FWOTW: minutemenministries.org

What teen doesn’t love a great set of themes services? Just like the Minutemen of yore kicked out the British, these pastors will kick out…pretty much everything else.

I especially enjoyed the Parents Q&A page. As well as the War Report page that has yet to be built. I guess they’re still waiting to see any real action.

117 thoughts on “FWOTW: minutemenministries.org”

  1. “Respectful, God-honoring, obedient children” . . . major twitch. Why not just channel the Pearls and be done with it?

    1. People who write like this don’t seem to understand that respect, obedience, and honoring God are not the same thing at all. I can obey people I loathe and despise without a thought of God in my head. I can respect somebody without putting myself under their authority, or again, thinking about God. And I can decide that honoring God requires that I disobey somebody’s commands and refuse to show that person a shred of the respect they demand.

      So I guess I’m part of what’s wrong with America today. πŸ™„

  2. Whether it’s ministries like this, or the IFB reforms schools,or Fundy U; parents are always getting the message that if their kids aren’t LOVING all the restrictions put on them and they aren’t respecting their irrational parents(which equals enjoying being controlled in every facet of their lives)and if they ever even glance at the opposite sex, there is something WRONG with their child and they need reformation. 😑

  3. Ahhh the Van Galderen’s; legalism to the Nth degree, arranged marriages by the parents, and their own Church Bible College because the one located 45 minutes from them didn’t have high enough standards. Yep, I would definitely send my kids to one of these meetings to sit under their influence. πŸ™„

    1. Don’t forget hats on women in church services, loud and embarrassing public confession of sin, full-blown Gnosticism and achieving higher and higher levels of spirituality including perfection.

    2. yep, pretty much, one of the strangest experiences of my childhood was hearing the three brothers preach at a youth conference. Never had I heard such strange applications of obscure passages in the OT regarding dress code, dating, and what flagellation of the flesh was required to be godly.
      Really nice people, but when preaching time came, wow, just wow.

        1. At least their own brand of Keswick. Basically if you really pray hard (it helps to have one of the Vans or some other great spiritual leader pray with you to help you) you can obtain a higher level of spirituality. It’s not a gradual process- it can happen in a night or at most a few days. But it needs to be very intense.

        2. Once you have this experience you gain special insight into everything, which enables you to make the interesting applications like the Captain was talking about above.

        3. It certainly smells like Keswick a bit – very much human effort is required to produce sanctification thats for sure, and it also may require a second work of grace also which is very Keswick.

  4. Also, there’s no “War Report” because the “War Zone” is under construction as well. Must be lacking for news from the front.

  5. under the Q&A section….”Do you have to come every night”? A: “No, but we caution the teens that if you come one night, you will want to attend the rest”.

    But, what if I can only attend on the final evening??????? Then what ❓

  6. My high school brought them in at least twice for back-to-school camp. There was so much pressure to go forward and make some sort of decision. The faculty were counselors. If you DIDN’T go forward for something during the week, you were definitely struggling with the sin of pride. I can remember Jim VanG’s perfectly alliterated sermon outlines even 12 years later. Achan – The Look, the Lust, the Lift, the Lie. Is YOUR sin going to be responsible for not allowing the Lord to work in your school?

    Maybe it was just a different week or something, but I was thinking my last year of high school we had a minutemen group from Ambassador come. They weren’t the primary thing as I recall, but it was a new group, so they were testing out their skits on us that I’d seen a million times. I guess it was from this group. Maybe just a different evangelist.

    1. Wait…YOUR behavior can control what God can and cannot do for an entire school? No wonder Fundies are so angst-ridden.

    2. *twitch* No thanks for resurrecting that buried memory, now I remember that particular sermon and how discouraged it made me feel. Oh the joyous memories from Camp Joy πŸ™„

        1. no, it used to be better back in the day, it was ruined once it came under the influence of this particular group. Then it became the bastion of Marquette Manor/Falls Baptist brand fundamentalism.

  7. The second I saw this, I thought, “I don’t want to know,” but I looked anyway. (There’s something voyeuristic about wanting to find out just how awful fundamentalism really is.)

