SFL Flashback: A Small World

This post was originally featured on SFL in February of 2011.

Although Baptist fundamentalists make up less than 1% of the overall population of America, you’d never know it to hear them talk. How many pastors have we heard introduced as “one of the most influential men in America”? How many times have we been told that some church of 300 or 500 people is at the forefront of the battle to bring the entire nation back to God? Yet somehow with all this influence, the powerful fundy church with its amazing pastor can’t even manage to get the liquor store down the street to go out of business.

The accolades of power and prestige that both fundy churches and pastors heap to themselves range from the ridiculous to the outright hilarious.

– “Adviser to the Governor and State Legislature” (He met them once at a fundraiser along with 632 other members of the clergy.)

– “Books and Tracts have influenced Christianity greatly” (Except that nobody who doesn’t shop at the church bookstore has ever bought a copy of any of them. The missionaries who received complementary copies in lieu of Christmas presents have long since used them for kindling.)

– “One of the most dynamic and powerful churches on the West Coast.” (Also one of the most oblong and unceremonious. I mean if we’re just going to throw around meaningless adjectives let’s go for broke.)

– “Reclaiming their town for Christ.” (And they’re doing it one zoning board battle at a time. Take that, heathen politicians!)

Most fundamentalists just seem to have no clue that the average non-fundy has never heard of their church, its pastor, his alma mater, and their preacher’s fellowship. And as long as they are refusing to have any meaningful relationship with non-fundamentalists, it’s going to stay that way in perpetuity. Delusions of grandeur would seem to be a requirement to be a somebody in fundyland.

100 thoughts on “SFL Flashback: A Small World”

  1. There is a conservative Baptist church near us that started another church in a town near us. There are other churches in the community. They sent out post cards that they were bringing Christ back to their town. No one knew he had left.

    1. Time to turn on the Fundy-to-English translator:
      “Only church preaching Christ in the city/county/state/country/world” = “Only church WE control in the city/county/state/world.”

    1. Yes, but you can’t win the special bus prize if your not wearing a tie or skirt (for boy or girl). He must really want that handful of tootsie-rolls that expired 5 years ago.

  2. okay, I keep delaying my new year’s resolution to drop some weight…but this picture! I don’t look like any of these people yet…but the motivation is of truly epic proportion, somehow, when looking at this picture.

    1. or is it awfully fundy of me to concentrate on the outward appearance? I am sure they are stout-hearted people. 😳

    2. It’s all those church potlucks.

      And after going back for five LARGE helpings, the preacher-man gets up (if he can stand up, that is) to preach on the SIN of Homosexuality.

    3. Within a month of leaving the fundie church I immediately started loosing weight.

      I do miss Sister Wigglebun’s deep fried Big Mac & hash brown breakfast casserole, though.

  3. Don’t worry it’s not just a small world for Baptists, I came from a Christian & Missionary Alliance background, and a lot of people have never heard of them until you mention A. W. Tozer and A. B. Simpson πŸ˜€

  4. This is what I think it would look like if Wierd Al did a mash-up of “Amash Paradise”, “White and Nerdy” and “Fat”: “Fat White Amish Paradise.”

  5. The man in the center looks like he should be advising Pappy O’Daniel’s reelection campaign (from O Brother Where Art Thou).

  6. Does anyone else here just not buy this whole site? There probably isn’t really a Daryl in real life, but rather some group of people who constantly come up with this stuff. It’s interesting that the one true spot on critique of the site is the one post that gets the most hits: “He makes his own caricature of fundamentalism and then proceeds to make fun of his own creation” (or however it was worded)

    Then this so-called Daryl person goes on to critique people because they aren’t fit and firm. In case you hadn’t noticed, practically the entire country of America is overweight and not easily employable as a American Eagle catalog model. This kind of posting just makes the site lose more credibility. As if being overweight and not upper-middle class was a distinctly IFB thing. These kind of posts reveal that this site has nothing even remotely serious about it, even though many of you would claim is as being so.

    The other thing that I find bizarre about this site is that the only thing the managers of the site take seriously is World Vision. LOL, World Vision is nothing but a CIA front organization with very nefarious ties and history. That fact that this fraud of an organization is the only thing that is sacrosanct at this site gave it away.

