A Eulogy

Friends we are gathered here today to celebrate the homegoing of our dear brother Thomas Johnson Wilson, known to all of us here at Grace Baptist Church simply as “Brother Tom.” As I look out at your faces today I see both tears and smiles as we know that our brother will be missed but we rejoice that he is gone from this old world to a place prepared especially for him.

As I think of Tom I remember that he was a gentle man who was dearly loved by his wife of twenty-three years and their eight children. Tom was always cheerful and never in my memory hurt anybody on purpose other than being rather accident prone whenever he was having a bit of a bad day.

Looking from here I can see the familiar faces of some of our local Emergency Room staff who know Tom and his family well since a lot of them ended up there when Tom was in the mood to trip accidentally shove someone through a wall or mistakenly drop a piece of furniture on them. But no matter how bad the injury of the day was, Tom always clung to the Word of God during those trying times and would quote a comforting verse or two when I came to see them in the hospital. And most importantly of all that verse was always from the King James Bible.

Tom was a generous man. He and his family would often sacrifice having nice extras like meat and firewood so that they could give to our church. We used to jokingly refer to him as Tom the Tither around our staff meeting table right before we would pray that God would find a place for his mother to live so that she could get out of that homeless shelter. I know it weighed heavy on Tom’s heart that his own mother was forced to live the last days of her life in that place run by Roman Catholics and he would ask us for gospel tracts and pamphlets about the evils of the Vatican to send her. Because giving someone the Gospel is the greatest gift you can give them, amen?

And Brother Tom was a man who knew how to witness. He never left the house without putting on a white dress shirt and tie and in the pocket of that shirt was sure to be a stack of gospel tracts and decision cards. And every Sunday he would come to church with a fresh batch of decision cards. And he didn’t just go to rich neighborhoods. No sir, Tom spent most of his time witnessing to people who didn’t even know how to read or write and he would have to fill out their decision cards for them and guess at how their names were spelled. Often times we couldn’t even find those folks later but I know we’ll see them some day in heaven and get the final head count of how many people he got saved. And that doesn’t even include all the witnessing he did by the Scripture verses that he had on stickers all over his truck.

Tom was a loving man. He loved everybody in this church. When I talk about Tom with people out in our community they always mention how much he loved to be with people and he especially loved to be an encouragement to single mothers who needed a man to help them around the house. It’s no wonder that so many of those women ended up naming their children “Thomas” and I swear that his love was so great that a lot of those kids even came to look like him as if he were their real father. But of all the people Tom Wilson loved, he loved his pastor most of all. Every deacons meeting and business meeting I could always count on him sitting right here in front and voting whichever way I felt led. You just can’t put a price on that kind of loyalty.

And I know that when that terrible accident happened and the brakes on that truck his wife was driving slipped and he had no time to get out of the way that even as he lay there in that driveway, the heavens opened and angels bore his soul aloft just like that pictures in the tracts he always handed out. And I know that he was so happy to be there in heaven with all the great Baptist preachers and men of God that he’d listened to on sermon tapes for all those years. And I’m sure they knew immediately that this was one of their own that was coming home and welcomed him with open arms into their midst.

Now let’s all stand and sing hymn number #356 “Coming Home” because I’m know that Brother Tom has gone home. And I’m sure he is even now receiving his just reward for his service here.

Let’s all sing out on the first…

148 thoughts on “A Eulogy”

    1. Seems like I’ve been to lots of funerals over the last few years, and some of them were not far from this. One awkward Baptist minister was giving the eulogy at an elderly aunt’s funeral. He pointed down at the casket and said, “That thar’s not a purty site, but in heavens she’s gonna have a GAH-LORIUS BODY! Amen?”

      1. Beowulf, that sounds like some kind of parody of redneck funerals, but you know what? I think I believe it really happened.

        1. Believe me, Gary, it did happen. I was there (and had to stifle a severe case of the giggles when it happened.)

        2. Unfortunately, I have no trouble at all believing that it happened. In my home (fundyesque) church, we had a lady who perished in a house fire. At her funeral the pastor made a comment “I know Sister So-and-so is laying up here just a piece of charcoal but she’ll have a new body one day.” He made “charcoal” references at least twice during the service. Not surprisingly, both times sent her daughter into paroxysms of grief! I was so embarrassed that I wanted to do what Tom’s wife did to him to the pastor! It’s like Mama always says, “Tis folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss.”

  1. “Coming Home”…that song gives me twitches. I grew up in a non-fundy church and we would sing that for altar calls…endlessly…until my friend’s dad would reach his limit and sing, Lord I’m going home! :mrgreen: Good times! Great post today, BTW! πŸ™‚

  2. Not so recently a “tom” passed who was a member of our former fundy church. He was also my brother’s neighbor. No one in the neighborhood could stand him. He was known as being greedy, dishonest and a little weird. But hey, he was in church three times a week and his wife never wore pants and that really all that matters.

  3. Sorry we missed the “every head bowed, and every eye closed” moment. My fundy grandparent’s pastor did that at their funerals, even though it was church people there. The stupid song leader has us singing 5 songs, verses 1,3,and 4. My grandparents decided to be cremated, after my frugal grandpa found out how much a traditional burial would cost. Even though it killed him to pre-pay for it, since that admitted they might not get raptures. At the end of grandpa’s service the pastor said, “now this is normally the part of the service where we go to the cemetery and say ‘ashes to ashes’ but Mel decided to speed up the process, so let’s go downstairs at eat.” There was a mad dash to eat.” There was a mad dash (kidding).

