Camps Redux

This quote sums up the state of fundamentalist rival camps so very well that I decided to post it here without further comment.

One of the many things that trouble the Independent Baptists is our camp mentality.Somehow or another, through the desire to be separated and consecrated, we’ve ‘separated’ and ‘consecrated’ ourselves into our own independent camps. For instance; there’s the Shouting & Running The Aisles Camp, and the Non-Shouting & Running The Aisles Camp; then there’s the Southern Gospel Music Camp and the Bluegrass Gospel Music camp, and in opposition to them we have the Conservative Music Camp; and let’s not forget the camp that says it’s OK to have a Mission Board, and the Camp which thinks Mission Boards are of the Devil; the Anti-Horn-Rimmed Glasses Camp; or how about the Camp that allows the use of bass guitars & drums in the church, and the opposing Camp who cuts off fellowship with all such; and then the Camp who teaches that every believer should remember the very day and hour of their conversion, and the Camp who teaches that it’s not necessary; and of course the Get Rid Of Your TV Camp side by side with the TV is OK camp. Space constraints limit me from mentioning the Seminary Trained & the Anti-Seminary Campss, the Textus Receptus Camp, and the KJV1611-Only Camp; the Anti-Bus Ministry Camp; the Harold Sightler Camp, the Anti-Mustache Camp, the Ruckman Camp, the Hyles-Anderson Camp; the 1-2-3-Repeat-After-Me Soul-Winner Camp, the Anti-Divorced & Remarried Minister Camp, etcetera, etcetera.

The Errors of Independence, Mitch Allman

Well said.

30 thoughts on “Camps Redux”

  1. …the preserved KJV camp, the inspired KJV camp, the anti-Ruckman camp, the anti-Hyles camp, the anti-Rick Warren camp, the we-hate-your-college camp, plus a camp for ever variation of end-time theology…

  2. It was being raised with this line of thought that caused me to not have a healthy trust in people. “Those people” were shallow and immature Christians because they didn’t preach from the KJV and were to be shunned. Over the years, I’ve realized that some of the best advice I ever received were from non-fundies and believe it or not a few non-christians. It took me many years to realize that just because I don’t see eye to eye that I can’t get good advice from a fellow christian. My husband, who doesn’t attend church, has even pointed something out to me that I never thought of. Goes to show that there are no limits as to whom God will use to point you in the right direction (He also gave the ability to use discretion to tell when it is good or bad).

  3. I’ve had so many run-ins with and known so many people who belong to these camps it’s upsetting to think about all at once. Pithy quotation.

  4. Running the aisles gets a second mention. Nice. : )

    I suppose we could add to that list the old-fashioned-hymbooks-only camp versus the same-hymns-but-on-a-projector camp. Or, the screamo-preaching-style camp versus the normal-sound-level-preaching-style camp. Or, the internet-is-evil camp versus the internet-is-sometimes-ok camp.

  5. I love to camp. Its a great family activity 😉 Not so good for churches though. Good find. Great post.

  6. I think the only thing that would unite all these camps is the anti-Calvinism camp. Most of the IFB movement, is against Calvinism. The same type of hostility is prevalent in the Southern Baptist Convention too. I find it quite amusing that the SB founders were of the Calvinistic mindset

    Never mind the issues of church music, Bible versions, dress codes, etc. Try talking about church history – that will surely show what camp someone belongs to.

  7. I was raised in a fundamentalist Lutheran church. I actually have a lot of great memories from camp. The morning Bible studies were blah and boring to a kid, but the afternoon and evening activities were loads of fun.

  8. @Morgan I remember being at a Lutheran church one time and was SHOCKED they had an open KJV in the lobby area. I’d never imagined there would be such a thing as a fundamentalist Lutheran church, although I know several that sticking w/ organ music only is somehow a high priority.

  9. @ Richard

    The Calvinist IFB movement is growing – in Minnesota especially there are a lot of hard-core IFB churches that are also Calvinist. Plus, the legalism in some branches of the Reformed movement and the popularity of men like Doug Phillips and Vision Forum is creating a new group of Calvinistic fundamentalists.

  10. The Calvinist IFB movement is growing

    That’s definitely been my experience. I knew a lot of die-hard Calvinists at Bob Jones, of all places.

  11. @ Ann and Jordan: Yeah, I’m definitely seeing a new brand of Calvinistic fundamentalism. (e.g. the Piper/Warren controversy)

  12. @ Ann

    Yes, many former IFB/Southern Baptist churches are starting to become Calvinistic (praise God) in their doctrine but still a large number of churches are against Calvinism.

    I’m aware of Vision Forum’s “Family Integrated Church” stance and the “quiverfull” movement. It amounts to nothing more than legalism from a Calvinistic viewpoint. Men are the head (priest) of the family, mandatory home-schooling, dress codes, etc., and the wives are nothing more than submissive broodmares. It’s fundamentalistic-Calvinism to the extreme. Although I’m a firm believer in the doctrines of grace, I despise any form of legalism even if it’s under the realm of Calvinism. I left legalism years ago and have no desire to get anywhere close to it. True doctrines of grace has nothing at all to do with legalism.

