88 thoughts on “Responses”

  1. I’m thinking the original post was pretentious nonsense. Also, “Jesus, save me from your followers.” Mike Duran reminds me very much of why I turned my back on the church and walked away. Too much aggravation in trying to be right all the time.

    1. I read the original article and comments and had the same reaction. Too many people adamant that they’re right, you’re wrong, here’s why. I especially like the comments that begin “thank you for taking the time to respond” and then bloviate away on why everything that was said was wrong. (This comes second to the comment that called us all atheists, homosexuals and lesbians…..classic).

      I get that blogs like these can become echo chambers, where everyone appears to toe the party line out of shared backgrounds and circumstances, and I’m often heartened with SFL as it appears to me, anyway, that differing voices are respected and welcomed.

  2. SFL is a place we can go to freely discuss our thoughts regarding Fundamentalism as well as a “recovery zone” for those of us still in IFB “detox” mode.

    Sometimes we need a good laugh, sometimes a discussion, and even other times it just helps to hear about others experiences in the IFB to gain proper perspective.

    This place has helped me personally to mentally deal with abandoning the only reality I ever knew…the IFB. It’s been SO MUCH better now that I have been out, but without sites like this, I’d have been much more intimidated to decide to leave.

  3. Darrell,

    VERY well done, my friend. You consistently give a good account of yourself and, in the process, reflect well on those of us who share your views.

    Keep up the good work,
    Bro Bluto
    Squire to Lord Don

  4. I found SFL in a Google search for PCC after my freshman daughter told me some things about their demerit system that had me wondering. I’ve been searching and praying while she’s on Christmas break for God to give us some guidance. Did we hear Him wrong when we thought He gave us the green light for her to go there? Or does she have some purpose there? My husband knows two outstanding Christ-followers from work who are PCC alumni and they had positive experiences. I have an uneasy feeling about sending her back, though.

    What I didn’t expect was the flashbacks from my childhood. Our family was always on the fringe, so I never fit into what I now understand was a Fundy background.

    Having parents that smoked, etc. did not allow for full acceptance, and I went through my youth as a “second-class Christian.” All of that is coming back to me now, along with my rebellion, marriage to an abusive husband, excommunication for divorcing said husband, and finally the path to fully understanding God’s love for me and the resultant growth as a Christian. I didn’t even realize that the pain from the past might still be affecting me now, because I never associated IFB with it. (Honestly, I just thought churches evolved over the years and that this type of thing was “old-fashioned.” I had no idea it still occurred.)

    So, SFL may not be for everyone. Perhaps if you’ve never been a recipient of spiritual abuse, you have no way of understanding. But for those of us who have, it’s truly healing. I have been able to explore and do a lot of soul-searching while reading the stories of others who’ve come through the same fire. Great interview, Darrell–and thank you for giving us a place to heal.

    1. I think SFL is for everyone. I wasn’t raised in the IFB. However, I still bump into people in my church who think a lot like them. Also, I’ve said alot that I have an ‘inner-fundy’ that likes to condemn myself and others. Posters on this site help to combat that.

    2. <>

      There’s your answer right there, my dear BibleLover. There is something very rotten in the state of Denmark, and please don’t make her go back into that rottenness.

      I spent 5 years undergrad at BJU, traveled on a ministry team, came back several years later and taught in the University as well. I felt was clearly lead there both times. However, if I had it to do over again, I would never set foot in that place. I want those years of my life back.

      God in His mercy comforts me when I feel that way, and reminds me I never would have understood the godforsaken depths of legalism had I not been so invested in it myself. Now I can recognize it much more easily – and find traces of it in most of Christianity. My theology is stronger because it was so weak for so long.

      So take the warning now. She has recognized the tip of the iceberg. Don’t force her to have a gaping hole ripped in her faith. It very nearly sunk me completely.

