Commandments Concerning Motor Vehicles

And when it shall come to pass that the Lord shall bless the and thy household and thy ministry with a horseless carriage (such as was prophesied by John the Revelator if you know how to look) then shalt thou observe to follow all the commandments which I give thee this day. So shalt thou cruise about the land in the invention of that great American Henry Ford and so shalt thy flat tires, and engine failures, and traffic tickets be no more than the usual amount.

And thou shalt in no wise place a man and a woman who are not married nor related more distantly than first cousin alone in a car together. For in the beginning God made them male and female and then gave them strict instructions that they should not be allowed alone in a car together unless they are married, chaperoned, or one of them is the pastor and he’s taking her across state lines to do some “counseling.” For thus it is written: “Lust cometh not from the heart but verily it ascendeth up from car floor mats and doth make even the most reasonable person into a lascivious chump. This goes double for pastors.”

To this end also, thy car’s wireless radio shall be tuned only to such music as is meet for the provision of thy soul, namely the station that plays only songs, hymns, spiritual songs, and sometimes a little Southern Gospel which isn’t too bad as long as the drums aren’t too prominent in it. But if there shall be no old-time fundamentalist radio station in your town thou mayest on occasion listen to NPR but only Performance Today and such like shows with classical music. But of the news programs and talk segments thou mayest not listen lest the liberalism of Terry Gross and her ilk counfound thy soul.

On the rear of thy chariot thou shalt affix all manner of bumper stickers and magnetic signs to tell the world that thou art a Republican, and a handgun owner, and likely to leave the car unmanned in case of Rapture. Verily shalt they know that you are a Christian when you cut them off in traffic. But of the speed and recklessness of thy driving that is a matter of individual soul liberty. Only do not try handing the deputy sheriff a gospel tract with your license and registration when he stops you for speeding because after the way thy church sued the department after those men got arrested for street preaching you won’t be doing yourself any favors.

And as to which exact car you should buy, we have no commandment save that thou consult with thy pastor who is a wise man and full of advice and shall give you good counsel that you buy only large vans to hold all the children thou shalt have once you get right with God and stop using birth control. But of the sports car, and of the luxury sedan, and of the fun little coupe you know those would make a swell present for the pastor on his birthday.

Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements, p 255

121 thoughts on “Commandments Concerning Motor Vehicles”

  1. It is indeed unkind of you Darrell, to provoke me to laugh aloud at the ungodly hour of 5am. The baby may be awake, but the rest of the household still slumbers like the proverbial sluggard.

    Seriously, “But of the sports car, and of the luxury sedan, and of the fun little coupe you know those would make a swell present for the pastor on his birthday.” is bust-a-gut funny.

  2. Don’t forget, “thou shalt make sure the inside is spotless when you pick up any visiting Man of Gawwd at the airport, and keep your rebellious wife from eating her super sized McD’s meal therein”
    LOL!! :wink: :evil:

    1. You beat me to that comment! “Dr” Trieber would approve…but he would have approved more if I – as a man – had been the one to say it.

  3. ” one of them is the pastor and he’s taking her across state lines to do some “counseling.”

    It’s 4:30 in the morning here, and that reduced me to helpless giggles…

    Have to note though- my bumper stickers, which range from liberal, Harry Potter, Oregon Ducks, to my Episcopal stickers, keep my honest on the road. I feel really, REALLY bad if I cut someone off, knowing what they’re reading (and probably cussing about) on the back hatch. Mind, this is Portland and an old Volvo is pretty common, but still…

  4. “Verily shalt they know that you are a Christian when you cut them off in traffic.”

    Which is exactly why, when given a bumper sticker that read “1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given” by a member of my church, I thanked them, and at the same time resolved that this must never make its way onto my rear bumper.

    I have no doubt it would have caused other drivers to call upon the name of the Lord… but not necessarily in the way they might have hoped.

