A few weeks back I gave some commentary on an article by Jeff Amsbaugh which attempted to answer the question of why the young fundamentalists are leaving.

In counterpoint, Bob Gray has also written a response (which quotes from the article but doesn’t mention it or Amsbaugh by name) and it is a rambling and wild-eyed thing of beauty.

I’ll only post an excerpt here but the gist of this semi-incoherent piece is that

1. The lunatic fringe is really the only part of fundamentalism worth having.

2. The lunatics are not only surviving, they’re thriving.

3. Politics. Amen?

The upshot is that Bob Gray should really not be allowed to write things without an editing staff around to keep him from looking as uneducated as he is unpleasant.

Here’s a sample:

Pharaoh first hardened his own heart. That did not deter God from continuing to use His man in preaching God’s truth to God’s people, and to Pharaoh or his followers. We are free moral agents and God is not going to detour around truth because some are offended by that truth. Neither are God’s men of 2014 supposed to do so.

· People leave because they are not of the ones they are leaving. Human nature.
· I would rather they leave than attempt to commandeer what others lived and died for in fundamentalism in the past.
· To blame the quote “dirty dozen” of sins or standards that are preached, as the reason for an exodus of youth, is as liberal a mind-set as there is and lacks logic.
· Rules and standards do not make rebels they merely expose the rebels.
· The liberals blame guns and not the shooters and the liberal’s desire is to disarm all Americans from that which they despise.
· Liberals always think they are smarter and know what’s best and are not happy to just leave.
· They will not be satisfied until they control the rest of us.
· This small number of new breed of young leaders have a desire to take away all standards thus they must blame certain standards by using such antiquated and ill defined terms like “legalism.”
· Their so-called freedom from standards is a trap set by Satan himself.
· They in turn will define our standards, not theirs, and insulate themselves from such by calling our standards “preferences.”
· They are attempting to separate the youth from the influence of the men of God who built great works for God in the 60’s, 70s, and 80’s
· These men of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s had more people in their bathrooms than these young men have in their church. Yes, I am using the horrible topic of numbers. The Bible does speak of “for the work’s sake” some will believe.
· These young men are opting out of the quest for Holy Spirit power in search of human spirit power.
· When you use Hollywood methods you will receive Hollywood results. Church is to remind us of Heaven not the world. A called out body of baptized believers is the “ekklesia.” We are peculiar and even called a remnant.
· When liberals attempt to re-write the history of these great spiritual men, that God gave us, we are doing exactly what the liberal intellectuals have done and will do with our historical forefathers.
· When I was in high school in the early 60’s our forefathers were revered and not sneered. Then the rebels of the 60’s became our college professors and leaders of our higher education institutions.
· They began immediately to re-write history and make our forefathers look as undesirable as possible. Thus higher education today is smearing the lives of our countries forefathers in the text books as well as the classroom.
· The liberals believe if they can discredit the great men of the past they can alter the direction of the future. That is why Jack Hyles, Tom Malone, Lester Roloff, Lee Roberson, etc., are conveniently absent from some Bible colleges.
· We are in 2014 seeing the same play just different actors both politically and spiritually.
· When those with standards are tagged as “lunatic fringe” by our youth then it is no different than the Tea Party being tagged “lunatic fringe” by the liberal Democrats.
· By the way, that is where the term “lunatic fringe” was birthed.
· The attack on the U.S. Constitution by political liberals could have been easily predicted, much like the attack on the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures by spiritual liberals of our day. One young leader blames our belief of “inspiration of the Holy Scriptures” as part of the problem.
· To tear down what our spiritual and historical forefathers accomplished with scandalizing Internet statements is silly and juvenile. This is grade school stuff.
· I remember at the SOUTHWIDE-BAPTIST-FELLOWSHIP meeting years ago at Dr. Roberson’s church when a national leader renounced his position on standards and soul winning. The struggle was on!
· Many of his peers and some youth followed suit and they produced a public schism and that was fine with me. Just tell us what you believe and we can all move on.
· It appears that in order to build up this new neo-fundamental group we must dispatch with the old guard and do it quickly.
· That is why we have a cancerous soft peddling of a so-called “NEW ROAD.”
· I would suggest that we not mistake “meekness” for “weakness” and let our old and aged voices be heard once again.
· There are still 7,000 out here who have not bowed their knees to the god of this world.
· You can tell more by those who make comments to these blogs of their approval about this silent rebellion.
· Look at the ones who give favorable comments to such illogical, unscriptural verbal diarrhea on these blogs.
· Look at their Face book pics and look at the wives in their skinny jeans along with their listing of their favorite Hollywood movies. That is the elephant in the room that NO ONE wants to talk about.
· A mixed multitude will never get the job done.
· Maybe we should just simply declare where each of us stand on separation and then collate from there. The problem is the youth know where the aged stand because the aged make it clear. Yet the liberal youth tip toe around the subject matter with their books and never do declare specific positions.
If these young bucks are going to bring the fight on in an attempt to do away with OUR forefathers’ legacy and OUR standards, then the fight is on.
· I really do not care what they do or don’t’ do within their realm of their convictions, but do not subtly attack Jack Hyles, Lee Roberson, Tom Malone, John R. Rice and Lester Roloff in an attempt to invade our churches with this non-sense. These mentors of ours were some of the greatest men of God our nation has ever known. PERIOD!
· Dr. Lee Roberson did not give a hoot if another man had his night services at 6 or 7. He was concerned about the “TREND” and where it was headed for those who were influenced by him. The proof is in the “puddin'” and from what I see he was right as to the destination of such changes
· The aged see the big picture better than the youth do. Staying in to correct wrongs did not work for the SBC and it will not work any where else. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!