    3. @BibleLover
      Best of luck helping your daughter decide about PCC 🙂 I’ve almost finished there. If you guys decide its not going to work,leaving sonner is better than later. God used it in my life to show me just how messed up legalism is how amazing His grace is and how much He’s blessed me with my family and church. But I won’t recomend going there.
      Like I said, God used it in my life to help sort out some of my tthinking, but its been a very, very long road.
      Best wishes to you both, and good luck in her studies wherever sher decides to go 🙂

      1. Thank you both, Clara and lukewarm. I appreciate your insights. Just to be clear, I don’t plan to make her do anything–she’s 19 and can make her own choices about college, career, etc. She works and pays her own tuition. (I think overall she’s got a good head on her shoulders.) When I say “send her back,” I mean provide transportation.

        We have had some conversations that have her thinking. She is going back after Christmas break, but I have encouraged her to do so with eyes open. Dr. Shoemaker recently opened up social networks online and relaxed some of the other rules, which made life a little easier there. And she plans to continue in rebellion by using the NAS in her private devotions 😉 We’ll have the summer to evaluate next year’s choices.

        Again, thank you for adding your experiences. It’s given me a lot of thought to ponder. Lukewarm, I wonder if my daughter knows you? She does have a couple upperclassmen friends. Either way, I wish you the best and pray God continues to bless you with the knowledge of His grace. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders too.

        1. I went to and graduated from PCC fairly recently (within the last 5 years). Like others, it was there that I realized how bad legalism really is. This after being born and raised in a very strict fundamentalist home and church. When they were even more strict than some of my dad’s viewpoints, I said “Huh?” It was all I had ever known, so I stayed. Hindsight was really 20/20, and after I graduated I began finding the real God. Not as Don says, the small, weak one of fundamentalism.

          And in my opinion, just because they allow social media sites and cell phones around campus now is not a good enough reason to stay there. They’re probably only allowing it because in this time and place, smartphones are ubiquitous and everyone can go on FB and Twitter using their cell phone Internet anyway. I’m quite sure that PCC’s whole mindset has not changed in regards to treating 22-year-olds like 22-year-olds.

  5. Well done Darrell. I follow several blogs that I share with interested parties or people I think might be interested. SFL is not one I share much because it relies on inside knowledge. Someone who hasn’t experienced the IFB and related groups is not going to get it.
    The author of the original piece doesn’t seem to realize that many in the IFB wouldn’t even consider him to be a Christian. They would view him as a target for conversion.
    In leaving the IFB I feel that I have drawn closer to Christ and His Church. I feel that the IFB kept me separated from good Christian people out of fear.
    I am grateful for SFL. When I first left the compound I was very angry and bitter. Reading SFL helped me to realize that others have gone through the same thing as me. Many have gone through far worse than I did. For me, this site has brought healing and for that I am thankful.

    Thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog Darrell.

    1. I disagree that you shouldn’t recommend the blog to those who weren’t IFB. Just because someone didn’t experience what others here have doensn’t mean we shouldn’t know about it. This blog has been very enlightening to me in many ways. More information about the world isn’t a bad thing.

      You can see my response to ‘bible lover’ for further explanation.

      1. I am not sure that we disagree. In my post I said IFB and related groups, which can be fairly broadly interpreted.
        The more I venture outside the IFB bubble the more I recognize the same thinking in other groups. For instance, I recently attended the big SBC church in my town. It was a mashup of SFL posts. I couldn’t believe it.
        I don’t think my original quote was all that clear on what I meant. I plead a pre-coffee cough syrup haze.

        1. I’ve known plenty of “Free Willers” that could give most IFBs a run for their money as far as being legalistic.

  6. Wow, great interview. Good for you, Darrell. Greg Koukl gave some sage advice recently on his radio show about standing up for yourself when people misrepresent you. When Jesus was struck by the officer of the high priest he said, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” I think that same heart was seen in you through this article. Way to go.

  7. Great interview and a great job Darrell!

    Mike brings up some good points, that certainly anyone from the outside would have when first examining SFL.

    I can’t help but thinking that a handful of “regular” liberals consistently take SFL to places that you, per your interview, never intended SFL to go!

