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Tag: Hate

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: When Atheists Say You are a Hater and Bigot, Ignore Them, Even if You are a Hateful Bigot

dr david tee

The first step in doing God’s work to fulfill his dream is to not fall victim to the labels and lies of the unbelieving world. When you tell people they are going to hell if they are unrepentant sinners be prepared to be called a hater and a bigot.

But names like that should roll off our backs. Telling the truth in love is not hatred nor is it bigotry. The truth exposes the hatred and bigotry on the unbelieving side as they do not want to hear it.

The people who do not want to repent of their sins will feel both emotions and more when they are excluded from paradise. They do not want to follow the standards of right and wrong, etc., yet they accuse the believer of being hate-filled and bigots.

We are just the messenger letting them know what is right and what is wrong. If they do not like it, it is not our responsibility. They have had their equal opportunity to be saved and they have rejected it. Their decisions are all on their shoulders.

— Fake Dr. David Tee, whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen, TheologyArcheology: A Site for the Glory of God, There is Still Work to Be Done, July 31, 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.

Dr. David Tee Continues to Rage-Blog at Ben Berwick and Bruce Gerencser

dr david tee

Fake Dr. David Tee, whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen, is upset over Ben Berwick and me quoting his words. Somehow, some way, we are mispresenting him by quoting from his blog posts. Both Ben and I link to his posts so our readers can read our Tee quotes in context. We’ve yet to have anyone except Thiessen say that we have mispresented or distorted his words. Thiessen has yet to learn that when you say things in public, somebody is going to quote you or repeat what you said. I own every word I write. When I am not clear, I explain and clarify. But, when I say something that offends someone, I don’t run from my words. If Thiessen doesn’t want to be held accountable for what he says, I suggest that he stop saying nasty, hateful, inflammatory stuff.

Part of the problem is that Theissen has a god complex. He is not special in this regard. When a man thinks that he is supernaturally called by a supernatural God to preach supernatural sermons, is it any surprise that he thinks he is God, or at the very least, God-adjacent? I previously mentioned that Theissen feels Ben and I are persecuting him. He even said that he was just like Jesus standing silent before the Sanhedrin. When a person with intimate knowledge about Theissen’s past shares verifiable evidence for troubling past behavior, Theissen says nothing. Why? He’s above the fray, as God is. God doesn’t answer his critics and neither does Thiessen. Just today, Theissen said:

We never said we were the moral authority on this issue. We did say that GOD is and we write his words, not ours. Ours are not inspired but they are based on inspired words. So the problem BG and MM have is not with us but with God and his ways.

Need I say more?

Theissen continues to defend his belief that a ten-year-old (or even a five-year-old) rape victim should be FORCED to carry her fetus to term. Thiessen shows a callous disregard for the welfare of the girl. All that matters is his warped interpretation of the Bible. Theissen has written post after post defending his position. He’s done the same with his continued defense of rapists, child molesters, and abusers. It seems that his moral compass is broken. No amount of pushback from Ben or me has changed Thiessen’s mind. Why? We are atheists (though Ben has never claimed to be an atheist). Atheists have nothing to offer the human race. Our words should be ignored. Thus, he makes no attempt to engage our challenges. Instead, Theissen attacks us personally, disparaging our character and slandering our good names. Why does he behave this way? He’s “God,” so he can say and do whatever he wants.

Theissen provides a good example of this in his latest diatribe, No Rational, Logical or Evidence Filled Arguments:

We have 2 main detractors [Ben Berwick and Bruce Gerencser] that like reading our website. They can’t seem to get enough of our content. When we say something they do not like, their websites are filled with their ‘opposing’ points of view.

We know about them because they make sure they link to our articles in their content. What we have found is that despite their demands that Christians present rational, logical, and evidence-filled (their definitions, of course), content in rebuttal to their arguments, these detractors do not do the same thing.

They would rather use innuendo, lies, misleading comments, and false declarations as if they are an authority.

….

His words imply something we never said, implied, or hinted at. BG misleads his readers YET not one word is found in either article that presents a rational, logical, and evidence-filled opposing view.

He has to stoop to insults, inferences, and clever wording to get his readers to think negatively about us and our content. MM is just the same.

….

Nothing rational there or even logical. He resorts to name calling, abusive language, and lies and he continues to try to read our minds. Of course, he makes the excuse of not presenting anything rational, logical, or evidence-filled by insulting us and using that as justification for his failure to make his point.

Both MM and BG like to attack the messenger so they do not have to deal with the truth.

….

MM & BG just want negative fodder to continue to attack us in their own sinful ways. They won’t be rational. logical or even produce evidence to support their views. Everything they have written or alluded to points to the validity and truthfulness of our content.

We never said we were the moral authority on this issue. We did say that GOD is and we write his words, not ours. Ours are not inspired but they are based on inspired words. So the problem BG and MM have is not with us but with God and his ways.

….

They do not like those ways, so they advocate for everything sinful. Their denial of both God and sin just shows that their arguments are never rational,. logical or even evidenced-filled. They are not honest either.

Their arguments are personally based,  subjective and according to their own desires and thoughts. Unbelievers are never rational, logical, or evidence-based because they dismiss the truth in favor of their own deceived opinions.

They are not our enemy, but the evil in and behind them are. We do not wish them ill-will and are saddened that they hold onto evil in spite of hearing the truth. We also do not spread misinformation, or lies and do other things to them as they do to us.

Our actions prove we are more moral than they can ever hope to be.

dr david tee 2

Here’s my challenge to Derrick Thomas Thiessen. Want to debate the issues, Derrick? I will gladly debate you on YouTube. I will make the debate available on my YouTube channel. All that I ask is that you use your real name and visage. No hiding behind fake names and avatars. Want to defend your views on the Bible, abortion, and defending child molesters? I will gladly provide you with a forum to do so. I am not inclined to continue this back and forth via blog posts. I will respond if you personally attack me, but outside of that, I am content to leave you to your own devices.