  13. In my experience (as a 5-point Calvinist), many Calvinist Fundamentalists are just as hostile and have just as strong a “camp” mentality as the anti-Calvinists. I did see Calvinist cliques at BJU destroy a lot of vulnerable students. The key word of Christian behavior is still love, not predestination. Some Calvinist Fundamentalists ignore this just as much as their anti-Calvinist counterparts,

  14. @Ann (et al): yes, that has definitely been my experience as well. And as a Presby who *does* embrace the doctrines of grace, the combination of Calvinism and fundamentalism can be a deadly combination.

  15. Re: Calvinism

    Mark Driscoll could be one example of a Calvinist with fundamentalist leanings outside of independent fundamentalism proper, albeit one who wears clothing that is slightly more “hip” than other fundamentalists!

    And by the way, isn’t it sad to see what happens to the ‘doctrines of grace’ when mixed with fundamentalism?

  16. @Josh: the same could be said about others in the “Young, Restless, Reformed” movement…

  17. It’s sad to see, but many are being drawn into the fundy/Calvinistic camp by believing that a church is doctrinally “ok”, so long as it preaches the 5-points but ignoring the fact it also adds the works of man (fundamentalism). From the comments, it’s definitely not only former IFB churches. This danger applies to Reformed Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Reformed, etc. If it walks and talks like a fundy no matter what they say about believing Calvinism, run. If not, you will eventually be under some type of legalism.

    Also, just as there is KJV-onlyism in fundamentalism, there is now some individuals/churches that have begun to propagate a “ESV-only” movement in the Reformed circles. That’s mainly because the people involved with the ESV translation and endorsing it are Reformed/Calvinistic (Piper, Packer, Driscoll, etc.) Many Calvinistic churches that were using the KJV, NKJV, and NASB, have now gone with the ESV. I feel that might lead to a danger that if your a Calvinist, you should be using the ESV due to “peer pressure”.

  18. The New Calvinism is growing because it appeals to the Young Fundamentalist’s sense of embarrassment and presents a more tactful and intellectual alternative to Fundamentalism proper, while at the same time being fundamentalist enough to feel “normal” to one who grew up Fundamentalist.

  19. @Richard: I’ve definitely have observed the ESV thing. You can fairly accurately determine if a church is Reformed by finding out what Bible version they use.

    @mountain: touche. I believe one of the reasons it appeals to young fundies is that it offers the same certainty that they once had in Fundamentalism. . .

  20. Mountain wrote, “The New Calvinism is growing because it appeals to the Young Fundamentalist’s sense of embarrassment and presents a more tactful and intellectual alternative to Fundamentalism proper, while at the same time being fundamentalist enough to feel “normal” to one who grew up Fundamentalist.”

    If that is true, then certainly they will produce a version of Fundamentalism just as spiritually and morally bankrupt as that of their parents.

  21. Hey, at least in the “Young, Restless, and Reformed” or “New Calvinism” camp, you can have your friends over for lively discussions about gender roles, 6-day creation, and appropriate “Christian” music over some beers.

  22. If that’s as far as it goes, and the dark corners have not been flooded with light, it’s just a more mellow path of destruction. Once upon a time, while the church members went soul winning, the sole pastors and their personal inner circles met to keep the machine running by backroom deals, gentlemen’s agreements, rehearsing a story together, etc. If that aspect of Fundamentalism doesn’t change, nothing that matters has changed. Comfortable self righteousness and indifference to others passes the time better than Spartan self righteousness and indifference, but they still lead to the same place.

  23. Well, I thought we were going to be talking about camps….you know like the Wilds or Word of Life or Camp Joy. Those are places that I would NEVER send my children to. I would love to see an irreverent post about the brainwashing and wickedness masquerading as Christianity that occurs in those places. Glad I never really “bought in” to them.

  24. “Hey, at least in the “Young, Restless, and Reformed” or “New Calvinism” camp, you can have your friends over for lively discussions about gender roles, 6-day creation, and appropriate “Christian” music over some beers.”

    I don’t know. From what I’ve seen, the issue of gender roles is *not* even remotely up for discussion among many/most in the New Calvinist camp, and taking a non-Young Earth position could likewise get you in serious trouble (Waltke controversy, anyone?!?). Even having the occasional beer is not always permissible, especially among some of the more baptistic types. Granted, fundamentalism and separationism are not as prevalent throughout the whole movement (yet) as they are in IFB circles, but believe me, they are there!

    @MysteryMom: that’s been discussed here before:

  25. I dodged all of those bullets (or camps). When I left fundamentalism, I joined the Anglican Church, Province of Rwanda.

  26. Hey, whats wrong with the Wilds. It looks awesome, though I’ve never been.

    This makes Catholocism look awfully appealing.

    (though, I guess they have their camps too)

  27. This is one thing that’s always bugged me. Not just in IFB camps, but even to an extent in Christianity in general. Scary, and very sad.

    And the whole Calvinistic IFB idea everyone’s jibbering about. My current church is Calvinistic, non-denom. Pretty good doctrine overall…EXCEPT, I’m starting to notice more and more the Fundamentalist leanings here and there. Quite frustrating.

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