185 thoughts on “Being (BAM!) Qualified”

  1. That’s one thing I’m thankful about Plymouth Brethren (the fundy denomination in which I grew up) – they don’t do church membership. Everything’s relatively informal. So I have zero experience with this.

    That being said, being so informal with no process and being autonomous like the IFB makes it difficult to screen people and makes it even easier for abusive people to just change churches with no recourse.

    1. I grew up in the Plymouth Brethren as well. For a fundy group, at least they are not so authoritarian driven. I also think they are somewhat more reverent in their view of worship than are Baptists.

      Then again, they are prey to the cult of personality.

    1. Dear Polished Shaft:

      Out of respect for forum participants who still hold baptistic convictions, I don’t go there.

      Christian Socialist

      1. For roughly 1,000 years the church struggled to reform through Law. The mendicants, desert fathers, and other protest groups sought to topple the decadence and wickedness of Rome through acts of mostly asceticism. Then one bright young monk named Martin Luther realized that perhaps the root of the nonsense was theological. And the reformation was born. Perhaps we could all learn from Luther.

        1. Dear Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

          The thing about Luther is that he did so many things so well! Even where one may disagree with him, Luther does things well. LOL! Every month, I get to be an honorary Lutheran; I’m involved in a pericope study with some Lutheran pastors. GREAT fellowship!

          Christian Socialist

        2. I definitely disagree with Luther’s virulent anti-Semitism, but yes, he was a remarkable man in many, many ways.

      1. We’re all adults here. Let’s name this SHIT for what it is. It’s a big pile of SHIT and so many people are up to their “modest necklines” in it!

        Can you tell you’ve hit a never with me? Ugh!!! πŸ‘Ώ

        1. Dear IFBNoMore:

          Runs for cover, draws and stands in the center of a circle, sprinkles holy water everywhere — all at the mention of that unspeakable word …



          Christian Socialist

        2. Well, being new, I’m not completely familiar with standards here. I learned to cuss in a sewing workshop, and I know for pretty florid and creative profanity. But some people are more twitchy about a woman cussing than a man, you know?

  2. re: Paragraph 4… are they aware that rules like this “hurt the testimony” much more than seeing someone go to a movie or have a beer? Which is a prospective convert more likely to say?

    a)”I will not accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, because I saw one of your churchmembers in a movie theater!”

    b)”I will not accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, because your rules for living make this world as much of a hell as the one you say I’m going to, and if that’s what your heaven is like, I want no part of it.”

    1. “…by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have really high standards…”

  3. File Under Things That Make You Go, ‘Hmmmmmm.’

    ‘the Word of God, and/or the standards of this church.’

    Christian Socialist

    1. In Retrospect, I Ought To Have Said …

      β€˜the Word of God, and/or the standards of this church.’

      Christian Socialist

    2. Good point.

      I remember hearing lots of sermons railing against Catholics for equating the teachings of their church with Scripture, but fundies also have traditions which they revere equal to (or greater than) what the Bible actually says.

      1. I too remember many sermons like that (I’m in a predominantly Catholic area). However the similarities between the two churches are interesting. I found it curious that it was always an attack on Catholics; never Episcopalians, or Pentecostals, etc.

      2. Dear pastor’s wife:

        You know you really are a gem. Aren’t you. Perhaps without knowing, you summed the final words from the Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 29, as it distinguishes the true and false Church:

        ‘As for the false Church, she ascribes more power and authority to herself and her ordinances than to the Word of God [Co 2:18-19], and will not submit herself to the yoke of Christ [ Ps 2:3] Neither does she administer the sacraments, as appointed by Christ in His Word, but adds to and takes from them as she thinks proper; she relieth more upon men than upon Christ; and persecutes those who live holily according to the Word of God [Rev. 12:4; John 16:2], and rebuke her for her errors, covetousness, and idolatry [Re 17:3,4,6]. These two Churches are easily known and distinguished from each other.’

        Many years ago, I showed this to a woman who had left first the Mormons and then the Jehovahs. She went off her nut [shouting, jumping, etc.]. Then she clutched the old psalter hymnal book to her breast and said with tears pouring from her eyes that I could not imagine the abuse she would have been spared had she known of those lines!

        Thank you for making me recall that precious moment.

        Now tell that pastor of yours that he’s taking you out for supper!

