E-mails from Fundies: Depression Diagnosed

I have been humbled and touched by the outpouring of positive responses I have received from my recent post about my struggle with depression.

On the other hand, I also received this from “Brian.”

You’re depressed? I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. You mock God and you wonder why? Actually, I am sure there are some IFB churches as you describe and other denominations messed up in other ways, as NO ONE person is perfect and ALL churches are made up of those imperfect people. So? I hear people like you talking about the “angry fundies” and all I can do is scratch my head. I’ve been saved since December 1985, and I have served in 6 different churches, and, although I am sure there are SOME “angry people” in those churches, as there are in all groups of people in society, I have found ALL of those churches to be the exact opposite of what you describe. In fact, these churches have contained some of the happiest, joyful and most well-rounded people I have ever met. Check out my current church’s website. http://www.heritagebaptistnashua.com/ Look around it and see if you detect any unhappiness, anger or unacceptance of people from any walk of life. You won’t find it. Like all the churches I’ve been in, it is a place of grace and love. I am sorry you’ve had bad experiences, perhaps in “churches” like the Westboro Baptists, but My almost 30 years experience has demonstrated, across the board, the exact opposite of what this site represents. It’s seems perhaps YOU are the one with the narrow-minded view and cannot see past your bias? Just remember, God is not mocked,and you are mocking His people. BTW, I’m not angry. LOL

Thanks, Brian! You’ve helped me remember why I continue to do what I do.

Forward we go.

219 thoughts on “E-mails from Fundies: Depression Diagnosed”

  1. First? Maybe?

    Anyway, I didn’t see anything wrong in IFB churches either, until I took a step back and re-examined everything.

        1. I was recently told by a die-hard fundy that the reason I struggle with a chronic illness is because I’m living in the flesh and that worry and stress is a sin. Also, worrying is a mild form of atheism. Funny, I don’t remember reading that in the almighty KJV! Keep doing what you’re doing Darrell!

        2. Obviously some there’s some sin of which I have not repented. Might possibly be the word that went through my mind when I realized Wayne beat me by a minute…

    1. When I read that, I wanted to ask “Brian” if his church web site would EVER show pictures of unhappy people. And how does a web site show if they are truly joyful, or just putting on a show to live up to others’ expectations?

      1. To continue: I remember, in an older church, even though we were desperately unhappy, we would put on “smiley” faces and say nice things about our church, or we would be “called out” in a message.

        1. Yep. I’m one of the smiliest people you’ll ever meet. We’re talking, huge, beaming, “I’m so glad to see you!” smiles.

          I’m a physical, sexual, emotional, & spiritual abuse survivor. My current home life is dysfunctional. But I must be fine, because I look happy.

          Thanks, Brian, for reminding me that the IFB only cares about how you look, not what’s going on beneath the surface.

    2. What kind of stupid church would put pictures of angry people on their website along with content about how unhappy people are?

      1. You’re depressed? Well, move over Disneyland, DPRK is the place to be! See all the HAPPY people? I challenge you to look at the official DPRK photos and posters and find someone in the dumps or someone who’s hungry. I don’t see any grumpy sad faces, and there’s sure enough for Kim Jong Un to eat!

        Maybe there’s some people who are upset somewhere, but there’s people like that everywhere. They’re folks who don’t love the great leader like I do. I’m sorry if you were locked in a prison camp , systematically beaten, and not given any food for two years, but it’s not like that for folks in Pyongyang or the five other cities that I’ve been in. I can tell ya from first hand experience.

        Don’t mock the DPRK or the great leader, you capitalist swine!



        1. Ooops… I did something wrong to the first link above, and it’s doing something weird. Just a heads up.

    3. Right! Like they are going to put anything negative on their website. That made me laugh. ”Welcome to Whatever Baptist Church where most people are happy, clappy but here are a few that are angry. This woman is sick of being pushed around but she can’t leave and this man feels like a tool because he really doesn’t like beating his kids. So come worship with us. We have angry people too.”

      1. There’s a treasure trove of negativity if you read the site. I don’t recommend reading the site though. You don’t deserve that much negativity in your life.

        1. As much as his bravado implies everything is roses, he’s spent so much time in the anger machine of fundamentalism, he doesn’t even realize he’s broadcasting it to all his visitors.

