SFL was visited about 2.2 million times in 2014. That’s a lot of clicks.
Here’s some of the stuff that went on:
This report on Blackface Boxing was the most viewed post
These posts also got a lot of attention:
Sermon Contests Redux
Violence Against Women
Modest is Hottest (Literally)
GRACE Releases the BJU Report
These three guys were the most chatty in the comments:
1. Big Gary – 3152 COMMENTS
2. Bald Jones grad – 1384 COMMENTS
3 Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist – 1368 COMMENTS
That’s almost 9 comments every day, Big Gary. You write on here more than I do.
In THREE HOURS this past spring we raised enough money to keep SFL online all year. Many, many thanks
Kent Hovind and Jack Schaap are still in jail. John Hamblin still isn’t. Yet.
Happy New Years to you all. I’m taking a couple days off. I’ll see you all in 2015!
154 thoughts on “2014 Year in Review”
FIRST for the last time in 2014?
If the Lord doesn’t return before then! Had to say that. My fundy aunt writes that at the end if all her stuff. Make her all warm and tingly.
I’m going to start using that more.
“I’m going to go to the store…if the Lord tarries!”
“Ok, I guess I’m going then.”
(dramatic voice from above) DON’T FORGET THE COFFEE CREAMER. I HAVE TO REMIND YOU EVERY TIME.
Country people in Texas used to say things like, “I’ll see you tomorrow, if God’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”
“I don’t even buy green bananas these days.”. That’s a quote from a Fundy preacher, I once heard. He’s dead now.
That proves something, but not sure what.
I must admit that “Lord willing” makes much more sense to me than the very different approach I’ve encountered among local Prosperity Gospel adherents — I.e. “We can’t say ‘if it’s God’s will’ because that shows lack of faith.” Instead, we are supposed to command God to do our will — which He supposedly will unfailingly do because we are “sons and daughters of the King.” This attitude is pernicious on so many levels. At least the “Lord willing” folks retain a modicum of humility.
That made me laugh, Darrell.
I know people who literally add “Lord willing” to nearly everything they say. Their desire to be biblical ends up being an obligation, a religious ritual they feel compelled to say to show people that they’re spiritual.
The context seems not so much to be commanding that we always add “God willing” to our plans but that all the plans we make are done in the humble awareness that God is in charge not us: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes.” (James 4:13-16) The issue is one of pride; the answer is humility, not a scrupulous repetition of a phrase every time you utter a statement about something you’d like to do.
(If you like saying, “Lord willing,” I’m not judging you; you have freedom to do that. I was just writing this for people who might worry that they SHOULD say such phrases in order to be pleasing to God.)
The Muslims say “inshallah” about everything. Directly translated, it means “if Allah wills”. In actual usage, however, it means “if I ever get around to it”. For example, ” Your motorcycle will be repaired tomorrow, inshallah.”
So when people use, “Lord willing”, I tend to scoff.
Like saying “Lord willing,” saying “Inshallah,” (which is simply “Lord willing” in Arabic) is a custom, not a law.
I know some very fine people who say “Lord willing” or “with the help of God.” I would never doubt their sincerity in those statements.
I just find myself unable to use those terms. For me to use them, it seems a false piety. I believe God is ever present but I am not sure he has every moment planned for me. There is so much baggage in believing God has everything ordained–am I doing his will right now posting on this site? If I am loving God and loving others, I am doing God’s will. What that looks like every second of every day–well, that is the question…But to say “Lord willing” or “with God’s help” seems to be an unnecessary statement of false piety for me.
Great points, Leanne. The “center of God’s will” was another terror-inducing false doctrine I found in fundystan. You can’t be on the edge of God’s will (rebellion!). You have to be in the “center”. You have to know what the “perfect” will of God is for you, and if you don’t know, Jim Berg or Bob Wood or another MoG will tell you.
If you are in the Center, God will love you. If you aren’t, He will love you as He beats the crap out of you, ’cause whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and used the whip on every one He receives.