        1. Jesus also:-
          Spoke Aramaic, not 17th century English
          Never owned a King James Bible
          Was not a Baptist
          was not even a Protestant or a Christian
          was the Son Of God

        2. “Jesus never owned a King James Bible.”
          Say, now that I think about it, that would be a great thing to put on a tee-shirt to wear ro a Fundy Church…

    1. Yep, it’s why I will never put anything that identifies me as a Christian on my cars. Because no matter how carefully I drive, I’m going to tick off somebody someday, and we don’t need one more thing for them to blame on Christians. :mrgreen:

    2. plus even if they do call on the name of the Lord “Jesus Christ” in response to your automotive testimony I think it’s salvivic value is reduced when they include the “f-ing” in front of it.

    1. In the immortal words of Bro. Roloff, “If it’s a sin for me to ______________ (fill in the blank with the sin d’jour) then it’s a sin for you too!

    2. I think skirts should be made a sin. After all, a suitably motivated male COULD lay on the ground and look up it thereby being tempted to sin. Therefore the woman should wear a body-length sack-like creation that has just holes for her feet to stick out of.

      It’s a sin to do otherwise.

        1. I understand that the guys in the sandbox call a woman in a burqa a ‘BMO’, or ‘black moving object’. James’ nephew did a couple of tours there, and he says they really hate BMOs, because you never know if it’s a woman, or a man hiding explosives. :shock:

      1. Since becoming more acquainted with Islam after living overseas for the last few years, I think there are many similarities with modern-day fundamentalism. And I think a better understanding of Islam would help some fundamentalists finally recognize their own hypocrisy.

        For example, modesty is obviously relative. And while you arbitrarily declare ‘covering the knee length skirts’ to be the gold standard of “modesty” and anything else to be “immodest”, Muslim women of the Middle East put you to shame by wearing full body sacks revealing only the white of their eyes.

        And while conservative fundamentalists decry the horrors of living under “Sharia Law” or “legislated Islamic morality”, they try to impose their own view of morality on non-Christians through movements such as “The Moral Majority.” They won’t let anyone take away their freedoms but they have no problem taking away the freedoms of other people.

        And then if they really tried to get to know any practicing Muslim, they might better understand how some of their own “standards” repel those who do not share their faith. For example, I have made friends with a Muslim family in my town and have eaten at their home on several occasions. But imagine my chagrin when I learned that they will never come to my home for a meal because my home is not “halal.” Their strict standards prevent any meaningful relationships with non-Muslims just as fundamentalists standards ostracize… well pretty much everyone in modern society.

        1. Their dietary/kitchen laws are very similar to Orthodox Judaism. I don’t follow those laws, obviously, but I can respect their commitment to them. It takes real work.

        2. It definitely takes discipline to adhere to such rules, but it’s also very off-putting to be told that you’re not fit to be eaten with.

          I do wish Christians would see that, as altar ego said, that when they hold to certain arbitrary, strict rules, they’re only making people respect their discipline at best or be repelled by them at worst, but probably not really attract anyone to Christ.

        3. You’re reading too much into it, Pastor’s Wife, and taking it too personally. I keep kosher, strictly, and only eat in my home, other Jews’ homes, or in kosher restaurants. It has nothing to do with the non-Jewish people in my life, but my religious beliefs regarding food.

        4. When I learned that my Muslim friend and his family would never come to eat at my home, frankly, I felt a little offended. I understand their dietary restrictions and was completely prepared to accommodate those. But for them, it is not just about not eating pork or drinking alcohol, it is about eating under the roof of an infidel, about eating meat that was not slaughtered by a Muslim, about using a fork that may have once touched a pork-chop.

          I thought, “if I am willing to trust you and come to your house and eat your food without questioning what it is or where it came from, why can you not afford the same trust to me?”

          In a culture where food and dinning together is so important (I am living overseas), I felt that this created a gap that could not be bridged very easily.

  5. At Heartland Baptist Bible college they once did something for the local police (I forget what it was but I know that in their minds it was profoundly generous but it probably wasn’t that big of a deal). Anyway, they used to tell incoming students that if they ever got pulled over that they should mention to the police that they went to Heartland and the police would let them out of a ticket. (Sam Davidson at Heartland is fond of alleging that he has cozy relationships with various government officials. He once claimed to be “close friends” with David Boren, Oklahoma’s most well-known senator, based on the fact that they had flown in the same plane once.) Anyway, supposedly this had worked once or twice to get people out of tickets.

