153 thoughts on “Jesus’ Church”

        1. Two seagulls were looking for breakfast on the beaches spoiled by BP’s disastrous well blowout. One spied a long earthworm in a patch of unpolluted soil, so it headed down to get it.

          Unfortunately, it missed its mark, landed in muck and got thoroughly covered in gunk. Yet with all its thrashing about, it came close enough to its target to eat it.

          Proving, dear readers, that the oily boid gets the woim.

    1. Dear Dwelling in Imladris:

      Nor can you fix stupid. And frankly, that’s the question I’d rather have answered. From where did all the fundy stupid come?

      Christian Socialist

        1. A lot of the weird started during prohibition. The gospel was all about saving people from social ills… The devil was drink, poverty, racial impurity, dirt, crime, etc. If you got rid of drink, etc., society would be perfect. So we made lots of rules, first as laws (prohibition) and then, when we reached the end of what laws could do, we invented “standards”. So if the Bible says “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess”, then we be sure that we never, ever, ever drink. Etc. and then you just keep adding rules to keep avoiding the social sins… And on it goes.

        2. As I understand it, rules about alcohol are actually related to the fight against slavery. Apparently, Christians who were opposed to slavery had a difficult time proving it was wrong based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. They adopted a “liberal” interpretation, saying that slavery was not in keeping with the general teaching of scripture, even though it was not specifically condemned. This led to “liberal” interpretations of other things. Consuming alcohol is not specifically condemned either, but people could point to a number of evils associated with drinking and say that it was not in keeping with the general teaching of scripture. This is why I think it is so funny that the IFB condemns drinking–they are accepting a liberal interpretation of the Bible.

        3. I thought it was a 19th century feminist thing–you know, to keep men from spending their paychecks on drink while their wife and children starved.

    1. A long time ago, a woman of questionable character, she had beed divorced multiple times, asked a man about the proper place of worship. It seems to me that the answer was something about worshipping God in “spirit and truth.” Anyway, instead of asking an unknowable hypothetical, maybe it would be better to ask if Jesus is regularly present at whatever house of worship one attends.

  1. “If Jesus were physically on the earth this Sunday, which church would he go to and why?”

    Trick question. He wouldn’t go to church on Sunday. He’s go to the synagogue on Saturday, because he was Jewish.

      1. The pastor can’t be all bad, judging from his Instagram account. While he does have a disproportionate number of OT quotations, he also likes antique tractors, old Mustangs, Porsches, and even a new Maserati.

        1. He also likes Caribou, and lives in the northwest. I’ve bumped him up to being an okay guy.

        2. I was beginning to wonder if it was a fundy church. This definitely demonstrates the pastor is no holds barred fundy.

        3. I have a Maserati. It does 185. I lost my license, now I don’t drive.

          They say I’m crazy but I have a good time.

    1. Wow! They did their best to hide that little fact, didn’t they? Amazing how they are *obviously* the Real Church, but they have to meet with the good graces of another church they believe adds “confusion” to the mix.

      Jesus must have mucked up somewhere. Imagine having to rent from apostates!

      I am sure they entertain dreams of somehow taking over, changing the sign and eradicating their painfully humble roots.

  2. I’ve seen a few people mention about how the trail of blood has been refuted. In that case
    1) why is it still being propagated?
    2) link to a good book on amazon that refutes it?

        1. You have something to back up your claim? Everything I’ve seen and read shows he’s still pushing it. It’s his schtick.

    1. Because people like the narrative. Baptists have a short history, so to prove they are the “actual, historic, correct, New Testament church” without having to answer the question “then why weren’t you guys around for 1700 years?” demands that you fabricate a history.

  3. If Jesus were here on earth he’d be a suit wearin’, KJV totin’, Independent, Fundamental, Bible Preachin’, spit slingin’ BAPTIST!!!11!!
    Haymen?

    If you don’t believe that you just need to walk the aisle to an old fashioned altar while the choir wheezes out 17 verses of Just As I Am.

