211 thoughts on “Going Through the Motions”

  1. I have children. They all knew how to dance without being taught. This stuff is supposed to replace the “sinful” motions that come natural to sinners. It starts coming out when they can sit up and bounce to music. Stand up straight. Like a board. Leave the hanger in your suit jacket if you like. Move only one appendage at a time. That is, only one of your main four appendages if you are a male. Keep your waist completely still. We all know what happens if we move too much: The Holy Spirit gets scared and leaves. Jesus cries. God folds His arms and scowls.

    1. Eric, don’t all Fundy parents have to teach little children not to dance? I know I did and I sure watched enough embarrassed parents trying to stop their little ones from bouncing around to the music “inappropriately” during church. Not that the music was much to dance to in the peebs, lol

      1. Yes, fundies have to teach their children how to not dance and enjoy music. I have heard many a negative comment from people in Fundystan when a cute little two year old starts gyrating during a children’s program, “Haha, well, you never have to teach kids to be worldly!” “Everybody is a sinner, and it comes out of them so young!” “You’d better watch that child! Heh, heh!” “Brother jones, we saw your daughter up there, it makes me wonder what you are watching on TV at home! (Sniff)”
        Why did I put up with the silliness for so long?

        1. We put up with it because we were slowly boiled and we didn’t notice how hot it was for a long time.

        2. In my case, MiriamD, my parents willfully leapt right into the pot of boiling water and the spent the rest of their lives alternating between trying to convince themselves that it was really just a balmy spa and psyching themselves up that it’s so painful it must be good for them!!

        3. Gosh, this is so foreign to everything I know.

          At our local annual Greek festival, when the band is playing (between performances by the Greek dancers from the church school), little kids always get up on the stage and start dancing. It’s a riot. Everyone laughs and applauds. It’s all part of the fun and festivity. Opa!

        4. Yup. I’ve been told that the fact that children naturally dance proves that we are naturally sinners because dancing is sin. Just ignore all that dancing in the Old Testament because that was a different dispensation. They were under the law. Now we’re under grace so we can’t dance. (Which always left me scratching my head at how liberty in Christ equaled NOT being free to do something they could do in the OT.)

        5. Psalms 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance:
          let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

          Psalms 150:4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance:
          praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

          Jeremiah 31:13. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance,
          both young men and old together:
          for I will turn their mourning into joy,
          and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.

          But those don’t count, because they are Old Testament. And we are “Free from the Law, O happy condition! Jesus hath bled and there is remission!”

        6. Pastor’s Wife,
          The part of your comment regarding the premise that grace results in even less freedom brings to mind a scene from an episode of the Simpsons. Homer was enduring some sort of grueling initiation rite from a lodge he was trying to join when it was discovered that he had a birth mark that resembled a symbol sacred to the lodge members. Anyway the following line went something like, “Release him from the ‘Stone of Trial’… Bind him with the ‘Stone of Triumph!’ [a larger, heavier stone].

        7. Pastors wife, I attend a church where my pastor explained alcohol consumption as part of our freedom in Christ. In other words, he says, we are free to choose NOT to drink a drop. Even the world knows that some people can’t handle their liquor so we will all abstain so as not to cause a brother to stumble.

          So, since some people can’t handle Internet porn, we all should abstain from the Internet. Some folks are gluttons. Should we all abstain from food? How far should we take this mentality?
          Full disclosure. I don’t abstain from alcohol. But have never been drunk. That seems like freedom to me…. The other way seems like, “I can’t do that because he says I am free in Christ to choose for myself not to do that because he said I can’t.”
          Am I free to not tithe? I once heard a preacher brag that he tithed 90% of his income. I think he needs to be set free from doing that. IMHO.

        8. Bill Gothard taught that the verses in the Psalms that mention dancing are actually talking about an instrument that gives the beat for dances and not about actual dancing. (No word on why one would have such an instrument if one didn’t dance.) He also claimed that every example of dancing in the Bible included bad consequences. He then went on to twist the meaning of every story that mentioned dancing to explain how this was true.

      2. The mental image of a dancing peeb made me laugh. And the thought of the reaction of everyone else’s face as well!

    2. because Jesus taught us that children need to become like adults to enter heaven. That’s how it was worded right?

    3. Jeez Dr Eric that is extremely well said and scarily accurate…

      Sarcasm and mocking: it makes the point so well. But then people yelp cause they got hit…

  2. “yippee”, “peek-a-boo”, “you gotta lose yourself just a little bit”? This used to embarrass me as a kid but those people are adults and don’t you just love how stiff they are? Like if they move too much group sex might spontaneously erupt.

    1. As a child, I felt very embarrassed by this kind of thing. I’m glad to learn I’m not the only one.

    2. I took it that they did not appreciate the condescension from the administration making them sing and do motions to such a song. It’s as if, the student body wants to yell out, “Do you not realize that we are adults?!? We aren’t a bunch of bus kids.”

