Resolutions

With the dawning of the year 1997 I feel it only appropriate to continue my annual tradition of forming a set of resolutions concerning my personal holiness and separation from worldly things.

– I resolve to put a hedge around my ears by muting ALL television commercials this coming year even the ones with really catch tunes or funny parts. I will instead spend these breaks from watching The Waltons praying for our foreign missionaries.

– I will set no evil thing before my eyes. I will not read any magazine, newspaper, or catalog a qualified matronly female has a chance to have a go at it with a permanent marker and a pair of scissors. The J.C. Penny catalog will be summarily and remorselessly destroyed.

– I will read my entire Bible all the way through. And this time I won’t just skip over the parts that make no sense to me or contain a lot of begetting

– I will go soulwinning at least once a week and not be satisfied unless I’ve won at least one soul. If I don’t actually win a soul in person I’ll just leave gospel tracts everywhere and trust that God saved someone when I wasn’t looking.

– I will throw out the box of Stryper tapes under my bed. Again. And this time I really, really won’t break down and buy them again in February. I mean it.

– I will stop thinking about the song leader’s daughter and her beautiful hair and her gorgeous blue eyes and how her smile makes me feel both sick and happy at the same time. I’ll totally put it out of my head and not emotionally defraud her until I’m old enough to ask her father if we can get betrothed.

– I will only take cold showers that last less than five minutes. Better make that three minutes.

– I will be in every way an exemplary Christian so that the blood of the world will not be on my hands.

– I will do all of this for at least a month. Definitely for at least a week. Probably at least until tomorrow.

100 thoughts on “Resolutions”

        1. So it is with my mother as well. She has all 9 of the seasonal DVD releases, but she doesn’t have the post-series movies. She also has the companion book, “Goodnight John-Boy.”

    1. I am sure you get the same response I do when I pull out the Bible and point out the heretical teaching of “progressive sanctification”

      Why don’t people believe the Bible?

      1. I think it’s straight up unbelief. That and pride. Pride in the idea that “I” have to contribute to my slavation! That “I” am the Capt’n of my destiny! It is a desire to return to Egypt where the day was laid out for them and following the rules determined the level of punishemnt or reward. The religious pavlovian experience. If I’m good then God will love me more better. If I keep this set of rules then God will reward me… “If I do ___________ then I am (proudly) showing I am more sanctified and more holy than others… ummmmm how god must love me!”
        πŸ™„

        1. So, you have also probably gotten the same response as me when I suggested that someone who believes some of these things so strongly is evidently not a recipient of God’s grace, and should really evaluate their life in light of that fact. Its pretty funny that fundies who are so venomous in their teaching that “[other] religions don’t save” are effectively practicing what they preach [against]

          Fortunately Don and I don’t live close to each other, we would have already cleared a 300 mile radius of fundies by the combined force of our wonder twin powers.

        2. LOL I think this misspelling is perfect. Slavation. That’s exactly what I felt like in the Fundy church. Teaching a class I did not want because the pastor wanted me to. Not getting to do the things I wanted to do but having to do only the things he wanted. Not a slave of the Lord, but a slave of the pastor. Letting him guilt trip me with that “die to self” garbage. Of course when I resisted, he gave me that song and dance about how it was what the Lord wanted. Not so! In the old church in Michigan no one came to me and said here is where you are to serve, God told me this is where to put you. Instead they made the needs known and the Lord lays it on your heart where to serve. Then you serve there because you know it’s what God wants and He blesses you in it. When I taught Sunday school there I enjoyed it a great deal.

          I think you hit on a new word here, Don. Slavation lol! :mrgreen:

        1. It’s the idea that even though you are saved initially by grace through faith, you are sanctified throughout your life by continuing in faith and good works. Mostly good works, if you grew up like I did, although of course we’d never admit it. It’s precisely what Paul objected to in Galatians and precisely what many of us believed and lived as Fundies.

        2. The song says it best:
          “Well I’m working my way up to you God,
          With a more perfect set of rules
          Yeah I’m working my way up to you God,
          with everything I do…”

          In context Sanctification is a work of Grace that God does. In Isaiah 66:17 the Lord says, β€œThose who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD.”

          Sanctification is the act of God setting something or someone apart for his use.
          1 Thess.5:23, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
          The idea of progressive sancification is a works based idea that takes away from God’s perfect work and gives man control of his own “sanctification.” If this is so then purgatory is the most logical progression in works sanctification. Yet because it is begun in a sin poluted vessel it can never reach perfection required by God and one must conclude that eternity will be spent in purgatory.
          But… since Sanctification is a work of Grace that God performs then it is perfect. Yes, we grow in knowledge and grace but nothing we do makes us more sanctified, because we did not set ourselves apart unto holiness, God did.

