Shame

The collegian president gestured energetically as he talked, his green polo shirt proclaiming his pride in the Pi Zeta Delta Wolverines. David was always energetic. Next year that energy for all things PCC would propel him to be the only African-American residence manager on this majority white campus.

“We’re really close to taking that Christian Service trophy this year!” he shouted, “I don’t want us to come in second place. We’re going to continue our tradition of winning!”

Cheers came from all sides of the crowded class room. I didn’t cheer. I didn’t even look up. As far as I was concerned this was a wasted hour that would be better spent studying or sleeping. But with so little sanctioned entertainment on campus a lot of students really seemed to enjoy the chance to whoop and holler and play games that resulted in someone vomiting up half a liter of warm root beer.

David continued on at full volume. “I want every guy in this room right now to raise their hand and promise to go out on Christian service this week. There are plenty of things to choose from: you can go down witnessing in Seville Square, you can do bible clubs, you can go talk to guys at the Boy’s Base…”

I groaned internally as he went on listing all the various opportunities for spending hours of your weekend out soul-winning. I was already taking eighteen credits of classes and working over twenty hours a week to pay my tuition. Even if I could spare the time, I was not at all impressed with the idea of going on one of these “ministries.” The brags heard in Saturday night hall meeting from the guys who claimed to have had double digits of people gloriously saved told me everything I needed to know about the true nature of these programs. I wanted no part of them.

Up in the front of the room David was wrapping up his plea. “Ok, guys. Raise your hands and make a promise to the Lord that you’re going to go out there and witness and help us win that trophy.”

Hands shot up all over the room. I glanced around and felt a little sick as i realized that I was the lone abstainer. In a few seconds every eye in the room was on me.

“Dow!” said David “What’s the problem, man? Make the promise so we can have 100% comittment!”

I shook my head. No. I wasn’t going to participate in a gospel charade just so he would win a trophy.

“C’mon what’s the matter?” he repeated and now grumbles were echoing from around the room.

“I’m not going to go on Christian service for a trophy or because I’m being forced into it.” I said quietly.

David seemed taken aback. “Oh, we’re not doing it for the trophy,” he said quickly. “We just want to go serve the Lord.”

I just shook my head again. It wasn’t true but there was no point arguing it.

“Oh, wait, you’re in the church choir,” he said smiling triumphantly. “We get Christian service points for that so you’re already covered.”

The angry stares aimed at my head abated and the meeting went on to the important tasks of hazing freshmen and finding somebody stupid enough to drink a glass of water that three other guys had already gargled.

My few friends in the collegian didn’t understand why I didn’t go along with the crowd that day. Peer pressure and public shaming is fine if you use it for good, after all. Two years later when I walked across the stage and received my diploma I still hadn’t been on a single Christian service outing. I hadn’t knocked on the door of a weary Presbyterian, wrangled a prayer out of neighborhood kid, or accosted a drunk on a city street. Strangely enough, I was completely at peace with that. I felt no grief at all.

If you’ve ever wondered where pastors learn their strong-arm techniques for keeping people in line, the training grounds are scenes much like this one. And that is a real shame.

181 thoughts on “Shame”

  1. Ditto for me. Never went on one single hour of christian service in my 4 years at PCC. And I still haven’t lost one single hour of sleep over it.

  2. at my FU we started making up hilarious hyperbole on the “Christian Service Report” forms just to see if anyone was actually reading them. The obscene numbers of tracts handed out (specifically calculated to be physically impossible for one person in the given time frame) never caused a flutter, it was only the made up or uncheckable churches listed that resulted in a meeting with the dean of men.

  3. I’m surprised they didn’t sit there until you raised your hand. My youth leader used to talk about his pastor making them sit until every hand would be raised. Hank and his gf would hold out until they raised their hands. He said it became a game.

  4. Because I am a Presbyterian/Quaker, I liked your comment about knocking on the door of a weary Presbyterian. Chances are, you would not have found any one there because, at least in much of our nations history, Presbyterians were about the Gospel, not only preaching, but establishing hospitals, involved in China missions, hospitals in Cameron Africa and much more. Include, too, the establishment of many good colleges and Universities (Princeton), etc. Come to think about it, how many hospitals do you hear about started by the Fundies None, is the answer. And as far as schools, I guess the only contribution is moving science and other areas of knowledge backwards to the 14th century.

    1. At one of the Presbyterian churches I attended, we came out of service one Sunday morning to find a bunch of Fundies standing in the church parking lot handing out tracts. I guess they thought that a Presbyterian service wasn’t good enough for our souls.

    2. PQ, you shouldn’t have said that. Now you are going to get this entire site to hate Harvard for being way too conservative and too Christian, at least at its founding. Some of these regulars will never forgive Harvard for at least starting out as a conservative, Christian-centric college, even though they no longer ar.

      1. Who, Jenkins? Name names, dude, NOW. Considering that a rather large part of the regular posters are still Christians, that would be a strange thing for anyone here to have a problem with. Name names. Do it, you little coward.

        BTW, if you dare to say “LMcC” or “Darrell” (or whatever misspelling abomination you care to come up with this week), then I and every poster familiar with either one of us will know you are a liar straight from the pit of Hell.

    1. Didn’t you have to fill out forms as to what you did? How could you manage to lie on them, or, knowing that you intended to do homework, how could you say you were doing something else? That is always what caught me – I could never bring myself to lie on the forms.

      1. PCC it wasn’t required to attend so you only filled out if you wnated credit for the service. I didn’t fill one out the one time I went. I also figured out by my senior year how to game the system of never turning any attendance card in and taking the 3 demerits, and skipping what I wanted, and not skipping what I didn’t mind attending and always telling them that I lost my card. Also I always answered that I read whatever. They called it an honesty test, I called it a quiz/test that you already knew the answer to and could choose to get right or wrong.

    2. Me, too. After the first year or so, I realized that I could just sit in the back and catch up on reading. Probably everyone knew I was doing it, but no one called me out.

      My society (BJU version) was abysmally stupid and cliquish anyway. I distinctly remember not being able to make real friends with any of the girls in my groups, though I knew and spent time with them for three and a half years.

      1. Lady Julian, that is how it was with me too. I hated society. I made 1 friend out of it. And mostly because she agreed with me.
        Mine was more the super-spiritual type. I could have left it the first semester of my junior year, because I was 23, but I held out a semester, thinking it might get better. Lasted almost the whole semester until the chaplain felt the need to share week after week that her roommate was in the process of getting kicked out and how she had hardened her heart and seared her conscience and all those other fun fundy phrases. IMHO, that fact that her roommate was getting kicked out was no one’s business and who was she to be passing judgement on this girl? Yeah, I stood that for about 2 weeks and then I was outta there! And I never regretted it.

  5. At my Fundy U, I purposely joined a very low-key, non “rah-rah” Society. I guess we were too low key. We were disbanded my Senior year. The options given us to join in its place were miserable. I spent the year sitting in the back of the room with a buddy from the old Society, just doing time. I never acknowledged the new group. I may have been the only one in the yearbook in the disbanded group.

    We did have a neighborhood Bible club as an outreach, but it was never forced and it was more of a fun time to teach, not a high pressure sales tactic to make the “get out of Hell free” offer to kids.

