Today’s challenge is to tell a story about when you were the kind of person who might end up featured on SFL. Every one of us has memories (and perhaps even residual guilt) over when we too were judgmental, unkind, or just so sure that we were the only ones who knew the truth.
Not only is honest confession good for the soul but it help others know that it’s possible to change.
218 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Fess Up”
When I was an AWANA leader, I used to look down on those poor public school kids who couldn’t read The King’s English. I thought less of them than I did of Christian school kids.
Then my kids became the public school kids and the tables were turned. Oh, how I wish I’d not been so judgmental!
Oh, uggh. This is painful. My sister was in a relationship with an “unapproved” boy. My other siblings had tole me how worthless he was and painted him as a hug villain that was just after my sister’s virtue. I never verified a scandalous story I heard about the two of them being naked at a part in a hot tub. Instead, I called his parents and bawled them out for having such a reprobate son. The story was actually untrue. A friend of theirs was in deep doo doo for having sex with the pastor’s son and “confessed” having this knowledge about my sister to turn the spotlight on her. Yeah, I was a big a$$hole for doing that. But I got so much affirmation from my parents… 👿
“Hug Villain”, I like that name.
OH GOD George! Huge, not hug! Party not part! George has never been this cruel to me before! I must be his new victim…
After everything I’ve learned about the IFB, HUG villian actually made sense.
Don’t feel too bad, it’s rather cute. And to an upright-uptight Fundy, anyone who likes to hug someone would be a villain.
Well, I’ve contributed content to about 3 posts on SFL so in a way I, or at least my crowd, has already been featured. 😳
My most embarrassing story is one that my fundy friends would never forget either. I once volunteered in my youth group for a Preacher’s Boy/Sunday School Teacher contest. I taught a very scientifically technical lesson on why evolution is wrong. I was good at public speaking for a teen at the time, so everyone remembered it and even now my friends will bring it up to remind me of the fun what we had. Heh. Fun.
I have two shameful moments from many years ago: (1) I was talking with an unsaved acquaintance about salvation and stated to his face that he had no morals – he called me on it, and I realized he was right; his morals were his own and just not based on the Bible, but I feel terribly at the holier-than-thou superiority that led me to say such a thing.
(2) At a camp once, I had a light on, disturbing everyone else – when they complained, I self-righteously told them that I was reading my Bible.
While I believe that God has worked on me and I have allowed the Holy Spirit to improve me slightly, there is still much yielding that I need to do to Him – I have such a long way to go!
I used to be a virulent KJV-only, pants-on-women-hating, CCM-condemning, Calvinist-bashing, beer-bashing (for lack of a better word) jackass.
Now I am a Calvinist, regularily read the NIV & ESV, listen to all sorts of good music, and regularily imbibe in refreshing beverages.
The one that still haunts me the most was from my grad student days at Fundy U, and I really hope one or both parties involves reads this, recognizes it, and accepts my sincerest heartfelt apologies for being a sanctimonious ass about the whole thing.
One Saturday afternoon, I was grabbing lunch at the Arby’s down the main drag from campus. As I sat eating, I noticed a pair of who I thought were students a few tables away, a guy and a girl, acting like a normal dating couple would. I don’t remember exactly what they were doing, but I made a mental note of whatever it was. A few days later I was back on campus in the snack shop and I saw who I thought was the same couple. I went over, asked if I could join them, introduced myself, and asked them if they were in Arby’s that Saturday over lunch. I think they denied that they were, but I insisted that I recognized the girl and that I believed it was them playing around at the restaurant. He acted as he should have, shielding her from my accusations and calmly trying to reason with me. He explained that she was on some sort of medication that made her sleepy a lot, and occasionally she’d nod off while they were sitting together in church, and they’d been turned in before (and later acquitted) for “cuddling” during a service, and maybe that’s what I saw. However I, in my infinite wisdom and knowledge, and better-than-20/20 vision and facial recall, refused his story and demanded their ID numbers, which they gave me (because, hey, that’s the rule – if anyone asks, you gotta give it out). I turned them in to the dean of students that afternoon, despite a voice in the back of my head shouting at me not to do it. Eventually that voice grew loud enough that I couldn’t ignore it, and I went back to the dean and withdrew my accusation, saying I wasn’t sure anymore if it was them that I saw. With my accusation off the table, the dean had nothing to go on and let them go. But he told me, “Well, we’ll keep an eye on them. If it *was* them you saw, they’ll probably slip up later and someone else will find out. Sin never stays hidden.”
