History (Of Their Own Invention)

Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail forward entitled “Overview of Fundamentalism” I got from an alert SFL reader. There are more parts to this but this is the bit that really jumped off the electronic page at me so to speak.

75 thoughts on “History (Of Their Own Invention)”

  1. And as we all know New England is today still a dreaded waste land of pseudo-Christianity.

    And as we know these reasons are precisely it. A leads to B which leads to C. So simple when it is absolute.

  2. But, wait! Aren’t Unitarians like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson part of the standard “Christian Founding Fathers” narrative? How can we be a Christian nation if we throw out the “Christ-denying Unitarians”?

      1. I show my kids the David Barton series with my own commentary correcting his many mistakes. Sometimes I think it’s their favorite week of the entire school year. 😎

    1. I find it hard to believe that the people who put this e-mail out, don’t turn around and talk about our Christian founding fathers, and don’t have the first clue they are contradicting their own idiotic fantasy history.

  3. UGH. I had him for a class at BJ. Could not stand his class. Just because he’s 80, he feels that he can turn his opinions of life, history and the Bible into the golden standard to which we should all strive to attain.

  4. What about having this on the list:

    Parents and church authorities who demanded a rigid, legalistic following of Old Testament laws while showing none of the love, compassion, and humility that the Gospel tells us to demonstrate. This kind of psuedo-Christianity, naming the name of Christ but not actually being filled with the fruit of the Spirit, seems to me to turn young people away from the Gospel quicker than anything.

  5. Wow. Just… wow. Such ignorance; it’s amazing (and sad)!

    Darrell, if I pm you my email, can you fwd the entire thing to me? I’m curious to see all of it.

  6. I had ancestors at Plymouth Colony. One of them was fined for selling beer without a license. The Pilgrim Fathers loved their beer. :mrgreen: So maybe if they had kept drinking beer none of that ‘bad’ stuff would have happened. :mrgreen:

    1. I also had ancestors who were at the Plymouth colony (didn’t arrive on the Mayflower, though, as far as I can tell). It makes me mad when I read stuff like what Beale wrote in Darrell’s post… saying that they were Christ deniers. 🙁 From what I’ve found in my research, my pilgrim ancestors were NOT Christ deniers; far from it. Grrrr Beale 🙁

  7. #3 is part of what God Jonathan Edwards fired. People wanting their unsaved children baptized and allowed to take communion. When he finally decided to try and put a stop to it 20 years later, they fired him. Amazingly enough, he still filled their pulpit for about another year or so until they found another pastor. @ pastor’s wife makes a solid point, too. This is what happens when we parents get away from Duet. 6. Lord help us.

    1. Edwards was a Puritan Congregationalist and would have practiced paedobaptism himself. The issue was one of having a convincing enough testimony to prove one was truly regenerate before being allowed to take communion. Those who opposed him felt that taking communion regularly would serve as an aid in leading one to regeneration (if they were elect–these were Calvinists, after all).

  8. The Pilgrims downfall came when they didn’t separate themselves from those Native Americans. If they had only lived holy, sanctified, separated lives then they would not have been polluted by the sin of those heathen devils they broke bread with.

    That and their refusal to embrace the holy, INSPIRED, inerrant, infallable, preserved Word of God found in the King James Bible. (how do we know the KJV is inspired by God? It says so in 2 Timothy 3:16… I kid you not, I heard it preached this week.)

      1. If memory serves (and this could just be hear-say) they felt the KJV was too liberal a translation and took it upon themselves to retranslate at least the Psalms for use in their worship services.

    1. I visited Plymouth Plantation not long ago. If I remember correctly, they used the Geneva Bible. The KJV was too new and was approved by King James and the official church of England from which the Separatists wanted to separate. (I was privately much amused that the KJV wasn’t the Bible of choice for the Pilgrims. My KJV-only parents would have been shocked!!!)

  9. May I point out that the priority of preaching was as much part of Unitarianism as all other Protestant Churches until the 20th century. Those Victorians loved their preaching!

    It is never that simple. Might I say that part of the problem was no doubt a tendency to identify God and nation – something that Fundamentalists seem very keen on!

    1. I too would consider preaching to remain highly important in churches so that first point really doesn’t make sense to me, unless the author is really not trying to accurately describe the past but is instead trying to indite today’s Christianity by attacking the trend to put praise and worship as a prominent part of the service.

      1. Pilgrims and Puritans were two separate sects. My point is that if they were going to draw parallels, it would most certainly be with the Puritans, even by their own account outside of this particular bit of convenient rhetoric.

        1. Sorry, there. That was just a little tongue-in-cheek comment. I agree, that one name tends to bring about negative thoughts and the other more positive.

