324 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Guilt Trippin’”

  1. Sigh…you name it, and we’ve got the guilt. Really ought to be in counseling– the whole lot of us.

    My wife still has a hard time wearing pants to church, even though most of the ladies and even the pastor’s wife does. (Notice that my rationalization reveals my IFB background.)

    Reading from a different translation and listening to modern Christian music.

    Not attending every single church service or participating in every single church ministry.

    I could go on for hours.

  2. Drinking real wine at communion while wearing shorts at church and listening to a praise band playing contemporary Christian music before I open my ESV Bible to hear a sermon delivered by a pastor wearing blue jeans.

  3. Had to think long and hard about this one. Letting go of the guilt was a process. Music was never an issue, but there were a few. Alcohol was a 12 step program πŸ˜‰ to get away from the guilt. First was buying it when I was at a restaurant when I was out of town. Then came burying it in the shopping cart and doing a complete lock-down of the store to make sure no one knew me. Now, I just walk out with it under my arm. However, I’ve never run into someone from the IFB past and I suspect if I did I might feel a bit guilty.

    The only thing I feel really guilty about that I can think of is not having devotions every day.

    1. This has helped me recently with that very “devotions every morning” guilt. Christ’s standing with us never changes. It doesn’t require us having our devos every morning to earn back the love of Christ. Regardless of what we do or, in this case, what we don’t do..Christ still loves us and “There is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)-if we had to do that every morning to keep good standing, that is a works salvation..which obviously is not biblical. The only thing that God wants us to do each day is “walk in the Spirit”- not “ready your Bible and pray” πŸ™‚ hope that helps!!

      1. I think it’s that kind of thing in a nutshell. Does God want us to have devotions (or go to church, read our Bible, pray, serve etc) because we HAVE to or we will feel guilty for it? Or does He want us to do these things because we WANT to? I would hate to have people doing things for me because they felt like they had to. That’s legalism to the core and I hate it.

        Like not reading your Bible the first thing in the morning. I get to it at some point during the day. I’m not even fully awake when I first get up, not before I’ve had my coffee. Wouldn’t God be happier if I read it when I’m ready to, when I’m awake and alert and able to pay attention?

        So much of Fundydom is all guilt manipulation. I want to love and serve God because He’s good and He loves me, not because some Fundy preacher tells me what I should do and shouldn’t do! πŸ‘Ώ

      2. I used to do daily devotions because I felt I had to, and rarely got anything out of them. Now I do devotions most days because I want to, and I feel blessed and enlightened in return. Occasionally the Spirit will reveal Himself in unexpected ways, whereas I never really got that before. God knows the difference between an empty gesture and genuine feeling.

  4. I think music has always been the biggest issue for me. Going to a Fundy U and church and living in a fundy home, makes it really easy to feel guilty about the “Contemporary” music I listen to. I look forward to the day when that will no longer be an issue.

    1. You’ll get over it. I got hired this past summer to do some work on the campus of my former fundy U. I worked all day in shorts while listening to my MP3 player. Let me think, while there I listened to Coldplay, Sara Groves, Josh Garrels, and some Caedmon’s Call. The only thought I had was, “I bet the full time summer staff wishes they could wear shorts.”

  5. (Long time lurker, VERY occasional poster.)

    I’d do better listing the thing’s I DON’T feel guilty about anymore:

    Alcohol. I seldom drink, but I’ll enjoy an occasional beer or glass of wine.

    Actually admiring physical beauty…when I was a younger adult, the church I attended taught even looking ONCE was a sin.

    Not being in church every time the doors open.

    Working for a radio station that plays that demon rock and roll. That was way back in the day. Now I work at a country music station and own an online station…that plays that demon rock and roll.) :mrgreen:

    Not worrying about the “Culture War”. I have plenty enough to do dealing with my own sin without having to spend time denoucing everyone else’s.

    1. The whole ‘Culture War’ business I always thought was a little wrong-headed. To change the culture in the ways fundamentalists would like would mean curtailing many of the freedoms fundamentalists enjoy. In the end that will bite them in the ass.

      My favored scenario for the End Times was that the fundamentalists pushed things too far, resulting in a massive backlash and *real* persecution of all Christians, fundamentalist or not. The Antichrist in this scenario would be seen as a hero by many for clamping down on those who would restrict human liberty (of course, this is highly Amero-centric; I’m wondering what an End Times story set in, for example, Botswana or India would look like).

      But the fundamentalists don’t see it that way. The ‘Culture War’ is a stalking horse for dominionism, which nobody in his or her right mind–certainly no Christan–should support.

    2. That last point Don rung true in me! Wow how true and how wrong I always was pronouncing judgement on others, looking inward is a much more humbling and scary thing to do but it’s the right thing

  6. Treating other people as human beings and not as potential notches on the spiritual gunbelt. I count the cost of the number of relationships with both men and women that I ruined because I was so eager to deliver ‘the message’ that I forgot to *live* it. There’s still a part of me that feels the need to browbeat people, and that will probably always be with me.

    On a more trivial note, listening to non-approved music and reading non-approved books (although I never stopped completely even then–probably one of the few things that kept me from going all the way off the deep end).

    1. That’s so true! The mindset is to treat them like just another number, just another heathen waiting to be witnessed to, and then they call it “Christian love” because it supposedly means that you’re worried about their soul! I found it hard to get out of the fundy mindset of “absolutely anyone you talk to/bump into/glance at was divinely placed by God for you to slam with the gospel, and if you don’t they will go to hell and it will be all your fault.”

