A Spirited Defense

Today we have a guest post from Hunter Hansen who comments on SFL as Viniator3 and blogs at WritingAllWrong.com.

The Holy Spirit. To a Fundamentalist, it’s not just a teacher, comforter, illuminator, and expositor-in-chief: it’s the best defense of Scripture’s meaning east or west of the Mississippi. Who needs heretical, man-made teachings such as historical-grammatical exegesis or context when you have the Holy Spirit backing your self-chosen heresy carefully guided interpretation?

The formula is simple: take any Scripture passage from anywhere. See how it agrees with what you’ve been taught? That’s the Holy Spirit showing you what the Scripture really means.

For example:

Ephesians 5:18 – “Be not drunk with wine.” = Don’t drink, ever.

Leviticus 19:28 – “Ye shall not … print any marks on upon you.” = No tattoos, ever.

John 13:35 – “By this shall all men know—” Oops, let’s skip this one.

Malachi 3:8 – “Will a man rob God?” = Tithe or die.

Once the Holy Spirit has “shown” you these meanings, the defense is set. And it’s impervious against all manner of attack or dispute. Observe:

Scorner: “Dude, you’ve got it all wrong. That’s not what that verse means.”
Fundy: “Brother, you’re gonna need the Holy Spirit to enlighten you on this passage.”

Shortcomer: “Well, the Holy Spirit showed me something different here.”
Fundy: “Brother, since I have more of the Spirit than you, I think you would be wise to see what the Bible really says.”

Deceiver: “As you know, I’ve steeped myself in the Holy Spirit, and I came to a different conclusion on that verse.”
Fundy: “To him that thinketh he standeth, brother: take heed, lest he fall.”

Compromiser: “But this is what God-fearing, Bible-believing people hold to, and there’s no real issue with it.”
Fundy: “Brother, as Scripture teaches, even the very e**ct shall be deceived in the last days. And in this Laodicean Age….” Note: “Elect” censored here, as fundies typically dare not utter it.

Liberal, clandestine Calvinist Bible professor: “So as you can follow, the context gives us a different meaning there.”
Fundy: “That might be what ‘man-made’ theology says, but I’m gonna go with what the Holy Spirit says about that.”

The Holy Spirit: Because the last thing God wants is for you to be wrong about interpreting the Bible as it should be interpreted. With the Spirit on your side, you’re always on the winnin’ side. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!

141 thoughts on “A Spirited Defense”

  1. Sad, but this happens all the time. To be honest this way of teaching/preaching has paralyzed my spiritual life and it bothers me.

    1. My uncle and his father (both fundy pastors) love to use the phrase “you may do more than the men who trained you, but you will never know more than the men who trained you.”

      That’s a neat little package of control, all tied up nicely with some logical fallacy.

  2. I agree with Tiffundy. I am stunted in my ability to accept and recognize the Holy Spirit because of incorrect teaching about Him. Boy, for leaning on him so heavily for their doctrine, they sure are afraid of Him whenever anyone does actually encounter Him.

  3. Yeah. This is huge. It’s why there are so many thousands of different protestant churches and so much confusion on meanings of Scripture. Truthfully, at the moment, I don’t even like to read my Bible because I know that what I was taught by “Fundy” does not reflect the historically held beliefs. And yes I am confused. Please, Lord, make your John 17 prayer come true.

  4. the Holy Spirit: the fundie term for “those voices in my head”
    Grieve not the Holy Spirit by tacking His name onto your own foolish notions!

  5. PreacherRahab would have been blessed much more if she had been honest with the searchers and had told the truth about the spies current location. As you know, the Bible says “thou shalt not lie”.

    Me later to preacher:Can you show me where in Scripture it states “thou shalt not lie”?

    Preacher: What, you don’t believe in honesty? The concept is there.

    As the conversation went on, I realized that truth and truth are two distinct entities in the IFB realm. I thought it very ironic that on more than one occasion he has stated “the Bible says thou shalt not lie” since this conversation took place, and he still hasn’t shown me those words in Scripture.

    1. “Do not tell a lie about your neighbor.” That’s from the New Life Version of Scripture. I’m sure your preacher was referring to that….


    2. Are you saying that ‘bearing false witness’ isn’t lying? What about 2 Peter where we’re told that we are partaker in the divine nature when you hold them next to the verses that say that God cannot lie? Also, in Colossians 3:9 we’re told ‘do not lie to one another.’

      Maybe I don’t understand what you’re saying…

    3. The Scriptures teach us honesty in our business dealings, neighbor dealings, and family dealings. Definitely. And bearing false witness is a type of lie. But to stand on the platform and state “we all know the Bible says ‘Thou shalt not lie'” is to repeat an untrue statement. Nowhere in any accurate translation do these words appear.

      My point was the irony of the statement in a sermon, and the defense that wasn’t a true defense.

      The New Life translation is more of a tribute to the traditional teaching of the verse than an accurate translation.

      To further defend my personal position, I do not believe that God ever said anything against Rahab’s actions/words in Joshua 2, and the mid-wives in Exodus 1. They did technically lie in that their words were untruths. Then there is the convoluted explanations given for God’s actions in 1 Kings 22:23.

      1. To digress more:

        When the Bible speaks of truth vs. lies, is that in every possible aspect of life; speaking of the Truth of the Gospel and the Way to Eternal Life; or areas to study further looking at the complete passage in each instance?Could it be that we are guilty of applying our knowledge of

        1. Sorry–This time I know George struck, because I’m sure I hit backspace then enter and not submit.

          Could……..of should have been a new line, then deleted.

          Could we often be guilty of forgetting, even though most of us know better, that the Bible was written in three languages that are nowhere close to the English we use today? It isn’t always the same Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek word translated one particular English word. Often the original words have slightly different meanings that we just don’t have words for.

      2. I think it’s good to evaluate scripture in light of what we have always been taught and where context and interpretation come into play. It does seem on this point that you’re splitting the hair pretty thin in light of the previously referenced Colossions 3:9. I haven’t dug deep into it but seems fairly straight forward and I always tend to lean on the NT a little more than the OT. I think God’s lack of commentary on Rahab’s action is irrelevant. I likewise don’t recall alot of direct commentary in regards to Judah having sex with who he thought was a prostitute or Solomon and others having hundreds of wives and mistresses…obviously cultural differences not accepted today.

        1. My original post here was not meant to discuss what is and isn’t lying or honesty. It was the fact that the Bible does not have the words “Thou shalt not lie” in it in that order. [Except Lev. 18.(KJV) a very different lie] It is a lie to say the Bible states “Thou shalt not lie.” Yes, it teaches that. But it does not state it. That is not the wording of the commandment in any of the five places it is mentioned in the Bible.