  4. “Checks can be made out in the pastor’s name.”

    Or, to the pastor’s pet “outreach” slush fund. (Same difference, just avoiding the appearance of evil.)

    1. And with the slush fund they don’t have to eventually produce a building (or an excuse for not having one)

  5. At my mother’s funeral, presided over by a glorious BJU-trained “preacher boy,” we had to endure rants on how her liberal children were going to hell. He was gone 2 years later when it was time for my father’s funeral. I did nothing. I heard the little old ladies at the funeral dinner talking and knew that pastor’s days were numbered. God is good.

    1. He did this at a FUNERAL???? I continue to be nearly speechless. I have attended fundy funerals, but have never ever heard anything this bizarre. So very sad! I am so sorry!

      1. Weddings and funerals are the really only only chance the preacher man has to reach the real unwashed. For all the tales of tracting down on Main St. nobody new shows up for Sunday morning, Sunday evening, or midweek prayer and praise services. Gotta hit the sinners with the good news while you can. Gotta iron while the opportunity is hot!

      2. Oh yes! The ONLY reason it didn’t happen at my dad’s funeral was that my next youngest brother, sister and myself ganged up on the pastor and told him the family wouldn’t stand for it. When my uncles (one of whom was ex-navy, the other a former marine) backed us up, he (rather wisely) backed down on the subject.

      3. Yes. For my father’s funeral, we got our former youth pastor who didn’t really want to do it. I told him if he didn’t, I would start calling all the Methodist ministers in town until I found someone. No one from that church was going to preach at daddy’s funeral.

  6. There should have been a line about Tom always being so thrifty and how they suffered through the cold of the winters just so he could give to keep the lights and heat on at church. And how Tom is now in a place where he is finally warm. 😯

    Yep good old Tom is gone on to his reward.
    Funny how the family no longer has so many hospital visits and how happy the family looks. It’s a shame that his wife has backslidden and cause her children to fall into sin by taking them out of our Christian school and putting them in public school. But the worst part is that she has been atending that non-denominational church that is filled with godless Calvinists on the other side of town.
    I remember how our ladies prayed for her after Brother Tom’s passing. I remember how long our church prayed for her car when it broke down. I hear tell that some mechanic from that other church fixed it for her for free. Yeah you know what was going on there. Not long after that she denied the faith and fell away and began attending that church.
    Now her children are attending godless public school and learning all about how we came from monkies and evilution. It’s a shame, and I saw them out at the bus stop the other day and that daughter, who developed into womanhood so early was wearing some skintight jeans in public. I just couldn’t belive it so I drove by “twice” really slow.

    That is why you men need to rule your houses well. Brother Tom was the spiritual anchor for that family and it just pains me to see how far they have fell from the faith since his passing. I have tried to meet with his widow and comfort her but she refuses to meet with me. I just never knew that Brother Tom was so unequally yoked. She is the devil in disguise. Let that be a lesson to all you me out there. Make your home secure with a wall of prayer and rule your castle well.

    There is hope for Brother Tom’s widow. She has been talking with my wife here recently. My wife want to plant some shrubs so Brother Tom’s wife has agreed to lend Brother Tom’s truck to my wife this Saturday. 😈 πŸ˜‰

    1. Don, What Darrell wrote was a slightly hyperbolic sarcastic example of many of the foibles of fundamentalism stuffed into one (hopefully) hypothetical example.

      Your post on the other hand, can’t even be called sarcasm, I think the only word for it would be “truth” Scary how accurate you are. you do know of course that if your current day job doesn’t work out, you could make a killing as a Mog somewhere! Serious Fundy skills, serious…the experiences you must have had to get that kind of an edumacation must have been a burden that would have me waking up screaming in the night.

      1. Don, I’m just glad you took the effort to drive by twice. It’s good to be sure of these things.

        1. That way she knows that I, her pastor, know. And I, her pastor, know she knows better than to dress like that and go to school. She may end up alone in a hallway with a guy and her tight, form-fitting, hip hugging jeans and low cut sweater might tempt some young man to lust. Then it may become the perilous hallway of peril. You know they are having sex in those hallways everyday… the loose morals and anything goes mentality found in the public schools is demonic! Massteria!

