Field Report 2011 Sword of the Lord Conference (Day 3)

*Personal Note From Don: Folks, while I appreciate the good words and encouragement I do not want this to be about me. This week is about the excesses and outright error to be found in the IFB world. I found that by the end of the week I was dealing with a mixture of emotions. Anger at the arrogance of a movement that is so disillusioned it believes it is God’s last best hope for Biblical Christianity, and pity that ignorance is exalted to such a level of authority and that tradition has replaced Christ as the focus of worship. I watched as a type of rhetorical manipulation took place and the mass of folks listening did not even realize what was taking place. They believe, because they want to believe. And it hurt because I was just like them not that long ago. Only God can open their blinded eyes.

Here is the Wednesday report.

Opening Song: Saved, Saved

“Wednesday is church time, Amen?”

– No ball games or anything like that.
– Keep the main thing the main thing.
– 20th anniversary of having the SOTL at Gospel Light
– Thanks to the Leadership of Bobby Robertson
– Next week is Bobby’s 80th Birthday
– Bobby has been pastoring at GLBC for 55 years

Story time with Bobby:
Text: Job 16:11-12
Title: “As a Mark for Him’

More story time
“You are either in a battle, coming out of a battle or going into a battle”
The Mark of Grace
– The Mark of Separation by Grace
– We need some compassion
– Mark of Grace is shown by: separation, spirituality, and service
– Go out there where they are at
– God gives the increase
The Mark of Growth
– Maturity
The Mark of Gratitude
– I’m my worst enemy
– We are just not grateful
– Be thankful
More story time
Grace- Growing- Grateful
Occupy till Jesus comes

Congregational song: “Living for Jesus”
Announcements :
SOTL commercial
Offering
Field update from Soul Winning in Winston: (21) souls were saved today, the Soul Winning group turned in 21 cards.
*The offering is off from what they would like for it to be maybe this will catch it up tonight

Up Next: Tim Rabon

Opening Monologue:
-Pleasure to be here
-Thanks Bobby
-Mentions Jack Hyles
-Props to Rice, Hutson and Smith
-Privilege to preach here
Story Time: The first time he shook Bobby’s hand was 20 years ago at some conference and bobby was with Jack Hyles. If you had told him then that Bobby sould know his name and be friends with him he would not have believed it. (*gush… fawn…)

Text: Kings 1-12 (a twelve verse preacher? Must not be that good if he has to use that much Text.)
Title: “The Fight for the Future”
– He wants to see his grandchildren have the same type of Church his children had but it will not happen without a fight.
– There’s a battle raging against the home
– There’s a battle raging for the next generation
– It’s a battle to reduce Godliness in our lives
– The Devil delights to destroy the children of God
– Children are born sinners
– Children do not tend to obey
– You have to train them to obey
– When you see a three year old acting up it makes him want to go over there and just shake the parents
– The kid is acting like all three yr old kids want to act
– The problem is the daddy doesn’t have enough gumption to make him behave.

Quotable Quote: ”Punk kids come from Punk parents.”