          It is right to teach honesty from scripture. But, if you are going to teach honesty, be honest in your statements.

          My belief is that there are some people and or situations that we do not have a moral obligation to give the complete truth to. This group does not include neighbors, business associates, customers, family, local authorities, government authorities, etc. There is scripture that deals with each of these as those we are accountable to. The people that do not fall into these categories (my opinion based on my study) are war-time enemies, criminals, or those you would be protecting the innocent from. This may be a topic that more discussion is best left for another venue.

          In the spirit of today’s posting, I hold to my original post. It is wrong to lie to teach right.

  6. Ephesians 5:18 – “Be not drunk with wine.” = Don’t drink, ever.

    Malachi 3:8 – “Will a man rob God?” = Tithe or die.

    These are so true. I have seen it in many circles. In fact, I have had many conversations with my teenagers at church and I have told them to check Scripture. I implore them to go with God’s Word over the words of the person preaching. I have told them that I may be wrong on some issues, and if they ever find a contradiction between what I say, and what the Bible says, they need to take the words of Scripture.

    I am appalled by the number of times I have seen people take a passage of Scripture and line it up with what they’ve been taught. In fact, I have been guilty of it.

    With careful eisegesis, Scripture can say anything people want.

    1. When challenged by a fundamentalist that the direction my husband was going was not Biblical, my husband offered to show that person from God’s Word why we were making the changes we were. The man immediately refused, saying, “You can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say.”

      It was a nice ploy: accuse someone of being unScriptural but then refusing to check out what the Scripture actually says.

      Yes, the Bible can be twisted to justify any number of things, but just because it’s been used wrongly, doesn’t mean that no one can ever rightly divide the Word of Truth. If the person who spoke to my husband REALLY believed what he said (instead of just using it to try to silence and shame my husband), how could he have any faith at all since everything he believed might have been based on twisted Bible verses? I believe with all my heart that one CAN understand enough of the message of the Bible to know the Gospel and how God expects us to live.

  7. About 9/10 of fundy teaching on the Holy Spirit is that He gives you power to win souls. Period. They quote Acts 1:8 ad infinitum to prove it. And that He can help you serve God in your church ministries. So limiting. And the soul winning part must be enough to get them to repeat a prayer with you but not enough to get them to follow through and come to church, be baptized and follow the Lord. 🙁

    1. …and even at that, most fundamental churches don’t seem to believe that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts the sinner of sin; there is much manipulation and pressure put upon sinners (visitors to the church) to make a profession of faith.

      What happened to letting the Spirit of God work in someone’s heart?

      1. Oh for sure! How about fundy pastors who preach the offering? Never letting the Lord speak to someone about what to give, but guilt tripping them into giving more! When I think of this stuff now I wonder why I stuck around so long! 👿

    1. Straight out of the Greek, so it’s a common enough mistake. Just remember that “small child” is also neuter in Greek, just like German. 😉

      1. Actually, the Holy Spirit is given a masculine article in the greek. “Spirit” is a neuter word in greek, but the article is the key in this situation.

  8. And yet it is true that the Holy Spirit does indeed open up the Word to us and show us deep meanings, and how it applies to us. I know this to be true because I have experienced it. Further, there are good reasons not to listen to the Liberals, and I am not a Calvinist, because that is not what the Bible teaches. But that all means nothing to you, as you will just ridicule my assertion. I would just say, don’t all pat each other on the back too much – it just might be you who is wrong.

    1. “And yet it is true that the Holy Spirit does indeed open up the Word to us and show us deep meanings, and how it applies to us.”

      Of course it is. But it’s also extremely easy to abuse that statement.

    2. I don’t think anyone here is trying to say that the Holy Spirit does not use Scripture to speak to believers. However, the twisting of Scripture and pulling it out of context is a favorite with proof-texters – such as using Malachi 3 to say that if one doesn’t give both tithes AND something extra (offerings), one is cursed. That is not the context of Malachi.

      The Spirit of God can use the passage to convict a man to give more, but that is highly individualistic, and NOT a proof that everyone must tithe or else God will “get him”.

    3. The “my interpretation of this passage is right and any other interpretation or understanding is wrong” mindset is a big reason why this site exists and why so many of us have left fundyland.

    4. Scripture also says that there is no private interpretation. If you are shown the deeper truth of a passage it must line up with the overall message in Scripture and cannot blaze a new trail into error. The preponderance of Scripture should back up, and establish the deeper truth.

        1. well… at least a heretic denying the Pre-mil/pre-trib/occupy the pew till Jesus raptures us out so we won’t have to go through anything bad because God loves us more than anyone else ever in history so he will make sure we will never experience trials and persecution like those who are deservedly left behind, to be tortured and persecuted while we chilax in heaven… type of rapture crap.

      1. Don, my response is:


        Otherwise, many IFB positions become untenable, and we know the mog is always right.

      2. Scripture also says “For those God foreknew he also predestined…” Romans 8:29…..but we still have people insisting that God “picks” some folks for hell and others for heaven.

      3. Nothing new under the sun. Fortunately I realize I am neither smart or holy enough to be shown something that no one else has ever seen. :mrgreen:

      4. The passage you mention actually says there’s no private interpretation of PROPHESY. I believe that particular passages can speak different things to different people.

        1. Looking at that passage I believe that one needs to take into account 1 Peter 1:16-2:3. Peter seems to be referring to the whole of scripture not just the genre of what we call “Prophecy” but is talking about all of scripture.

          “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

          So it is more than just a future pre-telling but a forth-telling.

          Then in the first three verses of chapter 2 I believe that we see the results of those who make private interpretation.

    5. I think Hermit might have misunderstood the post; nobody is claiming that the Holy Spirit doesn’t help people to understand the bible, just that fundies often use the Holy Spirit as an excuse to never listen to another viewpoint, even though what they’ve said can be clearly shown to misrepresent scripture.

      As to the term liberal, what a fundy calls liberal and what others call liberal is two different things. It has been mentioned a number of times that it is very frustrating that fundies tend to redefine words so that having a discussion with them becomes a very slippery matter. To many American IFB fundies (who this blog is usually about) in order to be liberal, all you need to do is say that you think it is ok to visit a movie theatre, to listen to contemporary christian music, or allow your wife to wear trousers occasionally.

      As far as Calvinism… well, I might agree with you, lol 😉 Most people around here either aren’t calvinist or just don’t debate that topic. But we realise that those we disagree with on this issue are still our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we may agree on other issues, and they may still have valid points to share with us. To a fundamentalist however, a person who identifies as calvinist would never have anything of worth to add to a topic. So, if a calvinist ever tried to rebuke a fundy on a topic that was clear in scripture (and had nothing to do with calvinism), then the fundy would ignore everything that was said because the calvinist is tainted and therefore can’t be trusted.

