Menu Close

Tag: Writing

The Evangelical Who Shall Not Be Named Still Doesn’t Get Why I Write the Way I Do

hand shrug

Yesterday, The Evangelical Who Shall Not be Named fired up his DOS 286 computer/dial-up modem and wrote yet another post besmirching my character. Here’s what TEWSNBN had to say in response to the post Danger! Children Learning Santa Isn’t Real Might Lead Them to Think Jesus Isn’t Either:

“Why not allow children to enjoy the Christmas season, including believing the Santa myth? No child has ever been harmed by believing in Santa, a claim that cannot be made for the Jesus myth. Bachman’s anti-Santa column is a reminder of the fact that Christian Fundamentalists take the FUN out of everything.”

Why? because lying is a sin and lying to children destroys trust in their parents. Liars do not go to heaven and why would any parent lie to their children? That act is NOT protecting them from anything.

But the quoted advice is par for the course from BG. He is not content with making decisions to sin for himself, he has to encourage other people to sin. This is why Christians are not to listen to such people. They have nothing better to offer anyone.

Our pet peeve with this guy is that all of his readers already know he is an ex-Christian, ex-pastor, preached in IBF churches, and suffers from multiple diseases.

Yet for some reason, he has to mention these facts in almost every post. He is a class A narcissist who thinks no one remembers his situation. His content is boring, repetitive, and useless.

I find it interesting that TEWSNBN objects to me saying that it is okay to “lie” to children, yet he repeatedly lies about me on his blog. TEWSNBN is a hypocrite, demanding people live according to a moral and ethical standard he, himself, does not live. And according to TEWSNBN, liars go to Hell when they die. Ponder that thought for a moment. All of us lie at one time or another. I told a lie yesterday. TEWSNBN lies every time he writes about me. Thus, both of us are going to burn in Hell forever. According to TEWSNBN, parents who tell their children that Santa is real — a harmless lie if there ever was one — are headed for Hell.

I also find it interesting that TEWSNBN thinks that I encourage people to “sin.” First, that’s silly. I reject the Christian concept of “sin” out of hand. Second, I don’t encourage people to live any particular way. Do I have a personal moral standard by which I live my life? Sure. Do I think societies have a responsibility to enact laws and regulations to govern human behavior for their betterment, safety, happiness, and peace? Yep. That said, I don’t tell people how to live their lives. I spent much of my adult life telling everyone who would listen that God, through his inspired, inerrant, infallible Word, demanded they live a certain way; that the Bible was God’s divine blueprint for human behavior (just ignore the parts about slavery, rape, incest, genocide). Now that I am an atheist and a humanist, I have an aversion to telling anyone how they should live. I just don’t do it. If TEWSNBN wants to live according to the teachings of the Bible, who am I to object? People are free to choose their own moral and ethical paths.

Let me conclude this post by addressing TEWSNBN ‘s two pet peeves about me.

Pet peeve number one:

Our pet peeve with this guy is that all of his readers already know he is an ex-Christian, ex-pastor, preached in IBF churches, and suffers from multiple diseases. Yet for some reason, he has to mention these facts in almost every post. He is a class A narcissist who thinks no one remembers his situation.

I have explained to TEWSNBN several times why I mention these things: A substantial number of readers every day are FIRST TIME READERS. Annually? Over 200,000 people view this site for the first time. I want these readers to KNOW who I am. I make no apology for doing so. Outside of TEWSNBN, not one reader in fourteen years has objected to me mentioning my backstory. This site is, after all, a PERSONAL blog.

And, in passing, let me correct TEWSNBN once again over his incorrect use of the IBF acronym. It’s IFB — Independent Fundamentalist (Fundamental) Baptist — not IBF. The IBF is the International Boxing Federation or the Institute of Banking and Finance, not a religious sect (though boxing and money play a prominent part in IFB practice). 🙂

Pet peeve number two:

His content is boring, repetitive, and useless.