– Glad for how his children turned out
Quotable Quote: ”Obedience wasn’t an option in our home, Obedience was an obligation.
– You have live in such a way it creates a thirst for Jesus in their hearts.
– Athaliah was the off spring of Ahab and Jezebel.
– She killed the entire seed royal except Joash, these were her grandchildren
– You who have children still in your home, your children are watching you and they will go further away from God than you do most likely. ( quite an assumption there dontcha think?)
(Interesting he keeps talking about depravity…)
– It was her pride that motivated her to annihilate any threat to what she wanted.
– We should never ever be thinking our pride will not cause us to act on it.
– We got to learn how to tell our pride “No.” Get in a mirror and practice saying “No, No, No!” (Just like Jack Schaap)
– Jehosheba is a picture of grace taking and hiding Joash.
– She risked her life to protect her nephew.
– God had made a promise that the Messiah would come through the lineage of David.
– What better place to rear a child than in the house of God?
-Don’t be embarrassed to take your children to church.
– You make them take a bath dontcha?
– You make them go to school dontcha?
– They took him and hid him in the house of the Lord
– What’s your children’s thoughts about God’s house?
– Everyday we are preparing our children for tomorrow.
– Church – Christian School- and Sunday School are not a substitute for the family, all these are to support what we are teaching our children. Support not replace.
– Are unsaved or carnal family members telling you you’re sheltering your children?
– Guilty! My children already have to live in the world too much.
– Glad my children never smoked, never drank.
Quotable Quote: ”I’m glad that when my kids got old enough to have an interest in somebody else when they got out of high school. I’m glad that they let me as their daddy guide them direct them help them so that when it was time to look to a young lady and say to her ‘I Love You’, I could say, ‘Its fine, ok.
Some of you teenagers, I’m your friend and I LOVE YOU*, you may not know me but I LOVE YOU.* Listen to me.. IF you tell every little girl and every little guy that you ever set by or ever.. ever talk to, “I Love You” by the time you get to the marriage altar you’ve given so much of your heart away you ain’t got enough to give to the person you’re gonna spend the rest of your life.”
(sic) (*emphasis mine) [then I guess he had better quit telling all those teenagers he loves them before he depletes his supply for his wife and family! That is the Emotional Purity and Josh Harris camps. And that is one of the most asinine statements I have ever heard! So we only have a finite amount of love to give? The Human heart has such a limited capacity for love? I understand that physical attraction is not love but this is cult like control over emotion. How is one to live life if it is shackled by Vulcan like non-emotion?]
– He told his kids when they could hold hands
– He told his kids when they could say “I love you”
– Do you pray for your kids?
– Are you investing in Family worship time?
The Plot– the heirs were killed
The Protection– Joash was protected
The Presentation– The king’s son was presented to the guards and to the people

– The guards stood around the king to protection
– We should stand guard over our young people
– Tell Satan “You Can’t have them!”
Visual Aid: He was looking for a 7 year old boy in the audience but he had a 9 year old he had come up to the pulpit. (He was in his Fundie uniform.) He used him as a visual representation of Joash. Said if the Lord doesn’t come in 25 year he may be on the Sword’s platform.

– A Child of the King
– They gave him the Testimony
– Testimony is the Law
– Deut 17:18-19 Every King will make his own copy of the law ( until we get to King James and he did it for the last time it would seem.)
– If we are going to win the future we’ve got to give our children the word of God
– The inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved word of God.
– We want our children to be filled with the Holy Spirit
– We want our children to be surrendered and serving

Story time: He give a much embellished version of William P. Mackay’s testimony. Mackay tell of an old man… Rabon portrays him as a young man. But of course any embellishment is only good fundie form for retelling a good story. Especially since William P. Mackay wrote “Revive Us Again.” (No fundy story is complete without telling about momma.)

– Are we willing to fight for the future?
– Will you be a Jehosheba?

Altar Call
The Family sermon filled the altar the most of any evening sermon all week.

/end day three

79 thoughts on “Field Report 2011 Sword of the Lord Conference (Day 3)”

  1. Just curious – what has been the average attendance at these meetings? Are these attended by church members, or predominantly by other preachers? I personally am not familiar with SOTL, so I don’t know much about them, other than it sounds like other revival services I’ve been stuck in.

  2. The last time I sat under preaching like this was at Mrs. Tom Malone’s funeral. I took notes almost like this. It had been about 20 years since we had left this type of preaching. I sat there almost with my mouth hanging open and astounded by the amens the speaker was getting. And to think 20 years ago I was sitting right there “amening” with the rest of them. Thank you Lord for showing me the Light!

  3. The Mark of Grace is separation???

    “You aren’t using a KJV! I separate myself from you, you stinking heathen. See how full of grace I am?”

    Madness.

