Arguments

For all their love of contention, a good number of fundamentalists rank as some of the most inept arguers in the world. This debating deficiency stems mainly from their inability to either care what their opponent really believes or actually address it with integrity. Why bother listening to someone who is certainly wrong? Just wait for them to take a breath and blast them with “the truth.”

In order for an honest dialog to take place, each side must be willing to at the very least admit that his understanding of his opponent’s position may have been mistaken. Here are the common stages in the Arguing with Fundies process…

Assertion
Yes, the facts gathered third-hand via scrawled notes taken from an evangelist’s sermon illustration back in 1987 may be slightly less than accurate. Never fear, if you repeat something long enough and loud enough then it starts to sound true. Full speed ahead and into the fray! Just. Keep. Repeating. Yourself.

Annoyance
Keep talking and don’t ever stop talking as you just allow a stream of words to flow out of your mouth in such a never ending cacophany of sound that the person listening finally gives up and decides that anything else — up to and including watching daytime television — would be a better use of their time than listening to one more sentence, one more word, one more syllable of this never-ending tirade on whatever long-since forgotten and probably less than useful point is being made. If I’ve got more words than you it means I’m winning, right? Right?

Accusation
If mere strong assertions are not enough to win the argument, the fall back position is inevitably to question the motives of your opponent. Does that non-fundamentalist dare imply that the fundy’s music standards are not really based on Scripture? THAT’S ONLY BECAUSE HE WANTS TO DANCE TO THAT GODLESS ROCK MUSIC! The key here is to assume certain facts are true about any non-fundamentalist without bothering to ask.

Affected Affection
Some fundamentalists may just end the conversation with a blast of accusation and then march away. But for the older and more experienced fundy there is one more approach: tell them “we only hate you because we love you.” Indeed, the fundy only fights with others because he cares. He prays for them. He sheds big slobbery tears for them. He’d like to give them a big old hug — if they would just repent and admit that fundamentalists are right, that is. Fundamentalists only love the sinner for what he could become, never what he is.

I would add that I’ve had a few rare thoughtful discussions with fundamentalists who were not obviously spending the entire time I was talking thinking of their next retort instead of actually listening. It’s an exceptional thing.

203 thoughts on “Arguments”

    1. For myself, this book helped me understand some of the fundy thought processes. Sire, James W. (1980). Scripture Twisting: Twenty Ways the Cults Misread the Bible. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press. ISBN: 0877846111

        1. Thanks for the tip. Since I’m homeschooling 4, which I hope will be free of fundyisms, I’m always looking for competent, independent resources. Good training in logic is so helpful in so many ways.

        2. I had to read Sire’s “The Universe Next Door” in college. That guy is so intellectually above me I had trouble making it through the first paragraph. He definitely knows his stuff on world views and non-monotheistic religions, though.

        3. average joe—we are reading that book right now in my class. We discussed postmodernism last night–and again talked/delved into the IFB. My professor just rolls his eyes (along with the rest of the class). I’m not sure any of them knew a Baptist group like this existed. But, what a difference going through CS Lewis and “The Universe Next Door” out of IFB-land. They interpret everything one way—their way.

        4. What is odd is that a friend, who is a current BJU student, is reading Sire’s “The Universe Next Door” as a textbook for his undergrad Apologetics course, although I’m not sure how much the school implements its material into the course discussion.

      1. Or (as demonstrated by our mutual friend John) they simply pretend that your remarks are directed at someone else instead of them and continue to prance about playing the part of the jovial bully.

  1. A+ for the use of alliteration.

    I know that there is one (former) college vice-president who would be proud of the effective implementation of this literary device.

        1. Now you’re just stringing words together and hoping against hope that people think you’re somehow being cogent.

        2. Actually, this is yet another fundy debate tactic.

          Yup. Just as is outlined in Lundy Bancroft’s book _Why Does He Do That?_ Classic gaslighters everyone of them. . . . I’m convinced that’s why they don’t like academics or psychologists — because they keep them accountable.

  2. Arguing with some Fundies is like trying to defend yourself from charges of rebellion before North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il court… you’re already proven guilty and your words can only incriminate you.

    I had this experience recently with a Fundy pastor who was convinced that I turned “grace into lasciviousness” just because I didn’t believe you could “rule” yourself onto glorification…

  3. I don’t argue much with fundies any more, but outright lying has been a notable component of the arguments that I’ve seen. An example was after the fundy MoG would say something really ridiculous and unbiblical from the pulpit, when my dad went to “ask” (subtly confront) him about it, he would deny having said whatever it was that he said. Of course, we had a recording of him saying it, but [thank God!] we left rather than pursuing these arguments further.

  4. Darrell,

    You said…”Fundamentalists only love the sinner for what he could become, never what he is.”