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.

True Christianity: David Tee, Kent Hovind, Revival Fires, and Others Like Them are not Outliers

christians and hate

If I am going to write about Evangelicalism and the various players within the sect, I must read their blogs and news sites, watch their YouTube and Tiktok videos, and peruse their social media posts. I can’t accurately represent Evangelicalism in my writing if I don’t do these things. Believe me, I would rather not do so. Who wants to wade in a septic tank every day, right?

While there is a lot of diversity within the Evangelical tent, there are commonalities belief-wise and practice-wise across the Evangelical spectrum. It is not uncommon to hear “nice” Evangelicals say that people such as Fake Dr. David Tee (whose real name is Derrick Thomas Thiessen), thrice divorced felon Fake Dr. Kent Hovind, and Revival Fires are outliers; that they are not representatives of Evangelicals as a whole. While these men are hateful, nasty, self-righteous bullies — certainly not followers of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, are they really outliers? Are their beliefs atypical for Evangelicals? Sadly, the answer is no. Their beliefs are normative within Evangelicalism. Based on my years of experience and observation, I know that Evangelicals are generally hateful, bigoted, and narrow-minded. Oh, many of them have big smiles and will shower you with love, but when you carefully examine their beliefs you find hate, bigotry, and closed-mindedness — in Christian love, of course.

Derrick Thiessen, Kent Hovind, Revival Fires, and others like them lack impulse control. They tend to just say whatever is on their addled minds. They don’t care how their words are received or whether they might cause harm. These so-called men of God say they speak on the Christian God’s behalf; that they are his mouthpieces. Other Evangelicals have mastered controlling their speech — in public, at least. That’s why you need to carefully examine their beliefs, or better yet, listen to what they say to their congregations when they think no one is listening.

I have heard scores of Evangelical pastors, evangelists, and missionaries preach over the years. Before the advent of the Internet, these preachers were insulated from accountability for what they said during their sermons. I preached 4,000+ sermons over the course of twenty-five years. Roughly half of those sermons were recorded on cassette tapes. As far as I know, none of those tapes survive. I have asked former members if they have any of my sermon tapes, but so far none have been found. I operated a tape lending library called the CHARIS Tape Library. Hundreds and hundreds of tapes were sent to people. As far as I know, none of those tapes survive. I suspect the tapes were either discarded or turned into Metallica mix tapes. Thus, all the hateful, nasty things I said in my sermons are lost to antiquity. For a number of years, I published a newsletter titled The Sovereign Grace Reporter. This newsletter was sent out to hundreds of people throughout the United States. Much like the aforementioned tapes, no copies of the SGR survive. I used to have hundreds of my preaching tapes and other memorabilia from my ministerial career, but in a moment of deep depression in the early 2000s, I piled these things in our backyard, poured gasoline on them, and lit a match. In a moment, twenty+ years of memories went up in smoke. While it felt good at the time, I regret doing so. (Please see Short Stories: The Night I Set My Life on Fire.)

I am insulated from my past words. All readers have to go on is my recollections. Readers will just have to take my word for it: Pastor Bruce Gerencser was a winsome, kind preacher, but he also had hateful, bigoted beliefs; beliefs he wasn’t afraid to verbalize from the pulpit.

It’s harder for Evangelical preachers to hide these days. When two Independent Fundamentalist Baptists (IFB) mentioned me in their sermons, I found out about it. There just so happened to be people in their services who knew me. I have spies everywhere. 🙂 Everyone has a smartphone. Increasingly, Evangelical churches videotape their services. While preachers likely think that only like-minded people are listening, they can’t stop people like me from listening to their screeds, harangues, and attacks on people different from them. The ugliness is there for all to see if people are willing to pay attention.

Preachers such as Theissen, Hovind, and Revival Fires are quite happy to advertise their hate and bigotry for all to see. While many Evangelical preachers are more careful with their words, make no mistake, hatred and bigotry are common, regardless of the clothes they are dressed in. Yes, I know of kind, thoughtful Evangelicals, but all they are is the exception that proves the rule. They are the outliers, not Theissen, Hovind, and Revival Fires.

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.

Do Christian Apologists Really “Love” Atheists and Other Non-Christians?

i love you

Spend enough time in the trenches battling Evangelical apologists and you will more than likely be told by one or more of your combatants, I love you. Over the past fifteen years, I have had countless Christians say they loved me. Sometimes, such pronouncements irritate me. A particularly obnoxious Evangelical told me that he “loved” me, to which I replied, sorry, I am not gay. The man in question missed my dripping sarcasm and thought I was making some sort of homophobic slur. What I wanted this zealot to see is that I didn’t buy the notion that he “loved” me. In fact, based on my understanding of love, none of the Christian Romeos who have professed their love to me actually do.

Evangelicals are taught from an early age that God commands them to love everyone; that demonstrating this love is evidence that they are children of God; that the two great commandments are to love God with all your heart, soul, and might and love your fellow man. Why is it then, that some of the nastiest, most hateful people on earth are Evangelicals? Long-time readers of this blog have witnessed numerous Evangelicals spew venomous bile in their comments about something I have written. Yet, these preachers of hate can turn right around and say, Bruce, I love you, often adding, and God does too).

Many Evangelical apologists believe that telling people the “truth” — truth being their interpretation of a Bronze Age religious text — is an act of “love.” When confronted with their hateful, bombastic words, Evangelicals will often respond, I am just telling you what God says! In other words, God is to blame for their words, not themselves. What a cop-out, right? This allows Evangelicals to rail against LGBTQ people, adulterers, fornicators, abortionists, liberals, Catholics, and atheists without being held accountable for their words. All these zealots are saying is, THUS SAITH THE LORD!

