250 thoughts on “Finding the Culprit”

    1. Jack Hyles’ writings tend to remind me of that old song lyric, “If you put your brain on the edge of a razor blade, it would look like a BB rolling down a six-lane highway.”

  1. Fundy women are always filled with guilt because EVERYTHING is their fault. Where do fundies get the idea that the woman is the holy spirit of the home? It doesn’t say that anywhere in the Bible. It’s just a manipulative tactic to keep the women in line.

    1. To me, that is borderline blasphemy of the holy spirit to claim that any person is equal to the power of God’s spirit.

      ATI had this notion as well, although a bit more nuanced of a view. In ATI, the father is the oil in the lamp and the mother is the wick shining the light of the father’s oil to the family. This was based on some proverb about the commands of the father and the counsel of the mother or something like that. In typical Gothard fashion, this meant that the father and mother had separate tiers of influence in the family.

      But the imagery of the mother as the flame shining the light of the father’s wisdom as an analogue to the imagery of the Holy Spirit as a flame that proceeds from the Father (and the Son, as some believe) was not lost on ATI-ers.

      1. THIS is profound. “that is borderline blasphemy of the holy spirit to claim that any person is equal to the power of God’s spirit.”

        1. it is the truth. When Jesus speaks of blasphemy in the Gospel of Mark–the pharisees are implying that Jesus’ is doing miracles by the power of the devil. Blasphemy seems to be equating evil with the work of God or God’s work to the evil one. It can be followed back to the Old Testament when idols were created and given the title “behold the god who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” That happens with the golden calf and again when the northern kingdom sets up their worship sites.

        1. Whoah, nice reference. Mr. Unicorn lacking a head. Just seeing that album cover brought back all sort of memories from round about middle school or so.

          Anyway, hadn’t listened to that album in years. Quite relevant.

        2. There are several references in the song that make me certain Taylor was singing about Got Hard and ATI in “I manipulate”:

          1) The use of study workbooks in
          “Take your workbook and turn with me
          To the chapter on Authority…”

          2) The Patriarchy attitude of
          “Do you top the Chain of Command?
          Rule your family with an iron hand?”

          3) The ATI-specific Covering Umbrella imagery of
          “Because a good wife learns to cower
          Beneath the Umbrella of Power…”

          4) And the equation of the M-o-G’s teachings with God’s Word in
          “If you question what I teach to you
          You rebel against The Father too…”

          “Under cover of Heaven’s gate —
          I. MANIPULATE.”

      2. Borderline blasphemy and definite heresy.

        BTW, did anyone else figure out almost immediately after seeing the screencap this was from a Hyles project.

        1. I did. But I’d heard of Mrs. Evans and “Christian Womanhood,” so that’s not a fair test.

    2. Victorian conventional wisdom. They took an early Victorian poem, “The Angel in the House” (1854), and ran with it. I won’t quote the poem here because it’s long and annoying, but you can find it online. If you’d rather not waste your time, try Virginia Woolf’s summary instead: “She was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed daily. If there was a chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draught she sat in it.”

      The author, Coventry Patmore, wrote it to explain that his wife was just wonderful. Modern eyes can discern that Patmore was kind of a condescending jerk. “Man must be pleased; but him to please/Is woman’s pleasure,” he coos. Meanwhile he has his wife say–hell, I dunno, maybe she actually did say this–that it perturbs her how her husband refuses to notice her faults!

      Anyway, yeah, about as Biblical as Son Gokuu.

      1. I had a boyfriend who was a KJV-only, hymnal-only, hyper-judgmental super-fundy (I was there when Ian Paisley signed his giant KJV and commended him for being “true to the old sword”, shudder). Anyway, we dated at BJU and he steadily refused to acknowledge that I had any faults or failings, despite the fact that I refused to properly submit and we fought all the time. It was obnoxious because I realized that he didn’t actually know me at all. He saw only what he wanted to see, so if I had a problem, he just kind of shoved it under a rug because such a perfect angel couldn’t possibly have problems. (Of course, he’d act super disappointed if I did crack the illusion in any way, but I guess he’d just patch up the illusion and go on.)

  2. I’m confused. The “Mrs. Evans conducts” paragraph – is it supposed to be a complement to her? Too early in the morning for me to process this

    1. He’s saying he admires Mrs. Evans for her profound recognition of how inferior she is to Jack Hyles.

  3. Truth is this messes up men as much as it messes up women. These gender roles are total garbage and destroy lives. The husband or wife thinks something isn’t their role so they don’t contribute in that way and get angry because their spouse isn’t doing what they are ”supposed to be doing” and things don’t work. The result is resentment, entitlement, manipulation, and unhappy homes. I remember being told that it was the husband’s responsibility to bring love into the marriage and that a wife’s love was responsive. At times when there wasn’t much love in our relationship I figured it must be my husband’s fault. On the other hand, he ”knew” that the finances were his job and he needed to bear that burden alone, even if I wanted to help. It has been a very heavy burden and he has felt guilty and inadequate about how he has done it. So much avoidable angst and loneliness in so many marriages.

    1. +1000

      Fundies, even just conservative Christians have such a problem with this. Over-generalization of gender roles. It starts, perhaps, with a small grain of truth. Maybe, in general, lots of men enjoy doing something, or are good at something. Same for women. But they can’t appreciate that for the limited observation it is, they have to universalize it – This is how God made men to be, this is how God made women to be. And if you’re not acting like this, you’re not being the man God made you to be. And if you’re not acting like that, you’re not being the woman God made you to be.

      They miss out on who God actually made them to be, because they’re trying too hard to fit into this preconceived mold of “who God wants men to be” and “who God wants women to be.”

      1. God made every person different.

        While it is likely true that, on the average, men like some things more than women do, or women are better at some things than men are, that all breaks down when you apply it to individuals or to individual couples. There is no man or woman who is average.
        If you stand with one foot in a bucket of ice and one foot in a bucket of boiling water, on the average, you’re comfortable. But …

    2. Yes, they destroy families and lives. I’m more familiar with the damage to men because most of my friends are male. I have a couple male friends who have been divorced for not being a “Biblical man”, whatever that means. By no means were they perfect or without quirks, but both were generally good men, family men, with good jobs. There are plenty of women in the world who’d love to have a husband like them, but their ex-wives had a preacher in their ear pumping BS into their heads. The men weren’t “spiritual leaders” by holding family Bible study every night or something like that.

      1. Elijah Craig, that is horrible and so very wrong. Those preachers have a lot to answer for. It is so wrong to divide families. We should build each other up, not tear apart. I got comments on my husband’s apparent lack of leadership often when we were in the cult. He is a man of few words and he rarely shares his deep thoughts. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them, he just isn’t comfortable putting them out there and isn’t really good at expressing himself. So what? He is as he was made, as are we all. That didn’t make him a bad husband or father. One older woman actually told me with pity, that I had “walked through the woods and picked up a crooked stick.” Have I ever mentioned that I internalized a whole lot of rage?

        1. I think your rage is totally justifiable. “Picked up a crooked stick”? Because why? He doesn’t say a lot?

        2. I guess he just isn’t the strong, godly man she wanted for me. The fact I couldn’t live with one of those without choking it wasn’t considered. Craziness and control.

      2. Elijah Craig, there was a woman in Bible “College” who dumped me who said that I was, “… not much of a leader …” Possibly only she knows for sure exactly what she meant by that, but maybe she just didn’t want a live and let live, doesn’t like bossing other people around kind of guy. In any case, Fundamentalist teachings can create some very unrealistic expectations in both men and women.

        1. I got some of that at Fundy U… I didn’t “act like a leader” or some such silly crap. I went to a Southern Baptist seminary and if anything it was worse, at least in some cliques.

      3. Ahh, the “Family Devotions Every Night” thema. Not enough that they have it Sunday morning and evening, Wednesday night, every day in school if they are homeschooled or in the church school.

        No, there must be an even extra layer, in which the man “leads” his family. Practicing spiritual bullying at home! Have another platform to remind your kids or your spouse of their shortcomings!

