Fundy Fiction

Although fundy sermon illustrations may contain any amount of cartoonish death, gore, and sins of multiple varieties, the rest of fundyland fiction tends to be of the extremely anemic variety. The basic problem with fundy fiction is that everyone acts like a fundy. Every character from the hero, to his ever-so-chaste love interest, to the bank robbing villain with the black mustache follow a rigid code of conduct that includes the following rules:

– Nobody ever swears using actual swear words. If someone does swear it’s always a bad guy and they get by with merely yelling “I’M SWEARING NOW!” Even this must be kept to a minimum.

– Shooting people is allowed (this is America, after all!), however, before anyone dies of a gunshot wound they must first receive the plan of salvation, pray the sinners prayer, rejoice in their new found faith, write a five page letter to their mother letting her know that they died a Christian, and then sing a hymn as they gracefully expire with the joy of Jesus on their face.

– Rape, child abuse, and other such unpleasant things don’t exist. Also, there are no gay people anywhere in the entire world.

– If the hero is forced to enter a bar or drinking establishment he’ll order milk. (Straight up. On the Rocks. With a Twist.) Any person who dares to even sip the demon rum must immediately become a drunk and end up living in the gutter as a warning to others. In keeping with realism, the trip from first sip to gutter takes approximately 6.8 minutes. Even faster if music and dancing are involved.

– It’s ok to have gaping plot holes. These can be easily resolved using a series of unlikely coincidences which can easily be made acceptable by having some character label them Divine Providence. “So, we found little Johnny a transplant kidney in a cooler that someone left in Lost and Found and then stumbled over a buried pirate treasure to pay for his operation….isn’t God good?”

– Someone must do a complete Romans Road presentation to someone else no matter how much this strains the dialog and pacing. “You know, as we’re here perched on top of this speeding train trying to defuse a nuclear bomb, I can’t help but wondering if we died today if you know for sure where you’ll spend eternity. Here, hold my wire cutters whilst I dig out my New Testament…”

– Everybody but the Designated Sinner in the plot must get a happy ending. Everyone gets saved. The hero gets the girl (they may even get to kiss once they’ve been married for a few months). The Designated Sinner gets his comeuppance but then will likely repent in dust and ashes and will end up becoming a missionary to the Congo once he’s done serving his twenty-five-to-life.

315 thoughts on “Fundy Fiction”

        1. If you’re first, you should either gloat in a funny way or comment insightfully on the post. And I’m just bitter because I wasn’t first! 😉

        2. If I gloat too much I might not be first. I guess i can belatedly gloat now…

          WOOOHOOOO. I was first commetor! Eat your heart out Emily King! …..

          OK I’ve done enough gloating.

          PW Don’t be be bitter. Remember to look diligently at your self so that no root of bitterness springs up within you and defiles many on SFL

        3. lol lest I sounded too harsh, when you make the first post you have to have a little party for yourself. like a big YAY ME or something similar. You can’t rock the first comment with “1st”!! 😆

  1. Don’t go touching my “Thief in the night” or “Left behind books” Darrell. And you’re not getting your hands on my “Fireproof” dvd either!!

        1. I couldn’t tell you if it’s worse than Daylight Zone. All I can tell you is that my BIL brought it to a family gathering and we all watched; then I spent weeks trying to de-program my son and niece from the God-as-ATM message. And also explaining that no, really, no, God does NOT care about the outcome of a football game, and that statistically, there are probably as many good and bad people on one team as another, and that the writers just created a team of bad guys to promote their story. And did it poorly.

        2. Oh, the daylight zone. That one is always good for a laugh. “My fish sandwich and my Mt. Dew, are going to JOhn_SOn-Ci-ty.”

        3. I do have to admit, “Daylight Zone” was better than “Pamela’s Prayer” Al least none of the other teens at the all-nighter gave you dirty looks if you laughed or criticized Daylight Zone.

    1. I once read an on-line interview with one of the “writers” of the “Left Behind” series. I believe it was Tim LaHaye. He claimed at some of his book signings a reader would say “I never read any novels until your books came along.” LaHaye seem to take pride in this. If I were an author, I would be embarrassed to have such culturally illiterate readers and fans.

      1. Those “culturally illiterate fans and readers” derive their views of eschatology from those books as well.

      2. Mark – Help a brother out here, help me to understand why all of this hate on LaHaye? Is it primarily because he is a dispensationalist, or that he is perceived as writing corny books, or he parts his hair the wrong way, because he’s rich, what is it, no one on here is explaining this to me. This great servant of God being slandered this way, and thus far I see no one but me standing up for him, I don’t care though, I’m used to it. I do really want to try and understand, but type slowly please, I’m not that bright. 😯

        1. Actually, we’re pretty much indifferent to the way LaHaye parts his hair. 😉 But everything else…

          What I personally have a huge issue with is the way LaHaye and Jenkins conflate their faith with their patriotism. We are commanded in the Bible to obey the laws of whatever country we find ourselves in–that’s as far as God goes with the subject. But to hear those two tell it, a Christian in the United States is under some sort of special obligation and indeed is more valuable to God than a Christian in France or India or somewhere else.

          The Left Behind series is written from a very ethnocentric point of view that is nowhere condoned by Scripture–God is no respecter of persons or the lines they draw on the maps they print. Indeed, LaHaye and Jenkins themselves have an extremely ethnocentric point of view, seeing other countries only as mission fields and not as equal players. Not at all the way God sees humanity, in other words.

          The series, even accepting the basic premise, is poorly written, poorly researched, and possibly plagiarized from other books in the same genre (see the Slacktivist blog others here have referred to for more information on that count). It is the work of hucksters making an insane amount of money off a gullible audience, and *that* is something Christ would have no part of. And one of these days these two moneychangers will be driven from His Father’s house as well. 😉

      3. A-men, Singular Observer. Or, if I’m allowed to repeat myself:
        LaHaye spews wicked, hateful, demogogic politics and wicked, hateful demogogic theology, which is based on an unbelievably twisted, ignorant, and psychotic misreading of the Bible.

        1. Wow. I’m glad you’re comfortable making statements like that without presenting a single shred of support for it. You have a bright career in politics ahead of you.

        2. tonyt: Fair enough, I guess. I could go through all LaHaye’s stuff line by line and show how demented and wrong just about every sentence of it is, but nobody’s paying me to do that, and it sure doesn’t have enough literary merit to reward spending that much time with it, and doing that probably wouldn’t change anyone’s mind, anyway. So I just say what I think of it, and leave it at that. If you want to give a different opinion, go right ahead.

        3. Tonyt, if you;re really curious about why a lot of people have a hate-on for LaHaye look up the blog “Slacktivist”. He has spent several YEARS tearing the books apart line by line to explore how the theology is twisted, and how the demented theology in the books expresses and creates in unChristian attitudes.

        4. Big Gary – No offense, but your opinion doesn’t carry much weight based on your desperate attempt to torture Romans 1 to make it mean something that it doesn’t come w/in a hundred miles of. Paul didn’t say we couldn’t cohabit with our German Shepherds either, so does that make it alright? I for some reason was expecting much more from you Gary, Why don’t you try actually studying the Word sometimes instead of hunting somebody up on the internet to support your simple politically correct opinion. You exhibit a level of immaturity on some of these posts that is surprising. One good thing is, you did it on a public forum so everyone can see how ridiculous you are.

          Big Gary, just abit of friendly advice, stick with the comedy, you are a much better comedian than an expositor of scripture, as a matter of fact it appears that your bible knowledge is nil.

          Hey let us all know when your HBO comedy special is coming on, I’ll try to catch it.

        5. I hereby retract my foolish statement that Greg has no hate for me just because we disagree.

          But now if anybody calls Greg out for making name-calling personal attacks, he’ll say he’s being persecuted because he’s a faithful Christian.

        6. By the way, most people who have dogs do cohabit with them.
          Perhaps you meant a different verb?

        7. This has probably already been mentioned, but I’m wondering if Greg and John are the same person? The methods of attack seem very similar.

        8. I MUST correct you here, Gary.

          I DO NOT cohabit with my dogs.

          They own everything and just let me use it. And, if I get some of my side of the bed tonight, I’ll be lucky.

          Just thought I’d set the record straight. :mrgreen:

        9. @greg: Ok, did you REALLY HAVE to use such a beautiful, wonderful breed of dog as an illustration in your UGLY debasing remark? Really??? 👿

          @diachenko: I was wondering the same thing. 😈

        10. Big Gary – Maybe you don’t know this or you have an old computer but all of your comments are displayed for all to see, so your vitriolic, hateful diatribe against against LaHaye is visisble just above where you berate me for name calling. Oh I get it you’re practicing for your HBO special.

