Rules

rulestitle

1. I am right and you are wrong. Always.
2. Unity Means Agreeing With Me That My Pastor Is Right.
3. The less certain something is, the more certain you must appear to be about it.
4. If you cannot win an argument with logic you must simply outlast your opponent. Once he gives up, declare victory.
5. There is no fight that is not worth fighting.
6. The less fun it is the godlier it must be.
7. Women’s primary purpose is to serve as a temptation to men. They are also somewhat useful for housework.
8. All God’s people shall say “amen.” This is never an inappropriate response.
9. If it is new it is bad. If it is old it is good. (with the exception that if it is really, really old then it is likely to be Catholic)
10. There is no situation that a good dose of ministerial yelling can’t fix.
11. Old Testament rules about sex, tattoos, women in pants, and the death penalty still apply. Old Testament rules about lobster don’t. (That is why we call this the Age of Grace)
12. Invitations shall continue until the Spirit is satisfied that enough people have come to the altar as revealed to the pastor. The Spirit shall be extra hard to satisfy on any Superbowl Sunday.
13. ON THE INTERNET, BIBLICAL TRUTH IS BEST COMMUNICATED VIA CAPSLOCK
14. Mormons are considered to be Christians for the following purposes:
a) National Elections
b) Political Talk Shows
c) Songs for God and Country Sunday
15. Neither this nor any other list of rules can be considered exhaustive; a majority shall always be unspoken, arbitrary, and subject to change at the whim of the authority.
16. It’s much better to have an innocent person die than to tell a lie to a Nazi.
17. A man is to be as much of a leader of his own house as his pastor will let him be.
18. Thou shalt not speak out against other fundamentalists on any subject that really matters. Keep disputes as trivial as possible lest you risk having your own dirty laundry exposed.
19. Spare the rod and spoil the child. (A “rod” being defined as a paddle, stick, belt, spatula, wooden spoon, rubber hose, truncheon, flail, or anything else that happens to be handy)
20. A man may not wear glasses connected by a chain for if they should slip off his nose and dangle about his neck, someone may be made to think that he is wearing a necklace and that is the appearance of evil.
21. Pastors should preach as frequently as possible on sin — preferably the sins of other people
22. Gays are responsible for pretty much every bad thing that happens in America. Africans are responsible for the rest.
23. We reject the authority of the Pope to speak ex cathedra on matters of doctrine. That’s what local church pastors are for.
24. We believe in individual soul liberty — although we’ve never seen a good reason for anybody to actually use it.
25. Dancing is an abomination unless it takes place in a classic film or on the stage of a Gilbert & Sullivan musical at a fundamentalist college.
26. The joy, joy, joy, joy must reside down in your heart. (Where? down in your heart!)
27. In movies sex is bad but violence is fine. (The Bible contains both but we’d rather you didn’t mention it)
28. Prayers must be said before all meals, ball games, and road trips. As long as you’re not using the Lord’s Prayer this is not considered vain repetition.
29. When swimming, a woman shall wear enough layers of clothing to double her weight when immersed.
30. A Christian taking government aid is a sure sign they are not trusting God. (Not that our church is going to start paying its employees enough to live on, mind you. )
31. If you send your child to public school you may as well brand 666 on their forehead and get it over with. No child can emerge from that den of liberalism anything other than a Gay Satanist Democrat.
32. There are not two sides to every story. There is only the truth and the lies made up by those liberal compromisers who Satan is using to attack our ministry.
33. We deny the mysticism of the Catholics and the signs and wonders of the charismatics. We do, however, have a litany of strange coincidences to get us totally stoked.
34. When a pastor gets caught doing wrong his job is to deny, deny, deny. Your job is to back him up to the bitter end.
35. “Fellowship” = “Food”
36. In a business meeting all in favor of the pastor’s motion shall signify by saying “aye.” All opposed shall shut up if they know what’s good for them.
37.If there’s hair touching your ears, there’s sin in your heart.
38. Anything that annoys the pastor annoys Jesus too.
39. Any church members who is not “here and in their place” during special meetings will be punished by being used as a sermon illustration.
40. Nobody is allowed to criticize our ministry unless they have gone out and built a ministry of equal size. (Then we’ll ignore them because they’re liberal)
41. Microphone feedback during a sermon is a sure sign of satanic attack against the preacher.
42. The truth shall not be allowed to get in the way of any good sermon illustration.
43. Any growth in our church is a sure sign of God’s blessing on our ceaseless soul winning efforts. Any growth in your church is due to seeker sensitive gimmicks and soft preaching on sin.
44. Alcohol is allowed in your home if 1. It is hidden in cough syrup 2. You pretend not to like it 3. You consume no more than 4 bottles a week.
45. Context? Our proof texts don’t need no stinkin’ context!
46. The moving picture house is a bastion of wickedness. Watching the same (G Rated) movies at home is just fine.
47. If you can’t find a Scripture verse that proves your point, substitute a quote from another fundamentalist instead. It’s practically as good.
48. The only proper color for a man’s Bible is black. Men who choose any other color are likely to be the sort who also part their hair in the middle and enjoy cooking a little too much.
49. Every date is a potential mate. Not that we’re trying to put pressure on you or anything.
50. As much as we dislike Muslims, we do admire the way they keep their women in line.
51. Bad things that happen to me and mine are persecution and attacks of Satan. Bad things that happen to you and yours are God’s judgment for your sinful ways.
52. The King James version was written to bring the Bible into the language of the common man of the 1600’s. If today’s common man can’t understand it that’s his own stupid fault.
53. Adding even one word Bible is sacrilege of the worst kind. Unless, of course, your pastor told you to write it in the margin. Then it’s all good.
54. When you really want to be taken seriously, use lots of Comic Sans. This goes double for your church website.
55. The fact that toddlers will instinctively dance to music with a beat is evidence of their Adamic nature.
56. Rock music is perfectly acceptable to play in church so long as the person doing it is an evangelist who is demonstrating exactly how wrong it is to play rock music in church.
57. All families must have as many children as physically possible. This will only lead to economic hardship if you lack sufficient faith.
58. Halloween is a demonic holiday wherein people dress up in costumes and beg for candy on the 31st of October. Harvest Festival is a God-honoring event wherein people dress up in costumes and beg for candy (by complete coincidence) also on the 31st of October.
59. While we believe that no good Christian should ever go to a godless, atheist, state-run university, that does not stop us from proudly rooting for their godless, atheist football team.
60. Gluttony is barely a sin and only worth mentioning from the pulpit in the context of a joke.
61. Always assume your fellow fundamentalists have the best possible motives for their actions. Always assume everyone else has the worst possible motives for theirs.
62. You talking about my church’s scandal is gossip and backbiting. Me talking about your church’s scandal is instruction and warning.
63. Body piercings, tattoos, and unnatural hair colors are counter-cultural and therefore evil. Culottes and arranged marriages are counter-cultural and therefore required.
64. If something is unfamiliar or difficult to understand, it’s best to take a stand against it by default. Reasons can be invented later.
65. Anything that becomes popular with more than 70% of fundamentalists must both be made obligatory and used as a test of fellowship.
66. The only emotions allowed to be displayed in a church service are anger, guilt, and sorrow. All others are likely to be caused by latent charismatic tendencies.
67. Not only is privacy not a right, it’s strongly discouraged. The only people who have the right to keep secrets are the pastor and his mistress.
68. Anything can be rationalized if you claim that doing otherwise will cause souls to end up in hell (no matter how illegal, immoral, or downright silly that thing may be).
69. Every character in any Christian book or movie must act like a Christian. Even the murdering, raping, and pillaging villains must never be seen to curse or fornicate.
70. When you pick on our guy for something stupid he did, it’s judgement. When we pick on your guy for something stupid he did, it’s discernment.
71. Lying in a sermon is perfectly acceptable as long as it is done with really good intentions. (Such as proving how awesome the speaker is)
72. If the barn needs painting, paint it. (Your pastor or his chosen delegate will be happy to let you know if you are in fact such a barn.)