    That was my second Fundy U. The first did not have any Faux Fraternities. Nor do I remember any ridiculous pressure to go out ministering, although the opportunities were present. I had work mates that went downtown and street preached. Even back then, I was dubious about the results of such things.

  6. As leaders/ teachers in our church the same was required. Lets see Tuesday soulwinning, weds church, thursday soulwinning, Saturday bus calling and Saturday night prayet meeting and then the sunday all day long choir, teaching, nursing home ministry, choir practice, sunday night church. Whew!!! Tired just thinking about it. Not to mention homeschooling my children and working a part time job. Does this sound unreal? This was my life for 20 years.

    1. I understand. Not only did we have this: http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2012/10/being-bam-qualified/ , but we also filled out a report at the Sunday night teacher meetings that assured we were at all of the services and ministries required, or an explanation for what was missed. I missed a Wednesday night after I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I wrote that I missed due to an amputation. I found out the reports were actually read after I did that.

        1. How does that work? I would think that with buying and maintaining buses, fuel costs to pick up and return kids, and brib. . .er, rewards, to kids for getting on the bus at all, bus ministry would cost money rather than generate it.

        2. In some churches, the ones who work in the BusMinistry are expected to spend money out of their own pocket for promotions.

          Many churches take money designated for “Missions” and pay for part of the cost of the Bus Ministry (I personally consider that dishonest, especially if the membership are unaware that it is going on).

          But, in general, I don’t see how it could possibly be a revenue stream — I do know that at one church we had a bus ministry, and we were urged to give funds to it, if we didn’t participate.

          Bus ministries are good to pump up numbers and to get bragging rights.

        3. Nah, Bus Ministry is something fundys do for the Poor, so we don’t actually have to give them stuff.

          Also, it generates easy short-term attendance inflation. Adults can’t be bribed into the services with candy.

  7. All,

    Are all students required to maintain membership in one of these clubs?

    Is attendance at regular meetings required?

    Can the clubs reject or vote on members? expel non-participants like yourself? Can you switch clubs if they irritate you?

    Are faculty monitors/advisors present during meetings or do they trust you as a group to follow policies?

    Any outside hazing, or just during the meetings like described?

    Any outside activities, like outings to the beach as a group? Formal dinners with dates?

    I am very curious as a former member of a national greek letter fraternity at State U. Thanks.

    1. My answers are based on rules at BJU in the 80s and 90s.

      All students were required to join a society. Once in, you were in for all four years and could not opt out or switch. Societies accepted all who wanted to join (although I suppose you could be really mean to people during rush week so they wouldn’t WANT to join you).

      Chapel met four times a week. On the fifth weekday, society met during the time usually allocated for chapel. Society meeting involved lots of cheering, sometimes games or skits, and a Bible lesson. There were no faculty in attendance at our meetings. (That would never seem to be an issue at BJU where there was always someone who would turn you in if you broke a rule.) Societies also met Sunday mornings for Sunday school. Both the weekly meeting and Sunday school were required. Wednesday night I think the societies also had prayer meeting, but they were not required.

      You were able to play sports through your societies; there were the big sports like soccer or softball, but there were also swim meets or shuffleboard. (I only know this because one year we had an athletic director that got us involved in EVERY possible sport to garner us a huge amount of points!)

      Societies were also required to have a debate team that had to debate twice. If you wanted, you could continue on for a full round of debate culminating in the finals for a trophy. We may have had to form a team to participate in a quiz competition too (again, just among other societies). Every year, each society would have an outing just for members and a dating outing. A dating outing was the one place ever that you might be allowed to hold hands and not get in trouble, and that was only during certain games that required hand-holding as part of the game. Any other physical contact was completely forbidden.

      Our ministry outreach was called extension, and it was not done through our societies (though some societies may have offered an outreach).

      1. By the time I went to BJU, it was not required for societies to participate in debate. Instead, there was an actual debate team that competed with other schools.

        1. They had a real debate team in my time too, but they also required us to at least once (well, twice) a year to participate in competition just between societies. I surprisingly found out that I enjoyed the speaking part of it, but I found myself easily bored researching subjects I didn’t care about. (And if I did care about the topic, I hated having to argue the opposite point of view.)

    2. 1. Yes.
      2. Yes. Unless a work student.
      3. No.
      4. No.
      5.No.
      6. Yes; beach? Haha I laugh. We had “dating outings” and I went on one and only one. Most of them were canoeing down some river or something. They were very lame. Sometimes they would play games where you got to hold your date’s hand. It was very lame and that is why I looked around disgustedly on the one I went on and swore to never get on that crazy train again. Even uncool fundies have their limits.

      1. Re: the beach, I meant same-sex beach going, not “mixed bathing”, since I thought PCC allowed same-sex beach trips.

        This is all incredibly fascinating. It is sometimes hard to believe that you all are telling the truth about these places.

        I would love to go undercover there for a short time and see this in person. Of course there is the Al Franken book, but I think he is a bit of a jerk, so never looked at it.

        1. Andy, it’s sometimes hard to believe we STAYED in these places. But I was born and raised in this. This was all the norm, and didn’t seem strange.

          Girls could go to the beach I believe in groups of 5. There were certain beaches that were allowed and others that weren’t. Everything was very micromanaged and you would really need to see it to believe it. If you went for a short time you would see how unbelievable it is that any of us stayed. I’m glad I realized how enslaved a Christian life like that was.

        2. And one of the five girls had to be a junior or senior room leader…

          I never bothered going to the beach in my 4 years at PCC because it would have been too much of a hassle and too time-consuming.

    3. Oh Andy, Andy, Andy…the stories we could all tell…and yes all are true. You remind me of when I got out of BJU and went out with co-workers who looked at me like I was insane when I would try to explain some of the more “tame” stuff about the rules of BJU in the late 80’s. I knew they could never handle the really hard-core stuff. Interestingly, I tend to get the same reaction today from my fellow Southern Baptist friends, who for the most part have never heard of BJU, PCC or IFB fundamentalism, in general. A couple of beers are usually necessary to free up my repressed recollections

  8. I went to PCC for 1 year, 21 years ago. I remember sitting in the back at collegian meetings while they were shouting and running around. I just did my homework and kept my head down. That spring, I transferred out and never looked back. For 4 years they sent me stuff to try and get me to come back. I only sent 1 reply back and was not sure anyone even read it. It stated, “For 8 months you tried your best to kick me out, and now you want me back? Why?” I never got a reply. It makes me wonder how that place stays open.

    1. ktmrc8, I wish I wish I wish I wish I would have done what you did. The only real thing I find salvageable from PCC was the friendships I made with many people that carry on to this day. All the other things I acquired there in spite of the rubbish heaped upon me (such as my education) I could have acquired at another places sans abuse and possibly may have come away with better quality education.

      But my parents insisted that I go and “try” PCC…. they would not relent and were incessant. I fought them for a while but decided that I would yield to their “maturity” and “guidance”. I now realize that they are unfortunately mired in the fundamentalist mindset and that mindset clouds ones judgement. Once I gave PCC a “try” I was stuck because I was an art major and nothing would transfer… in my particular situation it would have set me back 2 years worth of college credits and bills and I would have had to basically start all over…. so I fought through and barely made it out of there with a diploma. But the experience there helped open my eyes to false institutionalized religion.

