Posted by Darrell
A distant 2nd!
Members leaving the church were expected to leave quietly. My former pastor actually preached “How to leave a church” messages about once a year, in hopes we would follow his instructions.
For those who did not leave quietly, their character was often criticized and they were gossiped about. The pastor would give warnings to the sheeple not to trust former members because “they lie about how their kids are really doing”. Only a lot of the kids who left were doing pretty well – just no longer Fundy.
It’s funny how when a family would leave that the pastor liked there were many announcements from the pulpit along with a good bye fellowship with tears and pictures of Footprints in the Sand. But someone who was just an average person, or a family that leaves who wasn’t in the “inner circle” even in such small churches, are barely mentioned and half the people don’t even know they left until a month or two later.
Just goes to show that it’s all about who you know and how well the MOG liked you.
That’s exactly the way it always happened in the places we attended for years. What’s really sad is that you can put in many good years of faithful service but if you decide to leave “against the pastor’s will” you then are discarded like garbage in a dumpster.
If they decide to throw in lies to the congregants about why you “really” left than that just gives them bonus points.
Ditto ditto! I spent 9yrs worshipping a church & it’s pastor. I worked my way up to deacon. I decided to leave and you would have thought I was the antichrist! I told the preacher I was leaving 6 weeks before we left.(moved out of state to get away from the “village”) Immediately stopped talking to me & my family, circled the wagons & 6 weeks of sermon illustrations on Sunday pm services about leaving “Gods will”. In hindsight it was the best thing he could have done! God used this little man & his worshippers to help me break FREE! Now I am free indeed
Thou art a close second unto mine first. Behold, for within a few moments hast thou replied unto the message since the time of the original reply. I am straightened in my bowels toward you!
LOL, I love this!
I think a little Metamucil will cure what ails you.
i think you mean “straitened.” And I concur about Metamucil. Great stuff.
Verily verily I say unto Darrel, thou has surely spoken the truth for I am astonied in thy speech in this matter. For of such preachers cometh confused fundy’s, hurt people and many emotions of the flesh.
They’ve run out of sermon ideas from the Bible, so they need a supply of “fresh” illustrations. Sadly, I know of a handful of preachers who seem to be in such a predicament.
SFL: Throwing the first stone. Castigating former members for exposing (or at least not tolerating) the nasty underbelly of the church is an unpardonable sin. And just another way to reinforce the black-and-white, us-versus-them thinking that drives this cultic system.
They must be made an example of before they do any harm to the cause of Christ.* This is usually a preemptive strike that puts the ones leaving in a bad light so that the well is poisoned regarding anything negative they might say against the M-O-g or his ministry.
*”the cause of Christ” meaning the pastor’s ministry.
“The cause of Christ”…Don you bring up a good christianese phrase that has no real meaning and certainly has many meanings. The way you define it or in other words how the mog truly means it – is just one accurate application!
Oh, and if Darrel would just move a couple of time zones west of me, someday I could aspire to First Post Greatness(tm).
I left and what is interesting is that I pretty much behaved the same way I did when I was in IFB-as in I didn’t smoke, drink, do drugs or run around on my husband…but I admit I associated with infidels like Southern Baptists and Catholics and atheists. I did start listening to CCM and pop music and started going to movies but there were no lost weekends.
Or maybe all that is the fundy equivalent of a lost weekend.
Same here, and I wear pants to church without lightning stricking me dead!
IFB preachers who do this are just modern-day Pharisees.
Yep, saw this a lot… the “preacher” justified this because they were talking about him “out there”, so he had the right to “defend himself”, which usually was no defense, but a running down of the person who left – often exposing their private sins or matters to which they had come to him for counsel.
My personal example of self-fulfilling prophecy:
All the deacons got mad and left our church. Then they criticized our church for not having deacons.
My favorite example: people who didn’t tithe (and he always knew who they were even though he “never looked at the giving records a day in his life”) and inevitably these people – just like everyone else in this world – would have some sort of occasional expense like a medical bill or a car repair and he would always say “God will get his money from you one way or another.” Never understood how unexpected bills were “God getting his money” but that was the message that was preached.
Funny thing, my old pastor never looked at the tithing records either.
Yet boy did he pull out both barrels when he was preaching about giving. And of course he always bragged about how much he gave. I guess he figured people would never put two and two together and realize he was just paying himself.
