122 thoughts on “A Timeline”

    1. Except for the drunk Presbyterians, I’d say they have it about right. I don’t know any Presbyterians who are big drinkers.
      Episcopalians, on the other hand …

        1. Rule of thumb at my Episcopalian theological college: Catholics – gin, Evangelicals – whisky, middle-of-the road – sherry, everyone – beer. Beer is truly an ecumenical drink.

        2. So Jezz, what do winebibbers and vodka guzzlers get categorized as? Are they agnostics? Atheists?

        3. πŸ™‚ You haven’t seen the ‘booze table’ in our dining room…

          You know what the real difference between Baptists and Methodists is, don’t you? The Methodist will recognize you in the liquor store. πŸ˜‰

        4. I really like coffee hour!

          It can easily sound like a joke, but it furthers fellowship in that we continue to “break bread” together.

          I have gotten to know some very nice people that way.

  1. I’ve always wondered- since apparently EVERYONE between the Apostles and the formation of the IFB is heretical, who translated that KJV, eh? Who maintained the apostolic succession? Who kept the faith alive? How did it disappear and then reappear in 20th c America?

    1. True!! There’s a church near where I live that’s very Fundy Fringe and they can’t decide if they’re baptist or anabaptist. It changes every year or so.

    2. I once got into an argument with someone who claimed St. Patrick was a baptist. Apparently he was an early version of anabaptist, so that meant he was a Red Blooded Baptist. Oooooo-Kay then.

        1. Its like Heaven has this free agency like sports leagues. Oh, and the Catholics put in a higher offer and St. Patty leaves the Baptist to go hit for the Catholics.

        2. We have fantasy baseball, fantasy football, and now fantasy Church History.

          I want Saints Francis of Assissi, Augustine, Martin de Porres, Juana Inez de la Cruz, and Elizabeth of Hungary for my team.

        3. St. Francis is a nice acquisition.

          I’ll take St. Mary Magdelene, St. Silouan the Athonite, St. Isaac the Syrian, Gandhi, St. John Coltrane, and Lao Tzu.

          Covering most of the bases, so to speak.

          For those wondering about St. John Coltrane . . .


        4. There used to be a Jimi Hendrix Electric Church in San Francisco, too, but it doesn’t seem to be around any more.

        5. I call Martin of Tours, Therese of Lisieux, Cosmas and Damian, and Isidore the Farmer!

    3. From what I have read (and I have not done an in-depth study), the closest thing we have today to Anabaptists are Mennonites. I tried to explain this to my fundy FIL. Though he has a PhD. from Basement Bible Baptist, he also believed that the “Ana-” in Anabaptist means “against”–as in against (infant) baptism. I explained that it actually means “again,” because they rebaptized those who had been baptized as infants. I also got a kick out of telling him that they were known for their pacifism!

        1. I don’t remember exactly. I read part of his “dissertation,” ( I use the term loosely) and it was not remotely academic in nature, content, or style.

  2. Has any ever read about John Smyth the so called first Baptist and contemporary of the Pilgrim fathers? He was a real piece of work, always changing his views. He started out touting religious liberty and then decided that wasn’t a good idea. He was a religious drifter. Wound up a Mennonite. The accounts of the different groups of English separatists who wound up in Holland makes for interesting reading. There were several groups there, not just the Pilgrims. There was a lot of infighting and division and Smyth was the cause of a great deal of it. I of course was not taught any of this while part of the IFB. Not a word of it during my time in Christian school and at BJ. I didn’t find out about it until I started doing family history research. One of my English ancestors is buried in Leidan Holland. Obviously he didn’t make it to Plymouth Colony but his widow and children did later.

    1. One interesting thing about the early colonists in Plymouth and environs is that apparently they never called themselves “Pilgrims.”
      Also, only some of the passengers on the Mayflower were traveling for religious reasons. Many were simply looking for economic opportunities.

  3. “Oh so close Heretics
    (first three centuries of Christianity)”

    I find this rather interesting.