        Oh, I’m sure that isn’t how most people do it. But at the end of a long, hard, day there is nothing like opportunity to get out the guilt and make for a bad night.

        I consider myself to be a fairly new Episcopalian, and Compline is a nice evening devotion, but I had nothing like that has a fundamentalist.

        1. As a female, just the act of being told to put on a head covering for those devotions made me feel bullied and belittled.

  4. Uhhh, the role of a woman is to make the preacher look good and feel good?

    Disgusting. Sounds like harem-building. Then again, this was Jack Hyles who wrote this.

    1. I’m no supporter of Hyles, but he seemed to be more interested in building utter and complete loyalty to himself than a harem. His organist showed this when she declared in her book that her pastor was her Lord and she should do whatever he wanted.

      1. I agree this is cultic, but a lot of cult leaders take advantage of that absolute loyalty to get sex. It makes them feel powerful.

      2. Didn’t Hyles have a loyalty test for his elders where he would hand a glass of “poison” to them and order them to drink it?

        1. I have heard that he did that at least once.
          He must have gotten the idea from Jim Jones.

        2. Insane, or crazy like a fox?
          These are classic ways to break down people’s will and condition them for unquestioning obedience.

        3. He never had that as a loyalty test for his “elders” (whatever that means – staff members or deacons). There was an incident in which he had a glass labeled poison and gave it to, I believe, John Colsten (not sure of spelling) and asked him what he (John) would do if he (Hyles) asked him to drink it. He drank it.

  5. “It matters not what else you accomplish” This is an insult to the creator – God made us with different desires and talents, it’s insulting and in fact sinful for every woman to accomplish homemaking only. We are to do the work of our heart’s desire, whether it’s in the home or not

  6. What vileness towards women! What a complete lack of knowledge of true church history!
    And why is Mrs. Evans called a preacher?

    1. I believe he’s quoting what Mrs. Evans tells him, Jack Hyles. It’s ego-boosting.

      1. Yes, that’s how I understood it. He’s quoting what he hears Mrs. Evans saying, by way of praising her for her unquestioning devotion to Jack Hyles.

    2. Maybe I misunderstood the statement, but I took that part to mean that Mrs. Evans was probably a member of the church. Hyles mentioned that some people thought her to be a “strong-willed woman”, but Hyles didn’t view her that way because of the the honor and blind loyalty she showed to him (i.e. “Pastor Hyles, your so wise”; “Pastor Hyles, I’m dumb compared to you”; “Pastor Hyles, you’re just so wonderful and I’m not worthy to be in your presence”. Then he says “That’s what it’s really all about.”

      1. Reading this kind of thing does make it easier to understand how Hyles’ children ended up the way they did. How Cindy ended up marrying a narcissistic sociopath like Jack Schaap (I was about to call Schaap a “pig,” but pigs don’t deserve that comparison). And how David Hyles became David Hyles.

        1. Didn’t “Boopsie Woopsie” Hyles command his mistress to divorce her husband to get him out of the way? Put her up in an office next to his (with a curtained-off connecting doorway) so she’d be available whenever the MoG got Urges in his Areas? And a house next to his (with a connecting gate) for the same reason? And a posthumous memorial in the form of a North Korea-style Dear Leader wall portrait mural with OFFERINGS regularly left before His Image?

          And didn’t every one of Hyles MoG sons (and shaft-polishing MoG son-in-law) end up in some sort of child abuse or sex scandal?

        2. People are so desperate to find someone to follow.

          And that reminds me of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, over His sheep lost without a shepherd. People just keep choosing the wrong leaders over and over again and sublimating reason and love and decency in order to keep up the facade of worthiness of the “hero” they’ve chosen to exalt.

  7. My parents are ministers in their 70’s and come from the rural South in the 40’s and 50’s. Fundy or not, gender roles were pretty well defined in the culture they grew up in; however, my fairly conservative father has no problem ministering along side my mother. He also has no problem telling you that my mother hears from God and has a lot of discernment and you would be unwise to not listen to her when she voices her opinion. In fact, he’s the emotional Irishman who needs to be talked down from time to time, while she’s the level-headed logical one who cautions him to think about things before he reacts off the cuff. She has also handled their finances for as long as I can remember because she is very detailed-oriented and methodical, so it’s her strong point. Basically, my parents strengths and weaknesses compliment each other, like, I don’t know, maybe God intended it to be that way.

    1. Where the Bible speaks about gender roles, it should be obeyed.

      However, in area in which it is silent (such as who handles the finances), we should give each other grace.

      1. Well, now, I don’t completely know about that.

        Gender roles in the Bible were culturally defined. And religion tends to reinforce cultural norms. You have in-groups that affirm your theology and your ways and out-groups that don’t that you are commanded to conquer, spill their blood, annihilate, etc. Not that they have hurt you, mind you. They just aren’t you and you want their stuff.

        Religious teachings concerning gender roles (aka “Anything To Do With Sex”) are a way of maintaining power. And since Jesus noted that the Law allowed divorce “because of the hardness of your heart,” He was admitting that the Law was not perfect. In fact, in the Sermon on the Mount He showed where the Law of Moses fell short and the Law of Love ought to triumph.

        Paul deals with the shortcomings of the Law in Romans and in Galatians. Particularly in Galatians Paul describes the Law as a Schoolmaster one leaves behind on attaining maturity. When you grow up you realize the Schoolmaster was not always right. The Schoolmaster didn’t know everything. The Schoolmaster kept you stuck in a rut. But when you grew up, you began to make your own decisions — as you should.

        When you are grown up, you don’t go back to the Schoolmaster to ask what to do. You don’t even ask your Parents, most of the time. You take what you learned and you try to do what you see is right! You don’t decide what to do on the basis that “if I do this my Parents will get mad” or “this isn’t what the Schoolmaster said. I could get into trouble!”

        Paul, of course, did not have the vision perfectly. But God through Christ was moving from rules-based adolescence to the maturity of facing life on one’s own. Perhaps we are better off. No perhaps — we ARE better off.

        We have decided that slavery, condoned and regulated in Scripture, is Wrong — despite what Scripture has to say. We have decided that other cultural prohibitions do not apply — indeed, the Apostolic Council in Acts 15 abrogated the Law for Gentile believers!

        Please understand what I am saying. The Scriptures, Authors, and even Jesus Himself realized that the Rules were deficient. Shouldn’t we as well? Isn’t it time for us to Make Better Decisions, to seek Justice and Equity instead of mere conformity to the Rules.

        Rules don’t make Right. Usually (not always), Rules Maintain Wrong.

        1. It would take a lot of fancy arguments to convince me that the Bible speaks about gender roles in any ethical mandate. Of course the Bible talks about gender roles, because it is bout real people in real culture, and cultures pretty much always have gender roles of some sort. I can’t find any command or ethical mandate in the Bible based on gender, though (which when you think about it would not only be really weird, it would also play hell with the incarnation).

        2. Distinguishing between when a Bible is talking about how to handle a cultural norm and when it is giving a universal command can be difficult.

          But quite frankly, a lot of American evangelical teachings on “Biblical manhood and womanhood” have absolutely nothing to do with the Bible even in a “literal” interpretation of the text. It’s a lot of American (mostly southern) cultural norms forced onto a text. Reading any commentary written before 1950 or written outside of a Baptistic stream of thought reveals just how tendentious the beliefs are.

  8. “Preacher, I’m dumb compared to you.”

    OK, seriously. This is the attitude these people think godly women should have?!?

    1. Jack Hyles wanted everyone to be dependent upon Jack Hyles; he did not want his church turning out strong, mature Christians; he wanted followers.

      1. No, he wanted Worshippers.
        Worshippers of Jack “Boopsie Woopsie” Hyles, falling down upon the sound of the trumpet and sackbut.

    2. I bet Laird Donald would have a lot o say about this blatant man-worship. Mama mia!!

    3. Hyles basically believed he was in sole possession of the truth and that the measure of every Christian was his or her obedience and service to Jack Hyles.

