Friday Challenge: Words to Live By

I read a discussion in an online group last week about mantras or phrases that people repeat to themselves as a reminder to change their outlook on life.

So today’s challenge is to answer this question: If you were to use some pithy words of wisdom for yourself or another former fundy, what would they be?

189 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Words to Live By”

      1. While serving in the USN, one of our flight crew had “illigitimus non carborundum” stenciled on his helmet. (Latin for “don’t let the bastards get you down”. I thought that was pretty cool. His last name was Bacon, and he claimed to be in the genealogical chain that linked to Francis Bacon. (But that claim pegged my bs meter.) thanks for the trip down memory wake.

        1. One of my favorites. [i]Don’t let the bastards grind you down.[/i] (as in a carborundum stone)

        2. I first heard the saying years ago as “Illegitimi non carborundum,” but apparently that’s sort of “dog Latin.” “Noli nothis permittere te terere” is apparently a translation into better Latin.
          Some people point out that carborundum, the grinding material, was not invented until the early 1890s, so it’s unlikely the ancient Romans would have been talking about it.

    1. That whole falsely accused thing was hilarious. Um, you’re not being accused of using a photo that promotes homosexuality, you’re being accused of copyright infringement and theft. Respect my intellectual propertah!

        1. Texting while accelerating makes it easy to misspell words. Don’t try it unless you are looking for a sudden end to all your problems.

        2. Dr. Fundystan, I have used that for years, but say grandma. I have had a few people get mad at me for being “unfeeling” towards my grandmother’s demise, not getting the humor in the statement.

          Some folks are just too darn serious.

        1. The pastor will say, ‘If English was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it’s good enough for me.’

        2. I’ve actually heard “The King James Bible was good enough for Paul the Apostle so it’s good enough for me” shouted from more than one IFB pulpit.

        3. @BG
          not really. I mean they know that Paul didn’t speak the King’s English but they equated Paul’s preaching to what is in the KJB verbatim.

      1. But it is a teaching moment. A time to get them to climb out of the Anti-intellectual slough that they have been wallowing in. An opportunity to help them open their minds and exercise the mind God gave them so that they can start practicing the commandment to, โ€œYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.โ€

        I know when I came out I was hungering for Theology, Doctrine, Church History (real church history not the “Trail of Blood” mythology), and Expository preaching that did word study and put the passage in the context of Who said it, who were they speaking to, what did they say in context of society, culture and spiritual application for their lives. (Not the Fundie practice of ripping texts out of context in order to support whatever they happen to be preaching on. ie. The imfamous single-text-spring-board sermons that are so popular in the IFB especially.

  1. This is what I’ve been repeating to myself lately:

    “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
    Micah 6:8

    1. Or better yet: “Here comes the sun and I say – it’s alright. Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter. Little darlin’,it feels like years since it’s been here. Here comes the sun!”

  2. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

    (God WILL even things out — big numbers, big-name preachers, big money do not impress Him, and He will not overlook the smallest preacher’s wrong because of ‘all the good’ he has done.)

  3. Never leave your brain at the door.

    Don’t let a church come between you and your spouse, or you and your kids.

    Sell out for no mere man.

  4. I think two churchy ones apply to everyone: “Farther along we’ll know all about it” an “God is not mocked …” Both are reminders that sometimes you have to wait on perspective.

    1. “Farther Along”, sung by the heavenly trio; Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt, is on my “kick the bucket list” of songs I want at my funeral. A beautiful song made rapturous by these three blended voices.

  5. โ€œDamned if you do, Damned if you donโ€™tโ€

    When I was a teen, I was once accused by a deacon at my church of smoking cigarettes. When told him had no money to buy anything, he told me I was probably too cheap anyway.

    My older brother became sexual active at 16. I was committed to saving myself for marriage. Soon I had to deal with rumors that I was gay. Even my fundie father called me a faggot on multiple occasions.

    My bible teacher (a BJU graduate) also implied I was gay, when he ask me if I had watched โ€œThe Dukes of Hazardโ€ last week, when I told him I was watching a program about the great explorers on PBS, he said โ€œWhat is wrong with you, you donโ€™t like pretty girls?โ€ Good to know my bible teacher spent his Friday evenings lusting after Daisy Duke (or maybe those Duke Boys).

    I am not sure if it was George Orwell or Franz Kafka who observed that in any totalitarian system, that by not breaking one law, you were breaking another.

    1. These are some wonderful examples of Fundy logic.

      You smoke cigarettes– Sinner.
      You don’t smoke cigarettes– Cheapskate.
      Boy has sex– Whoremonger.
      Boy doesn’t have sex– Queer.
      (Girl has sex– Whore.
      Girl doesn’t have sex– Ugly or Lesbian, or both.)

