Age 2 minutes: Welcome to the world, little one! And welcome to fundyland! In three days you’ll be in a fundy church nursery for the first time.

Age 5: I don’t really know anybody but fundamentalists. Well, there is that one weird kid in kindergarten who brought a Transformers lunchbox that day and got yelled at by the teacher. He doesn’t go to our church so the rest of us don’t really play with him.

Age 11: Oh, it is wonderful to be a fundy! Any interactions with the lost usually consist of telling them why they’re so much more sinful than we are. My parents usually wear an odd mixture of pride and horror when I’m loudly telling the waitress at Olive Garden why we don’t drink wine like those people at the next table. I’m so glad I know all the answers to everything.

Age 15: Reality has begun to creep in a bit. Family reunions and neighborhood friends provide brief glimpses of those outside the fundy bubble and it is both fascinating and terrifying. I’m starting to realize that everyone else is “normal” and I’m the weirdo. Sometimes I feel the urge to condemn everyone else and stand up for Jesus but mostly I just want to fit in and understand what everyone else is talking about. I’m tired of being asked questions about standards we have that I don’t know the answers to.

Age 19: Fundy U provides even more chances to meet people from outside the bubble. I’m not even sure what some of these kids are doing here but I’ve learned that the rebels are so much more fun than the squares. I still don’t understand their pop culture references but I’ve learned to just laugh anyway. Listening to them I realize that there are more amazing things in the world that I ever knew.

Age 25: I went to my first movie today and then drove home listening to music from a radio station my parents would still never approve of. As I drove I saw billboard that I’d never noticed before. It read “Welcome to the start of 20 years of recovery.” Let’s hope it only takes that long.

177 thoughts on “Self-Realization”

  1. Fundys do not do teenage rebellion. We are too busy tring to be what our parents want us to be, or what our MoG wants us to be, or what we think Jesus would want us to be, and never is there a chance to ask ourselves… “what do I want to be?”

    So we wake up one day at 25 and realize we have been living someone elses life, not ours. I know too many friends who left not only the church, but spouse and kids at this point. We had been living a lie.

    1. Some of them do. Then they get shipped home from the mission field to live with grandma and grandpa so they don’t “ruin the testimony” of the parents.

      Or…so I’ve heard.

      1. Oh yes, the missionary kids and the preacher kids are especially bad cases of living (or trying to) someone else’s life.

        1. Missionary kids and the children of people in full-time ministry often become the worst rebels. I know a few cases, although one of them rebelled largely because of the way his parents were treated by his Chruch when they “transgressed”. Kids (or adults) who rebel against an extremely strict upbringing, and go the “Way of the World” are often the hardest people to reach with the true Gospel of Christ.

        2. @Paul Best

          Indeed we are. But would that real true gospel be the one shared by a Real True Scotsman?

        3. @Green Eggs: that comment had pointy little teeth, didn’t it? Come sit next to me. πŸ˜€

    2. I didn’t do teenage rebellion. I rebelled when I was about 25, when the son of a good friend died of liver cancer. I was angry at God, and my life was Hell for the next 8 or nine years. Life was Hell for everyone around me too, I made sure of that. Looking back I realise I was emotionally immature – common among people with the sort of sheltered Christian upbringing I had, and I couldn’t cope with the harshness of the real world. I’m much older now, and hopefully wiser.

      1. My “rebelion” consisted of questioning the unquestionable; Trinity, Historisity of the Bible, toungues and spiritual gifts, really anything that made the Sunday school teachers’ or youth group leaders’ head spin.

  2. I was right with you until the age 15 area. Reality did not start creeping in until I was more like 25. Also, I was one of the squares at Fundy U so I missed the boat there too! And the first movie bit, didn’t get there till mid-thirties. I guess I have always been a late bloomer – or maybe it has more to do with the extra strength koolaid they serve at FBC Hammond and HAC and the fact that I consumed it by the gallon!

    1. I’m going off my own experience for the timeline here. Your mileage may vary.

      1. I get it, everybody has a different journey. I am just lamenting the fact that apparently my journey seems to be going so very slowly and that I am light-years behind so many of you here! It’s all good though, I am very thankful to have finally escaped.

    2. I don’t know how you “lifers” ever came out alive. Ive often wondered how the “from birth” Fundy’s ever figure who the heck they are if all they knew was Fundy crazy.
      Do you all think most HAVE to rebel to an opposite extreme to find out???

        1. Darrell- did you always buy into the Koolaid from the get go? You seem like you are your own man. Somehow you didn’t suppress your own critical thinking skills.
          A key to not having to go off the deep end?

        2. I didn’t have to rebel in the extreme either. But by the time I left, I was already married with two kids – but the skpeticism had been growing slowly for years. We just melted away…

      1. IAHB: Umm…”the untouchable, beautiful, perfect ones” really?? LOL! I thought the same about you! Too bad we really didn’t get a chance to know each other back then. Guess now we are making up for lost time.

      2. I don’t think that “lifers” (love that term!) have to rebel to the extreme. It’s just that once that realization hits you, you quickly see that you don’t know how to set boundaries for yourself. Certainly there can be rebellion involved, by mostly it’s just trying to make decisions for yourself and see where they take you.

      3. I was raised Fundy from birth. Actually 4 out of the 6 siblings were born at home. The other two were only born in the hospital out of medical necessity, but I digress.

        It is entirely possible to walk away without going to the extreme. My extraction was thanks in large part to the ‘wrong crowd’ I allied with during my time at Fundy college.

        Going into college my freshman year I still held most of the fundy beliefs, the notable exceptions being music and movies. I had never been to the movies at that point but I did frequently listen to ‘bad’ music like country, southern gospel and some rock. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was holding my parent’s beliefs instead of my own. I think one of the first views I changed was of pants on women. It was all downhill and out of the mold from there. πŸ™‚

      4. I’m a “lifer” but I didn’t go to the extreme (as you know πŸ˜€ ) … I mean, I messed up big time but my now hubby and I never left church – just left the church my parent’s preferred. But we’re still in a great little Bible church, making decisions for ourselves.

      5. I am 23 and I am only now in the process of leaving… I’m not exactly a lifer. My uncle and aunt were involved in a Chinese Christian church. They invited me to Vacation Bible School each summer since I was about 5. I recall getting saved when I was 5 or 6. I began attending church pretty faithfully at age 13. However, my parents are basically agnostic. They’re strict, conservative, and sometimes crazy in fundy-like ways, but this is more of a cultural thing and not out of any religious adherence. So I’m a weird mix of having had a conservative Christian faith throughout childhood/young adulthood and yet was brought up in a very secular environment. I also grew up and currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California and attended public schools all my life. In a weird way, this has made me very tolerant towards diversity and very strange and extreme cultural quirks, including IFB weirdness.

