111 thoughts on “Being Rapture Ready”

  1. @Pastor’s Wife. Actually for myself, the fundy church that I basically grew up in was kinda…weird. It had all the fun little perks of fundyland, yet contained a good handful of the evangelicalism subculture excitement thrown in for good measure. So imagine this. Rapture-hatch meets William Wallace. I really have no idea how those two are even related. But my point is, we had both sides. Which means I appreciate SCL about as much as I do SFL. But I do prefer SFL more, because that’s what I was hit with hardest.
    Ok. I don’t know my point in that. Just felt like sharing to the masses! 🙂

  2. Some of you are mentioning SCL and I just thought I’d mention my other favorite blog, Stuff Christian Culture Likes (www.stuffchristianculturelikes.com). I enjoy reading both SFL and SCCL daily.

  3. I had to come back here a second time just to hear myself laugh out loud at the exchange between dave and Darryl. Of course dave won’t be back. He’s scared to death. You outed him as being from BJU campus, and if he gets found out, he’s toast–literally and figuratively. It’s sad really. But it’s funny too, and I’m enjoying laughing out loud. Haven’t done a whole lot of that since I was abused by BJU people.

    On a much happier note, mypastor preached a sermon today about what Jesus meant to him. I’m serious–a sermon about Jesus! Of course it’s not a fundie church. But it made me remember that in all the years that I listened to the Joneses preach (and it was many years) I never, ever remember hearing them give a personal testimony about their relationship with God or any word about how Jesus helped them. I never heard them talk about their salvation experience. Nothing. But I heard plenty about what made them mad and how bad the government was and how evil the world in general is and how wicked Billy Graham was. So glad I’m out. Please keep publishing this blog. It is so therapeutic.

  4. @ Darrell – I highly approve of your use of satire to out problems in fundyland. I think it might be worthwhile for Dave to note that Jesus, from time to time, used satire and even (gasp) sarcasm when dealing with the hypocritical Pharisees. He also did not always offer constructive criticism, sometimes he just told them off.

  5. @Darrell: should have been “mockery for mockery’s ‘sake’.” My bad on the typo (but I’m kinda surprised you didn’t figure it out). Contrary to your post, I am in fact very interested to see where you make suggestions and try to be helpful. You’re savvy enough to find out where I’m typing from, I’m sure you can get my email, maybe even my password 😉 (the week of blogs that commend the benefits of Fundyland doesn’t count, since that’s pointing out the good that’s already there, not suggesting improvements)

    @mounty: You’re right, “heretical” is too strong for a drawing that intends only humor. You suggest “sacrilegious” instead; are you disagreeing with @Darrell that it’s “not serious,” but simply “goofy”? The definitions of “goofy” and “sacrilegious” are on different ends of the spectrum, even at http://www.m-w.com

    @Amazed by Grace: Here I am again, and I’m not “scared” at all. Guess you were wrong on both accounts. In fact, you don’t know anything about me, except that I typed my original post at a BJU computer. Am I a sibling of a grad student? The nephew of a history professor? An undergrad student? I hope people don’t draw hasty conclusions about you like you have me…

    @Dan Keller: I agree, Fundyland needs some serious reform. This blog makes that much obvious. But don’t all organizations? Does SFL need to improve on some things? Don’t I, and you, need to make improvements as individuals? “The grass is always greener on the other side; until you get over there and start trompin’ around, then you realize why it’s so green.” 🙂 Some of Fundamentalism is beyond reach, but I do believe that segments of Fundamentalism are worth trying to save.

    By the way, @Keller, Jesus confronted the Pharisees; He didn’t have a good laugh at them with His disciples. He cared for their souls, as we should care about people lost in rulebooks and systems, no?

    @BASSENCO: I appreciate your response towards my original comment. Your peers seem intent on educating me through ridicule and scorn (i.e., I need a humor lobotomy; thanks for that, @Loren and @cordover). Thank you for being gracious and trying to see it from my angle. You were right, though, I’m young and serious about being Christlike, but often my immaturity gets in the way…

    @Darrell: I do apologize for bashing your site as a whole. I obviously wouldn’t subscribe to your RSS feed if I didn’t feel it was at least somewhat helpful (and funny) to me. I was attempting to understand the point of this post in particular, which I think crossed the line, and I was in turn too harsh. Again, my bad.