291 thoughts on “Writing”

  1. There’s so much in that post to question, but this quote stands out:

    “When you use Hollywood methods you will receive Hollywood results. Church is to remind us of Heaven not the world. A called out body of baptized believers is the “ekklesia.” We are peculiar and even called a remnant.”

    Does the Bible ever call the church a remnant? I thought that term referred to a segment of the Israelites. I’m just trying to isolate a passage clearly calling the church a remnant. (Not at my computer so my search options are limited; only people calling the church a remnant that I can find are Seventh Day Adventists.)

    1. In regards to the Hollywood comment: Those who differ from us DO NOT produce large numbers, but if they do, then it is through the means of Hollywood techniques. Now, if we produce large numbers, it is through the power of God’s spirit (and our powerful preaching).

  2. I actually felt like responding:
    “If you would preach the person of Jesus and let discipleship happen as it ought, the Holy Spirit would do His work and lives/standards/dispositions would change. In your concern for holiness (a good concern) and recognition of human nature (a genuine problem), you try to control people rather than trusting God to do His work through His Son. Trust Jesus in this too; He justifies and sanctifies.
    Look through your article. You point people to dead men and standards. I know you’re answering points to a blog article, but still you never really focus on Jesus. That’s the problem we who have left IFBdom have. We want Jesus! Jesus first! His goodness, kindness, holiness, boldness. We want to be like THAT. He models loving His enemies (life’s most difficult command to me), doing good while being good, and loving God totally while NEVER mentioning the length of one’s tunic or the length of one’s hair. Were the women who followed Him changed? Yes! Because His holiness was attractive. It still is. Preach HIM! And stop being rude. It’s never pleasant and rarely accomplishes its purposes.
    You can be strict/whatever, but the moment the majority of your focus turns to externals and not Jesus Himself, you’re merely being a control freak with bully pulpit.”

    1. Thanks, all. I just know that at my moments of greatest unbelief in the existence of God or the power of Jesus that I realized what I was capable of without that influence, and I turned to REAL legalism. I intentionally used fear of others/living up to standards/fear of failure to keep me from following the evil in my heart. My own legalism combined with constant external BJU/IFB legalism almost drove me mad until I became a believer. That’s when I realized how much of this stuff stems from unbelief: unadmitted atheism or disbelief in God’s ability to really make a new creature out of a depraved one.

  3. Gray is really struggling. The outpouring of testimonies and evidence of the gross sins and crimes of Fundamentalism, not to mention the civil cases against bad churches, have put him on the ropes. He is barely coherent, and of course he cannot find any Scripture to rebut critics of Fundamentalism. All that he can do is call upon Fundamentalist history (the part they acknowledge) and its traditions.

      1. Somehow I highly doubt he was referring to actual victims but instead to those who’ve been martyred for the faith. I doubt there have been too many IFBs martyred for their faith.

        Of course, I could be wrong. Certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

    1. This really bothers me, too. They like to claim martyrs who have nothing to do with the IFB. If the IFB were the “true Baptists” all throughout time as they like to claim, that would severely limit their claims to most Protestant martyrs, who expressed allegiance to other lines of the church that the IFB vigorously reject.

      Seriously, no martyr died for their 1950s-esque cultural standards. Those who have given their lives for the cause of Christ gave it for Jesus and His Word, not bus ministries or the Bill Rice Ranch or the righteousness of culottes.

  4. So he is going to defend men and continue man worship because they had big churches. Let’s not concern ourselves with abuse, affairs or concealing sexual abuse because they had big works of God dangit. Also people who disagree are liberals. They aren’t Jesus followers or concerned about a works based religion nope. They are a bunch of liberal hippies.

    1. I also see this among many hardcore evangelicals. You are either one of them or your a liberal. It’s either black or white. One or the other – nothing in between.

        1. It’s easy to slap a ill-intended name tag on someone who disagrees with you instead of actually trying to see their point of view.

          It’s no different than someone arguing with you and you just saying, “Yeah, but you smell.”

      1. Back in the 80s I was a member of a terrific SBC that busied itself with education and edification via the scriptures, and would have been considered moderate. Then the SB Convention decreed that either you were a conservative church or you were …..duh duh duhhhhhhh…….*liberal*. Cue gasps of horror. Our membership promptly ran as hard as they could towards conservatism, lest they be tarred with the “L word”, and drove off the pastor for good measure.

        There was no grace or love or kindness left that I could see. Nor is there much in the screed above. If you don’t live your life and conduct your church in such a way that people see Christian love in you, don’t blame people for opting out.

  5. Wow. That was something. In case anyone hasn’t read it yet, let me save you some time. This is what he said:

    I am right about everything. The liberal is always wrong and is to blame for anyone that speaks out against the IFB.

    1. Exactly scorpio! If you have spent any portion of your life under fundamentalist preaching you could sense this a mile away! All these jokers are the same at their core. When you call them out on something and try to reason they buck up and start attacking you. One thing is certain – friendship means very little when you start questioning their beliefs.

  6. So wait – who, exactly, is he accusing of favoring ” illogical, unscriptural verbal diarrhea on these blogs”? Just askin’.

  7. “To blame the quote “dirty dozen” of sins or standards that are preached, as the reason for an exodus of youth, is as liberal a mind-set as there is and lacks logic.”