    1. :eyeroll: yeah, it’s those god hating liberal that always throw a wrench in the Gears of God here on SFL. Thankfully we have watchmen like you to blow … the trumpet to warn us when they appear /:eyeroll/

  8. I love the monsters analogy. I also loved the response to ‘driving people away’ toward the end. It reminded me so much of Acts 17:26-29.

    “and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;”

  9. I was not impressed with either article. I’m not being insulting Duran, its just that he doesn’t seem to grasp the difference between critical thinking and propaganda. The words he consistently uses to couch his opinions very frequently include everything from artificially limited set of possibilities to emotive language that interprets conversations before they are even engaged. It’s like the reporter who says, “You voted against the Affordable Care Act – why do you hate grandma?” The fact that he could conflate SFL with a “bash the church bandwagon” reveals the way in which Duran tends to construct a theory and then selectively review and interpret the facts to fit these pre-conceived ideas. This is actually a normal populist trend, as many social rhetoriticians have pointed out. Democracy has been displaced by conspiracy theory as the dominant framework for political thought in the west. I suspect that many folks who have been trained in rhetoric, logic, or higher-order thinking will find Duran’s site to be tiresome. There are more presuppositions than facts, and that takes more mental energy to sort through than the payoff is worth. I really hope this comment sounds constructive, and not derogatory – as a blogger myself, I know how much effort goes into it, and I think Duran is trying to do something good. I also think, however, that he could benefit from starting to think of himself as a communicator and taking steps to educate himself on effective communication methods, particularly regarding critical analysis.

  10. Very good job, Darrell. It’s painfully clear that Mike, although well meaning, doesn’t understand fundamentalism in the “taxonomy of Christianity,” as you say. I often try to explain the contrasts in what is commonly termed “evangelical” and “fundamentalist” to outsiders, but it grows frustrating and quite difficult at times. Because they line up so closely on what both deem “fundamentals,” it’s hard to do it from a theological angle (notwithstanding some of the crazy eschatology and anti-repentance salvation, but even some “evangelicals” believe these things). That’s where I usually start from a place of a mindset, and that’s why I believe the fundamentalist mindset pervades in certain areas of so-called evangelicalism–anti-science, anti-academia, fear of otherness, dehumanizing of those unlike us, etc. Nowhere is this clearer than in the IFB movement, but in no way is it only found there unfortunately. You do a good job of clearing that up in this interview.

  11. I think one problem is that many believe the historic doctrines known as The Fundamentals (such as the Virgin Birth, Deity of Christ, inspiration of Scripture) but we do not hold to the PseudoFundamentals of the IFB (skirt for ladies, KJV only, etc.). The term Fundementalist has become tainted by the PseudoFundamentals and in the mind of many is now indistinguishable. This is the reason I would never lay claim to the title of Fundamentalist.

    1. BTW: Darrell, you did an excellent job in the interview and I for one am proud of your skill and deportment in answering the questions posed. Thanks for the interview and thanks for SFL!

    2. Cordovan – I agree wholeheartedly. The IBFXers have usurped the banner of fundementalism and bastardized it. I too am a “fundementalist” from a theological perspective (i.e. holding to the historical orthodox Christian beliefs), and grieve how the IBFXers have perverted them by adding man-made “standards” to them. It is funny how they have totally abandonded the original mantra of the original early 20th century “fundementalists”: “In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty.” They have essentially made the “non-essentials” (i.e. length of skirts on women, hair length, Armor All on tires, etc) the new essentials.

  12. Awesome 🙂 I personally love all the sarcasm in this blog. The rules and “standards” I was raised with were beyond ridiculous, and it is really nice to finally see them that way, and even be able to laugh about it.

  13. Great interview.

    The comments after the interview were largely a waste of time. Wow, I didn’t think there could be that many rules about how to properly and biblically run a satire website. Those comments just confirm for me that extreme fundamentalism rears its ugly head in the heart of waaaaay too many evangelicals as well as IFBers.

    1. The comments, wow. When people will hold a position of judgment regardless of how many of us explained “what it is we do here”, it’s just time to back away quietly and hope you don’t make any sudden movements to provoke the crazy.

