Friday Challenge: Doctrinal Jingles

Fundamentalists love using a cute turn of phrase to “prove” a doctrinal point even when they are far from Biblical.  These rhetorical flourishes are a tried and true method of simply stopping thought dead in its tracks whenever a disagreement occurs.

For example:  “‘All’ means all and that’s all ‘All’ means.” Patently false…yet somehow strangely compelling.

What’s your favorite fundy doctrinal jingle?

117 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Doctrinal Jingles”

  1. I love your site! Great post, but don’t you mean “jingle”?

    Jingo: “a person who professes his or her patriotism loudly and excessively, favoring vigilant preparedness for war and an aggressive foreign policy; bellicose chauvinist. ”

    Jingle: “a catchy succession of like or repetitious sounds, as in music or verse. A piece of verse or a short song having such a catchy succession of sounds, usually of a light or humorous character”

  2. What’s in a word? 🙂

    Either way, I think “bellicose chauvinist” pretty much sums it up, don’t you?

    ETA: jingle is probably the better word, though so I’ll fix that. Good catch.

  3. “Baptists aren’t Protestants!”

    While this might technically be true, the context I’ve always heard it used was to disassociate with anything and everything relating to the Reformation.

  4. “God said it, that settles it” Used by many, typically after quoting a passage out of context, or a bible text slightly warped (i.e. misquoted) to emphasize their pet belief. Basically it is an attempt to attach the integrity of God to their pet belief. It also implies that if you dare to disagree with their pet belief, you are disagreeing with God and are in danger of God’s and their wrath.

  5. BTW – Thanks, Kim. Now I’m going to be looking for opportunities to work the word “bellicose” into casual conversation. 🙂

  6. @bill stole mine.

    Next best idea was a schettlerism “sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you can afford to pay” which I actually don’t think is that bad of a statement, except he/they used it to imply any questioning of their authority was the primary sin of students, and or physical contact with the opposite gender (or eye contact in unchaparones environments).

  7. More generically “we’re just obeying the good Lord, bless God” and various derivatives of that has always been infuriating, not really directly doctrinal, but an annoying jingo/jingle.

  8. “delayed obedience is disobedience”

    or as patch the pirate puts it “To Delay is to Disobey”

  9. “God said it, that settles it”

    Some folks stick an “I believe it” in the middle of that one.

    There’s even a song…

  10. Some folks stick an “I believe it” in the middle of that one.

    It’s funny how these things spin off reactionary versions. Witness the evolution of “God is my co-pilot.” Cute slogan, but I’ve heard it lambasted in a number of fundy sermons. The proposed solution: “God is my pilot.”

  11. How about “applying the board of education to the seat of learning”

    What a cute way to reference a spanking. Unless, of course, you’re the one on the receiving end.

  12. How can you miss “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”??? Which just means we say we love you while we judge the holy hell out of you.

  13. “God will never ask you to do something that you’re incapable of doing.” Tell that to Lazarus.

  14. “God has cast his vote and Satan has cast his vote. Now it’s up to you to cast the deciding vote.”

  15. Ron along with that goes:

    “God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.”

    So don’t bother with all that book learning and nonsense just get out there and preach!

  16. Wow you guys are reminding me SOOO MUCH of my freshman year APL (KJO Bible Major of course). Was fortunate to not have to live w/ that the other 3 years, (my senior year was kind of close, but not a Bible Major). Sad thing is that freshman “preacherboy” APL still is doing the same stuff on FB & I’m sure in real life. EX: “If you don’t want to fall into temptation – stay away from slippery situations! (Proverbs 6:27-28)”

  17. APL

    That’s Assistant Prayer Leader for those of you who didn’t go to our school.

    The dorm pecking order is Residence Manager -> Residence Assistant -> Floor Leader -> Prayer Leader -> Assistant Prayer Leader

    The APL is charged with being the eyes and ears of the college in his room and making sure everyone keeps in line.

  18. At BJU it was APC, which lent itself nicely to the campus wags–“almost perfect Christian,” with the PC, in charge to three rooms, being a “perfect Christian.” So for us, the hierarchy was

    Dorm Supervisor (“dorm supe” to us grunts)
    Hall Leaders (6, one per hall, two per floor)
    Prayer Captains (over three rooms)
    Assistant Prayer Captains (one per room)

    Playing an ancillary role was the dorm counselor, of whom there were two per dorm by the time I graduated.

    Of course, by the time I graduated BJ had decided to “update” its nomenclature to keep up with state schools (an idea explicitly stated several times, prompting some of us to ask when BJ started trying to emulate state schools), turning dorm supes into “resident supervisors” and hall leaders into “resident assistants.” I steadfastly refused to use the new titles, since I thought it was just a lot of name-change with no alteration to function (remember the episode of “Adventures in Odyssey” when the marketing shyster comes to town and tries to get Whit to change the name of Whit’s End?). It also offended my sense of keeping titles clear–it’s pretty obvious what a hall leader does, but a resident assistant? He assists people in residing?

    Totally off-topic, but I couldn’t resist. I’m working on an org chart for a World War II infantry platoon, so I’ve got structure on the brain.

  19. @Darrell thanks for translating! Forgot not everyone knows how PCC works. Was the funniest thing in the world when my sophomore year the guy who was to be the APL moved out on day 1, they took a week or 2 to make me the APL (probably the worst pick to be APL they’ve ever made). I would read books in APL meetings, or just skip them, and lots of visits to the dean’s offices. Eventually I got campused my jr year and that ended that sweet 2 year run of no legit APL in my room.

