Faking Cheerfulness Redux

This musical gem is brought to us by the Proclaim Team from Pensacola Christian College performing at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Orlando Florida.

But the real question here is: “Is that a Baptist Flag flying in the background next to the Christian flag?”

165 thoughts on “Faking Cheerfulness Redux”

  1. Ha ha! First to comment! I win! I win!
    And because I win for the day, my cheerfulness is sincere.

    Aside from that, these fluff songs are remarkable because they are as meaningless and possibly as misleading about the Christian life as the lamest songs in CCM.

    1. Congratulations BASS! Your prize for being first to ring in is a Chick Tract that was touched by Jack Hyles himself. Enjoy.
      And for the rest of you, the Home Edition SFL Game. Thanks for playing. ๐Ÿ˜†

      1. Hey Scorpio, your invoking the name of Jack Hyles reminded me of my first encounter with the Man Of God himself. (Or is it the God Man?) When I was in Jr High I went up to Dr Hyles all nervous and excited hoping he would sign my Bible. When I opened the page with all the signatures on it Dr Hyles looked at me and said “You want me to sign there? You find me a bigger space and then maybe I’ll sign your Bible.”

        I found another page, he signed it and I walked away humiliated.

        1. Have you told this story before on SFL, or am I just having a serious case of deja vu?? God forbid he did that to two different people….

        2. Easterlilly, to the best of my knowledge this is the first time I have told this story but I may be mistaken. I used to post under the name Jason but then I changed it to Jason B.

        3. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was his regular modus operandi. Why would he act that way for just that one kid? My guess is that any time someone presented a Bible full of other people’s signatures, he insisted on a larger space for his own.

    1. Yes, those ARE open-toed shoes. Isn’t that some kind of Baptist sin?
      Also, one of the boys is wearing brown shoes with a black suit …

      I’ve got to stop reading SFL so much. It’s making me pay way too much attention to shoes …

      1. Well, supposedly shoes were one of the ways one of the Drs. Bob judged a man. That and the pen he used. I heard that in chapel once and was disgusted! I was still fully fundy, but I thought that was ridiculous to judge someone on his shoes or his pen. It’s materialistic; it’s unkind; it makes assumptions that go against I Corinthians 13. Maybe the guy’s shoes look bad because he spent all morning helping fix a widow’s house. Maybe he uses cheap pens because he is supporting his elderly parents as well as his own children. Or maybe he’s on staff at a church being overworked and underpaid.

        1. You think that’s bad (and it is) you should have heard the dean of students at the IFB college I went to go off on college girls who were seen outside in bare feet.

        2. I might not judge a man by the pen he uses, but I certainly make assumptions. Montblanc men are my brothers; they know their writing instruments. :mrgreen:

        3. I know what you mean. Having super-shined shoes was always a hobby-horse of evangelist Ron Comfort. His college even had a contest for it each year.

          In the world of fundamentalism, you can be an obese, gluttonous slop of a man but if your shoes are properly shined…hey buddy…it’s a reflection of his character… ๐Ÿ™„

      2. Must be how sinfully minded I am, I noticed right away those were open toes shoes. And they can’t be wearing nylons. What has become of that school?? The guys don’t have matching ties, the girls arent’ wearing Identical dresses. What makes them a prise team anymore?

        1. I can’t tell for sure, but they could still be wearing nylons, open-toed or not. Just as long as it doesn’t have a strap between the toes like a flip-flop.

  2. I particularly liked the cross pulpit. I bet sermons preached from there are more holy because the pulpit is also a cross. I think the young ladies’ make-up would have cracked if they had smiled.

    1. YEAH! I thought to myself I’ve seen lots of pulpits that have a cross on them. I can’t think of anytime I’ve ever seen a pulpit like this that is only a cross basically. I think that would be very easy to over analyze, but definitely would seem to be a MOG that thinks he can/is doing a better job at being a fundy MOG than any other fundy MOGs.

