10 Signs You’re Still A Fundamentalist (Even If You’ve Left the IFB)

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
~William James

1. You dehumanize and devalue those who disagree with you.

2. You have no friends who challenge your point of view.

3. Winning arguments is more important to you than kindness.

4. Your car is still covered in bumper stickers.

5. You still see political might as the way to bring in heaven on earth.

6. Your dress code and music choices are still controlled by somebody else’s likes or dislikes.

7. Dissenting opinions cause you almost physical pain.

8. The stories you repeat don’t need to be true as long as they’re advancing the right cause.

9. You have a hard time believing anything negative about the leaders of your movement.

10. Ostracism is still your default method of punishment.

181 thoughts on “10 Signs You’re Still A Fundamentalist (Even If You’ve Left the IFB)”

  1. My car has never seen a bumper sticker… though if it weren’t against my religion, I’d consider a Jesus fish with a cross and legs just to get the usual suspects worked up a bit. πŸ˜‰

    1. I used to have a NObama bumper sticker back in 2008. Look how that worked out for me. I was still somewhat fundy back then. I’m just glad I didn’t put an ‘Obama is the Antichrist’ bumper sticker on my car.

      1. I was already post-Fundy when NObama became a thing, but I never imagined when I was packing my bags for PCC that one day I’d be anxiously awaiting the opening of the Hillary for America store. And yet here I am.

        1. Definitely not Duck Dynasty. There is a picture of a beardie just to keep that clear. I do not have a sense of humour where Duck Dynasty is concerned.

    1. Agree! Only now instead of “liberal” opinions making me twitch, it’s the fundies. I don’t know how to get rid of it, although a drink or two helps lol.

    1. I feel this is hard to resist as a matter of human nature. I like the way Peter describes clothing ones self in humility. Such actions for me have helped me to resist better this tendency

    2. No. But devaluing those who choose to devalue others is only right. As you have done to others, it will be done to you. Those of you who put down others so you can be first will put to the last.

    3. I like SFL but Jerry is spot on. “Devalue those who disagree with you” describes almost everyone on SFL. Check out the comments about Sam Davidson, Jack Hyles, etc just in the last few days.
      I’m ok with devaluing those people but don’t try to get all fundie (arrogant) and act like it’s not happening.

      1. I don’t know Sam Davidson and I haven’t commented on him, but it would be impossible to make Jack Hyles seem any more ignorant, crazy, and manipulative than he did himself.

        I did call Jack Schaap a sociopath, but many people would say that’s giving him more sympathy than he deserves.

        1. Yes but just try to have a more conservative vew in politics and you get jumped on. I know cause it happened to me and I will NOT ever speak my mimd on here again politically. So there you go all you perfect prople.

        2. Something tells me it was more than your conservative view Dave. Which is shocking since you come across so tactfully.

        1. I see most the commenters on this particular post self-analyzing and admitting their faults. The Fundies that I know (and my former self) never would be able to do that in a private conversation, much less on a public forum like SFL.

          For me, it is the appearance of a lack of self-awareness that truly defines a fundy. But I suspect most are really just pushing those feelings of guilt way down somewhere and keeping up appearances.

      2. Funny how the detractors come out. Hyles had over 50,000 supporters, but people get upset when his faults are mentioned. Faults he would have crucified any other leader for having. Schnapps, his protΓ©gΓ© and son-in-law is in prison, but somehow those criticizing the doctrines and behaviors of the man makes you no better than he is.

        I am pretty sick of this guff. Fundies criticize and call themselves “fruit inspectors.” But you’d better not inspect their fruit! If you do you are critical and bitter and not right with the Lord.

        I confess my sins. But I haven’t seen many fundy posters who honestly and contritely confess their own. I don’t remember such humility except among among those who would put themselves forward. The Separated Special Ones (in their own mind) all seem to come out to point fingers and say “Aha!” No confession of their own.

        Paul said the Christian life includes self-examination, confession and repentance — definitely not fundy attributes. Jesus said we should know others by their fruits.

        Yes, we bear the marks of the chains of fundamentalism on our psyche. But the chains themselves are cut. We are not what we were, and that is due to God’s Grace. We will not allow the taunting of the self-righteous to brand and enslave us again.

        1. Perhaps another number needs to be added to the list….when someone is admitting guilt, self reflecting, or confessing–you feel the need to help them add to the list of grievances….

        2. Sounds about right. If you want to add to people’s burdens then you are still a fundamentalist. And if it important that other people believe what you believe now, then you may be still be a fundamentalist.

        3. rtgmath, this is so true. In the seminary I attended, the head guy, once president, and now Theology prof, made huge exaggerations and overstatements in public about people. He demonized many people, and never once came out in public and said he was wrong and asked for forgiveness. You don’t see preachers come out, even evangelical ones, and say “Look, I said thus and so, but I was wrong, and my attitude was proud and arrogant, and I ask that you forgive me.” I have never heard that. Even from the one evangelical preacher who I think has lived a fairly consistent life, and has been somewhat transparent. There were times when I heard him decry other leaders in the movement, and he crossed the line to angry and somewhat vindictive, even making the other guy out to be an unbeliever. So, my point is this, if a leader came along who had the humility to step up and say “I was wrong on that XXXXX issue, and I crossed the line into arrogance, and I treated this and this person with wrong motives,” how would people react?

