Moral Confusion

If every petty offense is counted as a great abomination and terrible wickedness…then how can you tell when real evil shows up?

If wearing a pair of jeans makes a woman the moral equivalent of a whore and listening to rock music is the same as fornication and questioning the pastor is as the sin of witchcraft then who among us shall recognize and withstand against real whoredoms and lust and idolatry?

Who among us shall say a word against the sneakier sins of avarice, pride, and deception when distracted by constant warnings about the supposed sins of those without the camp?

A man may beat his wife but at least he uses the right Bible verses when finding proof texts to defends his behavior.

A woman may lie and viciously manipulate those around her but so long as she wears modest skirts, her other faults seem hardly worth mentioning.

And who really has the time to ponder genocide and rape and injustice of all kinds when the looming threat of a PG-13 movie at the local cinema is so very present with us?

When a person’s moral conscience is bombarded with inanity, they lose their ability to discern when truly gross sin is in their midst.

253 thoughts on “Moral Confusion”

    1. This is what I wrote about in SCHIZOPHRENIC CHRISTIANITY (Toot! Toot! — my own horn!) And I don’t think that “inanity” entirely covers the problem.

      From pietism, which is problematic, Fundamentalism has swapped in a false code of morals, a false set of ethics. And if you step back and look at religion itself, faith, belief, you recognize that the Lord Jesus placed empathy very high as the thermostat of our morality: “Do to others as you would have them do to you”; “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

      Paul followed up on this by placing conscience as the essential of our directors of action: “They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.”

      James summarized conscience as action: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin”

      So the weight of this moral code of Christianity is the benevolence, mercy, generosity, that we show to others. And all of that hangs on us putting other people in our shoes, putting ourselves in their shoes, fearfully considering that we are like everybody else and they are like us.

      But Fundamentalism has pushed all of that aside to set up its own code of ethics, which is actually based on “your own personal shine”. If you have devotions, dress right, go soul winning, avoid evil music, etc., then you have lived a good Christian life. It is entirely based, not on looking at others with a regard for them and the benevolence they deserve from you (ie, me), but looking at yourself. It is the ultimate in self-centered religion. And that is not inane: it’s wicked.

      If you think about it, a self-centered person who has no empathy, who has no concern for others, and who carries around a HUGE sense of entitlement, innately believing himself or herself to be entitled to whatever he or she wants with no regard for others, cannot make sense of what Christ taught or how the New Testament writers explicated His teachings.

      But a sociopathic person CAN understand Christian Fundamentalism. He or she CAN understand scoring points to win the game of righteousness, building numbers to have the biggest church, restricting all people into a rigid hierarchy so that the best (ie, the men, and only a few of them) are in charge of everybody else.

      Fundamentalism isn’t just inane. It is the only version of Christianity that sociopaths can understand and fully believe. And that is why Christian Fundamentalism is full of sociopaths.

      And if you think all sociopaths are serial killers, consider updating that POV. Successful sociopaths are very social, very charismatic with their charm, very optimistic about their own causes. They’re also ruthless and dangerous. And they will take your life away from you, though not usually by shedding your blood outright. But they will take your life away from you.

      1. Great write up Bass. It also falls in line with the sociopaths in the IFB movement who really enjoy the manipulation and dominance they hold over the weaker people that they beat down over the years.
        TO Darrell: Where do you come up with these gems of insight? They are truly brilliant.

        1. The IFB is a ring of narcissists and sociopaths who adhere (with all sincerity) to the only religion that they can comprehend: the religion that makes them the most important people in Christendom and guarantees to them that God does want them to be the most important people, and God does want them to be above accountability (which is what the unbiblical approval of utter independence gives them), and God does rely on them to govern other people, who in God’s plan actually are less able to govern themselves and need the strong and God-ordained hand of the preacher to spell out exactly what to do.

          We laugh about the contradictions, and we are troubled by the gross sins these guys cover up. But the truth is, this is everything and all that Fundamentalism is and can ever be: the version of Christianity that sociopaths comprehend, and the version that allows them to take what they view as their rightful place–the men in power.

          That is spiritual blindness. And that is dangerous religion.

          It’s all in SCHIZOPHRENIC CHRISTIANITY (toot! toot!)

        2. “But they will take your life away from you.”

          Yes, they will. Particularly if you are young, naive, idealistic, and have a tendency to embrace with your whole being what you are told is right. πŸ˜₯

          PCC 1989-2003. I wish I could have those years back.

      2. You and electricbear have put into words the frustration that I have felt for several years over the “works based” approach to salvation. When we closely examine the history of Christianity (not simply IFB), it is not a story of which we can be proud. I am hopeful that the next 100 years will change all of that and we accept the fact that Christians do not have to believe that our planet is only 6000 years old (well…6100 by then).

        1. Oh, wait, now I see “electricbear” was the handle of another commentor. Never mind. 😳

      3. Well said, Bass.
        I agree with every word of your comments here.

        I’m tempted to point out some famous examples of sociopathic Christians, but I’m afraid that would be falling into the trap you’ve outlined.

      4. I mostly agree with the last 3 paragraphs of your write up, the part about sociopaths and fundamentalism. I agree there is a tendency for sociopaths to gravitate toward fundamentalism, I don’t think the problem is as pronounced as you do, but it is real and something genuine caring people should be aware of.

        I would be more inclined to believe that people in a fundamentalist environment tend to behave in a more sociopathic manner to cope with the attitudes and behaviors of those around them. Genuine sociopaths will rise to the top, and caring conscientious people will tend to be pushed down.

        I often wonder if fundamentalism is ironically a back-handed benefit to our culture. The rest of us can more easily spot genuine sociopaths as honored members of fundamentalist groups. And they have been propped up by gullible, approval-seeking underlings who voluntarily submit themselves to be taken advantage of to gain only a sliver of human approval. Such people would certainly be taken severe advantage of in another format. It’s not right but a fundamentalist church may be the lesser-evil for the gullible than other cults or criminal gangs.

        1. The problem with thinking that Fundamentalism makes it easy to spot the sociopaths is that there are still a lot of sociopaths who are not Fundamentalists.
          And, of course, there are many Fundamentalists who are not sociopaths, but I agree that the Fundamentalist structures do help true sociopaths rise to the top.

        1. @Bassenco I see you there. I was referring to Jonathan being the first one to climb on his high horse.

        2. Oh, I stand corrected. Jonathan, don’t mind my pride. It’s been with me since the day I put on jeans for the first time and bobbed my hair.

  1. This could not be truer!!! All the pettiness and exaggerated sins ruin one’s ability to even see, much less label true sin that can destroy one’s soul.

    It also teaches one to be very judgmental of everyone around them and to measure their own “spirituality” against those in their midst. It is very self-righteous and hurtful and unloving, unjust, and just plain WRONG!!!

    1. Learning Freedom – I wanted to share this with you on the forum when you welcomed new guy, but I didn’t want to break the rules of the thread, then I was gonna PM you but there was no info to do that, so here you go, it sort of applies here too, Providence?

      A quote from Pastor’s Wife:

      How can people twist a gospel that is supposed to set us free, and turn it into a religion in which everything is always your fault? You’re not surrendered enough, you’re not trusting enough, you’re not humbled enough, it’s all about you and how you never measure up, instead of being about Christ.

