Rules on the Remembrances Of Things Past

And when it shall come to pass that thou and thy kindred and thy manservants and maidservants (or “church staff” as they are now called) shall think upon the good old days that thou shalt in no wise remember the bad things that have happened and remember only the good. For in the day that thou shalt call to mind any scandal or heresy or really funny blooper committed by a fundamentalist then shalt it be known that thou art bitter and “stuck living in the past.” And they shall shake their heads at thee and their tsking sounds of displeasure shall be loud in thine ears.

But if thou shalt recall only those things that are good, and funny, and that one time when we had a great time at that youth outing playing Chubby Bunny then shalt it be said that thou art right and just and a real good sport. And nobody shall in any case accuse thee of being a rabid sycophant who is obsessed with days gone by nor shall they tell that thou needest to just move on with thy life and probably go soulwinning more or something. For to remember only the good is the best choice of all.

And if thy church or thy college or thy family or thy fundy friends hath lied to thee or stolen from thee or done thee grievous injury then what is the big deal? Shalt thou dwell upon it for all time? Are not there lost people who need rescuing from the very fires of hell this moment? Nay, if thou value thy fundy cred and thy very soul thou shalt join the happy few who have decided that bad things never actually happened and that the good times were extra especially amazing.

So shalt thou rewrite the past and move on with thy life and thy manservants and thy maidservants and their children’s children shall rise up and call thee blessed (if a bit clueless).

Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements, p 97

51 thoughts on “Rules on the Remembrances Of Things Past”

  1. Look at the sermons Fundy preachers gave, circa 1900 or 1930 or 1950 or whenever you want to believe was before everything went downhill. They were preaching about the same sins then, and made the same observations about how things keep getting worse and worse. Same as it ever was.

  2. Thou shalt join the ranks of the perpetually and determinedly cheerful. Thy theme song shall be “Happiness Is the Lord”.

    For surely God does not want us to remember the bad things He brought us through or the difficult things we suffered that helped us learn to differentiate truth from lies. No, we are “happy plastic people under Are we happy plastic people Under shiny plastic steeples with walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain.”

    1. Referring to his plastic Jesus on the dash of his car, my friend used to say, “I don’t care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus.”

  3. I think this is just another example of the lack of love in many fundy circles: they don’t want you to speak the truth because they don’t want to deal with your pain and hurt so they just tell you to shut up.

  4. I suppose I don’t see the point of dwelling on all the bad stuff. πŸ™‚ Just move on and remember all the good stuff, that’s what our Pastor says!

    I mean, why have bad memories when “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” So, even if someone did do something wrong, why bring it up now? It seems very worldly to try to hold people in authority accountable. Pastor Backlow says it is almost like rebellion! Which is the same as WITCHCRAFT!!!

    1. A-men sistah! forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before! You can get bitter, or you can get better!

    2. CMG
      Thou dost quote more verse than is called for. In context the verse should be quoted thusly:
      “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”
      Now go thou and repent that thee didst not properly consult Bro Titus before thou didst speak publicly.

    3. And remember to “let the sun shine in” and that “God gives wings as eagles” and that “A Christian always smiles, He never wears a frown, He’s always up in victory, you cannot keep him down.” πŸ˜†

  5. Just sing this song and all will be made clear:
    “Surely Goo-ood-ness an-nd Mer-er-cy shall fo-ah-llow-oh me, all the days, all the day of my Li-i-i-i-ife!”
    See, no negative… πŸ˜‰

  6. Absolutely, no one can defend things that have happened in many churches. How can we find ways to initiate reconciliation? (Maybe I’m beating the dead horse today.) I just want to be careful of my own disposition to rant about all that is bad in fundamentalism. I believe this is a pretty good perspective written by someone outside fundamentalism for sure. Check it out!

    1. How can we find ways to initiate reconciliation?

      I think it goes something like this:

      Most merciful God,
      we confess that we have sinned against thee
      in thought, word, and deed,
      by what we have done,
      and by what we have left undone.
      We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
      we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
      We are truly sorry and we earnestly repent.
      For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ,
      have mercy on us and forgive us;
      that we may delight in thy will,
      and walk in thy ways,
      to the glory of thy Name. Amen.

      Until fundamentalists are willing to admit their sins of arrogance and cruelty and hatred then there is no way that they can reconcile with their brethren.

