The Coup de Grâce

Whenever another few days have passed and some fresh new scandal breaks in fundamentalism, someone inevitably expresses the hope that this time will the the Final Straw that breaks the back of institutional power. Perhaps this time the church will either mend its ways or be forced to close its doors. Maybe this horrific thing will cause the school to change its policies and soften its stance. Maybe. Perhaps. Hopefully.

I confess that sometimes I’m hopeful too when some fresh new wave of truth crashes against the shaking foundations of fundyland. But my expectation is never that the entire system will collapse but rather that a few more will open their eyes. My constant hope is for a few remaining righteous to be vexed in their souls enough to to flee and leave those wretched churches and schools to slowly crumble. Empty pews not empty pulpits will signal the end of their era for there will always be hirelings looking for a flock.

The great truth is that fundamentalism exists because people need it in the same way that a junkie needs his dealer. With as far to the fringe as fundyland has moved, most of the people who remain are simply not strong enough to survive outside of the walls that lock them in. They perversely crave judgment and delight when they have the chance to judge others. They rely on the rules and rulers to tell them what to think and say and do. Even their basic instinct to defend themselves and their families has been subverted to The Cause. They will stay no matter what happens. They will continue on no matter what evil is exposed in their midst. They must still be in the right. God must still be on their side. How could it be otherwise? The truth is too terrible to contemplate.

There will be no fireworks to signal the end of fundamentalism. No banners will be raised nor conquering anthems sung. These churches and schools who have done such harm will meet their end in rust not flame. And as the final few sit surrounded by that decay the last of the fundamentalists will scream to the world that they are still winning even as their world crumbles around them.

But be of good cheer. Though the time has not yet come to see the end of the IFB age, we do not despair. “Ichabod” is writ large above their doors and the blight is creeping in. God may perhaps grant some a measure of repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. And we’ll be here to help bind up the wounds of those who escape.

The end is not yet but the end is ever nearer.

169 thoughts on “The Coup de Grâce”

  1. Jesus dealt with Pharisees and Sadducees. The Pharisees remind me an awful lot of fundies with their emphasis on man’s traditions and external religion. The Sadducees represent another extreme of compromise and denial of the supernatural.

    In some way, shape, or form, we are going to be dealing with these mentalities until Jesus comes back and fixes things permanently.

    1. Matthew 23:24 applies well I think.

      Straining out a gnat: Pretty much every small “standard” they care about
      Swallowing a Camel: Statutory rape

    2. Of course the mentalities will exist. They come from the deepest flaws in human nature.

      But the IFB will not always exist. Eventually the institution will eat itself.

        1. Well, Darrell, I said I agreed. But maybe I’m confused about what is an IFB (even though I supposedly am one). I went back and reread your “About” section. I don’t have a problem with churches (Baptist or otherwise) being independent of a denominational hierarchy. Or rather, a church should have the right to govern itself (not a dictatorship, mind you). I also subscribe to the “five fundamentals” and do see them as being, well, biblically fundamental. I’m also a Baptist in doctrine (though not unfriendly to Methodists, Presbyterians, and numerous other assorted brethren and sistern).

          What I’m trying to say (besides “I need therapy”)is that I know some IFB’ers who aren’t caught up in man worship, externals, and perversion. So, I can’t say I want the whole ship to go down.

          Am I making sense? Anyone?

        2. You know this verse…

          I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:7.

          We could say that there is rejoicing when one IFB leaves the cult. It’s going to be one at a time I think.

          It’s great we/they can come to this or any one of the other sites that talk about leaving the IFB. At least now we/they have the internet for support b/c many of us lose support from our IFB families. I know my SIL told me I wasn’t saved b/c I questioned the IFB with a tone of voice she didn’t like.

        3. I know what you mean, fundypastor. For a long time, my husband tried to be what he called balanced, preaching ONLY what was actually in Scripture and not insisting on extraBiblical traditions. We didn’t officially join the association that the other BJU-associated churches in our state were in because we didn’t want to be entangled in politics or weighed down with obligations and expectations from other churches that might try to pressure us in one direction or another.

          We still hold firmly to the foundational fundamentals, but how we interpret them is different enough from what we were taught that we decided to change our name completely because otherwise people would come to us expecting a certain type of church and be angry when they found we were not.

          I don’t want any church to fail that has Christ as its focus, His Word as its guide, and His commands as its mission.

      1. I suspect that if it does die, a movement more twisted and perverted will rise from the ashes. The new movement will try to right the perceived wrongs by twisting Scripture more than they do now.

        1. John, that is already happening in the charismatic wing of the Christian faith. C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation is leading the way in all kind of weird and twisted ways.

  2. I am reminded of 2 Tim. 3:13: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

    Until then this is my prayer: “You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.” (Is. 42:7)

    1. And just like prisoners who cannot function in society at large, some continue to dwell in the darkness of the prisons of their own making. Refusing to leave the comfort of the prison they know.

      1. “He who was born in a cage
        Yearns for a cage.
        With horror I understand
        That I Love My Cage.”
        — Yevgevny Yevtushenko

    2. Jesus announces himself thus:
      “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
      because he has anointed me
      to proclaim good news to the poor.
      He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
      and recovery of sight for the blind,
      to set the oppressed free,
      to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
      (Luke 4:18-19)

      If anybody is preaching something that is not good news for the poor, recovery of sight, and liberation of the oppressed, it is not the Gospel of Jesus. Preachers like Schaap simply put more blindfolds on the dim-sighted and tie more bonds onto the oppressed. Instead of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable as Jesus did, they comfort the already comfortable and further afflict the already afflicted.
      You can see how this message has appeal, especially to people with a bullying nature and to people who have been bullied so much it seems normal to them, but it is nothing Jesus would claim as his own.

  3. Apparently Jack’s early meetings with this girl took place in a Cook County Forest Preserve (for those of us locals, that’s across the state line in Illinois). Duet 22: 23-24 instructs us to put the girl to death. I wonder if any Christians will obey the Bible in this case?

    1. You’re wrong, Joe. The girl would not be put to death under the commandment given in Duet 22: 23-24. What would actually happen under the OT Law is that Jack Schaap would have to take her as a wife and bestow a dowry upon her and pay a penalty of 50 shekels of silver, and then she would have the option to do pretty much what she liked in terms of being his wife or staying with her own family. No matter what she chose, the rapist/husband was not allowed to divorce her. Thus she had immunity and perpetually held certain rights to his goods and property.

      1. Here is a more full explanation. But to be brief, the passage that Joe is citing only applies to **betrothed** young women, not to all young women, and the nature of offense has more to do with the violation of a vow than of being rapes. Anyway, the more full explanation is here:

      2. Ah yes…that’s right, we only kill the engaged rape victims these days. Now I suppose the question is, when scripture says “betrothed” shall we follow the exact Levitical injunction of betrothal, or would our modern day engagement ring suffice? Or perhaps an even more loose interpretation of betrothal such as (gasp) dating?