      1. I imagine the fear of too much movement was instilled in them as children. Disapproval is a powerful force.

      2. No at Fundie U you are not adults. You are children who must be tucked into bed at night and supervised at all times.

    3. I was eating lunch and almost spit it out as I erupted in laughter at the “peek-a-boo.” Its one thing to do these motions when there are children in the room and you are including the way they sing the song into the worship. But this is quite embarrassing.

    4. We used to mockingly observe at Fundie U that the music faculty apparently thought that in contemporary churches people were having orgies in the aisles because they couldn’t control themselves when they heard the music.

    1. Let’s all thank our favorite deities that the IOC won’t go for inclusion in the next Olympiad.

  3. I have no problem with people moving to music, but if they think that’s different from dancing, they’re deluding themselves.

    1. “they’re just deluding themselves.” That is the real Fundy sport, deluding themselves.

    2. Ehhh, isn’t it like everything else Real True Christians do? Step one: separate from the world; step two: raise kids who have no reference points for quality or depth of thought; step three: reinvent the wheel–badly; step four: slap a Jesus fish on it and tell your kids it’s awesome.

      1. Jenny – Love the “slap a Jesus fish on it”.

        You win a year’s free subscription to Stuff Fundies Like.

      2. “We don’t need no stinking round. This is a square wheel. Like the city of God. Like the four corners of the earth.

        What? Don’t try to confuse me with no geometry. We are Believers! Bee ee ee el ….eh, never mind that. Anyways we are separate from the world. If the world does it, we don’t cause the world is evil and rebels against God.”

  4. I never understood why fundies made anyone above the age of 10 participate in these shenanigans. I always hated singing “Father Abraham,” too, with all the motions that went along with it. Why fundies feel the need to treat adults like children is beyond me.

    1. I hated the fact they wouldn’t let those of us prone to motion sickness opt-out of Father Abraham.

      And then they’d want us to do worksheets or pay attention to a Bible story before the room stopped spinning.

      1. After all these years, I still can’t figure out what the theological significance of “Father Abraham” is.

        I finally decided there wasn’t any significance, and I won’t sing it with a group of kids. There are plenty of other good actions songs to sing.

        1. To my fundy mother’s credit, she would never allow that song in Children’s church or anywhere else either, for the same reasons.

        2. There are lots of churchy songs for kids and adults that have no relevance or give false ideas. “We Three Kings” is one such song. There’s no definitive record that there were only three, or even that there were only three gifts. It’s just that three gifts are mentioned.

        3. The Bible does not say that the Wise Men were kings, or that there were three of them, or much else about them except that they visited and brought gifts. Nor does it give any of their names.

        4. The story of the Magi had to be renamed Kings or Wise men….do you realize that if we called them what they were we would have to admit that God invited soothsayers and astrologers to celebrate the birth of Jesus. How scandalous! next thing you know God would be eating with whores and thieves and other sinners!

        5. It’s not a dispensationalist song, that’s for sure. Now if you see the church as the seed of Abraham, then it works.

        6. Father Abraham had many wimmin.
          Many wimmin had Father Abraham.
          I am one of their sons, and so are you,
          So let’s get some concubines too!

      2. Oh man. I didn’t even think about the motion-sickness factor. But, you know, fundies can’t be bothered with things like consideration for others.

        1. Spot on Rebecca. I “volunteered” for a time in the children’s church program. I would pay attention to how the different kids would react to something. Especially the newer bus kids. It was a new experience for many of them. So while the on-fire-for-god-youth-pastor would rant and rave I would notice the kids who had a look of genuine fear on their face. When I would suggest the youth pastor tone it down a bit, some of the kids are freaking out, he would make a rude comment about them and continue to carry on with his usual bull-in-a-china-shop pastoring technique.
          Good times.

        2. You know, Scorpio, until you just said that, I never thought about what a child must think when he or she attends a fundy church for the first time. I was raised in a fundy church my entire life so I was used to the madness, but those poor bus kids! I can’t even imagine how frightening it must be for those children, especially when their parents aren’t there with them. ๐Ÿ™
          That youth pastor you mentioned is the epitome of fundy callousness. They have absolutely no regard for others. Ever.

        3. We had some immigrant neighbor kids bused to the local Temple of Fundydom. They were in the service during a baptism, and wanted to know why “they were drowning people.” No one on the bus had prepped them at all, and they were scared to go back.

        4. Oh, those poor children. ๐Ÿ™ I can totally see baptism being terrifying if you are not familiar with the process. They should have been prepped beforehand. I don’t blame them for being scared to go back.

        5. BJG – You win the home version of Stuff Fundies Likeโ„ข. Play if for hours. Play it for fun.

    2. I think it is for them to demonstrate their control over you. If they can make you sing Father Abraham (which is _so_ un-Biblical) and do the stupid motions. what else can they make you do?

