If It’s True

If Independent Baptist Fundamentalism is true…

…every happy moment you’ve had since you left has been self-delusional.

…every moment you’ve not spent “soul winning” has effectively been wasted.

…every dollar you haven’t not tithed on has been stolen from God

…the majority of people reading their Bible today are being deluded by Satan’s perversion

…the majority of people who attended church this week were too.

…you’ll probably burn in hell. So will almost everybody you love along with 99% of the rest of the world.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

128 thoughts on “If It’s True”

    1. No first for you. You have to name it and claim it.

      I won’t claim it because I am cynical and know that there’s no butt cushion.

      1. “Name it and claim it!” In the particular group I got involved in, I heard that more than a few times. Unfortunately *Blab It And Grab It * never seemed to work for me…..

        1. (That particular group was a mixture of Charismania and Ulster Protestant Fundamentalism. It started off good but went down some realy strange rabbit holes. I was left with mental, emotional and spiritual scars that are still healing)

  1. It would also be true that every penny you spent on something you didn’t need is wasted, it could have supported a missionary. I have also heard it preached that we should tithe on our time as well as money, so 2.4 hours per day belongs to God, and of course all day Sunday, and Wednesday Night, and any other time the doors are open. It would also be true that every time you were unhappy, you were being tested, or punished, depending on your attitude and devotion.

    1. No kidding. Why anyone would want to live his or her life that way is mind boggling.

      1. Yes, I often wonder how I got caught up in it and stayed for so long. The real tragedy is that I took my own family through it, and caused who knows what kind of damage to my children. At least we’re out of it now…

        1. Aw, don’t be so hard on yourself! It’s easy to get caught up in it, especially if you grew up in a fundamentalist church from a young age. My brother and I have both left, and I am hoping my sister and parents will follow suit before too long.

  2. “Every moment you’ve not spent soul-winning…”
    I’ve had more “success” sharing Jesus with people since I left my IFCA church (Independent Fundamental Churches of America) than I ever did when I belonged to it. Pretty good life, too!

    1. Same here. What revolutionized me was actually trying to determine what the main point of the NT was on my own, and it ain’t soul winning on Tuesday night folks. Its becoming like Jesus. And if you do, people will ask you. Many will mock you. Some will hate you, and some will even want to kill you. But Peter was right. 1 Pet 3:14-16. “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. ” So, live your life like Jesus and be ready to give an answer.

      1. In John 16: 33 Jesus said “In this world, you will have trouble ” He was talking about more than the misfortunes that life throw at you. He was talking about persecution. Unfortunately that may come from those who are “Christians” But Jesus goes on to say “But take heart! I have overcome the World!” Those words have been a great comfort to me when my heart, soul and spirit have become troubled.

    If Independent Baptist Fundamentalism is true…

    …every happy moment you’ve had since you left has been self-delusional. …..haven’t had any happy moments since leavng since I’m still on a journey of sorts and haven’t arrived at a happy new place yet.

    …every moment you’ve not spent “soul winning” has effectively been wasted…….I am always conscious of the need to witness and grab opportunities to do so. Just not cold turkey door knocking.

    …every dollar you haven’t not tithed on has been stolen from God……..This induces a lot of uncomfortable guilt 🙁

    …the majority of people reading their Bible today are being deluded by Satan’s perversion……Disagree.

    …the majority of people who attended church this week were too……we’re all sinners

    …you’ll probably burn in hell. So will almost everybody you love along with 99% of the rest of the world……not worried about going to hell.

    Enjoy the rest of your day!……

    I have a long way to go. Though a bit of time has passed chronologically, my journey out of fundyland has only just begun. Don’t ya just hate living with false accusations?? 🙁

    1. Happiness will come, it is actually in you underneath all the garbage the fundies piled on top of it (so that you would find it and realize you didn’t need them. ) Keep tossing out that garbage.

    2. Dear exfundy4Jesus:

      Mark’s record began proclaiming the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ [Mk 1:1]. What that is we needn’t wait long to learn. Mk 1:15 tells us that God’s realm is near… repent and believe the good news. What is the good news? It is that God’s realm is near. So we believe that and take God’s realm as our North Star. That this is so different from what you heard in your IFB church[es] shows how far they strayed. I’m sticking with Mark’s account.

      Christian Socialist

  4. . . . then we worship a petty and vengeful God who despises much of His own creation. I am exceedingly thankful that is not the case.

  5. And I willfully and happily accept hell, Satan, and the damnation to follow for all eternity!

    But I bet you are wrong.

  6. Hell? The punishment does not fit the crime. Nothing you could possibly do deserves suffering for eternity. Nothing. The Bible says it does? Fuck that. I believed that my whole life, and it was only because I was scared to even question the archaic justice system interpreted from scriptures that I lasted so long believing it.

    It took me having a daughter to finally snap out of it. I don’t care what things she does. Whether she robs a bank, or stops world hunger. She doesn’t not deserve eternal punishment. Ever. And to suddenly believe that she does, just because some ancient text written by people who were doing their best to understand the world around them says so is absurd. And to believe that text is perfect and true just because some guy in front of a crowd is telling it is, is even more absurd.

    If, by any chance, she was going to hell just because she didn’t say the magic words, then I’m going with her. I refuse to worship someone who sent her or any of my loved ones to suffer for eternity. As terrifying as those words sound (and believe me, my heart is pounding right now), I can’t accept it. Perhaps the Christian God is real, and he may plan to save my daughter’s soul. Great! But what about the other people out there. They are someone’s child as well.

    The automatic reaction to everything I just said is to reason your way back into believing that hell is real and the god that sends people there also is. You don’t want to risk it. That’s natural. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t predisposed to consider our well-being as passionately as we do.

    It takes a lot of sleepless nights and in some cases dealing with PTSD to confront hell. I personally will not accept it, and I will not accept the idea of a deity who does. If there is, then just he is not. The punishment does not fit the crime. The punishment does not fit the crime.