I don’t know where those two ended up. But if they’re here, please forgive me for being a complete jackass in the whole matter.
You are forgiven
At the ripe and wise old age of 23, I was volunteered (because they could relate to me) to give the annual pre-fake prom modesty lecture to the junior and senior girls at the Christian school I taught at. I agreed and gave the whole spiel including the “boys are much more visual” garbage and they were “responsible not to tempt them”. A few years ago, a girl who was in that room thanked me for that helpful day via Facebook. I banged my head against a wall when I got that message.
Last summer, we ran into another girl who had been in that room at a nearby summer festival. I was wearing a mini skirt and a tank top. She looked aghast. I kind of enjoyed that moment.
Fundies in their twenties are the worst. They do know everything, and no one can ever convince them otherwise. I ought to know. I was one. I despise the hypocrite I once was. But I knew everything about everything! I did! Really!
I shudder to think of how much I thought I knew. And the whole modesty thing…I never bought into skirts only or that extreme. But I didn’t own a tank top from ages 20-30 and a few things like that. And thinking a sleeveless prom dress was going to destroy the morality of a teenage boy or that that was the girl’s fault for wearing it…ugh. Years later and away from those people…my wedding dress would have been banned from their fake prom. And it wasn’t even strapless!
Two more came to mind…
As an R.A. at my fundy college, I hosted a “fashion show” for the girls showing what was allowed and what wasn’t dress code wise. LOL!
Also at fundy college, I told on my adult sister for kissing her boyfriend.
Um, yeah. I did this, too. Just to my brother and his girlfriend (who very shortly thereafter became his wife).
I told one of my best friends in middle school that she wasn’t a Christian. Shocked, she replied, “Of course I’m Christian, I’m Episcopalian!” I think I said something about Episcopalians not being “real” Christians…
The ironic thing now is that I’m attending the same church she did when we were younger. God has an impeccable sense of humor.
After Sam Gipp came to our church, I started reading all the kjv only crap I could get my hands on. I told my christian family members some of the views, and tried to get them to watch a dvd by Gipp. Ugh.
Ok. this is painful.
I used to leave Chick tracts in public areas…
I’m so sorry!!
Oh…thanks for reminding me. 😐
I used to give out Chick tracts instead of Halloween candy. Yes, instead of, not with.
I remember condemning some of my friends for going to see the re-release of the Star Wars movies in 1997. Ironically, my first movie in the theater was Star Wars Episode 1 in 1999.
Thankfully Lucas is re-releasing them again. Ever since I started going I wanted to see the original Star Wars in a theater.
Perhaps the most egregious christian ass I have been was in grade nine, when our tiny Christian school got our first muslim student. The first ten minutes before class on the first day was spent by all the ‘old boys’ ganging up on Zameer, telling him he needed to get saved, and that Allah was the moon god, and other complete jerkassery.
That year, Zammy grew to be 6’4″, pushing two hundred pounds, while we Canadian crackers stayed small and scrawny.
That must have been awkward! 😆
Oh please oh please continue the story – did you and Zameer become friends? Seriously, I am really interested.
At my fundy high school, we had quite a number of students who would start attending in 9th grade because many of the Lutheran schools in the area only went through 8th grade. I always looked down on them as “lesser” Christians, even though it was pretty obvious they were nicer kids and acted more like Christians than any of us fundies. There was a girl I was interested in but I didn’t pursue because she wasn’t Baptist and that wouldn’t be right.
Like many others here…my wife and I now attend a Lutheran church. God does have a sense of humor. 🙂
I was just so sure that the fundy way was the only way, and worse, that if the fundy were not a Jack-Hyles-type of fundy, I was better. Jesus was most definitely NOT on the throne of my heart; Jack Hyles was. I consulted him about several major decisions, before I consulted the Lord in prayer. Worst of all, It took years for me to see that for the idolatry it was. How I thank God for teaching elsewhere for four years, right after graduation! My eyes slowly began to open.. The return to HAC for two years on faculty pried them open even more, as I watched Hyles” machinations and manipulations to cover up the Dave Hyles-Miller Road scandal! Finally, the articles in the Biblical Evangelist, and the lies Hyles told to rebut them, finished the job. God in His mercy never gave up on me. 🙂
I need to say; it’s posts like yours that keep me coming back to this web site. Thank you.
