72 thoughts on “Rules”

  1. Not goin anywhere for awahile? Grab a Snickers!

    This is one of the main reasons I left Christianity. There were so many rules that I forgot more than I could remember. I felt like I made it on God’s Failblog. That’s no way to live.

  2. @ law: Your post exemplifies the real tragedy in fundamentalism–when the law becomes more important than people. The Pharisees did that, and that is why so many felt isolated by Judaism and, had it been more culturally acceptable at that point in time, probably would have left it as you did Christianity. The difference is, Christians have specifically been called to invite people TO God, not drive them off, whereas Jews of the time only had an obligation to keep the faith among its own people. In that fundies fail worse than the Pharisees.

  3. Don’t forget to include the “Band-Aid” rule from Hyles-Anderson College.

    Rules like this one reveal the perverted mind of the rule-maker!

  4. § 12A. TRANSPORTATION, with umarried mixed groups

    (1) No Fundamentalist man and woman shall, by themselves, travel any distance in a car without a younger sibling as chaperone, unless there be in the same car at the same time an equal number of other riders, having an even distribution of males and females.
    (2) No passengers who are married but not to each other shall, by themselves, travel any distance in a car without a second female (who may or may not be related to the two). The females shall both ride in the back seat and the male shall drive. Under no circumstances shall the male share a row with a female.

    § 12B. TRANSPORTATION, on approved church or school activities

    Notwithstanding the provisions of §12A(1),
    (1) Fundamentalist minors may be transported in an official capacity by the youth pastor or a duly appointed representative of the church or Christian School in a 12- or 15-passenger van or school bus.
    (a) During daylight hours, minors may be seated wherever they desire, subject to the unwritten and frankly bizarre dictates of adolescent Christianity.
    (b) During evening hours (defined as “immediately following the dinner stop) minor males and females may not share a bench in a van or a row in a bus. If the Christian School has been blessed by God enough to have more than one school bus, it is preferable to separate the males and females into two different busses for the duration of the evening hours.
    (2) Fundamentalist minors may also be transported in a personal vehicle by the youth pastor or a duly appointed representative of the church or Christian School. If the passenger is a solitary minor female, all restrictions of §12A shall apply.

    §12C. TRANSPORTATION, exemptions from above.

    (1) If the driver is a female and old enough to be the mother of the male passenger, the male passenger may ride with the female driver, but only if traveling to or from an official church location or function.

    (2) The Church is hereby authorized to disregard any local, state, or federal statute relating to the licensing required for and the use of 15-passenger vans. We must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).

  5. #8 All God’s people shall say “amen.”
    This is never an inappropriate response.

    Except maybe that time the pastor was talking about how his wife dealt with some she-wolves in the church…”They said my wife needed to mind her own business….” the mumbled chorus of amens was audible enough to cause a pregnant pause in the sermon illustration.

  6. From the IFB Christian school handbook where my kids used to attend:

    A) A student driver must also have written permission from his/her parents to transport student passengers. Members of the opposite sex are not permitted to ride to and from school or sports activities following school without written approval from the administration unless they are members of the same family.

    B) While a student vehicle is on school property, the principal or his designee has the right to search the vehicle, if necessary, without obtaining permission of the student or the owner of the vehicle.

    C) The ultimate goal of XXXX is to evangelize the sinner, educate the student, and equip them for service.

    D) Students are expected to maintain a testimony of excellent moral character. The ultimate Christian testimony cannot be obtained without the empowering of the Holy Spirit. A person’s testimony is defined as, the opinion of one’s character by their friends and acquaintances.

    E) Students are expected to be in the house of the Lord each time their church has services.

    F) Students are under the authority of the teacher or other designated personnel. They are expected to abide by the rules discussed and set up by **** and be in compliance with them during and after school hours.

    G) • Students are not permitted to attend dances/proms. Consent forms will NOT be signed by the Administration for these events.

    H) Music: Worldly music is unacceptable on our campus. It should not be listened to, performed, quoted or promoted by any student.