    1. You echo my thoughts exactly. I have always struggled with the notion of hell and how a “loving God” would be so willing to send someone there, especially when they have lived a good life, simply because he or she didn’t say some words or believe exactly as we’re “supposed to.” It’s ridiculous. I do feel guilty every now and then for feeling this way, but it’s just me getting into my own head and letting fundamentalism creep back in a bit. Thank you for posting this.

    2. Yes, I struggle with some of those thoughts as well – eternal punishment for 80 or less years of sinning on earth doesn’t quite seem fair, at least to our minds.

      So some questions that I don’t know exactly how to answer: did God create Hell? The standard Christian answer about God’s love and the reality of Hell is that God isn’t sending people to Hell, he’s saving them from Hell. While that idea is easier to justify, if God created Hell, then what’s the point?

      Either way however, I think it’s a dangerous position to be in to declare that no one deserves that punishment. Since the Bible is pretty clear in that teaching, I’d have to become agnostic to not believe that part of it. Since there’s a whole lot I don’t understand about God and his ideas/plans, etc. I’m not going to pretend to fully understand this part either.

      1. 1) Some would say the Bible’s teaching isn’t as clear as you believe.
        2) You would not have to become agnostic. You could believe the writings were metaphorical, or even that one particular author got it wrong.
        3) I have to admit, there are people that I sincerely hope rot in hell. Thankfully, I am not god.

      2. Oh, it’s not even for sinning. Most believe you are going to hell for being born because of Adam/Eve.


        1. That’s fine if you want to deny original sin. You will however have to explain the fallen natural world as well since that happened at the same time. The truth is you just disagree because it doesn’t agree with your speculation, not because you don’t believe the Bible teaches it. If I understand your position correctly, I think you would agree with that assessment.

        2. Ezekiel denies the validity of Original Sin.

          Ezekiel 18

          Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

          Original Sin is an attractive doctrine. You just tell people they are automatically condemned for being alive. You control them. You own them. The child of a slave was a slave forever without hope of redemption.

          But if you believe a child can go to heaven before they reach some mysterious Age of Accountability, then you deny the doctrine of Original Sin, too. People are judged for what they do, not how they were born.

          There’s a lot more to be said about this, but ….

      3. The “standard Christian answer” is a crock. If God creates the Rules, controls the conditions, saves only the Elect and knows everything, then, Yes. He Sends people to Hell, consigns them to an eternity of torment for even the most mild and minor of infractions. Oh, and for not believing in Him in the most narrowly constricted fashion from a presentation by lying, thieving scoundrels who He chooses to bring His message of Salvation.

        1. Honestly, I think Calvinism has made “elect” toxic. I don’t want to step on any Calvinists’ toes, but Calvinism is an ugly twist of Scripture. There is not a lot of room in the Bible for making people who have no choice. It just does not make any sense. I think Calvinism is only second to Fundamentalism in destroying people’s faith. The God of Calvinism is not the God of the Bible. Calvinism puts God’s character into question, and it is not supported in Scripture.
          What would be the point in spreading the Word if all has been decided? What kind of sick story is being written where people suffer with no hope of release? Repent. That word seems lost to Calvinism. It means an action taken by a human.
          No, elect actually means chosen. And from the Bible it appears that this is a general body of people, not individuals. The Jews are “elect” but the OT shows many who worshipped other gods. The gentiles are “elect” thanks to Christ, but this does not mean all will respond to the call. Jesus wills that all be saved! But many do not want to repent and have faith.

    3. Well there have been many authors who posit that “some ancient text written by people who were doing their best to understand the world” does not teach ECT hell. Rob Bell is the most recent, but there have been numerous others from Origen and some of the other ante-Nicene fathers to the present day. Regardless of one’s position, it is quite clear that “hell” is not found in the OT at all, which does make on wonder…

      1. Yeah, I tried that route. But the Christian God still continues to remind me of the vengeful angry deity I grew up with. I just can’t get past that, to a more loving and nicer creator of the Universe. Not only because of hell, but also because of the things done under his name. One could rationalize that it wasn’t really him, it was people thinking they were doing these heinous things under his name. So the god who enforces snipping the foreskin off a man’s genitals so strongly that he is willing to go out of his way to attempt to kill Moses because he didn’t (whom was thankfully saved by his own wife), but he’ll let his followers do all kinds of other terrible shit? That’s one of the many things I’m struggling with right now.

        Maybe someday I can go back and see things differently. I do miss that immediate sense of community that a church provides. I still want to believe in some kind of god that made us. But honestly, if there is one, he doesn’t seem to be too concerned about making all of us aware of who he really is, and is okay with everyone misrepresenting him in all kinds of ways.

        1. The article is deeply flawed, as all articles starting from the premise of orthodox hell must be. Using the quotation from Num. 16:30, of people going down alive into Sheol as a proof text that the Old Testament taught the New Testament version of hell is theological and linguistic malpractice.

          You have heard the expression, “he was burned alive.” That did not mean he *stayed* alive! People in airplanes have plummeted alive into the ocean. But they drowned and died.

          The fact is that nowhere in the Old Testament is Hell as a place of conscious torment ever taught. The punishment for sin was death. When you died you went to “the grave.”

          Hell as a place of conscious torment is a mix of Persian (Zoroastrian) and Greek mythologies incorporated into Jewish theology during the Diaspora. Jesus was born into a society where this theology was widely accepted. It would have done Him little good to have tried to change it. That would have taken away from the central message. So the baggage remained.

          God told Adam and Eve that the very day they ate of the fruit of the Tree they would surely die. This didn’t mean “spiritual death.” There is no such concept in the OT. None. Nada. Zip. God did not tell them they would burn in fire forever in torment. God did not use Hell as we preach it as an incentive to “get saved” anywhere in the Old Testament. If Hell is as advertized, it seems God is guilty of not telling the whole truth and paints God as a vengeful monster.

