86 thoughts on “Fundy Tweet of the Week: #ItStillWorks”

  1. Gimmickry.

    And it holds the philosophy that the pastor’s preaching is necessary to get people saved. Can people come to Christ without being invited to church? No, they must be placed in an emotional and social pressure-cooker where people will assume their lost condition and be hinting, helping, and hunting for that all-important “decision.”

    Another trophy. Another scalp. Then on to the next one.

    1. I had a comment something along these lines. But as I attempted to convey what I meant and what I didn’t mean, it got too long. Plus, 99.9% of the “membership” here already feels what I had to say times a hundred, so I just deleted it.

      I do wish we (and by we, I am specifically referring to Christians in the U.S.) could get back to preaching Christ and Him crucified.

      I realize there are forum members from outside the U.S. I’m not trying to exclude you or by any means say you’re not Christian if you’re outside the U.S. (how stupid would that be?). I’m simply speaking for what I see in MY country and that is, that we have really gotten away from preaching Christ and only Christ. And that goes for everyone, including me. From the most conservative, strict, Christian to the most liberal, lenient, Christian, we might comprehend “Christ and Him crucified” but we convey something completely different. Well, that “got long” again.

      1. Norm,
        Unfortunately we (US Christians) have also exported that mentality. It’s pervasive in many circles here in Korea.

      2. Norm, by my standards you are positively succinct.

        Nobody can be as long-winded as I can be. Comes from being in the classroom so many years.

      3. Not particularly disagreeing with you, but rather than placing the emphasis on “preaching Christ, and Him crucified”, I’d place it on “living Christ, and Him crucified”.
        For most people, the most offputting thing about Christianity is the contradiction between what we preach and how we live. Just my penny’worth.

        1. I’m with you. A second nitpick, and, again, general agreement, but I think it’s important: I don’t think preaching or living Christ is enough. We should preach and live Christ, Him crucified AND resurrected. The resurrection isn’t an afterthought. It’s actually more important than the crucifixion to me. Everyone dies. Only Jesus beat death and rose again.

        2. Christ and him crucified is a great message but we must bring it home to the listener and preach repentance. I can think of countless who heard of Christ, many while packing a pew, and with joy consented with the message but the only change in their life was their plans on Sundays.

        3. I believe “preaching” Christ and Him crucified is summed up in St. Francis’ words. “Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary, use words”.

          Josh, I completely agree. The resurrected Christ is vital to the Gospel message. If Christ is not risen, we would be serving a dead Savior, and that’s no Savior at all.

  2. How about visiting people with real need (medical, financial, emotional), actually helping them, and then telling them about Jesus WITHOUT taking down their name, address, church attendance statistics and strong-arming them to come to pack-a-pew Sunday?

    1. Because it’s better to deal eith their spiritual condition (aka get them to believe just like me) than to worry about the physical, haymen?

      In case it isn’t clear, I agree with you completely. But that ^^ is the reason I was given at my former church when I asked why we didn’t try to meet physical needs of people in the area. Apparently “care for the widows and orphans” means “preach at them”.

      1. Of course. I have been told it is better to go to bed saved and hungry than to go to Hell on a full belly. And while I do agree with the actual words, in Fundystan it is only an excuse to do nothing to show true concern for people.

        1. Right. I have heard from the pulpit that the money we spend on education is wasted. All people need is Jesus.

          And of course, this probably happened close to when it was time to pay property taxes.

        2. Maybe I should have told the lady at the courthouse this morning that I would be putting my car tag money in the offering plate where it would do good rather than being used for something so mundane as road repairs.

          “Mammon used on roads is wasted! They’s just temperary! Money used fer gid has its heavenly re-wards!”

          Wonder how much of that I could get away with before the nice young deputy at the entrance came to the tag office to escort me away.

    2. “Preach Christ Always. If necessary, use words…”.

      Too bad so many churches don’t follow that maxim…

        1. Uh, wasn’t saint Francis a catholic? So discount anything he says. That sort of thing would only get you working to earn your salvation…

  3. I can remember Jack Hyles (or one of his ilk) using Acts 11:28, the reference to the prophet Agabus, as a sermon on bus ministry. I feel fairly certain his mention of the word “bus” in Scripture here was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but he still proof-texted it into a message on the importance of bus ministry. I think he likened the dearth in the days of Claudius to the “spiritual dearth” of not being in and getting everyone possible into church.

    1. (creaky old voice) Bus Visitation? These young snapperwhippers don’t know a thing! Why in my day, we walked everywhere. When we went to pick up kids, we put our hands on the other person’s hips and “rode the train” to church on our feet. Uphill. Both ways! Didn’t need no newfangled “bus.”