    Ah, the gospel proclamation — the Bad News before the Good News, as it were. Quote: ” . . . Yet, we all know that we are not perfect. The Ten Commandments alone reveal how grossly imperfect we are (e.g. taking God’s name in vain, dishonoring parents, adultery, stealing, lying, coveting). This is why the bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We fall far short of God’s standard of perfection. Therefore, sin disqualifies us from getting to heaven by our own ability.”

    OK, I’ve heard this a thousand times since I was five years old. I have no problem with the premise: we’ve all screwed up and salvation is by grace. But how come the other half of the message is never mentioned — the part in which Jesus says to the Rich Young Ruler, “Get rid of all the props that you think have made you secure, take the proceeds and give them to the poor, and THEN come and follow me”?
    Does that ring any bells? Apparently not. It’s just Three Easy Steps and you’re in like Flynn.
    It’s such a corruption of what Jesus was all about.

      1. This guy lays out a pretty good case (in my opinion) that back in the 1950s-60s, the founders of what’s now the “Religious Right” deliberately distorted their own Holy Writ in order to get worldly wealth and power.

        He points out that if said beliefs are true, then these guys _literally_ made a pact with Satan. 😯

  8. Ah, Jim VanGeldren, my hall monitor from Smith Dorm in 1982. Standards and outward appearance. If you don’t like offensive language then please read no further…..but I wouldn’t piss in his mouth if his guts were on fire. πŸ‘Ώ

    Just follow all these rules, you don’t need no grace.

  9. Best Quote:

    “Since 1979 we have used most of these games and have developed them to be fun and safe. Literally thousands of teens of all sizes and abilities have played these games with great enjoyment. They are teen tested. Occasionally there are sprains and very, very occasionally there may be a bone broken.”

    1. English, as a subject, was never my strong suit in school, but using the words “very, very occasionally” seems wrong grammatically.

    2. “Occasionally there are sprains and very, very occasionally there may be a bone broken.”


      And you’re right, Eric, “very, very occasionally” is poor English. They’re trying to say “on rare occasions.” At least I hope it’s rare. πŸ™

    3. their game called “spoke tackle” seems to be designed to ensure someone gets injured every time. I loved it as a kid, but it certainly is not safe.

    1. My question too. I understand what it means, but I don’t understand what it has to do with this site.

    2. It might refer to the fact that so many fundy youth groups do “cola wars” and maybe VanGelderen was the first to come up with it.

      Not that I really care, but apparently he does.

  10. Went to high school with Mr. Jim…
    we were the Marquette Manor Minuetmen,
    so nice to see the theme has been
    carried over hill and vale
    good times, good times. . . *twitch*

    1. Hey, we went to the same school! You probably knew my older brother. I was there ’76 – ’91. Yup, K-3 to 12th grade. πŸ™„ Jimmy’s sister was my 1st grade teacher, and his aunt taught art class.

  11. Anything any of the Van Gelderens do makes me RUN. That church is VERY cultish. Two of my friends from college did their student teaching at that Christian school, and they were completely miserable the whole time.

    1. I barely escaped being sent to their school. Baptist College of Ministry. At least they don’t confuse you in their name. . . They train you for the Baptist ministry, all right. Just not for very Christian ministry. . . I had a friend who went there. He goes on and on about how the college is the only one (besides Ambassador [and Crown, if it weren’t for their music]) that actually stands up for God. He said that everyone in the U.S. should go there for at least one year.

      1. That’s because they need the money to perpetuate the family business. I would guess that thanks to modern technology, it’s harder to keep people from finding out the truth about these bozos and going to school elsewhere.

  12. Geez, those sermon topics for the teens are so cliched it’s ridiculous… the only things that’s missing is drugs and rock music. I hold out hope that they will at least be mentioned at some point in time or it won’t truly be a fundy teen meeting.

  13. My Sunday school teachers did not always enunciate very well, especially while leading us in songs that they knew by rote. There was one song that my first grade teacher loved to lead, that I never understood. Looking over some of these fundy rules, I now realize what that song was really saying. While I was reading through this site, a voice began singing in my head “Jesus wants me for a zombie, a zombie, a zombie. Jesus wants me for…”

    1. The first time I went to church, local Baptist church’s bus ministry. I was 7 years old, the year ’73. My Sunday School teacher was talking about how we are to worship Jesus, only the way she said it sounded like war ship. Being a Navy kid in the Vietnam era, I knew all about war ships. Also, living in Southern California, I knew about Jesus from the Jesus freaks. The problem was, I couldn’t figure how to put the two together! πŸ˜†

  14. I love the part about the problems plaguing teens today on the Q&A section. Yeah, because disobidience, swearing, lying, and sex are the biggies, right? We don’t need to talk about drug addiciton, abuse, eating disorders, cutting, suicide, alcoholism, sexual identity crisis. Your teen didn’t unload the dishwasher last night!