Is it just me or does all that God Willing stuff smack of superstition…..
rtg – For more on being in God’s perfect will:
Miriam–I think “God willing” does have a flavor of superstition. I am not sure if it is a superstition to please God and make sure he knows you are submitting to his will or if it is a superstition to please human beings so they know just how holy you are….because in fundamentalism falling out of grace with your faith community is worse than death.
Falling out with your fundy community is, in their eyes, falling out with God because they interpret God. It is a sad state of affairs. There is also something of a knee jerk reaction to a lot of fundy God willing, DV, Lord willing, whatevers. So it seems to me any way.
I tend to say “Lord willing” as an acknowledgement of the capriciousness of things, or to put it another way, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”.
Panda, that’s the same way I use “inshallah”. I don’t actually acknowledge that things will happen if Allah wills. It’s only a phrase leftover from my childhood acknowledging that things don’t always work out.
I tend to use “Lord willing” on occasion — sometimes, when people speak, it does sound pretty arrogant: “I’m going to do such-and-such.” I don’t use it all the time and for everything. I use it when I realize I’m sounding too confident about tomorrow and I remember the One who controls tomorrow. Just an acknowledgement of that fact, not superstitious.
And, I’m not bothered if others do or don’t use the phrase (but I think I would be bothered with its overuse)
I’m not offended if someone uses that phrase. I don’t myself.
Last night was spent at the home of the best friend I has in the IFB church my wife attends. Lots of people from the church were there, and the Pastor handed out “promise cards” with a verse for the next year. You draw one randomly out of a box. In years past it had almost taken on a superstitious aspect, as if the card you drew had something to do with the kind of year you would have.
This year, the Pastor tried to do away with that notion, but he still preached that God was completely in control. We should take whatever happens as God’s will and rely on God’s promises.
I don’t believe that God is completely in control, not any more. I admit to being in doubt of the worth of “promises” when so many of them seem to be broken. The Pastor said many feel abandoned by God–and I do. But then, I still haven’t stopped “believing,” even though it might be less painful to do so.
I don’t know what is in store for the next year. I want to do right and treat others with kindness, empowering them to return kindness to others.
If God wants to show Himself without the IFB lies, I’ll be willing to take a look. If I can get my family away from the IFB this year, that will be a blessing.
I have to say I am impressed with all in the top 3! Congratulations Big Gary, Bald Jones Grad, and Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist!
Those three people need to get out more! (And go soul winnin)
Big Gary’s just earning his salary, that’s all.
Thank you, Darrell, for giving us a place to vent, commiserate, heal, laugh, learn, and occasionally feed trolls in an environment where they don’t get hurt too badly.
It’s been another fun (for the most part) year.
I think I’ll beat BG this year.
I think I’ll beat BG this year.
I think I’ll beat BG this year.
I think I’ll beat BG this year.
I think I’ll keep repeating myself as usual
3,148 comments to go…
Oh, man, once is fair, I guess, but do you have to beat me three times?
BTW, I’m not angry. LOL
I think I’ll keep repeating myself as usual
“That’s almost 9 comments every day, Big Gary. You write on here more than I do.”
I guess I need to get a life …
It’s okay as long as they keep paying you the big bucks, Gary.
Some day I’ll send my yacht to take you all to my private resort island.
I’m assuming your island is alcohol-free, the ladies all wear denim culottes, and services are held twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday evening?
Do the grass huts on your island have doors? Because how else will we go door to door?
This site has been a great source of comfort over the last year as we left fundystan and headed out to find something new. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings.
Have a prosperous 2015 Darrell !!
Live long and prosper!!
And have a preposterous new year too
A final thanks in 2014 to Darrell, and everyone else on SFL. 2014 was the year my family and I finally left Fundystan, and SFL has helped me tremendously.
I’m not a big commentator, but I appreciate the safety this site allows for the breadth of comments on both experience and belief. Although I may not always agree, I appreciate that we strive to get along. I also love the sense of humor displayed by so many.
Praise the God for this web site! If I was David Gibbs I’d buy you a fifteen foot tall trophy, drool all over you with false praise, have Ron Hamilton author a song about SFL and ask the Capital Connection to take SFL’s needs and concerns before our President.
The battle is the Lords!
This post made no sense.