        1. Lady Semp,

          How about a book containing a collection of two score and ten sermons by “preacher boys” who graduated from a Bible “College” in Texas and who sound a lot like that school’s founder: 50– Shades of Bob Gray


  4. Last Sunday I saw a bus from a church that is well over forty minutes away IN ANOTHER STATE driving through a town that has at least four or five like minded churches in the immediate area. Exclusivity much?

    How can they effectively minister to those people when they live so far away? Did I mention they also live in another state?

  5. Think of the guilt riding on @andrew_sluder’s shoulders. He, and everyone else in the church, must demonstrate their level of faith and dedication by “packing a pew.”

    Woe to those who sit alone on Sunday! Especially those on the church payroll…

    I have heard many-a “what am I paying you for?” kind of speeches in my day.

  6. I remember with disgust how we were to treat people who we convinced to say a prayer on Thu. We were supposed to call them Saturday, remind them to set an alarm (because they weren’t used to getting up on Sunday). We were supposed to go call them again on Sunday morning AND go by their house. In addition, we were to give them a ride to church instead of letting them come on their own (that way, they couldn’t leave when they wanted to – they’d have to stay for all 36 verses of the invitation. We were supposed to go up to them at the invitation, and ask them to go forward with US, and then tell the worker at the front that they had been saved, and then the “you should be baptized” sales speech started, which usually “convinced” them to be baptized. That church saw a lot of people “saved” and “baptized”, but very little in the way of changed lives.

  7. And the right reverend “doctor” John N Hamblin is at it again with his numbers bragimoney from the same thread. This is some sick stuff, even though it seems to be the same old news from the same old paths…

    Dr. John N. Hamblin‏@DrJohnNHamblin·Nov 11
    200+ people saved from Soul Winning blitz on Saturday & in Services on Sunday, @ Berean Bapt. Fleming Island, FL! #itStillworks #oldpaths

    200 people?

    He’ll have to add that to his resume. I hope the person who keeps of with his score wrote that down. You certainly don’t want to mess with the statistics, hay-men!

      1. At my fundalmentalist Pentecostal Church we had a week of “special” meetings every summer. And the same four or five people would go to the alter every time and get saved.

  8. #itstillworks is the hashtag you’d expect a modern PT Barnum to use after suckering another Rube into some kind of scheme.

  9. It still works … for what?

    For making it look like something exciting is going on?
    For inflating the numbers your pastor will brag about to colleagues?

    For convincing masses of unchurched people that Christianity is shallow and empty?

    You can pack the pews, and you can pad the rolls, but Jesus isn’t impressed. Jesus spoke about the Lord who sees how you treat the widow, the orphan, the sick or disabled, and the stranger in your land. The Lord who doesn’t care how many seats are full in your fancy new building.
    That’s probably why they chased Jesus out of the synagogue when he talked about releasing the captives and preaching good news to the poor– he was distracting people from Pack a Pew Sunday.

    1. Very well said.
      Jesus would not fit into when IFB – he would be distracted by Minor Issues and waste too much time caring for the poor and talking to “Sinners” as if He cared about them as *people*.

      1. Yes.

        Also, Jesus would be promptly escorted out of the “sacred” building by the ushers after He interrupts the “service” by healing someone and forgiving them of their sin. The Mog would not take too kindly having his sermon interrupted

        “Hey, hey, hey! You there, with the long hair and beard! Yea, I’m talking to you! I’m preaching here!”


        “Folks, it’s not very often I have to do that, but when I’m preaching the word it’s a distraction when strangers come in here and mess up our Baptist liturgy; after all, all things must be done decently and in order according to the bulletin, just like it says in I Corinthians chapter 14!”

        1. lit·ur·gy /ˈlitərjē/ noun
          noun: liturgy; plural noun: liturgies
          1. a form or formulary according to which public religious worship, especially Christian worship, is conducted.
          synonyms: ritual, worship, service, ceremony, rite, observance, celebration, sacrament; More
          tradition, custom, practice, rubric; formalordinance

          “the Anglican liturgy”

          A religious service conducted according to a liturgy.

          The Eucharistic service of the Eastern Orthodox Church (also called the Divine Liturgy ).

          noun: Liturgy; noun: the Liturgy
          2. (in ancient Athens) a public office or duty performed voluntarily by a rich Athenian.

          A Local Independent Fundamental Baptist Church writes on their website regarding their services:

          “What are the services like?

          9:30 Sunday Morning Service •Prelude
          •Scripture Reading
          •Special Music
          •Message from God’s Word
          •Free-will offering

          10:45 Sunday School •Adult Bible class
          •4th – 6th grades
          •1st – 3rd grades

          6:00 Sunday Evening Service •Prelude
          •Message from God’s Word
          •Postlude .”