    I) Internet Chat Sites: Students are not allowed to have a profile on any Internet chat site the school deems inappropriate. Sites such as MySpace are particularly intolerable. Violators of this policy are subject to severe disciplinary action.

    J)No clothes or jewelry resembling the “rock culture: are allowed. Also, no “worldly “prints on garments such as “Hannah Montana”, “Jonas Brothers”, or “High School Musical” should be worn. This includes book bags, lunch boxes, etc. Questionable prints will be ruled on by the administration

    K) Girls: Modest dresses, skirts and blouses are required. Dresses and skirts should completely cover the knees when standing. “A” shaped splits are not to open higher than the top of the knee and must be sewn to the proper length, not pinned or buttoned.
    • Dresses, skirts, shirts, sweaters, tops, etc. must not be tight fitting or see through. Tops made from a stretch knit material are not to be worn as an outer garment.
    • For girls in grades 4-12, tops may not have any kind of writing on them. No design should bring attention to a young lady’s anatomy.
    • Tops, sweaters and dresses must be modestly cut with no low fronts (2 ½ inches from the neck bone, avoiding any exposed cleavage) or backs, or having oversized arm openings.
    • No slacks or jeans are to be worn on campus at any time. Girls are not allowed to change into pants before leaving the school building.
    • On chapel days, attire should be considered nice “Sunday Church” type clothing including footwear. Tee shirts or denim skirts {even partial denim} or jumpers are not to be worn. Tennis shoes, flip flops, Sperry top-siders, or clogs (Birkenstock type) are not to be worn on chapel day.
    • Only two earrings per ear are allowed, and they must be in the lower lobe.

    L) Boys: • All shirt tails must be worn inside the pants at all times. Sweaters worn over dress shirts may be worn outside the pant, but must be no more than 6 inches below the waist line.
    • Hair should be neatly thinned and trimmed off the ears and collars. Hair should be at least one finger width above the eyebrow. The sides of the hair should be evenly tapered with no lines or designs cut into the hair. Partially shaved-styles are not permitted.
    • Hair may not be colored or dyed in an unnatural color, including bleaching or streaking.
    • Sideburns must not be lower than the bottom of the ear opening.
    • Young men must be clean shaven.
    • Young men are not permitted to wear earrings or plugs for pierced ears on or off campus. In addition, no bracelets or necklaces are to be worn at school or at any school function or activity.
    Modest dress for young men is required. Jeans and other pants cannot be oversized, sagging (low-crotch), baggy, wide legged, faded, worn, or sloppy or torn or cut at the bottom. All pants must fit securely at the waist, no more than one inch larger than your waist size. They are not to drag the ground or be un-hemmed. Undergarments should not be visible at any

    Rules are not necessarly bad until they become intrusive into home life and attempt to trump parental authority. If the parent allows something in order to teach their child responsibility then neither the church nor the school should be meddling there. But that is the IFB MO, they decide what is allowed and appropriate… which is one of the main reasons my family is no longer in the IFB movement.

    Sorry so lengthy with this one.

  7. Amanda and my dear brother in Gid,

    In cold weather the college ladies had to be careful not to be caught with….

    There is no way to say this delicately…

    Not to be caught with their headlights on…if you know what I mean….

    So it was suggested they wear Band-Aids under their bras to hide the affects of cold winter weather on that particular part of their body.

    (This says a lot about the rule-maker, IMHO.)

  8. Just a suggestion. Since you’re always talking about the quality of the comments on this site, you should make a category of allstar comments for your posts.

  9. @UsedToBeFundy: Was that in the official rulebook or something that was “suggested” in those wonderful dress code meetings that seem to be ubiquitous at IFB schools? Either way…blech. I agree; that DOES say A LOT about the rule-maker’s mind, and what it says is definitely not good. Yuck.

  10. ZOMG on the band-aid rule! When you said band aid rule I didn’t see that coming. I still suspect that kind of manipulating women like rape is more about power than sex. They sure are obsessed w/ power over students/people at IFB colleges in most other areas of life as well.