        Christian Socialist

    3. Yes, the use of the disjunction (combined disjunctionally with the conjunction) tells the tale. “We can’t just rely on the Word of God for this, that leaves people wiggle room!” Not to mention the requirement for “providential hindering” or the “total cooperation” with the pastor and program of the church. A single authoritative person.
      OTOH, I guess it’s OK to go see a movie filmed in the UK – “Trainspotting,” anyone?

      1. Dear Der_Berater:

        Isn’t it odd how while condemning some for saying that the Bible is full of holes, they then create tons of filling where the Bible is silent … πŸ™„

        Christian Socialist

  4. Every time I read something like this I am reminded of the hypocrisy in fundamental circles. From the pulpit the MOGs will lambaste mainline Protestant denominations because of their perceived “reliance on creeds”. The MOG will deride this as something extra/un-biblical…essentially accusing them of “adding to the bible”. But here – in black and white – they clearly put the “standards of the church” on par with the Word of God (Item #4). The typical MOG causistry is such that they can manipulate the bible to appear to support any of their unbiblical pet peeves without one shred of embarrasment.

    1. Amen, Bro Bluto! That’s one of the things that I always bring up when talking about the IFB hating on other Protestants! They just make up their own instead of adopting anyone else’s…easier for them to change what they want on a whim!

  5. “Sunday school, Sunday morning and Sunday evening services, Wednesday Bible study, Revival services, and all other special meetings … at least spend two hours each week in personal, soul winning visitation.”

    So apparently nobody’s allowed to have a day job or a family?

    1. You can’t give up 9 Hours (3 for Sun Morn/2 Sun Night, 2 Wed Night and 2 for Soulwinning) of your time per week? You must not be devoted to the Lord. πŸ‘Ώ

      1. When we were in ministry, we once calculated how our time was spent. Literally, every hour of the day was taken with things like Sunday School lesson prep, preparing/planning music, typing bulletins, contacting church members, working (a full-time “secular” job for my spouse, homeschooling & housekeeping for me), home/vehicle maintenance, etc., etc., etc. There was absolutely no “free time,” we were actually cutting our sleep to get everything done, and our family was definitely suffering.

        Fundies need to remember God created the family before the church. If they drive the families into the ground, there won’t be anyone to shell out big $$$ to the church.

    2. Big Gary,

      That’s extra biblical too. Nowhere, that I know, does the bible say…Sunday school, Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday. Actually, Acts says the early church met daily and broke bread. I believe the Roman Catholics do that…don’t they?

      1. Daily mass is available for Catholics who want it, but religous duty only requires going to mass on the “holy days of obligation” (of which there really aren’t all that many).

        1. In the U.S the holy days of obligation are every Sunday plus January 1, Ascension Thursday (40 days after Easter), August 15, November 1, December 8, December 25. A few others are technically on the list but are celebrated on the nearest Sunday thus falling under the Sunday obligation.

          That said, however, baptized and confirmed Catholics are only required to receive the eucharist a minimum of once per year, preferably at Easter.

      2. Thats just it johnyboy, there is no instruction on this in the bible at all. “Preachers” have long twisted the passage in hebrews 10:25 (note that the author is unknown) to contrive a doctrine of membership to a local 501 c3, require full attendance to every “event”. This opens the door to more abuse of power because they have convinced you that an ultimate diety has required you to be there.

        As for what “the early church” did: so what? They were a completely different culture and mindset. I am not always against traditions but tradition does not equal manditory compliance.

        1. “They were a completely different culture and mindset. I am not always against traditions but tradition does not equal manditory compliance.”

          This. We were always taught that the church was supposed to be completely separate (in every way) from the culture in which it is ministering.

          In order for proper ministry to exist, how does this occur? There has to be some relevance. With each each church era, region, and sub-culture of its community – they should be uniquely different.

          And NOTHING should ever be mandated that is not in the Bible. Period. Because then, it is God issuing the mandate and not men. Men-issued mandates result in cult-like behavior and extremely shallow (albeit fanatical) Christianity.

        2. Pixle, my friend everyone is in a different place on the escalator of “faith”. The more I study and the more I understand the bible the less I am accepting of institutionalized religion and pastor ruled church buildings. Just about everything a fundy pastor preaches on is a contrivance to further his own power in some way. There is little exception and maybe there is none.

