Field Report 2011 Sword of the Lord Conference

If you’ve been on SFL for a while, you’ll remember that last year an anonymous attendee passed along his observations of the Sword of the Lord Conference. Well this year we’ve done one better with our very own SFL personality Don (who was accompanied on a few of the nights by another reader) attending each night single night and writing down what he saw and heard. Here are his notes from Day 1:

Where do I begin?

Back on June 28th Darrell posted A Doctor (or 14) In The House and it was suggested that we have a representative do a field repot. That put into motion a series of conversations and a mission sanctioned by SFIE.

A team was assigned and Operation Mothership was a go. The mission’s theme is reflected in the modified poem, The Charge of the SFL Brigade

Fundies to right of them,
Fundies to left of them,
MOgs in front of them
Volley’d & thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the two from SFL.

Due to work obligations only the evening services could be covered. Monday evening arrived and at 1800 we embarked on our mission. We began our recon in the Exhibit hall. Upon entry the first booth that greeted us was a Tie vendor. Selling ties. Not just novelty ties but top of the line neck ties. Continuing down that aisle we have a vendor with a table full of cd’s and dvd’s selling sermons of a Who’s Who of fundy heavy weights, Hyles, Roloff, Sightler, and a host of others.

We were asked if we wanted some good preaching. I came very close to saying, “Sure, where is any.” But our mission was recon only not confrontation. There was a vendor that had the History of the Bible. They actually mentioned the Bishops Bible, the Geneva Bible but the line ended abruptly at 1611 and the King James Bible. It was interesting that in this booth there was also a plaque of Martin Luther. (That ol Catholic) I guess he got props for breaking away from the Catholic Church.

There are several colleges represented here, PCC, West Coast, New England Baptist College, Midwestern Bible College, Shawnee Baptist College, Gethsemane Bible Institute, Commonwealth Baptist College, Berean Baptist College, Heartland Baptist Bible College, Landmark Baptist College, Baptist College of America, and Ambassador Baptist College. These are what are listed on the floor plan and I really did not take a complete inventory.

The pièce de résistance of the Exhibit hall was The Suit Man. Here in the middle of the hall was a tailor shop to outfit the M-O-g with a suit worthy of his position. Off to the “sanctuary” for preaching time.

Monday Preaching
Opens with hymn “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.”
Opening monologue:
• Raise the heat , people don’t stay as warm as they need to stay, turn up the heat in the pulpit
• Let the Lord do something special (I’m sure he will appreciate you allowing him to do that)
• This is the 400th year of the King James Bible (a-mens all around)
• This is a critical time in our history and we need to be watchmen.
Opening Prayer: by Dr. Rydell, just finished a 43 year pastorate, and he’s available to come preach.
Shelton Smith Leads off
The Text is John 4:1-6 (and out of that text he was able to preach on all these topics)
– David and Goliath- the Battle is the Lord’s- David had the stones in the bag already ready
Preaching Time:
– Jacobs well
– (sic)

“…hope you found John Chapter 4. That is, IF you got a fully inspired Bible. If
your’s is not fully inspired then sit on it so nobody’ll know you got a bad Bible. If you got one that’s fully inspired, forever pereserved, and flawlessly perfect I want to read some out of it.”

(set the tone for the whole week)
– How to dig a well

*Sermon Title: There’s Still Water in the Well
– Senseless prejudices: (based on the scripture comparing Jesus baptizing more than John)
– To Judge someone is senseless, just because somebody may not be like we are (yep he said that)
– Immorality; how America is becoming more like Sodom and Gomorrah (+1 for hot button mention )
– Against “Happy Hour” ( +1 for Prohibition anti alcohol )
– How great it is that we don’t have to invent something anew every time we use it
– Keeping the well clean
– Commentary on worldly music ( +1 for music reference )
– False Christs
– False prophets
– False Preachers
– False Apostles
– False Teachers
– False Brethren
– Dispensationalism: Re: the Rapture ( +1 for Rapture reference )
– Heretical doctrines
– Three Point Calvinists ( +1 for anti Calvinist reference)
– Manning the wells
– Buying the ropes and buckets (because God needs you to get the water out of his well..)
– In order to get the water out of the well and give it to those starving for that water
– Give a commentary on the King James Bible ( +1 King James Bible reference )
– And talk about “Bad Bibles”
– A dig on CCM music ( another +1 for CCM reference )
– All the music this week will be, “Solid, Evangelistic, Soul-winning, music” (amens all around)
– Church is God’s idea. (I believe this was regarding how the local church is practiced. )
– A Dig on Campus Crusade for Christ dropping Christ from their name.
( )
– Finally gets back to the first text of the evening.
– Fire up the pulpit
– The Bible Well
– The Church well
– The Soul-winning well (whatever that is)
– props to “Dr” John and “Dr” Curtis for the work they did.
– He (Smith) didn’t have to build from scratch able to stand on the shoulders of these two.
– Patriotism ( +1 rounding out the sermon with patriotic reference)
– Keeping the well of your church clean
*Not bad for just six verses but the masters are yet to flex their preaching muscles.

