Fundy Fallacy: Bifurcation

One has to look no further than this this article by Allen Domelle Bruce Goddard, to find the common fundy fallacy of bifurcation otherwise known as the “all or nothing” fallacy.

Starting with a tautology for a title (“If You Have No Line, Then You Have No Line”) he attempts to demonstrate that “mockers who act as if you are so stupid for fussing over little things” must obviously have no standards or morals whatsoever or else they wouldn’t question yours.

Would you let somebody into your church naked? Then you must keep my dress standards! Would you (God forbid) let Justin Bieber sing in your church? then you must keep my music standards!

There is no middle ground in fundy world. It’s a bizarre place to live.

Update 1: Corrected author of the article to Bruce Goddard. Allen Domelle is the owner of the website.

210 thoughts on “Fundy Fallacy: Bifurcation”

    1. And a point of correction, if I may Darrell, the article is actually written by “Dr.” Bruce Goddard, not “Dr.” Allen Domelle (it is his web site). I realize I am in error in correcting you as the MoG of this site, and therefore will be disqualified from receiving my first ever butt cushion, but you are either right or wrong; there is no middle ground.

        1. Now you’ve gone and done it, haven’t you? You just had to use that vile profanity, didn’t you? Shame on you and your non-existent cushions for the gluteus maximus. Now we’re going to get people complaining because you said a naughty word!

        2. Semp and Natalie, I have a Fundy relative who won’t say Boston Butt, butt-splice, butt up against, or other forms of butt because he doesn’t want his daughters to hear the word “butt” and start saying it.

          Is it wrong that we work the word into conversations just to needle him?

        3. Nope. My father in law smokes a pork butt several times a year and we argue over who gets to rub the butt with spices. If someone can’t appreciate that type of humor, I feel bad for them. 🙂

        4. Not to butt into the conversation, but what does he say that billy goats do? “Butt” is a legitimate verb.

          (In my family growing up, “butt” was not outlawed as a verb but it was not allowed as a noun. We spelled out b.u.m.)

        5. Most likely he would just say they “bang” their heads together.
          And then change the subject so he wouldn’t have to explain why they bang their heads together.

        6. Haha! My (now all grown up) brothers and sisters and I like to work into conversation with my mom all kinds of what were condsidered off-limits words when we were growing up just to tease her. She just smiles and shakes her head at us.

        7. There’s a song in Montana called, “It’s Pronounced ‘Be-yute’, not ‘BUTT'”! :laugh:

        8. But(t) of course!

          The state tree of Texas is the pecan, and many Texans have this tree in our yards and make pies, cookies, cakes, and snacks from the nuts.
          The name of the tree and the nut is pronounced (in Texas) “puh-CAHN,” but some unfathomable dark motivation causes people in some parts of America to say it “pee can.” When this issue comes up, we say, “A pee can is what truck drivers take on long trips.”

        9. Butt, if I ain’t gonna use that darn word, then I suppose that I’m supposed to sit on my blessed assurance, remember not to fart, but, shoot, not get pissed off either. I’ll just tell myself to shut up even though it sucks.

          (There, I think I covered all the naughty words of my youth nicely.)

        10. Panda Rosa, if you say “pee-CAhn,” you are a liberal compromiser. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

        11. Uncle Wilver, I suppose that mindset prohibits your relative from buying Heluva cheese.

          Why this person thinks by not personally allowing the word “butt” to be uttered in the presence of spawn that the spawn will never be corrupted by such language is beyond me. Even if you stay in the fundy bubble you will hear bad words, much worse than “butt”.

        12. What do “butt”-averse people call the remaining end of a mostly-smoked cigarette?
          There is the term “fag end,” but that hardly seems less troubling for the lexicologically squeamish.

        13. A couple of us pointed out some inconsistencies in his “training”. He still used the word “butter” which contains “butt”. As far as I know, “rump” was a suitable word, so you could have a rump roast, just not a pork butt. (Which is actually not from the butt-end at all. That’d be a ham.) And last I checked, “but” sounds just like “butt”, but nevertheless he would say that.