      1. Thanks Greg! Yes, that is right… exactly what I’ve lived with my whole life. “IF only I did… ” more/better than I wouldn’t have the problems I have.

        Again, the focus is totally on exterior and self-righteousness (or self-depracation, as the case may be), as well as measuring (juding) myself against others and them against me, etc. It is wickedly WRONG and completely blinds us to the REAL sins that will destroy us and those around us.

  2. I think that might be part of the reason that real sin in the camp is often covered up. The leaders don’t know what to do with it because they don’t recognize it! A woman wearing pants, someone listening to CCM-THAT they can handle. Violence? Rape? Adultery? Skimming the church funds? What’s that?

    1. You hit the nail.

      Not only do they look for things they can handle in the negative sense (eg. music, clothes, skirt length), but they turn sanctification, which is the work of God, into a manageable, quantifiable system (eg. time spent in devotions, chapters read/memorized, souls “saved”). While this is done, the major issues pass them by. And most people don’t even notice.

  3. This is so true, Darrell. Talk about searing your conscience with a hot iron. Stay long enough in Fundyland and you won’t recognize real sin when you see it happen right in front of your face or in your own life. I can remember when I was a teenager trying to remember the sins I had committed in the past week, and oftentimes not being able to think of any. I was following everything I had been told to do, so I was pretty near perfect. I would never say that, of course, but I came close to believing it. Thank God He opened my eyes to the truth.

    1. Well, maybe… the Bible says in Malachi that the people not giving tithes and offerings were robbing God. Sounds like theft to me.

      Even if one believes that tithing is an Old Testament practice that is not enjoined upon the New Testament church, the principle remains valid – that not giving to God that which is due Him is robbery (or theft). Certainly the New Testament principle is that we are to give proportionally and cheerfully; if we refuse to give though we are well able to do so, aren’t we guilty of robbing God?

      And, of course, those who believe that tithing does apply to the New Testament church are well justified in using the verses in Malachi to apply to those who don’t tithe.

      1. Then I guess they’d better start tithing the 20%+ that was commanded in the OT, or they’re robbing God!!!1!!1eleven

        (and don’t forget to tithe the individual seeds of your spices – remember, even Jesus said so!)

        I’m glad to live not under the law, but under grace.

      2. Are you joking? If so I’m swallowing hook, line and sinker.

        First, please give one verse, old or new testament where money is ever mentioned as a tithe.

        Please show me anywhere in the scripture where a christian is supposed to tithe.

        613 Old testament laws but this (tithing) is the only one we (under the new covenant) must still follow.

        New testament giving? Absolutely, tithing?
        Absolutely not, in order to tithe one would need to hunt down a Levitical Priest, and then give him what? Money? Nope, agricultural products from the land.

        New testament giving is giving what a person has decided in their heart to give, and its not to be given reluctantly or under any type of compulsion (why?) because God loves a cheerful giver. I’m serious, look it up, 2 Corinthians 9:7.

        So what shall we say about tithing then? Is it biblical? Yes. Is it christian? No.

        1. I am not attempting to defend the belief that tithing is valid for the New Testament Christian.

          I *am* saying that the principle in Malachi is that not giving to God the things due to Him is robbing Him. Taking for ourselves the glory due Him is robbing Him of His glory.

          It is certainly enjoined upon Christians to give; that seems unarguable… by refusing to give at all, is not one, in principle, robbing God? If nothing else, of the obedience due Him?

      3. New testament giving?
        Matt. 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

        Acts 4:34,35 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
        35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

    2. My view of that is rather radical, I guess. Here it is:
      Neither you nor I own anything. Everything we have is on loan from God. We are only temporary stewards of it. Not 10%, but 100%.

      Our job, as stewards, is to use everything for the greater glory of God.
      Figuring out exactly what that means, and how best to do that, is the work of a lifetime.

      In the course of this, some will go to the Church, some will be used to help the needy, some will go for art, music, and other things of beauty, some will be used to preserve the majesty of Creation (nature), some will be used to celebrate with friends and family, and so forth. But all of it belongs to the Giver of All Things, not to me.

      1. Big Gary – Completely agree, and would go even further than just monetary things, our time and talents, to my way of thinking, should also be “given” over the course of a lifetime.

  4. @Darrell…This post sums up all of my feelings during my years in the IFB. πŸ˜₯

    The real world with real problems is out there and they just keep “playing IFB Housewives and Preacher Boys” in the “bubble”.

  5. I heart the Beatles. I remember hearing “Revolution” on a Nike commercial and being instantly hooked. Luckily, my dad (not a fundy) had a Beatles tape and I promptly adopted it as my own. I remember actually having the thought “if we (Baptists) are so wrong about about how evil rock-n-roll is, what else are we wrong about?”

    Long story short: I ended up being an alcoholic drug-using rock-music-obsessed tattooed NKJV-reader. Damn you, Beatles! If only I’d listened to George Beverly Shea!

    1. When the Beatles came out, the sermons were still harping on that wicked Frank Sinatra.

      When Revolution came out, the sermons had finally made it to Elvis, the Pelvis. And that sinful Pat Boone.

    2. Why do I come to this site? “It sickens me yet I can’t look away!” (said by Kramer on a Seinfeld episode). I can only take so much. Anyway, in Bible College the music director warned us against Evie Tournquist’s music because one of her songs sounded similar to the Beatles’ Life Goes On (the ‘oobla-dee,oobla-dah part). OMG LORD HELP US ALL.

      1. Okay, you just gave away your age πŸ™‚ … and the only reason I know who that is is my older brother is 5 years older than me and he had one of her records πŸ˜€

    3. In the days before CCM, but sometime after the Beatles, a Bible college I know (obviously not IFB-Fundy) had a group record a version with the word “Revolution” changed to “Revelation”. It was cringe-worthy.

  6. Exactly. If you’re a child of the late 60’s early 70’s like me, where were our parents and our churches during Roe V Wade? Oh, that’s right. They were raling against women in pants, movies, and CCM. Great priorities.

        1. I was, but am not a Christian. But this wasn’t a reason I stopped being a Christian.

        2. I was wondering why this post had so many comments. Turns out it’s because there’s flamebait in the comment section.

          Isn’t abortion the fastest way to propel a fetus-soul into Heaven? Or are you in one of the sects that believe in infant damnation?

          Yes, it may be murder, but if so, it’s murder in self-defense.

        3. For “flame bait” it didn’t seem to be responsible for all that many reactions. Murder just is not a word that should be used when discussing abortion. Women that have abortion have enough problems to deal with, without being called murderers by people that don’t care about them for anything other than grandstanding opportunities.

      1. The best way for women to control their reproduction is by not having unprotected sex not by killing the innocent product of their sexual activity. A woman’s choice ought to come long before she realizes there is a beating heart in her womb.

        1. Also well stated. And may I ask that we not devolve into an argument over abortion? That way lies madness, better suited to another forum.

        2. Preventing unwanted pregnancy is the best option, but then fundies would have to give up the abstinence only education programs.

        3. I’m sure Tina wouldn’t have, but was just an obv example that not all pregnancies are based on a woman choosing to engage in sexual conduct. I agree with GEAH, that trying to enforce abstinence only education on the entire American society is absurd. You can’t get a church to actually practice it, teaching it as the only way to prevent disease & pregnancy is preposterous.