    2. Um… What version are YOU reading? I looked it up. Didn’t see that there. Saw “another man’s wife” and “proof of virginity” but didn’t see “child victimized by married man.”

      1. 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered,(U) 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[c] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
        Since he is already married, this is problematic for him. And I don’t know if he will be able to find any shekels to pay her father with… Looks like no jail time for him after all, he just gets a new wife. Lucky him.

        1. Nothing wrong with having two wives. That just good old biblical marriage-one man, as many wives as he can get….and concubines.

    3. I appreciate what Bass. is trying to do in explaining how the O.T. worked and playing along with Joe’s statement, but I’m sure we all know that we’re not under the civil law that governed Israel.

      Joe, the church isn’t required to follow the O.T. civil and ceremonial laws that governed Israel. That’s why you see Paul arguing against circumcision and the keeping of the law all the time. It’s a new covenant between man and God.

      1. Right, of course FF, we are under grace. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Then again, it would be hard to maintain that the penalty for oath breaking would have been part of the ceremonial Law. I would say it comes under the OT criminal Law or civil law. I would classify the stipulations about the offerings, the garments of the priests, etc., as ceremonial law, not stuff about legal oaths and rape, etc.

        But all the Law is done away in Christ, not just the ceremonial parts, and we are now under the Law of Love. Indeed, my Jewish friend who is an amateur Hebrew scholar tells me that Jews don’t make that distinction of ceremonial, moral, criminal Law. It’s all simply The Law. It’s all one thing. According to him.

        1. Hillel the Elder, whom Jews regard as one of their greatest scholars, is quoted as saying,
          “What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellowman;
          this is the whole Law. The rest is but commentary.”

        2. Yes even the most devout and godly of Jews did not view the Law with the cookbook approach that Fundamentalists and Evangelicals take. They had a sort of running debate/discussion going on interpretation.

          They believed it was all from God, but the “every piece is as authoritative and weighty” as every other piece didn’t fly with them. Indeed, the sections in Deuteronomy were considered case law, not recipes for behavior. It was the responsibility of godly judges to consider the cases given in Deuteronomy and then measure real-time cases against them and see what principles ought to be applied. The knee-jerk reaction of “kill her if she had sex before marriage and nobody heard her scream” is a new invention. Judges would have considered the contributors to what would have prevented a woman from screaming (Is she mute? Was she forced to be silent? Was she gagged? Were the surrounding people too afraid to save her? Did he tell her he would kill her family? etc.) and weighed that as an equal characteristic of “being out in the field.”

          Capital punishment, in fact, was very rare in the post-captivity Jewish nation, as the commandment regarding man in the image of God was viewed as so powerful that the judges usually found a reason not to execute, just in case there was something they had failed to consider.

      2. So who then decides what happens to sexual predators anymore? Is the government which only slaps them on the wrist and then lets them go? I’ve seen where juries convict these men and then the judge commutes his sentence and then they are out on the streets again!

        What do you think should happen to sex offenders? Life in prison? What would God have us do then?

      3. Ah yes but God said His law in the OT was eternal – do we now discriminate against other “eternal concepts” found in scripture?

    4. Duet 22: 23-24 instructs us to put the girl to death. I wonder if any Christians will obey the Bible in this case?

      As BASSENCO has pointed out, that’s more Shari’a than Deuteronomy.

  4. Absolutely correct,I would say that there have always been apostates and traitors to true faith in God: people who could mouth some of the correct words but were intent on building a counterfeit. Christ had the Pharisees; we have the Fundamentalists. There will always be evil parading around in religious garb.

    1. It’s the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares.

      You’ll never know which is which until the Harvest.

  5. It is appropriately accurate the dreary gray tone of that picture. This is exactly how I remember my whole time there. Gray, dreary and depressing.

  6. I just had this conversation the other day with my father. These churches will always exist because the sin of believing “everything depends on me” is basic to the depraved human nature. At our core we as fallen people want something to point to and say “look what I did” and so we desire people who can tell us how to do it.

    Thank God He has saved some who now have compassion and reach out to those in need.

  7. You know it’s pretty bad when the folks at PCC (where I went in the early 90’s) called HAC/FBCH a “cult”. My sophomore roommate lost her best friend when the friend went to HAC and came back home, in my roommate’s words, “brainwashed”.

  8. I have been praying for the day when fundamentalism would no longer deceive people, and I agree that it won’t be any time soon, but what a joyous thought that someday it will fade away. My cousin just graduated from HAC and stopped to see us on her way to her teaching job. I could tell she was hurting. I wanted to talk with her, but I know I’m still overcoming a lot of bitterness and it would probably come out, and it wouldn’t have helped the situation. Please pray for her and my family still blinded by fundyland.

    1. Will do J Knox. I sense a deep shame at having been taken in by the emotionalism behind fundamentalist Christianity. My divorce brought many things, both good & bad to a head but more than anything I still sense great anger towards these people. Oddly enough, my ex-Wife and I now get on fine & that’s great for our kids, I reckon I could even forgive the bloke she left me for one day but the fundies are quite another matter, I feel abused & manipulated by them…Almost you might say ‘violated’ that I swallowed the emotionalism so easily. However, not all bad news, I sense my faith has not only grown but changed since all this happened. I sense, I have moved on from ‘spiritual milk, to solid foods.’ A passage I recall from the Bible somewhere. Bless you & I honestly know how you feel.

  9. IFB may indeed rust away as it sits on the heap of irrelevance but fundamentalism will find another vehicle and continue on its destructive path. Besides Fundy Baptist, there are still Fundycostals, Fundycalvinist, Fundymethodist, Fundycatholicsm, and even Fundyorthodox. Then add to that all the fundamentalist of other religions (Fundymormons and Fundyislamist for example). 😥

    1. True enough. Fundamentalism appeals to something in basic human nature– the desire for certainty, security, and easy answers to hard questions.

  10. The junkie looking for his next fix is no more addicted than the “Christian” who is looking for their next emotional experience. Church is where they come for their fix of emotionalism, it doesn’t matter if it’s a mountain top euphoria or a guilt trip with sore toes… all that matters is the experience. Their duty to God is validated by the experience. The worship of God is only the means to the end, the goal is to experience something so that one can reassure themselves it was worth it to spend all that time and effort to get there.

    Secondly it is the experience that validates God in their lives. The revivalist mentality centers on the individual’s experience, whether it is deep conviction that brings tears, guilt brought on by institutionalized legalism, or the cloud 9, pew jumpin, shouting it out euphoria… it is all about how the hearer feels that gives them temporary assurance that they have chosen the right path and that God is.

    1. I agree Don. How many times have we heard and even I have said ” Man, that was a good service!” why?
      The sarcastic humor? The funny stories? The special music? The fire-breathing sermon? The 30 minute altar call? All those people baptized?
      All well orchestrated theater to manipulate the emotions, and to silence the analytical side of the brain. No more!