    Let me get this right: it’s liberal to suggest that gross moral failures of leadership is a reason for people leaving.

    “Look at the ones who give favorable comments to such illogical, unscriptural verbal diarrhea on these blogs.”

    Ooh ooh ooh, I think he means us!

    “Maybe we should just simply declare where each of us stand on separation and then collate from there.”

    Not sure where you stand, sir, but personally I stand for separation from child molesters, abusers, those unfaithful to their wives and families, and others who abuse the holy Word of God for their own profit. I find I Corinthians 5 particularly relevant here.

    1. I’m guessing by his tone, when he says “liberal,” he’s meaning that in a BAD way, right? 🙂 ‘Cause I’m not exactly taking offense to it.

      1. A lot of conservative people do that…..thinking liberal is a bad word. We make easy scapegoats.

        I am just waiting for my friend Jeanette to post here today asking if we voted for Clinton twice. Because you know, that means we are headed for hell.

        1. At least we’ll be in good company.

          “Heaven for climate; Hell for society.”
          –Mark Twain

      2. As I posted above, when the SB Convention drew the boxes around conservative and liberal, destroying everyone who had previously been considered “moderate”, far too many went charging to the conservative end — as if their hair was on fire and their asses were catching — to avoid the label of liberal. To their minds, that’s just one step away from “Godless Communist”.

        The idea that they may have over-rotated and alienated a lot of people who believe in social justice, stewardship of the earth, and other, you know, *Biblical* things is anathema to them.

        1. Yes, I believe the fundamentalist “conservative resurgence” was one of the worst things that ever happened, not only to the SBC, but to American Evangelicalism in general. And since in general conservatives can neither build nor maintain a successful institution (a given for anyone who understands group dynamics), I am afraid to say that the SBC seminaries and churches are a dying breed. Too bad, since they were once a major part of American Christianity, but fundamentalism generally destroys itself.

    1. That’s exactly it. But it’s more subtle even than that.

      I still go to a church where I’m sure most of the people are more conservative, theologically and certainly politically, than I am. And that’s OK. We don’t have to agree on everything. We agree on the core things. Sometimes it can feel a bit isolating, but I believe in Christian unity – that doesn’t mean forcing everyone to agree on every point, or enforcing a list of rules, but it means loving each other despite differences.

      I don’t think I could remain part of a church where the pastor had the attitude “Love it or leave it.” I can be happy even where I feel a bit different than most, but I couldn’t be happy where I feel like I’m being forced into a mold.

  8. “· These men of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s had more people in their bathrooms than these young men have in their church. Yes, I am using the horrible topic of numbers. The Bible does speak of “for the work’s sake” some will believe”

    Sorry but a vision of the infamous rest area (or the airport if you are a Idaho senator) bathrooms come to mind

      1. That men of the ’60’s, 70’s, and 80’s had extremely large bathrooms? What everybody was doing in them is best left to the imagination.

        1. I don’t know why some of these Fundies are obsessed with bathroom capacity. Did they grow up in houses without plumbing? That’s nothing to be ashamed of, but they need to get over it.

          I keep hearing that First Baptist of Hammond has more bathrooms than the White House. None of these boosters explained the significance of that, though.
          Then there was the preacher whose wife was accused of some kind of improper financial activity (sorry, I don’t remember which preacher or the exact details). He said (in her defense??) that his wife would never be able to figure out how to read a spreadsheet and that she only came into the church office to clean the bathroom. (Um … gee, thanks, Honey??)

        2. BG, I have to say that I believe in Large Bathrooms. With plenty of stalls. Bathroom size and availability is critical in a fundy church. I know that every time I hear a fundy sermon I feel the need to take a shit–I imagine I’m not alone. If there are not enough potties to go around the results would be disastrous.

        3. I know at my childhood church, going to hide in a bathroom during either youth group, Sunday School, or the sermon was a first step towards the door for a few teenagers. And I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one who had the locations mapped out as ‘just in case I absolutely need to exit a conversation/lesson’ refuge locations.

          Saying a preacher has had more people in the bathrooms than someone else had listening to their sermons would NOT have been a compliment at that church.

      2. Giving the benefit of the doubt here, I assume he meant that their churches were so large that even the smallest room in the church (the restroom) held more people than a modern, liberal Dever/Piper type preacher’s whole church.

    1. That Bible verse he tried to quote to “justify” his statement didn’t work and doesn’t excuse the fact that he just said, “They were big, so they were right.”

      That’s not how I see God working in Scripture. He picked the Jewish nation and specifically said that it was NOT because they were big or powerful. He picked unknowns, little guys, youngest sons. He chose an obscure background for Jesus to be born into. Jesus had 12 faithful followers. Little is much when God is in it, but for them much is much so God has to be on board too.