  2. These Fundies always seem to mix up church and God. Pointing out flaws in Fundy churches does not equal mocking God.

    Go find a clue, Brian.

  3. YEAH! Because *I* have never experienced this, clearly no one else has either!

    I feel like this logic is along the lines of…”I ate today, so clearly anyone who says they’re starving is just being negative.”


    Darrell, thank you for the site. You guys helped me get through my senior year at PCC.

  4. I have that morale sticker on my toolbox at work. Near it is one that states “We do precision guesswork”.

    I should teach at Fundy U!

    1. NIV1611, is novitiate the same thing as NOOB? (Just a digressin question after reading your Gravatar statement.)

      Oh, and I agree with your mocking comment.

    2. Actually, treating God like your personal errand boy and all-purpose excuse comes pretty close to my idea of mocking God.

      1. Agreed. I say that in reference to the timeworn adage that shedding light on and critiquing certain “institutions,” if you will, equals mocking God.

      2. BG – I remember prayer requests along the lines of “God, please we just ask, that this water boils so we can cook the pasta”. And then thanking God for “meeting a need”.

        1. Phooey. For a moment there I thought the prayer was, “God, please we just ask, that this water boils so we can cook the pastor”.

  5. Since 1980, I have been a member of three churches, and in quite a few others as a part of ministry. I have seen a lot of narcissism and anger, as well as helpful, happy, well-adjusted people. Just like I see at work, in my family, on public transportation, and pretty much everywhere else I go.

    Since that is what I have seen, that must be the way it is everywhere.

  6. I call BS on the website linked being anything like a grace filled loving congregation described. Their belief statements betray their rage.

    KJVO/Textus Receptus snobbery: check

    Worst possible doctrine of hell based on pasting together Gospel references to Gehenna, some apocryphal citation(s), and a couple of epistles: check

    Elevating separation to a fundamental defining doctrine: check

    Only reference to grace being in the doctrine of salvation to establish their non Catholic bona fides: check

    Here’s a test of how loving this church is: find the LGBT community/ministry associated with them.

    1. Based on their website statement of beliefs, this church wouldn’t know grace if it had them chained up on The Rack, and being stretched out as an introduction. 🙂

    2. Yes, I see quite a bit of rage and spite here and there on the web site.
      In particular, the description of the church’s school is full of unsubstantiated rumors about how bad and “liberal” public schools are.
      It always makes me wince to see a church announcing that it is starting its own school, which will be so much better than the public schools, when the church’s own communications, including even the announcement about the school, are full of typos, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization errors, and usage errors.

      1. I wonder though he claims there is no “unacceptance of people from any walk of life” if public-school kids are welcome at their youth-group events. There are many IFB churches where the teens who go to public school are sort-of second-class citizens and sometimes not seen as good enough to fraternize with the Christian school kids.

        1. BTW, I think my favorite grammatical error on his schoo webpage is the “but also” contrasting of a “world class education” with being “taught from God’s Word”. All of my English teachers back to grade school would be mortified by that one. I’m not responsible for any of the punctuation, line break, grammar, or spelling issues below (I suspect George isn’t either).

          For Years we have watched as public schools have become more violent and liberal and have taken the God that we love out of education. After much prayer, Pastor has been led of God to open our own school, a place where our children can receive an exceptional education and also learn about our Lord.
          and will receive a world class education, but also be taught from God’s Word.

        2. There is no mention of teachers at this “school” they are starting. Wouldn’t that concern you as a parent?

          Also, they intend to teach technology. Have they seen their own website?

        3. Their website is very “fundamentalist.” It is busy, distracting, attempting to make everything important, lacks focus and definitely tries to hide the downsides.

          I would not send my children to this school. Despite their pompous claim of providing a “world class education,” the proof is not there. I am reminded of the Scripture, “Let another praise thee, and not thine own mouth.”

        4. Very true, PW. My kids went from top of the ladder (the church’s school) to the bottom (public school) in a summer.

        5. Yeah, my kids had been in the same christian school since Kindergarten, friends with some of the kids since the church nursery, and were still completely ostracised when we switched them to public school.

          This was in a church that would also claim its “not like other fundamentalist churches” and would say they accept and support everyone who comes.

