Missouri Megachurch Pastor Quits Christianity – Highlights The Importance, As Always, Of KJB and Dispensationalism

Today, I ran across a series of news articles that come from a series of tweets by a former pastor of a SBC church in Missouri.  He now declares that he has quit Christianity.  I will suppose that this means he is now an atheist, since he never claims he is now a Muslim or Buddhist, although he never implicitly states so.

As has been said and written many times by myself and others, if you aren’t King James Only and Dispensational, then the logical conclusion of your beliefs is that you are your own Final Authority and that the Bible (whatever you have in your hands anyways) is full of mistakes and errors.  This has been illustrated in the lives of a couple of million former Christians.  Today we will shine the light of the Holy Scriptures upon the series of tweets that this man, Dave Gass, posted to explain why he has left Christianity.

Let me start by saying this, Dave Gass is not an evil man.  He, most likely, is truly born again and he has not lost his salvation.  People are starting to claim that he is an “unrepentant adulterer” and maybe that is so and maybe someone who hates God is blackmailing him.  I believe that stuff.  But that is not the issue here.  What he writes is the issue and it must be addressed.  There are people out there who are looking for answers to the same questions that this man is asking.  By the grace of God, the two edged sword will expose these issues.

Here are his words.  As usual, my comments are is BOLD.

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I’m not a Christian anymore: a thread.

After 40 years of being a devout follower, 20 of those being an evangelical pastor, I am walking away from faith. This is a ridiculous statement.  Everyone has faith.  You have to have faith when you go through a intersection that someone else will stop at the red light.  If you really think about it, that doesn’t always happen, but tomorrow you will have enough faith to get through that intersection.  So from the get-go, we have some improper reasoning.  As I said, I am concluding that now he is some form of atheist.  To believe that man wrote the Bible and that evolution is true requires much more faith than even the most controversial Christian beliefs.  But in this day and age, anyone who goes against the Bible will be publicly applauded.  Dave Gass is a fine example.  Even though this has been a massive bomb drop in my life, it has been decades in the making.

When I was in 8th grade and I was reading greek mythology, it dawned on me how much of the supernatural interactions between the deity of the bible and mankind sounded like ancient mythology. That seed of doubt never went away. I hate to use the word “ridiculous” again, but this is just ridiculous.  How can you compare the God of the Bible to Zeus?  Zeus turned into a bull to kidnap Europa and then rape her.  Where is anything similar to that in the Bible?  Where is the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection WITH WITNESSES in Greek mythology?  You won’t find it.  You are free to believe whatever you want, but no one is free to makes such an erroneous equivocation like this and not be shown to be “ridiculous”.  I’m not saying there are no connections.  Clearly, I’m open to the idea that the “gods” of Greek mythology have connections to the Genesis 6 stuff.  But that’s not the claim here.  He is comparing Jehovah to the Greek gods.  They are as different as night and day. 

I was raised in a hyper-fundamentalist family, Here, I would understand some of Gass’s issues.  Fundy family can turn a man into a God hater very easily.  But the Bible is still true no matter how dumb your family is…  and it felt good to be in a system that promised all the answer and solutions to life. The problem is, the system didn’t work. The promises were empty. The answers were lies.  This is a strawman argument.  I claim that the Bible is true.  It doesn’t tell me how to de-fragment my hard drive.  As Gass expands on this thought, we will see that within the context of “rightly dividing” the system does work.  The promises aren’t empty.  The answers aren’t lies.  But if you don’t “rightly divide”, then Gass has a point. 

As an adult my marriage was a sham and a constant source of pain for me. I did everything I was supposed to – marriage workshops, counseling, bible reading together, date nights every week, marriage books – but my marriage never became what I was promised it would be.  Where does the Bible say that you won’t have marriage problems?  Gass is claiming that the Bible says something that it doesn’t say.  In fact, if you look at the marriage between God and the nation of Israel, (Jer 31;32, Hos 3:1, Ezekiel 16) you see that God himself doesn’t have a perfect marriage.  How would you think that you were promised this?