    4. Uh, no! I’m smarter than most of the men in leadership at our church. But they are wiser than I am. 🙂

  9. Wow, this guy did everything he could to avoid meeting & interacting with normal human beings of any race/ethnicity/gender/creed/etc didn’t he?

    1. What can you say? He built a cult of Hyles worship.
      The amazing thing is that he recruited thousands of people into that cult, and even now a substantial portion of those people are still in it.

      1. “Give me your children and I will make them mine. You will pass away, but they will remain Mine.”
        — Adolf Hitler, cult leader

  10. One of the two review for this book on Amazon says “This is such a wonderful book that I think every woman, young or old, needs to read atleast once. It is written in such a kind manner. I think it could revolutionize homes if women would get a hold of these concepts & truly practice them.”

    Wow. Just wow.

    1. Can some of y’all please go and leave some sarcastic reviews, like the “howling wolves” t-shirt ones?

      That would be HILARIOUS. Darrell, that should be a Friday post 😛 Write your own Jack Hyles reviews!

      “This really revolutionized my life! Lowering myself before the Pastor is so much simpler! This is my natural state, I CRAVE subjugation. The bright lure of feminist freedom diminishes my life’s joy in a mad scramble for equality.”


      “I don’t know what he’s talking about. My husband loves BOTH of my dispensers at the same time!”

      1. Easterlily241, This review won’t equal yours in quality, but how about one from a different point of view?

        This was a great book! If only my wife had obeyed it, we might still be married. As it was, when I tried to read it to her and teach her from it, she just got mad. She was filled with a spirit of rebellion. Anyway, Preacher said if the wife just walks off like she did, I wasn’t bound. So does anyone know where I can meet a godly, submissive woman who knows how to treat a real man?
        Some of these church gals seem okay at first, but once you get to know them a little, it becomes pretty clear that they’re nothing but brazen, E.R.A. hussies.

        Where’s Dr. Phil Armenik when you need him?

  11. These people have a very primitive view of woman as, on the one hand, being some sort of mystical “goddess” figure with magical powers and, on the other hand, being some sort of evil “sorceress” with the ability to destroy men. They fear, resent, and hate women, trying to shoehorn them into limited roles while at the same time fetishizing their essential role in the fertility cult that is modern day conservativism.

      1. Most psychoanalysts, if asked to evaluate an IFB preacher, would run screaming from the room. Almost all of them are plagued with severe mommy issues, daddy issues, and major misogyny, to mention just a few of their neuroses.

      2. I’ve got a bad case of Virgin/Whore Dichotomy, and these MoGs’ cases are too far gone for me.

  12. Terrible theology aside, his writing is so….fractured. Like what chapter title would this passage have? Paragraph 1 talks about her being the Holy Spirit of the home (book and chapter please?), Paragraph 2 talks about her bowing down to the preacher, Paragraph 3 talks about her potential to wound or heal.

    There is no flow between the paragraphs, no unifying theme. My little elementary kids can do better than that!

    1. I believe this is taken straight from a sermon he preached. If I’m not mistaken, most of his books are just sermons typed out. I highly doubt he took the time to painstakingly write a book correctly.
      As to this passage, it sounds just like his preaching, farfetched and unbiblical.

      1. If I’m not mistaken, he once fired a secretary who corrected his grammar when transcribing his sermons. Verbal, plenary inspiration, you know.

      2. Sermon or book, it’s still fractured and does not flow from one idea to another. Just a bunch of random things thrown together.

        1. I skimmed quite a bit of it without gagging, but then I got to the following new pinnacle of shamelessness (warning: extreme, appalling glurge ahead):

          ‘Not many years ago, I think it was in the state of Georgia, a mother and a child fell into an open well. The mother was beneath the child. She held the child up above her and cried for help. For hours that mother was there, just holding her arms up, holding the child above her. When the rescuers came, they found the child was alive, but the mother was dead. They took the mother’s body to the funeral home. The funeral director came to the family and asked, “How shall we bury her?”
          ‘The family said, “What do you mean?” The director said, “What shall we do with her arms? ”
          ‘They said, “What do you mean, ‘do with her arms’?”
          ‘He said, “Her arms are locked in position above her head. We’ll have to break the bones to put them across her breast.”
          ‘The family said, “Bury her with her arms up.” As the people came by to view her body at her service they looked at her face, but her arms were raised out of the casket, and that’s how she was buried.
          ‘That’s the way it ought to be. …’

        2. The ad on the page I just linked to is for The Medieval Manor. It is a “theatre-restaurant”. I was encouraged to “eat, drink (sic) and have a great time”.

        3. The ad on the page when I followed your link was “Everything you need for baby.” Google ad knows about him then.

        4. Setting aside the nonsense of the sermon content, for Fundies,
          Purple Prose in Preaching = Eloquent Oratory.

        5. It probably goes without saying, but there are many reasons that not one sentence of the foregoing cheesefest can possibly be true. Jack Hyles was never one to let facts get in the way of a horrifying story.

    2. Put 1 & 2 together, and you get “The Holy Spirit must bow down before the MoG.” Think about that.

  13. The woman is the holy spirit in the family? Huh. I thought that was, maybe, the actual Holy Spirit. To take the masculinity to this hyper level, dude must have been compensating for an awful short coming.

  14. Pastor Jack obviously thought a woman’s place is in the wrong. Like all of his gar.. er, writings, this passage says more about Jack than about the role of women. What a sad, pathetic little man.

  15. I can’t even… Ugh. “Pastor, I’m so dumb compared to you”?!? I’m actually shocked he would be that blunt about it. Although, I shouldn’t be. My fundy ex-fiancé thought men were supposed to be in charge because, in general, they were smarter.

    1. In fundyland, she was probably right. That was a frequent frustration at Bob Jones how shallow and ditzy so many of the girls were. Although, the smart ones knew enough to stay away from me, so there is that.

      1. When I went to Bible College (a good one, at that) back in the early 80s, I already had by B.A. I was in the “grad” course for prospective missionaries who needed more theological training, so most of the women had a degree and/or a career path. The freshmen “women” on my dorm floor, many homeschooled and/or from very Fundy churches, were laughable. They were working on their Mrs., totally flirting with the guys, and had very few academic skills (three page English essays consisting of one paragraph of runon sentences, for example). I was so thankful that I had skipped my church’s advice about heading right off to Bible school after high school graduation, and thankful that my parents said they would only pay for state university.

        The school, now an accredited university, has really tightened up their academic standards, and I’m thankful that they did. My course of study was rigorous, but half the freshmen class had to take bonehead English before they could even put them in a standard theology course.

      2. Joshua, I hate to break this to you, but I’m a girl and my fiancé was a dude. And we attended BJU.

        1. Oh, wait, I’m wrong. Lol. I mean, yes, I am a girl. And I did attend BJU. But I dated a hyper-fundy at BJU who had other issues but didn’t actually have the nerve to verbalize his contempt of my intellect. The ex-fiancé was a fundy from Eastern Europe who had his own weird fundyness. They both were very chauvinistic and homophobic in the purest sense of the word (as in I honestly think they thought they were going to get gay cooties or have their manhood sapped from their very being if a gay guy got too close).

      3. Really, J.C.? That’s a little insulting to the females among us who came out of Fundyland. While I was making straight A’s in my Fundy U Bible classes, quite a few of the preacher boys struggled to pass. Some of the professors would water it down for them. My problem was finding smart guys…

        1. This is quite true, I have heard several accounts of Bible “college” “professors” being ordered to inflate the grades of male students because “they need to be focused on ministry and we should not hinder them.”

        2. A lot of Bible majors aren’t exactly towering intellects.

          A professor in seminary, when asked a stupid question, sometimes would say, “Son, you went to a Baptist school, didn’t you?” Because quite frankly, Southern Baptist seminary students are only about 10 IQ points higher.

    2. “My fundy ex-fiancé …”
      Never has a two-letter prefix brightened up a comment more than this one.

    3. “My fundy ex-fiancé thought men were supposed to be in charge because, in general, they were smarter.”