    2. I can relate to THIS post better than to the funeral posts, (though I do know they are true and really happened; I am just fortunate enough never to have attended one like that–yet!)
      Don, some of these things actually happened to me. My late husband was the pastor of a fundy church, though he and I were fed up and were actively being wooed by two other churches at the time of his death, one of which was NOT fundy. We wanted to go! Anyway, after his death, I had people from the church he had pastored calling me daily and telling me what to do: I was to suck it up–you know, I and my three small traumatized children–and go minister to the people in our church who were grieving his passing, for one. Also, I was not to THINK of leaving that church–but believe me, I did neither of the above. I put my children first, and I got out as fast as I could. After I began attending a church of a different denomination, folks from the old place made sure I knew that THEY knew I now wore slacks to church, that I was teaching there, and NOT from a KJV, that I needed a MAN from the old place to be the authority over me, yada yada yada. I home schooled for eight years, and put the kids into public school in middle school and high school. They thrived there, and I was condemned for that.
      Ask. Me. If. I. care.
      The old place never gave us a penny, including not giving us his final pay check, paltry as it was. This was fine by me, as I was so happy to have no string attached that they thought they could jerk.
      This single event (his death) was the motivation for the largest, final step OUT of fundamentalism, though we had been moving that way for years prior to his death. I would not darken the doors of an IFB church unless there were some super-good, really urgent need to do so.
      That old place stole some of my belongings which had been stored in the basement of the church; they were furious when I came and got my fridge and coffee maker out; I went to clean out his office, only to find that the church witch had set up her wedding cake business in it.
      You can see why I feel the way I do about IFB’s. I get nervous twitches just thinking about it, and my stomach is clenched typing this–and this all happened 17 years ago! I can deal with the residual Hyles crap in my life, more easily than I deal with this, probably because it hurt people I love most: my children. πŸ™ πŸ˜₯

      1. Seen Enough, I truly hate that you have experienced such “love and compassion.” πŸ™„
        Not all fundies are so shallow, but the movement lends itself to the cult of personality to the point that if you are not in then you are out. The rolls that are played while in are very narrowly defined.

        In regards to leadership rolls there is a sort of spiritual entitlement thing going on. That is one of the real issues I have with the Clergy/laity model of church governance. From the Clergy view there is the positional power plays and personal perks, from the Laity view there is the “If we are going to worship you then you must meet our needs first. After all we are the sheep and if you want to keep getting your paycheck then you will perform for us, and take care of us first.”

        Once there is a break from these rolls then there can be a visceral reaction to the loss of the status quo. Perceptions and preconceptions are fragile things and should one act outside the roll that one has been consigned to, in the group, then the reaction can be quite negative. The group takes it as a personal affront and in order to repair the group psyche they will atempt to stamp out the offending memory and if necessary do something to “get back” at the offender in a personal way as well.

        I am so sorry that you have experienced some of this. Not all fundies are like this, but as I said, the movement promotes the bunker attitude and should one leave the bunker then they become Code: 1st John 2:19 so that everyone knows not to associate with them any longer. (Yes, I have actually heard that used regarding a family that left the fold)

        What is the fruit of the Spirit?
        Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance?
        But that only applies to, and is extended to, those who know their roll and continue in the bunker with the group. πŸ™„

        1. All of this is so true, and so well-put. I must say, though, that while I agree that they only extend the fruit of the Spirit to their own, even while one is within the bunker, one does not see a WHOLE heckuva lot of that fruit….

        2. I completely agree about the cult of personality and the respective roles, but I think another element at play is the habit of dividing everyone into “saved” (us) and “unsaved” (them), or elect and damned, or whatever you want to call the in and out groups.

          This world-view causes some of the behavior Seen Enough experienced.

          But as for things like not sending her the last paycheck, and not returning her property, those are just theft. Even from Fundamentalists, I wouldn’t expect that.

      2. That’s awful, Seen Enough. It’s so sad to see churches unable to follow God’s basic commands to love one another.

      3. Reading that made my heart hurt. I didn’t realize when I left fundyland, that I hadn’t seen or experienced near how bad it could be. Glad you’re out.

        1. Thank you for all the kind comments! πŸ™‚ I hasten to add here that the children are grown, and we are four of the most fun-loving people I know, and we love life, and the Lord, and *I* love SFL. (My kids are glad I love SFL, but do not relate to it, as they do not recall being fundy! BLESSING!!!) God is very faithful to the widow and the fatherless, I am here to testify to that. πŸ˜€

      4. Geez. I’m so sorry. SFL: kicking a person when they are down.

        Glad you were strong enough to stand against them and do what was best for your kids.

        1. That is very kind. I must also hasten to add, I had plenty of help at that upheaval time in our lives! New, strange-to-me friends came into our lives. They were Christians, but not fundies. They were loving, and gracious, and helped my mind and heart heal, and helped me be open to radical ideas. Radical ideas like, you won’t die and go to hell for admitting you like to read the NIV. I started to see the Work of the Holy Spirit more clearly. Even in my grief, I saw so much more of the love of God toward me, and felt His comfort in amazing, incredible ways. CCM came into our lives, and God did not maim us for listening to, and being comforted by, that evil “rock music.”. I also found, at the recommendation of a new friend, a wonderful Christian clinical psychologist, who helped me, and helped me get my kids, through it all.
          So, it turns out that our amazing God took that tragedy and wrung every drop of positive out of it for us. “He makes the wrath of men to praise Him.”. (I still remember verses best from the KJV πŸ™‚ ). He makes beauty from ashes. He is so incredible. We are all fine, or as my late husband used to say, finer than a frog’s hair split four ways! πŸ˜‰