      The “unapproved” music and books weren’t nearly as hard to get over. After all, when I felt guilty because I listened to unapproved music, I was really feeling guilty about not meeting the approval of a single fundy organization. And despite the fact that every fundy leader thinks that their unapproved list was given to them by God Himself, their lists don’t agree with any of the other “God given” lists. Kind of a blow to their the-Bible-never-leaves-anything-in-question-ever-ever-ever mentality πŸ˜€

      1. I have known two people who beat themselves up over this very thing. Someone died who they “should have witnessed to.” They felt the person was in hell and it was all their fault. This happened twice to a man I knew. Supposedly God had laid it on his heart to visit this man at the hospital and he hadn’t had time, he planned to go on Saturday, his day off. The man died before then and he was so sure the man was in hell and it was all his fault.

        What? This man never knew another Christian through his whole life who could’ve witnessed to him? He was an old man. How did he go through his whole life and never meet a Christian? It really bugged me to see this man beating himself up like this. I told him the man had probably been witnessed to by others, and if not, surely others as well as him bore the responsibility. Chances were that even if he’d gone to see him, the man wouldn’t have accepted the Lord, or that just maybe he was saved already. But nothing would do. The man was in hell and it was all his fault. This is what Fundyville does to people. All that blood on your hands guilt they heap on people. “You may be the only Christian someone knows. You’re the only Bible they’ll ever read. They may never hear if you don’t tell them.

        Guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt! πŸ‘Ώ 😑 πŸ˜₯ πŸ™

        1. I remember Jack Hyles acting all broken up about his father not being saved, and that he was now in hell. I think the truth is we won’t know until we get there who made it and who didn’t. People who they are SURE are not saved will be there, and some people who seemed to be destined to show up in a gold chariot with great honors might not have. It would be rather ironic if Jack Hyles’ father was there after all… Anyway, my point is, we can spend our lives all broken up about things we have NO control over, or we can live in a way that shows the love of the One who controls us. That is all we can ever do. I used to feel guilt about EVERY person I ever came into contact with because *I* couldn’t lead them to the Lord even if I tried. This is not the conviction of the Holy Spirit as I was taught it was, but rather just another manipulation and mind game.

  7. Most of my list is from crossing the ocean and being in Africa for 7 years:

    Cancelling the evening services once monthly and during holidays. My wife and I just sat and wondered what to do on our first open Sunday night.

    Saying “shit” (or writing it, for that matter). Here, it just has its original meaning as excrement. The first time I heard it used in a sermon, I almost crawled under the pew.

    Watching the Super Bowl. The kickoff time is usually 1 am around here.

    Having SFL on my home page tabs!

    1. We had a member who did a fill-up sermon. He pretended to be Paul and used the phrase ‘camel shit’. EVERYBODY wanted a copy of that sermon. My husband refused to make copies cause he knew they just wanted to bad mouth him to the pastor.

  8. I don’t think I was in a fundy church long enough for them to be successful at making me feel guilty when I did stuff they didn’t agree with. I wore pants all the time and no one said anything. Some people would try every now and then to mention something to me that they didn’t agree with and I would politely shake my head and then do it again the next week with even more fervor. Not everyone there was like that though, just a few. I think they finally gave up last summer when I told them I was working in a liquor store. And now I wonder why they’re telling me I have to “remove” my membership to the church because I don’t attend there anymore (I live in another town).

  9. Skipping church on Sunday (which happens sometimes because I run and most big races are on Sundays!) When people tell me, “Oh I missed seeing you this week!” I always feel the need to express my sadness that there aren’t more races on Saturdays.

    I don’t feel guilty about drinking, but I do feel guilty about admitting I was at a bar. If I’m telling a story or making recommendations, it usually comes out as, “I go to this place called Croxley’s”. When I mention it to my dad, it’s always a “restaurant”.

  10. Never having been a fundie, I don’t know if I can really add to this list. However, after reading that such a large number of you posted “guilt” as your answer, I feel I can relate. I was raised in a moderate Catholic atmosphere most of my life and am now an atheist, however, Catholics, even moderate ones are HUGE on the guilt thing. I was having a conversation with another former-Catholic-turned-atheist a while back about Catholic guilt. We both agreed it was very difficult to escape even after leaving the Church. We both then agreed that “guilt can be a good thing and has a purpose.” Then we both paused. “That’s something a Catholic would say,” he said. Then we both laughed. But it’s kind of ridiculous the way we still rationalize that stuff all these years later, even when we know that compassion should be a stronger motivator for good than guilt.

    1. Should clarify: I mean “guilt” in the general sense of feeling like you’re not good enough. Obviously this whole post is about guilt. I do still feel a little guilty when my still Catholic friends give up something for Lent because it makes me feel as though I don’t have the fortitude to go 40 days without TV or facebook or meat or candy or whatever. But, on the other side, I no longer feel guilty about my sexuality, particularly the “solo” part of it. 😳

  11. I think I felt more guilty of the things I was doing “wrong” (by their definition) while still in fundyville. Now that I’m out I am feeling less guilty about those things as I go along.

    1 – Watching Dark Shadows, All in the Family and other shows they would’ve disapproved of or called sinful. The former because of the witches, warlocks, vampires etc, which would be evil and satanic by fundy standards and the latter because of the profanity and attitudes taken by people on the show and the drinking and smoking etc.

