Field Report From The Deep South Sword of the Lord Conference 2012

Once again, a brave soul had attended a Sword of the Lord conference and is here on SFL to give us a field report of the goings on there. The videos of these services are also online here although I have no idea why you’d want to subject yourself to them.

Since we’re coming up on the Sri Lanka week here on SFL I won’t be able to put the other days of this report on SFL. I can hear some of you breathing sighs of relief.

Instead, I’ll compile them all in a document for your perusal and post a link later in the week.


The Lighthouse Baptist Church was founded in October of 2001 after Randy Tewell answered the call to pastor the former Theodore Heights Baptist Church. He moved his family all the way from California to lead our fine church. I would love to tell the whole story of how this came to be, but it’s too long a story and I’m sure that it would be all too familiar with most of the readers on [SFL] anyway. The conference began on Sunday July 29th with morning and evening services. Invitations were sent to pastors all over southern Mississippi, the state of Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. It concluded with the Wednesday night service on August 1st. This also served as our church’s annual revival service we usually hold at this time each year. Dr. John Hamblin served as the primary speaker and Dr. Shelton Smith, although very weary from the national conference the week before, also served during the middle two days of the conference.

Dr. John Hamblin is an evangelist to the local New Testament churches all across the nation. He is from some town and church in Michigan, and he has been in evangelism for over 32 years. This is an amazing feat since he preaches the same 3 or 4 sermons everywhere he goes. The one thing I can say for Hamblin is he is always entertaining and does do a very good job at keeping you awake with all his antics and hollering from the pulpit. He walks the aisles and interacts with the congregation so you better pay attention. By the way he hollers the entire sermon, but I decided not to put my notes in all caps so just pretend that when you’re reading you do so as if it is being screamed at you. Dr. Shelton Smith on the other hand is not very entertaining and I found him to be very arrogant and boring. He hates liberals, children, puppy dogs, other denominations, the government, the NIV Bible, women, and I’m fairly sure he probably doesn’t care too much for himself either. He has served as the editor of the Sword of the Lord newspaper for the last 17 years out of that town in Tennessee that I can never remember how to spell. He spent several years before that pastoring somewhere in Maryland. But, enough of all the nice words and serious tone, let’s get to the craziness.

Day One:  Sunday, July 29, 2012


A.M. Service:  11:00

Speaker:  John Hamblin


Before I begin I encourage you to read the scripture before you read the following and ask the Holy Spirit to share with you the purpose and the message contained in those verses.  I think it will help when reading to really get a good idea just how much these guys take the scriptures and come up with such elaborate sermons usually containing a lot of fluff but no stuff.  The scripture for this message was John 20:1-10 and it is the story of the discovery of the empty tomb by Mary Magdalene and what Peter and John found when they went to the tomb.


Even thought this is a conference we held to our usual Sunday morning routine.  The choir opened the service with a special song.  I didn’t catch the song as I was making my way to my seat after fulfilling my duties at the welcome center of the church.  After that the Pastor Tewell came up and welcomed everyone to the service and said a few random things.  After a couple more specials and standing several times for congregational singing, the offering was taken and we were on our way to the message.  We began the service promptly at 11:00 but at I looked down at my phone to check the time I realized 32 minutes had passed.  I guess it is true that time flies when you’re having fun!


Dr. Hamblin takes control at 11:32am and now the real fun begins.  He starts out telling us how great it is to be back and he has looked forward to being here ever since he left last August.  He tells us how Dr. Tewell and his family (by the way his son is on staff as the youth pastor and vice president of the church as I like to say) are some of his favorite friends and that our church is one of his most favorite places to preach, and he tells other churches all over the country how awesome our church is.  All I can figure is we just pay him more than other churches he preaches at because we sure don’t do anything special, and most people try to avoid him all together while he is there.  At this point he tries to be funny and he tells us the only thing he doesn’t like at our church is the fact the pulpit is too tall and our usher coats are the ugliest he has ever seen.  For some reason several people found this funny and there was lots of laughing all over.


He proceeds to tell us to be in our place for the entire conference, bring lots of visitors, and there are great things in store.  Our place is in front of the fundamental pulpit and not the television.  Don’t miss a single service.


Scripture:  John 20:1-10, but he preaches almost exclusively from verse 4 only.  He has us underline the words ran and outrun in the verse.  This is the story of Peter and John running to the empty tomb.  We stand for the reading of the scripture and then he gives his standard prayer.  Most of the staff has it memorized because they have heard it numerous times over the last three years.


After we sit he rants about the KJV being the inspired, preserved words of God, and we should hear about the incarnation and resurrection more than just twice a year.


He tells us ran means to move fast, and outrun means left behind in running.


Though his study he has determined that John was probably much younger than Peter because he got to the tomb first.  Glad he could share that with us considering how much bearing that has on the story!  He tells us that those that dash to the empty tomb will always delight in the truths they will discover there.

Through his study of this scripture he has discovered 3 thrilling truths as I will now share with you.


  1. 1.       The bone yard that is barren. 

John found an empty evacuated space.  From this point he jumps all the way back to Adam’s disobedience in the garden and tells us that Mr. Death is an uninvited guest at this point and he points at you telling you you’re next.  Not sure what he meant by we are next but I locked my door that night just to make sure he couldn’t get to me.


He quotes a very strange and long poem at this point that I could not follow and had absolutely nothing to do with the sermon.  At this point I am already dazed and confused but I purposed in my heart to carry on so I could share all the joy with you also.


He proceeds to tell us a story about the painting that shows the devil playing chess with a young man.  It appears to him the devil won and the young man believes this also.  He has never played chess with the devil, but he has played monopoly with his sister who may or may not be the anti-christ.  Not sure about the point of his story, but he rambles on about victory over the grave.  Just a side note, one of our assistant pastors had this painting on his office wall and it looked really cool.


  1. 2.       A body cloth that is becoming.

John tells us they see Jesus gone, but everything is left orderly, but the head cloth is lying separate from the body cloth.

  1.  He then tells us everything in the Bible is supposed to be there.  This napkin or head cloth reminds John about the crown of thorns that Jesus wore.  This is the first time during his sermon that he mentions Jesus.  We were so much of a sinner it took a redeemer that gave everything of himself.  It started at the head and went all the way to his feet.
  2. Recalls his cross of torture.  He tells us people think that Jesus hung on a golden jewel encrusted cross.  This is a major cause of problems in our fundamentalist churches.  I must say this is the first time I have ever heard anyone say anything about a cross made out of anything other than wood.  Must be something common in his part of the country.  By the way it was an old rugged cross in case you were wondering.
  3. Recalls his coming of triumph.  He will come back in the clouds and tells us a story about a cloth napkin and how the servants would know whether people were coming back to the dinner table by how the cloth napkin was placed on the table.  Once again I learned something new, and now I am really just praying that he will shut up and put me out of this misery.  He also told us another riveting story about Scottish sailors on a fishing vessel and how they could see their families in the binoculars, but one of the wives wasn’t there.  She was waiting for him at home.  The sailor rebuked here because others were watching and not waiting.  Still hoping this ends soon.  He quotes 1 Corinthians 1:7 which tells us that they were waiting for the Lord and watching Christians are working for the Lord.


