100 thoughts on “Likely Stories”

  1. Now, leaving aside my superb first, to the topic in hand – the “real life anecdotes”. I’ve heard too many of these where the pieces of the story just don’t stack up (internal contradictions etc). After a while you have to start start treating them as bizarre stories, and not real life events at all.

    I don’t see why they can’t just come up with explicit “what if” scenarios to illustrative their point, rather than tying themselves up with invented histories.

    Gees, guys, enough about me being first OK?

    1. They could just announce it as a parable to begin with and save themselves the trouble. And then 2,000 years later, their followers could argue about whether or not real people were involved.

      “A teenager went forth to rebel…”

  2. The time pastor met “Elvis Presley” in an elevator, it was really Irwin Corey.

    1. I’ve seen Elvis twice. Once at a Burger King in Oklahoma, the other at Shoney’s Breakfast Bar in New Orleans. He’s a lot shorter since he died.

  3. Yep. I think I’ll use the story that if we had left six hours earlier on a trip and taken a different Interstate, we could, er would, have been in an accident that occurred on a lonely mountainous stretch of highway that time we were traveling to Fundy U with the kids.

    Throw in some blood and gore and PRESTO, enough guilt to change the world.

    1. And isn’t just like you to be so selfish as to leave later and drive safely, instead of ending up stranded and wrecked in the snow, and be a perfect illustration for God’s Wrath–er, Mercy–er, something? 😛 How could you disappoint like that? 👿

  4. So you’re saying that old Jack didn’t really try to strangle a dog during prayer?


    1. Dear Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

      From my Snob Clones Perversity days, I recall the guy who received the same message from the Lord while driving to Greenville the night before.

      Remember my baby boy who died on his 18th birthday.
      Write your parents to tell them that you love them.

      The guy received the same message from God.

      Every year.

      Christian Socialist

  5. Nobody could tell a tale quite like Jim Vineyard! Of course he prided himself in naming names when he could, so when he didn’t, you could usually tell he was stretching something.

    1. Vineyard, a disciple of Hyles. Hyles would always be quick to threaten John MacArthur in his sermons even claiming to fight him in heaven (YouTube Jack Hyles VS John MacArthur in Heaven).

      Hyles would also boast about his hatred for PCC and call out Peter Ruckman.

      1. Why link Ruckman and PCC together? The two are distinct from each other! Did he NOT know that the only thing in common between the two was the city name?!

    2. Vineyard, a disciple of Hyles. Hyles would always be quick to threaten John MacArthur in his sermons even claiming to fight him in heaven (YouTube Jack Hyles VS John MacArthur in Heaven).

      Hyles would also boast about his hatred for PCC and call out Peter Ruckman.

      Hyles also called out Robert Schuller. He threatened to get physical with Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral.

  6. Or how about when the pastor is using you as a sermon illustration. Now no names are mentioned but:

    1) The church only has 40 people so everybody knows what is going on with everybody.
    2) He is looking directly at you.

    Fun times.

    1. Yep… only I must admit, it was always complementary. This usually caused me to puff up in pride. I’m so happy He forgives…

    2. Been there, except it was in a school chapel, the pastor was the principle, and I was 8 years old. Yeah, that was awesome.

    3. What about that time where 40 minutes after the fundy principle told me privately the discipline situation I was the subject of was done and nothing more would be said, and he had me (and a couple other miscreants) stand up in chapel so he could brag about how tender our hearts were in repentance. Which was total crap anyway since at least 2 of us had basically told him to go pound sand.

    4. Here’s one for the books:
      Pastor has inside information about sin in someone’s life. Does he follow any Biblical guidance in dealing with it? Oh no! This was too good to pass up, so from the pulpit he begins to talk about the “Lord, is revealing to him that there is ‘Sin in the Camp‘” and proceeds to go on a binge of sermons about sin in general and how such sin would impede the Holy Spirit in the church. Then specific sermons about moral failings, and finally about adultery. By that time the “target” of his sermons had had enough and had left… only then was it “revealed” who the adulterer was and that he had left because he couldn’t stand being under such convicting preaching.