    2 – I felt guilty for dreading Sundays. I was counting the days til Sunday feeling sick in my gut at the thought of another Sunday in that place. Surely it was my fault, I was not spiritual or I’d love Sundays and sitting under that guilt mongering preaching. I’d love teaching that class I wasn’t comfortable with because it was the wrong age group. It was all my fault!

    3 – Feeling guilty when I was legitimately sick and unable to go, and that feeling of relief that I didn’t have to go. I felt guilty for not being in my place every time the doors were open. I have to confess there were times I wasn’t really sick enough to stay home, maybe the sickness was the thought of going, but the feeling of relief to miss one day or night in that place trumped the guilty feeling.

    4 – I felt guilty every time I couldn’t be there for some special activity or I made an excuse not to be. I’d always think I “should” be taking part in this or that. Back when I was involved in the ‘soul winning’ I’d feel guilty every time I missed that. Even if the excuse for missing was legitimate!

    5 – Listening to Southern Gospel music which is not on the approved music list. It has a beat you know, so it’s wicked! Sometimes they even play… gasp! drums! But that music would uplift me so much and actually make me believe God loved me. That’s not a good feeling for a fundy person to have, you know you’re supposed to feel guilty all the time.

    6 – And by the same token EVER listening to secular music of ANY kind. Liking Christmas songs like Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” because it’s not a Christian song.

    It’s been great these past 3 months to actually look forward to Sundays, look forward to going to church, counting the days because I anticipate going, instead of dreading it. Hearing music that is uplifting instead of guilt mongering. Actually being fed from the word of God rather than having the opinions of one man shoved down my throat.

    A lot more I could say but I better quit lest I become too much like him. 😳

    1. TV shows – I remember being made to feel guilty over certain shows that espoused ‘humanistic’ values (Star Trek was a big no-no). Nevermind that the original humanists–using the term in its Renaissance context–sought to explore more deeply the relationship between man and God.

      Not going when you’re sick – as a public health officer I can say that you actually facilitated God’s work by *not* getting others incapacitated. Did they really want *all* their soulwinners getting sick and not being able to function (or getting the potential targets sick and resentful)? Some people just don’t think things through.

      Music – I am convinced that Elvis remained a believer throughout his entire life, even if he did succumb to the pressures of the entertainment industry and a corrupt manager. Some seeds do fall on rocky soil, but they remain seeds nonetheless. His Gospel albums are a thing of beauty. Amazing Grace only sounds right to me if 1) it’s played on bagpipes or 2) sung by Elvis. πŸ˜€

      1. Dude. My parents got all mad when I was 7 and watched Star Trek at somebody’s house, and then they sat me down and showed me all three (at the time) Star Wars movies. Just this last year, I got a bunch of Star Trek movies and watched them all, feeling rebellious the whole time. I also noticed…my parents said that Star Trek was “new age,” but Star Wars is 10 times more “new age” than Star Trek. I mean, levitating things and talking to dead people? Wonder how that got past the fundy radar…

  12. “Responding emotionally” to worship.

    I was taught that an emotional response was shallow, and only a true “spiritual response”, like a reverent “amen” was appropriate.

    I can hardly make it through an entire service at church without feeling overwhelming gratitude for God’s grace. It brings me to tears on occasion. It’s immeasurably better than the guilt I was accustomed to.

    Ironically, I feel the slightest feelings of guilt for not feeling guilty.

    1. On the other side of the spectrum, I no longer feel guilty for not responding emotionally in a service. I went to a church where shouting “amen” and a variety of other phrases was expected; and crying, raising your hand, going to the altar in the middle of the singing/preaching, and being able to give a “moving” testimony on cue was the norm. That’s what the good Christians were supposed to do. It was worked up by the church leaders, also. Any emotional outburst was considered “the presence of God”, whereas any service without an emotional outburst was considered dead. Today, I don’t feel bad for sitting in the church and just listening without any type of emotional response. Maybe once I am away from fundamentalism for a while I can shed tears of thankfulness for what God’s done for me, but for now I am glad I can stay in my seat and hear the music and sermon without feeling like I’m required to respond emotionally.

    2. I left fundyland over 5 years ago. The first non fundy service I attended, I just bawled my eyes out during worship. Here I am many church services later…and I still wonder why I bother with mascara most Sunday mornings. Music speaks to my soul…and speaks from my soul in a way that nothing else does.
      In the same vein…I also lift my hands every now and then. I’m still self conscious about it, thought I am part of a church where this isn’t unusual. But I’ve discovered…that along with sitting in the back…if you close your eyes, no one sees you lift your hands in worship. πŸ˜‰

    3. A few years ago the lovely Mrs. and I were at a UGA football game. The Dawgs were behind, and Champ Bailey pick off an interception and ran it back for a touchdown. When the smoke cleared, I realized that I was up on the bleacher bench dancing a jig. My next thought was, honestly, “Why can’t we get this exited about our Creator/Savior?”

      I’m still in a fundy-lite church, and one of these days I’m going to lose my foolish inhibitions and “praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises to him with the tambourine” like I can in other churches I have been in.

      [Although I might leave out the sing part. The last time I sang in church, 47 people changed denominations]

    1. Our new church is having only Sunday morning service on Christmas and New Year’s day (which fall on Sunday this year) and no evening service on those days only. Part of me felt like “What? Are you sure God’s ok with this?” and felt guilty because I won’t be in church those nights. Like I’ll become some horrible backslider because I won’t be in church those nights!