    That gave me a mental as well as emotional throw-back to the street witnessing days from 1981-84 at my BBF church under our overly enthusiastic but inconsiderate Assoc. Pastor. We would literally corner people to “witness” to them and probably out of sheer exhaustion, they submited to “The Prayer”. I swear, we were like packs of hyenas going after the sinners…But, I found myself being more passive an observant noticing that these folks we witnessed to were really nice people, did I REALLY want to make them like US? Fundie churches change people and the conclusion I came to was that witnessing and evangelism was more about pro-creating Fundies than it was about seeing people saved. In essence, people were only acceptable if they became like US. 😳

    1. “…the conclusion I came to was that witnessing and evangelism was more about pro-creating Fundies than it was about seeing people saved. In essence, people were only acceptable if they became like US…”

      QFT

  5. “they only hate you because they love you”. Brilliant.

    A friend of mine, after being bullied out of an assistant pastor position by the Sr. pastor, tried to address the man-o-gawd’s lying, manipulation, slander etc. When confronted the mog would simply say, “but I love you and only want to be a blessing!” Yep, to fundies, the way they can really bless your socks off is to destroy your reputation, spread lies and then insist it was “out of love”.

      1. Oh man, that just triggered a ton of bad Christian school memories. If cruelty really was the way to show love, I was desperate for students and staff alike to hate me so I would finally be left alone.

    1. The more I read this site, the more comfort I find in the fact that my experiences were not unique. Every single time I would have a meeting with the mog (I was the youth pastor for 11 years), the criticism and humiliation I subjected myself to were ALWAYS wrapped in greeting card scriptures and “I only tell you this because I love you and I’m trying to help you”. I’m so embarassed that I subjected myself and more improtantly my wife and children to this abuse for so many years. I can’t tell you how many times my wife would literally cry as we were getting ready for church on Sunday mornings because she just couldn’t take it any more, but for years I convinced her to stay. The manipulation and abuse, as I look back, are literally staggering.

      1. I can only imagine. Many, many….MANY times I would dread going to church…not so much because of the Pastor, but because of the ASSociate and his “wannabes” that were single military guys like myself. But, I went even though I considered it a huge waste of my time when I COULD have been out skiing or something.

        I’m convinced that the MoGs were the same as the guys that grew up to be cops…the guys who were bullies, sports “stars” and the smart as__es…”Dr” Keith Gomez comes to mind.

        I hope you and your wife are doing better. 🙂

      2. So *with you* on this post. The same in our family. Years and years of oppression and humiliation and my husband saying, “Just hang in there” hoping it would get better at some point. I had no idea that toxicity just circles itself.

        Now both of us are just so embarrassed looking back at it.

      3. Love bombs. Ugh. It has taken me years to unhear the Scripture they hit me with. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” That’s the one our pastor (Danny Brooks) used. He was trying to say that he’ll whack us every time because he loves us so much. Whuh?

        Then Steve Brown was talking about friendship and quoted Oscar Wilde: “True friends stab you in the front.” THAT is what the proverb means!! Friends don’t hide their anger or act cruel behind your back. It’s all out in the sunshine!

        So very different than how fundies twist it. SO different. God’s Word is a comfort when you shed the punitive/terrorist/controlling ideology from it!

  6. Outstanding post, again. Arguments with entrenched fundies remind me of arguments with my ex-girlfriend, who I am certain now was a sociopath. With rare exceptions, the more intelligent and quick-thinking the fundy is, the more slippery they are. Those, of course, are the intelligent people who for some reason remain in Fundamentalism and therefore have a lot to lose in the argument–which makes it personal. Cry heretic! And let slip the ad hominem of war!

    1. “the more intelligent and quick-thinking the fundy is, the more slippery they are.”

      Probably because if they truly are intelligent then they are starting to realize that the foundation is weak. When the realization happens it is a scary thing. The natural reaction is to get louder and be all the more sure.

    2. Fundy argumentation is more typical of Borderline psychology than pure sociopathy. Check out ego defense mechanisms and borderline psychology for more information. It takes a while to get the hang of it but it’s time well spent.

  7. I have to be honest I do feel a little convicted by this post. Too often I get so caught up in emotions I only look at the person I’m arguing with to see how I can disprove his or her next point or stop the argument altogether and I don’t bother to think of if I am arguing in a way I would hate to be argued with. I think I may have made a public display of that last night and I apologize to any who were affronted.

    P.S. is anyone else reminded of some talk radio show hosts by the picture and tag? 😆

  8. “we only hate you because we love you.”

    This would be similiar to the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner” that I heard way too much. It always made me uncomfortable (and they weren’t even saying it to me)

    1. I used to hate “hate the sin love the sinner” as a fundy, because Psalm 5:5 and God hates the wicked and stuff. I had no idea about propitiation, which allows God to hate sin, yet love the sinner and still be righteous in doing so. God is righteous in declaring me righteous, because my sin has been judged and forsaken in Jesus Christ’s body.

      So now, “hate the sin, love the sinner”, is biblical to me (in that God loves the sinner and hates sin). I rarely sit there pointing out unbelievers sins, because really… do they know any better? If they stopped sinning, it wouldn’t save them. Unbelievers conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit.

