Evolution of a Fundy

“You have become the thing you hate” read the message in my inbox and I hung my head and sighed that it was true. I have become again a fundy.

Oh, it was a slow and subtle change to be sure but all the signs are there if you only know how to read them. My dictatorial airs, my refusal to listen to any opinion but my own or see another’s point of view, my insistence that all of you dress and act and believe the exact same way that I do. I’m back to fundy.

I was aghast when I realized that my home has become filled with only books by Christian authors and that I had burned my copy of The Phantom of the Opera along with all my Obama/Biden posters. I was dismayed to find myself judging all the others who don’t wake up early in the morning to curate their blogs the way I do. At least three posts a week to thrive, my friends! Alas, I’m fundy.

And then the most unkindest cut of all was realizing that unawares I’d started a Bible college in my basement. There huddled around the furnace were six young men all dressed in suits and ties and waiting patiently for me to teach them the ways of the world and make them versions of myself. Worse yet, stacked around the sump pump I sadly discovered a library of books all with my name printed out on the outside and signed by me on the inside. What a blow to unexpectedly find my fundy.

I went straight away to my wife to ask if these things were so. Am I fallen so far? She smiled meek and gentle and would not dare to speak lest she accidentally usurp authority over me. Me the fundy.

Fundy is as fundy does
Fundy is and fundy was
So I’ll leave it up to you
Set me straight and help me through
And I’ll gladly judge you too
Are we fundies?

242 thoughts on “Evolution of a Fundy”

        1. Obama posters are only for ministerial students. But we do have some really nice Dukakis posters for the education folks.

      1. You haven’t made us start calling your Doctor Darrell yet, so I remain unconvinced.
        Besides, as a woman I am not to question you directly but must ask my husband at home – where I can be properly chastised for questioning something gid’s man said at the house of gid.

        1. I’m not married, but I’ll call up my father and ask him about it. That’s how it works, right?

        2. Only if he is a proper Fundy. Otherwise, defer to pastor to run your life and keep you in gid’s will.

      2. Let me know when you need a chapel speaker. I was just ordained today by the Church of Latter Day Dudes. Yep. I am an official Dudeist Priest. I also do weddings and bar mitzvahs.
        E Pluribus Dudeim. ✌️

        1. My son is also going to apply for ordination.

          ‘Cause nepotism is the very best way
          To show that you believe!

        1. Gary, I plan on insisting on being called “Dr. Eric” by the likes of Dr. Bob Jones, Dr. Jim Berg, Dr. Bob Wood, and any other Honoraries who insist on going by the title as if they earned it. I earned my DD fair and square, too. I sent money to the lowest bidder and got honored in return with a doctorate.

          Since they started watering down the title, I shall follow suit. Of course, I doubt I wil ever be face to face with those listed above…. Oy! What I will do for the sake of principle.

        2. In Doctor Who fashion, I might insist on being called “The Master.” After all, I have not one, but two degrees of that level.

          And yes, my teachers at Clemson gave me the third degree.

        3. I often got the third degree, especially when I failed to remember what the speaker said at an hour and a half long blah, blah fest and I got questioned about it on the way home….

  1. Third for me!

    I worry about this happening to me, actually. (Leftover guilt complex?) Becoming a Fundy of a different stripe. Being so dogmatic that my progressive ways are the Right Way To Live that I don’t consider other opinions.

    Although I can see some advantages to keeping preacher boys in your basement, especially if they know how to clean and do laundry. 😛

  2. I’m fundamentally flawed.

    Most of us here don’t pretend to have all the answers, except for the visiting trolls.

    I know more of what I don’t believe than what I do believe. This site continues to help me, as I read from so many people on SFL who have traveled a similar path to mine, and still do.

      1. “All the answers you need to know are right there in the Bible”
        I been trying to find out about the history of Pitcairn Island. Could you point me to chapter and verse?

      2. “All the answers are there in the Bible.”

        And before the New Testament was written, half the answers were there in the Bible. God took His sweet time giving us the answers, didn’t He?

        Now I need to figure out how to fix the engine in my Jeep. I’ve looked, but I just can’t find the answer! Anyone have book, chapter and verse?

  3. Can I have a few preacher boys for my basement who know how to clean and do laundry? But I don’t have a basement. So they’ll have to live in my semi detached laundry room. Which is uninsulated. They should be fine for now; it usually doesn’t get below 30 degrees at night and there is laundry and other stuff to cover with. They might get a little too hot mid or late spring, though, when it starts approaching 100 degrees, though.

        1. Use what you’ve got.

          It was common to “lay out” a deceased person on the family dining table, if the family had one.

        2. My mother told me that’s one reason Victorian houses had double doors on the front, to carry out the deceased.

        3. Y’all please quit talking about where people get laid. It’s hurting my thought life. I can’t look at the ironing board the same way.

  4. -satire-

    Yes?

    My heart ached reading this and actually imagining someone becoming fundy once again after seeing the truth and enjoying the freedom that is in Christ.

    This struck me the hardest:

    “My dictatorial airs, my refusal to listen to any opinion but my own or see another’s point of view, my insistence that all of you dress and act and believe the exact same way that I do.”

    This was my former fundy CEO. This was the man who functioned as the catylist of my departure from the Bob Jones University Fundamentalism that shackles men, women and children in a world outward appearance, self-proclaimed worth and bombastic dignities.

    I can only imagine the fundy world of other colleges and universities.

    HAC
    BBC, Springfield
    PCC
    Cedarville (is that still a school?)
    Maranatha BBC
    Blah
    Blah

    B.R.O.

    P.S. What did you call your Basement Bible College?

    🙂

    1. I know that many times those who could be described as fundy-lite go back and forth between relative freedom and shame-faced return to the god of legalism. I fear that the same thing happens with hardcore fundies.

    1. Drinking an adult beverage without sharing? I’m gonna need to ask for your name and ID number. If I can’t find a rule you broke, I’ll just use the “direct disobedience” clause.

