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For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - Printable Version

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For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - Don - 01-02-2011

Howdy,
I’m Don. You’ll see some of my closest friends call me Donny. I’ll respond to either. What lies before you is an epistle of verboseness, a lollapalooza of logorrhea. You can stop here and just say I am an old fat guy who is too lazy to have a midlife crisis or you can continue to read at your own peril.

Still with me? Ok, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
If you have read Exfundy_Philosopher and NoMoreBoxes Meet & Greet posts then you have a good feel for where we came from most recently. What follows is as Paul Harvey might say, "the Rest of My Story."

I just never seemed to fit in, in school, in church...in life. Things in my life were rather chaotic as a child especially after my dad died when I was only 13. And ya see, Mom took dad’s death extremely hard and couldn’t handle the memories at the old church so in her grief-blurred wisdom we began attending a BoJo** outpost in the area. * shudder* Yeah, like that was what I really needed at the time. I guess it could have been worse but here is my story. **BoJo = Bob Jones University

By the time I was 15 I realized I could not buy into the god they were selling at the Bo-Jo outlet we were attending. The “rules” were absolutely stifling. To top it off, if you have never had the pleasure of being tortured with “Pro-teens” just let me say it was a system designed for the sole purpose of producing the greatest amount of humiliation in teenagers as was humanly possible. You started as a “Blob” and you got points if you wore your “I ‘m a BLOB” button to school, and points for witnessing, and points for reading your Bible, and points for how much of a sanctimonious prig you could become. It was a Fundie Behavioral Modification experiment ran by the youth pastor, (you guessed it) a BJU grad. (I liked him and his wife as people but Oy Vey!)

To this day I vividly remember the sermon/lesson on “Not being alone with a girl on the same hall” at school. They actually believed that if a guy and a girl were alone on the same hallway at school it would be a temptation to have sex. You just wouldn’t be able to help yourself. (I spent the next 6 years or so trying to find that hallway…) So, by the time I was 16 I couldn’t stand going to church… but what can you do when all Ma does is cry and lay a guilt trip on you that is too weighty to bear. After that, church was an on-again/off-again proposition for me.

Fast fwd: Graduate HS> Attend College> Graduate college> go to work> plan to get married> enlist in the USMC> get married after boot camp (in Fundie Church)> off to see the world- or al least the Mojave Desert: >>> mom gets cancer the first time> transferred home> finish enlistment> back to civilian job: < play >

Now we’ve been gone for 4 years (had a 5 year enlistment and spent the last year teaching reservists at a local reserve station) and the last year in we move back into the area. (For those who know the Piedmont area of NC you know it is the rusted buckle of the Bible Belt, and oozes with a sticky fundie residue that permeates the entire local culture.) So, in order to please mom, and get right with God… back into the IFB we go. We just didn’t know any better, we actually thought it was the only choice we had. All the other denominations were liberal and possibly satanic dontcha' know.

Now the BoJo Bunker mom attended when I left had split. It was a power issue where the M-O-g thundered his will from the pulpit and ran the “goats” off. Now the “goats” knew in their hearts they were the real sheep and they found themselves a good IFB shepherd. His bona-fidies were that he had been called™ and was an older preacher-boy at one of the local IFB mother-ships. So we joined mom and jumped right back into the IFB where we had left… only now we were in the redneck, backwoods, rural IFB chapter and not a Bo-Jo bunker. We fell in line, were sold out for the Lord and were giving everything we had for the cause. So sayeth the Shepherd.... So sayeth the flock.

