Of all the trials and tribulations that a young fundamentalist deals with, trying to explain the way they live to those outside of fundyland is among the most taxing. And no time of year presents more opportunities than Christmas when non-fundy family spring from the woodwork smelling of beer, dressed immodestly, and using minced oaths without flinching. Inevitably upon these visits someone is going to start asking impertinent questions like “So what’s Santa bringing you for Christmas?” or perhaps “Why is Mary trying to ski in a skirt?” or even “So have you left your cult yet?”
Do you have a story of giving an awkward explanation at Christmas gatherings (or any other time)? Share them here.
187 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Awkward Explanations”
The first shall be last! 😈
I remember Mom dropping me off at the barber shop one time (I would have been 6 or 7), and she took a lot longer than I expected to get back. My haircut was done, and I was sitting there thinking. And I was afraid I had missed the rapture. And I started crying. The barber and everyone else in the shop were concerned, but I just said, “I can’t explain it.” Hopefully everyone thought I was just a little kid crying for his mom.
Now THAT’s sad, that a little kid would be afraid of such a thing. 😥
I went through the same thing as a kid, 😐 In my case I was probably about 11. Massive suckage because not only do you have the standard childhood fear of being abandoned by your parents, there’s also the fear of being abandoned by God and left to suffer all the tortures your pastor expounded on at least every other sunday.
Same here. I would wonder if the rapture had happened when I couldn’t find family members, even when I was old (and “saved”) enough where I technically should’ve been raptured too.
Oh, jeez, between the ages of four and thirteen, every time my house went quiet, I feared the Rapture(TM) had happened. Still runs through my head sometimes.
I just laughed really hard.
I remember getting in an argument with my mother concerning Mother’s Day, she thought I should spend it with her instead of at church. But to Fundies you’re to be in church every time the doors were open and it was the Lord’s Day. She said Mother’s Day was HER day.
Later on my husband and I started skipping church on Mother’s and Father’s day because they became too painful for us for a variety of reasons. But I’ll never forget that argument with my mother. I wonder if she realized we were in a cultic church. 😕
It’s weird (or a bit scary) how similar our backgrounds are.
I have heard plenty of preachers decry skipping church to be with family as a poor testimony. But I’ve had family that don’t understand why one cannot miss even a single Sunday, and think that they are valued less that the church and/or the pastor – which would indeed be cultic. It’s supposed to be about Jesus Christ, not the pastor or a given assembly.
I look at it that when my family visits ME, they need to adapt to my rules.
It’s a lot harder when our family visits relatives, only to find that they have a great family outing planned for Sunday. We went with the family, but my pastor back home told me that it was the wrong decision; that I should have disrupted their plans and insisted on going to church. It was the last chance for our children to see their grandmother alive, and I don’t regret spending the day with family… I do wish that they had scheduled the event for a day other than Sunday.
Talking of skipping church, I have heard a number of preachers in my old (non-fundy Methodist) church who seriously question the Christian commitment of any person who does not attend church in the evening as well as morning. I have heard one particular guy preach several times in the evening and he *always* brought this up. The Non-denominational church I now go to does not have an evening service on a Sunday, it has homegroups instead, twice a month. The previous pastor of the Church (now deceased) was attacked by fundy-types for a number of reasons. No evening sevice was one of them.
One of the reasons I was dreading Sundays so much was it was ALL church! Get up earlier than on other days and get out the door around 9:15, pick up people on the way, get there around 9:40 or so because Sunday school teachers had to be there by 9:45, teach your class, get upstairs for the morning service which NEVER let out before 1:00 because of Pastor Windbag, take people home and get home yourself by around 1:30. Fix dinner, wash dishes, and finally settle down to rest for a couple hours before getting up and leaving for the evening service and never getting home before 9:00 that night. I’m glad that’s over. The new church has an evening service but no Sunday school so we leave an hour and a half LATER now than we did before, and are home an hour earlier than before. Since we no longer have to pick people up we leave for the evening service later, and are home by 7:30. And this pastor has enough sense to not have evening services on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. I’ll bet the Fundy churches will just do everything those days the same as usual, after all it’s Jesus birthday so we have to honor Him by all this church and service, to lay off of any of it wouldn’t be honoring to Him!
I wonder if God in heaven shakes his head and rolls His eyes at Fundies. 🙄
Well, I don’t understand why churches would cancel services on a day set aside to celebrate Christ’s birth. Used to be that there was a service for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day whenever they happened to fall.
Maybe because the church is so small that the few who did come would make the service seem pathetic rather than joyful.
Or maybe because after years of Christianity by compulsion, the church wants to prove a point that we worship in spirit and in truth, not by observing a certain day or a certain specific time.
That said, I certainly understand those who have services and I hope those who attend are truly blessed by worshipping together and aren’t there just because they feel they “have to” or that they’ll be ostracized if they didn’t come.
In my opinion, it is arrogant for a church to assume that Christ’s birthday can only be celebrated in church. A Christmas Eve service is certainly sufficient. Doesn’t the pastor’s family deserve a day off for Christmas like everyone else?
One time at a gathering like that, my mom’s aunt asked her matter-of-factly (in her British accent), “So, Moggie, I hyeer yi joined a compound.”
😆 😆 🙄
😆 I just blew coffee out my nose hearing that in my head!
I just put your Mom’s Aunt on my Christmas party invite list. 😉
My mother always enjoyed going out of her way to make us feel “set apart”. I thought it was strange as a kid, when she would pull me aside and point out all the things that her family members where doing that were ‘evil’. I suppose she thought these were teaching moments. Once, at a distant relative’s funeral, she introduced me to some family friends as, “They’re just like us” which I didn’t realize meant that they, too were stuck in a crazy fundy church. Ah, memories…
I love “Why is Mary trying to ski in a skirt”? Have also always loved “why is the boys basketball team trying to play a game of high school competitive basketball in long pants”?
I remember a couple of those schools where the guys wore sweatpants for basketball. Of course, the girls teams wore cullotes. At FundyU, the girls wore windbreaker pants for sports, but the guys weren’t allowed to watch.
I was a little confused with this sentence when I first read it. I was thinking about Mary the mother of Jesus not Mary, anonymous fundy girl.
Hmm, who knows what THE Mary wore to ski?
Come to think of it, she lived in a pretty warm climate. What did she wear to water ski?
Why, she wore a culotte swimsuit, of course!
The “Culotte Swimmer” reminds me of “I Love Lucy”:
Lucy: I need to buy a new bathing suit.
Ricky: Why, Lucy? You have a bathing suit.
Lucy: Yes, but my old one has a hole in the knee.
I would be okay with the swimming dress on the beach – but only if I wanted just to do sand, wading, and sun. The dresses are a little cute. Don’t seem to be very practical for actually swimming though. The culottes are very hokey.