    While this view is VERY true in practice (we pay lip service to our early brethren and yet infer that they were somehow ignorant, immature or simpletons), I wonder why it’s then okay to have to have so fully departed from the first three centuries?

    It seems like doing church our way hasn’t met with very much success. So, who’s really ignorant or immature?

    Before someone gets all bent out of shape thinking that I’m somehow attacking their sacred cow, let me say that I’m merely posing an honest question or two. The IFB KVJ-only’ers aren’t the only ones that have problems with self-importance.

      1. Raised Lutheran, I was charmed by the view of Episcopalian importance in The Scheme of Things that I got in adult religion class: “Well, basically, we are experimenting with this Middle Way business, and we’ll see how it plays out in a few hundred years.”

  4. This is an amazing post. “Thou art Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will never prevail against it” seems to have been cut out of the 1611 KJV.

    1. Have you never heard the good ol’ IFB way of explaining away this verse? The Greek word for “Peter” is petros, which supposedly means a small little pebble. The Greek word for “rock” is petra, which means a massive boulder or cliff. OBVIOUSLY πŸ™„ Jesus was talking about HIMSELF when he said “petra.” Or maybe Jesus was just punning on Peter’s name and was simply implying that Peter would do much greater things than he thought he would.

      I’ve always thought the little rock/big rock argument to be pretty weak. It’s not like Jesus said, your name is Prince and the King of Kings will build the church (thereby making a distinction between the two). It’s more like if Jesus said, your name is Sunny and with this sun I will bring light to the world (thereby making the point that something that seems insignificant can actually make a big impact). I realize great theologians throughout the ages have disagreed on this point, but I wonder if it’s a disagreement in search of a proof text rather than the other way around.

      1. But Peter’s name was Simon (more like “Shim’on” or “Shimeon” in Hebrew) until Jesus renamed him.

        Simon in Hebrew means “He who hears” or “He who has heard,” depending on which reference you trust more. In Greek, Simon or Simos apparently means “Snub-nosed,” which is interesting, but hard to fit into the story.

        I found some sources I don’t trust saying that “Simon” mean a piece of grass or a bendable reed or shifting sand (as opposed to a firm rock).

        According to my dictionary, “Petros,” means “a stone that can be moved,” not necessarily a little pebble. It could be, for example, a building block.

        However, since Jesus spoke Aramaic with his disciples, it is probably that he actually said “Kephas,” rather than the Greek “Petros” or “Petra.” “Kephas” or “Kefa” (also spelled Kefa or Keefa) means “stone,” with no apparent reference to the size of the stone.

        1. True enough, but taking into account Jesus renaming Peter on the spot, then the whole stone/boulder distinction becomes even more silly because Jesus was just using the name that meant “stone” and the word stone. I.e., it would have sounded silly to say, “thou art Peter and on this Peter I will build my church” or to say “thou art Rock and on this Rock I will build my church.” But the meaning was essentially the same. (Which I think the Aramaic makes even more clear.)

        2. β€œPetros,” means β€œa stone that can be moved,”

          IFB stones don’t move, HaMen?

      2. DS – That is eaxctly how I heard that verse explained away by the fundies. To them it was just another example of the catlicks trying to muscle their way into Ye Olde Tyme Religion.

  5. Once a year my old IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptist Church – just helping the SEO for the site) would hold Baptist History. My last 2 years there I did some research for myself, and several things didn’t add up.

    I questioned several things and was quickly scolded and was perverting history. Hmmm

        1. If fundies are permitted (by the man o gid) to have. a brain its only purpose is to keep their ears apart

    1. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” — I Peter 3:15

      It’s not only okay for us to ask, it’s their responsibility Biblically to answer.

      I never heard this verse preached in IFB. It was one of the many that helped me realize that they were wrong in so many ways.

      (That’s NIV, by the way. ;))

  6. FRAUD!!!! Let condemnation and shame be upon thee Darrell Dow!!!!

    That narrow straight line down the middle should be RED!! Hast thou not read “The Trail of Blood?” πŸ™‚

  7. Does anyone have the address or contact info to this “My Church,” the sole protector of REAL Christianity? I’m afraid that God is going to cast me into a literal burning hell for being confused at, well, the confusing Babel of 40,000 Christian denominations that are claiming to be the One True Church.