I still carry a lot of baggage from my many years of following someone who followed Jack Hyles. By the grace of God, I have seen through that error, but have not seen through many other teachings I was taught. Just about when I’m about to abandon SFL, I see a post like yours that focuses attention on true abuses of power, and not just mocking doctrines one doesn’t agree with…
Anyway, a sincere “thank you” for this post.
I feel so much better that I’m not the ONLY one who has done dumb fundy stuff. Thanks, guys!!
I have waited until this evening to post so I could give the tale the attention it deserves.
Many of you old timers know of my background and the fact that I was so deep in the Kool-Aid that I was blindly following an arsonist and a sociopath. He is currently serving time for attempted murder and an associated arson. Granted he was not the pastor when this all went down but I am convinced that he is guilty of two other arsons, as well as domestic terrorism and … well that’s enough for our tale.
I was one who prided himself on being a Hur. How many times in fundie land have you heard the, “I want to be a Hur” sermon? You know the one who stands by the M-O-g and helps him hold his hands up. That was what I claimed was my spiritual gift. I so wanted to be the pastor’s best friend. Even when I was told by visiting M-O-g that I wouldn’t understand what they were talking about and that I should excuse myself from the conversation. I always just staggered off and got another round of the Kool-Aid.
Just how blind can one be? Awfully.
The nickel version of the whole story is that in order to create his own legend, the pulpiteer had concocted a whole back story about reaching out to the community at large with a annual series titled “Community gospel Crusade.” Like most crusades it did more harm than good. Sensing it was grinding to a halt he began a two or three night tirade against homosexuals. And so it began.
According to the back-story he fabricated a local homosexual came with his boyfriend that first night and the Lord gave him the message. He was to preach against Sodomy just as hard as he could. The story continues that the boyfriend got under conviction and left the lifestyle. The local homosexual got upset and blamed the pastor and so the nightmare began. The attacks began against the pastor, his house was burned and almost gutted. There was a constant barrage of attacks and mysterious things that happened against him. Including what was called an accidental shooting (that we later learned was self-inflicted). The Church was vandalized, set on fire, and I walked in one day to find the pastor trussed up in what looked like was an attack against him in the Prophet’s Chamber. (Minus fundie cred points if you don’t know what that is or your church didn’t have one.)
So, other than blindly following this sociopath and embracing the cult policy of never questioning the Man-o-gawd what did I do that was so bad?
The Choir director began to have doubts and he was one of the first to question the outlandish behavior and stories. The pastor could not handle anything less than unquestioning obedience and loyalty. The pastor ended up running this couple off and painted them as the enemy. These were close friends, our daughters were best friends… but on the word of a madman, my family, and I shunned and began to have ill thoughts and feelings towards this family. I made a choice to throw my lot in with the pastor and stick with him through thick and thin. I staked my reputation on this man of god. I prayed against this man and his family who, according to the pastor, had become our enemies. I don’t know if I can adequately relate how sick, how utterly depraved this is. How can I, with mere words describe the sickness, the blackness that such actions bring upon the soul?
One man manipulated a group of people who wanted to believe in him, for his personal agenda and ego. I was chief among them.
Thankfully the story does not end there. Several years ago the Lord afforded me the opportunity to talk to my offended brother, and face to face apologize to him and his family, and beg his forgiveness. Even as I think about it now the tears cloud my vision and my throat is choking back the sobs. I cannot recover those wasted years, I cannot restore our daughter’s relationship as they have gone their separate ways. The remorse overwhelms me at times.
I cannot blame the pastor for being true to his nature. I place a lion’s share of the blame on the system that allows nay, promotes and recruits men of lesser character to its pulpits of power. But mostly I blame myself for my immaturity, my lack of discernment, my choice to blindly follow. I did not quit myself like a man, but more like a sycophant toady looking to make myself seem to be more important, more holy, and more loyal.
We-l-l.. that’s enough for tonight.
Hey, Don. Thanks for the story. That could have easily been me, except that years before the crisis came with me, the “pastor” called me into his office solo and explained that he would not allow me to serve in any capacity unless I went “soul-winning” on church nights where everyone could see. He told me that I didn’t have a chance to do anything or amount to anything unless I did this, so I was never in a position to be “Hur”. Therefore, when the crisis came, I wasn’t as bound to him as you were, and I chose my friends over him.