Regular readers should be laughing by now. I know I am. 🙂 TEWSNBN thinks my writing is boring, repetitive, and useless, yet he reads every post I write. The cure for TEWSNBN’s mental hemorrhoids is simple: STOP READING. TEWSNBN willingly and voluntarily comes to this site. Believe me, I would block him if I could, but I can’t. Bob, on the other hand, can no longer access this site. I blocked him yesterday once I figured out he was using a static IP address. Elliot? He has tried to access this site 424 times since July 9, 2021. Talk about an exercise in futility — much like TEWSNBN’s continued reading of my writing.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

It’s My Story and I’m Going to Tell It

this is my story

It is not uncommon for Evangelicals to question my motivations for blogging. I have the audacity to share club secrets; to point to where the bodies are buried. Worse yet, I call into question club beliefs and practices, daring to suggest they are irrational, mythical, or harmful. I am viewed as an enemy of Jesus and a hater of Christianity. Some Evangelicals even say that I hate Christians themselves — a Trumpian falsehood if there ever was one.

I have been called a liar, a man filled with pride who wants, needs, desires, and craves the approbation of my fellow atheists, non-Christians, and liberal Christians. On a few occasions, I have been accused of “being in it for the money.” I snarkily addressed this accusation recently in a post titled, Christian Man Attacks Me Because I Ask Readers to Monetarily Support My Work. Some Evangelicals have said over the years that my life story is fabricated; that they know people who know people who know people who say I never pastored ____________ church or lived in ______________ community. These conspiracy theorists — all Trump supporters, I suppose — ignore all evidence to the contrary and unjustifiably label me a liar.

Then there are the Evangelicals such as my former pastor friend Bill Beard, who oh, so politely ask me to not to share my story. Why? It’s harmful to people of faith, especially those who were once congregants in the churches I pastored. This concern is indeed valid, but if me telling my story causes loss of faith, what does that say about the staying power of their faith? Many Evangelicals find my unbelief disconcerting. One former congregant — who told me that he couldn’t be friends with me any longer because my deconversion caused him too much angst — said to me, Bruce, if YOU can lose your faith, anyone can. This congregant knew I was a mature follower of Jesus; a man who studied and knew the Bible; a man who lived out his faith day by day; a man whose family was governed by the complementarian, disciplinarian teachings of the Bible; a man who wasn’t afraid to stand for truth. Yet, I walked away from Christianity and I am now an outspoken atheist. My loss of faith causes doubt and questions, and the typical Evangelical answer for such things is to close your eyes, plug your ears, and repeatedly sing Jesus Loves Me.

I have been blogging for ten years now. I was a Christian when I started blogging, and readers who have been with me from the beginning have watched me journey from Progressive Christianity to atheism. They have watched me start and stop blogging several times, aware of how painful for me deconversion has been. They have watched as Evangelicals savaged me in their churches, on their blogs, and former iterations of this blog; watching as this savagery cut me so deeply that I bled out before their eyes. In time I would arise as a phoenix from the ashes, only to abandon my blog twelve or eighteen months later. Long-time readers will remember blogs such as Bruce Droppings and The Way Forward.

In the fall of 2014, I had yet again another meltdown and stopped blogging. Close friends waited to see if I would rise from the dead. In December 2014, I indeed — unlike Jesus who remains buried in a forgotten grave in Palestine — arose from the dead, ready once again to tell my story. In December 2018, this blog will be four years old. Imagine that, long time readers, FOUR YEARS OLD! Evangelicals haven’t stopped attempting to silence me, so why no classic Bruce meltdowns, why no running from the battle bruised and bleeding?

