Some folks over at Sharper Iron seem to believe that whatever gets posted on this blog should be immediately ignored because SFL “has an agenda.” Unlike, I suppose, the Sharper Iron website which has no agenda whatsoever.

As usual, the real crime in fundamentalism isn’t doing bad things, it’s talking about the bad things that have been done.

So here’s my question to you all: what do you think SFL’s agenda is? What is your agenda for being here? And does that agenda invalidate any of the bad behavior featured here?

367 thoughts on “Agendas”

    1. I do agree with this comment:
      “If you look at the YouTube link (link is external) for the video, the description is “Youth Pastor Promotes Violence Towards Women” and gives the church and the pastor’s name…I think it’s fair to assume that someone is trying to stir up a hornet’s nest.”
      (There is no indication that Chuck Phelps knew anything about it and clearly the youth pastor was trying to be funny. I don’t like the video and i think it is stupid but titling it as it was gives credence to the “agenda” accusation.)

      1. But SFL did not title the video on You Tube. Hence no agenda on SFL’s part.

        If you notice, the posts here lately are less of Darrell writing about fundyland and more of him just posting videos of fundies doing stuff. The videos speak for themselves.

        1. Way too many details when you’re on a rampage to check who actually posted what!

  1. My agenda is simply to chuckle at some of the crazy things I was involved with. It is also cathartic to hear others’ experiences and to know that I wasn’t alone. Even if I din’t experience myself some of the things reported here, I experienced similar, know people who experienced the same, or can empathize.


  2. I’m FIRST!!! I never thought this honor would come my way!

    I think the “agenda” (purpose-better) of SFL is to reveal what is eccentric in Fundyland and what turns people off. I also think the blog speaks out, sometimes tongue in cheek, on those things that are truly wrong and grieve the Father’s heart. Finally, it gives those of us who have escaped Fundyland the opportunity to laugh at ourselves.

        1. I worked out a deal with the manufacturer to ship your butt cushion(s) directly to me. I’ve had some very comfortable pew sitting experiences with them!

  3. It’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes story. They want everyone to pretend the problems don’t exist. Then when we have the nerve to yell “they’re naked” they insist it’s us. They of course insist they are not naked, have never been naked, and are too holy to ever be naked. Apparently, they don’t want anyone to call attention to their sins, faults, crimes etc and if we do we are a bunch of “raging librals that have a wicked sinful agenda of da devil!”

    1. I remember asking the question when I was seeking to enter my own relationship with Christ, “How is salvation not like the emperor’s new clothes?” The person I asked did not have an answer for me, and while I do believe in Jesus Christ as my own, I am still trying to come up with a biblical answer for that for anyone who may ask me. I peter 3:15 says be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. I read C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity” and in it he said it is fully possible for one who has been born again to exhibit behavior that is worse than that of an unconverted one. And I do believe that is true, but does nothing to help me in my search of how “being Christian” is not like “the emperor’s new clothes”. I comprehend it in my mind, but how to put it into words for someone else escapes me.

        1. I don’t know how Christianity and the fable go together in any way shape or form. I can’t answer your question about it because I don’t understand the question.

      1. Because the emperor’s new clothes was just a social convention rather than a fact. Salvation is the fact of being dressed in Christ’s righteousness. He isn’t pretending that you are sinless; it isn’t a legal fiction. Salvation means you are in fact right now free from the penalty of and slavery to sin because Christ has imputed His earned righteousness to us.

      2. ‘I read C.S. Lewis β€œMere Christianity” and in it he said it is fully possible for one who has been born again to exhibit behavior that is worse than that of an unconverted one.’

        Well, of late I have been having difficulty with this one. For example, on salvation, the Holy Spirit is said to indwell the believer. There is the promise in Romans 8 that those who are Christ’s are predestined to be conformed to His image. There is the promise of chastisement for God’s children who stray. There is the promise that the Spirit of God will lead us into “all truth.”

        Sounds like “salvation” is supposed to make a difference in the life. The promise in Scripture is that God’s “Seal” on His children is twofold — “The Lord knoweth them that are His” and “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

        Salvation is supposed to impart a qualitative difference. It is not like the prodigal son, where a child can actually get out of the reach of the Father. No, in the case of the believer there is nowhere a child of His can get away from Him and His care.

        So, where is the evidence? Where is the evidence of salvation in so many of these people? Where and How is God working to keep pure the doctrines and make sure His people are walking aright? Why does God not punish the wicked “false shepherds” and protect His sheep from being taken advantage of?

        The impartation of righteousness may be “a legal fiction.” The promise to make God’s Children to actually be righteous is not. And if I may be so bold, God seems to be falling down on the job. Is this the best He can do? And don’t tell me that little old “we” can thwart His will. The Father, the Potter, the Lord has all power. So how is it that the Church and its people are in such shambles? Where is the judgment of God on the House of God that Peter promised?

        The Lord has let His Reputation slide into disrepute, I am afraid.

        Judging by the Standards that I was taught to look at in Fundystan, Fundystan has failed greatly. The shepherds are wolves. Frankly, even among the “good” pastors, I am hard-pressed to see anything outstanding in a godly sort about them. What are they doing that many good, fine unbelievers aren’t?

        My wife tends to see these questions as a bitter rant. They aren’t. They are honest questions. Christianity should mean something. And once I started looking, I found that fundamentalist Christianity meant believing lies, deceiving themselves and others, viewing themselves as better than everyone else without any reason to do so, and a whole host of other things.

        No, I am not going to go into the “not a true Christian” sort of accusation. I just want to see truth in action and God at work. I would like some proof.

        If doctrine determines action, then the bad actions in fundamentalism seem to be the result of some very bad beliefs.

        1. I appreciate your honesty, and you raise some good points. The main problem in fundamentalism is that they have replaced the ethical teachings of Jesus with their own ethics, which veer away from Jesus’ emphasis on a heart of love, and toward a list of (made up) rules.

        2. Dr. Fundystan, I absolutely agree with you. But then, have they replaced “salvation” with an ineffectual substitute as well?

          My trouble is that I still rely a lot on my knowledge and interpretation of Scripture gained during my fundy years. And I get this horrible feeling that too much of my own ability to read the Scriptures has been twisted by fundamentalism into an error-filled loop.

          I have managed to cut away some of the nonsense. It is tiring work. What I do know is that since their core actions are so diseased, that means their theology is similarly diseased. By their fruits you shall know them! Evil fruit comes from evil roots! Devilish deeds are done by the devil’s children.

          There *are* “doctrines from hell,” the Scriptures assert. And the Devil’s ministers have learned how to masquerade as ministers of righteousness.

          At this point in time I still “believe,” but I don’t know what I believe any more. I so mistrust the lies and errors of fundamentalism that I tend to subject everything to scrutiny. I have a lot of facts. Interpretation is a more iffy matter.

          I am pretty much down to “Christ died for my sins, was buried, and rose again.” Even that is a bit shaky. Does dying for my sins mean dying because of my sins, dying to pay for my sins, or perhaps dying to push the sins out from between me and God. Did He really die to appease God’s wrath — or mine? Is God a God of vengeance, or a God of Love? And does the Bible even really give “a way” (as in methodology) to “get saved”? Or is salvation a process?

          It is taking time and energy to sort through the mess. It is hard and I feel like I am pretty much alone in this. My wife says, “I can’t do anything about that” when I talk about the differences between the way “Christians” act and what the Scriptures say. It effectively cuts off the conversation.

          In any case, I express my frustration about all this when I pray to God and He hasn’t hit me with a hammer.

        3. It looks interesting. When money is not quite as tight, I will get it. The Amazon description is generally in line with my thinking on the topic.

    2. Also recall that in Andersen’s story, failure to see the Emperor’s gorgeous raiment indicated that the non-seer was unworthy (or maybe “bitter”?).