  4. I am hesitant to say much negative based on this flier alone. It reminds me of what the evangelical groups would pass out on my college campus. Of course whatever presentation is given will be biased in favor of whatever stripe of church this one is, but we can’t tell just from this how biased it will be. To be fair, isn’t every church history timeline skewed in some way by whoever is presenting it?
    Also, just because a church quotes from the KJV doesn’t automatically mean they link arms with Ruckman and Riplinger. It seems to me like a Fundy-lite church doing some outreach other than door knocking and guilt tripping. Good for them.
    With that said. After a bit of digging, I found a few clear red flags. It seems that the women of the church don’t seem to wear pants in public, they are against contemporary music, and they do have ties with at least one KJVO church.
    My point is that I don’t find much fault with the flier on it’s own, it seems pretty benign. So I don’t think we should be that quick to pull the fundy trigger. I had to look up more about pastor and the church before I felt uncomfortable with the whole thing.

    1. The gaint “baptist” and the “which church would Jesus attend? Come
      visit us!” and the Instagram avatar with the slicked down combover were all red flags to me. Particularly the insinuation that Jesus would, of all the churches out there, attend theirs.

        1. CaffeinatedSquirrel, the local ifb church where I’m at would probably contest that state part. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. “….does not mean they link arms with Ruckman and Riplinger’s” Maybe not but I doubt they would refuse to shake hands with Ruckman and Riplinger’s the way they would refuse to shake hands with Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians etc (and I won’t even *mention* Catholics)

    3. I’m not sure that anyone is pulling the fundy trigger as much as this ad is a trigger for ex-fundies. I say that because of the implication that a Baptist church, and that one in particular, is the only right one. If you look at the word cloud at the top, you see “baptist” as the biggest, “methodist” a bit smaller, and “catholic” even smaller.

      The next thing is the use of King Jimmy’s commissioned work. Even if they aren’t KJO, using it indicates – to me, anyway – that they aren’t willing to use words that today’s population understands. That is another shouting of an exclusive club mentality.

      The last trigger is the 1-2-3, A-B-C, repeat after me “prayer” to be saved.

      It comes through as fundy to me, though it seems that it’s trying to be trendy in order to disguise itself as relevant and nice.

      1. “Iโ€™m not sure that anyone is pulling the fundy trigger as much as this ad is a trigger for ex-fundies.”

        Agree completely.

        And I see what you did there.

    4. Well bless you for trying to be positive. The fact that they would ask “which church would Jesus attend?”, list a bunch of denominations in cluttered fashion, and then invite people to come hear what the church is suppose to look like at their church really tends to be on the arrogant side. I have heard other churches talk about trying to understand the purpose of the church by studying the New Testament but never asking the question of “which church would Jesus attend?” or naming other denominations which seems to imply that those denominations are not actually good enough.

        1. Judging by Scripture, He would probably get on the list of lay readers, completely ignore the appointed reading and instead pick the one that was guaranteed to produce reflexive rage in the maximum number of His listeners, and walk out between twin walls of death glares.

        2. That’s beautiful Jenny. Probably a helpful bit of introspection would be to see if there are any passages that produce rage and then get your mind right.

    5. This church (speculating from what’s I’ve seen here) reminds me of the churches that try to change and keep the same people. They’re very welcoming, colorful and seeker sensitive (but don’t call it that!!) but won’t budge on certain things that will cause the majority of the older crowd to leave. Instead, they choose to wait until that older crowd dies off while trying to bring in a younger crowd, or if the younger crowd becomes the majority, they’ll go on ahead and start making changes, since the damage it’ll cause can be manageable.

    1. Haha SO good. You might want to pass this along to the pastor of this church. I’m sure he would want to use that song during this sermon series. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. I’m familiar with this church. It’s loosely associated with Heartland Baptist College in Oklahoma. Don’t let the slick, “modern” design fool you. It’s ALL bad.