      2. The Pilgrims at Plymouth were a very small group, and they remained so throughout their short history. Plymouth Colony and the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony were separate entities until the 1690’s. The 1620 Pilgrims were a mixed lot at best. More than half came over for adventure or to avoid creditors rather than for religious freedom.

        I wonder how come the original Puritans (I assume he means the Puritans even though he says “Pilgrims.” Those two groups would not be confused by any legitimate historian.) became heroes to David Beale, whoever he is. The Puritans were the ones who kicked out Roger Williams, who founded the first Baptist church in America. You would think Williams would be the hero.

        Anyway, who cares about David Beale? I prefer Howard Beale!

        1. I’d like to go with Jessica Biel, but I suspect she would ask a judge for a restraining order.

  10. That’s kinda weird, when I went to Fundy church the book, “The Light and the Glory” was making it’s rounds in the church about how Fundamentalism could be traced through our history starting with the pilgrims and never diminished if you look hard enough.

  11. As far as preaching goes, they had some really solid preachers. Most of the ones that are remembered didn’t come over to America. Mark Dever has been going through Richard Sibbes sermons with his people in D.C. If I started listing which ones were my favorites it take too long, so here’s the link if any would like to listen. Highly recommend “The Saint’s Privilege” and “The Discreet Ploughman”.

    http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/audio/category/sibbes/

    1. Yup! I still enjoy the blank stare I get when I try to tell fundies that I’m Orthodox…

      “So… you follow the Pope?”
      “Actually no… our Churches parted ways in…”
      “Oh- your a popeless Catholic? like the Episcopanglicans?”
      “Well, no- we…”
      “But you worship Mary and practice necromancy and wear dresses, right?”
      “I… I… sure. Whatever you say.”
      “So you’re Catholic then?”

      1. HA HA HA HA HA! I don’t think I can count how many anti-intellectual people I know who would count it an honor to be the questioner in that “conversation”, and feel like they were the indisputable “winner”.

    1. Hey CL, I’ve never heard that the Trail of Tears or the FBMartyrs is revisionist history. My dad was always throwing those books in my face for a reason to stay fundy. What do you know about them having false info? I’d love to know.

      1. Well, you can google it yourself or allow me to completely sidetrack the original thread.

        Basically “Trail of Tears” blames everything on the eeevvvvillllll Catholics, as does “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”. Might be a good idea for you to read some reputable history books dealing with these two books. There are plenty of mainstream historians out there who completely reject the false history of these two books.

        It’s just easier for many people to to rehash what limited information on the same level as the game “telephone” rather than get the facts.

        1. @AvCLisa, your point is valid, the problem, for me anyway, is, who decides what is reputable? Google? Ha. Mainstream historians? You mean the MSM of that time? Hardly trustworthy. I do not mean to be harsh, it’s just that since escaping fundyville, I would hope to think that I research very carefully and consider all sides of the story if possible, which is strictly forbidden in fundyland. and I am glad you are here!

      2. Trail of Tears is just manufactured nonsense. Foxe’s stories are not only well-known but are paralleled by many other sources. It’s not revisionist at all. Look at the Chapter titles-
        http://www.ccel.org/f/foxe/martyrs/home.html

        RCC’s might well not want to own parts of their past but any reputable historian agrees with the persecutions of Wycliffe, Huss, Tyndale, the reign of Bloody Mary, et.al.

    2. “Trail of Blood” is the idea of Baptist succession. To be a “real Baptist” you have to be baptized by somebody who was baptized by somebody who was baptized by . . . on back to John the Baptist. “Trail of Tears” is the verifiable relocation of Native Americans from the deep South to what is now eastern Oklahoma. A tragic story in its own right, but not the same as the so-called “Trail of Blood.”

      1. That’s right- I think there was some accidental word-swapping here…

        the trail of tears was the Cherokee removal from Georgia (I think) to Oklahoma, and I’m pretty sure that nobody, Baptist or otherwise, questions that it happened.

        The trail of blood is a book that tries to make the baptist church look like a historical church by tracing its roots through a succession of heretical groups. It’s a laugh riot if you know anything at all about pre-reformation Church history. Even most baptist acknowledge that it’s a load of poo-poo. Not IFB’s though- they still consider it inspired scripture (like the KJV, the Scofield study notes, & Chick tracts)

      1. @OWB. Is that you Old Whiskey Breath? Are you sshhhing people while intoxicated?? Just remember, you are louder than you think. 😆

        **If it is not Indeed Old Whiskey Breath, I apologize.**

        1. @OWB! good to have ye out tonight! I hope it’s a Macallan night and not Wild Turkey!? 😆

        2. OWB. Laphroaig is Gaelic for “beautiful hollow by the broad bay”. That was fun to learn,but what was even more fun was to learn that their distillery was run by a woman named Bessie Campbell back in the 50’s. My grandmother was a Campbell!
          Love learning new things, thanks!