People raised in Evangelical churches likely remember being told by their pastors that Christians are to speak the truth in love. This idea is found in Ephesians 4:15: But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. However, when taken in context, this verse teaches that Christian pastors and evangelists are to speak the truth in love to the CHURCH, not the world at large. Context is a bitch, eh?

Evangelical apologists who use hate and bigotry to preach their warped gospel of “love” do great damage to their cause when behaving in ways that cause non-Christians to feel hurt and shame. Of course, these zealots think that feeling “guilty” after being preached at is a sure sign of Holy Ghost conviction. I sat in countless church services growing up where a “man of God” stomped, spit, and thundered as he savaged and abused the congregation for whatever behavior(s) he deemed an affront to the thrice-holy God. A preacher skilled at manipulating human emotions can cause congregants to suffer emotional stress; that, come invitation time, will result in much weeping and wailing at the church altar. And then at the next preacher’s meeting, pastors will share stories about how God used their sermons to bring conviction and repentance. No, what brought conviction and repentance was skillful manipulation of human emotions.

True love is not found in words. Countless men have told women they “loved” them just so they could have sex with them. Women suffer and endure physical abuse because their abusers apologize and say, I love you. The Bible says that the Christian God is a God of love. However, his behavior suggests otherwise; that God is, in fact, a mean, violent, sadistic son-of-a-bitch. There’s nothing in the Bible that remotely suggests that God is a loving deity. What about God demonstrating his love to us in the atoning death of Jesus? Sorry, but even here, God comes off as a bad person. According to Evangelicals, God, the Father violently and viciously punished Jesus, his Son, on a Roman cross. The father’s torture of his son led to his death. Why did the Father do this to his Son? Not because of anything he did. Oh no, God rained physical terror down upon Jesus because of what other people did — namely the human race. What kind of father acts this way toward his innocent progeny? Love? Not a chance. The death of Jesus and his father’s culpability in his death is better suited for an American Horror Story series or an episode of Criminal Minds.

The Bible does contain a wonderful passage that illustrates true love. I Corinthians 13:1:8,13 says:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.Charity never faileth . . . And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

When is the last time you have seen this kind of love coming from Evangelicals — especially those who roam the Internet and social media seeking opportunities to attack and condemn unbelievers? Not often, if ever.

Many Evangelicals believe that they have a duty to tell sinners (anyone who doesn’t believe as they do) the “truth.” It matters not whether they were given permission to do so. Sinners need to hear the gospel even if they don’t want to. These soulwinners likely have been told by their pastors that if they don’t witness to sinners when given the opportunity and these sinners die and go to Hell, God will hold them accountable for the sinners going to Hell. Ezekiel 33:8,9 says:

 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

The majority of Evangelicals never share their faith, never witness, never preach the gospel to sinners. They might invite those sinners to church so their preacher can evangelize them, but outside of that, most Evangelicals keep the world’s greatest story to themselves (and we should be very glad that they do). The remaining few believe God has commanded them to preach the truth in love. Unbelievers, like it or not, will have to endure being harassed, cajoled, and shit upon by people who “love” them.

I spent fifty years in the Christian church. Twenty-five of those years were spent “loving” people as detailed in this post. This warped idea of love caused me to view unsaved family members, friends, and neighbors as prospects for Heaven. I wasn’t interested in them as individuals. All that mattered were their souls. If I determined they were unsaved, I attempted to evangelize them — either verbally or by giving them literature/tracts. Holidays with unsaved family were opportunities to witness to my heathen relatives. Several times a year, I would have evangelists come and preach to the churches I pastored. The evangelists and I, along with zealous congregants, would make a concerted effort to knock on doors and witness to the lost. I would ask church members to submit the names and addresses of people they believed needed salvation. We would then go visit these sinners and attempt to evangelize them. Having their names ahead of time gave us an in, much like a vacuüm salesman who knocks on your door and say, Hello Mrs. Jones. My name is Clarence. Betty Jones, your sister-in-law, gave me your name and asked me to stop by and share with you the dirt-cleaning power of the Rainbow vacuüm cleaner. May I come in and share the good news of clean carpets? Most people aren’t interested in getting “saved” (or buying a vacuüm cleaner), but once their friend or family member’s name is mentioned, they feel obligated to listen to the sales pitch. (There is a close connection between door-to-door sales methods and the techniques used by many Evangelicals to evangelize unbelievers.)

love 1 corinthians 13

During the deconversion process, I realized that I had a warped understanding of love. I had to learn to love people without conditions or expectations. Evangelicals can often be busybodies, sticking their noses where they don’t belong. Believing that the Bible is some sort of divine blueprint or owner’s manual will do that to a person. Having marital problems? Let Evangelical Sally “share” with you what the Bible says about marriage. Having financial problems? Let Evangelical George “share” with you God’s plan for economic prosperity. Whatever problem people are facing, Evangelicals have a Bible proof text meant to address their “need.” Behaving this way is seen as “love,” but it is anything but.

Polly and I decided fifteen or so years ago that when our children became adults and later married that we would not “lovingly” meddle in their lives. We love our children enough to let them live their lives on their own terms. Do they make stupid decisions? Absolutely. Do we have opinions about the choices they make? Sure. But, as long as they are not doing something that causes physical harm, we leave them alone. And we expect the same from them. I am sure our children have opinions about decisions Polly and I have made. Because of the love we have for one another, we recognize personal boundaries and don’t cross them. Now, if one of my children asks for our opinion or advice, then we will give it. If not, mouths are zipped.