    1. Let’s not forget bullying and cyberbullying…and the list could go on. πŸ™

  15. Jim VanGeldren, to me, will always be the man who refuses to say the word “s-e-x” from behind the “sacred desk.” ha. (instead saying things like “That little three letter word that refers to a man’s physical relationship to his wife.”)

    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean!!!!! Only, my experience with it was every speaker at the Bill Rice Ranch. Only once in the 10 years that I went did anyone say anything related to the word “sex.” That was BR3, and he said something like “And the culture is, if I can salvage the term, ‘sexy’.” At that point, I realized that BRR was a joke. But I can totally see Jim tip-toeing around the word, too. . .

    2. Hmmm. If you can’t even bring yourself to say the word, are you really the person to be advising teenagers about sex (which the Minutemen Evangelistic Team ad says they do)?

      1. Can you imagine him reading through the great poem about the minuteman Paul Revere? Through every MiddleSEX village and town…

  16. “The only reason your teen may want to bring money is if he or she wants to buy a team T-shirt.”

    What? No OFFERING? And they call themselves IFB ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓

  17. One of my high school teachers traveled with Minutemen for a year. He said another guy in the group got yelled at by Rhonda VanG, Jim’s wife, for complimenting a hostess on the dessert she served. By my teacher’s account, the pie was barely edible. And the lady asked, with a glowing face, how everybody liked it. Well, this guy said, “Oh! It’s amazing! Thank you so much!” And that was that.

    When they were out the door, ready to leave, Mrs. VanG said to him sternly, “Did you really think it was amazing?”
    The guy said, “Of course not! It was horrible. . .”
    Mrs. VanG: “Then why did you lie to the lady? Go back in there and apologize right now.” πŸ™„ πŸ™„ πŸ™„

    1. I found this on the Baptist College of Ministry site next to a Cola War Team Picture:

      The BCM Evangelistic Team ministers in local churches across the country for a week at a time in evangelistic outreach. While representing and recruiting for Baptist College of Ministry, the team focuses on helping local churches to fulfill the Great Commission by bringing the lost to Christ…

      So, the Great Commission now utilizes Baptist College teams and leaves out the whole making disciples part? Or is recruiting the new name for make disciples?

      1. Sadly it comes of as:
        While we are recruiting for our college we also help churches fulfil the great commission by bringing the lost to Christ.
        I seem to have missed all that works centered effort in salvation when I read the Bible. I always thought we took the Gospel to the nations and let the Holy Spirit draw those who the Lord is saving each day. And maybe I’m being too picky after recent events but there is more to the Christian life than just bringing the Lost to Christ as if you were rounding up cattle. All these programs and presentations and games, may the Lord be please to use even these but it just comes off like a Carnaval Side show where they get you in the tent and then change the show once you are inside. It also comes across as, “the only reason we care about you is because we want you in our program. And Jesus wants you in his as well.”
        God can use anything he wants to in order to open up a sinner’s heart and eyes to Truth. (as was pointed out here on SFL just recently, he can even use cheesy and manipulative Christian movies to speak to hearts, and bring about salvation.) He can use the most inane to bring about the most profound for he IS God! And He will be glorified in-spite of all our best and most noble efforts to get in his way. In-spite of all our trying to limit God and keep him within the covers of our 1611, black leather wide-margined, King James Bibles, he is God and his WILL, will be done. /end sermonette, dismounts soapbox… sticks the landing.

        It just seems that the primary focus is their program and Jesus Christ gets Second Billing when he’s mentioned at all.

    1. . . . . . know someone before asking them to bow their head, close their eyes, and repeat this little prayer.

  18. Why do people who worship β€œThe Prince of Peace” keep using war language?
    George Orwell notes in his novel β€œ1984” that keeping a society in a perpetual state of war is a great way to unite and control a population. It seems fundies go that same thing.