      I’m a former Kid Genius. Ever heard of the D&D proverb “Intelligence 18, Wisdom 3”? All too often, it’s that way FOR REAL.

      1. This is hard to get across at work sometimes, because in general the word “wisdom” isn’t used anymore. I try to tell my supervisors (I mean, they report to me), that I want them to be wise and shrewd, not smart. There are books for that.

        1. My aspiration is to be both wise and smart, with a liberal measure of innovation and lots of insight. I wish to be well-developed in the various aspects of intelligence.

          In short, I want it all.

          I don’t expect to be perfectly informed or up-to-date on all things, but if I am talking to an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, theologian, investment broker or a bureaucrat, I want to understand an order of magnitude more than they expect of me.

    4. I ran into the “men are supposed to be smarter” issue now and then growing up in the IFB; it infuriated me. It was bad enough having to acknowledge male headship/leadership, but when that was linked with claims of male superiority, it was especially galling. Add to that Phil. 2:3, which in the KJV says, “in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves,” and I struggled trying to acknowledge that people who WEREN’T smarter than I was WERE — trying to believe untruths was frustrating!

      Thankfully, I was involved mostly with more balanced churches that claimed women were equal but just had different roles, which wasn’t as hard to accept for me, but I remember mentally flipping out when I came across the belief that some had that women shouldn’t even teach teenage boys because 12 years old was the age of “manhood” in the Bible and women weren’t to teach men. One person claimed this held true not just for preaching but also for Sunday school as well as school in general. I was so insulted that they thought I was unfit to teach a 12 year old boy simply because I was a woman.

      Whew. THAT brought up a lot of forgotten frustration!

      1. BTW, I do realize now that my childish understanding of that Bible verse was not what the verse meant, but seeing that we ONLY were allowed to read the KJV, it truly did sound to me as if I had to acknowledge that other people were better than I was at things (like being smarter) even if they weren’t. It was a relief when I realized I didn’t have to think that in order to obey Scripture.

      2. I remember mentally flipping out when I came across the belief that some had that women shouldn’t even teach teenage boys because 12 years old was the age of “manhood” in the Bible and women weren’t to teach men.

        Do they have a rite of passage for 12-year-old boys where they beat up their mothers because now that they’re a Man “she’s just a woman”? I’ve heard of some male-supremacist cultures like that.

    5. That ”Pastor I’m so dumb compared to you” comment shows his contempt for women. That attitude is one of the reasons I have so much buried rage. Many men in Fundyland express that contempt, either openly or subtly, and having to pretend it was deserved almost tipped me over the edge. From the time I was a very young teenager I had to suppress my intelligence or deal with the consequences. It kind of spilled out recently when my 6 year old nephew told me he didn’t have to do what I told him because I was, ”only a giwl.” The poor kid probably thinks I am possessed.

  16. I haven’t read this book. But I do recall a book written by Beverly Hyles called “Woman the Assembler,” I believe. She said husbands come “unassembled” and it is the wife’s job to “assemble” him. Utter hogwash. It is never our job to “fix” another human being, even a spouse. However, I do believe that spouses can complete each other, but that is a much more intuitive phenomenon that is not learned or worked at. It is a by-product of a mature marriage between two compatible, unselfish, committed persons. As to gender roles, my parents had very discrete (not to be confused with discreet) roles, but it was hard to say who was in charge. It was always fluctuating, and sometimes it was my dad, and sometimes my mom.

    1. I’m not so sure her end product (the adult Jack Hyles) gives Beverly Hyles stellar credentials as a man-assembler. Something to think about before you try to follow her assembly manual.

      1. Ahh, but that was the implied message in her title: look at how awesome my husband is – don’t you all want to be wives just like me?? (By which I mean wives of other husbands, not additional wives of Jack Hyles.)

  17. I’ve already posted, but this has just gotten to me all day. I, myself, am still relatively conservative theologically and politically, but I am also a 40 something, educated single woman who owns her own home, has a Masters degree, and has had to change career directions at least twice due to changes in the economic landscape. I absolutely give thanks to the Lord for His hand of provision in my times of need; but He didn’t miraculously drop stuff on my head because I’m a dumb woman who couldn’t do it herself nor did He provide through the hand of some man who was smarter and more capable. He provided as I made wise choices about education, finances, and job opportunities. I really felt like He was the one who lead me to get my Masters which opened the door to the job I have now.

    My mother told me that she sometimes, in the middle of all hades breaking loose, wished she was one of the those ladies who could have a break down (in Southernese “a fit of vapors”) and somebody would swoosh in a fix all her problems because she was so frail and weak, but then she looked and me and said, “We are just not those women.” She was raised on a farm in the middle of nowhere in the 40s. She said you just took what came along and dealt with it, otherwise you lost everything and went hungry. Despite what modern fundy women model about “godly womanhood” being all soft and compliant, the old school country women they profess to emulate were tough as nails. You didn’t survive otherwise.

    1. It’s like they’re trying to have it all, isn’t it? Women are supposed to be git-er-done self-sufficient farmwives (which they weren’t; Western farming has been tied to the capitalist cash economy since the 16th century IIRC) AND delicate, loving, pretty Victorian ladies (who had staff to take care of the ugly bits).

      1. Another example of the contradictory expectations loaded on us in fundy-land (and often in life in general, but it’s especially damaging when it’s done in the name of pleasing God).

        Being strong and responsible (the Holy Spirit of the family) but also being helplessly needy all at the same time — ugh.

      2. The Victorian lady reference reminds me of one of my pet peeves about some of the “courtship culture” teachings. They hold up Jane Austen novels as manuals of how ladies and gentlemen should act.

        First of all, the people in those stories (particularly the men) were the top of English society, a very rarified breed. They did not represent the majority or even a large minority of men in that culture. The aristocrats were bred from the time they were embryos to be educated, well-mannered, highly literate, well-dressed, well-traveled etc. The men in these books did not represent the average farmer, factory worker, shopkeeper, or even member of the newly emerging middle class. How many girls look for Lord StuffyPants and miss the really awesome auto-mechanic at her church because he’s a little rough around the edges?

        Secondly, while well-dressed and well-bred, most of them were jerks. I mean, really, Mr. Darcy was arrogant and mean-spirited. And that’s just in fiction. In real life, these men were the ones who raped the maids and kept courtesans on the side. I’m sure there were those who kept good care of their lands and treated the tenant farmers fairly, but there were a lot who didn’t give a flying fig for the people on their family lands and ran their fortunes into the ground drinking and gambling. The aristocrats started marrying the disdained middle class because they were running out of money.

        If you like Jane Austen because it’s a good story, more power to you. I just hate when they are glorified to almost Biblical status by people who don’t understand the culture.

        1. Jane Austin’s novels are not really about the men. They are about the young women trying to play the rather poor hands they have been dealt, with varying amounts of success.

          And for women of Austin’s class, the only real career option was to try to marry well. They couldn’t live on their own unless they had their own fortunes (a very rare circumstance for women then, except for some widows), and few professions were open to them.

        2. That is why I adored “North & South.” IMO the characters were much more real. And none of the other girls I know could stand that book, lol. They thought Thornton was a horrible, horrible man, and much preferred Darcy or Knightley.

      3. And Jenny,

        While these farmers may have been part of a capitalist economy, I wouldn’t agree that they weren’t self-sufficient women. In the early settlement days and many of the frontier areas, people worked very hard for just basic survival. Hunger and even starvation was a concern. A year or two of bad crops could ruin a family permanently. My mother, who by no means grew up poor or as a pioneer, said they kept a huge garden because if they didn’t, they didn’t have food. Her dad hunted, not for fun but because that’s how they got a lot of their meat.

        1. Yes, but when Sears & Roebuck came out along the railroad network, the women (and their men) didn’t say, “Well, it would be more Godly to go on grinding wheat, churning milk, and patching trousers by hand, away with these newfangled belt-driven devices.” They said, “Hallelujah! I have GOT to get me one of THESE,” and started saving up whatever cash they had on hand.