Offering –announcements- special singing

Mike Allison batting in the number two spot
Hebrews 12:1-3
Opening Monologue:
– (96) were saved in a missions conference and Vacation Bible school ( a very successful ministry for sure sporting those types of numbers )
– (5) surrendered to full time service ( wonder if he brought them with him to visit The Suit Guy in the Exhit it hall?)
– Lyndon B. Johnson got saved
– as little girl named “Faith Booger” got saved. (he saw her name on the card and made a joke out of it.)
Preaching Time:
– Quoted much of General Douglas MacArthur’s address to the 1962 graduating class at West Point
– Patriotism again
– MacArthur used the mantra of Duty-Honor-Country
– Changed to Duty-Honor-The Saviour
Sermon Title: “Duty – Honor – The Saviour” ( KJV spelling to be sure )
– Martyr hystory (quoting some from the Foxes Book of Martyrs)

– Laurentius (aka Saint Lawrence) (uh oh does he know he is praising a Catholic?)
– Michael Sattler (Anabaptist) (uh oh a former catholic monk, but, but, the Baptists never came out of the
Catholic Church they were always Baptist?? How can this be? )
– Anabaptists (praising the Anabaptists)
– Wm Carey ( Uh oh Carey was a reformed Baptist, i.e. Calvinist; though no mention of this was made)
– David Livingstone
– EJ Cooper
– Christ is at the head of this long line of saints robed in white
– Being in Church to hear the word of God preached on Sunday Nights instead of being at home (+1 being in church )
– Church comes before sports
– God’s people are to be in the house of God ( every time the doors are open. Outward performance shows how right you are with God. )
– Faithfulness to the choir if you are in the choir (more performance sanctification.)
– Standards according to Titus 2 11-12 proof text (This is the proof test to end all proof test on how Christians are to live separate from the world and they should all look just like Independent Fundamental Baptists.)
– Separation ( means to look like a good Independent Fundamental Baptist)
– Wonder why more are not surrendering to Full time Christian service ( This means that there is a numbers gap in the IFB movement, They are losing numbers and the number of wide-eyed preparation KYH hair jelled preacher boys fawning over their spiritual hero and jockeying for the #1 position at the
head of the line is declining.)
– Full on assault of Calvinism ( The Sovereignty of God in relation to Election, and salvation is in direct conflict with the IFB, man made, soulwinning / church growth programs. This “fad” is cutting into the IFB numbers and they are running scared so they are in an “all out” assault against Calvinism. And anything that looks like the Sovereignty of God is labeled Calvinism)
*quote of the evening*
“Nobody ever became a Calvinist by reading the Bible.”
– Calvin became a Calvinist by reading after that Roman Catholic Augustine
– Calvin wanted to kill the Anabaptists, so how on earth can you carry his name?
– Internet shot/ quote: “I don’t understand how professing believers can get on the internet and run down every good ministry that stands for soul-winning and holiness. I thank God that if they are saved they are going to stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ and find that every word of their blog was kept, and they will give an answer to it.” (A shot at SFL?? Preachers would do well to remember everthing they said in the pulpit is also being preserved and the will give and answer as well. )
– more should surrender to full time service
– William Booth
(a mere two verses produced all of this)
Close the service with an altar Call
/end day one

155 thoughts on “Field Report 2011 Sword of the Lord Conference”

      1. What about women who walk around their family barefoot? That must be more than anyone could handle!

        1. They’re saving that for wimmin’s nite. You got to get all them wimmins there so they can hear about their whoriness and be duly warned to keep their sons and daughters from it (although, we all know daughters are only given to lead future MOg’s astray with the showing of the knee).