I’ve heard this “preached” so many times and always thought the only way God could get His $$$ was if it went to a tithing doctor / attorney / plumber, repair person / et. al.
“God must be as petty and vindictive as I am” is not a well-founded assumption to make.
Oh boy have I heard this. One time the starter in my car went bad, so I got a ride to the auto parts store and changed the starter right there in the parking lot. The whole time praying, “please oh please don’t let the pastor see.” Sure enough, he strolled by and instead of offering help, he made some snide comment. Even thought the fix was easy and cheap, I’m sure I’ll be a sermon illustration.
Regarding checking up on tithing, I seem to recall that our Hyles-following former pastor would state that he did not “check” tithe envelopes, but he certainly knew who gave what… on more than one occasion, I had a private session in which my giving came up.
YES! you are right on the money with thar comment!
I remember a conversation I had with my dad awhile back where I found out he had started giving cash at church because he didn’t trust the confidentiality of the records. And in the months after that, he had the subject of him “not giving” hinted at several times…
BTDT. And I NEVER used those little envelopes either, once I figured out that the number on the corner corresponded with a name on the church roles. What surprised me was that nobody else thought of that; or maybe they did and wanted to be sure they didn’t become next Sunday’s sermon fodder.
Fundy pastors seem to forget that because we live in a fallen world, “bad” things do happen to “good” people. Something “bad” is not always a punishment from God for sin. In fact, the New Testament makes it clear that bad things can happen to good people precisely because they are good: e.g., all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. It twists peoples’ relationship with God to teach them that “bad” things are always and only punishments and nothing else.
What??! How DARE you say such a scandalous thing, the shame! The thought that someone might do something EVIL or WRONG or SINFUL and NOT get blasted by Gawdalmighty is not to be borne! Why, they might actually try to think Gawd loves them, or worse yet, Think For Themselves!
To quote that famous theologian Lucy van Pelt: “If a person is suffering, it’s because he’s done something bad, that’s what I say!” (usually in reference to Linus or Charlie Brown.)
This attitude is, of course, as old as the Gospels: “Who sinned, the man or his parents?” It’s a much easier universe to comprehend if evil deeds are avenged by God and every evil deed is just such an act of vengeance. it may be neat, but it isn’t so. Consider the answer the Lord gave: “neither nor his parents, but this happened that the works of God be revealed in him.” Wow. So not only are we forbidden from inferring a sin as the basis for a bad thing happening, but we should understand that some things which happen have a Divine purpose which has nothing to do with sin. And yet sermons about God’s wrath and cautionary tales are still preached.
The above formula is sponsored by The 1 John 2:19 Society* …because we want everyone to know the reason they left us is because they were not Christian like us.”
*1 John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Proof testing for IFB purity:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel* from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them.
*you may substitute your local IFB assembly for “children of Israel” and do no harm to the IFB Eisegesis of this verse.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine* which ye have learned; and avoid them.
*Proper IFB interpretation of this verse should read: …the Independent Fundamental Baptist doctrine…
Proof texting george, proof texting.
And the people who are thinking about leaving because of reason number 1 are “listening to the voice of Judas”…another subtle reminder to your people that if traitors are Judases, then you must be Jesus!
My experience of cults is slightly different.
When someone leaves, suddenly everyone always knew they weren’t “really” a member at all.
You can be at the heart of the group for 30 years and everyone loves you. But if you leave, they take a little while to rewrite their memories, and every little ‘sin’ they’d automatically pardoned you for…you’re not pardoned any more.
Forgiveness can always be revoked.
He who controls the past, controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
-George Orwell, 1984
That reminds me of this quote:
God cannot change the past but historians can.
I would alter it a bit. God cannot change the past but your Mog can and will.
@ Dr Fundystan,
George Orwell, or Rage Against the Machine? LOL
We were members of an Hyles-type IFB church for 12+ years; my wife & kids were pretty much accepted, but I was never fully accepted or trusted, since I didn’t do their “soul-winning” activities (cold-calling; knocking on strangers’ doors and trying to sell them heaven). For my mental health, I avoided it, and, even though a long-term member, I often walked alone in the crowd. It was pretty miserable, and I thought that maybe that’s what it meant… but then I found out the preaching & church can actually be an encouragement, praise the Lord!
Nothing like the good old “never saved in the first place” theology.
