manalo. According to Wikipedia,The Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) is an ” international Christian denomination that originated in the Philippines.” The sect is now in 102 countries, including the United States, comprising over 5,000 congregations. Wikipedia states that Iglesia ni Cristo is the third largest religious sect in the Philippines, behind only Roman Catholicism and Islam. You can read more about  Iglesia ni Cristo’s extreme religious beliefs here. I say extreme, but not really.  Similar beliefs can be found in numerous American Evangelical churches. In fact, The Iglesia ni Cristo  can be traced back to nineteenth and twentieth century missionary work done by Evangelical missionaries to the Philippines.

If you care about children and how Fundamentalist religion affects them, I am sure you found this video to be quite troubling. These children, at a very early age, are taught to explicitly obey church leaders. A common cult-like practice, also found in sects like the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement, indoctrinating children is a crucial component in the continued growth of Fundamentalist sects. The inquisitive minds of children must be destroyed and then reanimated with authoritarian beliefs. A failure to do this often results in church children, when they come of age, leaving the sect. This is why every Fundamentalist sect I know of targets children. Such sects are religious pedophiles, grooming children for a lifetime of submission and abuse.

Letter to the Editor of the Defiance Crescent News Concerning Recent Spate of Letters from Creationists

letter to the editor

What follows is a letter I submitted today to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News. It should be published in a few days. I encourage readers to read a letter to the editor I wrote in 1999 about the same the subject. You will quickly see that my viewpoint has changed a wee bit over the past 17 years.

Dear Editor:

If I didn’t know any better, based on recent letters to the editor and church advertisements touting young-earth creationism, I would think that we are living in the 1920s — the era of the great creationist versus evolution debate.

We are almost 100 years removed from the Scopes monkey trial, yet Christian fundamentalists are still trying to hoodwink unwitting people into believing creationism is a scientific theory. Not only do they want the scientifically ignorant to believe that creationism is a scientific theory, Fundamentalists also want them to believe that it is the only explanation for the biological world.

Readers of the Crescent-News need to understand exactly what Christian fundamentalists are saying. According to them, the universe was created by the Christian God 6,020 years ago, in six 24-hour days. They also want you to believe that 2,000 years later God, in a genocidal rampage, killed every living thing with a flood, save Noah, his family, and two of every animal.

While these stories make for wonderful bedtime readings to children, they have no business being taught, outside of a comparative religion class, in the public school classroom. Creationism, along with its gussied-up sister intelligent design, is religious dogma, not biological science. I am of the opinion that any public school teacher found to be teaching creationism should immediately be removed from the classroom. We owe it to our children to make sure that they are taught sound scientific principles. God did it, is not such a principle.

I am sure my letter will bring howls and gnashing teeth from local Christian fundamentalists. They will, as they always do, cut and paste supposed rebuttals of evolution from bastions of ignorance like Answers in Genesis or The Institute of Creation Research. What they will fail to produce is peer-reviewed studies supporting their creationist claims. If creationists want to overthrow evolution, then I suggest they start publishing papers in non-Evangelical science journals. When the weight of the arguments become so overwhelming that they cannot be ignored, I have no doubt that scientists will declare creationism the winner.

This will never happen, of course, because creationism is theological in nature, not sound biological science. If people want to believe that a mythical God created the universe 6,020 years ago, fine. Ignorance is a permitted vice in a free society. But we should insist that public school children be taught science, and not long-discredited religious myths.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

How Fundamentalist Christians Ruin Christmas

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The Legend of the Candy Cane

Now that I am no longer a Christian, I really enjoy Christmas. I know this might be hard for fundamentalist Christians to believe, but I enjoy Christmas now more than I ever did when I was a card-carrying member of Club Christian®. The reason is simple. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, there were services to prepare, food drives to coördinate, and season-themed sermons to preach. Like the Easter season, Christmas was a high-stress, lots-of-work time for me. Quite frankly, I found it exhausting. Rarely did I have the time to just relax and enjoy Christmas.