        I’ve always had doubts and such (particularly about how women should dress) but I’ve more or less recategorized the things I didn’t like into preferences. Also, I think initially my church was not as closely wed to groups like WCBC, Pensacola, etc. Over time, more and more graduates of these schools have joined our church as leaders and have changed the direction of our church. So over time, I’ve become less and less happy about my church. But because I could see the change, I could also just recategorize these things as preferences.

        I think the breaking point for me only happened 6 months ago (!). This is when I had moved back to the area closer to church after college. I realized that when I looked around at the people at my church, they led lives nothing like mine. What’s more, I had no desire to live out the lives they led. I realized that I was carrying 2 personas – me, and watered-down IFB me, and I was tired of it. I realized that none of my IFB friends recategorized weird things into preferences – to them, it was right and wrong, and they were willing to stand by them. I was/am getting pushed more and more into leadership roles (well, teaching… can girls really have leadership positions?) and I couldn’t stand by these things in public. I realized I was coming home from church meetings and needing to recover by watching TV and pigging out for 3 hours. (This is a terrible habit to sustain if you subscribe to a Three or More To Thrive schedule!) I was/am also very disappointed by the way friendships and courting/dating is handled at our church. The very people who claim to be trustworthy with true compassion are less upfront, more dishonest, and more insincere about their true motives for talking to you than many I’ve met outside of church. At least in the world, if people are interested, you know it. Here in IFB land, you can carry on “talking” and “getting to know you” without ever calling it for what it is. And when the other person decides they’re no longer interested and stops talking or getting to know you, it’s your fault for ever thinking it was something more.

        Anyways, I am moving a little further out in a couple of months and the day can’t come soon enough. But I am not looking forward to all of the questions about why I’m no longer going to church, and why I won’t travel 45 minutes just to attend. I don’t know how to answer to my so-called friends who will want to know why I’m no longer there – knowing that they won’t be able to understand or stomach any answer I give. If I were ever to tell them a real answer, these so-called friendships would most likely be over. I’m not really scared – I’ve lived enough outside of the church to know that life goes on, and there are plenty of new people to befriend. But a part of me is scared – I’ve never lived without having some kind of church network to fall back on, and for the first time, I’m planning to step out of it completely. I’m willing to explore non-IFB churches but a small part of me hears the IFBs insisting that there’s no other good churches out there and that once I leave, I’m going to spiral into some kind of state of chaotic sin. I guess I’m mostly scared to lose this network – my church is made up of a lot of educated professionals, and I hate to cut off the ties and friendships (no matter how fake) I’ve built up over so many years.

        1. Dear Senda…it will be good. it will be hard. Perhaps for starters you could say that since gas is $4.50 a gallon in the Bay Area that this alone will keep you from being able to drive to the church you’ve been attending.

          It is difficult and scary to make a change especially if or when you find out that people you thought were your friends are not.

          Hold on….you can do it! Warning this is NOT a Jesus Juke.

          Jesus really does love you way more than anyone else ever can! Stay tuned here for support Senda!

        2. Thanks! πŸ™‚ This is a really cool blog and people seem so supportive.

          Unfortunately, the “gas is too high” argument doesn’t really fly because they will point out that several in our congregation travel 45 min.-1 hour with bridge tolls just to attend. Our church expects our college students attending school 1.5 hours/90 miles away to continue attending faithfully on Sundays and Fridays for the college ministry. Sigh.

        3. Hi Emily! I’m closer to San Leandro. The college I referenced is UC Davis. Nice to meet you! πŸ™‚

    3. I was in my early forties when the Kool-Aid lost its potency, and struggled into my mid-fifties. It’s crazy waking up one morning realizing that so much of what you have accepted as The Only Way To Please God was a lie.

    4. @ ex-koolaid…I’m another late bloomer. I officially escaped the bubble when I was 30. It took me a little while to figure it out, but I did eventually! 😳

      1. I gave up the extremes – KJVO, no pants on women, no CCM, no movies – after college, but we stayed fundy for a long time, calling ourselves “balanced.” For example, we wouldn’t TALK about the movies we went to lest we harm the weaker brother. My husband tried to faithfully preach the Word not man’s standards. We’ve finally rejected the IFB label around 40 years old. I think it was easier to stay in for so long because we were fundy-lite.

      2. Thanks for the encouragement. It is good to know that I am not alone.

      3. I am ashamed to admit that I wasn’t raised on Kool-Aid but picked up the habit in my late teens (much to the dismay of my parents, who are mainline Christians to this day). My college years were dysfunctional to say the least! I started to come out of the jungle when I was about 25 and still work on it to this day. I have had three good pastors in the past 10 years who have assisted greatly in the process.

    5. πŸ™‚ I understand. It seems like you either rebel or let the guilt take over. I tended to let the guilt control my life- doing things and having standards that I didn’t believe and had no clue where these people got it from (besides there daddy and there daddy’s daddy) just to “be a good Christian.” The most important thing I’ve realized and am still working on is that in the end- i answer to God. Not Jack Schaap, FBC members, family, past teachers- just God.
      That is an enormous burden lifted from me.

  3. “Well, there is that one weird kid in kindergarten who brought a Transformers lunchbox that day and got yelled at by the teacher”

    My 11 year old boy came home from school this year and told me he got a reprimand for wearing a paper wristband from a cruise we just got back from. ( He is sentimental) He got a demerit because “Boys don’t wear jewelery.
    And you wonder why fundy kids rebel? 😯

    1. Oh good grief! My oldest child was scolded his first wk of kindergarten for having a matching Incredibles back pack and lunch box. Meanwhile other kids had sponge bob, winnie the pooh, Disney princesses, Minnie, Mickie, etc. Try explaining to a 5 yr old why some tv and movie related items were exempt from the rule but his was not b/c the movie had just come out. Thankfully, having to start explaining glaring discrepancies in the fundy church and school to a 5 yr old was the beginning of the end for me. πŸ˜‰

      1. Yeah, the discrepancies don’t make sense! The worst is when the expectations are unspoken and you never figure out that you’ve stepped outside the limits until you do something innocent like buy a backpack and suddenly realize that you’re a transgressor!

        I get angry that adults turn their scorn and horror at the violation of these unwritten codes on the CHILDREN!

        1. Absolutely. Six years later, this same child has revealed things that happened in the same class that he was scared to tell me back then. Like the day he was told he was a “bad apple” for quietly asking the kid next to him for a pencil b/c his had broken and he did not want to interrupt class to ask to sharpen his. Seriously, my kid is going to spoil the whole barrel of apples for asking to borrow a pencil? It’s all madness I say!