  5. Yeah, I sorta get this guff from my daughter and one of my daughters in law. “You are arrogant! You don’t listen to what other people have to say! You think you know everything and you don’t! And you accuse us! Our opinion is worth just as much as yours.”

    Classic deflection.

    An opinion based on ignorance and lies is worth nothing. On the other hand, an opinion based on knowledge and experience is worth a great deal. It isn’t my duty to accord to rot and nonsense the same respect as facts.

    Usually I get this kind of accusation when a person I have been talking to has gotten themselves cornered or in a hole they dug for themselves. Often it is in matters of science or politics. Sometimes in theology, when I point out that a context doesn’t support their interpretation it happens because the illiterate and uneducated want their opinions to matter even though they won’t devote the time or energy to learning and mastery. No, I am not a paleontologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night!

    Darrell, I hate to tell you this, but you aren’t a fundy. That you have strong opinions borne of experience and study does not make you just like the ones you have been coming out from.

    1. @rtgmath, I know just what you mean about the accusations of arrogance. It wasn’t long ago that I heard a group of not-so-much fundies, but just conservative Christians talking about climate change, and coming to the consensus that God was in control, and for anyone to claim that humans could do anything to affect the climate was nothing more than pure arrogance. I didn’t even try to jump into the conversation – what can you even say to that? I just got this sinking feeling, and thought “we really are all doomed, aren’t we?”

      1. And these same people probably use medical technology that would have been considered sorcery 400 years ago…they need to recognize what a marvelous mind God gave to man!

      2. “… that God was in control, and for anyone to claim that humans could do anything to affect the climate was nothing more than pure arrogance.”

        Let’s try this line of reasoning in a few other natural situations:

        God made rivers, and causes them to run, so it’s impossible to dam a river or channel its course.
        God makes the cold weather in winter, so no one could ever heat a house or other building.
        God created the species of animals and plants, so no one could ever intentionally create a breed of animal or plant with desired characteristics, like cows that give a lot of milk, dogs that hunt well, tomatoes with large fruit, or anything else not found in nature.
        God made smallpox, so no human activity can prevent or eradicate smallpox.
        God created forests, so no one could ever eliminate a forest by cutting all the trees.

        1. Big G, the IFB world is starting to turn against the idea of vaccinating, so there’s that.

          Also, my fundy mother believes that global warming is a sign of the end times because God is heating up the earth to make it easier to burn it up.

        2. I’ve noticed that. It isn’t just the complex they reject any more. Their rejection of science is going backwards to more and more simple levels.

          On the positive side, the lack of vaccination could further decrease their numbers. On the negative side, they would take a lot of innocent people with them, particularly children. Not that I really think anyone should die of disease. But the anti-vaccination crowd are creating a dangerous situation.

        3. The only thing scarier than Sarah Palin’s (uhhh) “intellect” is the fact that her 25% approval rating means that a quarter of the U.S. electorate is dumber than she is.

        4. “… take a lot of innocent people with them, especially children….”

          Do fundies believe there is any such thing as an innocent person? Even children? If nobody is innocent then everybody is getting what they deserve. That is a scary way to think. 🙁

        5. Yes, it is. Your conclusion is valid. Many of them think this way, though some don’t. Others kind of “split the difference.”

          For example, in the 1994 Tsunami, there were preachers saying it was the judgement of God. On children, too.

          Quite a few people believe that little children go to heaven when they die, including those who die before birth. Yet they can feel God’s Judgment as well. Sort of a, “Yes, I was pretty mad a few seconds ago at you or your mum or someone close by and you got caught in it, but here you are at the Pearly Gates! Come in! Oh, you are so little you need a stroller? I’ll have to find one of those.”

          The Puritans used to preach that children who died before they were old enough to accept Christ went to hell, since Salvation is only by receiving Christ as Savior. Many mothers went mad with grief at the loss of their children.

        6. I have sat through many, too many sermons on how to raise children and they always start with how even a new born has a sinful nature. The example of this was always to watch a baby stiffen it’s little back when it screamed because it didn’t get what it wanted. We were not to pander to that sin. I never managed to handle my babies that way. I just loved them too much and I paid for that in many “loving admonitions” Sick.

    2. I like this. I’ve heard this many times myself, but wasn’t sure of a good rebuttal. I will start using “An opinion based on ignorance and lies is worth nothing compared to an opinion based upon experience and facts.”

    3. I just wonder why scientists say the earth revolves around the sun? The Bible says otherwise:

      “[The sun] rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. (‭Psalm‬ ‭19‬:‭6‬ NIV)

      Also, we see that the warmth comes from the sun, not the global, whatever that is.

      1. Heh. Well there aren’t too many fundies that have rejected science that far. But the more they take things to extremes, the more likely this will find its way to some preacher’s follies.

        I wonder if the points of contention are chosen to maximize the differences between the fundy community and the rest of society? They throw something around and see how well it sticks. The things that stick they emphasize and discard the things that don’t. It creates a kind of piecemeal sort of rejection without much rhyme or reason except the gullibility of the hearers.

        1. My problem comes from both sides. Fundies don’t like to hear me ponder an old earth theology, scientific types don’t like to hear that I’m religious.

          I do not know much beyond high school science. I loved it, but never continued in that subject. I suppose there was no future in it in my Fundy mind. I heard all of the anti-scientific arguments that fit with a short week of creation. But then, if a person of worldly education found out I was a fundy, they would say, “Why don’t you believe in science?!” What? When did I say that?

          Bias is a hard thing to fight within ones self, because bias exists best in our blind spot. But I think I have become sensitive to the times when others feed my bias. It’s best described as a feeling of boredom. Or it’s as if my conscience is saying, “Why are they saying this so much? I think I’ll check it out.”

          I’m not afraid of science at all, nor what any new findings will lead us to. Part of that reason is that the scientific community shares their findings and seem to police their own much better than the fundamentalists have been doing with their own.

          That’s all fwiw.

        2. You are not at a bad place. Awareness is a good thing, and no one justs “believes science” who comes from or out of a fundamentalist perspective.

          It takes time to unlearn things.