  4. Since nothing good have I
    Whereby Thy grace to claim,
    I’ll wash my garment white
    In the blood of Calvary’s lamb.

    …Jesus paid it all,
    All to Him I owe;
    Sin had left a crimson stain;
    He washed it white as snow.

    But then I had to keep taking it
    to the Independent Fundamental
    laundromat and wash it with like colors
    only to keep it clean.

    1. lol..I laughed while I was typing it but didn’t really mean for it to be a verse. I wish I had taken the time to make it fit the tune of the song. I’m glad someone enjoyed it though.

  5. It’s just fascinating what can be construed from a couple of verses of Scripture.

    RE: THIS QUOTE: “You who have children still in your home, your children are watching you and they will go further away from God than you do most likely.” Okay, this is speaking of the fact that fundies assume that if they don’t hold the line on “standards” the world will fall apart in the next generation, because the more liberal younger generation will lose all the “standards” and who will be left?!? Seriously, they are talking about man-made standards here, which to them equals closeness to God.

    1. But of course. “Go out where they are at” to rant on streetcorners, stuff tracts under windshield wipers or into books on shelves, run the wait staff ragged and leave a tract designed to look like actual money in lieu of a tip, and chalk up any angry or dismissive looks as persecution.

      Actually talking with people would mean actually listening to them. A person could catch worldliness cooties that way.

  6. This week I am the most busy I’ve ever been. I’ve checked in daily and read all of these SOTL posts. Haven’t had time to read the comments so forgive me if this has already been asked….it took me forever to read the condensed report, how long were these services?!?! 😯

    1. That there are no boundaries whatever is a terrible thing to teach children. He’s not talking about babies here; he’s talking about teenagers and young adults. It’s a horrible confession he’s making about how he failed his children.

      1. Yes, yes, exactly! I was raised with the no boundaries… Dad (or Mum) can check your email, make copies of your private chats with friends, go through your ipod and randomly examine your phone at any given moment. He also reserved the right to go through my diary and make anything he saw fit public to church members, other family members or other pastors around my country. 😡

        On the bright side, for fear of being caught in one of these random inspections of my ipod, I got really good at retitling the “Devil’s music” with titles from the Wilds and Mac Lynch. 😉

  7. “He wants to see his grandchildren have the same type of Church his children had but it will not happen without a fight.”

    This. This is so wrong and it’s one reason I don’t want to be part of this anymore. The emphasis isn’t Jesus; it’s trying to preserve a past culture and all the churchy traditions HE had and that he thinks must be perpetuated forever as if they are equally valuable to the Word of God. He ought to pray that his grandchildren believe in Jesus and follow Him, not wish that churches stayed the same as they were in HIS day and age. He’s made an idol of it and he doesn’t even know it. His church isn’t the same as the church in Acts nor that of the Puritans so why does he think his church is so perfect that it should be perpetuated forever. JESUS is eternal, not our cultural interpretation of how we do church. Fundamentalists do NOT focus on the fundamentals.

    1. It’s even more pathetic when you consider that people of his stripe are largely mistaken about what that past culture was like, and about the extent to which it was (not) mainstream even at its peak of popularity.

    2. This is so good PW. I needed to hear it. Sermons like Don heard were the reason why my parents felt justified in controlling every detail of my life (down to if I could have a stick of gum or not) and sever physical abuse. I hate, hate, hate the worship of the religion and not Jesus. Sermons like this are the most potent poison with devastating effects on the most innocent. 🙁

    1. I’m not sure what the seating capacity is in the main sanctuary at Gospel Light but the place was packed for Wednesday because it had the Wednesday Night crowd and the Sword Crowd. But remember, in the IFB world when the doors are open… guests are welcome and members are expected. Even the balcony was filled. They were not just preaching to empty seats… empty heads maybe, but the pews were filled.