Unfortunately, my dad seems to put a fair amount of emphasis on that.
Since leaving the IFB we have not really engaged in point #2.
That hasn’t stopped the fundies though. When I had a flareup of a health problem it was God punishing me for leaving fundystan. Never mind that I had bouts of this illness while I was in fundystan. Back then, it was God trying to improve my faith or something.
I know for a fact that I have been used as a sermon illustration. When I occasionally run into fundystaners they always inform me that they are really praying for me.
A friend of my parents left their IFB church and soon after got lung cancer. My mother actually told his wife that God was punishing him for his bitterness and leaving the church.
I see the problem to this logic that he was being punished for leaving is that odds are he already had the cancer while still in the IFB
This is partly why I hesitate sharing things with my parents. We’ve struggled, especially financially, since leaving the IFB, and I’ve always shared things with my mom; we were very close. But now I think that what I tell her is just quietly being stacked up in her mind as just retribution on me for leaving the IFB.
This is sad. I’m so sorry, PW.
I’m sorry too, PW. You’re such a good person, and it’s so sad that there is a barrier between you and your mom.
I had wondered if any others were like me, with parents still entrenched in fundamentalisn. THE CHURCH was always more important than family. Most of my grown siblings are so messed up as a result. They come to me for compassion and counsel, not our parents.
I’m right there with you, PW. Except that I was never very close to my parents to begin with.
Boy, do I understand. I’m close to my parents. But there is that wedge of guilt and disapproval. I feel like crying after every visit. And we are still serving in a fundy church – my parents are just aware of my dissatisfaction and disagreement with the status quo.
I’m sorry. My mother was of the narcissistic sort and we were never close. But I had her in the Anglican church toward the end of her life when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease, and she loved it there. I guess I had the last word in the end.
You have once again captured the modus operandi of fundies. It is in this way that they keep the rest of the sheeple in complete subservience to the MOG.
This is the fundy equivalent to the Catholic teaching of extra ecclesiam nulla salus (there is no salvation outside the church). The MOG uses the (forced) departure of people to frighten the flock into believing that leaving the MOG’s church = losing your salvation and/or inviting the wrath of God on yourself.
Damnation on all those who practice this!
Isn’t this what all abusive people do?
The good idea beyond “getting rid of toxic people” is to not let some people project behaviors onto you that you absorb and start acting out. It gets twisted by some people to be “Avoid anyone who has anything negative to say about my behavior for any reason.” But… I think most of us have people in our life we’d be better off not listening to.
Probably the least-scary threat I’ve ever heard was reported by another commenter here:
At one church, the preacher said of people who left that particular church, “Mark my words: Within a year, their women will be wearing pants.”
The horror! The horror!
“Their women” nice. Not “the” women. “Their.” Wonder how those ladies have been treated…
this is exactly what I was thinking just yesterday. I’ve heard a preachers say multiple times, “If you start listening to the wrong music (CCM), the rest of your life will soon follow, and if you start down the wrong path, your music taste will soon follow.” He’s right, once you realize the utter traditionalism in IFB churches, you start examining other baseless traditions and things start to change. Somehow being free from the burden of legalism is a bad thing.
“once down the dark path you start, forever will it control your destiny” -yoda
Ah, Cap. You’ve realized that the Jedi are the same lying, manipulative b*stards as are the typical IFB preacher.
I would’ve just walked a little bit faster at that point. No, I would’ve started running.
Here is Schaap threatening kids who walk out on his service and claims he spent a quarter of a million dollars on the service.
Is it just me or does he look like the kind of person who one day would have pulled a gun out from behind the pulpit and started shooting? He seems so demented and deranged!
He’s just like any other mean, stunted sociopath who’s obsessed with proving what a big deal he is.
Looks like there was a red-dot sight on him!
No he looks like the kind of guy that would take an underage girl across state lines for “counseling”.
There is another video where Schaap threatens to beat up kids who graduate from HAC and HB who complain about how bad it was.
Hyles even publicly called out kids who attended a DeGarmo & Key/Michael W. Smith concert in Chicago and said they would “Go to hell for listening to Christian rock music.”
It’s so outrageous that words fail me – that someone gets outraged over CCM while HE chooses to break his marriage vows (and worse, sexually violate a teenager).
I second this!! There just are no words.