        2. @ex-koolaid junkie, that’s sad! They focus so much on silly externals and superficial rules and completely miss modeling or developing love, mercy, and compassion.

        3. When my son was in 4th grade, our house burned to the ground in the California Wildfires. We got out with only what we were wearing and our vehicles. When he got back to school (in borrowed uniforms) his teacher refused to cut him ANY slack and gave him “blue slips” for each assignment that was undone during the time he was out. One such slip was for not “completing” his handwriting assignment (the writing part was done but the picture wasn’t colored) and required that he write on there why it hadn’t been done. He wrote “Because I didn’t have any colored pencils” His teacher accused him of having a “Victim Mentality” and gave him demerits. We couldn’t take him out of the school at that time because I was also undergoing treatment for cancer and couldn’t homeschool him. He kept going but we could see his spirit being broken day after day. Once he came home and said, “If I can go one more week without any slips I can get moved off the ‘irresponsible side’ of the class and over to the side with all the ‘good kids'” That was his last day there. We homeschooled him from that day on, and he graduated high school at 16 and has been in college the past two years. That was a HORRIBLE year for him at the hands of a *supposedly* Christian school teacher.

        4. @ Sims–I can’t believe what I just read. I am feeling this strange intense emotional mixture of anger and sadness. I would love to help the rest of this board “speak” some sense to witless nincompoops like this. They were Bob Jones grads, right? I just can’t believe that there’s anything worse that the public school would have done to your child! Situations like this convince me over and over that it’s okay to send your child to a school where they are a little more reasonable and balanced and where the principal will probably have a Ph.D. He also answers to the public, the school board, and the police department. I know there’s bad public school situations, but your chances in my opinion of having fairness meted out to your child are way better at public school. And at least you have some redress for bad situations.
          Our family’s public school experiences are much better than the hurt inflicted at the hands of the Bob Jones group of schools. I am so glad we defected. The choice isn’t just “Christian school or home school.” There is another choice there. I am praying for full recovery for you and your family for all aspects of your life. I am so sorry for what you and your precious child had to go through.

      2. Similar experience in Fundy High. A friend of mine and I both had anime memorabilia plastered over our ACE desks – Robotech, Gundam, Cowboy Bebop – Adult Swim/Toonami shows. We got away with it. But Pokemon was right out.

        1. LOL! Yeah, lots of fundies outright deem Pokemon to be “of the devil.” After I had already escaped, a family member ended up in the hospital and while my kids and I were making a visit, one of the associate pastors from the former church stopped by. My kids were playing with their Pokemon cards and he said “Pokemon, aren’t they some weird new age-y, eastern religion, mystical characters?” All said with a stern disapproving look. I simply replied, “Yup, guess so.”

          Fundies: Using phrases that were introduced a dozen years ago thinking it makes them sound cutting-edge and relevant.

        2. We go to a church that is IFB but actually pretty good. My daughter, who is autistic, went through a serious Pokemon phase when she was about six and took her Pokemon doll everywhere with her, even to church. I never heard a complaint about it. But one Sunday, they were re-enacting the story of the Nativity and they didn’t have a baby Jesus available to use. So the pastor’s wife used the Pokemon to stand in as baby Jesus. I just giggled when I found out, but the pastor’s wife mentioned later that she caught some grief for it.

    2. I am deeply aware that there is no perfect school (I still have my own scars from my 12-year sentence to supposedly elite public schools), but do you really want your kids in a school that’s obviously run by insane people?

      Again, I know this is really hard for any parent, but punishing kids for wearing a paper wristband or for liking the wrong cartoon, or for asking to borrow a pencil– I’d say that’s a sign the adults in the school don’t know what they’re doing.

      1. Big Gary,
        I’m with you but I am just one half of the “school choice” ongoing discussion with the hubby. He says a fundy school for our boys is better than a public school for our boys. I disagree. He wins. Subject closed for discussion.

        1. Once I was where your husband is. I would love to sit down with him and introduce him to my twins who just graduated after two years of public school. K-2 were in an SBC school but they were too liberal since they used the NIV, so for 3-10 they were in an IFB indoctrination center in a local mothership.
          The difference in Academics was shocking! The public school was light years ahead of the indoctrination bunker. If your children are ever in their lives going to function outside the magic Fundie bubble you owe it to them to expose them to real life in public school.
          It is my (belated) experience that real parenting is being there to guide, and be there to counsel them as issues come up. Looking back one of my greatest failures in parenting was that by keeping them in the sheltered bubble I was being a lazy parent. The Bubble believed like I believed because I believed like the bubble believed therefore I didn’t have to think or deal with real issues. Being there to guide them through real life situtations is harder to do but it produces growth and maturity. Not all public schools are the cesspools of moral depravity that the IFB cult would have us believe they are.
          It’s ironic that IFB doctrine looks for any flaw in the public schools and then jumps on it like stink on manure saying, “Ah-Ha! See look at how corrupt public schools are!” But recoil in feigned horror and circle the wagons when something exposes the IFB movement to ridicule. (ooops, sorry for the rabbit trail, force of habit I guess)

        2. Have you guys discussed charter schools at all? We’ve been discussing for a while, because we didn’t want A in the Christian school my hubby went to (and his sister is still subjected to) but the public schools around here are NOT good… We’ve found some great charter school options, though.

        3. Just have to throw in here that my daughter ***LOVED*** her first year at public school this year. 9th grade! We are so happy. She regales me with talk from health class, and we laugh hysterically at how this would go down at IFB school. I will admit it all still scares me at times, but she’s a good kid. She says I have to trust her (I have all my fingers and toes crossed).

        4. Iambeloved is in a tough spot and I’m feeling her. Don, I was a kid from a single parent home with no money for fundy schoolsing, so I went to public school k-12 only to have to lsiten week after week, my schools being demonized as worldly and inferior. When I became a teen and my workload was quite large, the subject matter very advanced compared to the bible school kids, I would roll my eyes. Proof in the pudding? The Bible school kids were more Godly than I, they win. Nevermind that they were barely outof fractions in 8th grade while I was in algebra/pre algebra.

        5. Don,
          My thoughts on education exactly! I seriously DO wish you’d talk to my hubby.
          I try to tell hubby that I went to public school and turned out OK…somehow it just doesn’t have the punch I was hoping for. :mrgreen:
          I am not sure if there are others like myself who have spouses on different pages but I feel rather trapped in this area.

        6. I did fine in public school. When I got to HAC, a lot of the Christian school kids seemed behind, especially in math and science.

          I used to listen to the church preach about how bad public school was and wonder why I never saw any of the horrid tales they told.