In the same manner as we treat our children, Polly and I treat our neighbors, friends, and coworkers. We love these people as they are, expecting nothing in return. We love them because they matter to us and we want them to have happy, prosperous lives. Again, this doesn’t mean we agree with everything they say or do.

One other thing I have learned post-Jesus is that I don’t have to love everyone. That’s right, not everyone is worthy of my love. In fact, there are a few people I despise and hate — here’s looking at you, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Margorie Taylor Greene. Generally, I try to treat people with respect and I expect the same in return. Those who don’t respect me for who I am are quickly erased from my iPad contact app. I couldn’t do that as a pastor. Frankly, I had to “love” more than a few asshole church members. I find it refreshing to shower my love on those deserving of it. Life is too short to spend time trying to love those who hate and despise who and what I am. Does this make me a bad person, an unloving man? I don’t think so. I have great capacity to love others — even people with whom I disagree. The people closest to me know that I am polite and respectful to everyone I come in contact with. It’s not in my nature to be mean or hateful. That said, I won’t go out of my way to love people who have misused and abused me or my family.

I have met numerous good people over the years through this blog. For those I have known for years, I have come to love them. Six years ago, a woman named Carolyn sent me an email that said, I love your writing, but your grammar needs some help! At first, I was offended, but then I realized she was right. From that point to today, virtually everything I have written for this site has been edited by her. We have become friends. We likely will never meet one another face to face, but yet we are friends and have a love for one another as good friends do. All of us, I suppose, have people we have met on the Internet/social media who have become friends we dearly love. Isn’t that awesome? I can love people all across the globe without ever meeting them in the flesh.

Have you experienced the Evangelical “love” mentioned in this post? Did you have to relearn what it means to love after you deconverted?  Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.

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.

The Evangelical Who Shall Not be Named Thinks He Treats Me Just Like Jesus Would

If BG [Bruce Gerencser] is feeling emotional stress, psychological pain, or whatever, it is not us who is applying that pain or torment. For all we know, God may be heaping coals of fire on his head for his poor decisions and continued testimony that God does not exist.

He is not offending us nor saying that we do not exist. he is attacking someone he can never beat–God and God is free to retaliate in a just manner that makes the punishment bring the lesson home very clearly.

It is also a fair punishment as God is never unfair and it meets the crime committed. So we are not doing to BG what he does to us and we have documented those attacks.

We do not care as much as people think we do. We are more concerned with returning good for evil. yet, even that good is rejected as we have stated many times that we are sorry BG is so sick.

He makes no apology for treating people, especially Christians, in the rude and boorish manner that he does. What he wrote when he edited our comments on his website undermines any claims he is suffering from anything we have said.

Yet, his friend [Becky] who made the comment and BG himself, brings up a great teaching point as they do not have a leg to stand on. First, why is BG saying so many nasty things about others he disagrees with?

There is no call to do that and without an objective moral code to live by he may think he is free to treat anyone he wants in any manner he chooses. But that position does not justify treating others badly.

Second, why is he getting upset at the mild constructive criticisms we post about his content? It tells everyone that he can dish it out but cannot take it. he likes one-way streets in his favor.

Third, we know he likes to play the victim. That is evidenced by the continued mentioning of his ailments, and how Christians treat him. He seems to be addicted to getting sympathy from strangers.

Fourth, he made his choices yet he seems not to be content with living with the results of his choices. If he finally blocks us from accessing his website, that is no big deal for us. We just find another one we can access and use their content to teach other believers how to handle such content and abuse.

We have never blocked access to our website to anyone, no matter how vile they are or get. Our information is for everyone to read, even those who go to their personal blogs and critique us. (Yes, we have seen those sites).

Why is it a big deal to him that he has to block us? Does he have something to hide or is he afraid that he will be and is exposed as a fraud? We do not know. He did complain about how some Christians did not take the time to understand him or whatever he said. and he did not like that.

So we tried and we read his posts that gave us some insight into his character and behavior. We posted our thoughts on his website so he could see that someone was trying to understand him.

What he did in response was remove the content and replaced it with words not fit to print on a porn website.

But our response is to model how Jesus handled the same treatment. He did not return evil for evil, he did not curse anyone or lie about them, and so on. We are not to sin in response to sin but look to God for help to handle these difficult situations that come our way.

If we were allowed by BG to send him a guest post, we would have titled it Christianity Is The hardest Life to Live. We know it is, not because BG and people like him quit (Jesus had a few disciples quit on him during his time on earth) but because we have to suffer the pain of seeing people God created choose to go to hell over going to heaven.

BG and I have never seen eye to eye, but that does not mean we are not sad that he made that choice. From what we could gather, he seemed to be a very good Christian whom God was using.

He is the one that let evil convince him to throw it all away. We wish we could get him to repent but according to the Bible that may not be possible now. That return is up to God.

— TEWSNBN, Theologyarcheology, The Last Word???- comment, September 12, 2021

Note: I thought about using the nuclear option: blocking a range of IP addresses, but doing so would keep scores of people from accessing this site, including a number of regular commenters. That’s not going to happen.

TEWSNBN is the worst troll I’ve ever had to deal with. I refuse to let him continue to sodomize me without making his behavior public. I know doing so won’t make a difference on his end, but I want to expose readers to the worst Christian I have ever met.

TEWSNBN says I treat all Christians like I treat him. He, of course, has no evidence for this claim. I make no apology for the invectives and curse words I’ve hurled his way. He’s a vile, abusive man who deliberately tries to cause harm. It’s just not in me to ignore such behavior.

