Tag Archives: flashback

SFL Flashback: Burning Out

This post was first featured on SFL in October of 2010 and seemed an appropriate flashback for Labor Day.

O Fire of Love, O Flame Divine, Make Thy abode in me; Burn in my heart, burn evermore, Till I burn out for Thee. —

Fundamentalists love those lines by Eugene M. Harrison. After all, it’s better to burn out than rust out, amen?

The Christian soldier is never off duty for it was when David left the battle field that he fell into sin! Keep on the Firing Line! Any vacation that is not disguised as a short-terms missions trip is for liberals and apostates.

Work for the night is coming. Get up early and stay late. Give of your best to your fundamentalists masters. Put your heart and soul and strength into the work without a care for your health or sanity. (It’s not like you’ll have the insurance to cover either of those things anyway.)

Hurry up with painting the church, mowing the 37 acres of grass, cleaning all the bathrooms, and scrubbing the fellowship hall with a toothbrush — because you don’t want to be late for choir practice, visitation, and chaperoning that youth group all-nighter.

There is nothing more glorious than falling in the line of duty by dropping dead of a stress-induced heart attack at 43.

SFL Flashback: Witnessing to Presbyterians


In the “us vs. them” world of fundamentalism anyone who is not a fundamentalist is eyed with a great deal of suspicion of not being a true believer. Narrow is the way and few non-Baptists there be that find it.

This distrust and general ignorance about other Christian denominations leads to the interesting situation of fundamentalists spending their time preaching to the converted. It goes something like this…

Fundy: “Hello, we’re here from Saved, Sanctified, Separated, and Suit-Wearing Baptist Church and we just wanted to know if you go to church anywhere.”

Presbyterian: “Well, yes I’m an elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church.”

F: “That’s great! So if you were to die today, where would you spend eternity?”

P: “I’d be with God for eternity.”

F “Are you sure about that? Belief in the Pope doesn’t save you, you know.”

P: “Uh…we don’t…”

F: “And what’s more you can know for sure that you are saved without worrying about losing it.”

P: “Well, being a Calvinist…”

F: “Oh, you’re a Calvinist! Well that doesn’t save you either!”

P: “I never said…”

F: “Have you ever asked Jesus to come into your heart?”

P: “That phrase has some serious theological issues there that…”

F: “Theology won’t get you into heaven either, my friend! Have you ever walked an aisle to a good old-fashioned altar?”

P: “We don’t really do that….”

This may continue until the Presbyterian in a fit of desperation invites the fundamentalist in to chat over a beer. All that remains is to watch the fundy shake the dust off his shoes and depart in search of someone easier to evangelize. Maybe they can find a Methodist…

SFL Flashback: The Founding Fathers

This post was originally featured on SFL in June of 2009

To many fundamentalists, the Founding Fathers rank right up there with the Twelve Apostles as men to be admired and followed. Their crowning achievement was to plant this country, the Baptist States of America. This name was later changed to the “United States” by the evil left-wing Department of Education who, according to WorldNetDaily, also recently mandated that all public school children must take an oath of allegiance to Satan.

There is no doubt that the founding fathers were a pretty amazing bunch of guys. They were smart and driven, and they loved freedom. The Constitution they drafted stands as one of the most amazing documents in modern history. But while most of these founders were religious men, strangely enough not one of them was a Baptist. In fact, the plurality of them were Anglicans with a good number of Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Quakers mixed in. One would suppose that good fundamental Baptists would be a bit perturbed by their denomination being underrepresented in the founding of the nation but somehow it never actually comes up in the sermons on God and Country Sunday.

Back when the country was founded, it was a great place. The Founding Fathers outlawed Democrats, rock music, and votes for women. The pregnancy rate for fourteen-year-old was high, but since they’d already been married for two or three years by that point it was to be expected. Everybody went to church on Sunday and most folks worked hard from sun-up to sundown doing things like selling slaves, planting tobacco, and displacing Indians from their homelands. It’s easy to see why these times would evoke nostalgia in many fundamentalists.

If fundamentalists had a process for canonizing saints, one can rest assured that the Founding Fathers would find their place enshrined in their lists, right down to the last beer-swilling, slave-owning philanderer among them.

