82 thoughts on “Safety Scofflaws (Because Soulwinning)”

    1. Sweet!

      Guess he forgot we are supposed to obey the laws of the land. Stuff fundies like: being above the law. Because that’s totally what Jesus did.

  1. If he kills a passenger by his own recklessness it doesn’t matter because they go to heaven. Cha-ching! Just bringing in the sheaves by anyeans necessary.
    If he kills a pedestrian…that could possibly be bad because we don’t know and naturally we believe they were condemned.

    1. No the pedestrian would have had time to read the scripture verses plastered all over the van before being hit. Plenty enough time to repent and get a haircut. 😉

    1. Stupid comment, sure. But racist? Hardly. Not every derogatory about people of a different culture is automatically racist.

      Besides, overfilling vehicles is characteristic of any developing country, hardly just Honduras.

      1. The reason they are overfilled is because the only other way to get somewhere, especially in non-urban areas, is to walk. There just aren’t enough transportation alternatives in developing countries (lived in Colombia for almost a decade–it really improved my prayer life!). The accidents are horrible, with great loss of life, which should give North American church scofflaws a reason for why we have stringent laws here.

        1. Yes, of course that’s the reason– a shortage of transportation. I didn’t say that because I thought it was obvious.

        2. Unfortunately, many things aren’t obvious to many people (that includes me, by the way!). Otherwise, why would we need Snopes?

      1. That is like asking what race are Americans. Most Hondurans are a mixture of Spanish and indigenous people, going back several hundred years to the Spanish conquest of the Americas.

  2. Thinking about this. As a young Christian I was thrilled when a nice family moved into our area and started to come to church. They had three lovely daughters, from a young age 6 up to age 12 or 14 or so.

    And their parents had to go back to their old home to pack up the furniture and bring it all back. On the way back there was a crash. A truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the median and slammed into their moving van head on.

    The girls had been left with friends. They were devastated. It was even more terrible when the family decided not to keep the children together. No one had room enough for all three of them, so the youngest went with one family member, the others were spoken for by other family members. I never saw them again. At that point I wondered why a “good” God would do that to them. Thinking about it now, I still wonder.

    I heard rumors that the children did not take it at all well, were embittered not only by the loss of their parents, but of each other.

    I only hope they have been able to overcome the devastation sent on them.

    1. That’s heartbreaking. It’s so hard for me to imagine anyone looking at children who’d lost their PARENTS and not being willing to move heaven and earth to keep those siblings from losing each other.

    2. It’s really a bad thing to separate kids like that, it happened to my Dad at a very young age, told me when he turned 80 that he had cried every night missing his little sister, he had never told anyone before. He’s been depressed his whole life, no wonder. I always ask the question “why can the kids not be kept together?” It’s no different than having that many of your own kids. It’s cruel and heartless, first the kids lose their parents, then they lose each other. My litmus test for the character of an adult is how they respond to a helpless child, it brings out the real person 100%. My dad’s holier-than-thou aunt (not fundy) was unbelievably cruel to my dad’s sister who she “took in” and when Dad moved in with them a few years later she used him like a houseboy. No love lost there.

  3. In the past six years since our son died, I have struggled with what I believe about God. I believe IN God but not sure what I believed ABOUT God anymore.

    Finally, after watching one of the Lord of the Rings movies, I realized that I believe God is like Gandalf. Gandalf is supposedly powerful but he rarely demonstrates his power and only for his own whim. Gandalf starts his followers off on quests but then suddenly leaves them to face perils alone while he goes wandering off to who-knows-where.

    I feel much more comfortable in my God-Gandalf belief than I did before!

      1. And I would say when Gandalf leaves the heroes, often times it reveals to the heroes something about themselves or about someone in their party–Aragorn has to take the lead and make tough choices in the fellowship, Boromir’s weakness…etc

        1. Good point. So I have to wonder what my disappointment with being (as I saw it) abandoned by God says about me. Weak? I’ll admit it. Dependent upon what I saw as His Promises? Not self reliant enough? Too quick to yield the decision-making to prayer (aka “chance”)?

          I’ll have to think about this.

    1. One of the harder to understand and believe teachings of scripture is that humanity has rejected Gods attempts at direct intervention at least through headship of Adam and the Jewish Patriarchs (Moses having to inscribe the 10 commandments after smashing the ones God wrote being a prime example). Not oldies if that helps or enlightens.