    1. No, no, please go on. Fascinating reading, since I’ve never been to one of these.

  1. *quote of the evening*
    “Nobody ever became a Calvinist by reading the Bible.”


    1. I did. Guess I’m the only one. (Said with tongue firmly in cheek.) Maybe I should go next year with a sign that says, “I’m a Calvinist because of the Bible.” That might shake things up or at least get me tossed out on my ear.

        1. I stopped being one because I read it instead of all the Reformers and Puritans, so I can’t argue with that one.

  2. The pastor’s bully pulpit finally has some real competition: the blogger.


    1. My current church is railing about the evils of the internet and bad bloggers lately.

      Just because they’re going through some….issues, and these blogs are showing a different side of the situation they are conveniently ignoring.

      1. The concept of “freedom of speech” rings very hallow to fundy mannogids. They think only approved speech via approved methods should be free.

  3. I could barely make it through just reading. Don deserves the largest medal ever. Or at least a white piano and a butt cushion.

    1. No kidding! I’m twitching just having read his notes. Can’t imagine what it was like having to sit there.

      I’m so thankful that God in His Sovreignty has led me into pants-wearing, CCM-listening, hands-raising, ESV-reading, community-helping freedom.

      1. I think Don needs an 18 year old bottle of scotch to continue on for the rest of this b.s. fest!
        Seriously Don, you are a much, much stronger man than I am to endure the pain and suffering for us loyal readers of SFL.

    2. Not only a medal but I think we should pitch in and offer to pay his psychiatrist bill for the damage done for a week of this.
      I am honestly concerned for you Don!

  4. Reading this, I felt like I was at the conference myself . . . not a good thing in this case :mrgreen:

    1. +1 for Garrison Keillor being an ex-Fundy who now worships Episcopalian and works for National Public Radio.

      1. I thought GK was now a Lutheran?
        He was raised in the Plymouth Brethren, if I remember right. I seem to recall that he said he grew up attending a home church of which the only members were his parents, siblings, and a few other relatives.

  5. Dang. Props to Don for putting up with that stuff long enough to turn it into a post. Even more props if you managed to do this every night of the conference without chewing a limb off. 😉

  6. What about the feeding frenzy afterwards. My ex- cult has a ” food court” every night with any food you can imagine. Don or anyone else, if you go to the Old Time Baptist Church, Hamburg NY in just a few weeks, I’ll meet you after for filet mignon, specialty coffee and a gourmet dessert!! We’ll have to head a little farther down the road for a drink 😉
    Thanks for your patience for sitting through this and paying attention enough to know what was going on! 😎 😎

    1. The “after feeding” was ‘mater sandwiches. Their school was selling ‘mater sandwiches, a bag of chips and a drink for $3, as a fundraiser. No, I didn’t go to the after parties.
      I often felt like going home and crying that this was what was being sold as a representation of Christ to the world.

      1. Don, maybe this will come up in a later field report, but did anyone make mention of the sinfulness of your facial hair?

        1. Not mine or AP’s specifically but they were mentioned. Their problem is that there are a large number of Fundie men sporting beards now and many of those are big $$ tithers. They can’t just go all “bull-in-the-china-shop” on these guys like they used to. You can tell by the tone, they would like to go all Fundie ninja on us about facial hair but the times being what they are and the numbers being off so bad, they are (for now at least) willing to tolerate facial hair.

  7. They really need to go out on a limb and assign a theme for these conferences. Maybe even assign the text and a general theme to each of the speakers. I don’t think that means we limit the Holy Spirit, if anything it may keep some speakers from saying things they shouldn’t. Some of the best conferences I’ve been to/listened to did this.

    1. Ahn the theme is “Revival and Soul Winning”
      You will see the role Soul Winning plays through out the rest of the week. And just how important Soul Winning is. 😯

        1. All of you folks here on SFL are my therapy. 😉
          I couldn’t have done this last year.

  8. Why care if Campus Crusade dropped Christ from their name? I thought they hated that org in the first place? I feel my blood pressure rising…

    1. I’ve heard about this…I’m assuming they also dropped the ‘for’? ‘Campus Crusade for’ would just be ridiculous. :mrgreen:

      1. Students have been calling it “cru” since at least 2005, when I went to college. I think some of them may have been just a little bit embarrassed about that whole “Crusade” thing, ya know?