Fast fwd>> we met in a rented Grange hall> building program> new building> lot of the work we did ourselves> earning God’s favor as we went>> < play>

New building and we were so proud of it. Now the M-O-g was a bi-vocational preacher but he wanted to be a FT Pastor. We also had a teaching elder who was our Wednesday Evening teacher and we received good instruction. (It was almost expositional… at least more so than the normal experiential, emotional manipulation fare we were used to) But...The teaching elder made two mistakes: One- he was more popular and better-liked personality wise than the M-O-g. Two- He crossed over the eschatological boundaries of the IFB Dispensational Militarized Zone. He had the audacity to hint at, infer and outright suggest the IFB dogma of a pre-trib, pre-mil rapture might not be chiseled in stone as the IFB traditions taught. This was his undoing for everyone knows that Mcdonald-Darby-Scofield-Larkin’s pre-trib/pre-mil rapture is Essential (fudamental even, exit stage left) doctrine in the Fundie world. This gave the bi-vo preacher the leverage he needed to claim he was protecting his flock from error and ran the teaching elder off, making a power grab along with his bid to be made a FT Pastor. (so he could quit his day job.)

Sidebar: Someone tell me, what does a so-called pastor of a church with only 25-35 people do? How does one justify that as a FT position? I see now how these rural pastorate positions attract unqualified men of less than stellar character. Lord Acton’s Axiom illustrated: the pastorate- where the position sanctifies the person who holds the office. Yep, Lord Acton said that was heresy. (Now back to our regularly scheduled program already in progress)

The results of this power grab were ugly. I stayed until the bitter end but was persona non grata and eventually I left. I ended up in the Fundie bunker referenced to in the opening paragraph.

Now, after all of this why would anyone in his or her right mind still be attending church? Programming, guilt, and works sanctification; that’s why. If you’ve stayed with me to this point I’ll explain a little bit about myself for clarification.

I was a product of the Baptist adoption of Finney tactics, namely decisional regeneration. I decided I wanted to be saved after hearing so many sermons about accepting Jesus into my heart, decide to follow Jesus, make him your lord and savior, come to him…. Bla, bla, bla. I prayed the magical sinner’s prayer and really, really meant it when I was 9 years old, was baptized… the whole nine yards. I had my get out of hell free card now so I was set. I held onto the Baptist mantra of “Once Saved, Always Saved.” Of course the trick here is to actually have salvation in Christ and not in one’s works or mystical prayer. So, while I knew how the game was played and I was pretty good at it… Jesus Christ was not my savior… I was relying on my works.

When I was 38 years old the Lord saw fit to save me in spite of all my self righteousness and “good” works. He sought me and pursued me. He ran me down and opened my blinded eyes to his Amazing Grace. Even while I was in the midst of the IFB cult the Lord redeemed me and made me His own. And from there he slowly, tenderly and lovingly began to lead me out of the Independent Fundamental Baptist religious cult.

After a few years at the new bunker all hell began to break loose. The trials and deception we went through, because of acts of the felon we called pastor, was painful. It tore the church apart piece by piece. Set friends at odds and at enmity with one another thus further isolating that particular bunker from reality. Lies, deception, self-inflicted trauma to garner sympathy, paranoia to draw the faithful tighter into his web of deceit, fear of an unseen enemy, distrust of government and law enforcement agencies and officers… all while building a Fundie legend in the local IFB culture.
Those were some dark days indeed. The Lord used those days to strengthen us and let us see the error of Americanized Christianity as it is practiced in the IFB cult.

Funny how one group’s eyes were opened to the gross error and intentional manipulation inherent in the IFB movement and they tried to go back into Plato’s "Fundie" cave and expose the shadows on the wall for what they were; while the other group, was content to continue embracing shadows over substance. They had grown accustomed to being comfortable with their shadows. They yearned for the comfort of legalism, and having rules to follow so they could judge their worthiness, and have something to measure whether they were right with god or not. Like junkies they needed a weekly religious fix of experientialism, and emotional and spiritual manipulation only to be found in good, hard, toe stompin’ preaching. They got what they wanted and our band of refugees left.

I am now attending a Reformed church that is Baptist by conviction regarding immersion baptism, but is Doctrines of Grace (not hyper-Calvin: as some don’t make a distinction) in teachings and action. I have learned more Scripture in the past three and a half years or so, two and a half under Exfundy_Philosopher and nearly a year to the date since leaving the IFB bunker, than I did in the previous forty-three.