      1. That was something that really bothered me. First you are told that you should go for one year and “try it”. Then, once you’re there, you are told that “God led you here, and quitting would be leaving the will of God.” Once you arrive, there’s no chance to say “Okay, I tried it and it wasn’t for me”.

  9. The main problem with fundy Christian colleges is that they are in direct opposition to what the Bible tells us to do. We are supposed to “go into the world” and be “fishers of men.”. BJU, PCC, Hyles and all the rest think they have to build walls to keep their students safe from the world. They try to make these places quasi-churches, to the point that they actually rule out churches that students are allowed to attend.

    Then, when they “train” the future fishers of men, they teach dynamite fishing. Light a stick, and throw it into the pond. That, or scream at the fish until they jump into the boat. “Don’t, under ANY circumstances, develop friendships with your unsaved neighbors and co-workers, then invite them to church. Stay inside our fence and lob dynamite over it.”

    IMHO, they’re all withering away because they’re all monuments to certain families, or men, and because they all drape themselves in the tapestry of a church, without actually being one. I don’t think there should be any Christian liberal arts schools, just like I don’t think there should be any Christian Cardiology, or Christian Oncology training.

    If they want to run a seminary, that’s fine with me. But if somebody’s kid wants to be an engineer, send that kid to Virginia Tech.

    1. The main problem with fundy Christian colleges is that they are in direct opposition to what the Bible tells us to do. We are supposed to “go into the world” and be “fishers of men.”.

      In the past two years, I have seen more echoes of the Gospel in My Little Pony fanfics than I have in ANY Christianese media. (Including one that wrote Redemption for the Ponies’ Antichrist figure. And did it legit.) Think about that.

      BJU, PCC, Hyles and all the rest think they have to build walls to keep their students safe from the world.

      Hiding inside the four Thomas Kincade-plastered walls of their Church, coming out only for drive-by prosletyzing sallies, keeping their noses squeeky-clean to pass the Great White Throne Litmus Test and/or Not Be Left Behind.

      1. Interestingly enough, there’s also a great deal of Christian ethic in the Harry Potter books. (Not terribly surprising- JK Rowling is a member in good standing of the Church of Scotland, and freely admits that there’s a great deal of Christian allegory in her work.) I’ve always found it interesting who they are so completely rejected in fundy circles, while CS Lewis’ fiction is generally held up as appropriate fiction for Christians.

        Meanwhile, the ‘Left Behind’ series and Frank Peretti’s horrible books are much lauded. They’re terrible, terrible writing. And the theology is pretty wobbly. The contrast with Lewis and Rowling could hardly be more clear.

        Is the good stuff suspect because it suggests that the author had an actual education? 🙄

        1. C. S. Lewis was suspect in my circles, partly because he was Anglican but also because he wrote about witches and magic. After I quoted him a couple times on facebook, a pastor’s wife I know sent me a link to an internet article that claimed Lewis wasn’t saved.

          Peretti was also not liked among the folks I knew because he was too charismatic and he focused too much on demons.

          I remember hearing someone criticize the Left Behind series because the authors depicted people who’d rejected Christ before the Rapture still being able to get saved after their loved ones were gone instead of having their hearts utterly hardened so they were unable to believe. I think also the fact that so many other Christians liked them meant that we fundies COULDN’T like them because we had to be different.

          The Christians I knew were very, very good at picking things apart and finding reasons why they were never holy enough.

        2. C. S. Lewis was suspect in my circles, partly because he was Anglican but also because he wrote about witches and magic. After I quoted him a couple times on facebook, a pastor’s wife I know sent me a link to an internet article that claimed Lewis wasn’t saved.

          I call that “Aslan-is-the-Antichrist” after a particularly-surreal radio preacher I heard sometime in the Eighties. Started with the usual denunciations (for the time) of He-Man and D&D, then went off on a tangent via Thundercats and ended up Proving (from SCRIPTURE!) that Aslan was the Antichrist and Tolkien & Lewis were demon-possessed. (Though by the time he got to that point, you could tell the other guy on the radio with him was NOT taking him seriously. Though he was dead serious.) 25+ years later, and I still remember it — it was so WEIRD.

    2. My daughter went to VA Tech – she’s now in med school. I don’t think she’d have been accepted with a “degree” in bio from PCC or any other school!

  10. Wow! How can they cheapen the love of God and service to Him and other this way AND proclaim how they are the only really Godly college out there? Unbelievable. When my PCC / BJU / HAC friends would come home for break and we’d get together and they knew I went to Liberty they all looked down on me like I was some pagan with the flesh of a missionary still between my teeth. 30 years later most of those guys have crashed and burned. God must be so happy

  11. I hated the collegian system at PCC. I had transferred there from UCLA and I wasn’t about to join some lame faux sorority. But then I found that I had to do so. I spent that hour doing some pleasure reading. I got my Christian service points for interpreting for the deaf. Whole system is lame.

  12. Sounds familiar with the exception that OBC bragged about “throwing you into the ministry” once you enrolled in their school. They believed in tossing you into the fray so that you’ll learn how to do it weather you like it or not. At OBC Christian service activities are mandatory which also includes the use of your personal vehicle…but expenses are on you. 👿

  13. Didn’t grow up fundy and I attended a state u., but I’m wondering how most of the PCC (and other schools) folks wound up going where they did. Did you enroll because you actually (before you got there) thought it would be a good experience, or were you forced by parents to enroll in a fundy u? Was it fundy u or no college at all? Or throughout high school was it such a parental expectation, combined w/ a generous dose of brainwashing, that it lead to your willing acceptance? If you’d gone off to non-fundy school would the minister have made life unbearable for the rest of the family? I difficulty getting my mind around this. Thanks.

    1. I never even considered a non-Christian college. I was intimidated by the “world”, but I also loved the Lord sincerely and wanted to be a Christian school teacher, so I always just assumed without thinking about it that I’d be going to a Christian college. I was also really excited because the largest church I’d attended varied between 50-80 people and the largest Christian school I’d gone to had 45 in K-12th. I was eager to go some place bigger!

    2. Frankly, it was just what I was expected to do. I had some horrible things going on internally, but I don’t like conflict, so I just went where everyone expected the good, Christian kids from Greenville to go.

      There was definitely an expectation at my church, school, and home that I would go there. The money that my parent used to help me go to college would have been in jeopardy if I wasn’t going to a conservative, Christian school. Probably the wildest thing that I could have gotten away with would have been BBC in Pennsylvania.

      At the time I enrolled, I was a willing participant even though I already had several problems that I knew of with their teachings on certain standards.

    3. I was forced by my parents, even though my academic record was exceptional enough that I could have gotten into nearly any school I wanted and even though I consistently was kicked out of any fundy U they forced me into.

      They finally gave up on me.

    4. I had a 4 year scholarship to UCLA. Then one Sunday Al Lacy was preaching about Peter getting out of the boat. I got convicted that I was going to a secular university. At that time our church was heavily promoting PCC and it seemed like God’s Will. So I finished my freshman year at UCLA and flew off to PCC where I was a huge square peg in a fundy round hole. I graduated and even went on staff for a year.
      Mistake? I really don’t know anymore. Would I recommend PCC. NO!