    1. I googled “The One True Church” and came up with 266,000,000 hits.

      I’ll let you know when I find the real one true church. This may take a while.


      1. Whooooweeee! That’s a lot of One Church. I appreciate your good intentions, B. R. O., but I’m 43. I don’t think I have enough time left to wait for your research to be completed.

        I think I’m just going to love my neighbor, try to honor whatever idea of God I have managed to retain, and trust that in the end Divine Mercy will win out.

        However, if you do happen to solve the One Church mystery, do be so kind as to inform us all. You will be rich in both earthly and heavenly rewards!

        1. Nico, you are correct on mercy. Divine Mercy is what allows us to love God and pretty much is the reason mankind is still around.

        2. 12%? I think I rate a better contract, Doctor.That’s more than the Bible requires and out of my range. As a religious free agent I’d like to negotiate this offer. How about knock it down to a 4% tithe, and I will volunteer 2 hrs. for Saturday bus route visitation (with 2 weekends off, my choice). Also, with my experience in the building trades, I will maintain the building and premises. You supply materials and labor, I supply the expertise.

          Oh, and the Helpmeet will keep nursery every third Sunday. Deal?

        1. “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

          –Jesus Christ

          (Disclaimer: Other translations may vary)

        2. nico — we all know it’s not about what Jesus said as much as what Jesus was secretly communicating to wiser, more righteous people than ourselves

        1. πŸ™‚ I gave up on Step 1 long ago. Someone that shares your diabolical plan seems to have already hit the perfect churches before I arrive.

          Theoretically, though, Step 2 poses no problem for me at all–well within my skill set!

    2. nico – Directions to find the One True Church:

      Go to the nearest IFB.
      Ask the pastor.
      Proceed to the altar and humbly ask for forgiveness for even questioning.

      1. Scorpio, thanks for the helpful advice. I did some extensive research (i.e., I looked up IFB churches in my area and glanced at their websites, if they had one).

        There seem to be quite a few in my area. They all say they are Independent, Fundamental, Baptist, KJV Only churches. They all seem to have similar beliefs. I wonder why they do not all worship together–especially the several that are within a quarter mile of each other.

        Anyway, I decided to go with the one that boasts of having paved their parking lot in 2011. That kind of religious amenity is mighty hard to pass up.

        1. Revelation 21:21 does indicate that the streets of heaven are paved with gold. But here on earth asphalt will have to do.

    3. It’s very easy to find the One True Church, the only one that has it right. Just walk into any church and ask for directions to it. At the vast majority of churches, you will be told, “You’re there. Congratulations!”

      1. In spite of what all the religious salespeople say, I’m starting to suspect that the One True Church doesn’t exist. [THE HORROR!]

        In fact, I believe what Whitman said of philosophy also holds true of religion:

        “I think I have at least enough philosophy not to be too absolutely certain of any thing, or any results.”

  8. As one of the deacon’s used to say, “We’re on an Island and the Island is shrinking.” I thought, yes, but only because we’ve done the doctrinal equivalent of defining just Oklahoma City as land and the rest of the world as ocean and then sat back and felt all smug and isolated and bemoaned the fact that all the rest of the world is drowning even though the actually aren’t.

      1. I happen to know for a fact that one of the first times BigHoss preached as a layperson in a Methodist church, he actually tried to wear a dress. Seems his grandfather’s robe and his mother’s special occasion dress were on the same closet rack in similar garment bags. He didn’t realize it till he got to the church, so he had to wear his shirt and tie. πŸ™‚

  9. Baby-baptizing heretics / Lutherans. This one is true enough (as in, this is how the fundies perceive Lutherans). My mother convinced my father to leave the Lutheran church after he was the assisting minister at an infant Baptism and they read the part of the liturgy where they anoint the baby with oil and say something about being sealed with the cross of Christ. I vividly remember that car ride home from church and my mother repeatedly asking my father: “Do you believe that baptism saves the infant??? That is what the church teaches! that is what you read this morning in church!!!” In fact, it is not an exaggeration to date the beginning of my parents’ slide into fundamentalism from that car ride.