      1. I think it’s because the phrase is used to justify hatred. As in, they claim it is loving to act hateful “and others save with fear, hating the garment spotted by the flesh”. At least, that’s how I used it. In all my street ranting, I claimed it was loving to point out specific sins and tell people they were going to hell because they smoked or drank or whatever (I was addicted to sin myself at the same time). In reality, it was mainly because I hated myself, but I also hated others. Horrible time of my life.

    2. I still hear it from fundy friends & fam, and tell them it’s not found in scripture, not a justification of anything they’re doing, and almost always is a cover for actual problems they’ve been causing the person not the sin anyway.

  9. What I’ve been encountering lately with a female relative is summing up of complex, troubling issues with a chipper cliche – not scripture exactly, semi-scripture-influenced nonsense.

        1. Yes, I always found fault with it… when I worked at the Wilds, I had to write out a 1½-page paper explaining how this was *true* in my life… I had a massive mental cramp to try to fit this in (and I still don’t think the lead counselor liked my response). I even used John Piper… I’m not even sure what I wrote (If I find it, I’ll post it someday) 🙁

    1. “summing up of complex, troubling issues with a chipper cliche – not scripture exactly, semi-scripture-influenced nonsense”

      I despise that too! It’s an immediate turn-off that says “I really don’t care about you as a person and I have no intention of crying with you or truly bearing your burden with you – I either (a) just want to show off how spiritual I am, or (b)I am a truly shallow person who has never really been hurt down to the core so I have no idea how to respond to you.”

    2. “The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.”

      That was the phrase I heard often. It was quoted for those who disagreed with leadersship, implying those rebels had a “heart issue”.

  10. Darrell, you forgot changing the subject as a debate technique.

    As a Catholic, I can make a Scriptural, historical, irrefutable point in favor of the Catholic position.

    The next words I see are “Inquisition!” “pedophile priests!” “Romanist!”

    Another fundie debate tactic is to create strawmen and argue against them.

    “You worship Mary!” is the classic one.

  11. By the way, did anyone ever get: “I’ll be praying for you.” and almost feeling like you were being insulted?

    Or even better: having “I’ll pray about it” being another way of saying “I’m going to ignore your request.”

      1. William Sloane Coffin, late of NYC’s Riverside Church, wrote in his autobiography that when he was a student at Yale, he used to get badgered all the time by the members of the Christian Fellowship on campus, who were suspicious of his Christianity (Presbyterian that he was). One of them put his arm around Coffin’s shoulder one day and said to him unctuously, “Bill, I just want you to know that you’re on our prayer list.” Without missing a beat, Coffin responded, “Oh, is that the same as your shit list?”

    1. Yes! “I’ll be praying for you” is definitely code for multiple discussions at the next gossip-fest…. oops…sorry…I mean prayer meeting…. I’ve also received a “May the Lord bless you” as an insult. 🙄

    2. I truly hate that condescending line “why don’t you pray about that and see what the Lord says.” I had that one wielded against me and it just made me angry because the tone left no doubt as to what the person thought the Lord would tell me. How smug and asinine. It makes my blood pressure skyrocket just to think about it.

    3. Absolutely. Father in law made so many requests to our ex-pastor about ideas for evangelism nights and stuff (My father in law was never a fundie, he just hadn’t found a church nearby that didn’t teach evolution). The pastor’s reply was “I’ll pray about it”. I guess God never wanted us to know the answer….

        1. @John- “he” in your sentence “maybe he did, and was just being nice to your father in law” could refer to God or the pastor. I assume it refers to the pastor who said “i’ll pray about it.” why wouldn’t he get back in touch with the person who made the suggestion? seems polite (read “nice”) to me. saying that you will pray about something that needs an answer and not following up on it is not “being nice.” Normal people (read “non-fundie”) feel that the pastor’s behavior is rude.

  12. “Fundamentalists only love the sinner for what he could become, never what he is.”

    Amen! This applys not only to “sinners” but to everyone the fundamentalist comes in contact with, even other “less spiritual” fundamentalists.

  13. From TruthStandsScrutiny

    “I’m praying for God’s will”- Usually the person is undecided and delegates their planning to future circumstances.

    “God’s perfect will” – Some kind of mystical divine guidance outside of Biblical bounds

    “Living by faith” – Putting common-sense at risk

    “Having a teachable spirit” – Putting up with spiritual abuse.

  14. Dear John Keeter:

    Your shtick is played out. You are not amusing nor are you particularly clever. You are, however, completely and unapologetically a fundamentalist of the first order.

    A few weeks back I gave you the chance to fess up to who you really are when I posted an audio clip from one of your sermons and yet you chose to defend your own work as if you were a disinterested party. That tells me all I need to know about where your ethical boundaries lie.

    Frankly, I find your back-slapping, ham-fisted, good-old-boy attempts to score arguing points with other readers more than a little ridiculous and distasteful. You lack class. You lack style. You lack any spark of imagination or creativity.

