Class Warfare Blog

June 19, 2019

Check It Out—The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:59 am
Tags: , ,

Every once in a while I run across a truly remarkable web site that I just have to share. Such is The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser. Bruce was an evangelical minister for a very long time (25 years) and has quite some stories to tell. He has become an atheist, not from some intellectual effort so much as by just realizing that he had lost his faith. He is honest to a fault and calls a spade a spade. Here’s a taste from:

Understanding Evangelical Christianity: It’s All About the Benjamins:

Evangelicals love to tout the notion that they give more money to charitable causes than secular people do. Take that, Bruce! Well, here’s the problem with this “fact: Evangelical charitable contributions include the money they donate to their churches and other religious organizations. If, as I assert, Evangelical churches are fundamentally clubs, and that congregations pay their membership fees weekly by giving money to their respective churches, then most of the “dues” stay inside the church. Take a look at the average church’s financials. Not the annual generic bullshit summary they put out, but the actual income/expense statements. What you will find is the most church income goes towards buildings, utilities, insurance, salaries, benefits, equipment, and programs that typically only benefit club members. It is not uncommon to find that a church spends less than ten percent of its income on actual ministry outside of the four walls of their sanctuary. The bigger the church, the less percentage-wise that is spent on doing meaningful work in the community. A megachurch might talk up the fact that they spent $1 million helping the “least of these” — laudable, to be sure — but $1 million out of a $25 million budget is what? Four percent of the church’s budget. In other words, ninety-six percent of the church’s income is spent in-house. Which is their right to do. Clubs have a right to spend their monies as they see fit. After all, clubs exist to benefit members, not people outside of their memberships. The issue I have is the unwarranted trumpeting of all the “good” Evangelical churches purportedly do in their communities. (If you are inclined to fire off an angry email to me that says your church and pastor are “different,” please send me copies of your church’s income/expense statements — full statements, not a summary. So far, not one Evangelical has done so, but, hey, maybe you’ll be the first.)

I highly recommend his site to you if you have an interest in this topic.

13 Comments »

  1. US evangelicals are the greatest collection of hypocrites presently on the earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by john zande — June 19, 2019 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

    • That’s what Bruce says! He runs a regular feature called “Black Collar Crime” in which he highlights clergy arrest for the usual reasons.

      To hear what we often bandy about from an insider, who seems as honest as the day is long, is quite refreshing. He argues against the parsonage tax break, the “church” tax break and refers to evangelical churches as “clubs” because that is how they behave. If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, … (I wanna be a church,; you not only don’t have to pay taxes, you don’t even have to file. How the Powers that Be can monitor whether or not you are breaking the law without having them file documents is beyond me.)

      On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 12:15 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — June 19, 2019 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

      • Is it really any wonder why 260,000 young people walk away from evangelical Christianity each year (John S. Dickerson, The Great Evangelical Recession, p. 26)?

        These are truly horrible people.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by john zande — June 19, 2019 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

        • Well there is no greater proof of mental compartmentalization that their thinking: everything they are and do are good and all of the bad things are caused by liberals and Democrats. You’d think there would be some sort of What Would Jesus do checklist they could carry around in their wallets to test their decisions, but my guess is that wouldn’t serve very well.

          On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 1:23 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — June 19, 2019 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

          • Did you hear the evangelical “prayer” for Trump last night at his Nuremberg rally?

            Like

            Comment by john zande — June 19, 2019 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

            • I try not to watch Trump as he has zero information on offer, zero.

              On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 1:29 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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              Comment by Steve Ruis — June 19, 2019 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

              • Oh, I didn’t watch the rally. That Orange Stain sickens me. I saw the “prayer” on Twitter earlier. Good grief.

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                Comment by john zande — June 19, 2019 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

                • I have commented before that there has been a terrific “brain drain” with regard to the clergy and the parameters regarding how a minister can make money in the US selects out the dumb and dumber of that crowd.

                  On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 1:32 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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                  Liked by 1 person

                  Comment by Steve Ruis — June 19, 2019 @ 1:34 pm | Reply

  2. Maybe he’ll inspire what’s left of the good to “come out” from pretending to believe.

    Like

    Comment by jim- — June 19, 2019 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

  3. I follow Bruce. He has some great posts…shows the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of it all.

    Like

    Comment by maryplumbago — June 19, 2019 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

  4. I follow Bruce and he is quite brilliant with his posts. Even though he was a Christian over much of his life and a pastor for 25 years the nuts will still claim he was not a real Christian.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by sklyjd — June 21, 2019 @ 1:50 am | Reply

    • Their only response when one of their own sees the light. The fundies have a lot of practice in this. My fundamentalist sister claims that Catholics are not True Christians(tm)? I asked her who were the Christians then prior to 1500 CE. She was perplexed, having no knowledge of the Protestant Revolution. She lives in the Bible Belt amongst her people. I love her dearly, but find those beliefs more than strange.

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — June 21, 2019 @ 8:13 am | Reply

  5. Be a priest/minister/pastor. Like the song says; money for nothing.

    Like

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — June 21, 2019 @ 3:52 pm | Reply


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