          These testimonials mean as much to me as my testimony about my non-fundy Evangelical church means to fundies.

    3. More rage from their site:

      Prayer requests. The very first one is some parent listing 5 of their adult kids ages 25-39 that all of them apparently need to get right with God. Likely God is standing a proxy for the parents idealized image of themselves if you are saying all 5 of your adult kids are all such rebellious heathens there’s no hope for them but to turn them over to God. Possible, but bordering on astronomically unlikely. No mention of need to pray for self to forgive & show love to those kids.

      Further down there’s quite a nice example of political statement as prayer request mixed with a heavy dose of anti-immigrant schadenfreude under “Prayer request for our Congressmen of the House of Representatives”

      1. Prob should’ve gone with with imprecatory prayer request instead of schadenfreude, but you get the idea.

  7. “God is not mocked,and you are mocking His people”
    So, the usual Fundies are God’s only people.
    First of all,
    …. just forget it – NexGen is on.

    1. Breaking Away,
      I was getting ready to make the same remark. Only Fundie Cult members are God’s people???

      o-k-a-y… Brian, I’ll agree with you that we mock your “g”od and his people. Why? because the moment you claim exclusive rights to god he ceases to be God.

        1. Fundies acknowledge TOS as the only true Star Trek. They probably look at TNG the same way they look at the NIV.
          That would make DS9 and VOY liberal perversions, don’t know what to tell you about ENT.
          It’s not everyday you can make a Star Trek analogy to the KJV only debate.

        2. Beth D, you don’t get around much. Ever see written comms from government people? With the exception of an occasional article or verb, it’s all acronyms.

        3. “How many abbreviations can you stick into one comment?

          IDK. MayB 1000? YMMV, LOL. JK. SMH. CU later.

  8. But seriously, Darrell, I suffer from bouts of depression as well. I am pretty open about it with people who know me because I was shamed into keeping it quiet in my old Fundamentalist days. I was one of those ‘happy people’ like Brian knows at his church. Many Sundays, it was a total act because I was burned out. Leaving the IBC was a first step in getting better. And now, I’m more open about it because I may encourage someone else who is tired of faking it.

    As an aside, I am glad no one was hurt in the fire at Brian’s church.

    1. Also, I am not implying that the people at Brian’s church are fake by seeming happy. I was the fake. Just to clear that up…

      1. I don’t say that they are all fakes, either… however, it is much more believable to see people who have human emotions and not just robotic “I AM HAPPY” personas. The Bible encourages Christians to be sympathetic in passages like “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” We are not to harangue people who are weeping that they “ought” to rejoice — we are to weep with them.

        Emotions are real; let us be kind one to another, as the Scripture says.

    2. Did you notice the comment ‘Pastor looks like we finally get that new roof’ in the fine print narrative above the fire picture? Makes one wonder what that means. Hmmmmm.

  9. In my time here, I don’t think I’ve seen Darrell mock God – he points out the foibles of IFB churches and “preachers” – they are mocked frequently. But I don’t recall him mocking God.

  10. Well, now with all these responses, Brian can start bragging about all the persecution he’s getting from the infidels.

  11. Check out my current church’s website. http://www.heritagebaptistnashua.com/ Look around it and see if you detect any unhappiness, anger or unacceptance of people from any walk of life. You won’t find it.

    I found the “anger” and “unacceptance of people” Brian said didn’t exist in his church. Didn’t have to look at the church’s site; it’s right here in Brian’s words to Darrell.

  12. Scroll down on the page the link takes you to….pastors class: “I will control my emotions”

    Nuff said

    1. With a proof text that says absolutely nothing about it.

      That’s quite a stretch, I bet that guy could suck a golf ball through a garden hose.

  13. If you don’t see the problem, then that’s because you’re it!

    There are indeed nice people in some IFB churches who mean well. Inf act, some of those churches are made completely out of those nice people. But as shown in Brian’s letter, some of those nice people are only nice if you go along with their show.

    1. “some of those nice people are only nice if you go along with their show.”

      Exactly. In my experience, disagreeing with someone is the fastest way to see the grace in their lives, or lack of it. Anybody can claim grace and “niceness” when everyone agrees with them.