    1. “….this site has nothing even remotely serious about it…”

      No shit. Another data point that fundies have an inability to detect humor, satire and irony.

      BTW, this data point is going towards my thesis, which I cannot tell you about other than it is from a covert military operation. Carry on.

        1. @ greg:

          Trolling – (verb) The act of purposefully antagonizing other people on the internet, generally on message boards.

          RobM was responding to a point Scorpio made. You brought up “the death of children” (which no one celebrates, btw) out of the blue. BIG difference. 😐

        2. Kreine, greg’s not good with definitions. He is good trying to throw back whatever he’s doing as if everyone is guilty of it. πŸ™‚

        3. Also I think I might’ve accidentally established a secondary data point in the super secret thesis project.

        4. So at this particualar spot he wasn’t trolling. But at the other spot he was “purposely antagonizing me” So, indeed, he was trolling!But I’ll bet you’ll say he was justified, because he didn’t like the content of my comment.

      1. Thanks, Scorp, for proving your point. The utter incomprehensibility of irony at this blog is stunning. Anyone who’s older than a 3rd grader knows that World Vision is basically just a cover for covert CIA activities, most of them twisted and not good. It is humorously ironic that you people make fun of some IFB’s for being overweight and perhaps not trendy and upwardly mobile. Yet, most of you voted for Obama, who is doing all he can to destroy this country and destroy the rich and successful. If anyone in the country should relish in anti-rich, anti-yuppie, “downwardly mobile” paradigms, it is YOU. You voted for all of the above, yet you make fun of it at the same time. That is weird and bizarre. And the only time this site engages in any perceived “serious” talk is when you talk about World Vision. You make fun all day of the foibles of the IFB, yet you don’t dare even utter a word about the truly sick practices of the CIA. Again, ironically humorous and just plain weird.

        1. Thanks, that explains why World Vision did not offer me a job. I must have failed the CIA screening. God was merciful to me.

    2. Fenlow………Interesting thought that “World Vision is nothing but a CIA front organization.” Actually, Daryl is a member of the Illuminati, and he is brainwashing all of us to become One World advocates.

    3. So, Fenlow, you’re ranting about the picture, but can’t think of an actual response to the post itself? πŸ™„

      And it isn’t even a “caricature” because I heard those same grand sounding endorsements all throughout my time at fundy U, yet the town it was in remained the same as it ever was, increasing crime rate and all.

  7. β€œBooks and Tracts have influenced Christianity greatly” Argh. And now the pastoral sycophants can put up glowing reviews saying how this book will “change your life.” πŸ‘Ώ

  8. Jack Hyles preached at the Bible Conference of our IFB church almost every year. The first time I heard him, in 1977, he introduced himself with “Jack Hyles is on the list of the top ten people the communists plan to kill if they take over America.” He actually spoke of himself (in this instance) in the third person.

    As young and brainwashed as I was, even then I wondered how he got his hands upon that list.

    1. Uh, yeah. πŸ™„ πŸ™„ πŸ™„

      I would be more than amazed if it turned out that any Communist outside of Hammond, Indiana had ever heard of Jack Hyles.

      I suspect that this claim belongs with 99% of the things Hyles said– that is, properly classified as “stuff Jack just made up”– but there is a nagging suspicion in me somewhere that he may have actually believed it, which would make him even more paranoid and delusional than I thought.

  9. I thought it was a group of corpulent, liberal democrats heading down to Washington DC to celebrate the death of children on the anniversary of Roe v Wade.

      1. You’ve obviously never lived in Vermont. πŸ˜‰

        We spent three years there, right before moving down here to NC.

        Very liberal. Very, VERY white. πŸ˜€

  10. Ladies and gentlemen, I know this has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but I wanted to celebrate. I am watching my *1st* full Super Bowl. For the first time in my life I am not compelled to “be in my place”.

    Thanks Stuff Fundies Like!

    1. At long last — whatever the time period. Thanks for the smile and enjoy the lights out delayed game! It gives me a glow to hear your “light came on!” πŸ˜‰

    2. Congratulations.

      I missed seeing Team USA Hockey beat the Russians in 1980, one of the greatest upsets in sports history. Still ticked off about that.