  1. 3.       A belief that was bolstered. 

Verse 8 shows us that they saw and believed.  Peter and John finally understood the teachings of Jesus at this point.  At this point he starts quoting the words to the hymn:  Up from the Grave He Arose.  I would probably be asleep at this point but he was yelling so loud it would have not been possible.  He then tells us that victorious resurrection is the proof to any question.


Quote:  I feel a preaching storm about to break in this service (I just really want to go home at this point and I am praying that the storm moves on and the damage left in its wake is kept to a minimum).


At this point he finally decided to close the service but not before another fantastic story.  He tells us a missionary story about Mecca and Jerusalem.  I take it was a conversation between a Muslim and a missionary.  The Muslims find Mohammed in his tomb, but the Christian finds an empty tomb.  There were two keys to this story:  1. The tomb was vacant, and 2. The throne is occupied.  There were several amen’s at this point.


So finally at 12:03 the invitation finally begins.  He tells us there are two types of people:  those saved and those lost.  He is a very insightful man and I imagine it took someone with superior knowledge to come to that conclusion.  At this point the sale pitch begins with the goal of getting every living, breathing human being to come bow down at the altar.  I am afraid a preaching storm may be about to break out again of even worse a second sermon.  He then wants to know if we are Bible saved and does your salvation experience match what the Bible says.  We are only one heartbeat from hell and you need to recognize that Jesus died for you.


Then the hand lifting portion of the invitation:

  1.  Lift your hand if you are Bible saved.
  2. Lift your hand if you want to be Bible saved.  He then points out a lady to the pastor’s wife how raised her hand.
  3. Lift your hand if you are a Christian and god had spoken to you (I thought they believed that only the mog could hear the voice of the Lord)
  4. He starts laying it on heavy at this point to coax some more out of their seats
  5. Do you need to follow in believer’s baptism and there are those of you out there that need to join the church today.


I’m not sure why I felt the need to count but at this point 23 people went to the altar while the choir director sings: Nothing between the Lord and the Savior.  He is also hollering at a fever pitch over the music and singing trying to get that last person to come forward.  Finally the invitation ends at 12:13pm.  We have prayer and one baptism and two families join the church.  One family used to go to our church and had just moved back to town, and the other is the son of an evangelist that is moving to our area and our church is going to help support.  That is a story for another day.  We finish with prayer and are dismissed at 12:20pm.  Not bad considering how long winded Hamblin can be at times.




Day One:  Sunday July 29, 2012


PM Service:  6:00PM

Speaker:  Dr. John Hamblin


So we come back for round two and I have prayed all afternoon for the strength to endure another marathon sermon.  As you know the farther you get into one of these events the longer the services become.  We also have an ordination service scheduled for the evening which promises to add at least another 30 minutes to our night.  Mind you I have to be back at 7:00 in the morning so I’m looking at the prospect of severe sleep deprivation from all the festivities.


We stick to our usual schedule for a Sunday evening service, although most of the fluff that takes place has been condensed in order to give Hamblin more time to teach us something.  What that may be I don’t know but it promises to be entertaining.  I expect a little more screaming and a little more controversy seeing as how the Sunday night crowd is always the more faithful in their eyes.


So I will skip all the details with hymn choice and special music, but I do want to share that we learned a new but old hymn called “Oh How it Saves.”  The significance of this is last year the church presented him with a hymnal from Billy Sunday’s song leader for over 20 years Homer Rodenhever.  This hymn was sung as every revival service Billy Sunday had during those 20 years and apparently it was his favorite.  We get to tell our grandchildren about this great experience.  He also claims to have to only audio recording of this song in the entire world and conveniently has it available on CD at his book table.  We must be the luckiest people in the world.


This is a one verse sermon and it comes from Act 8:9.  The title of the message is why the devil hates revival.  He begins at 6:33pm and keeps to his routine as we stand and read the verse and he recites his well planned and rehearsed prayer.  We then sit and the teaching begins.


After we sit he begins to tell a story about the special music he hears in the churches that he visits.  He tells us that our music is awesome and how that the specials in other churches is just standing up and singing and then sitting down and he just can’t see how that could be do special.  He proceeds to tell us how much he loves our pastor and church and loves the fact that we are a fundamental church with no hint of evangelicalism.  He also tells us how privileged we are to be hosting a Sword of the Lord conference and how churches would kill for the opportunity.


He told us how he spends most of his summer preaching tent revivals and how hot it is in some places.  He told a joke about how the mosquitoes came flying in singing “Nothing but the Blood,” and he got a few laughs.  He also told a joke about how he lost his voice and told us his wife said it was the best week of their marriage because he couldn’t talk.  I could actually see how pleasant that could have been for her.

He gets into his message and tells us the devil hates God’s son and great spiritual awakenings.  The saint can count on Satan crashing the party when the savior is doing something compelling and powerful.  He will show up before, during, and after the service.  The devil is opposed to everything we are doing.  He talked an awful lot about the devil during this sermon, and it still amazes me that the devil is talked about more than Jesus


  1.  The Christ is Exalted:

In verse 5 of Act 8 Phillip preaches Christ to the people that are present.  He then jumps into a story about how John R. Rice preached wickedness of men and repentance.  He preached the power of the Holy Spirit.  He then quotes the first two verses of a John Wesley hymn, but I didn’t catch the name.  He then announces that Billy Sunday is his hero and quotes him several times.  We then get a story about a preacher who was loved by his people but it seemed his preaching was devoid of message (he probably graduated from the same fine institution as Hamblin because all his yelling is devoid of a message).  A member left a message on the pulpit one morning and it said:  Sir that we would see Jesus.  He mediated and this and there was a change in his heart.  After the next service he found a note that said:  then were his disciples glad when they say the Lord.  A neat little story but not sure what it had to do with the message or scripture.  He never really elaborated on this point other than the devil doesn’t want Christ to be exalted.


  1. The comrade is exhibited:

We should have good report and good will among friends and family.  The fundamental pulpit will pick the climate of the fundamental family (or message).  The devil knows if we are pushing each other and he will not be able to hinder us.  It is amazing to me how much credit and power he gives to the devil.  I understand that he is a spiritual being but they way he talks about the devil he is almost as powerful as God.  I think this is very dangerous and misleading to people who are not very strong in the faith.  But back to the message.  The devil’s main tool in 2012 is the internet:

  1.  Facebook (and the place erupted with amen’s).  Hamblin refers to this as wastebook.  For the record I do not have a facebook account, but it is a personal decision and not because it could possess my computer.  He really cannot stand how people just post their everyday business on their wall page and if he could he would write who cares all over your wall.  At this point he says welcome to the summer meeting.  With that said he does have a blog and a twitter account.  People are acting a fool on the internet.  He reminds you it only takes one click.  We need to bring harmony to the house of God.

i.      Through the savior we experience

ii.      Through the scriptures we embrace.  Everyone has the same Bible in a fundamentalist church and everyone is therefore on the same page.  He tells us how fortunate we are that our m-o-g brings in evangelist that hammers the Bible into us where we get our message, methods, and ministry.

iii.      The sinners we evangelize.  You’re not a good Christian if people have to find out about a fallout with someone on facebook.  Before you talk about your issue with the person with whom you have had a falling out with, go soulwinning with that person.  Supposedly this will help with the healing process.

iv.      His glasses come off at this point so I’m pretty sure he is about to get really serious.