One Reason People Don’t Like Evangelical Christians

truth about homosexuality

Evangelicals are widely regarded as people who preach bigotry and hate. Defenders of the One True Faith® say that this is a stereotype; that Evangelicals are people of love — a love for God and love for their fellow man. I contend that this is not a stereotype at all, that evidence found on social media, blogs, Christian news sites, and anecdotal stories amply prove that generally, Evangelicals are hateful bigots; that they are so immersed in Republican politics and fighting the culture war that they are blind to or don’t care how their words and actions are perceived. This is especially true when it comes to homosexuality, LGBTQ people, and same-sex marriage.

A local non-Christian recently told me about a new employee at her place of employment. The new employee is in her late 20s, the wife of a pastor of a nearby mid-sized Evangelical church. This new employee has only been there for a short while, but she is already known for her rants about gays; about how evil homosexuality and same-sex marriage are; about how awful it is that TV programs show gay people in a positive light.

The business is owned by an Evangelical couple, so I am quite sure the new employee “assumes” everyone thinks as she does; that everyone agrees with her about gays and same-sex marriage. When you live in a religious monoculture, such thinking is not uncommon. As an atheist, humanist, and Democratic Socialist, I find it frustrating that family, friends, doctors, nurses, business owners, dog groomers, car salesmen, auto mechanics, and other sundry acquaintances assume that I agree with them on religious, political, and social matters. I don’t. If I responded every time a local Bible thumper spewed bigotry and hate, that’s all I would get done. There are days I feel like I am Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, or Elizabeth Warren at a Ted Nugent or Charlie Daniels concert. Not a comfortable place to be.

Some Evangelicals argue that people such as the new employee are just speaking the “truth” in “love”; that they love the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world so much that they just have to tell them the “truth.” Fine, but perception is everything. And constantly ranting about homo sex, gays on TV programs, LGBTQ people, and same-sex marriage makes you look bad. From my perspective, if it walks, talks, and acts like a hateful bigot, it is one. Don’t want people to think of you this way? Then shut your damn mouth and keep your homophobia to yourself. By all means, when you go to church on Sundays to worship the gay Jesus — he did travel with twelve MEN, you know — let your hate hang out, and let your brethren in the Lord know how oppressed you felt while mingling with the lost. But when you come to work on Monday or go to store or attend your class reunion, please, unless asked, keep your anti-gay preaching to yourself. Want people to think well of you? Then treat everyone with decency and respect, and don’t assume that everyone thinks and believes as you do.

My words, of course, will fall on deaf ears. We live in a day when Evangelicals are drunk with political power, and with this power they intend to undo the social progress of the past one hundred years and force unbelievers to live their lives according to the moral dictates of the Bible. One need only to watch the battle over abortion to see what Evangelicals, along with Mormons and conservative Catholics, have in store for the rest of us. In their minds, the United States was founded according to the principles and teachings of the Christian Bible; that the United States was divinely chosen by God to be a shining light in a dark world; that “others” should be tolerated as long as they understand that the United States is GOD’S country. USA! USA! USA! Don’t think for a moment that Evangelical zealots aren’t working behind the scenes and in courts and legislatures to rollback or eliminate civil rights protections for LGBTQ people. They are, and they won’t rest until Jesus sits on a throne at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, ruling with a rod of iron.

Knowing the unbeliever mentioned above, I suspect that the new employee is going to find out that everyone does not think as she does. Sometimes, bigots and haters just need to be put in their place.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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Helping the Least of These

bruce gerencser 1971
Bruce Gerencser, Ninth Grade, 1971
Suzanne asked:

Bruce, I would be curious to hear how your old church handled this issue. It really seems to be a bedrock sticky wicket that says more about the pastor of the church than anything else. I am going to a Methodist church now where they will pay your electric bill or give you a grocery store gift card but will not hand over cash. Seems sort of mean even if it’s likely a better idea.

I grew up in a home where money was hard to come by. Dad always had a job, but never seemed to have enough money to pay the bills. This is why, as a youth, Dad moved us from town to town and school to school. When people learn about my well-traveled upbringing, they often ask, did you move a lot because of your father’s work? No, we moved a lot because Dad didn’t pay the rent (my parents never owned a home).  Clothing, lunch money, and spending money were hard to come by, and when Dad did buy me clothes, they were often cheap Rink’s Bargain City (Bargain Shitty) knock-offs. My first pair of Levi’s came not from my Dad, but courtesy of a five-fingered discount at a local clothing store. This would not be the last time I shoplifted.

Medical and dental care were almost nonexistent. I can count on one hand the times I went to the doctor growing up. It was only after my parents divorced and Mom signed up for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Medicaid that I received regular medical and dental care. To this day, I remember going to the dentist as a sixteen-year-old boy, only to be told, yes, your teeth need work. And once your Dad pays his bill, I will be glad to fix them. Talk about embarrassing.

Early on, I realized that if I wanted money of my own that I was going to have to work for it. My first jobs were raking leaves, shoveling snow, and mowing yards. My first “official” job — at age fourteen — was daily emptying the trash at a local nursing home. As a teenager, I worked all sorts of minimum wage jobs. Once I had my own money, I was then able to buy my own clothes, pay for school lunches, and fund my social activities.

I have said all this to emphasize that growing up poor deeply affected how I dealt with people as a pastor. Having suffered the embarrassment of using food stamps and the indignity of being forced to wear welfare glasses (see photograph above), I knew firsthand the struggles of the poor. These experiences made me compassionate to those whom the Bible calls “the least of these.”

In what follows, I will detail how I interacted with the poor in the churches I pastored; what ministries I started that specifically ministered to the disadvantaged and marginalized. During the twenty-five years I spent in the pastorate, I had the privilege of ministering to countless people who were down on their luck. Yes, I met more than a few con-artists, grifters, and lazier-than-a-coon-dog-on-a-cold-winter’s-night users and abusers. I am sure that my kindness was taken advantage of. I took the approach that my job was to help; it was God’s job to sort out motives. Now, this doesn’t mean that I was an easy mark. I wasn’t. I rarely gave money to people, knowing that doing so often fed drug or alcohol addictions. If someone needed gas I took them to the gas station and paid for the gas. When homeless people asked for money, I offered them a meal at a nearby diner. When people needed help with their utilities, I directly contacted the utility and paid the bill. Of course, I couldn’t have done any of these things without the gracious financial support of church members.

