65 thoughts on “Counsel vs. Gossip”

  1. Sunday School supervisor at the church down the road has a tattoo? Seriously? wow.. I appreciate the head-up on this.

    Man.. we sure are the only Bible believing church (TM) in this town.

    1. Exactly! That is the standard gossip disclaimer. We had a mandatory “staff prayer time” every morning at Christian school that was just 20 minutes of thinly veiled “I’m only bringing it up so we can pray for them” gossip session. 🙄

    1. Sound rather hard to understand, ❓ with all the reverberations it sounds like they’re yelling in a gym.
      I am very disappointed that you didn’t use Cheech & Chong’s “Framed!” 😎

  2. Hahaha I didn’t make the video, just found it online and that pic of Schaap is dope!!! You’d be surprised at how many videos on YouTube you can find of Hyles, Schaap, Larry Brown, and other IFB pastors spewing gibberish.

  3. I always wondered why IFB churches had plenty of negative things to say about other churches around the country and/or their communities. It just rings phony that a church that has to remind itself, weekly from the pulpit, of it’s independent nature, claim of autonomy, and local self-goveringness is worried about every other church but their own.

    If they think what they do is right and for the cause of Christ, who cares how other churches operate, what they do or who they have as a pastor, priest, reverend, bishop, under-shephard, blow-hard and any other name you can come up with, and who they claim as membership.

    It just isn’t that simple for them, seemingly. They feed off of drama. If they’re not in a domestic Holy War with the local church going brethren, they’re not defending the “TRUE” cause of Christ.

    Jesus did have righteous indignation, at times. IFB’ers read that in the Bible and seem to neglect the rest of the scriptures. Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners. He loved and helped people, not spread gossip, true or not, to smear peoples good names in the community.

    1. Dear Aaron,…wonder no more.

      Having been baptized (& attended for more years than I want to admit) in an IFBx church, we were constantly told about the evils of other churches & denominations so as to convince us that there was no other church we could ever run to. NOTHING outside of our IFBx church was as God-honoring, God-glorifying, or Biblically correct. Only other IFBx churches, usually states away, would be safe havens.

      It is one of many manipulations that are used to put fear in the members who would ever conceive the notion of visiting, joining, reading materials from, other non-IFBx churches. Unfortunately, those that are weaned in such a church believe this. I know, because I did for too many years!

      1. @Fundifled,

        I knew it from childhood. I was forced to go to church every Sunday morning, night and Wed, night. I was a miserable kid. Never got to go anywhere but church or church functions. I was asked by so many people growing up why was I always so sad and depressed and that I shouldn’t be because Jesus loved me. When I told them that it was because I hated church and everything about it, it went straight to MY NEED TO GET RIGHT WITH GOD.

        This puzzled me as well. I thought, Im 10 years old, what do I really need to get right with God about. Fighting with my sisters, not eating all my vegetables? What?

        As soon as I was old enough, I got, pardon the expression, the hell out of Dodge. Never looked back. Luckily my parents didn’t disown me for that. My dad always told me growing up, “all he ever wanted is for me and my sisters was to be happy in our lives.” He might not have liked my decision at the time, but he respected it nontheless. They caught flack from the church for it, but eventually left themselves.

        1. So, you’ve seen it firsthand. Having a family then, we felt the pressure to go along with the program, but there was a bit of ‘rebellion’ in us and we tried to have a more balanced family life than most of the members. We knew we would be labeled “fence straddlers” and we were, as I found out years after leaving by an ex-member who wanted to befriend me when we both attended there, but they were warned not to get close to us.

          Our children came out of it with some emotional/spiritual scars, but thank God, no physical ones (Yes, our church had it’s share of pervs in the ministry, but only found out after leaving). Fortunately, our children are stronger in their faith now away from Fundamentalism, more spiritually discerning, attending healthy non-IFB churches. Unfortunately, they are in the minority of all the young people they grew up with there, most having left Christianity altogether.

          Sorry to have gotten off the topic of this post. Just hope you’ve seen God do something good from all that bad. I have in my life & my family’s, so I don’t count those years wasted. They were wilderness years with very little “living water & meat of the Word” but enough to survive and have the strength to find a life more abundant in Christ. God Bless.

    2. Guess what made a huge impression on me the first time I willingly attended a non-denominational service after leaving the Fundy church. During the opening prayer, the pastor prayed for other churches, of varying denominations, calling them sister churches, asking for unity as they represented Christ in the community. They had a list of all the churches in the area and they would pray for a few by name each Sunday.
      In contrast,Fundy pastor attended a town board meeting to which local pastors were invited. He about had a stroke when someone said “let’s all forget doctrine for a minute and come together in prayer.” ❗

        1. Strangely warmed, I think you should read the article. I see no similarities between this situation and the one described by fundifled. For one thing, the service being described was a nationally televised event featuring the president and was an ecumenical prayer service that included a Rabbi and Imam. It is not just fundamentalists who would balk at being part of our Americanized civil religion. Furthermore, Christians since the New Testament have declined to participate in worship with false religions. I don’t think this pastor did anything wrong, but I don’t think he did anything right, either. I think he could have chosen more wisely.