    So anyway we knew this woman who was going to classes at Heartland and she got pulled over and tried the “but officer I go to Heartland” line. The office didn’t care and wrote her a ticket anyway. She told us it was so sad that the cop wasn’t saved!

      1. Well . . . this is the same woman who once went to Oklahoma Baptist Hospital for treatment and later told us that she was offended that they called themselves Baptist but didn’t make the nurses wear skirts! :shock:

        (Like most Heartland students, she was on every form of welfare known to man. Heartland actually had a seminar of sorts for new students that taught them how to get on the dole. She ended up having to leave the state due to Section 8 housing fraud.)

        1. Are you serious?

          They actually counsel students to take gov’t benefits to allow them to finish school. I thought it was really difficult for a single adult with not kids to even get such benefits.

        2. Yes, they do. And most Heartland students are married with kids, so that isn’t a problem for them.

    1. How about they tell their students to follow the law and if they don’t, Heartland better not hear about it or they’ll be facing serious consequences for their legal misdeeds?

      See, it dumbfounds me that these students will get demerits for dust on their desks or a skirt that rides up when they kneel down, but the administration winks at them joyriding 20 mph over the speed limit and rolling through stop signs.

      Guess which ones I think are way more serious?

      (Although technically none of them are really the college’s business unless one particular set of transgressions result in serious legal issues for the individual in question.)

      1. I don’t know what other Bible “Colleges” are like, but Heartland has a very, shall we say, desultory approach to obeying the law.

        During my one year as an Oklahoma fundy (before I got out), we had a lot of Heartland acquaintances. Several of them told us at various times how to cheat on welfare (e.g., don’t report spouse’s income, say there has been a death in the family, “quit” your job to be eligible for emergency services, don’t pay your electric bill in the summer because power company has a policy of not shutting-off power when temps are above a certain level, etc.).

        It was really sad to realize that these people preparing for the ministry were such a bunch of crooks. (Probably most of them weren’t like that, but way too many were.)

        1. That is sad. And if they weren’t crooks before, hearing an authoritative person (who a college student no doubt looks up to) say that type of behavior is acceptable might make a naive college student who wouldn’t otherwise cheat feel as though it’s all right. I know that I accepted some very wrong ideas when I was at Fundy U just because someone standing behind a pulpit or in front of the classroom promoted them.

        2. That is appalling. To be so legalistic about made-up rules (show me where in the Bible is says ‘two fingers below the collarbone’), and so blasé about actual laws… not a good witness, to my view.

          My dad used to (might still) run lights, speed, leave his belt off, etc, and say that he was ‘not under law, but under grace’. Funny how the state patrol didn’t see it that way.

    2. My brother is a police officer in the HAC area. He gets stuff like that all the time. He told me once why should he show them any mercy when they certainly don’t do the same to others?
      I wouldn’t be surprised if he kept a special eye on all those buses… :wink:

    3. I have heard the same kind of thing before, particularly from Dr. RB Roulette.

      He said that because he had been made an honorary deputy by the police force in… Saginaw, MI I guess… that he sometimes takes the liberty to driver over 90 miles an hour down the Michigan freeways.

      I don’t know about you, but that kind of abuse of power and position doesn’t sound very Christian or democratic… it sounds like what goes on in the likes of Russia and China by corrupt government officials.

      1. When I lived in Hawaii, our pastor was well known for his lead foot. Somehow, he seemed to think that putting a ‘Clergy’ sticker on his rear bumper made it ok. The local cops did not agree.

    1. This is something else that bothers me.

      I remember in Bible college struggling to follow the example set by the pastors of the church. They wore nice, tailored suits, clean white shirts, shiny black shoes, and drove nice, clean trucks and SUVs. They then held this standard up as “spiritual” and disparaged students who couldn’t afford to match this image.

      Consequently, after working 40 hours a weak and struggling to pay my own school bill, I felt the need to spend quite a bit of money on car washes, wax, and white shirts in order to live up to their example of “spirituality.”

      What a way to either crush the spirit of a young college student or teach them a false sense of spirituality that is marked by nice suits, new cars, and gold fountain pens.

