Just Making Stuff Up: Pine Mountain Baptist Church Edition

It takes only the first 26 seconds of this clip for the preacher to add to Bible.

Here’s a hint: if you’re ever in a service where the minister says the words “I know you don’t see it right here in the Scriptures but I want you to see in the Bible…” whatever comes next is going to be made up out of whole cloth.

155 thoughts on “Just Making Stuff Up: Pine Mountain Baptist Church Edition”

    1. The loudness has the effect of stopping analytical thinking… Normally, when someone is that loud, they are either going to attack you or hurt themselves, so the attention to them goes up, and the ability to think critically goes down.

      I think I’ve read some paper that the loud preaching tends to put the mind in a more receptive state (alpha state?? – not sure; maybe someone here knows) that makes it easier to just accept the sayings blindly.

      1. Yes; also, many preachers have the habit of saying things so fast, one after another, without argument, that one cannot think through the presentation logically and slips into a trance-like state. There is also a name for this phenomenon, although it escapes me at the moment.

        1. A couple years ago my employer’s annual Christmas party had a professional stage hypnotist show up, and he succeeded in hypnotizing a fair number of people in the audience. What was interesting to me is that his delivery was almost exactly that of the fundy sermons I grew up with. The same rising and falling inflections, the same style of stories to get you following a visual narrative, very similar pacing, the same faux emotion at the appropriate points. It made me realize that the typical fundy sermon is, intentionally or unintentionally, very manipulative at a basic psychological level.

        2. So true! I don’t know how many times I’ve sat in church and thought -wait, what?

    2. My sentiments exactly. If it is a stretch away from the scripture then just say it louder and everyone will know you’re right and mean business, praise god and hallelujah.

  1. Our pastor did this – he knows more than the Bible states, and more than any of us in the congregation could ever hope to know. I accepted that for a loooong time.

  2. Ill fitting suit, comb over, screaming with an over emphasized Southern drawl, while still proving to everyone he went to Bible college and learned how to alliterate. Funny how I used to accept all of this as the only way to share the Gospel and be outwardly acceptable. When in reality it’s not sharing the gospel at all, nor is it acceptable. And by the way, where does it say in the Scriptures that getting discouraged means you no longer love Jesus? That’s the last thing I caught before I turned off this silliness.

    1. Getting discouraged means you don’t love Jesus? Where is the Gospel in that? Why not say, “Are you discouraged? The one who loves you beyond imagination longs to comfort you. He is holding you in His arms, even if you doubt His presence. He treasures you as His precious child.” Why not a message of grace instead of condemnation?

      (I’m only responding to that statement since I didn’t listen to the message since I have no desire to be yelled at.)

      1. You didn’t miss anything by not listening to it, and thanks for your encouraging words. He basically was reading between the lines and implying that someone lost their “ferver” because they weren’t studying for their Sunday School lesson. And the reason they weren’t studying was because they were discouraged. Just a load of guilt laden junk.

        1. That’s very much like saying “Be warm and fed” to brothers and sisters who are cold and hungry.

        1. That’s sort of a psychological Christian Science– there’s no such thing as mental illness; there’s only failure to have the right attitude.

      2. “Save me oh, God for the waters are up to my neck, deeper and deeper I sink and there are no footholds” -David (Psalm 69)

        “I drench my couch with my tears, all night I make my bed swim, my eye wastes away because of grief, it grows weak because of all my foes” -David (Psalm 6)

        “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
        Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” -David/Jesus on the cross (Psalm 22) (Also Jesus on the cross)

        “You have put me in the depths of the pit,
        in the regions dark and deep. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. ” -The Sons of Korah (Psalm 88)

        By inductive reasoning, we can confirm beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that David, Jesus, and the Sons of Korah were unsaved, based off of their words here. Being discouraged is for heathen. (Sarcasm font)

  3. I honestly didn’t get passed the 29 second mark….I can’t handle all the yelling. If I wanted to sit and let someone yell at me, I’d go to an Alabama game. GO VOLS!

    1. nor could I. I even put on the text button and I guess they couldn’t understand either. I would not make 5 minutes in that church before I got up and left!!!!!

  4. Just an annointed, shoutin’ Babtist preechur, hayman? Now, don’chu condemn him none! All y’all sheep are just s’posed tuh faller the shepherd, hayman? If the shepherd sez somethin’ dat ain’t in the Bible, well, I s’spect it’s cuz God gave him a special annointing. So, y’all better humble yerselves & listen up, hayman!

    (Ouch. I haven’t exercised my Fundy in awhile. That hurt!)