      I haven’t been out of fundyville as long as a lot of you so it’s gonna take time to get over this stuff. πŸ™

      1. I’ve been out about 15 years or so. On the journey out I found somethings were hard to get over because they were so ingrained, like a Sunday evening service. But there were also other things that I have fallen in love with that I never had in my fundy upbringing; for example, a Christmas Eve service and a Good Friday service. I can’t recall ever having either growing up. Both were too closely connected to Catholicism for us to participate in them. Also, we would never have a Good Friday service because every good fundy knows that Jesus was either crucified on Wednesday or Thursday. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, those are now two of my most favorite services of the year. My fundy upbringing meant that Sundays were for church and rest and that’s it. My church now holds things like church golf events after Sunday morning services. Why? Because people are already there and our church is there to serve people, not to make things inconvenient for them. I know, crazy to think that the church is there to help people. Also, we don’t have a formal service on Sunday nights opting instead for small groups. We have no midweek service and cancel Sunday School every summer for two months to give the teachers a break. It makes sense when you start to think outside the fundy box.

        1. As hard-core Baptists (at the time), I felt kind of guilty allowing my daughters to take a gig playing Hymns between the music part and the midnight Mass at the local Episcopal Church. I’ll admit that the sermon left something to be desired. I wanted to get up and tell the folks that they should cheer up–He is a LIVING Savior. But he was not the regular minister, and I was just the driver for the musicians. I don’t usually stay for service, but I have been blessed many years now as I sit and listen to hymns of praise sung by a multi-denominational choir on Christmas Eve. I’ve even lost any guilt about going to an Episcopal Church.

  13. When I was in my twenties I pierced my ears. EVERYONE in the early seventies had her ears pierced, but I felt so guilty. I wore my hair down over them for months so that no one would know. My mother used to quote her mother “Cannibals have pierced ears!” I think we’ve all experienced an authority figure quoting another authority to double down on the guilt factor.

    Oh, and if cannibals have pierce ears, so what. A lot of non-cannibals have pierced ears, too.

    1. ‘My mother used to quote her mother β€œCannibals have pierced ears!”’

      Oh, now that’s brilliant logic. Cannibals have toes, too. Should we cut off our toes?

      1. Well if you do, be sure to throw them to the cannibals. They’re the ones with pierced ears πŸ˜‰

        My nose is pierced. It was done while still in fundyland. I felt incredibly guilty at the time. But I’d listened to the rant, I mean sermon, on why piercings are wrong, and it just didn’t add up. I’m so glad now.

        1. Nose rings are not condemned in the Bible, they are spoken of like any other matter-of-fact piece of jewlery.

        2. Ah yes, the well-known fundy defense: “Piercings and tattoos are evil because Leviticus 19:28 says, ‘Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you.'” Of course they read really fast over the “for the dead” part because if they don’t, they might have to consider the fact that the Bible wasn’t actually condemning any and all piercings and tattoos.

          I don’t have any tattooes, and I only have the traditional one hole in each ear lobe piercing, but that’s just my choice. I haven’t really heard a good Biblical defense against them to convince me that those who have them are automatically not right with God.

    2. My ears were pierced when I was four, so that was cool, but I got my tragus pierced when I was 21 or so. I went to great lengths to hide that piercing from my mom, lol! She finally saw it and really didn’t say much, other than, omw, why??? Heh. She never saw my other piercings … 😈

  14. Swearing. And I do it A LOT. I still feel guilty about it, but I don’t do it to hurt people, and I only do it around people who are comfortable with me swearing. Language changes and evolves, but for some reason, I can’t get over it. Dammit. πŸ™‚

    1. I don’t cuss as a rule unless I’m very angry. But there are people who bring it out in me and I will call them a colorful name. I only do so in front of my husband though. :mrgreen:

  15. I was going to say dancing, but I don’t feel guilty about that one bit. The one thing that I still feel weird about doing is wearing pants to church on Sundays. If my parents went to church with me, I probably still wouldn’t do it.

  16. Reading Rob Bell…

    Hanging out with homosexuals…

    Dreading Church…

    Watching The Office, Family Guy, South Park, etc…

    Listening to secular music…

    Not believing in 100% complete inerrancy of Scripture…

    Generally doing anything that could be labelled as “Emergent”…

  17. It still makes me feel guilty when I protect myself from people I’ve known for years who don’t really love me, but try their best to control, manipulate and often hurt me. I always hear the twisted view of Fundy “forgiveness” in my head even though fundy forgiveness only leaves people victimized, not restored. I deal with guilt when keeping these people out of my life even though I know it’s absolutely the right thing ot do.

    1. Forgiveness in the spiritual sense is different from inviting offenders to re-offend.

      I look at it this way: I don’t hate poisonous snakes at all. In fact, I think they are beautiful and I appreciate their role as pest destroyers. Yet I don’t pick up poisonous snakes and kiss them on the lips. To do so would be to fail to respect nature properly.

      Nor do I knowingly eat foods I’m allergic to. I feel absolutely no rancor at all toward those foods, but I know they threaten my well-being.

      In the same way, I know from experience that certain people will hurt me if I give them a chance. I don’t wish them any ill (well, most of them– I’m not perfect), but to let them have any power over me, and for certain people, to even let them get near me, would be to ignore God’s desire for me to be healthy and happy.