          I am glad you see science policing itself. It tries, though some things take time to get appropriate attention.

          The approach the better advocates of science take is simply to challenge you to follow the evidence. There is a lot of evidence. One contrary piece isn’t going to negate others. But it does warrant more investigation.

          If you take the approach of following the evidence regarding Faith, you will find that a lot of things we believe may actually be contrary to evidence, that certain beliefs are misplaced. Well, it has been that way for me.

        3. I liked the article on Warren Throckmorten’s blog about this subject. It kinda hits me where I live right now. One quote where he addresses this tension between science and theology: “I start with the premise that science is no threat to faith. If scientific work seems to conflict with tenets of my religion, I accept the tension until I understand things better. Extending that belief to history, I do not need the founders to be evangelicals in order to enjoy and defend American freedom for people of my faith, another faith, and no faith.
          Loving God with all my mind doesn’t mean splitting it in two. If a study of science or history tells me something uncomfortable, I do not retool the science or history to make me comfortable. I walk by faith, live with the tension, and accept what is in front of my face.”

        4. “Well there aren’t too many fundies that have rejected science that far. ”

          Probably not, but here on SFL we did see an IFB web site a while back where somebody insisted that the earth does not orbit the sun.

        5. If we were to regard that verse as more than poetic language, it would be demonstrably false– provided the sun were immobile at a fixed point in the universe. Since our entire solar system and the rest of the galaxy is in motion, it could be argued that the verse is not inaccurate from a scientific standpoint.

          In addition, Malachi 4:2 mentions “the Sun of righteousness” which would seem to be a pretty clear reference to the coming Messiah. Some might regard this line of reasoning as a stretch, but it seems logical that our lives should revolve around Christ as opposed to the other way around.

          For what it’s worth, I once met a student at HA”C” who was disappointed that a science professor believed in a heliocentric solar system because that student thought the teaching was unbiblical.

        6. Yes, there are those out there. I think the fact that Galileo and Copernicus went against Catholic theology has kept more people from reverting back to the geocentric model.

          I would be cautious of any claims that “it just depends on what reference system you use.” That has stumped a lot of people, because the Catholic Church had developed a geocentric system where some problems were explained (with quite a bit of hand-waving). But that system completely broke down handling such artifacts as comets. The behavior of comets is only explainable with a heliocentric model.

          You are right, of course, that our solar system in its entirety is on the move around the galaxy in the Sagittarius Arm of the galaxy spiral. Local gravity is enough, though, for nearly every astronomical observation and computation we will deal with for the next few millennia.

        7. Ben: Since our entire solar system and the rest of the galaxy is in motion, it could be argued that the verse is not inaccurate from a scientific standpoint.

          Actually, it could. Seriously. Based on the angle of incidence and red-shift from other galaxies. How do I know this? Because my father is an MS in physics, and this is exactly the kind of question that physics nerds love to tackle (btw, Big Bang Theory is essentially a documentary). Although the question is more like, “Given the relative nature of time and space, is it possible to conceive of the universe as helio-centric?” The answer is apparently no, although to be frank, I didn’t track all of the conversation.

  6. I’m relatively new here, so while reading the first few lines I’m thinking, “Fiddlesticks! Just when I find this place, Darrell decides to shut it down! Golly gee!”

  7. Many times a visiting fundy troll stops by and eventually accuses us of being fundies of a different kind. Realizing they have no answers for our legitimate questions and concerns they are reduced to the age-old defense mechanism of “I know you are by what am I?”.
    Any victim of abuse, whether it is physical, spiritual or sexual, has absolutely every right to adamantly reject the source of that abuse. Our actions and thoughts cannot be influenced by the very source of the abuse.
    As long as our response is not “I am rubber and you are glue. Your words bounce off of me and stick to you”.

      1. Ha. It’s been so many years since I’ve heard or used that classic line that I couldn’t figure out what Scorpio had said. Fundies do love their playground etiquette.

  8. Let’s see…
    Darrell demands that we use only the version of the Bible that HE approves of.

    I have no idea what version of the Bible he uses. I’m using the NAB at the moment and I don’t think he cares. If he does he is yet to say anything. Bad cult leader! Bad fundamentalist!

    Darrell demands that we invest all of our time and money into this blog.

    Oh dear. Hmmm…..I just decided to take a trip that might mean missing out on some of his blog entries for a few days. I guess I need to ask his permission before I go. I will also be spending money on something else other than the propagation of the cult of Darrell. Guess I better run that by him first. Oh…he wants me to go and have a good time. Once again he’s not being a very good cult leader (or fundamentalist)

    Darrell demands that we dress a certain way and wear our hair a certain way and refrain from certain activities.

    I suppose its possible that he has a spy cam trained on all of us so he make sure we are doing all of the above correctly but if he does I’m sure he’s constantly angry that we insist on wearing what we want and doing what we want. Or it could be (gasp) that he doesn’t care. What’s up with this guy? Doesn’t he know that a good cult leaders has to control every aspect of the lives of their followers? What do we mean we’re not ‘followers’? We’re just…friends? What a concept.

    Darrell has informed us that if we leave his cult that bad things will happen. When we do leave he says bad things about us on the blog telling others what a divisive spirit we have.

    What? He doesn’t do that? We can walk away anytime we want and he won’t chase us down? This guy really needs to get educated on the right way to run a fundamentalist cult. He’s really falling down on the job of being our supreme leader.

    It could be that his detractors believe that we here are following Darrell lockstep parroting everything he says. We are a diverse group of people from diverse backgrounds leading diverse lifestyles with diverse beliefs. What most of us have in common is a painful past in Christian fundamentalism. We like to talk about it and share our experiences. They might be different from yours but that doesn’t make them any less valid nor does it make them any less true. I am sure there are fundamentalist churches out there that don’t engage in abusive behavior but that does not hide the fact that there are those that do.

    Darrell acknowledging this and giving us a safe place to talk about it does not a fundamentalist or cult leader make. It doesn’t even come close.