  8. “The first time he shook Bobby’s hand was 20 years ago at some conference and bobby was with Jack Hyles. If you had told him then that Bobby sould know his name and be friends with him he would not have believed it. (*gush… fawn…)”

    I have to wonder if these guys realize that Hyles, Robertson, Rice, Hutson, Smith, Schaap, and all their works and pomps are completely unknown to most Americans.

    I mean, I’m pretty well-known in the Texas Cichlid Association, but so far, my life has been blessedly free from pursuit by paparazzi and tabloid journalists.

  9. “IF you tell every little girl and every little guy that you ever set by or ever.. ever talk to, ‘I Love You’ by the time you get to the marriage altar you’ve given so much of your heart away you ain’t got enough to give to the person you’re gonna spend the rest of your life.”

    He’s afraid of running out of love?? 😯 😯 😥 😥

    I’m going to let the great Malvina Reynolds speak for me here:

    MAGIC PENNY

    Love is something if you give it away,
    Give it away, give it away.
    Love is something if you give it away,
    You end up having more.

    It’s just like a magic penny,
    Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
    Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many
    They’ll roll all over the floor.

    For love is something if you give it away,
    Give it away, give it away.
    Love is something if you give it away,
    You end up having more.

    Money’s dandy and we like to use it,
    But love is better if you don’t refuse it.
    It’s a treasure and you’ll never lose it
    Unless you lock up your door.

    For love is something if you give it away,
    Give it away, give it away.
    Love is something if you give it away,
    You end up having more.

    So let’s go dancing till the break of day,
    And if there’s a piper, we can pay.
    For love is something if you give it away,
    You end up having more.

    For love is something if you give it away,
    Give it away, give it away.
    Love is something if you give it away,
    You end up having more.

    http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/MALVINA/mr101.htm

  10. Is exegesis now considered a heresy by IFB preachers? As long as the text is inspired, does any free association that uses that text as a springboard constitute Bible Preaching? Here’s what Job 16:11-12 says, with just a little more context:

    10 [Job is speaking:] Men have gaped at me with their mouth;
    they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
    they mass themselves together against me.
    11 God gives me up to the ungodly
    and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
    12 I was at ease, and he broke me apart;
    he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
    he set me up as his target;
    13 his archers surround me.
    He slashes open my kidneys and does not spare;
    he pours out my gall on the ground.

    What we have here is a bitter, hurt man complaining that God has it in for him, that God is, essentially, a sadist who has no concern for the suffering of his faithful servant, who uses his followers for target practice. I’ll grant that the passage is inspired, but it is not teaching any truth about God. It says nothing about the “marks” of a Christian. Rather, it shows us how one man – who perceived himself to be horribly wronged – reacted in his anger against God, and how he believe that God was as careless about his pain as if he were firing arrows into a target.

    Why even bother to read two verses when even the two verses alone show that the text doesn’t have any relation to the sermon? Even just verse 12, even in the KJV, is clearly an expression of anger against God, with “mark” being used in the sense of “target”: “I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.” To justify his use of this passage, the preacher would really need to limit himself to just the two words, “his mark.” Why not just stick your Bible in the shredder and reassemble at random, and search for your sermon among the pieced-together fragments. It would be just as legitimate.

    1. You’re absolutely right. “He has set me up as His mark” means NOTHING like what the preacher used it for. They’re using Scripture to back up whatever they want to say.

      It’s sad and scary, but the worst thing is how they uphold themselves as the bastion of all that’s true and holy and right with God. 🙁

      1. (@pastor’s wife)
        “It’s sad and scary, but the worst thing is how they uphold themselves as the bastion of all that’s true and holy and right with God.”

        That is, IMO, one of their greatest sins against the Christian faith. That portrayal of fundyism as the true core of Christianity came very, very close to destroying my faith completely, during and after my 14 years at PCC (4 as student, 10 as staff).