  5. I used to endure this sort of thing quite often. I even voted yes when our church called someone like this to be our pastor. Why? I’m an intelligent person. Why did I sit there and take this stuff? I can’t remember ever enjoying it or learning from it or benefiting from it or agreeing with it. So why did I sit there and take it so often and tolerate it? Why did I ever expose my children to such rantings? I regret ever subjecting them to this way of “worship,” and I’m so grateful to God that my children don’t seem to be permanently scarred. But I still question my own sanity in ever tolerating this. The only possible explanation or excuse is “group-think.”

    1. I agree. I tolerated it for years, too.

      And while the preacher at the IFB church my wife and daughter attend is not a ranter, there are still a lot of assertions, unBiblical declarations ( as if they were Biblical), ignorance on display, and a false spirituality.

      I fear for my wife and daughter going there. But they do not tolerate my mentioning that.

      I should have left years earlier, and just insisted they come with me. Now I am paying the price of it.

    1. ^^This^^
      Abusive parents often shout at their children. Those children grow up to flinch when someone screams. The old ‘fight or flight’ thing.
      (Don’t ask me why I know this.)

        1. Nyoy-nyoy-nyoy. 😯
          Is John Crowder always that drunk on stage?
          Because I’ve seen guys lying on the curb outside the liquor stores in bad neighborhoods preaching the exact same sermon.

        2. Todd Bentley says one thing no one can disagree with:
          “Lord I pray right now like a machine gun.”

    1. Maybe he thinks his audience is made up of non-native English speakers. Ever hear someone shout at someone who doesn’t speak the language well, as if they were deaf? It’d be funny, if it wasn’t sort of sad.

  6. So sad….. No,….it’s shameful 🙁 This man is the piper and he doesn’t even have to play the tune for his sheeple to worhsip him.

    BTW Why do fundy MOGs like to berate so much for sinking into the water? Is it because they want to believe that if THEY were there Peter they would have done so much better Jesus would commended them?

    If a fundy MOG actually had been there they would have said to Jesus, “Move along now. We’re waiting for OUR choses messiah….Paul of Tarsus” 8)

    1. Had I been Peter, I’d have sunk right off. Lack of faith? Sure. I am human. The waves scare me.

      So Peter did something none of the other disciples even dared to attempt. He got out of the boat! No matter how few steps he made on the water, all of them were steps not taken by the others. So Jesus showed that those with the most faith don’t have all that is needed.

      I agree, we shouldn’t criticize Peter here. His “failure” was a stunning success by the achievements of others.

    2. Bibb, now you’ve caught my attention in a big way. Is it just me, or is Paul given too much weight in the church? The older I get the less I like St. Paul. He seems to me to be a misogynist and homophobe.

      I don’t want to put unintended meaning into your post. You may just be referring to Saul versus the converted Paul. ?

        1. Agreed. I’ve given up on inerrancy. “Inspiration” ok, but not in the way we were taught. Paul (IMHO) was a product of his culture, of his times. I keep getting back to Jesus as portrayed in the gospels. Why did he accept women as equal to men? Why did he never mention homosexuality? Why was Paul so strident and angry?

        2. As long as you don’t hold to literal inerrancy (which I don’t), Paul appears as an absolutely fascinating character.
          When his writing is good, it’s very, very good, and when it’s bad, it’s awful.

        3. Not to mention the interesting work that has been done to distinguish what Paul (or “Paul,” not necessarily the same person mentioned in Acts) may have really written himself versus what was probably (some would say certainly) written by others under his name, or added to the texts by later transcribers.

        4. BG, I’m sure not up to date on scholarship. Sounds like you are much more up to speed. I’ve been out of the game since 1986 when I finished DTS, went thru a divorce, and became a cop. Some life story huh?

          Over the years I’ve discarded inerrancy as I was taught at BJU and DTS. It’s simply not believable for me–and Paul (though a truly fascinating person–I agree with you) is just hard to take as more than a brilliant, angry, misogynistic man on a mission. He was effective, and impacted the church greatly. But were his writings inerrant? I don’t hold to that. I like Jesus a lot.

        5. BJg, Paul doesn’t seem like a man I’d get along with! BG is right: when he’s good he’s good, and when he’s bad, he’s bad. He strikes me as extremely strong-willed and opinionated, and some of his writing seems to me to be nothing more than his own preferences.

        6. FWHME, it helps if you keep in mind while reading some of the “preferences” in the Epistles that most of them were written largely to try to settle infighting and solve problems of the moment in the various churches.
          What many of these problems were can only be inferred from the resolutions recommended.