  11. I wish there was something we could do to help Fundamentalism “rust” quicker. Perhaps the storms they endure will do it for us as a good hurricane can do more damage than a wrecking crew. 😉

    God knows exactly how He’s going to get the job done, I only pray that I can be a part of the “cleanup” effort (people’s lives) as there are far too many there whom I still care for.

  12. Having lived in post Christian Europe, even among those godless heathens there still exists a tiny audience for a fundamentalist viewpoint. Some people are drawn as a moth to the flame!

    1. Though in “post-Christian” Europe, Fundamentalism is more likely to manifest in political or social or philosophical “dogmas” than religion per se.

      Europe has already gone through bouts of non-religious Fundamentalism. Remember Fascism and Marxism? Those were POLITICAL cults. And tell me there weren’t Fundamentalist True Believers in those cults.

  13. “And we’ll be here to help bind up the wounds of those who escape.”

    It’s this attitude that I noticed when I first stumbled upon this site a few weeks ago, and it’s why I’ve hung around. SFL is a place where you can laugh at the insanities of fundamentalism, be angry about the injustices, and be around others who know what grace is and are ready to help the wounded.

  14. I remember always being told from the pulpit that if I miss one service, I was on the road to being backslidden.

    I left and I AM stronger than I was before. The God I serve isn’t the one they portray.

    1. YEah that is so manipulative..telling the people in a church that “you better not miss this mission conference/special meeting/ whatever because god may use it to call you to the mission field or whatever” basically saying that if I miss a 2 hour meeting at church that the god who they think created the universe and saves us will not be able to use me in ministry because I miss 1 service? THat is fucking with people. BASTARDS

  15. Excellent post Darrell. The paragraph on people needing the rules to tell them what to do and how to live is spot on. I’ve seen it over and over again. First in couples who graduated from fundy college and then got married. They either ended up in a strict IFB church that continued to control their lives, left religion completely, or discovered grace and left fundamentalism.

    Yet even after leaving some still struggle with not having rules. I can remember one lady who upon being invited to a wedding for a couple within our church, was really having a hard time with the fact that the couple were having a dance at the reception. She told our pastor, “It’s easier if someone tells me what to do instead of me having to figure out on my own what is right or wrong.” And that is the heart of the issue of fundamentalism. A lack of discernment and an inability and unwillingness to search the Scriptures on their own to discover what they believe. Praying God would empower more to find the true liberation in those types of studies.

  16. I would like to submit a different perspective of the average fundamentalist. Instead of a junkie who needs their fix, or a person who loves to judge others, perhaps the majority of them are captives who are blind and oppressed.

    A false teacher has come in and enslaved them. Perhaps they are genuine believers who’ve been deceived by ‘fine sounding arguments.’ They were scooped up by legalism early in their faith, and they know nothing else. To wander from their fundamentalist teachers is to wander from the God that they desperately want to love and still cling to for salvation.

    When I think of the religious environment Jesus encountered when he first began his ministry to the lost sheep of Israel, I can’t help but think that they too were a bunch of people who were trapped by fundamentalism. In Luke 4 he tells them this,

    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
    He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set free those who are oppressed,
    To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord”

    To me, it seems like he’s telling them, “God has sent me to those of you who have nothing. You are a blind and enslaved people under a heavy burden. I was sent to tell you good news. God is for you. He is on your side. His favor rests with you; only believe it, and it is yours.”

    When they first heard it, they all thought he was talking about Rome. Those of us who have the benefit of hindsight now know that he was talking about their religion and their sin. Perhaps this is true of Fundamentalism as well? I’d like to know what some of you think…

    1. I would submit yet a different view of fundamentalists. I believe the average member of a fundamentalist church doesn’t believe the junk that comes out of the pastor’s mouth.

      The numbers speak for themselves. For all the screaming from the pulpit about tithing, “being there and in their place for Wednesday night bible study”, and making sure you go to a good bible unaccredited kinder college, the people don’t respond. It only takes simple division of the total offerings by the number of adult members to figure out that most fundys don’t tithe. And as much as he may scream about it, 3/4 of the people don’t go “soul winning” or show up for more than one service a week. And just a small survey will show you that the majority brush off the idea of going to bible college. Otherwise PCC wouldn’t have to travel around from church to church with marketing videos to attempt to prove their school is fun….and even has a indoor water park…ooooooh.

      I think the majority of fundys go to IFB churches because they want to go to a small church and they don’t want to handle snakes or talk in tongues. Most could care less about what the preacher says.

      1. This was pretty much true in my former church. Many of the old die-hards have passed away or moved away, and there are only a couple families that are of “the old paths”. Most of the people are apathetic and do what they want outside of the church no matter what the pastor preaches against. I guess that’s how it is in many churches though: a few following whatever the pastor says, and everyone else ignoring it.

      1. I was that way when I was younger. All I knew about Christian life outside of fundamentalism came from inaccurate descriptions of other denominations or churches. It’s amazing how inaccurate fundy lessons are regardibg Baptist history or church history.

    2. Thank you! THIS is what my experience was. Being raised in this environment… and TRULY wanting to do all I could to love and serve my Savior, I was reeled in! I did not want to question for fear I would disappoint God and reap His judgment. I did question, much and often, but never voiced my questions.

  17. Since the Schaap incident surfaced last week, I’ve been reading some of what others have said regarding his theology. His book on intimacy in marriage contains some unbelievable biblical interpretations. The sad thing is that it took sexual “misconduct” (putting it lightly) to get him fired. Where were the deacons and other responsible people when he preached his aberrant theology? The fact that he wasn’t fired for that is the most telling indictment concerning the state of IFB churches.

    1. And yet so many FBC people are making statements like “WE ARE NOT BLIND FOLLOWERS!” Hmm then why did you allow this man to wreak havoc until he did something that you absolutely couldn’t deny was wrong?

  18. You are even more eloquent than usual today, Darrell. And I agree with every line of this commentary.

  19. There is a lot of thoughts that need considering here today. Kudos to Darrell and all the commentators. (Well, almost all)

  20. Since my siblings and I have left the IFB in recent years (and all independently without consulting each other), as have quite a few friends, I’ve wondered lately if there has always been a slow trickle of people leaving or is there a mass exodus produced by a special enlightening of the Spirit in recent days. Any insights?

    1. I’ve wondered that myself, since many of my BJU friends have stepped away from fundamentalism, many but by far not all.

    2. Most of us in our youth group left the movement in our early 20s. There was nothing to hold us there. At least for us younger kids, fundamentalism was empty. We got tired of trying so hard. We got tired of never being good enough. We would never win. We left.

      1. I really think the young restless and reformed movement a.k.a new Calvinism is the result of young Christians wanting to be doctrinally sound without all of the fundamentalist legalistic baggage.

        Unfortunately others have left the faith all together or converted to another false religion.