  14. Do Fundy schools have a class on how to make your writing a lot more persuasive by including random punctuation and capitalization?

    1. Yes!!!! It Is called Effective communicationing. for the Lord! To take This Class you must have first take the class called christean Memes to Win your filthy heathen faceBook friends for Christ and the class on how to Make posters for BUS MINISTRY, but also the class Exclamation points can save souls for Church and the KJV.

      1. After you have successful complimented the class on effective Communication you will be ready for our classes, on using Threats and Insults! to win arguments with backslidden Liberal *Christians* and Letter writing for Encouraging Struggling christians who have *emotional* Problems, because they are bitter.

        1. I can let you to take The Class, but also first I need to Examine your Tax Returns. from the last 3 years! You’re Tax returns will let to show me that you have Honored the Lords ANOINTED in your Church.

        2. That news does make Me excited. Let me make contact with my tax expert, Kent Hovind. I will return back To you at that Time.

  15. Brian is ignoring the fact that all of us are from different IFB churches and most have experienced the same type of “issues”. The problem is not few and far between as he would like to believe.

  16. I’m totally going to start signing all my vitriolic emails with “BTW, I’m not angry. LOL”

    Seriously though, I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

    1. You’re wicked and I hate you and your dog, and the horse you rode in on. Also, you deserve every bad thing that has ever happened to you or ever will happen. BTW, I’m not angry. LOL

      1. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits, and may you be unable to reach the itch. And after a miserable, brief life may you burn in torment in the fires of hell for eternity. Ahh. I have to go! Remember, I love you, and have a nice day!

    2. You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch
      You really are a heel,
      You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch,
      You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

      You’re a monster, Mr. Grinch,
      Your heart’s an empty hole,
      Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch,
      I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!
      BTW, I’m not angry. LOL

  17. Well of course they aren’t angry at him he is “Pastor”. What arrogance . Wonder why God caused his church to catch on fire ? Maybe they weren’t as on fire for God as they should be. ASS!

  18. Even fundy pastors experience severe depression. I heard a well-known one give a testimony of such when he preached at Pastors school in Hammond one year.

    1. Yes and another thing no one talks about is the major flirting that goes on, and sometimes more than flirting. But IFBs are God’s people – they don’t flirt or get depressed!

  19. Brian assumes you are depressed because you’re in sin and says that his church is full of happy people. Yet “The tangent and the bypass [to the Christian life] are to dare think we are immune to downfall and grief. A person who dares think that he or she is supposed to behave as a superman, unfelled by weakness, is off-track and living in illusion.” – Jeri Massi

    Quote taken from her blog – http://jeriwho.net/lillypad2/?p=2677

  20. So looking at Br. Brian’s profile on their website, he is the music director and his wife is in charge of EATNING?

    Is it me or does anyone else cringe just a little if a fundie still calls you brother when you see them in public?

    1. Wow. Most congregations like to eat, but this is the first one I’ve seen with a designated eater. Respect!

      1. I’m kinda thinking it’s a disrespectful designation. But then again, my experience in Fundystan was rather limited …. :p

        1. A lot of the “fun” in fundystan is at the expense of others. It is hurtful, and while people may say “oh, we didn’t mean anything by it,” the person at the butt of the joke knows they did. But the so-called apology prevents them from expressing their feelings or leaving to find a better situation.

          After a painful childhood and awkward youth, I found myself particularly sensitive to sitcoms. I couldn’t stand them (still can’t). Someone was always “it.” Someone was always being picked on, eyes rolled at, marginalized.

          I don’t mind a balanced comedy. But I object to the standard fare. I don’t mind if others enjoy it. I just can’t.

  21. Yikes – their first building burnt down. Putting on my IFB goggles results in the following question:

    “What unrepentant, rampant sin within your midst caused God to withdraw his hand of protection from your church building?”

    Now I’m sad. Time to put the beer goggles back on.

    1. Failing to hire a qualified electrician when those last repairs were done? Too many extension cords? Or was the church struck by lightning?

    2. Chris M, the fundy philosophy on this is if something bad happens to others, it’s judgment for sin. If something bad happens to them, it’s persecution from the devil. That’s the general philosophy that I’ve seen in Fundystan. However, since I was only in Fundystan for 24 or so years in a mere four churches perhaps I’m misjudging.

