Five Years Ago


When SFL started half a decade ago…

…Nobody yelled “first.” In fact nobody yelled much of anything.

…20/20 hadn’t put IFB abuses on the national radar.

…The “Polished Shaft” video hadn’t yet been recorded.

…Jack Schaap was still a free man. So was Ernie Willis.

…BJU wasn’t nationally accredited. Neither was PCC.

…In fact the most recent graduates of Fundy U were still in high school.

…7.7 million pages had yet to be loaded.

…Most fundies still thought Facebook was evil. Twitter wasn’t even on their radar.

…Barack Obama had just been elected President.

…None of us had yet met “George.”

…The IBBERR had zero entries. Old Paths University had issued zero doctorates.

…I had half as many children and still knew what “free time” was.

…Many readers here still self-identified fundamentalists (or at least still going to a fundy church).

What do you hope to see change over the next 5 years?

154 thoughts on “Five Years Ago”

  1. 5 years ago….I was a suicidal teen, in part (mostly?) because of issues such as my super-fundy youth pastor preaching against me (personally) and feeling that God would never love me because I wasn’t good enough for him. I worshipped Jack Schaap and planned to go to HAC. I was dreading my first kiss because I knew it would be in front of all my friends and family at the wedding altar. I secretly had a Pandora account so that I could listen to Josh Groban, Michael Buble, and CCM – my “rebellious” music.

    Yeah, that was a while ago! 🙂

    I’m still on the way out of the IFB movement, and still at the beginning of the healing process, but 5 years from now, I will have a new life. No matter how hard it is to build it. 5 years from now, I don’t want to own a pair of hose or have to wonder if my clothing will pass dress check. I want to be working as a teacher – most likely in a inner-city public school. And I want to be closer to God than I am today.

    And as far as SFL (sorry for the introspection), I’d like the site to keep doing what it does best: pointing out the things about the IFB movement that make us all laugh as well as exposing the movement for what it is, with a healthy dose of sarcasm but a minimum of bitterness, helping people get out, and glorifying the God Who is way too big and wonderful to put into a box.

  2. Wow. I leave the Internet for a couple of days (yes, people still do that out here in Oklahomuh) and look what I missed!

    Happy Birthday SFL!!!

  3. I rarely ever comment but I read here a lot. Five years ago I moved to Greenville, SC which put some needed distance between me and my fundy lite family. (The irony I know) I have benefited much from those who have the gift of being able to more clearly and elegantly state what’s wrong with the system. Often when there’s something I know is wrong I struggle to express the why, so many comments here have helped with that. Also with knowing you are not alone. Thank you for being here.

  4. I came across this site three years ago when I was going thru cancer and having a faith crisis. Ironically,I never lost faith in God, just in those who claimed to represent him.
    Because of my fundy background, I’ve struggled my entire life because it was just natural for me to question things which labeled me as a black sheep (of course) and it wasn’t until I found this site that I realized that there actually were other people out there like me.
    Even though I rarely post anymore I am an SFL addict and have found much comfort, many laughs and sage wisdom from each of you…and I am grateful

  5. Ah, it’s good to be back. I had to fly out of town to take care of some family business, and haven’t had internet. I actually flew back in Thursday, but have been catching up on things and hadn’t had time to read much SFL.

    I’d like to thank Darrell for his little six month experiment that grew into what we have today. Five years ago I was involved in a ministry with mostly non-fundies, and it took a bit of getting used to. I was used to legalism, even though I had learned to ignore it (mostly). It seemed odd to work with mostly non-judgmental people, but it was refreshing. It was there, a bit more than five years ago, that I first heard a proper description of giving offense and the weaker brother. I knew from my own study it had been taught wrong, but never heard it explained well. Not too long after that, Les DuLunch would occasionally forward me links to something he found called “Stuff Fundies Like”. I don’t remember which post I saw first, but the one that caused me to come back on my own was this: I found it to be terribly amusing and true at the same time.
    I wish I could remember which was my first comment. I had read/lurked a while, and was unsure about commenting. I didn’t want to intrude into a community in which I wasn’t invited. (I had been accused of that at another blog) Since then I have come to consider most of you friends. I have had fun here, had some therapy here, been annoyed a time or two, and I hope I have contributed an occasional humorous or worthwhile comment.