  9. Just some observations from the article itself…
    1.) Why all the references to the SBC in 1995? Are we not in 2014 right now?
    2.) “Our spiritual forefathers’ work resulted in every state in the union hosting the largest church of any denomination. ” (Yep, it is still all about numbers, because numbers = success and godliness (roll eyes))
    3.) Comparing the Dallas Cowboys to an IFB church in regards to spirituality/biblical obedience. ’nuff said.
    4.) Listing of the standard “IFB gods” and proclamation of their infallibility (Jack Hyles, Lee Roberson, John R. Rice, etc.) over and over and over again.
    5.) Essentially stating that leaving an IFB church means you are not saved…
    6.) Standard “God gives all men liberty” defense
    7.) Standard “anti-universal church” defense, to solidify independence
    8.) “When a church or an individual perverts the Word of God for their own purposes, they may be laying a foundation for a cult.” Thank you for defining the lunatic fringe for us.
    9.) “Satan and his cults are very often more aggressive in their outreach…leadership…and…organization” So we need to mirror them to be able to overcome them, instead of ministering as Jesus ministered (which is completely different)
    10.) “People leave because they are not of the ones they are leaving. Human nature.” Amen to that.
    11.) Standard “anyone that does not agree with me is a liberal and hard-hearted” tactic
    12.) “These men of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s had more people in their bathrooms than these young men have in their church.” WHY WOULD YOU EVEN SAY THAT?!?
    13.) “When you use Hollywood methods you will receive Hollywood results…” Like, say, offering free assault rifles, gift cards, etc. for coming to church?
    14.) “There are still 7,000 out here who have not bowed their knees to the god of this world.” Wow. That’s not pride or anything.

  10. I have also read quite a bit that not only are young people walking away from fundamentalism but evangelical Christianity. There is one story out there that says that the churches stance on gays is part of this. Is that consistent with what others are seeing and experiencing?

      1. Similar experience. Yeah, not worrying about man made rules (dress code, etc.) is ok, but when you get the same works-righteousness flavor and politicized environment, it really isn’t all that different. That’s one reason I now attend a liturgical church.

        1. Yes! Initially, I felt great because hey–they don’t worry about music, or pants, or movies–a step up from Fundyism! But then, I started noticing that the underlying attitudes were the same, and, as you say, there is definitely a politicized environment. I would almost say more so than the IFB.

        2. Ditto. The wave of 20 somethings leaving IFB for SBC churches has turned into 30 somethings leaving the SBC for _____.

          Just proof that we were never saved to begin with.

      2. Yes fundy churches and evangelical churches share much of the same DNA. The condemnation and judgment in the evangelical church is a bit more artful, but it is usually there. Twin ugly sons of the same mother.

      3. I agree.

        When I got off the Fundy merry-go-round I found a church that was safer, but still comfortably familiar.

        I need to get further away from these attitudes.

    1. This has been my experience as well. Praise bands and casual clothing were one thing, but I began to realize that the messages were the same. Even more, rather than being fed in the main service, we were directed to “go deeper” only by going into small groups, which had cliques of their own.

        1. Yeah, it was either everyone already knew each other and it was difficult to find a place to fit in; or they randomly assigned people together who had nothing really in common and expected them to become best friends.

          Relationships do not work that way.

    2. I grew up in an SBC church, and we bled members in the late high and college age groups.

      It was the homosexuality issue. And the ‘women are lesser in the eyes of God’ thing. Plus inerrancy. (Oh, and the never being able to discuss anything even in discussion group settings and all doubt being wrong even if it was just ‘can I have a verse reference for that?’)

      And above all, the fact the teaching was so constrained by those things. It’s one thing if a church holds to those things, it’s another if reading the statement of faith on the church website will tell you everything that applies to you in every sermon the pastor preached in the last five years if you aren’t already married with a child at least five years old.

      1. I remember going to (a baptist) seminary with a woman who felt called to ministry and had started a kind of church project that involved going to where homeless people hung out and doing church with them. I was amazed at what this person – a grown adult in a self-proclaimed institute of higher learning – had to put up with. There was the “you are a woman, therefore Satan” thing, as well as fierce fighting and snide remarks about if it could rightfully be called church, etc. And I just thought to myself, WOW. Here is someone who is trying to bring the love of Christ to the marginalized, and we are spending all our time arguing about minutiae.

        1. You know, the fact that she was doing it proved their point about female judges in the OT. I was always told that the reason women were judges was that there weren’t any men who would step up to the plate. The men aren’t doing anything because homeless people have nothing to give. No money in the homeless ministry.

        2. It can be more extreme than that.

          I remember having to have a male classmate in the college department back me up when I said Persia was no longer a player in the region during the Nativity, despite the fact it was relevant to the most basic classes in my major and none of his classwork.

          I also got treated weirdly for trying to put Iraqi Christians on the prayer request list after I’d heard a news report starting half were refugees or dead because of sectarian violence. It was edited to a prayer for Iraqi converts who converted after the most recent war with Iraq began, after I insisted that no I was not a deluded young woman who’d heard the news wrong.

        3. Those Christians who have been there since the first century apparently don’t count.

    3. Walked away from fundyism, was not a fan of the huge churches and SBC churches I tried. Just wasn’t me, and I felt the same emptiness I felt in fundyland.

      My current church is non-denom and truly non-denom, with great preaching, great music and people who just enjoy each other. Great mix of young and old. Not huge, but full of people who “get” that we are the hands and feet of Christ and are involved in actually helping people. I love it.

    4. To get back to your original question, I know a number of young people (and several not-so-young people) who want nothing to do with the Church because they see it as hating gay people and abusive of gay people.
      Most of them have other differences with churches, too, but equality for gays is the make-or-break issue for many in the younger generation, and for more than a few of their elders.

    5. At 43 I guess I can no longer class myself as young, but I have left church. The church’s treatment of gays is a part of my reason for leaving church, yes, but not the main reason. As I see it, the church’s treatment of gays is a symptom of a deeper problem. This deeper problem is the church’s unwillingness to consider that the Bible was never meant to be considered the infallible, inerrant source of all morals and doctrine. Even if the Bible *is* infallible, this is only of any use if there is also an infallible interpretation to go along with it. And we know where this leads. Over 40,000 Christian denominations all asserting their interpretation is the right one.