Over the years, the churches I pastored had food pantries and clothing rooms that were open to the public. Having suffered the indignity of being singled out for being poor, I made sure that we never embarrassed the poor. If someone said they needed help, we helped them (within the limits of our finances). While I certainly wanted to see people saved, I never made helping poor people contingent on them attending church. I took the approach, freely received, freely given. Unlike many holier-than-thou, self-righteous Baptist preachers, I never had a problem encouraging people to avail themselves of services and benefits offered by the state welfare department and federal food banks.

For eleven years, I pastored a Baptist church in Perry County, Ohio — the northernmost county in the Appalachian region. It was there I saw abject and generational poverty. Good jobs were hard to come by, and once the coal mines closed, those who had well-paying mining jobs were forced to work jobs that often paid minimum wage. The unemployment rate was double-digit, ranging from ten to nineteen percent. As is now the case, the number of unemployed was much higher than the official numbers suggested. Once unemployed workers stopped receiving unemployment benefits, they were no longer counted. These unemployed workers turned to the welfare department for help, trying to eke out an existence on meager government checks and food stamps. Some worked jobs that paid cash or turned to growing marijuana.

The majority of church members were on some sort of government assistance — usually food stamps and Medicaid. Most church families had at least one member gainfully employed. The highest paid man in the church made $21,000 a year (except for a year or so when a nearby church had a split and a number of their middle-class members attended the church — they later left, taking their money with them). Annual church offerings peaked at $40,000 a year, when attendance averages neared 200. Most years, the total offerings were in the $20,000 range. My largest annual salary during this time was $12,000. Five of our six children’s births were paid for by Medicaid, and for several years we received food stamps. Now, this doesn’t mean we didn’t try to improve our lot — we did. I pumped gas and worked as a mechanic at a local gas station, sold insurance, worked in restaurants, and delivered newspapers. I believed then, and still do, that there is no shame in being poor. Work hard, do what you can, and live on the results. (In retrospect, I certainly would have done many things differently, but I, to this day, believe all work is honorable and has value, regardless of its pay.)

During my eleven-year stint as pastor of Somerset Baptist Church, I spent a significant amount of time helping the poor, both in the community at large and in the church. When a man said he would come to church if only he had shoes, I gave him a pair of mine. When members needed money, I loaned it to them or paid their bills. I sold cars to several church members, no money down, pay me when you can. One church member took advantage of my generosity, buying a car from me and never paying for it. This person sat on the front row on Sundays. I often found it hard to look at him without thinking, hey deadbeat, pay me for the car. But then I would think of Jesus and the Sermon of the Mount or remember my own poverty-filled upbringing. I knew this person’s family history — how he grew up in abject poverty, dropping out of high school and becoming a drug addict. I knew he had spent time in jail and hadn’t had a driver’s license in years. (I helped him get his license reinstated.) As Jesus did for the poor of his day, I had compassion for him, even if he, at times, irritated the heaven out of me. (He was, despite these failings, one of the kindest, most helpful men I have ever known. If I needed help with something, I knew I could call on him.)

For several years, Polly and I took in foster children, mostly court-referred teenagers. The county paid us a stipend for giving these teens a home. I have plenty of stories I could share about our foster children, but I will just share one for now. We had two teen boys living with us who decided that they wanted a bit of freedom. They stole our car (a dealer loaner, as our car was in the shop having a new motor installed), checkbook, and credit card, and took a joy ride to New Jersey. They ran a red light in Jersey and were pulled over by the police. After finding out there was a warrant out for their arrest, they were arrested and returned to Ohio for prosecution. Prior to their court appearance for felony theft, the judge called me and asked me to come to his office for a visit. He asked me what punishment I thought he should mete out to these boys. I told him that I felt that they should be punished, but that I didn’t want to see them go to prison. He (we) decided that he would give them the maximum sentence at a youth detention center, but release them after thirty days. Needless to say, they learned their lesson. One of the boys lived with us again. We forgave him, believing that this is what Jesus would have us do. More than a few people thought we were crazy (and maybe we were).

From giving homeless people a place to stay at the church to feeding the homeless men who frequented the streets of Zanesville, Polly and I, along with the church, tried our best to minister to those in need. As a pastor, I had many shortcomings and faults. I deeply regret my Fundamentalist Baptist preaching and its emphasis on sin instead of grace. I wish I could have seen the disconnect between my hellfire and brimstone preaching on Sundays and my compassionate, patient help of the poor the rest of the week. If I had been the bleeding-heart liberal that I am today back in my Perry County days, I suspect the church would have been known above all else as a place of love and safety for the disenfranchised. I could easily have been a Steven Anderson (please see Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Lazy Bums Want Us to Act Like Compassionate Christians by Steven Anderson), propping up hate of the poor with Bible verses, but fortunately my life experiences softened my heart, and as Jesus did, when he looked at the poor I had compassion on them.

Several years ago, after finding out that I had helped someone with a particular need, my mother-in-law told me, Bruce, why you’d give the last shirt off your back if someone needed it. (Polly grew up in a middle-class home — new cars, vacations, home ownership.) She then said — perhaps thinking of what the Bible said about helping others — well, I guess that is not a bad problem to have. In retrospect, I can see how some of my liberal giving caused her to be concerned. Here we were barely keeping our heads above water and I was giving money, food, clothing, and other things to the poor. If I had to do it all over again, I would have certainly provided a better life for Polly and our children, but I would never have wanted to lose my compassion for others, especially those at the bottom of the economic scale.  While my children did without while Dad was sacrificially helping others (and if they hated me for doing so I would understand), all of them — especially the oldest three — have told me that these experiences helped to make them into the hardworking people they are today (Our family has what we call the Gerencser Work Ethic®: work hard, do your job, don’t miss work; be the best employee you can be.)