I do believe the judge will have some words when JS goes to court. Somehow I perceive that Your Honor has reviewed some vids.
What if they had to go to the bathroom? What if one was sick? What if there was a family emergency? Who exactly does he think he is?
If their parents/guardians were cool with them walking out, who exactly DOES he think he IS?!
What if they just wanted to leave? IFB is all about free will until you do something they don’t like.
I’m flabbergasted by the absolute pride this man displays. Words fail me. It appears that he is unfamiliar with humility, compassion, love, patience, kindness, etc. The fruit of the Spirit appear to be alien to him
“Stop those kids right there. Ask them where they are going. Get that girl’s phone number for me.”
Schaap also threatened to kick out students who he caught listening to CCM music. Larry Brown spoke at Youth Conference about how drums are a sin and that drums lead Jerry Falwell down the wrong path out of the IFB.s
So I take it Schaap was listening to CCM behind closed doors and that’s why he violated a girl he was supposed to be counseling?
Truth be told but probably back in the 80′s Jack Schaap was a fan/in love with Amy Grant and listened to her records when no one was around and when he married into the Hyles family he probably destroyed those records privately then ripped up kids who listened to Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Carmen, DC Talk, DeGramo & Key, Stryper, Petra, 4Him, Point of Grace, Steven Curtis Chapman etc..
No, it was open-toed shoes. Schaap saw some woman wearing open-toed shoes, and it drove him mad with lust.
I would be so tempted to keep walking out and tell the ushers “The only way I’m not leaving is if you forcibly restrain me, and if you do, you will be hearing from my lawyer.”
They can choose to not re-admit me, but I don’t believe they have the right to keep me from leaving, Schaap’s rant notwithstanding.
If you’re sermon is bad enough you have to put guards at the doors to keep people from leaving, you may have a problem.
He’s enjoying himself, browbeating those who can’t fight back. What a preening coward.
Had I been one of those kids, I would have been crushed. It’s so nice, so lovely, not to care what jerks think of you.
Schappy looks like Jim Varney (RIP) in “Earnest Goes to Jail”
*sigh* I’ve been a lot of sermon illustrations throughout the years — many while I was sitting through the actual sermon — so that threat holds little terror for me.
What more can they do to me that hasn’t already been done?
I recently read a prayer letter from a foreign missionary couple backed by the same IFB board that started my church. They lamented that they recently lost two families with children because the church does not have a nursery. But then they had to add the dig that they had detected spiritual problems in the families, anyway. How insensitive and clueless. I know from personal experience that missing services or trying to make it through a service with squirmy and noisy little ones because there is no adequate nursery ministry doesn’t exactly do wonders for one’s spiritual growth. Just let them leave gracefully, and let them find a church that can meet their needs in order to assist them in their walk with Christ.
Who doesn’t have spiritual problems?
I’ve got plenty of extras, so if you don’t have enough, I’d be happy to share.
That’s how it’s spelled on three hours of sleep, yes.
I guess the pastoral equivalent of, “I told you so,” is “I preached you so.”
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Once heard of a pastor who preached a sermon basically telling people they can’t leave; though it wasn’t an IFB-type assembly. It was actually on the charismatic side, which is, I suppose, a whole other website.
The IFB church I attended published (to the whole church!) a list of the individual amounts given by each family… with no names, of course. Is that common practice for Fundies?
The whole church could read that there was somebody (I wondered who, of course) gave $X.
What in the WORLD is that about?
I’ve once heard that Bob Jones University would excommunicate alumni they had decided had strayed in some way. Did they really do this?
I can’t speak for BJU, but it’s a common enough theme. I stopped getting Christmas cards and school newsletters from the Hortons/PCC several years ago. According to some posters here from one of the California colleges (can’t remember if it was Golden State or West Coast), they actually made students sign a statement before graduation that they would return their diplomas if they ever changed beliefs.
I don’t know what to say.
I have heard that overseas Baptist Bible colleges are even worse. I don’t particularly like Michael Pearl, but his daughter, Rebekah, did missionary work in Papua New Guinea for a while and published her journal afterwards. She said that there was a Bible College on one of the Pacific islands (she doesn’t give the name) that told the indigenous graduates that they were “licensed” to preach by the Bible College and if they ever strayed from the truth-according-to-the-college then their “license” would be revoked. The local pastor that Ms. Pearl worked with was “licensed” by this college. The college found out that the Pearls’ church in Tennessee is non-denominational and it told the local pastor that if he didn’t break off his association with Ms. Pearl that his “license” would be revoked. After much cross-cultural conflict, Ms. Pearl finally persuaded the pastor that he didn’t need a “license” from any Bible college to be a pastor. I found the whole story to be a disgusting example of missionary racism and Bible College elitisim.