        1. And then there’s all the racist versions of I’m in the Lord’s Armyโ€”Mexican, southern, etc.

        2. I know my kids will be exposed to that song so i teach them to sing it “I will never” instead of “I may never”. I think that subtle change takes it from the militarization of the gospel to making a distinction between militarization and the gospel. From an analogy to a contrast.

    3. I hate that song too. I liked it when I was very young. The teachers would encourage us to get up and move around and do the movements, but then they’d yell at us for getting too out of control. As I got older I remember being embarrassed when they still tried to make us sing that song. By fifth or sixth grade I refused to participate, but then I’d get scolded for “being afraid of what the world will think.”

      Now, I absolutely refuse to do this song in any children’s class I teach.

      1. Did we go to the same church, Joshua? ๐Ÿ™‚ That sounds exactly like my experience. Let’s get all the kids worked up, and then yell at them for being disorderly. Seriously?

        It’s all about control. They want things done exactly their way, and there is no wiggle room.

        1. It’s possible … I’ve been to a lot of fundy churches over the years. If you lived in either North Dakota, England, Florida, Hawaii, New Mexico, Florida, New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, or North Carolina since the ’80’s than perhaps we ran into each other ๐Ÿ™‚

          It’s funny though, no matter where you go all of the “independent” fundamental baptist churches are the same. It got so bad that I could pretty much predict what was going to happen next in any given service.

        2. Yes, I grew up in Florida and went to PCC from 1996 – 2000, so it’s quite possible we’ve run into each other. ๐Ÿ™‚

          And, you’re absolutely right about all IFB churches being the same. (I think one guy wrote all the sermons and then passed them out to everyone else. ) There may be some differences in preferences (women wearing pants, going to the movies, etc.) but the fearmongering and control tactics are in all of the churches.

      2. I attended PCC from ’99-’04. During that time I got saved and became a pretty hardcore fundy – so you probably wouldn’t have liked me. I was a jerk a lot of the time. That stopped around 2003 though. I’ve been back and forth in and out of fundamentalism since then, but never as fundy as I was during those couple years.

        1. Aw, don’t be so hard on yourself! You didn’t know any better. We’ve all been there, too.

        2. I Was A TeenAge Fundamentalist. Get ’em while the brain is still undeveloped.

          We learn from our mistakes. Be comforted.

  5. Oy! Since everybody in that video is over the age of eight, that’s just sad. I thought college students were supposed to be grown-ups, or at least getting close, but this is clear evidence that it isn’t so. The real world would be an awful shock to these kids; maybe that’s why they go to such lengths to avoid it.

  6. Ha. Some of these comments remind me of one of the operas I was in at the Bob. There was a celebration in one scene with Scottish dancers in kilts. It was decent, I suppose–but in the program, there was no mention of “dancing” or “choreography” but there was a list of those involved with “stylized stage movement” which I did not know (still don’t, actually) was a thing.

    1. I remember the “dance scene” in a Shakespearean play at the Bob. It was actually pretty neat, but I remember sitting there thinking, “and how do they say this is inappropriate everywhere else?”

      1. Ah yes, all the silly, childish angst over performing Shakespeare at the Bob. Like the time everyone gasped and swooned when Benneth said “out damned spot.”

        1. I enjoyed all the plays and operas except Aida. You could sleep twenty minutes and the same supertitles would be up there. That was more boring than a chapel sermon.
          I thought the supertitles were just for Unusual U to make the operas more understandable, but I’ve been to some in “the real world” that also did that. Since I never learned Italian or French, I found them helpful.

        2. I still have a deep love for the opera and attend regularly (when I can get back to civilization). The opera is one of my best BJU memories. I sang in the chorus of Il Trovatore, and still can sing it, just usually in private ๐Ÿ™‚

        3. Bald, I didn’t see Il Trovatore at BJU, I saw it at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. We called it a homeschool cultural event, and that Saturday evening became a school day. My wife said I only wanted to see it because one of my all time favorite movies is A Night at the Opera featuring The Marx Brothers and Kitty Carlisle. (If you haven’t seen it, rectify that omission as soon as possible.) She was mistaken, I enjoy the opera.

          We haven’t been to an opera for a few years. A combination of work scheduling and my irritation with a poorly run Atlanta Opera Society have kept me from it. One of these days I hope to see one at The Met.

    2. Let me guess. Lucia di Lammermoor? I don’t recall there being much dancing in that opera, but then, there aren’t that many operas in which kilts would figure.

  7. I love good CCM and the great hymns. Then, there’s the “dribble”, which fundies try to pass off as great music, while they criticize contemporary forms of music that actually proclaim biblical truth and glorify God. Then, they want to know why people don’t participate more…

    1. You meant “drivel”, not “dribble.”

      Sorry. Leaving now. I’m a recovering fundy grammar teacher.