    3. SueC, out of curiosity, since this thread is in response to a thread at SI, when you wrote β€œthey don’t want anyone to call attention to their sins, faults, crimes etc” were you referring to those who commented on the SI thread? And, narrowing it down, those who made negative comments about SFL? If so, and considering the context of your comment I’m assuming so, are you accusing me of not wanting attention called to my sins, faults, and crimes? You see, I commented on the SI thread; and, I made negative comments about SFL. And, again, if so, what are my sins, faults, and crimes that you are accusing me of not wanting attention called to? Based on context, are you accusing me of somehow being responsible (possibly indirectly) for the abhorrent video that is the genesis of these layers of meta-conversations?

      1. John, whoa this was not aimed at you or any one person. It was in general about the hyper-sensitive leaders in Fundamentalism who set themselves up as gods who WILL NOT allow criticisms of any kind. They put demands on others that they themselves can’t keep. In their eyes they are Gods Man and we must never find fault. If we call out their sin we are labeled bitter and “not truely saved”. Which brings me back to SFL.. They give us a forum to laugh at what we used to believe, healing old hurts and at the same time calling out the truth we were never allowed to voice in our Fundy days. Again, the comment was to no one in particular but in response to the supposed Agenda of SFL.

        1. Yes John, yes. Abstract though everyone else explained it better than I could in their responses to you. I apologize if I offended you.

        2. I think your questions were OK, John; they just came across perhaps as a bit intense. Sue, your answer was great.

        3. Oh, although appreciated, no need to apologize, SueC; I wasn’t offended. Merely curious.

      2. Wow. Defensive much. I’m not sure if your intent is to declare yourself sin free, but you should be a bit more cautious in implying you are without sin, IMO. Also, it’s not a human beings job to tell you what your sins are.

        1. I reread and reread my comment, and fail to see where I implied that I am without sin. Would you mind pointing it out to me?

        2. It shouldn’t take very many readings. You repeatedly demand a complete stranger identify your sins as if you have none to be found.

        3. No. Like most everyone else, I don’t speak into a vacuum. I was asking questions about specific comments made within a specific context. In other words, the word “sins” in my comment are directly connected to the sins SueC was referencing. Under the context, I was asking if those sins she was referencing were related to the video in question. For example, I concluded my comment with, “Based on context, are you accusing me of somehow being responsible (possibly indirectly) for the abhorrent video that is the genesis of these layers of meta-conversations?”

        4. “it’s not a human beings job to tell you what your sins are”– Unless that human being is a MOg, who has been Touched By The Burning Finger Of gid Hisself! 😈

        5. Andrew A, I may need to think more about it, but I’m not sure that I would have any questions without assumptions. Now, I would like to think that I would be judged on what I did, not on the fact that I lack the rhetorical dexterity of an orthographic mountain goat. And, what I did was, instead of leaving my assumptions unchallenged in my mind, I directly asked SueC for clarification. So, I did give Sue a chance.

          As far as discussing Bob Mould (referencing your comment further down) maybe after my editors publish the review next week, I’ll post it here, and then we can discuss. I will rarely pass up an opportunity to promote an artist like Mould. At this point, I’m still trying to organize my thoughts about the album, and online discussion would probably serve as clutter (my flaw, not yours).

      3. A James, I have no idea who you are, so I am at a disadvantage. I fail to see how my questions were out of bounds. Would you mind pointing out where I was rude, ungracious, or even unfair? If you have appreciated my “thoughtfulness,” and speaking of interpretations, wouldn’t another possible interpretation be that I’m genuinely looking for dialogue?

      4. A James, thank you so much for listing some of the things said at SI and responding to them.

        It baffles me why they would want to so blatantly state falsehoods. ANYONE, anyone at all, can comment here. If they want more conservative voices on SFL, all they have to do is come on over and post one.

      5. A James, fair enough, I guess. And, in the sense that we are apparently talking past each other. Since I doubt that will change in a decontextualized format, and since I have a deadline for a review of the new Bob Mould album pressing on me, I will conclude by stating that if you find yourself in the DC area (and most people do at some point) I would love to meet up and discuss this in person. Hell, I’ll buy you dinner.

      6. Quite defensive, aren’t we John? Perhaps you have some sins, faults and crimes you’d like to confess? Not that we’d know about you personally unless you were in the news.

        Fundamentalists in general have a lot of crimes to answer for. They do a great job of hiding, of redirecting the conversation by pointing fingers back. Yet the abuse continues apace.

        Are you defending them, John? Or maybe you haven’t actually read SFL with a mind to understand? Only a mind to judge and find fault? After all, you said you were critical of us.

        Come on now. You use generalized language yourself and you know it. You use it talking about group characteristics, not every individual in it. But it is so much more fun to be hypocritical and pretend to be offended! You aren’t really offended by how it was used here. It was just another excuse to poke at us, wasn’t it?

        I could be wrong in my analysis, but I doubt it. Yours are the tactics fundies have used to turn the tables on the just criticisms they have garnered.

        I believe your charade warrants a confession and an apology. Once you do that, come aboard honestly and we can have honest discussions and be friends. Even if we disagree with each other.

  4. You know, it just feels good to come here and realize I was not the only one to have suffered at the hands of these people. It also feels good to now be able to laugh at the absurdity of it all which is a bit of healing in itself. Laughter helps us put the hurt behind us. Admit it Fundys, alot of the stuff you do IS absurd. If SFL has the agenda of pointing out the wrong, the hurtfulness, the crimes in Fundyland, is that wrong?

  5. Count me in with most of the above, that the agenda is
    A. Generally poking fun at the more absurd aspects of that corner of Christianity known as Fundystan :mrgreen:
    B. Sharing our experiences there, good, bad, inexplicable πŸ˜€ πŸ˜₯ πŸ™„
    C. Opening peoples’ eyes to real abuses of power, and not letting so-called “Men Of God” get away with them πŸ‘Ώ
    D. Letting Christians have a good (and often necessary) laugh at ourselves πŸ˜†

  6. “SI would be best avoiding it, because its motives are not pure.”

    Impure motives! Oh, my goodness!

    BTW, I am not related to the “Jay” on Sharper Iron. Neither am I related to Jay Leno.

  7. I happened across this site by googling something to the effect of “critique of John Hamblin”. This could turn into a long story, so I’ll try to keep it short.

    The church that probably had the most impact on me was Covenant Community Fellowship which is affiliated with the IFBC (International Fellowship of Bible Churches). I don’t know if anyone knows anything about this “type” of church, but it’s pretty close to an IFB church. Might not have quite the MOG emphasis of the IFB.

    So anyhow, my agenda for being here is to get other viewpoints of Christianity. I was born again, started my own personal relationship with Christ in the fall of 2012. I didn’t want to do things just because “mommy and daddy” did them (even though I love my parents and fully trust that my daddy who just passed away in April of this year is enjoying his eternal reward right now).

    I got to thinking about how (in my opinion) Muslims are so far off base in what they believe. Why do they believe what they do? Because they are taught from infancy that the traditions and practices of the Muslim faith are the only “truth” out there. That hit me pretty hard that I had never really read the Bible for myself and asked God to reveal Himself to me. I had just taken the preacher’s word, mom and dad’s word, etc. that “here’s what the Christian life looks like”.

    So, my agenda here is to hear other people’s viewpoints of what “being a Christian is” and then comparing that to scripture and seeing if “new viewpoints” or “how I was raised” lines up better. And usually the “post of the day” is kind of a springboard for discussion.

    1. Good comment, Norm! And you a believer only 2 years young!

      I have been “saved” for 40 years now, since I was 16. And I am now doing what you are doing. I am so far behind!

      You give me hope, sir!

      1. I’ve been a Christian for almost 38 years since i was 13. Well, for 30 years because I rebelled against god for 8 years (long story, but I can say I went through 8 years of hell). I have to ask myself if I have been a Christian for thirty-plus years or for a year thirty-plus times… I like a lot of what you say , Norm (not everything but a lot of it) and the fact that you don’t seem to be comten t with a second hand Christianity. You want Reality. Truth. Seek the Truth. It will set you free.

  8. What do I think SFL’s agenda is?

    Well, ostensibly, it could be any number of things, and we could discuss all day what those might appear to be, but it’s indisputable that behind it all is a radical homosexual agenda that’s trying to break apart families and turn America into a Muslim nation. Clearly.