    2. You know what, people who say we are to forgive no matter what haven’t read Luke 17.
      β€œIf your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying β€˜I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

      We don’t have to forgive people who don’t repent from their crimes against us. If people have abused you and not apologized sincerely and repented, protect yourself and heal. You are worth it.

  18. I’m thinking hard….there’s plenty of things I used to buy into and don’t anymore. But guilty?? God impressed on me that there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, and that it still pretty fresh in my spirit. guilty…guilty….hmmmm…I feel guilty that in my self-righteous Christianity (saved, but getting caught up in the rules) I didn’t have a tender heart for unsaved loved ones (now I don’t have a tender heart for unloved saved ones, haha). They saw rules in me, instead of love and Christ.
    I feel guilty for pushing this stuff on my kids. I feel stupid and humiliated for falling for this crap. I never saw an anti-depressant in my life, until I got in church at the tender age of 32.
    Yikes, what was I thinking??? πŸ™„
    guilty….guilty….no, I talked to my son’s youth pastor at RiteAid, wine bottle in my cart and not hiding it…I don’t turn down the music when I go through our little town…my son gets to go to church (he wants to stay with his friends)in fashionably torn up jeans, as in rows and rows of designer holes, whohoo!! His hair, hold your breath, TOUCHETH HITH EARS….we’re watching movies with girls in bikinis, ehm guilty, guilty…I’ll have to get back with you on that one. Well, hopefully nothing will come to mind.

  19. There are too many things to list. I think the thing I feel most guilty for is just being myself. No hiding who I am or what I do, no making decisions based on what someone else may think or how it may “hurt the cause”…I can’t believe I have guilt over something so dumb! πŸ™

    1. Oh, yes. And introversion, which is a manifestation of selfishness according to them. Because nothing demonstrates your commitment to God like going so far outside your comfort zone that you’re unable to function effectively *at all*.

  20. I can’t stop looking over my shoulder when I wear a mini skirt or dress.

    I also feel slightly guilty when I cuss. Even though it’s just articulating what has long been in my head.

    I also feel a little guilty going on (or trying to go on) dates and with physical affection with guys.

    I don’t feel guilty so much as moronic at bars or clubs, mostly because I have no idea what kind of drinks to order.

  21. Reading Harry Potter!!

    Last year (at the age of 26) I read Harry Potter for the first time at a colleague’s suggestion. I had always avoided reading it when it first came out and was so popular (back when I was the right age for it!) because of the church. I’ve been out of the IFB for almost 8 years now, but I still feel a lot of guilt about going so far over to “the other side” as to willingly read Harry Potter!

    1. Right age? I’m 43, I started the series in my thirties, and I love it! The ‘right age’ for a classic story is purely subjective. My son is five, and he’d love it, but he doesn’t yet have the patience for me to read more than three or four pages at a time to him.

    2. You know, I am considering reading Harry Potter as all the books are at the library. I have a lot of online friends who’ve read them and think they’re great. I’m not sure I’m to that point or not. πŸ˜•

    3. I read all the Harry Potter books when I was in my 40s. They were a lot of fun (and there was nothing especially wicked about them). I didn’t think they were great works of literature, but I don’t grant that status to many books. I’m glad I read them.

      And there are enough references in them (especially the later books in the series) that only adults would get, that I don’t think they were intended just for kids.

  22. Y’all are so funny. We are never made to feel guilty about anything. My Mother just says she will pray for us. That’s how you know your decision may not be God’s Will. Mother is helpful like that. She also has the amazing ability to find an article she has clipped from The Joyful Woman or Above Rubies to help guide me.

      1. Uggghhh! If you want major guilt tripping just read that rag. It serves one purpose: To make you think Cindy Schaap has it all together and everyone else is a low life loser who ought to do everything they can to emulate her. The articles are written by her and her disciples with the purpose in mind of training you to think of yourself as a lousy wife and mother who fails at everything and needs their wonderful guidance to become as perfect as they are. But just like no pastor could begin to reach the heights of Jack Schaap no pastor’s wife or any other women can reach the heights of Cindy Schaap.

        At the church we left in September the pastor gave out copies of this lovely magazine to all the women telling them it would make us better Christian ladies. Yeah right. When we left I thought oh no, now I’ll never see that magazine again. Wasn’t that just awful? πŸ˜†

        1. it really was/is warped.
          Never understood how soeone couldn’t tell at first glance what you say.
          Creepy

        2. Poor Cindy Schaap! She has, for her entire life, been a coat-tail rider. She has no clue how to make it in this life on her own merit. If she has any. Which I never saw any evidence of…

  23. Figure drawing. You just can’t get serious about art without studying the human figure and looking at some nekkid people. I can’t help but think of a few people whose heads would explode if they knew that I, a happily married woman, was staring very hard at nude men I don’t even know. πŸ™„

    Occasional lurker, even rarer commenter.

    1. I know what you mean, I painted an awesome, in-your-face nude and even though I love it, where on earth can I show it? It’s hidden in my sister’s closet covered by a sheet. But as an artist, I just HAD to paint it, it was like a child that had to be born, she just can’t live in my world at this time. 😯 😳 😯

    2. That was kind of hard for me as a young art student, especially when my father found out there were nude models in my drawing classes, and I had to try to explain to him why they didn’t wear clothes. He didn’t try to talk me out of taking the classes, though, which probably wasn’t easy for him.