        4. I’ve never understood why people who are against abortion aren’t out there promoting sex education and contraception. That prevents far, far more abortions than protesting at women’s clinics does.

  7. Excellent post, indeed! While I didn’t grow up IFB, I was raised in Foursquare and I remember many, many sermons about “boys with long hair”, “people who wear baseball hats”, “women who dressed like harlots”, and “guitars and drums- the devil’s instruments”.

    Funny how I don’t once remember sitting through a sermon about not abusing your spouse, beating your children, or screwing your neighbor’s wife. Somehow, though, those three things seemed fairly common in our church.

      1. Always enjoy your posts, PW. How about, “miss the heartbreaking, soul-crushing “lives people are leading that could just use a good dose of compassion? Or as Mark Lowry says: you hate your sin, I’ll hate my sin, and let’s love one another.

        1. True! I know it’s a lot less frustrating to just love people instead of feeling like I have to be the moral policeman, correcting everyone. There are enough people wounded and crushed by life who truly need compassion and that’s how I want to live. (Still learning how after years in the IFB!)

  8. I keep having to take myself back to the idea that God is my Father, and that He loves us like a parent. I would prefer that my kids be rambunctious but have a sweet attitude toward others.

    My husband and I don’t listen to secular music by choice. We’ve got plenty of secular CDs to choose from – including the Beatles. My dad was in a rock band before he was saved, and they played LOTS of Beatles music. He’d still play songs for us when my angry fundy mom was not home. 😎

    But I want to listen to music that speaks to my soul. I love to hear my kids singing songs they’ve heard in the car. πŸ™‚ When people focus on one sin, they miss the rest. Just as I don’t want my kids to be paranoid that they are going to do something wrong and make me mad enough to severely punish them, so God wants us to enjoy life with Him and find joy in serving Jesus.

    1. Tammy, I hear you, but at the same time, I would not agree that only sacred music can speak to your soul. Secular music can do the same as well. Now that I’ve escaped Fundamentalism, I’m getting a lovely music education in *all* styles of music. And I have found some amazingly soul-feeding music out there by people who would probably never consider themselves or their music “Christian”. But their music comes from their heart and speaks to truths about life that we all experience.

      All truth is God’s truth.

  9. I remember Jack Hyles saying something like, “Major on the Minors so the Majors never appear.” or something like that. Like, if you never sin the “little” sins then you won’t make it up to the “big” ones. It took me a LONG time to learn that all sin is sin and little or big, they all seperate me from God and they are ALL bad. (And some of their “minors” weren’t sins at all, just preferences.)

    1. More likely “majoring on the minors” will just distract everyone from the majors being committed behind closed doors. We had a Sunday school teacher in our IFB church who always harped on “rock” music. Turns out he was a child molester.

  10. This and yesterday’s post pretty much sum up why I ultimately left the IFB. The mindset “we preach a, b, c but live x, y, z”, “the Christian life is all about me”, and “all sin is equal” produces some truly rotten fruit.

    Having grown up in the IFB bubble I find upon leaving that I have no idea how to lovingly interact with people living in or suffering the effects of “big” sins. What do you say to people who are fighting addiction, where abused as child, who are facing major marital problems, etc. etc.? What resources do you point them toward? I want to do more than quietly listen and pray but don’t know what or how to lend a genuine helping hand.

    1. I should clarify “all sin is equal”, yes all sin is bad and separates us from God, but different sins have different degrees of consequences and effects in this life and the IFB tends to ignore this.

      1. Yes, great clarification!

        I’ve heard that “all sin is equal” line, but, to be fair, I think that if you quizzed the preachers one-on-one, they would admit to exactly what you said — but the public pronouncements have confused some Christians in the pew.

  11. Ugh….I have HAD it with this website!! Pictures of some irrelevant rock music band with hair that TOTALLY doesn’t check! SFL has now become a bastion of wickedness!!! πŸ˜‰

    1. Using 1 John 2:15-17 as a reason not to listen to rock music or any other unapproved fundy activity is so L.A.M.E.

      Because if we really were going to apply the same logic of denying the “THE LUST OF THE FLESH, AND THE LUST OF THE EYES”, as he does, we couldn’t look at any beautiful paintings, we couldn’t eat any foods we liked, we couldn’t wear that favorite sweatshirt that made us feel warm and cozy, and we would have to avoid EVERYTHING that made us feel good.

      1. Poe’s Law again.
        If I didn’t know what I know now about IFBs, I would be certain this was an overdone parody.
        “We have this good, devout girl in our church. She’s poor but hard-working. She wears the required uniform for the school she won a scholarship to. We don’t like the uniform, so we fired her as a Sunday School teacher. Now should we kick her out of the church?”

        Coming next week: “Is it OK to use aspirin after I drive big nails into my own head?”

        1. This rose to the level of a “serious matter” in church? And nobody offered to take the poor kid shopping and buy her a couple of suitable skirts? What’s WRONG with these people?

          Bass is right–Fundamentalism attracts sociopaths.

        2. I know, right?
          There were many reasonable ways church leaders could have dealt with this so-called problem (which would not even be a problem at a church run by thinking people).
          They could have bought the girl a few skirts, and let her change into them when she got to church.
          They could have tossed out their stupid skirt rule, or made an exception for school and work uniforms.
          They could have had a big party to celebrate one of their own winning a scholarship, and made her a present of a new school uniform with pants.
          So what do they do? They launch an inquisition, bar the blameless young woman from teaching Sunday school, and now they’re talking about excommunicating her. In other words, they pick the craziest and most destructive response they can think of.

        3. Weirdly, the author categorizes this item under “Modesty,” when so many other headings would be much more apt. For example, “Senseless Cruelty,” “Beyond Legalism,” “Bullying Teenagers Because We Can,” or “Acting Against Our Church’s Own Interest, And Proud Of It.”

      2. That letter ends in two lies:

        In Christ,
        Brother Cloud

        To ask a question like that has nothing to do with Christ and unless it is addressed to his sister or brother by blood or marriage than it holds no meaning what-so-ever.

        I understand it is Poe’s Law but.. how can anyone have any Christian love and ask such an asinine question? It’s crap like that, which makes me agree with some of what the New Atheists are preaching. And if that is Christianity then I don’t want anything to do with it either. *Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*

        1. After I read the letter, I sort of skimmed to the end where it said “PAYPAL offerings” I thought it said “PAPAL offerings” and actually went back up to see what I missed. Then I laughed at how dumb I am.

  12. What is your answer then? No morals at all?

    There are joyful things in life one can enjoy that are NOT evil, but if you think Lady Gaga is fun innocent entertainment when it’s literally covered in occult messages and throwing away morality, then you need to think again.

    Christians are not to fall into the trap of self righteousness. I have my concerns myself about the parts of the fundamentalist world and have blogged on this before, where it seems, everything is about having this ideal 1800s lifestyle, such as what the Vision Forum promotes.

    Also for the unsaved, they do not have the conviction of the Holy Spirit as to what is sinful or not, I remember my non-Christian days, and I listened to wicked music MYSELF, so remember those days of simply being in darkness.