    You are not here to dialog or “enjoy the site” — as far as I can tell you are here on some misguided mission of providing equal time for fundamentalist polemics. To be blunt, I doubt that fundamentalism wants you for its spokesperson. You do not represent its best and you certainly are not its brightest.

    The difference between you and me is that I continue to let you spew your thickheaded talking points on the principle that ideas should be considered and calmly disproved not merely censored. I do this even at the potential cost of losing readership. I doubt you would do as much for me were our roles reversed.

    After this writing I’m going to go back to doing my best to ignore you and I would advise others to do the same.

    Sincerely,

    Darrell
    quaerite primum regnum Dei

      1. pwnd

        He’s unbearable. Amusingly John Keater is still as anonymous as John to me, and if I had $1 for every classless post I’ve called out as classless, I feel like I’d have enough to go on a movie date. Probably would have more if I took $1 for the classless posts I haven’t tagged as classless, and am done responding to him.

        Add self-obsessed to the list of fundamentalist descriptors I posted a few days ago. Although self obsession may be redundant for a fundamentalist?

    1. Darrell,

      Still love ya!

      I was well aware of your bait earlier,(my e-mail has my name it) but you recall that I was never asked outright or denied such.
      If so, I would then, as I am now, have owed up to it. You chose to be “behind the scenes” in your dealings with me, so I did as well.

      Does this speak of your character and integrity?

      Turnabout is fair play.

      You must also then be aware that when I stumbled across this site searching for something else, as a fan of Jon Acorns site “Stuff Christians Like” (where I have posted previously often and never ever received even one negative slam-interesting. ) I was at first amused, then appalled, the amused again…going through older posts for a few days every now and again, I did not comment until I came across a previous post where my Pastor and his pastor , ( both non traditional fundies BTW) , were used as an object of ridicule in one of your posts, while they were ministering at the Church I pastor.

      Forget “rubber and glue”…how does “You started it” sound?

      Your initial assessments were harsh enough, but as usual , you were condescending but not outright insulting. The comments however were another story entirely.
      As a matter of honor, I felt like a few words were necessary and then the “fun” began, and by fun I mean attacks against me. This resulted in a few back, some very ill conceived and of which I am ashamed somewhat, as they became mere defense against insults and slander. As a sinner saved by grace, my fingers were sometimes faster than my second thoughts.

      As far as “my mission”….

      Repeatedly I have pointed out the hypocrisy of those who use this site as an excuse to exercise (or is that exorcise?) their bitterness against not just fundamentalists, but fundamentals of the faith themselves. Hurt? Abused? Sadly, some have been, just as there are many hurt by non fundie Churches/religions/families/people worldwide. It’s called….living in a sinful world. We all have to deal with it.
      I too have been on the receiving end and hurt by dictators and others who claim to have “revelation knowledge” that was obviously there megalomania.

      Blaming fundamentalism is a farce. The whackos like Schaap and Hyles need to be ridiculed, no problem there……those who sexually abuse have no excuse and should be run out of the pulpit and into prison. Those who defend them have no defense.

      But more often than not here (not always) what starts off as “good natured ribbing” or merely pointing out “dissonance” become full fledged hyper critical fundamentalism at it’s worst under another brand and the hypocrisy is deafening.

      Pointing these things out really riles the most guilty, others see it as it is.
      Sure, the blogosphere is a free for all and there is no accountability, or desire for it, but the conscience of a few have been confronted here and seen the show for what it is.

      What’s that old “Starfish into the sea” illustration? Surely you will make a post on that one someday.

      Again Darrell, I have always appreciated your ability to discuss with denigration and disagree without succumbed to insults and character assassination. Sad to see that your earlier ‘bait” was just what I thought, and that you have the gall to clal me out on doing what you did to me first.

      I am no spokesperson (insert Charles Barkley “I am not your role model”) nor have I pretended to be, or desired to be.

      Indeed I make mistakes, and have since I have been here, but this site itself has been a real eye opener for me and I will be staying. Those who like to make baseless accusations and elite insults can get out of the kitchen if they like. I am not on a crusade, but I will not sit idly buy and see lies and lascivious slander go unanswered. Hopefully this will stop happening and I can go back to laughing , as I still do at most things here.

      You’re still a good man Charlie Brown, but don’t be a block head.

      Sincerely,
      John Michael Keeter

        1. Darrell, John started his long post with a passive agressive “still love ya” so you are obliged to dismiss any and all disingenuous arguments that follow. 🙄

        2. Couldn’t resist, could ya ?
          😉

          “After this writing I’m going to go back to doing my best to ignore you and I would advise others to do the same.”

        3. Darrell, I looked at that thread and didn’t see anyone who attacked the pastor. Maybe questioned the song leader’s methods a little, but definitely not an attack. People mostly discussed the song itself, then the whole thread went into the young Earth creationism vs. evolution (and the reasons therefore and thereof). Then John comes in swinging. 🙄

        4. @tiqatoo Just like you’d expect the dumb dumb self aggrandizing (sp?) fundamentalist preacher (he’s not a pastor) to do in that video! I shouldve figured that out!