  1. He now decides to tell us that he loves the history channel.  I must tell you this trip down the rabbit trail literally lasted 15-20 minutes.  I suppose at the end of this story he made a point, but by the time he got done I had totally forgot what he even started talking about.  So while he was out of town at a hotel room (I guess we should be thankful that he didn’t follow in most fundies foot steps and used this time for extracurricular activates) he discovered that his room had a television.  He discovered the show Swamp People, which he dearly loves and enjoys more than anything else on this earth, at least for the sake of a good illustration.  He is really excited at this point also he is all over the auditorium going up and down the aisles.  He tells us how he watched the first episode and God must be really good because he blessed his television with a second episode.  However, his wife called and interrupted his viewing and he had to get her off the phone so he told her he was really in the middle of an important project and to call back later.  She called back again later and he got her off the phone then too.  Glad to see how much he cares for his wife, she must feel like the luckiest woman on earth.  So his point was to catch alligators means working together which I believe he was referencing to the fact that we should go soulwinning together instead of falling out with each other.  Not sure about that, but hey I just trying to stay awake right now.  Got a lot of amen’s though.


  1.  The Christian is excited.

There was great joy in the city according to Acts 8:8.  There is always joy when there is revival.  He realized he doesn’t have to endure but enjoy the Christian life.  I glad he is because I am miserable right now.  He is on the happy train and wants you to be on the happy train and he ain’t about to be getting off any time soon.  I need to call the hotel and make sure he didn’t find the mini bar.  We can’t afford for him to be getting on the happy train every night he is here.  The devil knows when revival comes and the Christian is happy.  As Christians we should smile all the time.  Where does the devil hit you the hardest:  your joy.  He goes on to tell us that the devil is a fundamentalist.  This does explain a lot about what goes on in a fundamentalist church.  The devil knows the Bible and the joy of the Lord should be our strength.  It is now 7:18 and he decides now would be a good time to close the sermon.


In closing he tells a story about a great earthquake in San Francisco.  There was a women how refused to leave her house.  It was destroyed, but she managed to salvage a rocking chair.  She then sat in it in front of the wreckage all while whistling victory in Jesus.  San Francisco was destroyed and she was just happy because God was changing things.  He then goes on to tell us that Shelton Smith had told him he had never heard a sermon on why the devil hates revival and Hamblin was the first.

We then have the required invitation that followed the same pattern as the morning service so I won’t spend any time on it now.  I think you know how it goes.  We finally finish at 7:28.


Bonus:  I’m going to include notes from the ordination service that followed for absolutely free.  This is the first I have ever experienced so I thought I would share with those that have never had the privilege of attending one.


We ordained the three youngest members of our staff.  The story of laying on hands and prayer from the book of Acts was referenced and we recognized this doctrinal integrity.   They were warned to watch their marriages and how the wives should support their husband in the ministry (you better be submissive or else you’ll be responsible when your husband fails).


Seven truths Hamblin gives to the young pastors:


  1.  Be a student of the scriptures
  2. You may do more than those who trained you, buy you will not know more than those who trained you
  3. If you only have a fundamental head but not a heart you will jump the fundamental fence
  4. Success comes from time spent alone with God
  5. Moral failure is the greatest, most grotesque of all failures
  6. You have fingerprints of other upon you.  Never forget!  Be proud!
  7. Never monkey with the King James Bible and don’t let others mess with it either.


Wives are his biggest supporter.  Ladies are the greatest cause for preachers to fall or fail.  Hamblin then gave a prayer of ordination and dedication.  The certificates were then presented.  We had a few announcements, Hamblin gave a sales pitch for his book table, and then finally at 7:56pm we were dismissed.

164 thoughts on “Field Report From The Deep South Sword of the Lord Conference 2012”

  1. Ok, somehow I turned the comments off on this post. That’s weird…


    AH! There’s the magic button. Comments are back on.

    1. So how many days did you have to endure the craziness? This sounds like something out of a South Park episode.

      “Insanity is part of these times. You must learn to EMBRACE THE MADNESS!”
      — Londo Mollari, Centauri Ambassador, Babylon-5

      1. It was four long (and I mean very long) days. Sunday through Wednesday with morning and evening sessions on Tuesday. And I had to be at all of them.

        1. If I remember correctly, John stuck his tongue out at me via the camera during one of these services! LOL

  2. I read this post while comments were still “off”, saw comments were “off” and went to read an old post that I could comment on. Does that count as an honarary first? :mrgreen:

  3. Will you tell us who the brave soul is or do they wish to remain anonymous?

    I’m not being nosy, I just want to know where to send the case of tequilla and bottle of valium.

    1. I must remain anonymous to protect myself and my family, but I can tell you my involvement is more than just a being a member or attendee.

      1. Understood.

        I have to say you got off “lucky” on Sunday morning. Only a 31 minute sermon. That is lickety split quick in my experiences. Although as you mentioned these things tend to get longer as the week progresses. Something about the Spirit moving I’m sure.

      2. I’ve only read to the second subpoint of the first point yet, but I’m really enjoying your description and perspective.

      3. I hope you didn’t give too much information with mentioning your assigned duties before the beginning of the Sunday morning service… 😕

      4. Your perspective was very refreshing and had me snickering at times. Thanks for sharing!

      5. For a minute I thought you wrote: I must protect myself because I am a manatee.
        Don’t ask why. 😳

      6. Dear Anonymous Brave Soul:

        Thank you for your attendance and for this record. For us all, you exemplify the perseverance of Christ.

        While I did not attend, your description of this so-called preaching conferences emulates others which I have attended. Of course this is not preaching. The messages would not change substantially were texts selected through the roll of dice.

        I am increasingly inclined to believe that these pastors and congregations are essentially sub-christian in that the religion which is practiced is essentially untouched by the gospel.

        I also suspect that those alone who have made that point to them have any idea just how closed to the kingdom message our fundamentalist friends truly are.

        Again, thank you for your endurance.

        Christian Socialist

  4. What’s with all of these Lighthouse Baptist Churches? Few of them are on waterfront property. Maybe Outhouse Baptist Church would be a more honest description.

  5. Yes the comments were turned off. I thought about replying to the post below it….and claiming victory, but that would have stepped all over Sri Lanka.

    I’m actually very familiar with this church and the pastor is a very gracious and humble man. He’s spoken at our church a couple times too.

    I nearly went to the conference, but decided against it. I knew John Hamblin was preaching and I just don’t care for his preaching.

    1. I can promise you the pastor of this church is neither gracious or humble. Take this from somebody who sees it first hand every day.

    2. I’m going to get the “privilege” of hearing his (John Hamblin’s) preaching in the upcoming weeks… I’ve never heard him before, but I don’t think I’m looking forward to it.