    @Don Just WOW. What a bunch of lunatics. How do they have the audacity to tell families that their kids have to obey the idiotic school rules away from school! Epic FAIL! Glad to hear your kids are EX students! 🙂

  11. “I) Internet Chat Sites: Students are not allowed to have a profile on any Internet chat site the school deems inappropriate. Sites such as MySpace are particularly intolerable. Violators of this policy are subject to severe disciplinary action.”

    Oh that just gets me. First Chat sites went out in the 90’s and myspace is no chat site, but I think it is really funny how it is “particularly intolerable.” I’m guessing that language is purposeful. “No there isn’t anything wrong with it, but as an old fogie I just can’t stand it.”

    Then FaceBook came along and suddenly it wasn’t so bad anymore (hey if a bunch of Ivy League students are on this site it can’t be that bad right?).

  12. @Don

    Also the constant reference to “worldly” both in music, but later in dress. That one kills me. When I was growing up they used to harp on “don’t be a stumbling block.” Which they meant don’t offend someone and by offending someone I mean even the hypothetical person I make up who gets offended by anything I don’t like. But that one is easy to pick apart and ignore. But I hear the “worldly” bit *a lot* and it is a little harder for people to ignore. After the Bible clearly says don’t be a friend to the world. The problem is that the world or “worldly” as they put it becomes anything they don’t like that happens to be current and relevant. “Hanna Montana might be cool so obviously that is worldly.” Or Pastor says, “I’m uncomfortable around kids with myspace profiles and cargo pants, that is ‘worldly’ and therefore wrong.”

    On the surface there obviously is a command in scripture, but in practice it becomes the “catch all” for things they don’t like or otherwise have no biblical backing to condemn. But thanks for sharing brings back horrible memories from both my High School and BJU.

  13. One of the things that tipped us over the edge as well was we were paying out the wazoo to send our kids to school there. I was paying for an education and it really struck me wrong when I finally opened my eyes and saw what was going on. In 9th grade which was Algebra I they only got half way through the book and the material because 1/3 of the time they were getting a sermon…. not math… a sermon. (the teacher was a H/A grad, preacher … who eventually gave up his church to take the president position in the “Basement Diploma mill” that the church recently started… but I digress.) I was paying for an education but they were Preaching in class……
    So when I read this tid-bit in the handbook (“The ultimate goal of XXXX is to evangelize the sinner, educate the student, and equip them for service.”) I knew I could no longer support sending my children there. I wanted my children to be prepared for college… a REAL college and not one of the “approved” cult bunkers they want everyone to go to. GRRRRRRR
    (deep breath….. exhale slowly……) *sigh*

  14. article 1 – separation
    you are not to associate with non-believers of any kind, especially those who are subjects of an association, convention, or pope. for there is only one infallible leader, & only one to whom you are accountable: the pastor.

    you may, however, engage the heretics in debate, provided caps-lock is used.

  15. men shall not touch women, unless the woman’s party hats are visible through her ski jacket, in which case she is to blame for anything that the man may do to her.

  16. @ Don, The long arm of the fundy school basically runs the home as well.

    I am so glad we got our kids out of the church school years ago. The fur hit the fan for us when I was scolded by the principal for picking up my kids while I was wearing pants. I was told to refrain from getting out of my car when picking up our boys in the future so I would not be a stumbling block to the other families.
    That was the last day of church school for our kids and we are better for it.

  17. re: The band-aid rule – My sister attended a fundy college where they said “headlights” weren’t permitted, but their solution wasn’t band-aids, it was to tell the girls that they all needed to go out and buy padded bras. This was told to them after they arrived – no way to stock up beforehand.

    Then they told them that if their shirt buttons gapped, they had to go out and buy a bigger size of shirt. (And when you switch from plain to padded, yes, your buttons will gap.)

    Because college students have so much extra money lying around to completely refurbish their wardrobe? At least it was less physically painful than telling them to put band-aids…there.

