Guest Post: The Fence vs. The Ambulance

Today we are blessed to have a word from Bro. KindofBored. Be sure to visit his book table in the back after the message.

As a youngster, I often heard the “Fence or Ambulance” poem as a cautionary tale against getting too close to the cliff of sin. The moral was that it’s far better to stay as far away as you could from sin, as an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure (a fence on the cliff is better than an ambulance down in the valley to spirit the careless and clumsy to the hospital). Doesn’t sound too bad, right? If your property is bounded by a busy highway, you don’t encourage your children to play on the curb.

As with many misguided fundyisms, though, a sensible concept has been taken and run with all the way out yonder past the Back Porch of Rational Thought and into the Briar Patch of Lunacy. Let’s follow the progression from sensible to nonsensical: Unless you’re a properly equipped BASE jumper, falling from cliffs is bad. Got it. To prevent this bad thing from happening, boundaries at the tops of cliffs can keep folks from slipping over the edge. So far, so good.

Here’s where it goes haywire:

1. The fundy leader gets to decide what constitutes a cliff.
2. One cliff-size fits all.
3. The fundy leader decides where the fence goes.

Ah. This is where the fun starts, as the fundy managawd has some serious leeway here. If he determines that the cliff is rock music, then the fence may be a prohibition on listening to anything that’s not a hymn. Or, it may be a demonization of guitars and drums. Or, that satanic alternate third beat may get tossed out the window.

If the cliff is alcoholism, then the fence will be the banning of all alcoholic beverages (and, if they really want to set a good fence, they’ll ban IBC root beer, what with the salaciously shaped bottles that just scream at you to drink beer).

If the cliff is immodest attire on women, then the fence is no pants, skirts-below-the-knees, no visible collarbone, nylons at all times, etc.

If the cliff is shameful long hair on men, then the fence is to have Mrs. Deaconswife taper the men and boys’ hair at least an inch above the ear and seven inches above the collar.

If the cliff is taking a brother before the law, then the fence is to make the victim of his sexual lust take responsibility for the rape and apologize to the church and his wife (and maybe move her out of state). Oh, wait — that doesn’t make sense. How did that get there?

You see, if you set the fence waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy away from cliff, then you’re fulfilling the mandates to “come out from among them and be separate” and “touch not the unclean thing” and “remove not the ancient landmark” and “a stitch in time saves nine” and “wait an hour after eating before swimming.” Such a testimony you’ll have with your community as your family parades around town in July with every square inch of your women’s bodies covered in a burqua — I mean, with long sleeves, long hemlines and high collars as the males proudly display their sunburned whitewalls.

Don’t agree with the fence that your managawd has erected in your living room? Think that he’s making a cliff where the Bible is silent (like that ever happens)? That brings us to the next point:

4. If you disagree, then there’s sin in your heart.

You see, in fundyland, there’s no room for Christian liberty. There’s only the slippery slope leading from the backside of the fence to the cliff’s edge. It doesn’t matter if the managawd sees fit to move the fences from time to time or if he sets a fence at differing distances for different people, as he’s still right with each placement; you’d understand if you prayed more or something. You’d better get your heart right, brother or sister, and bring yourself back into compliance with the pastor’s teaching on this vital subject. After all, becoming a shipwreck is a cliff, so get on the safe side of the fence by listening to your leadership and believing every little thing that falls out of their faces.

Note: if you try to use the concept of fences and ambulances to say that hard-core fundyism is a cliff well, then, brother, I’m scraping the dust off of my sandals as we speak. I might even hit you with a fence post.

107 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Fence vs. The Ambulance”

        1. at least having the illusion that all of fundiedom is first with gid… all others are merely “also rans.”

      1. i am shocked i never heard that poem. it’s CLASSIC! how it never made it’s way into ANY of the church services iv’e been in is beyond me.

      1. Sorry, Maybe. Apparently I was sitting right on top of the website as this was posted (ouch!)

  1. For people who are supposed to know their Bible so well, the fundies sure aren’t using Biblical imagery here. The Bible uses the metaphor of a PATH not a cliff and warns us not to stray from truth in EITHER direction. While the fundies are eagerly erecting fences to keep them from falling off a cliff on one side, they don’t even know that they’ve fallen into error on the other side.