        3. Yeah, I’ll give you that. And I was really only agreeing with you in my post.

          I know that Jesus sure didn’t have a lot of good things to say about organized/institutionalized religion. πŸ’‘

  6. I guess I’m damned. I now have the shortest haircut I’ve had since I was six, yet my hair touches my ears.
    Also, I read magazines.

    1. Neener, neener, my hair’s shorter than yours! πŸ˜›

      Oh, wait. Being a woman, I probably don’t get Fundy points for a short ‘do….
      Also, I read.



    2. Big Gary, why did I just somehow know that you are a hippie? Hey man, free love! Don’t trust anyone over 30!

  7. I was on an IFBChurch staff years ago and had to sign a document similar to this as well as fill out a detailed weekly service report of all my activities every Monday morning…resorted to inaccurate reporting to escape the public humiliation at staff meetings…I could go on…left this hypocrisy years ago ❗

    1. A family member attends a Baptist college and they regularly publicly embarrass ministry workers who aren’t being superman.

    2. I remember my small Fundy school having everyone stand who went to church on Sunday. I begged my mom the Monday after being sick all weekend to let me stay home so I wouldn’t be humiliated in front of the whole high school. I hated that practice even when I did buy into the Fundy creed.

  8. I spent about 10 years in a GARB Baptist church where a similar list was pasted inside the hymnbook cover. So I went to another GARB church and most (if not all) of the items in #4 were practiced regularly by ‘leadership’, and continues to this day. I guess it “just depends”…..

    1. Yeah, another GARBage survivor. I don’t remember seeing these rules in print, but know that they were followed, except women wore pants/slacks and we had mixed swimming.

  9. Ugh! I wonder if any of my family members have signed anything like this, I may have to inquire about that. I love how they mention “Hollywood” movies…I wonder if Kirk Cameron’s movies are ok?

    1. Sure! Fundies can watch movies as long as they’re not well-done Hollywood films with good acting.

    2. Kirk Cameron is a liberal compromiser. Only BJU films are OK. Break out Sheffey and Wine of Morning!! Oh yeah, and that alcohol-is-evil. . .I mean, “Baseball” film, too.

    3. Yes, Kirk Cameron movies are ok for several reasons.
      (1) Poor quality acting
      (2) Poor theology
      (3) Perpetration of guilt
      (4) Many are direct to video so we don’t have to visit the dens of iniquity
      (5) He’s a Christian
      (6) Our preacher says that it’s fine

    4. LOL! Love it! I don’t think I have been subjected to the BJU movies…if I have I must have blocked it out. I do remember being repeatedly subjected to “Savannah Smiles” at church movie nights. That was back when there was a lot of preaching about TVs and a lot of people got rid of their sets. At least until the preacher decided that it was ok to have one to watch certain things…like the news and football. Cause we all know there isn’t anything in a football game that can tempt a man into lust…not at all… πŸ˜€

    1. Porn is OK, if it wasn’t made in Hollywood. I prefer German and Russian porn anyway, so that’s cool. I think the MOG likes porn, too, even though he preaches on it almost weekly. He just seems to know a little too much if you know what I mean.

  10. So I read the document carefully. Nowhere in there does it say you promise not to swap wives with one of your deacons or molest your teenage daughter. So I guess the pastor could sign it with a clear conscience.

    In light of what happened at that church and in that family, irony doesn’t begin to cover it.

      1. Tom Smith (the pastor of the church this document came from) did swap wives with one of his deacons and abuse his own daughter. That’s what I was referring to.

        1. Am I the only one who finds that story highly doubtful? Maybe my wife and I don’t have as good a relationship as those other men. If I wanted to swap wives I really don’t think my wife would go for that. She likes me too much to want to trade for awhile and be with another man. Does that make me a bad husband for not having my wife in subjection who would sleep with another man on command?

        2. I really don’t understand how this wife-swapping stuff is done. Maybe I’m naive and a country bumpkin who isn’t urbane enough about how this is done. Are you telling me you can just find any wife in the world who looks good and send an email to the husband and your wives will automatically trade? Is my wife stupid? She wouldn’t go for that. I have never for the life of me understood how this works. Even if I had an affair the other lady would have to like me to want to have an affair. I don’t get how you can just tell a woman to be with you and she will.

