Fundy Facebook of the Week: Suffer the Little Children

Today’s Facebook post comes from Tom Brennan, Hyles grad and pastor of the Maplewood Bible Baptist Church

Want to be friends? Only the super-sanctimonious need apply.

For Jesus said unto them “love your neighbor as yourself but don’t let their kids close to your kids unless they attend Wednesday night church.”

This really is sad because once upon a time I thought there might be hope for Tom when he got fed up and started naming names in his sermon entitled “39 Years an Independent Baptist…And Grieved About It.”

184 thoughts on “Fundy Facebook of the Week: Suffer the Little Children”

    1. Dang it, George! Quit messing with my puter.

      I claim first because NEO didn’t. You snooze, you lose.

      I’ll take my butt cushion in a silk leopard print, TYVM.

      1. Dear Darrell:

        Not funny! I discovered yesterday that my bank concluded that I had died. It took me 45 minutes with them plus 9 phone calls to convince their system that I am alive. Of course, I had plenty of lines for them … ‘this process is going to take what — three days?’ When they finally fixed the problem, I threatened to take revenge by dropping dead on the way out. ‘DON’T YOU DARE‘ was the reply. LOL! Have a good one.

        Christian Socialist

        1. I used to do medical billing.

          Medicare sends out EOBs to people before cutting checks to providers. One day a patient called my office to complain that Medicare wasn’t paying because the service was rendered after she was dead. She found no humor in Medicare’s premature declaration of her death. Neither did I, because I had to rebill Medicare.

      2. Yes. Yes I am. I had a procedure done that fixed my aorta for good. Was in the hospital for a week. This has been a slow recovery. I have been home for about 2 weeks but only now am I getting back to normal things. Which of course includes checking in on SFL.

        Thanks for missing me. I think I should get a sympathy first.

        1. You have my sympathy and prayers for a speedy recovery, but you are still grounded until further notice!

        2. Glad you’re ok and doing better. But if you consider SFL “normal” than maybe you’ve got some more recovery time necessary.

        3. How about a sympathy butt cushion? I’ll have it hand-delivered from the Butte Butt Cushion factory, along with a dozen warm Krispy Kreme donuts and a piping hot coffee.
          Here in Savannah there is very little a good Krispy Kreme can’t fix. Get well soon! 🙂

        4. Here’s one more “Good to see you back!{. I’m glad to know that your doctors were able to fix what ailed you.

        5. Thanks everyone!

          I don’t need a plane to get high these days. Not with the medication I am on. I will be grounded for a while. Although I should ask the pharmacist if I can mix my medication with SFL. 🙂

  1. Yay Scorpio!

    Tom Brennan is starting that ‘inner circle’ thing that I have witnessed in many churches (and Christian schools) and cults. ‘I am the person with a certain amount of ‘power’ and or influence and if you want to be my friend then you must do these things’. They lay down conditions. Problem is they keep raising the bar and its like the magic ring at a carnival ride. They already have people in place to be their ‘friends’. Anyone else trying to get into the ‘inner circle’ is just a hopeful lackey useful only to run their errands and do their dirty work.

      1. In my old IFB church, there is one person — one — that I would count as a “friend.” The others were friendly, kinda sorta. But did people come to talk to me? No, they had their special groups. If I got near the conversation stopped.

        That has been the story for my wife, too. She still persists in going, though, and calls the people “her friends.” She has been snubbed and ignored so often she seems to think it is normal behavior.

        1. Boy do I know that feeling. These people do NOT know how to be a friend. AT…ALL!!! Plus I wouldn’t want them to be my friend. I would have to fit into their little box and it is WAY TOO SMALL for me!

        2. I know that feeling. I had to deal with that cliquish behavior at my old church (not fundy, just snotty). Only then did I understand one big reason why people become atheist

    1. I agree.

      Having had all day to mull this over, I could see someone whining to Tom about never having time for their kids to play together, especially someone who was an occasional Sunday morning attender, and Tom is utterly frustrated because the simplest way for the kids to spend TONS of time together is to just SHOW UP AT CHURCH.