      1. I agree. I was saddened by how very hard-hearted some of them seem to be. They seem to have no comprehension about what being under years of IFBx preaching and rules can do to your spirit.

        I had to laugh at the woman who said this place is for the cool and the hip. I wanted to explain that I’ve NEVER been cool or hip. I was the nerdy girl in glasses, the goody-two-shoes, who’d never been on a date until she got to college and who ended up marrying her first boyfriend. I’m over 40, have four kids, have been in the ministry for 20 years, and I drive a minivan.

        But I like SFL so I guess I’m hip.

  14. I was a little surprised (though I probably shouldn’t have been) by this comment:

    “Westboro Baptist is not an IFB organization nor are they affiliated with any major Baptist movement, cooperative, or association. I don’t write about them at all because they are a completely unrelated faction …”

    I had to think for a moment about why Westboro Baptist Church is not an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church even though it is independent, Baptist (by self-identification), and Fundamentalist. But the fact that it belongs to a different faction from the IFB camp or camps makes sense.

    1. Yeah, I was wondering about where that fits into the “taxonomy” too, actually. I didn’t think they were an IFB group (they’d be on here far more often if they were!), but if not, what are they a part of? What does the IFB think of them? Does Westboro even believe the same things, or are they a whole different bundle of insanity?

      I get almost all of my understanding of the IFB from SFL, you wonderful lot of commenters, and things SFL has sent me to, so my scope of knowledge here is sadly limited. Or perhaps happily limited!

      1. I think in general most IFB churches ignore them. In our circles, we similarly ignored HAC-affiliated churches. Evangelicals, main-line denominations, Pentecostals, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. were all railed against, but little was ever said about the weird Baptist church down the road as if we could pretend, if we never talked about them, that they didn’t exist.

        1. I agree – my former HAC-church thought they were a bunch of nuts, and my current church, if they talk about them at all, condemns what they do.

          Both churches would say that they have the freedom to speak, but believe that Westboro is abusing that freedom to no benefit.

    2. It may consider itself “independent”, “Fundamental”, and “Baptist” but IMHO they’re not a “church” in any sense of the word. I think they use those terms to signal their separation from everything and everyone who might call them to account, and the word “church” to tap into tax exemption.

    3. There is no monolithic “IFB” – Darrell has consistently approached this issue with uncharacteristic wit and deep insight that is generally aimed at the particular faults and not at some generic straw man that he holds up as the example of all things fundamental. Some of the posts resonate with my upbringing and some do not. The ones that do not generally reaffirm my belief that my IFB upbringing was much more tame that it could have been. Still much of it I observed or experienced or can at least understand how the philosophy can lead to some of these extremes.

      I am much more impressed with those involved in the discussion here, there is so much grace and restraint in most discussions on SFL compared to other discussion forums, and the comments on the blog in question were absolute evidence of how graceless the blind supporters of all things IFB, and those with their heads in the “my church isn’t like that” sand can be.

  15. It’s interviews like that that remind me why I love SFL and Darrell. Those were well-worded responses that I feel not only accurately reflect SFL but reflect the views of most commenters here. And I’m so pleased that you centered it on Christ, who the IFB has consistently rejected. After all, He is (or should be) our driving force!

    All in all, that was great to read, and I agree 100%. Yes, SFL does make fun of the IFB, but there’s a difference between “look how stupid they are” mockery and “c’mon guys, this is silly” poking fun. And there’s certainly a difference between disliking–even hating–what a person does and hating the person themselves!

    1. I forgot to mention this earlier, but I thought of it later: I think it’s great that Duran posted the interview without any commentary or anything, he simply let your words stand for yourself. That’s a commendable thing to do. He didn’t try to spin it or anything, simply presented your words, and now people can decide for themselves what they think on the matter.