      1. “Not sure what happened to the quote I pulled.
        Repeatedly I have pointed out the hypocrisy of those who use this site as an excuse to exercise (or is that exorcise?) their bitterness against not just fundamentalists, but fundamentals of the faith themselves. Hurt? Abused? Sadly, some have been, just as there are many hurt by non fundie Churches/religions/families/people worldwide. It’s called….living in a sinful world. We all have to deal with it.”
        Oh, and SCL is done by Jon Acuff, not Acorn.

      2. John,

        You said:

        “Repeatedly I have pointed out the hypocrisy of those who use this site as an excuse to exercise (or is that exorcise?) their bitterness against not just fundamentalists, but fundamentals of the faith themselves. Hurt? Abused? Sadly, some have been, just as there are many hurt by non fundie Churches/religions/families/people worldwide. It’s called….living in a sinful world.”

        You are making a Tu Quoque fallacy here.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

        By saying that non-fundies do the same thing as fundies, you are avoiding the question/diverting from the real issue that we’re discussing here.

        You also label us (commenters on this site) as a single entity, as if ex-fundy-ism was it’s own form of Christianity. This is a straw man fallacy, which a few other people have already pointed out to you. Darrell did a “where are you now?” post a while back and the diversity among us is amazing. I’d suggest you read that before attempting to clump us together again.

        Calling “us” us bitter is an ad hominem attack, another fallacy to top off the previous one.

        Your sister in Christ,

        Lizzy F.

        1. Lizzy,

          Still true though sister. Many, if not most of Christ’s statements could be (and are by liberals) diagnosed and dissected as “paradoxes’ etc. But they are still true.

          Also, ” ex-fundy-ism ” is here a recognized identity, as seen by comments and even commentators titles.
          The diversity among us does not a straw man make.
          If it is unfair, then it is just as unfair to label all fundies the same, which more often than not, is done here repeatedly, clumping all together.

          I did not intend to imply, and thought I was clear, that not all here are bitter, but many are–and by their own words, not my opinion.

        2. Also, don’t forget; “The ad hominem is not always fallacious, for in some instances questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue”

        3. Yeah. I decided before I wrote it that it would be my only reply to him, ever.

          I did it because in my fundy days, someone showed me some of my fallacious thinking and it started the journey of me leaving.

          So, I do this for other fundies. (only once or twice though, cuz they can argue endlessly!) It’s my way of paying it forward. 😉

      1. It’s like he read the post on arguments, thought “I may need to start preaching this, it’s such a great way to actually win arguments”, and then spent 45 minutes typing another screed noone reads. At least I don’t ever ready any of his posts longer than like 50 words.

    2. I have for a while enjoyed this site, as I have read so many of the things I’ve wanted to scream to fundamentalism for so long. And I was just getting comfortable with joining the conversation. But I have connections to fundyland, and would prefer not to be publicly “outed.” So your calling out of John, and ID’ing him concerns me. Darrell your wit is sharp, your arguments and commentary spot on. But I have to ask, if I or anyone else here held a position differing from yours, will you out us as well?

      1. As I see it, there’s a world of difference between holding a different viewpoint and being a troll.

        I know the identities of many, many of my readers who have asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions from fundyland. I would never betray that trust. Anonymity is also my guarantee to those who send me news and media from the front lines.

        In short, as long as you’re not a fundy pastor who is coming here to compliment his own sermons without admitting they are his, you have nothing to fear from me. But once you start being sneaky, that implied agreement for anonymity goes away.

        1. “So saith the sneaky one, so saith the flock”

          Remember who was sneaky, and who played along.

          You never sent me a private note Darrell, you have my e-mail, but instead publically attacked and “outed” me.

          Fundie-like thou still art, label thou hast changed.
          It’s only bad when the other guys do it, huh?
          🙄

        2. Darrell,

          I am not sure if you read all the posts or not (I don’t see how you could!) So I am reposting a comment I made to Scorpio below, for you to read as well.

          I know that “nice” notes don’t generate responses, so I don’t expect you to reply necessarily, just passing it on as an apology.

          Scorpio,

          I went back and read some of the comments also, and admit….I come off looking like a jerk.
          😳

          I was angry and it shows, my apolgies to you personaly and to others.

          After then going back and reading months of posts back to back, and then suddenly seeing two men and my Church, whom I love, respect and admire greatly , treated thusly, I over reacted and over reached, thus I lumped the masses in with the messes here and went on the “attack.”

          so from that moment on, I was treated agressivly and with hostility–for which I blame myself.
          I “asked for it” so to speak by my bluntness and tone.

          For what it’s worth, I’m sorry and ashamed for my attitude in many posts, and though I stand by my statements factually, I did not often answer (especially early on) with Christ-likeness or humility.
          I certainly did NOT start off on the right foot and like Peter, suffer from foot in mouth disease sometimes, and here it shows.