          This look pretty liturgical to me. 🙂


        2. BRO, thank you for posting about that church. I won’t go there because everyone knows that Sunday School is supposed to be BEFORE the service. I don’t know what Bible kaulij that preacher went to but he’s doing it wrong. I’m offended that he’s got it backwards.

    2. When I think of the occasions I have heard Christians commended by others it has always been for helping others, whether individually or by campaigning. Not for strict personal morals, personal appearance, lively praise and worship, elaborate formal liturgy or many of the other things that churches often concern themselves with. Although personal morality is also important it tends to be only noticed when it is lacking .

  10. Catch phrase and Fundy cliché preaching would start with one Fundie and spread like a brush fire accross the whole Fundy forest. Another one such exercise was “Friend Day”. One day set aside each year to bring a “friend” to church. Of course the verse “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother……” would be rote repeated as your ” friend” was introduced in front of the congregation. I saw this phenomenon repeated in different Fundy congregations. So much for sincerity and originality. As naive and dumb as I was there was something deep down in my gut that felt bad for the “friend” and kind of embarrassed.
    Is it just me that felt this was a pressured pre-programmed thing that IFB Fundies did a a pre-determined day annually?

    1. Checked the translation of that verse.

      KJV: A man that has friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

      RSV, NRSV, NASB, ASV, OJB: The first line translates as either “There are some who play at friends” or “Having lots of friends will get you into trouble,” while the second line is pretty consistently “But there is a friend who will stick closer than a brother.”

      Behold, the KJV striketh once againe.

    2. Another one such exercise was “Friend Day”. One day set aside each year to bring a “friend” to church.

      Anecdote from my days on the fringe of Campus Crusade (Cal Poly Pomona, late Seventies):

      A Billy Graham Crusade was coming to Anaheim Stadium at the other end of Brea Canyon, and the Campus Crusade staffers put out an announcement to “Invite your Unsaved friends!”

      And a lot of the rank-and-file Campus Crusade kids panicked. As in “Oh, No! I have only three weeks to make some Heathen friends and get them to the Billy Graham Crusade and Get Them SAVED!”

      I am NOT making that up. Apparently NONE of them had any friends outside of their church or Campus Crusade.

      1. You know, I never could figure out how you were supposed to win contests for bringing visitors if all your friends were from church.

  11. Weird random thought…
    I wonder if Jesus’s message to the IFB (and most christians today, including me) is..
    “Don’t just DO something, SIT there! And LLISTEN to me!”

    1. The problem is, though, they think they ARE listening to Jesus, to God the Father, to the Holy Spirit.

      They don’t think God has ever changed His mind about anything. So to them, “God gave his Son” and “Love one another as I have loved you” has no contradiction with putting LGBT people to death, owning slaves and beating them nearly to death, and condemning science for relying on evidence to make decisions about the world.

  12. “Liturgy” means “the work of the people.”

    Not much work in sitting listening to an hour-long sermon, some “special music” and a long “pastoral prayer.”

    There’s a reason that I sometimes call the Episcopal church “an aerobic church.” No one goes to sleep. We’re constantly standing, kneeling and sometimes even sitting.

    1. Lutherans and Catholic Services are the same… Big difference between these and Babtiztz: Sermons.

      12 Minutes.

  13. The old paths you know like in the Bible when Moses led the children of Israel across the desert in a bus.

  14. I was reading an account by a man who decided to portray a period-accurate wandering friar under vows of poverty and silence (or, since the vow of silence may not be period-accurate, perhaps mute) at an event dedicated to creating an immersive experience of the Middle Ages. No, not a Renaissance faire; this was the biggest event of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a two-week, 10,000-strong private party at which everyone is a participant, even the vendors. He arrived with slightly more than St. Francis of Assisi was used to take with him and spent the whole time in character, wood-framed medieval spectacles and all. He was humble and unobtrusive, offering to help people in return for a meal and a place to sleep in the evening, and during the day simply offering to help people get their stuff up a particularly steep hill. (This event, Pennsic, takes over a sprawling forested campground. There are lots of steep hills.)

    Over and over, when people realized that he wasn’t a drunk!friar or a raunchy!friar or a singing!friar or a comedy!friar, just a friar, that is, playing a Christian from Christendom, he got the hairy eyeball. People moved aside to get away from him. People vocalized their disgust. This at an event put on by an organization that was founded on Geek Social Fallacies #1 and #2!

    That is what the “Old Paths” have done to the Christian witness in America.

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