        3. The wife swap did happen. And, as best as I can recall, was not the only one involving church leadership at that time.

    1. Oh yeah. I saw The Burning Hell at church back in the 1970s when I was 3 or 4 years old. Great movie for kids. (Not.)

      If you liked The Burning Hell, be sure to check out If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (It’s on YouTube). I especially enjoyed the Castro V Jesus candy scene.


      1. So Jack Chick made feature films?

        I was praying for Jesus to make the teacher’s fake mustache fall off, but it didn’t happen.

      2. I am still so disappointed that “If Footmen Tire You…” isn’t X-rated. With a title like that, it really should be! 😈

      3. Watching that clip, my thought was, “It’s a good thing Cuba has socialized dental care.”

        Was that NOT the correct take-away?

    2. Ron Ormond is the man responsible for the production and direction of The Burning Hell and If Footmen Tire You… Prior to his conversion after a plane accident, he produced exploitation films such as The Monster and the Stripper, and The Girl from Tobacco Row.

      One of his last projects was The Grim Reaper, a film dedicated to John R. Rice featuring fundamentalist luminaries such as Jack van Impe, Jerry Falwell, and Bob Gray as “guest preachers”.


      1. I always like it when someone tries to make a movie on a budget of about $7.00.

        Nontheless, I think I’ve seen about enough of these Ron Ormond preacher pics.

  11. Among the many other things I’ve learned since I found this site, it’s that I’m very, very, thankful that the fundy churches I grew up in weren’t this nutty.

    1. I feel the same way about my favorite formerfundy church–the one we attended through much of my time as a teenager. They didn’t call themselves IFB, they weren’t legalistic, and the pastor was a truly humble man. My only indictment of them is that they were too conservative-minded to speak out against their bedfellows in the IFB movement; they limited their criticism to Catholics, ultra-liberal megachurches, and atheists (like shooting fish in a barrel).

  12. Go straight to #7, Get out of Jail free, do not pass go, do not put any $ in the collection plate.

    The opening emotionally manipulative statement sets the tone and the stage for the guilt that follows. “Oh… you don’t believe in #2? Well then: you hate Christ, and you don’t want to see his kingdom thrive, and you hate the word of God and you hate church.”

    1. This reminds me of a time when I was in high school, and I had a dentist appointment and missed first hour class, which was Bible Quiz. Since I missed class, I didn’t do my homework figuring I could put it off another day and turn it in the next day in class. Well at lunch, the teacher came up asking me for my homework. I explained I hadn’t done it yet, because I knew I wouldn’t be in class. She said, “What’s the matter? You don’t like me? You don’t like this class? You don’t love the Bible?” I just sat there with my mouth open in shock, not quite sure what to say. She she just said “Turn it in tomorrow!” and then left.

      1. Wow! You had a female as your Bible teacher??? 😯

        Oh, was that not the correct takeaway from your story? It’s awful how that teacher went off on you. It shows a level of insecurity that I find very common in the Christian school setting, at least in my experience.

  13. “Avoid Hollywood movies.” Are there any movies besides Hollywood movies?

      1. Wow. BJU (my alma mater’s sworn enemy). One question: any particular reason they chose the word “unusual”? Doesn’t seem like a smart choice for sales!

        1. that comes from the “World’s Most Unusual University” which was BJU’s tagline for decades.

      2. Dear Don:

        When I was at BJU, it was said that the term ‘unusual films’ began as swim class and a student asked, ‘what’s that weird stuff around the edge of the pool?

        Christian Socialist

      3. Dear Don:

        When I was at BJU, it was said that the term ‘unusual films’ began as swim class ended and a student asked, ‘what’s that weird stuff around the edge of the pool?

        Christian Socialist

    1. I guess that means Bollywood movies are OK. Some are in English, and the ones in Hindi that make it to the US are often dubbed or have English subtitles.

  14. “Testimony of the church” and “the cause of Christ”… funny which one is listed first.

    Our Church standards = the cause of Christ
    In fact, out standards are greater…

    1. Number 2. Support the pastor and program of the church with 100% loyalty and total cooperation….not support Christ….the Bible….the Holy Spirits leading…ect.

    2. Dear Don:

      Give to our church/preacher such loyalty and devotion as Scriptures reserves for God alone.

