Friday Challenge: What Did You End Up?

If you’ve left fundamentalism, the challenge to day is to tell us where and what you are now. Maybe you’ve got a new denominational label, maybe you’ve decided to abandon labels all together, or maybe you’re just plain confused.

It’s rather difficult to leave somewhere without ending up somewhere else. Share a bit about your greener pastures.

271 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: What Did You End Up?”

  1. I’m still a Baptist, but my wife and I are now of the evil Southern Baptist variety. Our church loves God and His Word, but I appreciate how much more balanced it is. We learn so much of the history and culture of biblical times, and our church is like a family. The contemporary music style doesn’t exclude hymns or familiar gospel music and choruses, which we like. Probably the nicest thing about it all is that folks aren’t judgmental there, and they really have an interest in helping our community with physical needs.

  2. I escaped fundamentalism about 15 years ago. I am now a very happy atheist. 🙂

    I love the blog! Keep up the great work.

  3. As a recovering ex-doctrines of disgrace believer, the comments here really say it all.

    Ex-fundies who all went Calvinist, Catholic, Charismatic or somehting else that usually starts with a “c”

    You all never “drank the kool aid” to begin with, and swapped it for license or legalism of another form.

    “Pot calling kettle black on line 1”

  4. I now attend a non-denominational church that grew out of a *gasp* Pentacostal church many, many years ago. I am still a Christian; I still read my Bible and pray every day (so I can grow, grow, grow), but I wear PANTS and go to MOVIES and do all other manner of evil things that would prevent some of my former cohorts from associating with me.

  5. There is a great chapter in Stuff Christians Like about people who are judgmental against fundamentalists because they are too judgmental. I wonder if Jonathan Acuff happened across this site when he writing that chapter.

  6. Oooh, I just found this post.

    Okay, I have no title, and don’t usually attend church. I still hold to some of the Baptist doctrines, but not all of them. I am just very untrusting of churches still to this day to attend one faithfully.

    However, I am a firm believer that all God-believing churches benefit the world in spreading the Gospel.

    BUT, with that said, I’m still young in getting out of IFB. But, I was born into IFB and raised as only that, so that’s all I know. One day I will probably find a church that is completely different from what I know.

    I will be attending my first Love Feast this holiday at our local Moravian church. I’m excited about it. The Moravian church is so different than the IFBs and yet I agree with a lot of their teachings.

    I might have found a new home.

  7. Let’s see… Raised GARBC (our pastor was a BJU grad) K-12 in Baptist school that used a mixture of BJUP and A Beka. Attended LeTourneau College (now LeTourneau University). Found the Baptist churches in Texas something of a culture shock. Ended up Grace Brethren. From there, Evangelical Free, IBFx (in a particularly toxic congregation), E. Free again, SBC (this congregation was even more toxic than the IBF church down the road, but they were more subtle about it), BBF, Episcopal, Lutheran (LCMS), Anglican. I expected the Episcopal / Anglican churches to feel creepy or weird. Instead, for the first time in my life, I felt like I’d come home.

    My wife’s background is even more complicated. When we were discussing the joining the Anglican church, she said, “If they want me to get baptized again, forget it.” She had been baptized five times by churches that insisted only their way was valid. How many forms of baptism could there be?

  8. I was raised in a Fundy church…3 times a week and also attended the Fundy Christian School through HS graduation. As a family we never did anything outside of Fundyism. I attended TTU for 2 years. I was totally sheltered. I am 51 so this was during the 60’s and 70’s and into the 80’s. We attended both the “Hyles” cult type and the BJU type. All of my family are still fervent fundies. When I was 26…for the first time in my life I was drug by “husband” to a Bible church. I was shocked that the preacher did not give an invitation after the sermon. (I never knew that 15 stanzas of “Just as I Am” at the end of a sermon was not normal) So after attending for a while…like a good fundy I confronted him on this act of evil. “Why do you not give people the opportunity to receive Christ as their savior?” He replied, “XXXXXXX, I know everyone here and we are all saved” It was a small congregation. No preacher in my life had ever failed to beg people to walk the isle in any service no matter how small. So…for the first time in my life I started to think. In Fundyism you don’t think. I don’t know why, but you just don’t. Since then I have been in non-denominational, Reformed Baptist, Lutheran, and visited a host of others. People are the same everywhere with the exception of the Fundies…you just can’t match um and you just can’t make um think.