41 thoughts on “Rules”

    1. does southern baptist count as fundie because I am seeing alot tht easily apply here to the southern baptists which I grew up in.

      1. There is definitely a fundamentalist strain within the SBC that has slowly been increasing in volume over the last years.

        1. I suppose you get a lot of hate mail from the people you are “exposing.” I suppose to a great extent I am one of those people myself although I have never called myself a fundamentalist. This particular set of rules gave me quite a laugh, and some of them are my sentiments, but are presented here outside the context of my principles. As I read over the website here I notice a lot of complaints, gripes, accusations made against preachers, and I know in my heart that a lot of them are sincere and true. Because fundamental churches are made up of the same people who make up all classes, races and denominations. Every group of people on earth are filled with those that are not authentic. Leaders of all churches, organizations, and religious parties are subject to vanities and scandals. If time and research were invested, a series on abuse could be aired on 20/20 about every organization from the IFB to CNN, and from this website to 20/20 itself. The bottom line is this, I hope you realize that for every moral certainty that you are bashing these people for, you yourself are just as certain about your moral standards, and are bashing the opposition to the best of your ability. Every commenter on your website is a “fundy.” Every person on your website including you and now me, has done something to hurt, or “abuse” someone else. You have as much right to use this website to heckle fundamentalists as they do to bash rock music, gays, and movies. At the end of the day though, we are all fundamentalists of some sort. I choose to stand for what I believe in and let those that disagree do as they will. This website does not make me mad. The only negative aspect that I see in your comments is that you guys never point out any faults of your own, and you fail to recognize that you are being as hateful as the hateful fundamentalist that your website is designed to expose. Inconsistency is easy to point out in men. Help is hard to find. Romans 1:11. John Adams said in regards to Thomas Paine, “He seems to do well at tearing down, but does nothing to build up..” And I suppose you and I are both guilty of that, because it is the easiest form of fundamentalism. In order to tear down, a man only needs to recognize a fault. To build up, to truly correct, a man must have wisdom, experience, and a lot of thought and preparation. You have a great day. I hope you do know the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior.