    3. I was going to say the same thing…fundies love the cause:effect relationship to explain catastrophes until it hits them…then it’s just satan working against the “faithful” people of God

  22. I remember going through a very difficult time in my early college years–struggling with doubt, anxiety, depression, and my father’s terminal illness. I was a mess, emotionally and spiritually, but no one knew. Having been taught that Christians always have “the joy of the Lord” no matter what, I was ashamed of my feelings. In the midst of all of this, a woman at my IFB church suggested I lead a women’s Bible study. I was shocked. It showed the extent to which I had fooled them. Then a thought struck me: if I’m doing this, what if everyone else is too? What if no one has “the joy of the Lord?” What if we are all just pasting on smiles and pretending to be happy?
    The longer I have been out of fundystan, the more I can look back and recognize signs of anxiety and depression in the apparently joyful people in my old church.
    Bet they would have even fooled Brian.

  23. Dear Dr. Brian,

    I’m impressed that you took the time to email Darrell, of Stuff Fundies Like fame, to express your opinion that depression is linked to a mocking of God. Frankly, I’ve been on SFL for a couple of years, and have yet to see Darrell mocking the Lord.

    I was once where you are. I had all the answers. All knowledge worth knowing was contained in Holy Writ.

    Then life happened while I was making other plans.

    My wife left me for another man as I was on the brink of entering full time ministry. Thirty years later, I don’t blame her. I was a self-righteous man, smug in my biblical knowledge, secure in my airtight doctrinal position. I was an intensely proud young man. I was one lousy husband. I gave my (then) wife trite bible answers to life’s questions. She saw through that sad veil and didn’t want to stay with me. She did right by leaving me.

    I was told I was unfit for ministry due to the divorce, even though the reason was ‘willful desertion’. So I entered secular employment, which has treated me very well. Then entered that latent depression that stayed with me for 33 years, until I talked with my doctor who prescribed a mild anti-depressant. And I’m fine now. No depression. But the depression was not related to my relationship (or lack thereof) with God. It was a little genetic gift from my parents, that the divorce put into motion.

    If you tell your *happy* band of parishioners that their depression is simply linked to sin, you’ve done them a grave disservice. And you may only realize this when you’re an old man, looking back (if you’re honest) on a battlefield littered by Christians wounded by, well, you. Casualties caused by guileless people believing your trite, caustic answers to life’s complex problems. You, my friend, will lose all credibility with them. They will either turn to self-reproach, or will realize that their wounds are caused by the arrogance shown by their Christian leadership.

    Casualties of war. Casualties of your war waged with easy answers. Deceitful answers to life’s vexing problems and injustices.

    Blessings to you, this Yuletide season. I sincerely hope that the new year brings you wisdom, humility, and grace.


    1. Your comment made me cry. Not sure why. I’m glad you are ok now. I wish I could go back 35 years or so and be friends with young me. It seems like I would tell her something similar to your story.

  24. Ever since my heart attack I have struggled with depression. It is just the way it is. Depression is not something anyone wants. Nor is it something that we can just pull ourselves out of.

    Unfortunately, some people just conclude that I “want” to be that way, so they chastise me for my bad attitude. I have had to realize that even if I am depressed, I dare not let it show lest I be judged for it. I am not less depressed, though. The lack of support just makes the times I am alone even darker.

    It is hard when the ones judging you this way include your own family.

    I hope for a chance for change in the future. Perhaps a new job, relocation, making new friends and encountering new situations.

    This group has been helpful, too. I am grateful to you, Darrell, for providing the opportunity. There are good people here.

  25. I didn’t realize I was burned out on Fundyland until I went to college and met some happy, normal Christians, who weren’t all Fundies. The actually had joy in their walk with the Lord, even when times were tough. After hanging out with them and their church for my freshmen year, I was no longer fit to live in Fundyland, and I self-banished to the land of the Evangelicals. 35 years later, I am not complaining. Depression is not usually an issue for me, but I am thankful that I don’t have to hide my feelings all the time anymore. Brian, I hope you find your way out some day!

  26. Well isn’t that special.

    (to be read in church lady voice.)