        7. I attended Christian school my entire life. From K-3rd grade, I went to the local Full Gospel academy before our church built a school that was “non-denominational” (I have to use that term loosely). I have no way to compare Christian vs. public school as I graduated from my church’s high school. I will say, however, that my school was very different from most fundy schools I’ve known. Our grading system was higher, i.e. 92+ was an “A”, 85-92 a “B”, 75-84 a “C”, there were no “D”s and 74 and below was a failure. When it came to things like math, physics, chemistry, athletics, and english, our school excelled. Our teachers in those areas were highly skilled and had graduated from “real” schools. However, when I got to college (non fundy) I had to learn biology, earth science, and history all over again. Our school used Christian textbooks that included a large amount of revisionist history and seriously lacked any credible scientific information. At times, I felt like an idiot through college.

          The other aspect to consider is social skills and interaction. I had no idea how to react to someone who didn’t fit the mold in which I had become comfortable. College and the military afforded me a crash course on how to deal with people. In the end, Christian school did not prepare me well for life outside of fundamentalism, which I suspect is the underlying purpose behind undereducating and socially stunting the growth of children. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart” to the extreme…

        8. @Don. I agree with you 100% on every little detail. Almost sounds like we have parallel lives. Fortunately for my husband and I it truly was a matter of finances that forced us to seriously consider the public school option. We had to. We did. We love it. And my children who did graduate from the local Fundy schools, they aren’t sending their kids back.

      2. I agree with you. Which is why we finally pulled our kids from that particular school. Unfortunately the school district we bought a house in is one of the worst in the county so we are homeschooling for now, but we are looking for and planning ahead for other options. I know, I know, what were we thinking?? We were still not fully out of the fundy haze when we bought this house, and all of the teaching I knew said not to worry about that, b/c “our kids will always go to Christian school.” The sad thing is we are just a few streets away from one of the best school districts in the county – I would have loved to send my kids there!

        1. Are you that bound in the US? Here in Canada people send their kids to other schools all the time… And in many places (like Saskatoon) there are two publically funded school boards as well – a public school board and a Catholic school board. We live outside the city, in a small town, but the schools there are not too bad either. There are 2 Christian schools within a 30km radius, but I wouldn’t send my kids there even if you pay me…

        2. @Singular: it depends on the state you’re in. In my state, we can send our kids to the local district school that’s in our feeder pattern, we can “choice” into another district school, even if it’s a different district, (as long as they have open seats and we provide the transportation), or we can send them to a charter school. And then there are private schools, too, of course. The state right next to us has no such options–you just go to school that is in your district or you go private.

    3. IAHB, my 10 year old son is STILL wearing a paper wristband from an indoor water park we went to over a month ago! πŸ™‚ I wish he’d take the thing off but just for sanitary reasons not that he’s violating the fundy “men can’t wear jewelry” rule.

    4. Awe, poor kid! What about a wedding band? So it’s ok for a guy to wear a wedding band, but not a bracelet from a cruise….
      These are the kind of things that confuse these poor children and cause them to either go crazy or just give in to a non-thinking clone-like ritual of Christianity.
      -not saying your little guy will do this because he has you to come home to- but those things add up and if there is an extreme fundy parent backing up these teachers and crazy rules like they’re Bible- πŸ™

  4. For me it started when my husband joined the Army. We were both about 25. Talk about being released from the sheltered ‘bubble’. πŸ˜€

    If you want to fellowship with other Christians in such a situation you take what you can get and we found out that Southern Baptists were good people. So were the Catholics/fill in the blank denominations.

    What stood out to me was that these people were the kind of Christians that we WANTED and were trying so hard to be. You know, love your neighbor, the gold rule of basic human kindness, helping the poor…etc. They lived the ‘normal’ Christian life. We somehow came to the realization that the fundy mindset was the very thing that was standing in the way of our spiritual growth.

    When we got out of the Army we lived in AZ for a while went to what was a moderate Baptist church that didn’t preach silly standards all day long. When we returned home to VA we refused to go back to the IFB church much to the surprise and consternation of family and friends. Never looked back. πŸ˜›

    1. “If you wanted fellowship with other christians you took what you could get”

      That was exactly my military experience, and probably when I started to question my fundy upbringing, it took quite awhile for me to completely leave that mindset (actually still working at it) but the freedom in Christ that I have now, and reading and studying the word w/out those fundy binders is wonderful, I’ll never go back!

  5. This is pretty good, except it started with me in fundy high school. Maybe even before that…also my parents had a better understanding of Grace and that personal standards were just that…personal. They were/are not happy that I do not share all of their standards but there is less pressure to conform for the sake of conforming. It was my parents understanding of Grace that kept me from going off the deep end, and they probably understand the problems in fundy land as well as anyone here. They may just be too old to move camps.

  6. My reality crumbled fairly quickly at the age of 16. Our fundy pastor retired and his replacement came in from California, sight unseen. The first Sunday after the new guy arrived, everyone kept looking around, trying to figure out where the pastor was. It didn’t dawn on anyone until after the music was over that the dude in the jeans and cowboy boots was the new pastor. Needless to say, our fundy church was shocked and many wound up leaving for the new Baptist church down the road.

    Incidentally, that was the same year I started listening to “worldly” music and playing guitar. Oh, and wearing flannel and Doc Martens. Yep, it was all downhill from there…

    Unfotunately, the new pastor left after two years. Much of the congregation seemed to have a desire to be led, literally, and told what to do, how to dress, what to avoid, etc and they just didn’t know how to deal with a leader who focused on love first. It’s a shame, really.

    1. I feel that way about the people in our church who when my husband started emphasizing love and mission all fled for a nearby IFB church. I don’t understand why they prefer the legalism. (Maybe because they only “pretend” three times a week and live like they want the rest of the time; thus church is their special “holy hour” and we violated it by messing with their traditions. I on the other hand really tried for most of my life to take seriously the “come out from among them and be ye separate” so I’ve been enjoying the liberty of grace.)

      1. “why they prefer the legalism”

        We all do. The common joke among IT geeks (I work the Help Desk,) is the typical user complaint: “But we’ve always done it “this” way.

        When Jesus came down from the transfiguration, Peter was all set to build a little church right there, start selling tickets, Jesus had to stop him… “You just don’t get it…”

        Sometimes I start humming a song in the shower, and it is hours before I realize it is a hymn from three Hymnbooks ago…

        1. β€œwhy they prefer the legalism”

          Ironically, for many people, legalism is an easier path to follow. Why love one’s neighbor or go the second mile when all you have to do is wear the prescribed clothing and say “Amen” at the right times?

  7. Well, our fundy background wasn’t from birth. We were SBC until I was about 14 or 15. (A touch of Gothard and a smidgen of legalism, but nothing too extreme.) We even did movies until that time. Then fundy church, followed by FundjU, followed by almost 20 years of Koolaid!