    The main point of my original post, though, still wobbles on in my mind, even if I communicated it horribly at first: pre-trib/pre-mil theology has its shortcomings (as do postmil and amil). But I doubt your eschatology offers an interpretation of end times that all thinking Christians can agree on. Offering scorn/satire without a solution; I don’t see how that helps.

  6. I’ll give my 2 cents worth here if I may.

    Offering scorn/satire without a solution; I don’t see how that helps.

    That presupposes we are looking to help Fundyland to improve, or we care if fundyland improves or finds a solution. Actually, in my case I am praying that fundyland implodes and dies a very public and very loud death so that every fundy church, so-called school, and so-called university will cease to exist. That would be the greatest solution to the fundy problem in the world. Sadly as long as there is power to be held, positions to be had and people who are programmed to let the pastor think for them, and a general lack of critical thinking/check your brain at the door and get in line for the kool-aid the fundy cult will continue on.

    Fundamentalism has, and I believe it can be demonstrably proven, done more harm to the cause of Christ in the past 50 years(at least) than it has good. The rules, the works sanctification, the easy believeism, the decisional regeneration, the hit and run evangelism the empire building and the numbers game have left a lot of carnage and ruined lives in its wake.

    Case in point: The little rapture hatch drawing above… I think it’s funny. But I saw a church split because the pastor used the pre-mil/pre-trib Darby doctrine as a billy-club to beat that doctrine into the congregation and solidify his power in the church when a teaching elder dared to offer there was anything other than Darby’s pre-trib doctrine. It was ugly!

    Now, contrary to fundy belief and practice, eschatology is not an essential doctrine (with the exception that Jesus will bodily return to earth one day). I will not separate from anyone over this non-essential.

    But I will stand by my position: I believe the greatest thing that could happen for the cause of Christ and would usher in another great awakening (especially here in the south) is for IFB style fundamentalism to die and come crashing down under the weight of its own sanctimony. That’s my solution.

  7. @dave, I am aware of the high priority Christ places on treating young people, the vulnerable, the inexperienced, with grace. So I do want to see you treated more kindly.

    When I was a student at BJU, I was very idealistic, and my life before BJU was so miserable that for years BJU was, to me, a haven and a refuge. But over time I saw the doctrinal problems of Christian Fundamentalism. Then I began to see the corruption. Then I started documenting the corruption, because it is policy in Fundamentalism to protect Fundamentalism at the expense of the innocent.

    But other people come at this from a totally different perspective: Fundamentalism used them, exploited them, and even abused them. My life did get put back together at BJU, because I got connected to truly dedicated faculty members who truly helped me with no thought of themselves. And even as a young person, I actually did have enough savvy to ignores a lot of the crap. It hardly registered with me.

    But many people had their lives shot to bits by Fundamentalism. I deal with young adults who, as kids, were molested by the preacher, and the parents sided with the preacher, as did the entire church. Have you EVER heard an IFB preacher preach a sermon on expelling grossly sinful preachers? EVER? I never have. For several years, I offered to stop my documentation if any of the men who were so angry with me could produce just ONE sermon against grossly sinful preachers or against wife/child beating. Nobody ever could.

    The people who write here have a point to their grievances and their humor. They really do.

    I would like them to treat a young person with more gentleness. I don’t want us to be like the Fundamentalists. But I think you might also do better to listen more and write less. There are some people here who have been through a lot of grief at the hands of Fundamentalism.

  8. @dave I don’t believe fundamentalism is something that can be adjusted or repaired, needs to be abandoned, whether Islamic, Christian/Baptist, or other. Fundamentalism always ends up run by control freaks & power hungry people who ruin any possible good outcome. The only true fix/adjustment is to abandon it, IMO. Doesn’t mean there aren’t good people in fundyland, it does mean they need to find better places of worship/employment/social interaction/etc.