This is a gut-wrenching story, and I am SO sorry for what you have suffered. Unlike you, I do lay much, much blame at the pastor’s feet. The same Holy Spirit who ministers to all of us could have been ministering to him; he had free will, and chose to follow his own path. Yes, for those of you who believe he was another Pharaoh, created as a vessel for destruction, then the system is to blame also. All those closed mouths and eyes that let him go! But i will never believe he is blameless due to being “true to his nature.” 👿
Thanks Seen Enough,
I didn’t mean to imply that this m-o-g was blameless but he was simply being true to his nature. The IFB system allowed him into the system, called™ him to the inner circle and set him up for failure. The Rural IFB system caters to the Elmer Gantry con-men types. They have an emotional, religious experience, go down to the altar, get saved and next thing they are being called™ to preach. They have been raised on “Revivalism” and success in numbers. They guard their positions as jealously as a banker hording gold. The meanest paid pastor will not give up his position… not because he is “suffering financially for Jesus” but because of the power he wields over his sheeple.
Power is an addictive drug. Once a person has a taste of raw power like that they rarely give it up willingly.
(my take on that in more detail here: http://persifler.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/corruption-is-directly-proportional-to-the-level-of-control-that-is-available/ )
Oh, yes, I know the type all too well. We have an infamous one in this town, who wields no power anywhere except over his few remaining sheeple, but they are loyal to the death, and he is dreadful. He is a con man, a shyster, and his children are deeply troubled juvenile delinquents, who have been written up for DUI’s, one of whom has had what they all imagine is a secret abortion, and the beat goes on. he is as redneck, uneducated, ignorant, power-loving, and Elmer Gantry as you can get–he SAYS from the PULPIT how he LOVES the Elmer Gantry movie! YES! 😯 If it were not for the power his now-retired fundy-lite FIL wields in a neighboring city, he would have been gone long ago. As it is, his wife periodically leaves him, etc. I have no clue why he cannot be run out, but he cannot. Board after board of elders has left, because they cannot pry him loose. 👿
P.S. Great blog article; I am currently at the public desk in the children’s area, where research of this type is encouraged, but I have a room full of young patrons! I am reading it in bits and pieces. Love Lord Acton.
Okay, love the part about the “professional clergy” of today. I have been attending an Anglican church since before Christmas, and I love many, many things about it, but what appeals to the ex-Fundy in me is the fact that the vicar is most definitely NOT the star of the show! It is liturgical, which I find extremely comforting, and he is a bit more high church than I, but his wife is low, which I love! I love them both, but it never becomes a personality parade about him, or them. Jesus is the main event. As far as hierarchy, I do balk a bit at the bishops looking rather magnificent in their robes, etc., when the Son of God did not have a place to lay his head, but there is no perfect church set-up, and I am getting so much blessing from the services, and the teaching, and from being a part of this! Someone here on SFL gave the idea to try it, and I am so grateful–wish I could remember who it was! 🙁
As a former IFB, now Anglican, I’ll admit the robes took some getting used to. The one thing I like about the idea of having bishops is that our rector is accountable to someone outside his own parish. It’s hard to play the “you’re just rebelling against my pastoral authority” card on someone outside your congregation who is, in fact, your boss.
Confession can be good for the soul, but as any ex-Fundie knows, it can also be misused:
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other an Independent, Fundamental Baptist.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, ignorant, legalists, homophobes, racists, intolerant, judgemental, anti-intellectual, hypocrites, insulting, tattlers, arrogant, or even as this Fundy.
I rock out to Chris Tomlin, AND Led Zeppelin, AND Isaac Watts, I believe evolution is not a theory, but a scientific fact, I know where to find and how to enjoy the best microbrews, I drive a Prius, I read the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek, I can explain in detail every theological controversy, and am always on the right side. Everyone else got their positions due to racial inequalities in the system, but I got mine by hard work. Some of my closest friends are gay, and I give to United Way.
And the Fundie, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but ran down the aisle to the altar, and fell to his knees, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
You lost me at “rock out to Chris Tomlin”
A great laugh to start the day. And a snort of derision. Thanks for that.
And as any ex-fundie knows, there’s nothing like mis-application of Scripture to squelch a time of healing.
The parable was about prayer. Nobody here is even pretending to be praying.
The Pharisee was thanking God that he *wasn’t* certain things. People here are confessing they *were* certain things and by the grace of God have been rescued from these things – sometimes kicking and screaming all the way.
I see nothing that parallels this time of honesty and confession in the Pharisee. I do see a great deal of the Publican, however.
Ummm, are you sure there were “two” men?
I thought that the point of such a parable was to show the contrast… 😕
I’ve posted a couple times before as C, but I have been “lurking” for over a year. I love this sight!