      I could see being annoyed at someone complaining about my kids not playing with theirs when they know very well where my kids are (or would have been back in the day) every single week and they could have PLENTY of playtime if they’d just come out to church. I could see thinking this about a church member or former church member. I wonder if such a situation prompted the post.

      1. Or maybe he allows his kids to bring their friends home to play between Sunday church services, but will not let any kid come over who will not be there for Sunday night services.

        Or he just doesn’t allow them to spend time outside church with families who don’t attend three times per week.

        Lots of possible scenarios.

        1. I was trying to find a generous interpretation of the reasoning behind his post.

          If it was indeed more like the situations you describe, that would be sad. And unChristlike.

        2. From Brennan’s fb comment:

          “I’m welcoming them to spend time with my children – in Sunday School, on Sunday morning, on Sunday night, in Patch Club, out soul winning on Saturday, shoot, they can even hang out at our house in between services on Sunday if their parents come back on Sunday night.”

          So only IF their parents attend both morning and evening services.

    2. So I read down through the comments on his post and someone asked him the same question. He said it was in regards to parents that wanted their kids to play with the pastor’s kids because the pastor’s kids were a good influence on them, but didn’t take their kids to church more than a few times a month, which in the pastor’s opinion would have been a better influence than just playing with the preacher’s kids.

      1. That would be annoying to me: if kids wanted to hang out with my kids, not because they liked them, because we were neighbors, or because they shared similar interests, but because their parents thought my kids would be a “good influence.” I want my kids to be liked for themselves not because of their “status” as pastor’s kids.

  2. I seem to have gotten to the point in my Fundy recovery that I find this behavior of obligation and loyalty to the “Ministry” just plain pathetic. *bleh*

  3. Yup. After all, Jesus says to reach the list by bringing them to Church, not by living our lives among them and showing God’s love in everyday life. Everyday life for the IFBer IS Church, not family, not friends, not employment.

  4. I did think that the “39 Years…” message was really good.

    Is there, perhaps, a chance that this is just poorly worded, and is being twisted a bit? Perhaps it just means that “if you want to be friends with our kids, you need to be where there are, which is church” – not so much a restriction imposed by the parents, but just a statement of fact: You become friends with someone by spending time together. At our church, the kids have a good time together after Sun PM and Wed PM services.

    1. “Go ye into all the world and isolate yourselves into little enclaves, letting the MoG preach his gospel, teaching them to do all things the MoG says.”

      Interesting twist on the Great Commission.

    2. I don’t think it was poorly worded. Did you read his comments below his original post? He sounds like a pompous jerk to me. And what the heck did he mean when he said they “welcome children of all kinds (ethnic and spiritual) into their home”?

      1. Well kid, you aren’t “the right white kind,” but we welcome you in our church anyway. On Wednesday night, from 7:00 to 8:30. Don’t forget your AWANA offering.

        And no loitering in the church after the church bus is ready to load.

    3. It might be what he means, but why state it so arrogantly? The sanctimonious tone is what’s so offensive, IMO.

      1. Yes!

        Practically speaking, when we had evening and Wednesday services, kids who attended them would end up closer to our kids simply by virtue of spending more time with them, but I would never say that just to be friends with my kids you HAD to attend all the services.

    4. “Is there, perhaps, a chance that this is just poorly worded, and is being twisted a bit?”

      Not when you believe that you can somehow gain favor in the sight of God by things you do. It naturally tracks that Tom would mirror that belief in his life—this is evidence of that belief. imo

      1. I don’t know that he believes that – this entry seems out of line with what was said in the “39 Years” message.

    5. No, the meaning is crystal clear, GR. You play by my rules on my field, or you are anathema!

  5. Well looks like he’s got 45 friends at least… I was looking at Robbie Dawkins FB page a couple of weeks ago and a couple were commended for bringing their 2 day old (yes that’s days, not weeks, months or years) baby to hear him at the big New Wine Christian conference in the UK. What possible benefit could a tiny baby receive from spending 2 hours in a meeting of loud worship and shouty ‘preaching’. My children are 20 and 21 now and one thought I never have is ‘I wish I’d taken them to more meetings.’!