        14. BG, I have no idea why any good denizen of Fundystan would even entertain the idea of speaking of cigarettes or the parts pertaining thereunto.

  1. It’s wasn’t doctrine or the KJV that caused me to leave the IFB. It was the ridiculous, unBiblical, unfriendly, judgmental, two faced, overworked , no Grace, out of touch, bad hair cuts, silly dresses, manipulation, and just a couple other things.

    Did I just cross the line? Good if I did

    1. You my friend are 200% correct. I find the IFB churches to be no different than the Obama administration. You used the term two faced, I call it a BOLD FACE LIE. Now comes the healing and that my friend takes time.

    2. If you don’t have the KJ Bible, you don’t have doctrine!! Can I get an AMEN on that? Oh, wait — I’m a girl. I have to shut up.

        1. Heh. Mostly I like to frighten people with it. Imagine the look on my new son-in-law’s face when he went to get the extra blankets out of my closet when they were down for the holidays… 😉

    1. Once again, it’s one of the two times the stopped clock is right, the fundies do have a point on this one. 😀

    2. I bet that Taylor Swift and Rihanna are both heartbroken that they won’t be invited to sing at Dr. Goddard’s church, followed by dinner at the local Cracker Barrel.

  2. This has to be the biggest lie in the article: “By the way, whatever your line, have one. I don’t mind your line differing from mine, but be man enough to say where right ends and wrong begins.” Isn’t that the whole point of fundamentalism, to separate from those who have differing lines than they do?

    1. They say this, but if you do take a different stand from these self-appointed grand poobahs, you are made fun of by these so-called “men of God”.

      No, Dr Goddard, any line is NOT better than no line; what is desired are Biblical lines.

    2. I agree.

      “I don’t mind your line differing from mine.” — ummmm, yeah, you do, Mr. Goddard.

      1. My former IFB “college” has a logic class. That class was probably the most worthwhile time spent in college! 😀

  3. I’ve noticed that argument with a couple of my fundy friends. They have this all or nothing attitude. If you are wrong in one area, you are wrong in all areas.
    So you are either a capitalist or a communist, a biblical conservative Christian or a heathen, they are always dividing on the most extreme edges of everything.
    Where they draw the line is the perfect place to draw the line and therefore everyone else is wrong. They are the standard for interpreting Scripture and for living out Scripture.
    And they draw lines everywhere. Every line becomes the most important line–dress code, Creation, Eschatological doctrine, music you listen to, etc. Every line determines how “saved” you are.
    That is a tiresome life. Where is grace in all that?

    1. Exactly – our IFB church would not associate or cooperate with any other churches in the community, even for charitable reasons.

      1. Neither would mine. Their idea of interdenominational cooperation was “let’s all of you join US!”
        Just one of the many reasons I left the Church of We’re Right and Everyone Else is Wrong.

    2. It’s also the recipe for further and further extremism and ultimately insanity. You see the guy with more discipline and higher standards so you feel guilty. You must now condemn him or become him. Then he sees you become more disciplined with higher standards so he has to step it up. Now you have to step it up; now him; now you; etc.

    3. I still remember that Very Special Sunday of my childhood when I was barred from going to church less than ten minutes before we were supposed to head out the door.

      I’d had a growth spurt in the night and could no longer walk in my nice shoes for church. My sneakers still fit well enough because I always liked those to be roomier, but my parents knew the reaction everyone at church would have to an elementary schooler showing up in sneakers, even if we explained what had happened .

      If ‘The Rules’ are so important and stringent that they can bar a kid from church on a Sunday morning for having a normal and developmentally appropriate growth spurt Saturday night, something is very wrong.

      (And yes, this church did use ‘Come Just As You Are’ as the music for the invitation. Often.)

    4. Just to be fair, both ideological extremes (libs and conservatives) tend to be all or nothing.

      I say this as a liberal. I have to try to avoid all or nothing.