    3. Him: “Why weren’t you at church last night?”
      Me: “I was watching the Super Bowl.”
      Him: “What’s more important, God, or football?”
      Me: “Didn’t you skip church to go to the Indy 500 last year?”

      yup

      1. In Texas, no one would ever ask whether God or football is more important. The idea of something more important than football is considered to be inherently absurd. πŸ˜•

    4. All very well, but it would be better to emigrate to Europe and watch the Superbowl live on a Monday morning without sin.

  11. This is one way the church I grew up in is different than most other fundamentalist groups. We knew there weren’t very many of us. We were the remnant – the only ones brave enough, smart enough, and virtuous enough to follow The Truth. We lamented the world’s unwillingness to accept the Bible. And by “world” we meant EVERYONE that wasn’t part of our group, including the church that split from us in the1940’s because they were worldly enough to build kitchens in their churches and spend church money supporting missionary societies. One preacher I remember used the phrase “our friends in the religious world” a lot. It roughly translated into “those idiots who can’t ad their bibles”. We spoke of other kinds of Christians in scare quotes. If you we’re Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc. you were a “quote unquote Christian” or even a dreaded “Christian in name only”. It pretty sad to believe you are one of only 10-15K true Christians in the world, if even that many. So our preachers didn’t try to claim to be influential outside our denomination. They tried to claim to be persecuted by the world at large, and in extreme cases, within the denomination itself. A man who couldn’t hold a position longer than two years was always being run out of a local church because “people just don’t want to hear the truth”. πŸ™„

    1. Sounds like the professing people. (Their choice of nomenclature; apparently initial capitals would be prideful.) There have been professing people in my small town for at least 30 years, but hardly anybody knows they exist. I only know about them because my sister almost married one. And according to them, we’re all steeped in sin.

      True story: My sister, as I said, almost married one, back when I was a young teen, she was a high schooler, and he was a 20-something who still lived at home under a strict curfew with no key of his own. Well, she didn’t marry him, so the whole clan dropped us like hot rocks.

      20 years later, I was sitting in a fast food restaurant with my 3 kids. We had just had lunch after visiting the library. We were poring over a book of microphotographs of planktonic larvae, which is to say, little critters that looked like Christmas ornaments and nothing like their adult selves. Well! Something about that book must have been wicked, because I got that eyes-on-the-back-of-the-neck feeling and looked up to see my sister’s almost-in-laws glaring at me with the laser eyes of DOOM. I ignored them. We looked at the whole book and the whole time they just sat there, silently, glaring.

      What a shining light! What a city on a hill!

        1. Yikes! I googled “professing people” at work (during my lunch break–honest!!), and, when I clicked on the first search result, the company Internet Cop popped up to forbid me access. Why? Because apparently “alternative religions” are among the banned browsing categories here at my workplace. Yes, that was the term: “alternative religions.” OK, whatever, LOL!

      1. There’s something bad about looking at pictures of planktonic larvae?

        Uh-oh, yet another sin I’ve committed with abandon.

        1. I just don’t know. I didn’t say “sperm,” “evolve,” or “liberal,” but I think I did say “egg,” so maybe that was sinful–?

          I don’t think it was my relationship to the one that got away, because I don’t recall having made eye contact with them since my sister saw the light and dumped Chip, and I’ve changed a lot since then.

    2. Fundie Rule:
      If the church across town has more members than your church, they’re a sell out.
      If they have fewer members than your church, it’s full of nuts and extremists.

  12. Agree. I live overseas. The only people passing out the tracks are either the fundamental baptists, or the short term teams. The missionaries know those things don’t work, and quit frankly, telling people born into a different religion that they are going to hell is too unpleasant to entertain.

  13. Dear SFL Reader:

    I’d love to see pastor lead his flock to spend a month in Sri Lanka influencing culture for Christ.

    Christian Socialist

      1. It’s Victory Baptist Church of New Milford, Il.
        (See the link in Hagia Sophia’s comment above.)
        I don’t know whether or not the very large man in the center of the picture is the pastor.

  14. I remember back in the day when I attended a Jack Hyles clone church that I was talking with another believer who attended a fundamental church, and it shocked me that he barely know who Jack Hyles was. To hear my church tell it, he was the Great Leader of all fundamentalists.

    1. @ Guilt Ridden….bet we went to the same church. We called him the Pope of Fundamentalism, but guess what, other fundies never heard of our church either! And, we were told what an important example we were to fundamental churches all over America because of our growth, giving and Pastor who was so close to the ‘Pope’, Dr. Jack Hyles. Whatever!