Dear J Heller:
Snob Clones Perversity needs no reason to expel people. Someone need only not like you and a rational will be invented.
Manufacture/invent a crime to fit the punishment.
PCC has excommunicated me as an alumni because I had the audacity to post on the PCC Board. Someone called us a coward for hiding behind aliases. So, being the stubborn brat I am, I posted my full name and student ID number. I am no longer on the alumni list. YET, when I got into University of Illinois Urban-Champain, (no thanks to the worthless degree from PCC) they were eager to use my success as proof to incoming students that they could go on anywhere with a PCC degree. Blasted hypocrites.
Elizabeth Armstrong Harac 60972
I have heard that BJU does this but I have not heard that they have ever actually revoked someone’s diploma. Avoiding negative publicity is becoming a bigger priority for them, I think. Instead, it seems their practice is to kick potentially troublesome students out during their senior spring semester. Now that they are accredited (by TRACS, at least) I imagine the threat of getting kicked out doesn’t carry as much weight as it used to since the students can just transfer somewhere else, take an extra year or so, and finish their degree.
Unfortunately, their credits are still as non-transferable as ever. National accreditation is not enough. They also need regional accreditation, which they keep saying they’re seeking but they sure drag their feet on it.
Not exactly. I do understand the low level of respect for any school that is only nationally accredited, particularly one accredited by TRACS. However, it is not accurate to say that nationally accredited credits are non-transferable per se. Different higher ed institutions have different policies on this and a student leaving BJU would have to deal with the transfer of credits issue on an institution-by-institution basis. My wife graduated from BJU during one of their first years as a nationally-accredited school and while she and her friends have had varying degrees of success getting into graduate school and/or transferring to other schools, the perception is that it has become easier to do so than it was before. While I agree that TRACS doesn’t mean much, it does mean something more than simply getting to say “accredited” on one’s promotional brochures!
In the Brethren where I fellowship giving is anonymous, and so it should be. You should give what is in your heart to give, and God loves it when you give cheerfully (i.e., not under duress).
Oops, put this (above) in the wrong place; it should have been under “Deacon’s Son”‘s post about tithing. Sorry.
Congratulations, you’ve just met George
I went to pcc for 1 year, then transferred out. What I found strange was they tried their absolute best to kick me out, but could just quite never pin anything on me (yes I made homemade wine under my bed and our room had 3 tvs). But after I left, they kept sending me information and wanting me to come back. Maybe they were upset that I left under my own terms and not theirs?
Well, isn’t this timely?
We were having some very minor issues at church that apparently warranted a private meeting wih the leadership. Our faults were brought up for correction, but none of our concerns with aspects of ministry were addressed. We then received a spiritually condescending letter telling us the church couldn’t minister to us and they understood if we wanted to leave. In other words, there’s the door; don’t let it hit you on the way out.
I hate the idea of staying in that poisonous environment, but I also hate the notion that we’ve been written off and have become objects of pity, spoken about with shaking heads and clicking tongues.
Don’t lose too much sleep over it. My wife and I left the IFB church after we were falsely accused of sexual misconduct before marriage. As most people on this site know, the IFB church doesn’t ever actually practice biblical church discipline, however, the pastor threatened to shame my wife in front of the church based on the allegations made against her and me. The point wasn’t that he actually wanted to do that; the point was that he wanted us to leave. And we did.
Interestingly, I never heard from him again. He never tried to counsel me, disciple me, or reach out to me. He did, however, go to several mutual acquantances (both inside and outside the church) and spread the rumor about our alleged misconduct.
We later realized that what happened was that a wealthy family in the congregation did not like the fact that my wife and I attended church together, unchaperoned, before we were married. Supposedly it was a bad example for their kids. They basically gave the pastor an “us or them” ultimatum and he figured out a way to get rid of us.
Thanks, DS. We suspect a similar thing, here. (Unknowingly ticked off someone influential.)
I keep reminding myself I stand before God’s mercy, not man’s judgment.