  4. The Bible is either 100% literally true or its not true at all.

    There’s a an open can of worms….

    1. Ah, that old lie. Goes hand in hand with “if Genesis 1 can’t be trusted, nothing can”. Pure bs just steaming and dripping from people’s mouths.

      1. “Pure bs just steaming and dripping from people’s mouths.”

        Excuse me while I gouge my mental eyes out.

  5. Correct. There is no middle ground. There is only black and white. Right and wrong. By reading your posts/tweets, I now know what is wrong with Christianity in this country.

    1. I bet Fundies make great chess players, as they see everything in Black & White.

      1. True, but chess requires logic and abstract thinking, which most Fundies don’t seem to possess.

        1. Fundies can’t play checkers because of the colors. They can’t be black. They just won’t. And red represents communists. Amen?

        2. Nixon had a dog named Checkers, and Nixon was a Republican, so the game of checkers is okay. There’s my line. Circuitous, but it’s a line.

  6. Cute article. I love how he doesn’t have a single verse of scripture to back up his artificial, arbitrary, personal and imposed standards. But comparing a personal standard to no standards amounts to hyperbole at best. Of course there is a line, but that line should be drawn by scripture. Not society, culture or personal feelings. If the authority on that line is not found explicitly in scripture, than it should take a back seat to clear scriptural commands and should not be imposed on others. Example: I visited a fundy church recently and the message was based on Peter’s denial, but amounted to “The first step down that road is criticizing the MoG. So if you don’t want to deny Christ, don’t be critical of the MoG.” Nonsensical, manipulative, oppressive, unbiblical gibberish.

    1. Aye! If you are going to enforce some rule or standard on people, you must at least have some scripture to back it up with. What they use is unclear, usually non-applicable, verses picked helter skelter to “prove” what they are saying.

    2. We have no bibles. In fact, we don’t need bibles. I don’t have to show you any stinking bibles,
      —yellow hat The word of mog

    3. I appreciated that no Scripture was twisted and ripped from its historical and grammatical context to ‘prove’ his proposition.

      This is the kind of article that can be discussed by anyone because it is just his opinion, though I’m sure he argues from a position or arrogancy. Is that a word? Arro-gancy. It should be if it isn’t because that descrbes Pharisaic…umm…standards based Christianity exactly. Arro-gancy.

  7. Here’s a list of all the scripture verses used in the article:

    (this space intentionally left blank)

    1. Ironically it is Scripture that can be used to dismantle much of this mindset, primarily Romans 14:1-15:3, Paul’s instructions on disputable matters. And strangely he states explicitly in this passage, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another,” and the term judgment in this particular verse refers to making a definitive statement on one’s standing before God, declaring that you are save or damned because you do “x”. I amazed at how the IFB movement, given its commitment to strong biblical doctrine, can overlook such basic biblical doctrine.

      1. You quoted another version here…line crossed and now you are dead to me. Good luck getting into heaven with that book.

        In Grace

        Every IFB Pastor

      2. The IFB isn’t committed to doctrine as found in the Bible. It is committed to doctrine as misunderstood in the Bible.

      3. Was that the authorized version of that Scripture? ;P

        And we all know that the fundies are their own standard for interpreting Scriptures. And they determine which ones are the necessary ones to keep. So Romans does not apply unless they are being judged wrongly….

  8. Did a fourth grader write Goddard’s article? “If it got their crowd bigger”
    Or is that the Fake Southern MOG Grammar-Ignoring Privilege?

  9. Would Jesus wear pants? No man should wear pants! Would Mary Magdalene wear culottes? No woman should wear culottes!

      1. Yes, I remember that verse – so that all seeing God could not view the Priests’ private parts as they walked up the steps to the altar. But Jesus was not a temple priest, and so would not be bound by this commandment.