    Labeling all fundamentalists as self-righteous is not fair. While there are many sociopaths and abusers who use the cover of religion, it is not everyone who is a biblical Christian. In fact a good Christians will speak of having to repent from their OWN SIN, in delivering their testimony.

      1. Music that glorifies the occult, promiscous sex without love or commitment, amorality-love of money, the gangsta ethos–usually directed towards one market. You seriously do not see “any” evil in entertainment out there?

        1. IFB’s have long pointed to a “garbage in, garbage out” philosophy to justify their stance on entertainment, but I have consistently failed to see, as I’ve become an adult, how it makes any sense. For instance, I’ve listened to Lady Gaga’s music (though certainly not my favorite, or even close for that matter) and have not succumbed to any temptation to explore the occult–very successfully, I might add. As an adult, I can make an educated choice about what the musician/artist is stating and whether I agree or disagree with that statement, but to IFB’s, I’m just a song away from worshiping the devil.

          You see, in IFB world, there’s never a sense by which someone can digest something artistic for discussion’s or emotion’s sake. Art is just a tool of persuasion toward God or away from God, and there’s never any middle ground, really.

        2. I never once said I didn’t “see ‘any’ evil in entertainment” so don’t put words in my post. I was asking you about your view.

        1. Although you could pick any year PCC has existed and it would still be true that Lady Gaga is more moral than a pretty vast majority of the preacher boys there. Was trying to be more specific since fundy complainer was whining about generalizations.

        2. I admit there are many wicked people out there using religion for cover, so yes some of you may have known “evil” fundy preachers. I believe that Satan’s workers are infiltrating the churches in general, I have experienced a few of the evil ones myself including walking out of a local church here. That doesn’t mean there is no such thing as a good Christian preacher, but we are in the falling away now.

        3. @Biblebeliever, there is no such thing as a good Baptist preacher. Darrell and his followers would have you believe that every Baptist pastor is molesting children and cheating on their wives. If there are good pastors, they are the Methodists, Presbyterians, or non-denominational pastors. Everyone knows the Baptists are sinful. What’s wrong with you?

        4. I never heard of Cliff Jones, I tried to keep as many layers between myself and Scott Blanchard ilk as possible. I never said evil. You said Lady Gaga is immoral, and as far as morality goes, she’s a more moral person than the fundies I know (including the Scott Blanchard — admittedly from as much distances as possible).

        5. I don’t even know who that is

          Very believable. I can only hope that is the case. I don’t believe you.

        6. BTW, if you jump in the middle of a Lady Gaga thread, I’m not sure how much you can contribute if you are going to feign absolute ignorance of her. I don’t mind if you wanna jump in and say stupid stuff, but I don’t understand responding to Lady Gaga comments, and then denying any knowledge of her.

        7. @Jonathan

          So are we naive for thinking that all Baptist preachers are immoral, or

          are we disingenuous for believing it, or

          are we just bald-faced liars for doing so?

          If the answer to any of these is “yes”, why do you keep coming back?

          Reading is more than knowing what all the words mean.

        8. @Jonathan, you said, “@Biblebeliever, there is no such thing as a good Baptist preacher. Darrell and his followers would have you believe that every Baptist pastor is molesting children and cheating on their wives.”

          That is not Darrell’s purpose nor is it the belief of many of us here. I’ve been married for almost 19 years to a wonderful, humble Baptist preacher (though I guess now he’s a nondenom one). Just because some people on this site or elsewhere on the internet make extreme claims about the IFB doesn’t mean we all agree with that. Some of us are righteously angry at churches who present themselves as being most faithful to the Bible, when in reality they warp and twist and misuse Scripture. It is right to point out error (as well as therapeutic for many of us to be able to talk about things that we were never allowed to say).

        9. Pearls before swine, PW. Pearls before swine.

          (But don’t let that stop you. It’s funny as hell to watch!)

        10. Jesus Juke alert: There’s absolutely nothing funny about the eternal torment of those who are not believers.

        11. @RobM – I didn’t jump into make Lady Gaga comments. I simply asked when you were at PCC and if you knew some of my friends. You are the one who said that I claimed that Lady Gaga was immoral. I’ve heard her name and seen her on the covers of magazines, but I have never listened to her music, so I am in no place to make judgments about her music. However, anyone who promotes a homosexual lifestyle, as I have seen in the news that Lady Gaga does, can hardly be called moral. This is not a judgment on homosexuality; I am simply asserting that anyone who states that sexual relationships outside of marriage are legit cannot be called moral. Homosexual relationships do not occur in the confines (I use that term loosely) of marriage and are just as immoral as heterosexual relationships outside of marriage.

        12. Fundies get an awful lot of pleasure (although admittedly not humor) out of the eternal torment of souls.

        13. If you are going to claim that homosexuality is the worst abomination you can think of, you have nothing to contribute to a conversation on morality.

        14. I don’t find Jesus Jukes all that funny by anyone. That would’ve been a decent one if I found them funny.

        15. @RobM, I don’t know that I said that homosexuality was the worst abomination I could think of. I was simply using it as an example and detailing what little I know of Lady Gaga. My wife and I do not listen to a lot of contemporary popular music and we do not have television, not because we think it is evil or wicked, but simply as a way of saving money. We found that by canceling our Dish Network and getting Netflix, we could save about $40 a month.

          I also appreciate your backhanded compliment on my Jesus Juke. Glad that it (almost) met your approval.

    1. “Labeling all fundamentalists as self-righteous is not fair.”

      How about the ones who intentionally seek-out and scold entire groups of people who think differently from them?

      Would it be fair to label just you that way?

        1. How did I become the target of your attack? And doesn’t your argument point back to you?

          “How about the ones who intentionally seek-out and scold entire groups of people who think differently from them?”

          Isn’t that pretty much what you all do here? Oh wait, I forgot, only fundamentalists behave this way. Silly me.

        2. You paint the target on your own back, and then behave as if you can’t understand how someone would dare to call you out.

        1. Have we really already reached that point in the fundy conversation pattern?

          It’s so…predictable.

    2. What is your answer then? No morals at all?

      From Wikipedia:

      “A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options (sometimes shades of grey between the extremes).”

      All that is to say, I reject your premise and find your logic suspect.

        1. Sure. Whatever you say. You seem to know everything. Good luck in life with your black-and-white worldview.
          SFL – Love bombing a scripture verse they think is applicable to the conversation then twisting it to fit their pre-conceived ideas.

        2. @Scorpio: Relax! Just trying to throw a little “church lady” in there. Was fun getting a rise out of you though. 😎
          That one was one of the best guilt-inducing verses back in the day.

        3. I realize that…..now. πŸ’‘

          That verse is guilt inducing. Look at how it got me all riled up.
          If SFL ever makes a movie, you definitely play one of the fundies. πŸ˜†

        4. Scorp, what have I told you about trollbait? And this wasn’t even a real case! Sheesh! :mrgreen:

        1. I wholeheartedly disagree with your use of Galatians 4 to imply you are the wise discerner of truth setting the foolish Galatians straight.

    3. This all coming from someone who thinks a cookbook called “Party Divas” is a reflection on how morally depraved churches are becoming.

      AND, for some reason has a Pride and Prejudice complex over shrip and Creme Brulee.