        1. Thank you… I can stand the screaming, the ranting, the various antics, but I have a heard time dealing with heavy manipulation, so I hope he doesn’t pull that.

          Had a dose three months ago while traveling that I’ve posted elsewhere.

    3. Too Funny!!! I’ve known Randy Tewell for over a decade. My family and I began attending LBC not too long after it was founded. We helped to build the church from just under 200 to where it is today. I loved Tewell and his family. Lighthouse Baptist Church and the members WERE my family. But eventually my blinders fell off, and I can see him and others for what they truly are. I was angry. Very angry. Now I just feel sorry for the members who are still there who have no idea what kind of man Tewell is. My family and I still pray for the Tewells. We know that being bitter and holding on to the hurt that he caused us hurts us more than him. (BTW, we’ve only been gone for a few months.) It was difficult leaving. But we knew it had to be done. I just get upset at myself for being so ignorant and gullible for so long. I truly believed that my “Pastor” loved us. It’s ok though. I have my real Pastor. My Shepherd. My God. <3

  6. I remember going to a SOTL conference many many years ago. (well, in the early-mid 70’s. That seems like many years to me.) This wasn’t in a church. It was a big enough event to warrant a large city auditorium. As best as I can recall, both John R. Rice and Jack Hyles spoke. During the evening the choir sang “The Christian National Anthem”–The Hallelujah Chorus.

    When Hyles was introduced, the emcee made a big deal about how when the President is introduced, he needs no flowery introduction because everyone knows who he is, like we should all know who the great Jack Hyles is. So after a flowing “non-introduction”, to great applause we were presented with, “Ladies and gentlemen, Jack Hyles.”

    I have no idea what he preached. I was low double-digit in age, so I will take a pass.

    1. If you don’t think 35 – 40 years ago is many years, how old are you? :mrgreen: Please don’t tell me you sparkle. 😉

      1. I admitted it was many years. When I thought about the meeting and figured out when it was, it surprised me. I keep forgetting I’m old enough to have memories from up to 45 or so years ago.

        That particular SOTL conference was before my family entered into Fundystan, back when The Sword of the Lord paper had sermons that used other translations. Within a few years, we were drinking the Kool-aid and walking the walk. I sure DON”T MISS those days.

  7. And then I realize that I inadvertently removed the text of the one day I DID intend to post.

    Apparently this blog post is just cursed.

    1. Ah, but…Is it God mad at this site because it dares question and make fun of some who purportedly speak for Him?
      Or is it Satan trying to “shut it down” because of the truth it speaks about men who claim to preach Christ but speak error?
      Or could it be – merely the technical ins and outs of operating a blog using computers and software, which, as we all know, can be frustrating?
      (Anybody but me been in a church where everything is attributed to God or Satan, and people don’t seem to think of things that happen might just be a by-product of the way the world works? Some of it gets a little silly at times – Christian superstition, really.)

      1. Obviously number 1, what with Darrell being a Mocker and Scorner and probably a secret Catholic Calvinist to boot.

  8. Dear Darrell:

    Thanks for mentioning ‘the Sri Lanka week.’ I assume that means we’ll get you back roughly in a week.

    Good deal.

    Will be in prayer for you, for safety, but also that this will be a powerful life experience.

    God bless you.

    Christian Socialist

    1. I’ll actually be doing a series of posts from Sri Lanka on the work that World Vision is doing there and about how child sponsorship changes lives.

      It’ll be something very different from the usual fare here and I hope it will be a nice change of pace to have something positive to talk about!

      1. Darrell,
        I tried to comment on the Sri Lanka Sunday- Hungry Like the Wolf entry and it also has comments disabled. 🙁 There wasn’t the option to reply to anyone’s comments either.

  9. “Wives are his biggest supporter. Ladies are the greatest cause for preachers to fall or fail.”

    Sure, blame the women….again


    1. Actually, there was an explanation of that at an old site (probably gone now) called ” Church for Men” (associated with the book “Why Men Quit Going to Church”).

      The page on the site was titled something like “For Women: Why your husband won’t go”. The rationale was that a lot of aspects of the church environment — relationships, learning, feeling of “home” — punch a lot of buttons in the average woman’s personality and nesting instincts that it doesn’t in the average male personality. “Your church is doing what it was designed to — keep you Happy and Volunteering.”

      1. Oooo. I have some strong opinions on the whole ‘church is too sissified” movement, but let me just say that, while how we choose to express that may be different, God doesn’t give anyone a pass on being loving, gentle, compassionate, humble, and caring. No Christian, under the guise of being “manly”, should try to get out of his calling to die to himself and let Christ live through him.

        Love and meekness does NOT have to be demonstrated through a limp, weak, ineffective, mousy “niceness”; one can follow Christ and still be a strong, decisive leader. But he must be a leader who is not arrogant, rude, pushy, violent, or cruel if he is to be like Christ.

        1. Problem is, these days the only two archetypes of Christian maleness you see are “limp, weak, ineffective, mousy niceness” and “arrogant, rude, pushy, violent, and cruel”. One or the other. Dom or Sub. And both cop a Godly Superiority attitude towards everyone else.

  10. So in regards to those 7 pieces of advice for new ministers… I certainly agree with 1, 4, and 5, but I am simultaneously struck by just how man-centered 2 and 6 are. While pride is a dangerous thing for young people who think they know better than everyone else (I’m afraid I’m in this stage right now!), this is just putting people up on pedestals and giving them equal standing with God. And that’s despicable to me.

    On the rest of the messages, though, I’m unsurprised but still disappointed at just how scattered those messages were and just how little they had to do with the Bible, Jesus, God, or anything else even remotely religious.

    1. Number 6 is RIDICULOUS!
      Perfect number for it though because the number “6” in scripture represents the number of man.

    2. While you were posting this, I was writing my own evaluation of those points!

      You weren’t the only one who didn’t like what he had to say!

    3. I agree with you, and I would even go a step further and say that both the young and the old who think they know better then everyone else need to be knocked off their self-made pedestals. I’ve heard a plenty of arrogant, old preachers who talk as if pride is confined to just the younger generations.

  11. To a brother in arms,
    Thank you for this year’s report on the SOTL. I just could not go back this year to the National conference. I really enjoyed your report.

    Thank you for your service and I hope that your recovery is quick and complete. 😉

  12. I have to disagree with Hamblin. I really don’t think the devil hates anything going on at Sword of the Lord.

  13. I LOLed at some of that, but I groaned at others, including his points to those being ordained.

    “1.Be a student of the scriptures” — yes! However, if you are, they may lead you to follow Christ and not the fundamentalist traditions.

    “2.You may do more than those who trained you, but you will not know more than those who trained you” — What a ridiculous statement. Of course, they might end up knowing more.

    “3.If you only have a fundamental head but not a heart you will jump the fundamental fence” — I suppose statements like these are a slap against men like my husband (not that we were ever in the SotL crowd). The thing is, my husband left fundamentalism because he had a heart for JESUS not for fundamentalism. So I guess the evangelist is right in this sense: if you love fundamentalism more than Jesus, you’ll never leave.