        I came out of a fairly “light” fundy background (public school until high school, nonfundy parents), but was extremely naive and idealistic, and I allowed myself to be talked into going to a Christian college as the “godly” thing to do. Once at PCC, I saw the place as the epitome of Christianity Done Right. And I tried very hard to do what was expected of me, even when I knew I wouldn’t be caught if I didn’t, and even later when I started to question things.

        But unlike a lot of people who go there 4 years and leave, I stayed long enough to see through the facade. I saw how the concept of Jesus/God was used as a hook on which to hang corporate authority, petty tyrannies, and cultural prejudices. I saw how the Bible is used as a club to keep those who are “under authority” in line and obedient to those higher on the totem pole.

        Nor did it help my struggles that PCC very explicitly stakes the entire truth of Christianity on the premise that this planet, this galaxy, and the entire universe are only a few thousand years old, and that if the rocks of the earth or the Andromeda galaxy are older than that, the Bible is false. Whatever you believe about creation, design, and evolution, staking the entire Christian religion on ICR talking points about radioactive decay rates/light travel times and an aggressive fundy eisegesis of Genesis 1-2 is pretty ill-advised no matter how you slice it.

        But back to PCC’s “high standards”…I remember one night in particular, when things had first started to fall apart for me, when I drove 30 or 45 minutes alone to attend an evening service at The Campus Church(TM), desperately praying for some encouragement, some reason to go on, some validation that the faith was genuine, something to help me see a way forward through the circumstances and doubts that were piling on. Instead, that night I got a *re-run* of a KJV-only video on the big screen in the Dale Horton, a video that I had already seen at least twice before, probably half the claims of which I personally knew to be falsehoods or half-truths. And then I had to drive 30+ minutes home. That was not a good night.

        When I eventually left PCC in ’03 (on good terms, I might add; they wanted us to stay), I knew my wife and I were scarred and warped some by the experience, but I had no idea how badly we were messed up. We were both so naive…

        As it turns out (with the benefit of 8 years of hindsight), spending our naive formative years in hyper-strict “high standards” fundyland destroyed our marriage, largely destroyed my and my wife’s individual faiths, and drove us both, separately, to near-suicidal in the years to come. I still don’t know how this is going to turn out; I know now that I’ll survive, and despite it all I’ll thrive, but no thanks to them and their “standards.” And I also know that if I can help it, I will never darken the door of an IFB or IFB-lite church again.

        Mr. Fundy Pants can’t chalk up our rejection of Fundyism to PCC “lowering their standards”, because PCC went the other way, taking ever-more-extreme positions the entire time we were there. No, I turned away from fundy Churchianity *because* of those “doctrines and commandments of men.” I came to see that whatever truth might have once been in it had become so hopelessly and irrevocably blended with “high standards” derived from tradition and prejudice. Personally, I don’t see how that is much different from imams in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan who read their own “Old Path” social traditions into the Qur’an.

        So here I am, eight years out, still trying to figure all this out. I’m 40 now, but I feel as if I turned 18 (or 21) in 2003 when I left PCC and finally joined the adult world, finally responsible for my own decisions. I guess that makes me about 28 in “normal person” years, because I’m now working through all the issues and questions that normal non-fundies would face and resolve in their 20’s.

        I think I still believe in God (most days), and whether out of conviction or sheer inertia, I believe him to be pretty much as described in the Hebrew and Greek sacred writings passed down to us as “the Bible”. But even that is iffy some days, and beyond that, it’s all wreckage. I’m working through it, and I probably will be for the rest of my life, more or less. God only knows where it’s going, because I sure don’t.

        I guess you can probably tell I’m twitching a lot this week. But it’s cathartic. And it helps immensely to know that I’m not the only one who’s wandering in this post-fundy wilderness.

        “Phil Ray”
        PCC Class of ’93
        PCC Staff 1993-2003

        1. Wow! What a story. I am SO thankful I didn’t stay after grad school. I’ve had enough deprogramming to do as it is. You might find some interesting reading in the book, “So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore”. Very refreshing!