      1. The local Tesco’s to the conference site sells more alcohol in the weeks of t he conference than any other weeks

      2. If you’re ever in Germany in the fall, try some Federweißer (“feather white”). It’s wine so new that it’s still sputtering and glurping in the bottle. It’s sold in loosely-capped bottles (so they don’t blow up from the pressure caused by fermentation), and it has a really interesting taste.

        For obvious reasons, it can’t really be exported overseas.

        1. Is this the same as “half-wine?” I have medieval recipes that call for half-wine and I cannot seem to find any anywhere, probably due to the shipping issue. The local winery won’t sell me any either.

        2. I don’t know what “half-wine” is, but if it’s impossible to ship, it may be the same thing as Federweißer, or another basically raw product that is still in the process of fermentation.

  6. If you go to his FB page, atleast [some] of the members of the congregation are kind of calling him on it. So, I guess that’s a plus. Atleast he’s not “revered” so much that no one can even disagree with him.

    1. Humph. Now he will need to preach about Elisha, the children and the unbearable troubles people have who disagree with the MoG.

      1. I don’t think he’s like that from what I’ve heard him preach; in the “39 Years…” message, he preached very strongly against MOG worship.

  7. In the fundy world it is terribly important to never miss a service because if you miss your regularly scheduled brainwashing ceremony you might *gasp* think for yourself.

    Also, if you’re not at church, you might be forming real family relationships or *gasp* a healthy social life – and if you have outside support then they don’t control your life so much.

    1. I heartily wish I had never been a deacon and had regularly scheduled a “church night” to stay at home with my family, play games and pop popcorn.

      My daughter’s only “friends” are at church. She won’t even try to make friends anywhere else. It may take losing my job and having to move to change this.

      1. This is hard. Our kids church and school world were the same. I was comforting my sobbing daugter last night at the thought of a starting the new school. We are kicking ourselves and feeling guilty that WE made it this way before we saw our way out but SHE is the one crying. Thankfully, the church transition has been very good.

        1. I hope she has a great year. Transitions are hard, but hopefully soon she’ll be looking forward to going to school with joy.

  8. The LAST kids I would want my kids to be friends with are the children of a fundy preacher. Brennan needs to go re-examine the track record of parenting in Fundamentalism. It produces child molesters, rapists, bullies, and dimwits. I’d want my kids to be friends with intelligent, inquisitive, gentle kids who retain innocence as long as possible.

    1. Well, I’m glad some kids took the risk and were my friends when I was a kid regardless of my fundamentalist upbringing.

      Since that wasn’t my choice at all.

      1. Kids and adults should make friends with as many people as they can, and of all sorts of people. PKs and MKs as well.

        PKs and MKs need examples other than their parents.

      2. Concur. My dad was an IFB pastor, but I didn’t have to worry much about making friends. He stayed, on average, 2-3 years at a church then “God” would call him to another state to minister. In reality, he was so strident in his fundamentalism that he’d piss of the tiny IFB church that he’d spent a couple years berating, and they’d run him off. We’d load up the U-Haul and head out for another state, often hundreds of miles away. So I have zero friends from childhood, and don’t even remember the names of the passing acquaintances I made in the various locales. Good times.

    2. On the other hand, maybe the Fundy kids were grateful for a glimpse of the outside world.

      1. My guess is that those are the kids who manage to get away for a while and have a life of their own, at least for an hour or two (hopefully).

    3. I was going to say something like this. If fundy parents were really trying to raise godly kids the last kids they would want them hanging around are the PK’s – I am certainly qualified (BAM!) to say this having been a heathen little PK myself.

      I’m joking, but only a little bit.