  6. Ummmmm. . . wasn’t there a signboard on Jesus’ cross identifying him as “King of the Jews”? Why would he head for a Baptist church on Sunday instead of a Synagogue on Friday? I doubt that he would be interested in worshiping himself–or in following the dress code, ignoring most of the Old Testament, hanging out with only the right people, drinking grape juice, not going to movies, etc, etc, etc .

      1. I’m not. Jesus Himself told His disciples not to believe it if someone told them that Christ was here or there. Somehow I think that Thomas took that sermon in Matthew 24 (?) to heart.

        That said, I bow as the cross passes me in the procession and recession.

  7. Darrell,
    It seems to me that every once in a while the server decides that I have neither a valid email address nor a valid password and blocks access to the forum. Sorry to comment here, but I do not have a facebook account.

  8. Dear SFL Reader:

    How many IFB preachers would leave their pulpit and descend on on Stamps, Arkansas if Jesus turned up there at the fork of Church and Main?

    Christian Socialist

      1. Stamps, Arkansas was the childhood home of Maya Angelou, but Wikipedia doesn’t mention much else of note. Maybe that was enough?

        Not a preacher, not IFB, not Christian; but if Jesus showed up there, I’d go.

  9. Neither the Episcopal Church nor Church of England show up even in the smallest print. I guess it’s not even a question to him that Jesus would go there. I believe Episcopalians and Anglicans in general to be kind and cheerful, many having some sort of food ministry. I think Jesus was known for his hospitality.

    1. Yup, I was looking for “Episcopal” on the brochure and couldn’t find it.

      Pat Robertson has said that the Episcopal Church is “completely apostate,” whatever that means, so I guess that’s why it isn’t on the brochure.

      1. …apostate from what? The Church of England? What, is Robertson C of E?

        Oh, right, it’s probably about us not obsessing over what’s in married people’s crotches or pretending that fornication is The Worst Sin EVAR.

      2. Dear Jay Croft:

        From the day Mr. Robertson issued a fatwa on Hugo Chavez’ head, I’ve told people that the former is as stable as a walrus on a flag pole.

        Christian Socialist

    2. Aren’t Fundies in a bit of a bind concerning Anglicans? After all, God chose 47 of them to receive his perfect word in 1604-11. Did God choose the “wrong” church?

  10. I grew up in Seattle. I walked past this church every day when walking home from school. I think it was a Lutheran Church back then. My neighborhood has changed quite a lot that this kind of a fundie church would be taken seriously.

  11. Well, the church has something of a minimal web presence. They don’t do the online ranting and raving bits we have seen with others.

    And they even say that you don’t have to participate in the offering! — a bit odd for that to be an emphasis on a web page, come to think of it. Then again, maybe they are fighting a reputation, if not their own, then fundamentalism in general or maybe “church” in general.

    I find interesting their page dealing with salvation. http://skylinebaptist.org/eternal-life/

    It is pretty standard fare, and certainly lots better than Chick traps (yes, I said that deliberately). But it illustrates something about the way fundamentalism thinks.

    The “gospel message” preached is found nowhere as a unified piece of Scripture. There is no “plan of salvation” outlined in the Bible. So, doing what God and the Writers of Scripture never did, they take a sledgehammer and smash the Scriptures into snippets, verses and portions of verses, all of them out of context to present the message they think God wants to be given.

    All of the passages quoted have been stripped out of their context, and thus deprived of their original meaning. None of the snippets has a message that stands alone. Not even John 3:16 is a stand-alone passage, though it is a favorite verse. And when you wrap together such passages separated by topic, context, book, and time you get a warped message. Think of a piece of art created by combining materials and machine parts from a widely disparate selection of items and then proclaiming that the art is what all those machines originally meant to do!

    If you were to point this out to a fundamentalist, he or she would be shocked, deny it, and try to refute it. Again, they would use snippets of Scripture, taken out of context to prove their point.

    In the Episcopal Church, and some others we use a lectionary. We read larger passages and try to keep context. We don’t use Scripture piecemeal and fractured. At least on Sundays.

