27 thoughts on “Ill-Conceived Analogies”

  1. I remember BJIII at the end of a chapel message launching into a long, complicated, and entirely unlikely story about how American soldiers in the Pacific would use telltale “r” or “l”words as password because native Japanese speakers could not say them right. So this American soldier gets separated from his squad, and then gets lost in the jungle, and blunders his way to this outpost that is not his platoon, and is going to be shot on sight, and when he prays and pleads the Blood of Christ (no sacrilege intended), the soldier spare shim because “blood” was the password. And in just that way, when we plead the blood before the Father, we’ll be spared. I was and am a believer in a literal blood atonement, but even as a devoted fundy at the age of 20, I was rolling my eyes at this convoluted, oblique, non-believable, and loooooong analogy.

  2. This site just keeps getting better.

    Bad historical anecdotes: Citing Washington and Columbus as heros of the faith who bravely fought to further religious liberty and the cause of Christ.

    Bad analogies: Being like the moon, which only reflects the light of the Son. Glory! The moon, however, is much more like the dead fish floating down stream. D= Bummer.

  3. @BASSENCO yeah, that’s totally not believable. Some of the rumors & falsities that get re-told as illustrations I can understand how someone would think it was likely to have happened, heard it enough time to just believe it, and integrated it. Something like that, beyond the racism involved in perpetuating the R & L stereotype against Asians, just isn’t believable. Who putting any kind of brainpower into actually listening to a story above a 3 year old listening Grandpa BS’er would give any credence to that? Oh nevermind….

    1. There is absolutely no good reason to be responding to a 3 1/2 year old post, but Jordan is right. The reply required to the senty’s challenge may well be chosen because it contains sounds that are difficult for the enemy to pronounce.

      It’s not a new idea either: anyone remember Shibboleth/ Sibboleth?

  4. Something like that, beyond the racism involved in perpetuating the R & L stereotype against Asians, just isn’t believable.

    Well, even if calling out “blood” in the nick of time is unbelievable, believe the L and R thing. US troops in World War II routinely picked passwords that would be difficult to imitate by the enemy. It’s not racist, just safe. (Repeating that story in chapel, however, is squirm-worthy.) In the European theatre they picked passwords with W and TH sounds, since neither of those exists in German.

    I’m wracking my brain for just one of the many bad analogies I’ve heard, but while we’re talking about closely-related phenomena, fundies also like misinterpreting biblical analogies. A lot.

  5. @Jordan I’ll def concede they used those as passwords. I still think in that illustration it’s more illlustrative of the latent racism in lots of fundieland as much as it is of somehow magically “naming the blood” to save your life.

  6. Well Rob, I don’t think he was being racist in relating the password story, but I never heard of a US sentry who had authority to shoot a captured solider in US uniform, carrying a US weapon, who says he’s lost. The sentry would either shoot him on sight as he approached in dangerous conditions in a restricted area, no questions asked, as an intruder. Or the sentry would question him and shoot him on command from a superior. But the idea of hearing his full story, not checking it out, deciding right there to shoot him, but then letting him pray, and then deciding not to shoot him because in the course of his prayer he stumbles across the password is teeeeeaaaaaaaaally stretching my ability to believe this. It’s a little too close to the “say the right word and the duck will come down and give you a bullet proof vest” motif.

  7. I’m not overfond of the “stay as far away from the edge of the cliff” analogy about staying away from sin. At some point it becomes absurd: how FAR from the cliff can you get? The Bible uses the best analogy for following God: staying on the path and not straying right OR left.

  8. This is the one I know: “A Christian is like a tea bag — he’s not worth much until he’s been through some hot water.”

    If there’s a different one, I’d love to hear it.

  9. Wow I have never heard of that one. I’ve never heard that one. I’ve heward of MaryKay
    Christianity. It’s false and comes off under pressure. This post and the last really go hand in hand. It’s really badf when jingles or sayings kind of become like doctrines …
    or when thres a nice littel jingle as a point of each sermon. Also crazy or catchy sermon titles- An Achan Heart, The Sin and the Suicide of Superman Sampson.

  10. How about the old “Frog in boiling water” bit? You know… “if you throw a frog in boiling water he will quickly jump out. But if you put a frog in a pot of cold water and gradually raise the temperature, the frog will not notice, become comfortable, and eventually cook to death.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard that as a warning to not become comfortable with this world, or to not hang around the wrong friends, b/c it will make you complacent and cause you to slowly cook in the heat and squalor of this world.

    Years later I found this: “The ‘critical thermal maxia’ of many species of frogs have been determined by several investigators. In this procedure, the water in which a frog is submerged is heated gradually at about 2 degrees Farenheit per minute. As the temperature of the water is gradually increased, the frog will eventually become more and more active in attempts to escape the heated water. If the container size and opening allow the frog to jump out, it will do so.”

    But, I’m sure that definition could just be explained away as the diabolical words of some evil scientist! “That’s a lie from the a devil’s hell”, right Darrell?

  11. Ugh – the dog poop brownies indeed.

    I suppose the true analogy there would be that any brownies you can possibly make this side of redemption have dog poop in them, and that furthermore we’ve all got plenty of said dog poop in ourselves (“It isn’t what goes into a person that makes them unclean,” etc.).

  12. @Camille, I love your blogspot. You have been through the mill and have come out a shining star and I love you for your insight and wisdom and sharing it all with others. I am so glad that I came upon your blog. That being said, these illustrations is so overused in the church I attend. And we have said this before on the site, the typical if your don’t agree with the leadership, you are a sinner. Camille’s friend is so right on about what Christ REALLY says about sin and yet fundy preachers go on using these illustrations that produce guilt and not true realization about one’s sinful condition. Altho, you can become sinless, so my pastor says. Guess he has arrived.

  13. My personal favorite (and one that came up recently): the use of a banana as proof that God has designed the world with us in mind. Perfectly hand-sized, easy to peel, etc. (We’ve all seen Kirk Cameron’s presentation, I’m sure)

    In reality the banana is one of the most intensively cultivated food crops around and is almost literally incapable of reproducing without human intervention (effectively, most domesticated banana plants are clones). Some varieties of banana are no longer commercially viable, in fact, because their lack of genetic diversity made them exceptionally vulnerable to disease. Bananas as found in nature are nearly inedible due to the large numbers of very large seeds they contain.

    The commercial banana, in other words, is more the creation of man than the creation of God.

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