    4. There’s only been one kid I’ve known while as an adult, that I really just want to punch in the face……. And I feel bad cause I feel that way…… But the kid REALLY needs it cause the kid thinks they control the church and that everyone else is beneath them. Oh, it’s my former pastor’s kid too. Just goes to show that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Tragic.

        1. You’re human. I understand why you feel like a terrible person for thinking that way about a child, but I understand why a kid would trigger someone.

    5. The pastor kids at my old IFB church were little tattle tales. Mindless minions of the MoG. So brainwashed its pitiful. I feel so sad for that bunch. But I’m even happier to be away!

    6. Hey, I married a fundy preacher’s kid! And he is intelligent, gentle, and inquisitive. And extremely good-looking…

      1. I personally know several MOG spawn. They are all pretty good looking and fairly intelligent. Pleasant enough to be around, too, until you are no longer useful.

  9. Why is he in Chicagoland? Shouldn’t that be off-limits since FBC has its tentacles there? Duplication of service, IMO. He needs to go somewhere that’s never heard the gospel. I’m thinking Lancaster, Cali. Or Greenville, SC. Or Pensacola, FL.

  10. Sounds like my childhood – my parents didn’t let me have any friends outside the bubble. It didn’t work though, independent thought still got me in the end. 😀

    Now I go to a different church once or twice a week and love the extra time for family and friends.

    1. All the kids at my church (charismatic start-up back in the early 80’s) were little stuck-up, weirdos. I actively sought out other kids who didn’t act the way they did. Their bubble was super suffocating, even for a 6 year old!!!! Maybe it’s because my dad thought we had to be there every time the doors were open because that’s what Jesus preached…… Geez!

  11. This is a snob’s idea of humility. We’ll be your “friend” but we’re still better than you. Where do they get the idea that children are sobbing to be their friend?

  12. So, if one of Tom’s church member performs satisfactorily for Tom, Tom will bless them with access to the friendship of his children…just like if Tom performs satisfactorily for God, God will bless Tom with his favor?

    And Tom says he’s not Catholic? Hello?

  13. This reminds me of the Austin Lounge Lizard’s and Jesus Loves ME (but he can’t stand you) – – I’m raising my kids in a righteous way, so don’t be sendin’ your kids over to my house play. Why your kids will grow up stoned, left leaning and gay. Jesus told me on the phone today…Yeah he has a 900 number in Tulsa…I talk to him every day…

    1. I always thought the Austin Lounge Lizards meant that song as a satire of self-righteous people, but Tom Brennan apparently takes it as his instruction manual.

  14. My current church encourages families to stay home and get to know their neighbors! It also has community outreach events that are very “non-churchy” to make contact with community folks and let them know we care for them as people, not just as future pew warmers. I’ve met a number of people at my church who originally came because of the community outreach events. Our pastors have set the example: most of their kids go to public school and they are involved in many different, non-church connected, activities.

  15. I for one am thankful that my children wouldn’t be “eligible” to associate with his children.

    Just saying.

  16. Tom Brennan quote: “…but church comes first in our family. Every single service.”

    Compare with: “Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.” (John 7:14)

  17. I don’t know this guy and all I have to go on is his facebook page and his church’s website and his sermons (of which I have now only listened to part of one). But, with that said, I don’t think he necessarily deserves to be featured here.

    *Stone falls from hand as I walk away*

  18. When was this posted? I’m on his FB page and not finding it, but I did see one where he has a picture of his neighbor’s corn stalks and making fun of it.

      1. The only thing I can think of is a Confederate veteran who was reminiscing about the War Of Northern Aggression, and how he had believed at the time that “we coulda whupped them Yankees with corn stalks! Only trouble was, the dang Yankees weren’t using corn stalks.” 🙄

      2. C&P from his page: My neighbor apparently thinks sweet corn is a decorative landscape plant… — feeling amused.

        There’s a picture of it as well.

        I fail to see how it’s amusing. Fundy humor is odd.

        1. I think it depends on where it’s located. In a suburban neighborhood with closely-spaced houses located in a highly visible area, a clump of corn would probably seem irregular even amusing to me. Just depends on context.