  9. I was getting it, until the plug for calvinism came in.

    I think most folks understand at SFL that even though there is wide acceptance for this man-made theology (this can’t be in dispute, it has the man’s name hanging on it) that calvinsts are some of the most fundy folks one is likely to ever encounter.

    The calvinism “addition” didn’t fit Viniator, but the rest was dead-on. (your fundyness is showing by its addition, which is both funny & ironic)

    1. greg:

      You do realize that the labels of “shortcomer,” “deceiver,” etc., are coming from the fundy viewpoint in this post, no?

      Just as someone who disagrees on what a verse means is not automatically a “scorner,” so it is with Bible professors whose (more or less) academic approaches differ from those of others – doesn’t automatically make them “liberal, clandestine Calvinists.”

      Hope that clarifies the intent of the post. Thank you kindly.

    2. Not to mention that only in Fundystan do the words liberal and Calvinist go together. 😎

    3. All theology is man-made. That’s what it means: man’s attempt to know the Divine. Calling Calvinism “man-made” is just a cheap sneer. I can agree that any theological camp can have/has a mindset akin to the one called “fundy” here. It’s a hard act of humility to remember that we, AT BEST, see through the glass darkly. The rest of the post just confused me. Are you swiping at Viniator, the site, the straw-man fundy, or what?

        1. Wouldn’t surprise me. Barth is on my list of writers to read. Embarrassingly, I have not read him yet.

        1. greg– “I get my theology from no man. I get my theology from the Living Word of God.”

          Of course you do. I’m sure the Holy Spirit taught you everything to do with understanding theology. Like how to read. And reading comprehension. And the rules of grammar and syntax. And the historical context. And which books of the Bible are actually Scripture. And which version of the manuscripts is the actual match to the original manuscripts. And which cultural influences you grew up with were actually true and not just cultural bias. And all the other things having to do with how one comes to understand theology.

          Be aware everyone. No humans were used in the creation of greg’s theology.

        2. You remind me of the attorneys that I would come up against in court, obscure the issues, don’t let “any” facts “intrude” into the case.

          According to this silliness you just posted nothing can be known. Hey maybe I’m not even here, I’m in a black hole and my consciosness “thinks” I’m posting on a non-existent site called SFL.

          Be aware everyone, no humans are even necessary in Somedewd’s imaginary world!

        3. “According to this silliness you just posted nothing can be known.”

          Really? He didn’t say anything like that. He simply stated quite clearly that there are many things that influence our view of God and the Bible – like it or not, it’s a fact.

          Seeing how other cultures “do church” and what they think of the way the Western world does church is a great way to see just that.

        4. “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be know about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”

          God says in His word, Romans 1:18-19, that He makes “what may be known about God, plain to them” I believe this! He says men “suppress” the truth by their wickedness. I believe this as well. So my reading level, comprehension, grammar/sytax and all the other mess posted by Somedewd is just a great bunch of bull. Stay in the word, that’s where the theology of God may be found!

        5. “Stay in the word, that’s where the theology of God may be found!”

          Greg, I don’t at all disagree with that. But this has turned into a discussion of semantics.

          Like it or not, your view of God, church/religion, etc. is influenced by your world view. The only way around that is the Word, but to believe that we as humans can ever come to a perfect understanding of God is flawed.

        6. I will grant you that it is getting over into semantics, but speaking about semantics, I never said anything about a perfect understanding of God’s word either.

        7. Greg, no man teaches to you from the bible? How then did you hear the gospel message? If nobody has taught you anything from the bible, then you are sinning because you have ‘forsaken the assembly.’

          If, however, you do go to a church, I’m sure they have a sermon. I’m sure the pastor explains the scriptures during that sermon. I doubt he just reads the text. In that case, man is teaching you theology.

          The same is true of the gospel message. It’s theology. Doctrines on sin, righteousness, judgement, resurrection, and salvation are brought out and presented to you, and you believe and are saved. How can you possibly say that ‘you get your theology from no man?’

        8. How can I say I get my theology from no man? That’s very easy. I pick up my bible and read it and believe.

          “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, AND YOU DO NOT NEED ANYONE TO TEACH YOU. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him. 1 John 2:26-27

          I’m not saying I’m John, but clearly from Romans 1 and this passage in 1 John, folks can learn the bible and about God w/out degrees, Hebrew & Greek and other “MEN” telling them what to believe. Look what we can learn just from the bible and the Holy Spirit. Let’s hear what Jesus himself said to the disciples.

          “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25-26

          Is it just me or am I seeing a tremendous “theme” throughout these scriptures?

          I’m kinda shocked that it appears no one on SFL believes like this. I would think my beliefs are very orthodox. I’m not far out, I’m not starting any communes. I fully support good, solid bible exposition, it’s when folks start to put more emphasis on what the man says over what the bible says that I begin to have problems.

          Think about it for a moment, all I’m doing is encouraging folks to study their bibles, that just can’t be a bad thing!

        9. Do you think Paul was wrong to tell Timothy to commit what he had learn to faithful men who will be able to teach others? ❓ And does not the Holy Spirit use men to teach? Or are we just too proud to learn from men, or we already know it all? 😈

        10. loyd – 6th paragraph, 2nd verse “I fully support good, solid bible exposition”

          Exposition means to expound, set forth, explain.

        11. “I’m kinda shocked that it appears no one on SFL believes like this. I would think my beliefs are very orthodox. I’m not far out, I’m not starting any communes. I fully support good, solid bible exposition, it’s when folks start to put more emphasis on what the man says over what the bible says that I begin to have problems.

          “Think about it for a moment, all I’m doing is encouraging folks to study their bibles, that just can’t be a bad thing!”

          Let’s talk for a moment greg. I understand that you have a doctrine that you feel is core truth–that Scripture is not only sufficient but can be sufficiently understood by people who love God and devote themselves to the study of the living Word. I agree that this teaching is attractive and makes sense. It also seems to find support in the passages you quoted. I have a question for you. Is it possible that, in spite of all this, you could be wrong?

          I submit to you that it is highly possible that you have been misled as to the application of the passages you quoted.

          Let’s address the passages you quoted. (continued in next post)

        12. 1. Romans 1:18-20

          18 For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
          19 because the thing which may be known of God is clearly revealed within them, for God revealed it to them.
          20 For the unseen things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being realized by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse.

          And then here’s the argument you presented.

          -God makes truth about Himself plainly known.
          -Men suppress truth with wickedness.
          -Therefore, educated methods (reading comprehension, grammar, syntax, etc) are a great bunch of bull.