Ahaha, so did I! I was picturing some winter painting or somesuch showing Mary and Joseph taking baby Jesus skiing, and trying to figure out why a fundy wouldn’t consider that horrible blasphemy or something.
Here’s how water skiing was done back then:
Didn’t the skier get dizzy going round in circles?
Why yes, I have been skiing in a skirt. This is not a fictional event. I was mortified. I was probably 13 or 14 yrs old at the time. Also did a lot of playing in the snow in a skirt with leggings underneath. Fun times.
Several months ago, I noticed a fundy family at the local ice rink. My daughter plays ice hockey so we are there most of the week for practices and games. This family had a daughter who appeared about 14 or 15. She was taking “learn to skate” group classes and always wore a long jean skirt with leggings underneath. I felt so incredibly bad for her but judging by the way her father looked at me (what with my pants, mohawk, tattoos, and piercings) I thought better of talking to her. The flashbacks were palpable for me, though.
I don’t remember too many of those. I do remember trying to explain why BJU would keep rules against interracial dating and such. For a couple of years, I went with the party line, but after a while, I just started telling people the truth. That was very cathartic for me.
I would make a pretty good fundy now, because I don’t really give a crap what most people think about me.
We didn’t spend much time around non-fundy family. My mom’s dad is a fundy preacher and my dad’s family is southern baptist but they haven’t set foot in a church since before I was born. Our time was limited with that side of the family.
I do remember one of my dad’s cousins that attended church regularly she went to an SBC in Kentucky. We attended once with her when we were visiting. I remember thinking “wow they believe in God just like we do”. I was 11 and had been fully indoctrinated that only the IFB church was a real Bible believing church.
It is one of the things that keeps coming to me, the fact that you don’t have to be IFB to be a Christian. The IFB seems to have the idea that if they are not the only Christians they are the best Christians because they’re the only ones who please God because of all their persnickety standards. Other so called Christians don’t dress “right” or listen to Contemporary Christian music or secular music and so our music standards please God more than theirs, or their women wear pants and ours don’t so we please God more than they do, or our constantly going to church every time the doors are open and serving in this or that ministry pleases God more than their going to church once a Sunday does. It all comes down to Fundies thinking their better than anyone else. Weren’t the Pharisees the same way? And didn’t Jesus have some words for them? Seems He was always calling them hypocrites… 😕
Don’t forget the mindset of fundies that only they are a Bible-believing church. No others use the Bible.
At my wishy-washy Anglican church, adults can take a class that involves reading the Bible through in two years. Pretty much all of it except some of the repetitious prophecies and the begats. Then we practice midrash, which is a fundamental practice if ever there was one. Does any fundamentalist church do the same?
I remember my fundy preacher yelling that you should read through the Bible in a year so you can try to be holy like him. Does that count?
I think the discovery that other people read the Bible must have been what led to the creation of KJV-Onlyism. Got to distinguish yourselves somehow, amen?
Yes! It’s also a “bait” to those on the outside, that will be “switched” soon enough. 🙁
They convince others that they just don’t measure up & aren’t doing “religion” in a way that pleases God. These religious leaders cause this “sickness”…then offer the supposed “cure”, which is doing religion THEIR way & becoming a member of THEIR church. Now, they have made themselves masters over your life, though they tell you they speak for “God” & you are free. But there is no freedom & the holy spirit doesn’t seem to exist because the pastor wants to be that for the flock.
They might mention mercy, love…but soon the rules & regulations begin to pile up. Their “god” begins to seem like some capricious, mean & nasty being who can never be satisfied with YOU.
“God” also begins to have the same characteristics that surprisingly enough the “pastor” possesses.
The pastor sees God as he sees himself…not good. 😯
Welcome to the SFL family. You seem to have a concise understanding of what is wrong with IFBism. 😎
Don’t know if that comment was for me, but if it was, thanks for the welcome to SFL..I’m new in leaving comments, but have checked this site out for a while.
Unfortunately I’m very familiar with the ifb, the type that has a nasty calvinist bent to it…it was quite unpleasant. Very happy to be out, but lots of scars.
When I was about 15, a friend’s family asked me to go with them to see Jurassic Park III, which, in case you don’t remember, was rated PG-13. My mom had a terrible time with the idea, but ultimately decided to let me go, since she didn’t want to look as overprotective as she was in front of them. 😳
I remember as a young teenager being stunned to learn that Catholic family members celebrated Easter. “Everybody” knew they worshipped a dead God, because their cross still had Christ on it.
That and since they have statues of Mary and various saints in the building, they clearly worship idols.
Heard the same stuff in the fundy cult. It wasn’t until I began to think for myself & looked into religious ideologies that the pastor ignored. (he has convinced himself & others that he is correct on all doctrinal issues, so no need to *think* any deeper about anything..right?) 🙄
Strangely enough, the Catholics use the bible to back up their beliefs too. One of many examples xpastor used to speak maliciously of how Catholics didn’t allow priests to marry & that was “not biblical”!…he prooftexted the verse “forbidding to marry…” Yet he failed to point out that the bible also encourages those wanting to be in the ministry, to NOT marry so they can be more focused on god’s work & not get distracted by “worldly” family troubles, wife, kids, & all those goes with it.
He also dissed the Catholics with the “commanding to abstain from meats”…yet the baptist pope of the cult I left had no problem commanding people in his church to abstain from foods & fast. ❗ The double standards became glaring over time. 😯
Exposing myself to other viewpoints (that the cult pastor simply ignored) opened my eyes that these issues are not as simple as the “pastor” would have others to believe. No, he did NOT have it all figured out…but he certainly believes he does. He has the TRUTH..& others don’t. blah blah 🙄 👿 BLEGH.
So happy to be out of it that! 😀
I don’t remember any awkward explanations having to be made, but the family is such a long way away that we don’t see each other often. I am concerned that when our children get to be teens, they will look at the rest of the family having a two-day weekend of fun & relaxation, whereas they only get Saturday (and not even that, if they work on a bus route). I hope that they continue to love the Lord through their teenage years, and His word, and His church.
One of the problems with many fundy churches is that they present faith this way: “If you do not do not express your belief in Christ the way we do, you are not a believer.” Then, when young people reject things like “skirts only on women” or whatever, they think (since it’s what they’ve always been told), that they are rejecting Christ.
That’s why it’s so important to cling to Scripture. Other things are the preferences that believers have added throughout the years for convenience or as a reaction to culture or whatever, but if it’s not in Scripture, it is not something over which to lose your faith.
that is so true. People don’t feel like they are where “they are supposed to be” unless they join in on all the standards crap, so they don’t want to stay around. Or they live a separate life they don’t share with church members. Like the missionary lady I know, that never wears pants where she can reasonably expect to run into other believers. Where would she end up with her support?