      This made the pulpiteer look like he was mystically empowered to detect when there was “sin” lurking in the congregation. Thus further empowering his position as M-O-g and proving he was more sanctified than your normal pew dwelling peasant.

        1. My spirit = insider information or verified gossip.
          Very mystical looking from the pew with 3D Pastor Worship goggles on.

      1. “….he had left because he couldn’t stand being under such convicting preaching.”

        This is exactly what my old preacher said about anyone who left or even the visitors who never came back. And he said in such a prideful manner. He said it about us after we left.

      2. And when the members use his “sermon” to beat up other members with, the pastor says “Oh, well, they just took it out of context.” And never you mind how long he’s been in the game, he would never apologize to the beatee, even if his words WERE taken out of context. The hireling careth not for the sheep….

    5. I was an awesome source of illustrations. I was always doing something wrong. Of course, my church was more like 400 people, but everyone still knew it was me since he’d name me, lol.

  7. If I were to pick the one thing that preturbed me the most when my family attended a fundy church/school it would be that we were taught to view everything outside of the church as suspicious, but swallow EVERYTHING that was said from the pulpit. Even at 15 I was able to see that the real BS was coming from the MOG and his cronies. I remember when Hyles visited our church in 1979 and made the claim that he had preached something like 40,000 sermons…the next day I asked my math teacher at the fundy school how that was possible given the rules of mathematics he was teaching…in typical fundy “loving” fashion he told me I could work it out during detention.

    1. He could have done it by 1979 if he preached a little over 2 sermons per day, starting the day he was born, and never taking a day off.

      You’re welcome.

      1. Preaching since the day he was born? Ah, wishful thinking on the MOG’s part, no doubt that’ll end up in somebody’s sermon… 🙄

    2. I actually loved it back in the days of “Hyles on Tour: Coming to a city near you!”

      Hyles would speak in churches then make fun of random congregation members calling them insulting names, make of the city the church was in, then tell everyone he won more souls than Billy Graham and FBC was the worlds largest and best church in America.

      1. “Hyles on Tour”…beautiful! It took me a while to figure it out, but Hyles was on a “tour”…a recruitment tour for HAC. My fundy MOG was BJU through-and-through but once Hyles came and saw that we had a fair-sized church and school (and could therefore send a fair amount of “students” to HAC), he bestowed one of his legendary honorary doctorates (so prestigious were they that he – Hyles – bestowed one on John R Rice’s horse) on our MOG to seal the deal. After that, we were encouraged (read: guilted) into attending FBCH’s youth conferences…where the HAC recruitment was ratcheted up a few hundred notches.

      2. Hyles did go to Greenville, SC and Pensacola in order to get their kids to attend HAC instead of Bob Jones and PCC. Just watch the YouTube video “Jack Hyles Shoots on PCC” he basically scolded anyone at that year’s Pastors School for sending their kids to Pensacola.

        1. Watched it… he actually said, “yet you send your hirelings down to Pensacola.”

        2. Greg Mutsch responded to Hyles in a PCC VHS that came out in 1997 slamming Hyles and HAC on the KJV.

  8. I can’t remember if it was Vineyard or Hyles that told the story about being an all-star fastpitch SOFTBALL player and then getting assaulted by someone only to be able to “fastpitch” a can of diet coke so hard and so accurate as to knock the would-be assailant out cold.

    The logistics of that actually happening are impossible, but what tough-guy ever confesses to being good at fastpitch softball?


    1. Hyles. He used to show off his form at Fundy High during some of the many visits he made each year to preach in chapels and be adored by the huddled masses who yearned to be free.

    2. Did Big Jack say when this alleged event occurred?
      Diet Coke was not introduced until 1982. Jack Hyles was born in 1926, according to his official biography. So he would have to have been at least 56 years old when he performed this feat. How many 56-year-old star pitchers are out there?