        1. Calling someone a moron for being indoctrinated into what you call a cult in a later comment sure doesn’t seem to be kind. Consider it a blessing you were never “stupid” enough to be in a cult – never mind that stupidity has nothing to do with it.

        2. We were indoctrinated to give up ANYTHING in order to follow Christ. How could we be selfish and go to a secular university if God wanted us to go to Bible college? We were to deny ourselves. If we WANTED something, that was our flesh talking and we had to mortify fleshly desires. (Actually, I still agree about being willing to sacrifice anything for Christ, but I disagree with the fundies on how that actually plays out in real life.)

          Join me in a moving chorus of “I gave, I gave my life for thee; what hast thou given to me?”

        3. @Headless

          I take no offense at you calling me a moron. In many ways I was. But I lived in a world that this is what a good christian would do. Pastor’s Wife put it very well. I had been told that I was doing wrong to go to a secular university. I really felt that it was God’s will. I wanted to please God. I was not a moron for that.

    5. I attended a Fundy BJU feeder school. I pretty much had decided by 2nd grade that I would go to BJU for college. By the time senior year (high school) rolled around, I threw away all literature I got from other academic institutions without even looking at it. Never even applied anywhere else, because State/secular schools were “evil” and community colleges were halfway houses to hell in my mind (one foot in the “safety of the church,” one foot in “the world.”)

      The indoctrination starts early. 😳

        1. Actually, my preacher-boy spouse & I were QF for a while. Turns out, I’m allergic to pregnancy hormones and I become a rage machine: zero to out of body, rage blackout in nothing flat. Leaving small children at home with a pregnant, hormonal, raging, depressed mama who believed rebellion = witchcraft and the rod of correction was a magic wand resulted in disaster for our family relationships. Oh, and the reason I was in such bad shape emotionally had to be demonic oppression, since in Fundyland, mental illness and depression do not exist. The Fundy response to the above was “Just stop.” and “I’ll be praying for you.”

          My IQ is 158, so I’m not stupid. I was born into a cult and quaffed the kool-aid for years. Thank God that I’m finally free!

    6. I went to PCC because it seemed like a reasonable choice at the time. My parents dabbled in and out of fundyism, and when I applied they were in an “in” phase. I was looking at Literature and Theatre degrees and my parents, though they would probably have been okay with it either way ultimately, were really discouraging about going to a secular or more mainline private university. I had been instilled with enough of the fear of “the world” to be intimidated by the idea of going where I really wanted to go, and the cost of PCC was so low. My family and I went down for college days, and that was that. They were so impressed by how clean and organized and “wholesome” everything was. So, while it was my choice, the circumstances in my life had all aligned to make it the only real option anyway.

    7. I went to Tennessee Temple right out of High School. That was the church pastor/school superintendents Alma Mater, and I liked my visit there. I didn’t have a problem with the rules, although I got my share of demerits. I didn’t have the maturity or self-discipline I needed to be a serious student. After two years, the Dean of Students “suggested” I quit wasting their time and my money. (He likely meant their money also, since I was on a full work scholarship) I quit, came home, and found a job.

      I met my wife there, and we just had our 29th anniversary, so at least that worked out. After three years of marriage, I decided to go back to school to become an aircraft mechanic. I picked BJU because I wanted the Bible classes as electives, and didn’t think Atlanta Technical College would be an option for the Bible electives. I do not regret picking BJU. Since I was married and lived off campus, I missed out on a lot of the silliness there. I had some really good instructors who stretched me spiritually in a good way. That is also where I began to learn about Bible translation, and began the road to not being KJV only, as well as letting go of a lot of my Pharisaical actions and attitudes.

      I know BJU has the opposite reputation, but for me it was good.

        1. I was there ’86 to ’89. When the A&P program was still on campus. Do you turn wrenches for a living? I still do.

      1. I was in the service side of the wrench turning craft 96-07. I left it for construction (self taught) for 4 years, returned to the automotive trade in Research and Development at Ford while doing construction during the day.

        1. That’s cool. I actually do a little construction and construction-like odd jobs on the side. My construction is a cross between self-taught and friend taught, which I have been able to use on four Habitat for Humanity houses. Not exactly a Fundy organization.

          I have a friend that graduated from the carpentry program, went to work at Delta Airlines in their ground support shop, and now works in an engine support shop. All of his carpentry seems to be remodeling his own house.

    8. When I was 14 or 15 I set my sights on an arts school in Seattle, but sometimes around then my dad announced that he was not paying for college for me because I was just going to get married and have kids. That was also around the time that my folks picked out my husband. My dreams of taking the woodwinds courses at Cornish were gone. I ended up marrying that man, and being miserable for many years.

      I eventually got out, went to the University of Oregon, made a life for myself. Funny thing though- my oldest daughter went to Cornish! She lived in a tiny apt and went to school and had the life I’d wanted. She graduated cum laude, and then moved to NYC to ‘seek her fortune’, as they say in the fairy tales. Watching her has made me wonder what my life could have been life if I’d had the opportunities that she’s had.

    9. I went to Tom Malone’s college, Midwestern Baptist, in Pontiac, MI. I’d always planned to be a teacher, and since I’m in VA, was all set to apply to Longwood. But in my senior year, a new church came to town – and I got sucked in.

      I chose the Fundy life – and I teach, but cannot get a state license without starting all over (at 57).

      So I don’t know why; and I can’t get my mind wrapped around it either!

    10. Brainwashed, I was one of the good little godly girls. I did eeeeverything that would please the adults so I would look so good in their eyes. I was proud and stuck-up. I had never even been in a public school, anyway. When I was 12 one of those quartets came and pitched the school. I was like “Wooooow!” and said I was going there. My parents reminded me that i had said that every year, so then it became a guilt thing–I would feel really guilty if I didn’t end up going there, like I would let everyone down. In my church, you couldn’t change your mind about anything you had said you were going to do “for God.” I guess they didn’t think of the fact that I was 12 and not mature enough to make an informed decision at that time.

    11. I went to BJU, in part because I didn’t know what I was getting myself in for. While my family received BJU text materials and promo materials, we lived halfway across the country and were in between churches (my family is fundy-lite): To us, it was just a particularly strict Christian college.

      In my second year, I thought briefly about transferring to Patrick Henry, but they have unusual combinations of classes, so very little would have transferred. I was also in a liberal arts degree at BJU with a few strong professors, who made my time there worthwhile.

      It wasn’t until I graduated and got an M.A. from a State University that I realized those places were not as evil as they’d been made out to be. Plus side: I have a legit secular degree now to cover my Fundy U one.

    12. I had always planned to attend PCC. I saw my first “Catch the Spirit” video in Fundy elementary chapel when I was seven. It looked like a swell time. When I was in 10th grade, we got a youth pastor who was fresh from PCC and took our youth group to see it. I actually visited BJU by myself (too expensive) and my Pastor, who pushed Crown heavily, took a few of us to see Crown (too boring). But PCC had the beaches, several of my friends from school and church going as well, and, for a girl who graduated with just one other senior, going to a school with 5,000 or so students was my idea of a good time. Interestingly enough, my HAC parents didn’t have money to pay for it and probably would have let me stay home and go to the local state or technical college since I was paying for it anyway. But going off was what I though you should do and what I dreamed about.