    1. “…turn America into a Muslim nation.”

      We have accomplished our goal. Someone with a beard was at the White House and talked to and touched the President. Which makes the President a Muslim..

        1. I’ve always assumed that the whole SFL blog/forum/etc was a ruse designed for Scorpio to expand the flight manifest and have more opportunities to get cockpit visitors.

        2. The law of averages or something says that if you invite enough people you will have company.

        3. *sigh*
          everyone knows that Scorpio merely is in the flight simulator on board the sailing vessel “The Black Pearl of Great Price Before Swine.” The Flight Simulator us on the same deck as “The White Piano Lounge. “


        4. Don, can you remind me where that is in relation to the poop deck?

          And is the poop deck where the pulpit made of bullshittim wood is found?

        5. The Poop deck is directly below the aft hatch of the Flight simulator.

          And bullshittem wood for fundie pulpits is actually grown on the campuses of the IFB’s finest Institutions of Higher learning. The unaccredited atmosphere allows the Bullshittem trees to grow quickly, reaching their full stature in a mere four years. Just before graduation each year and they are harvested at the peak of ripeness and immediately processed into Pulpits. Then quickly shipped by Pregnant Pack Mule Shipping Inc., to meet the demands of all those start-up, IFB, store front churches… guaranteeing freshness and a solid piece for furniture on which to establish a presence in all those places without an Independent, Fundamental, 1611 King James Bible preaching, sin hating, devil fighting, pre-mil/pre-trib Old Paths Baptist Church. Hey-men?!

        6. Don – If this is just a flight simulator, then I guess I am the Martin Savage of SFL. πŸ™‚

          Now let ME try to find Flight 370.

  9. I do love the poking fun. I like being reminded that I was NOT wrong to leave because the real life fundies are so much more crazier than anything I could think up. The crazy needs to be exposed for what it is.

    But I do think SI has a point in that many times we tend to automatically assume the worst of someone. Or be nitpicky. Just because they’re IFB doesn’t mean it’s a bad church (I personally know of several though I still wouldn’t attend). They’re not all Peter Ruckman or Jack Schaap, thank GOD.

    1. Although my experiences in Fundamentalism have pretty much ruined all Baptist churches for me, I do think there are still some good Independent Baptist churches out there. At the same time, I would be deeply suspicious of any church that proudly referred to itself as “Fundamental.”

      There are certainly some sincere Christians who are members of Fundamentalist churches and there are those within Fundamentalism who recognize that movement’s failings and are trying to address those problems. In its early days, the Fundamentalist movement probably did some good in that it began at least in part as a response to Modernism. At this point, however; I’m not sure that those who may be working to fix what’s wrong with Fundamentalism are doing anything more than trying to give CPR to a cadaver.

    2. My problem is that I was in ‘one of the good churches’. It wasn’t anything like the extremist churches we feature here. I’ve never seen it featured, and I doubt it ever will be.

      Yet, behind closed doors, they are doing evil things.

      I do not believe there is a single good IFB church. So many of the false teachings we see within the IFB do so much harm that even if some families manage to have a healthy christianity despite the teachings, other families in the same church would be harmed.

      Perfectionism, KJV-onlyism, misogyny, man-made standards, absolute support for the pastor, nepotism, poor working conditions for church workers, etc… there are so many features that are seen relatively consistently within the IFB that are so harmful that I honestly believe that for a church to have no harmful teachings, it cannot be IFB.

      1. Tiarali, the two I know of, both in the same town, ARE KJV, but they lack the nepotism, arrogance, pastor worship and poor treatment of people that marked the two churches I grew up with. If I hadn’t known about them, and only had my personal experiences and SFL as a guideline as to what they were like, then I would likely assume they were all bad as well.

        But not all of them are.

    1. My agenda should be obvious from my nom de pixel. I am here as a secret agent for an evil Jesuit cabal as part of a Vatican plot to take over the world. Dang, I just blew my cover. But I’m not telling y’all how the plot works. I’d have to figure that out first.

        1. …check your secret decoder rings for an important message from the Pope.
          “Nuns on the Run” I repeat “Nuns on the Run.”
          Good luck Inquisitors! πŸ˜‰

      1. I won’t rat you out on the condition you immediately write this up into a really crummy **cough*dnbrwnstyl*cough** best seller. And you have to include you in the royalties, those butt cushions aren’t gonna pay for themselves. πŸ˜›

        1. US, I meant all of US in the royalties!
          Darn you, George, I’m going to track you down and make you admit the truth about Shakespeare!

  10. I read the Sharper Iron comments early this morning. I haven’t been sleeping well and was perusing the ‘net and found the conversation.
    I guess I was duped by Darrell just like I was duped by Fundy mogs in my past. I never realized there was an agenda. I thought we were mostly a group of survivors looking to each other for support, comfort, and some good, old fashioned making fun of the stupidity. At least when Darrell hoodwinked us into following his agenda for world domination, he didn’t make up any “thus sayeth the Lords”.
    It is obvious to me that the Iron posters (JC and Jay mostly) that seem so incensed at SFL are reading our comments with their own knee jerk defensiveness at full alert. Not everyone who disagrees is out to get you.

    I agree with the Sharper posters that the Pastor Nate video isn’t the worst thing to ever happen. It is immature and poorly thought out. If it was an aberration, I would be more forgiving. It isn’t. It is indicative of the IFB mentality that does as it pleases, then plays cover-up . It is time for the IFB to address the gorilla in the room. While it may well be a minority of their leadership using their positions to get away with abusive and sexual sins and crimes, the excuses and cover-ups must stop. They’re not mistakes, errors in judgement, or slips. They are sins and crimes that need to be dealt with publicly, if for no other reason than to show “the world” that we truly believe their is a penalty for wrong. As has been brought up previously on SFL, these are the same people who publicly decry the likes of Jik Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert, the catholic priest scandals, then claim some bogus excuse for hiding their own.

    I’ll get off my soap box now. I’m tired and cranky and this was the outlet.

  11. As a mostly silent observer of SFL for the past year or so, I don’t really think there is an agenda any more than good friends getting together for lunch every day have an agenda. It is a forum in which we enjoy each others’ company. If there is an agenda, perhaps it is to occasionally expose behavior that needs to be exposed and, if critically processed, would bring about productive change in IFB churches. I’m sure, for example, that IFB churches will (hopefully) scrutinize the behaviors of their youth leaders more closely after yesterday’s post and subsequent discussions.

    1. That’s a nice observation, and I agree. It’s funny how closely you can connect to complete strangers when you find out they had the same experiences as you. Ones that most people don’t understand. Fundyland was my childhood. I thought everyone grew up the same way. Here, I found people who had, and people who understood the DEEP recesses of my being.

  12. Ready, everybody? I’m about to disclose my agenda.
    The reasons I’m here are:
    1. To have some laughs.
    2. To hang out with some fun people (Darrell and [most of] the commenters).

    The huge paychecks I get for spreading left-wing propaganda are just gravy on the fried chicken.

        1. Bacon and buffalo wings??? Almost thou persuadest me to be a liberal . . . How about I meet you halfway at moderate and we split a 50 piece with fries?

  13. To address the question more formally, Darrell announces his agenda right on the site’s masthead, and it comes up if you Google “Stuff Fundies Like”:
    “A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.”

    If, after reading that, you’re shocked to see often-satirical discussions of Independent Fundamentalist Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness, along with some outright silliness, then your reading comprehension could use improvement.

    I’ve been a reader, writer, editor, occsional essayist, and sometime journalist for many years now. I firmly believe that every communicator has an agenda, and every communicator has a bias. I trust the communicators who are open and honest about their agendas and their perspectives far more than I trust the ones who claim that they have no axes to grind, or those who are misleading or self-deluded abouth their real purposes. I see many Fundamentalists and other right-wingers as being dishonest about their motivations and objectives, and in many cases dishonest with themselves about their motivations and desires. (They aren’t the only crowd about whom that’s true, but others are not the subject of this blog.)