  9. Do you think they know they are lying, or are they repeating some kind of pastoral urban legend?

    1. I think Fundy MOg’s are the world’s best method actors. They completely believe what they are saying at the moment they are saying it.

    2. I agree with Kreine. I would simply add the observation that it depends on who is telling the story. False first-person stories are blatant lies. Ditto stories that another preacher told which are repeated in the first person as if the current speaker was really part of the story. Then, there are the “listen to what this amazing pooh-bah of the IFB did or said” stories. I think that a lot of the storytelling there is something that is genuinely believed by the story-teller. IFB hagiography is, in many respects, more fanciful than medieval legends about the saints.

    3. Fundamentalists seem to be highly susceptible to believing and transmitting urban legends.

      After all, critical thinking is strongly discouraged in their culture.

      There also seems to be a tendency for people to remember something they’ve heard, and gradually come to believe that it happened to themselves, or that they witnessed it personally. For example, Ronald Reagan once said he had been one of the American soldiers who liberated Nazi concentration camps, and he would never forget how the prisoners looked (Reagan spent the entire war in California). He must have remembered seeing a film of it, and forgotten he wasn’t there.

    4. Considering all of the people who have lived on the earth throughout history, and all the scenarios played out in real life, you could conceivably believe that any story you made up could have really happened. Therefore, it is possibly true which is just as good as very true.

      Yes, they believe.

  10. ENOUGH of the illustrations, IFB preachers!

    Pleeeeeze, go back and correctly learn biblical doctrine, interpretation, hermeneutics, and give the sheeple what they really need! It’s NOT MORE illustrations, guys! (Nor is it your opinions, your convictions, your standards!)

    1. I always laugh at the term sheeple. It implies that the person using it doesn’t have the mirror neurons or the pychological tendancy to follow those we perceive as experts. It’s just science.

      For example, where did you get the term sheeple? Why do you use it to describe the people in the pews? Why do you look upon your supposed individualism as a good thing? Are those all original ideas, or were they impressed upon you?

      Wecome to the flock.

    2. I always laugh at the term sheeple. It implies that the person using it doesn’t have the mirror neurons or the pychological tendancy to follow those we perceive as experts. It’s just science.

      For example, where did you get the term sheeple? Why do you use it to describe the people in the pews? Why do you look upon your supposed individualism as a good thing? Are those all original ideas, or were they impressed upon you?

      Welcome to the flock.

  11. And then you have the lower-tier fundy pastors who bounce from church to church every 5-7 years or so. They get to tell the best stories of all because they can tell the current congretation stories about “my previous church(es).” Our pastor did that all the time. His stories were (mostly) internally consistent, though, and he wasn’t always the star, so I tend to think the majority of them were more true than not (albeit embellished, I am sure). Our pastor was just as much of a kool-aid drinker as the next fundy and I think he truly believed in his mission to propagate fundamentalism. Most of his stories were less about self-glory and more about hammering home various vital points of fundy doctrine (e.g., the story of the guy who almost drowned on the lake when he skipped Sunday evening church to go fishing).

    1. I’d expect God to smite people for skipping Sunday evening fishing to attend church.

  12. My job requires me to be at work at 6:30 Sunday evening. If I get hurt at work, is that why? What if I get hurt on another day? How do I explain, with Fundy logic, the guy who never goes to church or gets hurt?

    So many questions.

    Wait, never mind. NEVER question the mog.

    No questions anymore.

    1. My spouse’s job requires him to be at work early Sunday mornings, which means he (um, we) miss all the services.

      It’s actually been a bit of a relief not to get dressed up and worry about how Suzy and Johnny are behaving in their Sunday School classes, or have to practically sit on the toddlers to keep them still until it’s time for Children’s Church. 😕

      1. Meant to say we were also told any problems we have with the ministry aren’t because the programs could be tweaked. It’s because we’ve absorbed the worldly culture of convenience. 👿 😀

  13. I like the song “Nobody’s Perfect” by Mike & The Mechanics. The lyrics go “It must be hard being an angel”. That describes IFB pastors like Hyles, Schaap, Larry Brown, Tony Hutson, Larry Smith, Jack Treiber, and new FBC Sheepherder John Wilkerson.