        3. don’t be fooled by the rhetoric…there are aspects of sanctification described in the scriptures that seem to be progressive. Its when they decide that part is primarily our responsibility by saying things like..”I am not saved because of what I do, but because I am saved I do ” Fine sounding words, but don’t be led astray since its leveraging legitimate growth that should be seen in the lives of Christ followers into a ball and chain of works centered living. You can claim grace and faith alone all you want, but when you decide that your standing with God (either positional or practical) depends on what you do, then you are on a slipperly slope to Catholicism (I’m just kidding all you lovely Catholics, just pointing out the theological irony of it all)

        4. Many throw the baby out with the bathwater on the subject of sanctification and end up antinomian.

          There are indeed progressive aspects of sanctification in the new testament

          1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you (future tense) wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

          1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

          1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

          1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

        5. @ Theo
          Actually Sanctify in 1 Thes. 5:23 is in the aorist tense.

          The aorist tense is characterized by its emphasis on punctiliar action; that is, the concept of the verb is considered without regard for past, present, or future time. There is no direct or clear English equivalent for this tense, though it is generally rendered as a simple past tense in most translations. http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=1Th&c=5&v=23&t=KJV#new

          1 Thess 4:3-4 both of these references to sanctification are pointing to evidence of what God has done in our lives… not what we are doing to sanctify oursleves. The same word can be translated as holiness, or the idea of why we are holy.

          1 Peter 3:15 is also the aorist tense. The word can also be translated “hallow.” Sanctify, set apart, hallow Christ in your heart
          In this passage we are to do something because of what Christ has already done in our heart.

          Again sanctification is not an on going process where we are co-laboring with God to make ourselves sanctified. Any utensil that was sanctified for us in the temple was not progressively sanctified it was an immediate action that declared that utensil or vessel to be set apart for God service.

          Yes, we mature, yes we grow in grace but we are not on a journey of sanctification but having been sanctified we are vessels set apart or the Lord’s use. (it’s hard for American’s especially to grasp the idea that a Sovereign King rules over them.)

    1. Every fundie pulpiteer who wants to see his altar filled so that it looks like Gid really moved in his service after his preaching. They are out to create a mass movement by manipulation. Then they can get on FB and watch as their sycophants profile updates give orgasmic accounts of how God moved in the service, how toes were stepped on and how the good hard preaching by their M-O-g caused the spirit to move in their midst. Oh, the religious ecstasy of an emotional experience at the old fashioned altar. yes, Yes, YES! Save us preacher! Save us!
      *excuse me I just threw-up in my mouth a little…shudder*

      1. Jim Vineyard was horrible with his twisting of Ezekiel and the bloody hands thing. He brought a pan of lood to HAC πŸ‘Ώ chapel and preached the whole mess, while blood ran down his hands. Jerk. πŸ‘Ώ

        1. Was Jim Vineyard the guy who was in the news this year because he was going to give out an assault rifle as a prize at church camp or Vacation Bible School?

      1. It is mentioned in Ezekiel. I brought that up farther down in this thread. But the application of it (from my understanding) is that God is telling Ezekiel that if he doesn’t warn the people that the enemy is coming, then Ezekiel may as well kill his fellow citizens himself. Not a thing to do with standing before God with blood dripping from your hands because you failed to lead a soul to Christ. When I actually found the ONLY place the “blood on the hands” was mentioned and how it DOESN’T apply to what I was taught in church, I nearly fell outta my chair. Again, it’s just a mind game.

        1. Well said! Fundies however don’t have a clue about keeping things in “CONTEXT.” Nope, if they can find even a piece of scripture that they can build a pet doctrine upon they will do so.

          The whole blood on the hands thing is pure manipulation. If you don’t present the Romans Road to everyone you come in contact with then their blood will be on your hands. I have even heard it preached that at the Judgment they will point you out in the crowd and scream that you never told them, “I’m going to hell because you never told me the gospel!” How manipulative is that?

          What a pathetically weak god that presents. And I won’t take up space right now to explain the error in that view of hearing, then accepting or rejecting the gospel as the necessary or sufficient cause for condemnation, suffice it to say that all are condemned to hell already unless God intervenes.

    2. I think it also comes from Acts 20:26-27 where Paul says, “Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.”

      Yet Paul himself wrote in his epistles that the married person cannot serve God in the same focused way that an unmarried person can because the husband must please his wife. Thus there is balance in life. Jesus Himself went to weddings, took quiet times alone, and met in private homes with friends. The “blood guiltiness” accusation can drive a sensitive soul to distraction, if we did not balance it with trust in God’s sovereignty and belief that there is a time for everything and that we needn’t be handing out tracts 24/7.

