Heading to Somewhere Else

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

Eight years ago I started down a road out marked “Out of Here.” Today I’m sitting looking at another sign named “Somewhere Else.” I think it’s better here. Time will tell.

Those eight years since SFL started have brought us 2,075 posts, 12 million visits, and almost 150,000 comments. A lot has happened in that time and we’ve experienced it together.

Yet with all the words written and replied, fundamentalism is not dead — mostly because fundamentalism will never die as long as human beings are what they are. Pride, fear, and greed are the ingredients we all carry with us; fundamentalism just has its own family recipe for the way they mix and serve them.

When Stuff Fundies Like started began to gain popularity about six years ago I told myself that every anniversary I would take stock of my personal motivations and the reasons I kept writing. Today as I sit here I can honestly say that the reasons are all gone.

I haven’t darkened the door of a fundamentalist church (or many other churches) in years. For me, my fundamentalist past has become a fixed point in time, a place I can’t ever really go back to because my personal story has changed and the fundamentalism I knew has changed. The old names and faces have started to fade away even while the methods remain.

The Independent Baptist movement is a shell of its former self. The winds of change are blowing and although you’ll always find IFB churches hiding in the hills and hollers of this land they’re quickly becoming a cultural oddity. Someday they’ll be spoken of in the same breath as the Shakers, Amish, and other breakaway sects who stood still while time marched on.

As for me, I’m continuing my journey to Somewhere Else which means moving on from here. The SFL archives will remain but (unless something unforeseen occurs) this will be my last post here.

The Facebook page and Twitter account will stay live so that I can keep touch with you all if BIG NEWS breaks out in fundyland.

You can also reach me over at darrelldow.com or my writer’s page where I’ve been doing some writing on other topics.

The forum will stay active for as long as I can afford the hosting. If you want to register just drop me a line.

I’m also toying with the idea of compiling a Best Of SFL book with my original pieces in it. If you’d be interested in such a thing let me know.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the time to thank so very many people who have supported, contributed, encouraged, chided, goaded, and otherwise made this blogging experiment one of the best experiences of my life. SFL took me halfway around the world. It reconnected me with faces I’d all but forgotten. It has brought me so many new friends that time would fail to name them all.

I love you all. I wish you joy.

I’ll leave you with this song that I recently fell in love with that gives a wish that seem so very appropriate for those who’s roads are taking them from Back There past my resting spot on the way to Somewhere Else. “I hope life without a chaperon is what you thought it’d be…and that all your favorite bands stay together.”

1,239 thoughts on “Heading to Somewhere Else”

  1. I wish somebody would clue me in on Jonathan Crosby. Someone who actually knows him or went to his church. He had some really good teachings but also that weird attitude about women. I don’t listen to him now as there is something wrong with his attitude towards women. Really cruel.

  2. Does it feel to anyone else that Falwell becoming head of whatever in this new administration feels like every (false) prophecy about the IFB I mean the godly ruling America coming true?

    1. Well, Trump isn’t the Antichrist, and Falwell isn’t the False Prophet, but this sort of mixing of religion and politics is bad for politics and worse for religion.


    It’s official: Per the powers that be, this thread is officially finished.

    I’m turning out the lights and locking the doors. The phones have been disconnected and a NO TRESPASSING notice has been placed on all doors and windows.


    Any attempt to trespass will result in swift justice; The kind the mannagawd uses when taking the bible out of context by berating his flock on their lack of giving (he has a retirement plan and truck payment after all) and unfaithfulness in the assembling of themselves together.


  4. Apparently anarchy is the rule of the day.

    I leave for just a moment and windows are broken, the front door has been kicked open, the signs sprayed with graffiti, and evidence of squatters all about.

    LASTLY, I’ll have none of this blessing the heart business. That’s just not civil, no ma’am, not the least bit.


  5. Back on topic:

    Darrell wrote:

    “The Independent Baptist movement is a shell of its former self. The winds of change are blowing and although you’ll always find IFB churches hiding in the hills and hollers of this land they’re quickly becoming a cultural oddity. Someday they’ll be spoken of in the same breath as the Shakers, Amish, and other breakaway sects who stood still while time marched on.”

    Die, IFB, Die!


  6. I have asked this before and nobody responds. Jonathan Crosby. How can he write such good stuff yet degrade women? How can he seem to really get it about being close to Christ and yet treat women as if they are no more than property . As if they aren’t equal in Christ – just second class dung. ajc

    1. Maybe not enough people here have the experience with the dude to make an educated comment. Then again, no one truly knows another’s motivation.

      I don’t know Crosby at all. Never heard of him until here. I have no desire to investigate him, and even less to speculate about him.

  7. I’m glad the number of comments finally changed from 1146. 1146 was the pager number for the ER where I did my internship, and it still reminds me of getting woke up in the middle of the night to go take care of gunshot wounds and stabbing victims. Groan.

    1. No, you’re not last.

      If I’d gotten my several butt cushions from you, I’d have let you keep attempting to be last. I’m still waiting.

      The only good thing to come out of Darrell’s end of posts is now you won’t be dashing other people’s hopes and dreams of obtaining the elusive butt cushion.

  8. Amzi Dixon was one of those important new southern allies. A Baptist preacher from North Carolina who was instrumental in The Fundamentals project, he was also the brother of Thomas Dixon, author of The Clansman (1905). Romanticizing the Ku Klux Klan, it was later put on the big screen in the form of the immensely popular Birth of a Nation (1915). Like Thomas, Amzi Dixon was a virulent opponent of racial equality. These accommodations to racial exclusion allowed Moody to reach a constituency far beyond the Midwest.

    Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2018/02/race-respectability-moody-bible-institute/#qGHiieVyPOJZzg4w.99

  9. Hi everyone. Hi Darrell. I just found this blog for the first time a few minutes ago. Just as Darrell was leaving this blog behind for great adventures in the great wide open back in 2015, I was just starting my blog called “Flee from Christian Fundamentalism.” My blog is about three years old now. If you miss the good work of Darrell here, please feel free to visit my blog at the following safe link:


    I am a bit harder on Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism than Darrell is. However, that is probably a function of how much more dangerous these two “isms” have become in the Age of Trump.

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