  20. “It’s a slippery slope” – to apply to any situation, political or religious, that the fundy has misgivings over.,

  21. “A praying knee and a dancing foot don’t belong on the same leg.”

    “You need to get your heart right.” Hate this one. I can’t get it right, that’s why I need a Savior (or Saviour for the KVO lurkers).

  22. ~Things that are different are not the same. In reference to music or the KJB.

    ~Not our stripe. Applied to Christians (supposedly) who are different (see above) than us.

  23. During an invitation – “If you’re not 100% right with God, then you need to come forward!”

  24. Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.

    It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.

    What you love and what you hate reveal what you are.

    It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.

    Of course, great doctrinal quotes can be found hanging in the “hallowed halls” of BJU. Wonder why there aren’t Bible verses hanging there? 🙂

  25. “I’m in the center of God’s perfect will for my life”

    As opposed to…?

  26. “Avoid all appearance of evil.” I know this is a Bible verse, not a jingle per se, but it did seem to get used a lot to shut down any discourse on things Christians should or should not do. I always used to wonder why Jesus didn’t seem to follow that dictum, seeing He ate with sinners thus “appearing” to be a “winebibber”. (Thankfully this apparant contradition clears up when you study the Greek.)

  27. “Touch Not God’s Anointed!”
    The universal pastoral defense against any and all questioning either doctrinal or personal.

    “If you need to be saved just take the first step God will help you take the rest.”

    “Doctrine? Doctrine divides!”

    “Ive been saved 35years! I’ve been preaching for 34 and a half of those years, I know what I’m talking about.”

    “God can’t answer your prayers when there’s unconrfessed sin in your heart. that is why you need to keep short accounts with God… so you can get ahold of him at a moments notice.”

  28. one liners seem harmless, but they can devastate an entire system (we used to call this ‘ultimate apologetics’ in Bible college):

    To refute Roman Catholicism, simply say: “Peter had a mother-in-law!”

    To refute Calvinism, simply say: “It says whosoever will, amen!”

    To refute a plurality of eldership, and a pastor-less, brethren-like church in one fell swoop, simply say: “Anything with no head is dead; anything with more than one head is a freak!”

    To refute modern version users, well there’s many, but you can simply say: “The Bible doesn’t need to be re-written; it just needs to be re-read!”

    Finally, to refute anything associated with the ministry of John MacArthur, simply say: “He denies the blood.”

    Who needs to waste paper and time to write long-winded polemics when you can just use these one-liners?

  29. “Just two choices on the shelf, pleasing God or pleasing self.”

    “If you’re unhappy, it’s because of unresolved sin in your life.”
    (Darrell covered this in “Blaming the Victim post)

    Multiple uses for the word “testimony”:
    “I don’t do ……… because it would affect my testimony.”
    (The way you live your life)
    “Let me share my testimony with you today”
    (Your salvation story)
    “This building is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of …….”
    (A reminder for a specific deed done by a specific person or group of people)

    The multiple meanings for the word “grace”:
    “The grace of God”
    “Lord, give us grace to accomplish………”
    “The plan of grace for your life is….”

  30. “Anything with no head is dead; anything with more than one head is a freak!”

    I’ve also heard that applied to husband-wife marital roles.

    Another one I’ve heard a lot: “Always ask ‘What is the word “therefore” there for?” (SFL: ending sentences with prepositions.) I don’t have much of a problem with it since it at least nudges fundies toward observing the context of verses.

    Also, endless variations on “Don’t be too open-minded–your brains will fall out.”

    Now that I think of it, my barber back home had a ton of slogans like these taped up on the walls of his shop. Two I remember: “If you were tried for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” and “How will you spend eternity–smoking or non?”

  31. I always loved “There’s no hope in the pope, amen” and the extremely clever “Buddumber” for the beer Budweiser and last but not least “It was Adam and Eve in the garden, not Adam and Steve, Amen.”

  32. “When you find a ‘therefore’, you need to see what it’s ‘there for’.”

    “How would you feel if Jesus came right now and saw you doing (insert something like going to a movie, drinking a beer, etc) ?”

  33. Your walk talks and your talk talks; but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.

  34. “There’s a Greek word for that…it’s BALONEY”

    “As Dr. Bob Sr. used to say…”

    “As you know, the invitation here never ends”

  35. You can be baptized in every lake, river, stream, and creek til the tadpoles know your social security number, but getting baptized won’t save you!

  36. “God is not the author of confusion” is quoted when the topic of Bible versions come up.

    “When the rapture happens I want to be in church!” somehow that makes God extremely happy to find you at church when the rapture happens.

    “Jesus called him John the Baptist, not John the methodist ….” that somehow proves the baptist denomination is the one true denomination.

  37. i didn’t read every comment word-for-word, so forgive me if it’s already been said, but:

    “if you don’t stand fer somethin’, you’ll fall fer anythin'”


    “you can be sincere, and be sincerely wrong.”

    when you hear either of those, you have just been check-mated by a fundy.

    @RJW: “Amen?” is to fundies as “n’est ce pas?” is to french (i took a year of french in 8th grade, so i’m not 100% on the spelling, and i’m far to lazy to google it.)

    @Jordan M. Poss: i left this comment on another post, but i’m gonna say it again, amen?: saying “i’m not religious, i’ve got a relationship with Jesus” is like a baker saying “i don’t believe in the culinary arts, i have a personal relationship with bread”

    @Stephen: don’t let the trail of blood fool you: Baptists are totally Protestants. (no offence, Protestants)

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