          Yes. I used the word deliberately and carefully.

          I really need to get my thoughts all coordinated on the subject, written down. My problem is that I see so many connections that ignoring the connections and going in straight is difficult. ADHD?

        2. I see what you mean. I am nearly done with all of the “Word of Promise” audio bible. NKJV, but forgivable as it has Jason Alexander, Gary Sinise, Richard Dryfuss, etc. Anyways, I don’t recall much afterlife stuff. Except for when a king gets a psychic to get a dead prophet to talk to him. I’m pretty sure there is an afterlife for those in the OT. It is not as explicit as the NT, but Jesus cleared a lot of things up when He came.
          Perhaps God uses the things we know to illustrate what we do not understand. But God has infinite Justice as well as Mercy. If we trust in Jesus and love Him, God is merciful to forgive. Hell has been misused to scare people to God, but people forget about His mercy and love. We have the 19th century great awakenings for the fire and brimestone, Prohibition, and King James Only to thank for those.

        3. Saul bringing Samuel back by the witch of Endor was not from an afterlife. I Samuel 28. Samuel asks why he has been disturbed (as if from sleep), then promises that “Tomorrow both you and your sons will be with me.” In other words, wicked and righteous would be together in death.

          In the OT, all future blessings were in one’s descendants, not in Heaven.

          We have problems because we read the Bible to see what we have been told is there, not for what it actually says, and not within its social and historical context.

        4. I agree with keeping with cultural context. Churches need to focus on providing more education. They seem to stick with tradition and surface without providing the tools of understanding the scriptures. We have gone back to a model of a central authority giving us his interpretations instead of instructing us how to do it ourselves. We need to be taught to think, not just to accept.

  7. I have been a Christian for a long time and I still struggle with this idea that God sends people to Hell. I struggle even more with the idea of Predestination. That god pick and chooses who will be saved and who will be vondmed to burn. Frankly I find it impossible to accept unquestionably. But there is a verse in Romans (Ch 3 v 23) which states plainly “For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” ( emphasis mine) OK,its only one verse, but it does seem to be a pretty strong statement. i know its true about me. But I believe Jesus dealt with that. I think a problem with Fundyism is that it is still rooted in the Old Testament. Personally I believe that everything changed when Jesus died and rose again rose. I sometimes wonder. if Fundies believe that Jesus really did make a difference, or if God is still pissed off with all of us. I don’t believe for a moment that everyone goes to Heaven and I still wonder about a lot if things, bit I’m thankful for what jesus did for me and I want his Spirit to help me become a better person and become more like Him. I don’t have all the answers. I never will, this side of eternity. I have to accept that.
    (Please don’t shoot me)

    1. “(Please don’t shoot me)” lol. When I first stated, on this site, that I no longer believed in God, I expected to get shot down. I am still standing. Thank you, everyone. I didn’t choose to not believe. It happened to me. I could pretend to still believe but it would not make me believe.

      1. That’s the truth. I didn’t choose to not believe. It was forced on me by evidence AND the bad behavior of true believers. The grief I have gotten for not believing in the crap has not made the conversion process pleasant.

        Their system of beliefs simply does not reflect reality, rationality, or righteousness. Once I realized this, I couldn’t believe any longer. Not like I had.

        I couldn’t unbelieve either, which contributed to the misery. The Angry God motif is all through fundamentalism. The Angry God, the Angry Pastor, the angry people, the angry spouse. You can leave belief behind intellectually but be unable to escape it emotionally.

        1. Rtgmath, leaving faith behind emotionally is a really difficult thing. It is very damaging to have “faith” forced upon you. What we believe is such a personal thing but Fundies bludgeon their beliefs into people. It messes with your mind. I am lucky in that I can pick and choose the amount of Christianity I let into my life now. I chose to spend an afternoon with some Baptist members of my family almost three weeks ago now and I am still traumatized by it. That sounds dramatic but it is true. Maybe we have to empty ourselves totally before peace can fill us.

        2. You can leave belief behind intellectually but be unable to escape it emotionally.

          That’s the hardest part of this whole thing. It even has the power to pull you back in if you’re not careful.

      2. I still believe in God, probably because I never started believing. Hard to believe in a fact, isn’t it? I still believe in Jesus at least. I still believe in the impact and change he has had on people’s lives and in the world through other’s lives. But beyond that…I’m agnostic.

        Love God. Love others. That’s enough for now.

    2. I do not believe that God sends anyone to Hell. God condemns no one. Hell exists, but those who are there have chosen to be there. They would rather rage against God in Hell than surrender to Him in Heaven. I think they even derive a certain satisfaction from this. They literally prefer Hell to Heaven.

      I believe that Jesus pursues every single human being with His infinite Grace, Love, and Mercy. I believe that — as Jesus allegedly told the Church-approved mystic Saint Faustina — “the final hour abounds in mercy.” It boggles my mind that some people could refuse Him even at the very last nanosecond, when He is revealing His Iove in an extraordinary way, but apparently some do. Yet this is their choice, not His. He also told Saint Faustina, “The loss of a single soul plunges Me into mortal sorrow.” Yet He will not abrogate our free will. He wants sons and daughters. Not slaves. Not automata.

      Hell exists. But only because some people insist on going there. I pray that they are very few!! Divine Mercy, conquer all souls with Your omnipotent Love.

      1. O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy.

        I’m not Catholic, but many of their prayers strike a chord deep inside.

      2. Sounds like the theology expounded by C. S. Lewis in The Great Divorce. Anything from a great big whomping historic sin* to a tendency to whine can be damning if the person won’t let go of it and anything from lust to murder can be forgiven if the damned choose to lay it down. He had issues with non-straights of all kinds and with mental illness, but even so, if Hell exists at all, I think his interpretation may be most in line with the character of God.