          Poor dirt farmers in the romanticized Olden Days in the U.S. were often dirt poor because although they were producing cash crops, such as tobacco or cotton, they couldn’t get into the cash economy. Some were paid in company scrip, IIRC, and some were sharecroppers without an organization to protect their interests–so they “somehow” always ended up in debt to the landowner. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that illegal stills were a fact of life in these areas. Somebody would pay cash for the hooch, or trade it for something the farmer needed.

    2. I’m another self-sufficient, educated, theologically conservative single woman. My depression-era grandmother raised six children as a widow, taking other folks’ washing at 35 cents a day. My mom, although married with two children, always worked to have a second medical coverage to take care of my birth defect surgeries.

      We need more women like these as examples to Christian girls!

  18. I went to a couple of FBC Hammond’s pastor’s “schools” back when I was on the staff of a small fundy church. A lot of those people are just batsh-t crazy. It was such a weird place. Hyles had been dead for years, but they still worshiped him in just about every service. That’s how much control he had.

    1. Do they still leave Offerings before his North Korea-style two-story wall-mural portrait?

      1. It has apparently been painted over. I don’t know why, though. It may have faded or been irreparably damaged. It doesn’t necessarily mean the church realized what jackasses they were all being, or (much less likely) noticed that the Bible prohibits idolatry.

      2. I don’t remember a two-story mural of the man, but I do remember it seemed like there were paintings, pictures, busts, statues, etc. of him all over the place. They also played a clip of his so-called “preaching” in what seemed like every service.

        1. There was a giant ugly mural, and there was a blog post about it here somewhere.

        2. Then there’s also that his personality sweated from the bricks at the old compound.

  19. The Completer? Really?

    Sounds like some kind of comic book super hero or in this case…heroine.

  20. Here’s some more of the backstory…

    “Mrs. Evans” is Marlene Evans who was also the editor of Christian Womanhood Magazine, put on these annual conventions and also served as the Dean of Women at Hyles-Anderson. She was married (she’s dead now) to Wendell Evans who was President of HAC. This is the same Wendell Evans who sold his soul and his daughter’s honor to Hyles.

    David Hyles would prey on teenage girls while he was youth pastor. Among his victims was the daughter of Wendell and Marlene. Dave arranged a rendezvous with the daughter (who was a victim) while she was going through a rebellious period of her life. (Today, she is a wonderful mom, wife and mother.) He sent her plane tickets. Wendell used the ticket himself and got off the plan to confront Dave.

    No one knows quite for sure what all happened after that, but the rumor was that Evans confronted Jackie-Boy Hyles with some sort of threat. Dave was shortly thereafter “called” to Miller Road Baptist Church where he continued to work his magic on the wives of his deacons.

    In effect, Wendell sold his women out for the sake of a job at a second-rate institution of higher baloney. For the life of me, I cannot understand why “men” like Evans, Nischik, Colsten and others would put up with Hyles setting himself up as the center of adoration in their homes. I have ZERO respect for any of them though I knew all their children and they are, by-and-large, pretty nice people. The bubble that was the Hyles Cult was stunning in the amount of control he wielded over people who, in other ways, seemed somewhat intelligent. It was like a force field of narcissistic man worship. I just wonder if anyone ever found the testicles of the men who let their wives worship him the way that he did.

    1. In addition, Marlene Evans had a “special” relationship with her assistant dean, Carol Frye that many found….well, let’s just say “peculiar”. Carol, taking a page from her mentor’s book, surrounded herself with young — often troubled — young women who were students at HAC for a “special” relationship. They were even asked “to give themselves” to her so she could help them reach their potential. (Grooming anyone?) Plenty of discomfort, rumors and suspicion surrounded that whole network.

      1. In addition, Marlene Evans had a “special” relationship with her assistant dean, Carol Frye that many found….well, let’s just say “peculiar”. Carol, taking a page from her mentor’s book, surrounded herself with young — often troubled — young women who were students at HAC for a “special” relationship.

        “Just like Bill Gothard, Except Lesbian”?

    2. Christian Womanhood was a dreadful magazine, avidly devoured by my mother (and a huge influence on her). I was not aware, however, of the Hyles connection. Should have known!

      1. Published by First Baptist Church, Hammond.
        In its most recent incarnation, Jack Schaap was the publisher of record and Cindy Schaap was the editor.
        The Cindy Schaap-edited version had good graphic design and hideous content.
        It seems to have disappeared when the Shaft Polisher went away on his long vacation. I don’t know if it has been restarted in the meantime.

        1. Hideous content is right! I never liked Christian Womanhood, finding the articles short and superficial, and designed for a narrow cross-section of women. Towards the latter part of Cindy Schaap’s tenure there, her appearance gave pause, at least to me. It seemed she was trying so hard to look more like a teen girl than the middle age woman she was. The hairstyle, the ruffled blouses she was starting to wear. Later after Jack Schaap’s behind-the-scenes behavior became public knowledge, I understood. She was competing with a teen mistress! In recent photos I’ve seen of her she looks great, a much more appropriate and becoming hairstyle and dress.

        2. The teen ‘mistress’ was a victim. Are you alleging that Cindy knew the girl was being abused and saw her as competition to be topped rather than a victim of criminal behaviour to be reported?

        3. “Doctor” Fremont of BJU fame blamed adolescent girls for enticing their daddies in competition with their mothers. Affairs were the girl’s fault. They were not the victims.

          So Cindy Schaap saw her husband as the victim. Reporting the rape and affair would have damaged her husband, and it was her responsibility according to (the way fundies interpret) Scripture to submit to him to try to get him back.

          Very twisted. Victimizer swamy to be seen as the victims so they can continually keep on with what they are doing. After all, if you are a victim, you can’t help it, right?

        4. Are you alleging that Cindy knew the girl was being abused and saw her as competition to be topped rather than a victim of criminal behaviour to be reported?

          That WOULD fit a Harem situation, where the husband gets a younger model; the first wife goes Queen Bee on the lesser wives/harem women and/or tries to make sure the husband keeps her first. See “Harem Politics” and hope you have a strong stomach.

        5. We can’t say for sure what Cindy’s mindset was.

          The incident that caused Jack’s arrest was not simply an affair with a 22 y/o waitress at Shoney’s, but an underage teenager. That makes her a victim, not a mistress. The language used is important.

        6. Completely true. We don’t know what Cindy’s mindset was. However,

          1. Cindy didn’t report it. A deacon who saw a selfie on Jack’s phone did.

          2. Jack’s interaction with the girl was so frequent (662 texts in a month! Plus closed-door meetings. Plus trips across state lines. Plus …) that Cindy had to be aware something was going on. If she began to dress below her age, there is a reason.

          3. The girl was not the only victim, either. Jack was a serial adulterer.

          4. Jack’s blatant behavior clued in a lot of people.

          I have no reason to believe Cindy didn’t know. In fact, some of stuff in the books she wrote leave one with little doubt she’d stick by her man no matter what. She definitely subscribed to the idea that women are responsible for how men act.







        7. “That WOULD fit a Harem situation, where the husband gets a younger model; the first wife goes Queen Bee on the lesser wives/harem women and/or tries to make sure the husband keeps her first.”

          This is the subject matter of the Chinese movie “Raise the Red Lanterns,”
          It’s worth seeing (provided, again, that you have a strong stomach).


        8. “…some of stuff in the books she wrote leave one with little doubt she’d stick by her man no matter what. She definitely subscribed to the idea that women are responsible for how men act.”

          Also remember how Cindy’s father, Jack, conceived of an ideal woman:
          ‘I see her as, “Whatever you say, Preacher.” “Preacher, you know what’s best.” “Preacher, you’re the wisest.” “Preacher, I’m dumb compared to you.” That’s what it’s really all about.’

          I don’t think even the most backward, sexist man I know would ever say that an attitude like that is admirable or healthy. But there you are. Cindy was raised no only with a father who constantly emitted such poison, but surrounded by thousands of people who constantly praised Jack for doing so.