        1. I really think the young restless and reformed movement a.k.a new Calvinism is the result of young Christians wanting to be doctrinally sound without all of the fundamentalist legalistic baggage.

          And yet the New Calvinists themselves turn their Calvinist doctrine into their own brand of Fundamentalist Legalistic Baggage.

    3. I wonder what affect (effect?) The Internet has had on the IFB Movement. The colleges can’t keep the lid on things as tightly because the students are getting more and more influence from the outside world so it’s not possible to completely hoodwink them the way it used to be. That and, when someone who wants to leave sees a posting on, say, Facebook for example, of a friend who has left, they realize that maybe they won’t be so alone if they leave.

      Am I completely out to lunch? 😕

  21. I must admit I’ve had dreams of grandeur since this time last week, that this may be the end of the ifb as we know it. Dreaming that my family will “see the light” and come running to us crying, “You were right the entire time and it’s clear to us, now!” Those dreams were dashed this weekend when a family member told us that JS was just suffering from severe depression and strain from the ministry and oh yes, did we know that hac was adding a nursing degree to their ‘quality program?’ They are, most definitely, marching forward with all the arrogance and blind loyalty we’ve always known.
    I am encouraged, though, that many people I know, who were as steeped as me, have found their way out. I see their names all over forums and blogs, proclaiming that they have defected and are so happy and free. Yep, many of us are in counseling/therapy but we’re fighting hard and we are in good company.
    So, Sir Blogster, I agree with you. Though this may not be the end, many are seeing the light, and finding each other.

    1. Yes because every man who gets sick of his job and sad about things has sex with teenage girls! Nice excuse.

    2. I cannot conceive of HAC having a decent nursing program, approved to operate by the Indiana Board of Nursing. They would have to submit to too much oversight. Of course, they could be planning to offer an unapproved degree that doesn’t lead to licensure or gainful employment… Something along the lines of their existing four year degree in “marriage and motherhood”.

    3. HAC offering a nursing degree. I though accreditation was such a horrible, evil wicked thing that we could never compromise to that level?
      It will be interesting to see if their nursing degree is really one that will be approved for board certification, or if it will be just like the teaching degree – useless unless you were going husband-hunting.
      On the other hand, it may be more of a CNA degree instead of an RN. It will be interesting to see.

  22. Based on my own personal experience battling a certain space-alien cult, I’m of the opinion even the craziest beliefs never really go away. However, it’s possible, if you work hard and keep putting the word out over and over and over again, that one incident with the Famous Actor talking about how his space-alien belief system is best because it can Take Charge! and Do Things! might light a fire.

    I’m not sure it’s happening now, but coming after the exposure of what happened to Tina Anderson, it’s possible.

    1. Based on my own personal experience battling a certain space-alien cult…

      “Space-alien cult”? As in:

      “Writing for a penny a word is stupid. If you want to make a million tax-free, start your own religion!”
      — L Ron Hubbard, a year or two before the first publishing of Dianetics and the founding of Scientology.

      “I thought I had a most morbid imagination, as good as any man’s, but it appears I have not.”
      — Aliester Crowley, commenting on the occult antics of Jack Parsons and L Ron Hubbard

      Hail Xenu!

      1. FWIW, the quote is probably better attributed (first) to John W. Campbell, Hubbard’s editor at Astounding.

  23. God usually lets the wickedness of the wicked destroy them of itself. When he sent Elijah to Ahab to tell of his demise, it took several years for it to happen. When God sent Samuel to rip the kingdom out of Saul’s hands, it also took years before it was given to David.

    God most often lets evil take its course uninterupted….straight to hell.

    1. If Paul Chappell wants any credibility, he can clean the skeletons in his own family’s closet.

  24. I guess if you look at the big picture of American Christianity, you see a lot of change; this is just more evolution. The fundamentalism that we’re familiar with (the IFBC) is dying, but at a faster rate than ever, thanks to readily available information that pastors 20-30 years ago would not have dreamed even existed. IMHO, any person with half a brain and an internet connection will run for the hills, and will question what they believe.

    1. My wife and I were talking about this exact thing just last night. Fundies seem to so deliberately place themselves behind the times that they want to pretend that there is no such thing as the Internet, 24-hour media, social networking, etc. The cat is out of the bag, but some don’t seem to know it yet.

      1. Could not agree with you and the OP more. I think of the phrase C S Lewis uses that reminds us that ‘God can not ravish, he only woos.’ When getting really discouraged by the spread of fundy-ism to the UK, that phrase has often comforted me. Others say that we relate to God as a partner in a dance, no partner leads all the time, without being sensitive to the movements of the other, no dance partner pushes onto the floor when you’d rather ‘sit this one out.’ I’ve been reading about Process Theology and the works of Paul Tillich, as well as a very limited bit of reading on Karl Barth. The fundies might have, in fact, strengthened my faith rather than weakened it…Now I listen to several good Atheist Pod casts week & know that I never have been & never could be an Atheist. I don’t scream & shout at them but have the decency to listen & see points where I can agree & yet not loose my faith. As C S Lewis also said ‘once a King or Queen of Narnia, always a King or Queen of Narnia.’ (Oh and that from somebody who also reads Richard Dawkins!)

        1. Have you seen the youtube video called “The Four Horsemen” w/ Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett(spelling?), and Harris? It’s good listening to get an honest perspective from them. Dawkins has somewhat of a sequel to it on his website as well w/ Ayaan Hirsi Ali replacing the late Christopher Hitchens that is also pretty good.

          It’s a chance to hear them w/out all the debate rhetoric that can cause one to shut down from listening.

    2. The internet is hollowing out fundamentalism–sexual deviants and idiots have no where to hide. The Mormons and the JW’s are suffering as well, due to the amount of information debunking their theologies (JW’s are also swimming in a sea of suppressed sexual abuse).

  25. Here’s an ironic-ish story. Years back, my old man got a job at a church that in short went belly up b/c the pastor had affairs, corruption, etc. The old man comes back to FBC and very shortly after gets a job offer from another church to do the same position he was doing in the church that went belly-up.
    A day after he “gets” the job the pastor then calls him back and rescinds his offer because he found out popz’ was divorced.
    Defeated, discouraged, etc, he has a meeting scheduled with Jack Shap (hey, it’s how the news is pronouncing his name 🙂 where he discloses all of this and is expecting some guidance, direction, encouragement but simply Shap just berates him because Shap told him that now he was going to think negatively about this pastor due to what my dad had told him.
    My dad left there worse off than when he went in….ironic how the tables have turned. When Cindy gives him the heave-ho off the Hyles Mountain and Jacks’ bleeding and hurt, maybe fate will intervene and let my dad run into the guy with some encouraging words…..”So Jack, can I getchya’ a job in the ministry??”

    Revenge is a dish best served cold….Jack, for all the people you’ve shunned over the years and all the judgement you’ve handed down…..I. HOPE. YOU. ENJOY. THE. KARMA.