Like my sons girlfriend, who of course doesn’t buy her belly button rings when Pastor’s wife is coming along to the mall. I’m pretty screwed up, but isn’t that like schizophrenic or something??? I don’t blame the girlfriend, I guess she’s only doing what she sees the rest of them do. We used to have a teen conference, followed by an all nighter of roller skating, but visiting teen girls couldn’t go unless the wore a long skirt or culottes. Pastor’s wife was handing out culottes after the preaching. I didn’t raise any daughters, so in some ways it was easier….
And in some cases, because those ridiculous things are connected to the actual truth of the gospel, the kids actually do reject Christ because they rejected all the irrational stuff their church had bolted onto it.
They might choose to attend a less fundy church: One that does not have bus routes on Saturdays or Sunday night services. Dropping those standards does not mean dropping out entirely.
I grew up in the Pentecostal Holiness church – not IFB fundy, but fairly close. I remember at a gathering with high school friends having to explain speaking in tongues. I had never believed in it myself, but I don’t think I did a good job of explaining, and came of looking even weirder to my friends.
I was the one who didn’t celebrate Christmas and made folks uncomfortable. I still have little to do with Christmas. Nowadays I just don’t care what other people do. I still dislike all the trappings but to each his own. The older I get the more accepting I am of a lot of things. Some stuff just doesn’t matter. 😐
Friends, When were called to “come out from among them and be separatists” we need to expect and anticipate and relish the questions of people asking why we do certain thing, like require actual modesty from our women and short haircuts on men! How will people know were not like them if we look just like the world.
By the love of Christ…..
Pastor Backlow, is that you?
Where does Bro Backlow preach? I don’t know that I’ve heard him/of him. Is he on youtube?
Ugh! I am SO DONE with this fundie crapoloa! The Bible, remember that book? Says you will know they are Christians by their love. Not by their stinking haircut or the kind of clothes they wear. By their love. Got love? 🙄
I’m just hating the false doctrines and loving the mislead/misleading fundy. 😀
Typical compromisor – “got love” – just like the Madison Avenue “got milk” commercial. Go ahead and use the world ways, while we bring in the sheaves with door to door witness! Easier to where a tshirt with a cutesy phrase at your local bar than it is to witness in the streets! 🙄
Weak sauce. Try wearing a cutsie Jesus T-shirt and evangelizing at a bar. Just don’t get three sheaves to the wind.
Actually, it’s not at all easy to “where” a t-shirt. Primarily because “where” is not a verb.
Now, WEARING a t-shirt, that’s easy!
Please cite your quote: “come out from among them and be separatists”
Where do you find this quotation?
I don’t think that “being separate” and being “separatist” mean exactly the same thing. Attach -ist/-ism to a word, and you usually get a paticular type of extremist/ism.
Now your just using semetics. You know what I mean.
I like using semetics. Jewish girls are hot.
He could just be blaming the Jews, another cherished fundy pastime… 😛
That would be Semitics. Or maybe Anti-Semitics.
Hey, fundies aren’t known for their spelling abilities!
I call Poe’s law here.
A true fundy would NEVER use a term that means wicked or evil in their screen name. Good job with the bad grammar whoever you are. 😀
That’s what I thought the first time I read it. The subsequent comments just confirmed it.
Oh, nefarious is one of us sarcastic, tangy apostates. Anyone breaking in here with “Friends” has smartass satire written all over them.
And, using the name “nefarious” makes me think that he’s actually from my fundy u, as this was a term used a lot on our campus because this was a term we had to memorize in English 101.
So, here’s a butt cushion, nefarious, and welcome to the club! 😉
It’s really simple, by being like Christ. Standards will not accomplish that. When I taught at our Christian school, per the handbook I was not allowed to wear pantyhose. Now (about 10 years later) the handbook requires girls to wear pantyhose. I think that is a good example to show the craziness of standards. The same is true for culottes, when a girl hangs upside down in the jungle gym, these things do slide up and become quite immodest. Our teen group had standards (I say had, because the youth pastor just quit) that the girls have to wear “modest skirts”, but their t-shirts can be skin tight, and they want to wear them skin tight, because the adult ladies do, too. They are not above wanting to look what they believe to be pretty or attractive. You cannot fit modesty or Christlikeness into standards, it can’t be done. If it could be done, God could have just handed us a rule book. To be updated every so often, to keep up with the current pantyhose standard. I once was blind, but now I see.
THIS IS FOR NEFARIOUS FUNDY – how did that post end up in this spot???
and “come out from among them and be ye separate”, I have learned to apply that to the Pharisees around us.
Very true, Dominika!
If they’d just say, “We prefer our ladies to wear hose” (or not), then it’s just like a corporation’s standards and then if they change their mind, it’s OK. But when they equate their standards with holiness and being right with God and expect you often to comply with them when OFF SITE, they look ridiculous when they suddenly shift their position on something.
Terry Pratchett’s ‘Monstrous Regiment’ comes to mind. The holy book of the Borogravian god, Nuggan, is a loose-leaf binder–this so that it can be updated as Nuggan redefines what an ‘abomination’ is. The list of abominations is so long at the start of the book that the country can barely function. Nuggan would be the perfect deity for some of these folks.
+1 for the Discworld reference. Haven’t read that book but Pratchett writes some awesome stuff.
Yeah..because outward appearances like “short hair” on men & skirts & no make-up on women says so much to others about pharisee christianity. 🙄
BINGO! I admit I laughed pretty hard at this post. Good satire, whomever you are 🙂
“Why do you go to church all the time?”
“Why can’t you wear shorts to Six Flags?”
“Why won’t your dad let you go to the movie with us?”
I remember how awkward it was going through the “Christmas trees are evil” phase, much like the “television is evil phase” and “rock and roll music is evil” phase (I understand that the r&r musci thing is still pretty prevalent). The first year the pastor explained that a Christmas tree symbolised pagan (SATAN) worship….guess who didn’t have one? And when it was revealed that a TV is filled with demons….guess who snuck next door on Saturday morning to watch cartoons? And when it was revealed that when playing rock & roll records backwards you could hear satanic messages….guess who invested their allowance in a little pair of ear buds (not sure what they were called back then) so she could listen to the Shaun Cassidy album she kept hidden in the back of her closet?
Ha! I remember sneaking to my friend’s house to watch Masters of the Universe. No way my parents would let me watch that heathen show. Somehow I still managed to retain my imagination upon growing up…
Oy, you know what’s the worst? When someone asks you the innocent and completely reasonable question, “So why don’t you go see movies in theater?”, knowing full well you and your family have no issue whatsoever watching them at home. And then you literally can’t answer them because you don’t understand it yourself. Something to do with appearances, but seriously, how are you supposed to explain that to an unwitting friend, especially when the movie in question is a Chronicles of Narnia movie… in other words, a movie based on a very Christian series?