    2. @Guiltridden & @ Fundified–
      We used to hear he same things back in Ol’ Fundy High in the late ’70s.
      I remember hearing him called the Pope of Fundamentalism, and he was pretty much worshiped by the church leadership. I was, like you, surprised that any Fundy wouldn’t know who Jack Hyles was.

      @CGC–you didn’t miss anything. If you had heard of them, it would have been while they were denouncing your evil religion. I don’t think they ever have had a meaningful conversation with a Catholic. I drank the Kool-Aid for years. Then met Catholics who not only said they loved Jesus, they even understood the Bible and acted like they loved Jesus. Definitely a needed eye-opener for me.

  15. I am not looking for an argument, but I am one of the people in this picture. I would like to say that you guys are wrong about most of the people in this picture. They are very accepting of others and not as judgmental as some of the comments on here. I am a fundamentaist,but I also read the bible. I am truly sorry for those of us who are judgmental,and rude that is not what God wants from us. I believe we Christians have dropped the ball,and caused too much hurt… however we are humans and make mistakes(this doesn’t make it right) but it is what it is. This site saddens me. Not because of the things that are posted,but that many are true. We have lost sight of what is important… its not ties,rules,and dogmatic beliefs… it about telling others about God,and his gift of salvation without belittling them,but helping them. Just thought i would share this in hopes that you all might see … we aren’t all the same. Some of us care !

    1. Billy, that is really nice. I am glad you say ” I am a fundamentaist,but I also read the bible.” Every last fundamentalists says this. Every single fundy MOG claims he is speaking “gods words” and is telling you what you need. May I suggest that instead of just “reading the bible” as you are currently doing, to take time for introspection and ask why you interpret “the bible” the way you do. Review your hermeneutic and the source from whence it came. Above all question every aspect of fundamentalism.
      You see, fundies play this game where they encourage and exhort every one to “read the bible” for themselves. But at the end of the day your interpretation must align with their interpretation. There is never introspection in fundamentalism (it is an exception not the rule).
      I say that all to you to say this: your words are flat as most of us have emerged out of the pit of fundamentalism and we know that some people may be “good people” but as a whole there is no spirit of god working. The evidence is overwhelmingly lacking.

      1. Mr. Teddy .. you are assuming we are all alike I do not associate with all fundamentalist . I am an independent… meaning I don’t conform to others beliefs … I am fundamental in the fact that I believe in Gods grace and salvation for all. I do read/study my bible,and act upon what I read. I realize you were probably beat over the head by some overbearing “fundie” . I cannot control everyone’s past,and the hurt caused by others… I don’t know what you have been through,and what’s been done to you. In that same respect you don’t know me,or anything about me .. you think you do,but you don’t know me. I just want everyone on here to know that I am not a mindless drone who wears my tie,and mindlessly drone about casting judgment. I don’t expect you,or anyone on here to instantly change their mind on fundamentalism. I just hope you all know we Christian’s are not all the same.

        1. You are not listening. Billy, what you just said: that’s what all fundamentalists say – “I’m not like them!”
          You figured it all out didn’t you, Billy! You claim fundamentalism but you know better than all the other ones because you also claim “independence”!!
          May I exhort you again brother: take time for introspection. I would even recommend something that I have been wanting to do myself for a while(but have not yet done): take a year off from going to organized “church”. This may help detox from the indoctrination and help give clarity to your time of introspection. Especially your fundy church that you think is the exception to the fundamentalism rule replete with a concocted 20th century ritualism and dogma.
          Just poke around the SFL site here and you will see posts and comment threads of drive by fundies claiming the same exact thing you do.

        2. @ Billy: I’m in the process of leaving fundamentalism and I have met people like you. In fact, my current church is probably the most genuine church I have been in since I was a little boy. But the fact remains that there is a bondage of legalism (some restraints are cold metal, other restraints are soft leather, but still restraints) and the number of IF Baptists who still lift up Jesus over standards is rapidly dwindling. I am leaving so I can be in a church that will teach me how to have that intimate, close relationship with God FIRST that will then produce fruit through me..not because of me. We have it all backwards. I have had it beaten into my head that in order to be right with God as a Christian, you have to work more, serve more..do do do. Depressed? Spend more time at the church. Lonely? Go hand out tracts on visitation more. Anxious or stressed? It’s because you aren’t faithful enough to the House of God and His people.