  14. I have an agenda in answering your agenda question about my agenda, so you should ignore my agenda-filled answer about my agenda and my agenda.

  15. I think SFL was started with all great intentions. It’s mission to point out the legalism & overall foolishness in fundamentalism. But unfortunately it has grown into something that I can hardly recognize, where anything goes. Everything is ok……except for anything resembling traditional values.

    I think this blog has carried you (Darrell) further than you were willing to go when you first started this thing. What I truly hope is that you haven’t become completely desensitized to the Holy Spirit of God……and I say that in complete earnestness.

        1. Between the lines, I think that Greg really means that Darrell doesn’t shun (i.e. ban) gay people, which is the only true, legitimate, Christian way to “show that you don’t approve of their lifestyle” [sic]. Therefore, SFL is too liberal / has gone to far / whatever.

          Next, I’ll be persecuting him for pointing this out. It’s all a part of the liberal conspiracy, no doubt.

        2. You must also read the ESV and subscribe to all 957 points of Calvinism then too, right?

        1. That phrase and “think outside the box”. Norm, please, please get some new material.

        2. Hey semp? Throwest thou notteth thine infant outest withest the water whichest thou bathest it inneth.

        3. Norm needs to step up to the plate and start disrupting entrenched modes of thinking with a new paradigm.

        4. @ notquiteso. Apparently I’m not smart enough to know if you were attempting to insult me, be sarcastic, or something else. I even looked up paradigm and still don’t know. πŸ™‚

        5. Notquiteso:
          Maybe he can pick the low-hanging fruit, instead of re-inventing the wheel, as long as he doesn’t spike the football.

        6. @Norm: No worries, you’re just fine. The only thing I’m insulting is meaningless, overused corporate-speak phrases. You just got attached to it because you kicked the whole subject off by using an overused phrase (which we all do sometimes.) I’m just riffing on the topic.

        7. At the end of the day as we break through the clutter and facilitate the organic growth of our diversity, we need to streamline our survival strategy. Norm has reminded us that it is time to touch base with the sisterhood of the paradigm shift. Our wellness is the direct result of the holistic approach to empowering proactive synergies and leveraging our exit strategy so that we push the envelope into the big picture. We need the yellow belts to work toward the green belt milestone and reach out to the six sigmas of accountability.

        8. Argh!!!! Uncle Wilver!!!! I HATE this kind of jargon that seems to fill everything in the business world and the field of education nowadays!


        10. I might allegedly have sat in on one or two “management style of the month” meetings.

        11. Careful, Dr. I’ll whip out a can of 5S and use it on your exterior resources.

        12. To change the subject slightly, I just realized that Fundy Sermon’s like Wednesday’s pew jumper prove Parkinson’s Law really does work everywhere.

        13. I agree with an effort to minimize corporate lingo. After all, we are all posting on our free time, right? So as we strive to achieve our work-life integration goals, we must model our talent management system in such a way that moves the lever of standard replication to world-class levels. We promise that the reduction-in-force initiative will be done in a such way that is sensitive to the years of service many of you have put in.

        14. Pardon me for missing everything that was said on this thread since Pastor’s Wife said, and I quote,


          I had this mental image of a kind, sweet, patient woman. And now I see her with a patch over one eye, a knife in her teeth, and a parrot on her shoulder.


      1. That saying has been discussed here several times.
        What is this “baby” of which you speak?
        Legalism? Misogeny? False doctrines? Homophobia? Racism? Narcissism? Sophistry? Shallow thinking? Cognitive dissonance?
        Those are the characteristics consistently critiqued on “Stuff Fundies Like.”

        I find that most people who use that phrase (not necessarily you) are just trying to keep their own personal gallon of dirty water.

        1. @ Big Gary. For the record (there’s another phrase that gets used alot, so sorry) I don’t think wearing long dresses and not touching alcohol are “markers” of the narrow path. I suppose everyone’s markers are different, although there MUST be some common markers or there will be no unity, and Christ said He wanted His church to be unified. So, I’m sure I have wrecked any credibility I may have had by comments I have made in the past few days. So even if I listed what I thought what some of the “markers” were, I’m certain I would be throat punched.

          So, bring on the throat punches. I think there are some definite markers listed in scripture. Things that are wrong? Drunkeness, sexual immorality (which is any type of sexual behavior outside of a married man and woman), filthy language, pride, homosexuality. What are some things that are right? Well, we all know the fruits of the spirit. You’ve got access to a Bible just like I do. What do you think some of the markers are?

        2. Loving one’s neighbor (and one’s enemies).
          Rejecting all forms of idolatry (much less simple than it sounds).
          Being made new by God’s grace.

        3. I completely, completely agree Gary. I especially agree that rejecting all forms of idolotry is MUCH harder to do than it sounds.

      2. Good gracious, had no idea a simple phrase could cause such emotion!!!

        What is this “baby”. Well, there is the fact that Jesus said the gate is straight and narrow and the way is straight and narrow. So, to generalize (and yes, I know generalizations are, in general, terrible) to quote a Lutheran pastor I was listening to the other day, we can’t say we have put our faith in Jesus and then live like hell. So the “baby” is those teachings and beliefs that constitute the “narrow way”.

        What are those teachings? I am having to search and study to show myself approved to determine what those are, so you (you being a generic term here) do to.

        Is that some new material? Well, the teacher in Ecclesiastes said “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” So, no, that’s probably not new material.

        1. Actually, the Bible says the gate is “strait” (narrow), not “straight” (uncurving).

          Anyhow, it’s easy to say that people must try to behave well (although the New Testament makes it clear that all will fall short).
          All the disagreement is in what constitutes good behavior. Does it require always wearing long dresses? Does it require never touching a drop of alcohol?
          If you don’t consider those rules essential (which I don’t), then what are the markers of this “narrow path”?

        2. The way is straight Big Gary. That means that the way is not gay. It’s right there in the bible.

        3. I keep thinking of Mark Twain’s comment when he came upon the street called Straight, that it was in fact straighter than a corkscrew, but not as much as a rainbow.
          For the sake of brevity, best to keep any further “straight” comments to a minimum.

      3. In many IFB churches there is no longer any baby

        I “left fundamentalism” in order to find a place that still had the baby

        It worked.

        1. Plenty of bathwater but the baby climbed out of the bath long ago. Before it drowned

      4. The problem with too much of modern Fundamentalism is that it has thrown out the baby and kept the bath water– in my humble opinion.

    1. greg, many of us now reject “traditional values” because they were crammed down our throats in a most hateful way, often in our homes and churches. My family’s “traditional values” included black-fearing segregation; belief that the communists were taking over the good old USA by “stirring up the blacks”; belief that all non-IFB people were going to hell…and only a select number of the IFB, based upon how sincerely we prayed that prayer, repented, and maintained good works.

      And all of this was reinforced by the preaching in our Baptist church in Birmingham (1960s). So the term “traditional values” has a negative connotation for some of us.

      Respectfully, BJg

      1. Saying “traditional values” holds a negative connotation for many of us because people in your past did things under the name of “traditional values” that have nothing to do with traditional values is like saying “I hate fishing” because when you were young, someone repeatedly punched you in the face and said “Now we’re fishing”.

        1. I think the values/concepts BJg cites are very traditional.
          It’s absurd to appeal to traditions unless you have a way of distinguishing bad traditions from those that are good, neutral, or both good and bad.

        2. Actually, negative reinforcement is part of B.F. Skinner’s Theory of Operant Conditioning.

        3. Very true, Gary. Jesus criticized the Pharisees because they let their traditions trump the greater lessons of the law.

        4. Fundies take all the grace and charity (in the agape sense) out of faith in order to make people behave the way they want them to. They “punch you in the face” with their dogma while yelling “now we’re being faithful”

        5. I think you might have wiffed on that one, Norm. They were traditional values. Racism, for example, was a value, and it was certainly traditional. It is inaccurate to define “traditional values” as some kind of magic box of all the good virtues, and then play no true Scotsman fallacy.