As I re-read this post, I am uncomfortable with its personal focus. I am not the type of person who, after helping someone, publicizes my largess. Works of charity ought to be done in secret — without fanfare or applause. No need to let everyone on social media know that I did this or that for someone. The good feeling I receive from helping others is enough. Paying it forward is a good way to live, and even if there is no karmic justice, I want to be known as a man who loved and cared for others.

[signoff]

Fundamentalist J.D. Hall “Apologizes” to LGBT Community

jd hall

Last year, attention whore J.D. Hall, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Sidney, Montana (the church’s website proudly reports that men such as Fundamentalists Paul Washer, James White, Voddie Baucham, Chris Rosebrough, Douglas Wilson, Ray Comfort, Phil Johnson, Justin Peters, and Sye Ten Bruggencate have preached there) , wrote an “apology” letter to the LGBT community. He reposted his letter today on the Pulpit & Pen website — a trash repository for all things Fundamentalist, Baptist, and Calvinistic. When I first saw  the headline of Hall’s post I thought, has J.D. Hall had a come-to-Jesus moment? Dare I hope that Hall is repudiating his hatred for LGBT people? These thoughts were quickly extinguished by the fact that unless Hall is admitting he is a transvestite Baptist, there’s zero chance that he will turn from his gay-hating ways.

Hall used his “apology” letter to the LGBT community to remind them of the following:

Dear Gay Community,

As a Christian who has been forced to evaluate where I stand in recent days in light of Scripture, in both tone and message, I would like to apologize for myself and other Christians…

1. I’m sorry that any of us ever referred to you as a “gay community.” Really, that’s not helpful. A “community” is a group of individuals that either live in the same place or share the same values. Sodomy (defined as unnatural and immoral sexual behavior) is not a value. Sodomy is a deviancy. Now, if you defined “community” as sharing interests and not values, then there could theoretically be a gay community because you hold unnatural and immoral sexual behavior as a common interest. However, to call you a “community” would legitimize this sin in a way that we don’t legitimize any other sin. For example, we don’t recognize “the thieving community” or the “the lying community” or “the bank-robbing community” or “the rapist community” or the “white collar criminal community.” If communities could be founded upon self-destructive behavior, those communities would be self-defeating, and a self-defeating community is no community at all. In fact, a truly “gay community” would be extinct within one generation. Your unnatural sexual deviancy leads to death; legitimate communities are self-populating and regenerative. It was a dumb term for Christians to start using, and I apologize for all of those who inadvertently give credence to the narrative that yours is a community and not a group of sinners who share in community-destroying behavior.

2. I’m sorry that Christians have made a habit of referring to you as LGBT or LGBTQ or by any other acronym or term, identifying you by your sin. First, it is unfair and unhelpful to identify you by your sin. This is actually discriminatory against you, because we don’t behave this way toward any other group of sinners. Adulterers don’t find their identity in adultery. Liars don’t find their identity in lying. Gluttons don’t find their identity in gluttony. We tend to view others as “people who happen to [fill in the blank with any number of sins].” We haven’t viewed you as people – first and foremost – who suffer from the sinful desire of sodomy. Now, you have self-identified as LGBT, because there is a unique tendency when it comes to homosexuality to let the sin consume you as a person, but we should not have participated in the unfortunate reality that your identity has become wrapped up in sinful behavior. If you thought of yourself as a person who suffers from homosexual desires, rather than as a homosexual, you might realize that you’re more than your specific sexual deviancy.
….

3. I’m sorry that we’ve given you the impression that “self-identifying” is a thing. Yes, I know I’ve used the term to get a point across in this letter of apology. But, here’s the thing…you don’t get to “self-identify.” God gave you your identity. Bruce Jenner is not Caitlyn. That’s silly. He’s a guy who emasculated himself to look like a woman, adding breasts and makeup and tucking appendages. It’s a game of dress up, essentially. And if he were to remove his genitalia, he still wouldn’t be a woman. He’d be a man without his genitalia. Bruce Jenner will never have PMS. That’s because he’s not a woman. It’s really, really mean for Christians to be anything but straightforward with this reality. I’m convinced that Bruce Jenner doesn’t have people around him that loves [sic] him, or else they would tell him that he doesn’t look like a beautiful woman. He looks like the person that kids on the bus snicker at behind them, and dare one another to go up and touch. Christians, if we were loving, would say “Bless your heart, but you’re not a woman. You’re a man trying to look like a woman, but no one really thinks you’re accomplishing that so well. You are Bruce, and God made you to be Bruce, and you can never be Caitlyn.”
….

6. Finally, I apologize for all the professed Christians that you thought had convictions, only to find out that they were sniveling, driveling compromise machines. It probably surprised you how they changed their tune and their tone when the Supreme Court ruled. That’s especially tragic. It’s tragic, because I know that your conscience is cutting you. I know that even truth suppressed in unrighteousness hurts. It’s painful, I’m sure. You might even be on the look-out for conviction and resolve and truth, and while perhaps being glad to see the rainbow filter go on your professing-Christian Facebook friends’ profiles, you’re a little let down that there isn’t an unchanging reality out there somewhere. Down deep, you know that you need that. I’m sorry for all those who have professed Christ, but haven’t loved you (or Him) enough to dig their heels in and speak a truth that’s as helpful as it is inconvenient.

I sincerely hope you’ll forgive us for these shortcomings, and we strive to do better in the future.