      You watch TV– You’re part of sinful mainstream culture.
      You don’t watch TV– You’re an elitist snob.
      Girl wears makeup– Slut.
      Girl doesn’t wear makeup– Frigid or Lesbian.
      You don’t go “soul-winning”– Not doing your part.
      You go “soul-winning”– Still not doing enough.
      You don’t read the Bible– You’re a Heathen.
      You read the Bible– It’s the wrong translation or edition or binding color.
      You associate with non-Fundies– You aren’t separated.
      You don’t associate with non-Fundies– You aren’t sharing the Gospel.

      We could go on all day, couldn’t we?

      1. You forgot

        Girl doesn’t have sex – Whore AND Liar

        Been there, endured that, wrecked the testimony of my baptism (which was scheduled shortly after the rumors hit after years of trying to get over a submersion aversion so I could be a good little Christian and obey God) and YES I AM STILL BITTER.

        And the vehemence with which I denied the accusation I’d had sex? Was used as Exhibit A proof that I must have. Because the right response within purity culture is demure shock and horror, not yelling denial and anger that anyone would dare say that about you. Except that demure shock and horror would be classified as not actually denying the rumors.

        There’s just no way to win in a situation like that, and all it takes is one vindictive person and a single statement in Sunday School…

        1. Yep. You can’t win. No matter what you say or don’t say or if you’re open or sneaky or lying or telling the truth, they still are going to believe what they want to believe. I’m finding this happens in a lot of churches.

        2. ๐Ÿ™ Sad thing is that to a lesser extant it goes on in society at large, just watch Maury Povich or even Dr. Phil; if Joe accuses Jane of sleeping around somehow if she cries that makes it okay, but if she gets angry then come a solid wall of BOOs. ๐Ÿ˜ก
          Of course if Jane accuses Joe of the same thing, it doesn’t matter what he says, he’s hung.

        3. I might have thought you were my little sister except for the baptism part. So sorry you went through that!

  6. Men of “influence” in IFB circles? Yeah, no one else has heard of them unless they’ve been arrested. Or if they’ve used a picture from Modern Family on their e-book.

    Interestingly enough, when I googled “Doug Sehorne” yesterday, the first page didn’t show anything about the controversy. Just random posts around the web on his ministry.

    Today, however, six of the 12 links on the first page are to stories related to his use of the MF picture (pun intended). Can’t decide if this will help or hurt his ministry. Have to think it will hurt in the long run.

    1. Got sidetracked, sorry. My original point was that I was surprised when I realized no one I worked with, went to school with, etc., had heard of Jack Hyles, Bob Jones University, Sword of the Lord, etc. Despite many of these being introduced as the “most important man in America” or “God’s showroom”. It really does seem like those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

      1. Of course, outside of the clique, nobody has ever heard of these guys (until they get put up in front of a judge for criminal prosecutions, at which time the media gets invovled).

  7. From Seattle writer Jane Catherine Lotter’s self-written obituary, final advice to her children:

    “And may you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path.”

  8. For about a year I had these words running through my head:

    “What have I become, my sweetest friend?
    Everyone I know goes away in the end.”
    (from “Hurt”)

    I tried to counter that with this song from Steven Curtis Chapman:

    “Out of these ashes… beauty will rise
    and we will dance among the ruins;
    We will see Him with our own eyes.”

    1. It’s been held up as an evil worldly anti-religious song. Actually, “losing my religion” is dialect for “getting so mad I cuss in ways that are against my religion.”

  9. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

  10. “God gave us brains, He meant for us to use them.”
    “Love God, love everybody else, that covers it.”
    “Look at what Jesus did, not what Paul [or modern pastors] said.”
    “God is love. That is everything.”

  11. “See how elastic our stiff prejudices grow when love once comes to bend them.” Herman Melville

    Or, if that fails: “Y’all can just kiss my round brownie right where it stinks.”

  12. Also life advice: Take a course on reading & understanding literature at your local Community College. You might learn a few things about how to understand what you are reading.

    1. Wholeheartedly agree. I learned more about practical Bible interpretation from my community college’s “New Testament Literature” class than in 3 years at Fundy U. My teacher’s favorite book in the NT was Mark: she loved how he develops the characters in their relationship with Jesus. To this day Mark’s gospel is my favorite as well.

    1. That is bizarre. I just saw your post from Friday. (I’ve been off the web since about lunch Friday helping at a church camp) Thursday I had my Dan Fogelrberg’s Greatest Hits playing. Great artist.

      What year did you become a Bald grad? I’m class of ’89.

      1. I graduated long enough ago to be forgetful. I once mentioned on this site that I was a 1981 grad, but later recalled it was 1980. School of religion. Lifelong fan of Dan Fogelberg. Your field of study there at the Mecca of Fundamentalism?

        1. I was a dumb trade student–Aircraft Maintenance.
          I had already made a two year attempt at another Fundy U (not their fault I failed-immaturity issues). Then after being married three years went to BJ. I graduated Fundy High the year you left Unusual U.

      2. Yay! Both of you are older than I! I graduated in 1990.

        (I’m only cheering because I think I’m older than a lot of the commenters here!)

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