This has a little more to do with my family than myself personally, but when the pastor of the church my dad still attends stepped down, he and the only other member of the church decided to keep going. Bless God, they weren’t going to let the building that my dad helped build with his own hands close up and become a moose-lodge (Cause that’s what happens to every fundy church that closes). Thankfully, some of the former members returned and taught some scriptural sense to them and they don’t even consider themselves fundy anymore!
During my senior year at PCC a roommate introduced me to Josh Harris’ book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. Two years later when I began dating the amazingly patient woman to whom I’ve now been married for over ten years, I took her on a long walk in the snow and pretty much quoted the book to her and told her that’s how our relationship was going to work. I didn’t give her any chance to respond, counter, or even ask questions. One night at a Sunday School party she put her hand on my knee and I pushed it away, then lectured her all the to her house about my “no touching” rule. The next time we touched was a very awkward and hurried hug when we got engaged. My assinine behavior should have sent her running in any other direction, but the woman has incredible faith, and believed that God truly meant us for each other, so I’d eventually get my head out of it’s dark hiding place. She is the reason I made my way out of Fundystan despite what I put her through in the name of “holiness”.
Wow, what a great woman! You tell her she has more courage and faith than I would have! Nice! 🙂
I spent a year of college disassociating from as many people as possible who listened to secular music. They call it sophomore for a reason!
I was a ‘Pharisee’s Pharisee’ in my fundie days! I told my sister-in-law ON HER WEDDING DAY that as a christian she knew that having a bar and a dance at her wedding/ reception was evil! And that her brother (my husband) and I were NOT staying any long than we absolutely had to! (I have since apologized for my profound arrogancy – she graciously forgave me, and we have a great relationship today.)
When you grow up in fundamentalism, it can be quite difficult to shake the fundy mentality even when you’ve changed your positions on different issues. I grew up in a more fundy-lite group (GARBC), but I still questioned the salvation of those who were non-fundy. When I “matured” from my legalism, I found myself questioning people’s salvation because they didn’t have the passion that I had for doing social justice among the poor (I write about it here on my blog http://www.utmgr.org/2012/02/motives-that-hurt-rather-than-help-the-poor-guilt.html )
I realized I was still “guilting” people into making life decisions rather than speaking and demonstrating grace. My temptation now as more of a Calvinist, I have certain people from my church as well as non-Calvinists keep me accountable with my urge to use the “doctrines of grace” to grind it in the face of others. Hopefully we former fundies can resist the temptation of transferring our fundamentalism to other causes, but rather be people of grace.
I had a friend who was not saved but was searching. She shared with me that she really enjoyed listening to contemporary Christian music on the radio Sunday mornings. She said she felt uplifted and encouraged by the music. I felt obligated to tell her that contemporary Christian music wasn’t really Christian music because it was no different than secular music with the drum beat and watered down theology. I also told her that the CCM artists were in it for the fame and money. How arrogant and judgmental of me! With that attitude it’s no wonder she stopped taking my calls and stopped hanging out with me. I was 21 and knew it all. Uggh! God has a sense of humor because I now attend a church that has blended worship to include a drum set and CCM praise songs during the worship.
I was never a very vocal fundy, but in a passive-aggressive effort to “witness” to my parents I bought them the first two books of the “Left Behind” series as a Christmas present one year. I was hoping the books would convict them to abandon Methodism and turn to Christ via an IFB church.
Later, when my brother got married, I bought him a King James Bible. I wanted him to study from that version and NOT from the NIV. Like any good fundy, I believed the NIV was straight from the pit of hell.
Luckily, my odyssey into KJV Onlyism was relatively brief. However, the experience has left scars that are deeply unsettling. I struggle with the very existence of God. While I attend church for the benefit of my family, I wouldn’t be there at all if it weren’t for them. I have no desire to study the bible and rarely pray anymore. Paradoxically, I find I’m the happiest I have ever been. I love my wife and kids far more than I ever did when I was a fundy. My health has never been better. I also find I don’t judge people like I did previously. Still, I want so much to believe without questioning EVERYTHING. I guess time will tell what happens.
I was super-fundy since conception practically, so we have different pasts, but your last few sentences describe exactly what I am going through right now as well.
I feel the same way as you explained in your last few sentences. I still attend church but can’t get past some of the questions I have that have never been answered during all of my Christian upbringing. I’m hoping to at least get some resolution in my own mind. What caused you to question?