You can read Hall’s non-apology letter here.

While Evangelicals fall all over themselves attempting to explain that Steven Anderson is some sort of lone homo-hater, Hall’s “apology” letter is a reminder that hatred of LGBT people can be found in EVERY Evangelical church. (Hall’s church, for example, is a Southern Baptist congregation that self-identifies as Reformed Baptist.) I am sure Hall is a proud as a peacock over his “apology” letter. Ha! Ha! Ha! No apology here, you sexual deviants. God’s still hates you, and since I, a properly circumcised Calvinist,  love what God loves and hate what God hates, I hate YOU! As Steven Anderson does, J.D. Hall and the Pen & Pulpit blog have a large following — including 2,373 likes on Facebook and 6,708 followers on Twitter. Hall and other Pulpit & Pen contributors also use a radio program, podcasts, frequent blog posts to promote their version of Evangelical Christianity. Evangelicals who now realize how their vitriol towards the LGBT community caused much harm need to own the fact that there are numerous Halls and Andersons within Evangelicalism (and the Southern Baptist Convention). Granted, many of these haters will never preach hateful sermons as Anderson does, or pen hurtful “apology” letters. Many Evangelicals are too “nice” to ever do such things, but don’t be deceived by their niceness. Behind closed doors, in the safety of their faggot-free churches and homes, these “nice” Evangelicals continue to rail against the letters of the rainbow, condemning LGBT people to hell.

Pastor Richie Clendenen Thinks Evangelicals Are the Most Hated Group in America

richie clendenenRichie Clendenen is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church in Benton, Kentucky. One out of every four residents of the Blue Grass State attends a Baptist church. One out of three Kentuckians self-identify as Evangelical. Kentucky is the state that gave us Kim Davis and Ken Ham, and is currently governed by Southern Baptist Matt Bevin. By all accounts Kentucky is, from stem to stern, a Christian state, yet Pastor Clendenen thinks Evangelicals are being persecuted. Clendenen recently stated:

I never thought we’d be in the place we are today. I never thought that the values I’ve held my whole life would bring us to a point where we were alienated or suppressed.

Clendenen also thinks that Evangelical Christians are the most hated people group in America. More hated than gays, Muslims, and atheists, Clendenen claims that  Evangelicals are the most despised people in America:

The Bible says in this life you will have troubles, you will have persecutions. And Jesus takes it a step further: You’ll be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.

Let me tell you, that time is here.

There’s nobody hated more in this nation than Christians. Welcome to America’s most wanted: You.

Clendenen confuses persecution with being forced to treat all people with respect. Clendenen thinks those of us who demand justice, fairness, and equal protection under the law are persecuting Evangelicals, yet he provides zero support for his claim. Are Clendenen and his fellow Evangelicals free to worship as they please? Are they free to verbally attack gays, Muslims, Transgenders, atheists, socialists, secularists, Democrats, and Barack Obama from the pulpit? Are Evangelicals free to bar anyone who doesn’t believe as they do from attending their churches? Yes, yes, and yes.

Clendenen is 38 years old. He grew up in an era when Evangelicals wielded great political power. But, the times, they are a-changin’, and Evangelicals have lost their seat at the head of the cultural table Thanks to the LBGTQ community, secularists, atheists, humanists, liberal Christians, and the fastest growing religion in America — the NONES — Evangelicals are no longer the cultural authority on moral and ethical issues. Preachers such as Clendenen view their banishment from cultural discussions as persecution. These preachers of intolerance and hate demand, like toddlers who stomp their feet when they don’t get their way, that everyone bow in obeisance to the Christian God and their peculiar interpretation of the Protestant Bible. And when millions of Americans say NOStop persecuting us, cries Clendenen.

Clendenen is right about one thing. An increasing number of Americans DO hate Evangelicals. Evangelicals are now the face of bigotry, homophobia, and misogyny. Evangelicals oppose all forms of sexual expression except virgin-before-marriage, monogamous, married, heterosexual, only-with-a-Christian, missionary-position, God-glorifying intercourse. Evangelicals are anti-abortion, anti-immigration, anti-social-progress, and  anti-science. Granted, I am painting with too broad a brush, but Evangelicals need to understand that this is how they are perceived by non-Evangelicals. If Evangelicals want to change how they are viewed by others, I suggest that they shut the hell up and devote themselves to ministering to “the least of these.”

Pastor Clendenen was a Ted Cruz supporter, as were many of his fellow Evangelicals. Cruz is an arrogant, bigoted Christian nationalist, yet Clendenen thinks Cruz would have made a wonderful President. Can he not see that his support of Cruz is yet another reason non-Evangelicals despise the people who claim to be the purveyors of True Christianity®? And now many Evangelicals are supporting fascist Donald Trump. Trump is the most unqualified man to ever run for President, but Evangelicals have backed themselves into a corner with their fawning support of all things Republican, and they are now obligated to vote for a misogynistic, racist, narcissistic, KKK-approved blowhard.

So yes, many Americans hate Evangelicals, and the Pastor Clendenens of the world have no one to blame but themselves. Instead of following in the footsteps of Jesus, Evangelicals spread their legs wide and gave themselves to the Republican Party. Impregnated with power, Evangelicals brought to life a hateful ideology that has caused untold harm. Over the past year, Americans have watched as Evangelicals hysterically attacked gays, immigrants, same-sex marriage, and Transgenders. Oozing revulsion from every orifice, Evangelicals, along with their Republican overlords, have become the party of hate. And to this I say, to quote Evangelical Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick:

dan patrick quote
Tweet sent out after massacre at gay club in Florida. Fifty people died and dozens more were injured.

If you have not already done so, Please read Why I Hate Jesus.

Bruce Gerencser