      This is all my opinion, of course. Others have different ideas. And now that you have me thinking about it, this is only one of the deeper problems that have led me away from the church. This is just the Big One for me right now.

      1. I also consider it a sign of how a given congregation is willing to treat someone who disagrees with them on behavioral rules.

        It became a real issue for me when I was mourning someone and had to lie about why I was sad at church, because saying the tiniest thing that might reveal he was gay could have triggered all hell breaking loose.

        When the youth in the church consider it dangerous to tell anyone in the church that they even know gay people, something is very very wrong.

        1. I agree. I’m sorry you had to go through that. Your experience is a sad example of the incredible (and unwarranted) control of church leaders over the lives of their congregants. Of course, it’s all for our salvation, right? If we want to inherit the kingdom of heaven, we better just pray, obey, and pay. And, if it comes down to it, slay. The gays, I mean. Well, maybe this would be going too far even for fundies (not for some of them!), but surely if the Bible teaches that gays should be put to death (Lev. 20:13) it’s not out of the question to despise their very existence.

    1. If he were a BJ literature book, he’d say there is a third Biblical option. I think that would be suck it up an get used to it and accept it because the Israelites never gave up getting into their promised land such as the IFB is the current promised land of perfection and milk an honey.

        1. Not so sure, GR; it sounds like he ‘s still working on intelligible speech.

  11. “Noone made you join an independent Baptist Church.” Why yes, yes I was forced to be a part of one for 18 years. I was a child that had no choice but to go until I became an adult. At which point I was gone.

    By the way, to make it clear, I personnally do not hate on ifbs for preachin te way out of hell even though I do not believe it any more. It is a noble goal. But abusing and guilt tripping people because of a need for power or numbers? That is where I draw the line. It as a movement is fundamentally wrong. A wrong focus, wrong “standards”, and wrong perspective on the world.

    1. I really wish more of the ‘Why Are The Youth Leaving?’ worriers would realize that.

      In most church-going families, the line at which a child can decide which church to go to for themselves is set by acquisition of a driver’s license and their own car, legal adulthood, or moving out of the parental household.

      Looking for what made someone leave at 16-18 and only looking in the high school department completely ignores the fact the real problem could have been there since the person leaving was four or five. Or in every single sermon that person can remember ever hearing and oh yeah, they knew it was wrong the first five times but their parents wouldn’t let them admit it.

  12. My brain translated the Fundy tirade to, “ARGLE BARGLE! BLARGITY BLARG, BLATT SKA BARGLE, HAY-MEN? (we’re right & we’re glad you wicked compromisers are leaving!)”

    Way to be humble & open to criticism, Bob Gray. Tell me more about your false religion; I need to exercise my eye rolling muscles today.

      1. There are day butt cushions? Do the night butt cushions have glitter or sequins? Or are they the butt cushion equivalent of a little black dress?

        Of course, that’s if you BELIEVE in the butt cushion. It is less real than white pianos.

        1. Say, Natalie, does your husband know you post on here? Shouldn’t you be couturiering in the spirit of the Proverbs 31 woman instead of harassing innocent people on the interwebz?

    1. Was he possibly preaching against Ska? Or Blarney?

      Bob Gray: Staying on the old fart paths, removing not the old fart landmarks.

      1. :taps mic: Ahem. If you put stick deodorant on your legs (or on the seams of the pants), skinny jeans go on & come off a lot more easily.

        It is also a fantastic way to ease the prickly sensation between shaves.

        I will *not* be entertaining questions from the audience.

        1. Maybe you won’t entertain questions from the peanut gallery, but we will certainly be entertaining some entertaining ideas.

  13. Only the skinny jeans of married women are ruining the morals of America. So I can freely wear mine and propogate it on my Facebook 🙂 Cause I’m single and lovin it;)

    1. I know this sounds mean, but how about the regular jeans of married women? “Yes, honey, it does make your butt look big, and I couldn’t be prouder!” (run and hides) :mrgreen:

  14. Ministry…
    This is not arguing for God and the things of God,
    This is arguing for power and a paycheck.

    There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it. – Lord Acton, April 1887

      1. Great comparison as Lear lapped up flattery (loving his position of power) and was incapable of recognizing (or receiving) sincerity and love when his youngest daughter offered it.

  15. I’m usually more than happy to lampoon the idiocy of everyone (including myself), but this time I actually just feel sad for the guy. This post is so full of fear it is just sad. And unfortunately, it could serve as a freshman level textbook on how not to do rhetoric. Oh, btw, saying that something is “liberal” or “lacks logic” doesn’t make it so.

    1. But that’s one of the hall marks of IFB preaching and Fundie Apologists: Argumentation by Assertion.

      The M-O-g declares it so, and so it is.

      “So sayeth the shepherd!”
      …”so sayeth the flock!”

      1. Exactly Lord Don!!! I think that people are scrutinizing these pontifications more now and not just swallowing them whole. Thus the exodus from fundemantalism and evangelicalism we are seeing. (Just my theory)

      2. Yep. My daughter-in-law subscribes to this form of theology. It doesn’t have to be true or in the Scripture. She just has to assert that it is.

        If she viciously attacks anyone for their errant ideas, she is just being reasonable and godly. On the other hand, if anyone disagrees with her she is being persecuted and abused.