    As I said, their presentation of the gospel message is pretty standard stuff. But it illustrates a mindset I am trying to get away from.

    1. Dear rtgmath:

      You wrote: ‘the โ€œgospel messageโ€ preached is found nowhere as a unified piece of Scripture.’

      I reply: In my opinion, this point has extraordinary import. The good news as I understand it is proclaimed in Mk 1:15. The Kingdom of God is near; repent and believe that good news.’

      The theological core of Jesus’ preaching was the kingdom of God. But since their dispensationalism pushes kingdom into the future, IFBers of all stripes are obliged to construct a ‘gospel message’ from various texts, which they serve up as a substitute for the Mk 1:15 that Jesus taught.

      I’m leaving for church in about two minutes, so I’ll leave it for others to flesh out the theological implications of this…

      Christian Socialist

      PS: Yes, I attend church on Saturday [often], and am not SDA. I’ve learned to enjoy playing hooky on Sunday … See Col 2 for further details.

    2. Oddly enough, I found a Chick trap today on top of the toilet paper dispenser in a ladies’ room on the New York Thruway. Appropriate placement, n’est-ce pas?

    3. rtgmath, I half wonder sometimes if the idea of ‘salvation’ for the apostles had more to do with escaping punishment from the Romans for following a Jewish teacher who dared stir up dissent in the region…and if the crucifixion of Jesus was more putting a dangerous radical or potential terrorist to death than some universal for all of time and space atonement (and subsequently, his abandonment by the crowds and followers was just the cowards hiding from getting the same treatment).

      And over time, the survivors started telling stories about how they really won and will live forever because they stuck it to The Man.

  12. This is pretty standard stuff for an IFB church. “Look at all these different religions and denominations”, “confusing isn’t it”, “scripture says Jesus isn’t the author of confusion”, “let us show you the one true faith”, “because all these other denominations cause confusion they must be from the devil”..

    This whole thing isn’t so much about reaching the community as it is about circling the wagons and continuing to indoctrinate the people you already have. There won’t be a lot of people that say “oh, that makes sense, thank you for clearing it up, I’d like to join your church now” but all the members will say “see? Satan has them confused. We tried to show them the truth but they don’t understand. We have discharged our responsibilities. Aren’t we glad we see and know the truth? And all Gods people said: HAYMEN!”

    1. Confusion seems to be a fundy trait….they are confused by so many Bible translations and versions–therefore they have to narrow it down to one. Confused by all the denominations, so they have to narrow it down to one true brand….Fortunately for them–the version of the Bible they prefer is the true version, and the church they attend is the true church….

      1. That’s what I was thinking. They claim so many denominations lead to confusion, but I don’t see any non-fundy Christians confused by it! Likewise, with the Bible. They claim having several translations leads to confusion, but I have seen where having more than one translation clarifies what the Bible is saying. Could it be the confusion is something THEY feel due to a narrow view of Christianity and a narrow view of what the Bible teaches?

        1. I don’t know why they feel confused so easily. Perhaps it is their minds are only capable of seeing things as either/or–only two options. Or maybe it is a fear thing—they are motivated by fear, easily. So they fear not being right or on the right side–so there has to be one solution. But I can’t really say.

    2. The first time I heard the “confusion is of the devil” argument (used as a reason to NOT have any other versions besides the KJV), I thought, “What a convenient manipulation tool: claim to be confused by ANYTHING and then claim that that is proof that whatever is confusing you is wrong. What a perfect way for the stupid – or the power-hungry or evil – to control other people.” It just seemed a ridiculous argument to use in a belief system that honors the Bible that speaks so much of WISDOM, not hiding one’s head in the sand crying, “I’m so CONFUSED!!!”

        1. Ahhhh, but then Fundyism is a big part of that confusion, and so they are devilish as well! Even more, they can’t agree among themselves, are always separating from each other or forming new and temporary alliances! And isn’t Phil Kidd the poster boy for envy and strife?