  16. I’m so glad you did the interview and had a chance to explain what SFL is all about
    “Ultimately it’s not about hating evangelicals it’s about hating the things that people do to hurt other people. Neighbor-love is not optional in the Christian ethic.”
    …and that is why I love this site…
    I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that SFL saved me…I happened onto this site when I was in the middle of a faith crisis and it seems funny now but I really didn’t know that there were other people out there that felt/thought the same things I did. SFL changed my life to the point that now I usually recognize the guilt/condemnation patterns quicker, saving myself needless pain and suffering…Dr. Darrell is in!

    1. I think in fact the funny thing is that many Fundies have come here and blasted SFL for “promoting Neo-Evangelicalism”, and by that of course they think we are damned to hell.

  17. I kinda feel bad for the people who don’t get SFL, because…well, they just don’t get it. I remember the first time I ever read a post here and laughed out loud at something I thought no one else in my world saw. That day saved my life and sanity.

  18. The back-and-forth reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s comments about “genial criticism.” In essence, if one inherently dislikes a certain genre of art/literature/music, one should simply not critique it. If I don’t like country-western music, I shouldn’t go around writing reviews of new country-western albums; the words I would write are useless and serve absolutely no real purpose.

    Similar thing with this SFL website. Those that understand IFB get it, and have a basis for analysis and critique. Those that don’t understand it (i.e., haven’t lived through it), they simply have little-to-no basis at all for their comments, and those comments can be for the most part ignored.

  19. Just finished reading it and “all” the comments to date.
    Well, done Darrell.

    There will always be those who don’t get it and will never be able to fully understand SFL. There will always be the weaker brother/sister who claim moral offense because their sacred cow is being defaced, or their view of a pastoral Christian landscape is being dug up to expose the polution that has built up underneath, or something has jarred their sensitive morality meter and they are offended because others don’t act toward God and the things of God exactly like they do. (seems that is a pretty good description of a fundie of course they will never see it in themselves.)

    I’m thankful for SFL and the fellowship we have here. I am thankful for the cyberfriends I have mad and the conversations/discussions and debates we have had along the way. Outsiders will probably never understand why we do and say the things we say and I say Lord bless ’em for not knowing. They just don’t realize what a blessing that is to them.

    I do enjoy those who come on SFL and try to “Set us Straight.” Misguided though they may be, it exposes them to something other than their white-bread Churchianity … and that’s not always a bad thing.

    1. “they are offended because others don’t act toward God and the things of God exactly like they do. (seems that is a pretty good description of a fundie of course they will never see it in themselves.)”

      This!! But I am here to confess that you CAN come to a place where you see it in yourself. I just turned 57, I have been a christian since I was 17. That is 40 years! I just realized in the last two years that I was guilty of this kind of thinking. For years I thought I knew what “insert christian action/reaction” should look like for everyone else. I am so thankful God has set me free in his grace from that thinking.

      I can see that SFL is not for everyone and I was a little bit leery in the beginning until I went to the forums and began to see people grappling/growing/re-understanding their faith. Sure the front page can be a snark deluxe. I happen to find it funny. But there is alot of growth that takes place here and I have benefited from it. The other refreshing side is there are non-believers here and they are welcome. . . and finally after all these years I am not threatened by them. Who knew? :mrgreen:

      1. Tell me about it. I used to be one who would have come to SFL, Guns-a-blazin’, blasting the Catholics, the Homosexuals, the anti-dispensationalists, democrats and other assorted liberals all in the name of God while going through hi-cap clips of King James prooftexting.

        But then Grace… marvelous wonderful Grace began to mellow me out, chip away some of the caustic Churchianity buildup and I began to see how poisonous the air was in the Bunker system I was in. Three years ago this month I left the IFB for good. (still shaking some of the dust off, so-to-speak)

  20. You are guilty of the same sins you accuse the IFB movement of. Painting with a broad brush, especially when it comes to a movement that is so loosely affiliated as the IFB movement. I’m sorry if you and many others have had negative experiences in the past. Unfortunately, these problems are not segmented to just one movement.

    1. I agree. Sin is rampant throughout our broken world.

      But the IFB is our background. It is what we know and what we experienced. In addition, our churches claimed superiority to all other churches, separated from others in order to stay “uncontaminated”, and stated that we were more Scriptural and more holy than others. This is our chance to end the charade, to say, “This emperor is naked.”