      Christian Socialist

      1. That’s one of the most insidious things about the IFB in particular, this idea of Spiritual Equivalence to godhood found in the pulpits. The pastor is somehow this “chosen, anointed, supersanctimonious superior christian who has god’s ear and speaks for God.” The thing that irks me the most is the hierarchy/caste system found in the church. Because the pulpit is elevated over the crowd the men who dwell in one begin to believe they are elevated as well.

        1. Not just IFB. That sort of thinking is rife in pentecostal denominations too, and any dissension is held down with the ‘touch not the Lord’s anointed’ stuff. I was told that I was ‘stiff-necked’ and rebellious for suggesting that there might be a problem with this.

  15. The “Avoid Hollywood movies” was strange. I don’t know what they mean – do they mean just “don’t get caught going to a movie theater? Or do they mean that movies made in New York are OK? Or do they mean even Hollywood DVDs are bad? (It was funny to visit a church with such standards and hear the staff members kids talk about the Hollywood movies that they had seen at home).

    What about DVDs of old television shows? Dick Van Dyke or I Love Lucy or Hogan’s Heros…

    Is Torchwood (not made in Holleywood) OK?

    I think this needs to be expanded.

    1. O, fear not GR, they can easily expand the rule if they believe that someone might actually be enjoying some movie made in New York or New Delhi. After all, those godless Hindus can’t be making anything worth watching and don’t get me started on those liberal New Yorkers. πŸ™„ πŸ˜‰

    2. Merchant-Ivory must be ok then.

      (I’m working on new vestments for Advent, and spent several days sewing and watching Merchant-Ivory films- enough that stopping at the store someone asked me where in Britain I was from. Very amusing!)

    3. Torchwood has lots of gay people. The main character is gay, his gay lover is (obviously gay), the female character makes out with a lesbian alien, and the screenwriter is gay. But it’s not made in Hollywood so it must be alright. πŸ™„

      1. I thought Harkness was bi? At least when he shows up in Doctor Who, he’ll go after anything that appears to be interested… or who doestn’t…

    4. Guilt Ridden, The sheer brilliancy of a vague elastic standard like this is how it can be expanded/ interpreted/ applied at will to fit any situation as needed.

    5. What about DVDs of old television shows? Dick Van Dyke or I Love Lucy or Hogan’s Heros…

      That’s the problem that I’ve been facing since I hit my head on a doorframe in my bathroom more than 2 years ago. I used to be able to look at anything without my conscience condemning me. Now, pretty much everything new, I hear “Immoral!” in my head all the time (football, “Scarecrow and Mrs. King,” everything).

    6. At least they said “avoid” and not “refrain from”. That gives you some wiggle room.
      “I’m so sorry, Dear Leader, but that new 3D Star Wars film was completely unavoidable!”

  16. Luke 5:27-32: After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    Odd how Jesus would not meet the standards of this church. Or the standards of so many churches. The grace of God is replaced with the laws of men, and while they claim to be Christians, they have become the Pharisees of today.

  17. What!?!?!? Nothing about Armor All?

    I demand 622 pages! (can’t believe how liberal these churches are getting!)


    1. My beat-up old Volvo doesn’t comply in the least. I run her through the car wash now and then, but the finish is going (she’s 30 years old) so it doesn’t last long. I don’t care what the tires look like so long as they’re safe. And the pile of trash on the floor in the back… if I have to transport something valuable, I put it there. Who’s going to rummage through the trash on the off-chance that there’s something under it?

  18. Wow, total control and support of the pastor with 100% loyalty. Rules, rules and more rules. At least 10% of your wages so at least they get some “cash back” on their investment.

    There is a reason I’ve left the IFB and the organized “church” in general. Our fundystan was just like this, but without the rules being written down. We were pointed out by name from the pulpit for our transgressions and had to guess what the rules were. And yes, the rules were changed when it fit the mog’s agenda.

  19. …does this mean they’re totally ok with guys wearing dresses? They specifically prohibit women from slacks or shorts, but also say dresses are ok (without any form of sex or gender restriction). So… can I go to their church wearing a dress? Now THIS is progress! :mrgreen:

    1. silly you. It has to come from Soundforth, Rejoice!, the WILDS, or some tiny Bible college quartet. Rule of thumb: if it’s commercially successful, it’s not ok.