    What about the deep hole they drilled in Russia and heard voices screaming from hell?????? THAT’S true, right?

    (Maybe in Fundy land the Bible just “isn’t enough.” HA!)

    1. Of course the well to Hell story is true, I heard it on “Coast To Coast”, that late night radio program, the same one that deals with the Shadow People. 😉

  15. Have we talked about this on here before? Anyone remember the story of the missionary who came off the mission field because it was too dangerous for his family? Then his youngest son got into a nest of snakes under the family trailer, the father put the boy in the truck, backed over the other child in the driveway and his wife had a heart attack because her son got run over, all as he was pulling out to get to the hospital. Moral: It is much safer in God’s will than to be in the US and out of God’s will. Anyone remember this one?

      1. Hmm, BG is probably where I heard it. Glad to have recognized that mess for what it is a long time ago and to have been in a position at the time that I could take it or leave it easily.

    1. Ohhh, yes, I know people on the foreign mission field right now as a result of that story. I always wondered about it’s veracity. Anyone have a clue if it’s true or not? Or is that just a stupid question?

    2. I can just imagine this story being gleefully recounted to guilt someone (or many someones) into doing “what God wants”.

      Sickening. Absolutely sickening. To use the tragedy of another to control people. How awful.

  16. Yup, heard it. Can’t remember the context though.

    AND I love Coast to Coast–miss Art Bell though. As a missionary on furlough I do a lot of overnight driving, and if I can get C2C on the radio, I stay awake a lot better, usually.

    1. Michael, please don’t drive when you’re sleepy. I ran off the road that way once. I was very lucky in that no one was injured, but the experience scared some sense into me.

      1. I used to drive OTR with long deadhead legs in a car to get to the next load. Looking back I’m amazed at what I got away with. A couple good scares have made me much more careful, especially with the family sleeping in back rolling down the road at 70mpg in a 30k# bus.

  17. The pastor from my old fundy church was preaching about marriage infidelity and from the pulpit pointed at me and said “any man would be crazy to run off with her!” I was so shocked and embarrassed! Wtf?! Where did that come from? Years later I could see that he was preaching from what he was in his heart. What a scumbag!!

    1. 😯 😯 😯
      Wow. No words.
      😡 I’m sorry he did that to you. :shudder: That’s appalling.

      1. Mommycat,

        Was he a scumbag from the Hyles’ gang? I mean, Hyles’ camp?…Sorry for you, that was APPALLING HORRIBLE!

        1. Yes, he was from HAC. I understand that he no longer preaches. The world is a better place every time one of those jerks loses their soapbox!

    2. I don’t know if I’m more shocked that he insulted your attractiveness from the pulpit, or that the scumbag, er, pastor was busy thinking about which congregants would be best to run off with.

      My wife says I’m not allowed to run off with anybody, or else you would definitely be in the running as far as I’m concerned. 😉

    3. I subscribe to the philosophy that vulgarity is no substitute for wit, but there ARE occasions where a good WTF?! is required. This is one of those occasions. What a dirtbag.

  18. When whoppers are dispensed from the pulpit, the MOG refers to it as “ministerially speaking.” One preacher I know doesn’t outright tell whoppers from the pulpit, but no matter what the text or passage, all scripture is torturously bent back around so that it speaks to his life and experiences. When the Bible says, “knowlege puffeth up,” I think of this man because he has a compulsion to know what others don’t know. I’ve heard all his stories umpteen times and find his stuttering and stammering quite boring. Yet, the people keep coming because he opened a Bible in the pulpit and quote a verse.

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