Several things started me down the road I’m on now. About 10 years ago I became so on-fire for God that I left a good job to work at a church thinking it would be nice to work with people who had the same goal, namely spread the good news, help people, etc. While some on staff were truly Godly people, many were not. There were lots of agendas and personal politics at play. I ended up being fired from my “ministry.”
I, along with my family, went to a smaller church thinking I could heal from the previous experience. Unfortunately, it turned out that church was IFB. At the time, I knew nothing about what I was really getting myself into. The preachers demanded you serve to show your obedience to God. So I served. I was there every damn time the doors were open. I grew tired and realized I was serving men, not God.
Also, I like science. Science has details, and requires testing, and corrects itself when errors are made. I came to accept evolution, another subject that is anathema to a die-hard IFB’er.
During my time at the IFB church, my wife began taking medication for anxiety. We never told anyone as the pastors made it clear that type of medication wasn’t needed. You only needed to be, “high on the Holy Spirit.” B.S. Upon leaving that church wife and I were effectively black-listed.
I then took about a year and a half to just study the different denominations as I wanted to avoid the last two “mistakes” I had made.
I began to question everything. Why are there so many denominations? People born in certain regions of the world tend to follow the dominant religion where they are located. Could it be that I’m only a Christian because I was born into a family of Christians? If I was born in a Muslim country, I would likely be Muslim. Why do Methodists sprinkle and Baptists immerse? On and on I could go and this is already too long. I’m hoping to find some resolution and peace, but I’m not sure I will. Good luck to you.
I’m actually hoping for a L’Abri experience over spring break, I’m desperate!
ooooommmmmmggggggg…. I have the SAME problem! I want to believe and not question again. I have pleaded with God to just tell me whatever it is I need to know so that I am back where have been as far as belief. I didnt ASK for this bs. I didnt ask to be taken out of my church (very IFB-lite, but many of the same legalistic crap)by the scales falling off of my eyes! I am still of the belief that HE (God) did it, but if that is the case HE has to know that I feel like I am flailing around not sure what to believe! Oh, and someone asked you what made you question… I have no answer for that. I was hunky doory praising God one minute and then the next I went WTF? Seriously, it was like a click and I want to unclick it!!!
Until I began reading this site I didn’t realise how Fundy I or my upbringing actually was. I mean, we went to Pentecostal churches for Pete’s sake! But still. I managed to have those Fundy attitudes and judgements. I mean I still wore pants, but . . .
Let’s see. ‘Lead a girl to the Lord’ when I was about 7 and she was 6. I think I made up the Sinner’s Prayer on the fly.
When I was about 13, I told my younger sibling that it was wrong to have a baby with anyone you weren’t married to, and that I, who was born 4 years before our parents married, had been an accident. My parents heard this. They were hurt. Heck, I was a bit hurt, too, because I genuinely believed I was an accident. Still don’t bring that up with them – may at some later date.
I think I might have been worst from ages 12 – 17 or so. Was a homophobe, just because I assumed that was right (now I’m a big gay rights supporter). Thought people drinking was simply horrific. Assumed that just because a politician said they were Christian I should vote for them (I’ll never forget when a Conservative politician attended our church one Sunday and the pastor made us stand up and applaud him).
Oh geez, and I must have been so awkward when I was younger and tried to understand how my friend could be Sikh and still believe in God. (I distinctly remember the phrase, “Why does your brother have a painting of an old man on his wall?” and the follow-up “. . . what’s a guru?”)
Some years after graduating from FundyU, my wife and I visited my wife’s mother’s church. It was United Methodist.
After I endured what was a very nice service, I remember sending a letter to that reprobate pastor a week later telling him that I was disappointed because most of the church members did not bring their own Bibles (gasp), and there was no “come forward” invitation given after the sermon!
RAISING MY HAND!!!! I told a methodist minister I didnt understand how anyone got saved if you didnt have an alter call. I do have to admit that he started doing alter calls after that which I still think is pretty cool. At the time I was a liberal Baptist (in fundies eyes) so it was not a deal breaker. After 10 years in a church one step down from a IFB I am pretty sure if I had gone to the same church I would have been appauled. UGH….. DUDE, I was THIRTY when I got into this nightmare…. up until then I was quite the voice of grace. How do they get into your head like they do???????
I turned in my own sister…..
I stood on a street corner on a milk crate outside a pub shouting “repent” at the top of my lungs. Also “put down the bottle, pick up a bible and read it”.
Also preached against Islam in the middle of Parramatta simply to start an argument with some Muslims walking past, in order to get a crowd so I could impress others at church with my war story.
Forced a kid to pray a prayer.