    1. You should not be reading NAB. Darrell said we must all purchase God’s Glory Bible. He is watching us. I know this because ads for that Bible keep showing up on all my sites.

      1. I’m getting some rather bizarre ads from Amazon — for stuff I have never looked up online. I use private browsing mode and clear cookies every day. I think Darrell is paying Amazon to put those ads on the site in an effort to get me to click myself right into sin.

    2. What? What? We can have friends? How did I miss that memo? I was once told the I should get rid of all my “worldly so called friends, “because they are all going to burn.”

  9. Oh…and we are all at different stages of leaving fundamentalism. Some who are newly out might come across as angry or ‘bitter’ but as time goes by the anger and bitterness goes away. Understand that…bitterness does not last forever. If anything this blog helps us get past that stage a lot faster than we would on our own.

    1. I just got rid of an old skirt. It was a pale green-gray number, ankle-length, and uglier than sin. I was appalled that I actually wore it once upon a time, thinking I was stylish. Uggh. I must have looked like I belonged to a Gothardite tribe when I wore it.

  10. “Fundie is as Fundie does.”

    “My momma always told me that Life was like a bucket of fried chicken… you don’t know what you’re gonna get, but make sure it’s white meat. ”

    “King James Only… happens. Have a nice day”

    “Run the aisles Bro Darrell, Run!”

    “Welcome to the Bubba-Gump Bible Institute.”

  11. Oh, no, I wasn’t present and in my place for Bro. Darrell’s post on kid-punching [and SERIOUSLY, what is WRONG with people???] so I guess I’ll just make my comment and hope I don’t get called out from the pulpit for my pathetic attendance, or accused of building my own kingdom (no sound booths over here, I promise…)

  12. Seriously I have seen this accusation thrown at Darrell and the rest of us here again and again and I have no idea what they mean when they say that. Does anyone? Enlighten us please.

    1. Elfdream, I have been one in the past who has thrown that accusation out (although I regret it now). Perhaps I can shed some light on the matter.

      First, in your statement, you say “…this accusation thrown at Darrell and the rest of us here…”. In a sense, the “us” verses “them” mentality exists right here on SFL, so that’s one aspect of the accusation.

      Second, if one voices their opinion on a matter that differs from the majority of the “us” on SFL, they are demeaned and given a rather sound beating by the “us”. As in the discussions that have been had about homosexuality or the inerrancy of scripture. If what is stated [the IFB likes everything black and white and if you disagree with them, you are banned] is truly believed to be wrong in character, then when someone states their opinion (even if it happens to align with IFB) the reaction from the “us” on SFL should be something to the effect of, “I hear your argument and you could be right. Here’s why I believe differently…” I think we’ll all agree that’s not the spirit many discussions take on this forum.

      Third would be the “holier than thou” or the “I’m more enlightened” attitude that is rampant in the conservative holiness world (which I believe is really just human nature). Yes, that attitude exists even right here on good ole SFL.

      I’ve been on both sides of the aisle. Something very hard to do (especially when we are dealing with topics that we are passionate about) is to love our “enemy” which, as we know from I Corinthians 13, means to be patient with them, to be kind to them, not to get angry easily, not to seek the rights of our own opinion in the matter, and so on and so forth.

      I’ll finish with this example. I discuss things with my conservative holiness mother. Such as the consumption of alcohol. Now here’s what’s funny, I “quit” drinking 2 years ago. I put it in quotations because I’ve probly had 6 beers in the last 2 years. But I don’t believe the Bible says drinking alcohol is sinful. She does. She doesn’t even like the word “beer”. I think the bible clearly says getting drunk is sinful. If you can drink 1, 2, 6, 8, 24 beers (what a tolerance that would be 🙂 ) without getting drunk, you are not sinning. But regardless of our differences on that matter, I MUST be patient and kind. I must NOT be proud that I understand scripture a little better than she does. And we have to agree to disagree and keep on loving each other.

      I think that’s the mentality people who accuse “us” of becoming what we hate are referring to. The “us” is just on the flip side of an argument.

      Elfdream, I am by no means accusing you (or anyone else for that matter) of having this mentality. I’m just trying to shed some light on how some of the attitudes in discussions on good ole SFL can be perceived and WHY that accusation is thrown out. I hope this isn’t perceived as condemning or criticizing.

      I’ll put this little legal disclaimer. For Informational Purposes ONLY, ha!

      1. Oh, and please let me state that I don’t believe I’m not guilty of ANY of this. If anything I’m the MOST guilty party. I’m guilty of being the “us” against the “them”, I’m guilty of being the “them” against the “us”, I’m guilty of being the “me” against “everybody”, I’m guilty of not showing love, not showing patience.

        Pretty much to sum up, I’ve been guilty of everything I said from both “sides of the aisle”.

        1. And then let me say one other thing. Some of the “us” (or maybe it’s the “them”, HA) that I have shown some pretty rotten attitudes towards on here have been the very ones to be kind to me when I’ve been down and depressed and just needed someone to hear me. Thank you.

      2. Norm, yours is a very thoughtful reply. I appreciate you taking the time to write this. I’ll read it several more times.

        I keep getting back to the fact that this is a humor site. I know that when I’ve posted on other sites, (such as bruincore) I’ve been much more restrained in my comments b/c it is (was) not a humor site. Here, I’m usually just trying to cough up a one liner.

        1. Agreed. That was a very well-stated reply, Norm, and very insightful. I appreciate your sincerity. Like BJG, I often go for the quick joke here. Sometimes when reminded of childhood fundy ways, the easiest thing to do is go for mockery. And this is a humor site, after all. But satire and fundamentalism can be like oil and water, which sometimes leads to the kinds of responses Darrell gets above.

          But just because we sometimes mock the more outrageous, or ridiculous strains of fundamentalism doesn’t mean we’re claiming to have everything figured out. Though I can see how it could come across that way, especially in comments.

        2. Norm, to add my thoughts to BJg and notsofundyanymore, I think the humor here is what helps me deal with my own past. I may be laughing, but I’m laughing at a former version of myself. I still have many fundy family members, and I take a more humble and meek approach with them in person. As they generally do me. This is a place where I can hit the release valve a little bit.

