Ich bin ein Fundy

As time passes and Independent Baptist Fundamentalism begins to fade in our collective rear-view mirrors, there is a realization that slowly begins to dawn: “Everybody is somebody’s fundy.” Unless you believe absolutely nothing, have a strong opinion on absolutely nothing, and never ever draw a line between right and wrong, wise and foolish, or the Eagles and all those other loser NFL teams, someone at some point will probably accuse you of either being a fundy or “acting just like them.” And the accusation will probably come from someone else who acts in their own way like a bit of a fundy too. We all have our moments.

Let not your heart be troubled when the label fundy is flung at you like a Holy Hand-grenade. Sometimes this word is used in complete ignorance and the person who is leveling that accusation may simply be unaware of the massive baggage that surrounds the word “fundamentalist” for those of us who spent years being proud of that title. More frequently, however, when this accusation is hurled it is done so because the person hurling it knows that it’s the quickest way to raise your ire and start a fight. After all, what better way to gain an upper hand than by accusing someone of being the very thing they loath? The Internet is full of such who delight in nothing more than performing verbal hit-and-run attacks.

So what shall we do then when we are called fundamentalist for no greater crime than believing that some thing is true and worth defending? The answer is simply this: refuse to engage the fight. Return blessing for cursing. Love your enemies. And smile a lot so they’ll wonder what you’re up to.

For in some way we all have beliefs that are fundamental. We all have core principles we cannot compromise. We all believe in something and that belief shapes us both inside and out. But we can surely do better than to fling the word “fundamentalist” at those with whom we merely disagree as if it is the most distasteful thing we can think of. Let’s save that word for the real fundies. They rather seem to enjoy it.

48 thoughts on “Ich bin ein Fundy”

  1. It may be that no matter how long we are out of fundamentalism, there will always be a bit of fundamentalism in us. I’m learning to recognize when I have a fundy attitude and nip it in the bud as fast as I can. I’ll catch myself or my husband saying something and then pounce on it and stomp it out! No! We don’t believe that anymore!

    Of course we do not reject everything Fundamentalism taught us, it isn’t completely wrong, but those things that we have rejected, the things that caused us to leave the former church. But changing our attitudes is hard. I hope with time it becomes easier. πŸ™‚

  2. I am fourth! I think Darrell has an excellent thought. Sometimes, and it can be very hard, it’s just better to let stuff roll off your back. There are times to stand your ground and fight, and there are times to just smile and let it pass. Name-calling should not be our first line of defense.

  3. Maybe not everything ….however comming from one of the Fundy boot camps, I pretty much put all they say into question.
    The photo reminds me of (hem legenth) the pervasive attitude at Roloffs boot camp for boys..It was “control your women and children to the point of breaking their spirit”.
    I always found their theology odd.
    We all recieve our salvation from Christ and the New Testament, but its ok to revert back to the brutality of the Old Testament to whip em into submission.
    Almost like “I hate the Taliban, but I sure like the way they control their women and children” πŸ™„

    1. It’s all about fear: fear of an angry God, fear that the wife and children don’t “respect” you, fear that you aren’t living up to the rules (spoken and unspoken) within the religion.

      BTW, the Taliban and the IFB churches are but two variations of the same theme.

      1. Yeah…you know what you’re right.
        extremeisum is extremeisum…however you slice it.

  4. Thank you for acknowleding that the Eagles are the best NFL team. Now I can honestly tell people you aren’t a fundy…

  5. Even though that skirt is long, I honestly don’t think the lady who’s wearing it is old school type fundy. The small pleats in the skirt and those boots are too fashionable and cute!

    1. If I, as a female, can say “I like that skirt and those boots,” then you, as a male, can say that you find the picture sexy. Like I said, I don’t think she’s a fundy anyway – at least not old school type! :mrgreen:

    2. Not in the least. The skirt and boots are very stylish and girlfriend up there has no muffin-tops or rolls anywhere.

      Sidenote 1: There is a picture floating around of two guys on a motorbike leering at a woman in a burqa. What is she showing? Part of a foot and ankle. We are sexual creatures, even when covered head to foot.