        4. So, my point is this, if a leader came along who had the humility to step up and say β€œI was wrong on that XXXXX issue, and I crossed the line into arrogance, and I treated this and this person with wrong motives,” how would people react?

          Bob, I don’t really know. It would be novel, to say the least.

          Now Dr Bob Jones III came out recently apologizing for saying there should be stoning of gay people. He’d said it 35 years ago. He took responsibility for the statement and clearly indicated it was wrong.

          Had he left it there, it would have been a good apology. Unfortunately he made as if the statement was an aberration to their attitudes over the years. “I cannot erase them, but I wish I could, because they do not represent the belief of my heart or the content of my preaching. Neither before, nor since, that event in 1980 have I ever advocated the stoning of sinners.”

          The problem is that people have sat under his preaching. While he may not have advocated stoning, he has certainly railed against them and prayed God’s judgement on them. References to homosexuality being punished by death in the Bible was heard from his pulpit, even though he himself did not call for stoning.

          It was an apology in the narrowest of terms.

          Still, it was generally well received without recriminations. Some have noted that he didn’t actually apologize. He still called them sinners and went on to say that Jesus was condemned on behalf of sinners. So the hint was there if you were savvy enough to get it. Yes, homos, you deserve to be stoned, but since Jesus died for you, you can get saved instead!

          Actually some people have made real apologies and attitude shifts. Frank Schaeffer was with his father in the fundamentalist-political arena. He left and became an atheist and tried to undo the damage he’d done. As a result, fundamentalists turned on him viscously. But he was welcomed by secular people.

          Honest apologies tend to go over well. Dishonest apologies fall flat.

        5. Not to make light of your statement at all rtgmath but, Good One George! Fundies are pretty viscous and I can just imagine their attacks to be done viscously. Lol.

        6. A few possibilities about the response to apologizers came to mind. I’m sure there are others, but I’m in a state of caffeine deprivation.

          1) The fundies would likely accuse the flip-flopper of being backslidden or never being saved.

          2) The super-skeptics would remain skeptical until proof of repentance was demonstrated.

          3) No one would notice.

      3. People on sfl aren’t ‘devaluing’ schaap, hyles and others of their ilk because they disagree with them but because those men have shown themselves to be abusers and worse. That’s kind of a big difference imo.

        1. True.

          The Bible itself says that those who are leaders will be held to a higher standard. Anyone who spouts false doctrine (as well as hypocritically claiming holiness while living lives of depravity) should be called out on it. Jesus did it to the Pharisees – fiercely.

          BTW, I love that Jesus cared for individual Pharisees: perhaps the most beloved verse in the Scripture – John 3:16 – was told to Nicodemus, a Pharisee. Yet He didn’t allow His personal love for them to stop Him from condemning the evil they did in the name of His Father.

        2. For better or worse, I tend to put people who have honest disagreements with me in one category, and people I think are trying to scam others (or the whole world) in another category.

          I have respect for the first group, and like many of them. For the second group, I have contempt.

        3. And it’s majorly minimising of life-destroying, criminal abuse when someone comes and says that it’s just about ‘disagreeing’ with them. No. There’s a lot wrong with their behaviour, not just an intellectual disagreement.

    4. I knew the minute I saw the title of this post that people would come out of the woodwork to claim we (the community of SFL commenters) are all fundamentalists. It is the jedi-mind trick I saw used all the time by my experience in the IFB. Accuse the opposition of exactly what you are. My old pastor, a mean little man, would always proclaim that other religions were legalists because their clergy were made to wear dresses. Or that the scientists that believed in “evilution” were really not educating themselves on the facts.

      1. My dad claims that if anyone ever calls you a bigot after you’ve said something blatantly racist, then they are themselves a bigot because they are intolerant of your view.

        1. Ahh yes. The old intolerance of tolerance claim. I have seen that specifically here on SFL where someone says something clearly racist or homophobic and people call that person out for their obvious racist or homophobic comment. The person who is called out responds with something along the lines of “For people who claim they are tolerant you are surely intolerant of my view”.

          At that point you know you are dealing with someone who is beyond reason and logic. I think it falls under the persecution complex where they can’t or don’t understand the difference between disagreement and persecution.

        2. My former charismatic fundamentalist church had that down to a T. I’m sure by now I have a tumor in whatever part of the brain frustration resides.

        3. In hindsight, it should have been a big clue to me that the pastor, a “man of God”, spirit-filled, etc…was so casually easily able to mock others…and we all laughed along and aped him.

          “Tolerate me! Tolerate meh! Why would you tolerate mehhh??”

          que laughter

          Memories make me sick.

        4. Memories make me sick too, Stuart B but remember they were the shepherds that devoured the sheep. The sheep have no defence against them, that is why they are so harshly judged.