    Yeah, I hope recovery isn’t a 20 year process, I’d like to enjoy a spot of normal before I’m 60 thank you very much. πŸ˜‰

  8. The Olive Garden one is spot on. I remember hearing an elderly fundamentalist who used an illustration about personal holiness. Of course, he was the illustration for us all. What did he say? Well, he talked about taking a stand by refusing to drink wine during a dinner while visiting people IN FRANCE!!!!!
    He went on and on about how he could have compromised his testimony. Unreal.

    1. My Grandparents represented a home for disabled adults. When I was in 7th grade, my siblings and I spent a month with them while our parents were with my paternal grandma. One night, when traveling, we got hungry. It was late, and we were on back roads with no places to eat. Suddenly there was a diner on the side of the road, we got excited, but were told we couldn’t eat there because there was a beer sign in the window. Their ministry name was on a sign on the side of the motor home – what if someone saw it – and thought they were in there drinking (gasp).

      1. Oh, yes, the “someone might think the worst about us” scenario. You would hope your friends would assume the best about you and not suppose you’d gone to the diner to get drunk or gone to the movie theater to watch the gratuitous-violence filled movie. I guess the “for testimony’s sake” rule just shows that in fundyland everyone knows how judgmental they all are.

    1. Funny Story…I actually watched “The Village” while I was at FundyU…My and a buddy closed and propped shut our dorm room door and used headphones…Ah fun times.

    2. My husband and I totally thought that too: the escape to a simpler, purer time (only fundies pick the 1950s), isolationism, and tales of how horrible it is out there to scare people into staying within the boundaries.

      We found “Tangled” very evocative as well.

      1. ooh, yes, “Mother Knows Best” – “bob/dorm sup/pastor knows best.” Also the scene where she’s so conflicted about leaving; caputres not just how a “normal” person would feel about growing up, but also how I (we) feel about leaving the “tower” of fundamentalism.

        1. YES!! I thought that too!

          She wants to get out and see everything, but is scared to death even though there’s nothing she can’t handle.

    3. I recently told my brother that he should rewatch that movie and think about how it applies to him in his situation (still in fundyland). He is starting to see things but is unwilling to walk away yet.

    4. Definitely not alone. One of those “that’s crazy but I’ve lived through weirder” moments. Really enjoyed Tangled too.

  9. I was a sophomore in high school when we had to write a paper in honor’s English about our views of Creation VS. Evolution. Everyone knew which paper was mine – YEAH. I was the good God created the world in 6 days….. But I started to wonder why we couldn’t see what science said. Then when I was 20 I left the “bubble”, because there wasn’t a Bible believing church where I went to school – just a MO Synod Lutheran, a Presbyterian USA, Unitarian, Christian Scientist, and United Methodist Church (I didn’t have a car). Finally went to the United Methodist church, just to see how ungodly they were. It was actually the first time I felt like I worshiped God. The candles, the liturgy, the Lord’s Prayer, a sermon that didn’t tell me what the scripture said word for word (they did read the Bible!)- but how to apply the scripture to my life.

  10. Wow. This is so spot on! Great posts this week, Darrell! The light came on for me while I was at Fundy U. It was enough of a different brand of Fundy than what I was raised in for me to run into some strange rules and begin to realize that many of the “convictions” I was taught were just some people’s opinions.

    Like Darrell, I never really outwardly rebelled; I didn’t broadcast my non-conformity to the rules (not to the deans, anyway): I went to matinee movies on Wednesdays when everybody else at the U was getting ready for church. 😈

  11. I started BJ as a rebel and then tried really hard to fit in with the BoJos – just now I’m beginning to understand why I couldn’t live up to that … they were holding my rebelness(normalcy?) against me.

  12. “Mommy, suppose they don’t like me?”
    “Just be yourself and everything will be okay.”
    Relax, act naturally, and then…
    “Lexi! What do you think you’re doing? That’s not the kind of people we are!”

  13. And how did adults know which words were dirty words if they grew up in the church and never were exposed to them? I didn’t know that “heck” and “darn” were dirty words until I got my mouth washed out with soap. And the words “hell” and “damn” are even in the bible!

  14. Age 19 is pretty spot on; I went to BJU and encountered people (being in the art program) who weren’t fundy, but the difference was that I found they were more genuine than fundies, even though they listened to rock music and wore fashionable clothes. I actually officially “rebelled” at age 25 (now) . . . I think I offended a lot of people from my fundy roots with my views of the Tina Anderson case.

        1. I’m friends with J. Griffin. Don’t you remember all the music people?? I was one of them.

      1. Which Nate are you?? One of the two I work with or the cousin of one of my art friends? πŸ™‚

  15. Way too true to even be funny. Although, I was a passive-agressive rebel from about age 13. I was compliant outwardly, but I didn’t buy any of it. “They” taught me how to be overly critical, but I turned it back on them and saw the inconsistencies. Once I was in college, it was all downhill. πŸ˜†

  16. I never really rebelled. I was very complaint at BJU; I always tried to keep the rules. The small areas where I exercised Christian liberty (like going to movies) I kept to myself so I wouldn’t be a stumbling block to others. Now, I guess I’m a rebel – we have a praise band in our church and we joined an evangelical pastor’s network. I’m slightly amused at turning into the “bad girl” at my age!

    1. If I’m ever in your area I’m totally visiting your church; it sounds like a great place πŸ™‚ (wherever you live lol; I have no idea… its the thought that counts lol)

    2. supernova, we’d love to have you – wherever our secret location might be! πŸ˜€ And I meant to write “compliant” up above not “complaint” — the wrong word sort of destroyed the point I was trying to make!

  17. Darrell, thank you for this post. I couldn’t have put it any better myself. These are very accurate and poignant summaries of the process many of us go through. I’m choking back tears at my desk.

  18. Darrell,
    Thank you for posting this prayer request. I don’t know this person but I have a tract that I would love to send him/her. It’s called “How Long Is The Door Open” and it’s by my Pastor. It talks about how the door to return to righteous, separated living is limited. That’s why so many young people die in car accidents or live long but evil lives.

    My parents are so thankful that, so far, all of their kids are serving the Lord and living by Godly Standards. Pastor says that we don’t need to know what’s on the other side of the Fence (our standards and boundaries). We just need to know that the Fence is protecting us from evil, temptation, and suffering. Pastor was just telling us about some preachers who are trying to teach that there is no divide between the sacred life and secular life!!!! I cannot believe this!

    Oops. I have to go. It’s time for us to go to Wal-Mart. I have to carry the coupon binder since it’s too big to fit in Mom’s purse.