  9. “One day a Christian fisherman is out to sea. A terrible storm blows up, and our friend is washed overboard. On his descent, he is eaten by a large tuna. Our tuna is later caught, processed, and sold as Charlie the Tuna. What will become of our fisherman in the resurrection?”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just laughed out loud at my desk. That was soooo funny!

    I do feel bad for @dave. I do know where he is coming from. I was him when I was 19 and 20. I was him before Fundamentalism gave me a huge slap across the face and I woke up.

  10. @RobM said “Fundamentalism always ends up run by control freaks”

    I believe it was created by control freaks, for control freaks, for the perpetuation of control, power, and money.

  11. @BASSENCO: you tell me to “listen more and write less.” I’ve had Fundies try to squelch me like that.

    @Don: you suggest that everything you disagree with in a particular movement, and anything associated it, should be incinerated. I’ve heard Fundies say that.

    Is it possible, in trying to avoid something, you end up mirroring it?

  12. My dad led music at a KJVO church; then he left my mom for another woman. My pastor preached wonderful expository sermons; then came out of the closet having visited male prostitutes for about 10 years. My dorm supervisor almost kicked me off a serving opportunity because I wasn’t “spiritual enough” and he didn’t like my “leadership style” in prayer group.

    My point in telling you some of my history? You aren’t the only ones that have been persecuted. I do have a point of empathy; I can relate.

    But Jesus teaches that if I’m not willing to forgive, there’s a good chance I’m not forgiven (Matt 6:15). The distinctively Christian response to those who persecute me is not to hate on them, but to love, bless, and pray for them (Matt 5:44).

    I hope we all have enough Christ in us to forgive others, as Christ was willing to forgive even the ones who murdered Him.

  13. And yes, @BASSENCO, I have heard sermons (from IFB preachers) about exercising church discipline on sinful pastors. I can dig up several if you’d like. Just let me know.

    Perhaps we’re running in difference circles. What I’m referring to as “Fundamentalism” may not be what you mean by it. There’s a big difference between culturally redneck Fundy and a theologically orthodox Fundamentalist… If the only thing getting in the way here is semantics/jargon, we may agree on much more than this comments string has reflected…

  14. @ dave, I am so sorry for the hurt done to you by those who carried the name of Christ. You’re absolutely right that Christians must forgive! At the same time, Christians are called to point out false teachers and rebuke them. God absolutely does require us to forgive. He also requires us to defend the truth and to protect the weak and innocent and hurting.

    With all my heart, I feel that it is false teaching when every other sermon a pastor preaches is on KJV-only or the sinfulness of CCM and little on Jesus Himself. I honestly can say after being born in an IFB, KJV-only church, going to Christian schools, graduating from Christian college, and teaching in Christian schools, that I’ve heard WAY more messages on man-made traditions and preferences than on the beauty of the Gospel of Christ.

    Personally, I agree with the Bob Jones creed; I consider those the essentials of the Christian faith. Those are beliefs I would rather die than deny. However, I am weary of the standards that denounce other Christians over issues that are NOT part of the creed. Someone can be a faithful follower of Christ and wear jeans, read the ESV, read a Mark Driscoll book, listen to Casting Crowns, raise hands in worship, drink wine (in moderation of course), and lots of other things that fundamentalists tend to consider when choosing to separate from other believers. I DO believe in separation, but I will separate on the FUNDAMENTALS not on cultural issues like music preferences.

    It is heart-breaking to see churches where people are so concerned with outward appearances (am I reading the right Bible version? am I avoiding all CCM? etc.) while there is full-on sin being overlooked: adultery, fornication, child abuse.

    I praise the Lord that He has preserved your heart for Him in the face of discouraging circumstances.

  15. Sermons on grossly sinning pastors or against wife beating: Yes @dave, dig one up. It would be a first. I look forward to hearing/reading it.