        2. Heaven forbid that a guy in an urban area grow vegetables because:
          a) he likes gardening and/or
          b) likes sweet corn.

          Is it really sweet corn? He might grow field corn to feed the cows or pigs he keeps in the basement.

        3. I think urban gardening is great. I wouldn’t be quite as pleased to have corn growing in a neighbor’s front yard in the suburbs where my preference is to see green grass with perhaps some shrubbery or flowers. (Growing up, my parents always had a large garden in our back yard.)

        4. I would much rather have corn than the tall “tomato” plants an ex next-door-neighbor tried to hide behind a makeshift plywood fence.

          The sheriffs deputy didn’t seem too amused either. The ex neighbor wound up employed by the government for a while.

        5. @Uncle Wilver: Including a nice stay at the Graybar Hotel, meals included, and even a nice new wardrobe, much of it in fetching traffic-cone orange.

        6. Yum, sweet corn! (I found the photo.) Maybe I’m in the wrong part of the country, but that looks good. One of my neighbors grows corn in their front yard; another grows weed in their back yard.

        1. There are much worse things to have in one’s yard growing along the sidewalk than corn. whether it’s sweet or cattle corn.

          Bird feeders that are always filled and never taken down are much more offensive to me because they attract bears.

        2. I’m guessing you don’t mean dandelions. Though since you can make wine with dandelions no fundy should want to see them anywhere, but I digress.

      3. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but around here, Hispanic families sometimes plant corn in front of their houses where most people would have shrubs or something.

  19. Every family has the opportunity to set standards for how they will raise their children. There is nothing wrong with picking the friends of your child. I grew up in a loose IFB family and a non-legalistic IFB church. The friends I had in high school greatly influenced my life and mind. Friends can make or break you.

    1. I think you’re missing the point, but anyway, thanks for weighing in, Pastor Tom Brennan.

    2. My fundy “friends” broke me.

      It’s my non-fundy — and even non-xian — friends who are helping me the most these days.

      1. Yes to this. Absolutely. Even when I talk with my old BJU friends I find that most of them haven’t forsaken the latent racism, even if they’ve left fundamentalism. I’ve made much better friends among the unchurched.

  20. From one of his responses in FB:

    “I’m not talking about freshly saved parents who are new in the Lord. I’m talking about people who have been Christians for decades, and yet somehow think attending church infrequently is perfectly acceptable. I cannot see their heart, but what I can see indicates a lack of the hunger and thirst after righteousness that ought to be present in His people.”

    Because hunger and thirst after righteousness is equivalent to desperately wanting to hear the opinion and interpretation of texts from someone standing behind a gaudy wooden stand.

    1. We decided about a year ago to ditch the “three to thrive” hogwash and put more focus and attention on spending time together as a family. It’s funny how the true colors of your “friends” come out when you are no longer there every time the church doors open.

      1. I’m a single woman who could be at church every night. However, if I am going to get to know my neighbors, and spend time with other family members, I need time to relate to people outside the church. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples” not, “bring them to church.”

        I often do invite people to church, but if we have a connection outside of the building, they are much more likely to come.

  21. No time to read the comments. This may have been covered.
    Tom’s kids? I’m praying for you. Seriously praying for you.

  22. My sin is 11 years old. There’s a kid in our neighbourhood who frequently talks about sex. I do not want my son to be friends with him.
    I think it’s ok for parents to have a say in their children’s friendships.

    1. Why don’t you get the sex-talk kid in touch with Tom’s kids? That should prove fun.

    2. Nathan:

      My kids are the only church kids in the neighborhood. This means they’ve been exposed to: sex talk, swearing, drinking, smoking, shoplifitng, and drugs. It also means we’ve had some good talks about all of those things and why they are wrong, or wrong if taken to an extreme.