      3. Well, I will confess to the attitude of being “more enlightened.” Not that anyone needs me to confess it to know I have that issue.

        It is just, well, I know where I was. I discovered a whole lot of things that were wrong. I learned how to look at things differently. To my fundy brethren I have fallen into darkness. But I see myself as having come out of darkness into, well, much more light. Not that I would call it pure light, mind you. Still some gray areas, some shadows. But the darkness of fundyism is behind me.

        Isn’t that worth calling “enlightenment”? It would be something of a waste to pretend that coming out of fundystan had just left me a miserable, unhappy person (which is, I suspect, how they want me to feel!). And being a scholar supports this attitude as well. I suppose I could pretend that another person’s ignorance counts as much as knowledge, but that is what fundamentalism insists on. I’d rather not go there again.

        So, I am conflicted. Do I show the giddy and often irritating attitude of freedom? Can I have my own opinion and base it on facts instead of the MoG? At least I don’t demand that *MY* point of view be taken as gospel or insist that those who disagree with me can’t be saved.

        1. The conflict you feel proves to me that you have really left fundamentalism. I have never met a fundamentalist who suffered conflict in his own position.

        2. Thank you for you kind words and help with my perspective. I need such things.

          I suppose that being a fundy who constantly worried about God’s punishment for my infractions made me need and seek constant validation. As I have moved away from fundamentalism, that validation is rare as I learn to stand on my own. I don’t want to be offensive, but I don’t want to be told I have to go back into slavery, or even to admit that slavery is a valid choice. The slavemasters do not have a valid message, but they have sold slavery of thought to their followers.

  13. I really think one reason the IFB world (or rather the conservative holiness world) has gotten so rotten is the fact that not many have had their own personal encounter with Jesus Christ in many, many years. A friend of a friend posted a picture of their child (or maybe it was a grandchild) on FB. They commented that the child in the picture was a “fifth generation Bible Methodist” and they were so thankful for “their heritage”.

    The “first generation Bible Methodist’s” did what they did because they had a personal relationship with Christ and were following him. By the time we get down to the fifth generation, they do what they do because if they don’t, “Mommy and Daddy will be very mad”. The real problem comes in when that generation becomes the leaders in the church and everything they do is based solely on man made laws. They can’t let God do a “new thing” because they might be leaving the “old paths”. So there’s no vibrant relationship with Christ, just the mentality that if I stay to the old paths, I’ll certainly be allowed into heaven.

        1. Yes, my wife’s family comes from southeastern Pennsylvania. Many times we’ve had to slow down our car to a crawl as we followed a horse and buggy.

      1. Figured it was the Strasburg RR short line. Filmed at the Strasburg’s interchange with what used to be the Pennsy?

        Wish they had the space for a wye or turntable at the ends of the line so they could turn the engine in the proper direction as well as run around the consist.

        1. Yes, I have been to Coldfoot.
          After visiting Alaska a few times, I wanted to say I’d been north of the Arctic Circle, so one winter my brother and I drove up to Wiseman. We spent the night in Coldfoot Camp.
          If I remember right, it was where the coldest temperature in the U.S. was recorded once– something like -78F.
          It wasn’t quite that cold when I was there.

        2. I spent almost 11 years north of the Arctic Circle, and am considering a move back. But that’s another story.

        3. Lord Don, your joke reminded me of one here in Ohio.
          Have you ever heard of engagement Ohio? (Not a real town)

          It’s halfway between Dayton and Marion!
          Buh-dump, tshhhh

          Someone at church told that once. I wanted to ask, “where is all this in relation to Intercourse, PA?” But I was in the IFB at the time so I just smiled as if I wasn’t thinking a dirty thought in church.

    1. The “first generation Bible Methodist’s” did what they did because they had a personal relationship with Christ

      I would have to disagree with you, Norm. Christ was an actual human who walked this earth, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again, and ascended to sit at the right hand of the father. I have never met him. I have never seen him. I sure as shooting don’t have a relationship with him. I believe, but it is an insult to the hypostatic union to pretend that I have a relationship with him.

      My 2 cents 🙂

        1. It’s not sad Michael. What you describe is a one-way relationship. A true relationship would involve seeing, touching, smelling etc.

        2. Well, does He talk back when you talk to Him? Do you see Him? Or is it this “by faith” thingy?

          You know if someone said they had a “personal relationship” with Napoleon that way, they’d be a candidate for the Looney Bin, right?

          To be honest, I can’t tell that there is any real difference between those who believe and those who don’t. Does the Holy Spirit indwell the believer, or is that just imagination? If one were to judge from the life ….

        3. Don’t be silly Michael. That line of reasoning only works if Jesus is the one human in the universe with whom one can “have a relationship” without ever actually, you know, interacting with the other person! Even if that were possible, it would make this “relationship” so dramatically different from every other experience that we call a relationship that it would devolve into playing word games. And don’t just skip over my comment about the hypostatic union, it is an important part of the discussion.

      1. We may be getting into a discussion of symantics, here.

        I was raised on the phrase “personal relationship” so I am quite comfortable with it. However, I have heard it misused so often. “Come forward and pray with us so you can have a personal relationship with Him.”

        Add to this the common teaching of “God’s perfect will for our lives.” Some people become so worried that they may make a choice during the day that is out of God’s will that they nearly drive themselves crazy. I am introverted and very analytical, so I fall into the more-crazy part of the scale. 😉

        But when I pray that God shows me His perfect will for my day, I usually get nothing in return. Sometimes, I get a feeling to do this or that, but I’ve been told not to trust my feelings by the same crowd.

        All I can do is what I think is right and keep following Jesus. So yes, it IS personal, but it doesn’t feel like much of a relationship. If decided that He must want me to grow up and live a good life and leave the rest to Him.