    QUOTE: “There’s a big difference between culturally redneck Fundy and a theologically orthodox Fundamentalist… ”

    No dave, it’s all Fundamentalism. You’re falling for the myth. Fundamentalists often insist that “so and so” is not REALLY a Fundamentalist, but actually, since none of them purify Fundamentalism or hold it up to a doctrinal or ethical standard that they enforce, Jack Schaap is just as much a Christian Fundamentalist as Bob Jones, as Jerry Falwell, as the child molester Bob Gray of Jacksonville FL, as Dave Hyles, as the dishonest Les Heinze, the ruthless Chuck Phelps, the gay Daniel Brock. All are Fundamentalists because all have completely free access to the name, attend Fundy churches, and have never ever been rebuked within Fundamentalism or held accountable. They are all Fundamentalists. The mvoement itself is entirely corrupt precisley because it will not purge itself of such gross corruption and scriptural ignorance.

  16. BTW, Yes I agree, we all need to forgive, and we all need to be forgiven. Try to forgive the people who find forgiveness difficult. But sure, it’s okay to point out the realities of needing to both give and receive forgiveness. That is very real, certainly.

  17. @ Bassenco, I always thought I was in “mainstream fundamentalism” not crazy fringe fundamentalism, but I will admit that I don’t remember ANY messages against Ruckman, Bob Gray, Hyles, Daniel Brock, the Westborough Baptist Church, or really ANY other fundamentalist. I heard lots of preaching against Billy Graham, Steve Green, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson. I guess pastors were always willing to speak out against anyone who might be considered an evangelical, but no one named names if someone was a fundamentalist. They might ignore them or distance themselves or not get involved in their conferences, but by not naming them and identifying where they had gone astray from God’s Word, they left the sheep unprotected.

  18. Daniel Brock’s victim committed suicide. Never heard a word in a sermon anywhere to rebuke Brock for his gross sin, or Heinze for playing dumb and then lying about the other sex abuse cases in his Christian school.

  19. @pastor’s wife,

    A guy in Steve Anderson’s church, Matt Stuckey, preached a message “exposing” Ruckman. David Cloud, another “hero” to Fundies, has written articles bashing Ruckman as well.

    If you think Fundamentalists don’t bash each other from the pulpit, you’re wrong. It happens. I’ve seen it plenty of times.

  20. @ BASSENCO

    There are different types of Fundamentalists. I’ve been in a BJU church, a HAC/GSBC church, a Ruckmanite church, a Heartland Baptist College (Landmarkist, Baptist Brider) church, and the one I’m in now would match a lot of IFB doctrine, but we’re not affiliated w/ any Fundy college.

    Not all Fundamentalists have the same mindset. Some of them are just IFB in doctrine, but they really do care about others and aren’t just in it for power or money or fame.

  21. @Kat said “Some of them are just IFB in doctrine, but they really do care about others”

    And I would say this is an oxymoron. Never seen one hold to the doctrine and still care about others…I guess “care about” would have to be defined.

  22. rebuking someone for not holding to your crazy doctrine is one thing – I don’t think anyone would say fundamentalists don’t do this

    Exposing known sin from the pulpit in other fundamentalist leaders is I think what Bassenco was getting at.

  23. @Kat

    Something that IFB-style fundamentalism has raised to an A-level doctrine (up there with the Virgin Birth, and the death, burial and resurrection of Christ) is separation. How can someone who believes they have to separate from sinners and “erring brethren” (and not only primary separation, but secondary and sometimes tertiary separation) really care about others? When they believe “touch not the unclean thing” is as important as “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved”?

    Your church may believe the fundamentals of the faith, but if it cares about others more than separation as a doctrine, then it’s not a typical IFB church. Your church would be one that the typical fundy congregation would separate from.

  24. “Not all Fundamentalists have the same mindset. Some of them are just IFB in doctrine, but they really do care about others and aren’t just in it for power or money or fame.”

    Still waiting to hear a sermon from any of them on disciplining a grossly sinful pastor, or a sermon about the sin of wife/child beating.

  25. When we chose to become “missional” (taking our church outside the walls to show God’s love by meeting real needs in our community), more than half our church left. All we wanted to do was follow what we see Jesus telling us to do in Scripture. Now we’re the ones being separated from. My husband has been convicted by the Jesus’ message about the sheep and the goats: we don’t want to be goats! What’s the mark of a goat? Not caring for others.