      When we say that, that does not preclude the fact that there are other emperors who likewise are parading around pretending to be something they are not.

      1. I would say that I agree with the great deal of what you say, pastor’s wife, but isn’t that mindset perpetuated in all movements? I stand where I do because I feel Biblically it is correct, and I’m sure you do the same. There is a superiority to what we deem as the “truth” or what we feel God has revealed to us, whether it truly is or not. In my opinion, the reasoning on this site is circular. We demonize the IFB movement because they demonize others.

        1. Wrong, Bob. We don’t demonize the IFB because they demonize others. We criticize the IFB because it teaches and acts in opposition to the Bible. It is the movement that we know. Speaking for myself, I spend very little time criticizing other movements because my knowledge of their teachings and behaviors is limited. What difference does it make whether other movements have similar problems? We aren’t them. We never WERE them. Why should we talk about them?

          You have some falsehoods in the basis for your statements.

          1. “The IFB movement has only loose affiliations.” Not true. The IFB movement has several Mother Ships, each of which has quite a lot of control over its group of churches. This control extends to church finances, or church teachings, or church philosophy, or church personnel actions, or all of the above. If you investigate any IFB church, you will quickly learn which is its approved college(s), and which man is its spiritual father. Some mother ships cooperate quite a lot. Other mother ships hate each other with a purple passion. This is not evidence of major differences among them, but of major similarities. Consider that the Bloods and the Crips hate each other, as do the Communists and the Nazis. Do they hate each other because they are polar opposites? No. They hate each other because they know that they are two extremely similar organizations, battling over the same turf.

          2. “Painting with a broad brush.” Nope. We are talking about specific cases, and presenting evidence of each case. The evidence comes from our own personal histories, or from the internet, where the Crazy is posted for all the world to see. If it seems like the accusations have been painted with a broad brush, this may be because the movement is broadly homogenous AND homogeneous across the globe, and presided over by a few mother ships which inculcate their particular brands of Crazy into all the poor, unfortunate souls who pass through their doors. So, when the paint all blends together, as you would expect it to do if it were all the same paint. It only appears to have been applied with a broad brush BECAUSE it is all the same. But we actually applied the paint with a whole lot of single-hair brushes.

          3. Some of what you wrote sounds awfully post-modern to me, because of the way you talk about Truth. Is truth relative? Sometimes. And sometimes, not. For example, I might believe that vanilla ice cream is the best. That is true for me. You might believe that chocolate ice cream is the best. That is true for you. it would be foolish for us to argue over it, or try to force our Truth on the other. So, it is important to learn how to tell the difference between absolute truth and relative truth. The Truth at issue on this site relates to Bible doctrine. The Bible says that doctrinal interpretations are not up to us; that it IS up to us to determine the Holy Spirit’s meaning in each passage. We assert (and demonstrate) that it is quite easy to prove the IFB doctrine (especially its applied “doctrine” that isn’t Bible doctrine at all, but rather personal opinions that have been taught as doctrine) to be fatally flawed, by comparing their behavior with Scripture, and by comparing Scripture with Scripture “to see whether these things are so.”

          This isn’t simply a matter to be dismissed by saying that “this site uses circular reasoning.” If you are going to make such a claim, you should present your arguments, and prepare to have those arguments studied and challenged. We’ve had a belly full of personal opinions being held up as Truth, backed only by non-sequiturs or outright fabrications.

        2. I do believe that Biblical truth is objective, and that we should find what the God has intended when we read the Bible. My point above is different religions and denominations can differ on what they feel is “Biblical truth.”

          You stated above we “criticize” the IFB movement because they teach and act in opposition to the Bible. That is quite a statement to make without any examples of that you so boldly state as “fact.”

          Many of the people on this sites problems with the IFB movement is based upon their closed mindedness and unwillingness to think outside the box. By virtue of your statement above, I would argue you are guilty of the same.