        2. Phil,
          I can’t speak for Darrell but your

          I guess you can probably tell I’m twitching a lot this week. But it’s cathartic. And it helps immensely to know that I’m not the only one who’s wandering in this post-fundy wilderness.

          is precisely why I do this. Lean on me brother and we’ll lean on the Lord together, he has strength what will see both of us through. 🙂

        3. ::am humbled::

          I’m in my 20s and I feel old enough coming out of fundyland now, like I’m going through my teens again. But I’m not married and I’m relatively free to do what I want and luckily most of my generation can get away with acting like teens or at least irresponsible young adults. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for you.

          All I can say is – we each walk our own path in life. There’s no shame in that.

          Keep the pen flowing, too. Writing about your experiences (and sharing them here) is incredibly cathartic and helpful in deconstructing your experiences and figuring out what you’re really about. Your ideas will be challenged here, and hopefully all of those questions you have will start to make sense.

    2. Exactly! Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said about the fundamentalist, “They say they believe the Bible from cover to cove, yet never try to understand what it actually says.” (that’s a quote from memory.. so may not be verbatim)
      This was part of his reason for not wanting to be called a Fundamentalist

    3. A-mazing. Now that I’m able to take a step back, it’s incredible how fundies are so capable of completely taking a verse out of context and twisting it to their fancy. But steeped in the midst of it – yeah, I would never have noticed the fact that the passage in Job isn’t talking anything about what this guy is saying.

  11. Re: Don’s personal note
    When the soldier returns to the battlefield to remember the fallen, to face the fear, to exorcise the demons, we know the war was not about him, but it left its scars none the less. We stand ready to bind, to heal, to comfort, to support, to stand together and face the new days.

  12. IFB is 100% ADDICTED to this notion that its all getting worse….and worse……and worse. When looking at the facts, its clearly is getting better. Much better. Take your standard lard azz fundie blowhard and air drop them into the 1660’s. Or better yet, drop them off in Amish country with no cell and no way out cept hard labor for food and shelter. Its a put on, folks….a slick ploy, a cult. This separation game was won a long time ago. Fundies got nothing on monks and the Amish……NOTHING.

  13. Why do they always quote the “be ye separate” verse, but ignore all the stories about Jesus eating and drinking with sinners? It’s like they created a doctrine out of a single verse and ignored the rest of the Bible. It’s just an excuse for exclusivism and snobbery.

    1. It’s ironic that they claim the mantle of true Christianity while proudly referring to themselves as the separated ones, and upholding the “doctrine of separation” as one of the key teachings of Christianity.

      I wonder how many of them have ever looked up the New Testament word φαρισαῖος (pharisaios) in a Greek lexicon, or even in Strong’s. The word means “Separated” or “Separated Ones”. It comes from the Hebrew and Aramaic verb meaning “to separate.”

      I seem to recall that a certain First Century religious teacher who associated with alcoholics and prostitutes and ethnic minorities had a lot to say about those who defined themselves by their “separation”…

  14. Yo,
    Just to point out, Josh Harris isn’t a fundy. He’s Sovereign Grace. That didn’t stop the fundies from embracing his stupid philosophies, but the whole emotional purity thing is not just a fundy problem–it’s a widespread evangelical problem.

    1. Yeah, this is true. Fundamentalism bleeds into evangelicism and vice versa. That’s why after leaving fundyland, I’m not sure I’m ready to head back to any church.

  15. ” When you see a three year old acting up it makes him want to go over there and just shake the parents
    – The kid is acting like all three yr old kids want to act
    – The problem is the daddy doesn’t have enough gumption to make him behave.”

    These 3 lines right here make me glad I’m not fundy any more…if nothing else did. My youngest just turned 4 and has problems with transitioning from one activity to another. Sometimes he’s fine and other times he melts down, you just never know when it will happen.