        1. LOL. A cult is any group that doesn’t agree with the pet theology of that particular outpost.

        2. So, in Fundamentalism, the type StuartB is describing, I am thinking that a cult is anyone who uses contemporary music, or anyone who baptizes babies, or anyone who cooperates with churches that don’t have an invitation at the end of their service?

        3. BobM — That or it could be a church that uses a Bible other than King Jimmy’s book, or uses it but doesn’t believe it to be inspired; a church with a white piano, or doesn’t have a white piano; any church where the pastor wears a robe/is a woman, etc. The list is endless.

    5. My disgust with a lot of things and people Fundy is, in some part, disgust with myself as I was. If I ever seem to dehumanize or devalue a person instead of a behaviour, I apologize. I do not apologize for showing my disgust for certain Fundy behaviours.

  2. I’ve seen these attitudes from churchgoers to agnostics to atheists, and with people of every political stripe. Fundamentalism isn’t limited to IFBs, it seems.

    1. I agree. I went through several years of being a pretty Fundy athiest and it took a while to realize that, in many cases, people of faith were more open-minded than I was.

        1. George strikes again! I meant to copy Mark F’s exact spelling, “athiest.”

          I think it was the spell checker that got me.

    2. Me too. I had this idea that outside of my fundy bubble everyone was balanced and nice and… Normal. Turns out fundy thinking hides everywhere.

  3. I’m told that my dress code is spelled out in my copy of The Gay Agenda (TM) (which never actually made it through the mail). The only thing I’ve heard through the grapevine about the dress code is that it’s FABULOUS!

  4. I am not so sure I want political power. But I don’t want fundies to have it. I want the government to be secular. I want to expand individual liberties while restricting the abuses of the rich and corporate interests. I want people to matter more than profits. I want civil rights to be guaranteed. I want the vote to be given automatically to everyone over the age of 16.

    I don’t want political power for a small group. I want it spread out to the larger population, the common people. Let fundies have a voice–but don’t let them have ascendency.

        1. I’ll have you know, The Beast still makes calls, plays music, takes pictures & video and handles my Netflix app while running on IOS 7 tolerably well. It only crashes once every ten minutes. πŸ˜›

          Upgrade is next week. Counting down the days.

        2. I use a Samsung Galaxy S2. Probably 4 years old. I can’t load too many apps, but that is a good thing. I don’t need them all. And I surely don’t need candy crush.

  5. #1 and #10 are absolute hallmarks of the hardest core hard-core fundies I knew. Add to that blameshifting, nothing is ever their fault. #7 is most problematic for me in that dissent of opinion is tough for me when a fundy acts like I’m not right with God if I don’t see things their way, esp with regard to politics. It’s also hard when I express an opinion that may seem liberal to them and they just remain nonresponsive and act like they just saw a ghost. #2 is a weakness for me, but I’ve not had much luck trying to do that, as my current friends are a culturally and religiously diverse group, from all points on the spectrum.

  6. I definitely struggle with #6, although I have been out for so many years. Sometimes I have to ask myself why I choose not to do something, and then remember that it is okay for someone else without my commenting on it. This dilemma has definitely made me more prayerful, and at the same time has freed me up to do many things I might not have done before. I knew there was some balance in my life when I realized that it’s okay for Christians to use alcohol, and also okay for me not to (too many alcoholics in my family and not wise in my case). And, I’m not afraid anymore to encounter a fundy friend at the movies!

  7. Looking at that list confirms in my that fundamentalism and my personality were always at odds with each other. I always hated confrontation and didn’t feel like a “real man.”

    1. you have a good point…fundamentalism breeds confrontation–but the right type of confrontation. The MoG doesn’t want you to confront him. But you are taught you have to always be on guard against any idea or doctrine or practice or question which goes against a fundamentalist world view. So you always are in defensive mode and force confrontation at the slightest uncomfortable feeling when you are in fundamentalism. And if you are a person who hates confrontation, fundamentalism really is not a good fit.

  8. Ooooh. Good list.

    #6 is interesting. According to Bordieu, all taste is social. We don’t really like what we like because we like it, but in reaction against others’ likes that disgust us, and in solidarity with others who we align with, right? There’s no such thing as our own pure taste, in a vacuum. It’s a “social weapon.” But maybe maturity is a sort of growing past the Bordieu concept of taste. I don’t know if I completely buy it. Either way, #6 doesn’t just apply to fundies, for sure.

    And I’ll always be susceptible to #7. Simply because I don’t like conflict.

      1. Actually, I should probably have said “all taste is socially constructed.” Which is a slight oversimplification of Bourdieu’s theories. And yes, taken to their extreme, you could say it would lead to an infinite regression. I don’t believe it’s absolutely true. But it’s an interesting concept, and useful for interrogating your own tastes, and asking why you like what you like, and don’t like. Whether it’s how you dress, or what you listen to, or what you buy or watch, etc. I’m certain that at lots of times in my life I’ve convinced myself I’ve liked certain things just because of who else liked them (or possibly even more strongly because of who disliked them.) Maybe in time I genuinely came to like them. Then, as I matured, I expanded the circle of what I could appreciate. But this tendency is much more universal than just fundies and ex-fundies reacting against their former fundy-ism.