  9. My Dad was (is) a fundy preacher with degrees from BJU & TTU. I attended a Fundy High School, BJU & TTU before I came home and graduated from a God-forsaken-state-school. From about junior high on I began to have many questions & many long arguments with by parents about certain practices among the fundys. My dad was a moderate, as fundy’s go. That means my sister could wear pants, and we could read from something other than the KJV for our own personal study. ( and we were allowed to disagree “respectfully with our parents.) However we had to keep up appearances around some of the “weaker brothers”. There were many times my sister had to change clothes because Brother so & so was coming over. There was a time when our TV had wheels on it so it could be safely hidden away from the eyes of the “weaker brothers.” I had many arguments with my parents about the hypocrisy of this. When I left BJU, I believed I was a “saved agnostic.” At the God-forsaken-state-school I met some true Christians who loved the Lord, but were not caught up in all the legalism. I now attend a SBC. My parents still have strong ties to BJU and I occasionally go to services at my Dad’s church. I have even preached there. Theologically I agree with the basics the Inspiration of the Bible, Virgin Birth of Christ, the Resurrection of Christ I’m even pre-mil, pre-trib. However I disagree much of the fundy-subculture and am glad I my children are not subjected to it, they just think Grandad’s Church is “old fashioned”, and that is ok with me.

    I think this is one of the funniest web sites I have run across and have literally laughed out loud several times only to have my wife & son not understand what I was laughing at.

  10. I was raised straight-laced and went to a hardcore Fundy church the majority of my life…I graduated from BJU…it’s a fairly long story, but after a broken engagement, re-evaluation of the life, reading more of the Bible, and a former Presbyterian boyfriend….I am now Presbyterian 🙂 (PCA) I love my church. 🙂

  11. I went to a super fundy high school that has since folded (ptl). I then attended BJU which many people that know me now just laugh about. I am now in a Baptist church that loves people and God’s word and has been distancing itself from Fundies for about the past 20 years. There are still some remnants of fundyism that pop up, but they are generally small and insignificant things that don’t eat at me.

  12. For reasons too complicated to explain, I am still in a fundy congregation. We have pre-set standards that no one really believes in (ie: women shalt not wear pants when at church.. read only the KJV in church.. men shall wear a tie, preferably with a jacket, when serving in any capacity in a service.. go knock doors on Saturday to show the community that we care.. anytime the doors are open, you should be there.. drums are bad, guitars plugged in to amplification equipment are worse, etc) No one questions the leadership, and if they do they disappear and wind up in places where they actually enjoy Christ.
    I believe doctrinally what the church preaches, so I sometimes believe that you can’t walk because there is no real “reason” for doing so.. As I flounder, rather unhappily, and disagree with these issues that leadership is seemingly willing to “die” over, I become more and more discontented with it. But, if no one has spoken heresy and there is no misappropriation going on, I believe it’s not for me to leave… YET.

  13. I was raised Nazarene. No dancing, no aerobics because that’s like dancing, grape juice and matzo at communion… but I got out very early, which saved me a lot of grief when I realized I liked girls in addition to boys. Now I’m a bisexual Army lieutenant who sometimes attends Quaker meetings, which, well, can be kind of awkward what with the whole pacifism thing and my whole soldier thing, but I agree with their teachings almost completely across the board.

    I feel I was one of the lucky ones, as, really, I escaped with no emotional damage since I left the tradition so early.

  14. I had a case of moderate to severe fundamentalism throughout my school years as part of a homeschool “co-op” of fellow believers who viewed the school system with disdain. While I was fairly conservative in my beliefs during my early teen years, I became increasingly discouraged by some of the “Pharisaical” tendencies I was seeing among some of the more extreme members of the fundy community, many of which are documented here on this site.

    After seeing my older sister go to a certain Baptist university (that I’ll leave unnamed), and I heard enough horror stories to turn me away even further. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when my sister hung out with closet homosexuals, and as a result was accused of orchestrating a “lesbian sex ring” (in spite of the fact that she’s straight and her gay friends in question were male.) That’s when I decided to hazard my weakening faith on the grounds of a secular state university.

