Interesting thoughts from an ex-pastor and ex-Christian

20 02 2012

During the past week, I came across an interesting blog.  A man I work with had mentioned a name of a preacher that he recommended I look into.  I “Googled” the preachers name and clicked onto a blog that mentioned this name.  Little did I know that what this blogger said would be so relevant to some of the things I wanted to say in this blog.

His name is Bruce Gerencser and his blog is called “Fallen from Grace”.  He tells his history as one who became a Christian at the age of 14 and started preached at 15.  He was a Christian for (I think) 33 years and a Baptist pastor for 25 of those years.  But through certain circumstances, thoughts, observations, and learning, he has not only denied the faith he once had, but also denies the existence of God, or at least doesn’t know if a God exists.

The reason I bring him up and was reading his blog is that he made some very fascinating and extremely valid statements about the Church and Christians in general.  What he has seen inside and outside the church is most likely what the world sees when they look at the church.  Although he is an agnostic (yet he was a Baptist pastor for 25 years) he has articulated the gospel and many other theological matters in his blog better than many Christians can.

I will be quoting him here every so often to challenge you to live your life as Christ.  If you are a follower of Christ, then follow HIM diligently.  Do you live according to how your church tells you how to live, or on how Christ tells you how you should live?  Do you know your Bible enough to know what your church says is true or are you treating your pastor/preacher as a god and just taking for granted what is said?

One of the points that Bruce makes is that people don’t see Christ in us.  People see church as a social club and Christians as hateful, unconcerned, ultra-conservatives that want to force our political views on the whole country.  I can see where he is coming from.  He makes many good points.  I do not consider myself a liberal Christian by any means.  However, how are we going to reach this world without concern and compassion for them?  How are we going to reach them if we ourselves don’t show Christ to this world instead of expecting the “church” to do it.  If the world is attracted (some how) to a church because of what they do, but find the people in the church live and act just as they do, what will compel them to follow Christ if the people in the church don’t themselves.

Bruce wrote:

The Christian Church is very effective in turning people into atheists and agnostics.  If you want to change this trend stop talking and start living.

How are you living your life, O Christian?  Are you living just like the ones you want to bring to your church?  Would they be attracted to Jesus or turned away because of you?  Do you care about others?  Do you show concern, consideration, and compassion to others or are you just in your own “Christian world”?  If you talk to others about the gospel, do you try to find out who they are, where they come from, and genuinely care…or just take the time to hit them with the Bible enough to get your point across?

I could go on.  I will in later posts.  Unfortunately, there are many people that have been turned off to church and Christianity because of something someone in the church or who claims to be a Christian has done to them (or not done to them).  It’s time we stepped up, both men and woman, to live as Christ, not as the church, has taught us.  If you don’t know what that means, read your Bible and ask God for wisdom.

You now know Bruce’s name and the name of his blog.  I did not link to his blog on purpose.  He gets bombarded by “loving” Christians that just want to throw the Bible at him, tell him he’s going to hell, argue endlessly with him, but not even try to care about him or where he’s coming from.  Honestly, those things just make his stance more concrete as it shows that people just want to “win him back for Jesus” and then leave him once they have that notch on their belt.  Put yourself in his shoes and it looks like everyone’s just trying to “score one for the Lord”.  If you want to check out his blog you can Google it but contact him at your own risk.

Remember Jesus calls us to follow Him, not the church, pastors, or any other people or things.  Follow Him.

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7 responses

25 02 2012
cdubbs727

Gandhi was once talking to a Presbyterian minister and told him, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Or, as a book and documentary I really love is titled, “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers.”

The biggest problem I see in churches isn’t that they don’t follow Christ. The problem is that they only follow a partial Christ.

On the one hand, there are Christians who see Jesus’ call to love, forgive and bring peace, and they forget that this same Christ talked about hell more than Heaven, was very serious about the wrath and judgement of God and said that those who followed Him would be turning hated by the world and turned on by their family. These Christians love God’s immediacy and tend to forget His holiness.

On the other hand, there are Christians who preach only fire and brimstone and spend their days moping, unhappy and too serious. They isolate themselves from the world, except to judge and preach. They forget that in addition to being a holy God, Christ was also a man who loved others. He was a man who loved community. He had deep friendships. He laughed, made jokes and cared about people. He fed the hungry, clothed the naked and comforted the hurting. These Christians love Christ’s holiness but forget about His humanity.

I see very few churches where Christians follow the entire Christ–managing their doctrine and call to holy living with a genuine joyfulness, love for people and community and a passion for social justice and being peacemakers. That’s when the Church will begin to improve.

5 07 2012
Tom Costello

Tell me what the cross was about.

27 07 2012
Chris

What do you mean? What all do you want to know?

1 Corinthians 15:3 – “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.”

27 07 2012
infowarrior1

“hateful, unconcerned, ultra-conservatives that want to force our political views on the whole country.”

Proclaiming the gospel on the other hand as well as repentence may also result in that comment.

29 07 2012
Samson J.

Exactly. The sentiment offered by the ex-pastor, like the Gandhi quote, tell us more about *them* than about us. Simply *being* a Christian is offensive to a good many people, let alone proclaiming the gospel, pushing for more Godly government – that’s a problem with *them*, not us.

11 10 2013
susanbotchie

hope bruce comes back to the fold. it’s scary when PREACHERS leave, but i know the apostle, Paul, feared that he might fall away – like his friend, Demas. you csn bet this chick posting this response finds herself in “fear and trembling.”

12 10 2013
Chris@QPC

Yes, I hope so too. May God show mercy to him and draw him to Himself. The funny thing is, I can understand where he is coming from. He’s been hurt by Christians. But, instead of strengthening his faith in God and less on Christians, he left God and Christians.

It’s was interesting and sad reading his old blog before he took it down.

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