          I would agree that there are circles within IFB, mainly going back to Bible colleges, that do have influence over many churches. My own personal experience is that those schools have had very little to do with the churches I attended. I’m sure that there are some churches that are clones of these movements, as some pastor’s lack backbone and discernment.

          I do hope that you have found what you are looking for in Christ. It seems like you are deeply heart and bitter due to your experiences in the IFB movement.

          My gripe is I see much on this site about how the IFB movement is so doctrinally wrong, but I see very little doctrine to combat that. It’s easy to fight against the straw man of IFB that is built on this sight.

        3. Seriously, dude? I just read my post again, and I’m hanged if I can see why you played the “bitter” card against me. I guess it must be the only card you have.

          You then go on to say that yesterday was your first day on this site. To which I can only say that if you jump into a conversation that has been going on for years, and immediately start lobbing accusations as if you have any clue what is going on in the conversation, you simply look foolish. You would be better served to read for a while before presuming to dress us down for what you perceive to be going on. Because you haven’t been around long enough to know whether your perceptions are valid or not.

          Who said that any of the problems (which you concede to be true problems) are limited to the IFB?

          What of our criticism of the IFB is undue? Are we being too harsh in our criticism of child rapists and those who defend them? Are you offended that we point out the foolishness of those who butcher the Bible to promote their own agenda? Is that the basis of your claim that we are “small-minded?” Don’t you understand that we mock the IFB, not primarily because of the Bible doctrine that they claim to believe, but BECAUSE they spend precious little time teaching or living that doctrine, and an inordinate amount of time “teaching for doctrine the commandments of men” in ways that they condemn other denominations of doing? That NO other Christian sect is known for the ugly, brutal, self-righteous, vindictiveness for which the IFB (and some of the more virulent strains of Islam) are known? The IFB is NOTHING anymore other than “personality and preference” as you said; most of them forgot about the cardinal doctrines of the Faith long ago, choosing instead to fight to the death over Bible translations, and hair styles, and clothing styles, and music styles, and open-toed shoes on women! Is this not something worthy of criticism?

          You are making no sense. Maybe your arguments are simply incomplete?

        4. Ah yes… there it is, the bitter card.

          My gripe is I see much on this site about how the IFB movement is so doctrinally wrong, but I see very little doctrine to combat that.

          Ummm, must not read many of the posts on SFL. I know that I’ve had some rather long doctrine discussions on here. Or do you mean you have not seen much doctrine you agree with?

          You state,”My point above is different religions and denominations can differ on what they feel is “Biblical truth.”” then you condemn us for for the stand we make. You’re in essence saying, “everyone but SFL gets a pass.”

          Everyone comes at SFL differently according to their own experiences and biases, à chaque son propre.

        5. Bob, I do believe what I believe because I think it’s Biblically accurate, but I am willing to search the Scriptures like the Bereans with the understanding that I may be wrong in certain areas. I’ve also learned to extend a lot more grace to other Christians than before, realizing that some areas are “closed hand” issues (like the fundamentals of the faith as stated in the BJU creed) where other issues are areas on which good people can disagree (“open-hand issues”). My IFB friends refuse to acknowledge any possible deviation from their assumptions about what honors God.

          Also this isn’t really a site for expositional discussion of doctrine or for convincing fundamentalists that they’re wrong. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. We’re just sharing our discoveries and experiences. I think the biggest doctrines that we discuss here center around our acceptance in Christ (vs. the fears of never being good enough in the IFB), the efficacy of His grace (vs. the foolishness of our attempts to prove our own righteousness through our man-made rules), the unity of believers (vs. the needless separation and the vilification of other believers we often experienced in the IFB), and the need for involvement in our communities doing actual good works (vs. fearing anything that looks like the the “social gospel” and focusing only on door-to-door visitation).

        6. I just came to site yesterday for the first time. In the comments of the posts I read, I have seen a lot of opinion and mockery, but very little that is based upon doctrine. Most seems to be based upon personality and preference, which I do concede is a problem within the IFB movement. But once again, those problems are not IFB specific.