  14. For what it’s worth, I worked with David at the Print Shop. Surprisingly chill, mellow, genial guy.

    I say “surprisingly,” because I knew of him before I even came to PCC. He was featured quite prominently in the teaser yearbook they sent. I was expecting him to be president of something, or performing miracles, rather than working a regular job. Quite amazing the effects that “PCC promotion” can have, little of which last outside of the institution. Still, decent dude.

    It makes me think that many of PCC’s most prominent, most zealous, indeed come to reflect on their experiences with some clarity. For every one of us who sours at the guilt they felt when badgered into hair-raising, hand-raise-a-thons for Jesus and eternal glory, I’m sure there are those who feel that same tinge of regret as the ones doing the badgering.

    I would hope.

  15. My collegian experience was limited for that I am thankful. My freshman year I played every sport possible with my collegian, we stunk at everything, but it was fun. By my sophomore year I was working over 20 hrs plus taking as many classes as possible,and dating my future husband, some how I managed to avoid collegian meetings. My junior and senior year I was a town student so no meetings for me. My Christian service experience was limited to a few times I had to go for my education classes. I had to go to a Bible club and teach a story, verse and song. I hated the experience! Glad I never have to do that again.

  16. At Fairhaven, participating in two ministries was mandatory, not optional. At Heritage (now Indiana Baptist), we were strongly encouraged to participate in a ministry in whatever local church we attended. I can’t even remember the regulations at Fellowship Baptist College. I was booted too quickly there.

    I really should get a medal or something for biggest fundy u failure. *sigh*

  17. After my freshman year at PCC, I actually ran for my collegian presidency just so our meetings would become a little more interesting and fun. I was elected for two years, but completely backed down from EVERYTHING collegian my Senior year. Those two years I spent as the president were eye opening. Our meetings, dating outings, and stag outings improved (if you call going to the Track in Destin improvement)…but at least twice a week, I received notes in my mailbox asking me to push all the Christian service to my peers. We were not “involved enough” as a collegian in Christian service. As if I could enroll someone and make them go. I never even went. Also, as a “person with influence”, they constantly were asking me to become a floor leader, Sunday School president, Student Body president, and pushed me to keep my eyes open for people disregarding the rules….ugh. It was made VERY clear from the beginning, if you become a snitch, you move up the ladder of power on campus. I wanted NOTHING to do with it after that. Sad.

    And Gary in FL

    I had no choice but to go to PCC. My parents said if I went anywhere else, they would kick me out of the house and pay nothing. (they have since changed their crazy fundy ways and are STILL apologizing for limiting my potential, so we are good 🙂 ) As it was, I STILL struggled with my 18 credit hours AND working 35+ hours in Food Service. I averaged about 4 hours of sleep per night for 4 years. I will NEVER promote that place to anyone for anything.

  18. “… [Y]ou can go down witnessing in Seville Square, you can do bible clubs, you can go talk to guys at the Boy’s Base… you’re in the church choir ..”

    None of this would have been considered “Christian service” in my own church background, nor at the “mainline” church university I attended. (It was fine to do such things, but they weren’t in the “Christian service” category). To us, “service” meant doing things to feed the hungry, clothe the ragged, shelter the houseless, visit prisoners, care for the sick and disabled, tutor children who were behind in school work, and otherwise supply what people needed. And there were no trophies for such “service.” It was considered to be its own reward– and, at least for me, it was.

    1. The things you describe all have to do with physical, temporal needs. Fundies scorn meeting such needs. They have a higher calling to meet spiritual needs, thus to them handing out a tract is better than working in a soup kitchen. (Also when you serve in those type of outreaches, you might end up working with a Presbyterian, and you can’t be yoked together with unbelievers so it’s better not to feed the hungry at all than to do so linked with someone with questionable beliefs.)

      I spent nearly all my life rooted in the culture of church-oriented service. It’s only been in the last couple years that we’ve shifted our view to what the fundies think is worldly or compromising but what we think is actually Scriptural and that is meeting both physical and spiritual needs.

      1. The things you describe all have to do with physical, temporal needs. Fundies scorn meeting such needs. They have a higher calling to meet spiritual needs, thus to them handing out a tract is better than working in a soup kitchen.

        Pastor’s Wife, everybody:

        How does that differ from Platonic Dualism and all those early centuries’ heresies like Docetism and some forms of Manichaism where “Spiritual Good, Physical Baaaaaaaad, Spiritual Good, Physicial Baaaaaaaad”? Where the physical cosmos was somehow dirty and filthy and Salvation/Enlightenment meant getting out of it into some Realm of Pure Spirit?

        Wasn’t the original Christian afterlife Resurrection of the Body into a debugged Cosmos 2.0 instead of floating around as a Soul(TM) in Fluffy Cloud Heaven?

        One thing I’ve always appreciated about Judaism is it’s emphasis on Living Your Life. Here in the physical world of reality.

        1. With time, I’ve definitely recognized that the usually unspoken fear, aversion, and hatred of the physical is not actually an accurate reflection of Scripture. People, often in a well-meaning desire to avoid sin, thought that anything they liked or enjoyed was evil. Reading ALL of Scripture, such as passages in Deuteronomy that encouraged the Jews to spend their tithe on strong drink for celebrating or Paul’s warnings about those who place unnecessary “taste not” restrictions on people, would help balance the asceticism that some people easily fall prey to in their attempt to be spiritual.

        2. well, it doesn’t.

          Platonic dualism with a gnostic twist and you have the essence of fundy philosphy. They certainly didn’t get it from the Bible!

  19. Wow! Good for you for sticking to your guns. I am glad you were strong enough in yourself to not bow to the peer pressure that was being leveled at you. That seems like it was quite an intense experience. You are definately right, this is where the preachers learn it. :mrgreen:

    For me, I always wanted to go out soul-winning in college because I was scared not to – not that my friends would be made, but that I would piss God off and have him put me on the shelf. That was the main terror of my teen years, being put on the shelf.

  20. At HAC, we had to be involved in a ministry of some kind. Bus ministry was the most popular, but the inner-city chapels (church plants) were also quite popular. I worked both for a year, but then switched to only bus ministry. For us, the service requirements were so much a part of the fabric of the culture every second of every day, that you didn’t really notice that you could have found a way to avoid them. They had a so busy that we never had time to think or process what we were being taught.

    1. They had a so busy that we never had time to think or process what we were being taught.

      Isn’t that one of the classic signs of a CULT(TM)?

      1. Yes, and that is essentially what it is. I refer to such environments as a “soft cult”. A lot of the hallmarks of a real cult are clear and present to outside observers. Looking back now at my life it all seems like some kind of a bizarre dream.

  21. Ahhh the trojan horse known as the PCC collegian. I think I actually preferred going to chapel as the atmosphere was never conducive to studying at the collegian meeting and by comparison I was fortunate to only once get written up for catching a nap in chapel.

    My Christian service was Boy’s Base…which to me was as close to the type of service Big Gary described. Ironically, I always felt a bit guilty because we actually just hung out and played games with the juvenile delinquents there and didn’t do much if any preaching or arm-twisting. To be honest, perhaps my bigger motivation was that it was the one of the few Christian services that got you off campus on Sunday afternoons to play basketball on rims that we just low enough that 1 or 2 of us could dunk.