          Only now am I realizing the concept of Grace. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him” Our Christian life is to be worked out the same way we got saved…by GRACE! The definition doesn’t change after salvation. Grace is still the undeserved, unmerited favor of God. Rest and rejoice in this amazing grace! Love God with all your heart. Abide in the Vine and let Him produce fruit in you.

          I don’t doubt at all that you love the Lord. You are my brother in Christ and I pray that you search the Scriptures to see whether these things are so! Don’t be afraid to look at opposing points of view and see if they hold water or not in light of God’s Word and ONLY God’s Word. Put aside whatever you have been taught and just look at what does the Bible say? It opened my eyes and I’m sure it will open yours too. God bless you my brother.

        3. BTW..I did something recently I thought I would never do while sneaking away to a “contemporary church”..shhhhhh..don’t tell anyone but I actually lifted my hands in praise during the singing and nobody judged me! As a bonus..I wasn’t hit with a bolt of lightning! (I clapped my hands too) the horror! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        4. Thanks for the encouraging words. I too enjoy contemporary music music… I don’t hide that fact. I have been through many things in life,and I could care less what the brethren think of me. I care only for what God thinks of me. My goal in life is to please God,and take as many people I can to heaven with me. I hope you will continue serving God in a manner in which pleases him,and him alone.

        5. Billy, I appreciate the tone in which you wrote because you could have been very angry and insulting. I assure you, we do know many people in the IFB who ARE good people. My husband served as youth pastor then pastor in IFB churches for nearly twenty years. He is a kind, gentle, godly, balanced man. Many of us stayed in the IFB for so long because we DID find churches where love and grace were shown.

          However, on this site we share about the horrors and abuses that we’ve seen, and sadly there are many of those. Add to that the fact that we were so isolated from others that we felt alone. We were also told that any questioning of authority would ruin the impact of the church and might send souls to hell. So we were silenced and shamed. But here we can discuss those things openly from silly little inconsistencies to glaring abuses.

          InTheBackPew, I’m so glad you felt free to worship that way! I still feel very self-conscious though I’ve tried it sometimes. Inside my heart is leaping up in joy or falling humbly before God’s majesty; outwardly I still tend to be a bit stiff and repressed!

        6. I hate that you don’t feel free to worship God.. I will pray that God will help you feel free to lift your hands and praise him.thanks for the words of encouragement . I tried very hard to not come across angry. It was hard considering the “fat man if God” everyone is speaking of is my father. Who struggles with weight because of a horrific car crash he had many years ago that almost took his life,and unfortunately left him very handicapped in his movement. He has lost roughly 150 pounds since that photo which is a great start. I don’t understand why people feel that stopping to that level of mockery. Also the boy wearing a polo shirt and tie that everyone is making fun of chose to wear his best on the last night of youth camp… no one judged him for his looks. Clearly he doesn’t match… basically none of the kids do,but they wanted to look nice. Far be out from me to attack them and say they looked stupid(which is a Fundy move I am not a fan of) . We wanted them to feel comfortable the way they were…. also someone said they were disturbed by the girls being in the back and the men in front.. that’s cause wesdidn’t want the girls to have to squat down and get their nice clothes dirty. But what really bothered me was that very few wanted to discuss the article, but would rather poke fun at some genuinely nice people… especially since it was a good article.

        7. Billy; I’m sorry for those who are making fun of people they don’t know. It’s easy to lump everyone into the same box. I know that just because its “fundy” or conservative doesn’t make it a bad thing. I think people get carried away and lump anything fundy at all as horrible and worthy of mockery. But lets all keep in mind, there are people who really do love the Lord and earnestly want to serve Him. There are good preachers and good things and there are things I will miss a lot.
          @pastor’s wife; i was watching one of the musicians today and watched as he opened up his arms to God and was jumping as he played with everything in him to the glory of God. Couldn’t help but see his face shine, part of me was jealous of him because of the freedom he felt to express himself to God in such an open way. The other part of me felt shame because it wouldn’t have been very long ago at all that I would have mocked him and judged him for doing so. I would have been assuming he was just showing off and wanting to be seen. O wretched man that I am!

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