      1. I wouldn’t say morally depraved, I would say out of touch with 80% of America even on a socio-economic level but they “market” where the money is to the upper-class suburbs. The whole “Diva” thing is a touch overused wouldn’t you think?

    4. The Bible is very clear about the basis of our morality: concern for others, unselfishness, forgiveness, mercy, pity, honesty, all done out of a fear of God and recognition that He is the judge, and He is the forgiver of my sins as well as the sins of all others, and so He holds all of our fates in His hands.

      Nothing that is lustful, lewd, or predatory can exist in an environment of true love for others. If Lady Gaga entices me to view others as sex objects, or to view what I do with another person as fun and harmless (when I know that what it does would cheapen that person’s worth or cheapen my own), then in God’s real morality, she would lose her appeal.

      You just don’t get it, bb. The more my mind is the mind of Christ, the less I am swayed or charmed by money, glitter, fame, sex, importance, power, etc. The more I am able to exercise the love of God, the more the vices die away in my outlook.

      But to focus on the vices, and to insist that my will or my decision can overpower the very nature of this flesh, is falsehood, pride, and arrogance. And that fails. And that is why Fundamentalism fails. It pushes morality, and yet it is riddled with the grossest sins known to mankind, and its preachers lie to cover for those sins.

      1. I’d say Bassenco that what you are describing is what Galations 5 addresses. Being Spirit led, specifically Galations 5:16-18. Curiously that passage also talks about not “devouring each other.” There are some real Christians who’ve been led down a wrong path. I hope in all our discussions, or at least after, that we will pray for our enemies bless people who come and curse us for speaking truth, Luke 6, knowing they need God’s grace as much someone who has finally seen through false religion. Also knowing that blessing those who curse us or loving our enemies is a work of God in our hearts. I pray God will have mercy and give them repentance.

        1. Sorry, meant to say that their are real Christians stuck in that system-that’s the path they’ve been led down. And PS, I’m totally ordering your book.

        2. k, I agree with you and have even taken some flack recently for urging greater patience with those still waking up to the realities of the nature of the counterfeit of Fundamentalism

          In fact, I had a great experience in Christian Fundamentalism when I was young. I had a great experience at BJU. My life was such hell that I looked at BJU as my rescue. It was so much better there for me than my life up to that point had been.

          I had dinner the other night with a friend I had made at BJU who is now in a reformed Protestant community church. Her dad was an IFB preacher who beat her mother, her, and her siblings. Her younger brother secretly drilled a hole between his room and the bath room so that he could watch her and her sister. She told me BJU was the best thing that had ever happened to her up to that point. Her brother lasted one year and then they shipped his arse outta there.

          She now sees a lot that is wrong with BJU, but she doesn’t see it to the degree that I see it (though she would never send her kids there). And I see far more now than I saw ten years ago. And I work with people who see less and some see more. The Tina Anderson case has been a huge data point (or set of data points) for the “waking up” people to work through. And some of them are still working through it. The realities of Hephzibah House, which is still supported by WMUU has been another major evidence to those waking up to the reality that Fundamentalism endorses the covering of sin and gross child abuse.

          There are a lot of people in transition who, as you say, need grace and charity and patience. And the greatest power we have to validate our exit is to exercise the genuine love of Christ.

          One great thing about SFL is its lighter approach. Everything I write is gritty stuff, or heavy theological stuff. Darrell’s lighter pen and more jovial outlook is a big help in getting those in transition to keep moving towards an exist from the Fundamentalist culture.

          Now, as fast as praying for the actual child molesters in Fundamentalism and praying for those in Fundamentalism who cover up such things, that’s harder. I pray for God to give them the ability again to be horrified by such sins. But I admit I don’t pray for them a lot, not nearly as much as I should. But I agree, I should be praying for them. Following Christ is way easier than following Fundamentalism, but it certainly does take faith.

          And by all means, buy my book. Why not buy a whole case? I’m told they make great coasters!

      2. I agree with you Bassenco, that those things are the basis of morality. I do not believe in the “culture wars” where many Christians can believe they can usher in morality via “force:: Gov’t or otherwise which the Dominionists try to sell to people. I too share concerns I even see on this blog regarding the hirelings in the pulpits, those obessed with power, money and celebrity and using it to build themselves up and certain antichristian agendas. As for sin, all Christians who were truly saved, had to face their own sins and repent including myself. There is nothing wrong with warning about things that are happening.

        http://galatiansfour.blogspot.com/2010/11/false-culture-wars-and-manhattan.html

        “The “culture wars” have combined the worse Dominionist aspects in Christianity, allowed politics to co-opt many a church, and also has helped quite a bit in the ecumenical plans of Rome, after all even Moral Majority had plenty of Catholic members in ‘fighting’ the culture wars.

        Now many of these folks are correct about the moral decline in culture, the deterioration in values, and liberals who want to take over the schools but sadly they have used the weapons of this world to do battle, instead of seeking to convert people to Jesus Christ and having change come via the Holy Spirit. This has brought endless false things into the churches and married them even more to the state. Where we have arrived at basically is at a place where the whole country, even unbelievers, recognize the inherent loathsome quest for power in the so called “Christian right”.

        Where we have arrived at is a place where many are refusing the Christian gospel looking at these guys thinking “Christianity” is just about rules, and people trying to control each other. This brand of “Christianity” has become more about celebrity, and the seeking of world power as well.”

        1. Well said, but deeply flawed.
          First, the idea that we just need to get people saved to fix culture is a slicing and dicing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is a way: a way of life, a way of viewing others, a way of exercising the mind and heart of Jesus Christ. The Fundamentalist program of “just getting them saved” has failed.

          Second, fretting about the Catholics and ecumenists as though they are a real obstacle is just as foolish as fixing morality on Lady Gaga. Jesus Christ is life, love, and goodness. We have to live Him, Him at work through us, to demonstrate the validity of our faith in Christ. If the Catholics and liberals do that better than we do, then we are far worse than they.

        2. I don’t think this is even all that well said. It reads like a Dan Brown comment, but not as well written. Try weaving some more secretive sects into your narrative than Catholics, ecumenicals, the moral majority, and liberals. When you try to congeal into 1 disparate and combative groups like that, you lose your credibility. After reading the comment I don’t think my head can handle clicking through to a blogpost you’ve written on the same conspiracy theory.

        3. “ecumenical plans of Rome”–I know you’re a whack job when I read this. Good grief, how old are you anyway?

  13. Paul McCartney first marriage lasted longer than many fundie marriages.
    George Harrison probably gave more money to help the poor than most fundies.
    John Lennon cared more about peace than most fundies.
    Ringo, well Ringo is probably nicer than most fundies.

      1. Really? And you know this fact how? Did you know the hearts of John and George when they died? You can forsee the future regarding the life of Ringo and Paul? Really?
        Since ther is no emoticon next to this statement I am deducing that this was not a sarcastic comment. It is a classic example of being Jesus Juked. That being the case, from the bottom of my heart may I ask you to please go pound salt in your a**.
        Typical fundy “I know everyting about everyone” self-righteous pompous comment.

        1. Two points Jonny boy:

          1) This is the minor point but – how does the comment I responded to show the love of Christ? Especially since, based on the content and subsequent comments by that person, they seem to be coming across as very holy.