        2. “Every group of people on earth are filled with those that are not authentic. Leaders of all churches, organizations, and religious parties are subject to vanities and scandals.” Absolutely! I’m definitely not someone who’d say that IFB fundies are the only or the worst. However, they are the ones we know best! Also, many of us never heard any opposition to the fundamentalism we were taught, and we definitely never spoke it. Thus this site gives people sometimes the first place where they can talk about what they were thinking and what they often felt ALONE in thinking.

          “You have as much right to use this website to heckle fundamentalists as they do to bash rock music, gays, and movies. ”

          A huge difference is that this is just a blog whereas the fundies bash from a pulpit, a position of power authority in our lives, both earthly and spiritual.

        3. Michael, so if I’m reading you correctly you take the position that all of humanity is equally wrong so then we have no grounds on which to make or voice any judgements?
          I believe that is the fallacy of equivocation.

          As far as tearing down? The IFB cult needs to be torn down, right down to the last brick and board, never to be rebuilt. The IFB has become the modern day temple that Christ said would be torn down and not a stone left standing, full of works and idolatry, rules and man made standards.

  1. You nailed it. I escaped from the clutches of this ridiculous movement 30 years ago, after an 8-year Tour of Duty inside one of these churches.

    I started laughing, as I read — so absolutely true! But then I started remember HOW true this stuff is, and how much it hurts trusting naive parishioners, and how much harm it does to the souls of hypocritical pastors, elders, and their victims. I was practically crying at the end, there.

    51, 61, 62, 64, 67, and 70 were *particularly* ouchy.

    Fundies, as far as *I* can tell, you are the False Church, the Church of the Deceived. You love power, and apparently you love being lied to and told exactly what to think. I don’t see you loving God or your fellow humans. Not one bit.

    1. Well said. I was raised in a strict Fundamental circle down south…Thank the Lord, He saw fit to let me be exposed to some whole hearted Christians, who really do love the Lord, later on in my life.
      I was actually a secretary of an IFB church for almost 10 years, but that church wasn’t NEAR as ridiculous as some of the IFB churches up north (such as some of the stuff I read on here…)
      But back to my upbringing…I seriously thought that if I wore the right thing and stayed away from the rock music, then I was pleasing God and was spiritual… And I too was taught that if a man’s hair touched his ears…he was carnal!! ha!!
      I also thought that the KJV just dropped down from Heaven long ago and that Jesus and his disciples spoke the English language with a British accent. : ) Really did!!!!!!!
      I had no idea there was a Septuagent, Geneva, Wycliff….etc versions of the Bible… And GET THIS…. I was in my mid 20’s when I heard a preacher talk about the APOCRYPHA….. I HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT IN MY LIFE!!!!! I suppose the IFB’s were keeping that little secret from us…afraid it would CONFUSE our young minds… Don’t know….
      So, to say the least, I have been truly learning and growing in my Christian walk since I got out of that movement. I have also learned first hand GOD’S love….true, unconditional, self-less love… It’s awesome!!!
      I truly enjoy the freedom of going to church now. No more fear of God coming down on me with a vengeance… IFB’s taught God as some hard, scary, mean man far, far away that would get ya if you did anything out of line. I was scared to death of God in that movement.
      Want to add a little funny…. I was 26 before I went to my first movie at a theatre… It was Maid in Manhatten… and it was fairly clean compared to those VCR tapes we were “allowed” to rent…. (Of course, we couldn’t go SEE the movie until it came out on Tape…. : ) ha!
      I’m glad to have found this site!! I need time to vent!!!

      1. Welcome. Your story is quite familiar to many of us, and we are glad to have another join our loose ranks.
        Please join the conversation often.