        7. Two comments RE: Paul. First, he was writing to specific people and churches – we don’t always intuit the context, and I think it would be a mistake to understand these as universal. More importantly, Paul is difficult to translate. One of the reasons he sounds strident is that English just doesn’t capture the nuance of Greek. For example, James uses the imperative in his one epistle more times than all of Paul’s writings combined (Paul generally opted for the genitive). But, that just doesn’t come across in English. Finally, even world class scholars struggle with some of what Paul wrote because we just honestly don’t know what he is talking about, although some 2TJ scholars have some good suggestions based on midrashic studies. But whether it is Paul or John or Jesus, I think any approach needs to understand the difference between law and gospel and not make the exhortations in the NT into a new law.

        8. By the way, the Pauline scholarship I allude to has been going on for 100 years or more (although there are new developments every few years). I don’t want to give the impression that it’s a late-breaking news flash.

        9. There was a split in my old fundy church some time before my family started attending there. It involved some of the members getting carried away by the “Grace Movement” which considered Paul’s writings the only scriptures relevant to the Church. I remember my dad pontificating about the error of it. Here’s more for the curious out there (c’mon, you know you want to know….or not…)
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperdispensationalism

        10. Wikipedia has a pretty good summary of the current scholarship regarding who wrote the “Pauline” epistles. Most scholars who study this stuff give Paul credit for seven of them, someone writing under Paul’s name for several more, and are evenly divided on the rest of the extant letters. The article also mentions lost epistles which Paul indicated that he wrote, but which have not yet been discovered. It has lists of which are which.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_epistles

        11. I have pretty much abandoned inerrancy, and only use it to attack the arguments that come from fundamentalism. Like any structure that is too rigid, it carries in itself the key to its own destruction, and it is accepted only by instilling an unquestioning heart into believers.

          I believe in inspiration. But “God-breathed” does not mean inerrant or perfect.

          For example, Adam was “God-breathed,” inspired, as it were. He wasn’t inerrant, now was he?

          We have idealized the attributes of God to a point where we have de-deified God and created unbendable and harsh rules to take His place. We have reduced God to an algorithm, a formula that only the MOGs can understand. No wonder they confuse hatred for love, power for godliness!

          And I refuse to take it any more.

          I am definitely in a search for God. The God of fundamentalism doesn’t work any more.

        12. The thing that bugs me about Paul the Inerrant is that right there in the flipping text Paul specifies that certain passages are divinely inspired and others are his opinion.

        13. Paul was inspired insofar as he believed he had encountered Jesus alive and re-interpreted his entire faith around that encounter – he had experienced the transcendent and reflected on it in his writings. It was powerful enough that he was willing to jettison central aspects of the law (circumcision, dietary laws and holy days) and eventually die for his new beliefs. He was a type A personality to be sure and a dick at times, but the church as we know it wouldn’t exist today without him. The church was basically Pauline in nature.

          Also, I agree that Paul did not write everything attributed to him (the “pastoral epistles” are almost certainly not Pauline and this is where the most extreme sexist language occurs). Many believe that Paul favoured women in ministry based on his authentic writings. Yes, he spoke against homosexuality, but he did not major on it like many evangelicals do today.

    3. BJG- I’m hardly up to speed on anything…..especially since I went to the same school you did!! But no I don’t think you’re reading too much into my post. In Fundyland there is a DEFINITE respect to Paul of Jesus. I’d wager the reason is because the Pauline epistles can be twisted to ascert the power of the MOGs and the justification of their legalism

      As far as inerrancy goes, I don’t think God ever promised that of the Bible. In fact, many scholars say that if there were no perceived “contradictions” in the Bible then it would seem fake and colluded. But here’s an interesting thought; a musician who is a true artist and not just a good musician will ALWAYS make intentional mistakes in performance, because perfection is sterility and therefore abhorant to humanity.

      You seem to be at a place I was until recently. Let me know if you want to talk 🙂

      1. This inerrancy conversation is fascinating, and I really appreciate everyone’s input. I confess I find it hard to read the bible any more (esp Paul) as I don’t know what is from God and what is a product of the culture, or of an angry, controlling, power-mad writer. This blog is currently my only connection to Cxianity.

        1. Some really good books of healing for those of us severely damaged by Fundyland would be:

          Surprised By Hope -N.T. Wright

          Velvet Evis and Love Wins -Rob Bell

          Orthodoxy -G.K. Chesterton

          I would never say I endorse or fully agree with any of these authors but as the saying goes “Where truth is found, be thankful. All truth belongs to God anyway”

        2. BJG, I completely understand. You and I are pretty much at the same place, I think.

          The Scriptures show how different people experienced “God.” They do not necessarily show us how we should experience God.

