Taxonomy

I was walking across a bridge recently. I spied this guy who looked like he was ready to jump off. So, I thought I’d try to stall him until authorities showed up (or at least until I had time to ready my camera). “Don’t jump!” I said.

“Why not? Nobody loves me.”

“God loves you,” I said. “You believe in God, don’t you?”

“Yes, I believe in God.”

“Good,” I said. “Are you Christian or Jewish?”

“Christian.”

“Me too!” I said. “Protestant or Catholic?”

“Neither,” he said.

“What then?”

“Baptist,” he said.

“Me, too!” I said. “Independent Baptist or Southern Baptist?”

“Independent Baptist.”

“Me too!” I said. “New Evangelical/Moderate Independent Baptist or Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Conservative Independent Baptist.”

“Me too!” I said. “Dispenstional Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist or Historical Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist.”

“Me too!” I said. “Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillenial Conservative Independent Baptist or For Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillenial Conservative Independent Baptist.”

“Me too!” I said. “Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillenial Conservative Independent Baptist or Strict Separation of Church and State Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist.”

“Me too!” I said. “Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist
Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist or Anti-Disney Boycott Pro-Choice Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist.”

“Me too!” I said. “KJV Only Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist or Modern Versions Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Actually, I’m NASB-PREFERRED Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Conservative Independent Baptist.”

“Auugghh!!! You heretic!” I said. And I pushed him over.

— Adapted by reader KindOfBored from a very old joke

48 thoughts on “Taxonomy”

      1. Normally, Darrell, I would take it as a joke. But as someone who spent over 72 hours in lockup last week because of years of IFB abuse, I find no humor in it. Reading this almost pushed me to call 911 a second time.

  1. Warning: obscure reference to a particular scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (which is an okay “film” because it’s been out of the theater for decades)–in fundyland you’re worth more dead than alive…so go ahead and push him off the bridge.

      1. If there’s one thing I learned growing up as a fundamentalist it’s that all guilt is good, but the best kind is guilt by association! My parents tell me they pray for me everyday. What they pray about is between them and God.

  2. By the way, comedian Emo Philips has been given credit for coming up with the original joke, said to be the funniest religious joke ever. Makes me cringe, because it shows how our orthodoxy is viewed by many.

  3. The quibbling and the building of needless walls separating over little details is so frustrating! It is also unbiblical: 2 Tim. 2:23 “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” There is SO much Chistians agree upon, but instead we separate over the little bit we don’t agree with and then consider ourselves holier than everyone else. How did a desire for the fundamentals of the faith (inspiration of the Bible, the virgin birth, etc.) turn into quibbling over hair length and movie attendance?

      1. @Don, you and Darrell are right; I just hoped those of us following Christ would realize we are dead to sin and alive to Christ! This is a huge beam in the eye of Christianity!

    1. “How did a desire for the fundamentals of the faith … turn into quibbling over hair length and movie attendance?”

      Because the key for the “Fightin’ Fundamentalist” is the “Fightin'” – Fundamentals are secondary.

      1. And I guess that’s why I’m not a fundamentalist anymore. I don’t know what to call myself because I still believe the fundamentals. But the fighting part? Not so much.

        We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, things not seen so I want to show love and humility to the people around me not arrogance and anger. (That’s gonna be a hard one due to the total depravity thing, but thankfully we can do all things through Christ!)

        1. But I’ll bet you have fewer “fundamentals” than the folks who want to fight have. I still consider myself a fundamentalist, but my list of “fundamentals” is a lot shorter than it used to be.

  4. i remember my pastor using this illustration back when i was 12. i lined up perfectly then, not so much now 😕

    i’m no longer baptist, nor independent, nor conservative, nor dispensational, nor fundamentalist, and i definitely prefer esv. the others i’ll discuss, at least.

  5. It’s amazing how many things we can be “absolutely convinced” about when they’re not specified in the Bible. When I began my journey into Fundyland I learned that Amy Grant was wicked, jeans were “the sackcloth of Satan,” pants in general were an abomination if women wore them, movies were bad, etc. etc. What amazed me was when my Fundy roommates found out I played with Smurfs as a child and they were shocked that I hadn’t been disciplined out of the church yet …

    1. To my Mom, the big problem with jeans – as well as any other type of pants that were so designed – was the zipper being in front instead of on the side or in back. My Mom said that made them “men’s clothing”, because men “need” a zipper in front and women don’t. The fact that for many millenia men did not wear pants with a zipper in front, and therefore don’t “need” one, was moot.

      1. My missions team leader had a problem with women wearing jeans because they contain “rivets.” I can still hear her saying that: “Nothing with RIVETS.” Like rivets are somehow unspiritual.