        9. Rtgmath, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had multiple affairs. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the teenage girl wasn’t the only victim he molested. I wouldn’t be surprised that Cindy knew about some or all of this. I just want to point out that his victim wasn’t his “mistress” and what he did with his victim is outside the realm of adultery. Adultery may very well be a crime in Illinois/Indiana but that is with adults, not those underage. I want everyone to be aware of the language used in regards to the crime he committed with that girl — she is a victim, not a mistress/lover; and it was not adultery.

        10. Okay. I think my thick skull finally absorbed what you were saying. And you are right.

          At that age there is no possible consent for a sexual relationship with an adult. There was no consent, so there was no affair. It was rape.

          I believe the wife saw it as consensual, and an “affair.” After all, fundies attribute much more free will and sinful motivations to children than what they actually have. It is core theology that children are wicked.

          Also, we are conditioned to think of rape as forcible or violent. Where we see compliance with the will of the adult we think consent.

          Your patient insistence is appreciated. You made me confront some things where the fundy definitions were still in my head. I needed to view the situation in a more properly nuanced way.

          My regards.

        11. Could be she knew. Could be she thought looking younger would attract her husband (maybe she just saw him eyeing younger women and realized that was her competition at least as far as what he wanted to look at). Could be that he was making “suggestions” as to her appearance, and she was trying to appease him. Who knows? It would be hard to believe she didn’t know, and yet, men have had affairs for years and their wives have never caught on. Especially if it was normal for him to be away from home a lot.

        12. What I find so shockingly sad about the entire situation is that:
          a) many involved didn’t seem to think there was enough wrong with Jack’s actions to take action themselves.
          b) people tried to come to his defense, or said it was just a “mistake.”
          c) the institutional denial of Hyles-Anderson/FBC Hammond to take definitive action earlier. Jack S. is evil, but he is also sick. An earlier intervention might have spared the underage victim the pain she has endured.

    3. I was under the impression that Vic Nischik was a good guy and really tried hard to get his wife back, though he was never successful.

      1. I was there when he was hiding in his dormer and fawning over Hyles as the song leader of the Hyles SS class. No man, NO real man that I’ve ever met would allow for any reason, another man to subjugate him the way Hyles did. So he wrote a book in hindsight….that doesn’t change all the years he was complicit in Hyles’ evil works.

        1. “Hyles SS class”…

          I know in this context “SS” means Sunday School but other meanings of the same two letters add variety. Like this one rather-famous cult whose “SS” were an elite order of Enforcers…

        2. Within the parallel universe of Fundystan are Sunday School and that other SS really so different?

    4. My old D&D Dungeonmaster once commented that “Most Cults are set up so the Cult Leader can (1) Get Rich, (2) Get Laid, or (3) Both.”

    1. Speaking of dogs, the way he describes how Mrs. Evans relates to him reminds me of the devotion of a dog: “You’re so great, Master! You’re awesome, Master! I’m nobody; I’m gonna roll over on my back and expose my stomach to you in utter submission because you’re my Lord and Master!” Cute in a dog when it’s so eager to please you and so happy to be near you and so obviously adoring of you, but why would you want this behavior from a human being, unless you get off on power?

  21. Recently I had a conversation with my son about how this cultic crap is rampant in the IfB movement. Though most teach it in a more subtle way so that they can deny they are like the “extremists” they still believe it. With Jack gone who will be the next leading figure to promote this garbage in such a vocal way? IMO it’s Steven Anderson. He might not have a church that runs in the thousands in Arizona (yet) but in every Fundy church he has a group of people that follow and promote him and his ideology. The local preachers don’t say anything about Anderson being a wacko so by their silence they are supporting him and his influence continues to grow like a cancer.

    1. What’s also rampant in Fundamentalism is preachers behaving like politiciams i.e. “Never speak ill of a fellow Republican/Democrat.” Publicly rebuking those who are teaching error doesn’t harm the “cause of Christ,” covering sin does.

        1. “Politics” is a word that is derived from the Greek word “poly” which means “many” and “ticks” which are small bloodsucking insects

    2. Nope. Fundamentalism is in agonal breathing. The next cult frontier is in the evangelicalism typified by Steven Furtick and the Elevation Church in NC.

      1. Wealthy pastor. Shady business dealings. And a multi-site church with him The Pastor over it all. Other pastors answer to him. Services are basically entertainment, productions. People are manipulated into responding to the altar calls by members whose job it is to “respond.” Much like the fake people “healed” by the faith healing televangelists.

        Yup. It is a cult. Steven Furtick is his own Pope. The mantra is, “We serve a Lead Pastor.”

        Fortunately, the fundies from more, uhh, “traditional” positions are fighting this. I think it is a matter of time until this “pastor” crosses a legal line he can’t handle. Cults of personality will eventually die with the person.

        1. Cults of personality will eventually die with the person.

          But how much damage will they do in the meantime?
          (Remember this little thing called World War Two? It was in all the papers.)

        2. This is truly a cult under the SBC rubric. I agree with you. Furtick will be his own undoing. But he is a talisman of what is to come in the name of Christ. If he’s a Christian, I don’t want to be a part of his cult. He’s one of several in evangelicalism that are going down this road.

          Another reason why I haven’t attended church in eight years.

    3. I just found his rant on men not peeing standing up and how “that’s what’s wrong with America”. His manhood is pretty fragile if he thinks it’ll evaporate if he pees sitting down.

      1. Ummm…what???!?!?

        I honestly haven’t heard this one before. And I’m actually trying not to collapse into giggles here in my cubicle, where I should probably be getting some work done.

        I mean, I tend not to take offense; I pee standing up myself, but then again, SERIOUSLY? This is the hill uber-militant fundies are going to fight and die on? Oh, for heaven’s sake.

        1. Just to be clear, that’s a Steven Anderson sermon, not a Jack Hyles one.
          It may seem neurotic (and it is), but at least it’s a rather original theory about “what’s wrong with America.”

  22. In a roundabout way, it was Steven Anderson who led me to the SFL page. I’ve never been a Fundie and really knew very little about the movement until I saw a blurb on a news feed about an Arizona pastor who was quite vocal about his hatred of a great many things. In learning a little more about Anderson, I became aware of many of the Fundie shibboleths: KJV Onlyism, no pants for women and the importance of peeing while standing up. My desire to learn more about these odd fetishes ultimately led me to find SFL so for that I thank Pastor Anderson. That being said, I agree that he is potentially more dangerous that your run of the mill MOG. Many of the pathetic pulpit pounders featured on this blog are indeed full of fate, but much of that hatred seems to stem from pure, unadulterated ignorance. I have a suspicion that Anderson, despite his behavior, is more intelligent than many of his peers. If he could control his impulses, I think he could build a rather nasty little empire for himself but I am confident that he will self-destruct before that can happen.

    1. Steven Anderson is in many ways typical of IFB preachers– under-educated, egotistical, wildly sexist and homophobic, generally getting the Bible wrong. But most of the other groups in the IFB movement don’t like him, and he doesn’t seem to like them, either. He’s not enough of a team player.
      Hiddenex, is there really a group of people at every IFB church (or many churches) who “follow and promote” Anderson? I didn’t expect that. In the videos I’ve seen of Steve Anderson preaching, there never seem to be more than a dozen people in attendance, and Anderson’s own wife and children alone could make up most of that group.

      I suspect it may be true that Anderson has more native smarts than many of his IFB rivals. He certainly has more brains than Tony Hutson, Larry Brown, and Phil Kidd combined (though that’s admittedly pretty faint praise). And he doesn’t just spout the usual IFB set pieces. He has come up with some innovations of his own, such as his classic sermons “Jesus Wore Pants” (title says it all) and “Pisseth Against a Wall” (on why we shouldn’t sit down to pee). The latter gave him his popular nickname of “He Who Pisseth Against a Wall,” or, for those who don’t insist on King James Version English, “The Pissing Preacher.”
      If he had ever bothered to read more than two or three books, who knows where he’d be by now?