    Carry on, Darrell…carry on.

  27. Look around it and see if you detect any unhappiness, anger or unacceptance of people from any walk of life.

    From their website, what they believe: “We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting, conscious punishment (Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:41-46; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 20:11-15).”

    Okay. They have Bible verses to support their belief. But there, right there is a conscious, deliberate “unacceptance” and rejection of others. It shows their support of the idea that people will be tortured forever for not believing what they do.

    This kind of thinking cannot help but cause problems in their relationships with others. It encourages blaming the victims. It dehumanizes other people, takes no consideration for the positions, plights, resources or opportunities others lack. It gives no grace, and does not even allow God an opportunity to determine their fate on any other basis.

    I hate the doctrine of hell. I hate the smugness and arrogance it produces. I hate the willingness it creates to see others suffer. I hate the attitude of “God loves me more than you.” It makes God to be a Monster. He may be an Omnipotent Monster, but under this rule He is a Monster nonetheless.

    I rather like the way C.S. Lewis handled it in his book “The Last Battle.” A soldier from the enemy of Narnia was killed and found himself in paradise, Aslan’s country. On meeting Aslan he realized he had worshipped the wrong god and expected to be sent to hell. But he had always desired good and right, and Aslan attributed that as worship of himself.

    Jesus even asked forgiveness of those who crucified Him because of their ignorance. If He can forgive them, might He not be able to forgive others who do not “know” Him the “right” way? I suspect that God is bigger than the fundamentalist box they try to keep Him in.

  28. Darryl,

    Was that the entire email from this guy? If so, I’m having the hardest time just figuring out what his point was. Why did he even write–what did he hope to accomplish? God help him, it’s almost like he’s doing whatever he can (however lame and ineffective) to bring you lower.
    I will say this. I have had to, periodically, take a break from reading here because it can sometimes make me feel depressed. “It” meaning being reminded of the foolishness I left behind several years ago. I wonder if maybe you need a break from the constant reminder of the quagmire that is ‘fundamentalism’. But what do I know…

    1. I am glad he keeps going. It has helped to have an outlet. If you are depressed, you need an outlet.

      I find it interesting that most fundies really do not have a point. Many cannot reason their way out of a paper bag.

      That, in and of itself, can lift the mood somewhat. The incoherence of what you are leaving behind helps incentivize the leaving.

    2. Purpose of the e-mail?
      He’s trying to say your depression will be cured if you stop mocking Fundies, or, as he puts it, mocking God.
      He only wants to help, you see.
      Also, he wants you to know none of the churches he’s ever been in are at all like the ones mocked on SFL, which is why the mockery offends Brian so much. Because it has nothing to do with him.
      BTW, he isn’t angry. LOL

      1. He’s not angry. hmmm. I guess I would really hate to be on the other end of his “angry”.

        1. He gets bigger. Not just his head. He goes green. His shirt gets tight and shreds. His trousers get tight too, but don’t shred. That’s why he goes green.

    3. Their website is pretty incoherent and utilizes sentence fragments pretty regularly. I think it’s his/their communication style. But trust them, you’ll get a “world class education” there.

      1. I’m guessing that’s something like a world-class education, but without instruction in the use of hyphens.

    4. I thought likewise because as I was reading Brian’s post I started having a “flashback” from my distant fundy past, manifested by a twinge of sickening dread in my tummy. Then I realized it was only the fragment of an unpleasant memory and I rebuked it! (some sarcasm already) Brian, if you are reading this, please open you heart and give these folks a chance, read their posts and dare to be enlightened.

  29. Oh, Darrell, thank you so much for posting this. I needed a laugh today, and I got a bellyful from this one!

  30. Depression is a biological problem. It is not just limited to someone’s mind or spirit. It is such a physical problem that it’s even linked to the digestive system. People with depression have reduced serotonin levels. Serotonin also works in the digestive system. That’s one big reason why we see changes in eating/digestion in those who are depressed. Would we automatically assume someone is a sinner if they cought the flu or cancer? But there’s just something about mental illness that makes people get all caveman.


    Besides the biological component must ask where do we get this idea that Christianity is supposed to be happy, happy, joy, joy every day?