        6. Ok Dr. Fundy. After all, who am I to disagree with you, your a doctor. Traditional values to me have always been things such as marriage being one man and one woman for life (I’m divorced and remarried), children respecting parents (my daughter has one of the smartest mouths I’ve ever known), honesty, love of country (our country is moving away from stuff to love pretty rapidly), etc. So that’s what the term traditional values means to me. But I’m certain you’ll say, “Sorry Norm, that’s not how language works” or something. That’s okay.

          Here’s for BJg. I realize I grew up inside the box. Maybe I need to start “thinking outside the box”. Sometimes I love to “stir the pot”.

        7. Could someone please tell me what the no true Scotsman thing is? That’s been told to me 2 or 3 times now and I have no idea what people are trying to get across to me.

        8. No True Scotsman fallacy:

          Basically, it’s an evasive tactic. When you make a claim about a certain group, and someone comes up with a contradictory example, you redfine the group to exclude the example.

          “No Scotsman plays tennis.”
          “But Fergus is a Scotsman, and he plays tennis.”
          “Then Fergus is not a true Scotsman.”

          “No Christian commits adultery.”
          “But Jack commited adultery.”
          “Then Jack is not a true Christian.”

          “Traditional values are the ones we should follow.”
          “What about racism?”
          “That’s not a true traditional value.”

          Catch the drift?

        9. It’s not enough to say you believe in “traditional values,” without specifying which tradition(s) you mean and what standards you use to interpret that tradition or those traditions.

          “Traditional marriage” is an excellent example. Some people seem to mean lifelong monagamy when they say that, but serial monagamy seems to be prevalent even among the people advocating what they call “traditional marriage,” and polygamy and other arrangements besides permanent monagamy are much older and more widespread traditions than one-time marriage to one person of the opposite sex. Even in the Bible, we have polygamy, Levirate marriage, concubinage, marriage between half-siblings, and prostitution, none of which is specifically condemned. Biblical marriage? Like the one Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar had? Like what David had? Like what Solomon had?

          It’s an error to assume that what is normative now was always normative.

        10. The Fundy definition of “traditional values” is
          “The values WE have held, unchanged, since the early 1950’s”

        11. About the No-True-Scotsman fallacy – I’ve heard people take umbrage when Christians say, “That extremist group calling themselves believers are not true Christians,” but do people call this fallacy when a fanatical Muslim group does something and others say, “Well, they’re not true Muslims”?

          Is the issue simply the phrasing: saying “they’re not a true _____” instead of saying “Their behavior doesn’t reflect the teachings of the religious leader they purport to follow”?

        12. Well, that is a huge difference, PW. But when a Muslim or Christian engages in terrorism, it isn’t fair to say “they’re not [x]”. Because they are. Westboro Baptist, for example has several creeds under “what they believe”, including the London Baptist Confession of 16-whatever. But it is perfectly accurate to say “the history of historic Christian teaching and the words of Jesus are completely contradictory of there tomfoolery.”

    2. I am impressed with greg’s comment. He didn’t use the word “liberal” as a slur once! And he didn’t mention how intolerant we all are.

      1. I am happy that Scorpio has a place to be snarky with folks, and pick at everything they have to say. I’m sure those folks he’s closest to get very tired of this habit.

    3. I know this blog/ forum has helped to carry me further than I was willing to go, further than I thought possible. And the taste of freedom is breathtaking. I’m hoping we all continue to grow and shake off the last icky bits of our fundy programming.

  16. I come here to see what’s happening in Greater Fundystan. I’m in a little corner of it (shadow of the Bob) and I like to know what’s happening. I saw the news break about Schaap here before I started hearing about “the president of HAC resigned” in the grapevine or whatever position he held.
    I come for the laughs. I am very entertained by what Darrell digs up. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to have the freedom to express my opinions about the absurdity of certain things in our subculture the way Darrell does.

  17. I suspect that a good many people here read and write on SFL for one simple reason; they still have a great love for those they shared/share heir time with in fundamentalist churches. It’s just that they have realised that when we take ourselves too seriously we become all blown up, pompous, and unable to see the plank in our own eye. Humour deflates. It can help restore perspective. We all need a bit of mocking.
    Do you know how to make God laugh? Just tell him your plans.

  18. I think the purpose (agenda, if you will) of this site is a) to show how the IFB has similar characteristics of a cult (e.g. twisting scripture, bullying people) and b) to provide an outlet with others with similar experiences. As it’s said, it helps to talk about it. And as it’s also said, laughter is the best medicine.

  19. Like Big Gary says, I think the agenda’s pretty clearly spelled out in the ABOUT tab.

    As for why I keep coming back, there’s several reasons.

    I grew up in a church I always thought of as fundy (technically it was independent Baptist, but I’d describe it as very conservative evangelical). I don’t have any harrowing abuse stories like many here do, thank God, but I’ve moved away from the strict fundamentalism of my childhood. Reading the posts here, and the comments, I can be simultaneously thankful that I’ve moved into a better place, and gain some perspective – my experience wasn’t nearly as bad as it was for some.

    I also like the commenters here. This seems like a unique space in that there are people who fall in many different places across the spectrum of Christian belief, who hold a variety of political beliefs, and can actually discuss religion mostly, and politics occasionally, as well as major crises in churches, and still basically get along. I enjoy some of the theological discussions, even when I just sit back and listen. And there are plenty of posters with a good sense of humor. That helps.

    And while most of the topics here are just humorous – let’s laugh at the fundy silliness – there are some serious issues to be discussed regarding abuse of power. And one thing that pisses me off is abuse of power. If there’s any serious agenda to the occasional weighty SFL posts, and all the comments discussing it – they revolve around this. It’s an important discussion.

  20. As for the matter of the video, I think my comments fell into the same spirit that the posters at SI are advocating: terrible video, not excusable, young pastor, hope it’s a learning experience for him.

  21. A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness

    Every blog/site has an agenda, it would be hardly worth the time if it did not have one.

    SI’s agenda is to carry water for a specific sliver of fundamentalism which abuts the border with Conservative Evangelicalism and slightly overlaps. They are highly sensitive and harshly critical of those to the left and the right of their position on the continuum.

    SFL’s agenda is to highlight and lampoon the ridiculous nature of much of Independent Baptist Fundamentalism. In the service of that agenda there are times that a snarky or sarcastic take on something might be seen to influence people to think a certain way, but in most cases the actual content or behavior that is in question speaks volumes for itself, unless of course you are SI and your agenda is to only address the faults of those outside your camp.

    Most affiliate groups draw these distinctions and defend their territory. Because SFL is much more diverse in the current state of the participants, it doesn’t really have to carry water for any denomination, group, or position. I don’t think Darrell or many of us are under any delusions that the things posted describe “all fundamentalists” and for the most part we all recognize that there are good people and good churches that might be lumped in when we talk about IFB or Fundamentalism as whole entities. That doesn’t change the reality of what is actually posted here. Its not like these things are not being done or said. The comments on SI were ridiculous and basically the pot calling the kettle black.

  22. Why am I here? Mostly for the laughs – a friend and I were swapping stories of the shared ludicrosities of our childhood, and she told me that there were some funny posts on a site called ‘Stuff Fundies Like’.

    There are posts that come across as more critical of fundamentalism than I feel; there are people who post things I don’t agree with; there are choices and discussions that don’t reflect my opinion. Once in a while, I’ll even think “they shouldn’t mock that.” But I haven’t had the same experiences as those posters, and despite the laughs at something that strikes a chord, my old fundamental church (and the people/pastor still there) is something I still look at as a good thing, and something I still have a lot of love for, even if I’ve gone somewhere where the exterior is slightly less important. To those who have suffered some of the horrors described here, fundamental Christianity looks very different. And, frankly, choosing to live a relatively conservative lifestyle in a Baptist church does not mean I choose to pretend these problems do not exist: as a church member and deacon, I need to recognize the reality of the pitfalls we can too easily fall into. I grew up with friends going to Trinity Baptist, where the now-infamous apology Chuck Phelps forced out of a rape victim took place. Members of my church staff have attended conferences at that church, and covering up or excusing that sort of behavior is reprehensible.