    I went on a children’s activity with him and my other children today with our current, non fundy church. My son had a meltdown in the restaurant. I did my best to calm him, but we had to excuse ourselves for a few minutes. When I came back, a friend offered me nothing but grace and support and not the least bit of anger. She didn’t question why I “couldn’t control” my child. She didn’t make me feel any worse about the situation than I already did. It was exactly what I needed…not another reason to feel bad about something I cannot control.

      1. Just to clarify…when my son and I excused ourselves, I did NOT discipline him. I removed him from the situation to help him calm down and when he was calm, we returned. I didn’t think it was appropriate to stay where we were and disrupt other diners’ meals.

        1. I do the same with my two year old daughter. Sometimes she’s just tired, sometimes she’s rammy. I just take her outside and know that this phase will pass. 🙂

        2. Its amazing, isn’t it? Having to learn what is normal. At 42 I feel like things that should come naturally to me, still do not. I think its what happens when you grow up learning to distrust your instincts.

  16. Sadly, there seems to be very little of the actual Gospel (GOOD News) of Jesus taught at this (and many other) fundy conferences.

    Instead of being filled with hope at the realization that a dead sinner has been made alive through the cross, it seems as though these conference speakers are spouting their own brand of sick, self-promoting legalism.

    If I were a new believer, the “gospel” of Fundyism would be anything BUT good news.

  17. If I had to take care of my kids, who were having issues, I always tried to get them out of public view. It was best for me, the child and the public. It was not anyone’s business how I handled or didn’t handle the situation. I certainly didn’t need a fundamentalist judge and jury looking over my shoulder.

  18. Too bad the second speaker missed out on the themes of sovereign grace, the preservation of the messianic line, and the futility of fighting against God in the Joash narrative–great Gospel topics for someone so concerned about soul-winning.

    But why stick to those themes when pulling something about “preserving future generations” out of thin air is so much more exciting?

  19. Nnnargh. Fubsed the keyboard, hope my half-completed post didn’t post.

    These people breathlessly dropping the names of Hyles and so forth remind me of a young woman who liked talking about the Harry Potter novels online with fellow readers. She especially liked the character of Severus Snape. She posted stories starring a character she had made up–Snape’s wife or daughter or something–and a lot of people who liked reading amateur writing about Snape liked them. They not only told her so, but they also talked about her stories, opinions, etc., with one another on other publicly accessible sites. So she went to the premiere of an HP movie wearing a custom printed T-shirt, “I AM (name of character.)” And lo and behold, not one person gave her a second glance.

    She hadn’t considered that the people who liked her stories were at most a few thousand out of millions of people who liked to read the Harry Potter books and the chances that any of her online friends lived within a hundred miles of her were slim.

    The fish aren’t big; the pond is small.

    (I have scrubbed the usual fannish lingo out of this post in an effort to make it accessible to any fundamentalists lurking here.)

  20. I think I posted this before, but not in a relevant thread–I collect used hymnals. I found a very well made one, blue, thick, hardcover, nice big print and sturdy pages, and paid a dollar for it. A while later I actually opened it.

    Tons and tons of altar call hymns. Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus! Okay, okay, it’s tradition in some churches. Moving on . . .

    Lots of hymns about getting out there to “save souls.” Lots of them. Hymns about the hungry, cold bodies that also need saving, not so much (although there was one about the widow’s mite). One piece of glurge about a “gypsy” (sic!) boy who meets his first missionary hours before he dies, immediately gets saved, and spends his last minutes urging everybody to go out there and win one for the Gipper–I mean the preacher–I mean God.

    More than one about how sad it would be to show up in Heaven without “prizes” (yes, prizes) to lay at Jesus’ feet. The prizes? Souls. Other people’s souls. WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN.

    The cherry on the what the hell did I just read sundae was the one about how I love to sing, yes I love to sing, yes I do; second verse like the first; third verse, aren’t I glad that my music is better than the stuff all those worldlings listen to, yes I am . . . it’s like the parable about the two men praying at the Temple went in one ear, out the other, and hit something.