      1. I know of a fundy pastor (now deceased) who committed himself to presenting the gospel to one person every day. It didn’t matter if that person prayed the prayer or not, he WOULD doorknock EACH day until someone was willing to hear to gospel. He did it on his own daughter’s wedding day. He did it for decades up until his death.

        He is held up as a true hero and an example to all fundies today. Now, he was probably a good man – but his family kind of missed out.

  1. Wow. 1997 sounds like it was only a couple of years ago, but it was a LOOOONG time ago.

    Apparently, I’m old πŸ˜₯

    The only resolution I made in the last couple of years in fundyland was to read the bible EVERY day and read it right through in a year. I know Genesis quite well… 😳

  2. The Waltons is my third favorite TV show. But it ranks behind Dark Shadows and All in the Family neither of which would be acceptable to Fundies. As for resolutions, I haven’t made any for many years. I do read through my Bible every year but that’s not a new year resolution, it’s just something I do because I want to. I will not make a resolution to go to church “every time the doors are open.” That sounds like I don’t really wanna do it, I have to make myself. That was true in the past but not now. I want to go to church now, whereas before it was a boring duty. πŸ™‚

    As for the 15 lb weight loss, I really would like to lose more than that. I’m considering 25.

    Happy new year everyone! :mrgreen:

    1. Ah yes, “every time the doors are open.” During the last years of my time served in fundyland I wrestled with this 3+ times a week. I dreaded going to church, even on Sunday morning. The bad mood would start about 12 hours out and I would have to hide my emotions from my kids as I did not want to set a bad example.

      It was a vicious cycle. On the one hand I felt guilty if I was not in church every time the doors were open. On the other, if I did attend my “heart wasn’t right” because I was miserable while there.

      I knew none of this was pleasing to Christ and for the longest time thought the problem was mine. Now I go to church simply to worship God and it’s all good. :mrgreen:

      1. My dad got in a foul mood every Sunday when I was a kid. We rode to church in silence, for fear of making it worse (and the ride to Fundycult Life-control Center was about 30 minutes). My brother and I called it “The Sunday Mood.”

    1. ^^^ Yes! I was never, ever good enough at my Fundy church. And sanctification was all up to me and my “decisions” and “commitments”.

      So glad to be free!

  3. 2012 Resolution: I will try not to focus so much this year on the idiocy of self-idolatrous fundamentalist and instead work harder at resting in the finished work of Christ.

    This will be challenging for me because legalistic fundamentalists truly are the bane of my existence, and I live near the Mecca of Fundystan. God help me.

    1. I used to think the watch night services were bad where the pastor showed a Christian film with breaks to eat cookies and drink red punch out of styrofoam cups.

      Then I ended up at a small rural church in the Midwest where the pastor’s idea of how to ring in the new year was to sit on folding metal chairs in the fellowship hall listening to any male age 13 and up who wanted to pontificate (I mean, preach). It was horrible!

      I think these memories are why I shy away from any New Year’s “celebrations” in favor of staying home with my family.

      1. It’s such a shame. We had a sort of Watch Night thing at my old Lutheran church, although we didn’t call it that. We made a bonfire of old Christmas trees,* said a prayer, sang “Auld Lang Syne,” passed around cups of mulled cider, and took home Happy New Year helium balloons. Every year at least one kid untied their balloon and took a hit of helium so they could walk around quacking like Donald Duck or singing “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini.” Non-boozy New Year’s Eve parties don’t have to be deadly dull.

        *The ashes were spread over the ice in the parking lot for the rest of the winter. I’ve heard that the bonfire is now made of pallets and scrap lumber because of the wildlife refuge program that accepts old trees as shelter for hatchling trout in local fishing holes.

        1. That does sound more enjoyable!

          I forgot to add to my description of an IFB watch-night service the crushing guilt I felt because I DIDN’T enjoy it. What kind of a lousy Christian was I that I’d rather not be listening to the Word being proclaimed and spend the hour leading up to midnight awkwardly scrunched over in our seats as deacon after deacon prayed long prayers? If I were truly spiritual, I’d WANT to be doing that, and since I didn’t, I was secretly a failure, perhaps even a castaway like Paul described.

          The New Year would begin with me drowned in boredom, discomfort, and agonizing fear about whether or not I could even be a real Christian since I wished I spending my holiday elsewhere.

      2. This year I will not be watching Sheffey, eating potluck, and playing board games with the 12 year olds in our chilly church basement. No, I will be at a genuine party (with friends), celebrating the coming New Year. I can’t wait to toast with my friends at midnight!