    I guess if I have an agenda, it’s this: to always be able to see how fundamentalism looks from the outside. I can remember my unsaved cousins coming to church, looking through the hymnbook, and gaping in disbelief at a song entitled “Are You Washed In The Blood.” Last year after we had our first son, the midwife (who we had been praying for) had a conversation with us about Christianity. As we tried to move the topic closer to the gospel, she said “speaking of God, I know you two are Christians but I think you should consider waiting a little while before having another baby.” I sat there, my carefully composed sentences about the love and grace of God left unspoken, while a corner of my brain wept at the fact that this kind woman’s only understanding of my Savior was the militant and aggressive “quiverfull” philosophy espoused by some of her patients.

    If we entomb ourselves in the painted sepulcher of the traditions of men, and worship the law of God more than the God who gave it, I want to be the one sitting outside with the tax collectors and sinners.

    1. That was very well said. Your last paragraph especially was powerful!

      Your story of the midwife is a perfect example of why some of us have stepped away from the fundamentalism in which we were brought up: we realized that to the world at large, all they were seeing was our traditions and not the glorious Gospel of Christ. We were willing to give those things up in order to get CHRIST! We ended up being mocked and our intentions impugned by people we loved, but they themselves had once taught us to follow Christ no matter the cost.

      I’ve always loved how Darrell expressed that idea here:

    2. My reason for coming back to this forum is because so much of it resonates with me even though my upbringing was not IFB or “Fundy* with a capital “F”. I grew up in the Evangelical Protestant subculture of northern Ireland which has many strong g parallels with IFBism. This blog has been therapy for me and has me get my head around some of the stuff I was force-fed. I admit that discussions and comments may seem very harsh and extreme at times o those who haven’t experienced a repressive environment, and have often been very cynical (guilty as charged) but this is therapy for people who have been deeply wounded. But there is a lot of humor as well, and often an amazi g amount of love and compassion. I suppose my agenda is to use this blog as therapy to help heal hurts, and be supported so that I grow as a Christian and maybe, just maybe, become a little more like Jesus. And if I can help others along the way too that would be great.

      1. Actually i got onto this blog because I was googling stuff about “Christian Appearance” (I am a fan off body art and am heavily inked) and this site came up.

        1. Pretty sure I learned about this site after typing some unkind words about HA”C” into the Google search engine.

  23. “Humor involves a sense of proportion and a power of seeing yourself from the outside.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Preface (1960)

    “A little comic relief in a discussion does no harm, however serious the topic may be. (In my own experience the funniest things have occurred in the gravest and most sincere conversations.)
    – C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (1958)

    Despite all of the pain and damage received while growing up with/ living with/ being brainwashed with fundamentalism, here we find a release in the diverse camaraderie of people who identify with our past experience.

  24. Should we ignore a point someone has made because the person has an agenda. Short answer, no, but use critical thinking when the person speaks (Acts 17:11).

    Long answer, agendas aren’t always bad. Jesus had an agenda when he came down and saved us. In fact, in the book of Job, God, who clearly also has an agenda, met with Satan, who has an opposing agenda. These are two with the biggest opposing agendas of all eternity, and yet they meet and listen to what the other has to say, and get this God actually acts on Satan’s suggestion knowing full well that Satan has an agenda.

    Question time:
    1. Does God have an agenda?
    2. Are all agendas bad?
    3. Did God listen to Satan, even though Satan has an agenda?
    4. Should you ignore someone because they have an agenda?

    Even if SFL is Satan incarnate and has an agenda, Shouldn’t we strive to be more like God and listen, and if necessary act on a point that “Satan” makes, if it is indeed a good point. This is where critical thinking comes in to play.

  25. For my SFL “Agenda” was to expose the krap I already knew about but was too afraid really admit to myself it was going on. Also a place to laugh at our past stupidity, recover, and heal.

  26. One of the commenters on “Sharper Iron” made a point regarding the violent youth video that I think is worthy of consideration:

    The great majority of youth ministry workers are quite young. Some are still in their teens, and by 30 they are largely seen as having “aged out” of youth ministry. Also, the job of youth minister is sometimes seen as a “starter job” for someone who aspires to be a head pastor or has other career ambitions.

    Why do we value ministry to the young so little that we relegate it to unseasoned beginners? Why are workers with youth (and children) so often ill-paid or unpaid?

    For the critical formation years of young Christians, would it be better to assign more mature people to be their mentors and role models?

    Should youth ministry be seen as a pinnacle to achieve, rather than the first step on the way to “real” ministry?

    1. I am always concerned about a male who is “called” to work with youth. BG, do you remember about 30 years ago the guy who worked for (as I recall) Boy Scouts (?) in Dallas who was tried and convicted for molesting a bunch of young boys?

      1. I understand the concern, and I recognize that organizations sponsoring youth activities must be vigilant about the potential for abuse.
        And, by the way, it’s not just males who need to be monitored.

        But don’t we get into a terrible trap if the only people we will allow to work with children and youth are those who don’t like children and youth, or don’t have much interest in them? Are there no healthy, socially responsible motivations for doing youth work? You might as well say that anyone who wants to be a teacher is suspect, and so should be banned from schools.

        The Boy Scouts and the knots that group ties itself into when it tries to confront sexuality are deserving of their own blog (which probably exists somewhere). It’s interesting that the group seems to think that not letting openly gay men be Scout leaders will somehow defuse the organization’s very old reputation as a haven for pederasty. There’s humor to be mined there, too, though this is not the place to explore it in depth.

        1. I know that you’re right. I just have a visceral aversion because of the cases I’ve worked over the past decades. And yes, females can molest children. Particularly in some areas & cultures. I know of a particular remote community in my state where there’s a prevalent problem of teenage girls molesting younger boys.

  27. I’m here because I became a homeschool mom and a Sunday school teacher almost simultaneously, and the kind of thing that is skewered here and at other anti-fundie sites is everywhere in both fields! I didn’t know what I was looking at at first, or how prevalent it was. I didn’t realize why the Sunday school materials a predecessor bought in good faith talked about hovering over Kindergarten-aged children, looking for a chance to get them to “become Christian” by reciting a prayer, in an ECUSA church of all places. I didn’t realize why religious conspiracy theorists seemed to be not only tolerated, but welcomed at sites for homeschool parents. I got informed, I got angry, and I needed to know that it was possible to laugh at this stuff as well. Hence SFL.

    1. Or to put it another way, “How dare you not realize I’m not speaking to you!”
      It helps if you think of Sharper Iron as Squidward and SFL as SpongeBob. Both have a point, but one is definitely having a better time than the other. πŸ˜€ 😎
      Or was that the wrong thing to say? 😳

  28. Just one more reason why i like SFL-instead of making an abrupt break with Fundyland, I eased out. I went away to university (much to the shock of some of the brethren), got involved with a very good church that didn’t have problems with shorts, beards, and TV (it was the 70s) but did have excellent Bible teaching,. I also learned to appreciate other kinds of Christian traditions. On visits back, I conformed, but I wasn’t happy. SFL has helped me see how good easing out was for me. I love Jesus very much, but my lifestyle is based on what He has dome on the inside working its way out, not on external, Pharasaic change trying to force change outside in.

  29. I think commenter “Jay” at SI has a point. In fact this post actually legitimizes what “Jay” said.

    “Some folks” was one commenter that I read.
    No one defended the video in question, but the criticized it .
    They made the same observation I have made on other posts, but here Darrel sensationalized the situatuion by making Chuck Phelps the issue.
    Darrell has lost focus and appears to be swinging at everything without discernment.
    When I left fundamentalism, it was because I learned to think critically, and for myself. So I can disagree with Darrell and with fundies-when the situation calls for it.

    Its just the ending to Animal Farm being realized once again.

    1. I’m not sure of that is a fair assessment of Darrell; my recollection is that other posters where pushing (unfairly, in my opinion) the Chuck Phelps issue.

      I don’t like all of the subjects that Darrell chooses, but after all, it is his blog. He isn’t answerable to me.