      1. So I can honestly say that I have been to about 200 IfB churches and I always mention his name. In every case I either get “be careful what you say, there’s a group in this church that follows him” or, less frequently, “he is being used by God in a great way”. I’m sure there are some IFB churches that don’t have andersonites. Finding one won’t change the fact that IFB people all over this country are following him and more are doing so as time passes. Frequently it starts with his talk about the KJV and progresses from there.

        As a matter of interest I’m not a pastor or evangalist. I just travel a lot for work and have visited a lot of churches.

        1. Hiddenexfundie,

          Maybe try some different churches. Maybe a Paul Best Episcopalian one, or a house church, or whatever.


        2. Hiddenexfundie, if I may be pardoned for being so nosy, why do you mention Steven Anderson at every church you visit?

        3. Big Gary my wife travels with me and continues to be firmly entrenched in the fundy mindset. When we pick a church we try to avoid certain groups, especially Hyles. However I have found that mentioning Anderson is a decent litmus test. If it is more of a “use caution, there are people here that follow him” then generally most of the people are pretty ok and I accompany my wife there. If the other then we politely smile and never go back. It works for us for now.

        4. my wife travels with me and continues to be firmly entrenched in the fundy mindset.

          I understand. Mine, too. I still on some occasions go with her to a fundy church. She will occasionally come with me to the Episcopal Church. It is a good deal of stress.

          I find it irritates her tremendously when I comment about the idiotic and ignorant fundamentalist Republican politicians in our government. She does NOT like reminding that fundamentalist religious fervor is pretty much the same thing as insanity in its denial of reality. Or that it is the most cruel position possible in dealing with people in need. So I am trying to learn how to shut up.

          I love my wife. But I desperately need some things to change. Her attitudes contribute to the sense that God is angry with me all the time.

        5. Rtgmath, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope things work out in your marriage. I sincerely do.

        6. Dear rgtmath:

          Thank you for this. As I have said before, I never doubt that you are God’s child; but this offers substantial explanation as to why you have struggled with this.

          Perhaps this comes from the demons I face in my own relationship with the ball and chain; but when I read your ‘I love my wife…’ I thought, ‘I bet that crossed Job’s mind…’

          It is said that our spouse is God’s chief instrument in our sanctification. I’m not quite sure what to make of it, but sometimes, marriage does seem to require the grace and patience of a saint. Or perhaps a martyr.

          Christian Socialist

        7. There are times she can be incredibly sweet and nice. And the few minutes she was at home today before heading off to bed, she was nice. I feel guilty about complaining.

          And she would definitely be offended to read my plaint. After all, she has been nice now, today, all ten or so minutes she interacted with me today, so I should have nothing to complain about.

          But as has happened — also at times — she can turn angry in a heartbeat. And my clueless self often wonders what happened. And it is always my fault.

          So I walk on eggshells wondering when I am going to step in it again. I have to squelch my instincts to talk about anything of import. I am pretty much relegated to trivia. Yes, that is pretty. Yes, we should go to that antique mall. You fixed a wonderful dinner. My blood sugar was xxx.

          I want more, much more in my marriage. I don’t like living shallowly. So I err by moving toward that until I get rebuffed. Reset. Reflect on lessons I should have learned, but apparently haven’t yet.

          Mine is a marriage made on fundy principles, in fundy terms, and with results probably more typical than not. Nobody in fundamentalism tells you that you need an intellectual companion. Mathematics, science and theology aren’t intellectually compatible with pure Home Ec.

          Nobody in fundamentalism tells you that “submission” — even when it happens (and it usually doesn’t) — leaves you lacking for spiritual connections. You don’t lead your equal. So men and women are expected to be on different spiritual “levels.” Men go to their friends, women to theirs, and marriage becomes more of a place to park the car when you aren’t doing something important.

          But I don’t feel this is how things ought to be.

          “It is not good that man should be alone.” But we structure fundy marriage so that each person is alone in the things that matter, and have to seek other companionship to meet those needs. And we wonder why marriages fail, people “stray,” couples fight and irritations become the focus?

          I feel bad for feeling unfulfilled. I love my wife. I want more, better communion, communication, and connection. I wish she could understand my interests. I take an interest in her areas (though I am hopeless at cooking and am not a quilter!).

          But nobody communicated those things to us.

          Don’t get me wrong. If I could have known these things 32 years ago, I’d still have married her. But if I could do it over, I’d try to make sure we were better prepared — or at least that I was.

          Sorry for the plaint. But am I totally off base? Are my expectations and desires so out of whack?

          Well, expressing the issues seem to have brought momentary clarity in a couple of places. Good night for now.

        8. Rtgmath,
          You are spot on as usual. I was raised to expect to lead my wife and for her to be my personal maid and cook. Thankfully I rejected the misogyny of my youth and discovered that women were much more interesting if you could have a conversation with them. I’m very thankful that my wife is my intellectual equal/superior and we can discuss serious issues on a much deeper level.

          I am not a natural take charge kind of guy so I have a feeling that I’d be pretty miserable if I thought I needed to always take the lead on each and every decision we make. I much prefer being a team. We’ve only been married 8 years, but as we’ve grown and changed, the ability to connect on a deep level has really been a blessing. I’ve gone from pretty conservative to quite liberal both politically and theologically and though she hasn’t come quite as far left as I have, we can still have a good discussion about issues without either one having to hide behind ignorance or stubborn illiterate understandings of the Bible. (I’ve seen that happen way too often with many people.)

          I don’t want this to sound like we’ve got it all figured out, we certainly have much to learn, but I’m so thankful that we both had started to reject much of the fundy part of our upbringing before we got together. It allowed us to continue our journey together.

          All that to say that you are not wrong. I feel like young people should look to people like you and learn wisdom before they are in a marriage that is not much more than a master/servant relationship. I hope and pray that your wife may soon begin to find the freedom that comes with leaving fundyland. And I pray that you and she both may find peace and a better way forward.

          I always enjoy your comments. I feel like though I’m a few years younger, you and I have probably traveled similar paths in our political and religious beliefs. I’ve also got a proclivity for leaving long responses, so even though I don’t post very often, I make up for it with the length of them.

        9. “Men go to their friends, women to theirs, and marriage becomes more of a place to park the car when you aren’t doing something important. ”

          Several years ago at a Southern Baptist seminary, a female worker remarked, “It’s a wonder these people can breed.” Obviously, by the number of baby carriages, they do. But the rigid, cold, and overly “proper” way that they interact seems like it would kill sexual attraction before it started.

      2. I heard that apart from the King James Bible Anderson has only ever owned three books and two of them are already colored in. Go Steve!

      3. “It’s a wonder these people can breed.” Obviously, by the number of baby carriages, they do. But the rigid, cold, and overly “proper” way that they interact seems like it would kill sexual attraction before it started.

        No need for sexual attraction at all.
        Ever heard of the phrase “Our duty to The Party”?

  23. Reminds me of “Big Man’s Hat”


    “I used to have a big man’s thoughts in a young man’s world,
    You got to have a big man’s thoughts to make a big man’s girl,
    And when I finally made that girl she did not have a clue that I would break her like a matchstick, that I could turn young love into the third world war, that I’d sit in the seat where the devil had sat,”

  24. rtgmath and others–couples therapy can be very helpful. Even if one won’t go, the other might be helped.

    Disclaimer–my wife is a clinical psychologist, so I have a bit of a bias.

    And no, the therapist doesn’t have to be overtly “Christian” of the fundy stripe. A good therapist will work within your belief system.

    1. I am considering it. Cost is a major issue at the moment.

      There are a couple of other issues, though. First, I don’t know that she would actually talk about the issues. I am pretty sure she wouldn’t. Denial is strong. The problem is that I think there is a problem. The problem is that I say something. She doesn’t want to hear it.

      The other may sound silly, but it tends to bother me. I have read that, couples admitting marital problems who go to therapy have a higher subsequent divorce rate than those who do not. Mind you, I do not know if that is true or if it happens to be another fundy lie that needs dislodging. But I am afraid that airing the issues would cause her to give up on the marriage as not being worth it.