    1. If I were an ant, I wouldn’t go to an anteater for counseling, and if I were a troubled Christian, I wouldn’t go to Jack Schaap for counseling.

  26. If some of Jack’s buddies actually have the cajones to leave that camp, will they lose their precious honorary doctorates?

    1. Well, Jack Hyles did often say that if you did (whatever he was preaching against) that he would break into your house and steal your diplomas back again. So yeah, they would probably lose their honorary doctorates. Easy come, easy go.

    1. Sorry. 🙁 I wish it weren’t so but I’m trying to be at least a little realistic.

  27. Got a question that is related to an earlier blog:

    are fundies allowed to watch the olympics, etc? Especially considering what the athletes wear?

    Or, is that the work of the devil and too revealing?

    1. Both pants and panties are out.
      Winter and Summer Olympics are immodest, Saudi woman athlete excepted.

    2. My dad always had a problem with us watching the diving competitions, swimming, or in winter, the ice skating (skimpy outfits AND bad music–watch out!). Honestly, he thought his own child was always thinking about sex sex sex? I chalked it up to the fact that he probably had a few problems of his own that I best just not think about.

      1. Yeah, we eventually weren’t allowed to watch the Olympics much because of my parents bemoaning the outfits… 🙄

  28. Changes may occur for the better, at least in how the church sees leadership. I actually know that there is a huge movement on the part of the deacons to reform the way they operate, based on information from a relative on the deacon board. Lots of angry people about Schaap being fired. They think he should have been retained somehow….

    1. They’re angry because Schaap was fired, not because he was ever hired?
      It’s strange how the mind works …

      1. Yeah, they’re pretty ticked off right now apparently. I have no idea why. You’d think they’d be happy to have a perv out of their pulpit, but I guess if you get used to it…

    2. therein is the biggest problem, reform. Martin Luther, who I admire, reformed the Catholic church only to create a new version of the catholic church, minus the obviously crazy stuff. Good ole IFB, mad at the southern baptist reformed to IFB. “Ain’t nobody tellin’ me what missionaries to support, bless God!” With that reformation, they swore that they would never change again. Guess what they have become so dated (culture went fast paced in the 90’s and 00’s) that they are thinking of reforming themselves. WOW, they are so controlling they actually take over the reforming. That is for self preservation, because they think they are inspired too. They need revolution, not reformation. Not restore their landmark, but take down their high places and idols. Replaced church with a building. I have prayed for their destruction for years, but watching them come apart piece by piece is so undermining their stake in America; better than a massive colapse. Love the “rust away” statement, like a useless old car. It used to race and scare everyone, now people just point and laugh. Join a revolution and stop putting paint on the rust, it is not even covering anymore.

  29. Well, I like independent churches… I like them to be fundamental, and I like them to be Baptist. However, I don’t see how FBCH can claim that it is a “fundemantal” church – I don’t see them focus on the fundamentals; instead, they seem to focus on the minutia (hair length, open-toed sandals (?), various rules and opinions of men without end). Yes, the Bible speaks of holy living, and denying worldliness, but when did the pastor become the arbitrator of what is “modest” or “worldly”? Is there not a Holy Spirit that indwells believers? Preach what the Bible says, and go no further. Lift up and exalt Jesus Christ. Focus on the true fundamentals of the Christian faith, and stop trying to outdo each other in the ‘who has the stricter standards’ game.

    As a friend has pointed out to me, in I Corinthians, the one with ‘higher standards’ was called ‘the weaker brother’.

    1. Except for your corrupt church, which gave shelter and support to Dave Hyles while he broke up marriages among unsuspecting people in your congregation, and then got tangled in yet another investigation into the suspicious death of his son. You guys just changed your church name and denied everything. I still hope your wicked church, your wicked father, and you, you wicked man, end up in notoriety. Take the warning from the Jack Schaap case.

      1. You guys just changed your church name and denied everything.

        Just like how CheKa changed their name to OGPU, then to NKVD, then to KGB…

        1. Bahahaha…Ok how about this Homerism then?

          Homer: I’m not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I’m going to Hell?

  30. Darrell:

    This is excellent work. Keen as your points are [desire for judgment, need of direction, etc.], you offer something more: perspective with a sense of history and balance. And while the ‘evidence is irrelevant’ mentality will exist always in some form or another, and attach itself to one or another ‘leader’ or ’cause,’ things are changing.

    This aberration cannot thrive where a stable, theological system exists. And I think that is increasingly clear to many in the broader, Christian community, including those unfamiliar with the terms.

    Outside, many see the movement for what it is with ever increasing clarity. So the ‘no-minds’ notwithstanding, it will be apparent to all that there is in plain sight an alternative explanation/interpretation available for all who re socialized in and by the movement.

    As internal workings degrade, it will become clear to those inside that something is amiss. This kind of internal pressure often pushes groups into deeper extremism. It is especially important that we then retain the grace your post exemplified and comport ourselves with dignity and integrity. That – with our clear commitment to come alongside those who break away, make a powerful combination for which there will be not less but only more need in the future.

    This isn’t for everyone, but those well grounded in truth, with right hearts, strong faith, with experience and working knowledge of this aberration should consider making occasional TEAM visits to these temples of tyranny in order to initiate contacts and conversation.

    This requires maturity and preparation through serious study, thought and prayer. At the risk of being laughed off the board, I offer that the same disciplines used to prepare for exorcisms are invaluable here; for you are at this point entering such a contest as played out between Moses and Pharaoh, Elijah and Jezebel’s Ba’alite priests.

    My Bob Jones University years are too far in the past to allow such a role as this. But I am convinced that work such as this is needed, and that God’s Spirit gifts some people for it. Paul wrote that ‘where the Spirit is, there is liberty’ [2Co 3:17]. Truth, grace, persistence, prayer, the word and Spirit of God, liberty – with these, we can stand.

    Christian Socialist

    1. @CS, I’ve always thought about something similar to that. Just as there are host families for young people who have “come out” and are rejected or kicked out by their parents, I feel that there is a need for a “safe place” to go for young, abused people in the IFB to work through all the toxicity they’ve been through and help them become self-sufficient adults.

  31. From your blog to God’s ears, Darrell.. This was eloquent and extremely well-put. While I would love to see the IFB die a flaming, rapid death, the rust you propose is so much more likely. Thanks for this.

  32. “The truth is too terrible to contemplate”

    This is perhaps the main reason this “brand” of fundamentalism will be able to chug along for awhile longer.

    Most humans, I think, are reluctant to change, and when you are dealing with change on this scale, it is truly frightening to people. Going against their church practices and their MOG, is seen and perceived as going against God himself!

    Very good essay Darrell!

  33. All of this talk raises a question I have been dealing with? Should we escape fundamentalism or try to reform it?

    More directly, what should one do who is in Fundamentalism, collects a check from it, supports his family with it, but no longer feel any connection to the people within the movement or what the movement itself stands for?

