At what point on a woman’s ankle, shin, or knee does a dress go from “modest” to “street walker”? There must be an absolute to this. God is not the author of confusion.
How much percussion is too much? Can we clap on the beat? May we use the timpani as long as we don’t call them “kettle drums”? How pronounced does the back beat have to become before the devil gets in you?
How pure must my KJV remain? If I spilled hot chocolate on a page and now the lineage of Mikloth the father of Shimeam is mostly a blur do I need to dispose of it entirely for fear of having corrupted the text? If so is it ok if I use the same procedure that I do for the American flag in dealing with the remains?
Am I responsible for the souls of every person I meet or just the ones I meet on Thursday evenings between 6 and 9 p.m.? If it’s the former, what is the best way to keep three or four hundred tracts on hand at all times? (Walmart is busy this time of year).
Is the preacher ever wrong? What’s the divine punishment for evil questioning? I hope it’s not as bad as the one for skipping Sunday School but if so could I speak to someone about breaking the other leg this time?
Today I’m getting on a plane for Sri Lanka. (Actually, I’m getting on a bus and three planes but who’s counting?) I’ll try to keep the SFL Facebook page and Twitter feed updated whenever possible on the trip to let you all know that we’re all still alive.
In the meantime, I’d like to invite you to ask whatever questions you might have about Sri Lanka, World Vision, and the Child Sponsorship program. People from our shared background tend to be as suspicious as we are generous because we’ve all seen organizations that say one thing and do another. The great news is that I’m headed to Sri Lanka as SFL’s ambassador to get the facts and see what’s really going on.
So ask me the tough questions, voice your concerns, and generally engage in the kinds of shenanigans for which we are famous. I love you all and I’m excited to bring you with me on this trip. I’m praying that it opens all of our hearts to a world of outreach that we never experienced in fundamentalism and that we’ll all be better for it.
If we are all sinners then why is my list of sins so much worse than your own?
If God own the cattle on a thousand hills then why do you constantly beg for my money to build His buildings?
If Jesus is so kind and gracious, then why do those who claim to follow him better than anyone else seem so petty and cruel?
If works do not save us then how do they then sanctify us?
If you had 507 people saved last year, where are they now?
If if our neighbor doesn’t have enough clothing or food and we do nothing but speak platitudes to them is that enough?
If fundamentalism is changing the world then why is the world so spectacularly unchanged?
If you love God and God loves the whole world then why can’t anybody see His love in you?
Of all the trials and tribulations that a young fundamentalist deals with, trying to explain the way they live to those outside of fundyland is among the most taxing. And no time of year presents more opportunities than Christmas when non-fundy family spring from the woodwork smelling of beer, dressed immodestly, and using minced oaths without flinching. Inevitably upon these visits someone is going to start asking impertinent questions like “So what’s Santa bringing you for Christmas?” or perhaps “Why is Mary trying to ski in a skirt?” or even “So have you left your cult yet?”
Do you have a story of giving an awkward explanation at Christmas gatherings (or any other time)? Share them here.