        1. Stop trying to use facts and common sense where Steven Anderson is concerned! It’ll make your head explode!

      2. What. an. idiot.

        He certainly knows nothing about textile and clothing history. When the Old Testament was being written, men wore long tunics, with no pants. Women wore long tunics, with pants. Look at what women are wearing in the Middle East now? long tunics with pants.

        If the fundies want to be proper, long skirts for the men would be best. I’d settle for kilts. Mmm…

  10. I abruptly stopped reading at, “Dr. Hyles told the story…”

    It is true we all have “lines,” or boundaries as I prefer to call them, but doesn’t give anyone license to elevate them to Bible status because they are YOUR lines.

    For instance:

    I wouldn’t let Jeff Fugate or Sam Gipp (or especially Jack Hyles if he were still living) into my home wearing spandex and hemp slippers. Merely letting them into my home crosses the line no matter what they are wearing.

    (Now, how to get that image out of my mind..ewww.)

    1. Imagining Jack Hyles in spandex clearly reveals that you have no boundaries in your own mind; your consciences has been seared. You’d better draw some lines somewhere quickly or you’re obviously in danger of the fires of hell :^)

      1. thlipsis:

        You must be a student of Greek. I remember thlipsis well during my first year.

        Hey, you didn’t teach Greek at FundyU, did you?

        1. Not at Fundy U, thankfully. For whatever reason, this was my favorite word in NT Greek despite its meaning.

    2. BRO – If they offered to smoke their slippers with me, I would let them in.

      My line isn’t really much of a line. It is more of a Rorschach test.

    3. @BigRedOne

      Lol…that’s exactly where I stopped reading the article too!
      Immediate red flags come up when Jack Hyles is favorably mentioned.

  11. “What is sad is that we recently visited a well known Baptist church where the pastor said something like this, “We cannot put manmade rules or lines about right and wrong about the beat of music or dress or other things in the same category as the Bible.”
    Wow! Did that ever sound like the praise and worship, rock and roll, evangelical churches of the last decade. I was not bothered by the last decade’s evangelicals, though that is what they are, they never did stand for separation. What are we coming to when Baptists of today are borrowing the compromising logic of yesterday’s evangelicals?”

    It really sounds like he is arguing that man made rules should be in the same category as the Bible. I know many fundies think that but I have never heard one come right out and say it.

      1. That was my first thought, on reading this article, that people susceptible to this fallacy quite often tend to buy into the slippery slope argument as well.

        Guess it’s a slippery sl… Oh, wait. Dang it!

    1. Yup. That’s what he’s saying.

      And I bet he has a whole sermon on how evil Catholicism is because it is guided not only by Scripture but also by church tradition.

      (BTW, to whoever is wondering why young pastors are leaving the IFB, it’s because of people like Bruce Goddard. He’s adding to the Scriptures.)

  12. “We cannot put manmade rules or lines about right and wrong about the beat of music or dress or other things in the same category as the Bible.”
    He calls this compromising logic. Ummm, what about all the times that the Bible warns about adding to scripture or plagues on you.

  13. I just think it’s pretty hilarious that this essay appears in something called “Old Paths Journal.”
    It must be published at Old Paths University, and peer-reviewed by all the honorary doctors there.

  14. Would you let someone into your church naked?
    Yes, of course. And we would offer that person clothes. Matthew 25:36.
    Would you let Justin Bieber sing in your church?
    If somebody can toilet train him, yes. We’ve had worse singers.

    1. I lol’d SO hard about toilet training Justin Bieber.

      Still, it’s a valid point. Would you let “So and so” into your church? Our answer should always be yes.

      1. That’s one of the things that gets to me about how fundamentalist churches witness.

        ‘First make all these changes to how you dress, cut your hair, talk, and live your life. THEN we’ll let you sit in a pew and be told WHY we wanted you to do all that.’

        1. Our compassion and humility should be what separate us. Not our haircut. I know that point has been made many, many times here on SFL, but it seems especially true in response to this article.