Oh wait, that was actually just three years ago for me. And my parents aren’t even crazy fundies. And I still genuinely can’t explain to you why it is apparently wrong to go to the movie theater. 🙄 My parents are mostly quite reasonable, this is just their one little thing. But it’s an annoying one little thing!
It’s hard when you have to come across as “We can’t” do this or that, which will lead the other person to pity you rather than envy you. “Oh, that’s too bad, you’re missing out on this or that!” If it’s a standard you really don’t mind keeping that’s different. I will never smoke or drink, smoking killed my father and I don’t like the taste of alcohol so I don’t WANT to do those things. So those standards I have no problem with and if someone were to ask why I don’t do those things it’s not a matter of I can’t but I don’t want to. That’s different from wishing you could do something and not being able to because of some fundy standard that is not your own standard that you’re following from your heart. 🙁
Early in my marriage, still in fundy-dom, I had a workmate ask why Christians don’t go to movies. After spouting the party line I had been taught since high school about testimony, my friend looked at me and said, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I know you, and I know which movies you didn’t go see.”
I had to admit that my non-Christian work-mate made a lot more sense than I did. (we actually went to a movie together later and he never thought less of me as a Christian)
As with most things fundy the whole “you will lose your testimony if you ____________.” I based on the fundy’s biases being projected on the the “world.” If the fundies would be offended then they know that such action would kill your testimony in the world’s eyes as well. Fundy standards are put on par with the most blatent sins that are mentioned in scripture. Giving a female a ride to her destination in the pouring rain is equivalent to adultery and/or fornication. Having wine with your dinner is the sin of drunkenness. Enjoying the company of friends who are “know sinners” is to be unequally yoked with the world. To visit a church of another denomination with friends or family is to mix darkness with light, God with Belial, cotton with wool, and democrats with republicans. Its just unheard of! And all who see you doing the same things they are doing will die and go to hell because you have ruined your testamony before the world. Their blood will be on your hands, because the god of the fundie subculture is so weak that he depends on self righetous sanctimonious supersaint soulwinners to sell heaven to the world. You can’t sell it if you aren’t living it. People won’t want what you have unless you sell yourself first. (learned that at SOTL this year)
” When someone asks you the innocent and completely reasonable question, “So why don’t you go see movies in theater?”, knowing full well you and your family have no issue whatsoever watching them at home. And then you literally can’t answer them because you don’t understand it yourself. ”
The explaination our pastor gave was that the same theatre that showed G rated movies (the ONLY kind we were allowed to watch) also showed R and NC17 (well, X back in my day) movies, so by giving them our money we were encouraging them to help people sin. That and the “weaker brother” argument that has been used to guilt and manipulate fundies since day 1.
As I recall (and, honestly, because I’ve never understood it, I genuinely can’t remember exactly what they said), it was because we could be giving the appearance of evil. You know, because we *might* be going into an R-rated movie.
Internally, I always wondered why people would just jump to that conclusion–if I had a good testimony in the rest of my life, wouldn’t they instead assume I was going to see a G-rated movie or something, and why couldn’t they just watch to see what movie I went in to?–and why that was giving the appearance of evil while going to a restaurant that served alcoholic drinks somehow wasn’t. After all, someone might think you were ordering alcoholic drinks, and then clearly your testimony would be ruined forever. 🙄
I think they’ve loosened up on this one in recent years, to be honest. But it’s still not something I ever discuss with them (and if I should choose to go to a movie theater, I still wouldn’t tell them), simply because the last time we talked about it, we got into a huge argument and I’d rather avoid such things!
Not only that, but by the “appearance of evil” standard, you should never go into a library, either. After all, somebody might think you’re going in to get a book by Christopher Hitchens. Or J.K. Rowlings.
(Or Grace Livingston Hill, which might be just as bad.)
I never understood why people would assume you were there to see the R movie either. If I see someone going into the gas station I don’t assume that they are there to buy a six-pack, a lottery scratcher and a dirty magazine. Instead I assume they are there to buy gas.
Not to mention “appearance of evil” arguments are entirely moot points because that phrase doesn’t mean what fundies think it does.
It doesn’t have anything to do with how something looks or apears. Rather it has to do with when evil of any kind or form shows up.
This common misunderstanding has caused much trouble throughout fundyland for many years. This is one reason I think the KJV should be shelved for good and replaced with a modern translation.
A friend of mine, who is slowly leaving fundamentalism, took his family to see one of the recent Pixar movies in the theater. He caught H. E. double hockey sticks from his in-laws because he took their grandchildren to a movie theater. He looked at them and said, “Didn’t you guys just see ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ at the IMAX recently?” Their answer . . . wait for it . . . that was OK because it was at an IMAX not a movie theater. 😯
That was the other thing I could never understand! We watched plenty of IMAX movies (well, whenever we were around one–the nearest IMAX theater to my house is over an hour away, which is quite sad now that the latest Batman movie will be shown in IMAX theaters…), but I never could understand why they were somehow different.
My awkward explanations fall into the “any other time,” and they all relate to my time at Bob Jones. Even the simplest story requires 30 minutes of explanation–what a room job is and who the hall leader is and where he ranks in the dorm authority structure and why he has to check your room job and how often what a demerit is and why you receive them and what you do when you get too many and what discipline committee is and do they really, really make people wait in line to discuss their demerits? Just to give one example. The result is that it’s next to impossible to tell even quick, funny stories that happened at BJU without having giving a multi-hour course on life there to your friends or family.
This is exactly what I was thinking about, too. You really can’t tell insider stories with outsiders. It’s just not worth the hassle, and still have the humor be completely lost on them.
The hardest question for me though, is when people ask why I would have gone to a place like BJU in the first place.
Whenever I tell people that I went to BJU, they invariably ask whether they really have segregated sidewalks. I’ve even been asked whether they were “blue” and “pink” like the rumors.
At first, my response was “No, we’re not THAT crazy.” That’s not my response anymore.
I just tell people that my college experience was completely unlike anything they every thought about college. Then I give a short explanation and watch mouths fall open and eyes glaze over. Good times.
Being a born and raised fundy it actually took several years of living in the real world to realize that my college experience was not remotely normal by any stretch of the imagination. And yes, trying to explain life at Fundy U gets . . . interesting.
After I joined the fundy church….I was not allowed to celebrate Christmas, according to the pious pastor.
The “no Christmas” teaching puts a wall up over time, because you don’t want to “sin” by celebrating Xmas, but you do want to be a part of the family & have some fun times.