        2. @SeenEnough-I am sorry for the loss of your husband and the mistreatment you suffered after that loss. Our stories are very similar only I lost my father soon after leaving the IFB.
          My husband and our 4 kids had left the IFB about a year before my fathers death. During that year we suffered total shuning from not only the local, NT,church we had attended but all the IFB churches in our then area. To top that off, my inlaws are poster children for the IFB. They totally shunned us as well. Of course, not until they raked us over the coals for being heretics, lunatics and nothing but trouble.
          Despite all that, my husband and I grew amazingly close to the Lord. Through that pain He brought us closer to Him.
          A few weeks before my fathers death he was taken to the ER. We were told he would not make it through the night. My mother asked me to call their pastor who was our former IFB pastor. I respected her wishes and gave him a call. I told him how gravely ill dad was and that my mother wished him to come to the ER. He responsed in anger that I would dare call him. He informed me I was not allowed to call him and that a different family member needed to call him if my mother needed anything. He then hung up the phone!
          That whole conversation really shook me up. I was already dealing with the possible loss of my father now I am having to deal with fundy “righteous” anger AGAIN!
          The “pastor” did show up a few hours later. He ingnored me the whole time. He acted as if I wasn’t even there. My father did pass away a few weeks later. At dads funeral that same pastor shook every family members hand in the family line expect my husbands and I. He walked right past us as if we weren’t even there.
          Why all this hostility to us? Because we simply asked him what “Baptist Baptism” was. When we disagreed with him, He said we were no longer welcomed to be part of HIS church. He basically told us to leave. So we did and the was the best thing that ever happened to us! We had alot of issues with things in the church and were getting more and more unsettled with being there. So when he told us we were nothing but trouble for him since we didn’t agree with him, we left. We were scared at first since the IFB was the only church we ever knew, but I. will. never. go. back!

        3. Oh my gosh, Sandra, this is one of the absolute WORST I have EVER heard of! That man! He is unspeakable! He is NOT a pastor, or minister of ANY kind! This is ALWAYS my question: Why, Lord, do You allow these wolves in sheep’s clothing to harm Your little ones? Sigh. This is really a terrible story. I am SO glad that you look at it the way you do–a DELIVERANCE. Holy cow. This one will haunt me. How very evil that man is. πŸ‘Ώ

        4. @ Seen Enough, I haven’t always seen our departure as a deliverance. It cost us every relationship we had, family included! Some family has learned to accept us and even leave fundyland since our depature. Despite all that pain, it truly is a deliverance from the darkness of traditions of men to the Light of walking with God!

        5. “This is ALWAYS my question: Why, Lord, do You allow these wolves in sheep’s clothing to harm Your little ones?”

          Mine too, Seen Enough! πŸ˜₯

        6. ” it truly is a deliverance from the darkness of traditions of men to the Light of walking with God!”
          Sandra, you say it so very well! πŸ™‚

        7. That “pastor” is not only a lousy minister; he isn’t even a decent human being.

          If it were possible to sue pastors for malpractice, you would have a strong case.

  7. You all are some of the most morbid people I have ever encountered on the web. You seem to be encouraging people to kill their spouses. This whole satire routine is crazy. If you have issues then leave the circumstances that are causing them and quit dwelling on them. It is never good to live in the past.

    1. Hi, John. Nice of you to join us.

      You know that thing where you say, “If you have issues then leave the circumstances…” I think that if you have issues with the humor here, then you should leave. Seems to be the appropriate way to carry out your logic.

      1. JoeR, for this comment I award you an honorary degree of Doctor of Infallible Logic from Old Paths University.

        Welcome, Dr. Joe!

      1. Polecat: Sense of humor waste of time, life is to serious to bothered with trivial thigs such as humor. Now I must go and clean my rifle for the start of hunting season this weekend.

        1. Mr. Smith, for purposes of my own mental health, I’m going to believe you’re a Poe.

    2. Ok so the post was a bit over the top, I sure hope no one like this Tom really exists in fundyville. But there are a lot of men with some of these qualities. I have known men who gave so much to the church that their wives and children wore the same clothes all the time. I’d often think, “That guy’s a lawyer but I have more clothes than his wife has.” And I wondered if he was spending any time at all with his kids because he was always doing things at the church or out soul winning when he wasn’t working.

      Maybe you should stick around a little longer so you can get more of a real feel for the site and what it’s about. I find it a way to heal from my 25 years in fundyville. 😎

      1. Macushlalondra:

        Sadly, Tom is very real–be afraid,be very afraid. And thank God you have never run into Tom!

      2. I’m afraid cordovan is correct. There are many Toms out there. I know quite a few “recovering” Toms, who thankfully have realized that THEIR family is ministry #1. I can honestly say that there, but for the grace of God, go I.

        It is sad that it took seeing families torn apart by so called “ministry” to open my eyes to truth. (And common sense).

    3. “It is never good to live in the past.”

      Lol! The Fundys just need to drink their own medicine sometimes. :mrgreen:

        1. Not really Gary, however is there really a purpose is writting a piece that seem to commend a woman running over her husband and then later offering the truck to someone else to committ another murder. This whole site smack of a general hatered of any type of authority. I do not understand the intense hatred of ministers on here. My life has been blessed by the influences of many godly men. And I see no reason not to honor them as God says to. There is a reason for all the ministry giftings as listed in Ephesians 4:11. They are to uplift and train laity in the ways of the faith. With no pastors and other leaders there would be chaos. All indians and no chief is a recipe for disaster.

        2. OOHHHHH!!!! I didn’t get the lending the truck to the minister’s wife for planting shrubs as being a plan to run over the minister… I thought it was because the minister was having his wife do heavy work when he should have been doing it himself… Never occured to me… DUH.
          Oh and also, I really don’t think this is the right place for you John Smith. You just don’t seem to be getting it and I doubt you ever will. I’m not saying this to be mean, but how can you possibly enjoy this site when it is so far beyond your understanding?