        1. I’m certain that at lots of times in my life I’ve convinced myself I’ve liked certain things just because of who else liked them (or possibly even more strongly because of who disliked them.)

          This. This is where I’m at currently, and have been for the past year or so. It took a friend and influences outside of my normal circle to to jar me awake to this. I realized very quickly that the majority of my interests are things that were given to me by others and not fully of my own choosing.

          I used to be heavy into comic books, because a friend was as well. One day, I just quit buying them and collecting them, because I got overwhelmed and realized it was all because I “should” be buying/reading them.

          Same with video games. Same with some career paths I’ve started. Same with some side hobbies and interests. Same with my tastes in music, my tastes in home decorations, my life goals and plans.

          It’s a surreal thing to wake up one day and realize you want nothing to do with anything in your life from the previous decades. And that all the goals and dreams you had aren’t actually what you want.

          I’m finding myself asking the big questions, who am i, what do i want, what do i even like, what do i want to do, what are my goals, and I have very few is any answers at the moment, other than in the negative: NOT what I had. It’s terrifying self-discovery and is already causing cracks in some friend groups…friend groups I thought I wanted but now don’t, and uncomfortable being around at times.

          Honestly life is kind of scary right now, but also kind of exciting. The one thing I do know I want is to be somewhere else entirely within a year’s time, a clean slate, finally free in every regard from my IFB/fundygelical roots, both relationally, spiritually, mentally, and geographically.

          I turn 30 in 10 days. This last year has been incredible and terrifying. It feels like what I should have gone through 10 years ago, but I’m just thankful it’s finally happening.

        2. Go for it Stuart!! Let it happen and learn to listen to yourself. I am so happy for you. While you think, with some justification that this should have happened 10 years ago, take it from those of us to whom it should have happened 30 years ago, your timing is not so bad πŸ™‚

  9. I’m not sure how valid #2 is. Folks usually gravitate towards similar people (as friends), versus the polar opposite. I’m also ‘guilty’ of #7, but it’s not relegated to just ‘religious’/doctrinal opinions. πŸ˜‰

  10. It doesn’t matter if we embrace the fundamentalism of the IFB, the Roman Catholic Church, Islam, Jehovah Witnesses, PCA, or any church of religion. When your beliefs of creeds cause you to preach exclusivism, then the seeds of hatred are planted.

  11. I would say number 10 is mine, but at this point I have ostracized myself as much as possible from the Fundies so I don’t think it is done as a form of punishment, but as self-preservation. I am non-confrontational in person, so the easiest out for me is self-ostracism. And I have pretty much dropped out of church. My wife says it is unhealthy and I need to get out there and be a friend. I say dealing with some people’s stupidity (imho) at work all day is enough. So she demanded that I go see a counselor. So this week I am going to see a secular counselor whom I hope is not a Fundy.

    1. Glad you will be going to a secular counselor, Eric. Certainly you can ask the counselor about his or her approach to religion.

      A good counselor will work within the client’s belief system, whatever it may be.

  12. This is a fantastic list! It’s great for self reflection. Thank you!

    I would expand #6 to include any kind of behavior. I feel constant pressure to behave a certain way not because of my own moral convictions about it, but because of others moral conviction and the grief I get from them when I don’t fall in line. #6 is hard.

    1. Yeah # 6 still rears its ugly head with me as well. For instance, I still feel bad when I miss a church service – not because I felt compelled to be there – because I wonder what others will think or I don’t want to discourage them.

      It’s good to consider others first, but when their behaviors (especially preferences and prejudices) start to control you than it’s a problem.

  13. Great list. Really wise to evaluate oneself.

    Now for me:

    I don’t think most of these were true of me even when I was a fundy (or fundy-lite). #2, 6, and 7 would have been the most accurate of me then.

    I always tried to be kind and I DEFINITELY knew that I HAD to speak the truth. Honesty was one of my parents’ most important lessons they taught us. I definitely was sheltered and isolated, so #2 would have been true, but I didn’t do it to ostracize specific people to punish them (#10): it was just how I lived — separated from “the world.”

    I guess #1 could have been true a bit but I think “dehumanize and devalue” are too strong for my feelings back then. I do like to be right (#3) but not at the expense of being kind, and I don’t really like confrontation so I don’t enjoy arguing. Never had bumper stickers (except one once about driving up Mt. Washington). I never was delusional about politics. And my dad was always suspicious of powerful authority figures (probably why we spent our life in small IFB churches instead of those mega-church-kingdoms with a dictatorial pastor. My dad would have never put up with that.)

    As far as me now? I guess I still struggle with #7, especially when the dissenter gets angry.

  14. Here’s the thing. Most of the people who frequently comment here have realized that we all see religion and God from different opinions and beliefs. Some no longer believe. But do you notice how we tend to keep it civil? This could never happen among true fundamentalists who disagree, could it?