When I finally left the fundy/primitive baptist/calvinist cult, I started celebrating Christmas again… 😛
I’d go back to being Catholic any day before I’d ever, ever go back to fundamentalism. 😈 😯
Come back to the Dark Side, we have cookies! OK, they’re Communion wafers and they’re pretty bland, but we’ve still got booze! 😀
You’re funny Miranda!
You know, several folks in the cult drank like fishes!! (of course pastor wasn’t usually around for those indulgences) That’s one thing that really made me think…those people were no better than the supposed “heathen” Catholics.
I can easily sit through a mass…it’s relaxing, nobody screaming in my face…but I could never sit through another “sermon” if I have my choice.
My family is mostly Catholic. Catholicism never damaged me the way the fundy cult did, that’s for sure!
I’m a no church person now…seen toooo much to ever go back to fundytown. At least w/ the Catholics in may ways, you know what you are getting. 😛 😈 😎
Kinda reminds me of the joke, why do you always take two Baptists fishing with you? Because if you take only one, he drinks all your beer.
I was not allowed to wear socks that had a logo on them while I was at Fundy U. Even if the logo was innocent and not visible under most circumstances. I remember trying to explain that to someone.
Why we couldn’t go to Grandma’s house for Christmas. We usually had soulwinning or church.
Why we went to crazy places like campmeetings where people screamed and ran around the building.
Why I was going as a missionary to THAT country. No they aren’t all Christians. They are Catholic, Bless God!
I would like to give a shout-out to my first boss. I got a job outside of the fundy bubble. The job had huge lulls in the volume of customers. When we were at a low point we would sit around and talk. Whenever I spouted some particularly egregious fundy nonsense my boss would lean over and open the bottom drawer of his desk and pull out a KJV. He would slide it over to me, smile and say “would you mind showing me where that belief is found in the Bible?” Needless to say, I usually could not find it in there. I think he put me on the road out of fundydom.
now why are “socks with a logo on them” so funny to me? “my” church had standards as silly as this one, but they were familiar standards, so they didn’t seem as silly….
how about: no logos on the “chest” of the girls, at school (since that would draw attention to their “chests”) 😀
Trying to explain to friends and family that it is evil to have a TV because of what you might see on there. Also trying to explain why it is simultaneously okay to have the internet. (I never understood this one. If you are of a mind to see evil it is widely available in practically limitless variety on the internet. On TV you have to subsribe to special channels.)
Why we had to eat at the crummy restaurants and shop at the low-end grocery stores. They don’t sell beer.
Why we had to go to church, even in the middle of #$%#$ natural disasters! Because stupidity is next to Godliness and God give you demerits if you skip.
If, while we were at her house, my grandma gave me $1 I would have to immediately give it to my dad who would give me back $0.90. I would get my dime back on Sunday in time to put my tithe in the offering. They did this because I once ran out and spent the whole dollar and robbed God.
Why homeschooling is the best thing ever. (I was homeschooled back before most people had ever heard of it.)
Why I didn’t believe in dating and having girlfriends. Even a lot of fundies think that one is weird.
“Why we had to eat at the crummy restaurants and shop at the low-end grocery stores. They don’t sell beer.” – I had to go through that one too (with roller rink and bowling alley added to restaurants) but all the grocery stores here sold beer and wine. I always got called out on that one.
In fact, after that gaffe happened, I never revealed that my church thought going to movies would send you to hell. I used to pick out a specific movie or tv show and watch/listen to all the commercials possible to where I could function in a conversation about that movie to make people believe that I had actually seen it.
you robbed God, you heathen? Are you an Israelite? Malachi was written to the Israelites, we just had, like an epiphany on this subject. My wonderful husband goes “I wonder if we can get our money back.”
If you know my husband, THAT IS BIG!!
Yeah, the no dating one was super fun to explain to relatives 👿
Oh, the TV/Internet thing… yeah. Absolutely. I grew up without TV, but honestly, by the time I was in middle school or so, I don’t think my parents cared any more, just they’d gone so long without a TV, they didn’t see why they should bother paying for it when they already had Internet service. I’ve talked with my mom before about that, actually, and she agrees–it’s just plain silly to say TV is worse than the Internet. In my opinion, the Internet is a whole lot worse than TV because everything is so easily accessible for free!
yeah…the internet is worse because that is where SFL is
I grew up with no tv, not allowed to see movies, dance, listen to anything outside of classical music, short hair, shirt tucked in with a belt, couldn’t play on sports teams or school band events that were scheduled on Sunday, wasn’t allowed to have a girlfriend. I’m sure almost on everyone on here can relate.
But in my late teens and early 20’s, I was still living at home (of course) and us kids (albeit my siblings and i were really adults) were required to wake up at 6 for a full family breakfast and devotions. Every morning. I worked at a Christian Coffee house that closed at 1 AM! Waking up at 6 was nearly impossible. If I missed family devotions, I was required to write a chapter of Proverbs before coming home from work that day if I wanted to sleep in the house that night. As you would expect this arrangement ended up in me failing miserably, and I was asked to leave the house for a few week, because “I was being disruptive to my family” and I had to go live with my grandparents who lived 1 mile away. But it also put me 1 mile further away from work. Oh, and I didn’t have a car (because taking out a loan to get a car is not God-honoring). So now my walk was further. And before long, my friends and coworkers were asking me what was going on? What horrible thing had I done to get kicked out of the house. In their world and the rest of normal America, that type of punishment is used as protection against violence or drug use. But here I am, selling coffee and talking to people about Jesus, and I’m facing dire consequences.
And trying to explain to local area (not fundy) pastors whom I worked with that I’m not violent or on drugs, but that I didn’t write a book of Proverbs for failing to get up for family devotions at age 21 was, as Darrell suggests,awkward.
Yes, that was awkward.
I always wondered why classical music was preferred when other kinds of music were not. I asked someone about this, and brought up that music by Wagner, Sibelius, and Stravinsky (among others) celebrate pagan deities.
“Yes, but they don’t have lyrics,” was the response (apparently this person was unaware that Wagner primarily wrote opera)
“But then you turn around and critizice contemporary Christian music for the beat. What’s the difference?”
The person to whom I was talking quickly found something else to do, and never spoke to me again.
Ask a silly question…
hehehe – I have found the best answer to a dumb question is the truth. In fact I have done similar things as you describe and had fundies just stare in disbelief at me. Its not so much that they are upset at what I said, but that I had the audacity to say it.
I take great pride in making people think about inherent contradictions. It’s very helpful in my line of work (quality assurance). It’s also very helpful in dealing with fundamentalists and other well-meaning people who just need to get their heads readjusted. The folks who *aren’t* well-meaning…sometimes you just have to walk away.
