Diversion Tactics: The Prayer Postulation

Diversion: “If you don’t like what another Christian is doing, why talk bad about it? Why don’t you just pray for them instead?”

Origin: Unknown

Usage: Whenever someone is speaking an uncomfortable truth about a fundamentalist institution or personality that I like.

Strength: Sounds really spiritual.

Translation: “Shut up. I don’t want to hear what you’re saying.”

Biblical Support ???

Fallacy: Inconsistent. Fundamentalists do not apply this same principle to other Christians such as Rick Warren or Billy Graham. Then it is called “standing for the truth.”

77 thoughts on “Diversion Tactics: The Prayer Postulation”

    1. Yes, the Fundamentalist insistence about radical independence in church matters applies only to other Fundamentalists. They certainly don’t apply it outside of Fundamentalism.

      1. I would like to quote Rush Limbaugh here, “Words mean things!” Fundamentalist are not afraid to correct, admonish or even rebuke if necessary another fundamentalist if that person has been found in doctrinal error (doctrine is a big word for teaching because I know with to most that comment on this site doctrine means nothing “as long as you “love Jesus.”) as Paul instructed Titus to teach (Titus 2:1). Since our friend Darrell mentioned Warren and Graham I will give you an example of words meaniung things. I challenge any of you ,that actually read what people say, to search out former President George Bush’s latest book and read an account he gives of time spent with Billy Graham during GW’s fathers presidency. I don’t have the book in front of me but, from memory, I believe on pages 36-38? Billy Graham clearly teaches heresy to the entire Bush family. Just read it for yourself and then ask the question, “If I were lost and reading this what would I come away believing here?” Most Fundamentalist are fundamentalist because they strive for truth and regretfully many of those are harsh, hateful and mean spirited but how unfair it is to paint everyone in IFB cicles into that category. That is why I am independant. I believe that every church is to be autonomous and what happens in that church is that churches business. However, the moment anyone begins to produce any type of media that media is subject to be scrutinized by all that read it. If I used the logic of most of you then I could never point out the fallacies of the JW’s, Momons, Buddhism, Islam or any theaching because “I would be judging” and Jesus said, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” (MT 7:1)

        As far as a Fundamentalist telling you that he/she would pray for you and then for you to comment as to what that really means makes you guilty of the same crime for you point your finger at them. This website is nothing more than a place for disgruntled, bitter people to come and find comfort in being bitter. If you see the inconstency in another Brother or Sister then confront them that is what the Bible teaches. The reality though is that most don’t have that type of Christianity. Its easier to come here and vent and call names, “fundy”, and play the part of a “Whisperer.” Woohoo, Darrell is so smart with his understanding of the Fundy’s but where is the fundamentalist website dedicated to mocking “Evangelicals” (that’s the name you call yourselves) and ripping you apart and equating the fact that if people dont agree with you they must be unbelievers. Wow! What a mote and beam moment.

        1. How many Fundamentalist preachers rebuked Jack Hykes for “Jack Hyles on Justice”?
          How many Fundamentalist preachers rebuked Jack Schaap for his blasphemy over the Lord’s Supper?
          How many Fundamentalist preachers rebuked BJU for their dating policy?
          How many Fundamentalists rebuked Jerry Falwell for calling the victims of Bob Gray a “bump in the road” and urging Trinity Baptist to go right over them?
          How many Fundamentalist preachers have rebuked Chuck Phelps for making a 15 year old rape victim take the blame and be sent out of state after her rape while keeping her rapist in the church and using him as a chaperone for the youth group?

        2. Well once again someone speaks without knowing all the details. If you were plugged into “true” fundamental circles you would know that many preachers did rebuke Jack Hyles for things happening at Hyles Anderson College and many of them pulled their support of the college and stopped sending their students their. The Hyles Allumni continue to send their students there and they will have to give an answer to the Lord for that. Jack Schaap is just who he is nothing more than a cabon copy of Hyles therefore no one of any substance pays him any attention and many, I quote, many preachers have rebuked him privately, openly, and through media. Finally, the Chuck Phelps thing is a farce. Phelps has given documented proof that the girl in the video lied. She claimed to have been raped while on a driving lesson and that the man came a second time to her house and she let him in and from there she blacked out. How convenient. If you take the time to follow up on the story you will learn that Phelps contacted the Concord, New Hampshire police twice prior to the church discipline taking place. You would also learn that this young woman and the gentleman had been having an affair. This was not a two time event that resulted in pregnancy but was a multiple time event for a long period of time. Phelps also clears a lot of the mis-represented material that was presented by ABC. Do your homework before you start putting things in print. Once again this has been a great Mote and Beam moment. :mrgreen:

        3. The only farce here is the smug self-righteousness you carry through your comments around here. Why don’t you follow the link to her personal blog just to see how many of the details she doesn’t have?

        4. As for Tina Anderson, Phelps has said two contradictory things: one, that he reported the rape tot he police, and two that he viewed Tina’s sex with Willis as part of a consensual relationship. So did he turn in an innocent man for rape? Or did he tolerate a rapist in his church? Either way, he resorted to deception and cover up. Phelps wouldn’t speak to 20/20 because he knew they’d catch his lies right on camera.

        5. “You would also learn that this young woman and the gentleman had been having an affair.” NO! No! No! No! He was an adult in his 30s, married with children. She was a young teenager. Don’t try to call them a “young woman and the gentleman”. No.

        6. Oh, but BASS, you’re not plugged into the legit fundamentalist circles, so OF COURSE you’re not gonna know who rebuked Jack Hyles.

        7. You would also learn that this young woman and the gentleman had been having an affair.

          If you believe that statement to be true, then you need some serious counseling. To make that statement show that you condone dangerous behavior that puts children at risk. Get some help immediately! If I could find out who your are I would seriously be reporting you to the authorities in your area. I hope you do not have children in your home because for you to make such a tacit agreement that a minor can have consensual relations with an adult begs the question of the safety of any minor in your care.
          Darrell, I would seriously check into this character, because this is not funny.

        8. And, indeed, Don, the Old Testament Law backs you up. For it considers all sex between an adult man and a girl too young to be betrothed for marriage to be rape. It makes no distinction between whether it was seduction (so that she consented) or force. For it recognizes that she is too young to form responsible consent. Now, I believe Willis forcibly raped Tina. But either way you spin it, Willis is entirely responsible. But Chuck Phelps let off Ernest Willis while sending Tina away in disgrace. And then had the gall to throw Scripture at her.

        1. We’ll pray for you about that Bass… in fact I’m going to get a FB prayer chain started for you right now. 😯

      1. Get over the childish first nonsense. It’s ridiculous.

        1. Let me be the first to point out that being first is one of our traditions around here. We don’t mind the “first” call by the first reply to the post. In fact it is the first thing we look for when we first arrive at a new post and it see it for the first time. I actually like seeing who replied first. I really like to be first, but since I can’t always be first, and since there has to be a first I don’t see the problem with announcing First! It’s especially fun to see someone get their first First.

          So remember First is fun! 😎

  1. See previous post about gossip…

    Darrell really is the fundy whisperer isn’t he

  2. It amazes me that they don’t see the inconsistency. They can rail against other Christians constantly and harshly, but if you criticize someone they like, then they smugly admonish you to not speak out about other believers. “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    1. Is it because they don’t believe that those outside of the IFB circle are actually Christians so they are free to say anything about them, while those in the IFB circle are the only true Christians, and even if one within their circle is saying something blasphemous it’s okay because they are a Christian and we shouldn’t confront them only pray for them?

      That was a very long run on sentence 😆

      1. That was my first thought as well. Then I had to modify it to criticize those who’s Christianity we question and have separated from. The IFB circles I grew up in thought Billy Graham *might* be a Christian, but if he was he was leading all sorts of innocent people to hell with his *heretical* teachings and therefore needed to be denounced in the strongest possible terms.

    1. As I read the link you posted, I can’t help but wonder how Dr. Mounce’s thoughts would apply to much of what takes place on this particular site? I mean, if you look at the comments above from @pastor’s wife and @BASSENCO, they certainly smack of what Dr. Mounce was talking about. And I realize that I am opening myself up to all sorts of negative comments by saying this, but I don’t think I’m off-base this time.

      1. well, it applies even more clearly to what this site is about in another way. The remnant of people who truly love God and are truly his have long since been the minority of people in fundamental churches.

        Gossip is only one small thing, but the lack of true spiritual response to the actual words of God in many other areas are regularly pointed out on this site. Perhaps with a snarky cynicism that might be opening it up to criticism of the type seen in Mounce’s article, but I agree with him, just perhaps not with who the people are that fit into his categories.

        Almost all of the things most fundies decry are far less troubling than what they practice. Just read the gospels and try to figure out what Jesus viewed as the most horrific evidence of a lack of faith.

        Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. – Romans 2:1-5

      2. Jonathan, if the day comes when you ever make sense, I’ll smack my grandma.

        1. Why is there such hostility toward me? I was attempting to make a valid point and you continue with the personal attacks. Please carefully explain to me what didn’t make sense about my statement, but please do it slowly because I’m not really that smart, as I’m sure you have probably figured out.

        2. See, now you are just being a jerk. Rather than being a troll, why don’t you answer the question I posed to you. Is it because you are unable to articulate what points didn’t make sense to you?

        3. See, there you go, Jonathan. I’m the resident anti-troll. I don’t give a rip about what you really think. And I’m certainly not interested in a conversation with you. You just help make this blog fun for me.
          I don’t want to get rid of you. What would I do without you? Get back to discussing supralapsarianism? No, no, NO! No. You … complete me. … I think you and I are destined to do this forever.

      3. this isn’t gossip. It is the “Flash light of truth” being held up to practices that are not Bible, but are being taught as such. When we watch a video of a sermon that questions someones salvation if they don’t love preaching where the pator is screaming, as we saw yesterday, we can comment about that and i don’t feel it is gossip. It is pointing out a flaw in someone definition of salvation.

      4. Quote: “I mean, if you look at the comments above from @pastor’s wife and @BASSENCO, they certainly smack of what Dr. Mounce was talking about.”
        Jonathan, how is the article relevant to what these women posted? They weren’t gossiping or tearing a person down. They were commenting on a system that is broken? Why do you attack them? If you want to avoid personal attacks, check yourself.

        1. Thank you for raising that point, Shoes, as I cannot figure out what he was objecting to. And please, everybody, just remember I posted first today.

      5. Jonathan,
        As the one who originally posted the article by Dr. Mounce, I believe I should clarify myself and point out something that I should have stated from the beginning. While it is true that at times there are comments on this site that may border on gossip I believe they are far and few. My reasoning behind sharing the article, and I should have stated this at the time that I shared so as to be clear, is that gossip is sinful and damaging. And while, in the example given by Dr. Mounce, it is a pastor and his wife who are forced from the ministry, I have more often seen good people who have desired to serve the Lord faithfully as laymen driven out of ever attending another church again by those in leadership. If, through the use of satire, parody, and humor, this site helps some to heal and rejoin the body of Christ (without fundamentalism) that is a good thing. If this site also is able to help remove the blinders from some who are still walking in fundamentalism, that is a good thing as well. The simple point is that fundamentalism is broken. When fundies come to realize that their system is broken and began to take strides to reach out and learn from other members of the Body instead of firing bombs at them from a distance the greater His kingdom will be.

      6. Was thinking the same thing Jonathan……it really does get thinck here sometimes, and to merely raise a slight disagreement brings the stone slinging committe out full force.

        1. just an observation: in the forums, there are VERY heated debtes that remain civil. I have disagreed and had very respectful conversations with many people.

          The blog IS a bit more snarky and slighty mocking place. However, that is relegated to a few posters, and not as often as is being implied

    2. Okay, I followed that link, and I have two major problems with this:

      First, early Christians faced down lions – you know, sharp teeth, claws, gruesome death. And yet these people seem to think it is outrageous that a pastor should face the slings and arrows of…gossip. That sound you just heard was a few million martyrs rolling over in their graves.

      Second, they are forever heaping sympathy on the poor victims of gossip and not on the poor victims of child-abuse, rape…and, you know, the stuff that creates the gossip.

      Let’s be real here: their real problem with gossip is that it has a nasty way of narrowing the pool of potential victims.

  3. I’ve heard the prayers fundies pray, IDK how you can sit through a 15 minute pre-dinner prayer about how the Catholics need to just read the Bible, and think that God is listening all that intently. 🙂 Great mouseover text!

    1. I know!!!! I love people’s reactions to when I pray for our food in the dining common. I just do something along the lines of: Father, thank you fOr the food. In Jesus’ name, amen. So many of my friends stare. Another reaction: I don’t feel like this food is blessed. I’mma pray by myself. So because I didn’t pray for Jimmy’s aunt the food isn’t blessed?it’s quite humorous 😀

      1. It reminds me a bit of those Jesus talked about who prayed on the street corners to be seen of men.

        I like to thank God before eating, but I think a short word of appreciation is all that’s needed, a grateful acknowledgement of thanks for what God’s provided, not a long-winded opportunity to prove how much more spiritual you are than the others listening. (Not that everyone who prays long prayers is doing that, of course!)

        1. In regards to this, several of my professors at Liberty University and at least one author that I’ve read have mentioned that they tell the waiter/waitress at the restaurant they are about to pray and ask if there is anything that they can pray for. Does this qualify as “praying in the streets”, since the waitress now knows you are going to pray? (By the way, given my “reputation”, I’m sure this question will be seen as being snarky, but it’s a sincere attempt to further the conversation.)

        2. Not at all! It can be a kind thing to do and can open the door to witnessing! The point Jesus was making was a matter of the motivation of the heart: the Pharisees liked praying loud, public prayers so people would be impressed by how holy they were. If a student at BJU prays a brief prayer over his food and other students object to it and claim judgmentally that their food isn’t “blessed” because his prayer was too short, they’re coming across as self-righteous and Pharasaical. The Lord’s prayer itself is pretty short, compared to some prayers I’ve heard! It’s not the length, but the heart attitude.

        3. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6: 5-8

        4. My grandmother used to say (usually under her breath)that when someone prayed a long prayer before a meal, it was a sure sign that was the only praying they had done in a long time… 😆

        5. Charles Spurgeon has a great chapter in “Lectures to My Students” about public prayer. You may find it interesting reading, especially in the area of length of prayers.

        6. @Mark Thomas, since you continue to flash that picture around, you must be very proud of it. Tell the truth, that’s your sister, isn’t it?

        7. @ Mark Thomas
          Come on, you can be nice. If he asks a legitimate/reasonable question he should get a legitimate/reasonable answer. Just because his name is Jonathan doesn’t mean his every post should be broadsided, even if he does disagree. We’re not fundies….

      2. Do they really say, “This food isn’t blessed?!” As if their holy bodies would be contaminated by un-blessed food?? Wow. That kind of attitude makes me cringe. I believe a thankful attitude is appropriate before a meal, since certainly there are many people who are hungry in the world and we should recognize God’s provision. But an elaborate showy prayer reminds me of Pharisees…

  4. “If you don’t like what another Christian is doing, why talk to them about it? Why don’t you just tell the pastor instead?” That’s the way I’ve seen it practiced most often. You can bring that “prayer request” to the pastor or a deacon or the Christian school principal so they can “pray” for you [pray, in this sense, means, “add to list of things wrong wtih a person in case we need to ask them to leave the ministry”].

  5. Prayer: Fundie phylacteries. More for show, to prove spiritual right standing with gid. Form over substance.

    I believe in prayer. I believe it is something we should want to do as a time to talk with our savior, and I stand here guilty of not doing it enough.

    But having been fundie for 30 plus years I also know that prayer in the IFB is often not very biblical. It is used as everything from a grocery list of wants, to a billy club for inducing guilt, to a badge of “Look how spiritual I am.”

    The IFB especially is fond of putting a group of men in a room and everyone praying out loud. This results in a cacophony of of voices ranging from mere mumblings to booming audible assaults. And lest one think that this is spiritual praying pay close attention to the timing. Usually the M-O-g will be the loudest and his prayer will be the standard for the group. When he says “Amen” that means prayer time is over.
    That’a Prayer the Fundie Way.

  6. You are all missing the point. You aren’t to pray for them, you are to separate from them first. It goes something like this:

    Johnny since you will not listen to God and are in sin, I cannot fellowship with you anymore. I will be praying that you get right with God. Until then, I will be defriending you on facebook and will ignore you in public all while praying for you!

  7. Prayer is a joy and a treasure. Only the weird, harsh, thing that some fundies call prayer when they scornfully say “I’ll pray for you.” is a muzzle. Real prayer, Christian prayer, opens minds and opens hearts. It mends rifts, and it gives insight. It teaches us compassion and gives us the mind of Christ.

    1. This reminds me of a section in the book I Am America (And So Can You!), by Stephen Colbert. He has a section on different religions and, in the one on Christianity, he mentions how “amazing it is to make “I’m praying for you” sound like a threat” (those who know about Colbert know how sarcastic he is). I think this well describes how some fundies approach people who don’t believe like them, necessarily; they’ll say they’re praying for you, yet the way they say it makes it sound like they doubt your salvation or something.

    2. A fundy saying “I’ll pray for you” is code for:

      I cannot comprehend what you are saying since you are not doing exactly what I or our pastor has already told you to do. Furthermore, if I continue to think about your situation, my head will explode.

      1. Oh? I thought it was “I’m losing this argument, so I will petition my invisible friend to FORCE you to agree with me.”

  8. On easter, we went to my grandparents church (methodist.) They do something called the “Apostle’s Creed” in which they say “I believe in the holy catholic church.) ther’s an asterisk beside catholic that explains that it means universal. My dad, during the recitation, added “not” at the end in typical, out of touch, behind the times christian fashion. I know that he thought he was standing up for what he believes and that there will be a jewel in his crown because of his stance.

  9. Regarding the Jack Shaap comment, I’ve often wondered if sex ever came into play when referring to Christ and the church since a good wife will lay down at the drop of a hat for her husband as far as christians are concerned. I’ve also wondered why that isn’t considered gay for christian men.

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