          Gary you are making yourself look even more foolish, if that’s possible.

        11. Don’t worry, Just Curious. The German shepherds are safe. “Cohabit” just means “share living quarters.” It’s occasionally used to mean something more, but that’s the first definition in most dictionaries: “share living quarters.”

        12. And, again, I say. My dogs don’t share. They allot.

          I know I’m on a rabbit trail here, but its a fun one.

        13. Greg, I will support what Don says. For the record, I’m writing of all these en-time-fanatics, from Lindsay to Kirban to whoever.

          1. These people mangle Scripture beyond all recognition, ripping things out of context etc. etc., worse than anybody else I’ve seen, except maybe the LDS & the JW’s.
          2. They propose one of the most heretical statements imagineable, the reinstatement of valid sacrifices at the Templemount in Jerusalem. This trivialises the Death and Resurrection of our Lord. This alone leaves them outside the fold, as I see it.
          3. They disparage, no, encourage the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Christ, whether Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian or Protestant, who happened to be of Palestinian ethnicity.
          4. They continually make false prophesies, and yet their followers eat it up, proving them to be duped by false teachers, as per Scripture.
          5. And to cap it all, they make a mighty fine lot of $$ doing all this, in sharp contrast to the poverty of the Biblical prophets etc.

          They are false teachers, deceivers and robbers of the faithful.

        14. “Gary you are making yourself look even more foolish, if that’s possible.”

          Greg, we can see your posts and Big Gary’s and compare the two. Quite frankly, if you dig the hole you’re already in much deeper, you’ll need to have a working knowledge of Chinese.

        15. At the risk of extending this particular discussion beyong anything useful to anyone…..

          Greg – Big Gary stated his opinion on LaHaye’s work. He got called out for making such statements without any evidence to back it up. He then acknowledged that he said things without any fact to back it up. He then linked the Slacktivist blog that dissects LaHaye’s work.
          At this point anyone could go to the page and discern for themselves whether it had any merit. But you then, in your post at 9:10pm, called Big Gary immature, ridiculous and stated that his bible knowledge is nil. These are personal attacks against an individual, not what they said or their opinion.
          It’s like the difference between calling someone stupid verses saying that person did something stupid.
          This starts to cross the line of civil debate. Calling someone names is immature. Note I did not call you immature, I identified the action as immature. Big difference.
          You have acknowledged that not everyone here agrees on all topics. There are some opinions that will never ever be changed. Ever. That is what happens in an on-line community. Debates here will never be won or lost.
          Given everyone’s experience with fundyism, no one is going to sit by idly when we are told we are wrong and then have someone use bible verses to back up that accusation. We all went through that in fundyland. If we wnated that type of treatment we would go back to our nearest IFB church.
          Worse than dealing with someone raining down judgement on us with bible verses and self-righteous attitudes, is straight up name calling.
          We don’t agree on everything. Fine. We get over it and move on. Play nice.

        16. ^ X 2.

          Greg, it’s how you say what you say that gets people all riled up. It’s about the stuff that Scorpio talked about in the above posting, not what you actually believe.

        17. “This has probably already been mentioned, but I’m wondering if Greg and John are the same person?”

          dianchenko – I thought that for a while but coincidentally yesterday I hit the random post link and got the SFL Halloween Party post. Link is below. John and greg had posts at the identical times so unless John has 2 computers running next to each other I would say they are not one in the same. Back then there were big differences in John’s and greg’s writing style. John was just being John. When you read greg’s posts I would say greg was just “getting his sea legs”. Nothing too controversial. A couple of one-line responses.

          After all this I can say that I spend waaaaaay too much time on SFL. That and I was going to the Halloween party as John 😆

        18. Scorpio – Again you come into clean up after all us naughty children, have been playing too rough. Thank you.

          I get the site, it makes fun of all things fundy. Should that include hurting and slandering and outright lying against wonderful good christian people, like the LaHaye’s? For instance, Billy Graham has never, to my knowledge, shown up here at SFL, I’m just assuming Darrell doesn’t consider him fundy enough, of course I’m not trying to speak for Darrell, but personally, I also don’t consider him particularly fundy. Let me add that I have absolutely disagreed with him about many issues through the years, but would I lie about and slander this vessel that our Lord has saw fit to use? Thousands if not millions of people will be in heaven because God blessed Billy Graham to bring them the Precious Gospel, I frankly would be fearful to slander this wonderful servant of God. I certainly don’t agree with Tim LaHaye about everything either, I use to be a real strong dispensationalist, however I’m in a period now of reconsidering that, but I have never tried to fight and argue with folks over endtimes prophecy. The Lord of this universe has sought to use simple men like Graham and Lahaye, whom I think both have been very humble servants, to bring a loving message of hope and salvation to a lost and dying world. How dare “anyone” to lie on these good men. The work of the LaHaye’s and Graham have personally touched my life, and if anyone slanders them I will not be quiet. (everyone should know that by now)

          Let me discuss something else here, look at those who don’t like me and constantly badger me, it is the same loud-mouthed crew all the time,”they think they will be heard for their much speaking” They are loud, rude and crude, politically correct. The few that do want to support conservative causes have to preface their comments with “I know I’ll be hammered for this” or similar comments, because they know that the PC police on SFL are running wild. But look around, what sounds like an army are just the same 4 or 5.

          I envision a much nicer, loving and kind SFL, that is tolerant of all beliefs, (even conservative ones) that doesn’t lie and slander good solid christians folks.

        19. Just to go farther down that rabbit trail, Paul probably would not have approved of cohabitation (meaning living together) with dogs. In the ancient Middle East, dogs were seen as unclean and repugnant animals (they weren’t kosher, in other words). Every mention of dogs in the Bible is highly unfavorable. (Cats are not mentioned at all, by the way, unless you count lions.) The first-century Jews would have regarded having pet dogs as a Greco-Roman or Egyptian perversion.

          I have no problem with dogs living in the house (I rather like dogs, in fact.) But it’s certainly un-Biblical.

    1. Except that if this is a really dedicated uber-Christian, he (the women are home baking) won’t need to dig out his NT. He has the Roman’s Road memorized.

    2. The correct procedure is to show the target the Bible and have them read the verses aloud. This is to prove to them that what you’re saying comes from the Word of God.

      1. Ah yes, I forgot. The fundie’s main purpose is to 1)hold the Bible open and find the passages, and 2)explain in modern language what the unbeliever has just read in the KJV. My fundy knowledge is getting rusty! I think that may be a good thing…

  2. this is awesome

    “So, we found little Johnny a transplant kidney in a cooler that someone left in Lost and Found and then stumbled over a buried pirate treasure to pay for his operation….isn’t God good?”

  3. I find most Christian fiction frightfully insipid and poorly written. Darrell, you know whereof you speak!

    Sadly, I don’t have a lot of people around me that would understand this post. A lot of folks don’t read at all; those who do tend to LOVE the very books I find vapid and dull.

    Me: “I’m disappointed in the quality of the Christian books out there.”
    Friend: “Yeah, but you should read Janette Oke. Her books are awesome.”
    Me: [groan]

    Sadly, most of the best-sellers in Christian bookstore are not worth the paper they’re written on.

        1. I haven’t, but I’m always willing to give someone a try! Many intelligent, well-spoken people just can’t write fiction!

        2. PW – I have several of Lacy’s non-fiction works, some of them are fantastic, ((WARNING))you will have to wade through some fundiness like you may never have experienced in your life, but personally I feel its well worth it, problem is they may be hard to find. The last time I needed some books I actually had to contact him personally, I think he was out in Oregon.

          “Dark Side of Calvary” was amazing, this will show you that Jesus spoke more words about Calvary in the OT than what He spoke from the actual cross. “Mystery of the Angels” is a book obviously on angelogy, I didn’t realize how much info there really was about angels in the bible. “Crowns for Christians” was good, as well as “Where do little children go when they die” These are a few of the titles.

          What I like about Lacy is that he will back his beliefs with TONS of scripture, get ready for some KJV.

          As usual with any book, you have to spit out the bones (not questioning your intelligence :grin:inside joke)

        3. Sounds interesting! And I’ll keep the bone bowl on the table for any pieces I have to spit out!

        1. I have a friend that likes Grace Livingston Hill, not so much for the stories, but of the picture it gives of living in those times (usually as an upper-middle class person.

        2. I own TONS of them. For a while in my early 20s, I despised them, but there are times now when I enjoy them. They certainly are a slice of life from a different time period and I appreciate the nobility and self-sacrifice exemplified by her heroes/heroines. Yes, the protagonists are always oh-so-good and the bad girls like to dance the Charleston, bob their hair, and wear rouge, while there often seems to be a recently-deceased uncle whose legacy manages to save the day! Still, I enjoy them while realizing their inadequacies as true literature.

        3. How did you know, PW? I have kept a couple of mine that belonged to my mother for when the cat needs to get rid of something.

        4. @Susan, I don’t think I’ve read “Cloudy Jewel.” I have at least 69 books not counting about 10 more “collections” that have two or three novels in each one. My first was “Coming through the Rye” which I enjoyed while realizing it was totally unrealistic!

        5. And lest I sound like a crazy Grace Livingston Hill fan, I’m not! I’m just crazy book lady! 🙂 Hill only takes one shelf (when stacked horizontally) on one bookcase out of at least 16 in my house.

        6. I don’t own any GLH books but I still do have a stack of Emily Loring books that I keep around because they’re out of print.

        7. When I was in Junior High my mom convinced me to start a Grace Livingston Hill book. (She has a ponderous collection of them.) My Dad saw me reading it and forbade me from touching it ever again.

          One of the very few times I ever got mixed messages from my parents.

        8. Grace Livingston Hill = 175 great titles, one great plot line. And I use the word “great” advisedly.

      1. Haha yeah I’ll pass on Janette Oak 😛 Dana’s Valley was good though, I was bawling by the end and I don’t cry in books.

    1. Totally agree. Every time I read one I end up regretting the hours of my life I can’t get back. =P

      The only Janette Oke I was ever impressed with was “Dana’s Valley.” I think setting it in current times made it a little more believable, and having had a family member die of cancer I felt like her account was accurate.

    2. I absolutely agree. I don’t know how people can read more than one Christian novel. All I need to do is read the back of the book and I can tell you who will be forced to marry against his/her will, who will be saved by the end of the story, etc. etc. The stories are so empty and pointless and … a definite waste of paper, for sure. This is why I was a sneaky ninja teacher and put books from *gasp* secular authors in my classroom. I wanted my students to read, and be inspired to keep reading.

      1. I read lots of YA fiction, and I’m often impressed with the quality of the books, probably because I’m comparing it to Christian fiction which I also read, always hoping I’ll find an author I enjoy. Sometimes Christian fiction to me is like a twinkie; I eat it because I’m hungry or bored or desperate, but it is immediately forgotten and does nothing to actually sustain me.

    3. Janette Oke’s books can mostly be read while you’re timing a two-minute egg, but they are still enjoyable. And she does sometimes mention some pretty bad things that happen: there’s pre-marital sex and a wife-beater in Love Comes Softly, abandoned daughters in the next book (can’t remember that title), and in still another book a bitter custody battle between adoptive parents and the birth mother.

      My favorite Christian author is Francine Rivers.

  4. The perfect soundtrack to for the authors: only what a fool believes. IDK who buys and reads that junk.

    1. Hear! Hear! And though I can honestly say I’ve never read a “Christian” novel (Unless Lewis counts) they’ve GOT to be better than reality TV 🙄

      1. Darrel…your very early post on the The Sugar Creek Gang was pretty good. That series is like the godfather of Christian books for kids. There will never be another Dragonfly.

  5. The fundy children’s books (at least the ones when I was growing up, which were mostly reprints from the 50’s and 60’s) were EVEN WORSE! Unless you have read Susie & Johnny or Danny Orlis, you wouldn’t understand. Seriously, take Danny Orlis– Typical Story Line: some kid who went to an evil dance and tried a cigarette once (and may have been thinking about possibly kissing his girlfriend) suffers a mini-tragedy or witnesses Danny’s fabulous testimony (Danny goes to revival meetings all week, not the dance. In fact, the revival meetings are his “dates” with his girlfriend.), and prays the sinners prayer at the end of the story. No lie.

    1. Did you know a BJA grad turned gay porn actor used “Danny Orlis” as his stage name? I just love the irony.

    2. Susie & Johnny… *groan* I had hoped to keep that memory repressed for good. Thanks for nothing! 😈

  6. Does anyone remember the name of the kids’ book series geared toward boys about a boy named Dallas? (think late 80s early 90s)

  7. I thought I would try my hand at the Harlequin Steeple Hill Romance Line.These are ‘clean’ generic Christian romances. They have a list of things that are not allowed. No drinking by hero/heroine. No swear words. No graphic sex. No lying.No mention of intimate body parts. Hero/Heroine must be in a better place spiritually by the end of the story. We can’t mention any particular denomination and we cannot use the designation ‘St.’ as in ‘St.Paul’.Its exhausting keeping up with that. 😀 I’ve read a few and some of them are well written and some of them read like first drafts.

    I have about one third of the book written but I don’t know if they will like it or not. They seem to go in for ‘cowboy’ romances and mine involves a couple of mountain climbers. 😆

    Or I might go back to my American Civil War murder mystery. 😀

    (please don’t judge my writing by my posts here!)

    1. please don’t judge my writing by my posts here!

      Only if you’ll do me the same kindness. 😀

    2. “…‘cowboy’ romances and mine involves a couple of mountain climbers..”

      This wouldn’t be anything like Brokeback Mountain would it? :mrgreen:

    3. So I take it no stories set in St. Paul, Minnesota? 😆 Half the cities in California would be off the list, too, if you expand to Spanish.

  8. Thanks for disparaging a whole segment of fiction and painting it with a very wide, very stereotypical, very WRONG brush. Just as there’s a wide spectrum of quality and story and character elements in general-market fiction, there is a wide range of it in what is labeled as “Christian” fiction. And those of us who write it don’t appreciate other Christians going around talking about how horrible it is when it’s our livelihood and the ministry to which GOD called us.

    I am NOT a fundamentalist. I am a quite liberal Methodist (having converted from the more conservative denomination I was raised in). I swear. I drink. I voted for Obama and for the rights of gays to marry. Yes, I do feel constrained by the PUBLISHER’S requirements that there be no swearing (I can’t even use the word “crap” in my novels). I would LOVE to include gay characters in my stories—characters who are true representations of the LGBT people I love in real life, who are unashamed Christians even though most Christians condemn them, but my PUBLISHER won’t allow a gay character who doesn’t get “saved” and “rehabilitated” at the end of the story (how do you rehabilitate something that’s genetic?).

    Please, don’t paint all Christian authors with the same brush of condemnation! Many of us do the best we can within the guidelines we’re given—because there aren’t any general-market publishers out there who will publish books with Christian characters or messages, no matter how “realistic” they are.

    1. I am NOT a fundamentalist. I am a quite liberal Methodist

      …then I wasn’t talking about you. 🙂

      I’m sure your writing is lovely.

    2. I think a lot of the problems fall on the editors.There are a lot of good ideas out there but the mechanics are off. I am not a professional but I have found myself wishing I could take the blue pencil and cross things off and move things around and wonder how someone at the helm could just let certain things go. As I said some of them read like first drafts.

      And this reminds me that I need to get back to work. 😳

      1. Take a look at Point Yonder Press. It’s a small, indie press, Christian, but with a broader understanding of what that may include.

        1. Could you possibly post a link to it? I’m trying to look it up and all ‘m finding is “Port Yonder Press” or is this the same thing?

    3. I agree, Kaye. There are some decent writers out there, but many of them are driven right out of the genre by the publishers’ nonsense. Anyone read _Rapture Ready_? It has a chapter or so on the publishing world of Christian chick-lit.

      I would submit Jamie Turner as a nomination for one who puts up with them and is a good writer. The books are “clean” in that they abide by the no swearing rule, but they are a lot more real than (shudder) Oke–Turner’s world does have pain and bad things and interesting characters.

      1. If I start a thread for recommended Christian fiction writers on the forum, would you post your comment there? I’d like to get a good list of people to read since the ones the Christian bookstore suggests usually leave me unsatisfied.

        1. @Susan, LOL! Christians have their own sub-culture: our own bookstores, gyms, schools, music, etc., but a Christian drugstore would be a new one! (Then again, there are those Christian health-food places so that’s kind of close.)

      1. The super racy ones are okay, with all the naughty parts put back in. But that’s the point now isn’t it?

    4. Kaye – “How do you rehabilitate something that’s genetic?” ❓

      You sounded like you knew what you were talking about until this little jewel leapt from your lips.

      1. We rehab alcoholism which is also genetic, FYI. I don’t think you can rehab being gay, but just cause it’s genetic doesn’t mean you can’t rehab it.

        1. Yes, I see your point. An alcoholic can’t stop being an alcoholic, but (some) alcoholics can stop drinking.

          Those who want to “rehabilitate” homosexuals have in common the assumption that it’s a pathology that needs to be treated (some gays and lesbians would agree; most wouldn’t), but they part company over whether it can be “cured” or just controlled. In other words, some think that homosexuals can be changed into heterosexuals, while others just think they can be stopped from acting like homosexuals. So the analogy holds, or doesn’t depending on what kind of disorder you think homosexuality is (if it is a disorder).
          But, among fundamentalists in particular, a large camp says that it’s not a natural orientation at all; it’s just a voluntary decision to sin. Among them, there’s a further division about whether or not sinning with another man is worse than sinning with a woman. I said “another man,” not “another woman,” because same-sex relations between women are not condemned in the Bible.

        2. RobM – I seem to recall that you are our resident science guy, so by all means correct me if I’m wrong. My understanding is that there is, in fact a genetic link to alcoholism, not that its been 100% proven, but that there is a corollary. Now the same cannot be said of homosexuality. There is not the tiniest piece of scientific “proof” that genetics plays any role whatsoever in homosexuality, or at least that is my understanding. I’m sure to be corrected if I’m wrong. So that leaves us with the understanding that homosexuality is “caused” by some other reason.

          Dear folks, ultimately our genes don’t make us do anything, so the above really doesn’t matter to me. In my genetic make-up I have the ability to do all kinds of evil. But let me say our God has given us a way to overcome not just our genetics, but to overcome the world through his Precious Son.

        3. Same-sex relationships between women are most certainly condemned in the bible. Romans 1:26-27

          “Because of this God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones” Well that doesn’t say they were lesbians, read on “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.”

          Darrell, I need a raise!

        4. You’ve taken those verses out of context, and your interpretation is questionable.

          Here’s a review of various possible interpretations of the passage (including the one you favor):

          Please read the whole article (four “Topics”) before commenting on it.

          Given the context of Romans 1, I agree with those scholars who say that here Paul is denouncing Christians or former Christians who participate in orgiastic rites at Pagan temples. He is not prescribing or proscribing any kind of sexuality other than saying not to engage in the ritual prostitution associated with the Pagan cults. In all of Paul’s letters, and in the whole New Testament, there is no condemnation of loving, committed relationships between same-sex partners.

        5. … What do you make of “God gave them over to shameful lusts”? (“Shameful lusts” is translated differently by different translators, but “God gave them over to” doesn’t differ substantially in different translations.)
          Does God really force people to perform “unnatural” sex acts as a punishment for sinning?
          If so, wouldn’t refusing to do them be to resist God’s will?

          Another problem is that the Greek words “phooskos” and “para physin” (translated here respectively as “natural” and as “unnatural” or “shameful”) actually mean “inborn” or “created by nature” and “against one’s inborn nature.” So if is wrong to act against one’s inborn nature, and a person’s inborn nature is homosexual, then it is wrong for that person to behave as a heterosexual.

        6. “So if is wrong to act against one’s inborn nature, and a person’s inborn nature is homosexual, then it is wrong for that person to behave as a heterosexual.”


        7. Just because everyone hates Greg doesn’t mean he can’t be right.

          In my opinion, the site has drawn many people who don’t call themselves Christians and that is a good thing in many cases. But when we stoop to a level where we will not call sin sin it really bugs me.

          I will not debate homosexuality with anyone on this site and if you are convinced that God approves and your appeal is to say that you interpret Gods word different…so be it. Greg and my interpretation is different than yours and that apparently makes us wrong and anything we say is just rubbish.

          I have enjoyed this site for quite some time but I know in expressing my opinion I will be crucified by many of you. There are things in our society that you just can’t take a stand against and this is one.

          The genetic appeal is just one of those things that really sets me off. We all want to say it’s not our fault.

          I want to make a confession: I’m a liar, I’m a thief, I’m a coveted, I’m an adulterer, I’m a murder and I need Jesus.

        8. Okay, honestly, replying to this thread. . I’m glad Darrell doesn’t “edit” posts, and I feel that everyone should be able to express his/her own opinion. Personally speaking, I think that there are some internal and external contributing factors to homosexuality and lesbianism. I won’t go into detail here and now. But, the bottom line is, I do believe that (Scripturally speaking) actively practicing those lifestyles is wrong. I don’t dislike homosexuals or lesbians. I don’t think that practicing that lifestyle is WORSE than lying, gossiping, cheating, etc.

          But, I do realize there are those on this thread who feel differently on this subject, and I don’t think anyone’s view should be “edited” out, or that anyone should have to get defensive either. Someone can disagree w/ me, and I’m okay w/ that.

          Furthermore things like homosexuality, rape, abuse, etc. . should be addressed in fiction. They’re a HUGE part of everyday life.

        9. I don’t hate Greg. Nor do I persecute him for saying what he thinks. I don’t agree with Greg. That’s quite different from hating him.
          He says what he thinks; I say what I think. No hatred on my part, and (I think) none on his either.

          I’m not interested in “debating homosexuality,” either. What is there to debate? Some people are gay, and no amount of debate is going to change that. But scripture interpretation, on the other hand– there’s an infinite source of things to debate.

        10. Please PLEASE forgive my cynical, but do we HAVE to debate the homosexual lifestyle thing one more time?!?

          Okay, some say Scripture allows it, some say it doesn’t.

          Great… PLEASE let’s move on.

          Okay, I’m done. :mrgreen:

        11. I don’t know if it’s genetic or not. But it is what they are.

          I didn’t wake up one morning (or any morning) and decide, “You know, I think I will like females today.” I do; women are totally amazing. They always have been.

          I have had men hit on me. Not the slightest bit interested, not even curious.

          So how they got to be gay is not the issue to me. I will in no way whatsoever, demean, hate, harm or discriminate against them for being gay. Full stop.

          When you (meaning anyone who thinks being gay is a sin, not you the poster)start preaching against gay bashing the way you do against homosexuality, then I will take you seriously when you say you love the sinner not the sin.

    5. Kaye

      I would like to suggest that there are some Christian authors who get published by the secular publishers. John Grisham comes to mind. I suspect that if the work gets labeled “Christian” most secular publishers will run. However, if someone writes well written story lines and happens to be a Christian, secular publishers will publish.

      1. There are many, many Christian writers who write good novels and stories and have them published by “secular” publishers. Too many to name here. Oh, what the heck, I’ll name a few: Flannery O’Connor, John Updike, Graham Greene, Walker Percy, Harper Lee. (Of course, none of them were Fundies, nor did they write Fundy Fiction.)
        But it may be true that it’s hard to get “secular” imprints to do books where the storyline centers on someone’s faith testimony and/or conversion. As someone said here, it’s largely a question of whether the emphasis is on the first or second word of “Christian Fiction.”

    6. Do you know the Romans Road? I can’t believe everyone let this one get by. If it was a fundie you guys wouldn’t have passed. Wimps

  9. Agh! Al Lacey! Please, someone pour acid on my eyes; even as a fifteen y/o fundy teen, I recognized his books for what they were: drivel. Ack. Those have to be the *worst* example of Christian fiction ever.

  10. Perfect choice of illustration. I refer to all such novels as “bonnet fiction.”

    Don’t forget that the heroes of Fundy fiction–especially teen fiction–must be big, handsome, and strong, and described as such every two pages or so. Heroines are correspondingly attractive.

    Seriously, though, I started a Christian novel (this one, actually) as a young teen and when exactly that kind of description popped up on page two, I stopped, set the novel aside, and couldn’t bring myself to read any further. If the characters were exactly like every other Christian character I’d ever read, how good could the story be?

  11. I remember having to write a book review about something similar in (fundie) HS. I wrote something scathing and I failed.

  12. I remember in my younger days reading one of Al Lacy’s books about the Civil War. When in the book, Admiral Farragut utters his famous “Damn the torpedoes” line, Lacy marked it with an asterisk and a footnote that said something like “this word is only included for historical reference.” Even then, I thought this (the footnote) was a rather odd and unnecessary thing to include.

      1. Of course not. Patton believed in reincarnation, and was very public about his beliefs. That would offend the sensibilities of the audience (nevermind that in all other respects Patton was at least as Christian as any other man in his generation, social standing, and occuaption, and probably a good deal more than most).

  13. I think you forgot some stuff:

    First, every book has the exact. same. plot. A character could be transported out of a Janette Oke book into a Beverley Lewis book or a Lori Wick book and they wouldn’t even know the difference.

    Also, the female characters (albeit attractive, as Jordan points out) have zero backbone, a la Elsie Dinsmore. What sticks out to me is her readiness to pray every five minutes, and her oh-so-careful attention to obeying her father (even in respect to his dietary regulations).

    Oh, and the characters MUST get married by the end of the novel.

    With apologies to Stephanie Meyer, this fiction is the _Twilight_ of the evangelical world.

    1. “With apologies to Stephanie Meyer, this fiction is the _Twilight_ of the evangelical world.”

      I want to hug you now.

  14. You mean someone else saw this? 😯
    😆 lol 😆
    How I longed for books with meat, like Tolkien.

  15. It is the whole God marketing that is at the heart of the matter. Christian Capitalism at it’s finest! There is a niche so I can get rich filling it, i.e. Tim LeHay/Jerry Jenkins “Left Behind” mega-series. The success of that paid for a whole college being named after LeHay at Liberty.
    The whole subculture “Christian”-music, “Christian”-movies, “Christian”-novels, “Christian”-art server to drive a wedge between “Christian” and the culture in which they work and live. It is a form of “Christian” Aestheticism… touch only “this”, read only “this”, watch only “this”, listen only to “this.”
    Fundies are undoubtedly the worst of the bunch and they bring their own brand of extreme aestheticism to the table… but it is not exclusive to the Fundies.
    There is a world of difference between a “Christian”-writer… and a “Writer” who is a Christian. Illustrated by (and I hate to put these two in the same sentence together *forgive me Mr Tolkien*) JRR Tolkien… and… Tim LeHay. *forgive me, forgive me for having to make that comparison but they have both had movies make about their books… the difference is day and night. One was a great literary work to offered to society at large… the other was god marketing at it’s best. Class -v- crass

    1. The aestheticism in Christian Aestheticism takes the art out of aestheticism. Bach and Michelangelo would 😯 if they say current christian art.

    2. The problem with these fundamentalist novels, as I see it, lies with the approach that many fundies and evangelicals take toward art in general: it has to be didactic. It has to TEACH (or PREACH). If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t serve a worthy purpose. There can be no such thing as art for the sake of art. LaHaye’s remark about some of his readers never having read another novel is really quite telling — and very, VERY sad.

    3. To True…”The God marketing” Now that you mention “Christian” music. Far worse to me than almost anything in fundieism is the “performance worship” that mascarades as Worship these days. Concerts dressed up as Church. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against Christian music, contemporary or otherwise, but performances couched as Worship really get my goat. 👿

      1. Being new to CCM, I’m not sure if I can differentiate between performing and worshipping. I’m trying to avoid my previous self-righteous assumptions that people raising their hands while singing were just showing off not really worshipping, so now I give people the benefit of the doubt. When I hear a praise band, I just sing along and enjoy the vibrant praise and don’t worry about their motivation. (Of course, my experience with live contemporary worship is very limited!)

        1. As a recovering Charismatic the difference os obvious and annoying. If the Spirit speaks to you through it though , that’s great. Please ignore my hobby horse. 😀

        2. Your instinct will tell you. If it makes you want to puke, it’s performing. If you can tolerate it, it’s worship.

        3. Not trying to argue, but fundies will say that to denigrate everything they don’t believe in: the spirit led them to burn all their Steve Green CDs, reject Harry Potter (or Lord of the Rings), or just KNOW that all the people in that contemporary church singing “Revelation Song” were just indulging their flesh instead of worshipping. “It was just like a dance party.”

          I guess people do feel led to avoid certain books, movies, music styles, performances, etc. But does that automatically mean that the singer, author, etc. was sinful, or just that it was something that particular Christian didn’t feel free to participate in? Our Christian liberty doesn’t just mean that we can embrace many more things than our IFB churches let us; it also means that we might decide to reject certain things. But does that mean that what we’re rejecting is in itself wrong or just wrong for us?

        4. PW, You make an excellent point. But I am wary of, “But does that mean that what we’re rejecting is in itself wrong or just wrong for us?”
          That comes too close to relativism. Truth is true. We may not see it clearly but we must seek it while not being judgemental towards others who are seeking. That is not the same as saying there is no truth.

        5. Truth exists – absolutely! And I knew when I typed my earlier comment that it sounded relativistic. I guess for me there are some things that are absolutely wrong based on Scripture, then there are things that would be wrong for me because they might lead me or a weaker brother into sin, then there are things that are lawful but not beneficial, and then there are things that are just fine. I think our backgrounds and associations play into this a lot. My parents, who grew up pre-rock and roll, just can’t get past their association of rock with rebellion. It offends them to think of worshipping God with a guitar or drums. I was taught that way, but growing up in a culture where that music surrounds me, I don’t associate it with sin so my conscience doesn’t twinge when I hear Third Day while my parents dislike even Steve Green!

          Also, there’s the whole matter of taste and aesthetics too. A finally prepared gourmet meal is usually agreed by all to be superior, but some people would just prefer a nice hot pizza. Are they wrong? Well, maybe wrong if they say the pizza is superior, but not wrong if they say they just like it more.

          So anyway, I completely believe in truth. But does truth extend to such statements as, “All music played in church using drums is sinful and disrespectful” or is truth more like “All music played in church should be God-focused not man-focused”?

    4. @Don; You nailed it on the head. Look at the author who posted here. She writes what the publisher wants because it will sell. Hot subjects sell regardless of the quality. Vampire romance, Gothic romance, cowboy romance, Christian romance, Romance by states, if it sells they publish it. Of the over 4000 books in the original Harlequin romance series only about 5 authors are salable today the rest are dumpster material.

      1. It’s worse than that: Harlequin actually has some fairly stringent standards for what they will and will not accept, and like most secular publishers they reject better than 99% of what they’re given (I guess Sturgeon’s Law even applies to crap itself!) Most of the Christian publishing houses seem to require only basic literacy and a willingness to stick to the formula.

    5. The whole phenomenon is reminiscent of what happened to publishing and the arts in the Soviet Union under Stalin–everything had to support the Glorious Cause of the People. ‘Socialist Realism’ is still a recognized school of art to this day, and not the worst of the offenses that were committed against the arts. There were some good works that came out of that period (the films of Sergei Eisenstein are among the greatest films of all time, in any language) but most of the stuff was so banal even Stalin himself reportedly cringed.

    6. Amen.

      I didn’t realize this was a fundy thing, actually, until I happened upon this post. I thought it was (more broadly) an evangelical thing.

      We receive catalogs from an outfit called Christianbooks. A few years ago, we purchased their 38-volume set of the Church Fathers at a VERY reasonable price, and we’ve been on their mailing list ever since.

      Their catalog is FULL of this stuff — Christian romance novels, Christian knickknacks, Christian Precious Moments figurines, Christian kitsch of every imaginable description. It just makes me want to heave.

      I’m not a snob, really I’m not :mrgreen: — but this is SO not my cup of tea. Why do women go in for this dreck? If you want a novel with Serious Moral Tone, why not read Jane Austen? At least then you’d be reading something great.

      (Disclaimer: I’ve never read any of these Christian novels, so I may be being unfair…perhaps some of them are well written, although I tend to doubt it.)

  16. Another thing relating to cover art: frontier/rural women in bonnet fiction, who presumably spend the majority of their lives at or just above subsistence level engaged in daily, day-long agricultural tasks, always look like this–never like this.

  17. If this is an Old West series, where did Breanna get that very contemporary hairstyle on the cover of the novel?
    Comments, Natalie?

      1. The same place that she got the modern dental work that no doubt hides behind those beautifully full lips, if this were a film. 😀

  18. BTW, I don’t mind the no swearing. “Treasure Island” remains a favorite of mine, and the language is quite tame (although there are a few minced oaths that would still bother some Christians). Somehow, writers in the past managed to convey menace and evil without using foul language.

    For me, it’s just a judgment call. I won’t automatically discard a book if there’s bad words, but sometimes they’re so overwhelming that I feel disgusted and I’ll stop reading.

    1. I used to feel that way. Then I started working with some folks who use profanity as punctuation. Once you spend a few days around Army Rangers the words don’t even register anymore.

      Sometimes including swearing is simply an accurate portrayal of how a certain segment of the population talks.

      1. My husband, who has worked around some free-spoken folks (I don’t mean the deacon board – LOL!), has told me that it doesn’t register with him. He ignores it and isn’t bothered by it.

        I’ve never been around it, and, having spent a childhood reading old-fashioned books, prefer a world where even that segment of society wouldn’t talk that way around a lady. 🙂

        1. If you haven’t, go see the new version of “True Grit.” It’s a rough, tough Western with absolutely no swear words in the dialogue. Not only that, but none of the gunmen and desperados ever use contractions or slang in their speech. They all speak like schoolmarms. After a while, it gets to be hilarious. It seems unrealistic until you realize that the whole story is being told by Mattie, the devout, Presbyterian, 14-year-old girl in the story, and that’s exactly how she would tell it.
          Aside from all that, it’s just a great movie.

          (There is a fair amount of Western-style violence in the movie, but no profanity, nudity, or sex.)

        2. My husband and I just saw it last week. Good movie. (In contrast, I’ve never seen “Unforgiven” although he said it was awesome.)

          I’d read that the directors were trying to stay faithful to the book; that’s why I assumed the dialogue was unusually stilted, but your idea about it reflecting the girl’s language was interesting!

        3. “True Grit” (the book) was first published in 1968. By then, profanity in Western novels was nothing new. Author Charles Portis made a conscious decision to tell the story in the language he did, for stylistic reasons. The whole story is narrated in reminiscent fashion by Mattie, looking back from 1928. When you realize this, the language has a kind of verisimilitude: This is exactly the way a curchgoing, elderly spinster would tell the story in 1928.

        4. I forgot to say what I think the stylistic reasons are: Portis was playing the irony of having rather brutal events recounted in an elevated, genteel manner, and even more so in having rough, unwashed, and probably unlettered frontier characters sound like elocution teachers. It’s a highbrow/lowbrow contrast, which has been used to comic effect at least since the time of the ancient Greeks.

        5. I’m around a lot of cursing every day at work. I’ve never made a fuss about it or anything, but some of the people I work with have started to censor themselves around me. That makes me feel bad, because I want them to feel comfortable around me, not like they have to watch themselves. After all, if they don’t know the Lord, why would I expect them to talk as though they do? So I just tell them not to worry about and I go on. After awhile it gets much easier for us to relax around each other and sometimes it even gives us something to joke about.

        6. For the record: my father grew up on a ranch in New Mexico and served 30 years in the Marines including a tour of duty as a drill instructor and three tours in Vietnam with the 1st Recon Battalion. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard him swear. He’s always been of the opinion that profanity is for people who lack imagination. 😉

      2. In 30 years of construction swearing for swearings sake still pisses me off. Of course I grew up uncomfortable with talking about hydroelectric projects. I will tell the story about a young man that came to work with my partner and I.
        We had hired a guy in his late 30s and the three of us were all Christians, not fundies but Christians. None of us used profanity, not out of agreement or trying to impress one another, we just didn’t.
        One day we hired a young guy, early 20s, who had been a logger from a logging family and he swore like, well, a logger. He could not go four words without one on them being four letter. None of us, however, called him on it we just concentrated on work.
        About two months after he came to work for us he showed up for work and said “You guys are rubbing off on me. My wife says I don’t swear as much anymore” We just laughed, we hadn’t tried to teach him anything but framing. He actually “got saved” about 2 years later. NO Romans Railroad, just realised the Grace Of God.

        1. I’ve forgotten who it was, but someone once told me they were swearing less and using better grammar after being around me. I never told anyone not to swear, but I don’t usually do it myself, except in emergencies.
          I cursed a good deal when I was in my 20s, but I grew tired of it. It’s much more fun to think of creative ways to say things than to use the same few words all the time.

        1. Oh, Don, the Bieber (as we call it) doesn’t hardly use a comb. The kids just shake their head and flip it one way to get that look. In fact, when I cut one, and finish blow-drying, I say, “Okay, shake.”

    2. I would have to make a conscious effort to notice swearing in language. It doesn’t even register as anything other than normal conversation.

  19. Well, if we are honest, most “Christian fiction”, where the emphasis are on the first word, tends to be weak. And to be honest, and some might differ from me here, some “classics”, though better than the stuff written today, is not that great either – here I’m thinking of Ben Hur, for instance.

    But, I have a recommendation – a contemporary (Catholic) author, who writes science fiction, Michael Flynn – especially try “Eifelheim”, a medievally set sci-fi work. What’s not to like? It is also a good detox book for latent fundyist aesthetic taste.

    1. Kathy Tyers is a gifted writer who writes both secular and Christian fiction. Her Firebird trilogy is outstanding and truly unique in the Christian world.

  20. Another rcommendation – most post-fundiea have read Narnia, but who read Lewis’ Planetary Trilogy, or, in my mind, his best work, Till we have faces?

    Or you could read Fr Brown (Chesterton).

    My apologies, I feel a bit too didactic this morning…. 🙂

    1. Till We Have Faces is fantastic. His planetary trilogy is awesome for the way the dialogue moves the story. 6 or 7 chapters into Perelandria, I realized that barely anything had actually happened, it was just dialogue and description.

      1. Mark, I recently bought the whole Trilogy as an Audiobook. Your point about Perelandra is even more emphasised listening to it. Plus the sweep of Lewis’s style of writing is exceptional when read aloud. I could almost convert to Neoplatonism… 😉

        But I’m a sucker for audiobooks – even better when I have already read the book several times before. Currently, I’m listening a Pride & Prejudice rendition – excellent – the only “romance” worth reading is contained within 6 great novels written by the same author.

    2. I’ve read the Space Trilogy several times…love it. That Hideous Strength is still one of my favorite books…I’m not sure I’ve ever read a scene more subtly creepy than Lewis’ description of the artwork in the NICE.

    3. I’ve read a few of C.S. Lewis’s books, and wasn’t very impressed by them. The Narnia books are too twee for my taste (of that upper-class, Edwardian British kind, which is the worst type of twee), and the “Cristian” novels for adults seem very heavy-handed. I can feel Lewis constantly elbowing me in the ribs, saying, “Get it? Get it?”

      But I haven’t read “Till We Have Faces.” Since several of you say that’s his best work, maybe I’ll give it a try.

      1. Wel, BG, it is his Neoplatonism coming to the fore. I understand what you are saying, but I enjoy them (Thr trilogy) nonetheless, or should I say, in spite of it. Then again, CSL wrote some of the first fiction I read after coming out of Fundy’ism, so there is a personal attachment there….

      2. I have to say that Til We Have Faces is probably my least favorite of his novels…I don’t think Lewis really “gets” how women think, so I find the narration from a woman’s perspective particularly grating…

  21. I get very nervous when someone sings laud on a contemporary Christian fiction offering. There are some good, and even GREAT Christian authors. But, the restrictions and requisites of fundyland fiction pretty well put paid to it ever being great literature. And, yes, I suppose that makes me a snob. I do like Jan Karon’s books – the Father Tim series. It’s light fiction with some heart and 😆 substance.

    1. OMG – my mom passed her entire collection over to me. Later I discovered that she had a very dysfunctional marriage. I wonder if there is a connection?

      1. I’m curious, Susan, did you mean that your Mom had a dysfunctional marriage, or that Grace Livingston Hill did? Or both?

  22. Darrell, I’m glad to see that the characters are now trying to defuse, instead of diffuse, a nuclear bomb. Much better.

    1. I thought about leaving it as a bit of irony but I knew sooner or later someone would complain. People are like that.

  23. Has anyone ever heard Al Lacy preach? I’d rather read one of his books that sit through one of his sermons. I sat through a series of sermons from him at a former church over a dozen years ago. Bleh.

    1. I heard him a couple of times, of course I was pretty deep in the Kool-Aid at that time. There are some audios of him at HAC preaching about the KJV where I have to admit, he sounds like he may be in serious need of psychiatric help, however some of his non-fiction books are great if you can get past the fundy/kjvonly stench.

      1. I’m not aware of any non-fiction books that he’s written, but if they are theology books I probably wouldn’t be interested in what he has to say. I think I heard a variation of one of the HAC sermons that he preached. His argumentation about the Alexandrian texts was weak. He seemed to be caught up in the Wescott and Hort were infidels, therefore any contribution they have made to modern bible versions is tainted (as if all of the translators of the KJV were IFB believers 🙄 ). Another night he preached a sermon on the Blood of Christ that bordered on idolatry. It seemed to be directed at one particular pastor whose sermons and writings were gaining popularity among fundamentalists. He literally said “_______ is a heretic and on his way to hell.” If you know who I’m talking about, you realize how unhinged Al Lacy must be to say something like that. I left that church within a few months after that.

  24. I absolutely loved the “Left Behind” series, while I tend to mostly agree with the pre-trib beliefs of the book, I can see how that could be off-putting for those that don’t. Of course I think Jerry Jenkins is a fine writer as well. I think both men are solid christian citizens and may be responsible for the largest resurgence of interest in end-times, prophetic events in this country in the last 50 years. I recall that Hal Lindsay’s “Late Great Planet Earth” had quite an impact as well. In my own family, there were people reading the series, and I was, on numerous occasions, able to explain and answer questions about the book, and to more importantly, share the gospel. This alone makes the series worthwhile.

    Tim LaHaye’s impact for good, and for the cause of Christ in this country and across this world has been phenomenal! This man has carried the gospel and the message of Jesus Christ faithfully, he and his lovely wife are wonderful christian witnesses. Is he perfect? Certainly not. But my goodnesss, this man has impacted our country for the good, and it hasn’t always been a smooth ride.

    God bless the LaHaye’s.

      1. Anyone who wants to take part in the dismemberment of the theology/writing style/content of the Left Behind series should go check out Slacktivist (Google it, I’m not about to try a link here). It has been going on for years. Commentary on Left Behind is available in the archives, and Fred is now 300+ pages into Tribulation Force. It is not kind.

        Be warned: although Fred Clark, the blog owner, is a self-described Evangelical (not a fundamentalist), the commenters are all over the spectrum—atheists, nothing-in-particular, Catholics, polytheists, gay, straight, trans, whatever. Discussions are wide-ranging and stray frequently down rabbit trails. Trolls are not welcome, so please don’t go if you’re not a tolerant sort. When not writing his weekly piece about the series, Fred blogs about his other concerns. It’s great fun.

        1. Thanks for the heads up. Never heard of it before, but I’ve already wasted several hours of my life over there.

    1. I read an article about the series (I think it was in “Time” or “Newsweek” that said that Jerry Jenkins is not a Christian. Tim LaHaye hired him to write the books, and he did it for the money (which has turned out to be a very large amount of money). Perhaps he has had a conversion since then, but I haven’t heard about it.

      I do remember Hal Lindsey’s books being popular in the 1970s. I especially remember his prophecy that the Rapture would occur in the 1980s. Hmm.

      1. Not true. Jenkins wrote a whole bunch of fiction for Moody back in the 80’s and I read every one of them. It was a series set in the modern detective style, with each book named after a different woman. My favorite one was “Margo”. I believe he wrote a lot of other stuff too.

    2. You know, Greg, sometimes I think you’re serious, and then you do a post like this one. I must say, you have your persona down pat. Props for never stepping out of character.

      1. “To thine ownself be true” I simply am who I am. I don’t know how to change that, and I don’t want to.

        All I ever knew about Jenkins was that he wrote christian stuff, so I was taken aback by you inferring that he wasn’t a christian, I took about 90 seconds to google him to find out that wasn’t true. Now I didn’t see him in a video with his hand on the Bible promising to forever follow the tenets of christianity, however I saw enough to convince me that he is a christian, he writes for all manner of christian organizations, hot-shot with Moody Press, interviewed about how he gets the gospel message out to young people w/out “preaching” at people. So yeah, I believe he’s a christian.

        I didn’t speak about Lindsay’s christian testimony, merely how his book “Late Great Planet Earth” piqued interest in end-times events.

        What is so odd and seems unreal to me is that a man of God like LaHaye, though certainly fallible, is just ruthlessly attacked on this blog by folks that name the name of Jesus.

        Almost forgot, what’s wrong with having a building named after him at Liberty? I personally think Liberty is a great school. LaHaye donated 5 million bucks to the school, and they name a bldg after him, big whup! I guess I just don’t get it.

        1. Greg – it is so funny that you quote “To they own self be true”, whilst often defending fundyism here. That quote is as postmodern in nature as they come – “who cares about the facts, or taste, or whatever, as long as I like it it is good.”

          Talk about inconsistency.

        2. It’s bad theology and worse foreign policy. Even before I left the church, I concluded that Revelations was mostly a Rorschach test.

        3. Green, it is instructive to read about its canononical history – here’s the blurp from Wikipedia (yes I know, sue me 🙂 ) :

          Revelation was accepted into the canon at the Council of Carthage of 397 AD.[31] Revelation’s place in the canon was not guaranteed, however, with doubts raised as far back as the 2nd century about its character, symbolism, and apostolic authorship.[32]

          2nd century Christians in Syria rejected it because Montanism, a sect which was deemed to be heretical by the mainstream church, relied heavily on it.[33] In the 4th century, Gregory of Nazianzus and other bishops argued against including Revelation because of the difficulties of interpreting it and the risk of abuse. In the 16th century, Martin Luther initially considered it to be “neither apostolic nor prophetic” and stated that “Christ is neither taught nor known in it”,[34] and placed it in his Antilegomena, i.e. his list of questionable documents, though he did retract this view in later life. In the same century, John Calvin believed the book to be canonical, yet it was the only New Testament book on which he did not write a commentary.[35] It remains the only book of the New Testament that is not read within the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church, though it is included in Catholic and Protestant liturgies.

        4. ‘“To thine ownself be true” I simply am who I am. I don’t know how to change that, and I don’t want to.’

          Wow. I’m not sure what to say to that. I’ll wait ’til my head stops spinning. Just…wow.

        5. @The Singular Observer: Errm, that’s actually a line from Hamlet…Not that I’m an English minor and have studied about every kind of literary criticism out there, but I don’t think Shakespeare is classified as a Post-modernist. 🙄

        6. JC, within the context of what Greg is saying here, it means that he can believe whatever nonsense he wants to, and that because he is being true to himself in that, all our arguments are invalid.

          Even a great quote can be mangled by context…

        7. @Singular Observer: Aha, now I understand what you were driving at. I beg pardon for the cheekiness, sir/ma’am.

    3. LaHaye spews wicked, hateful, demogogic politics and wicked, hateful demogogic theology, which is based on an unbelievably twisted, ignorant, and psychotic misreading of the Bible.
      I don’t know if he really believes all that, or just finds it lucrative to act like he believes it, (which I guess is another way of saying I don’t know if he’s a nut case or a hypocrite), but to me it doesn’t matter. He is a tremendous force for evil in contemporary America.
      Most of the same can be said about Hal Lindsey, except that he is largely forgotten now, and never reached the level of influence and popularity that “Left Behind” did.

      You and I will never agree about this, Greg, so there’s no point my saying the foregoing, but I feel a little better having said it.

    4. I’ma have to disagree with you about the writing quality of that series after about book three. But I supposed that’s a matter of taste…

      1. I enjoyed reading the first couple of books. Admittedly they weren’t great literature, but I thought the characters were interesting and I wanted to see how the story developed. Unfortunately, as the series continued, I found the style and the plot uninspiring.

      2. I didn’t even get through the first book (bought at a flea market for 50 cents), so anyone who got to the second one is ahead of me. As far as I’m concerned it’s like potted meat–probably some good in it but I’m not going to waste my money trying to find it.

    5. Actually the best book LaHaye ever wrote was the one he wrote with his wife, Beverly. “The Act of Marriage” Best Christian porn ever written, but that’s ok, it’s in the context of marriage. 🙂

  25. “I grew up uncomfortable with talking about hydroelectric projects.”

    That reminds me of the time someone in my office, who bred and trained dogs, was talking about having gotten a new bitch. A pious co-worker (a young man) said he was offended by that kind of language. I told him that “bitch” is the perfectly polite and accurate term to refer to a female dog. It’s only when the reference is to a human that the word becomes very rude. It’s like “Dick” as the former vice-president’s first name, versus an anatomical reference, or “ass” as a synonym for donkey rather than a name for part of the human body.

    1. That posted in the wrong place– It was supposed to go with tlorz’s anecdote about swearing at a construction site.

      1. Loved it though. My daughter breeds Dachunds and I still have problems with that “B” word 😳 😆

    2. It’s hard to realize they’re legitimate words with innocent meanings when they’re so often used in demeaning or vulgar ways.

      I totally think it’s silly to get all up in arms when someone uses the word in its original context, but I don’t think I could ever refer to a female dog with the accurate term.

      1. You probably wouldn’t like being called a hen, a mare, a sow, or a cow, either, but those are not impolite words when the reference is to their primary meanings: the females of certain animal species.

        1. I agree! Don’t call me a goose, either! LOL. I would never excoriate someone for using a word properly (actually I don’t scold people for swearing either; don’t even roll my eyes). I guess it’s just usage: “hen” or “cow” are used commonly while “b**ch” seems used rarely except in avid dog-owners’ circles.

          (See, I couldn’t even type the word!)

        2. B G, Each of these HAVE been used disparageingly.
          Odd rooster, stud, boar, and bull don’t have negative connotations…I sense global sexism at work 😯

        3. However I hope no one would get offended if they visit Edinburgh, Scotland and is called “Hen” by a native. It’s not meant as abuse.

  26. Even as a fundamentalist I thought LaHaye was theologically week. And also, why do preachers that are 80 years old have to have their hear dyed to try to appear 20.

      1. One simply MUST appeal to the youth, don’t you know, because it is SO hard to get saved when you are OLD. 🙂

  27. It amazes me how many times the end of the world has been here. Jesus spoke of it as coming at the end of his own generation. Revelation is filled with side hints to Rome. Until they latched onto Obama, may saw this as a clear reference to the pope as the antichrist. There were panics in the middle ages especially during the plague years. Napoleon was the antichrist, the tsar was the antichrist. Stalin was the favorite of the late forties and early fifties (as Gog and Magog invading Israel from the north). All that I can conclude is that biblical eschatology has no merit.

    1. I can’t imagine the feeling of terror for those facing the plague. They must have truly thought the end of days was upon them. And what better antiChrist than Hitler who actually tried to wipe out the Jewish people?

      However, for me, the fact that we keep seeing false indicators doesn’t mean biblical eschatology is false, but simply that to God, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day and also that He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

  28. PW – How about Frank Peretti, its been along time, but I remember “This present Darkness” and I think the other was “Piercing the Darkness” it was probably the 80’s when I read them, but I do remember really liking them.

    1. I’m with you Greg. I liked those books, but the last time I tried to reread them they didn’t hold my interest. Same with “Left Behind”. There is a deaply seated fundy propensity to over anylise the theology of all writing. Some here apearently have not lost that. Also there is a fundy tendency to assume evil intent in anyone whose theology does not align with thier own. Some here apearently have not lost that either. 🙄

      1. tlorz – I’m gonna have to buy you a cup of coffee. That’s exactly what I’m thinking, and would like to say, but seems I can’t get it out, you are exactly correct. If it doesn’t line up with what I now believe then its wrong and evil, precisely what fundies do everyday. Very good, maybe I will learn something around here after all.

    2. I liked those books – read them in college – and have read others by him since. Speaking as an English major, I don’t find them to be the most well-written books, but they were very exciting and they certainly inspired me to be a more consistent prayer warrior.

  29. Truth exists – absolutely! And I knew when I typed my earlier comment that it sounded relativistic. I guess for me there are some things that are absolutely wrong based on Scripture, then there are things that would be wrong for me because they might lead me or a weaker brother into sin, then there are things that are lawful but not beneficial, and then there are things that are just fine. I think our backgrounds and associations play into this a lot. My parents, who grew up pre-rock and roll, just can’t get past their association of rock with rebellion. It offends them to think of worshipping God with a guitar or drums. I was taught that way, but growing up in a culture where that music surrounds me, I don’t associate it with sin so my conscience doesn’t twinge when I hear Third Day while my parents dislike even Steve Green!

    Also, there’s the whole matter of taste and aesthetics too. A finally prepared gourmet meal is usually agreed by all to be superior, but some people would just prefer a nice hot pizza. Are they wrong? Well, maybe wrong if they say the pizza is superior, but not wrong if they say they just like it more.

    1. Sorry!!! Please ignore this post! It was supposed to be an answer to tlorz above so I reposted it there.

  30. Ahw, man! It’s too bad this film didn’t contain a half nude woman and a few f-words to liven up the atmosphere of the movie. Because, you know, if those were there most Christians commenting here would be all over it.

  31. Oh whoops, I forgot, that’s called Christian Liberty. These stupid fundie flicks are so boring…Why can’t they make a movie like Hollywood?

  32. Wow. Yes, yes, and amen brother! I’m completely convinced that all of my adolescent boy-craziness was the direct result of reading stupid, unrealistic Christian romance novels and having no reality to compare it all to in order to realise the truth–that your life simply WON’T be perfect after you get converted/get married/finish that railroad, etc.

    1. No, your life won’t be perfect until you get the call from your estranged uncle’s lawyer, telling you that he’s died and left you and your handsome husband a gigantic legacy so you’ll be able to move into the large estate he owned and go on a month-long honeymoon to Europe. THEN your life will be perfect! See, I’ve learned a lot from reading Christian fiction (Grace Livingston Hill, actually, for this little gem!)

  33. Peretti was mentioned somewhere above. His works are canned as well. I have read serveral of his novels. This Present Darkness and its sequel had some glaring theological flaws. 1)A God who was not present. 2) boardered on Angel worship 3) A weak anemic God whose agents were dependent upon the prayers of his people. That is textbook works sanctification. God can only work in the lives of those who are worthy.
    It also portrays a Yin/Yang idea of “good” and “evil” as if they are two equal forces that contend with one another. Sorry, but God is sovereign he declares and it is done, Daniel chapter 10 not withstanding. (Which is where it seem Peretti get alot of his inspiration.) God is not contending with evil as a co-equal enemy. Evil is bound by what God will allow as with Job.
    I don’t mind reading some of Paretti’s work but I read it with a guard up regarding these issues mentioned. I could not handle a steady diet of Works sanctification Mysticism.

    1. Seee now, I agree with Don. The theology in those books is sketchy at best, sensational at worst. But idk. I would read them for entertainment perhaps, but nothing useful or serious.

    2. I think Peretti has changed some since his earlier works. I read The Visitation several years ago and was surprised to discover that while on the surface it’s a supernatural thriller about a messiah figure, at it’s heart it’s about a guy reeling from the death of his wife and dealing with the aftermath of a life in a fundamentalist pentacostalism.

      I’ve heard horrid things about the movie adaptation though…from the description I got, the heart of the story has been ripped out. The pastor who was disillusioned with a church that told his wife she was in sin because she couldn’t speak in tongues and then judged him when she died tragically has now become a pastor who has lost his faith in God after his wife was murdered by a satanic cult.

      Oops…I rabbit trailed there. There’s another rant…good books that are made into rotten movies.

      1. The Visitation is absolutely one of my favorite Christian books, and it touches on a lot of the themes that are hammered at on this site, too.

  34. Big Gary,

    “Hate” was too strong a word and I apologize, I should have said “Greg basing”. Many people have called him a troll and asked him to go away. That sounds different to me than “we all have our opinions.”

    You said to Greg: “You’ve taken those verses out of context”. Maybe you should say in the future: according to the way I interpret Scriptures…

    1. Nope. Out of context is out of context. How the context influences the meaning of a sentence is (sometimes) open to interpretation, but the fact that there is a context is not.

  35. I’ve always wondered why so many Christian fiction romance novels are set in the Amish country of rural Pennsylvania. I worked in a family-owned bookstore for that was run by a Christian couple and one of the largest sections in the store was Religion, and of these, nearly 60-70% was about the Amish. Can someone please explain?

      1. Oh, no… OOOHH NO… My Mom is originally from near there and we’re going up there some time this year.


        Don?… Hello? 😉

        1. 😉 YEAH BABY!! We use the word “Know” in the Biblical sense around here.

          When we’re not eating potato chips cooked in lard, that is.

        2. Shoot, I have those chips in my pantry! I just grabbed them at the store and then over lunch one day read the back of the bag. Haha.

      2. I’m here in the Amish country, too- a little North of Intercourse, just West of Blue Ball, and East of Bird-in-Hand. :mrgreen:

    1. The Amish have a reputation as the incorruptibly good, pure, holy, etc., etc. people, especially among the fundie groups who dress their girls up like the TV version of Laura Ingalls. They are basically used as “proof” that nostalgia about old-time country life is more than Miniver Cheevy-ing.

      Note that very, very few people who hold up the Amish as the ideal have ever gotten up at five past —- it in the morning to milk a barnful of cows by hand, or been within pitchfork’s distance of fresh manure.

      1. My I have a large number of Amish and Mennonite relatives. I’ve spent time on their farms and ridden in their buggies.

        They’re pretty much people about as good and bad as people on the average. They’re not all saints but they do have a strong community and a work ethic which I admire. And I’ve been much closer to manure than pitchfork distance. 🙂

        1. If you think Amish people are so great, why not be Amish? It’s quite possible to join that society if you want to.

          My view is about like yours, Darrell. There are some things I admire about Mennonite/Amish culture (especially their sincere pacifism), but on the whole, they are about as good and bad as most other people.

    1. Yeesh, I was referring to the Slacktivist links. I have read none of the Tim LaHaye dissection. Don’t need to. The other stuff is deep, very deep.

  36. We used to have a fundamentalist bookstore in our town. I made the mistake of trying to order two volumes from my favorite Christian mystery series there. After lots of frowning and muttering over her computer, the store manager still couldn’t find the author. The penny dropped: She used a special kind of ordering software that listed books from publishing houses with fish or crosses in their logos, and this author had gone with Mysterious Press instead . . .

    Another worker at the same store told me that they only carried Christian music when I came in asking what they had by Bach!

    1. Gee, I was under the impression that Bach was a Christian who wrote church music. Perhaps I was misinformed.

      1. Well, yes he was. But in all portraits you see of Bach, he has long hair (gasp). Even if it’s a wig, that’s just a bad testimony and he must have been backslidden.

  37. Hee, hee, an ad for guns and a “Firearms Training Institute” just came up next to this post. I guess it was attracted by the mention of “shooting people” in Fundy Fiction.

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