    2. Even Classical music isn’t worthy, not even Handel’s Messiah. πŸ™„ For a full description of the only music of any kind any Good Decent Christian should be listening to, check out this link, from the ever-helpful Liberty Gospel people: http://www.libertygospeltracts.com/biblecrs/music/music1.htm
      Anything else, ANYTHING else, and you are sooooo screwed, and more importantly, It Will Affect The Newly Converted. 😯

  20. AAAAAAHHHHH!!!! This has so many triggers, it almost gave me flashbacks. I have wanted to go back and bash that pastor’s head in for making me sign that stupid thing. I cannot believe I tried to teach that bullshit to my kids. I thank God for that out of sync Professor when I was in seminary who challenged all that crap. First night of “revival” meetings the first week of school I met him on the sidewalk and he was carrying his NIV. I thought, “What a liberal.” Now I truly thank God for him. he escaped after a few years. So did I.

    1. Thanks for posting my all time fav fundie flic :mrgreen: I think I know the hippie under “conviction” 😯

    2. As a kid I was not allowed to watch any TV – but was made to watch this movie. Not having been desensitized, it caused enormous anxiety, some lasting well beyond my fundy years. I still get an odd feeling when seeing references about it.

    3. What the (pardon the expression) hell did I just see? That movie needs two robots and a guy making wisecracks underneath it. I think Manos had higher production values.

    4. Rumor has it the author/star of that film received a special award for being named Estus Pirkle.

      You’ve got to admit he earned it.

    5. Is it just me, or does the still shot of Hyles on that vid look creepy? How were we ever taken by this guy?

  21. Hello, My name is Han, and I have in the past been known to indulge in fundamentalism.

    The phrase “I’m feeling providentially hindered” has been part of the vocabulary in my family for quite some time now. I have been oppressed by a similar mindset although I have never personally signed such a document.

  22. I remember being taught that it had to be tantamount to a tree falling on your car, being hit by lightning, or going into labor, to qualify as a providential hindrance. I used to work in an AWANA spinoff club (because AWANA is too liberal, we created our own club that was so very much like it but really not at all). One night I worked alongside the assistant pastor’s wife who had given birth 2 days before. She said that she couldn’t justify not being there when she wasn’t providentially hindered. Sadly, I’m not making this up.

  23. I’ve seen similar documents, though for staff, not general membership. Many years ago, one was presented to me- I was teaching children’s church (a job I loathed) and my (then) husband was working in the Royal Rangers (scout-like program). We were told that we had to sign or we couldn’t keep our positions if we didn’t. I read it through VERY carefully, because something didn’t smell right. Condensed, it was basically a loyalty oath to the pastor, and a gag order to boot.

    I thought “They have GOT to be kidding.” They weren’t.

    I stuck my heels in firmly, and very carefully wrote out WHY (backed by scripture) I was saying no. Astoundingly enough, my husband backed me up, and we both signed the letter. I sent copies to the pastoral staff and to the board of Deacons. And we never went back.

  24. Notice what is stressed: music, movies, clothing. Where are the prohibitions against greed, adultery, dishonesty, etc., things Paul actually prohibits in Scripture? I’m sure for this church those things are covered under “habits not in keeping with the Word of God”, but after year after year of hearing only these relatively minor standards emphasized, those listening can get a warped idea of priorities. (This is a serious concern considering all the terrible examples of pastors, youth workers, and Christian school teachers who outwardly conformed to these kind of rules but secretly were involved in depraved and even criminal activity. To me, it seems that churches need to return to the essentials — the things Paul emphasized to the churches in Galatia and Ephesus, for example — instead of focusing on the things emphasized in this church agreement above.)

    1. So, it would be ok to screw one of the 16 year olds in the youth group but you better put in your 2 hours of personal soul winning that week.

      1. … As long as your hair is short, she’s not wearing “slacks or shorts,” and neither of you is listening to rock music (hard or soft).

  25. The Problem With This Form …

    … is that it claims for the church and pastor such loyalty and devotion as Scripture reserves for Christ alone.

    Christian Socialist

  26. Not only were church workers expected to sign and obey, but all members were subjected to regular sermons about how to act, dress, soul-win, and most of all, be loyal to the church. There was even a sermon every September in which the TV Guide was brought, and you were told which shows were watchable and which weren’t.