        Anyway, this shows how much fundies will flip flop on an issue. They would have never accepted Campus Crusade for Christ since it’s not KJVO, separated, etc. But now that Campus Crusade officially changed their name to Cru, fundies are whining about it as if it’s some sort of great loss! 🙄

        1. Nothing more than crocodile tears ineffectively masking an arrogant “See? I told you they weren’t really Christian! This proves it!” attitude. An attitude that (I am ashamed to admit) I held right up until the point I started working with some of the guys from two local Cru chapters, and that I now completely reject.

    2. @Mounty. Me too me too. We heard the only “real missionaires” were from BJU and the boards they “approved”. Then God showed us this couple at our church who needed additional support through Cru and we knew God wanted us to partner with them financially. They have been serving in China for 10 years and helping to teach others to do the same. China is tough. The Chinese see Christianity as a “crutch” and inferior to the intellect. We definitely don’t hear stories of hundreds or thousands being converted in their quartlery letters they send. 🙄

      1. I have several friends who work with Cru. One is in South American. The other is one of my best friends. She and her husband and 3 kids are getting ready to go back to China after several years home in the states.

    3. I go to church with some Cru workers. It was because of the “Crusade” not the “Christ” that cru changed their name (not to mention, the old name is a mouthful!)

  9. I’d just like to point out something I’ve recently come to understand myself; the ‘house of God’ was the Temple. The ‘church’ is a body, not a building.

    1. boymom, I’ve also just re-learned that truth. It’s amazing how much of church life has reverted back to the OT practice of having a house of God. The church is simply all of those who follow Christ, who just happen to meet in different buildings. I used to view the universal church as “distant cousins”. Now I realize that the universal church IS the primary church…not the local church building and its members.

  10. I hear you Don! It is truly sad that this wolf is deceiving so many well intentioned people looking for Jesus Christ. Many tears shed when you take time to really think about it :'(

  11. We used to have SOTL conferences at my fundy college once or twice a year. I remember the suit guy! Being in music groups, I was usually singing one of the special musics at least once a day. 🙁

  12. I assume all the +1’s were for the heavy drinking required to halt the spread of the brain damage that can result from subjecting yourself to this?

  13. I’ve heard Dr. Smith preach, and he preached that EXACT sermon, how we need to preserve Jacob’s well. *eye roll* WHERE is that in the passage?? I wonder how you would fare playing fundy bingo to these sermons 😛

    And I love how in these conferences the speakers rail against stuff I doubt anyone in the congregation really struggles against: KJVO, right music, right appearance, etc etc. It’s just to get amens. They’re all fundies, or they wouldn’t be going to a SOTL conference!

    Aaaah my church/former college is on there! (They need all the help they can get right now.) We’re having our own SOTL-knock off type conference in Sept, with Dr. Smith and others. I’d go and take notes, but I’ll have class….

    1. The weird thing is, John 4:1-6 is only the introduction to that story. If you stop at verse 6, you never get to how Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for a drink, and she asks him questions, etc.– in other words, you skip the whole story.

      Maybe the stories of Jesus’ hanging out with Samaritans doesn’t fit with the “Separated” IFB doctrine.

      1. Good point, BG! That passage is so rich and beautiful; it’s so sad that the people in the audience were fed such a paltry meal from these very words.

    2. My husband never preached on those type of things:
      1) first because they’re not in the Bible
      2) second because that’s not what his people are struggling with. He knows his people. Why would he go on rants about drinking when all of his congregation are teetotalers? Instead he preached on things like love, forgiveness, compassion, areas that he saw the flock actually struggling with.

      1. “1) first because they’re not in the Bible”
        That should be an eye-opener right there 😛

  14. We have to give these fundamentalist preachers some credit – they are really good at expositing the Bible and teaching the text as the original writer intended it to be taught.

    There is some criticism floating around out there that these preachers simply take a phrase, or statement from the Bible out of context and make it say whatever they want it to say. Some have been so bold as to call it “christless Christianity,” or mere “moralistic” preaching…but clearly, as evidenced by the examples given here, those criticisms are not warranted.