    3. This is exactly me!!! I didn’t have the guts to go through my figure drawing classes when I was 20 so I have a huge gap in my talent. I can sure draw faces though πŸ™‚ My husband has volunteered, so at least I won’t be staring at a stranger πŸ˜‰

  24. What do I feel guilty about? Not being in a “ministry”. While in IFB I had to. I am very disillusioned in this area. In my current church, after a few months, I started doing AWANAS. Now I haven’t gone in 6 weeks. I started even though I am having some problems health-wise. Now I’ve stopped because I just don’t give a crap what people think anymore. I’m focusing on getting better.

  25. Being myself. By nature I’m silly and goofy guy who likes to laugh loudly and dance at random. But when the next morning comes, I always feel like I didn’t uphold the character of Christ (aka the MOG) by acting that way. Another object of guilt was not aspiring to be a pastor or missionary. It’s like in the IFB those are the only two positions a man could ever make God happy with. There go my dreams of being a DJ πŸ™

    1. I once got cornered in the back of the church auditorium by two people who felt the need to rebuke me for “foolish jesting,” as in “coarse talk and foolish jesting.” (Eph 5:4) Fortunately, my sense of humor survived intact.

  26. Not “honoring” my father. I don’t find him or his behavior honorable. I had it drilled into my head for so many years that we are to honor our parents, and I did, but now, looking back, I don’t know. I can’t respect him, and I can’t honor him. How do you reconcile that with what you’ve always been taught? And so I feel guilt.

    1. Had/have a really hard time with the whole “honor your parents” as well, the following is an excerpt from a longer article that really helped me resolve some of the guilt. Don’t know if it will help you, but for what it is worth.

      “I submit to you that:
      serving God brings honor to your parents . . .
      loving and obeying God brings honor to your parents . . .
      living a life in accordance to His leading, brings honor to your parents . . .
      loving your husband and others, brings honor to your parents . . .
      seeking truth and wholeness brings honor to your parents . . .
      . . . even if they disagree. Even if they think you are in error. Even if they look at you as though you are the lost sheep, keep you from your family, and speak ill of you.”

      The rest of the article http://www.quiveringdaughters.com/2009/03/weight-of-honor.html

  27. I live with guilt every day of my life. I left the fundy church right out of high school, and into the arms of a not so nice fellow…after having kids out of wedlock and lost in the world I started attending church a milder fundy church. The guilt set in so bad, I gave up attending after a couple of years. But I still hide things from my parents, such as occasional drinking, and allowing my kids to listen to “secular” music. I even send them to Christian school..not a fundy school, but Christian still the same. My now teenage son has found a faith in God like I have never seen in a young person, and chooses to go to church (non fundy) but the guilt keeps me away from any church. How does one get over it?

    1. Romans 3:19-26

      Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and so the whole world may be held accountable to God. For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he has passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.

      I hope this helps. It’s definitely helped me, even now just reading it.

      1. wow, thanks for that πŸ™‚ I haven’t come across that passage yet in my non-KJV Bible. It’s nice to read that and understand it at the same time. What version did you take it out of?

    2. To help with the guilt, I’d recommend the book “They Ride White Horses” by David Graham. It’s available on amazon.com. It redefined my idea of how God sees us…and loves us unconditionally!!

  28. nothing really that makes me feel guilty. but i still am afraid to go to movies (i don’t even try) and go buy a miles davis CD at some store cuz i live in the same city. afraid someone will see me and say something. cuz i literally still think that people from my old church sit outside the movie theater waiting for me to show. more paranoia than guilt. 😑

    1. I haven’t been to a movie in ages. Not just because of the IFB preaching against it but because the cost is so high and there hasn’t really been anything I cared to see. But next May the Dark Shadows movie comes out with Johnny Depp and I will be going to see that. If someone from my old hyles worshiping fundy church sees me well too bad! They can tell the pastor that sister so and so was at the movies and he can think oh how far she’s fallen since leaving OUR church! If she’d remained she would still be on the straight and narrow rather than going to the evil godless theater! And what’s really cool is I don’t give two horse bleeps what they think! It makes me laugh! :mrgreen:

      1. We are twins.:) My daughter discovered the POTC movies and I loved them. We had a pact not to mention our movie thing to anyone at church. I even took her to the red carpet for the Tourist and we saw JD and Angelina & Brad. They is was “don’t tell anyone and especially not your grandmother!”. I would make her take her movie posters and fan pics down when the exterminator came because he was part of our church and our bible study leader. All the while thinking “just what am I teaching her?”. LOL Can’t wait to see Dark Shadows. πŸ˜‰

      2. If you like Dark Shadows and Johnny Depp, don’t miss the Tim Burton version of “Sweeney Todd,” with Johhny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (and cameos by some other interesting actors). It’s a classic of its genre.

      1. Sex too.

        Come to think of it, I think Mom might have been a closeted lesbian, because she was always pointing out “immodest women,” before even horny teenager I noticed them.

  29. Accepting necessary government assistance. I’m afraid to let people know I do. I worry that people will start judging every minute purchase I make as wasting their tax dollars. I constantly battle the feeling that I’m “stealing” and don’t deserve to eat because I’m not working for the money that pays for my food.

    1. Anon, I wish I had the right words to say to make you feel better. As it is, I’m sending you a virtual hug. It’s your money, whether it is an entitlement or you earned it through traditional work. No one has the right to judge you.