And of course, Christmas was that time of year when it was my duty to focus on and harass any relative or friend that did not know Jesus. I mean know in the fundamentalist sense. There’s Christianity, and then there’s hell is real, souls are dying, I must make an ass of myself every Christmas, Big F Fundamentalist Christianity.

Consider these words from John R. Rice, the late Fundamentalist Evangelist and editor of the Sword of the Lord:

“I still, from my armchair, preach in great revival campaigns. I still vision hundreds walking the aisles to accept Christ. I still feel hot tears for the lost. I still see God working miracles. Oh, how I long to see great revivals, to hear about revival crowds once again!…I want no Christmas without a burden for lost souls, a message for sinners, a heart to bring in the lost sheep so dear to the Shepherd, the sinning souls for whom Christ died. May food be tasteless, and music a discord, and Christmas a farce if I forget the dying millions to whom I am debtor; if this fire in my bones does not still flame! Not till I die or not till Jesus comes, will I ever be eased of this burden, these tears, this toil to save souls.”

For the John R. Rice type of Christian (and I was one for almost 20 years), Christmas can never be just about sitting back and enjoying the food, gift giving, and family re-connections. Every non-Fundamentalist family member is viewed as a hell-bound sinner in need of salvation. Desiring to make sure the heavenly family circle is unbroken, Fundamentalist Christians will diligently attempt to evangelize non-Fundamentalist family members. Instead of chatting up atheist Uncle Ricky, Bobby, or Catholic Aunt Geraldine about family and football, the souls for Jesus is my battle cry Christians will, with little delay, attempt to witness to their heathen relatives. To the Jesus-loving soul winner, putting in a good word in for Jesus is far more important than the familial bond. Having been told that Jesus came to split families asunder and that their “real” family is their fellow church members, Fundamentalist Christians will insufferably badger anyone they consider unsaved.  It matters not that Uncle Ricky and Aunt Geraldine have been witnessed to countless times before. In the Fundamentalist’s mind, this might be the day, the very moment when the Holy Spirit comes over their lost loved ones and causes them to repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus. It matters not how unlikely this is: as rare as an ivory-billed woodpecker sighting. Every breathing non-Fundamentalist Christian family member is a prospect for heaven.  And like relatives who shamelessly use family holiday gatherings to peddle Amway or Tupperware, Fundamentalist Christians will seek every opportunity to badger family members into buying a lifetime membership to Club Heaven.

Sometimes, Fundamentalist family members can become so aggressive, argumentative, and pushy that their behavior ruins Christmas. Many Christian families give a hat tip to Jesus being the reason for the season and then focus on the food, gift-giving, and enjoying each other’s company. Fundamentalist Christians see this as a betrayal of Jesus and the salvation he graciously offers to sinners. In their mind, it’s all Jesus, all the time.

I suspect some evangelizing Fundamentalists have a deep need to be perceived as right. They spend their life hearing that only Jesus gives life meaning and purpose, and that every non-Christian has a God-shaped void in his soul. They are reminded by their preachers that non-Fundamentalist Christians have horrible, miserable lives that will ultimately land them in hell. Yet, every year they can’t help but notice that their unsaved relatives seem happy. Their hell bound relatives often have great jobs, treat others well, and genuinely seem to enjoy life. Their observations should suggest to them that perhaps their view of family and the world is skewed, right? Nah, who am I kidding. Their non-Fundamentalist Christian relatives? They are all, every last one of them, blinded by Satan, unable to see the TRUTH. Until Fundamentalists dare to consider that they could be wrong, there’s no hope of them seeing their lost family members as anything more than a soul in need of saving.