    If only the critics would read the book of Acts they would see that the Apostles preached in this same manner. I particulary like Paul’s message to the church in Ephesus entitled “Dare to be a Daniel.”

    1. Yeah, wasn’t it Peter who first preached that powerful sermon “Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Women Preachers”? I believe that was when he went to Cornelius’ house.

    2. Don’t forget Paul’s message to Agrippa in Acts when Agrippa says, “Almost thou persuadeth me.” Some may think that Paul was simply preaching Christ, but I have it on good authority that his message title was either. “Try Harder” or “Pull On Those Bootstraps . . er I mean Sandalstraps”

      1. In the Greek it actually reads: “almost thou persuadeth me… to ditch my NIV for the true Word of God (i.e., the 1611 Kings James Version Bible), and to go home and tell my wife to quit wearing pants.”

        1. Now if the fundy preacher wants to preach on that, go right ahead. Just don’t tack a Bible verse on to it as if that makes it all Biblical!

  15. “I don’t understand how professing believers can get on the internet and run down every good ministry that stands for soul-winning and holiness.”

    Is that a shout-out to
    I think it is!

    Congratulations, Darrell!!! 😀 😀 😀

    1. First century Pharisee: ““I don’t understand how a professing Jew can get on a hillside and run down every good Pharisee that stands for law-keeping and holiness.”

      1. “I don’t understand how professing believers can get on the internet and run down every good ministry that stands for soul-winning and holiness.”

        PW’s response:
        First century Pharisee: ““I don’t understand how a professing Jew can get on a hillside and run down every good Pharisee that stands for law-keeping and holiness.”

        PW, your response was absolutely perfect. So very true!

    2. Huh….wonder what they mean by “holiness”? And I wonder how we know these guys are “holy”?

  16. You’re a stronger man than I, by a long shot. I was getting queasy just reading this…to be in the middle of it…I think I would have had a meltdown. Heck, I nearly had a get-up-and-walk-out-the-back meltdown last year at the church I grew up in, when I visited for one Wednesday night service to hear a guy I had gone to school with guest-preach. I hit my breaking point after about 10 minutes! I had to switch to watching Phillies updates on my phone or I would have caused a scene. Being at the epicenter of Fundamentalism, sitting through not one but two travesties of so-called preaching (and I’ll bet they weren’t short, 30 minute sermons, either!)…I couldn’t do it. I admit my weakness and tip my hat to anyone who can put up with that.

    1. I agree with you! I have only been once to a fundy church since I left mine 20 yrs. ago. My brother-in-law was being ordained in the very same church that I left. My family & I were invited to come to his ordination service. My family felt that we should go because he was our brother & uncle. I went out of protest & we sat on the very back row. I wanted to leave after about 15 min. or so. But, we stayed so I played on my phone, too. 🙂 I texted the whole service. It was the only way that I could make it through that service. Therefore, kudos to Don! I look forward to reading the rest of the week’s articles. Today’s was really good.

  17. Thanks Don for your report. Going to a weeklong fundie revival/conference and being yelled at by people who are one step above white trash would qualify as torture if it were done at GITMO.
    Were there any Canaanites or descendents of Ham in attendance?

    1. “being yelled at by people who are one step above white trash”

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Love it, so true… I don’t care if that makes me an arrogant snob because I’ve spent enough time on the receiving end of these people’s arrogance for too many years…

  18. Titus was able to attend this year for class credit. He said it was a huge blessing and that he was privileged to sit under such learned men for that week.

    We were in the middle of canning peaches and making salsa, so we weren’t able to attend. Also, I’m finally able to be back at the piano and won’t be able to miss a service or rehearsal until the end of the year (because of my absences earlier this year due to my arms).

    We also had to help a lady from the church clean out the Sunday School closet. I was not expecting to see so much flannelgraph! We tried to donate it to Goodwill, but they wouldn’t take it. They said it never sells.

    So, we recycled it, which I think is pretty New Age, but I couldn’t remember a verse that spoke specifically against it. I think Rand Hummel preached on it one time, but there was no time to go back through my Sermon Notes Notebook.