I was fully devoted to studying the scriptures. Let’s just face it, as a Southern Baptist, this guy never professed to see the scriptures a day in his life.  So here he is lying.  How can you claim to study the scriptures and not have Scripture?  Answer: he is lying, just like his professors at whatever college he went to.  I think I missed maybe 12 Sundays in 40 years. What? No midweek services?  I had completely memorized 18 books of the bible and was reading through the bible for the 24th time when I walked away.  I call baloney on the memorization, but ok…Besides that, only reading the Bible less than once a year?  And you call yourself a pastor?  Folks, that ain’t enough.  Pastors have to read the Bible through multiple times per year.  But,  I’m sure it wasn’t a King James Bible, so whatever.

I devoured all the “christian apologetics” books that came out, and none of them answered my questions regarding the nature of god and the problems I found within the Scriptures. I found these books to be trite, dismissive, and full of pseudo science and evidence.  It’s funny, when I read that books about the errors in the Bible, I find them to be trite, dismissive, and full of pseudo science and evidence.  You gotta love these ambiguous claims.  He never defined his issues or questions.

The more I read and studied the scriptures the more questions I had. No questions given.  Literally from the first chapter to the last, so many problems. No problems given.  And the more I learned about how the scriptures were canonized, the less I could believe in the “inerrancy” model that I had to espouse. Understandable.  The model of the Bible issue that is espoused by the SBC is impossible for me to believe too.  The doesn’t mean we should something equally as ridiculous like “fish to Philosopher” evolution…

I want to say this about atheism.  The more I read and study atheism the more questions I have.  Literally from the first articles and books to the last, so many problems.  And the more I learn about how science supposedly works, the less I can believe that “scientists” were unbiased, impartial, and honest. 

In 40 years I never witnessed a single event that was supernatural. Not one. The new birth?  Anyways, we’re in the Church Age and we don’t live in a time of miracles and signs.  Those are for the Jews. (I Cor 1:22)  It is critical to “rightly divide the word of truth.”  Time and again I watched people die of cancer. How does this disprove the Bible?  The Bible doesn’t claim that if you’re a Christian, you won’t die of cancer.  I did funerals for 47 people from the age of 4 to 96. I prayed in faith with hundreds of people for healing to no avail. god didn’t answer prayers.  If you think that prayer is going to over turn the promise that, “It is appointed unto men once to die…”  Then you are being unreasonable. 

My devoutly christian parents were abusive, my marriage was a sham, prayer was never answered, miracles were never performed. People died, children rebelled, marriages failed, addictions occurred – all at the same rate as non believers. The system just doesn’t work.  There is no promise in the New Testament that none of these things would happen.  This whole paragraph is one big Straw man. 

I pastored mega churches & tiny churches. I did college ministry, camp ministry, youth ministry, music ministry, preaching ministry, church planting – everything in the church except work in the nursery. And what I saw was people desperate for the system to work for them. They, just like Gass, needed the truth about KJB and dispensations.  He never got it.  Other people without those truths are in danger of failing for the same reasons.  Gass is looking for physical blessings.  They are not promised in the Church Age.  Look at Paul.  No wife. Sick. Persecuted.  Betrayed.  And you think, your life is supposed to be a bed of roses???

thousands of teenagers at a time, wrote blogs, was published, formed curriculum, taught workshops, was an up-and-comer reforming my denomination. The whole time hoping at some point it would click, and become true for me.  You are proving the point.  The SBC’s attitude towards the Bible and rightly dividing cannot mix with honesty.  You have to leave the system eventually.  From there, you either become an atheist and still have no answers, just like a Southern Baptist.  Or you become a Bible Believer.  Dear Reader: make the right choice. 

An inescapable reality that I came to was that the people who benefited the most from organized religion were the fringe attenders who didn’t take it too seriously. The people who were devout were the most miserable, but just kept trying harder.  This is true in the Southern Baptist Convention. 