          The fact is that even as we read the same words in the Scriptures, we experience them differently. We come to God with different backgrounds and needs. Perhaps our differences in needs determine how He reveals Himself – or if He does. Fundamentalists have a need for rules, for order, and for bossing other people around. Is it any wonder that God, to them, is such a being? “Grace” is such a limited factor in their imagination, because they have chained it with rules and directions and asides and conditions. They see it as “boundless” only because they can’t count very high. But they definitely do not see it as extending far enough to reach those who don’t believe as they do.

          Abraham needed God to be a friend. Moses needed God to be a God of War, a leader triumphant over the enemies. Jacob needed God to wrestle with him, to bless him regardless of whether it was deserved or not. Peter needed God to call him to walk on the water, and to save him when he couldn’t do it on his own.

          Me? I need a God who will let me question, and will help me find answers, who will bless me into believing and not reject me for my deficiencies. I need a God who knows it is not about Him Only, but about Us.

          Even Paul caught glimpses of that vision at times, though not as often as he should have. Paul saw God very much as a commander sending him on a mission, not as a Companion.

          I do hope you will try looking at the Episcopal Church. Mind you, different congregations have different “flavors,” as it were. But the emphasis and the liturgy are helpful. The chains that we are used to feeling aren’t there.

  7. To some, yelling means you’re “on fire for God”. In drama you learn that you can peak with shouting (like say in a argument) but you can’t stay at that level for long or else the audience will tune you out and you’ve lost them. I also think that people in the clip are hooting and hollering and giving amen’s out of reflex. Seriously, I heard amens after he mentioned murder and rape.

    1. I agree with the reflex. I developed an amen reflex where I subconsciously would just say amen at certain rhythm points. It go so bad I was doing it outside of church in public. People thought I was crazy amen?

      1. That’s sort of like the stereotypical spouse who’s not listening, and just says, “Yes, Dear,” every forty seconds or so, no matter what the other person says.

  8. The whole thing has nothing to do with faith (which is confidence in the truth of God’s Word) but is just stirring up feelings by yelling and telling people to have faith. His application of this message is exactly the opposite of what he supposedly is trying to preach!

    This whole conniption fit is predicated on a gap in the scripture where it doesn’t actually say anyone lost their fervency. Sadly this is pretty much par for the course.

  9. And what’s up with lifting the hand to the side of the face? That got hold very fast. I couldn’t tell if it was there so he could hear the amens or if he had it there in order for him to yell louder. Maybe both. Just part of the performance I guess.

      1. To continue this off-topic discussion, I’ve played at services preached by Hyles, Hutson, Gray (both), Gibbs (both), Hatch, Ruckman, Chappell, ad nauseam. I received an occasional in-stream critique of my playing from some of these illustrious guest “men of god” on how to perform to their liking. Suffice to say that with each performance I was a little bit closer to my departure from fundyworld.

  10. Sometimes this is done in a calm voice. Sometimes is it done using other scriptures. But always, always spin is present. A simple technique I use to grade a preacher is this. Read the whole passage he was talking about when he is done. If the Bible does not clearly say what the preacher said, it was a spin. Jeremiah 23.

  11. How does one build up his vocal chords to be able to maintain that volume for such a prolonged period? Is there vocal training (yelling) class taught at Fundy U? I made it almost 2 minutes before my throat started to hurt just listening to him.

    1. I read recently about Charles Haddon Spurgeon (beloved of some Fundies) that to maintain his voice, he sipped “chili vinegar with water,” and he mixed his tea “as strong with pepper as can be borne.” This was in the 1860s, when he was regularly preaching to crowds of thousands with no electric amplification.
      The same source says that he charged an admission price of five shillings (a rather steep ticket price in those days) for services at his Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, on the theory that more people would come if it were a hot ticket, so to speak.

  12. I couldn’t stand to listen to all of of it but heard enough to take me back as a teen, forced to go to church/revivals/camp meetings and listened to drivel like this. I’m so happy I’m free from this kind of bs!

  13. There will be those who stand before God and claim, “I preached ‘Thus Sayeth the Lord'”, and he’s gonna say, “I never said any such thing, and by the way, I don’t even know you.”

    Wasn’t there a passage in Jeremiah (??) where God was taking about so called prophets who claimed to speak for God and he plainly states that he never told to to say anything?