      This also means that my home is where all the kids hang out because they are fed, loved, disciplined, and entertained. (As I add to my jungle gym and zipline, I’m often reminded of the Far Side comic of the Venus flytrap with a swingset inside.) And that several of them have heard that Jesus loves them and forgives their sin when they ask. And that one of them has asked him to do so.

      But… my kid cusses on occasion and stole a toy from the store. Is it worth the risk? Absolutely! Now he knows that no matter what choices he makes in life, God loves & forgives, and I will always accept him. Do you know how I know what my 11 year old does? He tells me, without any fear.

      1. Parenting: you’re doing it right! Praying I’ll be able to say the same in 8 1/2 years when I have an 11-year-old son.

        1. I am grateful that I was able to give my children access to the broader world. It has served them well.

          My daughter, on the other hand, has studiously resisted making friends outside of church, despite encouragement.

        2. Marty, I hope so. My kids couldn’t have been sheltered even if I’d tried, so openness seemed my only option. I pray they will still come to me ten years from now.

      2. So it sounds like you agree that a parent should be able to choose their children’s friends?

        1. My grandmother did that for my mother when she was little; on the other hand my mother was a painfully shy child.

        2. I think a parent should be able to influence an eleven year old’s choice of friends. In less time than I can imagine, he will be choosing his own friends, girlfriend, school, church… I’m letting him practice now with a limited risk and a safe place to land.
          My six year old is a different story. There are only two places in the neighborhood she can go. But friends are allowed over to play.
          If either child makes idiotic choices, of course their freedoms will be severely limited.

    3. Yes, but if your kids’ friends are solely limited to church kids, and only a select group of church kids at that, how will they learn to handle life outside the bubble? I mean, they will have to leave the compound at some point. When you’re 25 and have become disillusioned with fundamentalism and your fundy “college” degree is useless in the real world you’ll find yourself working with the nasty heathen at Walmart who drink and cuss and stuff. You may as well learn how real life works when you’re 12. Like a foreign language, those necessary life skills are learned most easily at a young age.

      1. This argument doesn’t hold water with me. I was raised in a bubble and I’m fine. I’m not raising my children in a bubble but there’s nothing wrong with it. Plenty of sheltered children become productive adults in society. I didn’t learn any words/euphemisms/etc. at age 25 that I wish I had known at age 12. That’s just ridiculous.

        1. You can be a productive adult even if you are socially awkward from growing up in a bubble. I know plenty of socially awkward people who have managed to hold down jobs for years. It doesn’t change the fact that they have a hard time understanding the world around them and how real life works. Some day your bubble will burst, and so will your children’s bubble. It is very painful when that happens. You don’t have to believe me now, but when the fecal material hits the rotating object and is splattered all about you, then you will understand what I say.

      2. Lady Semp, your argument makes perfect sense to me. I’ve seen your scenario in real life on any number of occasions. Just substitute “Wal-Mart” for any other job that doesn’t require a college degree. My basic unaccredited kawlidge degree was, well, a waste of time and money.

        At some point I had to learn to deal with the unchurched. My education took place on the streets of Dallas, TX, as a patrol officer.

      3. Yes! Good stuff. I wish I could get this through to the idiot MoG at my old church. His kids are going to be eaten up by the real world once they get a taste of freedom and independence.

    4. sure, and I was shown porn by another fundy kid at our Christian school when I was 11, maybe we should close them all down.

      Help your kids choose friends wisely by all means, but there are better reasons to cut off friendships than “you didn’t come to Sunday Night church that one time”

      1. You know, growing up in the fundy bubble is no guarantee that kids will never hear cuss words or see porn.

        Parents who think otherwise are in a bubble of their own.

        1. I couldn’t agree more! Honestly, my skin crawls when I hear some parents talk about how Godly and wonderful their children are because they go to Christian school and have a stroke when their little snowflake comes within a 10 mile radius of some “worldly” ( AKA non-fundy) influence.

  23. More from Brennan’s wall:

    Somebody didn’t like my post a couple of days ago about parents who routinely skip church with their kids. This individual send me a private message, and wasn’t unkind at all, but they did say something I want to quote publicly (in an anonymous way, of course) and respond to.