      1. Visual reenforcement that the M-O-g is anointed by God, called by God, has heard directly from God and is speaking for God from right there at the cross. A very subtle visual tactic to sanctify the speaker who stands behind it and delivers the word three times a week that keeps the sheep in awe and in line.

  3. The skirts on those women look like they’ve been pulled down in the front to cover their knees. Either that, or the burdens they are required to carry have bent them over like crones before their time.

  4. I’m happy in the Lord anyway.
    And it really doesn’t matter what comes my way today.
    Including this song which makes me want to dig my eardrums out with a blunt spoon.
    But I’m happy in the Lord anyway.

  5. I assume the awful sound quality is from using the built in camera mic. Song is totally meaningless from the 45 seconds I listened to. It’s a shame talented young people will just waste their talents and be told they are doing God’s work to sing bad music to convince fundy teens they should fall into the same college trap these guys fell for.

  6. To be honest, I feel bad for ensemble kids now. They’re obviously scraping the bottom of the talent barrel and the clothes have gotten steadily frumpier

    Pretty soon the entire ensemble cast will consist of William Hung dressed in a gunny sack.

    1. I don’t know that the talent level is the problem. I have no ear at all, but they don’t sound like they are bad as much as the gawdawful recording setup was a total disaster. I doubt Kristen Chenoweth could do much w/ that song/setup.

      1. The singing didn’t strike me as notably bad. The song itself was irritating, and the sound quality of the recording was abysmal, so it didn’t matter much how well they sang it.

  7. Darrell, is that two Baptist flags… one next to the American Flag and one next to the *twitch “The People say Fight” Christian Flag *tick*
    “Onward Baptist Soldiers
    Marching as to war
    Following the Trail of Blood
    And falling on our swords “

        1. Ahhh, the National White Piano flag…
          “Onward White Pianos,
          playing the songs of war,
          With the cro-oss Pulpit
          High above the floor”

  8. More importantly, PCC is obviously sliding down the slippery slope of compromise. Why you ask? Because of the minuscule amount of “back-beat” their accompaniment contained. Today back-beat, tomorrow denying the Virgin Birth!

      1. But the Gaithers and everyone on the Homecoming videos hold individual microphones. That must mean that God told Bill Gaither it was okay to hold microphones, which means it’s okay for all the fundies to do it now.

        1. We could not listen to the Gaithers at BJU. Most of the fundy churches I attended did not approve of their music or the hair styles.

        1. I’m not 100% sure but I think it has to do with two things:

          1) It appears worldly since rock-n-roll and pop singers hold a microphone. The offending microphone holder could actually show emotions while singing.
          2) Um, the microphone could be considered as a phallic symbol. Wouldn’t want to put any impure thoughts into anyone’s head.

        2. I’ve never heard preached at my fundy church, I’m thinking it’s either a fringe things or something fundies preached against years ago.

        3. No IFB churches I attended ever allowed mic-holding. Is this more characteristic of churches in the BJU orbit?

          In 1998, an elderly lady scolded my husband in front of the choir and accused him of worldliness because he asked a singer to hold a mic.

          SFL: publically excoriating other believers over extrabiblical traditions

    1. Ah, the miniscule trivialities Christians use to prove they’re holier than the next! “They wear open-toed shoes – we don’t!” “They use the KJV but don’t say it’s the only version God approves – we are staunch KJV-only!” “They hold their microphones – we don’t!” “They wear make-up – we don’t!” “They have a back-beat in their music – we don’t!” It’s a constant game of one-ups-manship to prove who is holier. Can they not see the Pharaseeism?

      (Sometimes, those trivial differences are also used to try to make oneself look superior by proving how legalistic the OTHER person is: “What do you mean you don’t have a TV? That’s ridiculous! There’s nothing wrong with having a TV!” Meanwhile the speaker doesn’t go to movie theaters and looks down on Christians who do.

      Can they not see the Pharaseeism?