  6. ha. good take Darrell! Great parable to illustrate the point.
    A minor disagreement. I think the version question would have come up much earlier in the conversation. At least in my experience the KJVOers bring it up right after Independent, Fundamental and Baptist. =)Course then the guy would’ve been pushed off after only 3-4 questions instead of 45 so I see why you left it till later. =)

    1. No I think it is perfect how it unravels. It goes from broadest to most narrow. Each addition is slightly more narrow then the past one. Until finally you get down to where they agree on everything but this one tiny issue and BAM! off he goes into eternity. It is the punch line you expect, but funny even still.

  7. this taxonomy should, unfortunately, also include worship style. a couple of years ago i was told by a fundy leader that all other things being equal, fundamentalists would separate over preferred worship styles. i pointed out several of the “one another” verses in the NT (e.g. rom 12:10, 16; 1 peter 5:5) and asked why fundamentalists were still separating over worship style preferences…he replied “i don’t know.”

    i don’t think anyone knows, but they do it anyway…

    1. Not only do they separate over worship style alone, but they’ve been known to question the validity of the Biblical preaching at a church based ONLY on the fact that they don’t like their worship style. It’s like the difference between KJV-only folks and KJV-preferred people. KJV-preferred prefer the KJV, but won’t call you a reprobate and perhaps unsaved if you use a different version! The traditional hymns-only crowd act like the KJV-only: rabidly opposed to anyone who worships in a so-called “contemporary” way. If only they could be “traditional hymns preferred”; then they could reasonably say, “I prefer hymns only with an organ, but you’re my brother in Christ even though you’re singing praise choruses with a guitar.”

    1. Here’s a rundown of some of the problems, although it only compares the KJV with the NIV, not any other translations:

      http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume1/tr.htm

      Here’s another:
      http://www.raptureready.com/rr-kjvo.html

      I put “King James Version translation errors” into Google and got 84,600 results. Do the same, and you’ll find many other articles worth a look.
      http://www.google.com/search?q=king+james+version+translation+errors&hl=en&rlz=1R2DKUS_enUS364&prmd=iv&biw=780&bih=816&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iw

    2. There are good books on the subject as well. These have been helpful in my study.

      [The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism] by Carson
      [Scribes, Scrolls and Scripture: A Student’s Guide to New Testament Textual Criticism] by Greenlee

      [God’s Word In Our Hands] edited by Williams and Shaylor is a good treatment of preservation from a better prspective.

    3. http://www.aomin.org/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=44
      James White’s web-site (fundies will excommunicate you and brand you with a scarlet H for reading this heresy.)

      http://re-fundamentals.org/
      Bob Hayton is a contributor here. solid research and articles.

      It used to be published in the front of your more expensive Bibles but read, “From the translators to the reader” read what the translators themselves had to say about the AV 1611. http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/pref1611.htm

      Now to the latter we answer; that we do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God.

      now for my $.02… any KJVO or KJVP who compares other translations to the KJV and pronounces condemnation is an idiot. To compare a translation to a translation in order to find fault and pronounce condemnation is a fools errand.

      1. I had a friend who was a missionary kid whose parents served in a Spanish-speaking country, and some of their supporting churches withdrew support when they found out that the Spanish Bible the missionaries were using was translated, not from the 1611, but from the original Greek and Hebrew. Wow … so KJV is better than Greek and Hebrew? Really?

        1. A translation of a translation is almost never as good as a translation from the original.
          The reasons for this are probably pretty obvious, but I could go into them if you want.

        2. According to rabid, ignorant, fundy dogma, King Jimmy’s version is the only version for the english speaking world… and if God preseved His world perfectly for the english speaking world with the 1611 then it is good nough to use to correct the Hebrew, the Greek, and it is the only version to translate into other languages as well.
          I submit that their anti-intellectualism is showing and is only exceeded by their willful ignorance. (in other words: being dumb on purpose) 😕

  8. @Big Gary
    one would think that(translation/translation < Translation/ancient extant) would be self evident… but we are talking about lives and reputations and ministries that have been built on this false premise. Weekly paychecks, control over the sheeple and spiritual empires are at stake here and are dependent on perpetuating the KJVO or KJVP (just a matter of semantics… KJVP sound less radical).

    yep, this was a linch-pin issue for me. Once I saw the KFVO/P for what it was, the IFB house of cards began to come crashing down for me.
    I'm still having issues with the way church is done in general, especially here in the rusted buckle of the fundy bible belt. Issues yet to be worked out.

  9. Totally weird. Today at work I was thinking about some random article I read in this IFB magazine years back. And oddly enough, this was basically a reenactment of it. Like, how some guy was hanging from a cliff, and then some passer by interrogates him, and stuff happens. I don’t remember much. But this was such odd timing.

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