    “4.Success comes from time spent alone with God” — Time spent alone with God is essential; I’m not sure about the success part though. This point seems more like the typical fundamentalist performance-based Christianity: spent time with God and you’ll have a successful ministry. In truth, however, we cannot manipulate God, and we may never be what the world calls a success no matter how much time we spent in prayer and Bible study.

    “5.Moral failure is the greatest, most grotesque of all failures” — I’m glad he said this because, yes, commiting adultery or abusing a child is WAAAAY worse than reading an NIV Bible (not that you’d know it from the focus of most of the vitriol from fundy pulpits).

    “6.You have fingerprints of other upon you. Never forget! Be proud!” — I understand the need to be appreciative, but shouldn’t the last admonition be “Be humble!” not “Be proud!” Methinks most fundy MoGs don’t need to be encouraged to be proud.

    “7.Never monkey with the King James Bible and don’t let others mess with it either.” — Gotta love his use of the word “monkey”; with a simple verb choice he mocks anyone who doesn’t hold a KJVO position. But just think about the second part of this point: here he reveals the arrogance and the love of power behind many a preacher. He’s telling these men not to LET others “mess with” the KJV, ignoring the individual priesthood of the believer and our freedom in Christ. Don’t LET people question the KJV or read other versions? If he had a humble spirit, he could say, “Pray fervantly that your congregation never forsakes the KJV” or “Encourage your people to hold to the KJV”, but DON’T LET OTHERS mess with it? This last point reveals the true secret behind many a fundy MoG: they do think they have the right and the power to coerce people into behaving certain ways.

    1. “I understand the need to be appreciative, but shouldn’t the last admonition be “Be humble!” not “Be proud!” Methinks most fundy MoGs don’t need to be encouraged to be proud.”

      HAY-MEN sister!!! That’s good preachin’.

      Now get out of those pants and out of the pulpit. :mrgreen:

      1. Well that came out wrong 😳

        By getting out of your pants I meant to put a skirt on. Not just taking your pants off. I need to stop now before I dig any deeper.

        Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

        1. Easy now… just put the shovel down… that’s it… now just step away from it. Ok… that’s better.

          It’s all fun and games until someone loses their pants. 😯

        2. Scorpio, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen you make a wildly inappropriate comment… accidentally. 😈

      2. What about capris? Not a skirt but definitely not “men’s clothing.” At least I’ve never seen a man wear them!

        1. Then you haven’t been to Europe, PW. The folks on the Old Continent seem to think capris are clothing for men.

          My 18 year old son doesn’t care for me calling his shorts capris because they go below his knees. But then, compared to the shorts from when I was in high school, his qualify as long pants.

  14. “Lift your hand if you are Bible saved.
    Lift your hand if you want to be Bible saved.”

    I’m so glad I am JESUS saved! UGH! 🙄

    1. Hamlin: “So tell me little girl, what saved you?”

      Little Girl: “The Bible saved me, Dr. Hamlin.”

      1. Not just “King James Bible Saved”, but “Kynge Jaymes 1611 Bible Saved”?

  15. Wow – the evening service had alliteration within one of the alliterated points! He certainly is a skilled preacher. 🙄

      1. So it’s not just the scriptwriters for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic who alliterate a lot of the dialogue…

    1. We’re gonna need 1 more a in there for a classic fundy dissection. Adultery? I con’t think there’s a synonym for pedophiles that starts with a is there?

  16. DIVERSION! 😈
    Edward needs to stop diverting us from the today’s two topic at hand! 😉

  17. “He tells us people think that Jesus hung on a golden jewel encrusted cross.” ❓ ❓ ❓ Really? And who are these people? Maybe “Dr.” Hamblin went to school with them… 😆

    “He tells us that our music is awesome and how that the specials in other churches is just standing up and singing and then sitting down and he just can’t see how that could be so special.” …what…exactly is he expecting? Is there a SPECIAL way to stand up and sit down before and after singing special music at church? Maybe he’s secretly supporting dancing…

    “He really cannot stand how people just post their everyday business on their wall page and if he could he would write who cares all over your wall…With that said he does have a blog and a twitter account.” I just love when preachers bash people in the pews being of facebook, tweeting, and blogging, when they go home and do it themselves. Cracks me up. Its twice as funny when they tweet about it or harp about it on their status update. 😀 You know you can’t take them seriously as preachers, though, so its sad in that respect.

    “As Christians we should smile all the time.” 🙄 🙄 🙄 SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THAT STATEMENT 🙄 🙄 🙄

    “He goes on to tell us that the devil is a fundamentalist.” 🙂 he he he…

    “Ladies are the greatest cause for preachers to fall or fail.” *sigh* Then the man cannot be the head of the home. If the wife is responsible for the husband’s sin as well as her own, then she is absolutely the head of the home. Actually, in that kind of mindset, she’s the adult, and he’s apparently an unaccountable child. Now its all beginning to make sense!

  18. Anonymous Brave Soul – I am really impressed by your detail notes during the services and sermon. How did you do it? I find it hard to stay awake at some of these meetings. Can you give me pointers for the future?

    1. It was very difficult, but it’s hard to fall asleep with all the hollering and screaming going on at these meetings, and I had to do something to pass the time.:mrgreen: Trust me it’s not easy keeping up with someone who rambles as fast as Hamblin.

      1. Anonymous Brave Soul – Unless, you have deep family roots in that area, I do not see how you stay around. I would be finding another church. As a PK survivor, I am glad to be away from that atmosphere all the time. I bare it on the family visits. I am now part of more relaxed church.

        1. I would, but unfortunately I not only go to church there, but I made the mistake of accepting a job there also. Didn’t realize how crazy it was until it was too later. I didn’t grow up fundy or go to a fundy college, but I’ve had a crash course over the last 2 or 3 years. Trust me I have no plans to stay any longer than I have too, plus I was born and raised in the area.

        2. Is that church like most IFB’s where there is no accountability on how the money is spent and everything is done in secret? I have read and heard from a lot of IFB churches where the Pastor has recklessly spent the church’s money with no accountability and leaving the church in large debt. I hope you are able to find a job soon for your sanity.

        3. Sounds like you’ve visited our church before because you just described our church perfectly. We just finished a new education building to house our school as well as church offices, and yes there is no accountability when it comes to finances.

        4. I have never been to Theodore, AL. I do not think I even know where that is. I just seen some horror stories in Florida and Georgia where churches got in huge debt and had to file for bankruptcy after pastors were ran off and people saw how bad the finances were. I know of one church the Pastor should have been charged with theft, but they didn’t do it to save the reputation of the church and stop the bleeding in loss of members. I hope your church never gets to that point. I just could not look at group of people each Sunday who have given their hard earned money knowing it has been spent recklessly. When you find a new job and church, you need to speak up so the members know the situation.

        5. I tell you it’s not the finances that bother me, every church has to grow and you just run out of room, but i’ve been there a few years four or five i think and just watching the pastor’s son following the teenage girls around gives me the creeps. He follows them to the bathrooms and corners them in the auditorium. Makes you wonder what’s going on there you know with all the stories you here from other churches.