  30. Darrel is upfront about why this blog is here. Its mostly a humor blog. Satirical. Irony is sometimes involved.

    However sometimes the things he posts aren’t so funny. Things like hypocrisy and abuse (emotional, physical and spiritual abuse) nepotism, extreme cult like control issues and sometimes just plain…craziness in the IFB movement. It does no good to keep quiet about them. If people feel the threat of exposure then perhaps they will learn and maybe…behave?

    No one is asking people to stop believing what they believe. The Inspiration of the Bible, The Incarnation….the Trinity, etc etc. Many of us here believe much the same. No one is telling people to stop having standards…for themselves. Wear what you will, behave how you will. Its when these people act as if their personal standards came down with Moses from Mt Sinai is when we start to have problems.

    So I would think that the agenda here is make fun of and expose the abuses in fundamentalism. …and fellowship with like minded people.

  31. I think SFL’s agenda is what it says: (paraphrased) to poke fun at silliness of Independent, Fundamental Baptists.

    As many on hear know, I spent years in a church pastored by a HAC graduate, and to them, “soul-winning” was all, and it was defined as going door-to-door, trying to find someone at home who would listen to us, and “keep them out of hell” (also known as “cold-calling”). Being naturally shy, and also due to experiences growing up, I had great difficulty with this, and became guilt-ridden with all of the “when’s the last time you had someone saved?” or “you’re not right with God if you’re not going soul-winning” or many other, grinding phrases. One couldn’t do anything in the church unless one was “going soul-winning”, no matter what God-given talent they showed. I was covered with guilt, beat myself up about it, and was convinced I was the worst Christian that had ever walked on the earth.

    I really thought that I was going to have a breakdown; I saw no escape (after all, ours was “the only good IFB church” in the entire area).

    But then God, who is rich in mercy, allowed a bunch of stuff to happen that entailed us moving and getting out of that church and into a church that isn’t so one-sided. It was around that time that I found SFL, and have enjoyed the people and (usually) the topics posted – when they are showing up the extremes of IFB-dom, I’m all for it.

    Love the verse in which Jesus said that His yoke is EASY and His burden is LIGHT… such a change from the heavy burdens we used to face.

  32. What difference does it make what agenda anyone has? The question is, are the posts true. Offended Fundy can like it or not but if a post detailing an offense is true, calling anyone bitter doesn’t make it untrue. Darrell may or may not be bitter but if he’s right, he’s right.

    1. The tone police try to distract from the truth by accusing people of not having the proper attitude in conveying the truth.

      It’s a way of weaseling out of actually dealing with the issue at hand.

      1. A typical exchange goes like this:

        “Stop stepping on my foot.”
        “You sound so bitter.”
        “Because you’re stepping on my foot.”
        “Oh, still blaming others for your problems, I see.”
        “But my foot hurts.”
        “And wallowing in self-pity, too.”
        “Please stop stepping on my foot.”
        “Always attacking others, aren’t you?”
        “Stepping on my foot is unkind.”
        “Didn’t you ever hear that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all? You’re making Jesus look bad. People might not get saved becuase of your troublemaking.”

        1. “And that’s the last thing I remember, Officer McGullicuddy, at least before I admit I threw the first punch … ” πŸ™„

  33. I cannot claim to know the agenda of this website or the agenda of its founder. I have read its self identifying purpose, and I do love the mockery it presents (using their words and images) of the self-righteous, self-centered, and generally wrongheaded IFBers. My agenda being here: I enjoy the humor. I grew up in this culture, and now I get a good laugh out of it. This is a fair trade for all the decades of misery.

  34. I’m not sure about SFL’s agenda, but my agenda for coming here is to be reminded that God doesn’t speak. Instead, we act like he does, and he of course, says what we want him to say.

    Fundystan is a frequent reminder as to why God never earnestly showed me he was there when I still desperately wanted to believe year after year. Because it’s just us trying to make sense of a book that has spawned thousands of denominations all claiming to speak truth while being diametrically opposed to each other.

    Fundystan is a good reminder that the supposed holy spirit giving us proper discernment is really just our desires and upbringing interpreting scripture.

    And finally, Fundystan is a good reminder on how far we’ll go under the grips of fear and threat of an eternal hell disguised as a loving and comforting relationship, both of which are terrifying and heart breaking to part from.

    1. KOACC – Excellent points. I think about this every single day. I try to make sense of how we got to where we are as a culture with religion. How was the Bible really put together? What were the agendas of the men who wrote and compiled the books. Sometimes I am left exhausted, with the feeling that all of religion is just man’s attempt to be important. Man’s ego is too big to allow him to realize that maybe, just maybe humans are truly insignificant. We really did come from dust and will return to dust. We have no memory of anything prior to our births, and maybe we will have no memory after we die. I don’t know. But I am told that I am supposed to believe what ancient men wrote about the subject. Ancient men who did not understand the basics of physics and the world around them. And then, I reach this point of “there surely cannot be a God”, the little faith pops in my mind and I just stop worrying about these and try to fix real problems in today’s world. Like trying to fix my slice in golf.

  35. I started reading here because I hadn’t found any other place like it. A lot of ex-fundy sites are actually for ex-Christians which I most decidedly am not. Other sites lampooned evangelicalism in general, and while that can be amusing, the humor didn’t even begin to focus on some of the absurdities some of us experienced. (For example, I read a post somewhere teasing churches for trying to hard by trying to tie in their sermons to popular movies at the time. I wonder what those article writers would think if they knew there were those of us out there who’d been forbidden to even enter movie theaters.)

    My agenda: to show that you can disagree with the legalism of the IFB without deserting your conservative Christian beliefs. The IFB presents it as black and white: “Agree with us or you’re a God-denying liberal agnostic.” I want to show people that belief is much more nuanced than that.

    1. Tiarali, the two I know of, both in the same town, ARE KJV, but they lack the nepotism, arrogance, pastor worship and poor treatment of people that marked the two churches I grew up with. If I hadn’t known about them, and only had my personal experiences and SFL as a guideline as to what they were like, then I would likely assume they were all bad as well.

      But not all of them are.

    2. Like Stuff Christians Like? I read most of his stuff and it is absolutely nothing like what I grew up on. And isn’t where I am now. But it’s still funny sometimes.

  36. Last summer, my husband and I visited an old high school friend of mine in another state. All of us had spent all or part of our formative years in the IFB. We talked and laughed for hours about the stuff we had endured as kids and young adults. One thing we talked about was that, in our current lives, the people we are around have no clue what we are talking about if we bring up our time in the IFB. My friend put it well when he said, “It’s like having grown up Amish–you don’t understand it if you never lived it.”
    For me, SFL is like that day we spent with my friend. Even if our experiences in the IFB are somewhat different, we basically understand where we are all coming from. So I guess what I get from this blog is a kind of community. And a good place to vent since I still have pretty close ties to the IFB through my husband’s family.

    1. I completely agree with you. When I left the IFB as a young adult after growing up in that environment, it was a shock to my system. It was also very isolating. Only those who have experienced the IFB can understand the IFB. I was very happy when I found this site because I no longer felt like such a freak.

      People have shared stories that I can identify with. We have all struggled in our own way to deprogram. I can look at articles, videos, and comments on this site and know that I am not alone in my struggles.

  37. Agenda. Nice use of a loaded buzzword. My agenda today included breakfast, job, laundry, and now possibly a cocktail. Nothing too sinister.

    As to why I read this lovely blog, it’s too remind myself, via the commenters, that not all Christians are the legalistic, close-minded hypocrites that made up quite a bit of my stay in fundyland. Sorry, sharp iron guys, but Darrell’s kind approach to pointing out the faults and flaws actually makes me more thoughtful to my fellow man, not less.

  38. The agenda is as stated on the site: chronicle and scrutinize this slow drift of the IFB to oblivion with posts that are sometimes satirical and sometimes serious and sometimes simply the fundamentalists in their own words.

    Though one could question where the motivation comes for one to run a website that most often has a tone of bitterness rather than simple amusement.

    It seems to me that some devoted followers of this site would call the 12 disciples zealots for leaving everything behind and following Christ.