    By contrast, we often found tracts on our windshields placed by the real Christian service workers at Seville Square when we would leave the pool hall known as Pockets on Friday nights.

    1. Where I’m from, “PCC” means “Pasadena City College”, AKA “CCB”, “College on Colorado Boulevard.”

      I’m pretty sure this PCC isn’t that one.

      1. Here it’s Portland Community College, which is a really good school with several campuses here in town.

        But PCC also means to me the Polynesian Cultural Center, in Laie, Hawaii. I lived in Laie for awhile when I was in high school (that was weird- I was one of a handful of non-Mormons in a rather large school. Was a really bizarre time for me). The Mormon Temple in Hawaii was about half a mile from our house. I had an upstairs bedroom and it was right in front of me. And BYU had a campus there too, right next to the temple. The students there frequently did work study stuff at PCC, and the older siblings of kids I knew at school were often there. I imagine that demonstrating Samoan shuffleboard-style games was more fun than leaving tracts on a windshield. 😆

  22. reminds me of the ministry fair at BJU . . . they packed us all into the FMA at the beginning of the semester and had ministry leaders stand up with little signs advertising their ministries. You were supposed to go around and converse with them. The whole thing was a madhouse with the entire student body trying to move around in unorganized paths, and if you wanted to just leave without talking to anyone, it still took forever to fight your way out of the traffic. They never told us at the meeting that our choice to not participate in any of these ministries would follow us like a stormcloud for the rest of our student career, preventing us from being able to earn privileges or leadership roles within the dorm or anywhere else.

    1. I remember those ministry fairs — from the POV of a ministry leader (AWANA at HPBC). You never quite know what to say to the students or how many of them will actually show up.

      It would be easier on the churches if half-plus their ministry workers didn’t come from the U. But that’s one of the clubs BJU holds over their area orbital churches: change anything important about your church and we’ll pull all our students and faculty. 👿

  23. Hm. I remember the days. Go Pi Ep Rho Patriots 🙂 I never did anything either except the one semester I had Teaching Bible and had to go out twice, I think it was, to Bible clubs. And I did choir a couple semesters, because I love singing. The nice thing about PCC was you did not have to have a ministry, unless you were a Pastoral major or something like that. At WCBC every single student must be in a ministry. They pay a lot of money to be Paul Chappell’s free personal ministry minions.

      1. My brother goes to WC and I keep saying that it’s really just a ministry mill for the church. It sounds like most of their time is spent on buses or knocking doors.

  24. Great post! I have seen similar situations at a Bible college I attended. Believe it or not, I saw this same kind of pressure in trying to get people to join the class in a fast day once a week.

  25. 1) I sincerely hope I was not so bad as president!
    2) I was.
    3) Most people have NO CLUE how manipulative and controlling the admin is regarding what goes on in the meetings. I was specifically told what I had to promote, and had to turn in a written game plan for how I was going to do it each week. Somehow, I always managed to “stray from the plan”. Secret admission: I almost got kicked out that semester for wracking up so many demerits. Apparently some of my sketches demonstrated a spirit of rebellion. Oh, if they only knew!

  26. This post really gets to me; I was under lots of pressure at a former church to go “soul-winning” (and that was the ONLY thing that was acceptable). Cannot tell all of the messages I endured about how wicked and evil and uncaring I was because I didn’t go out on their “selling heaving” sales talk nights.

    I was called into the pastor’s office and told I would not be allowed to serve in any capability unless I started doing this. I actually went a few times, but was in such emotional turmoil after the few times of how it was done that I feared for my sanity.

    I still feel like not I’m not a good Christian because I don’t go door-to-door. It has left scars that are very much still with me (thus my name: Guilt Ridden). I hope I get over this sometime. It is the dislike and distrust my fellow church members that is hard to get over; I know that God loves me as I am.

    Anyway, Darrell’s post brought up a lot of fear about being put on the spot; I don’t think I could have been as brave as he was to just say “no”.

    Sorry for the long post, but today’s post brought back some fear.

    I love Jesus Christ, but I don’t like selling Him as some kind of “fire insurance”.

    1. This post really gets to me; I was under lots of pressure at a former church to go “soul-winning” (and that was the ONLY thing that was acceptable).

      All except Soul-Winning(TM) was Forbidden, and what was not Forbidden was Absolutely Compulsory. Christ as Party Line.

      Long Live Big Brother.

      1. Not sure; probably because everyone we knew was part of the church and they all “appeared” to be OK with the soul-winning program. I seemed to be the odd one out.

    2. I stopped knocking stranger’s doors when I left my IBF church. The church I attended for almost 2 years (I just moved out-of-state) practiced living the Christian live and being a testimony to family, neighbors, and co-workers. I personally believe that as a Christian I can have more influence on unbelievers who I have a personal relationship with, rather than complete strangers who I feel are intruded upon by my knock.

      1. That is how I really feel, but I can hear all of the demons in my head that haven’t gone away:
        “You are just lazy!”
        “The ONLY reason God left you here was to WIN OTHERS!”
        “You’re just looking for an excuse to justify your LACK OF COMPASSION”
        “If you really cared about others, you’d go”

        … and others

        1. Here are some helpful things to remember whenever the fundy demons come…
          The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks “What is the chief end of man?” Answer: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever”. (Psalms 86; Isaiah 60:21; Romans 11:36; I Corinthians 6:20, 10:31; Revelations 4:11)
          One can show compassion in many different areas. I have friends who show compassion by giving of their money. My wife and I don’t have tons of money so we often show compassion with our time. Use the gifts God has given you to show compassion.
          Keep your head up!

        2. GR This goes deep into the heart of the problem. Fundyism is all external. It is using guilt, manipulation, psychology, fear, peer pressure and gimmicks to get results no different than JW’s or Mormans. It’s hype. Real soul winnings is done by God’s Spirit through a heart so free and full of His love, joy and peace. It is His work – not ours. We are only willing vessels. The promise in John 15:26 is that “He (the comforter, the Holy Spirit) shall testify (witness) of me.” It is God’s Spirit’s love, joy peace and power flowing through an open, willing heart that does the testifying. It is very much His work not ours. He fill our hearts with His Spirit and as we rejoice and appreciate and enjoy all the benefits of liberty, freedom, forgiveness and love, His Spirit moves us in normal everyday situations at work, on a bus, to a neighbor or friend, and we “super”naturally reach out in compassion to their need. Love moves us – not guilt. Faith moves us -not fear. I love Acts 2 where the Christians are “all filled with the Spirit of God and began to
          speak… as the Spirit gave them utterance.” What were they speaking and testifying of? vs. 11 “the wonderful works of God.” Soul winning is nothing but testifying to others of the wonderful things God has done for us! His forgiveness, His grace and mercy, His love and the many, many wonderful things He has taught us and shown us in our lives. We truly are not cursed but blessed. He has brought us through the confusion and darkness of religion and deception and brought us to His light and led us to freedom, liberty and love. How great is that?! That’s pretty wonderful if you ask me. We know the Creator, the artist and author of this miraculous story called life. We have been kissed by the very Prince of the Bible stories that we read. We get to live His-story. And please don’t doubt this – we will live happily ever after in that place that our Bible’s tell us of and I believe that it is impossible for God to lie to us. Yes we have an enemy, yes there are many decievers and impostors but He is the real thing and you get to know that, see that, believe that and enjoy it! No need for guilt, just for love and forgiveness and a future filled with His wonderful love, joy and peace in your heart. That is what our Father gives us – His own pure Holy Spirit in us. He will testify. You just keep praising Him and loving Him. He has a great plan for all of us that is for sure! God loves you! He died for you. He lives for you. He is for you! Blessings to all my fellow fundies who have come out of the bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Rom. 8:21)
          KK

        3. @JKnox; thanks. Intellectually, I know that my purpose is to glorify God in whatever sphere in pleases Him to put me, not just to be a (poor) “heaven” salesman.