    1. I think God convicts and leads people separately – some to leave, some to stay and show genuine love to those caught in a system of works.

      As for a pastor in an IFB church, each church is independent so a pastor can begin to truly teach the Word of God – all of it, not just the parts the fundies like, things like Mt. 25 that tell us that God expects us to feed and clothe the needy.

      He can see if he can start or join a pastor’s fellowship with other evangelical churches in his area. I was shocked when we joined the evangelical pastor’s network and saw their belief statement – it was genuinely orthodox and Biblical and I was so ashamed of myself that for years I’d believed that people like that were denying essential doctrines of Scripture. This fellowship may at first not be for the church folks but for the pastor to help him start making connections outside his IFB circles.

      He needs to carefully edit his sermons, emphasizing the Gospel more. As he stops preaching against the things his congregation expect him to, like tattoos, dancing, and drinking, he’ll get complaints from some people, but he needs to stand strong that he is preaching the Word of God nothing more and nothing less.

      People may leave or they may vote him out, but he has at least given them the truth of God’s Word, which is his duty as a minister of the Gospel.

      1. I think for a pastor, the answer to this problem is a lot more simple. But for a staff member, or harder yet, a missionary receiving all of his support from IFB churches, the decision to jump ship becomes a lot more perilous.

        1. You’re right! That’s what comes from being in small churches with only one paid staff member – I didn’t think of the people who are paid by the church but don’t have the podium or position to preach change.

          They’re definitely in a much harder position.

    2. Excellent point. I have pondered the “should I stay or should I go” question for a while now. When my wife and I were trying to raise support to become full-time missionaries (which didn’t exactly work out as planned), we realized that most of the churches we were going into were a lot like what we had grown up in and didn’t really want to be a part of.

      Our home church is quite similar to those. We have considered leaving and finding a church we think we fit into better. Ours has slid a little more towards what is called Fundamentalism as we have moved away. The main reason we have decided to stay, for now, is that I have been allowed to start a College and Career age class, a group we had nothing for and were slipping through the cracks. We have a lot of good kids in there that we have worked with and tried to disciple over the years. We are teaching and discussing things that are not necessarily the proper party propaganda, but are biblical truth. The way I see it, this is the future leadership in the church. If they learn to see Scripture for what it really says, and not just listen to what the Man Up Front says, then maybe the long-term outcome is an Independent Baptist Church that is a true light in, instead of a blight on, the community.

      I guess the question about leaving is up to the individual and their interpretation of God’s will for their situation. As for me, I’ll stay in our Fundy-Light(ish)church until I’m asked to leave, or move away. One of the first things we discussed in our class was the unimportance of denominational labels, and then the silliness of a particular translation worship. So far, I’m safe. We’ll see what happens when I get my schedule consistent enough to start our class volunteering at a shelter or something, and the leadership finds out there are other denominations involved who don’t necessarily agree with the “Independent, Fundamental, Pre-Millennial, Etc.”

      1. “I guess the question about leaving is up to the individual and their interpretation of God’s will for their situation.”

        Silly rabbit. Only the IFB pastor knows God’s will for your life. 😆

      2. UncleWilver:

        Independent, Fundamental, Pre-Millennial, Baptist – I’m not really any of those fine things [although I hold to ‘The Fundamentals’ as defined in 1905]. That said, I think you’re doing what you ought to be doing, where you’re supposed to be doing it – following the Spirit of God in an independent, fundamental[ish], pre-millennial, Baptist congregation.

        Keep your own moorings. Train another generation to think sanely and Scripturally. Blessings!

        Christian Socialist

        1. What I haven’t made public is how often my Sunday School lessons have started from one of the essays from The Fundamentals. I think the reason many IFB pastors won’t acknowledge them is because they weren’t written by Baptists.

  34. Thanks Darrell. Whether they call themselves the IFB or not, these types of organizations will remain until Kingdom Come – literally. For now, it is crucial that churches are aware of the typical condition of the folks leaving these types of organizations.

    For various reasons, our church has become a sort of rest stop for those leaving legalistic and domineering churches. The first few months are always the same: relief.

    They rejoice in the grace and freedom they have. One said it is like being able to breath without pressure on their chest. They struggle with the differing standards and preferences coexisting in harmony. Not knowing anything else is possible, that blows their minds for a while.

    Around the six-eight month mark they bump up against something that rubs them wrong. It is different for everyone, something just becomes too much to bear with love. They will go to the pastors and ask them to ‘fix’ it – meaning make a rule and/or condemn someone in the church over something that is not against Scripture (maybe unwise but not necessarily sin). This is the crucial moment for these folks. Will they allow others the same grace of God they are experiencing themselves? Those that allow the leadership to open God’s Word and demonstrate how to live in community together tend to flourish. Sadly, those that don’t tend to go back from whence they came or give up altogether. Often claiming to love everyone but stating they just “aren’t growing here anymore.” It is sad.

    There is a need for local church aftercare. Maybe not a support group or “survivors of” thing, but an awareness of the types of issues people leaving will struggle with.

    1. FuriousJehu:

      One recalls Mt 12:45, ‘and so the last state of that man becomes worse than the first …’ Sad.

      Christian Socialist

      1. Bingo Christ Social! And often they say things like “I knew it was too good to be true.” Some issues that drove folks back:
        1. Treating the bus kids the same as “our” kids. No “separate but equal” education.
        2. Refusing to condemn public schools.
        2a.Refusing to affirm “Christian schools” as superior
        2b.Refusing to affirm homeschooling as supreme
        3. Refusing to condemn Democratic Presidents/Governors/Senators etc.
        4. Refusing to teach tithing as a requirement of believers
        5. Refusing to make a public example of someone who taught a doctrine incorrectly, was corrected from Scripture, repented when confronted, sought forgiveness from the class he taught, and has affirmed and held the Truth thereafter. (The Dude was like Apollos).
        6. Allowing non-Baptists to speak from the pulpit on a Sunday following a national conference that had speakers from all over the Christian spectrum. For some reason speaking from the pulpit on Thursday-Saturday wasn’t an issue.
        7. Weekly small/home groups as an option to Wednesday night service.

        It is just silly.

        And it hurts because you are rooting for them to grow in that grace and they turn away. Exchanging an opportunity to live in humility and trust; instead reaffirming their former opinions of all things strange and different.

        1. Oh I forgot the one I was directly responsible for. Allowing my children to read Harry Potter. Actually my first offense was reading it in the first place and making my own judgement instead of taking AM Christian radio’s word for it. My second was not finding it full of witchcraft that my children would immediately start using. The pastor would not condemn me and she left the church never to return. That one stung for a while…

        2. Dear FuriousJehu:

          This touches my old heart in several ways, not the least of which is that I like your church! I don’t know where you reside, but if I lived there, I’d drop by to check out the ministry!