      Sidenote 2: I wonder if some women, in order to cover their bodies to the absolute max because they’ve been taught that their job is to keep men from lusting, hide inside their bodies with weight gain. If I’m fat enough, then I will cause no man to stumble. Scary thought.

      1. That is a strange thought. Why would anyone think that? It does not even seem a remote possibility to me. When I was a child, I thought a woman had to be skinny and large breasted to be attractive. Then I started to get to know some women who were more full figured and found that my previous error was egregious and stupid. The hottest women are of that persuasion. And then the Lord opened my eyes to see that a woman’s worth and self image should NEVER be measured by how much she weighs. NEVER. I have come to loathe my former self with its judgmental self-righteousness.

        1. That’s wonderful to hear, Bob. No one, male or female, should ever be judged by looks alone. I’m glad you’ve learned to stop thinking that way and you can stop loathing yourself now. You sound like a great guy to me. :mrgreen:

      2. Many women hide their sexuality with weight gain. It isn’t uncommon at all, and it isn’t unique to fundamentalists.

        1. I’ve read of this happening with women who were abused in the past, especially sexually abused or raped. They gain weight thinking if they are fat no man will bother them. Sometimes it’s subconscious. But it’s a protective measure they think. 😳

          A lot of us are just overweight because we like to eat. πŸ™‚

        2. I guess if they are afraid of sexuality, it could be a remote possibility. But I have come to see that women are beautiful just because they are women. There is an ineffable somethingness to femality that makes me want to hug them all.

  6. Fundamentalist or not, those of us with hips avoid the pleats. I’m good with it. *smiles*

  7. Good post. Leaving fundamentalism doesn’t automatically mean adopting an outlook of “anything goes” when it comes to doctrine, and that’s something that a few people seem to have trouble understanding.

    Personally, I have to try keep in mind something one of my teachers said: “Beware of labeling anyone with stricter standards then you as a fanatic, and anyone with looser standards as a liberal.”

  8. Christian Fundamentalism didn’t invent narrow mindedness, suspicion of others, provincialism, ignorance, and hostility. It’s a mistake to think that Fundamentalism is the sole repository for those traits or their sole cause. They exist in all of us, and not because we used to be Fundamentalists. Those traits are manifestations of pride and wrath. Anybody driven by pride and/or wrath can become abusive, and we all have to fight ourselves to live above those things. It’s a huge (and prideful) mistake to think that cruelty and predatory behavior belong only to the Fundamentalists. Granted, Christian Fundamentalism often permits or even enshrines those traits, but we’re all in danger of pride and wrath if we give in to them. Nobody gets an exemption from the temptations of the flesh, whether you’re in Fundamentalism or out of it or never even heard of it.

    1. I agree and think this is a great post. I have also come to realize in watching and experiencing certain behaviors in self-proclaimed “Christians” that once price and wrath go so deep as to become habitually predatory, well, once a predator, always a predator. Under whatever guise suits them, they seek out the vulnerable in the Christian community to satiate their lust. And no amount of “accountability partners” or “mentors” or “small groups” or anything of the sort will change it. Because they are masters of subverting the (church, community, family) system. . .and even that in itself is a pleasure to them. Sick freaks.

      They leave nothing but hell and destruction on they’re way to hell. I don’t know why God spares them on this earth.

  9. “And smile a lot so they’ll wonder what you’re up to.”

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    That was easy.

        1. Seriously have never seen it in a large way, like with Sharpton, Jackson, Pelosi, Barry, Huffington, Holder, Feinstein, Maxine Waters.

          Maybe I just not paying attention.