          This argument is invalid for the following reasons.

          a. The people described in the context of Romans 1 are not people ignorant of God. They are people described as “already knowing God” in verse 21. People shifting from belief to unbelief. It is condemning people who knew the God of Israel and rejected Him in favor of wickedness.

          b. Educated methods are not in context of your premises. Your conclusion is a non sequitur.

          c. Your proposed method of learning about God is not supported by this passage. Rather, it is the unseen things from the creation of the world, His eternal power and Godhead, that revealed the truth. No mention of reading the Bible is present in this entire chapter.

          (continued in next post)

        13. 2. 1 John 2:26-27

          26 These things I have written to you concerning those leading you astray.
          27 But the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and no lie, and as He has taught you, abide in Him.

          And then here’s the conclusion you presented.

          “I’m not saying I’m John, but clearly from Romans 1 and this passage in 1 John, folks can learn the bible and about God w/out degrees, Hebrew & Greek and other “MEN” telling them what to believe. Look what we can learn just from the bible and the Holy Spirit.”

          Just what is the anointing John is referring to in this passage? I’m assuming by your response that you believe the anointing is some kind of almost magical event where God supernaturally communicates spiritual knowledge to all believers who abide in Him. I’m going to suggest that this anointing is actually something different.

          1Jn 2:24 Therefore what you heard from the beginning, let it abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you will abide in both the Son and in the Father.

          I believe that the substance of the “anointing” is that which they heard from the beginning. They have no need to be instructed because they have already been taught. Taught by Jesus and the Apostles. It’s silly to think that John is condemning the act of teaching doctrine by teaching them doctrine. Furthermore, there’s no evidence to suggest that this condemning of teaching applies to anyone beyond the original audience. No one today would apply your application to every day life. You wouldn’t toss a 4 year old child a Bible and say, “Don’t let anyone teach you. God will teach you if you just read the Bible.” Again, educated methods are not in the context of your premises and your conclusion is therefore a non sequitur. Also, your proposed method of deriving Spiritual truth (reading the Bible) is not supported by this passage either.

          (continued in the next post)

        14. 3. John 14:25-26

          25 I have spoken these things to you, being present with you.
          26 But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.

          And here’s your conclusion.

          “Is it just me or am I seeing a tremendous “theme” throughout these scriptures?”

          You are seeing a theme. I’m seeing a theme too. It’s called confirmation bias.


          I’m going to assume that you feel that this passage is in alignment with your conclusions about the other passages. This statement by Jesus is a promise to the disciples. What right do you have to name it and claim it? This promise was to assure the disciples that the Holy Spirit would protect the teachings of Jesus and pass them on to the next generation of believers. And what is the agent by which the Holy Spirit accomplished this task?


          I rest my case.

        15. On a side note, I think it’s silly to reject building blocks of understanding like grammar, reading comprehension, and logic.

          A god who has to depend on logic fallacies to supposedly communicate spiritual truth is no god at all.

        16. So, Greg, you were saved by reading your bible and believing in Jesus? Nobody explained salvation to you? You really didn’t answer my questions.

        17. @SomeDewd,

          I first came to this blgo/forum 3 months ago and encountered deadbrain Greg. I beat my head against a wall trying to show him that his “I only get my doctrine from the bible,” idea was a fabrication of his mind. I attacked it from many angles, but Greg is convinced that he is the 4th person of the trinity, and Absolutely Original theology comes from him alone, and not one person in the history of the universe has contributed to his beliefs.

          I know, I know, I can show my junior high children this and they fully understand it. But there is some Fundy disconnect in Greg that cannot be dislodged with reason or facts. I advise you to cast your pearls before other swine.

        18. SomeDewd – I must start by saying I like your tone much better today, although I can see quite a bit of pride in your comments, I can deal with that! Men, me included, must stand guard against this deceptive beast always!

          And let me say before engaging any further in this response that I have nothing to boast of, or to be proud of, except in the Lord Jesus Christ, who saved me as a young child. I took Jesus at His word when He said that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes, and I, like Paul, am not ashamed of this Gospel, this is the true Gospel.

          You asked could I be wrong? Yes, I’m a wicked man, chief of sinners, as are you.

          You postulated that in some way I may have been misled, that is not so, for the scriptures will never mislead anyone. Sinful men (me) could have misunderstood/misinterpreted something,(our hearts are desperately wicked) but God’s word will not mislead anyone. I search the scriptures daily, for it is in them I think I find eternal life.

          You have misrepresented my statement. I did not say or even think that:

          “Educated methods (reading comprehension, grammar syntax, etc.) are a great bunch of bull”

          What I “was” attempting to convey is that impressive educations are not necessary for finding out deep truths about our God and His plans for us and our world. I would hope you would agree with this.

          I have a feeling that you think I’m a wild-eyed fundy who condemns all “higher learning” I most definitely am not. Despite what you may think, or the rest of SFL think, I too am an ex-fundy, I have sat in many fundy meetings and heard “education” made fun of. “Yea I got a PHD (post-hole-digger degree)” I do believe men often become “puffed up” to use a KJV term, with their educations, in fact there is no doubt they do. I have a pretty good preacher friend that has his Doctorate degree, I don’t know that I have ever heard him preach that at some point he doesn’t talk/bloviate about his education. I simply suggest that there should be a balance. Chuck Swindoll suggested to young seminary students that they get the best education money could afford, and then forget it! There is wisdom in this statement if one wants to find it. BALANCE!

          I did not set forth in my earlier comments, to write a thesis about how to study methods of learning about God. It is your conclusion that I did, which is the non-sequitur.

          I disagree somewhat with what you are saying regarding Romans 1. You must deal directly with God’s word when it says v-19 “since what may be known about God is plain to them (why) because God made it plain to them. (No formal education need apply here) v-20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made (us), so that men are without excuse. Just read that again and try to take it in! (No mention of reading the bible here?) Wait we just read the “above” in the bible. We are always to compare scripture with scripture for context, right?

          Psalms 19:1-4

          “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge . There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun”

          (declare, proclaim, pour forth speech, display knowledge, their voice is heard in all languages, their voice goes everywhere, even to the end of the world)

          Nature itself has been preaching to men “since the creation of the world” before there ever was a University. God does not “need” Universities, but he does use them.

          Doesn’t it appear to you yet that God is pretty capable of communicating to his people without alot of formal “education.”

          I didn’t really feel like doing this today, but it turned out to be fun, God’s word is living, when one dives into it, it will change you, it will change your attitude, your day, your very life!

          I’ll probably have more later.

        19. “I get my theology from no man. I get my theology from the Living Word of God.”

          I’ve heard this statement many times from people trying to sound spiritual in order to cover up their pride. In reality, its just a fancy way of saying “I consider myself to be right in everything I say and think, no matter what anyone says.” If you’re expecting to be admired for saying it, you’re in the wrong place.