    For instance, anyone remember when PCC came out in opposition to BJU for BJU’s lack of standard on the KJV? Am I getting the details right? The people that I know who are still with BJU were so offended that PCC would have the audacity to call them out in public on something like this. After all, PCC came from BJU when you think about it…. When my BJU people told me about it, they were so hurt. I was thinking, “why? What did PCC do that BJU hasn’t done in numerous chapel messages every year?” I specifically remember BJ Jr. ranting on about BIOLA back in the ’80s as well as the moral majority. I don’t know how it all panned out because I didn’t care: Two kids in the sandbox fighting over a stick.
    In fundamentalism, the “highest” (see toughest, most stringent, unattainable) standards are top dog. One-upsmanship always prevails. Fundamentalists are in the world only to make disciples that follow the highest standards through the lowest forms of manipulation.

    1. “Two kids in the sandbox fighting over a stick.”

      Well said. The ‘stick’ they were fighting over was TUITION MONEY and enrollment numbers.

    2. So very true “Dr.” Eric.

      Your first paragraph sums up what happens when a fundy shows up to comment here. They do not spend time to read through old posts and comments to understand what a diverse group we have here. Nope. They see/read something that is against their pet doctrine or pet peeve and they immediately have to correct us. And it is not done lovingly. Unless you consider being called a “washout 4 Jesus” a loving term.

      1. They don’t take the time to get to know us because they don’t want to get to know us. For one thing if they stay here too long reading old posts and all the comments we might corrupt them in some way. Might make them start to ask questions. For another it might change their perception of us and that would mean they were actually…wrong about something.

        1. True. I have been a member of the SFL forum for about 4 years. I spent days on end on the blog here reading old posts, and then months on end discussing things on the forum. It changed a lot of how I thought. I stopped internet involvement to sort things in my life out and think without the constant barrage of angry, bitter people. I pretty much isolated myself from online interactions, but I did much reading and thinking and discussion with real people. And I have come to conclusions that I would have never come to if I had stayed in Fundamentalism. Much Much different. I am still a believer in Jesus Christ, but I think that Fundamentalists miss the point of Christianity. They focus on what they refer to as “evangelism.” But I challenge every person who will listen to read the NT and compare the number of times believers are challenged to conform to the character of Christ, as in developing the fruit of the Spirit, etc., compare that to how many times we are commanded to personally share the gospel with every person we meet. Try it.

    3. “For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and when you do you make him into twice the child of Hell as yourselves!”
      — some Rabbi from Nazareth

  15. On Dissenting opinions, it varies. On little issues, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m now attending a denomination I once would have never (Anglican), and it’s not because I believe it’s the best church doctrinally or I agree with everything that they teach, but they have shown love and I see that as a true test of christian character.

    That said, there are some opinions that really annoy me. Especially when I see a minority group being targeted. This is because when I became a single mum in a fundy church I found out what it was like to be a minority. So I get very angry about racism, misogyny, church abuse, etc. Don’t know where that puts me.

  16. I was on another website (that has since closed down and restarted) and we were talking about where we stood politically. I mentioned that I believed I was a moderate conservative and was instantly attacked. Most of the above traits were displayed and I was saddened that a group that claimed to be tolerant of viewpoints expressed in a thoughtful and respectful manner were quite vicious on a personal level.

    As I thougt about what happened it occurred to me that this attitude that we label as fundy is common among humanity. However, fundyism promotes it while a lot of the rest of humanity at least makes an attempt to minimize or eradicate it. Sadly, I think that until we ascend in some way, the basist of human psychology will continue to negatively impact all of us that live on this planet.

    1. I am sorry you were attacked. Perhaps it wasn’t meant as personally as it surely seemed but was more of an emotionally allergic reaction to conservatism. Conservatism and Fundamentalism are close allies, not quite two sides of the same coin, but close.

      Mind you, you might be mistaken as to how you land politically. We often don’t see how we have shifted and tend to keep our labels long after we’ve outgrown them.

      Conservatism is often hurtful. People who have long suffered under conservative policies are finally finding their voices. No longer must they just bear up silently.

      You are right. “Fundy” as an attitude is common to humanity. I don’t think we can eradicate it. We can try to inoculate ourselves against it. In my mind, fundamentalism is a disease spiritually analogous to diabetes.

      1. “In my mind, fundamentalism is a disease spiritually analogous to diabetes.”

        Interesting. Like, if you don’t treat it as a deadly disease, you will become blind?

        1. Among other things. Diabetes and Fundamentalism are alike in that
          * it is a slowly progressing disease. You don’t realize the changes that are occurring.
          * it impairs normal feeling. Some sensations are heightened beyond reason, others are deadened.
          * it prevents healing of wounds
          * it causes blindness.
          * it is caused in part by a diet deficient in nutrients that matter, but is excessively loaded with fats and sugars. Spiritual junk food can be tasty. But excess calories does not mean good nutrition. With diabetes you eat to feel full, not to have lots of energy and get things done.
          * it causes obesity. Spiritual obesity is just as ugly as physical obesity.