As a metalhead, I have to say, most of Wagner’s work is just as heavy as anything Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden or Metallica has ever done. And there are plenty of other examples of “classical metal,” like Toccata & Fugue, or Beethoven’s 5th for example. People even rioted over The Rite of Spring, which is a good indicator of an awesome rock show if you ask me! 😛
One of my favorite things to do is to read Psalm 83 while listening to the Mars movement from Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’. It really, really matches the mood.
did I raise you?
Nope, I know my parents–they weren’t terribly happy with me during my fundamentalist period. It’s gotten better. But I do adopt Honorary Big and Little Sisters (and Brothers) all the time.
“In their world and the rest of normal America, that type of punishment is used as protection against violence or drug use. But here I am, selling coffee and talking to people about Jesus, and I’m facing dire consequences.”
🙁 I’m sorry, that is just so wrong! How are things with your family now?
My favorite story is the time that the pastor of a small Pentecostal Church that we were attending got into an argument with some of us less holy members concerning women not wearing pants. One of the gentlemen told him that his wife wore women’s business suits for work. He ask the preacher since pants are for men if he would be willing to wear his wife’s business suit in the pulpit. After much stammering he admitted that it was more suited for a woman. What a hypocrite!
See, that’s what kills me about that argument. I love to wear palazzo pants, especially to work. They’re really flowy in the legs, and I don’t know of any man, gay or straight, that would wear them.
“real flowy”, George.
Right the first time: “really flowy” (because it’s an adverb modifying the adjective “flowy”).
And (after a quick Google of “palazzo pants” to find out what they are) you’re right. I wouldn’t wear them. I would never even use the word “flowy.”
Ah. It’s still George’s fault. 😉
My daughters were given palazzo pants from Spain, which we all know is Catholic and not American, so I made them cut them up to use as rags.
Oh, wait, that was someone else. My girls wear theirs. I’m with you, BG. I certainly wouldn’t.
Trying to explain spiritual warfare to other people without them calling for those nice young men in their clean white suits to come and take me away. 😕
yes, I would never admit to family that I am going to church where pastor seriously claims to have seen a demon possessed guy’s head do a 360 degree turn. Heard in the same church during Sunday evening service: “You here are the creme (cream?? whatever) of the crop, being here on a Sunday night.” To tell you the truth, I think the cream/creme of the crop is the guy that NEVER came to church because he was faithfully taking care of his wife who had severe Alzheimer’s (she has since passed away).
But wasn’t that the fun part of the holidays, being able to say/imply (you heathens) WE are going to CHURCH today, because JESUS is the reason for the season, you freaking pagans. Ah, the feeling of being right and being better….oh well, now I have this website to go to for feeling right and better. I can’t win, can I??? 😯
Sometimes you just need to get it all out. It’s even Biblical–most of the Psalms were David’s attempt to get it all out. The real question is what do you do after you get it all out.
That’s actually an appropriate response to some of what we’re taling about. 😈
talking, that is. Looks like I’ve been hit by George (whoever he is) too!
Well, SFLites are the TRUE Christians, you know. The true 5%. And, aren’t you glad you ARE now part of the true socially superior? 😉
SERIOUSLY NOW, I think all that plays into the human need to feel superior. Must have the bigger car, house, more children, better “testimony”, more money, less money, prettier appearance, etc.
But in reality, none of us are any better than the other. I mean, really. We’re all just flawed humans who have the same basic needs. We all need to be accepted, but mostly we need self-acceptance. And, that’s the way to get it… at least, temporarily.
that made the deal so seductive, to be able to view myself as “better” while telling myself “it’s not my fault I’m right with God!”
SFL: Confusing something I saw on a forbidden movie with something that happened to me…
Awkward explanations: any time anyone asked me where I was going/went to college. I always felt I had to add a caveat to my answer. “Well, I go to BJU, but I don’t agree with xyz.” Oh, and having to explain BJU stands for BOB JONES University… 🙄 And then telling them, no, I will not purchase college branded gear for you so you can wear BJU items out clubbing.
Another is the awkward explanation of explaining to my then-toddlers that I was physically abusing them b/c God told me to do it if I loved them (and yes, it was well beyond simple spanking).
I’m so thankful I got out when I did. My only regret is not getting out sooner for my children’s sake. 😳
yes sir, I have been there. My son spent a year at the Anchor Home in Fort Dodge, Iowa. I did a lot of dying during that year, it really killed me. Now I’m thinking, can God not work in Michigan??? I have asked my son for forgiveness. He’s a Hyles Anderson graduate now, so he doesn’t quite understand that request. Oh Lord, what have I done….
(((hug))) God can open your son’s eyes.
I’ve been asked if Bob Jones is a golf school. I also have a BJU Alumni Association decal on my tool box at a major airline. (I’m not necessarily proud and not embarrassed. It is part of my life) It is interesting the number of people who ask, “You went there?
I get really strange comments when I tell them I went to their trade school, not the regular university.
BJU has a trade school? (I’m being serious here.) What’s it like compared to the actual university? Does it hold up to regular trade schools?
I was there for Aircraft Maintenance, which I turned into a nice career as an aircraft mechanic. Had I not left to try to get to the mission field, I would still be there. (Technically, I am there, but as a contract employee trying to alleviate debt acquired while on deputation). The Trade School is not a separate wing anymore. I don’t know what there is in the way of trade degrees now, but when I was there (late 80’s) they had Aircraft Maintenance, auto or diesel mechanics, carpentry, and cosmetology.
I have a friend who graduated with a degree in carpentry, got a job with an airline as an auto mechanic, and now works in an engine support shop. Just an example of the places you go…………..
At least they’re good for something. I do try to find the good in everything, even if I have to dig for it.
I can’t really compare it to a normal BJU education. I had been married three years when I went back, so I lived and worked off campus.
I am happy with the Bible training I received, but also had begun my trip away from fundyville, which was further helped by a couple of excellent instructors who weren’t necessarily “party men”. I disagreed with the whole interracial dating rule, but since I took a permanent date to Greenville with me, I wasn’t affected. I also didn’t agree with all of the other rules, but figured I could follow them for three years.
NOT A PLUG, but an answer to a legitimate question. Sorry to be so winded.
Is the Trade School portion still called the SAS? (Can’t recall what the acronym means) Back in the day while I was there it frustrated me knowing that I would never be allowed to take various shop classes, all because I’m a girl. Never did understand the reasoning behind it. I took the usual “girl classes”. I wanted to learn how to bake and change a brake. Had to wait until I got out on my own and spent all my free time with my now Mr. in it,on it,under it of his truck to learn. I heard that they opened up the classes to females now, is it true? Or one of those half truths where the let they let the women in but only to hand tools to the men as they’re working?
Just remembered SAS, School of Applied Studies.
The SAS, being a “Trade School”, had the reputation for not being real college. Because of my major and past schooling, I was able to take classes in the “real” University. It absolutely galled some of my classmates that a “dumb trade student” made better grades than they did.