        Freedom of Speech goes only one way, haymen?!

        These people take the idea of “foolishness of God” being wiser than the “wisdom of men” a bit too far. They only think their foolishness is of God, when it is no more than their own foolishness on display.

        1. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do math that way? “Proof by Assertion” What a splendid idea!

  16. · Look at the ones who give favorable comments to such illogical, unscriptural verbal diarrhea on these blogs.


    -defines a majority of the pseudo-preaching that takes place in the pulpits of the IFB cult.

    1. I’m reading this and thinking of goldfish swallowing, clowns, etc., all to get kids in church, then also auctioning off cars for soulwinning prizes, and offering memorabilia of IFB celebrities as prizes. So when he blames others for using “Hollywood methods” what the heck could he be talking about except for the methods used and endorsed by the IFB for decades? And he’s right: those methods could only produce those results: clowns in pulpits and men pushing others aside to become the next big name in Fundamentalism.

      1. and lets not forget the infamous “doctorate” for John R Rice’s Horse – I am sorry to say I was at that Pastors School when that happened (1978). Right in the middle of the presentation the horse went to the bathroom on the floor there at the coliesum (sp). Then again that was worth more than the degree!!!

        1. If only there were video phones in those days… that posting on YouTube would have gone viral very quickly.

  17. This mans religion has made him stupid. This is a desperate gasp of a dying religious subset no longer relevant to the changing culture and mindset of this generation. Instead of introspection and humility he digs in his heels. Mr.gray is losing his empire of influence and that is a great thing. This will happen more and more as people stop isolating their “preachers” and their religious assertions from scrutiny.

  18. “The attack on the U.S. Constitution by political liberals could have been easily predicted, much like the attack on the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures by spiritual liberals of our day. One young leader blames our belief of “inspiration of the Holy Scriptures” as part of the problem.”

    Sigh. One of the hallmarks of fundamentalism is a tendency to conflate religion and politics. Fundamentalists treat the US Constitution as if it were God-inspired and verbally inerrant (despite the evidences that is was a mishmash of compromises). Of course, that would mean that the Amendments are heresy, with the exception of the first ten!

    God did not give us the Second Amendment. (I am not saying I am anti-gun!) And the Founding Fathers deliberately framed the Constitution with no religious test for holding office. They disestablished state-sponsored religion to ensure that religious persecution could not occur.

    While I would say that we need a new Constitutional Convention to address appropriate issues of our modern age, I probably would not call one now. The mood of the country is too irrational and unreasonable. Anything coming out of it would be a mess. The last thing we need is for fundamentalists to try to enshrine their religious POVs into the foundational documents of the nation.

    And of course, the obligatory consigning of “liberals” to the pit of hell. And the accusation that we liberal want to control everybody else. The truth of the matter is that we liberals would like much more individual freedom, more corporate accountability (corporations do lots of highly illegal and unethical things!), and less religious control of the people.

    In other words, Bob Gray is complaining that liberals are trying to take away his fiefdom and free the serfs!

    1. Gray doesn’t mention the 14th amendment, guaranteeing equal protection under the law. Equal protection applies to racial and religious minorities. And to the gays.

      Gray’s level of anger and incoherence are both hallmarks of early-stage dementia.

        1. Fox News–“Where truth means as much to us as the middle class.”

        2. You’re not kidding. I forgot to take my MP3 player to the gym the other day & was forced to watch Fox News. (I wasn’t literally forced, but it was such a train wreck, I couldn’t look away.)

          By the time I left, my brain was barely functional.

      1. Bob Gray probably doesn’t think much of the 14th Amendment, or the 13th Amendment.

        But he really, really, really likes the 2nd Amendment.

  19. “Liberals always think they are smarter and know what’s best and are not happy to just leave.
    They will not be satisfied until they control the rest of us.”

    So, Bob Gray just admitted he’s a liberal?

    1. I don’t know if we are smarter. Certainly the right is much more on the ball in scheming to strip the rights and wealth of ordinary people and send the loot to the wealthiest.

      We are more compassionate, I think. And yes, I think that compassion should trump hate any time and all the time.

    2. Well, he’s calling anyone who leaves a liberal (which is laughably ridiculous) and then equating spiritual liberalism with political liberalism.

      Also if the “liberals” wanted to control the IFB, why did they LEAVE? Why not stay and change the church?

  20. “If these young bucks are going to bring the fight on in an attempt to do away with OUR forefathers’ legacy and OUR standards, then the fight is on.”

    Interesting choice of words. “Young bucks” is slaveholder language for a “stud” used to impregnate women slaves. There was no real marriage among the slaves because the master had complete and total control over their bodies. It is totally derogatory. The statement is almost a declaration of “The South Shall Rise Again!”, slavery and all.

    Oh, he may be saying “liberals,” but then do you think he sees black people as conservative? Not with all their detestable work trying to get equal rights!

    You might remember that Dr. Bob Gray was the evangelist who preached at the church giving away the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle as a door prize.

    1. Maybe that’s the case with his use of the term, but I’ve used that term before, entirely ignorant of its history. I think you’re stretching juuuust a little to take his rant that direction.

  21. <blockquote cite="We are not one big "body" of "one invisible church." That my friend is Catholicism. We are local independent Baptist churches. We were never Protestants! "

    This man believes that the Church is a bunch of little bodies, and that the Bride of Christ is actually the Brides (but polygamy is good, haymen?).

