Tag Archives: work

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.


In general, workplaces are stressful. There’s pressure to perform, goals to meet, and office coffee that tastes like the pot was last washed during the Nixon administration. But working for a fundamentalist organization is a special kind of stressful environment of the type that makes manufacturers of blood pressure and ulcer medication chuckle with glee.

For the fundamentalist not only holds over you the normal power of an employer to determine salaries and titles but they also hold over their employees a spiritual club of letting you know that God is watching your work as well. And they’re not afraid to let you know when God is displeased with your performance.

Did you mistype a word on a report? Was that staple not perfectly parallel to the top edge of the page? That’s not just an unprofessional, it’s a sign of sloth. Let all things be done decently and in order!

Would Jesus spend six whole minutes on a bathroom break? No sir! He’d spend only four and use only half your consumption of paper towels too. You are brother to him that is a great waster! For shame!

Are you not meeting your quotas? Be sure to remember that not only are we checking up on you but the Holy Spirit is too. And we have it on good authority that He’s very concerned.

Come early. Stay late. Give of your best to the your fundy taskmasters and never, ever, ever complain lest your end be swift. There’s nothing like the joy of having an employer tell you that he can tell all about your spiritual condition by the discrepancies on your time sheet.