  4. Gossip: any conversation that the pastor (or his wife) is not privy to and able to control.

    Counsel: any conversation that the pastor (or his wife) is privy to and able to control

    This is the primary reason IFB churches do not have small group fellowships, or fellowships outside the church where the pastor (or his wife) cannot be in attendance.

    1. I tried to encourage music groups to practice at their homes if that worked out better for them. Got chewed out big time in staff meeting. All music practice is to take place in the auditorium on the church piano.

      I was told this was to protect against sexual harassment. Generally these groups were all men or all women. I didn’t realize the IFB had such out of control homosexuality within its walls.

        1. You are spot-on, my friend. The one thing that the MOG needs more than anything is to control the flow of information. As much as fundies hate the communists/socialists (sorry, Christian Socialist for lumping you in there), they sure do mimic their tactics! Stalin has nothing on your typical MOG.

        2. @BroBluto — this explains why so many IFB preachers rant against the Internet and say how evil it is – they cannot control what people are reading about (such as SFL).

  5. I can top that “gossip”, ours was a convicted child molester that was head of ACE in western Canada!!!! Our “council” stated that we surely aren’t heathens like those Pentecostal’s that let girls wear pants and shorts.

  6. IFB churches preach hatred towards CCM music, TBN and the PTL Club, as well as non fundy churches.

    Plus Hyles hated John McCarthur until death and Larry Brown and Larry Smith are saying the same thing about Rick Warren and Craig Goeschel who leads the “Seeker Sensitive” LifeChurch.TV.

  7. Wednesday night prayer meetings were the worst. “Pray for Bro. (or Sis.) Soandso because blah blah blahbedeblah blah blah.” It was nothing but one big gossip session about how Bro. (or Sis.) Soandso had fallen into deep dark sin (he hadn’t been wearing appropriately tied ties or her culottes weren’t hitting her mid-knee like a proper Christian woman), and we must pray for him (or her). Meanwhile, kids were committing suicide (still can’t think about that without tearing up), choir members were getting knocked up out of wedlock (but getting married two months before giving birth so it was all good) and people were switching spouses right and left. All true stories.

    But God forbid the Soandsos continue to live in their sins of immodest and indecent dress. Or skipping church on Wednesday, which gave everyone else the chance to gossip about them and send up a crapton of “unspoken” requests for them to get right with Gawd.

    I’m not bitter.

    Maybe a little.

    1. Again, I disagree. Read the article. There are all kinds of reasons to not participate in televised American civil religion, not least of which, for a Christian, being an ecumenical service shared with Jewish and Muslim faiths. I can easily understand why a denomination would not want one of its pastors putting the stamp of approval on the cross/flag conflation which is all too popular (at least in fundy land), as well as the “all faiths are equal” conflation. I think it’s a conflict of interest when Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell prays at political events, and I think the same for this pastor, despite the different circumstances.

  8. If that is so, Doctor, then why were there so many different folks banding together in California concerning Prop 8? Mormans with the Baptists with everyone else. Ok to gather for that purpose but not for Sandy Hook? It was all about hate for the gays in California (for that reason we band together) and no interest in a gathering for the fallen at Sandy Hook (for this reason we do not gather together).

    1. I don’t know anything about prop 8, and haven’t lived in CA for about 30 yrs. However, we are talking about an actual worship service in Connecticut. A televised one with the President present, where a Rabbi and Imam prayed to their gods. It is neither “fundamentalist” nor unreasonable for a Christian denomination to ask its pastors not to participate in this sort of thing. Granted, I don’t think this pastor’s choice was wrong, but I also don’t think its wrong for a denom to insist that Christian pastors refrain from worshiping with other religions, including the state.

      1. “where a Rabbi and Imam prayed to their gods.”

        *Their gods? You do realize that Jews, Christians and Muslims are all considered Abrahamic religions, right? And that we all worship the same God (albeit quite differently)?

        1. You are welcome to that opinion. However, two thousand years of Christian church documents say otherwise. I would say that members of a group have the right to self-definition, and I respect the right of Christians to say that the triune God they worship is not the same as the unitary God of Judaism or Allah.

        2. Reminds me of the John 4 passage where Jesus is discussing worship with the Samaratin woman. He didn’t just say well you can carry on worshipping that way. He corrected her and pointed to the time that God’s people will worship Him in “spirit and Truth.”

          It’s a misnomer to say they are Abrahamic religions in the sense that they all are serving Abraham’s God since Judaism was always going to lead to what Christ inaugurated and the sacrificial system was abolished by Christ creating the one new man. Islam worships a false god, though it mentions Jesus they do not speak truthfully about him. Hence they do not worship in Spirit and Truth.