          2) Where in my comment did I say I was attempting to show the love of Christ? Where in any of my comments have I made that claim? Fundyland hurt a lot of us in a lot of different ways. When my “fundar” goes off and I sense someone saying something that was continually beat over my head I am going to lash out at that person. I will not allow them or their ignornant comments to further the abuse many of us have had to deal with. And I very well may do it in a non-Christlike manner. Which, I think I learned that quite well from the fundies themselves.

        2. @scorpio: I was being the voice of a fundie, not of myself. I’m a former fundie, presently experiencing a liberal-leaning agnostic phase. I didn’t think I was too sarcastic for this site, but maybe I am?

        3. I love when you break out the “I was hurt by my years in Fundyland and this site is how I am coping with the abuse that I endured” card. To quote the fearless leader, it’s so…predictable.

          I’m wiping my eyes for you and the abuse you endured.

        4. You seriously have the audacity to play the “why’s everyone targeting me” self pity card after behaving like this?

        5. kat127 – I am so sorry. Please please please use the little smiley πŸ˜† or winkie πŸ˜‰ icons in the future so we (or least I) know you are being sarcastic.
          As I read that in the proper context and intent of your comment, then I say that is funny.
          Again I’m sorry. And I apologize for another response I made up the thread. Which again read in the light of sarcasm is funny.

        6. I hear you, but if I had put a silly emoticon next to the statement, it wouldn’t have gotten the fun replies following it. 😯

        7. :winky: :winky:
          way to break out the flame thrower Scorp! Burnt embers all around!

          Joenathen- go make PP presentation

        8. :winky: :winky:
          way to break out the flame thrower Scorp! Burnt embers all around!

          Joenathen- go make PP presentation

        9. kat, it’s a little thing called Poe’s Law.

          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law

          Smileys are dumb, but unless you build a reputation for it, it’s impossible to distinguish sarcasm from the real deal. Jonny here keeps trying the sarcasm thing, but he’s worked up a rep around here for something else…

        10. Gotta love Jonathan’s comment: “I love when you break out the β€œI was hurt by my years in Fundyland and this site is how I am coping with the abuse that I endured” card. To quote the fearless leader, it’s so…predictable.
          I’m wiping my eyes for you and the abuse you endured.”

          Cut the crap. You couldn’t care less who got hurt in Fundyland, much less show any real compassion. How dare any IFB abuse victim come forward and tell the truth? Better for those creatures to shut up so the “work of the gospel” can go on — and fill the church with more new people for leaders and wannabees to mistreat. Please. It’s people like you who make sure the rest of us would never return to the IFB. Why, when the “world” acts better? Doesn’t the Bible say somewhere that the children of this world are wiser than the children of light? Why, yes it does, in Luke 16. Talk about setting a very, VERY bad testimony.

        11. @LMcC – Your false outrage made laugh. Please do another one. Get all angry! I’m sure you are red-faced as you read and respond.

        12. This from the guy that just feigned complete & total ignorance of Lady Gaga isn’t very harsh criticism.

        13. @Mark: Thanks for the Poe’s Law definition. I’d never heard of it before. (no sarcasm) I just come to this site to laugh and not get into any debates. So, for future reference, just in case I forget an emoticon: If kat127 sounds like a fundie, it is not real, it is sarcasm. Thank you.

        14. Jonathan, I’ll say this as nicely as possible: It’s true outrage because you wouldn’t know how to give a flip about someone else if we bought you a care-by-number set. Seriously, you are making me very grateful I left the hate-filled poisonous dregs known as fundamentalism, and I’m saying this as sweetly and sincerely as anyone ever could (considering how disastrous fundamentalism is, I don’t have any nice words for it or its rotten fruits). If you were the only Jesus I ever saw, I wouldn’t want Him. The “lib’ruls, feminists and atheists” do a much better job of representing the Christ of Scripture than Fundies do, and I say that out of the pure honesty of my heart. I do wish you knew the true Jesus who loves and not the Fundy-ized version of him who seems to be filled with nothing but scorn and contempt. What “good news” can such a loveless false-christ bring to a world desperately in need of a true Savior and Redeemer? There is no redemption in Fundyland, no restoration, only more shame and abuse. If that’s what gives you kicks and giggles, then I truly do feel sorry for you. You are of all people to be most pitied.

        15. @LMcC: You don’t know me. You don’t know if I know the true Jesus or not. Based on the vile garbage that you are spewing in my direction, I doubt you know him either. You don’t know if I truly care about people. The only thing you can see is that I disagree with your moaning and bitching about how bad fundamentalism is. I actually agree with you. Fundamentalism, the kind that emphasizes behaviors and attitudes in order to be right with God, is destructive. I just wish that people like you would shut up with the “my life in the IFB was so hard and they hurt me so badly with all of their emotional abuse and this one guy raped some girl and so that makes all Baptist preachers rapists and don’t you dare say anything against me. or I will become outraged and scream that you don’t care about people”. Get a pair and shut up with the whining already.

        16. Jonathan,

          Your response is just so rich and thick and juicy with irony I can’t stand it. You comment like that yet you say my comments do not demonstrate the love of Christ.

          And I’m not even on a church staff. In fact my level of faith is not on par with everyone here.

          But here’s the thing, most of the commenters on here (and any blog) don’t know each other. That doesn’t make it OK to slam people and then innocently step back and say “Who me? What did I say”. Which when you are called out for your rude and insensitive remarks you then revert to the “You don’t know me” schtick. It is getting tiresome.

        17. Jonny, you’re goin all unglued-like again. Time for another break? No need to go ruinin your keen IFB testimony like that…

  14. I was always taught that the “shades of gray” were just excuses to compromise. It is either black or white. No gray. (Just regurgitating for you.) ~~Someone bring a bucket and a towel please~~

    1. I was told by IFB that there were no ‘gray areas’, only black or white. Gray has bits of both black and white, so it is wrong to do something that’s gray because it’s just a lighter shade of black.

  15. The real evil comes when the Powermeisters in the Pulpit recognize this and actually use it to manipulate their sheep. A “Smoke and Mirrors” ploy where they rail against minor issues as if they are major transgressions, claiming that if you make your stand out here in the minor leagues then you won’t have to worry about the major league issues.

    While everyone’s attention is focused on the small issues and the contrived issues no one sees the real evil in the servant leaders. Evasion and cover-up are standard operating procedures in this environment.

    It is easier to control the sheep with the minor issues because it causes them to conform to a standard outward appearance. The military has been using these methods of behavioral modification forever. Anytime you need to control a group of people you must make them conform to some recognized standard of appearance and behavior. After that it is easy to direct and misdirect the entire groups thinking and actions. It goes on in all facets of our society. It is particularly effective in the religious environment because you have a group that is readily willing to believe and conform.

    That is why the level of corruption in such a system is only limited by the power that is available. And when men of lesser character gain access to these positions there is no limit to the evil they wield because they are claiming authority from God. Power is a seductive drug and no man is immune to its effects, and at some point all men, who are in those positions of power, will give in to the temptation to use the power available for their own purposes and gain. (Think Congress, think Jack Hyles, Bob Jones, Lestor Roloff and the list of empire builders is endless.)