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Fundamentalist Steve Van Nattan Thinks Muslims Can’t be “Real” Americans

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Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Steve Van Nattan, the purveyor of a blog aptly named Balaam’s Ass, thinks Muslims can’t be “real” Americans. Van Nattan posed the question, Can a Muslim be a  good American?, to a friend of his who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. What follows is his response:

  • Theologically – no, because his allegiance is to Allah.
  • Religiously – no, because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam (Qur’an 2:256).
  • Scripturally – no, because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Qur’an.
  • Geographically – no, because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
  • Socially – no, because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
  • Politically – no, because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders) who teach the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of America, the great Satan.
  • Domestically – no, because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat his wife when she disobeys him (Qur’an 4:34).
  • Intellectually – no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
  • Philosophically – no, because Islam, Muhammad, and the Qur’an does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist! Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
  • Spiritually – no, because when we declare ‘one nation under God,’ we are referring to the Christian’s God and not Allah.Therefore, after much study and deliberation, perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Muslims and good Americans/Canadians; they cannot and will not integrate into the great melting pot of America.
    The religious war is bigger than we know or understand. Muslims everywhere have said they will destroy us from within.

As I read this, I thought, are Fundamentalist Christians really this stupid? I know, that’s a rhetorical question. Let me show how easy it is to destroy Van Nattan’s  position on American Muslims:

Let me pose this question to you, can a Fundamentalist Christian be a good American?

  • Theologically – no, because his allegiance is to Jesus.
  • Religiously – no, because no other religion is accepted by His God except Christianity.
  • Scripturally – no, because his allegiance is to the Bible.
  • Geographically – no, because his allegiance is to heaven, to which he turns in prayer without ceasing.
  • Socially – no, because his allegiance to Jesus forbids him from being unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
  • Politically – no, because he must submit to the pastor who teaches the protection of Israel and the destruction of the world.
  • Domestically – no, because he is instructed to marry one woman at a time and beat his children when they disobey him.
  • Intellectually – no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution unless it is properly interpreted through his fundamentalist worldview.
  • Philosophically – no, because Fundamentalist Christianity, Jesus, and the Bible does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Fundamentalist Christianity cannot co-exist! Every Fundamentalist Christian government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
  • Spiritually – no, because when we declare ‘one nation under God,’ we are referring to a our particular version of the Christian God.

Therefore, after much study and deliberation, perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL Fundamentalist Christians in this country. They obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Christians and good Americans/Canadians; they cannot and will not integrate into the great melting pot of America.
The religious war is bigger than we know or understand. Fundamentalist Christians everywhere have said they will take back America for God, using force if necessary.

Man, that was easy.

Susan-Anne White Thinks I’m a Despicable, Obnoxious, Militant, Hateful Atheist

Susan-Anne White, a True Christian, So True She Can't Find Any Church Pure Enough For Her

Susan-Anne White, a True Christian, So True She Can’t Find Any Church Pure Enough For Her

Susan-Anne White, a resident of Northern Ireland and a fundamentalist Christian who believes homosexuality, adultery, divorce, abortion, and rock music should be outlawed, thinks I am a despicable, obnoxious, militant, hateful atheist. She’s taken to her blog to denounce me. Here’s what she had to say:

I have already mentioned the Ex-Pastor Bruce Gerencser in a previous post, and since then, I have continued to read some of the posts on his blog and posted comments when I felt it was necessary and, indeed, my duty to do so.

This man Gerencser, is one of the most despicable, obnoxious individuals I have ever encountered. He is militant, hateful atheism writ large.

He refers to himself at times as Bruce Almighty and when he does so, he adds blasphemy to his many sins. He has now made it impossible for me to post comments on his blog, so obviously, he could not handle the truth contained in my many comments. I also think it likely that I was influencing (for good) some of his regular readers and commenters so he had to silence me. He cannot silence me on our own blog however.

Before he banned me from commenting, I confronted him about his use of the designation “Ms” in reference to me, a designation I abhor. He admitted that he did this to annoy me! I asked him about his wife’s designation i.e is she referred to as “Mrs.” Gerencser or “Ms.” Gerencser. I had to force the issue to get an answer from him and what do you think he said?  “Her name is Polly.”