    The truth is no matter what denomination any of us are none of us are truly right with God, have surrendered 100% to him and have discovered all the secrets of his word.

    The constant mocking of fundamentalists by former fundamentalists comes across as hypocritical. You call them out for all their faults as if you are faultless. ( I’m not talking about illegal activities as those should be called out. I’m speaking to dogma)

    Live your life. Love your family. Love your God. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Those who dwell on the negative or seek to disparage others should be avoided.

  39. I miss hanging out here–just a few more weeks of crazy scheduling (so I keep telling myself) and I’ll be back in full force.

    So, to answer your questions, Darrell:

    What do you think SFL’s agenda is? I apologize with profound embarrassment. I was unaware of any agenda.

    What is your agenda for being here? With utmost humility and even deeper embarrassment, I was unaware of any agenda.

    And does that agenda invalidate any of the bad behavior featured here? Now I am tearing my beard and repenting of my stupidity with dust and ashes . . . . Uh, what agenda? What bad behavior? Holy hell, will someone tell me what’s going on!?

        1. Darrell really should put that down on the reason for this site. πŸ˜€

      1. “I thought we were here for the beer and fellowship.”

        Anyone logging on to this site has had the opportunity to read Darrell’s stated “agenda”for operating this site and who am I to question his honesty.

        As for myself, this site is a lot of fun and I enjoy stopping by and reading the comments and perspectives of some intelligent, literate, and often very funny people. I also enjoy having the opportunity to interact with folks who have, in most cases, experienced Fundamentalism. When you get right down to it, those who have never experienced Fundamentalism generally have no idea what we’re talking about when those of us who have relate our experiences.

        To sum things up, there are some thought provoking and sometimes humorous posts along with a certain sense of camaraderie that exists in spite of our philosophical differences. So yeah, the “beer and fellowship” is part of it.

        1. You know, I was telling my kids about a saying that ancient people used to say to each other in greeting — Beer and bread! I think it was the Sumerians but I could be wrong. Maybe somewhere else in SWA?

        2. Semp,

          There is also a Chinese greeting that translates to, “Have you eaten yet?”

          The saying is still in use; although mostly in rural areas nowadays, I think.

          Thanks for the quote. It just goes to show that deep down we as human beings really haven’t changed over the millennia.

        3. At least one way to write “peace” in Chinese is a combination of the character for “mouth” and the character for “rice.”
          It’s a splendid concept– peace means all having enough.

  40. Wait, sharper iron is telling people to stay away? Of course they are.

    Normally, in a healthy system, if someone disagrees with someone, they are comfortable with pointing friends to the something they disagree with so they can have an open discussion about the matter.

    In a cult or abusive system, however, they must control the information flow. Because they aren’t interested in people forming their own opinions, but in ensuring that the people have no opinion other than that which they intend to promote.

    SI has just invalidated itself right there. And I have absolutely no problems in going and reading SI if I want to, and encouraging others to do the same, simply because to healthy people, the crazy will speak for itself.

    1. Yes, that reminds me of the time that Jack Hyles responded to a critical article in the local newspaper by calling on his congregation to “stop taking the (Hammond) Times!” And “Don’t feed your enemies!”
      Perhaps someone can find a clip. He was citing an article about his son, or his own relationship with “Jennie”.

  41. Can we just be honest and call it as it is? Now when you go and look at the “about” section on this site it mentions that it is a humorous site intended to poke fun at some of the oddities of fundamentalism. Ok, fine. But let’s have enough honesty to admit that this was NOT what was on the site for quite a long time. (Maybe it’s still there somewhere, but I can’t find it now) Right on the site there was a note questioning and satirizing anyone who dared criticize German criticism. If you have any honesty at all, you have to say that German criticism was a direct assault on Christianity and the Bible and God. For the site to now pretend that it’s all about fun and games and to delete the stuff about its support of German criticism is absolutely disingenuous. Sorry, but hiding that does show that SFL does have an agenda.

    1. Hmmm . . . I was going to suggest that, for your health, you might lighten up a bit.

      But then I starting thinking that you could be right. It may be that Darrell DOES have a nefarious agenda, and that he would like nothing better than the destruction of American Christianity, Mom, and Apple Pie. He is probably a member of a Satanic Coven (or at least of the Illuminati). After all, the word “Darrell” sounds remarkably like “Devil” (!), and SFL could very well stand for Satanic Fellowship of Libruls. Or Soldiers For Lucifer.

      And German criticism, don’t get me started! How dare anyone try to make sense of some of the glaring inconsistencies in the textual record of the Bible! But Darrell’s support of this is before my time at SFL, so I am cleared of all responsibility of this from-the-pits-of-hell ideology. Phooey on Darrell, SFL, and any lover of German criticism!! Phooey!

        1. Panda, I’d love to stick around to discuss German philosophy, but I Kant.

          (Do I get high Marx for this comment?)

        2. Nico, I’d answer, but it’s my Schopen haur now, so I have to go to the mall.

        3. (Previous comment with typo corrected:)

          Nico, I’d answer, but it’s my Schopen hauer now, so I have to go to the mall.

        4. I would join the discussion too, but my bratwurst playing in the mud, so I must danke his head and shampoo his hair.

        5. πŸ™‚ This discussion is really Straussing me out. I just don’t even know where Tubingen. I had something better to say, but the thought came and Wendt.

        6. As my great-great-grandpappy, Hans Conzelmann, once said, “Vergessen Sie’S!”

        7. @BG,

          Were you able to Hegel
          with the store owners in order to get some Riehl bargains on some of the merchandise they were Schelling?

        8. @BG,

          Were you able to Hegel
          with the store owners in order to get some Riehl bargains on some of the merchandise they were Schelling?

        9. Ach du Lieber Himmel– a double post– and it wasn’t that funny the first time.


      1. Me neither, pw! I’m sure that if Darrell had said word one about it, I’d have remembered because it would have been totally out of character for him.

        I call shenanigans.

        1. Maybe it was discussed in the comments at some point – a lot of things are – but that’s far from SFL promoting it.

      2. Some people get obsessed with strange things and see gremlins RE their fave subject everywhere. If you use Google you can find a few comments here & there that contain references to “german criticism”. It’s a sign that Fendler is either posting on the wrong forum out of confusion, or struggling to correlate what is actually written here with his/her pet peeve.

        1. I’m sorry I missed The Great German Criticism Promotion. Sounds like those of you who were there (all one of you) had a great time. Maybe we can make it an annual event so the rest of us can join in on the fun.

        2. Oktoberfest!! We can drink steins of doppelbock and demythologize the Gospel of Darrell.

          And we’ll have foosball! And pin the tail on the fundy! And unmixed bathing! No-holds-barred fun and games and agendas galore!

          (Please contact Charon at 1-800-GATESOFHELL for advance ticktets.)

        3. If that’s what makes you happy, go for it Rob!

          I think we should make all of the foosball figures German philosophers, theologians, or Biblical scholars. Maybe have theologians vs. philosophers. Bultmann could be the captain of the religious team, perhaps Nietzsche captain of the philosophers.

        4. Fundies on one side, German philosophers on the other! If it were debate we could guess the outcome, but in foosball who knows? Maybe John R Rice had a kick like a donkey?

        5. That sounds like great fun. Wait–Team Fundy will probably want to create a bunch of tedious new rules, run off all the teammates that fail to comply, and end up with a one-man team. Good thought, though.

        6. Ah, found the semi-perfect depiction of things.

    2. Folks, Fendler is a FundyU troll who just happened to take New Testament Introduction last semester. Next Semester it’ll be something else when it is fresh on his mind.

      He’ll argue Systematic Theology or the JEDP theory or something along those lines.


      1. “German Criticism” by which I think he means higher/historical criticism, is both forced/contrived comment on SFL, and strangely antiquated terminology. Both of which you would expect from a freshman trying to use his limited knowledge to impress.

  42. I just find it comforting to know I’m not the only one out there who came out a screwy religious background. Getting help from others who’ve also been there and being able to help them makes a real difference to me.

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