Bible Conference

The keeping of the yearly Bible Conference shall be on thus-wise:

At such time when the spirit shall move and make utterance to you through unvoiced urges and rumblings, ye shall schedule the yearly church Bible Conference. And if this scheduling should coincidently happen to coincide with when most kids are having Spring Break that can hardly be the fault of the pastor or church leadership for the Spirit did ordain it — so don’t whine at me about it.

And the Bible Conference shall be apart and aside from the Missions Conference, and Prophecy Conference, and Women’s Conference and not overlap them. However, the speakers from those may be used again so long as they are not the women who spoke at the Women’s Conference, bless their dear hearts, for they shall instead make casseroles for the covered dish suppers that will precede each meeting.

And all church members whether great or small shall attend each and every service of the Bible Conference for the call for everyone to be ‘here and in their place’ may not be disobeyed on pain of dirty looks and being used in an awkward sermon illustration.  And each who attends shall bring his Bible for it shall be inspected by the speaker after he shall give the command “If you have your bible tonight please hold it up.”

And the theme of the Bible Conference must consist of a paring of the date and a phrase that almost rhymes with it if slightly slurred such as “Let’s Stay Awake in 1998” or “Rapture Ready in 2080.” This shall be printed upon a banner to be displayed at the front of the church building and this banner shall verily be made of tractor-feed paper along with some clip-art obtained from a pirated copy of WordPerfect.

But woe unto you if you allow the theme of the conference distract any speaker from his given mission of preaching on whatever he wants for verily we are not high-church nor to we have anything do with their kind. And the preacher shall wax long and cry aloud sparing not to leave preaching and go to meddling at every opportunity about whatsoever sin shall really have ticked the preacher off this past week.

And the last night of the conference shall be the night of awards for those who have coerced the most people to attend or memorized the most verses or have brought the best casserole . And their rewards shall be great for they shall receive a gift Bible from the church bookstore having a market value of $6.99. And it shall be revealed before the eyes of the whole congregation that this is the most the actual Bible has been involved in the Bible Conference all week.

Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements, pp 30-31

35 thoughts on “Bible Conference”

  1. While going to a secular school hasn’t always been easy, I’ve never had my spring break stolen away through forced events. Why do these schools even call this spring break? Huh?

  2. You forgot the award for the fastest preacher to circle the auditorium during a sermon or the award for the preacher who can yell the loudest or the award for the preacher who knocks out the Devil in a boxing match.

    The latter actually happened in the church I grew up in. The first two are pretty common.

  3. please tell me that there is really a parody book called “Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements”. if so, please sell it to me immediately!

    seriously, though, when i mentioned II Thessalonians 2:15 to a fundy, and how St. Paul commands us to hold to Tradition, i was informed that St. Pau… er, Brother Paul was speaking about such things as “missions conference.”

    fundies.

  4. My senior year of college, I just parked at a nearby parking lot, would walk to car in the AM, and work off campus delivering pizza for 12 hours before coming back to campus. I still feel fine about that decision.

  5. Great post. I would like to hear more from the IBBERR.
    Bible Conferences are a hotbed of speculative theology. Some preachers will teach and make speculative things that the home church would not approve as the preachers try to out perform the other preachers at the conference. Other preachers will take the new teachings home to “their flock” assuming that what has been stated comes from God. The self destructive cycle continues. Jerimiah 23.

  6. Ah yes, springtime…when a fundy young man’s heart is drawn to Pastor’s School (First Baptist, Hammond, IN) and hopefully (and prayerfully, of course) choosing a potential helpmeet from all the young ladies ministering to these future warriors of the faith. And let’s not forget those year-round Bible Conferences where fundy preachers hawk their wares and try to outsell each other so they can rave about how many books they sold and not have to report it to the IRS because after all that money is a “gift” and not income.

  7. Ah, Bible conference where young preachers are called from the floor to warm up the audience for the main event! Get the audience lubricated and ready with the required number of Amens and PIB’s (Preach It Brother) so thet the evening is a success. Good Preaching! Sore Toes and a trip to the “Altar” for the final head count.

  8. And in no wise shall ye call the Bible Conference offering a donation, for it as unto the Lord and not unto men. Whereas the new coffee-maker for the church foyer would be a merely temporal endeavor for a secular institution, it is an investment for eternity whereupon it is declared so by God’s most holy servant for the furtherance of the ministry. Amen.

  9. Every year I was extremely grateful for my on-campus job that got me out of my Bible college’s annual conference. For some reason, that conference managed to attract the worst of the worst when it comes to preaching.

    And Darrell, if you ever write the Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements, I will buy it the minute it comes out!

  10. At what point did “conferences” of any variety become such a fundy fixation? I assume a generic Bible Conference was the start, but the sheer variety of conferences–missions, prophecy, womens’, and any other special topic, as you allude to–boggles the mind.

