There are countless rules and notions in fundamentalism that may not warrant an entire post here but are worth keeping track of just the same. To that end I’ve begun work on the Fundamentalist Rulebook project. It is a fool’s errand.
Expect to see a few of these appearing via twitter over the next few weeks.
72 thoughts on “Rules”
That’s one reason why I’m stepping out of the IFB orbit. It’s so clear to me: if I want to be like Christ, hypcrisy is NOT acceptable. I am to be genuine not duplicitous. How can these people be reading the same Bible I am?
I went to a nutty freakazoid IFB church for a few years. It took two years to become a member because the Pastor had to decide if you were worthy or not. Before we did become members, he also had to “meet” with us and give us the rule book which was over six pages long. How I wish I had kept that instead of shredding it! ;-D Anyway, one of the many NUTTY rules was that we had to sign in on a board for all services. We had to use a regular pencil if we were on time and a red pencil if we were “late” or sick and indicate what time we actually arrived. Of course, “late” meant that we failed to arrive at least FIFTEEN minutes before the service started and less than THIRTY minutes before Sunday School. He also instructed church members how they could dress which for ladies included what type of shoe they could wear. Another ridiculous rule was the one that if you did not attend EVERY service (SS, Sun Morn., Sun Eve., Wed, AND Thurs visitation) you could not participate in any ministry of the church and that included working in the nursery OR cleaning the church!!!
@Camille: I saw that Minnick thing a while back. If my memory serves me correctly it was promoted on one of those “young, restless, Reformed” blogs (further proof of a fundy bent in the movement, but I digress). I am SICK of the whole mentality that women are evil temptresses just waiting to pounce, or of the corollary that men are sick pervs who are unable to exercise the fruit of the spirit. I’m also pretty sure that Luke 10:30-37 has something to say about refusing to help someone in order to avoid the “appearance of evil” or some other such crap.
The rule against going to the movies was the #1 most broken rule when I was in college. Those who *didn’t* break that rule went during breaks when they could argue there were not under the school’s rules (not entirely sure that was accurate, but that’s how the reasoning went). There was the general (well-founded) feeling that we were completely helpless to do anything to change those archaic rules. I just have a hard time seeing a student choosing to go to the movies as a hypocrite, unless, of course, that person is turning other people in for that very thing. If anything itâ€™s an example of learned helplessness. In fundamentalism changing a rule was a Herculean effort, since there was always the very real possibility that a big donor would withdraw his financial support if the school went all “liberal” and moved into the 1970s.
@ Amanda, I do see the situation differently for college students! I don’t think they’re hypocrites for doing their best with the situation they’re in. I too considered my summer as “free time” in a sense (for example, I didn’t wear only skirts all summer long). I didn’t however go see a movie until three days before my wedding at age 23! This was not to honor the school but to obey my parents in whose house I was still living.
In the local Christian school, though, I think like-minded parents could make a difference. If so many are sneaking around, including staff members and people related to the pastor himself, you’d think they could try to influence the school to change the rule (especially since nearly everyone on staff watches those exact same movies once they come out on video – as if one’s own small television screen somehow sanctifies content that would have been evil on a big screen in a movie theater!)
I read your comment and had a thought.
Many ex-ifb’s seem to go towards Calvinism. That’s just a statement without judgment.
But many of the new calvinists seem to adore men like Paul Washer and Tim Conway, and after listening to some of their sermons, especially the latter, it seems like they are no different to fundies – constantly preaching that God hates everyone (not so much Washer,but definitely Conway). I don’t get the attraction…
Both Lordship Salvation and Fundieism have the same emphasis on works to me.
exibf, I notice the same thing, in fact one blog I comment on, someone was wondering why I wasn’t going the reformed direction (don’t want to start that debate here) I find it ironic that after having been told by fundy preachers that we must do this and that to be “good” christians that ex-fundies would embrace any theology that has at its core a man’s name (Calvin in this case) No offense my calvinists brethern, but so many of you hold up John Piper as very near to the 2nd coming of Christ himself. It’s kinda like the way some evangelicals hold on to Rick Warren. I am personally leery of any men that get this kind of power and popularity. Btw I have read some of Piper’s books, as well as Rick Warren’s and they both have some very good teaching, but I in no way think they are deserving of the high pedestals that folks put them on.
Re: the band-aid thing, et. al.,
I’ve been wondering if Titus 1:15-16 would apply here (“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure…”). Of course, I could be taking it out of context, which I would blame on all of that IFB influence on my life. With that said, the context fits, but I’m not sure this verse is really saying what I think it is…
My rules: Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with my God.
My standard: God is God. Christ is King. And I am neither.
I think I’ll get that tattooed somewhere on my body 😀
I would completely agree! And I’m a Presbyterian. . . .
Back in the 80’s when I went to BJ, they didn’t allow guys to watch girls play sports. I was hardcore fundy then but still thought that was stupid. My Christian school let us watch girls sports. Do fundy schools still do this?
re: movies: A certain IFB relative is forbidden by her pastor to attend movies, since she’s a SS teacher at their church and must avoid the appearance of evil – yet I’ve definitely seen some shows recorded on her DVR at home that are rated R (or more *cough*).l That appearance of evil thing is weird – be a legalist to the world and follow irrational, pointless rules… but do what you want at home. I don’t get it.
@ pastor’s wife… do I know you…??? Do you also post on a board sometimes referred to as SC? If I’m off base, never mind. 🙂
from what i know, HAC doesn’t even let girls play sport.
If there’s a Band-Aid rule for girls, shouldn’t there be a Pelvic Straightjacket rule for us guys? C’mon, fundies, fair is fair. 😉
Actually for the guys who would be affected by the lack of band-aids on the on the “party-hats in the ski-jackets”…. a band-aid would probably amply suffice as well. That or duct tape.
@Don I think I’d feel safer if we had a new round of eunuch-ization. @gkend amusing, but IFB’s whole heartedly openly admit they used & endorse using double standards. Pretty sure NOT using a double standard is compromising.
What I find most hypocritical about the movie rules in many fundy churches is that it’s “sin” to go to the movies, but if you wait until it comes out on DVD (Blockbuster, Netflix, RedBox, whatever), then it’s perfectly “fine” to visit those establishments…what’s the difference?!?
And about missionaries, why can missionaries have what many in fundieism would call “CCM” or “Bridge Music” as background music for their presentations, but won’t allow those same songs to be sung in a church service?
In an odd Band-Aid-related coincidence, this just appeared on Fail Blog: http://failblog.org/2010/07/20/epic-fail-photos-company-name-fail-2-2/
Here’s the address of that company, if anybody wants to call them for AC service:
Bridge Works, Iver Lane, Cowley
I agree with your observations. As a Reformed evangelical ex-IFB, I discover that some internet Calvinist folks are just like IFBs… With the exception of Calvinism, some CCM, as well as KJVOism, they are no different from the fundies in ethos.
And the worst is that while most IFBs (being the sinner’s prayer anti-Lordship type) aren’t so overt in openly questioning the salvation of those not as separated as them, many Lordship salvationists don’t have that much patience and some are quick to brand/judge a professing believer who doesn’t agree with them – that they’re most probably a lost worldling or heretic.
Darrell, you’ve been very prolific of late. But I find myself restless and uneasy: You haven’t added any more rules in a while! Rules rules we need more rules!
When I was at a certain Fundy U the guys were not allowed to wear their braided leather belts a certain way because it supposedly could be taken to represent the length of something else…