        1. (Well, we know you don’t — they have spelling standards.) If you think it doesn’t exist, you’re part of the problem. But you and I already know we don’t see eye to eye, no?

  10. I still have that nagging worry about what others think of me. Am I doing this or that right? Do I look ok? While I ‘think’ I’ve got the accepting of others down I really need to work not judging myself.

  11. It’s true that everyone is someone else’s Fundy.
    IFB members see Southern Baptists as ridiculously liberal. Southern Baptists think United Methodists are all but atheists. Universalist-Unitarians think United Methodists are hopelessly bound in tradition and outdated Biblical exegesis.

    I could do this same exercise for any denomination or philosophical movement.

  12. +5 for the Holy Hand Grenade!

    This is an excellent post, and it is very true that so many of us judge others whether we mean to or not. It is very easy to get into that mindset.
    My school has twice yearly camps that I am required to teach at. At the end of every camp, we have a talent show. The first two talent shows, my class came in dead last. I kept my kids to fundy standards those first two shows. This last camp, I said, “Do whatever you want, I don’t care.” We did a dance (very worldly) with a bit of Christian rap in the middle. We took first prize, and the kids had a blast. Funny how that happened the one time I relaxed the judgmental attitude and let kids be kids.

  13. Labels can be useful to categorise people and ideas, but they can also cause us to miss the spectrum of views that people hold and to wrongly lump them all together.
    So while the wider world would categorise people who believe in Young Earth Creationism, or who cherry pick bible versus to prove a point, or who divide the world into saved and unsaved according to whether they hold to a particular creed as fundamentalists, this effectively lumps them in with masculine supremicist, authoritarian and abusive types who hold to bizzare beliefs regarding a particular translation. I can see how annoying this must get.
    As with words like liberal and conservative, where the words have been so distorted with time as to be almost meaningless, it is probably better to talk about specific beliefs and practices, such as bibliolatry, biblical literalism, creationism, or authoritarianism, rather than rashly throw around labels – even though it is sometimes very tempting. 😈

  14. I went to a Fundy high school (long story) and became quite the annoying little born-againer for several years, at least until I went to college (which was Quaker, another long story) and had my head rearranged, again. All the same, to this very day I still stick by several things:
    1. Long dresses and skirts, the only apparel proper in the school. I still don’t feel comfortable in pants or short skirts. There’s just something about the long swinging skirt that I still thinks looks good on a woman.
    2. No movies. It was drummed into our heads that Movies Are The Devil’s Paintbox, and judging from the amount of dreck that comes out these days I can’t say I miss going.
    3. No swearing. It’s priggish, but I still don’t feel comfortable using The Seven Words & Co. Even at best, it’s lazy speech, I have heard F and S being used as noun, verb, adjective, adverb to the extant that if you removed them from the language some people wouldn’t be able to talk at all.
    Funny the things that stay with you.

    1. I applaud you for that.
      Each of us have our own views that have been formed by our experiences. I greatly respect the way you have given a gracious defense of your convictions.

      I wish that the phundie pharisees could be as gracious. If one has a standard that is not spelled out as sin or error in Scripture then that is wonderful. It becomes a problem, as we all know, when one projects their personal convictions on another as a measure of spiritual well-being or rightness before God.

      Your reply is well said indeed.

    2. Many of us here still have and do things that are left from our fundy days. Not so much that they are fundy, but that we have made the decision to do or not do them based on our backgrounds, study of scripture, people around us, whatever the case is. The difference is that most of us do not push our beliefs on others or make assumptions about their spirituality based on rules.

      I chose not to use, as you put it, “The Seven Words & Co.” I agree with you, it is lazy speech and for me it is most often more annoying than offensive. My wife has no problem with pants, but cannot bring herself to wear them to a church service because of her upbringing. She doesn’t care if someone else does.

      I appreciate your comment. I often try to step back and look at what I do in light of scripture, not just a mogs rules. Comments like yours make me think and reassess things. I need that.

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