    God bless us, everyone. Especially Darrell for his time and anyone we can help escape the bonds of legalistic Fundyness.

  6. The great irony here is the longer SFL has been around the more fundy-like it has become. It is getting quicker and easier to identify and attack enemies of the truth. The source of information need not be reliable, the story just has to be nice and evil. Al Jazeera or a man with 5 honorary doctorates; they both tell great stories.

    I hope over the next 5 years SFL keeps going with the same fundamentalist fervor. It is quite entertaining to laugh at both the message and the messenger.

    1. If you have objections to the Al Jazeera article about BJU on the merits of the article itself, I’d love to hear them.

      1. One might have a preconceived bias about the truthfulness of reports from __________ (ALJ, BJU, Baghdad Bob, BJU students).

        1. Bias?!

          You were asked for a basis, and the best you could do was to present a bias?

          You will need to do better than that if you wish to be taken seriously.

          We have numerous cases that are quite well-documented (unless you subscribe to some wild theory that all the criminal convictions are nothing more than a vast conspiracy against Servants of the Most High God).

        2. It could be argued that in order to perceive a bias, you must also have a bias. Oh, but to not be taken seriously would be such a real shame.

    2. We know that BJ III claimed that Tina Anderson was consenting to her rape. We have seen video footage of a BJU counselling instructor teaching future pastors how to further victimise rape victims. GRACE is currently undergoing an investigation of BJU because there are many, many people out there that spoke up about BJU’s issues in this area before Al Jazeera ever got wind of it. There is not one crazy person out there making up stories about BJU, there are so many voices crying out that it is hard to ignore. I will be very interested to see the report that GRACE comes out with.

    3. The great irony is that your response is easily recognizable by those who have left fundamentalism as someone who has not yet made the difficult choice to think for themselves and
      follow the unconventional leading of the Holy Spirit to break away from legalism.
      However, the fact that you are on this site may be that you are searching (consciously or unconsciously), the truth will set you free…
      and may you cause as little harm to your neighbor as possible on your journey there.

      1. If you don’t agree with my message, it must be because you have sided with the enemy. The point (apparently missed) is you can mix and match what the message or the enemy are.

        The message can be the evils of the NIV, and if you don’t believe it, you are easily recognized as being wrong. Or you can switch, and the message can be the evils of fundamentalism, and if you don’t believe it, you, of course, are easily recognized as being wrong.

        Different color paint. Same brush.

        1. No. It’s not the same. I understand why you say what you say, but here are just two significant differences:

          1. We may all come to this website, but we aren’t anywhere CLOSE to agreeing with each other on issues – and some of those issues are pretty big. I have read some pretty intense disagreements here. In that, we are not terribly different from the IFB. BUT: the critical difference is that we are still almost all here. We disagree, we argue. Yes. But we also listen to each other. We consider each other’s points. We choose to disagree without consigning the other person to an eternity in hell. On that point, we are diametrically opposed to the IFB way of doing things. The IFB will separate from each other over the silliest of disagreements.

          2. Another huge difference between us the IFB is that we are still searching; still trying to learn. And so we might run into a brick wall with our heads, and then decide that another approach (or direction) might be a better choice. We might (gasp!) change our minds! Any IFB who does that runs the risk of being tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail by his “brothers and sisters in Christ” (because that’s how they did things back in 1611, dontcha know). And I have yet to meet the IFB Man-o-Gawd who doesn’t think that HE HIMSELF is the Fount of All Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, and that this ol’ world would be a better place if God had consulted HIM at Creation, and when establishing the Law, and when designing the plan to reconcile Mankind unto Himself. While some of us have pretty high self-confidence, we all act like worms in the dust in comparison to the average MOG’s image of himself.