Well, didn’t you know that driving to church together in the same car is the exact same thing as participating in the vilest, most degrading sexual activities you could imagine?
(I didn’t either, if it comes down to it.)
When you’re young and so and love as we
And bewildered by the world we see
Why do people hurt us so
Only those in love would know
What a Town Without Pity can do..
If we stop to gaze upon a star
People talk about how bad we are…
Ours is not an easy age
We’re like tigers in a cage
What a Town Without Pity can do..
Thank you, Gene Pitney.
To paraphrase Joseph to his brothers, “You did me the biggest favor while trying to hurt me.”
I vote that you get out of that toxic place, Kreine, especially if you have children.
It’s so hard to leave our comfort zones, even when they’re not so comfortable. The tongue-clickers are certainly no reason to stay. If you’ll hang in there through the self-doubts and initial loneliness, you’ll find a great life outside Fundy-land.
And when your kids are grown, they’ll thank you. Many times.
Well said Sophie, and from personal experience, oh so true!
Our IFBx preacher always warned that there couldn’t be found a more biblically sound church than ours in our area. False! Thank the Lord, He lead us to a truly biblical church and granted us the blessing to experience what ‘real’ Christianity looks/lives like!
We left with the rumor-mill spilling lies about our marriage situation. Because, we rented out our house and moved to a nearby city, rumors spread that we had separated. But, no one from that “biblically sound” church ever reached out with concern or help. Guessing, maybe because we didn’t go to the pastor first for his advice on the move! So typical! Seen this happen to too many people over the years.
And, our kids wished we had made the move sooner, but still, a lot of good has come to them as lessons of spiritual discernment that have carried them well in their adult Christian lives. Praise God!
We are getting out. The old Fundy inside me is so very concerned about “appearances” though.
Healthy organizations have people come and go all the time without judgment. Church should be no different. I need to accept people will think what they want, but we need to do the smart, mentally and spiritually healthy thing by leaving.
Hold your head high and be brave. You’ll find new and better friends.
As for those who would talk about you…pity them. They’re still prisoners. You’ve been slave to their opinions for too long. Set yourself free.
And don’t fear that lightening strike. God’s not going to punish you. You’ve done absolutely nothing wrong or sinful.
Healthy organizations have people come and go all the time without judgment.
Totally agree. Am finding it so hard to relate to all this…it’s just weird.
Many, many members of our parish left to go to other parishes after our then-pastor treated our deacon really poorly. No one blinked an eye. Most of us said, “More power to them!” My family and I would have gone elsewhere, too, but this was our territorial parish, and it was by far the nearest; plus, we still had good friends there. Now we have a wonderful new pastor, and most of those who fled have come back, to be welcomed with open arms.
I cannot imagine the sort of situation y’all describe. It sounds like East Berlin when there still was a Wall!
@ Kreine–There IS life outside of Fundystan and it is more abundant and free!
Our current non-IFB church stands on the fundamentals of the Faith, without the legalism. Can’t begin to tell you how refreshing it was (and strange at first)to be in a church where the membership actually has a genuine love for one another. They are ‘real’ and the pastors (elders)are ‘real’, too. What a shock it was to meet the elder’s wives and realize they weren’t the Prima Donna’s like most of the Fundie preacher’s wives we’ve met! The preaching was the most refreshing. It actually had more than one scripture verse in the message! Seriously, most is expository preaching and is filled with the meat of the Word. We didn’t know how starved we were from the pulpit, until we left!
No church is perfect. Funny, but the folks that have been problems in our current church come to us from out of state Fundie churches and can’t fit in. Legalism is so ingrained in them they feel out of place among Christians who understand what a Christ-Centered church is supposed to be. I agree with Sophie, pity those who stay and judge you wrongfully. They are blinded, as we once were.
IS there life out of fundyism? ARE there better churches without the political nonsense, and just a true worship and love for God? IS there? I want to leave…but I’ve never been anywhere else, and I don’t know what’s out there. Yes, I know how naive and pathetic that sounds. But the guilt and the brain washing says, “no, you can’t go, you will destroy your family!”. I love God. I want to be somewhere healthy that loves God, too. IS there such a place??
@LIT…God knows your heart. If you’re serious to find a church outside of Fundamentalism, pray for it. He understands your fears and doubts, too. He will guide you.