    I’ve never regretted that decision. Since then, I’ve come to a somewhat agnostic position (though mostly on a provisional basis, until I can come to firmly believe in something), but I am nevertheless happily married to a devout, yet very reasonable Christian woman, with whom I hold philosophical discussions that prove to be one of the highlights of our marriage.

  15. I didn’t leave. My church left. We brought in a young man as a pastor who after a year of pastoring and figuring out he didn’t have all the answers, decided his philosophy of ministry better be dependent on God’s Word and not a common heritage and tradition. He decided since he had to give an account for everyone, he better not be using people up for the (his) ministry’s benefit but pouring into them. It was a hard decision to break with traditions and established IFB dogma. But oh the places we have gone and things we have seen.

    This has been going on for fifteen years now.

    While no longer a ‘pillar’ of our church’s existence, we still have bus routes and camps, though decisionistic theology has evaporated and more care goes into actually helping people with life (physically and spiritually). More creativity is given to the body for ministry.

    The visitation program has withered on the vine, though more connections are being made in the community than ever.

    Most all the KJV-only crowd has left though some still remain. The music program has become diverse with Southern Gospel, Sovereign Grace, CCM and Ron Hamilton stuff all occurring – sometimes in the same service.

    Pants and open collars mix equally with jean skirts, suits and labels with flags and lighthouses – and we all talk to each other – often warmly.

    Crazy Sunday School promotions/rewards have disappeared.

    We have a plurality of elders (though we still call them pastors) now. One of the associate pastors is in charge of the youth/children program and his primary responsibility is there but it is clear he is not a junior partner among the three.

    Did I mention an exegetical treatment of the Scripture? Every week? A systematic approach to God’s Word with series often alternating between the pastors?

    Since the change was (and still is) gradual over time, one forgets all the shenanigans that this site is bringing back to mind. I find browsing SFL to be like looking through an old high school yearbook and remembering and not always unfondly. At the same time I am glad we are no longer there.

    Not everything is perfect and we have our problems but to paraphrase Spurgeon, “Thank God, we aren’t the church we used to be, thank God we are not the church we are going to be.”

    1. Now that does my heart good! It read a story of a successful transistion away from the IFB to a healthy practice of how to do church. For me it means so much more since we failed to turn the rudder that was jammed to following the IFB course, and ended up abandoning ship in order to save ourselves and our children from the S.S. FundieCult.

      Thank you for posting such an encouraging report.

      1. Don, I’m glad you found it encouraging. That encourages me right back and makes me more thankful for the pastor that started the process.

        It is sorrowful that decisions like yours have to be made. It wasn’t until I found this site a few days ago that I began to understand the degree of hurt which many experience.

        As I continued to grow in Christ and shed the restraints the “fundy” form requires of its adherents, I never felt ‘better’ than anyone else, just thankful to emerge from it. Because our leadership initiated the changes, those who desired to grow were free to do so. Those that left were those that refused to follow pastoral leadership in spiritual issues and in the life and practice of the church, which I found ceaselessly ironic.

  16. I guess I could say I’m a simple free grace believer. I believe in the essential fundamentals; I used to be strictly KJV only but not anymore. I’m just KJV preferential and if I read another version it’s the NKJV, plus I like to study the Greek and hebrew if I can.
    My journey is kind of long and complicated to sum it up in high school after I became a believer, I got caught up in calvinism/lordship/arminism/fundyism. Weird I know, but after I graduated I began to read stuff for myself.
    Funny enough I had a brief stint as a fundamental baptist in late 2009, but some bad personal stuff happened and I just searched, and realized being a believer shouldn’t be this hard.
    Stuff I’d been taught while fundyism just didn’t line up so yeah I’m a grace believing Christian who’s into the European Power metal scene. Really enjoy Rob Rock, Edguy, Iron Maiden,Avantasia, and my boys from Georgia, Theocracy (I live in Alabama).
    I am what I am, and really I guess don’t have a label for myself except God bless and ROCK ON! UP THE IRONS OF FREEDOM! LoL funny thing is the drummer for Iron Maiden is a Christian too. :mrgreen:

Comments are closed.