        1. Consider, Eric, the implications to Christology of saying you have a personal relationship with Jesus. It is a logical impossibility to believe in the physical resurrection from the dead and bodily ascension of Jesus Christ and also believe in any kind of meaningful “personal relationship”. I don’t think it is semantics at all. If Jesus was a real human who was resurrected in a physical body, then we can’t honestly say we have any kind of meaningful relationship with Him at all.

      2. Doc, to me the phrase “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24) seems to indicate a personal relationship. I understand not being able to touch and see, but don’t agree that those two things are necessary to meet the qualifications of what we’re discussing.

        1. Prov. 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
          and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

          The context here does not indicate this friend is God or Jesus. I know it is easy to pull the phrase out of context and use it that way, but the passage doesn’t actually support that.

          I don’t mean this to sound critical. You are welcome to the hermetically you like. But that is too close to the fundamentalist hermetic to be comfortable to me.

        2. RT, I did consider the context before commenting. I wasn’t sure it was referring to God or Jesus myself; but various commentaries did refer to it that way.

        3. I agree, rtgmath. I think it’s just saying some friends are closer than family. I don’t know how it got interpreted as being about Christ, but I sure heard it used that way in my fundy days.

        4. It got interpreted that way sort of like this:

          Jesus is the friend of sinners. So I get out my trusty Strong’s Concordance and the KJV and look up “friend.” Oh! Here’s one! Let’s look up the context. Verse 22 “Whoso findeth a wife … No. Verse 23 “the rich answer roughly.” Not that either. Verse 24 “A man that hath friends must show himself to be friendly.” Well, the second half of the verse is great “and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” All I have to do is drop the “and” so there is no connection to the first part of the verse, lose the context, and preach it about Jesus.

          After all, nobody will question me about the text or whether it actually refers to Jesus. I’m the MoG after all. And didn’t Jesus say that what was written in the Old Testament was testifying of Him? Yeah! Should get a lot of “haymen”s.

          I wonder if afterward we should take up a special “friendship” offering for the new carpet we are putting in. It might help soothe hurt feelings over the color choice.

          And that is how a lot of Baptist preachers work that one into their sermons.

        5. Nope. But in the 1980s I filled the pulpit a fair amount as a Plymouth Brethren preacher. I was young, but I had decent speaking ability.

        6. rtgmath,

          A big part of the problem with much of modern day Fundamentalism is that not everything taught is absolute nonsense.
          A Fundy preacher might, for example, preach a single sermon that contains biblical truth, truth not supported by the referenced passages, and heresy along with rot, poppycock, and gibberish. Those of us who spent a lot of time in Fundamentalism before leaving are left with the task of sorting the truth from the error out of the debris while, because of our experiences, having a natural desire to discard everything. In the case of Proverbs 18:24, I don’t think that believing that verse, at least in part speaks of Christ is unwarranted, neverthess; using the (hermeneutics?) you describe can lead to some very lazy and sloppy sermon preparation. Anyway, here’s another example of where that sort of thing may lead:
          “Now let’s recap tonight’s message on Proverbs 17:17. The Bible tells us that, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” That means that Jesus loves us, Jesus leads us, Jesus lifts us, and Jesus will never leave us. Aren’t those wonderful truths, amen?!

          The old, black book is true–
          Its promises for you.
          A blood red trail through each page,
          Testifies through every age.
          That Jesus is the sinner’s friend–
          And you can trust Him to the end!

          Now before we end the service in prayer, we’re going to take an offering for the new carpet. Remember, Jesus is our friend, but the Bible tells us that if we want to be His friends we need to keep His commandments– and one of His commandments is that we “owe no man anything.” That carpet’s not gonna pay for itself, Amen Preacher?! Now I know some of you here don’t like the color, but it was chosen by Mrs. Pastor and green is the fourth color of the visible spectrum and four is the Bible number of creation. And if there’s one thing this church needs its a new creation, Amen?! Ushers to your places. Mrs. Jones, please play “I Wonder If I’ve Done My Best for Jesus” softly while the plates are passed…

        7. Ben, you are absolutely right. The usual sermon, I would guess, is a mixture of all these in varying proportions. It isn’t all error. There is Biblical “truth” in there. Sorting it out is difficult, and even if it can be sorted out, it is often left tainted with skewed perceptual leftovers from the error that went with it.

          Kind of like taking apart a salad where some of the ingredients are bad. Did the poisonous mushrooms taint the dressing? Do you trust that you got all my the bad out?

          But even if you got it down to just “Biblical Truth”, how do you know that “Biblical ” = “Truth”? A section of the Law said rebellious children should be stoned to death. Is that “truth”? It is Biblical.

          Perceptions of culture, meaning, application, appropriateness all hinder our understanding. Is the Bible really the Final Authority? It hadn’t been up until the Canon was finalized by arbitrary decree. What if a book like 2 Peter can be shown to have not been written by Peter?

          There are lots of problems. So even if most components of the salad are good, I’ll skip the mushroom salad, if you don’t mind.

        8. “I Wonder If I’ve Done My Best for Jesus”

          This one fits pretty easily into that “Add ‘In Bed’ to the End of a Hymn” game.

        9. Sorting it out is difficult, and even if it can be sorted out, it is often left tainted with skewed perceptual leftovers from the error that went with it.

          This is something I can’t accept anymore. Chew the meat, spit out the bones. When 99% of sermons are that part of the chicken wing they don’t give you at KFC, why the f would I stick around to listen to the rest and accept that 1% of meat?

          This is how Christians starve to death in churches 3x a week.

        10. Agreed. I have traded certainty for questions,

          But I am taking the attitude I took when I had a final split from my parents. It was painful. They denied my overtures for peace and forgiveness while laying the blame for the rejection on me.

          Instead of rejecting them completely, I decided to embrace what was good and replace what was bad. I would then control my future and not be ruled by them as I tried to completely reject what they represent.

          After all, I didn’t want to be defined by them and I didn’t want to be defined by NOT them! Rebellion puts you at the mercy of what you are rebelling against.