          Similarly, one never stops being a diabetic. Diabetes has no cure. If you can lose the weight, keep active and eat the right things, with medication, you can manage it and reverse many of the effects. But you always have to watch out. You have to remember that you have it.

    2. Hiddenexfundie, I had a similar experience to you, when I was on Facebook (not on at the moment- long story) when i discovered how un-liberal “Liberals” are.There was a group called “Christians Tired Of Being Misrepresented” that I was part of for a while which dealt with issues in which the opinions and beliefs of Christians are often misunderstood and indeed deliberately mirepresented. Much of what was said on that forum was brilliant. Until the issue of Homosexuality came up, and Same Sex Marriage came up. I discovered that the official line was that god was perfectly ok with all types of homosexual activity and with Christians being in same sex relationships, and that Jesus would wholly endorse same-sex marriage. I happen to disagree, and with good reason a d i dared to say so, and I put my case across. I was immediately blocked from the forum, literally within minutes of posting my comments. I would no longer contribute to the dicussion. No comments. No warning. No explanation. I simply became a Persona Non Grata. No much for Freedom Of Speech.

      1. Paul, you are not offending me. I take no offense. But please read what I am writing and try to understand what I am saying.

        Paul, one has freedom of speech, but not freedom from the consequences of that speech. If you tell your boss to go to hell and he fires you, he hasn’t denied you freedom of speech.

        That said, I wholeheartedly agree with you that Jesus in His time would not have sanctioned gay marriage. That says nothing about what His attitude would be today.

        I would never marry a man. For that matter, I have no intention of having sex with any woman other than my wife. BUT. Marriage and love and even morality are culturally defined. We just don’t realize that. We “believe,” so it has to be so for everyone.

        Gay marriage will never change my marriage. But fighting it means I can’t present a loving God to those who are LGBTQ.

        But somehow we allow for cheating–as long as it’s ‘straight,’ divorce, remarriage, spousal abuse and the like and we don’t try to outlaw those things. Those things kill more marriages than being gay does.

        So why do we feel so strongly that we have to “defend” marriage on the cheap? Why do we have to impose our notions of morality on others while defending our own immorality?

        That is, in fact, what we do. And some people react strongly to our hypocrisy even when we don’t realize we are being that way.

        I am not telling you to be “pro-gay.” That isn’t going to happen. And you don’t need to be that in order to be willing to have compassion and to listen to their positions. They won’t always express their opinions clearly, just as we don’t. They get issues muddled, like we do. They don’t like being told their feelings are invalid, like we don’t.

        But if you listen carefully, you will find that they have some important things to say. Some of these will resonate.

        It is important that we learn to not hurt others. We have experienced hurts and sorrows. We should lift the burdens of others, even if we don’t agree with them or like them.

        1. rtgmath. I agree with you.My point in telling that story is the painful fact that “Liberals” can be extremely intolerant to anyone they see as “narrow minded” or “bigoted” for not sharing their enlightened liberal views. There is a wide range of opinion on this blog, and disagrements may be strong, but a least people here are willing to listen. On the subject of Gays, it is no longer a crime to be Gay but it IS a crime to criticise Gays in any way.

        2. Why don’t we hear people criticizing straight people for being straight?

          I have never heard a gay person tell someone they shouldn’t be straight. And we straight people wouldn’t tolerate it. We would be outraged by it.

          So why do reasonable people like us feel offended at their being offended by our lack of consideration?

          Paul, what does our opposition to their rights, to them having the same rights as us, tell them about us?

          They just want to be accepted as people in the same way you and I do. Frankly, I see nothing moral in opposing their desire for marriage or equal rights.

  17. 1)I disagree that I am a Fundamentalist. Your opinion has no value or merit and is for the dogs. 2) I know this because the great cloud of witnesses around me agree (all 150 baptized members of my church). 3) I could give thousands of references to back up my belief that I am not a Fundamentalist. They would shut you up in an instant, but I have to go to the garage now to retrieve my car. 4) Apparently the bumper stickers weren’t strong enough to keep my bumper attached. Anyways, 5) Just wait and see that in 2017 when a Republican is in office, then normalcy will return and god will be back on the throne in America, nay the world. 6) So while I sit her listening to the rejoice singers in my PCC approved post-white glove outfit (jeans and polo), just remember 7) that remarks like this cause me great pain (my eyebrows have all been plucked). My pastor told me through many wonderful personal stories that there would be attacks of the devil like this. 8) I am just grateful that my stories don’t involve 3 headed dragons who nearly devoured me, like in his case when he sacrificed his life for the ministry. 9) Despite his alleged infidelity, he has led more than 3.5 million souls to god – such a great man. 10) So rather than continue reading this filth, I will now find a blog which supports my non-Fundamentalist Fundamentalism.

