Idolatry in the Fundamentalist baptist churches? Things get weird, when fundamentalist pastors like Jack Hyles [now deceased]--who was a big mover and shaker in independent fundamentalist baptist circles, who helped to found the Hyles-Anderson college have statues made of them, and annual ceremonies to celebrate that statue. The weird militaristic characteristics speak for themselves. It seems the warnings about Nebuchadnezzar's statue in the Bible would have been remembered!
This one is going to be hard to write, but I must do it. I do tell people I am a "fundamentalist Christian" this to impart, that I believe the Bible, am for biblical separation and against the ecumenical movement, but the way things are going this may be a loaded term to use. This one may get me in hot water with some, but then I am not one of those people who says one thing to one group and doesn't apply it to ALL. Remember here, I believe there are STILL SOME good fundamentalist churches out there with truly saved preachers doing the work of God, but this is to deal with false trends coming into fundamentalist Christian churches.
I was in a good fundamentalist church, and of course it wasn't perfect as no human institution is but here I shared my positive experience in that church. That said, I am not naive about where the churches as a whole are going, falling away. Satan is going after the fundamentalist ones too, and the network of deceivers that has infused into most churches out there haven't left the fundamentalist churches alone either.
With my own eyes, I have seen bad fundamentalist preachers in the "independent fundamentalist baptist" denomination. No this isn't about speaking or oratory skills, the most humble preacher can show a love of God, but those illustrating fruits of deceit. I used to dread revival week, at my old good church because we would get visiting pastors, some were good, and we had lovely missionaries who would visit and talk about witnessing the gospel but others were who I called "the screamers". They would blast eardrums within a small church room seating 40 people, and red-faced, would literally scare me, a few times, I would sneak out early, not wanting to have my hair fly back or my eardrums explode under the barrage. One of these guys lacked such grace, that he actually insulted a church member who was not there based on a physical characteristic, leading to a dozen person walk-out. Another when asked to give their eardrums some relief refused. The messages were lacking as if loudness could make up for that lack.
Some of the sermons out there, become borderline-abusive. Where is Christian truth or love in this one? This is an example of a pastor that seems to view women just as objects meant to fulfill men: men do not look eternal 20 year olds, but he seems to expect it for the ladies:
Still here things get even worse: This one shows blasphemy against God, and following man over God.
I would walk out out on all these sermons....[sample bad sermons by a higher up the echelons independent fundamentalist preacher] Remember there are many who are like him! There are infiltrators, deceivers and others purposefully using religion as a cover for money-making, control and abuse in the churches out there.
In fact I would encounter an even worse one in real life:
After a move, I would visit a fundamentalist church, on a Wednesday night, and this very pompous arrogant white-haired man, was literally screaming at his church members: "How dare you disobey me!". Some of them looked scared and cowed like they feared a beating to come. Oddly they were all very dressed up for a Wednesday night service, suits and ties for the men and long fancy dresses for the women. As things proceeded, it was like Jim Jones on a "White Night" but fundamentalist style: his berating of church members for disobedience lasted for more then 15 minutes. One point in the sermon, he said it was a sin to disobey any authority, and I still regret not raising my hand and asking, Does that mean I sinned leaving the self proclaimed "authority" of the Catholic church? Watching the floor show for a bit longer with my jaw dropping, things got worse, he began his sermon telling us, that "Touch Not the Lord's Anointed" meant HIMSELF when really those verses deal with Old Testament prophets, who had been killed, and went into a litany [this was during the latter Bush era--2007] that it was a sin to criticize the president or the government into the worse exegesis of Romans 13, I have yet to see. At that point, frustrated with seeing so many horrible churches--hey I am not perfect, I rolled my eyes, this man saw me, assumed I was some variety of liberal, and then said, "Well if Hillary Clinton becomes president, criticizing her too will be a sin!". Thinking "government shill" and "cult leader", I got up and walked out mid-sermon never to return.