    2. I think “dribble” might be fitting. Most of the silly choruses passed off as suitable in the IFB world are as useful as dribble on a baby’s chin.
      It always makes me shake my head when they decry “CCM”. Do they not realize their precious hymns and choruses were once “contemporary”?
      I can imagine some old rabbi listening to a young shepherd named David and shaking his head at the “newfangled lyre fingering” of kids these days.

  8. Apparently when God “carries you through” he rocks you to sleep?

    Reminds me of the joke:
    “Why are Catholics thankful that Christ was crucified rather than stoned?” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Jumping Jacks for Jesus!
      Or would it be Jumping Jesuses?
      Or Jesus Jacks?

      Whatever you call it, they’re obviously very cool and amazingly relevant.

        1. They actually think that’s worship… just like the leadee actually thinks that’s a haircut.

      1. “Jumping Jacks for Jesus!
        Or would it be Jumping Jesuses?
        Or Jesus Jacks?”

        It’s called Jumping Jehosaphats.

      1. “He is like a Mounty …”

        I just discovered that “Jesus Is My Friend” works better if you turn the volume up to Metallica levels. It’s like a polka seizure.

  9. OH my – I’ve sang this song and done the exact motions over the years with children’s church groups (5th grade and lower), but never with adult college kids. Oh my – what excitement to go to college and particpate in in a song written for 3rd graders!

    Also, I started watching a little ahead of the 32:40 mark and learned all about the 24-hour prayer vigil they scheduled to get ready for the “Baptist Friends Conference” that is going on this week at Crown. I bet that was a fun, exciting college activity!!! I never understood the Fundy obsession with scheduling around-the- clock praying sessions to plead God to send a mighty revival. It seems so “works” oriented – i.e. we have to spend hours fasting and praying so God will work. Why not just attend, go in with an open mind, and allow God to work. The MOG at my ex-fundy church would schedule in home praying groups about a week or two before a “revival” started. I always thought this to be “FUNDY hype”.

    1. The old principle is that if you keep people busy enough, they won’t have time to question you or to rebel.

  10. Anyone read a fundy commentary on 2 Samuel 6 and their explanation of David’s dancing in his ephod with all of his might? I think they’d be standing there with his wife Michal ready to condemn him. “But I will become more undignified than this!” Didn’t bother to read the text in the KJV, but don’t think you can get around what David did here. But fundies are Olympic caliber hermeneutical gymnasts, so I’m sure they could put on one heck of a routine with this one.

    1. This passage does present a Fundie conundrum because David was not only dancing with all his might, he was doing it without wearing pants. No amount of mental gymnastics can twist the ephod into a nice pair of slacks.

      1. Bill Gothard has a VERY LONG booklet in which he explains in excruciating detail all the reasons why David’s dance was a sin, e.g., because His Wife Despised Him, because He Uncovered Himself, etc.

        1. I always thought that it was pretty explicit that Michal was wrong in her condemnation of David. How did Gothard get around that?

        2. This was the only recorded instance in human history in which it was acceptable for a wife to rebel against her husband.

          Bill Gothard, never one to get too carried away with wifely witchcraft (which is the sin of rebellion), taught that it was a sin for Abigail to defy Naboth because she was filled with bitterness at her husband.

          In Gothard’s world, David was surrounded with some pretty fucked up women!

        3. It was Gothard’s explicitly claiming that Abigail was wrong that made me put away the Gothard books I’d been given as a wedding gift and never read them again. I didn’t appreciate his claiming that Jonathan was a bad guy either, but the Abigail one seemed to deliberately contradict clear statements in Scripture. I missed out on his defaming David’s behavior here but I’m not surprised – disgusted and annoyed but not surprised.

        4. You see, David’s sin of dancing caused Michal’s sin of rebellion. And because David was the authority, he had the heavier blame.

    2. This is a very important chapter in my journey out of fundamentalism. I was convicted that for most of my life I had been like Michal – looking down on other Christians in their more uninhibited, emotional, exuberant praise of God. I had held myself aloof and thought myself better than they. I had made assumptions about the motivation behind their worship without even knowing them.

      It was humbling to face how smug and self-righteous I had been.

      1. I am thoroughly uncomfortable with the religious exuberance found in Pentecostalism. I am far too inhibited to allow myself that.

        I realized some time back my reluctance is not because the exuberance is wrong in and of itself. It is because I don’t dare lose myself. I have lost too much while unaware, been led astray by emotional appeals masquerading as the call of God.

        And perhaps because I realized that, like so many other things, I was called on to make an emotional commitment to someone or something that wasn’t going to reciprocate.

        Of course, I learned that by being betrayed early enough in life. So have a lot of other fundamentalists. They want the love but not the pain. They will not be controlled except as it provides them a way to control others. Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven, as it were.