    I don’t think that Jesus had his winning smile on while dying on the cross. Since becoming Catholic, I’ve found great comfort in the devotion to the Holy Face and the Mater Dolorosa and the acceptance that there are times of joy and sorrow and pain in life and that they can take place while someone is in a vibrant living relationship with God.


  31. Note to “Brian”
    As Welton Gaddy once said,
    “Nobody is quite as mean as people being mean for Jesus.”

  32. Dear Brian:

    The message Darrell relates from you is so far removed from my understanding of SFL, I’m second guessing whether I ought to reply.

    You acknowledge that such churches as Darrell describes do exist. And by no standard is six churches is a meaningful test group. Nor do I know where Darrell made perfection the standard for measuring people.

    Darrell and others periodically document ‘Angry.’ When somebody throw a hammer [chair or whatever it was] through a television set, that got posted. No seriously, Brian. Someone did, and it got posted here. But again, you acknowledge that ‘Anger’ is out there.

    Yet the record shows Darrell addressing ‘anger’ without invoking the Gal 6:7 ‘mock God’ allusion, with which your message both opens and closes. I invite you to hyperlink to just such a post: http://tinyurl.com/lquqr5v .

    I draw attention to two statements from that earlier post:

    Being a fundy is never about a specific set of standards but is rather a misunderstanding of God and ourselves that results in a graceless attitude towards our fellow man.

    Darrell then proceeded to say that …

    Perhaps it’s time for us to take stock and reevaluate our motives to see if we have become the mirror of the very thing we hate. We all have the potential to create our own new version of fundamentalism.

    Darrell did not write ’WHO’ we hate, but WHAT we hate, when context seems to indicate graceless attitudes toward our fellow man. But that isn’t the real lesson Darrell had for us.

    Brian, when I read that post, I thought, ‘Darrell is giving us the “log from your own eye before removing the splinter from your neighbor’s.”’ As I see it, he put the emphasis precisely where it is needed.

    Won’t you agree with that?

    In the many years I’ve lived, I’ve come to see internal criticism NOT as a weakness, but as a STRENGTH. I have found that the most effective way of defusing others’ criticism when it is just is by being our OWN WORST critics. My life experience also convinces me that WHEN we criticize others, that criticism is ONLY as strong and effective as is our OWN repentance. It is only by our own brokenness and our contrition over our own wrongdoing that we have any standing to address others’ wrongdoing.

    Ending with an allusion not to Gal 6:7 but Watts’, ‘Amazing Grace,’ Darrell’s post [ http://tinyurl.com/lquqr5v ] needs no anger disclaimer. That gives great integrity to Darrell’s statement that:

    ‘I would love nothing more than for for [sic] fundy pastors to humbled, fundy churches to be healed, and for fundamentalist universities to begin the work of helping instead of hurting.’

    Brian, I hope you’ll stay. You may find that Darrell has more integrity than you suppose. I did visit the Heritage Baptist website. And while I hope that you won’t take offense, I note that this week’s Pastor’s Class did deal with controlling our emotions. On the assumption that your pastor is doing his job well, as you certainly imply, I’d guess that at least one or two people in your congregation need assistance here. Good pastors do much of their ‘pastoring’ in teaching the larger congregation.


    Christian Socialist

  33. Brian – I sincerely hope you come back and read what we have to say to you. Reading your e-mail reminded me exactly why I left the IFB and have no plans of ever going back. I still struggle with my faith because of the IFB. You are a real asshat. Like so many of the “happy in the Lord” people I knew from the IFB. So smug. So sure that you, and only you, have the truth™. A humble façade that belies the mean and arrogant spirit that is the foundation of your beliefs.

    BTW, I’m not angry. LOL.

  34. This is unconnected to the topic but please remember the people of Peshawar in palistan . where there was a terrible massacre by Taliban militants at an army-run school yesterday. 141 people were killed, 132 of them children. 7 militants took part all were killed. I have just been reading a news website about it. It is horrible. It is true that peshewar has been a hotbed of Taliban activity, but *no-one deserves this. Pray for the families of those killed.

      1. It is really, really hard for me to deal with these kinds of incidents. While I intellectually reject the doctrine of Providence, it has been pounded into me. “God had a reason for allowing it.” So I am angry with God over this.