    1. Regarding recycling, CMG, the Bible says that if something is not of faith, it is sin. If your conscience was convicting you that you were cooperating with earth-worshipping pagans by recycling, you shouldn’t have done it. Surely there are some missionaries on foreign fields that could have used those old flannelgraphs. (tongue firmly in cheek, just in case someone can’t tell)

      1. What if you live in a state that requires recycling? The Bible also says that we are supposed to obey our authorities. Should all Christians move to states that don’t require cooperation with earth-worshipping pagans?

      2. @PW. You are “on fire” girl! Preach it! Make CMG “walk the aisle” and meet with a prayer counselor. FTW!! 😆

    2. I hate flannelgraph. Our Sunday school superintendant loves it. I told him instead of watching the NFL game of his favorite team, he could wait a day. I’d do a flannelgraph presentation for him, and see how it held his attention. Sadly, kids today need something more than faded pictures being put up and taken down while someone tells the story.

  19. I wonder if someone will go in there and overthrow the money-changer’s tables (er, make that, the merchandise selling tables).

    Are such things “making merchandise” of Jesus Christ?

  20. When I was in High School, the IFB church we were members of sent buses over to one of these “Conferences”… Sad to say, I got a whole lot more out of practicing music on the demo organs setup in the adjoining area during the preaching… 😐

  21. A few things I hope come up as the week burns on: Christ did NOT have a beard and long hair as it was a rule in Nazzarath that all men had to be clean shaven and Jesus was a stickler for rules…(yep, common theme back in the day) 🙄

    Abortion: women can’t become pregnant if they are truly being attacked, so the rape exception is nothing more than an excuse for whores that wanted it and got in trouble….(yep)

    Just feeling a little nostalgic…… 😥 ….

    1. No one actually preaches/teaches that rape can’t get you pregnant do they? Even I can’t believe they’d go that far. Is it true?

      1. twas at my BJU outpost in NJ. The worst part? There were a few RNs in the congregation who may have also worked in ERs….

        1. Just like the young lady at my ex-fundy church who swore UP AND DOWN (‘scuse me, we all know fundies don’t swear – she just wouldn’t drop the subject) that you can get AIDS from kissing. Yes, you *can* get AIDS from kissing, but it would have to be in a very … strange way.

          She was also proud to announce that they taught her that at PCC. Sounds like a scare tactic, to me.

        2. Can you get AIDS from kissing?
          As the class clown in my high-school biology unit said, “That depends on what you kiss.”

        3. “To become infected with HIV you must get a sufficient quantity of the virus into your body. Saliva does contain HIV, but the virus is only present in very small quantities and as such cannot cause HIV infection.

          Unless both partners have large open sores in their mouths, or severely bleeding gums, there is no transmission risk from mouth-to-mouth kissing.”

          So, you *can* under very specific, narrow circumstances get contract HIV via kissing – but the chances slim to none.

          Whoever told them that at PCC was a real WEIRDO.

        4. Yes, I knew people don’t get AIDS from kissing. I was trying to tell a joke, but it fell flat.

      2. I come from the Greenville, SC area of fundy craziness and have never actually heard the rape thing preached–or taught for that matter. People through the years have told me this, however. I just always dismissed it as a ridiculous misstatement or misunderstanding, but have since come to realize that this in fact was preached. So the fact that a pregnancy occurred apparently meant that it was not actually a rape. Maybe this lunacy factored into Tina Anderson’s situation, I don’t know. Or maybe that was a way to save God’s reputation since it gets hard for them to explain a good God allowing something so bad to happen.

      3. *(*&^*$@^+)*&^%!

        Oh, and something about bearing false witness against your neighbour.

    1. holy crap, r u ok? My week at The Wilds was the worst and the beginning of my escape from fundyland.

    2. If it sounds like what my niece told me earlier this summer after her week, then I would love to read about it. Tell us about the all-girl or all-boy chapel thing, too (whichever one applies to you, your username seems gender-neutral).

      I went to the Wilds as a teenager, but I was on the kool-aid then, so I see things differently now. I wonder how I would do if I went today?

      1. The Wilds is, by and large, a place where young impressionable children are emotionally manipulated into “decisions”, taught the heresy of semi-Pelagianism, and victims of abuse are told they are the ones with the problem.

        I went to the Wilds of the Rockies as a junior camper from the year it opened until the year I went to college. Then I came back and worked two summers as a counselor. I look back now at what I told these precious sheep and participated in and I cry in shame.