All the while, the experience I had within the church was that a lot (granted, not all) people use the church for power and influence. Many involved people in churches use it as their small kingdom for personal control and ego.  True.  But he’s not dealing with Bible Believers.  I understand all of this. But it doesn’t make the Bible not true…

And the entire system is rife with abuse. And not just from the top down, sure there are abusive church leaders, but church leaders are abused by their congregants as well. Church people are just shitty to each other.  True, but doesn’t make the Bible not true…

I spent my entire life serving, loving, and trying to help people in my congregations. And the lies, betrayal, and slander I have received at the hands of church people left wounds that may never heal.  True, but doesn’t make the Bible not true…

This massive cognitive dissonance – my beliefs not matching with reality – created a separation between my head and my heart. I was gaslighting myself to stay in the faith.  Understandable, but the other option isn’t atheism.  That is just as ridiculous.  Pick up a King James and Rightly Divide and you’ll have all your answers.

Eventually I could not maintain the facade anymore, I started to have mental and emotional breaks. My internal stress started to show in physical symptoms. Being a pastor – a professional Christian – was killing me.

During this time I also found something amazing: I found a handful of people who were more Christian than any Christian I had ever met – and they weren’t Christian. I found love in places where love wasn’t supposed to exist. I found acceptance among people who were godless.  Sure, there are nice atheists out there, but it isn’t a result of their atheism. 

I learned that love is real. He’s never seen a greater love than Christ on Calvary.  That acceptance is possible. He didn’t know how to be “accepted in the Beloved”? That life is vibrant and full. What about eternity?  What about the eternal destiny of others?  He’s putting his hands over his eyes and pretending that it’s bright… and he is focusing on the here and now.  Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ shall last. But the church burdens people with fear, shame, and guilt, all for the purpose of maintaining control. I now see the church as a system perfectly curated to control people and culture. Good thing we don’t go by the “church” we go by the Bible.  But he doesn’t know what a Bible is.  His professors took it from him.  The church of the Bible doesn’t fit any of Gass’s claims. 

I was a part of a system that enslaves people, and I was both a slave and a slave driver. We called chains freedom, and misery happiness. We had impossible standards that we could not meet so we turned the attention on others so the spotlight wasn’t on our own inadequacies.  Where is Christ and the Bible in all this?  He left a bad place and now he’s what?  An Atheist?  If you think freedom to sin is real freedom, then you are purposefully ignoring the truth. 

Eventually I pulled the lever and dropped the bomb. Career, marriage, family, social standing, network, reputation, all gone in an instant. And honestly I didn’t intend to fully walk away, but the way the church turned on me forced me to leave permanently.  Again, we see that the SBC isn’t biblical in any sense of the word.  I have had many people leave me and leave the faith.  No Bible Believer has ever acted like this to someone struggling.  Gal 6:1,2 – “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”  That’s how it should be handled according to the Bible. 

For those of you who want to yell at me, that’s fine. I know that many will call me an apostate, say I was never really saved, that I was a wolf in sheeps clothing, and that a hotter hell awaits me. And to you I say I love you. My heart is tender toward you.  I feel horrible for this guy.  He’s been lied to and now he is out of the frying pan and into the fire.  There are answers out there.  The answers aren’t in the SBC or Atheism.  They’re in the King James Bible. 

To those who have been in my congregations or under my teaching/preaching I sincerely apologize. I thought I was right. I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I could fake it until I made it. I was wrong. I’m sorry. I love you.

I have lost everything. I gave literally everything to serving Jesus. And walking away has cost me everything. All I can hope for is that the second half of my life can be full of love and genuine human relationships. I was wrong. I’m not faking anymore.  Like I’ve said, he is out of the frying pan and now is in the fire.  This is the result of the poor doctrine of the SBC.  All fundies are just as bad.  So many Christians have bad doctrine that people would rather throw their brains out and believe atheism.  We understand.  But as King James Bible Believing Christians, we have our work cut out for us.  We have the truth.  We know how a person can have eternal life, answers to his questions, real love, and good relationships.  Misinformation is everywhere.  A couple million people are reading about Dave Gass today.  Few will answer the issues that he brings up. 

That’s our job. 

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