        2. Not to proof text, or anything, but, um, James 2:

          2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

        3. The fundy obsession with suits and ties just befuddles me. Not only is it extra-biblical (and the requiring of it UN-biblical), but it’s completely counterproductive when trying to reach out to the culture. Sheesh. Have they seen a successful business leader recently?

          Oh, that’s right. They’re modeling themselves after successful business leaders circa 1953.

      2. Really? Would people here welcome Dave Hyles into their church? (I’m not sure I would)

        1. Good question. Hard question. It makes me think of my Sunday School class. There’s a gay man who sometimes attends. Please, please, please, please understand that I’m not equating this guy with Dave Hyles – not at all – I’m just bringing up what is a controversial issue in a lot of churches. Fundy churches would throw this guy out on his ear. But I figure whether or not anyone agrees with his lifestyle, my husband said it best – “He’s where he needs to be, in church, just like I need to be there.” The issue with Dave Hyles seems similar to me, somehow.

          However, if he or anyone came into a church sowing discord and stirring up strife, that’s a different issue.

          Grace and acceptance is difficult and messy, and I don’t claim to have all of the answers.

        2. I attend what people here would probably call “fundy-lite”; homosexuals would be welcome at our church, but not if they are disruptive (as anyone disruptive is not welcome). We preach that his “lifestyle” is sin, so he may not be comfortable there, especially if he doesn’t think it is sinful.

          We don’t believe in speaking in tongues; people who believe differently are welcome, but they are not allowed to speak in tongues at our church; they are asked to leave if they do… same kind of thing to me.

          As far as anyone knows, Dave Hyles has never repented of his behavior.

        3. Even if he had repented of his behaviour, he allegedly has a history of sexual predatory behaviour of minors. If this is true, then it is possible that he would always feel tempted in this area, and the youth in a church would always be vulnerable.

          I don’t have problems with him attending some sort of church service that’s adults only and designed to cater to such, but I think that churches that have children in them need to protect them first.

          I also think that any show of repentance that he makes would be a manipulative ploy. The fact that he’s preaching again without ever even bothering to make a show of repentance speaks volumes.

        4. Yeah, the pederasty thing is its own animal. For one thing, most convicted offenders are probably not allowed within a certain range of children. For another, all the evidence we have demonstrates that this kind of behavior is compulsory and pathological.

        5. Depends, really. Aside from the proximity to children question (was he ever convicted? I thought he liked adult women? Why am I even asking…?), why is he there? Attend? Fine. Become a member? We got lots of questions, first. Serve? Some areas, no, others, again with interrogation first. Leadership? That’s gonna be a public discussion of your past first, a very frank one. Pew-warming should be fine, so long as people are warned regarding children or whatever. To actually become part of a local body, we’re gonna need convincing evidence of either innocence or repentance. Having to earn trust back after a fall from grace is normal.

        6. I didn’t realize he had pedophile issues. That certainly takes it to a whole ‘nother level. Absolutely under no circumstances do pedophiles need any opportunity to interact with children. But would I feel comfortable with a pedophile even in the same church as my child? I can’t honestly say yes.

        7. A lot of people who were at FBC at the time said that DH got into a lot of mischief when he was a youth leader at the church, and one teen had an abortion as a result. Daddy swept things under the rug, I don’t think he was even charged.

          There’s still the fact that he’s the sole suspect in the alleged murder of little Brent Stevens, but he’ll never face trial over that.

      3. The only time we shouldn’t let So-and-so into our church is when we are certain beyond a reasonable doubt that So-and-so intends to do us harm. And I don’t mean “the appearance of evil.”

    2. Would the two Jacks let someone naked come into their office is the question. Wait, that’s been answered

    3. Exactly. Why would we not let that person in and provide the help that is needed? Why would any church be “offended” at this person’s misfortune.