        2. Also, it’s completely different to do what the IFB do and say, “It is wrong to do X because God will smite you, you must do things my way” and to come out of it and say, “It is wrong to do things like X because many studies have shown that that is a very unhealthy or abusive way of treating people, but there are a multitude of ways that are healthy that you can choose to go in.”

        3. The message of the “evils of the NIV” is empirically demonstrably false, the hilarity of fundamentalist stupidity is not only demonstrably valid criticism, but also healthy outlet for those who have had to live through it.

        4. So? Pointing out all the little fundy foibles is just funning. Blowing off steam. We may not have seen (or were unwilling to admit) the ridiculousness of the whole fundy thing when we were invested in it, but now it all looks like a big cluster-flock.

          If you don’t find it funny, start a Stuff Fundies Like, Gravitas Edition. Forbid any humor. Keep the discussions mature. Censor any fart jokes. That kind of thing.

          If you’re trying to defend the bat-shit crazy statements and antics of fundies, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s there, if you want to look. Recent posts with such as Sam Gipp’s bumper stickers, Mr. Numerology, Fundy U. Behavior Control and Surveillance Network, Mark B.’s hissy fit, Neal “The Peeper” still acting like he has some kind of spiritual authority–come on, Jane, are you defending this kind of stuff?

          Or, God forbid, are you defending the documented cases of fundy physical, sexual, material, emotional, spiritual abuse, because they were perpetrated by people or institutions you support, God forbid?

          Or are you just pointing out the obvious, that everyone has a bias?

          What exactly is your complaint?

  7. I can name 100 people who only read the KJV and they don’t abuse anyone. But everyone I know who reads the NIV (or the satanic bible) also abuses people. To some, this would pass as empirical evidence; to others a silly example of skewed data sampling. The validity of a criticism (of KJV, MOG, PCC), it appears, is determined, not by its accuracy, but to whom it is directed.

    1. Do you, in your circles actually know enough people who read the NIV or other translations to make any kind of valid comparison??

      1. I’m curious what a sort of sample size would be reasonable to draw a valid conclusion? Or is the predetermined conclusion sufficient to validate the method?

        1. Well, I guess since you have already concluded that only KJV people are kind and unabusive, it really doesn’t matter what the sampling is.

          By the way, I read the KJV, NIV, NASB, RSV, and ESV. As far as I can tell, I’m not abusive. But then, I don’t know what you consider abusive. I have found among my friends and contacts that translation preference does not equal attitude. The most abusive member of my extended family is KJV only, but this person would be abusive no matter what they read.

    2. I don’t know a single person who reads the Living Bible who is not a mass murderer.

      The fact that I don’t know anyone who reads the Living Bible may or may not be irrelevant.

      1. Maybe the NIV-abusers conclusion is (though not always told as fictitious) a silly example of skewed data sampling. It makes me feel better about myself to know that only fundies do that.

    3. That is how it appears to you. It doesn’t appear so to me: opinions are judged based on the merits more than on the source/target. There is a sort of selection bias at work, in that most of the posters are people who have left IFB churches and parachurch organizations, which does lend a certain one-sidedness to the tone. But if you read carefully, you’ll see less question-begging, ad hominem, and other poor argumentation than your comment implies. it’s a bunch of people, many of them hurting, expressing opinions. Rigor frequently at least flirts with jumping out the window, how strange.

      1. Allan Karlsson and the impulse for windows aside, one must admit, pro and anti fundies exhibit strikingly similar behavior patterns. Or is that heresy?

        1. The problem is that Fundies will rarely if ever admit they may be wrong about anything in Scripture. Most, although not all, non-Fundies I know will readily admit to being learners who may be wrong.
          The difference is a willingness to be shown error and learn from it.

          To show that people are sinful and want to be right isn’t heresy. It is natural that sinful people would have similar behavior patterns. I think the attitude shouldn’t be I’m always right. A much better attitude would be Of course I think I’m right. But show me where I am wrong and I will change

        2. Some philosophers say that we should never claim to have a “true” answer to philosophical questions, just a “best answer so far.” Some scientists would say the same about science.

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