Getting Along?

Among the quotes that Abraham Lincoln may or may not have said is this: “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” Why then to do fundamentalists rage against the heathen? Would they not be better to befriend them in hopes of winning them to their cause?

Ah, but there lies the rub. For to a fundamentalist sin is like an terrible virus that is likely to leap from host to host. It takes but a word, a touch, a look and you too will become like unto them. Before you know it the world won’t be able to see at a glance that you are better than they.

It’s best to wear a protective mask of false smiles and gloves of self-righteousness when you’re near the afflicted. Wash your hands of their stench as soon as you get away and thank God that you are not like other men. Think of their worth only as for what they could be and never for what they are.

Distance. Deprecate. Dehumanize. And when you are finished you’ll find that you won’t have to bother separating yourself from sinners. They’ll separate themselves from you just like they did from Jesus.

I fear I myself have not been so careful. I hugged a gay atheist friend this morning because he was having a bad day. I’ll be sure to let you know if any symptoms develop.

87 thoughts on “Getting Along?”

        1. Please pronounce that like Christopher Walken as The Continental: “shom-pon-ya.”. It just seems more better, somehow. πŸ˜‰

    1. I was getting that cursed message too…been also getting the “duplicate post” message. Sucks when the first post try gets screwed up by a slow network. πŸ‘Ώ

  1. Jesus truly was a friend of sinners. I was speaking with a friend the other day who works with young people. He had a gay person sing in his worship service.

    I was taken aback at first, and was thinking a bunch of fundamentalist thoughts, when he made this statement.

    “I’m here to minister.” He continued and said that the person may have been gay, but he had the opportunity to hear the gospel. He probably would not have stepped into a church service any other way.

    In the fundamental circles, there is no room for sinners (Homosexuals, Adulterers). Just perfect, well-dressed and “sanctified” Christians that look good (lying, stealing and gossiping is of course permitted). Once you’ve reached a level of sanctification, then you can participate in the worship service.

    Was Jesus a friend of sinners? Absolutely. Many fundamentalists are friends of sinners too. Just not the sins that “stink” too bad.

    1. That’s something I think will take time to clean out of my fundy mind (which I’m still healing from). To realize that before God my overeating or judgmental attitude is just as much a sin as someone else’s homosexuality or adultery (and I do still believe those things are wrong). Sin is sin before the Lord and every sin needed His blood to cleanse them. In the Bible there is a story of the sanctimonious pharisee who looked down his nose at the tax collector who came in and beat his breast and said, “God be merciful to me a sinner” which attitude pleased God while the pharisee said, “Oh thank God I am not like him!” God hates that prideful attitude. I’ve known too many fundys myself included who have thought this way.

      BTW, I love this song and have always loved it. :mrgreen:

      1. “someone else’s homosexuality …… (and I do still believe those things are wrong). ”

        Not going to tell you you’re wrong, M’Cushla, but just want to mention that at one time the Church of England declared that women had “no more soul than a goose”, and that there are still people in this country that think miscegenation is a sin. An interracial family is very very close to my family and we attend the same church. It would never enter my head to tell them they were in sin, and the exemplary life they live of love and kindness and generosity put to shame anyone that would say otherwise. Just saying there are similarities, is all.

  2. I love that song!

    Now, we’ll have to be vigilant, in case we see Darrell develop any symptoms, such as a heightened number of posts about musicals, or comments about effeminate worship leaders… oh, wait, that’s someone else. πŸ‘Ώ

  3. OMG, does anyone remember that illustration, where someone would stand on a chair being all godly and whatnot, and the other person would stand on the floor being all sinful and dirty? The person on the chair would try to pull the bad person up, and the bad person would inevitably pull the holy person down … That illustration always bothered me, but never until I found this site did I understand why. They would make the “gravity” of sin stronger than the power of Christ. It just isn’t so.

    1. I know the illustration, I’ve seen it in various forms. The idea being that sin and wickedness is more powerful than holiness. If that’s so how can we sully our hands and feet by going out into the world at all? We have to hide behind the stained glass window all our lives. How will the world be converted? I thought the Bible said, “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” πŸ˜•

    2. Reminds me of a Regular Baptist Press teen Sunday school paper. Story of a good Baptist boy who met an “unsaved” girl at the farmers market. He asked her on a date to a youth “rally” (those are always fun!). When he told his mom, she threw veggie clipping from the sink into the cake mix. The guy was horrified. His mom said that was what he was doing to his life.

      That was the beginning of my “leaving the fundy faith”.

