Defining What “Good” is.

goodFor those times when the “weaker brother” or “appearance of evil” aren’t the right tool to force a person to follow the fundy’s rules, there is one final tool that can be put into use to apply the needed pressure: whipping out James 4:17. (for those of you who are not fundies that passage reads “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”)

The trick here is making sure that the “him that knoweth” is always a fundy leader since he alone is qualified to define what GOOD is. The argument is made thus:

1.  Sunday School is good.
2. You have not signed up to teach Sunday School this year.
3. You are in sin until you sign up to teach a Sunday School class.

It’s clear at a glance that this method of coercion has more uses than duct tape. What other seventeen words could give someone the power to draft free labor for everything from washing the church vans to bringing popsicles to VBS?

Funny how the rest of the stuff that comes before the word “therefore” in the verse doesn’t really get brought up in these conversations. It must not be that good.

6 thoughts on “Defining What “Good” is.”

  1. “Good” is also one of those things that it is acceptable to yell during preachin’. If one is tired of saying “A!-men”, “Preach it!”, “Come on!”, or the penetential classic “Oh, me!”, one can throw in “That’s good!”, or, my personal favorite, “That’s good preachin’!” My second favorite is “That’ll preach!”

  2. Heh never thought of it that way, but you’re right – that definitely is a powerful tool of manipulation within fundamentalism!

    “Funny how the rest of the stuff that comes before the word “therefore” in the verse doesn’t really get brought up in these conversations. It must not be that good.”

    One of the most eye-opening things for me after/while leaving fundamentalism was (and still is!) seeing all those out-of-context verses put in their proper context.

  3. And of course there is another whip used to coerce people into doing things. Its the “Don’t you want God’s best for your life”. Had that, one used on me, in trying to convince me to take a short term missions trip.

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