  11. Ah…. BJU Bible Conference…The replacement for spring break. You weren’t allowed to go home. Not even for weddings. Only deaths in your immediate family.

    It was also the only time we were allowed to walk on the grass. Everyone would have picnics between services. That was the only good thing about Bible Conference.

    There were so many services that it was actually more tiring and stressful than a regular week of classes. I never understood why we STILL have to have a Sunday service the week after. It should have been the “day of rest” it was originally meant for.

  12. I went to a secular college, but one spring break, I did go to a Bible conference with some of my friends… A Bible conference, that is, in Florida, where RC Sproul was speaking… so I don’t suspect for a nanosecond that it would have been “fundy approved.” :~D

  13. In my mind I imagined you reading it like the Holy hand grenade guy in Monty Python. “Book of Armaments, chapter 2…”

    You forgot about the sessions in the morning time.

  14. Bob Jones Bible Conference – great times.
    My senior year (March 2003), I remember the speaker on the first night bash France b/c they were against the Iraq War. I also remember when Bob Shelton (big time BJU prophecy “expert” and related to Jack Van Impe) bashed Tim LaHaye and his Left Behind books. Great memories, not from good preaching (unfortunately).

  15. I’m at a Missions Conference now. Fun stuff. There was an “everyone come forward” invitation every night so far. I do remember one of those invitations at BJU – that was the first time I made a conscious decision that I *wouldn’t* go forward, no matter what, because over 1000 people made their way to the front. I refused to be coerced into joining them. Since then I’m proud to say I’ve not responded in any way to a “everyone raise your hand/come forward” invitation.

  16. Don’t forget the ubiquitous reminders that godly people in the past attended revival meetings for weeks on end without whining (see Charles Finney). You should be ashamed if you can’;t show up every night for a week!

  17. My understanding was that was the 19th-century equivalent of going to the movies with the family. With the advent of movie theaters for the family and the shopping mall, people found their entertainment elsewhere. The Fundies, unaware they were mostly a feel-good side show, took this as people abandoning preaching.

  18. I checked out the list of BJU speakers and listened to the one that I thought I would get the most from, and I did. He even said: When I was a fundamentalist preacher–oh my, will he ever get invited back?? How can you really digest all of the preaching that goes on, 3 times a day! I’ll bet the kids are really stressed and tired by Sat.
    I graduated from a public university as I wasn’t the one in the family that was “called” to be a missionary, those that were went to Bible College….go figure.

  19. “I’ll bet the kids are really stressed and tired by Sat.”

    You are correct. Although, in my own case, I used Bible Conforence week to get a lot of extracurricular reading done. I’m probably the only person at BJ ever to carry a copy of The Sound and the Fury with my Bible into a Bible Conference service.

  20. @Jordan M. Poss: “I used Bible Conforence week to get a lot of extracurricular reading done. I’m probably the only person at BJ ever to carry a copy of The Sound and the Fury with my Bible into a Bible Conference service.”

    Ooh, I can one-up that! One year, I carried in Ovid’s Metamorphosis. A book filled with sex between the gods, trees, and other various mythical creatures–I got a bigger blessing from reading that than from listening to the preaching, I’m sorry to say.

    I listened to some of the BJU BC services this past week, but, after the first two nights’ heretical outrageousness, I got disheartened and depressed, and figured my time would be better spent watching LOST.

    1. Remember how, for the morning prayer service, they would have various student leaders come up and lead in prayer, one after the other? I was there the year that one of the kids came up to the pulpit and started off by saying, “Thank for you this food we are about to eat . . . ” For those of you who don’t know, the morning prayer service was at 9AM. Lunch was nowhere in sight. This student had obviously just started blurting out a more-or-less memorized prayer, at the wrong time, in front of about 3,000 people. Even worse, I was so tired that I barely even noticed. 😳

  21. I may actually have read that during Bible Conference, too–was that for Dr. Silvester’s class? I also read Brighton Rock and The Painted Veil the same week. And as long as we’re one-upping, did you ever read The Catcher in the Rye, 1984, or The Bonfire of the Vanities in the snack shop? 😉

  22. Bible Conference at PCC. So exhausting! The week before was semi finals and white glove. Every year, I thought of Spring Breakers relaxing somewhere while we were scrutinized and tattled on if we fell asleep during the hours of preaching. My husband started Bible Conference Bingo in the early 90s. A simple bingo game for catch words we heard over and over; Beautiful campus, Arlin Horton, KJV… If you won your were supposed to jump up and yell “It’s the rapture!” It caught on like crazy and the deans were hot to catch the evil individual that would make light of such an event. I hope Bible Conference Bingo lives on with Bible Conference today at PCC.

  23. I actually really liked Bible Conference at BJU. I don’t remember much of the preaching (*sigh*) but I had a load of fun sitting out on the grass to have picnics, and going to the Snack Shop between services with my (now) husband. The four services a day could be tiring, but then so could regular classes. It was a nice change from the routine.

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