      Right now I am on an edge. Whenever I mention my desire to get her and my daughter out of fundamentalism there is no more happiness and I have to backtrack, apologize, kowtow, whatever.

      Of course, if she ever took an interest in StuffFundiesLike, she would read this and I would be in trouble. Again. But as much as I have invited her to see, she doesn’t and she won’t.

      I just have to pray for there to be a wakeup moment for the both of them. But either God is spectacularly bad about answering prayer, or I am praying spectacularly bad prayers.

      Still, thank you for the suggestion. I may have to just look at counseling on my own and hope I am not convincing myself to give up.

      1. I am praying for wisdom for you. You need it. It is difficult to deal with a problem when aperson keeps on saying “*What* problem? There is nothing wrong” Would you mind if I mentioned you to some close friends who are prayer warriors. I won’t disclose details but I will get them to pray that you will have wisdom and that God will work this out.

        1. You are so right! I do need wisdom, and I have to admit I don’t have it. Then again, maybe there is no wisdom that can fix this situation.

      2. A good therapist can work through denial, avoidance, and all the rest. The therapist will know when to probe a bit, and when to back off.

        Why not just agree to go to separate churches at least once a month? Then meet somewhere for Sunday lunch, perhaps?

        1. My wife accompanies me to the Episcopal Church twice a month — two Sundays. She goes to the Baptist Church the remaining Sunday mornings, all Sunday evenings, and all Wednesday evening services. Lately she has gone to a ladies’ Bible Study on Tuesday nights. She basically chose those studies over the Lenten Bible Studies, though she did come eat soup with us before she left for her own Bible Study. I got one Lenten Bible Study with her because her own study was cancelled.

          I have learned not to object. She considers it equal treatment. To be fair, the Episcopal Church here does not have evening services or Wednesday night services. But she would not attend even if they did, and she would still consider it equal treatment.

      3. RTG, all I can say is that I understand what you are going through. I went through that a few years ago when I started traveling for work. She decided that I was having an affair (which I wasnt) and everything came to a head. I never really denied the affair but took more of a “so what” attitude. I told her that our marriage was a mess, she cared more about what the pastor said than I did in MY OWN HOME, and that I wasn’t living that way anymore. She chose to make me a priority in her life. We worked through it, sort of, and are still together. I can tell that she still hopes to pull me fully back into fundyism but at least I don’t feel like third wheel in my own house anymore.

        I’m not saying you should do this, I’m saying that I finally got to the point that I refused to be treated like garbage in my own home. I was prepared to leave the marriage if that’s what it took. So far that’s not the case but I think there’s another boiling point building up.

        1. You *do* understand. Thank you. I hope you can somehow avoid the boiling point, but they happen, and all too often when one party is trying harder than the other to compromise.

          It requires both people to be committed to repairing the relationship from the position of their spouse, not just their own position. That is hard to do.

          Again, thank you for your encouragement and understanding.

  25. Jack Hyles must have been pretty insecure (among other things, apparently) to require this kind of groveling.

    I was thinking of how my husband would react if I talked to him like this…

    1. If I taught abnormal psychology, Hyles’ “Woman, the Completer” would be required reading. Every paragraph of it is a study in paranoid delusions.

      1. “If I taught abnormal psychology, Hyles’ “Woman the Completer” would be required reading.”

        Perfectly stated, Sir!

        1. I did, because two stars says “I don’t like it”, which fit my mood.
          I read a lot of reviews when I research products, and rarely find one star reviews helpful. They are usually rants, so I usually give twos to products I’m not pleased with. Many people who use website review systems ignore one and five star reviews, because the feeling is those in the middle three tiers actually have something to say, that more thought goes into those reviews The aren’t gushing or ranting.
          As a side note, if I read a review and the spelling and syntax are bad, I give that particular review no credibility and move on.

        2. I pay attention to all reviews no matter the stars, but I give weight to reviews that are well-reasoned. Five stars with “I love it!!!!” will not impress me. I try to write my reviews for good or ill with detailed reasons why. I have no problem giving one star for a product/service that was beyond terrible.

        3. I pay less attention to the number of stars than to the reasons the reviewer liked something or didn’t like something. “I hate books with blue covers” has no influence on me, but “All the facts stated are wrong,” with valid examples, makes a difference.

  26. Re the hover text. Not just at FBCH. At good ol’ Fundy High and in the supporting/sponsoring church in the South Atlanta area in the 70s , Hyles worship existed. The Great One spoke many many times throughout my years there. It’s embarrassing looking back at all the attention we all gave him. The mog was building a kingdom along the same lines.
    Well, until he left with a string of affairs behind him and a wife swap ahead. I know people who loved and practically worshiped him for years after he passed. Many of them eventually realized what a fraud he was, but an awful lot of folks still praise and defend him.
    It is really sad how many people have such a skewed view of relationships because of misogynists like him. I don’t know how many lessons I heard from that era from Jack and his ilk about “proper” men and women roles. According to them, I guess my brothers and I are sissies and pansies, [their words] since we don’t mind cooking and helping around the house.
    About the only things I haven’t done as far as what would be called the woman’s job is bear and nurse children. Never quite figured how to do her part of those jobs.

    Some of the SFL community will understand. I know many of you will shake your heads because this foolishness is new to you. Trust me, those of us who lived it are not exaggerating. Maybe understating, if anything.

  27. Ewww, wish I had read that before I ate supper. Gag. Many moons ago in a past life and against my better judgment I attended a Christian Womanhood Spectacular. It was a long trip in an old school bus with a broken heater in the dead of winter with some hateful but holy culotte clad women from another IFB church. After hearing all the speakers we were told how dumb we were by one of the “ladies” who had converted from a combat boot wearing “tomboy” to a “proper lady”. The icing on that cake was hearing Jack Hyles inform us that if the wifey in the marriage failed to gain pleasure in the unmentionable marital rites it was her fault for not being submissive enough. I was young but evidently not that stupid and I hightailed it out of the IFB church to a biblical but sane congregation, thank God.

    1. a. Congratulations on getting out of that.
      b. Was the official name of these meetings really “Spectaculars”?

  28. I never attended any of those Christian Womanhood Spectaculars in Hammond. But my former fundy “lite” pastor’s wife and a group of ladies always did. They finally quit going saying the whole thing revolved around spotlighting and honoring certain women than anything else. One woman said they spent most of their time there standing and applauding.

  29. What a weird book. I have been away form Fundamentalism so long, that when I look at stuff like that, I think that they were all seriously possessed by a Spirit other than Jesus.

    1. I came to that conclusion about a fundy church I visited long before I left fundamentalism.

      The Pastor had left with the church secretary. I just noted how close to the letter ‘c’ the letter ‘x’ is.

      The new Pastor, hired quickly, was preaching fire and brimstone, jumping on pews and screaming in people’s faces while the men were shouting “Haymen!”

      We were visitors, and I didn’t appreciate it. But we went back that night, only to hear the preacher saying how “some people” who didn’t like the preaching didn’t have to stay. It was a definite hint. The place had spirit, but it wasn’t the Holy Spirit!

  30. What a weird book. I have been away from Fundamentalism so long, that when I look at stuff like that, I think that they were all seriously possessed by a Spirit other than Jesus.

  31. Want to see the legacy of this mindset? Go to Bob Gray Sr’s website or his publishing house: http://www.independentbaptist.com/

    Today’s specials: how the three worst things for soul winning are the way you dress, body odor and bad breath. Really.

    They are publishing David Hyles book about his dad — perpetuating the predatory ministry. The long post today from Jack Hyles instructs pastors to go into a room of people or a hospital room and “take over the conversation,” “bluff your way in,” “make them feel like the fifth wheel.” This is a brutish predator with one thing central to his thinking: himself, his reputation, his achievements. People around him are fodder for own desires.

    Bob Gray Sr is as culpable as Jack Hyles because he has so much information on Hyles, but he is a simple man, listing the number of people he has witnessed to any time a conversation lags, repeating over and over tropes from Hyles, a follower and still trying to extract some personal fame from the notoriety of the bigger name.

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