        I am convinced that many of those who rail at dancing and exuberance the most wish desperately they could have it. I do. I just don’t know how.

        1. I am primarily familiar with the IFB; I do understand that other religions/denominations are spiritually abusive and manipulative. Churches can demand an outward show of religious exuberance as a sign of holiness in the same manner that the IFB demanded a LACK thereof.

          But I think that I AM an emotional, demonstrative person that was taught to avoid and distrust emotions. I love the passion and expressiveness of music and dance but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to break out of the mold in which I was trained.

        2. When I was young, an older person told me that it’s very important to experience and express your emotions, but it’s also important not to confuse feeling with thinking. That still seems true after all these years.

        3. PW, I grew up with similar teaching. We were told that the people in churches who show emotion are only doing it for attention or to prove how close to God they are. That is the exact reason that many of the men in our church were so solemn, with an occasional unemotional “amen” uttered. It’s hard to believe that Fundies fail to see such blatant hypocrisy in their standards.
          Music moves me. I move with music. I find myself tapping me feet and drumming the chair in front of me during our congregational singing. Even when I’m up front when asked to usher. I used to try to stand still, but no more. i don’t see me at our present church much longer, but until then I don’t plan to be rebellious, just honest. I like visiting churches where the culture isn’t to stifle feelings. It isn’t just the IFB, either. A coworker at a previous job was telling me how upset her mom was when she came from out of state and went to mass with her daughter and her Catholic church was using -*gasp*- praise music in their worship!

          Then a few years back at a UGA football game, Champ Baily picked off an interception and ran it back for a touchdown putting the Dawgs ahead. After I got down off the bleacher from my happy dance session, my next thought was, “Why aren’t we allowed to get this happy about God?” I doubt I will ever jump up on a pew and dance a jig, because I do believe in proper decorum, I no longer hide my emotions. I just be the me the Creator seems to have made me.

        4. Most of us are never in the same emotional state all the time. There’s a time for being still and reverent, for thinking and listening. And then there’s a time for dancing. And yes, dancing often, for many of us at least, involves making a fool of ourselves. But it’s not, at heart, about impressing people. It should be about expressing your own joy, within yourself, and before God, and with others. Part of the fun of it is letting yourself go, not being so full of yourself, letting your guard down. Becoming one with the joyful throng.

          (Unless it’s just together with that special person. Then it’s about melding with just one. That kind of dancing has its place, too.)

        5. rtgmath speaking truth once again.

          During my 5 years in charismatic fundamentalism (after 18 years of IFB), everyone was always trying to get me to dance and wave arms and raise hands and the like…and I couldn’t do it. Wasn’t real, would have been forced, scared of it, etc. So many different reasons. But like you, I wanted to do it, but just couldn’t. Maybe because I hate the Lord or the Spirit or something.

          I think part of the control is fear (isn’t everything? lol). I need control because I’m afraid of being loose, or losing control, or worse, being afraid of joy. I’m terrified of things that make me truly happy. I’m not entirely sure why. Could be being made fun of repeatedly as a kid, or having elders take that joy away, or being hurt because I got carried away, whatever. But things that truly, genuinely give me joy, in a public setting…terrify me.

          Doing a lot of work here, probably got a ways to go.

        6. There are different ways of controlling people. One of them is to lock them up in a rigid, theological mindset with more rules than anyone can keep. The other is to let all the stops out and cater to emotionalism (different to me than emotion), expecting all spiritual responses to be over the top, full-on feeling fests, with constant “newness” to the interpretation of Scripture. Having been on both sides, I find that both points of view are dangerous and lead to spiritual disengagement and burnout. I think there is a reason for why the Scripture mentions “moderation in all things.”

        7. โ€œWhy arenโ€™t we allowed to get this happy about God?โ€

          No comment on you, but I f*cking HATE that line, that type of thinking.

          “People get so excited about football/sports/movies, but they don’t get excited about GAWWWD. Isn’t he worthy??”

          F*CK. THAT. I can’t explain how much I f*cking HATE that thinking and those statements.

        8. I understand. “Happy about God” isn’t possible if you have been brought up in fear of punishment for the smallest misdeeds. The best you can be is grateful when the hammer doesn’t fall.

          And a lot of those who get that “happy” about God seem to have lives morally located in the sewer. They worship and dance and lift their hands and lie and cheat. Pentecostal preaching is full of “give money” and God will make you rich. The Preachers lift their hand to the offerings and the lack of fiscal accountability.

          Of course, that is a generalization. Not all Pentecostal churches are that way. Just all the TV ministries.

        9. StuartB, I always detested that one too.

          There are different kinds of happy and different kinds of joy, and the kinds associated with spiritual things have never particularly lent themselves to physical exuberance for me. That doesn’t mean they are lesser or matter less than the kinds that do, it just means they’re different.