        My most shameful moment? Sitting in on the grilling of a junior high girl who confided in me that she was being sexually abused by her uncle. No authorities were called, it was clear from the tone and questioning that nobody believed her, and she was essentially told to forgive and move on.

        Kyrie eleison.

  22. Does anybody know why there’s a dunce cap above the housetop thingy above the lighthouse picture on Gospel Light Church’s sign?

    Is this an extraordinary example of truth in Fundy advertising?

    (The light’s under a cover, and the dunce cap is over everything.)

  23. I got a kick out of the “solid, evangelistic, soul-winning music” comment. Really?? Who on earth attends a SOTL conference unless they are already “SAAAAVED”?? (Saved according to the IFB definition, that is.)

    Did their music bring people in from off the streets to hear what was going on inside? Even if it had, I doubt a “heathen” could have made it past the suit guy. 😕

  24. Ahaha, I’m very excited if this is going to continue! Sounds like a *coff* GREAT conference. Very, um, encouraging. And… useful. Yep, certainly this is going to strengthen and encourage you in your Christian walk and faith and whatnot. Definitely.

    I am continually impressed by the vast quantities of… stuff these preachers can pull out of just a couple of verses. It’s astonishing, is what it is. A gift, perhaps. I know I certainly don’t see most of what they preach on in the verses they mention…

    Also, if that really was a shout-out to SFL, WHOO-HOO! That’s AWESOME! 😆

  25. I’m just curious, does SOTL ever make any of this media available to the masses? If they wanted to expand their audience, why not put their messages out for everyone to hear? ❓

    1. This conference is mainly for Pasors, evangelists, teachers, Bus ministry captains, and the workers involves in Soul Winning. The premise for this conference is Church Growth. Stirring the prople up to go win souls and put numbers on the board. I should have taken pic of their Bus boards, it’s all about numbers. We are talking 1300-1600+/-.
      You will see later in the week that the purpose of the Church is Soul Winning. And Friday we will find out what that means.

      1. Oh, Don, do I have to read more summaries? Just the obnoxious comment about sitting on your Bible if it wasn’t a KJV ticked me off. I’ve been annoyed all day at the false assumptions and insinations about other believers. You summed it up well, but it sure made me mad.

        I am AMAZED that you survived a week of this!!!!

      2. Good point. Perhaps I should rephrase and ask why they don’t make the sermons/pep rallies available to the pastors who aren’t able to come. I think some of their sermonizing would lose its luster without the shouting of the sycophants from the audience.

        Soul winning is an interesting term. Does it appear anywhere in the NT? Or is it only from that passage in Proverbs? And what does winning souls mean in that passage anyhow?

        1. You can purchase the mp3/cd/dvd from SOTL. You can purchase the whole conference if you want to join the VIP club. I can send you a brochure if you like. 😈 🙄 😆

        2. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      3. “the purpose of the Church is Soul Winning.”

        Well, that explains a lot.

        I suppose those folks would promote the idea that “the church has a mission” rather than the belief that “the mission has a church.”

  26. The first message is one of my main beefs with this brand / style of fundamentalism: Read a passage that mentions a “well” and then preach on “wells” such as the Bible well, the Church well, the soul-winning well.


    (and !!, and even more !!! for good measure)

    1. GR, I don’t suppose I have to tell you that fundamentalism is simply not interested in preaching the Bible. It goes against their false religion.

  27. The second message’s shot at the internet is more likely a reference to David Cloud, who was recently critical of the Sword of the Lord.

    1. They could be whining about multiple internet forums and blogs.

      Many on the FFF have been criticizing the SOTL for years. They openly called out Shelton Smith for lying about Charles Spurgeon’s calvinism – specifically Smith’s blatantly dishonest edit of one of Spurgeon’s sermons to remove anything supporting calvinism.

      I am sure they have a special place in their heart for SFL too 😈 .

      The SOTL has many internet critics.

  28. Don, I wish you could tells how long the sermons were. Because every good fundy knows that the longer the sermon the better. Short to the point sermons are for the godless, non-KJV liberals.