There are five reasons why this blog has survived:

  • I finally stopped giving a shit about what Evangelicals said or thought of me.
  • I finally understood that a lot of people really do love and support me and enjoy and appreciate my writing.
  • I finally stopped giving Evangelical zealots a platform in the comment section. The one comment rule for Evangelicals dramatically reduced stress levels. (See Comment Rules) Want to take Bruce Gerencser to the woodshed? Want to expose him as a liar, a fraud, or a servant of Satan? Get your own blog. (See Dear Evangelicals.) Keeping the comment section relatively free of Evangelical excrement has allowed a community to develop. Yes, this policy reduced the number of comments, but it allowed thoughtful unbelievers and doubters to comment without being savaged by Evangelicals. it also allowed me to focus on being a help instead of battling intransigent Fundamentalists.
  • A woman by the name of Carolyn came into my life. Almost three years ago, I received an email that basically said, I love your writing, but it needs some help; “help” being editing. From that point forward, Carolyn has edited most of the posts on this site, including old posts (if you see a post with a date — say 081615 — on the bottom, that means you are reading an old post Carolyn has edited.  Not only has her editing improved my grammar and overall writing, she has encouraged me to keep at it even when I feel like throwing in the towel. I will likely never meet her face to face, but she has become a dear friend. By the way, she edits my writing free of charge, a true act of friendship and kindness.
  • Several readers decided to take an active role in dealing with Evangelical comments. Their willingness to respond to these commenters has dramatically reduced my need to do so. Often, I just reply *sigh* — which means in the Greek “not this shit again!” — and leave it to them to challenge and engage Evangelical commenters.

Fundamentally, this blog remains a place for me to tell my story. I am one man with a story to tell, and I intend to keep telling it as long as I am physically able to do so. For Evangelicals who wish I would shut up and go the hell away, I say, sorry, it ain’t gonna happen. Evangelical churches frequently feature testimony segments, or they have big-name preachers and con-artists come to their churches to tell how God led them out of atheism and saved their souls. Some of these exaggerators-for-Jesus recount their lives as witches, new agers, mobsters, porn addicts, or homosexuals, and describe how Jesus delivered them from their sin and gave them eternal life. Some Evangelicals write books or start blogs with the express purpose of testifying to what Jesus has done for them. Other Evangelicals take to the streets, their places of employment, or go door-to-door, telling all who will listen about the wonderful, matchless grace of God. All of these people are doing what, exactly? Telling their story. And that is all I am doing.

Some Evangelicals don’t like how I have portrayed them in my writing. How dare you say that about me! How dare you say that about my pastor! How dare you say that about my church! How dare you air our past interactions! Why, Bruce, you make me look bad! Well, you should have treated me better, then. If you weren’t such a bully or an ass, the story I tell would be different. To the degree that you play a part in my life story, I am going to share that with readers. Instead of bitching, moaning, and complaining, either pray and ask Jesus to silence me or admit that you, much like yours truly, said and did things that were harmful to our congregants and families. I have found it cathartic to admit and own past bad behavior, and I challenge you to do the same. Your mileage may vary, but I plan to keep on writing. Consider my writing about you akin to you using me as a sermon illustration or a cautionary warning. Me writing about you is a cautionary tale of what happens when a man becomes a Fundamentalist sot; when one’s ability to reason and think critically is smothered by religious dogma, arrogance, and certainty. What’s good for the atheist is good for the Baptist preacher, yes?

I know it infuriates some preachers that this blog ranks first page for their name or the name of their church/ministry. (Polly’s family HATES that this site is prominently featured when people search for them or their church/ministry.) Sometimes, this site is first on the first Google page. That’s what four years of blogging have given me — increased readership, page views, email subscriptions, social media sharing, and high search ranking. I appreciate that people are willing to support and publicize my writing. As with all writers, I write to be read. All writers (and public speakers such as preachers) have a bit of narcissism in them. I want people to read my writing, even if they are raising Holy Heaven about what I have written.

The name of this blog is The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser: One Man’s Journey From Eternity to Here. I plan to keep telling my story until either Jesus comes again or I lose the ability to reason and write. My money is on dementia claiming me before Jesus does.

Thank you for being a reader of my writing. I find it humbling that anyone except Polly would want to read what I write. I will do my best in the days ahead to put out writing that is worthy of your support.

signature

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 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.

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.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Bruce Gerencser