  18. I know I was raised in a very conservative, sheltered, polite New England home, but NEVER did I hear anyone reference a particular woman’s body part which may or may not become more visible in certain weather conditions until I arrived at BJU and heard a friend who’d been reprimanded by a staff member for said body parts being “entirely too erect.” Yes, that’s what she was told. I’d always assumed that in polite society one ignores such things which may happen from time to time. I find it vulgar that colleges find it necessary to notice and comment upon it.

  19. @Camille: Wow. Didn’t Jesus have a lot to say about worrying too much about what others think? It seems he placed the priority on doing good things to and for others, not on worrying how that good deed may be subjectively perceived by a third party. I always knew Minnick was a nut. A ponderous, slow-talking nut.

  20. Once an evangelist was going to speak at a camp associated with my father-in-law’s church, and he sent his own list of rules for any church he would be speaking at and any household he would be staying with. I don’t remember most of them (probably typical fundy rules), but the one we thought was really weird was that he would not stay in any house where there lived a female between the ages of about 10 to 60 (I don’t remember the exact ages but, it was child to more mature). He was single at the time and probably in his 30s. And he was speaking at teen camp!?!?

    In preaching to the teens, he never mentioned the gospel just a bunch of rules. He even preached against sarcasm, and then when no one raised their hand to get right with God (you could tell he was annoyed), he started his closing prayer by saying, “Thank you God for placing me here amongst these perfect teens….”

    I could go on and on about this guy–very creepy!

  21. Actually, he quotes one of his teachers (and appears to agree) as saying that the minister should have the young woman sit in his car, and he should stand out in the rain (page 2 of the article, page 14 according to the footer, the first column, towards the bottom).

    However, some of what he asserts in the beginning is pretty goofy, and reveals just how these men scrutinize each woman that they see, but I don’t see where he says to leave her there and drive on.

  22. Concerning websites, the first rule would be, “Stuff Fundies Like is strictly prohibited!” 🙂

    @Camille, I think Jerry Falwell said in an interview once the same thing about that situation.

  23. I attended a fundy college, and my father didn’t appreciate the way they usurped the authority of families and churches. One of the reasons I never graduated involved all the rules regarding the secretarial internship I was required to do. I was going to work for my dad (missionary overseas). But the college dictated the hours I was supposed to work (8-5), and what I was supposed to wear (dress clothes–jean skirts weren’t even allowed), etc., etc., etc… And it just won’t work in that context.

  24. I teach at an IFB school, not because I think they are entirely right, but because this is where I know the Lord wants me to be. Needless to say, I find more in common with the posts here that I do in the school and church. There is so much I’d like to say….but I’m pretty sure I’m being watched/monitored. I think they even keep track of this site to see if anyone has posted anything from their personal computer. Needless to say, I have not posted my real name.

    Anyway, a few “rules”:

    1. Single female missionaries cannot work with married male missionaries regardless of age difference. This rule does not apply retrospectively to males.

    2. The KJV shall be the only Bible used. This includes foreign-language Bibles, since a translation of these Bibles into English will result in something like the NLT or the NKJV.

    3. Any burden of the pastor shall immediately be the burden of every single member of the church.

    4. The choir shall be limited to the same six special numbers.

    5. The congregation shall be limited to the same 20 songs in a hymnbook of over 250 songs.

    6. We shall grant a suspension of our own beliefs by advocating amillennialism by singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and embracing the Greek view of cyclical history with “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” as these songs are old, and therefore, good; although not so old as to be Catholic.

    7. Women may not wear pants, no matter the weather or work, but men can wear whatever they please.

  25. The first time I heard the bandaid thing was at BJU … by a freshman girl talking about what her and her friends did for their prom at their public high school because some of them went strapless and braless. They wanted to cover it up.

    So, whatever else we might say about it, it’s not a fundamentalist thing.