          I fear that many fundamentalists are not trying to get people saved to fellowship with the One Who created everything, but merely to go to heaven when they die. Jesus is worthy of our praise, love, adoration, and following, even if there was no afterlife.

          We try to be life a life glorifying God.

          However, the scars may take a long time in healing and are still quite sensitive; the slightest mention of “evangelism” or “the great commission” is enough to bring flooding back the guilt heaped upon me for many, many years that I am not a “real” Christian because I’m not doing the door-to-door thing.

        4. @KingsKid – thanks to you, too.

          We started our own business a few years back and God has blessed it a lot, so we have been able to give to God’s work and to help His people. We’ve given away a lot.

          As I said above, intellectually, I know that God loves me, and usually I’m fine… but “soul-winning” and “evangelism” and things along that line bring back the days when I was utterly miserable because I didn’t measure up to the “great soul-winners” in our previous church. (Later events turned out that some of these “great people” were adulterers, so I have to wonder how much they were really glorifying God).

    3. I’m with you, GR. I felt intense anxiety and guilt about Thursday nights. Scars indeed. However, I don’t feel guilty anymore. Where in the Bible does it say to go door-to-door soul winning? The people that propagate this method are often the same ones who can’t live Jesus in their day-to-day lives. Jesus is life, and I’ve noticed that a lot of these people can only be a Christian on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and Thursday night. That’s man-made religion and righteousness. When you truly know the grace and freedom of Christ, you live life in him every day. I hate how they make Christianity into a schedule, method, or checklist. God is put into a stifling box. Freedom and joy in Christ is so LIBERATING from the dry, dead crustiness I found in the IFB church.

      1. Sounds like we have had similar experiences; I remember people held up because of how many they had “won”, but not being very holy people.

        All of the abused verses come flooding back; the great commission; the “bear much fruit” in John; the “ye shall be my witnesses” in Acts 1:8, the “house to house” in Acts 20:20 (it testifies to how deeply burned into my psyche these items are that I still know the references).

    4. I hope you break the chains of guilt, GR. Jesus didn’t go door-to-door. Showing people Christ doesn’t necessarily mean pulling out a tract and going down the Romans Road. Our life is Christ. Our attitudes, love, and compassion to people is Christ.

      Fundie Christianity: burdens, guilt, anxiety, fear, no rest.
      Christ: none of the above.

      I think Christ has the truth, not man.

    5. GR,

      There is no reason for guilty feelings. These people had no idea what they were talking about.

      The Bible is clear that different people have different roles within the body of Christ.

      SOME (not all) have the spiritual gift of evangelism (Eph 4:11-12). They are the ones who go far and wide, spreading the Gospel, like Paul. James was not an evangelist. He remained in Jerusalem, pastoring the church there. Was James out of God’s will because he didn’t go out as an evangelist?

      These people have no understanding. God gave us an entire passage on the spiritual gifts: 1 Cor 12. Notice that is is the Holy Spirit who gives these gifts (v.11); not some man who thinks EVERYONE should be out knocking on doors. Why do these people not understand that, according to vv12-31, we all have different functions within the body, and that my gifts are not superior or more-to-be-desired than yours are? In fact, in v23, we see that the more important functions are those which might not seem as important. Ever stub your little toe? Your whole body suddenly has a new focus in life. That’s how it should be in the church, too. But these self-nominated men of god don’t seem to understand this biblical truth when they abuse all other members of the body, trying to make EVERYONE to be a mouth, just like them.

      Not that they really want the competition, mind you…

      1. Intellectually, I agree with you. I’ve read Matt Redmonds’ The Silence of Paul on Evangelism and it was a good read.

        I like the comparison of the Great Commission to a hardware store or McDonalds — not everyone sells the burgers at the register; there are cooks, and accountants, and managers, and people who plan new products, etc. The Great Commission has the “disciplize” (make disciples of) all nations; it has baptizing them, and it has teaching them. I believe it was given to the church as an organization; note everyone will baptize or teach others nor will everyone proclaim the gospel.

        The churches I was with earlier in my life made “soul-winning” (door knocking and bothering people, and attempting to “sell” them a ticket to heaven via a prayer) everything. As you may know, to Jack Hyles, God would even overlook taking His name in vain and adultery if one was a good “soul-winner”. (one of the churches I was in was a big JH follower).

        Scars. Yes. Hopefully, they will fade with time.

  27. Ah yes, the good ol’ days at PCC. While I can say I went on Christian service a fair bit Freshman and junior year, my attendance sophomore and senior year was quite limited.
    I was working on campus plus taking a full load, so my free time was curtailed.
    Anyway, I went on Boys Base as my only ministry. I liked it and felt we did make some difference in the poor kids lives.
    Overall we did not overtly twist the kids arms and I felt the kids appreciated the fact that SOMEONE cared.
    I do understand Darrel’s view however.
    Like most things PCC I have mixed feeling about Christian service.

  28. Pi Zeta Delta — CHRISTIANese Frat?

    “Just like Alpha House, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

    (Tip: When you can describe it as “Just like Fill-in-the-Blank, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!, that is NOT a good sign.)

  29. Just the idea of a “Christian Service Trophy” sounds so very unChristian. Didn’t Jesus say to not sound a trumpet/make a display of your offerings? Not to announce your good works? The fact that such a trophy exists, and someone in a position of Christian leadership continues to think this is a good idea.

    1. you should be there when Dr. Bob passes out ‘sower awards’ and ‘overcomer awards’ at BJU. Nothing like parading people down the aisle in front of the entire university and then featuring their photos on posters outside the student center to encourage humility . . .

    2. Pretty standard stuff for Fundy and Evangelical educational institutions. The school I taught at gave out an award to one boy and one girl in each high school class that was initially described to me as the “best Christian trophy”. It didn’t even seem to occur to them how not Christian that idea was. As for the passage of scripture about not giving and doing to be recognized for it…I’ve been told many times over that that is “not to be taken literally”. I love it when fundagelicals tell me a passage of scripture is not meant literally, but I will never understand how they do it with a straight face.

      1. was at a graduation when every student in the fundy cs graduating class got a “christian service” award except one. I had no real connection to anyone involved and I was still pissed

    3. When I was coaching the jv/varsity girls’ basketball team for the local homeschool support group, one of the awards I was supposed to give at the end of the season was “Most Christlike.” I always found that ridiculous. How do you even award that? And once you handed out the “Most Christlike” trophy, doesn’t that undermine the “most christlike” status of the recipient? Dumb.