    2. There are those who take government handouts (paid for by tax dollars as you said) when they are well able to work but they are too lazy. There are others who can’t work and need the help. Now with the economy so bad there are people who want to work but they’ve been laid off or can’t find a job because no one is hiring. What are they supposed to do, go hungry and see their kids go hungry? If you are in these categories you shouldn’t feel guilty. I know it’s hard. But it would be far worse to be going without especially if you have others dependent on you.

    3. anon, I get how you feel. I’m barely getting by, and qualify for government assistance in some areas. I haven’t applied yet, for a lot of reasons, but a big one is the same you gave.

    4. A friend of mine who is severely disabled (injuries from a car accident combined with cerebral palsy) had that guilt trip laid on her. I explained to her that Paul was referring to people who could work but chose not to, not people who weren’t able to work and had no family to support them (which she didn’t).

      The same clown who tried to make her feel guilty about accepting government aid also tried to make her feel guilty about not declaring the sub-minimum wage money she was earning from daycare on her taxes. I showed her the tax tables and explained that what she made didn’t even reach the bottom end of the table. It would cost the IRS more to audit her than they would have recouped in back taxes.

      I swear, some people are just looking to cause misery…

    5. I know what you mean; I always feel better when I’m buying vegetables and fruit, but when I buy junk food, I think that ppl are judging me. And they probably are. I do work, cleaning houses, but even with that income and child support, I still need the assistance.
      In the past I’ve had jobs where I made enough money that I had to pay taxes as did my parents. I look at it like this is how those past payments are being used. And I look forward to the day when I no longer need it.

    6. I have nothing against people who truly need and use governmental assistance, but I hate the concept and program. It *is* stealing – they take money from me by threat of punishment, give most of it to the bureaucrats who administrate the programs, and give a little of it to the needy. I’d love to see such program abolished.

      But if you need the assistance, use it, since it is available.

      Paying tithes on assistance is, in my opinion, stupid.

    7. As a taxpayer into said system, I say TAKE IT! USE IT! ENJOY IT! If I ever need it, I certainly plan to. I sometimes go with my daughter when she goes to pick up her WIC food and the people in the line (who don’t necessarily know I am with her) roll their eyes behind her back and sometimes say awful things. I always tell my daughter, “I am glad it is there for you. I would not be proud of you if you were to abuse the system, but YOU are who this is put in place for. So take it. It is good.

  30. Speaking as one still inside the IFB enclave, I feel guilty when I skip out on ‘bus ministry.’ Also having gone to Bible college and not having become a fundy god-king.

    O, and I’m a daily lurker btw.

  31. I’ve been working through them one at a time. I remember feeling guilty walking into a movie theater, and a similar feeling walking into an Episcopal churchβ€”half expecting to be struck by lightning. Neither bothers me now. I still feel awkward about dancing, but if you danced like I do, you’d feel awkward, too. I often wonder if I’d be a halfway decent dancer if I’d learned young rather than being forbidden to dance. Maybe I’d be a klutz anyway.

    I feel mildly guilty buying alcohol, but feel no guilt drinking itβ€”that took a long time to get over. I want to enjoy my freedom, but haven’t found a drink I really like. Wine is too bitter. Port tastes like NyQuil. I can’t stand the smell of beer. If I wanted to get drunk without tasting the alcohol, Margaritas would be the way to goβ€”they taste just like lemonade. But I don’t like the feeling of even a mild buzz. Pina Coladas do actually taste better with rum, but that’s about it so far.

    I feel guilty about raising my hands during worship, but I’ve decided that’s allowed, but not required. Still, the fundie in me gets annoyed when other people do.

    The latest guilt? Tithing. Never questioned that rule until I started reading SFL. I know I should give something, but the 10% rule was deeply ingrained. When we were going through a tough time financially, our church gave us some money to help out. (Without the heaping of guilt it would have come with in the unlikely event the Baptist church had helped us.) I had to go ask my priest if I should give 10% of it back.

    1. Wow i haven’t even thought of what i’m gonna feel going into a different church. oh man. I hardly go to my church anymore, and I already call it my “old church”. Ha. But man, just the thought of walking into a lutheran or methodist …or whatever… church makes me feel weird πŸ˜•

  32. It seems sometimes that I feel guilty about everything. The big ones for me would have to be going to a liquor store, reading versions other than the KJV, and reading SFL. I even had a dream that the pastor of my church found out I read this blog and gave me a big hassle about it. I also feel guilty about feeling guilty.. I see others in my family that have escaped the IFB nonsense, and are living with such freedom. It gives me something to look forward to when I finally walk out the doors for good.

    I have been a long time lurker and appreciate all of you who comment on here regularly, as you have helped to open my eyes even more to the nonsense called IFB.

    1. Walking out is so freeing. I’m getting my socks blessed off from every service I go to and making many new friends! I’m visiting a new church on Sunday and have visited a couple a couple of times, it’s great to be in worship services that are ALIVE with the JOY of Worshiping God. I still don’t raise my hands, I do when I am at home worshiping so it will be a milestone when I let myself, I am going to try what someone suggested above and close my eyes when I do so I don’t feel awkward. There has been nothing bad about leaving, nothing. I have to call or text friends or visit them instead of passively seeing them at church but that is not bad, just different and more intentional. πŸ˜€

  33. Guilt only returns around other fundies.

    Currently, I shave about once a week. But I still would never be caught dead at my former Fundy U with facial hair.