    1. The Prince of Peace himself used plenty of “war language.” (see also Matthew 10:34) and the Scriptures which speak of him contain plenty as well. Christ is not only one thing.

      1. I am aware of Jesus’ war language. It just seems that fundies through their rhetoric and music focus more war than peace.

  19. i spent 15+ agonizing years in wayne vangelderen’s church & academy. during that time, i had more interaction with all three brothers than i care to remember. i’m happy to answer any questions you have, so somebody get us started.

    1. Was there really a contact the ladies had to sign saying they would never wear pants if they wanted to be regular attenders/members?

      1. I had no actual interaction with the Van Glederen’s, but we had one of them come speak at our Fundy high school for chapel and several of the member’s of their church sent their kids to our high school a long time ago. The chapel message was don’t ever date. Period. Not. Ever. Not in HS, not in college, and don’t even think about talking to anyone of the opposite gender (cause I know the speaker didn’t use the term sex) until you were at least a Jr. in college and then only through the arrangement of your parents. I also remember some of the girls in school being told by the girls that came from Falls that undergarments that were any color other than white meant that you were a harlot. Their term, not mine.

        1. If a preacher asks me what color my undergarments are, he or she had better have a heck of a good reason*, or I’m out of there.

          *Right now, I can’t think of any good reasons.

        2. Dang, see… there’s some more of that information I was missing out on in high school. I couldn’t ever find the frizzie haired girl wearing colored underwear lurking about in the Perilous Hallway of Peril. *sigh* πŸ˜•

      2. to my knowledge, there was no contract regarding women in pants. however there was a lot of sermons from whatever OT passage talks about women not wearing men’s clothing. culottes were a pretty popular fashion for all activities, including swimming.

      3. to my knowledge, there was no contract regarding women in pants. however there were a lot of sermons from whatever OT passage mentioned ‘women not wearing men’s clothing.’ culottes were a pretty popular fashion for all activities, including swimming.

      4. I don’t recall the pants rule, but then I only had to hang with the cult of Van Gelderen for about 5 or 6 years. I get the feeling things got weirder later on.

      5. Their girls came to winter camp wearing snow coulottes. I can’t imagine that did any good going down the tubing hill. πŸ™„

  20. I was at BJ at the same time as Joy VanGeldren and had a passing acquaintance with her. Was she part of this bunch?

    1. Yes, but she was the best of the bunch, a very sweet and kind person. Sadly, she passed away a while back. In a way I’m happy for her because she’s not trapped in the cult anymore.

      1. She was my second grade teacher and I thought she was wonderful. I remember her as kind, gentle, and full of grace – something I can’t say about the rest of my fundy elementary school teachers. Miss Joy was the only teacher I loved, and I knew she loved me.

  21. After reading the parents faq page, i will say …This theme would be exciting for my 9 year old boy…but it’s so out of touch for older kids. I also don’t know why they need to have a contact game where the kids shove and tackle? Also not sure why they would be bragging that their leaders are trained to handle large groups with little assistance. Isn’t it ideal to have the highest level of camper- leader ratio as possible?

  22. The “evangelists” link is the best part about this website πŸ˜† You can tell thes MOG’s were trained in the way they should go haha But for real, just by looking at them you can tell that they are so out of touch with the real world and how to connect with teenagers today. Sad. There is a contemporary need for a vintage faith, sorry but these MOG’s ain’t got it πŸ™„

  23. “Often imitated, never duplicated.” Sounds a little prideful, don’t you think?

  24. The fundy church I grew up in is where this guy got his start, he was one of the MOG’s younger sons. The eldest had the birhright of being Asst. Pastor under daddy, so Jimmy Van had to start his own thing. Our school mascot at the church school was the Minuteman. The “War” started as the teen version of VBS at Marquette Manor. It was North vs. South, complete with rebel flags.

    1. Oh, good.
      That brings us back to fighting for the Good Old Confederacy, complete with racism and slavery.
      But the Minute Men were from the Revolutionary War (1775-83), not the War Between States (1861-65). Did they not know that?

