The fundamentalist community has strong walls and high gates to protect itself against the world around it. In order that fundies may soil themselves as little as possible with the evil that lurks outside the sacred bubble, they attempt as much as possible to replicate every facet of secular life in fundamentalist hues inside this shell.
In short, the fundamentalist organization will attempt to become everything to you who are held in its dread sway. They are your church, your employer, your schools, your social sphere, your sports team, your library, your music publisher, your landlord, and oh, so much more.
This creates the happy circumstance where, to many people, leaving fundyland means not only losing your church but also your children’s education, all your family friends, your job,Â and maybe evenÂ your house. Many are those who grunt and sweat under a weary life in fundamentalism because they have no idea where they would go or how they would live if they left.
How do you get a job in the outside world if you know nobody there and your qualifications only exist inside the fundamental sphere? Would you risk consigning your children to the deviltry of public schooling if leaving your church meant that they could no longer attend the one they are in now? How do you make friends of the evil people in the cold, cruel world?
Hopefully one day you’ll find out that the pay is better, the people are nicer, and life is so much sweeter outside those walls. The only difference between a castle and a prison is whether you’re trying to keep the people out or in.
This quote sums up the state of fundamentalist rival camps so very well that I decided to post it here without further comment.
One of the many things that trouble the Independent Baptists is our camp mentality.Somehow or another, through the desire to be separated and consecrated, we’ve ‘separated’ and ‘consecrated’ ourselves into our own independent camps. For instance; there’s the Shouting & Running The Aisles Camp, and the Non-Shouting & Running The Aisles Camp; then there’s the Southern Gospel Music Camp and the Bluegrass Gospel Music camp, and in opposition to them we have the Conservative Music Camp; and let’s not forget the camp that says it’s OK to have a Mission Board, and the Camp which thinks Mission Boards are of the Devil; the Anti-Horn-Rimmed Glasses Camp; or how about the Camp that allows the use of bass guitars & drums in the church, and the opposing Camp who cuts off fellowship with all such; and then the Camp who teaches that every believer should remember the very day and hour of their conversion, and the Camp who teaches that it’s not necessary; and of course the Get Rid Of Your TV Camp side by side with the TV is OK camp. Space constraints limit me from mentioning the Seminary Trained & the Anti-Seminary Campss, the Textus Receptus Camp, and the KJV1611-Only Camp; the Anti-Bus Ministry Camp; the Harold Sightler Camp, the Anti-Mustache Camp, the Ruckman Camp, the Hyles-Anderson Camp; the 1-2-3-Repeat-After-Me Soul-Winner Camp, the Anti-Divorced & Remarried Minister Camp, etcetera, etcetera.
The Errors of Independence, Mitch Allman
The other night I opened the pages of my copy of â€œHistory of Fundamentalism in Americaâ€ by George W. Dollar [BJU Press, 1973] and a pamphlet fell out. A quick glance revealed that the pamphlet (also written by Dollar) was a comprehensive listing of Schools, Mission Boards, Magazines, Radio Broadcasts and Conferences/Camps along with a rating of their fundamentalism.
As the intro says:
The following is a partial list of fundamental agencies according to their militant, moderate, or modified (New Evangelical) stand, affiliations, associations and direction at the present time. This will be much more meaningful after a study of the authorâ€™s A History of Fundamentalism in America where the reasons for the classifications are simply and plainly stated.
For some reason this document fascinates me. For one thing, half of the institutions and publications listed donâ€™t exist 30 years later (or at least Iâ€™ve never heard of them in the years Iâ€™ve drifted through fundy circles). The ones that are still around arenâ€™t talking to each other. They would be offended if they were put in the same column.
Thereâ€™s apparently no copyright on this leaflet so Iâ€™ve scanned it in for your perusal. Take a look at it HERE
previously posted at DowBlog
Nothing is more bizarre to the outside observer of fundamentalism than seeing two fundies who have almost come to blows because each believes that the other is not a “true fundamentalist.” In fact, it’s every bit as fascinating as watching two Trekkies argue over the design of an anti-matter drive. Not only is it impossible to win such a fight but it wouldn’t really matter even if you did.
The list of tests of true fundamentalism has become quite lengthy over the year and gathered to itself more than a little weirdness. Questioning a person’s fundamentalist credibility may involve asking things such as… Has any child of theirs ever worn their baseball cap backwards? Have they ever had a face lift? Does their church’s hymnbook remove the word ‘worm’ from the first verse of At the Cross? Have they been observed at the mall walking in rhythm with the rock music playing? Then they may not be a true fundamentalist.
Do they believe that Jesus had a belly button? Do they not believe that Cain had one? Are they waiting for a mid-trib rapture? Do they believe Revelation 2 and 3 might just be talking about churches instead of church ages? Do they allow canned music in their services? They’re obviously too liberal to be a true fundamentalist.
Indeed, there are only true fundamentalists left: me and thee. And I have my doubts about thee.