    The whipped cream on the cherry on top of the sundae of fail was the one about how I’m happy happy happy happy happy all the TIME, so happy happy happy happy because I’m ticking down my checklist of Church-approved tasks (“the work of Jesus,” three guesses what that is supposed to be), happy happy happy happy . . . The people need bread, this book is full of stones.

    Soul-Stirring Songs and Hymns, folks. A Sword of the Lord publication. It is an ex-hymnal. It is pining for the fjords.

    1. Lol as a recovering IFBer, it feels weird to me when I see your view of one of my FAV hymn books but you have a good point though.

      I just choke on the CCM at the new church my wife and I are visiting because we were taught against it so much. We both miss the hymns in that book so much because it’s all we’ve ever known.

      I understand the point you’re making here (I think) but I guess I just can’t yet call fooey on the book that has truly such meaning and still brings back some of my only good memories within the IFB. (I was a church pianist for 7 years)

      1. About 45 percent of the hymns are sung in any liturgical church that hasn’t thrown out its old hymnals in favor of CCM. Another 5 percent are truly inspired additions–the four-part congregational setting of the Hallelujah Chorus almost convinced me to keep the book even though I’m out of space. The 20 percent or so of altar call songs are most definitely not my tradition, but the doctrine is generally sound. The 30 percent of soul-winning, back-patting, white-man’s-burden, check-the-boxes-to-make-God-like-you, and outright Dominionist crud got it off my shelves.

        Did you have to play the one about how you gotta nag, nag, nag your whole family and hover over them until you’re sure that every last one of them is really truly saved, because otherwise you’ll miss them in Heaven? And did people really sing it? With enthusiasm?

    2. There are still many, many hymns I love because I sang and played them all these years, but I have been trying recently to evaluate them biblically and not let sentimental associations fool me into thinking certain ones are good when they’re not.

      I always love checking out different hymnals just to see what different songs are in them so I really enjoyed reading your description. Two lines especially stuck out to me:

      “It’s like the parable about the two men praying at the Temple went in one ear, out the other, and hit something.” — so true.

      “The people need bread, this book is full of stones.” — excellent allusion!

  21. – The guards stood around the king to protection
    – We should stand guard over our young people.

    Who else here is old enough to remember Robert Klein’s routine about Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and its horrible transitions between the nature show and the commercials?

    “A mother rhinoceros will stomp on a cobra to protect her young. That’s insurance! Mutual of Omaha will protect your young, with its twelve-point program including free cobra-stomping…”

    1. Ha ha!
      Yes! I’d forgotten about that.
      The host guy (I can’t think of his name) did the commercials, too, and they were exactly like that.

      Marlin Perkins! I just thought of the host’s name. One of the (unspoken) jokes of the show was that Marlin always acted like he was the big animal guy, but his younger sidekick, Jim Fowler, was the one who always had to wrestle a wildebeest or juggle some jackals or tickle some Black Widows.

  22. Someone needs to ask Tim Rabon if he is an Independent Baptist or a Free Will Baptist. He is a Free Willer that changed the name of his church. He is still on the board of Southeastern Free Will Baptist College and is an historical Free Will Baptist. Can you say Arminian???????

  23. What’s the problem with Tim Rabon and Beacon Baptist Church being Free Will. So?! They are. Clarence Sexton hangs out and associates with Southern Baptist and Calvinists! He’s with the Sword! Why pick on Tim Rabon for him being a Free Willer. Sure, he’ll never publicly say he believes in “Once Saved, Always Saved!”…check where he went to college and where his sons and staff went to college…it’s not hidden…I guess the opposite of Eternal Security is Eternal Insecurity…they just believe that way because of how they interpret Hebrews 6. The Sword preachers and leadership love him and Beacon Baptist…so they should continue to love and adore Clarence Sexton and Temple Baptist in Powell.

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