          So I need to stop rebelling against fundamentalism. Rebellion still keeps me comparing myself to Them, with Them as the Standard. Rather, I will remember what I have been given, good and bad. The good I will keep or make better, even if there is only a little. There was enough to appeal to the better side of my nature, to mask the starkness of the bad.

          So I will keep and make better the Good and replace the bad. I don’t know completely what with. I will make mistakes. I will be wrong. But I can admit that. I will travel by faith, not knowing where I am going, like Abraham did. Faith isn’t about certainty, after all. It is an adventure.

        1. Yes. A fundy refund would be great!

          All of my time, money, and guilted effort needs to be returned, please.

          I often have hoped I would at least get my money back.

        1. Wait a minute, Dr. F, you hate Devo, but you like this guy belching into a microphone as he kicks a bass around the floor and rolls a drum kit down a steep hill?

          Eh, there’s no accounting for taste.

        1. I’m the guy who posted a link to Tiny Tim singing “Stairway to Heaven.”
          Believe me, I know what it’s like to be into something that’s not for everyone.

  14. What the F***.
    Are you trying to be perfect?
    Anyone can make parallels.
    Hitler used toilet paper. So do I. That does not make me like A.H. nor does that make TP evil.
    Bottom line, let up on yourself.

  15. I believe this attributed to H. L. Mencken: Fundamentalism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere might be happy, coupled with the uncontrollable obsession of putting a stop to that happiness all in the name of your religion.

    Sorry, Darrell, you don’t seem like the type.

      1. Had anyone seen the film “Inherit The Wind”, based on the 1926 “Scopes Monkey Trial”? The cynical reporter in that film is supposed to be fairly closely based on Mencken. He may have been witty but he may have been a difficult person to like.

        1. The Scopes Monkey trial was in 1925, not 1926. If that had been a theological point, the Fundie would pounce on it. “He got that wrong! What else has he said that’s wrong? Can we trust anything he says?….”
          (Maybe WE can do the same thing to Fundies…)

      2. Bias. Fundamentalism is looking at ANY opinion out there and trying to demonstrate it is not inerrant. No problem there.

        The problem is when they try to claim inerrancy for their version of “God’s Word.” (What is wrong with this picture: Humans wrote the books. Humans chose at least five different canons. humans decided to declare those canons as the inerrant, word of God. Anyone having any questions about those human decisions will be accused of doubting God.

        1. My father’s argument about the KJV being the inerrant word of God was that God would never have let it still be in use all these years after it was first translated if it was not, also it was the only book written in the chapter and verse format. I tried to point out that this was not actually the case and that there were books that were written or translated into English, (God’s favourite language apparently), that had been in constant use since roughly the same time period; the works of Shakespeare for one. He couldn’t handle it, threw a glass of water at me and then took to his bed with severe depression for several weeks. Poor man. He was a mess and it was what I now recognize as cognitive dissonance that made him that way.

        2. Cognitive dissonance is common with those who believe their eternal destiny rests upon having THE only divinely approved “Word of God” to rely on. Since every “word” is more important than the message itself, inserting the word “an” before “antichrist” could impact your eternal destiny.

          Really, this is so much of a major disconnect, to believe you have to believe everything “just so” or else you will go to hell because God won’t accept a conversion based on the NIV version and if you don’t accept everything in the KJV literally, God has no grace for you.

          What are the meanings of grace and mercy again? Does Grace have prequalifications?

          Of course, not every fundy is KJV-only, and not all of these are so strident. But one of my sisters was every bit of this. Sad.

        3. Honestly to me it all seemed like superstition. If I do this, God will bless me, if I do that God will not bless me. Touch wood, don’t walk under a ladder, fearfully look over your shoulder and pray somewhat frantically hoping you will get it just right but never quite believing you will.

        4. It is superstition. Of course, that is exactly what Paul warned against in Colossians. But Fundies think they aren’t superstitious because their superstitions differ from other people’s.

          Paul’s admonitions against “the rudiments of the world,” “touch not, taste not, handle not” are exactly the trap fundamentalists have fallen into. The thing is that they cannot see themselves. They don’t understand their own double mindedness.

          Then again, attempting to completely abandon faith doesn’t get rid of superstitions. It only replaces them with others we don’t recognize as superstitions.

          I find that even as I doubt the existence of God I still pray, instinctively. Superstitious? Yes. But better to be aware than to continue to fool oneself. I still worship. I thank God for the gift of His Son, and I receive the symbols of His love in the Eucharist.

          I no longer believe in inerrancy. I no longer believe so-called “prophesy.” I try to take from Scripture a central message instead of a myriad of minor, picayune subpoints as if every “word” contributes its own special and essential part of meaning. It doesn’t matter if Scripture is “true” as a documentary or “true” as in speaking to my life in a meaningful way.

          I intend to strive to do right by others, to love, to have hope, to learn, to change little by little. Maybe there is no “will of God” for me personally. Maybe this is it. I really can’t worry about that. And if and when I stand before Him, He will know I was concerned about “the least of these, my brethren” more than I was about the rules or doctrines.

          Sorry for carrying on. My streams of consciousness overflow their banks at times!

        5. Yes, I think this is how I instinctively felt about God when I called myself a Christian. Now? Perhaps it is still how I feel instinctively but the waters are still pretty murky from my escape. I did make a lot of waves, to stick with that metaphor. I believe the Fundy way of thinking makes things unclear as well. I almost think I want to believe in God but inside there is a deadness that just has no belief. This might change, I don’t know. What I have always felt is that what is, simply is and nothing I can do can change that and if there is a loving God out there He will understand that, on the other hand if there is a vindictive, Fundy type God out there, well to put it bluntly, I am screwed whatever I do.
          I do not agree with people who say you must believe in God to be moral. I cannot believe that anyone would throw people in hell because they never heard of him. That always stuck in my craw. So, yeah pretty murky like I said.

        6. I share the same murkiness with you. The plight of those who never heard. And what does hearing mean anyway? A one-time Romans Road by someone pushy? Or a long time being able to witness the gospel in action?

          There are days I don’t believe. There are days I do. If God is there I’d like a good reason to believe. His silence, his invisibility makes it hard.