      1. Ok, and THAT reminded ME of the poop in the brownies illustration and has me wondering if I should still be using it on my own kids… (too late, they’re grown.)
        I remember the chair illustration too. I remember back when I heard it thinking that if it weren’t for gravity the person on the chair would have a more equal chance, so it wasn’t a fair illustration. (Didn’t stop me from using it on my own kids though) I totally forgot about the idea about GODS power being stronger than the world’s pull. I am a bad bad Calvinist! πŸ™„

        1. Ah ok, lets see if I can remember the whole thing… The dad is making brownines and the kids come in wanting to watch a PG-13 movie. The dad says that it is unacceptable because it has bad stuff in it, the kids say, “just a little bad stuff, its still a good movie.” So when the brownies are done the dad says, “Have a brownie, there is poop in them.” The kids say “Ewww NOOOO” and the dad says, “But it is just a little poop, how much poop is ok to have in your brownies?” and the kids say none, then the dad says the movies are like the brownies and even just a little bit of bad stuff still ruins the whole movie like a little bit of poop ruines all the brownies. (Just for the sake of clarity, I have never made brownies with poop in them, and my kids have sometimes watched PG-13 movies.) It is still a pretty good analogy if you ask me. (Not that anyone did) πŸ˜‰

        2. That’s what I was thinking, too, Ricardo. If you never ate food that had poop, insects, and whatnot in it, you’d starve to death.

          For that matter, there’s arsenic (which is legally allowed below a stated level) in the drinking water in Dallas. I drank it for many years, and so far I’m still alive.

    3. I always heard the one about “one bad apple ruins the whole bunch” or “What happens when you release a dirty pig into a bunch of clean pigs? Do the clean pigs make the dirty one clean, or does the dirty pig make the clean ones dirty?”

      Honestly, who came up with that one?

    1. I must be such a terrible sinning sinner, because I saw the word “Hyfrydol,” and I thought, “Why does that word look familiar? Is it a drug I’ve taken at some point?” Nope, just a song I had to play on handbells once! And I played it solo, too, which I think is like the fundy equivalent of an awesome shredding guitar solo. Everyone was so amazed!

      I probably couldn’t play that fast anymore, I’m so out of practice. Wow, I think I’ve finally found something I miss about my fundy church: access to handbells! πŸ˜›

      1. Hmmm–Episcopal churches have handbells, too; so do Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran churches. (I’ll bet even some Roman Catholic churches have handbells!)

        Good old “Hyfrydol”–also known as “Hydrofoil.” Episcopal churches across the country will be singing Hymn 460, “Alleluia! sing to Jesus!” this Sunday, sung to “Hyfrydol.” Lots of us will be singing Hymn 618, “Ye watchers and ye holy ones” as well, sung to “Lasst uns erfreuen.” Then we’ll put the “Alleluias” away for Lent and bring them back on Easter.

  4. Speaking of Admiral911’s post (fundies that lie, steal, gossip) reminds me when we went to “that” church. We got lied to more, got ripped off even more (we were assured that “Jake the snake” contractor was a fine, outstanding fellow who supported the church) and gossiped about more than we ever have before or after.

    I run 3 businesses and some of my worst customers are the fundies who don’t know who I am but I know who they are.

    1. “some of my worst customers are the fundies who don’t know who I am but I know who they are.”

      Isn’t that sad? You don’t see your own quirks until you get out for a while then look back at yourself and ask “Was I really like that?!”. Yes….unfortunately. 😐

  5. Several years ago, I had a revolutionary, earth-shifting thought: Non-Christians (unbelievers), by definition do not hold to the same beliefs I follow. (Shocking, yes? πŸ™„ ) As such, I need to stop holding sinners to my saintly standards and being scornful of their unholy behaviors. (BTW, these are my Fundy thoughts, hence the still judgmental language.)

    Such a simple bit of logic, but it honestly transformed my attitude about others…and my own position with God. πŸ™‚

    1. I have been telling my hubby this one for several years. How can non-believers have the same standards,(please, no tongue lashings on this one) faith, belief, world view thru Biblical glasses. They cannot. Therefore we are to share Christ with all we meet. Hubby is very judgemental towards people on the television or movies. Give sinners a break, they just are following their Father Satan.