    ‘as I read your post the other day it didn’t sound pastoral. It came across very Bob Gray like, or CEO like. Basically, “if you don’t support my company (church) fully then you will not be allowed to be close friends with my children.’

    I’m not trying to get parents to bring their children to church in order to support my church. I’m trying to get parents to bring their children to church so I can help them grow up to love and serve God. And, pray tell me, what in the world can possibly be any more pastoral than to urge God’s people to attend His house faithfully? It is the body of Christ on Earth. It is the pillar and ground of the truth. It is the bride of Christ. It is the divinely ordained institution for carrying out the Great Commission. So let me be perfectly clear…

    You can’t be right with God and wrong with church, and if you choose to lay out of church routinely your children will pay the spiritual price for it. A priority of church attendance isn’t, of course, any guarantee that a child will grow up to love and serve God. There are none of those to be had. But it is a command. It is edifying. It is helpful to other Christians. As we get closer to the Second Coming we are to do it more, not less. And it is, IMHO, one of the two most important things parents can do to point their children toward the Lord.

    Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    Pastor Tom Brennan

    1. “You can’t be right with God and wrong with church,”

      Attending less than Three to Thrive does not mean one is wrong with God. It does appear it makes one wrong with this pastor.

      1. Once again, Pastor Tom Brennan, when you find yourself in the bottom of a deep hole, the thing to do is to stop digging it deeper.

    2. ” It is the body of Christ on Earth. It is the pillar and ground of the truth. It is the bride of Christ. It is the divinely ordained institution for carrying out the Great Commission.”

      That is the Church Universal, not the local church unit. The Church Universal has no need of Sunday School, Wednesday night meetings, bus ministries, enforced visitation, building programs, etc. ad nauseum.

      If I meet with another person who belongs to Christ, in Christ’s name, He is there. The Church is meeting.

      Fundy pastors love to conflate the local assembly with the Church Universal. And I believe they know full well they are lying when they do it! (Or do they really know so little about the Scripture? If so, they shouldn’t be in the pulpit!)

      I can bring my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord without the big buildings and the self-righteous and self-serving MoG. I can be right with God and wrong with this MoG.

    3. The problem here is that the “church” is viewed as an institution. My opinion, and there’s a strong possiblity it’s wrong, is that the church is NOT a structured institution with the pastor over the deacons over the SS teachers over the congregation that meet together at certain times.

      The church is all people who have placed their trust in Jesus as Savior and function as one body to do the work that God wants done on this earth.

      When “church” is viewed as “the members of this local building or club” stuff gets all skewed and mixed up.

      1. Ok, I made my comment in reply to ‘Used-to be-Fundy” on what was said about “more from Brennan’s wall”. So I kind of re-hashed what rtg and neo said.

        But I still hold to my previous statement that Brennan doesn’t necessarily deserve to be featured here. I think his heart is in the right place. That’s all you can ask for. At least, that’s all Christ asks for.

      2. Maybe. But I’m not sure institutionalism is “the” problem here. I mean, the Roman Catholic church is pretty institutional, and you don’t get this guff. What you have is a series of presumptions which are basically extra-biblical and pretty unique to IFB (or at least fundamentalism, since I’ve seen it in Charismatic fundamentalism as well), being passed off as some kind of theological reasoning. He actually admitted in his follow up comments that people who didn’t attend every service weren’t right with God, and therefore their children couldn’t hang out with his kids. That is not only bizarre, it is unchristian. So, all that to sy that it seems more individual or ego-centric than institutional in nature.

  24. What if he’d written this?

    If you want your kids to be close friends with our kids, one easy way to be sure of spending lots of time with them is to come out to church. Our family is at Maplewood Bible Baptist Church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, where the kids have great Bible lessons and lots of fun hanging out together, and we’d love to see you there!

    See the difference? It conveys the same idea but without being demanding (“Bring your kids to church. Every single service”) or pious (“church comes first in our family. Every single service.”)