    1. Darrell, I LOVE SFL, but I do wish there was a “like” button for individual comments!

      Have fun shopping, CMG. If you shopped at our Kroger, you wouldn’t be able to buy peanuts or Pringles because they’re in the same aisle as the wine.

    2. @CMG. Atta girl! We walk by faith in our Mog and our parents. Circle the wagons and keep out the world! πŸ™‚

      I hear Wal-mart has some new skirt and culottes patterns.

    3. Does your Wal-Mart sell wine, beer and likker? If it did, would you be able to shop there anymore?

    4. Our WalMart has the strong drink section in the back of the store. It’s kind of tucked in a little nook. The bad news is that is where the bottled water is, so we don’t buy bottled water. We use the water bottles we get from the Campus Bookstore at the local Christian College. My brother has one from the summer camp he’s working at.

      And we don’t mind shopping there because *we* actually benefit because we use coupons and they are very competitive in their prices. So, we actually come out ahead. This is also why we purchase the local paper on Sunday’s only. Oh, and Wednesdays.

    5. Oh my, this is just too funny! Thank you for chiming in CMG. I always look on the feed list for recent posts to see if you have posted recently! Don’t forget to pick up those travel sized items with your highest value coupons so that they will be almost free! πŸ™‚

  19. I had planned to write a longer comment, but I will pare it down to this: one of the fundamental (hah!) presuppositions of fundymentalism is the “us versus them” mentality, sometimes disguised under the term “church militant” (but badly misses what that term actually means). Even for those who come out of fundymentalism, there often remains this underlying presupposition: the belief that we have got everything right, and no one else does. I don’t think anyone can truly be free of the prison until they come to terms with this fallacy.

  20. My realization began when I had to make up a class in summer school (at a public school) with all those scary public school kids. They were mostly nice to me and looked at me with pity more than anything else. I had expected them to stab or rape me or something. When we had to do skits in teams, one of the girls on our team wanted to switch clothes with me (for her costume) and I got to wear her jeans and tee shirt. It was the most comfortable I had ever been in my life. (And sadly, her costume was a dowdy old woman, so my dress was just right I guess) I realized I was the weirdo. I have felt like an outsider ever since (about 40 years now)

    1. Ah, yes, Sims. Me too! I actually asked the public school admissions guy about my daughters getting raped in the bathroom. I am so embarrassed….but that just shows you the extent of the lies we were told.

  21. My rebellion began at Bible College. Having severe chronic pain began the process.

    The doctrine that Jesus heals went first. Then the value of praying. The cognitive dissonance between my beliefs and my pain grew to epic proportions.

    I took a break between 2nd and 3rd year. In that time, I tried atheism. It didn’t last; the freedom was too scary.

    I went back to Bible college, but the doctrines just kept slipping away.

    I tried to hold on to them, but given that my faith was not of blended fabric, when you pull one string, another comes too.

    I didn’t try for ordination. I knew that I would never get it. I wasn’t convinced of the Trinity, let alone pre-Millenialism or inerrancy.

    Within a year of graduating I was back to being an atheist. I tried the United Church of Canada on the way out of the church.*

    I am not an atheist now; but I am also not a theist. I am also not an agnostic. And I am still not a Christian — some 25 years later.

    It won’t take 20 years to unravel fundamentalism. The first 5 will be the toughest. You are moving to a new country. The culture shock will be big.

    There are very many nice people out there. Some will be Christians; some will not. Convalesce and take care of your wounds.

    *The UCC is Canada’s largest protestant denomination. They are also liberal. They lobbied hard to allow same-sex marriage in Canadian law.

    Fundamentalists do exist here. It’s just that there is a great deal more push back in Canada from other churches than there is in the US.

    The UCC is also in direct lineage to the Social Gospel era. And they take that heritage seriously.

    Canada has single-payer health care because of the Social Gospel. The first Canadian government to set up universal health care was led by a Baptist preacher. Don’t tell your fundy friends and family; their heads will explode. :mrgreen:

  22. My rebellion started at BJU when I started to realize that the whole “try to be perfect so you can keep you testimony and please God” mantra was futile and making me miserable.

  23. It’s funny, my husband (not raised fundy) would always tell me (kindly) how young I acted and how naive I was. It wasn’t a couple years later until I looked at my sisters and friends still in fundy land did I realize how much I had changed! I didn’t even move out of my parent’s house until I was 26!!! 😑

    1. I’m the oldest of six kids and the only one who moved out. My sisters are 28 and 27 and still living at home with no prospects/interest in going anywhere else.

      1. Whoa, that sucks. I knew of a family like that. The mom told the kids they shouldn’t get married because Paul (?) said it was better that they stay single. So they all still live with mommy in their 30s! Wonder who is a control freak? 😯 I’m glad you got out! But you’re probably the tale of warning to your younger siblings πŸ™„

        1. Yeah, I’m glad I got out. My parents are into all the fundy stuff: Gothard, S.M.Davis, courtship, dress standards, etc.

          I probably am the cautionary tale as you said. However, last time I checked, I’m still the one who gets the younger kids if something happens to my parents. That surprised me.

          I almost slipped up when I was talking to my dad the other day that I had seen a movie I was telling him about (its not out on DVD yet). Hopefully he didn’t catch it. I could hear the disapproval in his voice when I told him our pastor was on vaction at the shore. I left out the fact that I would be taking a trip there a few days later.

        2. @CFresh: So where was your pastor supposed to be vacationing? Or was he not supposed to vacation at all?

  24. I started thinking for myself at age 9 (with the help of older brothers). Sometimes I wish I would have waited til I left home. Teenage life as a thinking human being in fundyland was almost unbearable.

    But still worth it, nonetheless. I like the idea off knowing things about things (i.e. what the world was like when I was a kid), it’s nice.

  25. Age 30: First beer and lap dance. “Amber” wore a neck beautiful gold crucifix around her neck. She tried to persuade me that there is a god. But I was distracted. I later found out another dancer was dating a local PK who had sorted cocaine off her breasts. He later went on the BBC (Clark Summit, PA) and now is a youth pastor and house painter.

      1. Most exotic dancers and Hooters’ waitresses I have talked to are somewhat religious. I have only meet one atheist exotic dancer, but she was from Russia.
        It does appear most of Miss USA pageant contentants got their science lessons form Kirk Cameron.

    1. First beer was probably more like 15 for me.

      At age 35 I’ve still never been in a strip club and have no intention of doing so.

      And yes, many fallen women are religious. Don’t try to figure it out.

  26. It started for me when a girl who I was madly in love with ended up (indirectly) calling me ‘God’s permissive will’ rather than ‘God’s perfect will’ for her life. I still don’t know how she made that conclusion, but the concept of multiple wills of God made no sense to me, so I began to study that, and it eventually led to questioning alot of the IFB movement. So reading ‘Decision Making and the Will of God’ was that 1st step.