  6. I taught at both Pillsbury and Maranatha colleges back in the late 70s and early 80s. I heard a lot of preachers, and I came in contact with a lot of people. I think that most fundamentalists truly need a reality check. I don’t think that they know how a lot of these sinners tick. During my last year at Pillsbury, I joined the Jaycees and worked summers for a Title IV Migrant Program in Owatonna. I think that there was virtually no comprehension of both sides. I got a lot of heat because from the fundamentalists, and the “sinners” basically had a live and let live approach. They were much more tolerant of my querks than the fundamentalists were. Today, mention the word “gay,” and the average fundamentalist pastor comes unhinged. I had a student approach me during my last year at Maranatha with this issue, and I sincerely did not know what to tell him. All I could say was that he would have to bear this in silence and that sooner or later he would be “found out,” not for anything that he did, but the perceptions people would have of him because he didn’t fit the mold. I told him not to tell anyone else because he would be reported, he would be branded a sinner before he could even share his story, and he would be drummed out of the corps. I’m 62 years old now, am still single, teach at a state university, and attend a Lutheran church. I consider myself fortunate that I can assume leadership positions in my church as a whole and nobody has tried to pry into my life or judge me. The poor student in question bore his secret in silence until he tried to kill himself because he knew that Jesus couldn’t love him and his desire to be a minister was over. No matter how much he tried, he couldn’t pray away the gay. There are those of us who can reconcile our faith with our psychological makeup. Unfortunately, we are far and inbetween. The vast majority of the gay community want nothing to do with the Church because they know that they have already been prejudged. There is nothing that they can say or do to convince people otherwise. It doesn’t matter what we are; everything that matters is the perception that others have of us. Once they attach the label, the matter is settled for good, and trying to communicate with them is like trying to reason with a door knob. It doesn’t matter if we live a Christ-pleasing life. The matter is settled in their minds . . . period!!

    1. @Bob, I bet we know lots of people in common. I grew up in Fourth Baptist Church and School (1979-87). My brother went to Maranatha (late 70s-early 80s), and two of my sisters to Pillsbury (also in the early 80s).

    1. Greg, you and I probably agree on maybe two things, one of which is that grass is green, and the other one would be to agree to disagree on the shade of green. However, I will listen to what you have to say.

      Amen? πŸ˜†

      1. Ohhh… without any context it didn’t sound fundy at all. I say “Amen” a lot. Sometimes I even say “HAYYYY-MENNNN” (but not often). I don’t think the fundys get to have that word.

  7. I came to Christ young without years of sinful baggage. Or so I thought. We got into Fundydom in my Junior High years, so I knew Jesus loved us more than anyone else. We followed all of the Holy Rules, therefore we wholly sanctified. I heard the words that all sins are sins, and that God loves sinners. It’s too bad the actions of the church leadership spoke so much more loudly than the words they spoke.

    Now that I have read and studied Scripture in light of the whole counsel of scripture, I see my sins separated me from God no more, no less than “Those drunken, evil, druggie, gay, immoral worldly people we must separate from.”

    When Jesus stopped at the well and spoke to an immoral half-breed semi-foreigner, I’ll bet his “reputation” never entered the equation. Just the chance to befriend a sinner and share the Good News. Like He did me, a young, “innocent” evil hell-bound sinner.

    He has granted me forgiveness,
    I am His and He is mine

  8. Good fundies will take up stones and throw them at sinners while they point and scream from the pulpit, “They’re unclean!! They’re unclean!!”

    I kid you not this attitude was so prevelant at the last fundie bunker I was in. Sin is a pandemic that one can avoid by not associating socially with any of those worldly lepers. *sigh… shakes head… walks away mumbling*

  9. The trouble with separating from Sin is that I am a sinner too, despite all my striving. Am I to believe that God loves me, sinner that I am, yet doesn’t love other sinners?

    My only chance, really, is to follow the God who loves everybody, not the one who is always watching for us to stumble and ready to smite us down.

  10. The only problem with separating the sin from the sinner is that nobody is wise enough to do this task–and those who think that they can do so are fools! Only Christ knows our true psychological makeup, and only He knows what is truly us. Christ, and only Christ knows REALITY. Only He knows what we truly are and how we operate. Those of us on earth can’t even penetrate the outer core of reality; we have only a shallow PERCEPTION of reality. In God’s eyes, we don’t know squat.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Try separating the “Christian” from the individual. People have died a martyr’s death because the two cannot be separated. One cannot remove the Christian from me without destroying what I am. Outsiders may say that this was a choice that I made, but once I made it, it became me! I can choose to deny Christ as the Apostle Peter did on Good Friday, but Peter went on to lead the Church.

    People that say that gays choose that “lifestyle” don’t know what they’re talking about. People can make choices to do good and bad, but they cannot really alter what they are. We will never know the dynamics of what makes a person inherently gay just as we can’t dissect the dynamics of what made us fall in love with someone else. And most importantly, one cannot dissect the dynamics that our very being goes through when we accept Christ. We cannot divide what is Christian and what is non-Christian in a person’s very makeup. To me, my faith penetrates every cell in my body.

  11. I was talking to my husband yesterday about a particular family at our church. They used to attend a very well-known fundy church, and rave about it all the time.

    If you ran into them outside of church, you would think they are normal. Mom and daughter wear pants; I think the daughter wears shorts, too. But when they come to church, they wear the longest skirts they can find – to every service. (Most ladies wear pants at one time or another.) They go to movies. Outside of church, the mom listens to Top 40 rock music. But they refuse to join into the praise and worship music at church.

    I don’t know if it’s hypocrisy or if they think they are keeping the world out of church, but it is infuriating that they are given any kind of leadership.