Darrell, thank you for being such a gracious host! Putting up with some of us must be a monumental test of patience!
I have enjoyed the opportunity to explore aspects of theology I haven’t had time to before, to look at the reasons behind fundamentalist belief and behavior, and to get to know everyone here better. Everyone has a story. Everyone has reasons for where they are.
“Everyone has a story” – so true. And I like that now I can listen to everyone’s stories instead of just shouting the Roman’s Road. I still believe the Gospel Story, but I’ve changed what I believe about how to present it and how to interact with other people.
I think Neo is Oscar
(from Sesame Street)
This is an awesome place and even though sometimes we might not get along and upset each other, I appreciate you all! To you Darrell and to everyone and their families: Have a safe and happy new year!!
We’d get along a lot better if you people would learn to use the coasters!
Happy New Year. 🙂
Longtime lurker here, surfacing for a comment before going back to lurking.
Thanks, Darrell, for providing this site as a place to laugh at what I used to be. For keeping things light in tone (with quite necessary exceptions for heavy matters), and for your writings which have helped me realize that I’m not alone in my spiritual wanderings.
Thanks to the comment section regulars for writing comments both amusing and profound. Dr Fundystan, Christian Socialist, and rtgmath especially have brought me much encouragement – I frequently come to this site for a laugh, and leave with a new perspective to ponder.
I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next!
Don’t go back into your lurk-hole, DanM! Your post was helpful to many.
What comes next? That would be the rapture [Ducks in anticipation of the lightning strike] … And as I want to be in a good mood when it happens, I’m going for a beer.
Seriously though, I’d echo Jay Croft’s invitation for you to join in the party as you feel inclined.
I posit that no Christians actually believe in a pre-trib, “secret” rapture. If they did, they would eat desert first.
I’d rather have dessert, please. Desert doesn’t taste too good.
BTW I’m not angry, LOL.
But you are bitter, Tiecey. I can sense your rebellion over the internets.
Parts of the desert taste really good.
Dates, for example.
I haven’t had a lot of dates lately. Perhaps that’s why I’m so bitter. 😉
As many “friends” have pointed out for me, if only I were to get my life right with God, He (God) would drop a man in my lap. I have not yet reached that level of perfection required for marriage.
BTW, bacon wrapped, grilled dates are delish!
Ticey – If you really get “right with God”, He will drop a bacon wrapped man on your lap.
Did someone say something about dating a bacon-wrapped lap?
I think I posted this link once before, but I like it. I agree with what Sam has to say, and wouldn’t change it. It is what makes us us.
I assure you my contributions will be of great value to the SFL enterprise in 2015 – starting with something still in the fridge after Christmas at our house…
Agreed, Johnny, though I’m not sure why it is that you would bring up the first thing in the last place first of all. When I see it the other way it simply does not agree with the sense of the matter as put forth by your ex-brother-in-law who said the same thing. You can’t argue with that!
/\ This is how I sometimes come across when I’ve tried to articulate my viewpoints during 2014! /\
Well, if it’s confusing enough, no one really can argue with it. Good thinking.
A very Happy New Year to all.
(High, squeaky, Tiny Tim voice) God bless us every one!
If we are left to face 2015, which I very much doubt with all these end signs like the Great Snowy Owl Irruption we have seen this winter. The end is near, the crick is gonna rise.
Eh? Could be, I suppose. But I’m not holding my breath. Oh, I don’t think the future is going to be pleasant, not with what bad choices people have made over the years. But I don’t think we’re going to be rescued from the consequences of them.
The Apostles expected the return of the Lord in their day, after all.
Just live like He’s watching and will have us account for what we do. Then if He does come, you’re ready. And if not, you’ve done your best.
I’m pretty sure Arch and I have benefited the most from this place 🙂
It’s been a good year. Here’s to 2015
Happy New Year and thank you.
We’ve all been blessed to make it through another year together. You’ve all been a blessing to me as I try (admittedly unsuccessfully) to figure the spiritual life out. I’m a bit embarrassed to have been one of the most frequent posters in 2014. At least I’m in good company with Big Gary and Dr. Fundystan.