So there we have it. That being the case, we must assume that on their wedding day, they were pronounced “Mr. and Polly Gerencser” and that, ever since, when they receive any official letters etc, they are addressed to “Mr. and Polly Gerencser.” I think not.

Methinks the EX-Pastor is telling a fib.

Please read all the comments I posted on his blog post (link below) because some of the things he says to me and about me are violent, shocking and slanderous.

By the way, White is not banned. Her comments are moderated. She is free to pontificate and excoriate, but I must approve each comment.  As far as her latest blog post is concerned, I think it speaks for itself.

You can read White’s comments on the following posts Blog News: I Need Your Help, Why Do Fundamentalist Men and Women Dress Differently?, and An Email From a Fundamentalist Christian.

In an October 2015 blog post, White had this to say:

I have been commenting on the blog of a former Pastor turned atheist called Bruce Gerencser for a few days. He also has a Facebook page and he posted my Manifesto on it. You will notice that he made three points about my Manifesto and, taken in order, they are as follows,

1. I am a “fundamentalist crazy”
2. I live in England
3. I’m running for political office

 He is WRONG on all three!

1. I am not crazy
2. I do not live in England (I live in Northern Ireland)
3. I’m not running for political office as the election took place last May.

He also posts a comment from someone calling himself Marc Ewt who states that Northern Ireland is his home country and then proceeds to utter nonsense about NI (some of his assertions are hilarious.)

 Ex-Pastor Bruce Gerencser is gullible enough to believe that every word Marc Ewt utters is the truth and tells him that reading his comment about the state of things in Northern Ireland helps put people like “White” in context. (Note how the former Pastor refers to me as “White” not “Mrs.White” and I don’t like it.) Read the ex-Pastor’s facebook comment below, followed by the comment by Marc Ewt, followed by the ex-Pastor’s response to ignoramus Ewt…

White mentions her Manifesto. Here’s a copy of it:

susan-anne-white-manifesto

According to an April 2015 article in the Belfast Telegraph:

…Susan Anne White, who caused a stir when she stood in last year’s council elections, is now aiming to become MP for West Tyrone.

The devout Christian says her campaign will focus on moral issues including society’s “dangerous” homosexual agenda.

She also wants to outlaw rock music, saying it fuels sexual anarchy and drug use.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mrs White, who is standing as an Independent, denied that her views were extreme.

“I don’t consider myself extreme – not at all,” she said. “It is society that has moved. Not so far in the past, most people would have shared my views.

“My views only seem extreme because society has moved away from God’s principles.”

Mrs White, who is from Trillick in Co Tyrone, is one of nine candidates standing in West Tyrone on May 7.

The outgoing Sinn Fein MP, Pat Doherty, has a comfortable 10,000-plus majority. Last May, Mrs White stood for the new Fermanagh and Omagh Council, receiving just 67 first preference votes.

Mrs White said she opposes feminism “with all her might”, and says it is to blame for the recession.

“Feminism is responsible for many of the social ills we see all around us,” she added.

“They [feminists] are responsible for the economy – they destroyed the whole concept of a family wage with the father as the bread-winner and the stay-at-home mother. They make women feel they have to be out in the workforce.”

Mrs White is also “absolutely opposed to the homosexual agenda” in today’s society. If I had the power, I would certainly re-criminalise homosexuality, along with adultery,” she added.

She said anyone involved in homosexual or adulterous practices should be jailed.

“I would stop the funding of gay pride parades and other depraved art and cultural events,” she added.

Despite her strong views, Mrs White claims she is a “true friend” to the gay community.

“I tell them the truth,” she added. “The person who is not a friend, the person who is the enemy to the homosexual is the person who pats them on the back and says their lifestyle is perfectly normal and acceptable.”