Told someone that they couldn’t be a Christian until they stopped sinning.
Tried to talk the talk in order to find a wife.
Tried to please God by my works.
Preached on the perfection of the KJV simply because I thought it would get a bunch of “Amens”.
I used to look down on people who didn’t look like Christians – the types who had piercings, weird hair-styles and tattoos. Now I am covered in tattoos, and have actually thought of getting my ears pierced…..
This I absolutely LOVE. And nope, I have no tattoos or piercings myself. I just love everything it means. I love that you told it. It has blessed me head to toe. Thank you! 😎
I’m also thinking of getting pierced in some other places …. but we’ll not go there on this forum….
All I can say is Ouch. 😉
Once when I was like 10 we had a sweet little old lady neighbor who gave me an open invitation to use her pool whenever I wanted to swim. I went over one time and started swimming, but when she got in to swim too, I decided her bathing suit was immodest and told her so. That was the last time I went swimming at her place.
My blood still runs cold when I think about it. I was such a douchebag, AND I WAS ONLY TEN.
I remember seeing an Audio Adrenaline “underdog” tour poster at the local christian book store as a kid and seeing one of the band members’ mohawk. I distinctly remember thinking to myself “he cant be a christian. Look at his hair.”
Or when i declared myself a 0 pointer proudly in a class my freshman year of college. Im now a calvinist leaning toward covenant future church planter with acts29. Ive changed a bit.
So glad you escaped from that frying pan.
I’m a 0 pointer. But I’m also a 0 point arminian. I’m one of those annoying people that don’t fit either mould.
My fundies in high school told me the exact same thing about not being a calvinist or arminian…I came to the conclusion that they were both (1-3 point arminain, 1-2 point calvinist). It was the only time that our Administrator was too big of a whimp to own up to his own doctrine!
Lots of regrets but here are a few.
Went to an IMAX theatre and had to come clean because we don’t do movie theatres and the guilt was eating me up.
For making God’s holiness about me- and not about what He has done for me in setting me apart.
For pushing that false holiness on others.
For urging (nagging) my husband that he should preach about “Holiness” standards for women because all of the women in our church didn’t dress appropriately and looked like Jezebels. That concluded in my husband having a bible study on how Christian women should dress and having me come on the platform so people could see exactly how it’s done. I am such an example! *gag*
For tattling on someone to leadership because they were reading the “trashy” novel “Bridges of Madison County.” After telling on them, hippocryte that I am, went ahead and read the book myself. (Was that for research purposes?) 🙄
For telling my Mother that I didn’t cut my hair or wear pants instead of telling her about how the Lord wants to save her and do a wonderful work in her life.
For viewing life through the rigidity of the law instead of the lens of grace. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were just me, but knowing that it still effects others is what bothers me.
These are just the tip of the iceberg.
not quite a confession, although I was guilty of it, it’s just kind of funny to think about it now. We sang “Amazing Grace” today in our church this weekend. The band was playing and the words were on the screen. I usually just look at the words on the screen weather I know the lyrics or not. I was thinking back on how in our IFB church services it was a mark of your spiritual maturity on how much you didn’t need to look at the hymnbook. When the hymn number was announced you mentally run through the hymn numbers you have memorized and know which song it is based on the number. You quickly turn to the page, hold it out to share with the person next to you and then never look at the book again to show you know the hymn by heart. Then there are those tricky 3rd verses that sometimes the song leader throws out and you have to slyly glance down and look a the words a phrase at a time and then look back up and make eye contact with the song leader and sing with gusto. Funny games we played…
I know exactly what you mean….guilty too! 😳
Oh, no!!! I just did this!!!
I went to a fundy funeral, and we sang “Because He Lives” (which admittedly is a Gaither song) and the words were on a printed insert, but I didn’t want to look at the words so I COULD PROVE TO ALL THE OTHERS THAT I WAS AS GOOD AS THEY WERE! My husband and I were dressed conservatively, but I didn’t know if some people were aware that we had left the IFB so they might have been looking down on us and I just wanted people to know that I knew their songs too. How foolish of me. I should know better. 😳
Its funny. I do the same thing. But I never really thought about it before now. LOL. Good thing we can laugh at ourselves.
I did this too. The best was when I held the hymnal with someone else who had the song memorized too. So we’d just haphazardly hold it obviously not even looking at the words. Or, I guess my partner would make her point by trying to shove the hymnal in my face so she couldn’t see the words but I could. LOL.