Church websites are a good place to prayerfully start searching. Read their statement of faith, listen to their pastor’s sermons, look at what they emphasis and put as priority in their ministry.
One of the reasons our non-fundie church gets Fundies visiting, is because we hold to the fundamentals of the Faith and still have Baptist on the sign. However, they soon discover that this Baptist church resembles little of what they are used to in an IFBx church, except we baptize by immersion. They can’t relate. It’s too foreign. We soul win AND reach out to the community in charity work. We sing really old hymns AND contemporary hymns. Have a piano AND guitar accompanied by percussion. We have a plurality of Elders AND the Deacons serve the Saints according to scripture. They neither control, or are ‘yes men’. Most preaching is expository, not topical, AND Bible study groups in member’s homes are encouraged. The New King James Version is not considered a ‘false Bible’ There is no Fundie ‘bubble’ and that makes many uncomfortable.
Like I said, no church is perfect. But, there are Christ-Centered churches out there, you’ve just got to look!
LIT, my heart aches for you, for I know how you are feeling. My IFB church was one huge cult, but it was all we knew. I taught for years in the Christian school. We had friends, good times, lots of laughs.
But the price we paid was too high. Our minds are precious and belong to us alone. No one else should control yours. Staying so long left marks upon our children, who were teenagers when we finally found the courage to leave.
Life is too short to spend it in bondage. Please don’t look back years from now with regrets, when your children are bitter, or worse, puppets of the cult. There is absolutely life outside of fundy-ism, my friend. Don’t be afraid. Most of us have taken that trembling step, which is why we’re here.
Get out! The sooner the better. I am so beaten up and broken down from my years int fundyville that I can’t even hold down a job. Post Traumatic Stress, depression, anxiety – I can’t make the monster stop. I’m in therapy and on meds for anxiety and hypertension. Get out while you can get out whole.
Whenever my old fundie church had a schism, most of the people who left would find another fundie church in the area (and there were many fundie churches to choose from.). This of course created a problem for those who were never happy in any church they would attend. There was one couple in particular that was so toxic, no fundie church wanted them. If they shown up at a local church, generally the pastor or a deacon would tell them after the services that they were not welcome. This couple even went to local rescue mission, caused problems and was asked not to come back. At this man’s funeral no local fundie minister would even preside over the funeral.
Another true story, there were three attempts to remove the pastor at my old fundie church. My parents left after the second attempt. After my former pastor was removed, he decided to retire. He was 73 at the time and just too old and in bad health to find work. Too poor to move to a place where he wasn’t known, he and his wife moved into an in-law apartment above the garage at his son’s house. His former parishioners populate also all of the fundie churches in the area, so he too has never found another church home. His spiritual now consists of TV preachers and sermons on the internet.
Oh, Mark…your description of the retired Fundy pastor sounds just like one of my family members. None of the local churches have high enough standards for him, so he stays home and listens to old sermons on cassettes.
It’s very sad how Fundamentalism is so isolating.
Both of those stories are so sad! I feel badly for the “toxic” couple. Even crazy people need a church home. (But that’s easy for me to say, since I didn’t have to deal with them.)
Mr. Toxic was a recovering alcoholic (and probably a dry drunk) with a six grade education. Yet he believed he knew the mind of god better than any of his better educated clergy. He would just accuse them of having “too much book learning”. He would interrupt sermons, spread lies and drop racist slang with ease. Mr. Toxic even got throw out of a Hyles’ church, claiming they had gone liberal. I believe one church put him on probation, telling him he could attend services, if he would sit in the back and keep his mouth shut. He was unable to do that. Some people actually believe he was a tool of the devil, used to cause division in the church. That might be another reason no church wanted him.
As for my former pastor, he came to a church with a democratic culture, and soon went into classic MOG dictator mode. He tried to take full control of the church and school, and did his best to put his family on the payroll. He even encouraged his friends and family from western Pennsylvania to move to the area and join the church. He would also spread gossip about other local GARBC, IFB churches.
Everyone fundie in the area soon knew what his was up to, which is why the other local fundie pastors in the area did not like him.
Mr. Toxic was probably mentally ill and needed professional help, something fundies don’t do. As for my former pastor, he should have learned from history that disposed dictators often die alone and in exile.
This thread needs a sting: http://m.youtube.com/index?&desktop_uri=%2F#/watch?v=LSGl3d4KOMk
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