    **an aside: in the case of Lestor Roloff we clearly see the focusing on the minors for behavioral modification while the evils of child abuse were accepted as a legitimate means to an end… namely the building of Roloff’s reputation and personal empire.**

    1. The sheep are totally manipulated, you won’t have any argument with me on that. But realize there are other manipulaters out there in politics, media and many other areas.

      I wouldn’t trust a preacher that rails on about minor stuff, as if a church was a control matrix. The best ones teach that one’s decisions in life come via your personal prayer life and being led by the Holy Spirit. Being a Christian is not supposed to be about following the “rules of men”.

      Acts 5:29

      Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
      I agree the small potatoes stuff can serve as a cover up for the wolf in the pulpit to commit great sins.

      Those who have written about “mind control” often have wrote the churches are “soft targets” and I believe it.

      Power corrupts. I believe we are in the great falling away. Most of those preachers are IN with the politicians, like when we talked about Calvary Chapel pastors hanging out with Newt Gringrich.

  16. Hello, I work for the Baptist Gestapo. I’m feeling awesome driving down the road in my truthmobile but sometimes I get nervous. I get scared that the Bible isn’t as detailed and clear as it needs to be to keep people in line. That Jesus isn’t strong enough to defend his own reputation so that has become my job! I will make rules upon rules and “clarify” the Bible’s stance on music and alcohol.
    I will try to bully those who have left the rules I’ve uncovered from the Bible. There is no way that Jesus is powerful enough to show these scoffers that being IFB is the closest religion to the Bible! It is my job to punish those who dare to think freely and get their information from anyone but a Baptist preacher! If I push my beliefs on them long enough, some day when I get to heaven, they’ll know the truth and they’ll thank me. There will be no blood on my hands! 😯

  17. Wow. This one is REALLY good. So, so true.

    Makes me think (a little) when my son was really little; I didn’t say ‘no’ to everything, I saved it for the big things like running in traffic or touching the stove – serious, life threatening. jumping on the sofa? “feet on the floor.” throwing food? “tell mama ‘all done’.” There’s things that matter and then there’s things that I wanted from him because it made my life easier or it was about manners, not morals. I felt that if I was shouting ‘no’ at every turn he’d get immune and not hear me when it really mattered.

    too tangential? fantastic post Darrell.

    1. Sarah, good post. As a mom of a physically precocious two yr old….I needed to hear your wisdom. Makes sense, I will hold back for the important stuff, gently guide on the minors.

  18. You have to remember, all sin is equal in God’s eyes. Sin is sin, and it doesn’t matter if you raped and murdered a child or watched Wall-E in the movie house, God views it as exactly the same. I know this is true because I heard a pastor say it once. The logic is solid, and I know it’s in the Bible somewhere, I just need to keep looking (which means I don’t read my Bible enough or follow a reading plan which is sin equal to witchcraft).

    I loved the Beatles photo, by the way. I have a Beatles tshirt I like to wear around BJU campus sometimes and get a variety of reactions. πŸ˜€

      1. Not yet. they do have a few shreds of common sense there, and have a very hard time dealing with “borderline” things like that. like when part of my student account password was “bullcrap.” I’m sure somebody somewhere was aware of it and freaking out.. but passwords are passwords after all!

        1. Quick, we need someone with hacker skills to access all of nate’s account since we have his password. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

        2. You wouldn’t dare!! lol no, like I said.. “when” and “was.” that was a year or two ago, back when I HAD a student account. good luck trying to hack all the nates at bob jones (there are a lot) with all variations of the word bullcrap. hahahah

  19. Good chance that this will miss its mark but I have to share.
    I have been having an ongoing dialogue with a witch who was a former Baptist. She grew up in a strict legalistic home. The girl is a brilliant thinker. She was telling me of the moral confusion and contradiction she saw in the church. She shared an experience that just shows how much the fundies are missing it…
    Once, there were street preachers on our college campus, screaming at us how we were all terrible sinners and going to hell, telling all of my gay friends how horrible they were – and after all that abuse they expected to win us, that way. So me and my fed-up friends drew a poster with a picture of Darth Vader wearing a pink kitchen apron with hearts in his eyes, holding a tray of cookies, and it said COME TO THE DARK SIDE, WE HAVE COOKIES. Then about five of us spent all our meal plans on lemonade and cookies and passed them out in front of the street preachers, and when they tried to come up and talk scripture at us, we all recited the Jedi code.

    There is no emotion, there is peace.
    There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
    There is no passion, there is serenity.
    There is no death, there is the Force.

    It was so, much fun. We responded to silliness with equal silliness and I think we got our point across. Eventually they left us alone (though, sadly, it was before we could break out the plastic lightsabers).

  20. Just found your blog this afternoon. Don’t tweet yet, don’t even know how to text yet, but am not computer illiterate by any means. This is a great blog! Have already being so enjoying reading thee STUFF FUNDIES LIKE tweets on line. The comments are so funny. Also love the ‘preacher rant figure’ so common to the ‘angry guilt monger-merchants of fear’ look alike figure, so unfortunately common and systemic to fundamentalism and its ‘deviously clever religious manipulators’. I so admire the willingness you guys and gals too? on this blog, show by your honesty to really think about things that, if you ‘used to be fundy’, you never thought you ‘needed’ to even think about at all. Why? Because, in your past, if you ‘were’ fundies, some religious bozo up at the fundy altar of all that is true to the fundy preacher boys, did your thinking for you, and assured you that doing this for you was God’s will for your life, and this was how you followed and served God, you followed man! Simon say this, simon says that, do this , do that, believe this, believe that, think this, think that, it’s the religious simon says game of following religious man! Only of course no one ever told you that was going on. Oh how easy it is to slip into an ‘when did I have my last original thought’ mode, when, we actually don’t even realize that, some time ago we actually ‘stopped thinking?’ Great blogs like your’s, remind all of us, to use the brains and the gift of mind and intellect that God gave us. No, we don’t have to stop feeling or suppress deny or deny any of our emotions. We just need to manage them and accept them and let God heal them. And we don’t have to stop thinking either. We can do all the normal things God created us to do. It’s called ‘being human’, and it’s wonderful. It’s also BEING FREE. Thanks to Scorpio’s deightful “Hello, I work for the Baptist Gestapo!” Reading this made my day! I agree with Pastor’s wife. Not all Baptists or Baptist pastors fall into this extreme category of ‘church abuse’ or, ‘spiritul abuse.’ And not even all fundies, followers, fall into this extreme category. It’s the individuals who ‘use the pulpit to get at people’, and the individuals who use ‘male authority position’ to hurt their family, ‘these’ are the culprits who give fundamentalism and this negative strain of protestantism, such a bad name. There are millions of good christians who follow religious people they would be better to not be following at all. But they really don’t know any better. They do this because they love God and want to serve Him. What they ‘don’t’ realize is, that by ‘following’ highly controlling clergy, they are actually empowering such clergy to ‘control their lives.’ There are wonderful Baptists, and good fundamentalist followers. The followers need a revelation of Grace. We all do! But when wrongs are blatantly committed, we need to take a stand and be counted as men and women of God who will come to the defense of brothers and sisters who are wronged. Even if doing so , we get taken down in humiliation in the process. We can alsways rise again as Jesus is our defender. It’s simply NOT OKAY TO ABUSE. And people are too precious to be abused for any reason. But if we remain silent regarding serious injustices, we may be silently agreeing that ‘it’s okay’ when it’s not. Information control, intimidation, and supression of free speech and expression, are the common mind games these ‘individuals’-religious bozos try to play. We need to ‘take their bag of marbles away from them’ by firmly, boldly, saying NO. And by our decision to STOP EMPOWERING THEM. If christians knew their Bibles a lot better, they would not let these religious power brokers use the Bible against them. Great Blog. Thanks Scorpio for your Bapist Gestapo rant. Funny as a rubber crutch. BABS