      1. I remember hearing Dr. Bob Jr. say in chapel once that he judged a man based on his SHOES. I thought, “How incredibly shallow.” Yes, in a way, having well-polished shoes might show that you are attentive to detail, but it just doesn’t sound like something Jesus would do, dismissing people as “unworthy” because for whatever reason they’re shoes weren’t good enough.

        I think it was Dr. Bob III who said something once about the quality of pen a man should have. It just seemed to me incredibly shallow and materialistic as well as kind of snobby considering how hard some people worked just to get their kids to college without having them think they had to keep up with the Joneses when it came to PENS of all things.

  6. Love love love the part about the “wireless radio.” (Also love Terry Gross. Check out her interview with Alice Cooper sometime. Little known fact: he was raised fundy and attended Bob Jones Academy. Not exactly one of the alumni they put on the fundraising circulars.)

    Anyhoo, apparently now Disney is also okay for fundies. (I know, I know, but don’t try to understand it just go with it.) My sister who works for West Coast Baptist College spends each summer in Florida trying to witness to Jews (yes, that is for serious). Anyway, she and her gaggle of Bible College twits drive around all day in a minivan listening to the Disney station on the radio. We asked her how they can do that when most Disney songs have a rock beat. I got this look from her :shock: followed by the statement: “It’s Disney music. It can’t be rockmusic.” (That’s not a typo, she always pronounces it as one word.)

    So there you have it: Disney music is its whole own special genre distinct from rock. (Which, now that you think of it, is something I actually agree with.)

    1. The Alice Cooper thing is a bit of an urban legend. I heard the same thing about Gene Simmons and PCC. I may have even spotted Elvis at TTU.

      1. There is an urban legend that Faith Hill went to Hammond Baptist and FBC. Just so we can supply a celebrity to each Fundy U. :grin:

      2. It seems you are right about the urban legend. Not a legend that Mr. (Mrs.?) Cooper has tried too hard to stamp out exactly.

        At any rate, his interview with Terry Gross is fascinating. Her interview with Gene Simmons . . . not so much.

    2. Vincent Furnier/Alice Cooper was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) (a Latter Day Saints offshoot), and his wife’s father was a Baptist minister (both their fathers preached at their wedding). I find no evidence that he ever attended Bob Jones Academy. He describes himself as a “born again” Evangelical Christian, and says that God healed him of alcoholism. His act includes Gothic horror imagery and some Grand Guignol-type mock violence, but he says there’s no swearing or profinity in it (haven’t seen the show myself). Alice Cooper doesn’t talk about politics much, and says rock stars shouldn’t be political activists, but he has said that he supported Nixon and George W. Bush for President.

      Fun fact: His wife, Sheryl Goddard, was originally hired to play “a molar in a tooth sequence” (among other parts) in the Alice Cooper stage show.

      http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20071629,00.html

      1. And he was interviewed by Terry Gross. I listened to it in 1998 I believe. He wasn’t too bitter about his upbringing, even though Terry Gross seemed flustered that someone could be brought up that way, turn to making Freddie Krueger movies, and then not have something bad to say about his Baptist youth. He was nonchalant for the most part.

    3. I agree West Coast Baptist College / Lancaster Baptist Church is big time into Disney. Their youth group/school makes trips to Disneyland about twice a year, at least.

      About Disney music being okay – I guess Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) should pass music check too then…LOL!

        1. Exactly. Have you seen the movie Bridesmaids? The annoying newly-wed character is JUST LIKE my sister (except my sister is single): “Oooh, let’s have a Pixar-themed bridal shower!!! We can all come dressed as our favorite Pixar character!”

  7. After my parents got engaged, my dad took my mom from MI to IL to meet his parents (1964). My maternal grandpa was a Baptist pastor. A parishioner started telling people that my parents had taken off for a weekend. My grandpa quickly set the story straight.

  8. I bought my first car at the same time I started at a Baptist university and interned at my first church (I also was working a secular side job because I was so poor). The pastor counseled me to get a big ol’ (used) sedan- 1994 Buick Regal with 140,000 miles- so I could bring people to church. It was much more expensive than I could afford, especially since it was a gas guzzler and the church cut my pay after the first month to $100/month. The car always seemed to have something wrong with it and cost every dime I had to maintain. I ended up riding my bike work and church and only driving the car on my 50 mile commute to school each day.