  11. The motion for “he made the lame to walk again” looks a lot like Gagnam Style.

  12. I think the Infantilization of these people is more disturbing than the dancing. This is a textbook control tactic used by the IFB.
    And oh, if you don’t participate, you are rebellious.
    “Yippee” “Peekaboo”

    1. You are exactly right. When I was 17, during a chapel service at my fundy high school, a visiting evangelist brought his song leader with him, and the song leader told us to flap our arms like a bird while singing “I’ll Fly Away.” I’m sorry, what?! We were all in high school, for crying out loud. Most of us didn’t participate so he screamed at us for a good while for being rebellious. Good times… :p

    2. exactly. I was thinking this too. It would be one thing if young children were there and doing the motions was a way to include them in the song. But these are adults. How utterly absurd to make this an activity for adults to go through.
      Treating college kids like they are still elementary school age is a way of controlling them. They are not allowed to think for themselves or act for themselves. It is disgusting and abusive.

      1. You’re absolutely right about the control factor. At some point during my Fundy U days I decided to never take orders from the pulpit again. I would stay seated while everyone around me came forward or stood to “surrender your life to the Lord.” It would typically just be me and a few, scattered individuals still seated during the 5000+ attendance services. I didn’t want to boost some preacher’s ego anymore though.

        I also stopped participating in those stupid songs too. I never, for the life of me, could understand why some idiot would want to lead a crowd of college students in singing songs written for children. Now I know why – control.

    3. Infantilization. Good word for this disturbing video.

      If we can humiliate them by forcing these college kids to perform childlike motions to an infantile song, they won’t jump each others’ bones, will they?

      “You saw me doing those hand motions to “He’s able”. How about us doing that at my dorm later, huh?

    4. Infantilization. Good word for this disturbing video.

      If we can humiliate them by forcing these college kids to perform childlike motions to an infantile song, they won’t jump each others’ bones, will they?

      “You saw me doing those hand motions to “He’s able”. How about us doing that at my dorm later, huh?

      1. Speaking of infantilization, there was a rule at HAC that if you were a full-time student, single, not a townie, and under 35, you had to live in the dorm. I had one such person on my floor. She had lived on her own for a while before doing time in Crown Point. Sad.

        1. Same thing happened to me when I went away to Bible school for a year in ’81. I had been on my own since I was 18, and out of the dorms for years. I think they knew where I was more than my mom had known the previous six years. It was a bit stifling.

    5. Ugh. How many times did I go through this spiritual intimidation growing up? It still happened even into my Fundy U days. I even perpetrated this attitude on children and teenagers during my sold-out young fundamental preacher boy days. I earnestly thought that those teenagers who didn’t want to do the stupid motions during songs like “I’ve got peace like a river” were just being rebellious. Funny thing was, I felt embarrassed as a college student in my twenties leading them in this. However, I justified myself by “overcoming” my embarrassment. I don’t know WTH I was thinking back in those days. I wish that I could go back and apologize to those kids. I also wish that I could recover a lot of my dignity for being sucked into such stupidity.

  13. I’ve heard this crap before. David dancing before the Lord wasn’t really dancing, but more of ecstatic jumping and hand raising.

    Most white folks I see at music shows and in bars apparently aren’t dancing, either.

    1. The Spanish congregation I belong to uses David’s dancing as a reason to follow his example in worship…we jump around, clap and raise our hands quite a bit.

      1. I’m still too inhibited to do anything even close to dancing, but I have raised my hands in worship (very self-consciously — I spent most of my life in BJU-influenced IFB circles as well as being from a reserved New England background.)

      1. At work one evening, our crew chief had his radio tuned to a local rock station. Suddenly, “everybody dance now” blared out. For some reason, many faces turned to my 52 year old white self and said, “Not you, Hull”. When I asked why, I was told that whatever I was doing, it wasn’t dancing.

        Curse you, Fundystan, for a gaping hole in my education!

        1. This is what I like so much about SFL. Finally people who get me and who I get! Dancing? I dance inside my heart. When I am alone I dance, or I think I do but truth is, I don’t know if I am dancing or looking like a total fool. “Gap in my education” indeed! Two years ago, we were at a local music festival. I love world music and there was a Romanian Gypsy band playing. It was a dark summer night, it started to rain (which everyone totally ignored) and I was anonymous in a crowd. It was absolutely joyous. Did I dance? I wanted to. I moved around but I could not lose myself in the music the way I wish I could have. I think sobriety may be too deeply entrenched for me to ever lose my inhibitions.

        2. Several years ago, I was at a theme park. A couple costumed mascots were cavorting for the crowd, and one pulled me by the hand out to the sidewalk to dance with him or her. I gamely did my best and laughed, but I felt super-self-conscious. At least I didn’t think it was a sin (and I was in shorts not a skirt), but I certainly felt awkward!