    The Honorable Doctor received his Doctor of Divinity from Hyles-Anderson for having the fastest growing Sunday School in Georgia. (Massive bus routes with bribes will do that) And everything had Dr. Thomas C. Smith on it.

    Soul-winning and standards equaled the Gospel. I’m very glad my kids missed out on that type of brain washing.

    1. “Not only were CULT workers expected to sign and obey, but all members were subjected to regular sermons about how to act, dress, soul-win, and most of all, be loyal to the CULT.”

      There I fixed it for you…

      1. Great. Now I’m a cult member. Thanks. I have seen the light since then. I will not sign anything else like this again. Grace is a wonderful discovery.

  27. I signed something similar (just w/o the references to alcohol, movie theatres, and etc.) for membership in a Southern Baptist Church.

    1. “I signed something similar (just w/o the references to alcohol, movie theatres, and etc.) for membership in a Southern Baptist CULT.”

      There I fixed it for you…

      1. You are right.

        Unfortunately, the agreement in the post is better as it seems to be just a contract. At my church, we signed “covenants”, in which if you read the old testament about certain kinds of covenants (and know the historical context), it basically states that may the party who breaks the covenant be sliced into two parts like the animals here beside us. However, I doubt that the “pastor” knew that.

  28. “Home of Forest Park Christian School”

    Tip: Don’t send your kids to a school that doesn’t know what quotation marks are for.

    1. How dare you disparage my incomplete education. We actually had an excellent grammar teacher during my high school years. Mathematics, on the other hand, was horrendous.

        1. “Honestly, I feel Sam Gipp’s nuts.”
          Yow! 😯 😯 😯
          I’d like to buy a “that,” Pat!

  29. I ran into this in the Baptist Church I used to attend. The Pastor called it “standards.” I called it Pharisaical, but not so loudly that he could hear it. I did point out that many of the things they call sinful are not sinful at all.

    Playing solitaire does not lead to gambling. Drinking wine does not lead to drunkenness. I tend to think that if Jesus made wine, I should be inclined to honor that! It wasn’t just grape juice! Jesus made the Good Stuff! And there are even OT passages encouraging the drinking of wine as a part of worship!

    However, put a Baptist preacher in a food line and it does lead to gluttony!

    As a working person who often has to work at night, I find it necessary to have time with my family. My time does not belong to the Church, it belongs to the Lord, and there are lots of priorities. Family comes before Church does, before ministry. And witnessing does not have to be connected with bringing people into the congregation under one particular pastor.

    These rules are basically rules for Pastor-worship, “teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.”

  30. I don’t understand the logic of requiring a tithe. If God wants us to be cheerful givers, does not the requirement make the money no longer a gift, but a bill to be paid?

    1. “You have to convince yourself that you ARE giving cheerfully! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ It’s amazing what a Christlike attitude will do for your perspective.”

      Sadly, I have heard sermons that were very close to this nonsense.

      1. I’ve heard that one, too, from the same guy who preached against Christmas trees, had a child molester running the children’s home, and sold his own books and tapes during the service like peanuts at a ball game.

    2. Its all about money. They must support their corporation and their vision(church empire building). Fundy pastors will hold onto the false teaching of tithing with a death grip. Even when shown the blatant error of their proof texting they will not move; I know – I tried once.

  31. Funny story… apparently that church eventually came to death’s door, called a black pastor and now they’re SBC.

    From 2008: http://www.christianindex.org/4631.article
    Reflecting on his Independent Baptist background, Goodall commented, β€œI had been praying for years about affiliating with a Baptist group that would provide more resources for ministry and a better way of networking. I looked at several Baptist denominations, but the Southern Baptist Convention seemed to be more open to black Baptist needs. I liked the Baptist Faith and Message so I decided to become a Southern Baptist.”

    1. I dont mean to be over critical here but if I understand this correctly it sounds like a chameleon changing his color. I get the sense that there are some “pastors” changing their “color” right now because its really not a good time to be a fundamentalist. So they are trying to seem more moderate and hope no one bought cds at the church bookstore of their error filled rantings from previous years.

    2. When Goodall was assistant pastor while it was still Phillips Drive Baptist, he once made the comment, “we use the King James just like the Apostle Paul did.” When challenged on that, replied, “well, you know what I mean.”