While campaigning last year, Mrs White spoke out about rock music, saying acts like Iron Maiden and Kurt Cobain promoted anarchy in society. She said she remained opposed to these and other “vulgar acts”.

“A lot of rock music is dangerous for the hearing,” she added.

“That is not the only problem with it. There is an ideology which permeates rock music and it is sexual anarchy. It is also linked to drugs.” She said rock music had “a terrible effect” on young people.

Mrs White blames the EU for much of society’s “decadence”, saying she would withdraw from Europe “tomorrow”…

Here’s a video of White making inflammatory comments about homosexuals:

Video Link

Here’s a wickedly wonderful bit of satire someone at the Waterford Whispers News wrote about White:

A MONSTER five-foot long rat has been found swimming in the Irish media for the past fortnight, and it’s looking for a good home.

The vermin, a Caucasian Christian bigot, was reported to be dwelling in West Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

It is believed to be the worst of its kind found in recent years.

Nicknamed ‘Susan’ by its minders, the rat is not believed to be physically dangerous but its spine-tingling screams have begun to upset locals.

“It just slithered out from underneath a rock somewhere,” constituent Gerry Kennedy told WWN today. “The vile yoke just sits there screaming nonsense all the time. I’ve called the local animal welfare group to see if we can get rid of it.

“Hopefully they can put it out of its misery.”

The animal is presumed to have escaped or been released by a a local Christian breeder.

Witnesses say the rodent is about the size of a dog, weighs in at 60kg, has a tartan coat and white mane and is thought to feed on those it doesn’t agree with.

Locals have called on anyone that comes in contact with the creature to just ignore it.

According to Wikipedia, Susan-Anne White is in her eighties. While it would be easy to dismiss White’s vitriol towards the human race as dementia, the fact is she is a perfect example of someone who has taken her Christian fundamentalist beliefs to their logical conclusion. White, like the late Fred Phelps and his demented family, says in public what uncounted Evangelical and Independent Fundamentalist Baptist preachers and church members say in private. I’ll give her credit for being willing to display her homophobia and bigotry for all to see. I wish more of her ilk would do the same.

White’s two posts about me generated no traffic to this site. In another post, White stated her blog readership numbers were decreasing.  I wonder why?  Like Steven Anderson, the infamous pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona, Susan-Anne White has followers who think she is spot on. Not many, but a few. I hope she will continue to write and speak out about the evils of this fallen and depraved world. The more people like her talk, the easier it is for atheists like me to make a case for the bankruptcy of Evangelical Christianity.

Note

Wikipedia article about White

030816

 

An Email From a Fundamentalist Christian

grumpy cat

Several years ago, I received an email from a Christian man by the name of Mike Gallagher. Here’s what he had to say:

I’ve noticed in your articles that you have a bitterness toward so-called Baptists. (Hyles, Swaggart, etc.)  I’ve never considered these men to actually be true men of God. ( “by their fruits, ye shall know them”).  If I may, please allow me to state some observations; and I shall make them brief.  I will not preach to you (tho preaching is a form of communication; and in my experience people are afraid to listen to preaching because they are not secure in their core beliefs.)

1.  I perceive that what you had was religion. Sure, you knew about God and all the doctrines and teachings associated with it. (tho I can’t understand how a serious Bible student could get the doctrine of Calvinism out of it. Calvin wasn’t even a Baptist- yet he persecuted them)  You knew about the Bible and studied it and crafted sermons from it. You looked up to and deified(?) men that you admired; even mentored a few. You were also strongly influenced by them, yea, molded by them.  You had the mechanics of all what a Christian life should be – except for one thing..

2.  Relationships.  You know what they are.  You’ve had one with your wife for 37 years.  No doubt you’ve had strong friendships with others for years.  You have a  relationship with your children and grandchildren;  each one individually (I hope).

