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Featured From IFB pastor to Athiest

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. old regular

    old regular Member

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    Eternal Judgement is in Gods hands alone.
     
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  2. Tim71

    Tim71 Member
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    I attend an IFB church and easy believism message is definitely not taught or preached
     
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  3. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    Do you understand the difference between "believe" which is internal, and "pray" which is external ??

    Sinner's Prayer heresy is "easy works-ism"

    Sinner's Prayer heresy never, ever, ever claims "it's easy, you only need to believe"

    Sinner' s Prayer heresy ALWAYS includes human effort....
    "It's easy, if YOU DO this you'll have eternal life"
     
  4. crixus

    crixus Member

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    That's my sentiment as well.
     
  5. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    I prefer not to engage in the question whether he was ever really saved or not, whether he will still be in heaven or not. I have my own view, but those questions miss the point of his blog posts.

    So-called deconversion is all the rage now. Several things seem to have led to Mr. Gerencser's deconversion.

    1. His parents' divorce. He does not mention this as a cause or even talk about it in the linked posts. Still I would like to probe his mind to know if he thought at the time that one of his parents must have been not a true believer. Divorce is kind of like the unpardonable sin. One can do anything just about and still serve in the church unless one's divorced.

    2. His education at Midwestern Baptist College seems to have differed greatly from the real or critical scholars he read later, leading to disillusionment or the feeling that he was lied to or not told the truth about much of the Bible. In this sense it's somewhat Ehrmanesqe, except that Ehrman came to his conclusion much earlier than Gerencser, probably much to Gerencser's chagrin.

    3. The Hyles scandal. He does not go into much detail, but reading in between the lines, if the best Christian man in the world is a damned narcissistic heretic liar, the whole thing is rigged and the fools are those who stay in the church to be preyed upon by these predators.

    4. Many other scandals and in general the hatefulness of so-called Christians and many other adjectives to describe almost every church (over 300 apparently) since he stopped pastoring.

    Readers need to read his blog for themselves. It is an indictment from an atheist who once was on the inside. Ironically, the indictment (namely points 3 and 4 above) is not unlike Jesus' own indictment against some of the best known and on-fire churches of the first century (Rev. chs. 2-3).
     
  6. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    "I have chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil," said Jesus at the end of His ministry.

    The ones who make it to the end are the ones sealed and kept by Jesus--no one can pluck them out. This is kind of like the so-called Baptists who go Catholic. They have never really known the Truth that sets one free.
    "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do"

    Pray for the salvation of the lost.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
  7. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    After reading a couple dozen of Gerencser's blog posts, one conclusion is certain: Christianity as he taught and practiced is totally bankrupt and always has been, evidenced by his own words and ultimate experience of deconversion. In one post he talks about being angry at another pastor for not just having a TV (Gerencser didn't) but watching it Saturday night when he should have been praying and preparing his message. Can you say, pharisaical? Apparently in his Baptist circles at the time all the pastors lived in separate mobile homes within earshot of each other on church property.

    Gerencser has a long post on why he hates Jesus, or at least the "Jesus" construct he was taught and spent most of his life "living" for. His version of Christianity and the many pastors he depicts within that circle are, when you read his posts, picture-perfect of the biblical Pharisees, those whitewashed sepulchers, judging others but who are guilty in thought or deed of the same things for which they judge others. And it is against these hypocritical Pharisees that Jesus reserved his highest calls of condemnation. The NT Pharisees hated Jesus, so why should modern day Pharisees hate him any less? These posts on why he hates Jesus, at least, give a good idea of his version of Christianity.

    Gerencser uses profanity in most of the posts I read. As an outsider looking into this man's somewhat vulnerable posts, I wonder when this started or if he's always been a proficient cusser. On occasion Gerencser confesses his outbursts of anger and verbally abusive language. What Gerencser has not posted much of, at least not in what I've read so far, are any private character flaws (he doesn't believe in sin anymore, by the way). So on the one hand, his posts seem pretty vulnerable, but on the other, after reading them one feels like he isn't sharing the whole truth about his inner self (not that that's wrong -- it's his own blog, after all -- but the impression he gives is that he's baring all, when the feeling I get after reading is that he's hiding most of his real vulnerabilities).