  12. My ancesters came over to this country on the 3rd ship Ann. I know one of them was a horse thief!! They would be shocked to find a decendant of theirs to have converted to the Catholic Church~~

  13. #2 is really disconcerting to me because it’s such a common attitude among the more “extreme” denominations. Denying intellectualism is basically code for throwing out any evidence that conflicts with one’s version of reality, and the sad part is, that fundamentalists have really accomplished this, as have many Pentecostals (with whom I am even more acquainted). Trouble is, that the trend never sticks with just the core beliefs; it metastasizes into ideas like “The pastor couldn’t be wrong,” or “What abuse?” It’s this stubbornness, this hard-hearted resolve to not think that causes all this mess we see in the American church today because it never gets resolved unless enough terrible things happen to act as the catalysts for change, unfortunately. It’s why Peter Popoff still has a ministry.

    1. I think it’s insulting to God too, because God to be God cannot be afraid of our intellect. He doesn’t need to hide away from intelligence and exhort us to put our brains on hold in order to believe in Him.

    2. Absolutely! I helped lead a youth retreat last year where the theme was just that – challenging them to be intellectual Christians, and not accepting things “just because.”

    3. Number 2 is the reason that periodically in staff meetings at the Christian high school I taught at a student would be brought up as a “problem” if he or she read, thought and asked questions too much.
      All I could ever think was that was a pitiful discussion to be taking place in a room full of educators.

  14. 4. They ceased having witch trails. (We can’t do that anymore, thanks to our secular liberial government, but can burn some “Harry Potter” books.)

  15. Intellectualism: A sin that only fundies know of.

    It would be a horrendous educational institution that didn’t demand that students and faculties use their minds.

    SFL: Anti-intellectualism, ‘cuz edumacation makes you hates baby Jesus.

  16. The thing about IFB alt. history that sticks out like a sore thumb is the way in which there are no arguments or appeals to fact(s). There are only propositions. Occasionally, someone will “prooftext” history in support of a claim, but even that can be rare. The first question I had when I read the title was “how are we coming to these definitions, how are we demonstrating them to be true,and by what metric?” I.e., I did not accept the premise while checking my brain at the door. But even if I assumed the premise, I am supposed to just accept these three ideas as established cause? I always get insulted until I realize that IFB is not in the business of persuading people – they only tell people what they already want to hear.

  17. The Pilgrims and Puritans were Congregationalists. I’m a Congregationalist, so I think I can address this fairly accurately.

    Assertion (1): Beale is completely wrong. As our friend W.E. Orchard (the original of whom was also a Congregationalist!) points out, preaching has always been a priority among Congregationalists, as has been exemplified all the way from Cotton Mather to Jonathan Edwards to (more latterly) Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Finney, Washington Gladden, Charles Jefferson, R.A. Torrey, and Harold Ockenga. After the Unitarians split away from us in 1820, they continued the tradition as well. Consider William Ellery Channing and Theodore Parker.

    Assertion (2): I’m not sure what “glorifying intellectualism” means, but if it infers that Congregationalists were allowed the opportunity to think, well, yes. This should come as a surprise? The early Puritan preachers were Cambridge graduates. The Puritans of Boston established Harvard College in 1636 as a training center for their clergy. The Congregationalists of Connecticut followed suit with Yale in 1701, then later came Dartmouth, Amherst, Bowdoin, Williams, Oberlin, Carleton, Wheaton (yes, that Wheaton), and dozens of others including the African-American schools Howard, Atlanta, Tuskegee, Talladega, and Fisk. The fact that only Wheaton remains definitively Christian has to do not so much with the glorification of intellectualism as with the polity of the denomination. Historically, there has never been a “Congregational Church” in a collective sense; Congregationalism (until the United Church of Christ merger) was a fellowship of independent churches bound together in conferences and associations. Calvinism was never the official creed of the Congregationalists, and even if it were, who could enforce it? The colleges’ loosening of their theological ties was inevitable, save for their particular leadership (which was the case with Wheaton).

    Assertion (3): Beale is more right than wrong here, but that said, I wonder exactly how a church ENFORCES a regenerate church membership. How do we infallibly know who is saved and who isn’t? Isn’t that the job of the Holy Spirit — and isn’t it the whole point of the Parable of the Net? The most a church can go on is the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in a person’s life. Ideally, every church — I would think — desires a regenerate church membership. But to make it the touchstone of a church’s (much less a denomination’s) existence is, it seems to me, pretty misguided (and doomed to failure). The Congregationalists of the late seventeenth century were forced to devise the Half-Way Covenant in recognition of this. People who couldn’t pinpoint the moment of their conversion wanted their babies baptized, so the churches allowed the grandparents (the “real” Christians) to assume baptismal vows on behalf of their grandchildren. Some say that’s when Congregationalism began to degenerate. I say it was a simple acceptance of reality.

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