        3. I wonder if Aaron’s casting of a certain golden thing would have been considered, too, an Abrahamic offshoot worship of the same God? I’m not sure that you’d really get anything terribly useful claiming a common ground with Abraham, since the one identified in each system’s theology proper is like Dr. F said, someone quite different from the other. Maybe a more specific question would help the distinction here: Do they worship Christ the King, God Incarnate? At this point, most people will (now) concede that the object of worship is quite distinct, all pedigree aside, and the object of worship is the point Dr. F was aiming at (and the LCMS, etc).

          I’m not sure why the Quaker is confusing worship with politics, this is a new one for me. Do people worship this thing called Prop 8? Californians are quite enigmatic indeed!

  9. The good Doctor (?) shows why the church is on the way to oblivion. Closed, mind made up, impervious to any discussion, and so sure. Very attractive and winsome.

  10. Further, again to simplify for the good doctor above:

    It is more than acceptable for folks of different religions gathering for the purpose of hate and bigotry. That is what happened in California about Prop. 8. There was no outcry when that occurred. Joint meetings, statements and so forth.

    But, when children perish, it is taboo and terrible for folks of different faiths to meet and mourn with the community and wider country,

    Meet for hate, yes by all means.

    Meet for putting our collective arms around those hurting, absolutely not and never.

    What a message you are wanting to give and spread about.

    Let me run to the farthest point from your religion, your God and your hatred.

    1. I agree with everything you’ve said, Presbyterian Quaker, up to the point of your passive-aggression (Good doctor (?)). You’ve brought out points that perhaps have not yet been considered. We’re all trying to peel off the layers of fundamentalism, and that takes time.

      Honest debate is healthy and respectful. Passive aggression is a dog peeing on your foot while he licks your hand. Serves no purpose.

    2. PQ, with all politeness, you will have to try and set aside your prejudices and think a little more clearly for this discussion to be fruitful.
      1) Prop. 8 is a non-sequitur. What happened with Prop. 8 has nothing to do with whether the actions of a church in Connecticut were wise or justified. Furthermore, while you claim that “there was no outcry” (a quick google search shows that to be false), you haven’t even demonstrated hypocrisy. To do so, you would have to show how the two men in this story in Connecticut were involved in Prop. 8.
      2) LCMS pastors, like all denominational pastors agree to certain guidelines. One is that they are not to participate in joint worship services with other religions. Therefore, the denomination was justified in asking for an apology.
      3) The pastor in question wasn’t involved in comforting the community in any meaningful way (in this particular service), which you would know if you read the article or watched the service on tv. He read one Bible verse and gave the apostolic benediction.
      4) Be careful that you are not forcing a denomination into the presuppositions of independent, fundamental, baptist ideas about church polity. Denoms have rules about what their pastors can teach, and in what capacity they can serve. This pastor broke the rules.
      5) The president of LCMS apologized for how he handled the situation, so it seems like there are lessons to be learned on both sides.
      6) Nobody accused this pastor of sinning, so charges that this is a fundamentalist position are not thought through very well.
      7) It is as much a symptom of fundamentalism to automatically lump everything we disagree with into a hegelian other as anything else. Just because we disagree with something doesn’t make it fundamentalist.
      8) We recently had a thread on SFL about the merging of the cross and the flag. Everyone roundly denounced this syncretism as one of the hallmarks of a soured fundamentalist religion. But suddenly we suspend these ideas when we think the situation sufficiently justifies it. This also is a symptom of fundamentalist thinking. We have certain standards, but they only apply when I say so, and rarely do they apply to me.

      I believe that we can only be stronger and think clearer through dialogue, so I welcome your feedback. However, dialogue comes from “dia” and “logos” – literally “through logic”. So far, you have been good at putting rhetorical emotion behind your position, but I think you could do a better job of clarifying what you think, exactly, and why.

    3. Opposing something does NOT equal hatred. This is illogical thinking, using the term “hatred” as a blunt instrument, trying to force people to abandon their beliefs simply because you disagree with them.

      Such “dabate” is infantile. It is absurd.

      We are trying to move past the infantile and absurd, aren’t we?

  11. Folk etymology Dr. Fundystan?… A bit of googling shows that “dialogue” does not literally mean “through logic”. “Dual meaning”, “two way flow of meaning”, and “two speaking” are apparently literal meanings for “dialogue” based on root words.

    1. I haven’t really been following this discussion, but that is a totally incorrect etymology. I took a look at Wiktionary and Etymonline, both of which are quite reputable and draw in turn from a number of reputable sources, and both agree that “dialogue” comes from Greek “dia” (through, inter, across) + “logos” (word, speech,discource). “dia” is potentially related to “duo” and “two”, but it certainly does not mean “two”.

      On closer inspection, Etymonline actually addresses this. A quote: “Mistaken belief that it can only mean “conversation between two persons” is from confusion of dia- and di-.” “di” *does* mean “two” in Greek, but “dialogue” is formed from “dia”, not “di”.

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