      The author concedes that we all have lines regarding certain issues. The problem with the IFB is that lines become a matter of theology and control. The MOGs do not trust the sheeple to define the lines for themselves

    4. It’s difficult to carry out the command to clothe the naked when you’re permanently 13 years old, though.

    5. I don’t see why toilet training should be an issue. After all, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.

  15. The problem is evident in their personal lives, too. Why do fundy couples divorce? Because each person sees themselves as totally right, reasonable and good, while their spouse is totally wrong, unreasonable and bad. Lovers become enemies bent on destroying each other.

    Privately, of course. Never in front of others. One has to maintain a reputation and demonstrate standards.

    When you put the onus on others to conform to your standards, you eliminate grace. And what did God through Jesus Christ do? He broke the walls, tore down the veil, removed the partition. God came to us since we could not go to him.

  16. “What is sad is that we recently visited a well known Baptist church where the pastor said something like this, ‘We cannot put manmade rules or lines about right and wrong about the beat of music or dress or other things in the same category as the Bible.’
    Wow! Did that ever sound like the praise and worship, rock and roll, evangelical churches of the last decade. I was not bothered by the last decade’s evangelicals, though that is what they are, they never did stand for separation. What are we coming to when Baptists of today are borrowing the compromising logic of yesterday’s evangelicals?”

    So to say that not putting manmade traditions (which can be good or bad, depending on how they’re applied) on par with divinely inspired scripture is wrong is to throw away all standards of morality? One small step for a fundy preacher, one giant leap in logic for mankind.

  17. To be fair, the binary fallacy is not unique to IFB weirdness; it is the default paradigm of the uneducated. The binary fallacy is not a formal fallacy, and can take many forms as formal fallacy. Rather, the binary fallacy is a paradigm of looking at any situation in binary terms. This often takes the formal form of the either or fallacy – either you draw a clear line regarding dress code or you will end up hosting a Victoria’s Secret runway in the church basement.

    However, the most common formal form of the binary (in my experience of Fundy preaching) is the fallacy of the undistributed middle. This is a syllogistic fallacy, and as such can be hard to distinguish for someone who has not studied rhetoric or logic formally (again, not at all limited to fundies). The form of this fallacy is such that two premises are given in support of a conclusion, but the middle term is not distributed in either premises (note that if the middle term is distributed in a single premises, it does not qualify as this formal fallacy). Example:
    All liberal compromisers support free health care.
    Pastor Downthestreet supports free health care.
    Therefore, Pastor Downthestreet is a liberal compromiser!

    The easiest way to quickly recognize this fallacy without worrying about terms and distribution is to note that the second proposition does not place Pastor in the domain (liberal compromisers) but rather in the range (supports free health care). For the logic to work, the first term would have to read “All supporters of free health care are liberal compromisers”.

    1. I read this more as a Sorites Paradox fallacy. E.g., what is the “final inch” that makes a skirt too short? What is the “final pleat” that makes a culotte no longer a culotte? Etc. Efforts to define vague terms like “modesty” in this way are never going to work because it’s not an exercise in “line-drawing” in the first place.

      1. For some fundies of authoritarian mindset, it has to be an exercise in line-drawing. It’s not enough to agree that we should dress modestly, and trust that everyone will do their best, in good faith, to abide by that.

        No, if there’s no line, then nobody gets to judge who’s crossed the line. And what fun is that?

        1. Next thing you’ll be telling us we should drive as close to the cliff edge as we can

      2. Not just what inch is the final inch question, but modesty is also a question of culture and situation. While I do not believe in “situational ethics” I do believe that modesty changes with the particular event. My wife wears attire when we go to the beach that would not be considered appropriate or modest in other places, yet she is one of the more “modest” there.
        Then there is the culture argument. In some cultures, a pair of boxers and a tank-top would make a woman the most modestly covered. So then, the question about which inch becomes moot, even though Fundies would say otherwise. But then, to Fundies, taking the Gospel to the world as the Great Commission commands means exporting their particular brand of made up conformity. I agree with previous comments that this is why young IFB are leaving the fold. They have begun to read Scripture without the mogs bias and found the mog to be wrong.