        3. Lighten up Franci… I mean John. You caught the loaner truck reference so like it or not you have The Callingβ„’ to see subtle humor. Give in to the dark humor, search your feelings John, you know it’s funny.
          Come on admit it, you were thinking, “Ya know Brother Tom might have been alright if she hadn’t backed up to see what she hit, and then pulled forward again to clear the obstruction.” He still might have made it if she had cut the engine off, but with the exhaust blowing in his face for twenty-five minutes until the Ambulance arrived… it was just too much for Ol Brother Tom.

          But you really haven’t heard a good death story until you hear Dr. Phil Kidd tell one… from the pulpit… we are rank amateurs in comparison. He is “Faces of Death: The sermon illustrations.” A real altar filling gore fest.

        4. @John Smith
          This whole site smack of a general hatered of any type of authority.

          I don’t know about Darrell, or this site, or any other posters, but I will own that one.

          I was an obedient child that wanted very much to please adults. When it hit me like a sledgehammer that this willingness was being used as a weapon against me, I broke.

          I have a strong anarchist streak in me, because the abuse of power is just too easy for those with power.

    4. It is never good to live in the past.

      It’s also unwise to forget it and/or not learn from it. It is wise to examime your life. You are what you have experienced. For good or for ill.

    5. Aw, thanks Bro. Smith!

      I was really enjoying this post and thinking that Darrell had outdone himself this time. Then I wondered how long it would be until the trolls came out.

      Now I know. Moving on.


        1. That didn’t work right. I guess this video doesn’t like to be embedded. I’ve been trolled by a troll video!

  8. Oh, this stings. My dad wasn’t a Tom, but while he always gives to his church, my sister sits in deplorable conditions, unemployed due to severe disability. She hasn’t been able to get approved for SSI, so there she sits, in utter poverty, while he and his wife are earning well in the mid-six figures. My uncle (an athiest) and I are the ones helping her, and TBH, my family can ill afford it, but what can we do?

    It’s hard not to feel somewhat judgmental.

    1. I do not know much, PP, but I have been around long enough to know that they WILL pay for their hard hearts. It always does work out that way. Cold comfort, I know. I am so sorry! πŸ™

      1. If Sister’s income is low enough (and I’m guessing it is), she can probably get free legal assistance (to help her get disability benefits) from the nearest Legal Aid office. They have some of the best lawyers anywhere (my wife being just one of them).

    2. It’s sad that your father will not help your sister, but I know many families that say when you leave home, you’re going to have to make it on own. And it is dmirable you help her, but do you help a sibling or other family member at the expense of your immediate family(i.e., spouse or minor childern. At what point does the assistance have to stop to take care of the inner circle of family? Hard questions and unfortunately many of us will have to make.

      1. Matthew 22: 37-40

        If you aren’t helping out family, who ARE you helping? May God have mercy on those who are so overcome with love for self that they have none left over for anyone else.

        My sister has had a serious, debilitating illness since she was a small child. She is now nearly blind, unable to walk without assistance, is unemployed (obviously), and single. How, pray tell, should she support herself without the help of her family?

      2. 1 John 3:17 – “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

    3. Maybe they need to be visited by three ghosts on Christmas eve and get a heart adjustment. John if they have a 6 figure income I doubt they’d be taking food from their own children’s mouths to help her out. The Bible says one should help their own or be worse than an infidel.

  9. This church auditorium looks almost identical to my old church in Michigan other than that the pews were gray rather than this lovely turquoise. :mrgreen:

    1. The more I read your posts, the more I’m quite sure I visited your old church in MI several times…

  10. At my dad’s funeral the fundy pastor not only gave an invitation, but he also used the time to make subtle little jabs at my mom for not asking his wife to sing at the funeral. When they released the crowd they all nearly RAN over to the fellowship hall for the fried chicken that was there, and by the time we (the family who had to stay in a recieving line) got over there all the food was gone and people were just having what looked like a PARTY. I was pretty irritated because I don’t think most of the people there even knew my dad. They were just there for the meal.

    1. These stories are so dreadful. To be so insensitive to people, at such a vulnerable time! Shudder. Good riddance to bad rubbish. πŸ‘Ώ

      1. I don’t agree with you about that JoeR, but I do think the family should be the first through the line. I remember one funeral for a lady who loved her church but when she died her family told the pastor that they wanted the funeral dinner to be family only. The church was expected to provide the food but not be allowed to partake of it or join in the after funeral dinner at all other than cleaning up after the family. I know the lady who died would not be happy with this arrangement at all. I thought the pastor should’ve told them if they wanted the funeral dinner to be family only they should’ve had it at one of their homes and they could provide the food themselves.

        1. It’s a southern tradition. The church provides a meal for the extended family- in the fellowship hall before or after the funeral.

        2. I haven’t been to very many funerals (blessing) but the other one I was at the family and close friends drove to someone’s home after the service for food and I believe it was a pot luck. Because the church I am currently in also has its share of freeloaders who just show up any time there might be a free meal, I am particularly sensitive to people who would only come to a funeral in order to enjoy the party afterwards.