    His main reason for deconverting is clear from other posts. He no long believed that the Bible was inerrant or inspired, and further that the God presented in the Bible was evil and not worthy of belief. Theodicy is a major problem for Gerencser. On more than one occasion he says something to the effect that if God could help his own pain or suffering or for that matter that of millions of others, he has chosen not to. That makes sense to him now, since to him God doesn't even exist.

    It is also clear from Gerencser's posts that he is really into himself, constantly checking how often links to his blog are clicked, by whom they are clicked, how many times each person has clicked a link, etc. He really likes to state how much he likes to read, how many books he has read, etc. etc. I have and have read three of the four books by Ehrman he recommends (I'm lacking How Jesus Became God) -- all of which are beginner and popular level -- and even some of his he didn't, like his The NT: A Historical Intro and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, which are more scholarly, especially the latter one, which is my favorite Ehrman book by far.

    Gerencser seems insincere in that he says he doesn't want to disturb anyone or keep anyone from turning from Christianity, but if the God of Christians is really as evil as he says, then Gerencser himself is pretty evil for not trying to keep every last person in the world from believing in this evil God construct that destroys the lives of anyone and everyone who may be deceived into believing in it.

    Reading his blog makes me appreciate even more Francis Schaefer's The Great Evangelical Disaster. How prescient that man was!

    I may read more of his blog as I have time. He seems to think of himself as sincere. He says he deals even handedly with both atheists and Christians, but just reading the comments section one can see that the atheists are allowed to use invective cursing and all manner of ad hominem attacks against the Christians, but Christians are quickly blocked if they happen to post a Bible verse (a violation of one of his rules). So his sincerity is quite self-contrived. I will never post on his blog. I wonder though why anyone would. I take that back. I can see why atheists and former "Evangelicals" from the same swamp of damned pharisaism that he hails from, jump in for the proverbial high-fives. I'm sure these at least provide a good level of self-gratification for his efforts.

    Finally, I actually approve of his blog and recommend it. It's easy to read and actually quite helpful. It is hoped that his blog will keep as many people as possible from entering the kind of churches that he was a part of and that the numbers in those churches will continue to dwindle until they are no more. And may the true church of Jesus Christ last forever. Amen.
     
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  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    So you are accepting the depiction of an atheist apostate of the pastors in his "circle" without hesitation?

    I don't run in that IFB circle per se, but my wife graduated from the same Bible college, and I know some of the men who graduated from there. In fact, I knew the founding pastor, and he was a greatly used man of God. My wife's pastor was on the board of the school for years, and he is one of the most godly men I've ever known and a dear friend. He is now retired from the ministry, and it is always a joy to spend time with him and his extremely sweet wife.

    Frankly, I think it's pretty silly of you to accept the word of a bitter, atheist apostate about Baptist pastors; oh, yes, and also to recommend an atheist apostate's blog.
     
    #28 John of Japan, Dec 13, 2016
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  9. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    James! I am suprised at you!:eek:

    Are you saying that actual Baptists???? No, that's never going to happen ; Do you mean to imply that actual baptists would ever fathom such a thing... a RC church?:Frown
     
  10. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    Then those men you mention by their very lifestyle prove they're not in the circle of false shepherds whom this man knew and with whom he related. Shine a light on the sordid false prophets! Also, this man's view is soon becoming (if it is not already) the majority of the 30-and-under college educated crowd in America. How will the next generation be reached without us knowing their worldview even better than they do so it can be preached against and deconstructed in the power of the Holy Spirit?
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Here's how the next generation will be reached: by going out and witnessing to them and learning their view from them directly, not by reading an atheist apostate's blog.