Now, if you have stayed to the end of my epistle you have my condolences and gratitude. This is the Cliff Notes version of my journey so far. The journey now continues with you good folk until you get tired of me and vote me off the island. Suffice it to say, SFL has become my home for group therapy and I am thankful for you all and count it a privilege to journey with you.

Your friend,
Donny, Don and george



RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - JessB - 01-02-2011

Thanks for sharing! Check your PM...


RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - Lizzy F. - 01-02-2011

That is rough. Confused


Thanks for sharing. That must have been really painful to write.

PS: I'll never vote you off the island. Anyone creative enough to come up with "nonsense poopy pants" is just too cool to vote off. Cool


RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - Don - 01-02-2011

(01-02-2011, 07:56 PM)Lizzy F. Wrote: That is rough. Confused


Thanks for sharing. That must have been really painful to write.

PS: I'll never vote you off the island. Anyone creative enough to come up with "nonsense poopy pants" is just too cool to vote off. Cool

Well I'm a goner for sure... I can claim responsibility for george, BULL GIPP, rectalcranialectomy breathmints and the gunfight at the open door, close door corral... but "n.p.p" was not mine so I can't take credit for that one. I guess that puts me below the yellow line.... Tongue




RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - Darcy - 01-02-2011

Quote:(I spent the next 6 years or so trying to find that hallway…)

That made me LOL. Big Grin


RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - Don - 01-02-2011

@ LizzyF
Quote:That must have been really painful to write.
Actually it is theraputic for me to write. It allows me to get it out in the open and examine it. It festers and get infected if I let it stay inside too long. Sometimes its enough just to put it down on paper... and then shred it. My internal hard drive just doesn't have enough free space for me to function unless I defrag and purge old temporary files every so often. Rolleyes Wink

@ Darcy I now believe that hallway was a Fundie myth. Just to give us something to guard against so that we wouldn't have time, or energy to deal with real life issues. But Pastors wouldn't lie to us would they? Undecided

@ Natalie
Quote:And, you're not going anywhere, or I'll be at your house... chick tracts IN hand!
I waited for all of ya'll to show up yesterday morning... I guess you all just over slept. *sigh* I see where I rate... Confused


RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - Faith - 01-02-2011

Thanks Don. I had kind of figured out you three were tight based on some of the comments, and now all that makes sense. What a journey you have had, I'm glad that God has finally brought you through to a good place.

"Nonsense poopy pants" was Scorpio's, I think. I have often been tempted to use it myself, but have refrained. Angel


RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - NoMoreBoxes - 01-02-2011

I miss your humor Donny Big Grin I don't know how to do the quote box but, as far as, "The Lord used those days to strengthen us and let us see the error of Americanized Christianity as it is practiced in the IFB cult.", I completely agree. I think it is evidence to God's lovingkindness and his sovereignty that the "core group" came out and we are still so close, in spite of the hell we went through. I love it that we still have get-togethers when we can! I'm also glad that you and your family have been able to move on to a good church that can continue to help you heal. Love you all!!!


RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - Phatchick - 01-03-2011

We all need to vent, getting the fundy poison out of our systems is vital for healing. And this is one of the safest places I've found, where there are others who've also been there and aren't going to act like I'm crazy for talking about some of the crazy shit I grew up with.
Zen hugs


RE: For those who don't know me... and TMI for those who do - prchrbill - 01-03-2011

Don,
Thanks for sharing the information. I didn't become a fundy till the age of 18, then the Lord saved me at 20. I actually had an IFB hero evangelist M-O-g who has GOTBWTL (which in fundy land means 'gone on to be with the Lord") tell me "you're alright, you said the prayer, God doesn't break His promises". Which never settled in my brain as being logical, and caused me to have a bad taste in my mouth towards him and the SoTL paper till this day.

I am refreshed to read testimonies that are so similar to what I have gone through.

Thanks,
prchrbill