        6. Good grief. I found a great deal of amusement in Hamblin’s preaching style when I heard him at an SOL conference five or six years ago, but I don’t recall hearing any nonsense about the KJB. I suppose he’s slid further off the rails of sanity. Looking up his Twitter account is illuminating. . .

  19. The “are you Bible saved” brought back a memory of when I was a little girl, maybe 6 years old. Another little girl backed me up against the church bus in our parking lot (my dad drove, my mom was the bus captain) and yelled in my face while holding a bat over my head “Do you read the RED LETTERED King James Bible? If you don’t, you are going to HELL!” I’m still scared.

  20. Ughh Hamblin. And his Same Old Prayer. I never noticed but my brother did and would recite it under his breath with Hamblin. And Hamblin has a hard, mean expression all the time. *shudder* Ok, enough walking down memory lane.

    1. Ughh Hamblin. And his Same Old Prayer.

      Does Hamblin denounce liturgical churches (like mine) for the “vain repetitions” of Collect and Consecration and Breviary?

      1. TBH, I’m not sure. When you get so many evangelists coming in each year, all of their pet peeves sort of run together. I just remember bits and pieces from each one, like Hamblin and his Prayer, Schwanke and his accordion, etc.

        I work at a Christian radio station and edit local sermons. One is from a Lutheran church and I do like their style of worship. Lots of Scripture reading and I love the prayers too.

  21. The moderator will probably will not post this because they just want a forum to degrade churches that are doing something for God. Cannot stand around any longer and see how someone is trying to destroy the reputation of my Pastor, his family, and Lighthouse Baptist Church. Unless you have specific allegations that you can name with exact facts, you have crossed the line of defamation, especially with the comment about the Pastor’s son following girls to bathrooms. The moderator for allowing a comment like that has set themselves up for a defamation claim as well. I believe in free speech, but without facts, that crossed the line. Whoever posted these claims and sent the information about our revival, if you are a staff member, you should resign immediately, if not, I hope you are discovered so you can be fired. I love my Pastor and his family. I love how my church helps people who for many have been in a spiritual condition that needed restoration. Our Pastor, his son, and other devoted staff members have gone beyond the duty of a job, and helped people when they were needed most. I have been a recipient of that love and grace and I personally witnessed that love and grace given to others. If you have theology or leadership style differences, please go to a church or job that suits you and stop ridiculing the people who give you a paycheck. Even in a secular job, the owners would not appreciate their employees going on a public website and humiliating their company. Every person who has posted comments in this forum, I challenge you to post something negative about your employer in a forum like this. You would not do it! Again, I will be totally surprised if any of my comments are posted. Let me remind whoever was the person who did the original post the scripture, “Be sure your sins will find you out!”

    1. I’ll post something negative about my employer — and gladly. She has one of the biggest butts I have ever in my life seen. She almost never gives me a day off, and she doesn’t pay me nearly enough. In fact, she pays me less than minimum wage for the hours I put in. Some days, I don’t like my employer at all, and I consider finding a new job, but in this economy, well, it’s probably a lost cause.

      So there you go. Now it’s your turn! Post something rude about your employer!

    2. Lawyer up much, BAIA? I would guess not. I see you seem to make much of the distinction between “established facts,” “facts,” and “information.” AFAICT, a member of that church is reporting what he sees and his consequent worries. That’s not defamation, libel, or slander.

    3. Dear BornAgaininAlabama:

      I’ve refrained from commenting until I could first read Darrel’s post with some care.

      On other exchanges, BornAgaininAlabama, many things have been said and some are not without merit. Much more could be said. But what remains is, ‘what most needs to be said.’

      Bias is universal. It is best when this is declared freely. I am no fundamentalist. My information on this conference is second hand at best. I have no knowledge of the church,

      ministry, pastor or family in question. I won’t address ‘specifics;’ my remarks relate to principial. They are not for that reason invalid.

      1] Your references to defamation and lawsuits are in contrariety both to the letter and to the spirit of Saint Paul’s clear teaching in 1Co 5ff [and Ge 13:8; 45:24; Ac 7:26; 1Co

      1:11; 3:3; 6:1, 14]. Paul’s question to you would be, ‘why not rather be wronged; why not rather be defamed’ [vs. 7]. My question to you is, ‘given Saint Paul’s admonition, why

      do you mention such things.’

      As a partial corrective, I suggest that the best way to redress misguided and injurious remarks is to ignore them. Far from weakness, this shows strength by directing attention

      to what most needs to be said. Clearly, that is what we are going to do.

      2] As a further corrective, all churches need a policy addressing potential abuse on church grounds. There must be procedures, contact persons, advocates and the injured, and

      training in all these areas. These things must be clear, known and open. This is necessary to protect all involived, including the church staff.

      3] A CRITICAL corrective measure is a Biblical polity [elder plurality]. This keeps pastors accountable. If issues exist, there is structure to address them. And as elders are the leadership, the church is protected from narcissistic pastors who would secure their seat by menacing churches with division and the loss of ministry.

      But where false allegations are made, elders are powerful advocates for and defenders of the pastor. But the bottom line is this: if you embrace congregationalism and the pastor/bishop as your church polity, you have bought all the limitations that come with said polity.

      4] You speak of concern for the honor of Jesus Christ. That is good; it is a concern we hold commonly. It is the implementation of such measures are your best defense against the kind of trouble against which you speak. If there was no wrongdoing, then Biblical polity and procedures will vindicate you.

      Christian Socialist

  22. I challenge the moderator of this forum to set some standards when it comes to defaming comments that can allow people reading them with the impression that someone has committed a criminal act. It’s one thing to debate theology or differences in regards how someone runs a church or even established facts about a situation, but to make comments to lead someone to question character in regards to something criminal has been done is wrong. Unfortunately, there have been established facts in regards to indiscretion with minors in churches across the whole United States, but because of the nature of the claim and person’s position over youth, you can be sued for defamation for stating information about that person without relevant facts to support it. How would you feel if someone accused you of possibly having pedophile thoughts or a pedophile situation, I guarantee you would be mad and would want a clarification from the moderator that those comments will not be tolerated without specific information to back it up and even if you had specific information I would encourage the victim or someone who witnessed an improper situation to go to the authorities and not express it here. Then, once something is an established fact, if you choose to communicate about an established fact in this forum, then you are given that right through our freedom of speech.

    1. You have the same IP address as PK SurvivorinGeorgia which makes me believe that you are the pastor’s son in question and are here to sniff out the writer of this piece to exact your own revenge on her.

      Not very clever.

      1. Same IP address as PKSurvivorinGeorgia?!? Why, that one acted NICE to us! Is he/she a rat? 😯

    2. You know this site is for fun and no harm was meant to the host church or the pastor. The last comment was not a accusation but intentional to sniff out who you were and what your intentions were. Lying about who you are is wrong and maybe you should take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself why you sneak around like this disguising your identity. I am not on staff but a volunteer who loves the people in this church but I have witnessed behavior that is not honoring to Christ. The staff is wonderful and I agree that they work very hard on the job.