    2. I would have no objection to a Victoria’s Secret runway in the basement of the church. That would get me back to church.

      1. My former fundy “church” doesn’t have a basement.

        Besides, church mortgages are clearly taught in the New Testament. If you don’t have a mortgage, then you’re out of the devine will and are of most men miserable.

      1. If you mean what would be an equal and opposite fallacy, probably something like absolute relativism, where you hold that there is no right or wrong, only people’s preferences.

    3. So what would the opposite of the ‘binary fallacy’ look like? Or is it a fallacy to assume may exist?

    4. Dr. – I feel like I need to write a term paper after reading your post. Just don’t give us a pop quiz. Please.


  18. He is right that everyone has his or her own lines. We all, whether Christian or not, have things that we deem appropriate or not appropriate. But the fact that they have standards is not my issue with most fundamentalists. My issue is when they impose their standards on everyone else. I know because I’ve been there. I used to think that the standards that I lived by were the only right ones, and I charitably looked at others and thought, “Someday they will realize the error of their ways and adopt my standards. Until then I will pray for them and live as a good example to them.” My teenage journals are full of this kind of arrogance. When I stepped away from Fundamentalism, I realized that the only standard of truth is Scripture, and what is explicitly stated there. Every other standard is a personal one that applies only to me. Other Christians’ lives will look different from mine, and it is right that they should.

    1. Yes!

      (I was just reading about this very thing in the book “Respectable Sins” by Jerry Bridges in his chapter on Judgmentalism. He also dealt with that in the chapter on Pride under spiritual pride.)

    2. If this was facebook, I would share your post as I hold the exact same view. I may not attend church anymore even, but I do still have standards contrary to the fundamentalist view that I shouldn’t. You state it perfectly. We all just need to learn to respect other’s standards.

  19. “Come as you are, leave as you were.”

    Assuming that the former implies the latter.

    Either get dressed up and meet our standards before you set foot in church, or else you won’t be changed. God won’t be working in your life, not in those clothes, forget it.

    (Hey, if he can put words in others’ mouths by adding to a common church service description, why not return the favor?)

  20. “the men who built our Baptist movement, Roloff, Hyles, Roberson, Rice and Norris.”

    Even the part of fundamentalism I hailed from would reject and separate from most of the dudes on this list. The crazy part of the IFB might be lunatic, but it ain’t fringe. This list demonstrates how much of it is hopelessly and historically bereft of anything other than sad man-worship and emotionally driven politicking rather than any kind of biblical principle or theological foundation.

    1. In my little, simple mind, I thought that “God gave the increase” — but no, their movement was grown by the listed men. That pretty much says it all.

  21. I never have been to an IFB. I spent 20 years in a fundy Church of Christ spinoff, and yes the same thing applies.
    The Churches of Christ have had their splits over instrumental music, one cup or many at communion, whether or not there can be a kitchen in the Church building, whether or not to support mission societies and on and on and on.
    All that comes across as pretty ludicrous, but if you talk to a ‘true believer’ then you will get a long tirade about how having a kitchen in the church building is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, and that if you do then you are adding to God’s word–and if you are adding a small part to God’s word, then you are breaking all of it and on, and on, ad nauseum.
    Sure glad I’m out


    1. Um. Having a church building is not specifically mentioned in the Bible either. It’s interesting to compare CoC and IFB and see how two biblical “literalist” denominations can arrive at such disparate conclusions and areas of emphasis. Makes you wonder if it’s actually possible to interpret the Bible literally!

        1. Moses had two tablets. I think they were an iPad and a Kindle.
          He first had a Nook and a Samsung Galaxy, but he got frustrated with their interfaces, so he smashed them.

        2. Moses was smart enough not to buy into the Apple hype. I’m pretty sure he had a Samsung.
          Besides, he wouldn’t have had an iPad, because he knew it wasn’t all about him, and the iPad, iPod,and iPhone are all about “i”.