          The point you argued about my statements on Biblical truth and not giving a pass to SFL, is the same point I have been making previously. The arguments are circular. SFL unduly criticizes IFB, while IFB unduly criticizes SFL, seems to be the theme. Neither side is willing to accept that these problems are rampant in other areas of religion and society.

          I would like to think I have an open mind, and probably a more open mind than some of my IFB friends. But the same small mindedness I see in IFB, I see on this site.

          I hope that each person on this site is able to worship Christ in spirit and truth as God has so led them, whether that be as IFB or another movement. God bless you as you seek to serve Him.

        7. “But once again, those problems are not IFB specific.”

          Perhaps not, but this particular website is.

  21. Recently I realized that the “as believers we shouldn’t air our dirty laundry in public, it hurts the cause of Christ/the church/drives the unsaved away” argument has a serious flaw. No one bothered to ask the “unsaved” their opinion.

    These days I read a fair number of secular and atheist blogs, what can I say, I like the variety 😈 One thing I’ve noticed is that anytime they criticize something about a christian/pastor/church/group of believers and someone responds with “but not MY type of christian/pastor/church/group!” The blogger often responds with “show me what your group is doing to critiquing/police your own then”. I have yet to encounter a non-christian blogger who said, “you christians, you’re so mean and unloving shutting down, addressing and critiquing your insider problems, you’re harming your cause”.

    1. Very astute! I wish that many in the IFB movement would actually ponder what you just said and take it to heart.

      I have found that generally when some pulpiteer gets up and starts harping against “airing dirty laundry” or begins ranting about “hurting the cause of Christ” he is really saying, “Don’t air my dirty laundry” and don’t hurt my cause.”

      It’s not about doing something that will keep sinners from Christ (if that is possible then their god is too small and too weak to be worthy of worship) what it’s really about is it might divide the church, and cause some faithful tither to jump ship and find another place to spend their god dollars.

      You don’t mess with the Tithe… just ask Chuck Phelps about why Ernie Willis was allowed to stay as a member in good standing while his victim was wisked away in a good old fashioned cover up… for the cause of Christ. (and Chuck’s pay check) 🙄

      1. –I have found that generally when some pulpiteer gets up and starts harping against “airing dirty laundry” or begins ranting about “hurting the cause of Christ” he is really saying, “Don’t air my dirty laundry” and don’t hurt my cause.”–

        That is so very true, Don.

        And before any fundies try to defend that, tell me what you think about exposing and prosecuting pedophile catholic priests.

    2. Amen!! Times have changed. People expect and demand transparency. They will not settle for less.

      The truth always comes out sooner or later. Far better that it come out sooner. And that we Christians be the truth-bearers!

      What’s better for the Cause of Christ: that we Christians expose our problems or that the secular media do the exposing? That’s what it comes down to. Just ask Cardinal Law, Cardinal Mahony, et al.

  22. Good grief… read the Duran article and felt like saying… “case in point–he doesn’t get it.”

    Some of the commenters on the interview post just need to get a life and/or a sense of humor. Killjoys.

    1. Laurie, I am with you. I read the interview yesterday and kept thinking, “He doesn’t get it!”

      Good grief. Have these evangelicals learned NOTHING from the Catholic sex-abuse scandal? I would have thought that everyone would have figured out by now that hush-ups and cover-ups backfire, big-time.

      And yes, some of the comboxers seemed pretty humpr-challenged. 😆

      1. Dear Clara English:

        Perhaps both — and indeed, all of us — are the mission field. Doesn’t it say somewhere around Mt 13:38 that the field is the world?

        Christian Socialist

        1. True, in a sense. The gospel is for saved and lost alike. But I meant in the sense that often fundies consider evangelicals unconverted. I will be more clear and actually state that next time. 🙂

        2. I believe what Clara means and I agree with her on this: is that fundys see evangelicals as “unsaved” and not “knowing God” so they are then to be proselytized.
          The evangelicals ironically have many characteristics of fundamentalists and could be considered “fundy-lite” – I agree with this synopsis per my experiences (30+ years)

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