  25. My brother was on this team for the past spring because he couldn’t pay his BCM bill. So it’s like debt prison to have to go on this thing. And it’s quackier than I thought… He came home more fundy than a fundy pastor. πŸ™„

  26. Just clicked through their advertisement and clicked on Jim Van Gelderen (he has been at our church I’m pretty sure) Under his Philosophy or whatever section the two sections: God’s Methods”, and” God’s Might” Have some questionable but quite fundy statements in them and if I wasn’t so brain dead right now I would get out my Bible and do a critique, but wait, there are men on this site, that might be wrong for me to do that!!! But I am quite certain that if anyone reads those they will see them loud and clear.

  27. Camp Joy. We had to go there every year in HS. By my junior year the crazy guy that ran the place would literally be yelling at us while we unloaded our luggage from the buses. I remember hearing ‘sermons’ about how he would ‘break our leg’ if he was our Dad in order to keep us from doing wrong. That, and we wouldn’t have any doors on our bedrooms. Lastly, his kid was at BJU at the time, and he said that he wanted his future daughter-in-law to have to water 50 camels from the BJU fountains. Total nut-job.

  28. LOL. Early 90’s @ Camp Joy, they’d just recently bought paintball guns. So they sent us out in the woods with strict instructions that we weren’t allowed to go anywhere near the cabins. 8 paintballs in a tube was around $5. So they were really breaking it off, BUT they would buy back any paintballs that weren’t used. I was chasing a buddy of mine, he ran into a maintenance building, we both shot at each other and then agreed to a truce. We look down and see “1000 Paintballs” on the side of a big box. Needless to say, they bought a lot of paintballs back from all of the kids. It was hilarious seeing the guy with the money all confused, having to go back for more money. This is me confessing 20 years later. Sorry Camp Joy.

    1. SCORE!! 😎 er I mean repent for such wickedness! The church would never steal from you, why steal from them! πŸ™„ :mrgreen:

    2. oooooo, robbing gid’s paintball storehouse! That’s an unpardonable fundie transgression!!
      but oh, so deliciously funny πŸ˜†
      That’s a wickedly beautiful Rebate Program. πŸ˜‰

  29. The hypocrisy on this site (Stuff Fundies Like) really amazes me. You all talk about all the anger of IFBs, when all I read here are hateful remarks, name-calling and finger-pointing. Also, everyone on this website says IFBs are wrong and misguided in their doctrine, but I have yet to see one person post any Bible references and quote a Scripture to prove their points. You all may not realize this, but this website actually makes the IFBs look good compared to you. (1 Cor. 15:10)

    1. Calm down there little fella. Its not so much that the fundies are ignorant. It is that they are WILLFULLY ignorant and, in many cases, heretics who preach a false gospel. Now as far as the hateful comments are concerned if you had a sense of humor you would be laughing WITH us, but since you clearly don’t, it stings a bit.

    2. Hey! You wouldn’t happen to be THE Mike of the Minutemen evangelists, would you?

  30. Wow..”The War” is definitely a memory I would rather forget!! It appears they still go to my old fundy high school as well. YIKES!!

  31. Wow. I’ve been reading this site for too long…it’s weird when it’s one of the fundy groups you know. All too well. *Shudder* Sooooo cult-like!

    Incidentally, was Wayne Van Gelderen still the pastor at Marquette when the youth pastor Edward Greene was abusing that girl? I figured Van Gelderen was the one who hired him and was around for at least the first year of abuse, but wasn’t sure if it was the whole period or when. Anyone know?

  32. finally!!!! i have been waiting for you to stumble on this particular church. they are insane. i have been to about 4 of their wars and about 4 of their “holiness conferences”. by far one of the most rediculously strict churches i have been exposed to.

  33. when we played spoke tackle at my old church, this kid got tackled and dislocated his hip. emt’s got called and everything.

  34. This is a very old string…
    My daughter is currently attending a music academy at IU, where Elizabeth Van Gelderen (now Elizabeth Zemper) is her private instructor. My gut worries. This is not a religious academy, but I find Ms. Zemper’s demeanor worrisome — she is downright unkind to students; rarely, if ever, smiles; compliments are sparse and vague.

    Anybody her know her?

  35. Yep, know them all and appreciate the fact that they stand up for what’s right as unpopular or crazy as it may be in the world today (or this string of posts). We may not all agree on standards but why criticize someone who draws the line more conservative than you.

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