    Interesting though the responses here about it. I would think that is one of those “goes without saying” type of things. Picture of celebs with headlights often make the tabloid websites … I think it generally is prohibited or at least discouraged on network TV isn’t it?

    Do people here really not see any problem at all with it? Or is this just one of those “pick on it because it’s fundamentalist” things?

  26. Bass said:

    Actually, he quotes one of his teachers (and appears to agree) as saying that the minister should have the young woman sit in his car, and he should stand out in the rain (page 2 of the article, page 14 according to the footer, the first column, towards the bottom).

    However, some of what he asserts in the beginning is pretty goofy, and reveals just how these men scrutinize each woman that they see, but I don’t see where he says to leave her there and drive on.

    You’re right. I misremembered. I think the way he fetishizes all women as evil and dirty is creepy though. ::shudder::

    And this *is* a problem in this town. It is. My elderly parents were sitting on the curb with a broken down car — yes, the curb — waiting for my brother to come and get them. The next Sunday an able-bodied man (faculty member at BJU) at (BOJO) church came up to them laughing, “HAHAHAHA — I saw you sitting on the curb this week. It was so funny. . . . ::snort snort::” Mom and Dad just sat there agape. Like “We could have used some help!”

    So yeah, there’s a problem. With this. But you’ve seen that just recently on your blog too. . . .


    A ponderous, slow-talking nut.

    🙂 LOL!


    I think Jerry Falwell said in an interview once the same thing about that situation.

    He prolly did. This from 9Marks is no different:


    I want to say, “Dudes. I’m not some siren that’s going to jump you as soon as I get you alone. You’re not that great.” It’s one thing to have Billy Graham’s general policy of always having another person there when you’re talking with a woman. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to create and perpetuate this . . . danger.

    I’m just sick of it.

  27. The wearing of baseball caps: Men and boys who chose to wear baseball caps must always ensure that the bill is facing forward at all times, including during a windstorm, while riding a motorcycle, while playing catcher or umpiring and during “rally cap” time at a baseball game.

  28. @Gene E. Us

    I (not speaking for everyone here) am not against using band-aids. I use them from time to time.

    What I am against is some random stranger telling me what I should or shouldn’t do because of a natural response to my body. That’s akin to telling me which brand of stuff I should use for my cycle and then saying I’m not saved when I use X instead of Y.

    This and the whole “let’s blame women for the way men act” thing is what bothers me.

  29. @Don–your kids’ ex-“school” sounds like the “Christian school” where I had to serve 3 years because my parents kept moving us around every time Dad had an issue with the preacher. The teachers ignored bullying (even though it was happening in the classrooms, with the teacher present). The only thing I learned in Biology was envelope stuffing for the “teacher’s” basement correspondence Bible college. The teachers were unable/unwilling to control a classroom. But they had a rule book. And Friday chapel (which was a joke…the “preachers” came from local Bible colleges, unprepared, attempting to recycle the sermon they’d heard the night before).

  30. A good-sized IFB school near me has as a rule that no student/staff may attend the movies. Last year a staff member with family connections to the administration took his kids to the IMAX because in fundy world, usually IMAX movies are permissible (it not being a real “theater” but often found in museums). However, this one IS in a movieplex and the movie he went to see was Star Trek! So while consciencious parents with kids enrolled in the school avoided watching “Up” in 3D because they didn’t want to break the rules, this staff guy went and watched what he wanted to.

    I just wish all these holier-than-thou types who keep a facade of IFB acceptability would be HONEST, go to the administration, and help get outmoded, outdated and extrabiblical rules CHANGED. Instead they sneak and find ways around the rules, like the Pharisees, while putting burdensome rules on their followers.

  31. Appearance is infinitely more important than substance. The movie issue is a perfect example. Hypocricy is the norm. You know why the purveyors of power can do it and get awaywith it??? because they know the sheeple won’t be there to see them to start with, and if they do run into someone it becomes a mutual I won’t tell on you if you don’t tell on me….
    Yeah, makes people want to be just like ’em hungh?

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