          Yes, everything we hear should be examined in light of Scripture. Yes, we should study God’s Word more then what man says about God’s Word. But when you convince yourself that your own thoughts about God’s Word are automatically more correct then the thoughts of others, that’s called being prideful. And yes, your theology IS made up of your own conclusions and thoughts about God’s Word (so in that sense, all theologies are “man-made”).

          Not to mention, assuming your conclusions are always right and any person or idea that disagrees must be wrong is based on the silly notion that you are somehow more knowledgeable and well-learned about Scripture then any person in history. 🙄

        20. greg, your reading and understanding of the text is culturally, socially and linguistically bound:

          Nobody is a blank page. Your cultural background determines how you understand references, images and analogies. Knowledge is transferred by language, and the knowledge is not left intact by the carrier. Your own pre-conceived ideas determine how you read Scripture – the claim of absolute neutrality just shows how little you are aware of these things, and is actually quite frightening because it implies that you have little self-awareness when it comes to the epistemological issues inherent in being a self-interpreter.

          As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that you should very much not be allowed to read and interpret Scripture all by yourself – you do not have the intellectual acumen for it, and should be treated like a child. Either that, or you have some serious pride issues. I’m very serious with this comment – no jokes.

        21. Greg I assume you ignored me because your answer is ‘yes’ somebody did explain salvation to you, and you were saved. To which my response would be, “Then you got your theology from man.” I hereby declare myself the winner. :mrgreen:

  10. The thing that makes me so mad is that I had a friend who I spent a lot of time with showing all the emptiness of fundy theology and that person went back to fundyville when I left for good. And now they mock me.

    1. It seems to me that a lot of fundy folk, being “literalists”–ie, believing whatever the MOG says the Bible says–are, even when they have the opportunity, too scared of the outside world to climb out of the box they’re in.

    1. Wow! Someone keeping track of me! Hey cool, better be on my top behaviour! I stand by that very honest comment. I am who I am, that comment is very much in keeping with my consistent, honest Christian beliefs.

      BobM – Man, guy you’re still a hanger-on, do you ever have an original idea. I’ll bet your mom and dad got sick and tired of the comments on your report card that said “Bobby neeeds to take more initiative, and start thinking for himself, he always finds himself in trouble because he constantly follows others, if he cannot overcome this “follower” mentality I will have to recommend holding him back this year.” :mrgreen:

      Hey BobM do you remember anything from when you were in the 3rd grade?

      Sure I do, it was the best three years of my life!

  11. Well, greg had to find fault with it somehow. Original topic be damned–we’ve got to accuse somebody of being a Calvinist.

    Anyway, on topic and in response to Hermit…regardless of how involved the Holy Spirit is with interpretation of Scripture, you can’t deny that there are necessary human academic elements. If you can’t read, it’s going to be a little difficult to read your Bible every day. If you can read but have terrible reading comprehension, you’re probably going to get some strange ideas from stumbling blindly through context. It’s not a huge jump then to say that learning Greek or Hebrew is helpful in interpretation as well.

    Also, I have experienced moments where I thought, “the Holy Spirit led me to this conclusion,” only to later realize that I was horribly, horribly wrong. These experiences have made me doubtful of interpretations based on such claims.

    What I find baffling though is that while the academic approach is incredibly helpful in interpretation, there are places in the Scripture that defy your typical grammatical/historical hermeneutics. For example, places in the New Testament that seem to ret-con passages from the Old Testament into having a 2nd prophetical, messianic significance. There are several that could be discussed, but I think one will suffice. The young woman did conceive and bear a son…the guy’s name was Emmanuel. If we didn’t have the Gospels, no one would find Jesus or even a generic Messiah in this prophecy.

    Please don’t jump the gun. I’m not interested in discussing whether the messianic prophecy drawn from this passage is true. I’m just curious as to what a defender of the historical/grammatical approach to interpretation would do with passages in the NT where the authors don’t use the historical/grammatical approach.

    1. How about this: many in the early church were illiterate, yet they were willing to die (in many cases horribly) for their beliefs. These were not beliefs that they READ about, or studied; these were beliefs they developed by experience in their walk with the Holy Spirit! I would submit that a thorough understanding of the Greek and hebrew (while of value, no doubt) is secondary to developing a walk with the Holy Spirit.

      …and to any fundy out there who would accuse me of being too Pentecostal, well, tell it to the saints who were killed because they would not deny the work of the Spirit in their lives…

      bottom line, here: the Holy Spirit will point out verses to me to use in certain situations. When my child needs a spanking (withhold the rod, spoil the child), the Spirit sometimes will point out another topic (do not exasperate you child, he is tired, not rebellious). The Holy Spirit is the key here, and not a superhuman understanding of the Greek translation.

      1. So the pre-canon teachings of the Jesus and the apostles didn’t primarily shape the beliefs of the early church? There were obviously many difference thoughts in regard to the meaning of the teachings and purpose of Christ or Paul wouldn’t have frequently warned of false teaching. Was the H.S. leading all these lines of thought? Obviously not. What you’re saying sounds more like Mormon principles where individuals can establish and rely on new “revelations”.

        1. not really. Jesus seemed eager to leave so that the Holy Spirit could come. (The Holy Spirit seems to work in people, not tell people what others should not be doing). I am not really familiar with Mormon stuff, but I read the Bible for myself thank you… <—not drinking the kool-aid.

      2. I disagree. There is no evidence that the early church could not read, and plenty of evidence that it could. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that the early Christian communities catechized all their converts, so even if they couldn’t read their “Bible” (didn’t exist back then), they knew the doctrines of Christianity. Larry Hurtado has done some good work on this.

        1. …yeah, that’s why there were profesisonal scribes. I think you’re missing the point, the Holy Spirit needs to tell me what I’m doing right or wrong, not you, or the early church, or Larry Hurtado. He is better at it. When some pharisee from ANY church confronts me to tell me that I’m not good enough, and in my heart I know that I’m walking uprightly, I am quite sure that the body of Christ as a whole suffers.

  12. What’s so ironic is that they spew these verses taken out of context to prove their lifestyle, but when someone else points out a verse that seems contradictory to their belief then they explain that “we need to view the verses around it to determine what the scripture really says.” Their arguments seem to only apply to others but not themselves.