        1. I never understood the canned music thing. What’s wrong with canned music? We couldn’t have it at my wedding which was VERY inconvenient and in the end, expensive, as we ended up hiring a string quartet.

        1. beth – obviously some IFBers have a toe fetish and rather than be tempted to act out their desires, they just make the women cover everything.

          I thought Darrell did a post on this earlier but couldn’t find it. So instead, here is a clip of Dr. Schaap himself ranting and raving about shoes, and dresses and cleavage. This is the infamous no no no no no no no clip. Enjoy:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeNu4LwZTPQ

        2. Ok, I understand that Jackie-boy puts his preferences right up there with God’s commands, but it still provides no “rationale” (or what passes for it in fundyism). But than again, I’m probably barking up the wrong tree if I’m looking for an explanation from Jackie-boy.

        3. I know they were verboten at PCC when I was there 10 years ago. I never could figure out why though. I’m not especially turned on by the sight of a girls dirty toes. But maybe that’s just me.

        4. I suppose my fundy U was going liberal then ๐Ÿ˜› We could wear open toed as long as they had a strap on the back. And still nylons, of course. Gah, I still can’t wear nylons….

    1. I think it’s a smile that Satan likes to turn upside down, but I’m not sure. The sound quality of the video isn’t very good.

      I guess that means frowning is a sin too. SFL: Making up new sins.

  9. *twitches* Oh the memories. In the last IFB church I attended there was this woman and her mother that just loved to trot out their identically-dressed identical grandchildren and have them sing “Jesus Loves Me” or some other song. The girls always looked like they’d rather be almost anywhere else. I felt so sorry for them. Any wonder they can’t be dragged into church by wild horses now?

    Maybe the unknown flag is another Florida state flag? From what I can see they look similar enough to be.

  10. Is it just me or are they syncronized with the way they pan the audiance from their left to right. Is that something they are taught to do… Sing to the left… sing to the center… sing to the right… cue solo: repeat left… center… right….

    1. They did and still do this all the time at PCC. Drove me nuts. It makes you look like you’re trying to “hold it” till you can make a beeline for the bathroom afterwards. :mrgreen:

    2. You should see the PCC Sunday service, “Rejoice in the Lord.” Each person in the ensemble is looking in a different direction. It’s kinda like they’re one being with massive lazy eyes.

  11. This isn’t nearly conservative enough for my old fundy church bless gawd. My old MOG was against “canned” music. He would not allow any kind of musical track to be played in the church. His reasoning, from his own mouth, was that those studio musicians played the honkey tonks and got drunk on Saturday night and then went in the studio and played gospel music and that opened the door to demonic influence and Gawd was not honored when it was played in the church. So even though this song would have been approved, it would have needed a white piano accompaniment.

    1. Obviously the carpenters who built the building, the pew manufacturers, the carpet installers, the sound equipment company and everyone who ever touched anything that was ever placed in churches like that went through a rigorous background check and had to answer a questionnaire regarding their salvation experience. Otherwise it would put those mogs in danger of being hypocritical. And we all know ifb fundy mogs are NEVER hypocritical. ๐Ÿ™„

      1. I remember the MoG at my former church persuaded the deacons to go with a no-bid contract for our new building because the builder that he met with was a Christian man. Two years and a round through the special assets division with the bank and he was singing a different tune.

        1. I remember those meetings. He was like Ben Kenobi รขโ‚ฌล“These are not the droids youรขโ‚ฌโ„ขre looking for.รขโ‚ฌย

          When it comes to deacon boards, that totally works for the Mannogids.

    2. I was wondering about the canned music, too! Back when I used to sing with a quartet, there were several churches where we had to cancel performances because we used prerecorded soundtracks (on an MP3 player that we plugged straight into the sound system–oh, horrors!) and they just wouldn’t have that kind of “satanic” music in their church.

    3. “that opened the door to demonic influence” Oh yeah. I’ve heard the same reasoning from preachers concerning cable tv – demonic spirits use the wiring to gain access into the house…

      1. Speaking of cable TV, I remember hearing a fundy profit-cy preacher on the radio (I think his name was Herman Anderson or something like that) that was peddling a booklet he wrote called “Who Is Watching You?”. He was telling folks not to take cable TV into their homes because the converter boxes had little cameras installed in them that could be used by the government to spy on them. This was around 1983 or 1984 when I heard this. In 1985, cable finally came to our neighborhood and we took it.

        ๐Ÿ˜†

  12. ***Pardon my pet-peeve rant***

    Perhaps it’s just a personal preference, but I don’t want to hear about “them” and their happiness.

    I prefer to hear a song of worship and adoration to Christ. Tell us how awesome God is, and not how you have found a way to be happy…because no one cares.

    This “man centered” theology which claims that you are basically responsible for you own salvation permeates through everything fundies touch, including their music.

    I think that if fundies truly understood grace, these “me centered” songs would quickly lose their significance.

    ***end of rant, thank you for indulging me***

    1. What’s funny if that they’re always attacking “seek-sensitive” churches and CCM for being shallow and man-centered, never realizing that their own preaching is so often man-centered instead of Christ-centered, and their own “approved” music man-focused and shallow as well.

      They condemn other people for the same things they overlook in themselves. Mote and beam, anyone?

      1. YES!

        Just listen to the fundy sermons. Who is the hero of every illustration? Is it Christ or the Pastor? If it is the latter, people need to RUN! Get outta there!

        We should attend a church that teaches us about Christ and his message, not Pastor Brother Dr. Jimbo Slice, and his childhood.

    2. I walked out of a “worship” service (i.e., “Let’s sing four choruses no one has ever heard eight or ten times and call it ‘worship'”) at a Christian writers’ conference a couple of years ago when they started singing a song called “I’m His Favorite One.” When I tried explaining why the song offended me so much, I was basically told how horrible of a Christian I am and that I needed to read my Bible and shut up.

    3. SO with you there.

      Recently my mom asked me to sing with her and her sister and sister at her (my former) IFB church. She picked several songs but allowed me to choose which one to practice. One of the songs she selected was “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” I threw that one right out, explaining to her that “there’s too many I’s in this song.” Seriously, it’s all about the singer crowing about how humble/awesome* they are. Thankfully my mom agreed and said she didn’t really like the song anyway. We ended up singing “Because He Lives,” a song I still have some disagreements with, but is miles better than the other one.

      *How the contradiction in sentiments escapes Fundies escapes me.

  13. I wish churches/Christians would do a better job of acknowledging the fact that we don’t always have to be happy to be “in the Lord.” I have suffered from depression. I have been miserable, lost, and lonely. But God was there. God is with me when I am happy; God is with me when I am depressed. God is with me when I go to church, and God is with me when I don’t even want to get out of bed. I do want to be happy in God, but I don’t have to be happy to be in God.

    1. I hate the American cult of cheerfulness and enforced “positive attitude”– and it’s American more than it is Christian.
      Being happy is good and desirable. But never being allowed to show unhappiness or to talk about sadness is very oppressive.

      1. And if you do try to talk about sadness, to be honest about how you feel, you get lectured about your “sin”–unforgiveness, or discontent, or not trusting God enough, or whatever they want to accuse you of. You’re right, that is very oppressive.

    2. When I was in Bible college one of my co-workers was also a student at the same college. One day she came into work crying because the college job shuttle she was in was in a car accident. When another college van came to pick her up the driver asked what happened. She said “I don’t want to talk about it because I’ll just start crying.” The driver replied “Well, I have the joy of the Lord in my heart.”

      She would not tell me the driver’s name because she knew I wanted to kill him in the most Christian way possible.

  14. I’ve listened to the first part four times now and it really sounds like they sing, “I’m gonna fake a smile” at the 15 second mark. The rest of the time they clearly sing, “I’m gonna wear a smile.”

  15. I know what you mean. I hate it when total strangers tell me to “Smile!” I can never decide whether to fully bare my teeth and say, “Satisfied now?”, or to put a quaver in my voice and say, “My Mom just died.”

  16. Wow! What an encouragement!

    This song reminds me of the Ladies’ Retreat a few years ago when Mrs. Murtiece Rice Llewellyn (not related to the John R. Rice’s but it was her middle name and she had always been called by her first and middle names) reminded us to keep a cheerful countenance at all times! “Nobody cares how you may feel or if you are having a bad day! The world needs to see and know that you have the peace of God ruling in your heart. Even if you don’t feel like it, put a smile on your face. Remember that God rewards those who walk uprightly and with good posture, so no slumping over in dejection. God carries our burdens and gives us peace, no matter what is going on in our lives. Your suffering with a smile and with gentleness is a testimony to the world and to other Christians who may stumble if you complain or say criticizing remarks.”

    Sometimes, I’m relieved to be by myself so I don’t have to smile so much. My teeth dry out and my lips stick to them.

    Anyway, it was a real convicting weekend. But everyone smiled the whole time. It made some great pictures for our scrapbook!

      1. Jason, CMG is already being courted by a fine young Christian lad. I believe his name is Titus.

        Besides, I don’t think it’s appropriate for a young lady to be looking for a boyfriend. That would be too worldly. :mrgreen:

        1. Well, I should do the humble thing and let Titus continue to court this fine Christian young lady. And besides, I am now convicted for asking to be her boyfriend. I should have asked to be her husband

      2. Jason, How very brash of you to ask her directly, as she is still a maiden in her father’s house. You must go ask her father if you may court her. Or better yet, your father should go ask hers. :mrgreen:

        1. Right beth. That is the proper way. Even better Jason, if you have some cattle you could give to CMG’s family, that could give you the inside track.

        2. Beth, my sin ever before me ๐Ÿ™ How could I have been so rash? The doctrine of dating, I mean courting is so very clear in the King James Bible. (Right next to the diety of Christ and no pants on women) But seeing as my earthly father passed away six months ago who will go to her father on my behalf? Perhaps I should ask my Pastor, The Man Of God in my life to make intercession for me. And since he has veto power over who I date, I mean court, where I work and what sports team to cheer for I know God will be so pleased with my blind and complete obedience to him.

          And Scorpio, I have access to cattle. If the Man Of God graciously gives me God’s permission to date,I mean court, CampMeetingGirl, do you think I could give her family steaks and a gallon of milk instead?

    1. From a friend’s FB status this morning:

      Don’t forget the world sees us in our car driving to work everyday… Show them the love of Christ and get that scornful look off of your face and smile for JESUS!!

      ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      1. Another fundy myth….all of your unsaved, heathen, liberal friends, neighbors and co-workers are watching your every move. You have to be a good testimony so they will want what you have.

        1. Scorpio, your comments today are crackin me up (not necessarily this one, but the others). Good stuff.

  17. This made me so mad I couldn’t finish listening. At my Home Fundy church and Christian school…the Principal sexually molested some high school boys. The whole mess ended up in court. The MOG and the most prestigious families in the church went to court and supported the guilty principal with big smiles on their faces while harassing the victim. After testifying in court the victim committed suicide. This was a year ago now. The principal got off and the whole church won’t say a word…they just keep smiling and look the other way.

      1. Ditto, Big Gary. I am horrified, speechless, and feeling sad. And I’m not smiling anyway. I don’t remember Jesus smiling as He drove the money changers out of the temple, or as He wept over Jerusalem, or when Lazarus died. And I’m sure not going to smile at this point either.

  18. HI PEEPS, GROWING UP IN IFCA LAND I ALWAYS HATED WHEN THE RECRUITING GROUPS WOULD ON THEIR FAKE HAPPY TOURS. WHILE I WAS SURVIVING WATCHING THIS, ๐Ÿ˜ฎ MY PUPPY WOKE UP, WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM & WAS WHINING BC OF PCC CANNED MUSIC. :mrgreen:

      1. Please disregard this
        When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.

  19. We had a pulpit exactly like that at a BBF church I was part of.

    Re: canned music: My understanding was that, if they allowed canned music in church, someone might try to sneak in a recording that had unapproved (read: percussion) instruments worked subtly into the background. From there, it was a slippery slope to rock and roll. Interestingly, under certain extenuating circumstances, certain people (usually related to the MoG) could get a special dispensation to use accompaniment tracks, presumably because they could be trusted not to try to sneak anything by. That, and which music was sinful always depended more on who liked it than actual style or content.

  20. I was in one of those chorales, well in HS and we got to sing at BJU. Big thrill — it was like going to Mecca or something. Even back then and on choir tours I became very aware of the fakeness of the whole thing, and the presentaion, and how the lyrics of most of what we sang were BS and not representative of our real lives. We were, in fact, lying. Joy joy joy joy. lol

  21. OH MY SOUL!!! Are the skirts getting shorter and shorter? What is going on with Fundie Standards??? Shame on those women of god (future helpmeets). They are showing too much skin…and are 1 step away from becoming harlots!

  22. Completely unrelated, but I want to give the girl in pink a makeover ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and say maybe she has feet problems, but a pair of black, flack sandals (with a chunky “heel”) is so not flattering with a knee length pink skirt. A high heeled white sandal, or even dressy white flat would look so much better. Along with a better fitting shirt.

    I’ve noticed that “true” fundy women don’t wear interesting or different colored shoes much. Usually black, closed toe pumps. I think colored shoes add soooo much to the overall outfit.

    Just a pet peeve there, I’m sure the girl is really quite nice.

    1. Easterlily, it’s probably because they can’t afford anything else. Plus, they’re too busy keeping house/raising kids/working (erm, I mean participating in ministry) to have any energy to do otherwise.

      Poor babies. They don’t realize the power that a pair of red shoes gives them. The men in their life might not want them to discover that either…

  23. Sorry I’m so late to this party; I’d like to use this song as the soundtrack for a video of the tsunami hitting Indonesia in 2004. Just to illustrate the absurdity of it all. You CANNOT ALWAYS BE HAPPY! Just read the Psalms for crying out loud.

    ARGH!

  24. I couldn’t stomach watching the whole thing. But it seemed a contradiction that their faces did not reflect what they were singing about. At least at my non-denominational church, you see smiles on the faces of people singing. They actually believe what they are singing and view it as worship. This clip did not seem to reveal that for being “holier than thou” type ppl. just sayin.

  25. I could write for hours and hours and days and days about this but I won’t. I actually grew up at PCC and then spent the last few years of my non-independent life at BJU- I’ve gotten the “best” of both worlds… lucky me! I am a Christian and love Christ with all my heart but COULD NOT WAIT to get out of the environment both of those places create.

    I traveled with the PCC ensemble 3 times as a vocalist and pianist (and darrell- I was there when they started scraping the bottom of the barrel- I was the only pianist they used for anything important b/c the rest couldn’t play squat)- I got moved to vocalist position one tour b/c my alto got kicked out b/c she told Mrs. Horton she didn’t like the direction of the music (southern gospel-esk). ANYWHO- I only did it b/c my dad made me b/c my sister did it- I wanted to keep cheerleading… oh well.

    The clothing was a whole other story- if you want to know I can tell you later…. but lets just say they put you through *heck* and make you feel awful about your body and “fashion” sense. Mrs. Mullenix told me I had no taste in fashion b/c I didn’t like some outfit she picked out that looked like something my grandma wouldn’t even wear:)
    Although I made great friends that are like me (i.e. NOT fundamentalists;)…. I am SOOOO glad to be out of that restrictive/legalistic society and worshiping for real! Never once was ministered by an ensemble song I performed or heard… b/c I knew all the fakeness behind it.

    So much more to my story but gotta study— I love being at Penn State:) ๐Ÿ˜›

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