          Then, within a few days I allowed Darrells baiting to only furhter embolden and embitter me, making matters go from bad to worse.

          The fundie mentality shown me by those who claim to hate fundie mentalities fed the fire, and Bassencos insults and slander only furthered my feelings and seemed to justify and even harsher tone, as her’s was worse than mine.

          Two wrongs do not make a right, and I was wrong. I am embarseed and ashamed.

          Again, I apologize. I should have known better, and shown better self control.

          Though still saddended to see so many go from bad to way worse theologically here, and using fundie-ism as an excuse and scapegoat, it’s not my job to police the internet and arrest the offenders.

          I will try to do better and honestly appreciate your prayers for me, as I pray for you.

          (Rom 14:15-18) “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

          Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

          For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
          but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.”

      2. And thank you TonyT for pointing this out.

        If I had said it, I would’ve just been insulted and dismissed.

        But nice to know that the logic and validity is seen by others here as well.

    3. I haven’t posted answers to any of John’s comments (unless I’ve forgotten one or two, because it’s seldom good to feed a troll.

      Don’t feed a troll, brothers and sisters.

    4. As I was reading through Darell’s “open” letter to John, I kept waiting for Darrell to drop the hammer on him and ban him from commenting. I must give you credit Darrell for not doing so (even though I think you would have every right to do so since this is your blog, your work, your money-making conglomerate 😉 and you control the content). That would have only given John the opportunity to brag to the fundies that he won the fight against us becasue he was “persecuted”.

      But I challenge anyone to go to a fundy website and stir up trouble the way John has here and see how long you last before you are booted off.

      Trolls came in many shapes and sizes. Many are hit-and-run types that post a comment or two and then are never heard from again. John is not that type. He is persistent.

      Anyway, I must now go back through the old posts that are referenced here and re-listen and re-read to view them with the insight now afforded.

      Just to clarify, I am not suggesting in my above comments that I wanted John to be booted off. It’s just that I have seen it done on other blogs in similiar situations.

      1. Oh boy! Maybe I shouldn’t have gone back to the “I’m no kin of the monkey” post referenced above. It seems that I was the first person to “feed the troll”. For this, I apologize.

        1. Scorpio,

          I went back and read some of the comments also, and admit….I come off looking like a jerk.
          😳

          I was angry and it shows, my apolgies to you personaly and to others.

          After then going back and reading months of posts back to back, and then suddenly seeing two men and my Church, whom I love, respect and admire greatly , treated thusly, I over reacted and over reached, thus I lumped the masses in with the messes here and went on the “attack.”

          so from that moment on, I was treated agressivly and with hostility–for which I blame myself.
          I “asked for it” so to speak by my bluntness and tone.

          For what it’s worth, I’m sorry and ashamed for my attitude in many posts, and though I stand by my statements factually, I did not often answer (especially early on) with Christ-likeness or humility.
          I certainly did NOT start off on the right foot and like Peter, suffer from foot in mouth disease sometimes, and here it shows.

          Then, within a few days I allowed Darrells baiting to only furhter embolden and embitter me, making matters go from bad to worse.

          The fundie mentality shown me by those who claim to hate fundie mentalities fed the fire, and Bassencos insults and slander only furthered my feelings and seemed to justify and even harsher tone, as her’s was worse than mine.

          Two wrongs do not make a right, and I was wrong. I am embarseed and ashamed.

          Again, I apologize. I should have known better, and shown better self control.

          Though still saddended to see so many go from bad to way worse theologically here, and using fundie-ism as an excuse and scapegoat, it’s not my job to police the internet and arrest the offenders.

          I will try to do better and honestly appreciate your prayers for me, as I pray for you.

          (Rom 14:15-18) “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

          Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

          For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
          but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.”

        2. John, I accept your apology.
          The internet certainly allows all of us to act and say things we might not otherwise do in real life.
          I can certainly understand how and why you reacted the way you did to seeing your church and pastors, that you love and respect, being the object of satire.

          Just remember, I don’t hate you, just your sin. 😆

        3. Sigh. I hate to feed the troll, but I couldn’t resist. Besides, this will be my one and only response to John.
          “…I did not often answer (especially early on) with Christ-likeness or humility.” Oh don’t worry, nobody expects Christ-likeness or humility from a Fundy, especially a Fundy pastor 😀 Your image, er, testimony is still intact.

        4. @John, that is a much appreciated apology, and I’m overly greatful for an actual one, not one “if I offended anyone” or “I’m such a big man for making an apology”. I don’t think you’ll find anyone intentionally trying to hurt any fundies on here, but you can hardly blame us for laughing at the things going on still that caused use to leave fundamentalism. There’s no ill will, it just is what it is. Laughing at our pasts as demonstrated by whomever it happens to be still doing it.

  15. Relationships rule: you may not get to know a young person of the opposite gender until you are sure that you will marry them. You will never be sure that you should marry them until you get to know them.