  4. This seems to be the “vending machine God” faith–as long as you put enough faith in or are doing God’s work–then God has to protect you and provide for you…..faith or good deeds are the currency…..just hope the protection and provision doesn’t get hooked up on one of those dispensing coils…

    1. Well, to be honest, the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, is full of vending machine promises. Functions. You do this, you get that result. Input obedience output blessing.

      Maybe God figured out He couldn’t keep up with all of it.

      1. The way I read the OT is that the if–is if you stay in relationship with God, –staying in relationship is different than putting in enough coins of faith or good work….
        Then–the people of God get to live in the land God promised.

        1. It’s true the OT promises were more community than individual, but the examples of Blessings for Obedience were largely individual. Punishment for disobedience, though falling on the Israelites as a corporate body also narrowed to pinpointing the guilty single person. See Aachan, for example.

          But there are lots of prominent examples of God blessing individuals for obedience and punishing them for disobeying. Catching God’s attention has always been dangerous.

    2. My favorite Carmelite priest at one of the Catholic churches I attend used to remind us in his sermons that “God is not an ATM”. Like a bank account, you can’t constantly be withdrawing favors from God without replenishing the stock by Faith and good works, prayer, etc. Thumpers may like to think otherwise, but two millenia of Church teaching and tradition point towards God not rolling that way

  5. The last couple churches I have been at actually stopped using vans because their insurance carriers made them take the back seats out and no more than 12 passengers. Also, recently worked on a mission trip for students and the same restriction was put on us while using rented vans.

    They mostly used those mini bus vehicles because they are allowed to fill them up. For longer trips they hire one of the local school bus companies to do the driving and provide the vehicles. Much better because those are more experienced drivers who do school driving every day, and if anything goes wrong, the bus company has to figure out how to get you there. Plus its on their insurance, etc…

    In my experience, the fundy churches I was involved with at least tried to follow the law. In fact one of them had a school and other fundies mocked them for actually building to code, operating their school professionally including security/camera systems, and actually having the government schools involved in helping them develop their protocols for dealing with special needs students, etc. Some other school/church leaders basically told them they were wasting money. The pastor said it wasn’t a waste to follow the law and actually live in a way that was beyond reproach to the community. I appreciated that because too many times Fundies don’t understand the interaction between various spheres of authority, and its what causes most of their issues.

    1. It does unfortunately seem to be rare, but it’s good to see when it happens.

      I often drove the van for various functions at my former fundy church – it was drilled into us that the van DID NOT MOVE until everyone inside had their seat belt fastened. Even then though, I believe it was more for insurance reasons than actual concern for the occupants’ safety.

    1. Don’t forget to wish them Happy Reformation Day/All Saints Eve/Halloween!

      For bonus points include the lyrics to the Methodist hymn This Is My Fathers World.

      Now sit back and watch the fur fly.

  6. Dear Darrell:

    What I want to know is this: ‘where the sober IFBers who stand up and challenge dangerous and illegal actions. Are IFBers cowards? Can they not stand up and say, ‘NO — and if you DON’T fix this overstuffed van, I’m ID-ing you to the police and telling them to watch for you; and if, God forbid injuries DO occur because of this, I will testify that you heard this warning from me in the presence of other witnesses.’

    Christian Socialist

    1. I left a church many years ago, partly because of issues with baiting the speed limit (like 20 mph) to caravan to camp. I went directly against the pastor’s “directive”, and pulled in later than anyone else. I also quit a Christian non-profit 20 years ago over unsafe practices with minors. The head honchos didn’t seem too interested, and then the following year something bad happened due to poor supervision.

      I know we all make mistakes, but this was flatout “I’m in charge, do what I say.” It wasn’t as easy to report in those days, but it is now and the two churches I have been involved in (not Fundy, by the way), are much more careful with children and vehicles. My current church rents van and/or buses for retreats and camps. It means an extra cost, but they also have fundraisers to make up the difference.

  7. I drove a church bus many years ago. I had a break failure when exiting an interstate and fortunately made the turn – on two wheels according to witnesses. The breaks were in need of repair on the replacement bus and it almost would not stop. The bus director blamed me. The following week a deacon’s son told me his dad had the same problem with one of the busses. Needless to say, I have not driven nor trusted a church bus since.

  8. As a song by a local artist put it:

    She’s got no brakes and a bible on the dashboard,
    Sayin’ she’s not ever gonna crash, Lord!
    Careenin’ round the curves in her truck
    With a load of yellin’ kids and saintly luck, oh no…

    LeMoyne was active before Youtube or I’d just link it. She was great.