      Even so we who have left their midst each should examine ourselves lest we likewise be tempted.

      1. That’s an awesome prayer and heart OF reconciliation, but how does the ball get rolling? No doubt they must be willing to admit some things. Is their a way that can bring this about without a demand? I guess that’s my thought. Interestingly enough, that Sword of the Lord conference offered the perfect venue for one of those preachers to call it up. I think we understand it needs to be done, but how does it begin? It’s like telling a person who has smoked for 50 years, “Just quit, bro.” He’s like,”I hadn’t thought of that.” Easier said than done. It will not be easy It will be more than drive-by rants on a blog, too. Not hating on blogs, but this will need to begin in pulpits.

        1. There’s a high price to pay when pastors try to direct their church away from man-made traditions toward reflecting Biblical values. I know.

        2. You said this needs to begin in the pulpits… and there is the rub. This would not be such an issue if the pulpits were not so man-centered and power driven. If Ephesians 4 was actually practiced as it is written then the flaming ego in the pulpit would quickly be extinguished and Christ would be put back in his rightful place. As long as the gifts of ministry are seen as offices to be held rather than the gifts they are, that are to be used to: equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
          When we see church as people and not places then we will see the a change. So long as church is a vocation and career to the M-O-g, and so long as he can wield the god proxy over even a few sheep in his congregation… sadly, it will be business as usual.

        3. @Don Here!Here! This is just something I wrestle with (reconciliaton)because I have very dear and loved ones in IFB ministry. Because the heart of the gospel, the heart of Jesus is reconciliation, that should be my heart. If it’s not, my heart is defective and I show I misunderstand the gospel of grace.

        4. That makes sense, Jay. I DO long for us all to be one in Christ, but as long as they cling to certain man-made doctrines, I don’t see how we can join with them. Christ sorrowed over Jerusalem saying, “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, β€˜Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

          My heart’s cry is for the body of Christ to be one, but as long as the doctrines of man replace Bible truth, I don’t think it’s right to be silent.

        5. Silence wasn’t what I had in mind, either. What I am saying is that reconciliation takes 2 sides. I can only build half of the bridge. However, if I am always tearing down my half because of the lack of effort of the guys on the other side, when they finally do see and decide to build out to me I will have nothing to stand on when they get there. The platform to communicate is gone. Building that definitely doesn’t require silence, but patience. Might not even happen in my lifetime….bring it on.

      2. That prayer is right out of the Book of Common Prayer. Many Anglicans recite that or something very similar every week. Makes ya’ think!

    2. Darrell’s answer was better than mine, but I wanted to say this:

      Jay, have you been reading the summaries of the Sword of the Lord conferences? How can I be reconciled with someone who despises my Bible (calls it a perversion) and despises the music with which I worship God? I have NO PROBLEM with people who PREFER hymns only or KJV only, but when they make those standards a mark of being right with God, how can I find communion with them?

      As far as reconciliation, I reconciled with the REST of Bible-believing Christianity when I left the IFB, with Godly believers from whom I’d always been separating over man-made traditions not over doctrine. There was a city-wide effort to give the Gospel in our area this year; over 400 churches got involved, all of whom signed a statement of belief that IS COMPLETELY IN LINE WITH EVERYTHING I’VE ALWAYS BELIEVED WAS IMPORTANT – salvation thru Christ alone, the death and resurrection of Christ, etc., doctrines that are part of the BJU creed. Totally Biblical and orthodox. Yet NONE of the IFB churches joined in; one pastor’s wife sniped on facebook about how the movement “looked good” but she distrusted whether some of those churches actually taught what they said. The IFB prefer to stand aloof and be separate. How can one reconcile with that?

      I rejoice that I am now free to fellowship with true believers of many different stripes. I may not agree with them on everything, but “if in Christ we agree, let us seek unity”!!! And I’m sorry, but the fundies do not want unity over Christ. They want unity in attire, Bible version, music, church government, door-to-door visitation, etc. Then and only then will they accept me. How can I agree to that? How can I reconcile with that? It’s not biblical.

      1. Ohhh, I have been reading the updates and refraining…very difficult as you know. Do you think I disagree with you? Hardly. What the IFB does when they refuse to acknowledge those outside their movement and the work of the Holy Spirit in those places is saying exactly what the Pharisee’s said to Jesus,”He is casting out devils by the Devil.” They refuse to acknowledge what the Holy Spirit is doing and join in with it. Dangerous stuff. Treads on blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and it is serious.