    2. Toilets and air conditioning aren’t mentioned either, but I’m guessing most churches have one if not both.

      That reasoning is a slippery slope. Lots of things in today’s society aren’t mentioned in any holy book — the internet, radio, newspapers, chicken-fried steak, apple pie, microwave ovens, Chick Fil A, just to name a few.

  22. That makes my head spin. It never ceases to amaze me how the IFB want to be stuck in the 16th century, but enjoy the luxuries of today. One day I need to write my own book. Those people are insane creating insane children.

    1. Interesting. I never thought of it that way, but it does explain some of the baggage left over from my time in Fundystan.

      1. Posting the same comment over and over does not help those of us who obsessively keep checking SFL for new comments.


    2. I had the sad experience of being involved with a beau as he slid into depression and OCD illness. The black/white thinking is a HUGE red flag. Like a marching band corps of flags.

      1. As you suggest, it has to do with neurons misfiring (by which I mean organic causes that are yet poorly understood) as well as how the mind is trained. Medication often helps.

      2. I don’t have OCD. I have CDO. It is the same as OCD but the letters are in the right alphabetical order. The way they should be. Just as the Bible says.

  23. Bro. Hyles this…Bro Hyles that…yada yada yada yada

    Hey Goddard…. where’s the line when it comes to sleeping with another man’s wife? (Oh wait…I guess that line doesn’t apply to the infallible Bro Hyles huh?)

    1. He can’t see your point because his “I’m with Hyles” button is blocking his view

  24. Black and White. The single statement that led me out of fundamentalism. Claims that everything in the world is black and white. Right is always right, wrong is wrong. We live in a world of non-absolutes. Gray areas are so much more prevalent than places where we are able to make a clear decision about large moral issues. Such illogic everywhere I looked in the IFB.

    1. while I was still a baby Christian i got caught up with a group that was a weird mixture of Fumdamentalism a charismatic-ism which went down some really strange rabbit holes. I amd a lot of others were really badly hurt by the experience. I remember on of the guest speakers saying that Amy thought that is not directly from God is directly from the Devil
      You can’t get stronger bifurcation than that.

      1. I guess we don’t think at all in that model– we’re just echo chambers for Mr. God and Mr. Devil when they talk trash to each other.

  25. No mention of God, Jesus or the Spirit. But Hyles is quoted at length. And it’s the people who don’t preach on skirts and beats in music that are man pleasers. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

  26. For some reason the title “If you have no line, you have no line” made me think of panty lines, and those panties with the smooth leg elastic that show no panty lines. But, hey, you still have panties on when wearing them! Might be a parallel there somehow… 🙂

    1. Imagine trying to explain to a foreign visitor how stuff like this is going on among the same people who would “separate” from someone who wears the wrong kind of necktie, or whose wife wears jeans.

      1. exactly. But then again their adherence to their own laws pretty much makes the Pauline argument that the law was just a tutor, it couldn’t bring about righteousness. It is far easier to wear the proper attire, listen/sing the proper music, keep your hair the proper length…it is much harder to actually live out self control, patience, love of enemy, forgiveness, etc.

  27. I’d like to suggest that the author either take a grammar course or hire an editor.

  28. I’m probably mis-interpreting the comments, but I’m very uncomfortable with the apparently large number of statements that are essentially, “Standards are good, but these people are crazy.”

    In a sense, yes. But also in a sense, no. That’s just FundyLite thinking – same error, different degree.

    If your standards for fellowship are anything beyond agreement with the nicene/apostolic creeds (ignoring the East/West creedal schism for now that was mentioned a few days ago in the comments and made for fascinating reading) and unrepentant criminal behavior, then I am very suspicious of your “standards”. They are highly likely to be in the same logical fallacy family.

  29. I draw the line at bad grammar. Apparently the author of the article is more concerned about Justin Bieber singing in a church than practicing good grammar.

  30. Odd that these men call themselves “Dr.” when I know for a fact that they both graduated from Hyles-Anderson College…

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