Friday Challenge: Be Constructive

A frequent accusation of the posts and comments on this site is that they tend to be very negative without providing a “better way” to do things. So today the challenge is to give some constructive advice about ways there could be positive change in fundyland. (Hint: “Nuke it from space” or “Burn it to the ground” are not the positive changes we’re looking for here).

My contribution:

1. A return to liberty in matters not explicitly covered by Scripture.
2. True legal, moral, and ethical accountability at every level.
3. An acknowledgment that other orthodox believers are brothers and sisters in Christ with whom real fellowship is possible even if disagreements exist.
4. A realization that differences in culture, method, and style should be judged on their own merits and not dismissed merely because they are not my way of doing things.

What are yours?

117 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Be Constructive”

  1. I want fundies to realize that they are not the mouthpiece of God, a remnant and not in any way related to OT Israel.

    Stop being the thought police… Just because you do it does not mean it is right or effective.

    Stop labeling other churches as Laodecian it just makes you sound ignorant of Biblical context and that is God’s call to rebuke a church anyway.

    Stop being controlling and authoritarian and lead people with godly motivation rather than fear.

  2. Stop this KJV-onlyism. It is not historically provable or logically sustainable.

    Realize that God does not have just one Bible. All across the world different versions of the Bible are being blessed and used to share the gospel in people’s own language. Go to the Christian bookstore and find one in your language – if you speak 21st century English they have some in that language.

    It’s amazing how a Bible translated for the glory of King James and the advancement of the Church of England is the favorite of fundies.

  3. @Sarah

    “well, I think if all these (most excellent!) suggestions were actually acted on, it wouldn’t be fundyland anymore…”

    That’s actually why I left Fundamentalism. It wasn’t just the insanity and that I knew it would be impossible to change them…I knew that by changing them they’d cease to be what they are and become something completely different. IOW they cannot be fixed. I believe that Fundamentalism is fundamentally flawed and incapable of being repaired. The only way to fix it is to become something else. It is not just the way we view it, it is the way they are. To change means they cease being what they are.

  4. @exIFB I recognize that other non-IFB churches preach dispensationalism, but it seems like IFBism drank the Kool-Aid of some of its most extreme positions (aka. OT saints were saved by keeping the law, Matthew 5 is the “constitution of the Millennial kingdom” in which people will be saved by their works, the 7 churches of Revelation are 7 church eras, TimLaHaye Left Behind craze, etc…)

  5. Oh, man. Law. You said it.

    Here’s how to make positive change in fundyland: Opt out!

    I think that unless Christian denominations know that their members find certain things to be dealbreakers, unless they know that they can and will lose members if they’re being horrible, nothing will change. If they know they have you forever no matter what, then they aren’t accountable to you in the least. Never trust an organization that has zero accountability to its constituent members, because it will get out of control. Maybe sooner, or maybe later, but it will. It just will.

    In order for the reformers to get heard, people of conscience need to make it very very clear that voting with one’s feet and one’s dollars is not an extreme measure. It is the very basic requirement of a human being of any moral backbone at all.

  6. I don’t know if anyone has already said these but . . .

    1. this is not “the most sinful, wicked nation/generation since Sodom & Gomorrah.” I can think of about a dozen cultures and societies that deserved more fire and brimstone or hurricane Katrinas than ours. Don’t bash people you don’t witness to. Don’t pine away after the good ol’ days. There is nothing new under the sun.

    2. don’t expel people for sinning or rule breaking. For goodness sake counsel them or something but don’t reject them. If they’re such great counselors why can’t they rehabilitate? I knew a fifteen year old kid who tried pot and his parents kicked him out of his home and he had no where to go but to sleep in a Wal Mart parking lot.

  7. @bju grad

    In response to point 2. So true. In fundy land they tend to reject people in their greatest time of need. In fact, it seems to be an inverse property. The greater the person’s need after said sin the quicker they throw them out on their back with no chance of forgiveness. The less horrible the sin the more likely they’ll forgive you. Forget your room job? no problem. Have sex and good bye never see you again.

    1. I think i have told this story before, but the artist who gave me my first tattoo (an Alpha-Omega symbol) started to tell me why he was no longer a Christian. His parents were missionaries in (i think) Africa, with a Fundy-type misiionary society, but bad things can happen to good people, and their marriage hit some difficulties. They decided to go and live in different houses for a while, they thought that might help them get some perspective. Instead of trying to help, their church condemmed them as sinners and told them to leave, and the missionary society did the the same. not only did they lose their spritual home, they lost their jobs and also lost their son, who was upset that his parents were regarded as no more than an embarressment, and he wanted nothing more with God, Jesus, Christians or any of that “malarkey”. Can’t say I blame him. 🙁

    1. Paul, you have made an important admission. If these posts have “destroyed” much of what Fundamentalism is built upon (by pointing out many serious errors and abuses), then the system has a faulty foundation. While I don’t agree with everything that has been posted or every comment made, I have found the level of logical thought and analysis on this site to be far above what I experienced within Fundamentalism.

  8. 1. Be willing to actually ask hard questions, and to ask hard questions about the answers.
    2. Be willing to set doctrine aside and actually read the Bible as a story about God and His interactions with humanity, not a list of rules and regulations that guarantee the good life or heaven.
    3. Examine your rules that aren’t from the Bible and question why you chose the ones you did for how you’re going to be separate from the world, and not the others.

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