    1. I never heard it said that the Waltons was acceptable, but compared to other shows there is less to criticize. Supposedly since it was a family show it was ok, as was “Little House on the Prairie.” But like everything else Fundies have to pick it apart and point out what was wrong with it a lot more than what was right with it. The family was Baptist, that’s good. But the father did not go to church and hence didn’t lead his family for the Lord, that’s bad. Never mind that John Walton was a hard working man and a good father and husband. He took care of his parents. If the man simply chose not to go to church and had not been baptized that did not mean he wasn’t a good Christian man. I felt he was a very good Christian man. He like Grandpa enjoyed worshiping God on the mountain. If I lived in a place like that I’d do the same thing.

      There was the matter of both John and Grandpa enjoying a nip of the Baldwin sisters’ recipe. Fundies take a dim view of any kind of liquor and now and then Olivia and Grandma could be seen giving them the evil eye for drinking. Sometimes they were too darn sanctimonious. But in spite of fundy teaching, I would side with John and Grandpa. I got such a kick out of Grandpa anyway. :mrgreen:

      1. Grandpa’s drinking was always tempered by Grandma getting on his case about it to make sure he didn’t go overboard. Grandma was a tough old lady who scared me.

        Now I’m not so sure about Mary Ellen’s being in Penthouse. I’m not sure what could have redeemed that to make the show acceptable.

        1. In her defense, it was the 1940’s and Penthouse was child’s play back in those days compared to today. I think I vaguely remember that episode as well. I think John Boy had a problem with it, but in the end she wanted to be her own woman. And let’s not kid ourselves, Mary Ellen was a pretty hot gal. She was pretty young at that time too. Who among us, Walton or not, hasn’t done something as a youth that wasn’t controversial? Life is full of growing lessons.

          As far as the recipe is concerned, I too think that Grandma let Grandpa have fun, but she was a temperance factor that helped balance out any excessive drinking of the recipe . Oh that we could have have a Grandma Walton in our lives. This would be a much better country.

  4. This was sung at every New Year’s service I remember attending as a kid. The Baptist Resolution Song.

    “I am resolved no longer to linger
    Charmed by the world’s delights
    Things that are higher, Things that are nobler,
    These have allured my sight.

    I will hasten to him,
    Hasten so glad and free,
    Jesus, greatest, hightest,
    I will come to thee.

    1. I hate hate hate this song! If I never hear it again it’ll be too soon! It’s sung over and over, you barely make it a week (3 services) in a fundy church without it being sung at least once. Even at the rare times we can request songs someone requests it! πŸ™

  5. Blood on the hands. I know that wasn’t the intent of your post here, but wow…still gets me. It caused so much guilt in a young teenager who was just trying to survive high school, much less do it without single-handedly destroying God’s plan to save the world. So glad I’m done with that stuff.

  6. @Dan- yep. what a mind job, huh? How much thought did a fundy preacher have to put into taking a couple verses of scripture from the book of Ezekiel TOTALLY out of context to guilt people into soul-winning? NOWHERE is anyone threatened with having “blood on the hands” for failure to lead people to Jesus.

  7. I made a New Year’s resolution several years ago that I have actually kept: I hereby resolve not to make New Year’s Resolutions.

    I find that it works better if I take immediate action on any areas that need improving instead of waiting until some arbitrary date on the calendar.

  8. Look at the signs – I just know that 2012 is going to be the year the Lord will snatch us up out of this horrible world. Better get the lawn chair up on the roof, with my binoculars so I can be the first to see him and be that much closer to him. Oh yeah, and my ear plugs so I don’t have to hear the hungry on the street asking for help. I got my trust Jesus sign on my fence. He will help you!

  9. I will stop thinking about the song leader’s daughter and her beautiful hair and her gorgeous blue eyes and how her smile makes me feel both sick and happy at the same time….

    And you could do this with all temptations: resolve to yourself, every day, to not think of each one, in as much detail as you can manage not to think of!

    I can’t see what could go wrong with this plan.

    1. Maybe that’s why my dieting plans never work: I’m resolved not to eat any more brownies, the chocolate kind, moist and gooey with a layer of extra-rich icing on the top … or lasagna, thick with mouth-watering cheese, hot from the oven… Oh, yeah, I’ll have TOTAL success avoiding high calorie food this year.

      1. When that story first broke, my thought was that my insurance agent must predict the end of the world every year. He only supplies calendars for 12 months at at time.

        I figure fundies aren’t the only ones with end-of-the-world scare tactics. The new-agers are just going at it from a different angle.