  18. I live in Northern Ireland which is *not* well known for its pro-Gay stance among Christians. Right now there is a case that has been making the headlines. There is a christian – run bakery called Asher’s and they were approached by a gay man with a request for a cake with a picture of the sesame-street characters Bert and Ernie and the words ‘Support Gay Marriage” (it is illegal in northern ireland) Asher’s Bakery refused, not because the man was gay but because they did not agree with the blatantly political message.The bakery was brought to court and the case is ongoing. The media has not been kind to the owners of the bakery. There has been shows of support among Christians for the bakery’s right to say “no” to something they feel they cannot support, buy these have generally been dismissed by the media as “the Bigots making a noise”. Who’s side would you be on? To me, this is more than just a desire for Gay Rights. It is saying “you must do what we want and you must approve” There were other bakeries in the town who would be willing to make the cake but of course only a paranoid person would think that a Christian business could be targeted…

    1. Sorry. That was in reply to a comment by rtgmath. George must be pro-gay. Anyway, I think that True Freedom of Speech has become an Illusion. Maybe it always was.

      1. Thank you for your considered responses, Paul. Please remember I am your friend regardless of whether or not we agree on this issue.

        What some are calling “freedom of speech” is the ability to be offensive without consequences.

        All that freedom of speech legally amounts to is the right to speak without fear of imprisonment. But it is not an unlimited right.

        You may not yell “Fire” in a crowded theater. Your speech may not be used to endanger human life.

        Nor do you have the freedom to lie under oath. Nor do you have the freedom to libel or slander others. The Scriptures grant no freedom to bear false witness.

        Freedom of speech may not be used to sell state secrets, steal information, and a host of other things. Child pornography is universally illegal and not covered by speech protections.

        The Scriptures tell us in Col. 4:5-6 “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.”

        Our words are to be palatable, not unpleasant.

        I find it interesting that so-called believers want to hold others to “Biblical” standards while they only hold themselves to a barely legal one. ANY honest study of Scripture on ones speech and behavior would negate the idea of being rude or hurtful.

        By the way, no court has held it improper for someone to deny hurtful messages. That was attempted in the U.S. as a way to excuse the refusal for a gay wedding cake. The court threw it out summarily.

        1. One more thought on the Asher’s Balety / “Gay Cake case : if they had been approached by a gay man wanting the slogan “Jesus was Gay!” or an atheist wanting “God is Dead!” would they have the right to refuse? What would Jesus do?

        2. Mark 12:13 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
          14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
          15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
          16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.
          17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

          28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
          29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
          30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
          31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
          32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
          33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
          34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

          I think that if you tried that stunt, you would be imitating the Pharisees, and Jesus would not only leave you speechless, but He would find a way not to offend. And he would ask you a question harder than you could handle.

          Jesus does that to us, you know.

          Paul made a grand, sweeping statement, “I am become all things to all men, that by all means I might save some.” Jesus did, too. He ate and drank with the despised, with sinners — not people who had necessarily shaped up and become respectable.

          Remember Mary, who broke the alabaster box of ointment, poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair? She was a woman of ill repute – a prostitute. And He identified with her far more than with the righteous Pharisees.

          Paul, Jesus died. So God died, didn’t He? God is dead, buried, and risen again. Jesus identified with sinners, with gay people too, I’d bet. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. And since Jesus never married and never had sex (apparently), how do we know Jesus wasn’t Gay? Gay is not what one does. It is what one is. Would Jesus be ashamed to identify with sinners?

          God made Him to be Sin for us, though He never sinned, so that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him.

          Somehow, some way, Jesus would blow through your test and leave you speechless at His love and grace. Even to you and to me. Because, Paul, you are as wicked as anyone else and so am I. The only reason this means so much to you is that you have forgotten what your own sins really are, what they really feel like.

          Remember my diabetes illustration? It applies here. When we can’t feel the true sickness of our own sins, we focus on the sins of others.

          I am glad to spar with you. At least you are asking questions and being open and honest. It allows honest answers and a chance for self-reflection.

    2. The problem with running a business is that if you provide a service, you must provide it fairly.

      Let the baker demonstrate that he has never placed a message that is contrary to his faith. Is he against divorce and remarriage? Has he refused to sell a cake for such a wedding?

      Jesus said you cannot serve God and mammon. It sounds to me like he is trying to do both. Or perhaps to pretend to serve God by being discriminatory so he can get more Christian mammon.

      We have cases like this in the U.S., and frankly, they come across as greedy bigots with no religion of any value.

      Show me Jesus doing anything like this to others. Show me Jesus treating anyone like this. Jesus said to do to others what you want done to you. It looks like that baker is getting just that.

      1. I am trying to find a Jewish or Muslim baker in Belfast. I want a cake with a picture of a pig and the words “Eat Pork” After all, most people here eat pork. What is the diffence between pork and any other meat? Or does treating people equally only apply to christians?

        1. Whether or not I personally support gay marriage isn’t really the point. The point is that not everybody does support it and those who don’t are effectively having their voices silenced. O think cases like this will harden the attitudes of Christuans against the Gay community – nobody likes to be bullied.

        2. “What is the diffence between pork and any other meat? Or does treating people equally only apply to christians?”

          Paul, listen to yourself. You appear to want an excuse, any excuse to be offensive to a class of people you don’t like.

          Is *that* actually Christian? Would Christ do that? How did Christ treat “sinners”?

