Tag Archives: Standards

The Best Of Everything

It’s no secret that fundamentalists think that their specific doctrinal stances on everything from hell to (prayers over) breakfast are the only ones that are correct. But the overactive case of certainty that follows the average fundy is hardly limited to the realms of doctrinal squabbling. In fact for many fundamentalists, being absolutely right and defending their ideas to the death is a way of life no matter what the topic. Absolutism is a way of life.

People who drive smart cars are all Communists. Pepsi drinkers are not just sorely mistaken they are actually victims of a conspiracy to make you eat your own children. Vegetarians (except Bro. Roloff, God rest his soul) may just as well start worshiping Gaia and get it over with. And don’t even get me started on people who have the utter gall to be born French and haven’t yet apologized for it.

So many people in the world are so very wrong. And if you’re ever unsure about that fact just ask your local fundy pastor his opinion on anything from plumbing to NASCAR and you’ll soon find out that it’s not just spiritual things that are absolutely fundamental.

Probing Questions

Dear Pastor:

I have recently moved into your area with the mission of planting a bible-believing church. I have taken it upon myself to become acquainted with other churches in the area to see if any are compatible with our rules of faith and practice and in line with our standards. To that end I hope you would not mind completing a short questionnaire so that we can determine if you are Fit for Fellowship™

Would you characterize your music program as only using old-fashioned sacred hymns or do you worship Satan? (Hymn / Satan circle one)

What percentage of time do your people spend each time in soulwinning and how do you keep them accountable to that number? _____________________________________ (be specific)

When was the last time that someone in your church got under the spout where the glory comes out? ______________ (Please list exact date and time)

Do you use any other version besides the KJV, January 1973 printed by Oxford University Press with black leather cover? _________________________________________________________ (If not, please explain why you hate Jesus).

Does any woman in your congregation ever wear pants when she thinks nobody can see her? Please explain how you have taken steps to prevent this. __________________________________________________

How many did you see gloriously saved last year? ______
How many were just plain old saved? _______
How many got baptized by immersion (regardless of how many times they did it previously)? __________
How many are currently on the mission field in some place that makes for good slide presentations? _____

Use the following space to include any details of charity, community outreach, and participation in interdenominational efforts __ (this space had better be blank).

Thanks for your time in completing these questions. If you have been judged Fit for Fellowship™ we’ll be in touch with you shortly with details of exactly when we want to use your gymnasium for our youth outings. If you are not judged Fit for Fellowship™ you’ll be hearing about yourself in my next Sunday’s sermon.

Working in The Fields Of White,

Dr. Jimmy B. Aufschneider

The False Premise

Time for an SFL lesson in logic!

Of all the logical fallacies that plague fundamentalist reasoning, perhaps none is so common as the syllogistic fallacy of the false premise. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, consider this common argument against “worldly music”:

Major Premise: God hates worldliness
Minor Premise: All music with a beat is worldly
Conclusion: God hates music with a beat.

This seems like an airtight case until you realize that the middle statement in this construction is demonstrably impossible to prove from Scripture. I mean it’s not even one of those things that’s rationally debatable like Calvinism or Infant Baptism or whether those chicks in Genesis got freaky with the angelic host. Moral judgments on music beats is just not there. At all.

And don’t get hung up on the fact that this example uses music; almost every standard of behavior that is deemed “worldly” or “sensuous” or “immodest” or “Communist” uses the same basic false minor premise. But whatever it is, fundamentalists basically just assume that the middle statement is bound to be true because they’ve heard it repeated loudly and often enough that they’ve lost the capability to be truly critical of it. The sun rises in the east. Gravity makes stuff heavy. And music with a beat is of the devil. It’s as certain as death and tithing.

Given that you’ll never be able to convince a fundamentalist that their minor premise is anything less than gospel truth, arguing about it is almost pointless. If (as in the original example) you ask a fundy to prove that music with a beat is worldly, they’ll triumphantly produce reams of verses that contain the word “worldly” (but never actually demonstrate that they relate to a specific style of music) and claim the authority of Scripture. They may also produce secondary proof such as sermon notes from a popular fundy music pastor, quotes from some ancient rock star, and a few pseudo-scientific audio studies performed by unnamed Uzbekistan scientists in 1958. Or perhaps that a garage band band named “Unnamed Uzbekistan Scientists” in 1993? Either way, it doesn’t end there…

If random verses and other supporting “evidence” is not enough to prove their point the fundamentalist will then simply resort ad hominem, saying that if you don’t agree with them it shows a hardened neck, a stiff and uncircumcised heart, and an understanding that is darkened by rebellion and blinded by your participation in the Harry Cullen Role Playing Internet Blog Chat Forums. They may also decide to suddenly insult your sister. Even if you don’t have one.

It is a frightening thing to watch a person create a god in their own image who embodies their own personal opinions and preferences and then defend that god with a passion that only the One True God deserves.