    I have no problem with people doing what they want in their personal lives; it’s the facade inside the church that burns me up.

    1. I know a lot of Fundy church members like this. They are unfortunately often the enablers of the true believer Fundys. They legitimize the true believers and the MOG and help them maintain their power over those they have deceived or who want to get out.

  12. Wow! This is so timely! Our Pastor just preached a message titled “Touch Not The Unclean Thing”. I felt very convicted because I’m always smiling and saying “hi” to people in Wal-Mart. I always thought it was a good testimony that I had a cheerful heart and had cast all my cares upon Him. Now, it appears I may have been inadvertently inviting compromise. Lots of prayer about this one!

    1. You can always ask that marvelous managawd, your husband, then just do it his way. Always safest not to think it out for yourself. That is not the helpmeet’s role. Sigh. πŸ™„

    2. Dear Sister,

      I feel compelled to point out that your testimony was already compromised if you were shopping in that den of evil. You know that Wal-Mart sells beer, do you not? The last time I set foot in that hell-hole they even selling so-called “Bibles” that were not KJV! 😯 😯 😯 😯

      Since the KJV commands Christians to “touch not the unclean thing” please be aware that I will not be able to shake your hand during church fellowship times until you get this right.

  13. The drive to separate from sin can drive you around the bend if you are not careful. As you become more and more separated from the world you define ever more things as sin. Consequently you find ever more “sin” in your own life. You condemn others for breaching your imposed rules but you feel guilty because you cannot keep up to your standard either. Condemning more and more of your own identity causes such internal turmoil that you either snap, have a crisis of faith or just learn to internalize the contradiction and not think about it.

  14. Balance is a tough thing for me as a believer: how does one “flee even the appearance of evil” and “be in the world, but not of the world”? How can we “love one another” and “judge with righteous judgment”?

    I think it boils down to grace: grace views people exactly as they are, and says, “I love you.”

  15. My hubby and I just sang “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” by Casting Crowns in our church service last week. It took me singing it at least 50 times before I could do so without tearing up; it just reminded me how so very far away from Jesus’ original intention for His people most churches are today, or at least the churches we recently came out of.

    It makes me so sad to see how horribly misrepresented Christ is by those who claim to be His followers. So many times, we act nothing like Him. Occasionally, people act completely opposite of Him, and yet “are still laboring” in His name. πŸ™

    As Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  16. I was at a conference last week and there was a great deal of discussion about the “Must attend our Sunday School” rule to go on mission trips and Bible camp.

    Some churches are breaking this mold and inviting as many unsaved as they can on the mission trips so while they are rebuilding homes in places like Joplin and Tuscaloosa they can casually share the gospel…and people are coming to faith in Christ. Imagine how many have been left out because we made rules to exclude “sinners” from church activities.

  17. Touche!

    What ever happened to the example set by Jesus in being the friend to sinners & the outcast?
    Even Catholics taught that!
    “and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love….” I sang that song often growing up Catholic.

    After joining the fundy calvinist/primitive baptist church (I know, I know, I didn’t know any better back then… 😳 ) anyhow, they never ONCE sang that song.

    Over time I realized…my God, it’s NOT about love. 😯

    I think the fundy calvinist/baptists would have sung,
    “and they’ll know we are Christians by our purity of doctrine & church membership…yes they’ll know we are Christians by our separation from humanity…” 😈

  18. I once had a friend who was a very devout Christian. I had the utmost respect for her, because she really strove to be a good person and a good Christian. Indeed, she was even nice and compassionate towards a transgender friend of mine, and didn’t show any judgmental behavior whatsoever. If all Christians followed her example, they wouldn’t have such a bad reputation. 😐

    1. Yep.

      What you are saying, deistfemale reminds me of that quote from Ghandi….
      “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” 😯

      BTW I LOVE your name. πŸ™‚

  19. While there are times to “come out from among them and be ye separate” I try to live by “be ye in the world but not of it”. I know quoting the KJV might make me seem suspect but when I was a kid there was no NIV:)

  20. A long time ago, I heard an IFB missionary preach a message along these lines; I’ve never forgotten it. He decried the “phony separation” that keeps us from being friendly to our neighbors, and only interact with them when we are trying to persuade them to pray a prayer.

    So, there is actually hope within IFB (but I have to admit, that it was a rare thing to hear).

  21. Since, we’re talking music and videos, and getting along, I thought I’d share this video. I don’t mean to preach, but I wonder if sometimes we could be more like this video. For example, they are having a bit of good-natured fun at the different beliefs that Christian sometimes have (one’s that aren’t the fundamentals of the faith). Yet, they also know how to take the good with the not so good. They didn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Notice that Gaither praises the preaching and said much of it has been good. I think sometimes here at SFL we have become too bitter and thrown out everything and forgotten the good parts. Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWGjz48RbJg&feature=related

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.