    1. bwahahahaha! πŸ˜†
      God’s permissive will” is code for “I like you as a friend
      that’s tooo funny! πŸ˜€

    2. That might be the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard of a girl saying to a guy. SHUDDER!!!

      1. I’ve got to admit that’s a new one.

        But feel free to spend a semester or two at a Southern Baptist seminary if you want to hear more crazy stuff like that.

        There’s no need to go back to IFB… the Southern Baptists and the Reformed have plenty of crazy.

      2. Running a close second would be something I heard while trying to date a woman at a charismatic church: “I’m sorry–you’re not holy enough for me.” (whereupon said woman proceeded to marry a missionary she met the week before)

        Lack of effective decision-making skills seems to be endemic amongst Fundamentalists, and affects every single area of their lives. I’d say it’s probably *the key* distinctive of the movement and what causes people to be led down a primrose path spiritually, ethically, and politically.

  27. My story is funny in a way because my parents weren’t fundies, but they enrolled me in fundy school because they thought it was “safer” than public school (:lol:). Unfortunately, I bought into it and decided to attend fundy church as a teenager. I tried to turn my parents into fundies, but it didn’t work (thank God)!! At age 23, I came to my senses and left!! However, nine years later (and four years in therapy) the scars remain.

  28. Pastor’s wife said, They focus so much on silly externals and superficial rules and completely miss modeling or developing love, mercy, and compassion.

    And this, my friends, is the reason I finally got up enough courage to escape fundyland in January at age 45. It took about six years to actually make the break, from the time I first started realizing all was not well in fundyland, and I hope it doesn’t take too long to fully recover, if that is even possible.:???:

    1. One never fully recovers from the fundie programming. It is especially hard on us old folks that spent decades breathing the poisoned air. It takes a conscious effort to actually deconstruct those parts of our worldview that are built with the structurally unsound fundie material. You’ll catch yourself in a thought and say wait a minute is that what the Bible actually says or merely what I have always been taught. It’s hard work and often uncomfortable but oh, so satisifying!

  29. Starting in high school, I had disagreed with many of my church’s overly conservative political stances. But I think the real doubt began in college when some of my female fundy friends (who I had trusted to have some sense!) began to insist that pants on a woman is not feminine and is in fact sexually stimulating to men. Therefore only skirts are okay on females. This made absolutely no sense to me – I can stand behind modesty and there are certainly verses that vouch for modest apparel. But to argue that the Bible actually says that pants are historically and inherently masculine (absolutely not true cross-culturally or even historically), or that skirts are any less sexually stimulating, was madness. And then the fact that these good friends of mine went along with such an extreme and unbiblical notions without a single question made me realize that there was a difference between myself and these friends, and I didn’t know if I wanted to join them on that side.

    Another thing that really bothered me was how flippantly people decided to do things based on what the preacher said. For example, for awhile, several of my fellow college fundies were on Facebook – until, apparently, a Sunday evening message where our Pastor apparently preached against Facebook. I had missed that sermon but did notice everyone suddenly disappearing on Facebook. But when I asked why everyone was all of a sudden not on Facebook, they couldn’t, or refused to, articulate their new beliefs on their own and insisted that I just listen to the message. Another example that comes to mind is when our Pastor recently preached a message that we should never, ever lie. Obviously, we all lie about little things, whether out of politeness or as a joke or whatever, so I didn’t really take that message too seriously. But one of my good friends flipped out and said she didn’t know how she would be able to plan surprise birthday parties for friends (because obviously you have to lie in order to surprise a friend about an event). Things like this just disappoint me over and over about people who are supposedly so clear on where they stand – not only can they NOT think or make decisions for themselves at all, but the smallest thing with the barest of biblical support amounts to an entire life change for reasons they can’t even articulate later.

    1. “But I think the real doubt began in college when some of my female fundy friends (who I had trusted to have some sense!) began to insist that pants on a woman is not feminine and is in fact sexually stimulating to men. Therefore only skirts are okay on females. This made absolutely no sense to me – I can stand behind modesty and there are certainly verses that vouch for modest apparel. But to argue that the Bible actually says that pants are historically and inherently masculine (absolutely not true cross-culturally or even historically), or that skirts are any less sexually stimulating, was madness.”

      This kind of thing really makes me laugh at the ignorance involved. 5 minutes of internet research could inform you that skirts=feminine and pants=masculine Has a very limited cultural and historical application. And, I’d wager that skirts (cute skirts, anyway–which is perhaps why fundy fashions are often marmy) are actually more alluring than most pants. But then, the only way to maintain that particular standard is to completely ignore reality.

      1. I really started questioning fundyism when I got a real job out in the world and some of my coworkers were christians who *gasp* wore pants and shorts! And they didn’t go to church 4 times a week. AND they drank alcohol on occasion!! And I thought they were the most real Christians I’d ever met. The one coworker, who became one of my best friends, asked my one day why I always wore coulottes and no pants and I had to admit that I only did it to please my parents. So that’s when I decided I wasn’t really fundy anymore. So when I outwardly violated dress code, my mom came to me sooo concerned because she knew I had bought a pair of pants (at age 19 and I wasn’t living at home anymore) and I just flat out told her I didn’t think they were immodest. She responded that the point wasn’t that they were immodest, just that they weren’t feminine…which totally contradicted what I had always been taught. (I mean, our fundy pastor could PROVE to you from the KJV that it was totally unbiblical for women to wear pants!) So then I realized I was on the right path and I’ve never looked back. It took a while to leave the familiarity of the fundy church but I really have embraced reformed theology and our awesome PCA church πŸ™‚

        1. @infundyrehab – Another moment when I realized that IFB wasn’t helping me anymore was when I met Christians who dressed immodestly by IFB standards (shorter skirts/dresses, low-cut shirts, etc.). But they were some of the nicest, most supportive, non-judgmental people I’d met. They didn’t even know I was a Christian and they were kind. They weren’t ashamed about being open about their faith, like I was. I remember thinking to myself – if these are Christians, THAT’S the kind of Christian I want to be.

          It’s weird, at my church they let the youth wear pants/jeans (at least back when I was a youth), they just say you should wear your best for the formal services. But I think when you reach about college, that’s when the push for skirts starts. Probably because *eek eek* you’re now women and men and *eek eek* looking in places you shouldn’t be. As if that weren’t true in jr. high or high school! Or maybe by the time we reach age 18 we’re more confused about our genders?