  21. I haven’t read all of the comments, so forgive if this was already addressed…but regarding the petty nit picking and missing the real wrongs….Its been my impression that this is no accident, it exactly why the system is set up. Going back to sociopaths, they still want to have their fun so go with the window dressing so that they can still behave like sociopaths. Everyone trades in something. For some its acceptace, others its recognition, love, money, power, etc. They do not trade in acceptance, so its easy for them to reject the social norms and to alienate other races and genders. Th trade in power so they make it easy to over look abuse of power, the sin of racism, sexism, child abuse, etc. MOst of the lifers in my old IFB would cry crocodile tears over their “conversion” and point to the rock music and beer drinking/partying as their big sins. But they brought all the same racist politics from the old life with them into the IFB, same abusive personalities and it all fitted nice and cozy. There was no conversion, they just found the perfect fraternity of like minds.

    1. Excellent analysis. To abstract it a bit, I have observed some of the meanest, most unregenerate people in IFB churches. They have all their works in a line (their line), but their hearts are putrid.

      1. Fundystan (awesome name, btw) when at the ripe old age of 11, while helping my mom in the IFB nursery I observed my mom making comments of sinful behavior because a 3 yrd old was dancing in front of a fan, enjoying the breeze. Swaying back and forth, bouncing and giggling, the kind of thing that would bring a smile to anyone’s face…that right then is when I knew, I had to get out. I was in the midst of an evil people.

  22. These boys in the picture–they look like such clean, handsome, wholesome young men! Why I even think I have a couple who of sons who look like that now. But I remember as a child in the 1960’s when I specifically had to avert my eyes from looking at a magazine of them in a shop window because they were so “worldly” looking. I remember sermon after sermon about how bad their music was and how evil their lifestyle was. If only I had realized I would someday be the mother of boys just like that!

  23. Thbis post is great! I have read most of the comments and The great minds on this blog have mine overwhelmed. Bassenco probably has expressed most of what I would be inclined to say faaaaar better than I could.

    I love this group. πŸ˜€

  24. One of the best posts that really sums it ‘all’ up for me with how my hubby and I have ‘training’ our children.

    When our daughters are more worried about being seen in wally world in pants by their SS teacher (to the point of tears) or that they have to bring her KJV (not even parallel bible with the KJV is acceptable) to school or she’ll be expelled….

    When they’re more worried and concerned about that than showing the LOVE of Christ to others or that their family members are lost and will die and go to hell b/c we’re too busy judging for acting LOST (shock :!:) – when do you say ‘enough is enough’?

    Now we’re saying it. After 5 years in IFB (13 prior not in IFB) have trained us to train our kids to make everything non-IFB an enemy of God and things only-IFB Godly. Shame on US for allowing that abuse to happen to my kids for as long as it did. They’ve never been more confused and so ‘distracted’.

    I need to go find a closet and scream and cry now….

    1. Maybe you could humbly say to them, “We were wrong. We wanted so much to live for Jesus but we got distracted and focused on the wrong things.” One word picture that might help would be a mom asking her kid to clean the living room. The kid decides to rearrange all the books on the living room shelf by color and then in alphabetic order. When mom returns, the bookshelf is admittedly quite well-ordered, but the windows are grimy, the rug is unvacuumed, toys still litter the floor, the rest of the furniture is undusted. The kid focused on the wrong thing! When we focus on pants-wearing or KJV, we’re missing the main point of what Jesus said. I love the simplicity of the fruit of the Spirit and keep coming back to that and trying to emphasize to my kids that if they’re not showing love, patience, etc., then their “high standards” are pointless. I have a nine-year-old who often expresses the idea of being good to please God, so I’m trying to learn how to best explain grace to her and living in gratitude in the Spirit not living in obligation and guilt.

      1. PW…..I love this post! I don’t comment on here very often but I read SFL every day. And, I haven’t ever disagreed with you. You sum up what I believe. Thank you for your stand against the IFB. (I was in it for almost 30 yrs.) And, thank you for your loving spirit.
        Darrell…..your posts the last 2 days have been spot on. Thank you for all that you have done. SFL is such a great place to come to. It helps to know that others have been there, too. I still have family in the IFB. My brother-in-law is an IFB pastor in Nevada. I don’t think he or my sister and their children will ever leave it either.

    1. IFB’s are split on the Bill Gothard issue. SOme like him, some love him, some tolerate him to keep their homeschool families happy and some honest preachers speak the truth about the dangers of Gothardism.

      Charismatics seem to like him a lot. That, and the the Tim Lahaye “christianized” curious theory of the four temperaments.

      Of course some IFB’s bought into that psychobabble also.

  25. “A woman may lie and viciously manipulate those around her but so long as she wears modest skirts, her other faults seem hardly worth mentioning.”

    Wearing a dress didn’t seem to help Jennie Nischik’s (NΓ©e Jennie Corle) reputation…..

    1. Being the mistress of Jack Hyles accomplished that for her. She got away with it for a long time, and even though her husband wrote a book about her shameless affair, the only things that exposed her sin was that Hyles himself dumped her eventually, and toe forcefield she counted on evaporated. Otherwise, she passed herself off as a godly woman at FBC for decades.

        1. Last I heard, she was off in California, living in a condo with another woman. The condo was paid for by Jack Hyles. That was the last Vic Nischik had heard, because he was the one who told me. But that was easily ten years ago.

  26. “When a person’s moral conscience is bombarded with inanity, they lose their ability to discern when truly gross sin is in their midst.”

    Yeah, because if nothing’s ever wrong, no one is ever wrong…..

    1. No, you misread: If all the stupid things are sin, nobody notices the real sin. Nobody even notices that the teachers have stopped teaching or even mentioning the real sins. And so the real sins reign.

  27. One thing that I’ve always been astonished by is the contrast between the “good” things fundies do versus the good (read: bad) things the world does. Fundies pride themselves on being right just by wearing a knee-length skirt or having your hair cut right. But if you didn’t follow these arbitrary beliefs, if you weren’t saved, then what you were doing wasn’t worth anything. I knew of so many amazing, amazing friends and colleagues who were doing truly awesome things, whether it was leading a human rights campaign or writing a thought-provoking research dissertation. And to me, even with all their tattoos and piercings and happy hours, they were still doing more to further compassion and love, change the status quo, and promote a common sense of humanity than any of the fundies I knew. Yet harassing people by intruding on their privacy through campus soulwinning and door-knocking was the way to show love and compassion. Passively listening to men shout at you amounted to true change in the status quo. Refusing to have outside hobbies or social engagements (whether volunteering or just being friends with people) was better and more glorifying to God. It’s so limiting, these lives they lead – and they call this freedom?

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