      2. I agree with you, Pastor’s Wife. I think the great majority of churches are in fellowship with each other to a greater or lesser degree. The isolationists, such as many IFB churches, are the ones who are alienated– by their own choice.

  7. Also, thou doest well to remember that God particularly smiles on the culture of the 1950’s when women knew their place, when every home was happy, when mom always wore a skirt and heels and dad wore a suit, before the “Devil’s music” was so prevalent, and before the NIV was thus translated.

    1. Yeah, and everyone went to church. There were no drunks, prostitutes, abusers, etc. Children didn’t lie, steal, and cheat. Everyone had respect for authority.

      Fundies sure like to rewrite the past πŸ™„ .

  8. Fundy forbid we actually learn from our mistakes and grow in Christ. For without change, there is no growth.

  9. They can’t admit to anything because that would mean they have been wrong all along. If wrong about one thing, then how many other things were they wrong about too? Wrong about the Bible? Salvation? Whatever? Some people cannot accept or tolerate such honesty–they are too insecure in their faith. If they are wrong on anything, then everything else falls apart. πŸ˜₯

  10. They cant admit wrong because they are too busy standing in the gap and keeping up the old landmarks. Tradition is more important than what the Bible says. I believe we should leave a legacy for our kids to love God but I refuse to bow to the fundy idol anymore.

  11. The rule also applies to remembering thine fundy childhood. We all know that if you had a gratitude attitude, you would know that happiness is the Lord. Any grieving your losses of a normal childhood are just a desire for worldliness.

  12. …but thou mayest remember all of the compromise, shortcomings, immorality, worldliness and sensuality (especially as portrayed in music) of those that are of the non-fundamentalist persuasion.

  13. Here’s an example of looking on the fundy-past with a positive spin: My fundy ex husband always told me about what a great childhood he had. He talked about riding bikes out in the country, having a sand box and tree house, having lots of friends and fun in school, sledding, getting to ride on the tractor, having a fun loft bedroom in the attic, etc. He claimed his parents were strict but good parents. Then one day he was talking about these things in front of his sister, and she got an appalled look on her face and told HER version of their childhood: having to wear ugly dresses and skirts, being forced to share a cramped room with other sisters and no a/c or heat, having to do tons of chores (while her brother did not), getting a crappy education that did not prepare her for life appropriately, and parents who were authoritarian and never to be questioned. She has seen the light about fundies years ago, and he has rebelled in some ways but continues to hold to a lot of their beliefs, which is clearly reflected in their differing accounts. (Of course, the difference some fundies make between their male and female children is also clear in this example….)

    1. The difference between what boys have to endure and what girls have to endure is often HUGE. . .For example, my brothers could wear normal swimming trunks (and even no shirt) swimming, while I was forced to wear long shorts and a t-shirt swimming. This is a minor example.

  14. Ayup, been there. It’s not only fundies either. I’ve lost formerly close friends from my AG childhood because they couldn’t stand how I was “always dwelling on the negatives of the past.”

    1. It is so sad that fundamentalists prefer to separate from people instead of simply putting their arms around someone and saying, “I’m so, so sorry you were treated so terribly.” If they would only weep with those who weep, they might help heal wounds, but by withdrawing in judgment and disapproval, they only deepen the hurt.

  15. the irony in pushing the past aside is that it devalues the cross. The cross puts a value on the wrongs we have suffered and the wrongs we have inflicted on others (it doed not absolve us of reconciliiation with our victimss though). So to rewrite the past is to devalue the cross. God forgives sins, we forgive wrongs.

  16. From fundamentalist Islamic to Amish to Independent Baptists, the women always suffer more than the men. Just look at the women (and their husbands) from another culture who move to our country. If you see a couple like this at Walmart, she will be wrapped from head to toe, while the man gets to (at least by the way he dresses) blend into our culture.

    1. As the husband of one, and father of three former fundy women, I have seen them set free – free to express what they really think. Free to laugh and relate as equals. Free to reveal their beautiful uninhibited personalities. I am amazed by their wisdom, wit, and discernment. I am blessed beyond my feeble comprehension at what God has done by truly liberating the women in my life. Life is much more fun – without the dy.

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