  13. had I seen the Holy Spirit working in the fundy church I belonged to, and those I visited, I might have stayed. Instead we incredulously watched the “men of God” rally around a Matt Jarrell for years, apparently never realizing the man needed help, as in “a life and death matter”. My husband knew as soon as he talked to him that something was severely wrong. All these gun-and-macho “preachers” in the Mt. Salem Revivalground crowd thought he was the coolest, machoest guy. Of course, they think when a guy gets a haircut, he’s spirit filled.
    How many staff people have left our then church, (not too many were able to work with that particular “man of God” for more than a year), and then it was presented as “God moving them somewhere else”. Right. Then, when a church member leaves, the saying is “well, he got offended or better yet, he’s bitter and needs to get right with God.” How come the staff people that move on don’t need to get right with God? It’s one great big charade, and if the Holy Spirit should ever show up, he/she/it (I didn’t get that part) would just ruin the whole planned out thing. Who needs a Holy Spirit when you can run on pride and feel so good about yourself.
    As far as Bible interpretation:
    your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit = thou shalt not smoke. That is the eleventh commandment.
    They need smokers so they have a smoke screen behind which they can hide their own crap, like pride, envy, etc. while picking on the smokers.
    make a joyful noise is definitely meant for tone deaf fundies, not EVER for anything resembling music from the 20th century.
    The Pharisees were a terrible crowd of people who had it all wrong, not at all like fundies who always know all the answers. 😯 😕 😯

  14. To me, this commentary goes to one of the key root problems with typical modern-day fundamentalism. All the little, funny characterizations of fundies which we rightfully joke about and ridicule on this blog seem to have it’s origin in the misguided thought process described in this commentary

  15. BTDT… even have some tee-shirts to prove it

    I vividly remember being the fundie proof-texter who put my views and the views of my pastor (because if I was right with gid then these views would be identical) on a pedestal, just over the top of gid’s head. Then as I began actually reading my Bible truths of Scripture began to line up and started chipping away at that fundie pedestal until it came crashing down and I saw God in more and more of his glory, once more and more of my own preconceptions were moved out of the way.

    I don’t believe there is anything wrong with giving a spirited defense of what one believes. I believe that is a Christian’s duty.

    As Penn Jillette says, “I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, and you think, ‘Well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward’… How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize”?

    Hopefully I have become better as giving a defense of the hope that is within me than I did when defending the Fundie Maginot line.

  16. reminds me of the time we got a new husband and wife team to lead our church’s worship group. everyone sat down for a meeting to discuss which songs they were gonna play, but it had already been decided, because the two of them had prayed about it, and the Spirit had showed them all the right songs. End of meeting.

  17. Hey Jenn, that sounds just like the “meetings” we used to attend. We had “elections” for new youth leaders and the mog son-in-law got voted out. The mog stood up and stated” “even though Edwin was voted in, we are keeping Randy as youth leader”. I looked at my friend and asked “what the hell just happened?” and yes I did get in trouble by the mog for using potty mouth. That was the beginning of the end for our family at that place…

  18. The Holy Spirit: Because the last thing God wants is for you to be wrong about interpreting the Bible as it should be interpreted. With the Spirit on your side, you’re always on the winnin’ side. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!

    Oh the subtlty of this. “God has revealed to me, spoke to me, given me, showed me, told me, whispered to me, taught me by the Holy Spirit… and immaculately delivered unto me this truth, therefore, what I am about to spew forth is directly from God and if you have a problem with it then YOU have a problem with God!”

    Truth mixed with error is still error.

  19. Surely every church has the right to its beliefs, to believe that they are correct, in line with Scripture, and even Holy Spirit revealed/taught. It’s not just the fundamentalist churches who have such beliefs. And if you disagree, you have the right to leave and find a fellowship more in line with your own peculiar views. Why the ridicule?

    1. I’m going to assume you’re a male. Let’s suppose that you have a daughter, and that daughter was abused by a man. As you are suffering from the pain and shock of what happened, you come across an internet blog that makes fun of men who abuse women. Since this blog is a niche blog, you think you’ve a whole community of viewers who have experienced a similar pain as you. By reading this blog, your feelings are affirmed as real and you don’t feel as crazy as you used to. Then, one day, a man who constantly abuses women comes onto the blog and asks it’s viewers, “Why the ridicule?” Apparently, he doesn’t think abusing women is a very bad thing.

  20. I’m not sure that’s a valid analogy, but even so, if the abused (or a relative) then got stuck on that blog, where people just kept on egging each other on to ridicule and scorn the abusers, it might become a very negative thing. Sure, I’ve been hurt by a church, and I’ve walked away licking my wounds, but it becomes necessary at some point to let it go and move on. Armed with a better knowledge of how churches can go “bad”, you now are strengthened, with wisdom on how to be a constructive part of a church and how to avoid the mistakes of the past. It’s sad that we get abused, but we shouldn’t stay a victim forever. A blog like this may be helpful in the short term, but become a millstone around the neck in the longer term. Instead of continuing to congregate here for years, rolling around in the muck, wouldn’t you do better to get up and move on? It’s do-able, it takes time, but I fear staying at a blog like this might actually harm your prospects for the future. My advice would be to stop picking the scabs and give the wounds a chance to heal.

    I don’t mean this to sound harsh or judgemental. I do care. Many of you have taken a real blow to the head, and you may be reeling from it. I just hope you will soon find your feet and get back into it. If you were truly a Christian, then I hope you will find healing and consolation in your friend and brother, Jesus Christ, and you will soon take your place back in the church and get on with living the Christian life.

    I mean this to be a gentle challenge, and I apologise if it isn’t helpful.

    1. Let me answer your gentle challenge with one of my own.

      If you’ve got something to say to your daughter I suggest you tell it to her in person instead of passive-aggressively using a blog comment section.

      And as for the rest of it, we all heal at different speeds and in different ways. Nobody gets to say to a victim of long-term abuse “ok, now you just need to get over it.” This blog for many people has become a lifeline, a community that helps them cope. Rushing in here without getting to know any of us and making judgments about how much we “roll around in the muck” seems rather unkind and unhelpful.

      1. You make a good (and strong) point – I can see it is unhelpful to say “you just need to get over it”. But it is also unhelpful if you continue to tell each other that you *don’t* have to get over it, and its ok to stay a victim forever.

        I don’t have a problem with my daughter, my concern is with the website, and that is why I commented on the website. It is the website which I fear is doing the harm to victims. The blog has a facility to allow discussions, therefore I thought it might be reasonable for me to mention my concerns in this way and at this location.

        A lot of the ridicule and criticism on here is not aimed at anything by which people were “victimized”, its just stuff you once believed, but no longer agree with. That’s a normal part of life. We live and learn. Christian faith seems to be very loosely held around here. In some parts of the world people are dying for their faith; here, they throw it in because the preacher said you should never drink alcohol?

        The office of “Minister” is unscriptural in the first place, and if you elevate someone to such a position of course he is going to tell you that he is right. Why would the church pay him if he admits he could be wrong?

        I’m very sorry for anyone who has suffered real abuse.