The joke I heard was “How many SAS students does it take to change a light bulb? I don’t know, but they get three credits for it.”
I have been told that the trades have been absorbed into the regular school, but I don’t know what the degrees are or how it works now.
“I’ve been asked if Bob Jones is a golf school.”
Epic. I love this. 😆
Just the idea of Christmas being a battlefield for Christianity is enough to make me put my head in the sand out of embarrassment for all Christendom.
“We’re keeping ‘Christ’ in Christmas!” (They are SO PROUD of themselves when they say this.)
“We’re not ashamed of the gospel of Christ!” (so we are going to stuff it down your throat this time of year!)
“We’re boycotting Wal Mart because they are now saying ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas!'” (Being judgmental is not loving-aren’t we supposed to know you by your love? And shopping at a place that recognizes that there is more than one holiday happening this time of year is not going to make God fall off His throne.)
“Jesus is the reason for the season!” (No. Jesus is the reason for Christmas. I was so embarrassed when my ex made a huge sign that said this and hung it on the front of our house. Then I felt very guilty that I was embarrassed, because that meant I was a bad Christian. I’m so glad I’m out of that now.)
No wonder the new atheists are so in-your-face these days. They are just following our example.
The death of Christopher Hitchens, and some of the stuff he’s said over the years, just reminds me that fundamentalism is independent of any specific religion or creed–even atheists can be fundamentalists.
The reason for the season is the Earth being at perihelion, resulting in the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (and conversely the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere). The reason for the specific holiday we’re celebrating is Jesus.
And there’s nothing humans can do that will force the God of the Bible from His throne. The god of the fundamentalists, being somewhat weaker and entirely dependent upon the fear and trembling of his followers, is very easily toppled on the other hand.
I didn’t agree with many of his opinions, but what Hitchens said following Jerry Falwell’s death was just brilliant: “If he had been given an enema, he could have been buried in a matchbox.” That’s a perfect “eulogy” for every fundy/evangelical preacher I’ve known!
The earth is actually not at perihelion (the point in the orbit closest to the sun) at this time of year. You’re thinking of the winter solstice, which is the date when the North Pole is pointed most away from the sun (it happens on Dec. 22 this year). That gives us the longest night and the shortest day of the year.
Or, as a bumper sticker says, “Axial tilt is the reason for the season.”
Thanks for the correction. I do know the difference, but for some reason my brain decided to have a fault protection error. Unlike when I was a fundamentalist, I *can* now accept it when people tell me I’m wrong on a proveable fact!
Nice though that perihelion is on January 5th, 2012…the 12th day of Christmas! 😉
“No wonder the new atheists are so in-your-face these days. They are just following our example.”
Yeah, pretty much. Both sides can be obnoxious, which is why some of us land in the middle in a duck and cover position.
I really wonder how fundies might react to the perspective-changing experience I had. I was only ever fundy-lite, but I bought into the “keeping Christ in Christmas” a lot. Then I moved to Indonesia.
At the school where I taught, we had 3 major holidays per year – summer, Christmas, and Lebaran/Idul Fitri. For those who don’t know, I’ll save you a google – Indo is the most populous Muslim country, although it has a secular government, and Idul Fitri (there are multiple accepted spellings) is the biggest holiday in the Muslim calendar, celebrating the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan.
We rarely said “Merry Christmas” to each other, but when we did, we knew not to wish it to the teachers/students we knew weren’t Christian. To them, we’d wish them a good holiday, using the British term for vacation – “holiday”.
I honestly don’t remember if anyone ever wished me a happy Lebaran, but I would have taken it as meaning the break from work caused by that religious holiday. We all knew which holiday was the cause of the time off, whether we celebrated that particular holiday or not. Being in the distinct minority for the first time made me really think about how it might be for a Muslim or person of another religion to live here during Christmas. Do we allow them the same rights we insist on for ourselves?
I’m back in Canada now, and I had to explain this perspective change to my Mom recently. I don’t agree with not being allowed to say “Merry Christmas”, but I also don’t agree with not being allowed to say “Happy Holidays”. People should have the right to extend good wishes to others in whatever way they want, and they should allow those others the same right. It’s not like these are insults to the person or religion, just different ways of saying similar things.
I find myself often thinking The West could learn a lot from the religious tolerance shown in Indonesia (in the major cities – the provinces are another matter entirely).
Sorry for rambling on so long… 😳
I think you got it right: There’s no offense in saying “Merry Christmas,” but it shouldn’t be mandatory, either. Even some Christians don’t celebrate Christmas, and that’s OK, too. And if anyone wishes me “Season’s Greetings,” “Happy Holidays,” “Happy Chanukah,” “Happy Eid,” “Good Diwali,” etc., I accept the good wishes in the (usually sincere) spirit in which they were intended.
By the way, Muslims here in Texas usually spell the name of the end of Ramadan Eid-al-Fit or Eid-al-Fitr, but it doesn’t surprise me that a different spelling would be used in Indonesia. There’s no standard system for transcribing Arabic words, and even the pronunciation varies greatly in different countries. It’s a bit like “Mele Kalikimaka” being the standard way to write “Merry Christmas” in Hawaii.
I live in Japan, and the Japanese LOVE Christmas. I think it has to do with Japan being a very generous and gift-giving culture AND liking cute, colorful decorations. Santas, candy canes, snowmen, sleds, ornaments, and lights are all over the place. No nativity scenes though. And (surprise surprise) “Merry Christmas!” is what all the banners and signs typically say. They are neither offended by it nor do they even consider it much of a Christian thing to say. I haven’t tried, but I have a feeling if you sat down and explained all the bitter infighting that goes on between various sects of Christianity about the religious significance of various ways of celebrating the holiday, they would be very confused.
Just freaking enjoy Christmas!!
Any update on Camp Meeting Girl?
Has her “big day” occurred yet?
When I was 8 years old, a family friend asked me, “So what did Santa bring you for Christmas this year?”
I replied, “Nothing.”
He looked like he was going to cry and said, “You didn’t get ANYTHING for Christmas???”
My mom was standing with me and said, “She got a bunch of stuff, but Santa didn’t bring it!”
LOL It was firmly ingrained in me at the tender age of 8.
My little sister (then two) was in a stroller while we were walking around (at a Gothard thing in TN no less) and my sister started screaming and pointing at a jogger “WHY IS THAT MAN NAKED MOM? MOM, MOM, MOM, WHY IS THAT MAN NAKED? He wasn’t naked, he was just jogging with his shirt off…he just fit the definition of nakedness in my family. My mom said something about how even a child knew what immodesty was, and how the man was probably homosexual for jogging around without his shirt on. 🙄
Yeah, because heat exhaustion is so Godly.
Of course, don’t you know that suffering pointlessly for everyday things is “suffering for Christ”?