        *And even those are, in Lewis’s analysis, nasty little Gollum-kinds of things at their core. He draws a word-picture of Napoleon doing nothing with his eternity but marching back and forth compulsively reciting the names of everybody he blames for his failures.

        1. Yes, I have been very influenced by The Great Divorce. I think Lewis, in turn, may have been influenced by a Catholic theological school called Molinism. Even if only indirectly or even unconsciously.

          JPII was a Molinist IMHO. We are in good company. 🙂

    3. FWIW, predestination is not bedrock Christian doctrine. It became a widespread thing with the advent of Calvinism, so it’s only about 500 years old. Frankly, the first time my little Lutheran self ran across the idea, I thought I could not possibly be reading what I was reading. Then I discovered dispensationalism and my mind, it was blown.

    4. The doctrine of hell that you have described is held only by a minority of Christians (mainly evangelical Protestants). The Bible does not present a consistent theory of the afterlife, and church tradition has not been unanimous either. As for predestination, well, Calvinism is just one strand of Protestantism, let alone Christianity.

  8. MiriamD, if I had gone through the experiences you and some others had gone through, I’m not sure how I would have reacted or if I would want to believe in the kind of “God” you were taught about. I grew up in Northern Ireland, which, as a religious society, has always had more than it’s fair share of serious issues, but the particular enviroment I grew up I did not grow up in did NOT portray God as a monster.I do know people who grew up with similar experiences as yourself, so I guess I was fortunate. I have faith in God, not because I grew up in a “religious” environment, but because God interfered in my life in a very real way, and made it plain to me that he loved me. I cannot argue you into believing in God. I can only talk about the evidence I have personally encountered in my own life.

    1. Maybe it was my experiences or maybe it is just that I am incapable of belief, I don’t know. All I know is that I no longer believe.

      1. You are capable of belief, with the help of Grace. You just have a lot of healing to do first. Be patient and loving with yourself. Give yourself time. In the immortal words of Laura Nyro, nothing heals like time and love. 🙂

        1. Thank you CGC, I am just trying to make it clear that disbelief in God was not a choice I made. I did not consciously say, “I have been wounded. God has forsaken me. I no longer believe.” That is not how it happened. It was more like the line in T.S. Eliot’s poem, “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper.” I just realized that I didn’t believe.

    2. You must have avoided some of the more charismatic fundamentalist Plymouth Brethren groups in N Ireland.

      Although, they at least gave us the Irish Prophets known as U2, so that’s something.

      1. Oh my Charismatic Peebs. This boggles my mind. The Tunbridge Wells PBs that I grew up in were the farthest thing you could imagine from Charismatic. Joy, was expressed with soberness. Children were taught, harshly, from babies to sit quietly for an hour or more at a time, in silence and stillness. Preachers were deadly serious. All. The. Time.

  9. I hope you dont mind me saying outright that i sincerely hope that will change. But i respect your honesty and lack of pretence. Whatever happens, I wish you well. In spite of what Fundamentalists like to say, ad nauseum, not everyone who leaves their church will become an atheist. So do, some become skeptical, others become agnostic, but large proportion retain their faith, and with some it becomes stronger and more real.

      1. Paul, George has it in for you, lol.
        I appreciate that you are not so offended by my declaration of disbelief that you refuse to speak to me. That has been my experience of Christianity. Am I open to change? I suppose so. I just feel like what is, is. No matter what I think, I cannot change what is. If there is a god and if he loves me, he understands what is happening to me. That is all I have in me.

        1. YES. That is my belief also. Wherever I am, if I end up believing or not believing, if I pick and choose bits and pieces of faith traditions to build a faith out of (universalist is what we generally go by) then if there is a God, he understands why. And I don’t believe that a God of mercy will judge anyone for where they are on that path. To understand is to forgive, and who but an all-knowing God could understand each of us enough for that?

          There’s a verse somewhere where Jesus says that on the last day, many who were ‘outside’ but did his will, ie. following the law of Love and doing good, will be saved, whereas others who come to him saying Lord, Lord, he will say depart, for I never knew you. That’s madly paraphrased, it’s been over a decade since we could open a Bible without being triggered, but still.

          In one of the epistles of John it says, anyone who loveth is born of God, and knows God, he who loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is Love. So I believe in Micah 6:8, and the Golden Rule, and the Second Great Commandment, which boil down to love. The only Law is Love. And if you Love, truly, then you are free, and need fear nothing in this life or the next.

  10. If Independent Baptist Fundamentalism is true…

    . . . then science isn’t true and nothing really works. Evolution isn’t true, and neither are the sciences using the same naturalistic reasoning, like mechanics and botany. The angels are going to be getting tired of pushing around cars, making things grow, so things should stop happening any time now.

    1. Interesting way of putting it, but, yeah, that’s what you get if you follow Fundy “logic”

    1. SFL isn’t a lie. The butt cushions are.

      Also, depending on your wrong theology, the white piano may/may not be a lie.

  11. While I think sometimes SFL performs a valuable service in lampooning excesses that frankly, should be lampooned, posts like this just come across, to me at least, as bitter.
    My life before I got saved was a horrible tragic wreck, and I was not only rescued from the eternal consequences of my sin, but from most of the immediate consequences as well. Serving Jesus has been better, not worse. Giving towards the ministry is exciting, not a dreaded thing.
    A common thread in a lot of SFL posts is that men who ought to know better have abused their positions and taken unscriptural authorities to themselves. They then use those authorities to berate and belittle and control. I have no doubt that happens, and I have no doubt it happened to many of you. But to say that life outside of ‘fundamentalism’ ( however you define it) is better…I ‘m sorry, that’s just not how its worked out for me, and I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years.
    I wont defend foolishness or abuse , and I won’t pretend it’s not there, but I also wont accept that premise that there is this better life out there. I have the best life I could have imagined and every bit of it has been with the ‘fundamental’ crowd.

    1. Michael Alford, Yes, some things are bitter. Do you think we regard the abuse we suffered with joy? Although most of our suffering was in the name of Jesus, it wasn’t for His sake. It was because of the sins of his own people.

      And yes, you ARE defending abuse. “I also wont accept that premise that there is this better life out there. I have the best life I could have imagined and every bit of it has been with the ‘fundamental’ crowd.”

      So you are trying to tell us we should live with the abuse, the lies and the horrors of fundamentalism because there is nothing better to be had? That those in their delusion of pretending to serve God in their self-centered meanness are doing it best?

      Michael, if your gospel can’t save these fundies from their sinning now, then it has no power to save ever.

      You are telling people who have been abused and hurt to stay for more abuse because it is the best God has to offer. Let God prove that by putting a stop to the abuse and the lies. Let God prove that by having these abusers take responsibility, apologize, and face the consequences. Let God actually start keeping His Promises instead of giving us this religious bait-and-switch.

      I go to an Episcopal Church now where people aren’t so self-absorbed. There are problems, but a lot fewer. And they serve the Lord, Michael Alford. Fundies aren’t all there is. They aren’t the Remnant. I can take the time I need to heal.

      1. “So you are trying to tell us we should live with the abuse, the lies and the horrors of fundamentalism because there is nothing better to be had? That those in their delusion of pretending to serve God in their self-centered meanness are doing it best?”
        I said no such thing, and I resent you implying that I did.

        1. Read your own post. Read it from the perspective of someone who has suffered abuse.

          If you can’t figure out how what you said conveyed that very message, then you need to find where you left your brain.

          There might have been abuse, but there’s nothing better outside of it? Come on! This is the “they sinned against you but it is your fault because you are bitter” argument. Blame the Victim. Tell them the place they were in wasn’t so bad because it didn’t happen to you that way. Tell them they only left to go to a worse place.

          If that isn’t what you meant, then what did you mean?

          Put aside your damned resentment and self-centeredness and start looking at others. Maybe you didn’t mean it the way you said it, but brother, you said it. And so do thousands of other fundies.

          I may come back and apologize later. Right now I am too angry.

        2. If I said “I resent what you said” to the average fundy, the response would be something along the lines of “Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” Then I’d be treated to a lecture about resentment=bitterness and that’s wrong.

          There’s more I’d like to say but since you aren’t willing to accept my premises, there’s no point in continuing this conversation.

        3. “You have been abused? So what? Get over it! You have been beaten to a pulp in the name of God? Get over it. You have been spiritually ass-raped? You deserved it for your Rebellion, so get over it. You are angry with God about what was done in his name. How dare you! Repent and get over it!” All this has been said by the defenders of Fundamentalism who consider “Bitterness” to be a far worse sin than Spiritual Rape. Amy victim of rape will tell you it is not something you “get over” quickly, and nobody want to stay with the person who raped him/her

    2. Mr Alford, since you are not the fourth person of the Trinity, you cannot truthfully say that my happiness outside of Fundystan doesn’t exist. If you’re happy as a clam living life in Fundystan, good for you. Based on your approach, I could say that you are mistaken about Fundystan because my time in the compound was difficult on a good day and hell on earth on a lot of days. After all, that’s how it “worked out for me”. Your experience does not make mine invalid.

      Do not come here and tell me that my life post-compound isn’t better. I have found more love and happiness outside than I ever did inside. Of course, when I was in the compound I thought life outside was way worse. I’ve been on both sides of the wall and life IS better here. I was in Fundystan for more than 20 years and in several outposts, including Hammond, Indiana.

      You know virtually nothing about me and most of the people here. You say you don’t doubt our bad experiences in Fundystan. Why then do you doubt our happiness and freedom on the other side? Why are you willing to accept my stories of spiritual abuse in my 20+ years in but not the freedom I’ve discovered outside those walls? Don’t find credible the bad stories we tell and then say you disbelieve the good we proclaim.

      1. Once again, I claimed nothing of the sort. I was merely relating my own experiences and how, generally, they have been quite pleasant by comparison. I have suffered some things in this church life, but compared to what the world did to me when I was lost, it’s been a walk in the park. I genuinely feel sad that it’s not that way for everybody and I suspect that , at the Judgement Seat of Christ, there are going to be a lot of ‘shepherds’ who will have a lot to answer for.
        Is that more clear?

        1. “Is that more clear?”

          No. Not yet.

          So, what should the hapless victims of these spiritual and physical predators have done, Michael? You said there’s nothing better outside Fundamentalism. Should they have stayed? Should they have gone to another fundy church who preaches the same things?

          Or should people like you who decide to stay be more concerned with holding the abusive leaders to account and kicking them out than you are with criticizing people for leaving that mess and being “bitter”?

    3. So basically Mr. Alford you are a a weak individual who needs the crutch of religion to have a “better” life. Your life was a “horrible tragic wreck” that you took no responsibility for because it all got better after you started doing religious stuff. You couldn’t figure out how to be a decent person without doing something that takes up a good portion of your time and money. Good for you.

      1. Wow.
        No, I deserved every bit of the mess I made, and (for the third time) I never said I didn’t. I chose to get into sin. I chose to make a mess of things. I chose to violate my own conscience and bring the condemnation of God upon myself. Jesus rescued me, and for the past 20 years, God’s people have been my closest friends.

        1. Are any of your “Good Friends” among “God’s People” outside the IFB? I mean *really* good friends? Or are you selective about who you “fellowship” with?

        2. Michael, don’t you think God can forgive and rescue people outside of fundamentalism?

          And do you think the people inside fundamentalism who are abusing others are themselves forgiven and rescued?

          And do you think that because these abusers are called “Pastor” that they should be followed?

          You may think an “innocent” comment you made has brought on a hailstorm. The problem is that it wasn’t innocent. It was full of the hubris, conceit, and it made light of the abuse people suffered. It was more than just poorly worded. It was poorly thought.

        3. Michael, any victim of rape (and yes, a lot of people who find refuge on this site have been spiritually raped) are not going to immefiately become best buddies with someone who may be a good person and completely innocent but looks sounds dresses and moves like their rapist. I guess it is human nature.

  12. And also, Mr. Alford, God’s people? Who the hell do you think you are. That is one of the most pompous things Fundies say. Look at yourself. Really, truly examine your self, otherwise you will spend your life living a lie and you will be cheated. You don’t know who God’s people are! You are an ignorant (innately even) human being, a worm slithering through the mud, telling other worms, your mud is better than theirs. If you want to live your life with your head in the sand, fine but keep it there. Don’t take it out periodically to describe to the rest of us how superior your view is.

    1. I know who God’s people are according to 1 Peter 2 and Titus 2, and that, having been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, I am one of his, despite me. I wasn’t a church kid, I’m an adult convert fully aware of how completely I was God’s enemy, and yet he took me in as one of his own. I never claimed my ‘mud’ was better than theirs or any such thing. I am a worthless worm redeemed by matchless grace who has been given the John 10:10 life. I’m sorry if that didn’t happen for you, and I’m sorry if men or structures or denominations got in the way of your John 10:10 life. But this thing I know, that life is available.

      1. Yes, abundant life is available but it isn’t owned by Fundamentalism. You said, “I wont defend foolishness or abuse , and I won’t pretend it’s not there, but I also wont accept that premise that there is this better life out there. I have the best life I could have imagined and every bit of it has been with the ‘fundamental’ crowd.” I have several points. The first is obvious I think. If you are so happy there, what are you doing here? Almost any answer you give is going to be offensive to those of us who have found help for past abuse here. Heads up there.
        Another point is this, you are an adult convert. I am glad you are happy, yay! Realize this though. Many of us here have put in a lifetime. You do not know what we know. You are a newbie and those of us who have seen the Fundies in all their outward glory and inward shame know more than you will probably ever know. If I walked into any situation and started telling people who had been there all their lives what was REALLY going on, I would expect some anger, so should you. Fundamentalism makes people arrogant. As difficult as it is for you to understand, we know you. You do not know us. We were you, the defender of the faith. Read your Bible without Fundy coloured glasses on. Don’t buy what you are being told. It is your life that is the cost. Read, read and read, try not to let them close your mind.
        I am sure your life is better now than it was then but you still may not understand freedom. Just because you have not imagined a life better than the one you have now does not mean it does not exist! I am begging you, do not willingly bind your self in worthless chains. If you put on chains make sure there is a good reason for them. And if you have children, I beg you, do not put those chains on them. I can tell you from experience, they are too heavy and they will bend and warp them. Proselytes are often the most zealous for their chosen path, we have all seen that too.

        1. 20 years in the ministry and still a newbie because I wasn’t a church kid? That’s an interesting perspective.
          Miriam I appreciate your comment, and your civility. I am aware of some of the excesses in ‘our’ movement (though I don’t think fundamentalism is the monolithic behemoth people portray it as. The ones I know can hardly order a pizza , let alone take over the world) and I think SFL, though tinged with bitterness addresses some of those issues with a candor that only someone who has left a movement can offer. I find that perspective interesting.
          But I got saved because a Bible-believing fundamentalist got the gospel to me. I learned doctrine under those conditions. I also learned to evaluate everything I was hearing in light of the scriptures and to be loyal to Jesus, not to the group. I began my public ministry work under those conditions and with that crowd. To me, some of them are like the crazy uncles that embarrass the rest of the family and some of them probably ought to be in jail.
          I have never, to my knowledge posted here and called anyone a name, although I have been called names. I have tried to communicate clearly that some of us have actually enjoyed the trip and if we could do it all over again, we would do much of it exactly the same, with the most of the same bunch of occasionally misguided misfits.
          That sentiment, however imperfectly articulated, got me all sorts of hostility.

        2. Twenty years is a drop in the bucket of time I gave them. I too was, “taught to evaluate everything I was hearing in light of the scriptures and to be loyal to Jesus, not to the group.” Have you ever gotten someone else’s opinion? The Catholic church for example, or the Episcopalians, or the Amish? All of those people as well as Atheists and Voodoo followers have opinions. Ok, they don’t stack up to Scripture but you get my point? You cannot truly evaluate something honestly if the tools you are given to evaluate with were made by the same system you are evaluating. Please just remember that. Fundies have a habit of saying, with all sincerity and apparently without seeing the irony, “Here is this verse of Scripture that means this because here is this verse of Scripture.” A circular argument is no argument. A healthy dose of doubt in the rightness of your position is a good thing. You might be most sincerely, most earnestly, most Godfearingly WRONG. You might be. Keep that in mind and go and humbly serve your God. After all what does God require of you? It is not to ask about your brother.
          Also. Fundies take themselves much, much more seriously than SFL takes itself. There is that as well.

        3. “Imperfectly Articulated.”

          Yup. I’d certainly say so. Michael, you stepped in it and brought its stink into the room. And I hate to say this, but you still don’t get it.

          “To me, some of them are like the crazy uncles that embarrass the rest of the family and some of them probably ought to be in jail.”

          Then why call the victims “bitter”? Why aren’t the guilty in jail. As a Pastor, shouldn’t you be working to protect the flock, not just shrug, say they oughtabe in jail, and pass by on the other side? Shouldn’t you have compassion on the wounded and understand why they left?

          Sure, you won’t leave! You are the MoG! If someone tells you they’re hurt, you can tell them not to be bitter! You don’t actually have to repent of your own sins. The MoGs I’ve known assume they are right and everyone who disagrees with them is wrong.

          I will write about bitterness later. Heads up.

          But answer the question. What should those who have been abused do? Should they stay for more? Should they leave? Where should they go? And who should they trust, now that their trust has been abused? Answer the question for *them*, not for you.

  13. I have read the comments that have been going back-and-forth between Mr. Mike Alford and others and have a little bit to say myself.
    Although I do not agree that Mr. Mike Alford is a new be in any respect based on his own profession of having been saved and in the ministry for 20 years, I can understand the argument that he was not raised in church in the fundamentalist movement. I can understand how that an adult could have discretion to understand some of the issues that a child may not have, and I believe that that is what is trying to be portrayed by calling him a newbie. But I can no longer remain silent as I read these comments.

    I have been raised in church my entire life. I was born into the IFB movement and was raised in it. In the strictest set of this organization, this is where I was brought up. I was taught the Bible from my youth, I was taught respect, I was taught honor and love for Jesus Christ, and above all things I was taught salvation by grace through Jesus Christ and his shed blood alone for the remission of my sins.
    That being said, I have seen the goofiest of people as well. I have been in the independent Baptist movement and the north, as well as the south. I have seen craziness like all of you have. But one thing I’ve learned in my life is I don’t worship a man and I don’t serve a person, I serve the Lord Jesus Christ. As I grew up I saw many of the same issues that many of you see, and I looked around to try to find a religion or group or cult or following that did not have this issue. It does not exist. Because everyone of them is made up of sinful men. It is the issue with every religion, heresy, domination, and is that Jesus Christ is not the head or he does not have the preeminence in these movements.
    Someone please stand up and tell me where you have gone to get help for yourself after you left the fundamental movement. I am not saying it is not possible I just want to know to where you went. As I read the comments I read cursing, I read name-calling, I read mocking, is that what you left the fundamental movement to go do?? if so, shame on you.

    I love Jesus Christ, above the church, or any movement, I have broken fellowship with many IFB brothers in the based on the issues you have offered on this forum, but I will never leave the side of the Savior who saved me to go to where some of you have gone because I have an excuse and men have made fools of themselves in the church.

    1. Sure. I will tell you were I went. Maybe it will give you a more clear idea of where I am coming from. I went to the police. Being raised in a fundamental household, in a fundamental church, I heard from the time I could hear that women were to be submissive to men. The men heard it too. The boys heard it and grew to be men that knew their job was to force godliness on women, all women. Force is what was used on me, by a man everyone else looked up to as godly. Force was also used on my little girls but a pre-eminent man of God in our church. I went to the police in spite of being told I should take my ” matter” to the church not the ungodly law. Follow me here. If submission had not been preached neither myself our my daughters would have been abused. Do you understand this? Why should I be civil to those who uphold Fundamentalism? I have NO such duty. My duty is to show the capacity of the movement to abuse and to grow and hide abusers. So take off your rose coloured glasses. They harm God’s little ones. Shame on me? Nope. No shame, I will expose and I will do so in the face of your silly attempt to make me feel ashamed. I am no longer a puppet. I am an autonomous human being.

    2. Kenneth Seremak commented on If It’s True. “Someone please stand up and tell me where you have gone to get help for yourself after you left the fundamental movement.”

      I found my way to the Episcopal Church. But let’s talk.

      If none of those who belong to Jesus can be lost, then surely it is His Job to rescue them wherever they are. You make it sound like you would never, for any reason, go astray or get hurt, so it must be the fault of the victims. Typical trash. Be careful. You, too, will at some point have your faith tested. Guaranteed.

      What I have found is that the doctrine taught by the abusers is suspect, since it reinforces their authority and leaves victims without help or hope or recourse. If the Preacher is an abuser, what he has taught has lost authority. So I have to check it out for myself.

      1. I never said that it was a victim’s fault. I only addressed an issue. If you leave the IFB movement, and have found such help somewhere else, tell us where you went. Of course you do not want the rest of us stuck here where it is most miserable.

  14. I congratulate you for your bravery to stand up to evil men who have abused you. Those men should be punished.

    But my question was and is still the same…. Where did you go to fellowship with Saints? Where did you go to worship Jesus Christ? Where did you go to learn gods word?

    don’t throw Jesus Christ and his blood and Grace out because some sinful man abused things that they should not have. They will stand before God and judgment one day for that and they will not be proud and they will not hold their head high. But we need to not let those things hinder us however hard it may be we need to stand fast and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ

    1. Now who is making assumptions? And you did not understand me at all. The system is bad. If you stand up for the system I will shoot you down. That is not the same as standing up for God, or for Jesus and… I am free. I will do what I like. I repeat, who do you think you are? I will not, (ever ever), go into your church and tell you everything you are doing wrong so please afford me the same courtesy. Good for me? standing up to the evil men? Those men were evil because they were taught to be evil. The church protected both of those men and many more examples of this can be found throughout Fundamentalism. Do you hate what Muslim terrorists do? They are Fundamentalists too. It is Fundamentalism that is evil. Anything carried to it’s extreme conclusion is dangerous to other people. I don’t care what your question is. Repeat it ad nauseum. I do not care.

        1. Does two question marks mean I have to answer that question? A man I read about in a book somewhere answered a question similar to that very well, “what is that to you?”

        2. A sheep that is “lost” doesn’t know where to be “found.” It isn’t that person’s responsibility to “go” anywhere. Why should they? Must a fly seek out another spiderweb to get entangled in?

          By putting the onus on the one escaping a bad situation you are blaming the victim. The Good Shepherd seeks the sheep until He finds it and rescues it.

          Indeed, she is safer alone then with a bad Shepherd.

        3. RTGMATH
          A sheep that is “lost” doesn’t know where to be “found.” It isn’t that person’s responsibility to “go” anywhere. Why should they? Must a fly seek out another spiderweb to get entangled in?
          Exactly. We occasionally attend a “modern” church these days, but I find myself leaning towards Lutherans. The rest of my family isn’t ready for that transition because of the stigma left over from Fundyland. I don’t know where to go or what to do, so I wait. I DO NOT want to leave one cult for another.

    1. And to answer the question as to where they should go, I think they are obligated by scripture to leave a bad situation and find someplace where they can serve God. And bitterness may be understandable, but it’s never justified by anyone elses sin. The compassionate act towards somebody that’s bitter is not to encourage them to stay there, but rather to encourage them to outlive the horrible thing that happened to them and to continue to serve the living God despite the misdeeds of bad men.

    2. Oh great. You’re a street preacher. So you are used to yelling at people and being ignored. Explains a lot about your commenting style.

      Why so I have the suspicion that Kenneth Seremak is your street preaching partner?

        1. Ah the classic personal attack. The flavor of ones humor naturally makes him or her an evil abusive MOG that should be mocked.

          But I am glad you brought that up, That is not me. Try putting a JR at the end of the name when you do a google search this time and tell me what you find. I think it will be a little different. Again remember I told you I was raised in it.

        2. It isn’t a flavour of humour to belittle people. In the Fundies that made me a target and I have had enough of that kind of humour. I don’t think it is funny and if anyone puts themselves out there they should be prepared to defend themselves.
          I do not go anywhere, yet, now, for now. Will that change? Maybe. When you are wounded, you do not jump back into the battle. Maybe I am having my forty days or maybe it is forty years, in the wilderness. I am no longer a Fundy, I don’t have all the answers and I don’t need them. If you are truly miserable where you are my advice is GET OUT. Don’t sit around thinking something is better than nothing. Get out where you can clear your head and think.

    3. Okay. Just how do you “preach” on the street?

      Used to be people walked the streets. If they came close and your tonsils showed, they’d hear what you had to say.

      No longer. Cars with rolled-up windows going fast can’t hear you. You are an exercise in futility. My daughter (still a fundy) and I passed some people street preaching. Saw one sign, Jesus Saves, and heard the squad of a bullhorn. Nothing intelligent.

      You might read I Corinthians on the subject of sounding brass and clanging cymbals. And 14:9 “So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.”

  15. At MiriamD

    I do appreciate the back and forth that we have had. I personally will pray for you, not that you will come back to the IFB , but instead that you will find a place that you can serve and worship God. The devil indeed has many tactics and one is to hinder the usefulness of Christians by using the fallacy and sin of other so called MOG, who are indeed reprobate and wicked.
    I also have been hurt by church folks, but please don’t ever let these things come between you and God. Take comfort in the fact that those men will be judged by God Almighty and answer for crimes committed, but we as true believers, need to stand fast in the faith and not let them waver.
    When wounded, a soldier goes to a place to get patched up where folks can help him, so he can get back in the fight. He doesn’t go home and get out of fight. I encourage you to fight the good fight of faith.

    1. Kenneth, I think you mean well. How do you know I am not? Just because I despise Fundamentalism and say “hell” doesn’t mean I am not fighting that good fight. You give generic comfort and advice. You probably mean well though so, thank you. Some soldiers just go home to die.

      1. Your last comment there… *hugs if wanted* I hear that. We hear that. Key is very much in that place with you.

        And we’re grateful you were able to get out when you did – and that the police actually helped, because so often they don’t, in these kind of situations. Much love to you – your comments here and in other entries resonate with us a great deal.

        1. Fundamentalism has many victims but outside there are many kind people who do not have an agenda. Trust is hard, though.

    2. Kenneth: “Take comfort in the fact that those men will be judged by God Almighty and answer for crimes committed,”

      Actually, I’d be more comforted if they were judged in the here and now, stripped of their “ministry” and put where they couldn’t hurt others. I am tired of people saying God will fix things in the hereafter when He won’t do anything about it in the here and now.

      I watch some Anime from time to time and I came across one that seems very relevant. It is called “Maria the virgin Witch”. In that story the witch
      Maria is judged by Heaven for trying to stop wars, fighting and death from happening — simply because she’s a witch. But the neither Heaven nor the church will intervene. It is only a story, but it raises questions about justice, right and wrong and arbitrary rules. What good is a God who will not prevent wickedness and will not protect people? What confidence can be had in a salvation that only happens after death but does not change the world for the better now?

      In the same way I see fundamentalism working hard to preserve injustice and inequality. They don’t want the world to be made better. They want people to trust them for no reason based on BS promises in the hereafter.

    3. Dude, was your dad a pastor of a Baptist church on West Giddings St. in Chicago in the early 2000’s? Cuz if so, I totally know you. Remember how you and my older bro got obsessed with beating each other at running? Small world…

  16. Interesting. I came to this site in 2009 and found great help. I had been through the fundy circles and rejected it after having been scarred emotionally, psychologically and socially. Years later, I still live with the scars. My exodus was accompanied by anguish and anger and a general bitterness of soul that all the things I had given my life to were mostly false. The worst part was, every single person, with only 1 or 2 exceptions (1 a Hyles Radical and one who tried to reach out to me for a long time), who I had become “friends” with in fundamentalist circles abandoned me. It was apparent that our friendship had been based on my value to their careers. The one who tried, I suspected him of trying to get a feather in his cap for winning me back to the faith. However, I later found out he was genuine.

    In the end, I was stripped down to faith in God and Jesus. But they were not the God and Jesus I had known. I genuinely believe that I had real faith from day one when I first encountered the gospel, but when I came to know fundamentalism, that faith was squashed so far beyond recognition that it went dormant. It is being revived. In a form that does not in any remote way resemble fundamentalism. One former cohort contacted me recently and asked me for help in a certain area. I said yes, and then proceeded to tell them that I was no longer a fundy, and probably a heretic according to most of their friends and acquaintances, but I would help them. Suffice it to say, it felt liberating to be totally honest and speak what I considered truth.

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