  30. Wow, this dredged up some memories. I’m a former PZD Wolverine from just before Darrell got there, I think. Thanks for reminding me of that stupid rooster cheer, Darrell. “I met a little rooster and he was sitting with a hen. She cheered for Pi Zeta, ’cause Pi Zeta’s full of men!” – Actual verse from said rooster cheer.

  31. I don’t remember what collegian I was in my first year. Afterwards, I was in Omega Lambda Delta… OLD… as in Geritol Hall… didn’t have to do collegian after my first year.

  32. Here’s where Fundies don’t like the plain interpretation of scripture…when Ephesians 2:9 says “lest ANY man should boast”, they (Fundies) do not consider that also pertains to the alleged “soulwinner”. How many times have you seen/heard brag about the numbers of souls they “won”, the number of hours/years spent in “Christian Service”, etc, etc. If that isn’t boasting in defiance of Paul’s words, what is?

  33. This kind of thing makes me so sick. It is one of the myriads of reasons why I would never send my children to Fundy u. The main one being their lack of understanding of what is central in the Bible and what is peripheral.

  34. Darrell,

    Way to dredge up bad memories! Society at BJU was an incredible waste of my time. I actually was involved my first year, but it just seemed really lame. I did have a few friends in the society and ours kind of thought all those really involved societies were a big joke, so we basically had a group of guys who didn’t care and were forced to get together each week. As a town student, I was able to get out of all the society functions outside of the mandatory Friday meetings. By my senior year, I was married, and society became a time for me and a couple of my friends to sit in the back of the room and make fun of a new crop of freshman who all bought into the BOJO line and tried to get us all motivated about the University and upcoming events.

    When it came to outreach ministries that BJU called “extension”, unfortunately, I was a ministerial student and required to participate even in the summer. Like someone else said, I felt bad lying on the reports so I actually was involved in ministry, but it was through my local church’s AWANA club, not a school organized program.

  35. My Fundy U didn’t have any sororities, they tried, but it failed. We were required to go out soul winning at least once a week for an hour. I remember when I dropped out of the nursing home ministry the guy in charge told me I was unspiritual. Why? The people slept through 4 songs (with all stanzas sung), the bulletins brought from the fundy church, and his hour-long preaching and invitation! I wanted to sleep too!

  36. Ugh. the memories this post induced. I belonged to a very competitive collegian during my time at PCC. Of course, the girls that led us tried to win points in every other area besides “Christian service.” If I recall correctly, delivering the campus mail (PH) counted towards Christian service points.
    For my education major, I was required to do several stints with a neaighborhood Bible club. I ended up being coerced into taking over the leadership of that club. I honestly don’t remember a single good thing that came of the Tender Hearts Bible Club. I spent most of my time trying to find someone with a car that would rather skip going to the beach in favor of wasting time trying to lure kids in with candy and balloon animals.
    When my senior year came, I was so busy with my teaching internship and working late nights at the Palms Grille that I could not continue with the club anymore. I had to meet with dean after dean and spend a lot of time I didn’t have to convince them that I was done with it all.
    Of course, I got D-APLed for a roommate with illegal music and then they were more than eager to take me off the leadership of a Bible club.

    Ick. Makes me throw up a little to relive all the hoops I had to jump through in those days. 😥

    1. I was an Ed major too. They tried to coerce me to keep going to Bible club after my required times were up, but I said NO WAY. None of that guilt.

  37. Darrel, you have a gift my friend. Its funny because when I reflect on my time at fundy concentration camps it seems so bizarre. Everyone has things in their life that they regret, but I hope that people like “David” in your story are shameful and repented from their ignorant mindset that allowed them to be used as a propagandist for the institution. I was like you and I never “did” “chrisitan service” at pcc. One of the reasons is because I was questioning pcc’s institutionalized religion and fundamentalism. Even though at the time I might have not been able to fully articulate my objections, I knew there were things that just were not right, so I chose to not go along and further ponder. Prior to pcc I went to Word of Life where they required everyone to do a “ministry”. I didn’t get to choose and was stuck going on “open air evangelism” in NYC for 2 weeks. It was an interesting experience passing out “tracks” in some of the most roughest parts of NYC and propagating the easy believism they trained us with (all you have to do to be a Christian is A,B,C. here watch this rope trick).

    After college I did go a couple of times out “door knocking” with my HAC camp church I went to, even though I disagreed with the “soul-winning” false doctrine. I will never forget the last time I went out with the guy who was the music “pastor” at the time. We visited a home that was in a gated community to deliver some home baked cookies to a family that had visited our church (so I was told). We managed to get passed the security gate and into the community by tailgating a car ahead of us. The look of horror on the womans face when she opened the door and the music “pastor” introduced us and handed her the plate of cookies is seared in my mind. I felt terrible for doing that to them. I mean who wants to eat home baked cookies from strangers? I thought later that those cookies probably went straight into the garbage. Needless to say we never saw that family again and I never went out on their door to door salesman / bothering people for jesus trips ever again. I still dont get how they are able to contrive a doctrine of “soul-winning” from one line in proverbs that was poorly translated in the KJB.

    You have pushed a button with me today Darrell!

        1. I’ve always thought that the verse meant that a man who gathers friends around him is wise. That is what it means to have a “winning personality”, and that’s what I always thought “win souls” there meant — not bother people in their homes in order to get another notch on the gun.

        2. Thanks. I probably blocked their twisted meaning of that verse and finally and forgot all about it. 😀 Finally kicking the habit.

  38. I can only speak in detail about BJU because that’s where I attended for 3 years before I transferred to USC because I was expelled. One of my biggest problems with BJU is how BJIII flies around on a private plane to “Friendship Banquets” pitching the college.

    This guy’s stump speech is that God’s will is for parents to write his family a check for roughly $80,000 (4 years tuition) in order to send their kid to his school. If they manage to navigate the minefield of rules for four years without being expelled, they get an unaccredited degree.

    Don’t have all the money? That’s ok! BJIII sits on the board (and I believe is part owner) of VP Bob Wood’s Pinnacle Bank. So Pinnacle can arrange a loan for you in order to get David/Mariam through! HAY-MEN! So not only does his family get the 80k, they charge interest. However, if you’re a little light at payment time, BJU and Pinnacle will refer you to a collection agency faster than Doc Hollywood could pull his gun out of his holster. There was always a big push for students to “step out on faith” if they didn’t have the money for tuition. But BJIII and Pinnacle aren’t into “stepping out on faith” that God will enable their fellow Christians will pay them back. They put their faith in collection agencies and the US legal system.

    It always fascinated me how they brayed about taking every word of the Bible literally (which I believe is what I should do), but I guess they never read the passage about not suing your fellow Christians or charging interest.

    Maybe I’m wrong, and all of that is ok with God. But I believe that God is tired of them using Him in order to manipulate Christians into writing them a check, and pay them interest. I think that’s why God is allowing them to wither away. I don’t know that for sure, but I could make a heck of an argument that they are the modern-day money changers in the temple.

  39. I left out the Jones’ family multimillion dollar art collection purchased over time with what I have to assume is Christian’s tuition money, since no Jones has worked at any business except for the family business.

    I can’t find anything in the Bible that says take fellow Christian’s money and purchase the most valuable collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere. However since I majored in business, not theology, it’s possible that I missed the passage where Jesus commanded us to build art galleries.

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