    Ergo, you will either marry a kinda-stranger or be single for the rest of your life. Those are your options. If you try to pick for yourself, you will be badgered, shunned, and guilted until you realize that you are incapable of making your own choices and repent of your lascivious rebellion. If this makes you sad, it’s because you aren’t right with God. Sorry.

    1. Yikes! That is SO TRUE. That is the epitome of the Bible College experience. ALL realtionships are based on someone elses ideal of what a relationship should be and when the kids go off to Bubble College, they act it out…the ole “shoe factory” illustration…”come in single and leave in pairs”. Plus, if you DO hook up with someone in Bubble College and you find yourself not quite being able to stand sitting next to them, but THEY are in “love” with you…then it MUST be God’s will! yyyyyyeeeeeuuuuuccccchhhhh. 🙁

  16. We were taught how to argue with people from different denominations and how to prove that they were all wrong and we were right from about age 8. At 12, I remember in Sunday School going through all the “unbiblical beliefs” of “denominationalists”, one at a time, complete with memorizing proof-texts for each one.

    One year our group of churches decided to invite preachers from about 10 other denominations to take turns preaching at our church and explain what they believe and why. Then the very next Sunday, one of our preachers would get up and expound on why they were wrong, following men instead of God, and going to hell. I wonder if those other preachers ever knew why they were invited to preach for us….. 🙁

      1. OTOH, I actually did get to attend a comparative denominations class that was quite fair. To the distress of my Baptist husband and the Methodist teacher, I suspect I’m a closet moderate Anglican. 😀

      2. Well in our book you all were going to hell too. 😛 We were terminally ill with OTCS (One True Church Syndrome). I didn’t know until recently that other denominations suffer from this disease too.

  17. I get accused all the time. Whenever I say “we are not under the law” and I mean the whole law (not just the ceremonial, preistly etc (which is a man-made division), I automatically 99% of the time, have someone accusing me of wanting to sin. Even though I quote Titus 2:12, and say Grace is license to live! and quote Galatians 2:20. Nope… apparently if I am without the 10 commandments, I just want to sin it up.

    Then, the next words out of their mouth “Oh, I sin everyday”. Lol. So what good is the law doing them??

  18. I’m a little confused by all the talk about “logic”. It seems a little lacking in faith to depend so much on “logic”.

    Whenever someone tries to use logic with me, I just do what Pastor Backlow has recommended: say, “Let’s pray” and pray long enough that they don’t have any more fight left in them.

    I think it’s worked pretty well for him. He doesn’t even get bothered by atheists or liberals by being asked to do any debates or editorials for the local paper because he’s such a good pray-er.

  19. I have to admit I have given john much more time and attention that he deserves. He is the epitome of all that I detest in fundamentalism. As a result I have allowed him completely too much consideration.

    There will always be johns out there wanting to bash those who are beginning to see past the lies, fraud, and hypocrisy that fundamentalism breeds. People have repeatedly tried to reason and talk to him. He has responded by demonstrating just about every fundamentalist logical fallacy Darrell has highlighted on the blog.

    I have come up with a couple of ways that help me take a step back and and get perspective on john and others like him.

    1. Give them a label
    As a rule I avoid labels, but there are some die hard fundy trolls that simply can’t be taken seriously. So I have decided to call them johns. You can of course apply whichever definition pleases you most. Let me add I am not proposing this label to be used simply for people who espouse fundamental beliefs. I reserve it for the fundy trolls who are obviously here to cause as much trouble as possible.

    2 Skim/Avoid their posts
    You really don’t have to read the illogical rantings and accusations that are so typical of fundy trolls. If you are a latecomer to the conversation a quick scan of the replies will tell you whether the wall of text belongs to a john or not. There are a lot of good things to glean from the posts and comments on this blog, why waste your time on ignorance?

    3. Pray for them
    This might come as a surprise after steps 1 and 2. But I think it is important. The truth is that I and many others who read this blog were once fundamentalists ourselves willing to spout the rhetoric and ignorance at a moments notice. I pray that all Fundamentalists come to a deeper knowledge of the Grace and Love of our Lord. But until that happens it does no good to allow a hardened fundamentalist john to disrupt your equilibrium or peace of mind.

    My main concern from the comments I’ve been reading is that readers no get discouraged because of johns. They are a fact of internet life. Laugh at them, ignore them, pray for them, but don’t let them control or affect you.

    1. What a great fundy sermon outline!

      1. Give them a label

      2 Skim/Avoid (them)

      3. Pray for them
      (all the while ridiculing them and using their name as by word)

      Schaap would be proud.

      Surprised Darrell didn’t already post this as an example of fundie mentality.

      Oh wait—you’re saying you are NOT like a fundie? Really? Riiiiight……

    2. My problem, what really disturbs me, is that I don’t think John is *trying* to troll, ya know? If he was some random kid leaving the most inflammatory posts possible, that would be one thing. But he knows what he’s talking about here (as in, he *is* fundy, not as in “he makes sense”). He’s totally serious, and therein lies the tragedy. Not because I say so, not because Darrell says so, not because of anything except reality.

