How do you measure success? In fundyland it’s almost always done in terms of standards kept and appearances maintained. Looking righteous is an end in itself.
So often we hear the glorious claims of wonderful outcomes for people who follow the fundy path. Never mind if they are happy or well-adjusted. Don’t ask if they are honest or decent to their fellow man. Do they appear to conform? Do they seem to obey? This is all that matters.
“They practiced courtship instead of dating and they were married for 53 years.” And they made each others lives a living hell. He cheated. She secretly drank. When he died she only felt relief. “God truly blesses us when we try to follow his plan for marriage!”
“This wonderful family hasn’t missed a single church service in the last 10 years!” The children sit petrified of being hit and screamed at when they get home if they put a foot out of line. As we speak the little girl has a 101 temperature but she was dragged here anyway. “Surely God honors their faithfulness.”
“Every single one of his six children and eighteen grandchildren are now in full-time ministry!” One will be indicted this week for fraud for embezzling from his church. Another is an atheist who just can’t get up the courage to admit it that he doesn’t believe his own sermons. A third regrets every day of his life that he didn’t follow his dreams away from fundamentalism. “This man is a shining example of how to train up a child!”
The devil is in the details.