        1. For some, this blog might represent therapy. For me I see it as a place to continually keep highlighting the intentional or unintentional errors of current “fundamentalist” thought. I would hope that it will continue to educate and encourage ex-fundies in their journey to a more Christ-like faith, open the eyes of those still enthralled by the fundamentalist mind-set and prevent those who know little of IFB-type fundamentalism from ever being sucked into it. I believe that whatever scriptural framework and theological thought the movement was originally based on has morphed into something which looks healthy on the outside but is putrid at the core. This blog may have relatively small exposure, but it definitely serves a good purpose. I take the fact that it irritates some to be a positive.

    2. “…It’s sad that we get abused, but we shouldn’t stay a victim forever.”

      Not only is it sad, it can also be a crime. And if you truly are a victim, that tends to stay with you for a very very long time. You cannot pray it away. You may be able to forgive, but the trauma of any kind of abuse can last a lifetime.

      “…and you will soon take your place back in the church and get on with living the Christian life.”

      One does not have to be “in their place” at church in order to live the Christian life.

      1. “take your place back in the church”

        “One does not have to be “in their place” at church in order to live the Christian life.”

        I meant in the Christian church – the body of believers, not a local church. But of course we are supposed to be in a local church, and I’ve yet to see a Christian living a wonderful Christian life in self-imposed isolation.

  21. Hermit is one of those – we know many of his ilk, don’t we? – that always thinks he is right, all the time, and will tell you so. Just read his semi-intelligent responses here. He is the one that should move from from the blog, or start one himself…grrrr….he has the sensitivity of a spinach casserole.

    1. You think I’d do better if I lived my life saying things I know are wrong? Or that I should beleive things because they are wrong?

      The article above wasn’t brilliant, or hilarious; it was pathetic. Of course the minister thinks he’s right. Of course he thinks that what he believes is in accordance with the Holy Spirit.

      He has that in common with every Minister, Priest and Preacher in every denomination in the world. Not just the fundies.

      And yes, of course I believe that the things I believe are correct. If you are not “one of those”, you must be strange indeed to hold to beliefs that you think are incorrect.

      But to label me (non-sensically) as “one of those”, and semi-intelligent, does not constitute an argument. I guess you’ve got nothing, right?

      I think people emerging from real abuse should seek some qualified counselling and helpful instruction from a mature Christian, instead of what is being spewed on this blog.

      1. For me, it’s not necessarily the particular details of belief that the preachers hold – because of course they believe what they preach – but rather the spirit in which many of the ministers preach: they consider themselves 100% right and those who don’t agree with them are seen as sinful, backslidden compromisers that are just trying to excuse sin. Many fundamentalists don’t hold their beliefs with humility or view others with charity.

        One simple example could be people who raise their hands while singing. I was told that people who did that were just showing off. What a unloving assumption to make about someone else’s motives. A preacher can prefer that the congregation not respond physically in worship, but he goes outside the bounds when he makes assumptions about those who believe differently than he.

        We grew up surrounded by this attitude; many of us had that spirit in ourselves. We were self-righteously proud of ourselves for our holiness and looked down on others. We rarely heard dissenting opinions because our churches/families kept us separated from everyone else.

        Once we stepped away, some of us losing family and friends in the process, we came to especially despise the error that had deceived us for so long. Jude says, “Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” We spent YEARS hearing preachers rail against sins like NIV Bibles, CCM, and drinking alcohol while ignoring the fact that few of us actually demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

        1. For me, the errors of fundamentalism are serious enough that I think it’s important to continue pointing them out, warning people that the path they consider so holy and so Biblical is often filled with more worldliness than anyone realizes – not the worldliness of pants on women and music with drums but the worldliness that aggrandizes self and excuses ones pet sins while excoriating others for holding standards different from the IFB.

          Jesus, His Gospel and His grace, should have been the focus of our attention. The fact that it wasn’t causes some of us to continue speaking out against that which masquerades as Biblical but has often replaced true godliness with the poor substitute of legalism and outward conformity.

      2. Hey, Hermit, ever heard of a support group? That’s what this is. Many of us can’t afford counseling and quite possibly the counselor, if a non/Christian, might tell us the problem is with Christianity in general and not the IFB in specific. This group provides those of us who have been in the IFB the ability to discuss things with each other and see that we’re not alone. It’s therapeutic to talk these issues over. It helps us heal. And though there are some who have been here for years, others of us are relatively recently removed from Fundyville, and still need to sort through everything we experienced. And this site needs to be around for new people leaving the IFB. We need to be here to help them as they search for answers as well. I wish you wouldn’t use expressions like “What is spewed on this blog.” That is offensive. 😥

    2. *sigh*

      I’ve not seen anything that leads me to think that Hermit thinks he is always right. I find it bothersome that some people feel the need to trash others for not being in lockstep agreement with them. This kind of attitude is one of the reasons I stopped coming to SFL for a while last year. It bothered me that people here could be just as hostile as the people they had decided they didn’t want to be like.

      Even if Hermit does think he’s always right he is certainly a lot more civilized than most people who come here to ‘set us straight’.

      1. You probably don’t want me tagging on with you, but your comment is dead-on correct.

        So many “regulars” don’t even recognize they are just as “clicky” as the fundies they make fun of.

        I am just about on an island here, I am the red-headed stepchild. I have actually come to enjoy my place here.

        Hermit – You seem completely honest, reasonable and most importantly CHRISTIAN……..your post from 11:23 PM last evening was very reasonable and pointed out some serious issues that I have also considered, particularly just how “helpful” to one’s spiritual life is hanging around on SFL!

        Well for what it’s worth, from an agitator like myself – Welcome friend, and I look fwd to hearing more from you, and don’t let anyone try to mold you, I got a funny feeling I didn’t have to say that! 😀

        1. I was going to say something reasonable positive about your discussion with SomeDewd, but now you’ve blown it. It’s so much deeper than “cliques” or other relatively trivial matters. Among many issues, it’s the self-righteous attitude portrayed as Christ-likeness. If you truly are an ex-fundy as you say why do you still seem to be supportive? Let us know when the Greg/Hermit/C_Fresh love-fest is over

        2. doc, no pun intended, but I think you might need a “doc” ok,ok pun was intended……oops looks like we colored outside of the lines boys and girls…ahhh, but ain’t it fun!!! 😆

        3. Tag along, greg. This was a pretty decent comment. Unfortunately, right after that you made this one: “Why don’t you go back to Louisiana, start a blog, and then get a clue!!”

          I don’t think you get what I’m trying to say. 🙁

          doc37172: If you read over on the forums it shouldn’t be hard to see there is no lovefest going on between me and greg.

          I’m just asking people to be decent towards each other. I don’t think that’s to much to ask.