Dominionism, is sneaking into the fundamentalist churches and well has taken over many of them, if not out and out"officially" Reconstructionist, too many pay homages to the politicians, the Republican party as "God's party", ignoring many of the anti-Christian things that used to happen under Bush's and other Republican regimes, and promoting the false culture wars, I've discussed already on this blog except this time without the attached ecumenism. While the economy implodes and American freedoms get ground to dust, too many fundamentalist churches today, preach the "America as God's nation" 'City on a hill" claptrap and lies, change American history, plaster the church in flags on July 4th and continue the weird delusion pointing to the actual deist founders of America, as being "great Christians" This is very odd that given that Thomas Jefferson is lauded by the Unitarians for writing a Bible that takes all the supernatural out and one can easily find old etchings and pictures of George Washington outfitted in his Masonic apron. This is a rewriting history: myth making regarding America. That was actually quite noticeable in a lot of the Vision Forum/Quiverful history for kids.
Sword of the Lord [the newspaper for independent fundamentalist baptists] used to make me cringe years ago, with supportive articles for the political system and the so called Christian right. Downloading the free copy available on their website, I see this has not changed. In the article [this is probably an older copy] it says "Pray For America, It's an Election Year!" has the usual culture war broiler plate stuff. It shows the typical messages: "Stand against the liberals, don't forget to vote", "vote against someone" choosing the lesser evil. Well that's fine to a point but reading the Sword of the Lord for years, I never saw it warn about the Patriot Act or other things happening in America, it was all the general mainstream rhetoric of the Christian Right. Maybe it should just stick to the Bible lessons. Support the troops! [never question the wisdom of the wars in the first place or why the lives of our troops were being sacrificed for the new "crusades" in the Middle East]. Page 6's praise of Catholic Knights of Malta William Buckley is odd too though they admit to his spiritual errors. I guess the so called "stars" of the "right" are to be nodded to. Now this doesn't mean that many fundamentalists in the pews aren't being warned by God in terms of these politicians, but many of the religious leaders, they aren't warning anyone. Anyone have a preacher warning directly about the "Christian" political Right or Dominionism? If you do tell me about him.
Online, there are many who discuss abuses happening in fundamentalist churches: some have been victims themselves. The Quiverful movement as I was researching that article has seemed to produce a lot of people who as children who suffered horribly under the legalistic cult teachings of Bill Gothard. There are many websites online that have exposed fundamentalist schools--I've been watching the development of what seems to be 'christian' mind-control "bootcamps" [one of a few years ago, dragged a girl by a pickup truck for "punishment] and I still remember this being defended by the deluded online who told me the girl "deserved it". That was shocking.
Add to this reading about schools like Hepzibah House that have victims come out and tell their stories. That is just one school among many like it, kind of a Magdaline Laundries for fundamentalist Christians. These people are not to be dismissed. There are many out there using religion or the cover of "fundamentalist Christianity' for their psychopathic abuse. Sadly though many people who have been so abused, will be turned against the gospel and the gospel of Jesus Christ by those who have warped it, practicing Satanic control, and legalism.
When I read a website like this, "Stuff Fundies Like" I know those who have departed fundamentalist Christianity [or sadly who are "ex-Christians"] are right about some things. Crazy rules at fundamentalist colleges where they treat women as harshly as the Taliban does, requiring a 20 year old woman to have an escort even to go buy some ramen noodles at the local grocery store. They are right about pompous preachers sitting themselves on "thrones" Banal emphasis on "lifestyles" [extreme in the Quiverful movement], things that actually go against the Bible and other discrepancies. Sadly these exposes go hand in hand, with a denial of the Christian gospel and truth and if a Christian comes into some of these circles [I've done it before] to say "Yes you are right about those things, but the gospel is true and Jesus taught differently", their ears are long ago closed. That is the damage of those who do evil using the name of Jesus Christ.