      2. Reminds me of something my boss said recently: “If the Mayans were psychic enough to predict the end of the world, wouldn’t they have known not to trust the Spanish?”

  10. Love the commentary on Watch Night services. In 37 years of being in church, I have never ever been to an enjoyable one. I would say I have been to about eight or ten whn I was unable to get out of it. They suck.. πŸ™„

        1. WHew! I’m glad everyone has all simmered down. I was getting nervous there and looking for something to hide behind. (While tossing hand grenades and turning my head and pretending I didn’t do it.)

  11. Those types of resolutions are sadly familiar. I decided resolutions were pointless sometime in high school. πŸ˜€ I still haven’t ever read the Bible straight through in a year & I’m in my 30s. πŸ˜‰ I have read the whole book, but I prefer to
    read & study topically; therefore, I was not a good Xtian in Fundyland.

    AFA watch night services…I managed to avoid those for the most
    part. We visited a (Fundy) church on Xmas that is having a watch night service & my kids were begging to attend. 😯 Poor, innocent lambs. They think it’s just a movie & free popcorn. I had to explain “bait & switch.” πŸ™„

  12. Don’t forget the seven precious people the Lord will tell you to pray for, and minister to in the upcoming year (on top of everything else you are already doing, of course)and don’t forget. God knows if you keep your commitments.

  13. Stryper. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if a bunch of youth pastors decided to form a Motley Crue cover band, listen to Stryper. Their music is full of lame, youth pastor-approved puns like “The Rock That Makes Me Roll” and “To Hell with the Devil.” πŸ™„ Fundy pastors are right about one thing: Christian rock really *is* an oxymoron. As Bart Simpson said, “All the best bands are affiliated with Satan.” πŸ‘Ώ

    (Just to be clear, I’m kinda half-joking here! I have no objection to CCM in general, but the spirit of rock and metal music is rebellion, which doesn’t really mesh with Christian lyrics!)

    1. Agreed. When i first heard Stryper, as a dedicated metal head, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the oxymoron of it all

      Later after conversion, it was onloy more obvious that such bands existed only so church going teens had an excuse to buy it–like non alcoholic beer, all it does is make youw ant the real thing!!!

      1. We didn’t become fundies until I was 13-14, by which time my musical tastes had already been formed. My step-mom realized that I wasn’t going to stop listening to/playing the devil’s music, at least not right away, and she thought Stryper would be a good compromise. I listened to maybe 2 songs before I felt it necessary to clear my head with some Iron Maiden. But you know what’s even worse? When my boyfriend and I went to the Sweden Rock Festival in 2010, there was actually a Christian death metal band performing! I kinda felt bad for them, because the general crown reaction was just tens of thousands of blank stares.

        (BTW, huzzah! A fellow metalhead! Favorites?)

  14. Pfft. You’re reading your Bible all the way through? You’re not stretching your faith. I’m reading mine through THREE TIMES. And I’m reading through Proverbs through every MONTH.

  15. Here’s mine: In 2012, I will not set foot or darken the doorway of any kind of Baptist Church’s church service, especially an IFB one. πŸ™‚ Unless it is a funeral or a wedding of a fundy friend.

      1. I had the misfortune of attending a funeral service at my former church because of the untimely death of one of the deacons and even from my having only been gone two and a half months or so, it did feel really weird to be in that sanctuary, it kinda felt like I couldn’t breathe, like get me outta here.

        During the service there were a lot of the old triggers, “brother so and so would have wanted us to sing these “God-honoring” songs… etc. They actually seem to think that heaven is going to be like fundydumb… πŸ™„ yuck, I am SO done with all of that.

  16. Why would anybody be listening to Stryper in 1997?

    According to Wikipedia, they disbanded in 1992, an appropriate year considering that was about the time that Metal “Hair” bands fell off the charts.

    Apparently, they reunited nine years ago.

  17. 1. I will please the pastor even when it hurts or is scary.
    2. I wont look at girls in pants
    3. I vow to never allow my future help-meat to never wear pants or bob her hair
    4. I will throw out my VHS collection of Jane Fonda workout videos and repent of loving her lycra
    5. I will not allow my eyes to ever behold any version or should I say any other perversion besides the Holy KJV Bible 1611 non-Scofield reference edition. Get thee behind me SATAN
    6. I will not drive by a movie theater or a liquor store.
    7. I will leave any store including Walgreens if I can her the worldly music playing in the store.
    8. I will kindly and respectfully ask anyone playing loud rap or hip-hop music that I can hear from there car to turn it down. Then give them a chick track explaining the cultic message in rap.
    9. I wont go to the circus…it the lycra thing…wait unless I’m going to go to the circus solely for a soulwinning event.

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