I hope the new year brings blessings and peace to all of you. Every day is a gift from God.
Church attendance makes me twitch, so I won’t attend. You all here at SFL are, in many ways, my church, where I can speak my doubts freely. That’s a blessing.
I hope that something we say will help you get some of your doubts sorted out, BJg. Paying for you.
Uhh.. *praying* for you. Don’t have enough money to pay…
Enjoy a well-earned break! All the best to you and yours in 2015!
I feel like I should say something profound…
or even amateurfound…
Yeah… I’ve got nothing.
Happy New Year SFLers
Heh. Yes, we have no bananas.
I like Spike Jones’ version.
Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. Out here, with the flash floods we sometimes get, we better watch them creeks before crossing if it’s been raining!
Happy Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (Episcopal; it used to be called the Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord) and for Roman Catholics, Feast of Mary the Mother of God.
I’m three days late, but happy Feast of the Holy Innocents, which also happens to be my wife’s birthday and (as I like to remind her) is observed in Mexico in a manner similar to April 1st in the Anglophone world.
But we all, with faces uncovered gaze on the dim and distorted reflection of the glory of the Lord, yet are still being changed into the image of the Lord little by little.
Grace to all of you, as much as I could ever want for myself.
Yes to all that.
Yes, indeed. And thank you
Well I never have a chance to say first!! Although I would have a chance if I could only get up earlier. So who elsse stays up this late New Years Eve? So I will trty this out: Happy New Years !!!
We’re still in 2014.
The time lies.
Brother Dave, we’re still in 2014 here in Alaska 🙂
Happy New Year, finally BJG. Ever feel like we’re the last to arrive? 🙂
But up in Alaska, aren’t the clocks frozen solid?
No, actually it’s been warmer at my house the past few days than in Prescott, AZ.. Strange winter. I’ve seen no temp below about +15 so far. We are breaking records for a warm winter.
Hmph! Send some of that south. We’ve been below 0 regularly down here.
Just don’t send those grey skies. We love our sunshine. (PS Those jokes about it always raining in Oregon? Most of the state is dry and sunny.)
Isn’t it rainier in Eastern Oregon? Seems as if the Owyhee Desert is in SW Oregon…
I meant rainier in *western* Oregon. And the Owyhee in SE.
George needs a compass. And a new typewriter.
I would like to wish the SFL community/family a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
I lift my coffee in a salute and toast to all of you on this fine morning. God bless you all.
Why is it that kids who stay up to ring in the New Year (or at least 2 hours away from the new year) are still able to rise and shine at 6:30?
Groggy new year, everyone!
Oops…I guess Croissants and Tide don’t mix after all!
Gloat not, BRO. Them duckies will steamroll the Buckeyes. And how sweet it will be!
Meanwhile, BamaMan and I will be in mourning for a few days. Then…on to next year! The Tide will rise again!
In all honesty, I have left an extreme IFB church, but am still in an IFB church that is hundreds of times better, so I am not out of IFB; I do not believe that it is a cult (as a whole; some churches are clearly more about the pastor/MOG/preacher that God Himself, and they ARE cults).
But thank you, Darrell, for SFL. It has helped me to put into place the extreme church I was in, and have been comforted (somewhat) in the guilt the old place put in me.
I’m still working on this whole “soul-winning” thing, by which the old place mean “cold calling – knocking on doors and bothering people”. I don’t want people pestering me in my home, and I don’t like to pester other people with an arrogant “I know what you need” salesmanship. As much as I put it down, I’ve still got some of the semblance that I cannot point to people that I have “saved” (or, as the more “spiritual” people put it, “led to Christ”). I hope that I have influenced many people for the good, but I don’t know how to tell — possibly only eternity will show the impact we may or may not have had on others.
My family (meaning wife & kids) has helped the elderly on fixed incomes; has collected funds and purchased groceries for a needy family when the breadwinner lost his job because of an accident, and made meals for needy and worthy people.
But most of the people I know don’t think that counts for as much as “soul-winning”.
Anyway, SFL has been a helpful place to release my feelings about this without feeling as though I were being judged.
May 2015 be a great year!