      The family member that related that soon left.

      1. I had a pastor who used to say that as a joke. “If it’s good enough for the Apostle Paul it’s good enough for me”. That was his dig at people who clung to the KJV so tightly as to believe the version itself was inspired, instead of a version of the inspired transcripts. I doubt this guy was in the same vein.

      2. That’s a very old joke about the King James Version. I don’t know if Mr. Goodall was kidding or not, though.

        1. I think he tried to repeat a witty statement he had heard, using it a bit more seriously. I’m not sure he understood it the way it was originally delivered.

      3. Oy. Really, that would not be terribly surprising. It’s nice to dream though. πŸ˜‰

  32. Re: #4–Worldly practices, and hurting the testimony/cause of Christ:

    Schools like PCC, BJU, HAC, and others have the same rules for their employees. As if lost people are lurking with binoculars outside movie theaters and Christian homes just waiting to point and say, “AHA!! Caught you! And you call yourselves Christians!”

    Please. The outside world has a life to live, and couldn’t care less how believers dress, or wear their hair, or where they go.

    The ONLY people who do care are fellow fundy believers.

    1. That is so stinking true. They are trying to put on an appearence to the world, but the ways they are trying is in ways that the world couldn’t give a shit about.

  33. What happened to Pastor Tom Smith from Phillips Drive Baptist church? Wasn’t his wife the daughter of Jacky Hyles? What was her name? I went to the christian school and one day my Mom’s car ran out of gas. It was raining but she walked back to the school. They would not let her use the phone because she was wearing pants. Needless to say that was my last day!! I also remember Pastor Tom telling us in chapel that he mows the grass in a suit coat and tie so he can be a good testimony to his neighbors. Funny but sad!!

    1. He left Phillips Drive at the beginning of 1984 or 85. 84 I think. I saw him May of 1989. He was married to the ex wife (and past teacher) of one of the FPCS high school teachers, and was in the finance department of a Cadillac dealership in the Dallas area.

      He also bragged about wearing a tie while playing first base on the church softball team. He said it was to “earn respect” because he was such a young pastor.

      I’m pretty sure it was one of his brothers that was married to Hyles daughter. I forget which one.

  34. I went to the christian school this man ran, Forest Park Christian School, and had to sign an agreement…a control freak, couldn’t listen to “rock+roll, as a female, couldn’t wear pants…etc. among many other don’ts” I could tell you some stories about this man…like the time he called me into his office because of “rumors” he had heard. I told the school principle, Mr. John, that he wanted to see me and I was worried…he told me, no problem, if there was something, he would know. Tom Smith proceeded to grill me on my past sex life (I had only kissed) and any drugs I had used (maybe pot before I got there, it was the 70s). He got off and intimated me for over an hour and, as a 16 yr old, I left hysterical. I went back to the principle crying and he was shocked and visibly upset. Then, at our senior trip, “Dr.” Tom showed up for a day and while we were playing tennis, provocatively patted both me and my friend on our butts with his tennis racquet?!? I was scared to tell my parents at the time but did later. At our 5 year reunion (after he had been booted from the church), Mr. John apologized to me for not stepping up when I told him what was going on. I haven’t looked back since! There was a lot going on after…he was having an affair with someone in the church (along with a few of his deacons)…the whole church blew up. His wife was not the daughter of Jack Hyles (although he was his mentor) but a huge evangelical in FL who was the keynote at our graduation (can’t recall his name, thankfully). I’m believe I heard she left him and he ended up selling Cadillacs in TX (or maybe that was just a rumor among some who hoped that was true)!

    1. One of his brothers is married to Hyles’ daughter. Tom became a finance person at a Cadillac dealer in Texas. I don’t know what he is doing now. I ran into him in Greenville, SC a few years after he left PDBC and FPCS. It was a bit awkward as he showed me pictures of his two newest kids with the new wife.

      I tried to find a copy of the conduct code we signed to attend the school, but have been unsuccessful. That would be fun to share here.

  35. My memory is fuzzy about this, but I seem to remember that a pastor at Phillips Drive Baptist Church shot and killed a man that was attempting to steal a bus from the parking lot. This would have happened in the sixties or early seventies, and if I’m not mistaken, the pastor may have gone to prison over this incident. Does anyone else remember this?

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