  16. If we hate anyone that believes differently than we do, if we condemn in others what we excuse in ourselves and our friends, then we are behaving like fundies.

    But just because someone slaps a label on us doesn’t mean that it’s true. Jesus was called demon-possessed and a blasphemer. He certainly wasn’t, but His accusers knew the terms that would be most shameful.

  17. Left Nostril: They can keep my money but I am still waiting for my kite, pumpkin, hot dogs, and other items that only “bus kids” got but not those of us who practically lived at the church b/c our parents were so involved. I once stood in line— just to be a pain in the butt— to get the bus kid prize of the week. When I got to the front, the woman said “You don’t get the (whatever it was)! You are here all the time!!” And I wanted to say “And THAT’S why I deserve the prize!”

    1. SeentheLight: Apparently nearly everyone loses in bus “ministry”.

      I was never a bus kid or a “church” kid caught up in the often shameless quest for “results”, so thanks for your perspective. Very sad. Not many people wanted their little Sally or Timmy riding the bus with inner city kids. Inequality and favoritism rules in IFB.

      Our phony institution (mistakenly called a “church”) didn’t want bus kids sullying their Sunday services. Despite that fact, the “preachers” kept piling guilt on them for not attending and for not badgering their parents to attend.

      …and what kind of troll passes an offering plate to needy kids and tells them they should put in anything they can?

      After bouncing through 4 “churches” and fundy college over the last 20+ years, I’m thankful for the exaggerated stupidity in the last “church” I experienced 2 years ago (the bus “church”).

      It’s one of the many reasons I’m done with the “church” institution and anything having a “pastor”, unless it’s a field containing actual sheep.

  18. When does one cross the line? I’m not referring to the IFB here – its pretty well established that they have defined a pretty small corner for themselves. I’m referring here to a much larger issue such as, “Can I still be a Christian because I believe that this earth is over 4.5 billion years old?” Can I still be a Christian because I believe that Franklin Graham is showboating with his call to boycott Duke University because they allocate time for Muslims? Can I still be a Christian because I voted for Obama (twice)? I think that we’re facing some real paranoia here in the U.S. There are some real crazy people and some of them are people that we know.

    1. This is an issue I have persistent trouble with. I have obviously “crossed the line,” but my wife and daughter haven’t.

      And some of the people in the IFB church are very prejudiced. One friend is a Fox News (Noise) devotee, and trusts it implicitly. Other members are decidedly worse.

      Oh, as people go they are nice enough to others like themselves. There are a few others not like themselves they are nice to. But they approve of political policies that actively hurt others. They don’t accept many other people as Christians. If you are Catholic you are going to hell. Ditto if you are charismatic. It was that way with Episcopalians as well until I started attending one on vacation. And God help you if you are a Democrat. Or if you would accept abortion for any reason at all.

      My wife and daughter go to this environment five times as often as they go to the Episcopal church. Or more. And those attitudes often come home with them.

      So there is this subtle air of disappointment and disapproval from my wife, and not-so-subtle from my daughter. It gets tough to deal with.

      1. rtgmath I am sorry you are dealing with this atmosphere at home. With my siblings severing ties was the only way I could deal with them. Wife and daughter, that`s not an option. The problem I had was that the term “open-minded“ is derogatory to them. Right is wrong and wrong is right. They are living backwards and until they see that, I can`t even have a discussion with them because nothing makes sense. Also I am tired of my little nieces and nephews coming up to me sadly and asking me why I don`t love the `Lowd`any more.

    2. Dear Sister Marie:

      I don’t get what conceivable interest peoples of antiquity would have in questions of geology [the age of the earth] or astrophysics [the age of the universe]. These questions have interested us only since the modern renaissance.

      Christian Socialist

  19. Is it possible to have any kind of meaningful relationship with people whose views are so radically divergent from one’s own? At the beginning, I decided that in order to avoid conflict, that I would simply remain silent when the conversation drifted into these areas involving real differences. (My Obama bumper sticker helped with the folks at church.) But there are some people who insist on bringing these issues up, and I finally decided I could no longer maintain silence (“You do know that Obama’s not a citizen, don’t you?”) and so I began (politely) stating my views. I think they have concluded that I am no longer “saved”, and so converting me would really place a huge star in their crown.

    1. Dear Sister Marie:

      Imagine sporting these bumper stickers …

      http://tinyurl.com/q3ccdfl

      http://tinyurl.com/pohbbug

      http://tinyurl.com/p49prok

      Suppose the 1% ends up with 40% [or whatever percent it holds] of the world’s wealth. Do your friends truly believe that the wealthiest 1% does 40% [or whatever percent it is] of the labor on this planet?

      Seriously?

      This looks like socialism for the wealthy and capitalism for the rest of us. This looks like privatizing the profits while socializing the suffering.

      Socialists are hated not because they are socialists. Socialists are hated because they have the audacity to defy the injustice of the stated order of things.

      As an aside, so did Isaiah and Micah. But then, they couldn’t have been converted either.

      Blessings!

      Christian Socialist

      1. “Do your friends truly believe that the wealthiest 1% does 40% [or whatever percent it is] of the labor on this planet?”

        Yes. Or I don’t really know. I think they accept 100% of whatever Rush Limbaugh says.

        How much does Rush earn?

        1. Pretty much for someone who sits on his fat butt chomping cigars, popping pills, and making up “facts” all day.

        2. If someone stuck a pin in Rush, how many Yeats would it take for all the hot air to escape. 2? 3? 10?

        1. And don’t forget the additional 20% late fee.

          (Which turns a 10% tithe into a 12% tithe. I have seen pastors horribly mangle the math.)

  20. Oh isn’t that cute, Darrell’s got a little club of wanna-be-fundy-MOWs (Men of the World) in his basement. Hopefully, he doesn’t keep them stored away in a pit… can you say “Precious”???

    He serves vanilla cookies, and kool-aid, and plays games with his club mates, all after telling a bible and/or missionary story (any body remember backyard summer youth clubs)???

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