          A number of your points are truly sad. Equal standing for all children is evil? It seems not to occur to some that Jesus’ body was broken so that the greatest division of all, Jew and Gentile, might be broken down forever in order that we might all become one new man in him [Ep 2:14-16]. And yet there we find God’s confessing people, building up walls and making them higher and stronger than ever.

          And refusing to condemn or to affirm one stream of education over another? As heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, we have God as our Father and Jesus as our brother [Ro 8:17]. Does that confer so little standing that we must squabble about schools? How is this not the very epitome of humanistic secularity? As for failing to condemn Democratic politicians, I have to laugh wondering what they would do with me! And tithing? I’ll let 2Co 9:7 stand as my answer.

          I find point 5 especially grievous. I suspect that all of us may one day stand to be corrected on one or two points of doctrine. But while they do not say this, some of our friends would be hard pressed to imagine on what point of faith or doctrine they might conceivably be wrong. And yet those who would condemn the imprecision of my theology I have heard proclaiming a full blown moral influence theory of atonement. I have heard many preachers proclaim a very highly Gnosticized perversion of the Gospel. Most that I have met lacked the theological acumen to understand this. And for the few that did, it didn’t matter to them anyway. I have heard preachers rail against the evil of John Calvin not knowing that the famed 5 points were not defined until he was dead 49 years, and not knowing that it was Calvin who first described the doctrine of vicarious atonement.

          Speaking of Jesus’ vicarious life, death and resurrection, how many preachers pick up on the fact that the flip side of Jesus’ dying in our place is that we are now called to live – and if necessary – die in his place. Do preachers truly believe that Jesus’ life and death are truly vicarious? Do they even grasp the import of these things? Or, do they cling to the same kind of implicit ‘I believe my church/preacher’ for which they simultaneously condemn practitioners of Catholicism?

          As for the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rawling is a confessing member of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland – a point which some will merely recruit as evidence that the Church of Scotland is no true church. And yet more and more are recognizing that were Lewis [Chronicles of Narnia] and Tolkein [Lord of the Rings] alive and Rawling happened on a pub where they were sitting, they would pull out a chair for her.

          I’ve kept this for last. I know that it hurts when people begin to take a few, tepid steps into the light, only to see faith waver so that they pull away again. I think it is imperative, FuriousJehu, that you understand this as a spiritual pathology and struggle. I also believe that just as Jesus bore wounds in his flesh, that his body today [that’s us!] must be willing to do the same. We can be used to bring healing to others to the extent that we are able to open our arms as the arms of Christ, and to enfold them and thereby absorb their pain for their healing. As the body of Christ, we are as his presence in the world. That is incarnational theology, faith lived in flesh.

          If your congregation is becoming a haven those leaving their prisons, the leadership might find it worthwhile to study some of the issues that are especially relevant to people in this situation.

          In closing, my congregation was blessed to have a wonderful middle-aged couple come to us five years ago. They walked with us for a time, but then departed 18 months ago. The issues were different, but as you understand – it is always the spirit, the mindset.

          Yes, I sorrowed. I had invested many hours over several years in bringing them to this point. But do you know – after being gone 14 months, they couldn’t take it. Their taste of liberty went too deep. And for the past four months, they have been worshiping with us again. So this can happen. Never stop trying. God bless you and your congregation richly.

          Christian Socialist

        3. Wow CS. Never thought there’d be such a response. Those are the cases I am personally aware of, I’m sure their are others I don’t know about. To be transparent, I was one of the people concerned about combining the the kids classes together – don’t ask I’m still embarrassed about it. I was glad to go to my pastors later and tell them I was wrong.

          We are ordaining the Apollos this summer and sending him as a missionary to Asia. I think about how his and his family’s life would be so different had leadership not been grounded in the Word. As far as points of doctrine, I teach a class at church and my wife jokingly quips, “You often say ten things and repent of seven!” Still learning to guard my tongue.

          Thanks for your analysis and encouragement.

          Anyway, my initial point is people coming out of these kinds of churches are not monolithic in their positions, attitudes and experiences. And their adjustment to a more biblical life is not complete, instantaneous or smooth, we need to extend grace and patience as they work their worldview out. Probably shared more than needed to make that point. Sorry.

          If you make your way to Missouri, the buckle on the Bible Belt, give me a shout.

        4. FJ,
          I am not surprised by the “legalism recidivism’ of the recovering authoritarian members. As CS notes, Jesus warned us that just cleaning our spiritual house was insufficient. The list isn’t surprising either – look at the hot-button topics mentioned. Just because we have accepted Grace in our lives doesn’t yet change our willingness to relinquish the conviction that there MUST be a right way to do these non-essential things. Very saddening.
          I myself have run afoul of families that find my offbeat approach to teaching – deliberately offbeat, to reach the unreached and gently shake those who live in a small bubble – and my honesty about reading “questionable” books and indulging in “dangerous” activities (oh no! Science Fiction! Role-Playing Games! 1st-person shooters! He won’t even condemn beverage alcohol!) has caused withdrawal and conemnation. Sigh. We are all convinced we are right, and ought to rule the world. Just until jesus returns, of course. 😐

  35. Just a note, I found the first mention of this scandal by another leader in fundamentalism (there might have been others, but I have not come across them. This post was given by Dr. Paul Chappell of WCBC:

    It comes across slightly defensive to me, as if he is justifying not having done more to reign in influence of Jack Schaap. I wonder what other leaders in Fundamentalism will say about their own cozying up with First Baptist Hammond (ie. Dr. Sexton).

    And just in case anyone is wondering if this has or will spur changes withing the movement, the comment section alone should make the answer clear. It reads as follows:

    “Thank you.”
    “Just what I needed.”
    “Praise the Lord.”
    “Praise the Lord.”
    “Amen Brother.”
    “Timely response.”
    “Thank you for that.”

  36. “…leave those wretched churches.” Do you believe all IFB churches are wretched? If not 100%, then what percentage would you say are wretched?

    “They perversely crave judgment and delight when they have the chance to judge others.” Can Fundamentalists be very judgmental? Yes. How is the above statement any different. Is it ok to be judgmental to a Fundamentalist?

    “They will continue on no matter what evil is exposed in their midst.” If the two churches I have been a member of and the church my wife was a member of were in no way connected to churches where these scandals took place, what compels us to leave?

    “God must still be on their side.” Is it impossible for God to be with any Fundamentalists?

    “And we’ll be here to help bind up the wounds of those who escape.” If there is such a concern to help people out of the movement, why have our friends who left our circles never once approached us about their concern?

    If we are not supposed to be in “IFB” churches- where do you suggest we go?

    1. What percentage? Who knows. It is not the individual churches that are the problem to start with it is the IFB movement itself.
      It is set up so that there is no accountability, no oversight, no checks and balances and no association with other believers. The isolation practiced in the IFB movement lends itself to excess, abuse, cover-ups and man-centered religion. This actually draws men of lesser character to the pulpits of these churches. Men who know how to manipulate people for their own gain.