Relationships consist of 3 essential elements – Trust, Honesty, Commitment.  Long lasting relationships must consist of these.  But the One whom you have not had a relationship is – God. Sure one can study all about Him, know about Him, what men say about Him – but to know Him, ahh is different.  That’s why salvation always comes

First; it’s the actual meeting; the face to face (by faith) contact.  From that point on you get to know Him more (just as the more time you spent with your wife, you got to know her better; and your friends; and your children; etc.).  You’ve always known He was out there but always distant.  You prayed but didn’t know if He answered or not until you saw results – disappointing or otherwise.

He’s a person.  This is why prayer is a  2-way street;  not one sided.  He’s not there just to listen to you – He wants you to listen to Him.

3.  God didn’t forsake you; you forsook Him. The Bible is not a law book – it’s a guide book.  God isn’t the One who’s changed all these years (especially in our generation in America) We are the ones who have “gone astray”.  Can you HONESTLY say we are better off as a society than we were 50 years ago?

Well, I said I would keep it brief.  Hope we can become friends, Bruce. Some of the things you said about our flesh and humanity is true. The Apostle Paul had trouble with his; and David; and Peter; and Samson; and….. you get the idea. If I’m honest with myself, with others and most importantly, with God;  then I feel secure in what I believe. I don’t think that you do.  write soon, come on you know you can’t let this go without a response!

Mike

I will leave it to you to judge the merit of his letter. My response was short, sweet, and to the point:

You are kidding right? Be friends? Why would I want to be friends with someone who is a judgmental, arrogant ass that refuses to allow me to tell my own story on my own terms?

So no, I am not interested in being friends, hearing from you, or anything else. After hundreds of emails just like yours, I hope you will forgive me when I say to people like you, go to hell.

Bruce

Note

Email formatted to make it readable. No text was changed.

Jesus Died On the Cross to Save Us From Game of Thrones

game of thrones

That’s what fundamentalist Christian pastor John Piper thinks. In a post titled 12 Questions to Ask Before You Watch Game of Thrones, Piper answers a question from a Christian about watching Game of Thrones. Here’s the question: Pastor John, what would you say to a Christian who watches the cable TV show Game of Thrones?”

Piper responded:

…The closer I get to death and meeting Jesus personally face to face, and giving an account for my life and for the careless words that I have spoken (Matthew 12:36), the more sure I am of my resolve never intentionally to look at a television show or a movie or a website or a magazine where I know I will see photos or films of nudity…So here are 12 questions to think about, or 12 reasons why I am committed to a radical abstention from anything I know is going to present me with nudity.

1. Am I Recrucifying Christ?

Christ died to purify his people. It is an absolute travesty of the cross to treat it as though Jesus died only to forgive us for the sin of watching nudity, and not to purify us for the power not to watch it.

He has blood-bought power in his cross. He died to make us pure. He “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession” (Titus 2:14). If we choose to endorse or embrace or enjoy or pursue impurity, we take a spear and ram it into Jesus’s side every time we do. He suffered to set us free from impurity.

2. Does It Express or Advance My Holiness?

In the Bible, from beginning to end, there is a radical call for holiness — holiness of mind and heart and life. “As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15). Or 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” Nudity in movies and photos is not holy and does not advance our holiness. It is unholy and impure.

3. When Will I Tear Out My Eye, If Not Now?

Jesus said everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away (Matthew 5:28–29). Seeing naked women — or seeing naked men — causes a man or woman to sin with their minds and their desires, and often with their bodies. If Jesus told us to guard our hearts by gouging out our eyes to prevent lust, how much more would he say: “Don’t watch it!”

4. Is It Not Satisfying to Think on What Is Honorable?

Life in Christ is not mainly the avoidance of evil, but mainly the passionate pursuit of good. Remember Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

My life is not a constrained life. It is a free life. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).

5. Am I Longing to See God?

I want to see and know God as fully as possible in this life and the next. Watching nudity is a huge hindrance to that pursuit. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). The defilement of the mind and heart by watching nudity dulls the heart’s ability to see and enjoy God. I dare anyone to watch nudity and turn straight to God and give him thanks and enjoy him more because of what you just experienced.