    1. YA SFL – getting advice from pastors about major purchases. Sorry you got caught in the trap. All my car-buying follies have been my own fault. :???:

    1. But Prius is the name of a pagan god, didn’t you know???

      Oh . . . wait . . . it actually isn’t??? Well, it sure SOUNDS paganistical, so I think that Christians should avoid buying them just in case. (I heard this exact statement made once, not in reference to a Prius, but to something else with a funny foreign-sounding name.)

      1. I think “Prius” is just a made-up name, like Accura, Camry, Elantra, etc.
        Most car names these days are either coined words or random words like “Insight” or “Fit” (huh?) or “Sonic” (as opposed to Supersonic?).

        1. Prius is the Latin word meaning “before.” Allegedly selected because Prius was released “before” most other so-called environmentally friendly cars.

        2. I believe “Camry” is an Anglicization of the Japanese word for “crown” (kanmuri or somesuch) which I gather is what the car was originally called in Japan, before manufacturing moved to the USA.

  9. If thou dost give in to temptation and buy a chariot that is not exclusively useful and a wee bit fun thy car shalt frequently be mentioned from the pulpit. The pastor shall do this in a manner that he can deem “kidding” but shall clearly let thee know that thou hast crossed the line. (This rule does not apply to pickup trucks. The bigger and the flashier the better!)
    When, the following year, the pastor doth buy his wife a convertible thou shalt not mention it lest thou bring his wrath down upon thyself and thy household.

  10. pastormike’s post above made me think of a story.

    The year I got married was the last year I attended a fundy church. (Both my wife-to-be and I thought that the other one of us wanted to be married in the IFB church. Learned a big lesson about communication from that experience!) Anyway, I was driving a fairly old minivan at the time and the brakes went out. I found a shop that fixed them for $600 (possibly a rip-off but there it is). I also made the mistake of telling the pastor what happened.

    Within a couple of months, the pastor used me as a sermon illustration!!! (I know that happens a lot but it hadn’t happened to me before.) He told this loooong story about a “young man” that he had “once pastored” (he had only been a pastor for a couple of years) that got ripped off fixing his brakes and that the young man should have gotten advice from his pastor.

    That should have been a major red flag. That pastor ended up being the reason why I finally broke free from fundiedom when he backed out of doing our wedding at the last minute.

      1. That is what I have always thought too because it WAS a total brake replacement, but the pastor INSISTED that I was ripped off and wouldn’t let it go for several weeks afterwards.

    1. I was frequently a sermon illustration because I had a pet snake, which was surely unnatural, lol. Humans have an innate fear of snakes because of the whole Garden of Eden thing … :twisted:

      1. Funny, because I am not afraid of snakes, but my ex-husband is petrified of them. For years I’ve wanted to send him guess what? on the day of our anniversary. :evil: :twisted: :mrgreen:

      2. I’ve never been afraid of snakes, but my wife is sort of squicked out by them.

        Rats are what make me stand on a chair and scream like a little girl.

  11. If thou dost give in to temptation and buy thyself a Prius and thy pastor doth begin to rebuke thee thou shalt respond to him in this manner: “But preacher, it gets such good gas mileage now I can give more to the building fund”. Yeah, that shall shut him up right quick.

    1. Haha, one time earlier this year (forget when) we hashed out the whole “What Car Would Jesus Buy” debate. Someone, I think it was Pastor’s Wife, actually had a really good point that when a pastor lives in a car manufacturing area of the country it’s a good idea for him to drive the kind of car that is made in the area so as not to offend church members who drive that kind of car.

      The problem, of course, is when this is turned into some sort of “standard” as opposed to merely a preference based on the desire to remove stumbling blocks to ministry!!!

    1. I know a guy (and wish I didn’t) who was raised COG. He claims he’s agnostic now but still hold on to a lot of odd rules. Including the driving thing. When we lived in the same town we’d occasionally run errands or go to events together. We took my car because he didn’t have one. And he always insisted on driving. *In my car.* He said it wasn’t right for a woman to drive a man. I don’t know why I went along with it.

      Interestingly, we’re not on speaking terms anymore.