    This is why they can support separation so easily. After all, you can just consign someone to “not being of the body” and declare them worthless, not a Christian. It is a lot more difficult to separate from another brother or sister if you realize they contribute substance and worth to the Whole of Christ’s Church.

    Yes, I have had to come out of fundamentalism. But that brought me into fellowship with such a wider group of God’s people!

    1. GRAY: “We are not one big “body” of “one invisible church.” That my friend is Catholicism.”

      No it isn’t. The Catholic Church taught that the Body of Christ was one VISIBLE Church, ie, the Holy Roman Catholic Church. It was the Protestants who argued, from Scripture, which Gray cannot produce, that the true body of believers is invisible, not declared by men but by God. That is, the visible members of the church on earth may not truly be members of Christ’s body: the true church.

      Paul, not in Rome, and not a member of the local assembly in Rome, wrote, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:5).

      Again, not in Corinth, and not a member of any local church in Corinth, he wrote, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Cor 12:12-13).

      1. Well, yeah, but it wasn’t the Reformers’ idea. Augustine made the distinction between the church visible and the church invisible a thousand years earlier. It really is just basic Christian theology, well taught by both Jesus and Paul. The fact that Mr. Gray is comfortable rejecting this says as much as anyone needs to know about the cultishness of his religion.

      2. Three ladies in our SS class asked for prayer concerning a friend of theirs who spends several hours a week with them doing Scrapbooking. They said that they had meaningful discussions with her about God, but she refused to go to church with them. My response: their friend is already attending Church several hours a week… With them… Scrapbooking.
        (” we believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church…” – apostle’s creed – Nicene ?)
        The older I get, the more I find the Universal Church (the body of believers) the only one worth attending. For some reason, this makes me glad and sad at the same time…

  22. This is my first time to comment, so let me first establish my fundy cred:
    1. Phil Kidd preached a revival at my church when I was a teenager.
    2. I attended more Southwide Baptist Fellowship Conferences in my youth/young adulthood than I care to remember.
    3. I can see the white piano!

    The point Mr.Bro.Dr. Gray makes about everyone declaring their standards so they can “collate from there” makes me laugh. Are you really going to find two or more fundy pastors who agree on every point of standards and separation? Maybe this would be a good idea as the resulting squabbles (We’re more separated! No we are! Well, our standards are higher! Etc.) might hasten the demise of fundydom. For the record, my fundy pastor considered Dr. Roberson liberal, so maybe Mr.Bro.Dr. Gray is not as fundy as he thinks he is?

    1. Welcome! Always nice to have another who cheers for the death of fundamentalism. The collate part I thought was good, but my favorite was the one about averaging people and needing the lunatic fringe to stay average (though god knows what is on the other end of that average–my guess: another lunatic fringe).

  23. So much of this just screams, “I’m in a cult!” From the judging outsiders by their dress, to the dire predictions for those who leave – it’s just scary that his own people can’t see what is in his own post and leave. Sad.

    1. But he’s not a cult! First he told us himself. Second, he’s just like Dallas Cowboys fans. (If the Cowboys had to guilt trip fans into coming to games, which I guess *is* becoming more and more likely considering how they are playing…)

      1. THE big difference is that a Cowboy fan doesn’t tear down his fellow fans for not being a big of a fan as he is – for not having a #1 sign, a fence, his face painted. They enjoy their private brand of lunacy, but don’t tell the others that if they are not just like them, they are somehow bad people.

        Gray is not content to let people go soul-winning who want to go — he forces people to stand and declare when they are going and shames people who don’t stand as hard-hearted backslidden Christians. One visiting pastor said “I don’t even go there, and he made me feel guilty!”

  24. “The problem is the youth know where the aged stand because the aged make it clear. Yet the liberal youth tip toe around the subject matter with their books and never do declare specific positions.”

    I doubt that the youth know much about the aged men to whom he is referring. Today’s liberal youth are “tiptoeing around the subject matter” because their questions weren’t answered or even allowed for discussion in their IFB churches. Wonder why…with all the Drs and all.

    1. Or he’s talking about young writers in a different church culture where it is not heresy to admit your views have ever changed post-conversion, not heresy to say you don’t know yet, and not heresy to admit you think precise beliefs on an issue aren’t required for salvation.

      That and he’s expecting people who have been adult Christians for ten years to talk like people who have been adult Christians for fifty years. Which doesn’t work. And especially not when ‘Christian Education’ gets reinterpreted as continuous leading to initial conversion or How To Witness and never much more unless someone has been Called To Preach. So of course the young are writing like new uncertain converts – they’re being held in that stage of spiritual development.

    2. “The aged make it clear (where they stand)”. – I picture a hillside of white-haired and blue-haired senior saints, one hand on the walker, the other, a fist raised to the skies, singing “School’s Out”. (We’re done learning, and we’re too old to be wrong…So mote it be!)

        1. And thus the constant revising of how holy one’s culottes had to be: one-pleat, two-pleat, full-frontal-pleating, etc.

  25. Summary of Bob Gray’s argument: Young people are leaving the IFB movement because liberals want to take away people’s guns.

    Summary of my reaction: Fundies be crazy.

    1. Personally, I am young, but I didn’t leave over guns. It was more the visiting of those men’s bathrooms to “be saved” in the 60s, 70s, and 80s…

  26. Making up your own etymology department:
    “· When those with standards are tagged as “lunatic fringe” by our youth then it is no different than the Tea Party being tagged “lunatic fringe” by the liberal Democrats.
    “· By the way, that is where the term “lunatic fringe” was birthed.”