        2. rtgmath–exactly–there are so many IFB churches (all excommunicated by the others)….they themselves have fallen into confusion…..

  13. Okay…as a born and bred Seattlite AND a recovering fundy, I’m annoyed for the following reasons:

    1) people in the greater Seattle area do not respond well to this Baptist way of evangelizing. Building relationship works better.

    2) I find it fascinating that people with such rigid standards move to a city with such open and liberal views, expecting to change it.

    3) I don’t like that your name is not on the website. People here don’t like “mystery”, they want to know who the heck they are coming to hear speak and listen to.

    4) Please just love my community, serve our homeless neighbors and don’t spew your personal lifestyle choices before building relationships. We are a delightful and tight-knit community. Don’t ruin it.

    1. Yes, this has a definite air of having done no research at all into the target–I mean, the community chosen for church planting. On the other hand, all they really need to know is that the place isn’t Krikkit; any place that isn’t Krikkit has to go–I mean, is in need of the word of the Lord. (Never mind the scores of churches already in Seattle.)

      Church planting needs to stop. Either be a missionary or find another job; quit playing missionary in your own country!

      1. Instead of playing missionary, might be better to ACT LIKE WE BELIEVE IT, and start doing what Jesus told us to do! Is it really harder to feed the hungry and care for the needy and such than it is to try to start new churches in a land where you can hardly swing a cat without hitting one? I grew up in the Puget Sound area, and even 30 years ago, we had no trouble finding a church.

        Maybe instead of quitting playing missionary, we should quit ‘playing church’ and actually BE ONE.

        1. I have some doctrinal issues with (some of) the (multifarious) Baptists, but the local Baptist mission runs a food bank, built an entire neighborhood for foster families, operates a free summer day camp, and puts on an awesome Nativity pageant for the whole community. And they don’t tract people. That’s how you do it.

  14. Off Topic, figure I’d bring it up here since I think I annoy the Internet Monk crowd too much, lol. Not sure what I’m asking, really, so I’ll just tease it out.

    Why do Christians, by and large, even bother getting involved in things like human trafficking, the abortion debates, poverty, etc?

    Two theories…or thoughts…

    Growing up IFB, and still surrounded by a lot of IFB, and just as my evangelicals (so all around fundygelicals), there’s a core idea that nothing we do matters, that Jesus will come to rescue us, and that it’s all going to burn anyways. This is used to drive up the sales of books and plane tickets to foreign mission fields in order to stumbily ask in foreign tongues if someone is sure they are going to heaven, and then either a chance to say a prayer or reject God for all eternity.

    The other part of this is the idea that literally anything that happens is or isn’t God’s will. Or that nothing can be done without God’s divine support, and if something doesn’t happen, it wasn’t in his will. So what’s the point of trying, God will provide, right? All good things come from God, and clearly bad things just mean you didn’t come to God.

    So we’ve got two ideas. Nothing matters in the long run, and things can only get done by God.

    Which is oddly dynamically opposed to Jesus. Everything he said and did and told us to do and emulated for us. And who told us two commandments. The first, love God. Ok, good, we love God. And God said to love others. Wait, what? Isn’t love God most important? Well, no, the person who said love others is God. What does it mean to love God? Do you want to love God and do his will? Well, he said to love others, and he sort of stopped there, other than telling a very select group of people to hey, spread the good news. But that’s far away from “the two greatest” things he himself told us. Love God, love others.

    But here we are. Incapable of doing that, because it doesn’t matter, and only God makes things happen. And yet, look at us. We’ve made wonderful things happen. Reduced world poverty. We mastered flight. We’ve cracked the human genome. We have the ability to change this world, and God granted us that and told us to do that.

    So, I guess…

    Why aren’t more Christians humanists, if the core tenet of humanism is that mankind actually can improve itself and solve things? Why are fundygelicals so focused on nothing matters, and unwilling to step up and fix things themselves, instead of hiding behind God’s skirts?

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