          I know this issue has you emotionally worked up. What I am afraid of is that you will do or say something that will thoroughly shame you and cause you hurt, something you will wish you could take back but never can. It is never wise to act on such emotions. Never.

          I don’t know what the courts would do in such a case as you describe. But I don’t believe you would be proud of yourself whether it succeeded or not.

          I believe that ultimately you are better than this. Just remember, what you do you cannot take back. You might apologize, but it won’t undo the damage or the sin. You might be sorry, but it won’t soothe the hurt or repair your testimony. Religion or Faith isn’t supposed to be about war or the right to hurt others.

          I am trying very hard to soften my own heart. I do not want a hard heart.

        3. Before this turned into a discussion about Gay rights, the point I was trying to make was that “Consertative” Christians and “Liberal” Christians can be remarkably alike – mirror images almost – in the lack of tolerance for the point of view that differs from their own, and an unwillingness to engage in meaningful discussion. As I said before, there is a wide range of opinions and discussions can become volcanic at times πŸ™‚ but at least we talk and listen and hopefully learn any grow. You are still my friend. God bless you.

        4. Wow. Reading your comments back and forth, I was getting tense, feeling like something was going to blow up. THIS is what not being an unbendable Fundy is about. Thank you both.

        5. I meant, thank you both for being civil. When I think back to discussions between dissenting fundies, I remember either total bland agreement or out and out fights. Nothing else seemed possible.

        6. A (religious, observant) Jewish baker would not have a problem with the message–since, as a presumed gentile, the strictures against pork would not apply to you–but with the picture of the pig. which would violate the commandment against images.

        7. Asher’s bakery have been known to turn down requests for racist and sectarian and blatently offensivr political messages, as well as obscene language and pornographic images. They had never been in trouble before.

      2. “It is hard to get a man out of Fundamentalism. It is even harder to get Fundamentalism out if s man” there are a lot of parallels between the Fundamentalism you grew up with a d the Ulster Protestantism I grew up with. Both often failed to reflect the Spirit and heart of Christ. Hopefully we are brewing up and “putting aside childish things.” Btw, I like your diabetes analogy.

        1. Aye. Nothing better than a well-brewed cup of “tay”. (Irish for “tea” )
          ;- ) πŸ™‚

    1. Well, maybe some of them. The nicer fundamentalists can have some things in common with Liberals, I suppose.

      As a liberal who was a fundamentalist and die-hard conservative, let me tell you that it takes a brave heart for a fundamentalist to admit he is wrong.

      But God’s Grace reigns! You, too, may well become a liberal later on.

      “General Lee” fought for the right of slaveowners to own slaves, including abusing them, keeping them from being educated, raping their women, breaking up families and all sorts of other horrors. Great namesake you’ve chosen.

  19. Wow. It is apparent that the forgiveness and extension of brotherly love of which some have boasted does not extend to the fundamentalist. The reason being is one of differing beliefs and yet many of differing beliefs have made their remarks without quarrel. Why is it so easy to show graciousness toward those who agree with us and yet no grace toward those who disagree? Some no doubt will list some insult or injury that they experienced in fundamentalism. However, I am still reminded of Paul’s words, “Be ye kind one to another tenderhearted forgiving one another even as God for Christs sake hath forgiven you.” It seems that the premise of this website ignores this command.

    I admit it is easy for each of us to attack a person or an institution, but our negativity should be directed toward sin and Satan as Paul also stated elsewhere, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Furthermore, it is noteable to state that for a Christian website many of the attacks have been put forth as personal opinions and experiences with little biblical authority. If you would reprove or correct a person, it should be according to God’s word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine for reproof for correction for instruction in righteousness.”

    Obviously, you may have figured out that I am one of the fundies you speak of, but tell me if what I have said is not correct. It just appears to me that many want grace, but showing grace is a bit more difficult. Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother seventy times seven (Matt. 18:21-22). Jesus gave the two greatest commandments: to love the Lord with all your heart and mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). I ask you to remove such a website do not follow after such a website because it only begets more strife. Many will just ignore my posting trumping it up to “poor hermeneutics,” but I urge you to listen to the words of Solomon in Proverbs, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” At times I can be that fool and want my own way, but when I am confronted by God’s Word I have the opportunity to make a wise decision. Therefore, I urge to be wise and forgive, I urge you to be wise and live according to love, I urge you to be wise and live by God’s Word. I urge you to be a Christian.

    1. Ahhh, yes, Nate. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, just as yours is to you.

      I note that fundamentalists are sorely lacking in grace toward those with whom they disagree, but quick to criticize others who criticize them. Yes, you. Oh, you try to sound all sweet and nice–but only because you are trying to blunt the force of just criticism.

      But while I think I understand much of your perspective, I will NOT put my head up your ass to make sure. You don’t like being judged but claim all rights to be judgmental.

      You see, that is exactly what you are doing. You know perfectly well how harsh your judgement is against others. Fundamentalists have always been so. Yet you tell us to play nice?

      You get what you have given. Let it be so. This site has a place and I hope it sticks around to stick it to you for a long time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.