I just left this comment on Bruce Gerencser’s blog, where I had once attacked him as a God-hating atheist.
Dear Bruce and Bruce’s readers:
I am the obnoxious, self-righteous, judgmental jerk mentioned in Bruce’s article above.
I came across Bruce’s website by pure chance one day. I think I had googled “ex Baptist fundamentalists” out of curiosity as I was a former Baptist fundamentalist. I was very surprised to find an ex-fundamentalist Baptist pastor turned atheist! As I read Bruce’s blog I realized Bruce’s “problem”: Bruce had not been exposed to the RIGHT form of Christianity…MY form of Christianity…orthodox Lutheranism!
So I tried to “help” Bruce. I tried to share the “truth” with Bruce. But Bruce simply told me that my “truth” was just another form of Christian fundamentalism, not really any different from Baptist fundamentalism.
I was insulted.
As I tried to “share the truth”, Bruce continued to shoot down my assertions…and my assumptions. He told me to go read Bart Ehrman and once done, come back and then he would talk to me.
So I did.
And I was blown away! I was taught as a fundamentalist/evangelical Christian that God would preserve “every word” of his Word. Therefore, the existing manuscripts of the Bible, in the original languages, MUST be inerrant. Well, I found out quickly that they are not. And then, more and more beliefs that I had never questioned were shown to be false assumptions. I finally had to admit that the Bible is full of errors: the Resurrection stories in the Gospels, Acts, and I Corinthians are completely irreconcilable to any thinking human being (who has not been brainwashed by fundamentalist Christianity). Hades(Hell) and the Lake of Fire were ancient Egyptian and Greek concepts long before the Jews picked up these beliefs under the Greek occupation of Palestine just prior to the Roman occupation. And finally, the realization that there is not ONE shred of archaeological evidence of the two millions Hebrew slaves living in ancient Egypt for 400 years, nor their wandering, and all but TWO of those 2,000,000 dying, in the Sinai. There was no Exodus, no conquest of Canaan, no great David and Solomon empires. They are all just Jewish fables.
Fundamentalist/evangelical/orthodox/catholic Christianity is one big “house of cards”. It is based on so many ignorant assumptions that it is baffling how educated, civilized people living in the 21st century still believe it.
So, first, I owe Bruce a HUGE apology. And I should have come back to his blog to apologize alot sooner than today. I’m really sorry, Bruce! I’m sorry for behaving like the stereotypical hateful, self-righteous, judgmental fundamentalist Christian. I was an ass. I was a jerk. Please forgive me!
I have deconverted from Christianity. I have deconverted from the superstitious, ignorant, bigoted belief system of fundamentalist/orthodox Christianity. And I owe alot of that to Bruce for opening my eyes to the TRUTH. There may be a God…but it’s not the Christian god, because the Christian god does not exist.
If it means anything Bruce, despite all the hate mail you receive from Christians, know this: You have rescued one man and his family from this false, ancient, fear-invoking, middle-eastern cult.
Thank you, Bruce!
I intend to post this public apology on my blog also.
19 thoughts on “A public letter of apology to Bruce Gerencser”
Thanks Gary. I turned your letter into a post. It is very much appreciated. One “small” correction. It is Gerencser. 🙂 Common error. My last name is Hungarian and since there is no cs in the English language, people think it should be sc. I even had one person question me, wanting to know if I spelled my name wrong. Several American Gerencser's got tired of the spelling problem and changed their name to Gerenser.
Spelling error corrected! 🙂
Have a great day, Bruce.
Gary, I am very happy for you. I was one of those readers that had some conversations with you, and, yes, that was frustrating. But you know what? You have shown your true colors. You have investigated, weighed the evidence, and come to a conclusion based on that, rather than your emotion. This is a very big deal!
I am proud of you, Sir.
Thank you, Cathy.
i think 2 separate congrats are in order.
first, and frankly more important to my mind, is congrats for the apology to bruce. you'd apologized for some of your earliest comments previously on bruce's blog, and you've also apologized on occasion to various commenters on your blog as well. the fact is, that with 7 billion people on the planet, we are never all going to agree. so the real issue is, what's the best way to be civilized to one another over the disagreements? being willing to apologize to the person wronged is a critical aspect of that. so congrats on your willingness to do that.
the second congrats is for all the hard work of being willing to investigate the evidence, particularly when it goes against some strong emotional issues from your fundamentalist upbringing. it's not easy emotionally to seriously investigate something dearly held, whether political or religious, and being willing to change your mind as a result of the evidence.
lastly, i personally believe that fundamentalist religion (not to be confused with non-fundamentalist religion) is a highly toxic belief system. so i'm quite glad and encouraged that you've been able to successfully leave that behind. i wish you the best wherever the rest of your journey takes you.
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, sgl.
Hi Gary! I read your letter over at Bruce's blog. Very encouraging to read about your change of mind. I am in agreement with sgl; fundamental Christianity is just plain toxic. All one has to do is read some of the comments from same; in fact, commenters on various blogs should really keep it up — they are solid testimony to what's in the mind of all fundagelicals. Disturbing stuff.
But good on you for thinking it through and facing reality! – Carmen
In a way your apology translates in a good way to some of the rest of us out here Gary. I've been reading Bruce's blogs for years. As you probably are aware he gets nasty hate and threats thrown his way. In all these years I've never seen anyone apologize. (They may have but I personally am unaware of them. Bruce could correct me if I'm wrong about this.)
Not that you need me to say thank you but, thank you. 🙂
Thank you for your comment, Zoe.
You are a rare person — someone both willing to change and willing to take responsibility for for the change and all its ramifications. Your letter to Bruce was one of the bravest things I've seen, frankly.
I am so very happy for you — that you have been able to find your truth and break free of so many of the mental traps that kept you back. I wish you a long and happy journey forward, with a minimum of scars and regrets. It may not be easy, but know that there are lots of people out there who are more than happy to help and support you.
On a personal note, since we are talking of apologies, I know I got a bit frustrated during our discussion of the resurrection, but as I look back at it, you were actually remarkably restrained and civil, considering I was arguing against the very core of your beliefs. I know I got a bit snarky and snappish in my frustration, and I'd like to apologize to you for that. I have been out of the faith so long that I sometimes forget just how hard it is to doubt and question, and I need to be more sensitive to the honest seeker. I'm sorry.
Again, congratulations and best wishes,
Thank you for the comment, Kat. I'm sure I was just as snarky so no apology needed. I appreciate that you took the time to talk to me.
Best wishes to you too!
Gary, I'm pretty sure I read more than a few of your past comments on Bruce's blog. I'm sure I don't remember any specifics and since I don't comment all that much there I don't think you ever “spoke” directly to me … but your past tone was clear (that's all that need be said).
With that out of the way – It cannot be understated what a noble and honorable act it is to step out and publicly apologize for past transgressions. Whether you settle in to a new theology, deism or some form of non-belief – THIS act should not be minimized. For that, I thank you, and i feel it deserves recognition (don't let it go to your head 😛 )
all the best on your journey
Thank you, Robert.
So now you're just an obnoxious, self-righteous, arrogant human who recycles every atheist blog post on the web to bash Christians. You've directed your hate towards a new group. I'm looking forward to who the next group is going to be after christians. I mean Gary, you're opening the eyes of people with new ideas. You've debunked christianity. You've proven the Bible to be false. You are your own god now. Who's next? Or will you just continue your arrogant journey into “i've figured it all out” land?
Thank you for your constructive comment.
There is no such thing as a truly born-again believer.
I decided to start my blog back up again. Different approach and emphasis. http://brucegerencser.net