      2. Well, up here everyone eats Joe R. The family would maybe feel bad if you DIDN’T stay to eat. It’s very much a cultural thing. From evangelical to Lutheran, it is almost always and without exception: “After the committal service, you are welcome to join the family in the church basement for a little lunch” A little lunch usually is some of the best hotdishes you would ever eat, along with homemade pickles, deserts, lemonade, and good coffee. And jello salad.

        A hotdish is cassarole if you are not from around here. We even have one called “funeral hotdish” πŸ™‚

  11. I really do appreciate this site! It brings a smile to my face every day, but as I read about “Tom” I was forced to ask myself if I was truly happy that an unbeliever died without Christ. As sad, admittedly humorous, as the truth behind this post is, let’s not forget that a person who lives this type of lie is still lost and deserving of our love. After all, isnt love the thing that we should be known by? I am no longer in the circle of fundamentalism, but I honestly feel sorry for the men and women who dwell in this perpetual state of ignorance. A person living in his type of bondage to the law is a reminder of the grace of god to those of us who have accepted that we are truly helpless. So while this brings a smile to our faces it should also brig a sense of solemnity to our hearts.

    1. Hopefully you are not a CURRENT, Random BJU student! They are always watching. Muwahahahaha! πŸ‘Ώ

  12. First, the picture of the church was so familiar, it left me with a strange feeling.

    Then the eulogy, it was just the right touch.

    Then the Fridge Moment, I am doing better than that, aren’t I.

    First the laughter, then the considering of how I am living. Good job Darrell.

      1. The insight that comes after you’ve gotten up from the computer chair, turned off the TV, or come home from the theater and opened the fridge for a snack. Can be divided into Fridge Logic, Fridge Horror, and Fridge Brilliance.

        For more information see tvtropes.org, BUT ONLY if you can afford to spend an entire afternoon reading there!

        1. tvtropes.org. You are very lucky to only have spent an afternoon there. It is truly a work of love.

  13. Dear John Smith, in order to reach the point where this kind of humor refreshes your soul, one has to go through a lot, lot, lot of pain first, in other words, this kind of laughter has a price tag on it, so excuse me if I’m going to laugh for a while, after beginning to get over the pain.
    Gosh, this is positively addictive, hilarious. πŸ˜€

    1. Well said Dominika. We may laugh at this kind of satire, but inside there is also a tear because we can relate to it. We knew people like this. We read of situations others have gone through and we relate, similar has happened to us. Sometimes it brings back a painful memory, but along with that, comes a sense of relief to be OUT of that nonsense now! This site is so healing for many of us. πŸ˜€

  14. When my 16 year old cousin was killed in a car accident on a Thursday night, we all had to go to the Fundy church on Sunday morning. It was the last place I wanted to be. But we all were to be happy because he was with the Lord. Then the funeral was that afternoon. Thank God the church didn’t have an evening service that night.

    My favorite aunt died of breast cancer (her patents were the fundy preacher and wife). My aunt left the fundy world a long time before this, and helped me through my transition. She was attending a mainline Presbyterian church. That is why my grandma said she got cancer. God was punishing her for leaving the church. At her very liturgical memorial service, my Baptist preacher grandpa had to get up during the eulogy time to tell everyone how to be saved. I was mad. It was a time of celebration, not guilt and fear. The fundies all freaked out when my aunt’s Stevens Minister got up and read the 23rd Psalm and even more when my gay brother sang “The Lord’s Prayer.

    The fundies told us backsliders that we shouldn’t be sad because Joy was with God were any of should want to be. I wanted to say, “Like Hell she wanted to die, why don’t you take her place”, instead I had a couple of glasses of wine at her friends house. Told the fundies it was Jesus Grape Juice.

    1. I am so very very sorry you have had to endure these things, SW!
      As far as your loved ones being “killed” by God as a punishment, please consider the source of the comments, and remember that generally, those people are hiding something themselves, which is why the wrath of god preys on their little pinheaded minds so much.
      *I* was told that God “killed” my husband because he had preached the Word of God in a SOUTHERN Baptist pulpit, (as opposed to IFB)the week before he was killed in a car wreck as he returned from making hospital calls. Yes. HOWEVER, the accusers are an interesting pair, both in the ministry at that time, both, thank Heavens, out now: one of them was fired from a previous church for some kind of sexual activity with someone in that church; the only way we was found out was when his pregnant wife kept turning up with STD’s during her pregnancy. The other one went to jail for embezzling church funds. These were the two guys saying that God killed my husband, because he had preached in a Southern BC. Oh, yeah. So, always, always consider the source. It has become my firm belief that people like that are hiding something. πŸ‘Ώ

      1. I guess the reflexive answer would be, “If God kills people just for that, then how can it be that you’re still alive?”

        But some things are better left unsaid.

      2. Hilter, Stalin and Mao killed millions of people. Stalin & Mao died of old age.
        Yet fundie will kill a young person for switching churches?

        1. What’s even worse is when they say something awful will happen to your child to punish YOU for leaving! It’s as if they are placing a curse on the child and then of course if something tragic happens (or not so tragic, such as a girl wearing pants) it will be all your fault because you left their church! This kind of thing disgusts me no end! πŸ‘Ώ

    2. I am profoundly wearied of those who preach the wrath of God as if He is some angry, vengeful being just waiting to bap us over the head every time we do anything wrong (not necessarily according to the Bible — just according to them). I don’t doubt for a minute God gets angry, but I see Him as a wise, loving father. How many of us parents are going to strike our children with a dreadful illness or even dead when they do something with which we disagree?