SFL Flashback: Teen Missions Trips

This post was originally featured on SFL on Mar 5, 2009

From the missions journal of John Q. Goodwin, youth group president of the Come Out From Among Them Baptist Church of Loco, Oklahoma.

Preface: I have decided to keep a journal of our summer missions trip to Mexico. Jim Elliot kept a journal so it seems like a good idea for me to keep one too. Perhaps it will be useful to other who are going on teen missions trips with their own (hopefully Independent Baptist) churches.

Day 1: We have arrived in Mexico and are all very excited by the presence of so many sinners around us that we can witness to. I suppose there were plenty of sinners back in Oklahoma too but these sinners speak Spanish which makes them a lot more interesting. Also, we have located a McDonalds so we will not starve while we are here. The people at our hotel speak English which makes it a lot easier when we need to order room service and such.

Day 2: Spent the day with the missionary passing out gospel tracts and street preaching. Brother Benjamin, our youth pastor gave a great message this morning on the supremacy of the King James Version text, although I’m not sure many of the people really understood. Even Carlos, our interpreter seemed a bit confused during the part about Koine Greek. I can only hope that God uses these messages to really impress upon the hearts of people the importance of using the right Bible.

Day 3: I believe God is calling me to marry this girl Maria Sanchez whom I met at a the local church service yesterday. I cannot talk to her because she does not speak any English but she seems very godly and is also very good looking which makes it even easier to know this is God’s choice for me. I will attempt to learn some Spanish so that I can ask if she believes in courtship.

Day 4: Another rousing sermon today by Brother Benjamin, this time on sin. His hard preaching about cable television, internet porn, and gluttony should have a lot of folks here under conviction. You could tell how much people were responding by the way they kept shrugging and saying “internet?” over and over again. They obviously had never heard about the dangers of the world web of wickedness preached so clearly. It’s a good thing that we were here to stand in the gap.

Day 5: Today we took a rest from our labors and went sight seeing and shopping for souvenirs. Then we had a picnic on the beach where we shared testimonies about how this time in Mexico has changed our lives. Also, God has revealed to me that marrying Maria is not His will for me after all. Since we are going home tomorrow, I consider that God has shut that door. Instead I am going to marry Chastity Winkler, a girl in my own youth group. I plan to have my father talk to to her father once we get home.

Day 6: We’re on the bus and in a few minutes we’ll be back in the United States. Missions work is very rewarding but tiring as well and my sunburn from the beach trip yesterday itches a lot. It’s been a great trip and we have a lot of pictures to show the church and we can report over seven-hundred decisions for Christ being made. It could have been more but nobody in our group actually speaks Spanish. The missionary we were visiting seemed really happy that we came, at least he smiled a lot as he waved goodbye to us. I can’t wait to go back next year.

SFL Flashback: Keeping The Sabbath Day

This post was originally featured on SFL on February 18th, 2009

For fundamentalists, their “day of rest” begins promptly at 6:00 a.m. with mom and dad rousting the five children out of bed, feeding them breakfast, and hunting all over the house for various articles of children’s clothing that they could have sworn were hanging in the closet just last night. Then with everyone bathed, fed, and dressed, it’s off to the bus ministry and an hour and a half of driving around town picking up children and getting them to church.

Then it’s time to get the babies to the nursery, the children deposited at Sunday school, and making sure that there are coffee and doughnuts for the adult Sunday school class. After that it’s time for the main service where Dad watches the older kids while mom volunteers in the nursery since the youngest kid is teething and she’ll probably end up in there for half the service anyway.

Sometime later, the service concludes and it’s time to get the bus kids back to their respective homes just in time to rush to the monthly nursing home ministry which Dad happens to be speaking at this week and it turns out that the normal pianist is sick so mom fills in for that as well. After that it’s a quick lunch at a drive-through, then back to the church for children’s choir practice and Men’s meeting before the evening service. Evening service this week is followed by a lengthy business meeting which mom and dad take part in while the older kids play freeze tag in the parking lot. Finally, long after darkness has fallen, it’s time go home.

On the drive home, the eight-year-old looks out of the car window and exclaims “look, there’s a fair going on! People are riding the rides and playing games!”

“Those people should know better than that!”, says Dad piously “Sunday is a day for rest.” But in his heart he’s rather relieved that tomorrow is Monday when all he has to do is go to work. This much resting could be deadly in large doses.