    1. They actually did a pretty good job keeping to the time. Of course the Second horse always got to graze a little longer. 😉

  29. Don, you’re my hero! Talk about taking one for the team! You’ve gone above and beyond, big time.

    1. ****running down the aisle, jumping the communion table, and running back to my seat, shouting “Hay-men!” all the time. 😆

  30. Don, did they mention Jesus in their sermons? From your summaries, it doesn’t seem there was any Jesus in the sermons, even though the texts are all about Jesus. That makes me sad. It seems to me that the one they claim to be worshiping ought to be the one they preach about.

    1. As you can see from my notes he was not their primary focus. At times they gave him lip service but the heart of the messages was far from him. Music probably mentioned Jesus more than the sermons did. The Bible, meaning the translation version, i.e. 1611 King James, was more important than the person it proclaims. 😥

    2. When I was there back in 93 and 94 there wasn’t a whole lot of Jesus mentioned. And we went to all of the services. The sad thing is that I thought it was great. But you know what I really remember? Let’s see…one time one of the “preachers” walked on the pews. No clue what that was about. Another time a guy took a sledge hammer to a television and did some serious damage. You know that one-eyed monster usually got smashed every year. It was always more about sensationalism than it was about Jesus.

      Another thing I remember was the controversy of having Jack Hyles preach. Some of the friends we went with wouldn’t stay to hear him preach. But my family did. I even waited to get him to sign my Bible. Looking back, I can’t believe I did that. And why would the men sign the Bible? It’s not like they were autographing a book THEY wrote. Sick. That’s what it is. And I’m embarrassed to have had them sign my Bible. 😳

    3. Lets face it, Jesus didn’t say much, did he? But what he did say was amazing and easy to understand and really doesnt require a seminary/mission/megachurch/university and $$$$$$$ to understand it. So in Fundystan, Jesus is just a mascot, a logo. Rather, they like all the commentary about what God thinks, especially their own.

  31. “To Judge someone is senseless, just because somebody may not be like we are (yep he said that)”


    1. That was just standard fundy double-speak. My former pastor did this all the time. For example: He would say, (paraphrased) “I hardly ever preach on giving!”, when in reality he preaches about giving A LOT.

      Nothing more than double-speak. 🙄

  32. *sigh*

    Well, it’s “nice” to see nothing much has changed from when I took it upon myself to make my attendance imperative at the SOTL.

    My comments are horribly tardy on this one, so please forgive me. I don’t have much internet these days so I’m getting caught up.

    It’s so odd now looking at it all from the outside after having spent so many years in it. It’s like looking at a REALLY bad circus.

    I don’t think I could ever go back even for recon sake. I’d probably scratch the whole time from hives.

    But, I’m enjoying the reading.

    *And, Don, as someone else suggested, I am indeed making your special SOTL butt cushion, complete with pocket for your non-inspired, “incorrect” Bible* 😉

    1. Natalie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You missed Sex week! It has not been the same without you. 😥

    2. Natalie! You’re back! 😀
      I missed you, buddy!
      I hope you and Hot Fuzz are OK.

      Yes, everyone wondered where you were during Sex Week. 😉

      1. Now, see.. *gasp, gasp*… why would ANYONE wonder where I was during, of all things, SEX week?!?! I mean, REALLY?

        Everyone KNOWS that I’m a proper lady *snort, cough* who sits on her butt cushion in our glorious, superior sanctuary and would NEVER even almost imagine a thought in THAT nature.

        I mean… REALLY, Gary. 😉

        (Thanks for the welcomes back to you and Presby, and of course, Darrell. HF and I are doing well. Just staying busy and staying in trouble as usual)

        1. Glad to have you back sis. Could you put a second compartment for a hip flask in my 3x double wide, with built in Whoopie Cushion, butt cushion ? Welcome back.

  33. Still wiping eyes… This has been simply glorious reading. So many great comments. Having been delivered from fundamentalism years ago, having been a pert of HAC and having lived in SOTL land for a few years too, I truly enjoyed this. I admire and respect you, Don, and pray this leaves no lasting effects. Cannot stop aughing…

  34. Still wiping eyes… This has been simply glorious reading. So many great comments. Having been delivered from fundamentalism years ago, having been a pert of HAC and having lived in SOTL land for a few years too, I truly enjoyed this. I admire and respect you, Don, and pray this leaves no lasting effects. Cannot stop laughing…

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