        3. This sounds silly, but not being allowed to dance (or even play at dancing growing up) is one of the things I I grieve a bit about my fundy upbringing. As a musician, I feel the music, but I don’t knkw if I can ever break my reserved fundy mold.

        4. I fear a cage, my flute playing daughter entered the talent contest at the Bill Rice Ranch one summer at camp. She lost points because she tapped her foot to the music. I told her to tap away when she told me about it. She didn’t mind being beaten in the contest, but thought it was stupid to let someone with less talent win because of that.
          But then, we seem to have allowed our children to do a lot of “inappropriate” things growing up.

        5. I too lament that gaping hole in my education. I love music and moving to it, but I cannot dance because I was never allowed to learn. And I fear my brain is too old to learn now.

      2. I dance with my wife in the kitchen in front of my kids all the time. I don’t dance in church, although I raise my hands a lot. I don’t think it was Fundystan that made me not dance. I dance at weddings, too.

      3. It wasn’t really a joke. Most white people are terrible dancers.

        Source: am a white person

  14. I haven’t experienced fundy flashbacks much in the 10+ years since I escaped, but I need to get my mind on something else, and fast. The piano-only accompaniment, the man-in-a-suit-and-tie song leader, the adults singing kids songs…ugh. I actually feel ill.

    1. I went to YouTube and found Brahms’ “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” sung by some actual professionals. I feel much better now.

  15. This reminds me of the time a guest speaker talked about having to get his young (less than five years) son to stop dancing to a Patch the Pirate song. Had it been a “worldly” song or “Contemporary” Christian music, the music would have been blamed. But since it was produced by one of the Approved, it was just given a chuckle.

    Gotta love that double standard.

  16. The *peek-a-boo* makes me want to throw up on my keyboard. I don’t know what they think Paul meant when he said, “When I became a man, I put away childish things.”, but apparently they think he was talking about some hidden, spiritual “becoming a man” and not literally growing up.

  17. Count’em that is two not one but TWO AMERICAN FLAGS! Take that liberals!

  18. Peek-a-boo. Really?!?? Hmmm…. Are they training to be nursery workers?

  19. And dammit, Darrell. I’ve had the song stuck in my head for the last 90 minutes now.

    “Out, damned song,” indeed.

  20. Did that guy actually say “We’re watching, everbody’s doing it” at the beginning of the song? Big Brother.
    At least if the motions of all these songs were actually sign language then the kids (or adults in this case) would be learning something. What a waste of human spirit and potential

    1. If you listen from the beginning, Big Brother does room inspections as well. Everyone needs to be out of the room by 8 am for the inspections. One of the things I didn’t question when I went to a fundy pentecostal college but when I went for my masters I realized just how degrading that all was.

      1. That man is an artist. I think it would be as beautiful without the sound as with Mahalia’s voice.

  21. I can’t remember his exact words but Bob Gray in Longview TX severely chastized the adults at his annual Soulwinning Clinic one year who didn’t participate in all the aspects of some child like songs that were sung, the movements etc, saying something to the effect that such adults who don’t do so have serious psychological issues and that they need to get over themselves and get out of their own skin. ๐Ÿ™

  22. I see the rows are by sex. So then the men can stare at the women’s hair during the whole service (you know they do). And the women stare at the men’s necklines. Yes they do.

  23. I just love the title of the video myself.
    “Wednesday Morning Chapel of The Crown College with Founder and President Clarence Sexton”

    And who said the pope was to pious? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m surprised they didn’t also throw “Pastor” in there or letters after his name. Probably a mistake by the church secretary.

  24. I am the one who puts these videos up on our youtube channels if you would like me to cut it out and put it up so its easier for people to view I can do it.

    1. Dear Curtis,
      That would be most helpful. Just post the most embarrassing, laughable parts. The rest gives some of us fundy flashbacks.

  25. oh and thanks for the views! there was a good message too if you keep scrolling over!

    1. Mr Bixler, do you really think that after watching adults being coerced into singing baby songs — complete with peekaboo — that we would be edified by anything in the speech that follows that debacle? Please. Step away from the Kool Aid. The only thing good about the message is its eventual end.

    2. Dear Curtis Bixler:

      By what standard you assess messages I cannot say. For myself, I want to see that the speaker is disciplined by the text.

      It happens seldom.

      Christian Socialist

      PS: Remember, Curtis, no matter how correct and necessary you believe said message is, it isn’t preaching unless it comes from the text. That is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis.

  26. Wait, is that Stephen Colbert that comes up to talk right after the song?! I didn’t know he was Baptist!

  27. I kept watching that video for some reason. Brought back a shit ton of memories. Also left me drained of any energy I had left for the day. But I am sooooo glad to be out!