        1. do you wear them to church? πŸ˜€

          A relation of my brother’s wife was brought up in an extremely strict ultra- fundamentalist Brethern Gospel Hall here in Northern Ireland, which would have made most American IFB Churches seem like nightclubs, and he ended up rebelling against *all* forms of Christianity. They believed in “putting to death the flesh”, Trevor found that they insisted in putting to death his brain. Rules dominated every aspect of his life, and he got sick of it all.He hasn’t been near a church in upwards of 20 years. A couple of years ago, a friend invited him to his (non-denominational) Church and Trevor reacted from pure instinct – he punched the guy on the nose.

  30. My rebellion happened pretty early- By the time I was 14, I snuck out of church just because I Hated it.When I was 15, I started criticising the church’s policies and doctrine.(which was a definite no-no because my dad was a deacon and everyone else in the family were ministers or pastors at various churches around the city.

    After that, I told them I wanted to become something worse than a Satanist or atheist in their eyes: A Catholic.I liked my Catholic friend from school, and I would sneak off to mass with him sometimes. Over there, there was what I now know is the virtue of charity.

    That friendship got broken up and I was sent to Fundy high school the next year, but it was too late.In fundy high, I was always in trouble. I had become a punk by then and broke the school’s clothing policy by wearing all black and studs and chains to school. I would get my belts and chains confiscated and my parents would’nt pick them up. Another time, I had my t-shirt taken and had to wear a dirty white tee that was in the office.(The shirt had an anti-Republican slogan on it.)

    I did’nt smoke or rink or anything, but I was taking part in Satan’s music. I convinced some old friends from my dad’s church to form a band with me, which I had to keep secret for about a year. But religion was the main thing of contestation. Sundays I went to three services: Mass at my parish and two services at my dad’s church. Services where he was preaching were Absolutely Obligatory. I kept things like crucifixes, rosaries, statues and my Catholic bible secret- The two times I had them in my room ended up with them all broken into pieces/burnt and thrown in the garbage when I got back from school.

    I think I choose a median road- most of the other minister’s kids from then went the complete other direction- none of them beleive in God,a few of them ended up on drugs. It’s sad, but not all of us found out how to cope with it.

  31. “I’m so glad I know all the answers to everything.”

    Darrell – that is awesome that you’ve got that mindset listed at age 11.
    It certainly is a fundy requirement that no matter the topic, no matter the issue, no matter the subject at hand, a fundy is ALWAYS right about EVERYTHING. Proving it can consist of little more than hand-waving and a mention of the liberal media.

    1. By 11 I was in rebellion, but at age 9 I was loudly telling my Catholic public school mates that they were going to hell and that was that, unless they came to my church. I cringe when thinking about that.

  32. Great post, sums up my path out of fundy land pretty well. But I would have to add another step, quietly (with occasional attacks of guilt) doing my own thing while remaining faithful to the doctrines of the IFB for several more years. The cognitive dissonance was deeply troubling but I didn’t see any alternatives. In a way you might say I had been hunting much of my fundy life for the exit but didn’t know what it looked like much less were to find it. Then through a “chance” conversation with a casual aquaintence I stumbled onto a blog that explained real grace in a way I had never heard before! Outwardly my life looks pretty much the same, but inside it’s been a crazy, wonderful, frightening, explosion of growth and change.

  33. My experience was so different. Although I grew up as a fundy PK, and my dad was pretty strict, he started to really mellow about the time I went–not to Fundy U–but a Bible college that even at the time was fundy-lite. (Also, he and my mom were never anything but loving and supportive of me, and we had a fun and enjoyable childhood).

    Interestingly enough, that Bible college was where I began to mentally and spiritually throw off the trappings of extreme fundy-ism. I never felt oppressed there, and the rules were way more relaxed that most fundy Bible colleges at the time.

    I need to mention that for most of my life, including all of high school, I went to public school.

    I was never out-of-the-loop when it came to pop culture. I was a TV junkie, although I didn’t go to my first movie till I was 21.

    So unlike many of you here, I don’t look back on my childhood and youth and feel angry or shortchanged at all.

    Through circumstances that I’m not at liberty to go into, I ended up in an extreme fundy church that has become more extreme as time goes by, and I’m not able to leave it.

    Needless to say, knowing that I’ve NOT been in sync with fundyism for a long, long time, it’s a miserable situation for me.

    1. Oy vey. Totally resonate with the mindset and timeline, just hate it that I’m in the first five years (with a huge life-changing distraction in there) and I’m already in my early 50s. I won’t be okay until about time to retire. This already feels so long. But thanks, Darrell, for the blog to help those in recovery who want to be helped.

  34. I can’t believe I missed this post somehow yesterday (was a busy day for me, but still…

    Def sounds familiar. I felt lucky that while at a youngster I kind of bought into the fundy rules & regs they were selling at school, but we went to a different (much) less fundy IFB church than the school, so I didn’t really see how crazy it could be.

    Also I started working a paper route at 12yo, and then went into fast food at 16yo. Both I was the only person remotely IFB or fundy at for years, and got to know a lot of people/friends who quickly made me realize they may be committing all kinds of sins or in some cases “sins”, but were still awesome. By the time I got to PCC it was a hopeless task to get me to buy into the BS. I had never really been a rebel in any sense (I did & do have a stubborn streak at times, which I don’t think is the same as rebellious).

    That changed over 4 years at PCC. I still don’t think disobedience to tyrants is rebellion in the Biblical sense, but I guess technically is. I worked for 2 years delivering for Pizza Hut, and wore shorts every single day (in clear violation of the rules, and unlike all the other PCC people who worked there). They called me the rebel and we had endless jokes that wearing khaki shorts to work that are in compliance with the work dress code qualified you as a rebel at PCC.

    I nominate this one for a best of the year too, btw.

  35. I’ve had a couple of busy days and missed this post, but it’s one of my favs! I entered fundyland @ age 7, and stopped drinking the kool aid by age 12. I lived a life of misery thru high school then went on to PCC. PCC wasn’t as bad as home. I thought it best to get a quality, accredited education before climbing over the wall. I didn’t realize that I had other options. I graduated from PCC @ age 21 and crashed head-on into a reality that I couldn’t handle. Before the summer was over, I had my own apt (good job), went to a few bars, drank a few wine coolers, went to a few movies, and fell straight into the arms of a married man who loved me so much that he was going to leave his wife for me until he found out how much he would have to pay for child support. 😯 Whew! It took about a year for me to get the hang of living in a “normal” society. I crossed over to the darkside of the SBC. The best thing that ever happened to me was meeting my husband who is a former Marine, self-proclaimed heathen turned Christian. 17 years since I made my escape, I’m still detoxing. I’m not conflicted about any of my beliefs or actions, but some of the pain is still slowly draining away.

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