  26. What I meant is, not all of them are so “separated”… most are, though. Ours is only separate to the point of not allowing false doctrine to be taught at church, but the people are very willing to fellowship with Christians who don’t totally line up with us. I know, we’re not typical.. and that’s what I love about our church. 🙂

  27. @ Kat, they will know we are Christians by our love! I’m glad your church can fellowship with others even if you might disagree on minor things. I love my Christian brothers and sisters, and it hurts when people shun me because they don’t like my preference in music or how I choose to educate my children. I long for the unity among believers that Jesus prayed for in John 17.

  28. Don: you suggest that everything you disagree with in a particular movement, and anything associated it, should be incinerated. I’ve heard Fundies say that.

    I didn’t say that at all. I gave a very specific solution for a very specific problem. Specifically I said, “I believe the greatest thing that could happen for the cause of Christ and would usher in another great awakening (especially here in the south) is for IFB style fundamentalism to die and come crashing down under the weight of its own sanctimony.

    I don’t care to find a compromise with the Fundamentalist cult. I also disagree with a great many other things in this world but I am not advocating they all be “incinerated.” But a cancer should be agressively treated and I see the IFB cult is a cancer. Take a look around at what makes up the so called leadership of the IFB or fundyland. The movement itself is a cancer that chokes out life, it kills the spirit and it leaves distruction in is wake. I have seen three IFB church splits in my life and none of them were good. I’ve seen the lies and the manipulation that goes on in the pulpits and the power stuggles in the movement. I’ve seen families wrecked by the lies and the fake masks that people wear (and yes I have been one of them, God help me.) I have seen wasted years spent in a college that leaves the graduate with and unrecognized degree that is only good for going back into full-time cult service, and they are saddled with a crushing load of debt owed for this so called education.

    Now maybe your experience with the IFB has been all roses and rainbows. If so, great, I pray your never have to see the under belly of a “ministry” that will do anything, and I mean anything to save itself.
    All I have for the IFB cult movement is contempt.

    If that’s “Fundy” of me… well… all I can say is I got it honestly.

    Now ya see, that has just taken all the fun out of the rapture hatch post. And my therapy was going so well…

  29. Could one coming out of Fundyism, having wasted years at a college, declare bankruptcy and not have to repay the debt? I don’t know how it works. My experience with bankrupty is watching Michael Scott shout “I DECLARE BANKRUPTCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” very loudly.

  30. Thanks Josh. I needed that. hummmmmmmm *breathe in* ummmmmmm *breathe out*
    Needed Monday’s phone conversation as well. Thanks.

    Now, I have had time to read all the related posts.

    @dave you have been through all of that and you still don’t see fundamentalism for what it is?

    The cult attracts men of questionable character on the one hand and corrupts the character of good men who are given a power they should not have in the first place. The cult itself is the problem. It is institutionalized and wields power simply by virtue of its own existence. That is the part I rage against. The local fundy church; the local, rule setting, “we have standards that will keep you from even thinking about sin,” fundy pastor; the non-thinking, pew warming, Amening, church member are are symptoms of the disease, They are all enablers of one of the greatest spiritual con-jobs in the history of mankind.

    I can and have forgiven the individuals with whom I have had issues. I have even went to others and asked their forgivness for my part in steam-rolling them IFB style. I take offense with the system, the movement, the cult itself… and those who willingly, knowingly with forethought continue to perpetuate the cult, especially for personal gain, power and position.
    So yeah… I will celebrate and dance at IFB’s funeral.

  31. You would have thought so in my youth group back in the 70’s. It was more of a, “if you keep these standards you won’t be as tempted to sin.” (a subtle difference, n’est-ce pas?)

    I still remember one of the BoJo grads preaching to the guys, “at school you should never be alone on a floor or a hall with a girl.” and oh the BoJo students that passed through the bunker in those days. We were a full-blown, authorized dealer of BoJo fundy-dom in those days.

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