      1. Just asking: If the staff is great, then why their involvement with SOTL? I’ve tried to distance myself from SOTL as much as possible. Heck, I’m trying to figure out a way to remove “Baptist” from our church name not because of doctrine, but because it’s a bit embarrassing to be classified an IFB these days.

        1. Please don’t take my comment above as a criticism of you. I am thoroughly enjoying your report of the goings on. Reminds me a little too much of my childhood, but otherwise…

      2. Why volunteer at a place you despise? That’s even worse. You can walk away. I got writer’s cramp just looking at all the trouble you went in typing this report and from it appears you have more since the moderator is releasing another document. This site is not fun and if you say you love the staff, why did you send this material to a site that what I learned in last couple days ridicules men of God? I am sorry some of you who read this stuff have had bad experiences in the past, but you realizing posting what you call fun, hurts the cause of Christ, whatever your denomination. I am not the Pastor’s son, as much as the moderator would love it to be, but a faithful volunteer who would never stoop to this level in ridiculing my church and pastor. So what if someone earlier asked questions to attempt to find out who you are. Even if answered wrong in attempt to try to find the person’s intentions was wrong. Rather you meant it or not, you attacked the character of not only our Pastor but his fine son and you have insulted the great staff who work very hard every day, many of them during the school year work seven days a week. I have been helping a great friend who has been away from church and I learned yesterday, this person reads this garbage. They know I go to Lighthouse and even though they read this stuff, they had enough respect for me and my testimony for God now to let me know it is here. I was very hurt that someone would do this to my Pastor and church. So, go ahead make fun of me, I do not care. However, I will take a stand for Christ, my family, and my Pastor and church! Again, if you are a volunteer and not a staff member, you have even more reasons to move right along to a place you will be happy in volunteering. I guess whoever you are forgot to read the church ministry’s handbook which states we should loyal in our volunteer work and any complaints should go to that ministry leader. In this case, you should of had the nerve to tell the Pastor, you did not care for revival and speakers. in a secular job, you are expected to up the chain with your complaints. I had to mention that because I can see it now someone ridiculing being loyal at church. I will be brave enough to tell my Pastor and his family what I posted because I love them and my church. We had an assistant pastor preach Sunday night to forgive, even when you have been emotionally hurt I forgive whoever you are and I am sure the Pastor would
        forgive you too. Our pastor has feelings too and I guarantee he was hurt and betrayed by whoever posted the original post in what you call fun. This is not fun. There are many souls that are dying and going to Hell and will
        do so because they will refuse to listen to God’s word after seeing people who call themselves Christian ridiculing work of God. So, go ahead ridicule me. I do not care. I love my Pastor, his family, my church, and the hard staff workers. You can me a rat or whatever, but I am determined to find out who you are, not to berate you in person, but to tell you I forgive you, whatever your original motivations were in this and ask you if you really love our church and the staff, not to bring negative attention again, unless you have a very legitimate reason to do so. No church is perfect and the Pastor and staff are not perfect, but I witnessed them in trying to do the right things and I know first hand, if our Pastor feels he did something wrong or learned he may have offended someone, other than preaching from God’s word, he is sincere enough to ask forgiveness himself. I have witnessed this first hand. You stated long before I engaged myself in this forum, that you witnessed first hand on a daily basis that our pastor was neither gracious or humble. I do not see it at all. I have been in his home and he has been in mine. I witnessed someone who is very gracious and humble. So go right ahead make fun of me. I do not care. I care about my Pastor and church to try to get to the bottom of this and ask why would you as a staff member or volunteer do something like this to hurt the ministry that God has graciously allowed our Pastor to build. I am still disturbed even if you thought the questions asked of you were an attempt to figure out who you are and most likely that was intent, why did you answer them in the nature that you did. I guarantee if you were not called on the carpet about it, you would have never clarified yourself. If a person used tactics to figure out a situation that effects the character and good name of a person and church, well it’s done in undercover procedures in just about any workplace to make sure procedures are followed and used in investigations to weed out crime. So, a person was passionate enough to try methods to figure out who you are and why. I guarantee if you were offended by someone writing something in this forum, you would do the same thing.

        1. BornAgaininAlabama, do something for me, will you? Take a look at your keyboard. On the middle right, you will notice a key labeled “Enter”, just above “Shift”, just below “\”, and two below “Backspace”. Using it a tad more will make your posts substantially more readable than the current TEXTSPLOSION.

        2. First, listen to Annie Moose, please.

          Who do you care about? The people or the reputation? The Pharisees cared about their reputation. 🙄

        3. BornAgaininAlabama – OK, you love your pastor. We get that. But the original post said very little regarding the pastor. And what was said was not derogatory. The post was about the shennigans of Hamblin’s preaching.

          I have been where you are now. But now I am free from the clutches of the IFB. My hope is that someday you too will see the freedom that is to be found outside of the shackles of the IFB. The more you say, the more I realize that leaving the IFB was one of the best things I have ever done in my life.

        4. “I guess whoever you are forgot to read the church ministry’s handbook which states we should loyal in our volunteer work and any complaints should go to that ministry leader.”

          Ha! That’s a good one! Unfortunately in the circle you live in- taking complaints to the ministry leader is a good way to get marked as one ” causes strife among the brothers”

        5. so its not lying if you do it on the internets? Or is it just lying if its actually someone telling the truth about the corruption of a mannogawd? Or maybe lying is ok if you are just trying to pretend you live in another state so you can gloss over the truth of who you actually are and act like you are in outside observer who has no dog in the fight. Perhaps because you are being persecuted for your faith lying is ok, or maybe you really actually truly believe that your feces is not odorific?

          Whatever the case, troll, sock puppet, Poe, or merely an a$$clown, the results are the same


        6. It’s Ayn Rand, repeating the famous one-sentence chapter in Atlas Shrugged!

        7. BornAgaininAlabama said, “You can walk away.” It’s not always that easy. Sometimes things are complicated. Maybe they’d like to go but can’t. Maybe they have hope for things to change.

          “I got writer’s cramp just looking at all the trouble you went in typing this report” — that made me giggle. The post was actually easy to read because of the paragraphs.

          “This site . . . ridicules men of God.” You mean the same way IFB preachers often ridicule Christian singers and writers and other pastors with whom they don’t agree? It’s one of the things that left me very uncomfortable with the IFB, that from the pulpit where Christ is to be exalted, Christians were being mocked and vilified over matters that should be left to Christian liberty, not foundational doctrines of the Christian faith.

          The purpose of this site is not to ridicule men of God. God’s man is humble, gentle, holy, loving, kind, easy to be entreated, forgiving, compassionate, and endeavors to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We on the other hand seek to ridicule false teaching that holds itself up as Biblical, self-righteousness that masquerades as holiness, and works-based legalism that calls itself Gospel.

        8. I have been in some very good IFB churches with kind and godly people. I’ve also however seen some where people are browbeat and manipulated. The requirement that “any complaints should go to that ministry leader” works in the first type of church, but in the second type, anyone who complains might be ostracized, vilified, penalized, and preached against!