      Lord Acton put it this way.

      “I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

      And while he was speaking specifically of the Pope in Rome it has present day application for the IFB movement as well.

      It does not matter how noble, how idealistic a pastor may be to begin with in the IFB, he soon learns how much raw power he has at his fingertips. That is heady stuff. The power will seduce him and ensnare even the best of men with the purest of intentions. Not because they are not fighting the outward appearance of such sin… but because they fail to realize that sin is not something external to be fought against as the Billy Sunday’s, the Roloff’s, the Hyles and all the other works folks have preached for the past century… no, sin is internal in the individual’s heart.

      Yet the IFB sets pastor’s up for these failures. It creates the atmosphere where the “Hired Gun” goes it alone, only he has truth, only he can do the work. I know that in the Rural IFB Bible institutes, and basement colleges it is taught that as a pastor you should avoid allowing anyone to get close to you. As a Pastor you cannot have close friends in the flock because familiarity breeds contempt. The pastor must be the example of virtue, aloofness and decorum if he is to be effective in leading his flock. This adds to the isloation and the stress and pressure on the single leader template. Men of stronger character will wear themselves out trying to be the model of Perfection. Men of lesser character will continually guilt and manipulate the congregants as their sin surrogates, on whom they project their own sins and demand pennance from.

      I’ll stop there. If you want to read more I have an article, Corruption is Directly Proportional to The Level of Control that is Available, available here:

    2. Dear Jacob A. Hughes:

      Greetings in Jesus’ sacred Name.

      While Darrell is fully capable of speaking for himself, I would point out that the opening paragraph focus is neither fresh scandal nor school policy but institutional power. This includes the campus in question, but also extends concern to ‘fundamentalism’ in general. So even if wretchedness is mentioned, it seems clear to me that the article’s real concern is institutional power, the nature of that power, the ways, modes and consequences of its work. Institutional power. The query about some wretchedness index seems off the mark at best.

      Do fundamentalists have a corner on pharisaic attitudes? Not at all! And I don’t read Darrell assaying that legalism is a problem solely for fundamentalists. Do you?

      I further believe that the Spirit moved the evangelists to include extensive pharisaic content as a means showing the limitations of the best efforts we can make of revealed religion. And I believe all of us have a Pharisaic streak in us. Until we stop using Pharisees as our wiping posts when they make better mirrors, can we really claim to receive the whole witness of God?

      So – your church has no skeletons in the closet. Are you pleased about that, or do you give glory to God? Or is it [again] a little of both? Even if we don’t say it, we Christians know each other better than we might say, because we know what is in our own hearts. And my heart is always a mixture of pure and impure. At every moment of life, the best moments and very best intentions I have had in life – all these have, at every instant, been touched and tainted by sin. Your problem, Yacob, is that you’re a little too much like me.

      We Christians hand out such words like ‘truth’ and ‘honesty’ as if they were candy. How much truth and honesty could we really stand?

      You ask whether Yahweh can be on the side any fundamentalist. Darrell doesn’t deny it. Will you, Jacob, concede that Yahweh might stand beside someone who isn’t a fundamentalist?

      As for where you should go, that is not for us to answer. You alone [and that excludes your pastor] can make that determination. Like everyone else, you will answer to the King [Ro 14:12].

      All powers are fallen. All societies, parties, organizations, schools, churches, governments, businesses and every collective that has been, is now, or ever shall be, is a fallen power. That is the question we must all face squarely. The attempt to point fingers away from ourselves to the one that ate the forbidden fruit, or the one who put us up to it didn’t work in the Genesis prologue.

      It won’t work now.

      Christian Socialist

    3. “And we’ll be here to help bind up the wounds of those who escape.” If there is such a concern to help people out of the movement, why have our friends who left our circles never once approached us about their concern?

      Probably because in most fundie camps the ones who have left know if they come back to voice their concerns they will be eaten alive. How may have been labled with 1 John 2:19 when they leave?

      Remember what Socrates said would happen to those who return to the cave. Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.

      1. Probably because in most fundie camps the ones who have left know if they come back to voice their concerns they will be eaten alive.

        Every couple of weeks, I call my writing partner with the same question:

        “Did we go crazy, or did everyone else?”

        And he always answers with the same quote from one of the Desert Fathers:

        “There will come a time when men will go mad. And they will lay hands on the sane among them, saying ‘You are not like us! You must be Mad!'”

    4. Where to go after the IFB? I would recommend the Catholic church. Seriously. The services have Old Testament and New Testament scripture, preaching, communion, and are over in one hour. If you want to go to church every day, you can do that too.

  37. Not every church can implode like the one that ran my high school, but most will have to moderate their screaming fundy impulses or face the fact they they are coming to their final moments. Hyles’ church was doomed to have a Jack Schaap because the church body never repudiated the Jack Hyles style of “God-king” pastoring.* People need to start thinking for themselves in Fundyland or this nonsense will go on forever.


    * By which I mean that the laypeople treat Hyles as an infallable, absolute leader above reproach. Treating a leader as semi-divine may have worked in ancient Cambodia or Japan, but not in America in the 20th and 21st centuries.

  38. Hey Darrell, your ignorance of Christian fundamentalism is nothing short of stunning. This site is some sort of personal vendetta against God. Admit it Darrell. Look in the mirror and be a man and admit it. Just you and God. Alone. Fundamentalism is nothing more than 100% adherance to the Bible. Simple as that. The fact that some men fail doesn’t change that fact or your personal responsibility (you Darrell) toward God.

    1. Hey! He got most of his spelling correct! That’s a step up from most trolls. Need to work a bit on adherence and sentence structure (you need a subject & a verb at least to form a sentence), but overall, not so bad.

        1. You know, I was going to but then I realized I just wasn’t man enough.

          Ah, well. 😛

    2. Fundamentalism is nothing more than 100% adherance to the Bible.

      And most Fundies believe they keep it 100% of the time. That is also know as Legalism. Works sanctification by “100% adherance” (sic) to the law.

    3. “This site is some sort of personal vendetta against God.” No, this site is against spiritual abuse often experienced by those of us who have left Fundamentalism. But it’s really telling how you word that. You equate your favorite religion with God. Not a surprise.

    4. Hey Darrell, your ignorance of Christian fundamentalism is nothing short of stunning. This site is some sort of personal vendetta against God. Admit it Darrell. Look in the mirror and be a man and admit it.

      Darrel, I had almost those exact words (“Admit it!”) said to me years ago. The guy going “Admit It!” to me was falsely accusing me of bestiality in a month-long Internet harassment campaign.

    5. Dear Beyond Silly:

      1] If fundamentalism is dedication to God and his word, then many of us are fundamentalists [although not likely so perfectly as some].

      2] Can you offer any compelling reasons for which we should accept the charges you lay at Darrell’s feet?

      Christian Socialist

  39. And here I thought we were just silly. When did we go beyond silly? Did I miss the memo?

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