    Side note: Church used to come first in our family. Now my heart’s desire is that JESUS comes first.

    1. There is a difference between church and Jesus, but many fundies treat them as if they are the same. Someone who only attends church once or twice a week is not disobeying God.

      1. And someone who attends every service isn’t obeying God. Or even necessarily saved. Or a good person. I know plenty of lifelong fundies who attended every service and were some of the worst people I have ever known. It is just really bizarre and poor reasoning.

    2. PW, the difference is stark. Its amazing how those who practice the fruits of the spirit contrast brightly with those who just happen to know where to find them in the KJV.

    3. PW, your example of loving kindness on this board gives me hope, and frankly has gone a long way to salve some of the bitterness that I still hold.

  25. All the critics should quit criticizing a man of God and get busy parenting your children not as you think but as how God has instructed you. If you were to actually get in his Holy Word and did as the Word of God said as a parent you would to be too busy to post such ugly things. Quick to point the finger while your own kids go to hell and a hand basket.

    1. If a grownup attends church and church functions so often that he neglects his parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, neighbors, community, and co-workers, that doesn’t reflect well on his religion or his deity. It makes others look askance on that religion and that deity. Also, if that grownup neglects spouse and children to serve that religion and deity, the kids will go to hell in a hand basket anyway and the marriage will either dissolve to be a name-only situation or end up in a legal separation/divorce.

      I know that it’s easier to have a checklist of do’s and don’ts when it comes to god, religion, parenting, etc., but they don’t always work in real life. Real life is always messy and painful. If you can make it fit in a neat little box chances are you’re doing it wrong.

      1. “… if that grownup neglects spouse and children to serve that religion and deity, the kids will go to hell in a hand basket anyway and the marriage will either dissolve to be a name-only situation or end up in a legal separation/divorce.”

        I’ve seen that happen many times.

        1. I cringe now when I think about how many times we blew off family functions in order to be at church. Or the times when my husband worked all night, sometimes 16 hours, only to rush home long enough to change clothes, gulp down a cup of coffee and run out the door again to go teach Sunday School. God forbid if he skipped church to sleep since we all know Jesus never rested! We heard many condescending, rude remarks whenever he had to work on Sundays and missed a service or two. One self-righteous old fart said something to him like, “When I was working, I NEVER worked on Sundays and I tithed 30% of my paycheck every week!” Good for you. Not everyone works bankers hours. Several years ago, I had to go back to work part-time because we were in a bad financial spot and I had to work every other weekend. The asst. pastor’s wife made a very condescending remark to me, “Well the extra money comes in handy!” Guess what you stuck-up, entitled snot? It’s NOT extra money! It’s money to pay bills. Unlike you, we don’t have a congregation of 500 people willing to go hungry and homeless for the privilege of sacrificing to make sure YOUR bills are paid and YOUR needs are met! This happened 8 years ago, and it still infuriates me and my husband whenever we think about it!

    2. Being in the Word of God will make one busy, eh?

      So much for His yoke being easy and His burden light…

  26. A little KJV for you: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

    I get the sense that IFB fathers have failed exactly on the first instruction, thinking that the second instruction is the only one in the verse. What I see in the future for Mr. Brennan’s kids is deep resentment.

  27. I think the problem is that he’s all about church. I thought Christians were to be about Christ. Church can and is an idol to many. No Christ just church and the mog. So sad. Pray for them.

  28. He’s just being like Jesus. You remember the stories–Jesus declared to everyone–“If you want to be my disciple, you must be at every synagogue and temple event, as well as any meeting in between.”

    Well, this post seems to assume people want their children to be friends with his children. He seems to be building a buffer zone around him and his family. Can’t be too careful…keep anyone who would tarnish your reputation far away. And teach your children the only way to hold onto your faith is to surround yourself with people who think like you.

    1. His underlying premise is that it’s some kind of dadblasted privilege for your kids to spend time basking in the radiance of his kids. I might suggest that he probably isn’t the best judge of that.

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