    The term “lunatic fringe” to refer to insanely extreme points of view has been around at least since former President Theodore Roosevelt (never a Democrat) used it in print in 1913:

    Fascinatingly, writer Fred R. Shapiro has found that in the 1870s, “lunatic fringe” was the nickname of a hairstyle with forehead bangs (what we Americans call “bangs” are called “fringe” even today by, for example, British and Australian people):

    1. BG,

      This is completely off topic, but a little while back you were wondering how anyone could graduate from HA”C” speaking only Spanish. During the time I was there, HA”C” had a small, on-site Spanish Bible Institute. This is only a guess, but there probably weren’t more than 30 to 40 students. Very possibly, all of the classes were taught by a bilingual gentleman named Louis Allen. There was also (and almost certainly still is) a very large ministry to Spanish speaking people at FBC . At that time Elmer Fernandez was the Spanish Pastor.

      I don’t know a lot about Louis Allen except that he was a veteran who seemed very proud of his service record. I have never heard anyone say anything negative about either Louis Allen or Elmer Fernandez.

  27. If the “men of the 60s, 70s and 80s” are anything like fundy preachers of today, I hate to think what they were doing with all those people in their bathrooms.

  28. “Their so-called freedom from standards is a trap set by Satan himself.”

    Yet in Galatians 5, Paul tells us, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Later he adds, “I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

    Then he lists sins: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. ” (NLT) Where is music or culottes or the KJV Bible on this list? THESE are the sins that the Scripture lists.

    ” They in turn will define our standards, not theirs, and insulate themselves from such by calling our standards ‘preferences.’”

    Yes, we do call them preferences BECAUSE YOUR STANDARDS, Dr. Gray, AREN’T IN THE BIBLE!!!!

    1. PW, it’s right there, even in the perversion you quote. (Please note that this is said with tongue so far in cheek that my tongue is threatening to poke through the other side.)

      * sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry — you promote such things by wearing pants, the wrong culottes, or short skirts; reading the wrong Bible will also lead to these wicked sins

      * sorcery, hostility, quarreling — you get these when not using the KJV; also, wearing the wrong clothes is a form of sorcery and it promotes hostility and the resultant quarreling

      * jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy — surely you’ve seen how women get when other women are immodestly dressed; KJV people also get like this in debates on the issue

      * drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these — you’d think they were drunk by the way people behave over the KJV; plus it’s clear how wild and drunk people get when those hussies are around

  29. I remember growing up back in the day when the evangelicals hated the charismatics and the charismatics hated the fundamentalists and the fundamentalists hated everybody. It has gotten to the point where fundamentalists cant even get along with each other. Even though I consider myself a theological conservative I have to shake my head sometimes and just walk away.

    1. It’s so sad! Jesus said loving one another was the second greatest commandment, and He prayed in John 17 for unity among believers, and Galatians lists love as one of the fruits of the Spirit, yet Christians are known for hating one another.

      1. Jesus said “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, mind soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” We do love our neighbor as ourselves – the problem is that we dont love ourselves very much so consequently we dont love each other with our differences and we certainly do a horrible job of showing Jesus to a lost and dying world!

  30. Too lazy to read through all the comments. The degree in the background of the photo appears to be a Bachelor of Full-Time Christian Laity.

    Is that for real?

    1. Good Spot.

      Another example of post-Constantinian tradition. The whole notion of clergy and laity is pagan.

      I don’t know why I even bother to bring this up.


        1. As a Texan who has spent a lot of time in academia, I have never heard of Choice University of Texas, and Google and Wikipedia don’t seem to know about it, either, so I assume that if it exists, it’s some kind of for-profit online diploma mill.

    2. How I see it:

      Back in the day it was easier to convince a bunch of teens that they needed to go to unaccredited, pastor run, Bible Kawledges and go into full time Fundy ministry.

      Once the interwebs made these unfortunate grads able to share their experiences, teens wised up and in an effort to go to a real college, began telling their parents that they were not going into the ministry , so no need going to the basement Bible Kawledge.

      Bob Gray and his ilk caught on to their ruse and invented things like “One Year Bible Certificate” and “Bachelors Degree in Laity” so their parents will still make them attend their unaccredited skools and keep writing those checks.

      So now all the teens of the church are without excuse.

    3. If you want a real degree of that kind, look up the Education for Ministry course taught through the University of the South. It puts a layperson through a year in which you read at least 70 percent of the Hebrew Bible/OT, then a year of the NT, a year of church history (Anglican perspective), and finally a year-long survey of theology, which is basically the calculus of thinky thoughts, all studied concurrently with midrash, meditation, and prayer. The difference is that when you finish the course, you get . . . a certificate that says you finished the course. And a journal full of personal insights you are under no obligation to share. And possibly an invitation to come back and help teach the class.

      1. Sorry, late at night, forgot to finish the thought. The “real degree” you earn is a degree of increased understanding of Scripture, tradition, theology, and Christian practice. That and two fifty will get you a cup of coffee, but it’s still useful.

    1. You said it so well with the Word! These men don’t like to be silent because, truthfully, it’s all really just about them. That’s why they worship each other and Jesus gets left outside in the rain.

  31. Gray fiddles while fundyism burns.

    I am a proud liberal in the tradition of Jesus and Paul who were anything but the fundamentalists of their day.

    And my wife looks great in skinny jeans. I’m good with that.

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