    I am so sick of what passes for religion and I am literally (no hyperbole) nauseated by crap such as this, which I used to think was good preaching.

    *sigh* smh… mts

  14. “THAT’S GOOD!”

    “TELL IT BROTHER!”

    “AMEN!”

    “BLESSING GOD!”

    “COME ON PREACHER!”

    “GOOD PREACHING PREACHER!”

    “AMEN PREACHER!”

    “COME ON!”

    “AAAAAAMEN!”

    “BLESSING GOD!”

    “YEA!”

    “AMEN PREACHER!”

    “BLESSING LORD”

    “YOU’RE GOOD PREACHER!”

    “BLESSING GOD!”

    “TELL IT!”

    “AAAAMEN!”

    “PREACH IT!”

    “BLESS THE LORD”

    “YEEES SIR!”

    “THAT’S RIGHT”

    “BLESSING LORD”

    “BLESSING GOD”

    “COME ON PREACHER!”

    “TELL IT”

    “THAT’S RIGHT!”

    “RIGHT!”

    “BLESSING GOD!”

    “THAT’S IT!”

    “THAT’S GOOD PREACHER!”

    “HAY-MEN!”

    “BLESSING LORD!!!”

    It’s not so much the preacher (that’s the nature of the beast), it’s the followers.

    Koolaid anyone?

    1. Ever find yourself using the above responses to someone else talking with enthusiasm about anything else? (No doubt they are particularly useful in discussions about sports/politics.) Some Fundy habits are just too ingrained to really shake. 😀

  15. BWAHAHAHAHA, This guy is a riot! It’s just like what you would look for in an actor to make fun of old timey fundy preachers in a movie. I’m sure he would take that as a compliment, but I mean c’mon! You can’t make this stuff up (unless you’re a fundy preacher, then it’s your job).

  16. I’m sure this has been said before but I could not understand one word this man was yelling. The screaming preacher does not get through to me. My mind just hears a whole lot of loud.

    Loudness and shouting does equal truth. In fact I have found many pastors who yell do so to cover up a lack of substance.

    1. The part that puzzles me is that apparently just before his demise, Fred Phelps got kicked out of his own church (which consisted almost entirely of his own family). I’ve only seen the vaguest reports about this, but I would really like to know what’s going on.

        1. One rumor is that he advocated softening Westboro Baptist’s approach. The pupils have apparently surpassed the master in harshness.

        1. Yes, I understand he represented local African-Americans in civil rights cases many years ago (before he was disbarred).

  17. I thought there was no such word as “fervency” (the usual noun is “fervor”), but I looked it up, and “fervency” means excessive or unhealthy fervor, so perhaps that is the correct term here.

  18. So in other words what he is saying is, “the Bible doesn’t say this, but I want to twist this piece of Scripture to fit what I’m was told to preach on; i.e., make you feel guilty about.

  19. In an Appalachian area (where ironically, he was from), uneducated church members/attenders rejected my Dad’s expository preaching in normal tones with only an occasional louder sentence for emphasis, in favor of screaming like this video. In their minds, it wasn’t preaching if it wasn’t screaming. I suspect there are many more church members like that that we would care to imagine.

    1. From my preschool years through the 2nd grade my family went to the local Holiness (Wesleyan) church with our neighbors. I remember a very good older scholarly pastor that my parents really liked. He and his wife were kind and humble and were treated like dirt by the congregation. He was voted out after about two years and replaced by a grandstander with a gorgeous wife who played the flamboyant “Pentecostal” piano style. He preached gory sermons about sinners who rejected God and went out and got run over by trains or dump trucks, embellished with shouting, crying and handkerchief waving. The congregation ate it up. Then later this pastor had to leave in disgrace when it was discovered he was separated from his actual wife and shacking up with the pianist. My parents left that church and mom said they got their just desserts for the way they treated the godly man. The craziness really is a two way street.

    2. I think people who are used to the shouting, podium-pounding, gut-bucket style of preaching miss the adrenaline rush when they hear a reasoned sermon in well-modulated tones.

      But just because it’s a thrill doesn’t mean it’s Godly. Riding a roller coaster is intense, but it’s not a religious experience.

      1. Thus the irony when these people criticize contemporary churches for catering to “itching ears” or trying to “entertain” their members because preaching like this DOES become entertainment to those who prefer it and even demand it.

  20. I made it to the two-minute mark, and had to stop. It reminded me too much of the preachers I heard growing up in southeast Kentucky. Full of law and condemnation, and hardly a drop of grace to be found.

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