Dear Family, Friends and Former Parishioners

bruce gerencser 2014

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserEditor's note: Posting this because sometimes it's a good idea to stop and look back to measure just how far we've come from our old life.What follows is the letter I sent in April 2009 to my family, friends and former parishioners. This letter came after Polly and I attended church for the 2008 Sunday before Thanksgiving. I am republishing it here so it is part of the historical narrative of my life. I know many of you have read this before but I hope you will read it again. As I reread this, I am reminded that what I wrote here is still, almost 6 years later, the motivating factor of my life.  The … [Read more...]

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A Few Thoughts About Mental Illness and Depression

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by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserOriginally written 2011, edited, corrected.At the age of 54, my mother turned a .357 magnum Ruger revolver toward her chest and pulled the trigger. The bullet tore a hole in her heart and in a few moments she was dead. Mom had tried to kill herself many times before. This time she succeeded (please see the post Barbara).When I was 11, Dad had to call for an emergency squad because Mom had taken several bottles of prescription drugs. They rushed her to the hospital and pumped her stomach, and she survived to die another day. Later in the year, Mom and the neighbor lady were in a serious automobile … [Read more...]

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Three Years In

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by Kaleesha Williams cross posted from her blog The Lost (and Found) Mind of Kaleesha Williams(Editor's Note: Kaleesha is talking about her journey three years post-fundamentalism. There is hope of having a full life after leaving toxic faith.)Yesterday marks the third anniversary of the day I laid aside the Bible, having found the answers to the last of my questions about the god within its pages. My conclusion after years of study and devotion? The Bible was written by men who inspired by their ideas of things bigger than themselves, men who were grasping at significance in the majesty of space and time.And that’s okay. We’re all doing that, in a way. It’s part of this journey, … [Read more...]

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Why I Changed My Mind About Marriage Equality

Image by Lana Hope

by Lana Hope cross posted from her blog Wide Open GroundAround three years ago I changed my mind about LGBT individuals and their right to marry. I grew up in a family who did not really acknowledge or mention gays. I had no idea gays even existed until a guy in our homeschool group married someone whose mother was lesbian, which prompted me to look up the word in the dictionary. … [Read more...]

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Media Contact Information and Recent Interviews With NLQ Founder Vyckie Garrison

If you're a member of the media and wish to contact Vyckie Garrison for an interview she can be reached atvyckie@gmail.com … [Read more...]

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Trickle-Down Cults

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by Samantha Fields cross posted from her blog Defeating The Dragons I grew up in a cult. ~~~~~~~~~~ That’s what I say when I have to start explaining my life to someone. As a phrase it carries a lot of baggage, but even so, it’s the easiest and most straightforward way I have to start my story. Generally I have to walk the person back from visions of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but as loaded as the word “cult” is, it still applies to my life. According to the research of people like Michael Langone, the Independent Fundamental Baptist church I attended for a dozen years fit 13 out of 15 qualifiers. So while I didn’t live in a bunker or on a compound, there’s really no other way to explain w … [Read more...]

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NLQ Book Review: The Hand on the Mirror

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by Suzanne TitkemeyerWhen Patheos was asking for people to review 'The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death' by Janis Heaphy Durham I was intrigued by the subject matter. In my years at my old church I'd participated in many a house cleansing and the occasional exorcism. Particularly interested after a few experiences I've had after beloved pets passed and something that happened during my vacation last summer  I became even more interested in the idea of the survival of the mind after death. Plus I've had my experiences through the years with the paranormal that cause me to believe that there is life beyond death. It's the one core belief that keeps me from fully … [Read more...]

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Mothers Day Open Thread: Do You Have Regrets or Wisdom to Impart?

Spider monkey mama with baby on her back at Manuel Antonio Park, Costa Rica. Image by Suzanne Titkemeyer

by Suzanne TitkemeyerAnother Mother's Day is almost upon us again and I have questions of all the readers here that left the Evangelical Quiverfull Movement. Do you regret having or trying to have a large number of children? What would you do differently if you did it over? What did you learn? What would you like others to know?Mother's Day can be one of the hardest days of the year for those in or out of the church because of society's insistence that motherhood be presented in a sentimental perfect light, even if you aren't Quiverfull. It's hard to stuff down negative feelings and experiences on a Hallmark manufactured holiday and pretend to a happiness you may not feel. If you are … [Read more...]

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How I Left My Parent’s Home

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by Sarah Henderson cross posted from her blog Feminist in Spite of ThemSeveral people have asked me about actually leaving my parents. It's kind of hard to explain exactly what happened, because there was not one day when I decided to leave.When I was 16, I was still attending a conservative church with my parents. In my family we were still expected to wear head coverings all the time, but the church we attended only expected them in churches. So in December of 2004 (when I was 16) I decided to stop wearing one at all - to me you either follow that verse 100% or not at all, and I wasn't going to be the only one. I also secretly purchased jeans and changed into them on rare occasions … [Read more...]

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I Am A Publican And A Heathen Part 3

Image by Bruce Gerencser

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserIn March of 1994, our family packed everything up and moved from Somerset, Ohio to Elmendorf, Texas, a small rural spot along the road outside of San Antonio. Community Baptist Church had asked me to come to Texas to co-pastor the church along with Pat Horner, the founder of the church. This move was supposed to be what pastors like to call a once in a lifetime opportunity. The church was a young, growing Sovereign Grace church. (the church is much smaller today, and many of the members I pastored are no longer there) The church wanted me to jump-start their evangelistic efforts and help them start a … [Read more...]

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