        Hey, if He gets the credit when things go right, He can jolly well take the blame when they don’t.

  35. His reading list (presumably serves as endorsement, but not explicitly endorsed) includes books by John R Rice, and Jack Hyles. If he for real doesn’t know where the rage in his church is, he should look in the mirror with those as his reading sources, and probably start by cleaning off the nasty works on his bookshelf.

  36. I haven’t read all the comments, so maybe somebody already said this. I went to the website of Brian’s church like he suggested. I went immediately to “beliefs”. That church believes the KJV is God’s preserved word for english speaking people and is the only version they accept and use. I don’t need to read any further. If I were looking for a church home, this one would be marked off of my list based on that information.

    1. Not that I don’t read from the KJV and not that the KJV is not a good english translation. It’s just not the ONLY good translation.

  37. Please pray for Brian. He’s going to need a lot of support when/if he realized his MOG is just casting shadows on the wall of the cave in which he is a prisoner…..

    1. He never will.

      Brian castigates those who’ve actually escaped to see the light of day and have come back to share the good news!

      It’s too bad so many enjoy living a life of shadows and types when the reality has been with us for two thousand years.


    2. Yes… that was one of the most apt illustrations of the IFB that has ever been. The Cave, the shadows, true light, and the part where once one has the truth and tries to go back in and tell others and is destroyed by those who are hell bent on clinging to their shadow existence.

      That was one of the most influential pieces of literature on me as I was making my way out of the Fundie Bunker Cult.

  38. perhaps this email need needs to be forwarded to brain’s pastor. That pastor needs to know how his members are poorly representing his church and life work.

    1. “perhaps this email need needs to be forwarded to brain’s pastor. That pastor needs to know how his members are poorly representing his church and life work.”

      He has a brain?

      1. I know an attorney named Brian Bates. He does mostly immigration cases. One of his clients, from a country that does not use the Latin alphabet, showed his gratitude by making a beautiful, inlaid wood name sign for his lawyer’s desk. In finely-wrought letters, the sign says “Brain Bate.”
        Several of started referring to him as “Brain Bait” after that. Maybe that’s what you use to trap zombies?

      2. yea yea I do that to my bro-in-law all the time. That’s one of those words I never spell correctly

      1. The first pastor at my IFB church and his wife always smiled. Always. Big, plastic smiles. Just chock full of the joy of the Lord, you know. Even when they weren’t.

  39. You know, I for one kind of like Brian’s church. If you look at the church calendar you will see that they note the winter solstice. That’s pretty awesome!

    1. Winter solstice is a big deal for my family. It signifies that our very short far north days will begin to lengthen. So we go outside on Solstice night and build a big fire, regardless of weather.

      1. Pyromania. At my IFB church, my sons would get together with other young men their age at the New Years Eve party the church has.

        There would be a large bonfire and fireworks. The burning of the Christmas trees would commence. Scary how fast they go up! My sons and their friends would experiment with fireworks to see how big a bang they could make.

        One year a home-made rocket with lots of rocket engines from the model store went off course and headed straight for the house. Fortunately it hit the ground just a few feet away. It burned furiously. Had it gone through a window, there is no way the house would have been saved.

    1. Funny you mention pyromaniacs, one of the IFB cult pulpiteers I sat under turned out to be an arsonist. Burned down his own house (probably to destroy the church records at the time..) probably set fire to the church that one time and set fire to his estranged wife’s bedroom after holding her hostage in her house, after threatening to kill and rape her. (she was able to get to her gun and get out of the house to call the police) He just got out of prison the week of Thanksgiving.

    1. Where can I order these bracelets? I need an outward sign of my piety & devotion to The Cause.

      1. You may order from my website, thegloriouslyinnatelyignorantladysempdotcom/sucker. If you order before midnight tonight you’ll receive 12 free Ginsu knives (plus S&H). But wait! There’s more! You’ll also receive these awesome new Chia Pets in the shape of Vladimir Putin and Dar-El, absolutely free (plus S&H). Offer not valid in the continental United States, OCONUS, Canada, China, or the Soviet Union. Side effects may include hang nails, a hang over, and bruising of chest hair. If any of these last for more than four hours, please see your MOG. He will either pray for you or castigate you.

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