Up until about age 24 or so, I had been a fundy since birth. It’s funny looking back at all the stupid stuff I said, did, and believed. The funny thing about being a fundy that’s not actually saved is that your hypocracy is even more apparent because you hold on to some tenants of the “fundy” faith that make no sense in comparison to what you’re doing. For instance: you listen to secular rock music, yet you’ll tell your good Christian friend from the Southern Baptist church down the road that her CCM (which, amazingly, anyone that listens to CCM rarely knows what you’re talking about when you call Christian Rock music “CCM”)is inappropriate for church. Recently, I had one of my fundy friends who (probably) isn’t saved (although, I can’t judge – she’s just eerily the same as I was) come to church with me, but she didn’t like the music because she didn’t feel CCM was appropriate for church ::rolling eyes:: – yet, she hasn’t attended church in years and listens to all sorts of secular music. Having been on her side, I was sympathetic and kept my mouth shut. Now, being on this side of fundamentalism, I laughed when I got home and asked God to forgive me for my self-righteous past.
I was a fundamentalist in public school. While I absolutely despise the idea of ever having to attend a private fundy school or university, I can sympathize with the idea because, given my history, I could have been shielded from saying stupid things to people who didn’t believe as I did. If I was a male, I would have been the “street corner preacher boy” in elementary school, regularly telling my peers that sneaking around and watching Beavis and Butthead was horribly wrong! No! You can’t listen to secular music! It’s the devil!
Anyway, you get the picture.
After 45 years in fundyland, the stories would be numerous. Pass the rum.
In third grade (the year before we started Fundyschool) I told my teacher that I wouldn’t do the Hokey Pokey because dancing was wrong.
I told that to my wife and kids, and my 15 year old son said, “Yeah, I’d say just about anything to get out of doing the Hokey Pokey, too.”
I like that young man. He thinks correctly! 😉
I remember calling up a friend of mine who was a year behind me in high school and also his class chaplain. After he graduated he went to a fairly laid-back Christian college (now University) in Ohio. I remember his first year, my second, calling him up one morning before chapel and ripping him a new one because I saw that college was having Sonic Flood in for a concert and how could anyone call that Christian music and how could anyone right with God attend a college that called itself Christian and had that kind of music? Needless to say that went over like ham at a bar mitzvah. There’s two halves of a happy ending, though. That following summer, I caught up with him and apologized (one of those “I’m still right but I shouldn’t have said that the way I did” apologies, which is basically no apology). Then, a few years later, I realized how stupid it was, questioning him for something out of his control and which I had come to realize was pretty immaterial anyway, and apologized for real. He told me the first time he forgave me was sufficient and that I didn’t need to apologize, but I figured I hadn’t apologized for it all yet and therefore it couldn’t have all been forgiven. And now that I type that out, I just realized how dumb *that* sounds…when God forgives us, it’s for everything, past and future, for stuff we don’t even know we’re going to do, and certainly for stuff we didn’t specifically confess by name. Live and keep learning, I guess. 🙂
(Andy, thanks for taking the high road on that one. God bless, wherever you are.)
A forum thread reminded me of this one:
About twelve years ago, a deacon’s wife at the church where my husband was youth and music pastor showed me the Celebration Hymnal. I didn’t tell her, but I thought it was worldly and “shallow”. So embarrassed now about my own shallow response as well as how superior I felt to her because she liked it.
Thank you, God, that I now play the piano along with our church band as we loudly sing “Mighty to Save”!
I guess it’s only just that now I know I bear the scorn of those who consider themselves my spiritual superior because I enjoy “worldly” music.
You are right, pastor’s wife. I have found that many of the evil, worldly “CCM” songs have more doctrinal depth than many of the beloved hymns. Songs like Mighty to Save, In Christ Alone, and others are (to me) much deeper and more uplifting than I’ll Fly Away or When We All Get to Heaven. Sure, there are some pretty shallow CCM songs but there are also shallow hymns that are sung in churches.
Oh, but I do still love the old hymns. But there is nothing wrong with CCM. Stupidness is all that is.
Well, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one 😳
I definitely made some comments about the Pentecostals and charismatics that I am too ashamed to repeat. But I will say I was so wrong and I thought those things without ever giving them a hearing. My immediate exist from the Fundies didn’t provide me with very many Reformed peoples (it’s the area of the country where the Methodists did most of the early evangelism), so now I don’t know if my spirituality would have survived with out my Mt. Zion Assemblies people 🙂
*sigh*…I hate admitting this.
I was in a production of Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames when I was 5.