I jog with my shirt off because I’m a hot stud. If you got it, flaunt it…
Awkward moments: when the kids got “unapproved” presents and unwrapped them right in front of their relatives….and, of course, when it was “Shrek” then the question arose how to not offend your relatives and uphold your standards. In the case of Shrek, me and my hubby watched it after the kids went to bed, laughed and laughed, and decided it didn’t make much sense to be a hypocrite, and so for once the kids got to have some worldly fun…thanks to their “ungodly” relatives.
So now we were compromisers. When we allowed the kids to lend the movie to church friends, they gave it back to us (in church) wrapped in a discreet brown little paper bag. Sorta like booze.
I remember our fundy pastor in Michigan saying that their families were always giving his daughter a lot of unacceptable dvd’s and things he couldn’t let her watch. Every time her grandparents (who were Christians but liberals according to Pastor Super Fundy) gave her stuff they couldn’t let her accept it before he watched it and then he’d send it back to the grandparents saying he couldn’t let her have it. Most of this stuff was Disney and other type things. 🙄
And being the power-freak that he was, he no doubt LOVED letting them know that their gifts to their beloved grandchildren were inferior. What a @*ick.
Opening the dvd first, so there is no hope of returning it for a cash refund, makes him an even bigger jerk of the most rude order 👿 . Next year he should at least give the family a pre-approved list to choose from.
Awkward explanations: Being a teacher at a fundy school with a lot of students from non-fundy backgrounds, and trying to explain the reasoning behind standards you personally didn’t believe in without incriminating yourself in case one of the staff kids reported back to his their parents.
Happy moments: Realizing that you now belong to a community so far removed from Fundy U that most people haven’t heard of it, and when they ask, “Were the rules really that bad? What were they like?” it takes you ten minutes to think of where to begin explaining because it has no common ground with your current life 😀
Also, that moment when you realize that you can no longer tell for sure whether the beat of a song is “evil” or not. In other words, you have finally overcome a lifetime of fundy conditioning! 😉
I still have to awkwardly explain some of the stuff that went on in my childhood. My friends all call my Christian high school Footloose School, because we weren’t allowed to dance.
But probably the worst for me was when I wasn’t allowed to go to my swim team’s championships because it was on a Sunday. Like the good Baptist kid I was, I had to go explain to the coach that “I can’t go to the meet because it’s on a Sunday. I have to go to church.” The coach asked, “Can’t you go to early mass?” My mom scoffed at the suggestion. Mainly because it sounded so Catholic. I run, and lots of races are also on Sundays. To this day I feel guilty skipping church for them. I still go, but I really can’t help the twinge of guilt.
Lois, I run and some of races for adults are on Sundays. I have not had any guilt about this.
Some members of my former church had no issue with it but the more conservative ones I know had issues with it. And kids hockey..sunday is hockey day through about grade 9. Well, we missed a lot of church to haul kids to hockey and felt like we were explaining a lot about why they could play on Sunday..Hmm. I always felt like I could honor God with my competition on Sunday morning. And of course, our pastor had to come with the story of the guy in the olympics who walked away from the finals in 1924 or whenever it was because he wouldn’t compete on the Lord’s day. (Guess who thought it was aimed at him!) I thought: Good for you, and good for him. And I think God is pleased when I go out and do my best on whatever day it is….
I was explaining the Chuck Phelps/Tina Anderson/BJU board situation to a Catholic Priest in Greenville, SC. Of course he was more than scandalized. But then his question, “Why in the world would women stay in a system like that?” I was at a total loss to answer. I said, “I don’t know, I was in it for a really long time.” He graciously let me off the hook for a plausible answer by saying, “You said an important word: was.” Truly I am so thankful to be mostly out of it now. But as I look back I cannot for the life of me figure out how I justified so many things that were so obviously wrong. That conversation with the priest over the BJU stuff was one of the more awkward recent moments I’ve had. Mostly I hear myself saying, “Yes, I went to Bob Jones University, but I’m getting over it.” It will take more than my lifetime to get fully over it.
I get it, Amazed by Grace. I get it. I’m not a Bob Jones grad, but I’ve been bamboozled by “men of God” and now I wonder how I could have been so stoopid. It’s a painful place to be. I don’t know if I’ll ever be through dealing with it, but any improvement is a good thing.
I hear you Amazed by Grace. I don’t think there are any easy answers to that question. When I ponder “why did I stay in the IFB so long as an adult?” I get this mental image of bird held in place by thousands of tiny strings. No one string is strong enough to keep the bird tethered but altogether they formed a powerful rope. For me, bits and pieces of string had been breaking but it wasn’t until God in his grace cut a whole bunch of strings at once that I finally broke free.
When I was a kid, my non-fundy cousin would point out when I would misstep or do something a little rude and then say, “Is that what they teach you at church?”. I think she was just parroting what her dad would tell her (he’s totally against the Bible and didn’t like that my parents were religious), but it always made me feel horrible (I was nine, OK? Kids are learning and make mistakes). I dreaded summers when all my unfundy cousins would come.
In high school I refused to attend prom or senior ball. My friend’s brother was VERY concerned that I was making a big mistake (I think this was partly due to his interest in me at the time) that I would regret and kept bugging me to go to prom. It went on for a couple of weeks. Finally I admitted that I wasn’t going to prom because of my religious convictions. He actually thought that was really admirable of me…
There was a time I was at a party and I didn’t have anything to drink though everyone else was. Some guy who was interested in me asked me why and I think I said it had to do with religious convictions. He seemed to admire me for that then.
The takeaway is that if a guy admires you for standing up for your crazy convictions – run the other way fast. That, or if a guy is infatuated they will ignore every red flag in their pursuit.
I can remember trying to explain to my childhood friend why I couldn’t play with him when he played with his Star Wars (the occult and spiritualism), Transformers (robots with human tendencies were evil), and He-man (Skeltor was Satan and had a goat head on his staff and would come to life and hold seance under your bed when you were sleeping). I loved my Lego’s and Hot Wheels, but I still would love to play with the original Star Wars toys. Seinfeld anyone?
The evil of robots with human tendencies may be countered by Psalm 23: “Yea though I walk through the Uncanny Valley of the shadow of death…”
Toodle-doodle-doodle-doot! (I have no idea how to do a Fanfare!). I went, for the first time, to an Anglican church today. I. Really. Liked. It! I’ve come a long way, Baby!
Natalie, while I would never presume to ask for a butt cushion, as they are valuale treaures not to be lightly esteemed, I do wish you would toss a bobby pin or barrette my way, because I was scared. And I still did it.
Valuable, George. Get out of that egg nog.
Yay!!! Great progress! 🙂
I thank you, with a big old grin all over my face.
The most awkward thing I would have to explain would be this video: