Bob Gray, one of the veritable godfathers of fundamentalism has composed a list of all the things that fundamentalists like.
I find it rather telling that the King James Version, standards, old time hymns, and even banana pudding make the list but Jesus is nowhere to be found. Perhaps Bob is being more honest than he realizes.
258 thoughts on “Making their own SFL lists”
Sunrise services on Easter
Church buildings that look like funeral homes or warehouses
That’s “Son”rise services on Resurrection Sunday. 🙂
Choirs that are numerically superior to the people actually sitting and listening
Ol’-time campmeetin’ inside of an air-conditioned building
Preaching against Communism
That one verse from Deuteronomy
Dinner on the grounds
We could start a couple of lists – “Things Bob Gray Likes” or “Things Fundamentalists Don’t Like”
Having heard BG speak, I know that he enjoys making fun of people’s looks, and, in general, insulting people.
I know that most fundamentalists of BG’s stripe hate the Internet – they say because of the sin that is available there, but most likely because of all the exposure their sins get on the Internet.
I’ll never understand why fundies consider a “leather-lunged” screaming preaching style to be “old-fashioned”. Oh, that’s right, they revere Billy Sunday above Jesus. I forgot. Silly me! 🙄
And I’ve never heard of any of the fundy churches in my area actually doing anything for the poor. (Bus ministries DO NOT count!)
I was just thinking the other day after attending a fundie funeral that I utterly fail to comprehend how screaming your guts out at the flock advances the cause of Christ.
Seriously, though. Having had my own fundie pastor yell at us for an hour about sin, fornication and whatnot did nothing, and I mean nothing, to me except think that the pastor enjoyed haranguing us whenever he felt like it.
Then the menfolk of my young adult group went a Sunday matinee showing of Se7en. I am not making that up (and we all went, even though I protested the violence/gore that I’d heard about watching it before.)
And they STILL wonder why I left.
“And I’ve never heard of any of the fundy churches in my area actually doing anything for the poor. (Bus ministries DO NOT count!)”
Me either, and I was a voting member of two different IFB churches, neither of which did anything for the poor, even though poor people and charities would call and ask for help. They were politely told to go f themselves and that our church only helped voting members. 👿
There are so many of these that could have little notes after them, for example:
– Soul Winning Night (every night to a REAL fundamentalist)
– Sunday Night Preaching (’cause the preacher gets to spank ‘rebellious’ church members)
– Personal Fellowship With God (as long as it is practical and doesn’t interfere with Soul Winning)
– Fellowshipping with the Saints (gossipping with other pastors or sycophantic groupies’ praise)
Standards (pastor’s likes and don’t-likes)
Bus Ministry (bribing kids to inflate our numbers)
… and so on.
-Public prayer led by men only. Ladies not allowed to speak.
-Singspirations (aka: giving pastor the night off)
-Forcing missionaries to raise their own money (visiting many churches all over the country) even before they go to the field. Why join a “mission board” if you have to raise all the support yourself anyway?
since when does wearing white gym sneakers and a frumpy khaki skirt and stringy long hair and no makeup qualify as “looking like a lady?”
But you’re right! This does describe certain circles in fundamentalism.
(Others, though, emphasize the heels and hose and makeup, insisting that the only reason husbands stray is that their wives just aren’t trying hard enough to please them. 🙁 )
Well, hose is one good way to drive your man into the arms of another lady. Unless it’s fishnet…
*sigh* This was me. When I was a teen. Thanks for the memories. 🙂
On a related note, we saw a large group at the zoo yesterday with men and boys in khakis and polos and women and girls in long denim skirts and huge t-shirts. Even a baby girl in a stroller not more than six months old was drowning in a t-shirt big enough for a child two years older and a denim skirt.
My cradle Catholic husband wanted to know what exactly was the matter with all of them.
lol, that used to be me. Not fun :/
Did they pay to get into the zoo? Or out?
Seriously. I still have some of my fundy skirts. I keep thinking about altering them. Maybe I should just have a fall bonfire instead so I won’t remember anymore.
Burning them would have reminded me of when we used to burn our jeans, movies, “worldly” music, ect.. I left my fundy church about 6 mo ago, but just last week I gave almost all of my skirts to Goodwill. (I had one or 2 that were actually cute enough to consider wearing in the real world 😉
I can admit that to this day I won’t wear a skirt out in public unless it’s too short or my top is too “worldly” to be considered fundy. I feel the need to be sure I don’t accidentally get mistaken for one of them. 😐
and I have a question about the “Clubs for Children” too. Are these clubs supposed to be applied just until the bottom is red and swollen, or do we need to keep pounding until “the will is broken” no matter how long that takes?
and oh, the irony that standards is right next to “humor.”
and did I miss the part in the Bible (Hebrews specifically) where Jesus says that we don’t need an altar anymore because the blood of animals can never take away sins? If you really love “going to church altars” you need to travel back before the crucifixion.
and I’ve never seen fundies actually clothe the poor, but I have seen them make rules that little slum girls can’t ride their buses unless they’re wearing skirts. Maybe that’s what Bob really meant.
I like that there’s “love for churches of like faith and order” and “love for men of God” but no actual “love for God himself.”
”Things fundamental baptists like […] King James Bible only” So, if they really only like the King James Bible, why write a whole list with other things they supposedly like? Ahh, the inconsistency… 😉
Much on the list sounds rather dull to my ears, and rather ‘show-offish’ in the sense of ”Just look at all the spiritual stuff we like: a whole list! We are totally spiritual and holy! Others don’t like all of these things, so that simply makes us better. God must love us more!”
(And finally, when I read this the first time, a little too hastily, I missed the word ‘look’ from ”Men who look like men”, and thought, surprised, that that’s not usually what you hear around fundies…)
Check out this biography!
I haven’t seen so many numbers since I was in kindergarten.
“253,042 walked the aisles professing faith in Christ and 164,457 of those followed the Lord in baptism.”
Wait just a durn minute there.
The entire population of Gregg County, Texas (where his church is) is only 80,455 people. And there are dozens of other churches in the county. Where is he getting these numbers?
(Of course, the obvious answer is “making them up,” but even for Fundies, it’s kind of crude to be so blatant about it.)
Wait, I read the census data wrong. 80,455 is the population of the city of Longview. The whole county has 119,637 inhabitants. But still …
What made me pause was that they had 1,116,887 people saved in 29 years of his pastorate. That’s roughly 38,500 a year!
In their heyday, they ran buses all over the area, and many other areas — to Shreveport, to Tyler, and toward Dallas.
Also note, they were pushing their people to turn in numbers, so many people made up numbers. As far as I know, they never checked to make sure that people were honest – they just “rejoiced” in the numbers (mostly by putting down other people or churches who didn’t have such exalted numbers).
In “Tales From the Temple”, the author discusses some children who were baptized multiple weeks in a row… but it was all for the glory of Bob Gray, Sr and “his” church, so the numbers were never adjusted.
It seems a better factor of who was saved would be the Wednesday night attendance, which I understand is about 250 now. Most of the “salvations” they claim are certainly false.
253,042 walked the aisles professing faith in Christ?
SO….52 Sundays per year. Two services per Sunday. A few “revival” weeks thrown in a year. 125 sermons per year where people are walking the aisle. Over the course of 29 years….that’s about 70 people getting saved each service.
No. I believe in the Holy Spirit…
And those are pretty exact numbers over the course of the years….but numbers aren’t important, are they?
I noticed how exact the numbers were too. Not just 253,000, but 253,042. It’s funny.
How about his book: When Principle was King: The Life Principles of Dr. Jack Hyles
Yikes! I didn’t see that. And it was published just this year? People still care about Hyles?
Just watched that vid for the first time. Yuck. Couldn’t get through it. The worship of Hyles and obsession with numbers (obviously BS) is sickening. And what’s up with the Hyles guys and four pointed pocket handkerchiefs? Looks stupid.
I was fascinated by the sequence:
Feeding the poor
Clothing the poor
Maybe overly cynical, but my first thought was that he was writing the list, thinking “Feeding the poor, clothing the poor … oh no, this is starting to sound socialist! Better put something about freedom in there!”
Otherwise, “independence” seems like such an odd thing to drop right in the middle of items about caring for the poor, sick, and elderly.
And you will notice through the link above that his huge church gave $335,000 in 29 years to “the less fortunate.” That’s a measly $222 a week on average.
I noticed that too. Over 9 million dollars to missions and just over $300,000 to the poor. Hmm. Interesting.
Our church gave about $37,000 last year to the poorest of the poor and $1,809,000 to foreign missions not including short term missions. So that percentage is not bad.
I’m yet to see the IFB church that spends as much on feeding and clothing the poor as they do on flowers for the pulpit, pew Bibles (KJV), and running buses to death.
Things that a lot of fundamental baptists REALLY don’t like: Bob Gray (pompous a–)
I love the way he presumes to speak for everyone. He also forgot to mention bowing every day for 5 minutes to remember and pray to jack hyles. Trying diligently to be the mouthpiece for all ifb folks.
Did anyone go one to his website, http://Www.bobgraysr.com?
“Question Are the lost sheep or “backslidders” worth going after when the resources of the church are focused mostly on soul-winning? Should the church just allow God to deal with these people instead of wasting their time?
Dr. Gray’s Answer:
Thank you for your email. I will do my best to answer.
The resources of the average church are there to reach people, whether saved or lost. When a church visits the bus routes the majority of the people who are brought in on those buses in the average church are saved people not lost people. The majority of the folks who attend the average church are saved and not lost. So, the budgets that support that local church in essence are being utilized to help both the saved and the lost; with the majority of that budget going to help the saved.
The majority of my time is spent not with lost people but saved people! I trust this answers your question. Have a great day!”
WHAT? Am i confused on this, or is this just backwards? No mention of Matthew 18:12-14 or Luke 15:3-7? So you are only reaching the “saved”? Someone please explain.
If those saved people would quit tithing they’d have enough money to bring themselves to church, instead of relying on church welfare.
everyone knows that buskids are exempt from tithing. that’s only a requirement for the drive-in crowd.
I don’t get that, honestly. Shouldn’t the focus of outreach be, you know, reaching out to those who haven’t understood God’s grace and mercy for them? Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel and all that?
1: The church does not come together for the purpose of soulwinning. The church’s main purpose is not evangelization, revivalism or reaching out to the lost. The main purpose for a “church” to meet is to build up one another in the faith: to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[e] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. according to Ephesians 4:12-16.
2. This is done so that the believers are taought how to do the ministry according to how the Lord has gifted them. Not everyone is an evangelist, not everyone is a teacher, not everyone serves in the same way but all believers are to be equipped to minister to those we come in contact, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even if it just a cup of water given in his name.
Unfortunately this IFB soulwinning crap is just that. 1-2-3 repeat after me, read the tract, say the sinner’s prayer and prest-o-change-o you’re saved. Jesus Christ is just the means to an end and the end is to put butts in the pews and money in the offering plate. Numbers = Success
The whole soulwinning racket that has been foisted on the church, especially the American Church, since the Revivalism and Pelagianism of Charles Finney, has completly skewed our view of God as Sovereign over all his creation. It has left a weak, anemic, pathetic image of a frail, feable old god who frets about heaven hoping that one of his M-O-g will hit on a soulwinning formula that will populate heaven.
If the church would get its eyes off of the pulpit and onto Christ and worship Jesus Christ rather than the pulpiteer, rather than the ediface the empire builders have erected, rather than the ministry of the emperor-pastor… then maybe the church would once again turn the world upside down.
What would happen if believers actually read beyond Ephesians 4:11 and practiced the rest of the passage?
Actually, Bob Gray, Sr would agree with the point 1: I’ve heard him and others of his ilk state that the purpose of the church is to equip the saints to to the work of the ministry, which they then go on to say is “soul-winning”.
They strongly disagree with point 2; they say that while everyone has different gifts, all are supposed to be “soul-winning”.
But IFB Soul winning = church growth. Church Growth is directionally proportional to the M-O-g’s ego… ergo the emphasis on “Soul Winning.”
Thank you Charles G. Finney
directionally??? thanks george.
“directly proportional” maybe??
But the “Ministry = soul winning” is something that is inferred by the decisional regeneration folks since it is not found in the great commission. Ministry is to minister to others we come in contact with, do it in Jesus’ name, and be a witness to what Jesus Christ has done in our lives where ever we go.
We can’t save anyone, only Christ can save. In the zealous attempt to do for God what we do not believe he can do for himself, we have created a mythological character called the “soul winner” and then require all believers to learn his mystical ways for getting people to say the magical words that bring salvation. … often making a two fold more child of hell in the attempt.
Is it any wonder the IFB is filled with altar athletes wearing a trail in the carpet, and getting saved everytime they are emotionally manipulated from the pulpit.
The purpose of the Church is first and always to worship the triune God. The Church is to be a witness to the power of God.
In this way, the Church ministers to its members (increasing their own ability and participation in worship), and it also ministers to the world (which in turn sees the spirit of Christ in a people who worship him.)
The purpose of the Church is not, and never has been “soulwinning.” The purpose of the Church is, and eternally will be, worship.
(I’m not disagreeing, just trying to get it down to the basic principle: it’s Worship.)
Even “ministry” isn’t the main goal of the church; ministry is only an outgrowth of worship.
In fact, theologically-historically, the term “ministry” comes from the terms for “worship.” Originally, ministry meant “ministering to the god(s) in their temple,” i.e., worship. Ministry means serving God, not “doing things to increase our numbers” or to “save souls.” Certainly, he hope that results. But in the Church, the first focus always needs to be worship.
jason, I wholeheartedly agree. Worship of our Lord and Savior is our primary, preeminent purpose. That is the essence of the great commission: worship. Worship is directly related to the object/person of worship. So it is our view of who we worship is important.
That is why I have been so adament about the Sovereignty, Majesty and Person of Jesus Christ. It is not about bringing Jesus down to a level we are comfortable with, but about adjusting our esteem of him to the point we realize we cannot lift him up high enough, that he transcends all we could ever think of, all we could ever imagine, and when our minds come to the barrier of our finite existence and we realize we perceive the glory of God merely as much as a spoon perceives the taste of food… then we begin to see God for who he is, and our natural response is to stand in awe of him and bow down and worship him.
Yes, worship! When people see that in our lives then soul winning formulas wither and die where they stand. Christ becomes real and is no longer just images or words in a tract. He is no longer confined to the “Roman’s road” or the “sinner’s prayer.” (not that he ever was)
Then Christ is freed from the box we have tried to put him in and as God he does the work of Grace in our hearts and the hearts of those we “minister” to… it is by that Grace, through faith that anyone is saved.
“In the zealous attempt to do for God what we do not believe he can do for himself, we have created a mythological character called the “soul winner” and then require all believers to learn his mystical ways for getting people to say the magical words that bring salvation. … often making a two fold more child of hell in the attempt.”
Fundamentalism for REAL:
“Personal fellowship with God” – As long as that personal fellowship doesn’t lead you to ever question anything that the fundy MOg says, ever.
“Fellowshipping with the saints” – As long as none of those saints come from churches that the MOg has any disagreement with what-so-ever.
“Spiritual schedule” – Don’t ever question whether the schedule your MOg sets for you is actually a matter of spirituality.
“All night prayer” – Well, we like to brag about it more then actually doing it.
“Bible study” – Like personal fellowship with God, fine as long as it doesn’t induce you to question your MOg, fundy dogma, or encourage you think for yourself.
“Standards” – As set down by men, not God. Pharisees? Us? Noooooooooo…
“Humor” – Making fun of people and churches we don’t like is funny. Jokes our pastor like are funny. Anything the MOg doesn’t like is automatically not humorous.
“Old Time Hymns” – Except for those that are too old (a.k.a. “Catholic”)
“King James Bible only” – Except for those fundies that don’t.
“Smiles” – Big, happy, and fake if necessary. Even if the person wearing it is truly in pain.
“Strong Bible preaching at Bible Conferences” – The first “Bible” should be replaced with “pet issues.”
“Heroes of the faith” – a.k.a. Famous fundy preachers and missionaries (men only, of course).
“Pastoral leadership” – Pastoral lordship, completely without accountability.
“Deacon boards who serve” – …the pastor, instead of the poor, widows, and orphans like the Bible says they’re supposed to.
“Feeding the poor, Clothing the poor” – *snort* 😆 😆 😆 Since when? 😆 😆 😆
“Caring for shut-ins” – As long as they tithe. And we can brag about how caring we are.
“Going to the church altars regularly” – Gotta stroke the pastor’s ego. He gets all pissy if you don’t.
“Love for churches of like faith and order” – That’s what Jesus really want us to do. Ignore all that other stuff the Bible said.
“Love for men of God” – Their true level of godliness not withstanding.
“Ladies who look like ladies, Men who look like men” – What ladies and men should look like as determined by the MOg and no one else. After all, a lady certainly can’t decided what a lady should look like.
“Tithes and offerings” – Money money money money, MONEY$$$!
And of course Jesus was left off the list. As was “loving others” (Gray’s selective love doesn’t count), and actually applying the Word of God. These things just aren’t important.
Sadly, I think you’re pretty much spot-on in your depiction!
maybe banana pudding made the list because it is the only sanctified way to eat bananas (since in their original form they have evil phallic significance, particularly when eaten by women).
No, banana pudding made the list because it’s heavenly!
Awww, Bob Gray wants to be like Darrell. That’s cute.
Isn’t it, though?
Its cute when fundy websites/preachers try to lash out against this blog without admitting that they have actually read it.
reading over the list: a few things on it are pleasant, but I think that the list in general is an indictment as to why so many of us are repulsed at the notion of going to one of these “churches.” I am quite sure that one prominent instruction was given to us (His followers) and it was not “tithes” or “men should look like men.” Granted, these may be a good fit for some, but the guilt that is cast on non-compliers defeats the single, prominent command that we are given.
Incidentally, “amens”, “altar calls”, “childrens choirs” don’t sound very good/pleasant to me at all. I guess I must not be “fundamental baptist” enough…
The sound of their own voice.
throughaglassdarkly – lol, and it’s only funny cause it’s so true 😉
Hmm, considering that I’m not overly fond of fifteen, count ’em fifteen, things on the list, I’m afraid that I will not be “Gray-sanctified” any time soon.
This list did prompt me to visit his blog, where I stumbled upon the interesting claim that it had received 37,000 visits in the last month. As a blogger myself, I find myself lacking the credulity that any blog could receive that many visits and wind up with 0 comments. 🙄
I noticed that as well (at least on the bottom of the post containing this list, so its probably the same for the rest). It said “only members of this blog may post a comment” or something similar. He probably either lets only those that agree with him become members, or you have to leave a lot of personal information to become a member so that he will be able to “correct” dissenters. 🙄
Obsessing on hair length for men and boys. If a baby boys hair touches his ears, he will grow up to be gay.