        1. Not Saudi, just a jerk. :mad:

          Why is it that fundamentalists of all stripes have a thing about women? That the quick litmus test for me, and one I wish didn’t work. If they’re rigid about women and women’s issues, they’re very likely to be rigid about other things.

          I just got asked to stand for a seat on the vestry. That never would have happened in any of the fundy churches I attended.

    2. You know, I do the vast majority (99.9872%) of driving for expeditions involving the entire family unit. People in my last religious social club always looked askance at couples where the wife drove. Why is that a problem? And yes, it was declared a matter of submission. Funny, they didn’t have a problem taking money from us …

  12. You can usually spot the fundy car that has the “KJV” bumper sticker that proudly proclaims that out of context verse in Psalms 12:6-7. Yup that’s proof right there, hallelujer

  13. I just read the post a little more carefully — “thou mayest listen to Performance Today…” Brings back memories of the ride home from Fundy Christian School. “I’m Martin Goldsmith, and you’re listening to ‘Performance Today’.”

  14. “Lust cometh not from the heart but verily it ascendeth up from car floor mats and doth make even the most reasonable person into a lascivious chump.” Oh, Darrell, that phrase just makes me laugh so hard. Lascivious chump. I was the most lascivious chump in the world as a young dating age man. I wasn’t saved, however. When I went out with girls, I always picked them up in one of my cars. And most of those girls made sure that my lasciviousness did not allow my hands to rove further than their knee.

  15. Yep
    That’s why I don’t have any bumper stickers. (Other then their insufferable annoyance and physiological clue that the driver is a loud, overly-opinionated person).

    Belief systems posted on the back of a car will inevitably be judged by automotive skill.

  16. “Commandment XIII: And When Thou Shalt Pick Up a Stranger Along Side the Road, Thou Shalt Have Thy King-James (1602) Bible At The Ready; yea, even open between thee and thy passenger, so that thou Mayest convince them of the Comforts and Eternal Security of Salvation whilst approaching the speed of that which even angels fear to aspire to.”

        1. If it’s navy blue with a red strip and white lettering, it came from goats.com originally. Refers to a strip from about ten years ago.

          I used to have a Picard/Riker sticker, but it went away when I sold the van. :cry:

        2. Meant to add- my favorite (I have no more room on the back hatch so I won’t be getting one) says “Cthulu for President: Why vote for the lesser of two evils?”

        3. A friend of mine who is a rabid knitted (Miriam Pike- she’s active on a lot of the knitting groups) made a Cthulu balaclava for a friend. It is AWESOME.

          Another friend made me a Gryffindor scarf a few years back. it is waaaay long, rather like the 4th Doctor; I have to double it up to wear it. But I get lots of grin, especially if I wear it with my Quidditch sweater. :mrgreen:

        4. Yep. Kingdom of An Tir, Barony of Three Mountains, cook, costumer, research maven, Laurel. Used to live in the Principality of the Summits. In fact, Saturday I’m heading to Corvallis for the Winter Investiture. There’s stuff I need to do at the peerage council.

        5. I am so jealous. I loved the SCA. We just don’t have the time for it anymore and my costuming sucked. I did learn to spin on a spinning wheel and still do that. I loved the embroidery and handwork and the dressing up. Ahhh, those were good times.

        6. And there’s the thing- you don’t have to do your own costuming. Or cooking or brewing or whatever. We do stuff that is in our own strengths- and basically barter out the rest. I’ve done costume work for money. I’ve also done it in exchange for help loading and unloading and setting up camp, for jewelery… just about anything.

          I get to about one event a month. Two this month because I’m teaching at an event on the 15th. And I do a lot of teaching online too. Don’t count yourself out- you mind find your way back! :wink:

  17. If I ever get my own car I want to get a bumper sticker with a picture of the Earth taken from space and the words “Wish you were here.”

  18. I think that all cars are stupid and that the toyota prius was created by the left wing agenda masters with their hearts set on world domination. I have turkeys for free jinger and doug philips is not a tool. diarrhea.
    When the pastor at All Saints Baptist Temple bought a new van for the elderly ministry we all got in a tizzy while reciting the 45th Psalm and praying up to the lawd and whatnot.

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