          “In a secular job, you are expected to up the chain with your complaints.” — True, but in a secular job, they can’t hold the hammer of “if you don’t agree with us, you’re unspiritual” or “you don’t love Jesus” or “maybe you’re not really saved.” Sometimes people are too scared to be honest about how they feel.

        9. PKsurvivor, dignified fundy, fundy pastor, Ashleigh Harrington, bornagaininalabama, is your name Adrew Tewell? hhmmmmmm

        10. The second prize in this game of bingo, is, of course, TWO cases of Chick tracts.

        11. Oh, by the way, we had Jack Hyles in our home in the mid-1980s. He was very gracious and good humor. Does that mean he didn’t run around on his wife, or abuse people in the congregation from the pulpit? Nope. Because I saw him abuse people from the pulpit, and it is beyond dispute that he ran around on his wife. So, dismissing someone else’s experience because it isn’t MY experience is really not going to work.

          The Defenders might do well to listen to this sermon. It is quite long, and I disagree with some of this pastor’s personal convictions that he preaches as doctrine, but once you get past that part of the sermon, he nails things EXACTLY as they are.

        12. You’re sooo boring. It’s like listening to my dad. Even Greg does not take himself this seriously.

    3. You don’t get out on the internet much, do you. If “anonymous” had posted that story anywhere else, you’d get some really nasty comments. I thought SFL comments were a little over-the-top, until I checked the comments on a news story about my old church’s scandal. Let’s just say 😯 These people are downright considerate compared to that….

    4. Given the tenor of your previous post, if she/he does “go to the authorities” with concerns, you’ll be one ranting that he should never have gone.

  23. Well….at least his sermons were Christ centered and not rabbit trail topical messages

    Always look on the bright side…… 😆

  24. Indiscretions?


    You think that rape of a minor is an indiscretion?

    I would hate to ponder on what sort of behavior you might consider to be vile wickedness, if the term you use for pedophilia is “indiscretions.”

    1. Couldn’t agree more. “Indiscretion” seems to cover, like, looking up dirty pictures on the Internet or making suggestive remarks that aren’t followed up on. Even if this was completely consensual activity between two adults that were not in a counselor-counselee relationship, I would hope it would still be more than a mere “indiscretion” for a pastor to have sex outside his marriage!

      “Indiscretion” sounds like a momentary lapse of judgement. Deliberate and planned sex with someone you’re counseling is a whole different playing field.

      1. “Mistakes Were Made…”
        — Clinton spokeshole during Monicagate.

        (Ever notice these mistakes got made all by themselves with no human intervention at all?)

  25. “2.You may do more than those who trained you, bu[t] you will not know more than those who trained you.”

    This is an awesome statement, and explains a lot; like how each generation of IFB leaders get dumber and dumber.

  26. I watched these services and greatly enjoyed the highlights posted here! I really hope that all of them will be posted at some time!

  27. ” At this point the sale pitch begins with the goal of getting every living, breathing human being to come bow down at the altar.”
    This is one of my biggest beefs with fundamentalism. Hebrews has a lot to say about whether or not we need an altar anymore. And Matthew has a few things to say about praying to be seen of men in public.
    Not to mention the fact that you see an awful lot of buttcracks, fruit of the loom waistbands, and panties peeping out from beneath skirts when everybody kneels at the altar. As the Bible says, if you pray in the synagogues to be “seen of men,” you have your reward. Maybe more than you bargained for. 😳

    1. And have you ever noticed that Altar Calls are a feature of only non-liturgical churches who don’t HAVE a physical altar?

  28. Lighthouse Baptist of Randy Tewell? Didn’t his wife or someone in his family recently pass away from a car accident?

  29. James33 – It was Randy Tewell’s step-father. (FORT BEND COUNTY, TX)The stepfather of a local pastor and a mother and son are dead after a glider crashes in Texas on Father’s Day. The glider aircraft, which has no motor, was being towed through the air by another aircraft when the tow rope either broke or was released too early. The glider went into a nose dive and crashed in an open field.

    68-year-old pilot Fred Blair, 32-year-old Matilda Blair and her 3-year-old son Andrew were killed. The glider was only fit for two and authorities believe the toddler may have been sitting in his mother’s lap.

    Fred Blair is the stepfather of Pastor Randy Tewell at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Theodore. According to the church’s Facebook page, the pastor has traveled to Texas, as federal investigators are examining the aircraft to determine what caused the accident.

  30. Ohhh John Hamblin.
    “He tells us how Dr. Tewell and his family…are some of his favorite friends and that our church is one of his most favorite places to preach, and he tells other churches all over the country how awesome our church is.”

    He did the exact same thing at my former fundy church. This is my favorite place to be, this place has a “spirit” I don’t see anywhere else, yada yada yada. It all came across as scripted.

    And I don’t know about you, but I underline things in my Bible because I don’t want to forget them, they impacted me somehow. Ran, outrun? A month from now I’d find that and be scratching my head for an hour, wondering what on earth is so special about running.

    And “everything in the Bible is supposed to be there”? Maybe I’m just cynical, but it was rather eye-opening when I realized most of the books of the Bible were the authors’ accounts of events, and therefore every little detail may not have tremendous importance. It’s just there.

    1. “I feel a preaching storm about to break in this service”
      This was funny the first time he said it (everything was funny first time). After the twentieth? Not so much.

    2. Isn’t it troubling how blithely pastors and evangelists sometimes say things like “your church is something special” to every church? This is just another example of people who make mountains out of molehills (emphasizing Bible versions, music, and clothing styles) while ignoring the REAL mountains — like TRUTHFULNESS. The Bible is clear that we are to be utterly truthful in what we speak.

      The very fact that there is such an expression as “evangelistically speaking” is a travesty. Christians ought to be scrupulously careful to be truthful, especially when in the pulpit.

      1. Very troubling, indeed. I believed them until I traveled more and heard it everywhere.

        Evangelists are not alone, however. Almost every customer presentation at my wife’s work is rated “best ever”… eventually, they won’t be able to top themselves.

  31. Also, free at last, free at last, praise God Almighty, I am free at last from having to hear this drivel.

  32. Lighthouse Baptist was the church I was forced to attend until I was a legal adult. Of course there were some genuine good people that were also members, but 10 years later and I’m still recovering from the weekly browbeatings. Being raised in a Christian home but not actually experiencing true spiritual connection and grace is…sad. I recently discovered this website and I can’t get enough. I relate to SO much and find it encouraging to have discovered such a “support group”. Bravo, SFL posters! Indeed, truth will always set you free.

    Anonymous Brave Soul, hang in there. Seek the genuine ones and block out the brainwashers. I wish you the best of luck.

      1. Sounds like we probably do. I too attended when the church had a small congregation. Long before the big building it is in now.

      2. If there is a way we can connect outside of this public forum, I would love to do so. I stay connected to this site just for the camaraderie. I understand if you still have connections and you don’t feel comfortable coming out of anonymity. But if you’re interested, let me know. I’d love to talk.

        1. I’m so late to the party, but I bet I know anonymous, legalismsurvivor, and born again. I literally grew up in this place and i finally broke free. Hope we can all connect somehow.

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