    1. This is why I’m trying my hardest to force myself not to open up SFL or other similar sites during work hours. It literally kills all joy and motivation I have for the rest of the day, and I just want to fight someone.

        1. Darrell’s commentary is often funny and the comments of readers can be funny, but the content (and style) of the preaching/websites/etc. can be maddening! (I guess that goes back to the stage of grief post the other day so it depends where in the cycle you are how triggering one finds certain links to be.)

        2. I get a chuckle out of plenty of posts. I’m even fine with most sermon videos. But there’s something about all the pre-sermon crap that happens after worship that gets me.

          I think it’s the massive brown nose session that you had to sit through as they affectionately called each other “Brother Soandso” and complemented the hell out of each other for leading people in a song or what have you.

          Stage 4b it is.

  28. Crown College is one branch of fundamentalism I’m glad I didn’t have to content with, that and West Coast whatever. We’ve got enough evil here in the Midwest.

    Incidentally, we do have another Crown College up here, but they are “liberal” or something. Some of the nicest graduates though.

    1. Did you ever attend a FBCH “Pastors’ School”
      or were you in some other way associated with one or more Hyles kind of church?

      1. I went to pastor’s “school” back in ’08 and ’09. I was pretty much forced to go since I was on the pastoral staff of a small fundy church at the time. I left there thinking that everyone was batsh-t crazy. There was this guy who kept standing on the pulpit every time he preached. He just ranted and raved the whole time about who-knows-what. Another old guy got up there and literally told bad jokes the whole time. They honored him later in the week with a big camper van which they drove into the auditorium. It was a gift for his many years of “ministry”.

        They still worshiped Hyles like crazy even though he’d been dead for several years. There were these guys who did skits the entire week. They tried to do a christianized version of Austin Powers. They tried really hard to be funny, but they weren’t. That church lavished extravagant gifts on everyone the whole time. It was like they were trying to show off. How many times did the choir change into matching costumes?!? How much money did they spend on meaningless crap?

        While I was there a group of backwoods fundies showed up and started street preaching against HAC and FBCH for their shallow standards and easy-believism. They gathered a huge crowd. It was funny to see fundy squaring off against fundy. Then some ushers went outside and herded everyone indoors upon the orders of the potentate Jack Schaap. The whole thing was such a bizarre and ridiculous spectacle.

        I endured PCC for 4 years, but I can’t imagine what HAC would’ve been like.

  29. I only lasted thru about 12 seconds of the song before involuntary shivers began and I started frantically pushing keys to MAKE IT STOP!

  30. Given that the average maturity level of an IFB preacher is equivalent to a five-year-old child, it makes sense that they’d be singing these songs.

    1. This is so true Jon. Especially when they go on their rants about whatever pissed them off that week. Their “preaching” is the equivalent of a temper tantrum.
      My old pastor was like that. He always bragged about how he was told, by multiple people, that he preached hard. No. Yelling and screaming your political and social views is not preaching.

      1. Dear Scorpio:

        You’ve given me an idea.

        Many sermon evaluation forms are available for download. Some are fine documents and allow very detailed feedback. I’m thinking I should print some, attend an occasional IFB church, and when buttonholed by the pastor, hand it to him. Alternatively, I could do a blog where I post this information online. This could be followed by outlining directions a message might have taken had the pastor actually followed the text.

        Christian Socialist

      2. Scorpio, your pastor was only half-listening when people said “That was hardly preaching.”

  31. Does anyone else think, as I do, that this is just one illustration of how often pastors in IFB churches infantilize their people? They often speak down to them, engage in silly exercises (like this “hand motions” thing) that would be appropriate for children, singing songs that are also more appropriate for children. God forbid that I pain with a broad brush, it’s not my intent, but worship services in many IFB churches just seem very much stuck in the 4th grade.

  32. ” But thereโ€™s something about all the pre-sermon crap that happens after worship that gets me. ”

    In the liturgical churches, the sermon is an integral part of worship, coming immediately after the reading of the Gospel in the Eucharist. It isn’t something separate.

  33. To this day I remember the “Rolled Away” song that we did in my second camp in Fundystan. Complete with hand motions, though there was no peekaboo involved.

    1. Hahaha! I remember that song and the motions that went with it. How I’ve ended up as “normal” as I am is beyond me. :p

  34. My growing up years were the 50s. Part of our Health/PE classes involved square dancing, and we had some very patient teachers who worked with us, By the end of the year we became very proficient. (Wish I could remember now almost 60 years later.) My church preached that dancing was a sin and schools would let student opt out. But I had a rebellious streak even back then and participated. Don’t recall ever being stimulated by swinging my partner.

  35. A group of people being told what to do in churches has always bugged me. It’s not “if you want to”, it’s “this is what we’re going to do” and darn it, I don’t want to. So I would feel uncomfortable joining in, or uncomfortable being the only one not joining in.

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