      1. AMEN, Dr. Fundystan. I grew up Pentecostal (. . . that was some weird stuff, right there :P), but the church my parent and I currently attend is Mennonite. I doubt that the majority of the attendees label themselves Mennonite, however – I know we don’t, really. It’s just the church that is nicest, kindest, and has the best preaching.

  10. A friend of mine was taking a church history course–from a denomination which is not considered fundamentalist–yet the professor had a timeline drawn out from the time of Christ to Early church, then a Big C, then reformation and then to the current church denomination. The professor then stated that the C in the middle stood for Crap but some might name it Catholic.
    My friend never went back to the class.
    Fundamentalists simply label all of Church History Crap. Which really is unfortunate for them. The fact that they refuse to acknowledge the influence of the various theologians and denominations and debates and cultures throughout history on Church hermeneutics renders them impotent. They cannot logically and thoughtfully engage any conversation because they do not realize that Augustine and Aquinas and Luther and Calvin and Wesley all have had an effect on them. My one professor stated that knowing your philosophy, theology and history frees you to not be enslaved to your philosophy, theology and history.

    1. Agree 100%. Also, any presentation of history that is neat and tidy and satisfactorily results in the desired conclusion without any messy details is almost certainly an inaccurate presentation.

    2. The kind of fear mongering and doctrinal browbeating that sustains fundamentalism is countered by increasing knowledge and wisdom. Fundy leadership has to vilify anything that could break their grip on people still under their sway.

      Maybe that’s why there is an ever increasing number of people escaping fundamentalism now that knowledge (if not necessarily wisdom) is more accessible than it ever has been.

    3. “My one professor stated that knowing your philosophy, theology and history frees you to not be enslaved to your philosophy, theology and history.”

      This is a beautiful thought. Believing something is not of much use unless you know why you believe it (“because that’s what I believe” or “because that’s what my faith teaches” are not qualifying answers here) and what alternative beliefs are around.

      But most people are disciples of Saint Henry Ford: “I don’t know much about history, and I wouldn’t give a nickel for all the history in the world. It means nothing to me. History is more or less bunk.”

      1. Yes, as my sister said when I asked her why she wanted to attend WCBC: “I know that it is a sin to wear pants but I don’t know how to prove it from the Bible.” She is now a graduate of that fine institution (the new Harvard!!) and she still believes in all the fundy shibboleths . . . and she still can’t prove any of it from the Bible, the pages of history, or otherwise.

        1. I’m with her. I don’t know how to prove from the Bible that it’s a sin to wear pants, either.
          I guess the difference is that I don’t hope to prove it.

  11. I came from a Mennonite background, not old order. My mother’s mother’s mother came from a long line of Mennonites, some were even preachers. (Btw, the IFB churches were stricter than “new” Mennonites.) We switched to an IFB church just before I went into Jr. High. In that church were quite a few former Mennonites, including the pastor. After I left mbbc, I was convinced that the Mennonites and the Baptist were on the same branch of the church history tree.

    1. Really! My dad came from a Mennonite family, in Manitoba. After his family moved to California, they ended up mostly in Baptist or Alliance churches, quite conservative. After we moved to Washington we were Baptist, until Dad went *boink!* and dragged us off the the Assembly of God.

      My maiden name is Klaassen. Where are you?

      1. I am from Eastern PA, originally. Although part of my ancestry is from Scotland, most of it from Switzerland and Germany. It is believed that one of our ancestors was Hans Landis (or Landes), a Mennonite preacher from Switzerland, who was beheaded in about 1614 (I think).

        We were taught in Baptist history at MBBC (a very boring class with Armitage’s History of the Baptist, as our text book) that Baptists came from the Anabaptists. They supposedly were named Anabaptists by their enemies because they rebaptized their converts.

  12. Haha I made this a few days ago and shared it in a private group because I didn’t have the courage to post it myself. I can’t believe it’s going viral!

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