    The pastor has a “preference” against beards on men, or is it men with beards?

  34. skipping church on a Sunday to sleep in,

    going to the movies / music concerts and enjoying progressive rock

    shopping on Sunday

    driving a performance sports car

    watching Sports on Sunday

    accepting being introverted as normal

    1. Oh wow. You’re last one really hit home! In fundyland I always felt I had to be someone I wasn’t. I’m generally a quiet person and I’ve been asked if something’s wrong because I wasn’t talking all the time (i.e. so there must be some sin I’m grieving over). Or I had to “come out of my shell.” I almost felt guilty for not being a type A personality (or sometimes a jerk). Though the term can be overused, I did finally realize that maybe that was the “way God made me.”

  35. Where to start?

    Not being at every church function. This year was the first time I looked my pastor straight in the eye and said I don’t care *what* day Christmas falls on, I will be with my family instead of church.

    I still turn down my music when my dad walks into my office or gets in my car. I justify it by saying I’m just being deferent to his different tastes and distastes.

    I think that’s about it, really. I spent a few months before leaving fundyism quietly indulging and preparing myself for when I would have free reign, so what guilt I had was because I was doing stuff I legitimately shouldn’t have been doing at the time.

  36. I don’t know if this is a fundie thing or if it was just my mom. But:

    Going to the doctor/hospital when I am sick and/or
    Taking aspirin or tylenol or something for headaches. (or other pains)

    Any non-natural form of medicine was taboo in our ultra-healthy lifestyle.

  37. I’m still a deeply entrenched fundy (who wants out), and I felt a twinge of guilt this Thanksgiving when a family member asked me to pass him a bottle of wine and I did it. And, like some other posters, I feel a bit guilty reading SFL.

    1. I know the feeling. I am sure mentally and spiritually you are already “out” and the physical aspect will soon follow.
      It is definitely a process. Some have taken a long time. Some were able to bolt quickly. I, like you, am in the agonizing stage of “what do I do” to make this situation, well, go away without it being so painful.
      This process of rethinking everything I grew up with has not been fun. Talk about guilt…
      Every time I evaluate a position and come up with a conclusion that strays from the way I grew up I simply do not know what to do.

      1. Eventually the cognitive dissonance will be absolutely intolerable and something inside you will “snap” and you will know it’s time to get out and not look back. To get to this point you need to really listen to what the preaching is about instead of go into automatic pilot mode during a service. I used to think that I paid good attention during sermons but in order to avoid anger, I was actually letting a lot of inconsistencies go by. I am happy and free. πŸ˜€

      2. @Brotha Doctah Whoppah,
        You hit the nail on the head. I don’t know what to do either. It’s hard to realize that so many of our traditions and standards aren’t things that we HAVE to do. The easy thing would be to just stay; however, I don’t want my kids to grow up fundy, and if I disagree with what is being taught (since most of the sermons I hear are just preferences with the occasional political opinion thrown in) my kids will wonder why the pastor says one thing while his parents do another (hey, maybe they won’t. Maybe that’s the fundy mindset that I still have). I’m mentally leaving, but I have a family, and leaving needs to be a decision we can make together. I wish you all the best as you make these tough choices, as well, and thank you for your kind words. And, @Headnotbowedeyedwideopen, good for you for being free!

      3. Headnotbowedeyeswideopen is right. The cascade effect has begun. I am 25 years out of the prison. It takes time, not 25 years though.

        You are not just challenging all that you believe; you are redefining yourself. It is not possible to process all the changes at once.

        Your head will be out in front of your emotions on many issues. You will change what you think. Your emotions will take time to catch up.

        Have as good a support network as you can. Professional therapists should be considered too.

        You are going way outside your comfort zone. Take time to find ways to take care of yourself as you go through this stress.

        Don’t be afraid to stop for a time and process what has changed.

        I seriously resisted the changes that the cognitive dissonance brought on. My identity was completely wrapped up in being a devout Christian.

        Keep in touch with others who have left or are leaving.

    1. Me too. I purpousely got it in November so I could hide it for a few months. And It was a Christian themed tattoo. The second and third and fourth ones were less guilt trippy, but still so.

      Listening to heavy music.(hardcore/punk)Even though it’s music that promotes avoiding drinking, drugs, and promiscuity, and I always felt bad because there were occasional curse words, and of the sound.

      Playing secular music in a band
      Getting piercings
      Wearing mostly black
      Becoming Catholic and doing Catholic things (Praying the office in Latin, the rosary, going to benediction, reading the RSV with apocrypha)

      Having friends who drink smoke and being in public with them while they did these things. (I used to be so afraid of ‘ruining my testimony’ by being seen walking down the street with a friend smoking.)

      I don’t think I’ve ever felt less guilty than the Sunday my band had to play a show and I went to mass dressed how I usually dress and not wearing a suit, and nobody said anything or shot me looks.

    2. I’ve never yet had the nerve to go to my own church in a short-sleeved shirt or a T-shirt so that the the tattoos on my arms are visible, and my church is NOT even true-blue Fundy! Maybe one or two tatts might be acceptable but my arms are half-way to being sleeved. In fact I’ve artwork all over me. One day I’ll do it. I might even wear a T-shirt with a picture of the Earth, taken from Space and the words “Wish you were Here!”… the folks in my church would love it, but I can imagine how that would go down in Fundystan….

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