    Prov. 4:27 – “Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

    Joshua 1:7 – “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”

    1. ^– what pastor’s wife said!

      Fundamentalists have not only set up tons of fake “cliffs” (rock music, pants on women, etc.), but they’ve fallen off the real “cliff” of pharisaicism on the other side of the path.

      With all of the nonsensical cliffs that fundies dream up, I am left to wonder what the real danger is that is the opposite of pharisaicism…

      1. People can be just like livestock. I grew up around cattle, horses etc… Whenever they were in a field for a while they learned the fenceline. If you change something or opened a gate to a new pasture they were VERY hesitant to go outside the boundaries that were set up. Hmmmmm…..
        Is it safe? Can I really go there? What will eat me or will I get chased back into my familiar fenceline?

        1. And isn’t God like the shepherd telling us it is ok to move out of this comfortable field? He has good stuff for us if we will step out into the new place that He has opened to us. Whether it is as simple as trying a new type of music that will bring you closer to Him, or different types of ministries that will reveal His love to others, He desires for us to go to through the open gate. But it is not so easy to move from familiarity to the unknown, so many blessings that God desired for us are missed.

          (sorry, I was trying to continue your metaphor, but it made more sense in my head than on the screen. But I’ll post it anyway.)

      1. @ iqr, I’d rather have a little bit of middle way Buddhism than be an extreme fundy-mentalist any day.

  2. There is a philosophical failure in the entire fence analogy. Remember the Pharisees? They had more fences than Home Depot. Time and again Jesus told them that evil didn’t infect them from without, it soiled them from within. This is the Big Lie of fundy-mentalism and other forms of works-based righteousness. There is no way anyone can put physical restraints around sin – it comes out from our hearts. This is also the reason for the rampant self-righteousness in fundy-mentalism (probably a recursive relationship). Instead, people end up growing their sin in their hearts until it spills out one day in an act of rape…or coverup…or whatever.

    Now where did I leave my Black Sabbath cd?…

  3. One of our poets wrote that good fences make good neighbors. But that statement carries with it the implication that both of the neighbors agree on the fence location. When Christians cede that decision to a independent holy cabal, there’s not much difference between us and the Church that Luther left (though Luther certainly had his problems too).

    A lesser used definition of the word “fence” applies to what someone does with stolen goods selling something they have pilfered for a cheaper street value. Ironically, that definition seems to applies to what fundie leader have done. They have taken something very dear from God’s Word and passing it off in a cheapened form.

    1. “Good fences make good neighbors” is what the narrator’s neighbor keeps saying in Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.” But the narrator (presumably Frost) disagrees, and thinks his neighbor is a fool. He makes fun of the neighbor for keeping a wall where there is no livestock to stray.

      “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
      What I was walling in or walling out,
      And to whom I was like to give offence.”

      1. Thanks for your response. So now the question boils down to what are they (fundies) walling in or walling out?

        1. “Whoa, sign, sign.
          Everywhere a sign.
          Blockin’ out the scen’ry.
          Breakin’ my mind.
          Do this. Don’t do that.
          Can’t you read the sign?”

          — ‘Signs’, by Five Man Electrical Band

        2. Don–What’s really ironic is that at the end of the song he went into a CHURCH because the sign said “Everybody welcome. Come in.” We know for sure it wasn’t an IFB church!

      2. I was going to mention that, BG, but wasn’t sure if in-depth poetic analysis would be appreciated! Excellent and insightful quote from the poem!

        Sister Marie, I like your play on words on the word “fence”. I’m so glad I’m learning to trade my self-righteousness for the joy of being transformed to be more like Christ.

    2. I think that there is a meaty post in the definitions used inside the Fundamentalist worldview vs. the original definitions of the words. Two examples:

      “Defraud.” Outside Fundamentalism, defrauding someone is signing a binding contract and then failing to deliver the promised goods or services. Fundamentalism came along much later and borrowed this word from legal jargon. They use it to mean the act of a female sexually arousing a male outside the boundaries of marriage. This implies that whoever first borrowed the word assumed that (a) men don’t get aroused all on their own, the women do it to them and (b) the woman a man happens to be looking at when he gets horny is automatically subject to a binding contract by which she must deliver sex and furthermore (c) if she doesn’t then fornicate with the man, she is doing him wrong.

      And some preachers and parents assert that a three-year-old child can defraud somebody . . .

      Second is the word “babywise,” first seen in On Becoming Babywise and other books by Ezzo. He coined it. The only other compounds like this are “streetwise” and “con-wise.” To be streetwise is to be constantly on the alert for approaching muggers and pickpockets. Someone who is con-wise knows the games imprisoned felons play in order to get things from people outside and can’t be fooled. Applying this to babies–the title explains the assumptions in the book(s) quite well.

      Is there already a post that digs into assorted Fundamentalist definitions like this?

      1. Good point about the comarisons with other “-wise” words: “I’m babywise! I’m wise to all the tricks and machinations of those evil creatures!”

        And the way “defrauding” in used in those circles makes me sick. You know what Jesus said to do if your eye offends you? Pluck it OUT! He didn’t say to make the object of your lust wearing longer skirts or keep her own eyes on the floor or cover her whole body in a burqua. He said, “If you eye offends you, poke it out!!!” The sin is within YOU!

        1. The extra turn of the screw in this particular instance is that a lot of the sin that “defrauding” blames on women isn’t sin at all. Men can become aroused by riding in a vehicle with a vibrating engine, wearing black jeans on a hot day, thinking about what they did with their wives last night, or being awake. It’s nobody’s fault. Feeling guilty and looking around for somebody to blame is just causing pointless misery.

        2. PW, as usual, you have hit it out of the park!!! You should be a preacher. Seriously.

        3. Men can become aroused by riding in a vehicle with a vibrating engine, wearing black jeans on a hot day, thinking about what they did with their wives last night, or being awake.

          I’m trying to establish myself late in life as an SF author. I do NOT write erotica. Yet when I’m really in the zone and writing away, I’ve gotten aroused. As far as I can tell, I’m pouring so much emotional energy into what I’m writing that it spills over into arousal.

  4. Rule #1 The Pastor is always right!
    Rule #2 When you think the pastor is not right refer to Rule #1.

    The pastor is more important than you are… just ask him.

    Never question what the pastor says, not even God is allowed to do that.

    Sorry, in a very deep funk today and I’m painting with broad brush strokes. (though I’m probably hitting fewer who don’t deserve it than I am those who do.) Ok, I’ve got to get away from all of this for a while.

    1. Don, that article you linked is priceless. Who would read that and say “yeah, he’s right”.

      1. The only thing I could think of after reading this idiot: “Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wives, and hide yo’ husbans, ’cause they rapin’ ev’body out here…” 😆

    2. I don’t feel comfortable writing my response to Gipp’s essay, but I’ll give you the gist of my reaction:

      “What a ******* tool!”

        1. Don – I know you have used that term before. But somehow I missed the origins. You are not kidding…BULL GIPP!

      1. I don’t know the slightest thing about that evangelist and have never heard of him until about 10 seconds ago when I read the linked article. I hate to be the one to ruin all the fun, but I think that this evangelist just punked you. Like I said, I just heard of him for the first time about 10 seconds ago so I have no context to go by. But I really think the guy was being pretty witty and was actually making fun of all of the needless, insane, nutjob hysteria that was Y2K. He was actually pretty funny by making a good, salient point using hyperbole and satire. At least that’s my impression of it. I’d say the guy was pretty sharp. I don’t mean to be unkind in any way, but I think you totally missed the boat and missed the witty satire………..Anyway, this is an interesting website. Have a nice day, everyone. 😀

      2. Sorry, Don but I have to take exception to the term. Tools are at least useful; something that cannot be said of that overgrown ego that walks like a man.

  5. 1. I dislike loud noises
    2. I avoid going out to clubs because of loud music
    3. People go clubbing on Friday nights
    4. Clubbing is sinful
    5. Loud noises must be sinful
    6. Fundy preachers are loud
    7. Therefore, everyone should avoid fundy preachers because they are sinful

    1. Heterosexual lust is condemned in the Bible
    2. The opposite of that is homosexual lust
    3. For maximum holiness, one must be gay

    Oh, the “logic” and convenient “forgetfulness” cuts both ways… :mrgreen:

    1. well done, grasshopper. When you have twisted logic to create the absured, it is time for you to go

    2. While I love your reasoning, your initial premise is off. You must always state facts and unfortunately, you started with an opinion. A better starting point (that wouldn’t detract from the rest of your logic ((which, I should add is EPIC!!)) and it will make your “seven steps” undeniable) would be:

      “Loud noise has been proven to be harmful to you health”

      Just trying to be a blessing

  6. You forgot the proof text!Deuteronomy 22:8 When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.

  7. A few years ago, I decided to cut my grass in the middle of the summer while wearing long sleeves and long pants. Just to see what a funnymentalist would experience.

    Afterwards, I wrote about it on my blog. I said how it’s much easier to wear long pants and long sleeves while cutting the grass in hot weather than, say, loving your neighbor as yourself.

    1. Exactly! While it isn’t enjoyable to follow the strict guidelines of many IFB churches — who really wants to mow grass in long sleeves or go to Cedar Point wearing culottes? — it is MUCH easier to follow a set of rules than to let yourself be transformed into the image of Christ, dying to self, and living a life of joy, peace, and love. (It’s even harder when, while you’re learning to experience the freedom and sacrifice of truly living for Christ from the inside out, all your fundie friends and relatives are calling you a reprobate because you aren’t keeping their man-made traditions.)

      1. Exactly! As a brand new, still wet behind the ears, ex-fundy, this is one of the things I struggle with the most. I’ve spent so much of my life focusing on myself and how I do (or more often don’t) measure up to the RULES, that I now have a very, very hard time focusing on Jesus 😥 .

        1. Me too! One thing that helps me are praise and worship songs (which of course weren’t allowed when I was in the IFB). I love singing along to awesome songs about God’s grace and the saving blood of Christ. I’m amazed how these songs that I had always been told were worldly and shallow actually feed my soul and help me focus on Christ.

    2. 😆 😆 😆 My x used to go to the BEACH in long sleeves and long pants and socks and gymshoes and a straw hat and sunglasses!

  8. As you stare over the fence at the cliff, just remember: “Bones heal, chicks dig scars, and the United States of America has the best doctor to daredevil ratio in the world.”

  9. It’s obviously wrong to think that the fence should be as far back from the cliff as possible. A fence one foot back from the cliff’s edge can keep people from falling. A fence a mile back from the cliff is something anybody who wants to see the view will climb over.

    It’s one thing to say not to commit adultery. It’s just plain silly to say a man and a woman can’t ride in the same car (as at least one Fundy preacher insists). And so on.

    1. That funnymentalist preacher you mention was doing what’s know as “projection”, eh? Says tons about his own heart.

    2. I once had a pastor apologize to me, several days after the fact, for being alone in the car with him as he drove from site to site on a group ministry thing.

      Apparently it compromised my reputation or something? 🙄

  10. The interesting thing is they are looking at the cliff. If they turned around and looked where they were suppose to be looking, Christ, and move toward Him and his Grace and his acceptance, they wouldn’t need the fence.

  11. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to know that I don’t have to worry about walking away from the faith because the Pastor has set our standards so high. We are not crazy, like some of the weird IFB churches are. Women can wear split skirts, as long as if they were walking over a hill, they still look like a female. It’s when it begins to look male-ish that there’s a problem because of the verse that says that women should look like women and men should look like men.

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I heard it at The Wileds…or maybe it was Bill Rice Ranch…anyway, the saying is: Don’t ask ‘how far can I go’, but rather ask ‘how far can I stay away’. It makes perfect sense to me.

    I don’t ask, how close can I come to watching a reality show without sinning. I ask, how far can I stay away from reality tv. The answer is, “Not far”. It’s everywhere! There are people in the newspaper who are just these unknowns who are recognized because they are on a dumb tv show!!! Now, I have to stop reading the paper. Even the parts that my father has proofed and passed over to me at the breakfast table! He had no idea that the articles about Real Housewives were about a tv show!!! And they drink alcohol and dress provocatively on the show!

    Next thing you know, they’ll be showing the tv shows on the internet and I’ll have to be even more restrictive! Hopefully, Uriah can find them and block them for me.

    1. Camp Meeting Girl, each day that goes by I become more convinced that we are to be together. It must be God’s will because my pastor said so. I still remember the day he said “Have you considered courting Camp Meeting Girl?” It was like thunder from the sky, manna from Heaven, the voice of God Himself telling me to date, I mean court, you. Oh if you would only yield to God’s will and allow me to date, I mean court, you. And then when God’s will is complete and you become my helpmeet our lives will be filled with happiness if you submit to me Bibically. That means you must give up all your goals and plans for life, do exactly as I say when I say it (delayed obedience is disobedience), never leave the house except for church, grocery shopping, and outings with pre-approved, faithful, loyal, soulwinning ladies in our church (I’ll give you a list) and bow before me calling me Lord. Only a kind, loving, gracious God could think of such a wonderful plan for my life. Who cares about yours?

      And it is so good to know that if my heart wanders and I fall under the temptation of a harlot I have no one to blame but you. After all, us men are helpless against such temptation.

      And if this does not sound strange to you then you must be a fundy. 🙄

      1. I think she is still waiting for her pastor, her father and Mrs Rice Leywellin to give her God’s permission to date, I mean be courted, by me.

      2. Oh, Jason… *sniff*… that was BEAUTIFUL!

        (and I can give you a list of guys from TBC who felt very similar to that… your list probably matches mine) 😉 😉 😉

        1. In all seriousness Natalie I knew a guy at WCBC who felt that a wife should call her husband “sir”. As far as I know he is still single.

          But so am I. 🙁 I just hope it is not for the same reason.

        2. There’s a guy that I GUARANTEE that you know from TBC who believed that his wife should serve him.

        3. Can you give me a hint? What is his first name? What state is he from? What did he look like? Or just tell me his first and last name. (But I understand if you want to protect his privicy)

        4. I don’t want to mention his name. He was very popular at the time.

          And, I don’t need a bunch of TBCites jumping on me. :mrgreen:

        5. He was very popular at the time? I think it is starting to come into focus.

          If you are on facebook you can e mail me there.

      3. A guy at my college used to walk around asking women to go out with him, and then on the first date he would ask them to marry him. He said he had been told by the Lord that the one who would agree to this was the one the Lord had picked out for him. He found someone too!!!

        1. There was a guy I knew in college, who I only looked at as a friend. Nothing wrong with him, he just wasn’t my type, and I just didn’t like him THAT way. Well, unknown to me, he was going around telling his friends that I was “The One”. He was convinced of it.

          He found out that I was not.

          (So as not to sound like I’m flattering myself, several other girls were The One, also… And, Jason, I KNOW you know who that was… they were picking on him on Facebook about it)

        2. So he doesn’t have to try to woo and win the girl? He doesn’t have to pursue her and capture her heart? Instead he just asks her out once, gives her the line, and if she doesn’t accept, he moves on? That’s a pretty lazy, unmanly approach, IMO.

        3. @ Gracetolive; are they still married? For how long? Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong all this time :mrgreen:

      4. I’ve been married for quite some time and haven’t even had a date in a long time either. 😉 Can someone tell me the history of this whole “courtship” thing? I’ve never been associated with it and have only heard about it. I actually dated my wife because I liked her and wanted to get to know her. Isn’t courtship some odd belief from the 3rd century that men pick the husband for their daughters as if they are non-thinking, irrelevant children who need to be told what to do? And isn’t “courtship” or dating just a small part of one’s life. I mean, don’t most of us get married? Anytime I’ve seen any group focused on “courtship” I’ve told my teen and college-aged kids to probably run, not walk away from them. These groups seemed to be obsessed with the mating rituals of young people and how to do it correctly. i.e. – the girls are mindless and child-like and the men do all the thinking for them. Because of the whole belief of this odd system, as I understand it, I especially don’t want my girl associated with these types of people. The belief itself just seems weird, for one thing. Secondly, the fact that there are groups of people who have devoted their entire lives to the mating rituals of young people just seems…….sick and perverted?? At least to me it does…….Perhaps I’m missing something, but that whole thing just scares me.

        On a side note, is this whole “courtship” thing just a fundamentalist thing? It seems like I’ve seen other groups do this as well who would not call themselves fundamentalists. If I were a Muslim and this had been part of my culture for the last 700 years then maybe I could see it, but I live in modern Western society where women actually are treated as humans and are credited with full human rights such as the right to think for themselves.

        Hey, sorry to go off on a tangent like this. But I have heard a bit about this whole “courtship” thing and it just weirds me out, especially as a father of a colleg-aged girl. I don’t want her to get involved with any guys into this bizarre (as I know it) system.

        1. You know what it really comes down to Lance? Fundys think dating is worldly so they perfer courting. In pratice all it really is is making sure that all the encounters between the courting couple are chaperoned and that godly authority knows their every move. The couple should never be alone together at anytime for any reason whatsoever and godly authority has veto power over the relationship. Normal Christians call this extreme. Fundys call it bibical

        2. You all just don’t know what a mess one of the courtship discciplettes has caused around here this past week. She took it upon herself to “council” my daughter the night prior to her (my daughter) going on a date. It turned into a lecture that came off as accusatory, and very judgemental. She was lectured on “keeping her heart” and not letting her emotions get out of hand. How she needed to read the EP books and the Josh Harris books and worship at the altar of courtship philosophy…. and if she didn’t then, well, you know she would just turn into some emotionally easy slut.
          I was livid! My daugheter is 18. She is an adult and capable of thinking for and fending for herself. If I thought she was so “easy” I would have already been talking to her and discipling her myself. I have done the best i know how to do in preparing her for the real world and it’s time for her to stand on her own (especially since I’m right here to help her and catch her if she stumbles and falls.) I trust my daughter and I believe she is mature enough to make her own decisions on dating.

          Yet is zealot, who is supposed to be her friend, is out there assuming the worst and acting like she is some sort of dating/relationship expert (she’s only two or three years older than my daughter.) So yeah… I’m pissed! (for any of you who are friends with me on FB you can see much of the conversation I have had under the posts linking to Darcy’s blog) I have told them in no uncertain terms that Harris/the EP/ and the whole courtship bandwagon is not welcome at my house. **a side note this was going to be my daughters first real, out on her own date… one of those “first” events in life… and now it will always be remembered for the “Emotional Purity” lecture her friend gave her.

          The greatest problem I have with the whole movement is that
          1. it assumes the worst in both parties. There is no room for growth, no room for trust and no room for anything that might not fit in the EP box.
          2. it is touted as God honoring. (and everything else isn’t)
          3. it is formulaic in its approach and legalism is the natural outcome of that.

          All of us often don’t realized that even though we have left the S.S. IFB Titanic… we brought all our luggage over with us. That is what my daughter’s friend has done, she claims to hate the IFB and claims to have left it behind but then embraces self emposed bondage to the courtship’s rules and philosophy. I guess it may work for some sho need help with relationships but I can only see this junk screwing up someone who already had healthy relationships.
          Well there’s my .02

        3. Don, those are a GREAT three points explaining your issues with courtship.

          I too hate how people take something that might help some people and turned it into something that all Christians must follow or they’re spiritually inferior.

        4. Courtship is yet another way women get oppressed in fundyland. How does one court when they are living on their own as a single lady with a career? You can’t!

          It requires you to live in your father’s house until marriage so your “courtship interest” can develop relationships with the family as a whole and every moment can be properly supervised. The most extreme do not even want their daughters to go away to college for fear of losing control.

          No way, no how. I totally reject the courtship concept.

        5. The original Internet Monk (a pastor himself) once remarked that “What I’ve been hearing of the Christian Courtship movement would not be out-of-place in Medieval Islam. If the burqa is the new Christian dress code, I never got the memo.”

  12. As always something that may not be that illogical taken to illogical extremes of the mind. At some point you just can’t take it anymore and at that point that is when you wake up and begin to leave.

    1. Jason B, are you actually being serious and you’re not using hyperbole??? I’ll say that is extreme – extremely odd! To be intellectually honest, we can’t deny that in world history arranged marriages have sometimes worked. If you never let a couple get intimate (i.e. – get to know each other and actually be real) with each other, how can they actually know how to act or if they even really know each other once they’re married? Always going chaperoned sounds like just another way to call something an arranged marriage. I believe in freedom and if someone wants to do this ancient ritual that’s fine with me. I just don’t want my kids being under the influence of any of these kinds of people. Maybe I’m painting with too broad a brush, but every group I’m tangentially familiar with that has this weird obsession with “courtship” reminds me of the radical Islamics (not all people of the Islam religion are the radical kind)who treat women as cars. In other words – something that is owned. I actually do believe in the traditional role of the family and the father as the head, but these groups have always struck me as taking things to the bizarre, weird side where women are like a car at worst, or a child at best. When I say “child” I mean that they think the woman, even though an adult, has the mental capabilities of a child and is not a full adult who has the rights and responsibilities of an adult. I don’t know what I’m even harping about. LOL, I really don’t think my daughter would be gullible to go for this and I don’t think I need to worry about it. It’s just that from what I’ve seen, these “courtship” people just seem a bit off. Maybe some of them are reasonable. That’s just the gist I get.

    2. What is my problem? I keep trying to respond to posts and I’m replying to the wrong place in thread and making myself look like a desultory clod!

      Anyway, this replay by another poster is 100% correct: “I too hate how people take something that might help some people and turned it into something that all Christians must follow or they’re spiritually inferior.”

      My personal belief is that “courting” is a bit odd and something I’d advise my kids to run from. At least from the little bit of exposure I’ve had to its beliefs. But, that doesn’t mean that for someone else it’s not a good idea. Hey, I think being Amish is actually pretty cool because you get to save on gas money. But I’m not going to go out and say that everyone should be Amish! I can’t stand the utter arrogance that says, just like you said, that you MUST do it MY way or else you are an inferior Christian. This could be “courting” or any myriad of other issues. That kind of pride and arrogance is what completely disgusts me much more so than the weirdness that actually is “courting.”

  13. Fundies need fences around their egos. They say the sinner’s prayer when they are three years old, and suddenly they know what god likes and what god hates. Every time something important happens they know why god allowed it to happen. There might be 1.5 billion Christian in the world, but they are the only true Christians. Only their prayers get answered. God spends every moment just thinking about them. It’s was part of god will that they forgo college and work at Wal-Mart. Because having the “Jesus Saves” button as part of the flair on your blue blazer, will lead many souls of the lord.

    1. There might be 1.5 billion Christian in the world, but they are the only true Christians.

      Who have hijacked the word “Christian” without any specific modifiers to mean themselves and themselves alone. (I’m also in Furry Fandom — I know firsthand how hard it is do distance yourself from crazies who have hijacked and use your name.)

      In his page-by-page deconstruction/critique of Left Behind, Slacktivist coined the term “RTC” for them — “Real True Christians”.

  14. Fundies build walls and fences to keep the evil out and protect themselves from the world, but they have truly missed Christ’s message. The problem isn’t what’s out there; the problem is what’s inside of us. The wickedness comes from our own hearts. That is why we need to focus on Christ and let him transform us from the inside out.

    Jesus told the Pharisees you can paint the outside of a tomb, but it is still filled with dead man’s bones. The answer is to know Christ so we can be like Him and have a positive influence on the world around us instead of running away from the it because we might be tarnished. Life is messy and we are supposed to be engaged not removed.

  15. Sounds like someone grew up at Maranatha. We constantly got the cliff edge vs. the inside of the lane story – constantly. Constantly. And yes – whoever the authority decided what was a cliff and what the cliff limitations were and where your fence should be.

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