6. Do I Care About the Souls of the Nudes?

God calls women to adorn themselves in respectable apparel with modesty and self-control (1 Timothy 2:9). When we pursue or receive or embrace nudity in our entertainment, we are implicitly endorsing the sin of the women who sell themselves to this way and are, therefore, uncaring about their souls. They disobey 1 Timothy 2:9, and we say that’s okay.

7. Would I Be Glad If My Daughter Played This Role?

Most Christians are hypocrites in watching nudity because, on the one hand they say by their watching that this is okay, and on the other hand they know deep down they would not want their daughter or their wife or their girlfriend to be playing this role. That is hypocrisy.

8. Am I Assuming Nudity Can Be Faked?

Nudity is not like murder and violence on the screen. Violence on a screen is make-believe; nobody really gets killed. But nudity is not make-believe. These actresses are really naked in front of the camera, doing exactly what the director says to do with their legs and their hands and their breasts. And they are naked in front of millions of people to see.

9. Am I Compromising the Beauty of Sex?

Sexual relations is a beautiful thing. God created it and pronounced it “good” (1 Timothy 4:3). But it is not a spectator sport. It is a holy joy that is sacred in its secure place of tender love. Men and women who want to be watched in their nudity are in the category with exhibitionists who pull down their pants at the top of escalators.

10. Am I Assuming Nudity Is Necessary for Good Art?

There is no great film or television series that needs nudity to add to its greatness. No. There isn’t. There are creative ways to be true to reality without turning sex into a spectator’s sport and without putting actors and actresses in morally compromised situations on the set.

It is not artistic integrity that is driving nudity on the screen. Underneath all of this is male sexual appetite driving this business, and following from that is peer pressure in the industry and the desire for ratings that sell. It is not art that puts nudity in film, it’s the appeal of prurience. It sells.

11. Am I Craving Acceptance?

Christians do not watch nudity with a view to maximizing holiness. That is not what keeps them coming back to the shows. They know deep down that these television shows or these movies are shot through with the commendation and exaltation of attitudes and actions that are utterly out of step with the death to self and out of step with exaltation of Christ.

No, what keeps those Christians coming back is the fear that if they take Christ at his word and make holiness as serious as I am saying it is, they would have to stop seeing so many television shows and so many movies, and they would be viewed as freakish. And that today is the worst evil of all. To be seen as freakish is a much greater evil than to be unholy.

12. Am I Free from Doubt?

There is one biblical guideline that makes life very simple: “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:32). My paraphrase: If you doubt, don’t. That would alter the viewing habits of millions, and oh how sweetly they would sleep with their conscience.

So I say it again. Join me in the pursuit of the kind of purity that sees God, and knows the fullness of joy in his presence and the everlasting pleasure at his right hand.

Is there nudity in Game of Thrones? Sure. Is it gratuitous at times? Sure. Should a Christian watch Game of Thrones? That’s up to them. Polly and I love the show and think it is one of the best dramas on TV. While we think there is a double standard at HBO when it comes to nudity, (HBO has no problem showing female frontal nudity, but rarely does so for men) this is not enough to keep us from watching Game of Thrones. We think tasteful nudity can add to a program. After all, sex and nudity are a part of the human experience.

Piper plays the classic fundamentalist card…death is coming for us and then the judgment. What will we tell Jesus about our binge watching Games of Thrones and other shows like Orange if the New Black on HBO Go?  Something tells me that many Christians aren’t listening to the John Pipers of the world.

Since I don’t think the Christian God exists, I have no worries about being judged for my TV viewing habits. I watch what I want to watch. I love some programs and hate others. I’m glad that I no longer have to feign outrage when there is a nude scene. Polly, Change the channel! But, please change it s-l-o-w-l-y. Of all the problems facing the human race, Game of Thrones doesn’t even make the list.