        4. You’re right C_Fresh…I was obviously kidding but I shouldn’t have dragged you and Hermit into the comment as neither of you had any say in the matter. And seriously, Greg…I thought both you and SomeDewd had valid points re: work of the H.S. and theological teaching. That discussion illustrates the fact that as much as we may not like it or want to admit it, much of scripture is open to interpretation and differing views. Much more is not though…

        5. heh, ok, I didn’t get the kidding part. Sarcasm/kidding fonts would be so helpful in written communications. 😀

        6. Didn’t you see how mean NEtransplantfromlouisiana was to hermit? ….I’m just silly about jumping on top of pompous folks like that!!

    3. Goodness me NEtransplant in Louisiana that was pretty harsh. How well do you know this Hermit to be able to say those things to him. From my reading of what he has posted (and I must admit I did some skimming) he has shown care and concern for those who have been hurt (as he has himself if you read back a bit). How can you possibly say things like this about someone you dont know? Where is the love of Christ shown here? I hate that you have been so badly hurt that you want to hit out at people who care, just because they challenge you to move on and not get bogged down. I know what it is like to get bogged and not to be able to move and people ‘supporting’ me in my pain, keeping me in my pain were actually the ones who helped me to become bogged. The ones who helped me move and grow past the pain were the ones who challenged me to push away from the comfort of the bog. IT is SO hard to get out of quicksand but bitterness and filling my mind with reminders of bad things and how hurt I was was pulling me down. The true helping hand is the one that says “Look away from the pain and hurt. Dont keep rehashing it over and over. Forgive ( Oh how I hated that word!!) and walk strong”. Anmd remember NEtransplant in Louisana, you dont know me either and you have NO idea of what the pain and hurt Im referring to is. God bless you and make you strong.

    4. *sighs again*

      Hermit posted while I was typing this and doing some other stuff.

      Hermit, let relate my personal experience with this blog. My pastor actually found it first and still reads here on a fairly regular basis as far as I know. I enjoyed it when I first started but over time I noticed a fair amount of negative attitude in the comments. It wasn’t the majority but, like I said above, it bothered me that people here could be just as critical and hostile as the fundys I wanted to distance myself from. I confess that there are probably old comments that I have made that might be considered as such.

      I stopped reading here for probably about 4-6 months. When I came back, I understood better that people are in various stages of recovery. Some people have had absolutely horrible things done to them while in fundamentalism. I can’t pretend to know what that does to a person. I know that I got off easy compared to people I know personally. The worst of my time was when I went to a fundy college and I was careful to fly under the radar once I realized I didn’t agree with the movement anymore. I saw how it practically broke someone who is very important to me. I regret not being able to do something to help. I didn’t know how to help and that is such a horrible feeling.

      So I can understand your concern. I ask that you continue to hang around, read through old posts and see some of our backgrounds. The forums are a great place to hang out. I’m there most of the time and only come to the blog section on occasion to read through posts after they’ve been up for a few days and there are a bunch of comments. Mostly because it is a pain to go through and see where people have added comments that I haven’t already read.

      SFL has a pretty diverse group of people. Most of us have had experience with fundamentalism. A few don’t but know people who do or are just curious about how people could possibly think like that.

    1. Glad to see your apology, Hermit. Let me clue you in to something about us who have been abused in the name of Christianity. We have been recipients of some very unChristlike behavior by Christian leaders, often pastors, while being old it’s Christian behavior. Depending on what we’ve been taught and what others say about the leaders that abuse us, we can very easily get the impression that the unChristian leader / behavior is Christian and get very confused as to what Christianity is. I know I did. And having Christians say to forgive, get over it, etc., can enhance that confusion.
      If we have a place where we can say what happened, or others say that similar stuff has happened to them, and then have others say that the abuse suffered is not Christian at all, that is helpful. That tells us that just because the abuser had the title of Pastor or other Christian authority, and told and did things in the name of Christ, doesn’t mean that he was acting for Christ. It doesn’t mean that what he did or said is Christian at all. And that starts or continues the process of being able to separate the abuse from true Christianity. And that, my friend, is the only way that one abused in the name of Christ can really come to see what true Christianity really is, and that is how to get beyond the abuse and grow in Christ.

      1. I was raised in a dysfunctional abusive church, and it (and an abusive parent) screwed up my whole life. I still struggle every day with the resulting damage it did me. I get it.

        I am back in the same church denomination now, but older and wiser.

        I just worry that the way this site operates, and the information that is published here, is not going to help people in the long term to return to being functional Christians, but may have a detrimental effect on them.

        Counselling, good useful information, and encouragement for victims to process the wrongs done to them and return to fellowship with Christ and a place in His church would be good here. Harsh criticisms, hatred, and ridicule, not so much.

        But if you users find this site as it now is helpful, then I stand corrected. If you find yourself still here in years to come, still angry, hurting, hating and ridiculing, then perhaps you need to question whether this site is good for you.

        I pray that you who have been hurt by churches, will find true healing in Jesus, and will again take up and embrace your faith and walk on with your Lord.

        1. I think, Hermit, you might have somewhat of a wrong perception of the people who comment on this blog. It isn’t that the people here have done nothing since leaving fundamentalism but sit on the internet every day venting on blogs and message boards. They aren’t necessarily isolated or in any way separated from the world around them or even other Christians. Most attend churches where they have fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.

          While a lot people here find talking about their experiences in fundamentalism therapeutic, the point is also to call out the errors that we see in the movement and discuss them (and poke fun at the funny parts). The notion “if you don’t like fundamentalism, leave it, but make sure you don’t speak out against it once you’ve left” is ridiculous.

        2. Good points, Mandy. The “leave but keep quiet” philosophy sorta reminds me of churches that cry foul when the sexual sins of their leadership are exposed in a public way. They want to “keep it in house” and “protect the brother” so “the cause of Christ isn’t hurt.”

  22. Most fundies I’ve run into are either too afraid to do any preaching on the Holy Spirit, or they go to the other extreme (like in this post) and use the Holy Spirit as an excuse for every idea that pops into their heads. “I don’t need to look at what the context of this verse is, or anything else in the Bible. The ‘Holy Spirit’ assured me that it is true.”

    Fundy News Flash: The REAL Holy Spirit is not to blame for every thought, whim, or voice in your head (even if that whim comes in the form of a verse pulled out of context). God gave us His Word in a written form for a reason. Try checking it before assuming your random idea must be God’s absolute truth.

  23. In all fairness, that’s not just a fundy thing, it’s an uneducated thing. I’ve had loads of pastors I know, that I wouldn’t consider fundies, say the same thing. My own father and brother (who aren’t ministers)say things like that all the time.

    Was recently referred to your blog, really enjoying the posts 🙂

  24. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the only unforgivable sin. This post may explain why–very easy to exploit.

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