    I read many books about Japan and the Japanese before going there, but I really learned how Japanese think by having 100s of conversations with them. Witnessing for Christ is the best way to learn what people are thinking.
     
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  12. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    I agree with you and did not mean to imply that winning the lost of this and the next generation should be confined to reading alone, but neither did you go to Japan to win them without having first read (and probably continually reading) everything about what makes the Japanese who they are, what makes them tick, how they view everything of present and eternal importance.

    John, I respect you ... a lot! Reading your words and discussing things with you is like talking with my dad (in more ways probably than you know).
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I'm sure there are some good books out there about this young generation of atheists, but I don't know much in that area. I do think that an old guy who abandoned his Baptist beliefs for atheism is probably somewhat of a different codger than these young people who are growing up with no religion whatsoever, and call themselves atheists having never been taught.
    I'll take that as a very nice compliment.
     
  14. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    Indeed! I've learned more from my father than any one man, and it was he who steered me in the right direction when I began to have a bit of a crisis of faith related, would you believe it, to the idea of the inerrancy of the Scriptures when discovering apparent problems with the text in 10th or 11th grade when I read both the KJV and NIV all the way through concurrently.
     
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  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Praise the Lord for good fathers.

    I thank God for my pastor father too, and all of his good teaching and example. Thank the Lord my own son turned out pretty well, too. They call him "Dr. Paul" here, and he and I are currently team-teaching a two week block on the Pastoral Epistles, and having a blast.
     
  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Folks, going through my books on evangelism, I found again the classic by R. A. Torrey, Personal Work. This book has a great chapter on "How to Deal with Professed Sceptics and Infidels," which I think is relevant to this very day. The book is the first half of his larger work, How to Work for Christ. You can find a pdf of the larger work here: http://www.biblesnet.com/RA Torrey How to Work for Christ Volume 1 Personal Work.pdf

    What Torrey would do is get the skeptic or atheist to sign a statement that they would pray, "God, if there is a god, show yourself to me," then read the Bible. He saw many atheists and doubters saved with this method.
     
    #36 John of Japan, Dec 20, 2016
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  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    True salvation will be a gift from God, and the person will in the end be faithful to being still found in Christ, so sounds like another say so salvation!
     
  18. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
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    From my cop days, I knew a man who was a big-time sinner, a fellow cop who drank heavily & visited prostitutes regularly, though married, among other things. One day, he claimed to have had an "epiphany", renounced all his sins, & witnessed at every opportunity.

    Within a year, he resigned as a cop, worked as a handyman, & opened a small church in his home. I heard him preach, & he was as powerful a preacher as I'd ever heard. (I was a new Christian at the time.) Within a year, his church grew to about 50 people. (I was a member of another congregation, though I sometimes popped into his services.) He moved his sanctuary into another building he rented.

    Then, he began to miss services, asking other members to fill in for him. Soon, he left the church & regressed back into his old ways worse than ever. When I paid him a visit, he said he'd completely renounced Christianity as a fable & placed Jesus in the same category as Santa Claus. He told me not to waste my time trying to get him back.

    Among other bad things he began doing was using & selling drugs. He was suspect in the murder of a local pusher, but never charged. To keep a long story short, he died from an overdose while in a local bawdy house.

    Powerfully as he preached, I cannot say he was never really saved, although OSAS fans argue differently. After his rejection of Jesus to me, I really thought hard about Hebrews 6:4-6. I also wondered if Solomon went to paradise or torments.

    While I personally have no doubts about Jesus, His Father, ot the Holy Spirit, I can't, of course, speak for anyone else. I just don't understand how one can esperience the good things of God & then reject Him, but that's not for me to know.

    And, as several of you have said, whether that man was really saved or not, that's between him and GOD.
     
  19. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    I wonder if sometimes God doesn't use an unregenerate person for a time to bring His message to people - similar to Baalam's donkey. I would say this man was never saved - the "epiphany" seems quite suspect, IMO.
     
  20. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
     
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