      And this all has nothing to do with your aunt — I don’t mean to imply she was in any way wrong for leaving her church. Sounds like she was absolutely RIGHT for doing so. I’m just sick of people using God as their excuse for hatred and nastiness.

      1. The idea that God gets angry at circumstantial events means that God reacts to circumstances in much the same way we do. It means that God is subject to linear time just as we are and that God can be surprised. It means that God does not know the end from the beginning and if that is so then he cannot be God.
        I believe that God is angry with sin, not because it surprised him and he had to react to it but because he knew from the beginning what it would do to his creation and how his creation would suffer because of it.
        This idea that God reacts positively to our being good and is angry with us when we sin is to make god in our image. The carrot and stick god is not God but is a god of our imagination. Yes, there are consequences for out actions both positive and negative but God is not sitting around just waiting to exercise his authority over some wayward soul. Clearly the lesson of the Prodical is lost on those that think this way.

        1. That being said to say “A-men” to the above postings. The fundies are masters at producing guilt in any given circumstance. They don’t seem to be happy unless they can explain evil and bad circumstances by engaging in some spiritual witch-hunt. They need a scapegoat in order to blame “why” something happened. That way they can feeel better about themselves and their righteousness. *at times we all are or have been guitly of doing that… that’s why it is so painful and so pathetic.*

        2. “This idea that God reacts positively to our being good and is angry with us when we sin is to make god in our image. The carrot and stick god is not God but is a god of our imagination. ”

          And that, right there, has been the hardest thing to get rid of, in my own life, and in the lives of so many recovering from fundy-dum. You put it excellently: we have made a god who is like US, rather than trying to know the God Who is Himself, our great I Am.

        3. Don, you just hit quite a few nails on their collective heads! Jesus said it so clearly that God so LOVED the world that he GAVE & that He did not send His very Best into the world to condemn but to SAVE! (Didn’t mean for it to rhyme, but so be it!) So vdery true that it is hard to get it out of our thinking that God rewards the good & is angry at the sinnners, & that to be loved we must be good. The Bible says that we are to love & care for one another because He HAS already forgiven us in Christ! (Ep.4:32) He is NOT imputing our sins against us but IN CHRIST was reconciling to world unto Himself! That’s our message. Yes, there are times to lovingly rebuke, & to preach hard, but always with a heart of love, not anger, & now I’m preaching to myself. Oh well, I’ll stop so my toes can grow back before morning. God Bless. 😳

  15. I’ve been in several fundy funerals that 1) never spoke a word about the deceased and instead 2) railed angrily about Catholics the whole time. Also, my sister-in-law’s family is catholic. We were all twitching the whole service. I couldn’t believe it. We were so mad we almost walked out–and we were the family of the deceased. It was the opposite of comforting.

  16. Shortly after we left a fundy church we had attended for a couple of years, my husband’s co-workers all went there for the funeral of a church member who’d stopped attending long ago.

    She had written a letter to be read to her friends and family at the service. The pastor read this letter but “re-interpreted” it and stopped periodically to PREEEECH the gospel message that she had REALLY wanted to share with those who were there but was afraid to say it. πŸ™„

    Let’s just say that by the end of this really uncomfortable letter reading/preaching sermon, most of them had walked out. They returned to work and were complaining about the jerk at the church NOT pondering eternity.

    Outreach FAIL.

  17. I will never forget the first funeral I attended at my United Methodist church. The liturgy was scriptural and comforting. It was called a celebration of life. We celebrated what God did through that person. We laughed, we cried – but it was of life and hope.

    1. I love it! This is why my own funeral is pre-paid, and arranged. I am not sick, that I know of, I am 52, but I never want my children to have to deal with what I have had to deal with, at a time of grief, and I want it to be a true celebration. I want my Savior, and what He has done for me, to be the reason for the celebration. THERE WILL BE NO WRATH PREACHED.

    2. The first funeral I ever attended outside of a Fundyesque setting was at an Episcopal Church (ECUSA). It was a beautiful, meaningful service that was not filled with hell fire and/or brimstone. There was no altar call. Just melodious hymns sung with the accompaniment of the pipe organ and a dignified and comforting funeral homily. It helped open my eyes to the profound depth and glory of liturgical worship which I had always thought was “twice-dead and plucked up by the roots.”

    3. My MIL, raised Lutheran, died shortly after her church got a new pastor. Instead of stumbling through a canned eulogy, he fully and freely admitted that he had only spent a few hours with her and did a recitation of their first/last meeting that had people chuckling through their tears because it was so Ruth. He then strung together stories that had been told to him about her, showed us some photos from her youth–before the hard work and illness that ended her life early–that had people 😯 , and segued into a beautiful sermon about the Ruth everyone knows and the Ruth who is more than that, the Ruth we will meet on the other side of the veil, who is known to God.

      That’s how you do a funeral.

  18. As i was reading this i kept thinking, “Yep, yep…”. This “tom” reminded me so much of the pastor we had growing up. Only his story didn’t end the way “tom’s” did, sadly. I truly wish it would have though. Then so many people would have been spared his abuse.
    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one(“tom”). 😈 😈
    His wife was too sweet to be encouraged to run him over. She seemed better at the whole forgiveness thing than me.