  2. All I can say is, “sad but true”. Christ is our life. When we depend on any other righteousness it leads at best to legalism and pride. At worst it leads to discouragement and giving up on God. I hope that people will consider these things not as a reason to leave church and quit on God. But rather that people would be admonished to seek a church that preaches Christ, not just as the means of salvation, but as our very life. When we see Jesus for Who He is and who we are in Him, only then can we live the abundant life God wants us to have. :smile:

  3. My twenty-something son added these:
    73. When asked in church how you are doing, thou shalt answer “Fine!” and NOTHING ELSE. Being less than fine reveals you are living in sin and will elicit appropriate judgment. Save all ailments, complaints and relational needs for prayer requests.

    74. If it’s written on a book, T-shirt, CD, poster, flyer, trinket, video case, mug, ornament, or anything else inside a Christian bookstore, it’s as true as if John wrote it in the Bible himself.

    75. Jeans, or “Satan’s jammies,” are strictly forbidden in God’s house. Should you bring a friend who doesn’t know our customs and wears these sinful breeches, thou shalt be subject to the same shame as said friend. Just remember the rule of thumb: denim=devil.

    1. Your son’s #73 really cracks me up. I used to tease others when they’d say “fine n-you?” I’d ask them what they’re avoiding with such a quick desire to change the subject from “them” to “me”.
      I was popular, but for the “annoying guy who doesn’t understand our ways” reasons. :lol:

    2. Denim is evil? Hmmm, wonder why all those ladies wear the long denim skirts….? Could it be…who knew?…..SATAN??????

    3. I would like to add another rule.

      VEGGIE TALES ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL! If you, as a submissive wife, value your children and do not wish to “lose” them (or else you will burn in fill-in-the-blank), you shalt not allow VEGGIE TALES to enter into the lives of your children.

      I’ve heard more bad about the sins of Veggie Tales than any other child movie since I’ve started attending my fundy church.

  4. I laughed so hard! This was my favorite: 11. Old Testament rules about sex, tattoos, women in pants, and the death penalty still apply. Old Testament rules about lobster don’t. (That is why we call this the Age of Grace)

  5. That was just entirely too accurate!! As a survivor-graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, lemme just say… “AMEN!” LOL :grin:

  6. I wish I could say I didn’t know what this was about but I can relate to almost every single one of these from the church I attended as a child/teen. So glad I escaped this ridiculous “culture.”

  7. I have to take issue with #29. It would seem to imply that weightier women need more clothing when swimming. Everyone knows that being less-than-weighty as a True, Godly Woman is a special cross to bear, as you have to make sure to cover up extra hard.

    1. “They miss the whisper that runs
      any day in your mind,
      “Who are you really, wanderer?”
      and the answer you have to give
      no matter how dark and cold
      the world around you is:
      “Maybe I’m a king.”

      – William Stafford

  8. My favorite: “50. As much as we dislike Muslims, we do admire the way they keep their women in line.” LOL!

  9. Wow, sadly, so many of these are all too true. I’m from a fundamentalist background, and lots of these are so familiar to me. It’s so sad when Christians begin to lose sight of the true message and heart of the gospel and start placing greater emphasis on “looking the part” of a good Christian rather than on living as Jesus did and letting His love, mercy, and compassion shine through them.

  10. As others have said, I can relate to many of these as sad, but true statements regarding IFB churches -I know, because I have attended them all my life. As such, I can say without hesitation that to brand ALL fundamentalists with the same iron is in itself a knee-jerk and unfair reaction. The church I am currently a member of is “technically” an IFB church, but very little of the “rules” above could be said of it. Like most things in life, you have to apply some discernment and common sense (and grace!) to everything you do – this holds true when judging churches based on their affiliations. If a particular church likes to use litmus tests to gauge your spirituality, get out and find another one. They’re out there (some of them are even IFB!)

  11. Rule number 16 makes me laugh. I have heard that scenario in churches in supposedly serious bible classes since 1986. I originally thought it was meant to get you thinking deeply about serious moral issues. But it is really a test of your fundiness.

  12. I didn’t read the whole list but #35 is pretty much true. The rest that I read (through 35) was completely incorrect and demonstrates an ignorance of what fundamentalism is. Your research appears to be based on the most extreme you could find.

    1. Mr Rittmiller, I can assure you that Darrell has a long and storied personal experience with fundamentalism. He grew up in Fundystan and went to PCC. While PCC is somewhat liberal and not strictly Baptist, it is weird enough to be considered a compound in Fundystan. It might not be your personal experience, but a good many of us here have experienced it. It’s not less valid or more valid because it’s different from yours. It just is. *** Note: Before the flame wars start, I know that PCC isn’t theologically, politically, or socially liberal. It’s just that they let students go to the beach, and supposedly allow the female inmates to wear the devil’s britches for pajamas.

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A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.