    I once got into it with a grandma who posted a picture of her preschool grandchild on the back of a horse. Not a pony, a horse. A draft horse. Bareback. In the middle of a pasture. With nobody holding the horse’s bridle. And no helmet… I flat-out told her that all he would have to do was fall gently into the grass and not get up before the giant horse, which can’t see directly beneath itself, sidled half a step in the wrong direction, and her grandson would have no head. I called her refusal to even hold the flippin’ horse snowflake behavior. She shot back, “I am God’s special snowflake.”

    Okay then. I can only hope that natural consequences did not ensue.

  9. The most common problem I saw was taking kids on long trips and driving through the night. In order to save a few bucks on a hotel they will drive all night long and arrive at their destination the next morning. Studies have shown that driving when you are tired is just as dangerous as drunk driving. I pointed that out and for about 5 years they stayed at a hotel. Then there was a new youth director and on the way back from a trip they decided to just drive through the night. It was the last time I allowed my kids to ride with them on long trips. To the best of my knowledge they have never used a hotel since then, instead deciding to drive straight through on 24-48 hours trips.

    This may not break the law but it’s stupid.

    1. This was a problem with our former fundy church. A couple of times on youth trips, they did stay overnight at a local church, sleeping on the gym floor. It wasn’t fun or comfortable but at least they were safe. They stopped doing that and instead drove all night. I was NOT happy with that to say the least! That’s incredibly dangerous as well as unnecessary. The way my former church spends money like it’s going out of style, they can easily afford to put the kids in a room overnight.

      1. They COULD afford a few bucks to keep the kids safe but they won’t. That’s not money that helps build the MoGs empire.

        The worst I ever saw was about 12 years ago (?) a church about an hour away from ours that had a bus route. The floor was rotted out in a seat that was just in front of the rear tire, it was bad enough there was a hole you could see the road below through. To fix it they put a piece of “do not cross” tape across the seat and called it good. A kid was jumping around and jumped into the seat, fell through, and got run over killing him.

        I don’t remember them talking about doing anything for the family but there was lots of prayer and assistance sent to the church because of the terrible thing that happened to them.

    2. My daughter and son in law did that for a few Tucson – east Washington state trips but they did do driver swaps, only had 3 kids in the van, and had a little “bedroom” set up in the back of the van so the one who wasn’t driving could sleep!

      1. The coasters can also be used for glasses holding iced tea or other non-alcoholic beverages. Therefore they are not sinful in themselves.

        To paraphrase the NRA mantra: “Coasters don’t make people sin. People make themselves sin.”

  10. Hi, I just wanted to say that I found this site through reading the Spiritual Sounding Board and I have been reading back through the posts voraciously ever since. It all brings back so much that I am kind of staggering under the weight of memories and realizations.

    Even though the IFB-style church I attended was back in the 70’s when I was a new Christian, the impact has followed me over the years. At times I have ended up in other churches that, though they appeared differently, turned out to have the same underlying authoritarian control, legalistic and judgmental attitude.

    I am a believer but I have a lot of wounds and questions and cynicism. I recently started attending a church that seems okay after years out of church but I find it very hard to trust church and church people.

    I don’t really know why I’m commenting except to say I relate so much to things people have shared here and to say hello, is this group open to new people?

    1. We are very open to new people…welcome!

      That is exactly my struggle too. I went to a Fundy church shortly after becoming a Christian, and was taught much error. It took me quite a while to weed out truth from error after leaving. A lot of analysis had to happen to avoid carrying the Fundy errors with me…some of them are subtle.

      I also find it very hard to trust churches, especially those in leadership, but also the shallow friendships that often occur in church. My former Fundy pastor twisted my views on giving because he is such an empire building manipulator.

      Looking forward to hearing more of your story and views.

    2. This group is very welcoming, and helped me process through a lot of the same things you are dealing with. Stick around and share your story! Glad you’re here.

  11. Thanks so much for your kind welcome! Here is a quick snip of the church I once went to-
    http://articles.latimes.com/1988-05-06/local/me-2616_1_bomb-abortion-clinic

    Mind you, this happened after my time, I removed myself several years before, when Owens started preaching his version of child discipline and people started spanking babies- an evil, ignorant, stupid, horrifying doctrine that violates everything good and decent.

    All of the mature and sensible Christians disappeared from the congregation, only the yes-men remained, and things snowballed downhill. I’d see the church in the news and be so thankful I was out of there.

    It’s been a long, rough journey since then. I’ve had the blessing of attending 2 churches with excellent pastors but others that turned out to harbor the same perverse attitudes under the surface.

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