      I used to be like him, though, so I don’t know what to say except I have hope that things will slowly turn around. Just sayin’.

      *********************************************

      Side note: does anyone else ever notice how fundamentalist-type people have very strange ideas about when it is appropriate to use the caption “LOL”?

      “What, you think I’m wrong, eh? LOL.”
      “A democrat died? Well at least he won’t be voting. LOL.”
      “You don’t like me? LOL.”

      I’m not complaining about this^, I just think it’s odd.

      1. The fundy sense of humor is strictly regulated according to unknowable guidelines that change based on where you are and who your pastor/youth pastor is at the moment.

  20. Ohhhhh John Keeter! I listened to one of your sermons for about five minutes…you were trying to be funny or something. Dude, just be yourself. You’re website says that you avoid doctrinal extremes….then,why don’t you let your boys have longer hair? Just asking.

  21. I once tried to a heart to heart talk with my fundie mother on why I was an atheist. I tried to tell her about my moral objections to the Bible and my bad experiences from my youth. When I was nineteen I almost died from spinal meningitis. It messed up my health for ten years. When I got sick, I was still a virgin and I had never used illegal drug or alcohol. I told her about kids I had grown up with, who we both known got high and had sex, and nothing bad seem to happen to them. But this just fell on deaf ears. My mother called me an idiot. She claimed she knew I never was saved. That she was a failure as a mother. That I had betrayed the faith of my grandparents. I reminded her that her father-in-law got saved when he was 60, when he want from switched from the Christian Reform Church to an IFB church.
    She said she was always afraid that I had gotten too much education. She also reminded me there were plenty of smart people at church we attended when I was young. (When I look back at the church, there were few people with college degrees)
    I reminded my mother that I had been a better son to her then the fundie children of her fundie friends.
    The whole conservation was pointless. Not only did she refuse to listen, when I tried to tell her all that I lost out on by being sick for 10 years, she accused me on whining and that Joni Ericson never whines. She also called me a liar.
    For me most part, my mother has been good to me. But I touched that religious part of her brain and she became an insane as a jihadist. I saw this video a few months ago. At least my mother didn’t swear.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Aq00yJSxo
    The next evening I got seriously drunk with my unsaved trash friends.

    1. 😀 😀 Mark,
      First, I’m sorry that happened to you, it’s NEVER right for one person to do it to another, it’s worst if it’s a family member and horrible if its a parent.

      I don’t know what it is that makes Fundamentalist Christians loose their grip on family and reality, on compassion and understanding. When I was in the Fundie camp, I had what I perceived were problems and those close to you catch wind of your struggle, you become as one who has HIV. For instance, I was later diagnosed with severe anxiety but while I was in my Fundie church from 1981-84 and in Bible College from 1984-87, I was always the one who “never trusted God”, the one who was “NEVER ‘happy’ ” and as a result, I was outright rejected by most of the school. Even after returning home I spent three years on a “bender” so depressed that I could just lay out in surrounding corn fields begging God to kill me because I was so miserable. THEN ONE DAY….after some counseling and a visit to my GP, I was prescribed Paxil and a week later, it was like someone turned on the proverbial light switch! The sky was actually BEAUTIFUL! I had a real smile! Life wasn’t something I had to live under a rock for. No, my snyapses were’nt fireing right and the medication took care of it. Now, years later I realized that my issue wasn’t with God at all, it was with those who claimed to speak for God. Regardless of what your mother said to you, she was WRONG. If later you have a relationship with God…it is YOUR relationship with God…NOBODY has a right to dictate your thoughts, feelings, “shoulds”, “oughts” and “have to’s” concerning your relationship with God. So, in spite of what she said…that is NOT what God thinks of you.

      Even though I don’t know you, I understand full well why you would become an atheist because I had the same kind of struggles and they still flair up every once in a while. I’m sure God’s not through with you…I’m certain He has good things for you in store. 😀

  22. And how many times have you heard a Fundy quote Mark Twain when they are confronted with an argument they know they can’t win with scriptural backup?

    “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

  23. Great post! My goal is to get people to shut the h*** up.

    “We’re praying for you.” I say, “Great, I’m praying for you, too. You never have enough prayer.”

    A card shower love bomb gets a lovely form Keller Newsletter that talks about the freedom I’ve encountered in Christ and how God continues to reveal His will to me.

    “Marriage is a sacrament.” I say, “Really? You’re baptist. You don’t believe in sacraments.”

  24. John is a self-centered douchetroll, but I know I was one too, and right up until I left the church I held on fast to my beliefs and trolled the life out of many a thread. Just give the troll time, and perhaps with experience he will gain wisdom and troll no more.

    I remember these same arguments from using them in high school. What alway stuck with me was the feeling that I was a jerk after arguing with someone. Also, I had no love in my heart, just contempt saran-wrapped with platitudes.

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