  19. The real irony is that Tom probably IS with all those preachers now, but not in Heaven, if you know what I mean.

    “You make them twice as fit for hell as you are yourselves …”

  20. My dad died when I was 16. He was a non-conformist in the crazy IFB church we attended, so he didn’t get any glowing rememberances by the pastor. I vaguely remember the meal; there was plenty of food, but I didn’t even eat the little bit that was on my plate.

    The men of the church dropped off a load of firewood for us one time. They just dumped it in the yard, and my siblings and I had to stack it all. And I had to split it since it was all too large to fit into the stove. After that, I guess they had done their part, and my mom (and her 4 children still at home) was on her own.

    1. I SO relate to this, Tammy, except from your Mom’s POV. I hope your family found another church! Also, I am sorry or the loss of your father; I know what that has meant in my own children’s lives, and that pain, seeing theirs, I mean, is probably worse than the pain of my own loss. I hope there is a happy ending for this story, like that you are happy now, your mom is, etc.

  21. A former parishioner of mine went to a funeral about 15 years ago in an IFB church. The service was for a young man who apparently was not a believer, but some in his family were (hence the choice of church). The pastor, not-unexpectedly, gave an invitation at the close of the service in which he said — I’m not kidding — “We know that [Name] here has gone to hell, but you don’t have to risk that. Bow with me, won’t you, and accept the Lord Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior . . .”

    My parishioner (and, reportedly, a lot of others) were flabbergasted. I wasn’t surprised. I know the IFB mindset all too well.

    1. Oh dear Lord. We had a friend that was a born again Jew in our fundy church a long time ago. His dad, still very traditional Jewish died. Our friend told us all that he had made a last minute confession and he believed he was in Heaven. My dad just shook his head and couldn’t believe he wanted to delude himself that way. I was in Junior High at the time, but even at my young age I was like, “what the heck! Let him believe his dad is in Heaven. He would go mad if he thought he was in Hell, and who’s to say he isn’t in Heaven??”

  22. BTW, that sanctuary (I know, it’s an “auditorium”) in the above photo is truly hideous. Blue pew padding, green choir chairs and pink walls? Yeeeeeeesh. How Baaaaptist. :mrgreen:

    1. Hey now! I’ve worshiped in places that make that look like the Taj Mahal … wait, I kind of see your point.

    1. Oh my that is funny. Did you read the post below? Said they used to put plastic phones for the “Jesus Called” floral arrangements.

      1. I’ve actually seen the “Jesus Calls” flower arrangements with the plastic phones. I’ve never seen it permanently etched into a headstone, though.

      2. As I recall (but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it), one of those floral wreaths (with a phone) was shown in the movie “Wise Blood” (1979).

        I hadn’t thought of that movie for a while. All SFL fans should see it (and read the novel by Flannery O’Connor), if you haven’t.

      1. Cordovan, I’m not sure Darrell would argue that this post was not cynical. So how is Jay’s comment ignorant?

        1. Michael:

          The definitions for cynical are: contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives; based on or reflecting a belief that human conduct is motivated primarily by self-interest; bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.

          This word is being used pejoratively by Jay. I did not see the post as cynical. Just because one does not like the picture painted by the post does not mean it is “cynical.” I would readily agree with the term “sarcastic”, “satirical” or “accurate” but not cynical. One does not have to be bitter, distrustful of human nature or pessimistic (as some troll is always apt to suggest) to present a biting satire (which is spot on). I don’t believe DD is cynical or bitter; he is, however, very familiar with Fundyism and has a certain knack for delivering rightful criticism of it while still appreciating the positive things and not denigrating the good people imprisoned by it!

          If you disagree, so be it. Live long and prosper!

      2. Pejorative is definitely not my use of the word. Let me try to explain. This eulogy is contrived. It was made up in a man’s mind. If this were actual, it would not even be cynical–it would be utterly sad and terrible. Some might argue “have you read any of the other ACTUAL accounts people are saying?” Those, my friends, are sad and terrible because they actually happened. Those are the things that cause cynicism itself. Let’s be careful not to go there. Let’s spin this just a little (this is not a defense, just a little exam of our hearts). Take the definition that Cordovan used for cynicism, would we say this sums up “fundamentalism”? Do I see this movement in this light?

        “contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives; based on or reflecting a belief that human conduct is motivated primarily by self-interest; bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.”

  23. Darrell, you slay me with this.

    And this is another reason why I’m so glad I don’t have a family of fundies.

  24. I wonder if this really weighed on me the past few months.
    I hope I am about a hundred years from leaving this world, but we all know it can happen at any time.
    I did NOT want a funeral with a “salvation message.”
    I’ve heard those funerals.

    What’s worse? A funeral in a strict church with someone who didn’t go much. Wow. I would NEVER want my family to hear how I was headed for hell, but they have a chance to “get right with God.” Not so much. I want God’s grace in my life. I want people to hear that message when I am not here.

    I want a basic, appropriate service with a kind message about how good God’s grace is and that He has given us the victory over death. It should be no more than 30 minutes. That’s about it. I’m hoping they sing “Children of the heavenly Father.”

    Afterwards, everyone should head over to the legion.

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