This whole conversation seems to support something I have noticed for a while since leaving fundamentalism: many former Fundies brought the attitude and spirit of fundamentalism with them when they left, i.e, hatred, anger, arrogance and believing if you don’t agree 100% with them, then you are an enemy.
It is an attitude that is held throughout all of the antifundamentalist groups: that the IFB made them who they are. The IFB forced them to become bitter, full of “hatred, anger, arrogance” because the “spirit of fundamentalist” overpowered their will.
Something that I have noticed within fundamentalism is that a person that was an angry person while they were a fundamentalist, continues to be an angry person when they leave fundamentalism. It is ironic how often they accuse Baptists of “blaming victims” and then they blame everyone but themselves for how they act.
It is not the “spirit of fundamentalist” that causes an ex-fundamentalist to be “arrogant”. You are an arrogant person BECAUSE YOU ARE AN ARROGANT PERSON.
Yet this is nothing new to history. When Eve at the fruit, she blamed the serpent. When God confronted Adam, he blamed Eve.
“And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:12
Notice how the subject went from Adam to “the man said”. Sin was now a problem that would affect all of his posterity. And with the infection of sin, came with it the denial of culpability for ones actions.
And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? Gen 4:9
Those who left fundamentalism carried with them their own self righteousness, and continue to act out of their own self righteousness. They are by far, better than any “fundy” they will ever meet again, and will relentlessly assassinate the character of all fundamentalists to prove it.
Sure there are a small handful of Baptist leaders who have executed their own self righteousness and pleasured themselves at the expense of others, but when I hear someone who makes such broad brush accusations against Baptists on how self righteous, angry, resentful, hateful and arrogant they are, I can’t help but think “Those people are not in the church anymore. You can find them all at the Stuff Fundies Like and Do Right websites”!
We all have an innate desire to be right, recognized, and revered(pride). This is why you see such personal attacks offered by the “Do Right” and SFL crowds and those like Darrell Dow who disguise their vitriol as satire. They have a desire to be right about their accusations without any regard for what the truth is or simply admitting they don’t know. Arguments like this on forms are common, where the commenter is defending a position that he/she claims to be right about, and rather than risk the embarrassment of being wrong, begins ad hominem attacks against their opponent. That strong desire to be right fears exposure, flees truth, and blames others, and avoids discussions about the Bible because there’s a chance that the sword (Heb 4:12) may lay their motives wide open.
The Jews used to have a saying, “The fathers have eaten a sour grape and the children’s teeth are set on edge”. Ezekiel 18:2. Psychology still uses this today. Because your parents ate sour grapes, you became a rebel and anything you do is not sin because it’s really your parents fault. Because Mrs Doe didn’t shake your hand at church, she hates you and is avoiding you on purpose because your shoes don’t match. The preacher was bad so it’s his fault that I act like a heathen.
To this God replies:
As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
If I mistreat my wife and say something unkind, it’s MY fault, not hers. If I lose my temper and yell at my children, it’s MY fault, not theirs. If I had an argument in church and am still upset about it, and take it out on a co-worker, it’s MY fault, I sinned. There are times when I get into heated debates with my own brothers and say things I should not say. Is it their fault for provoking me? Doesn’t matter, I am responsible for my reaction, AND SO ARE YOU.
The “spirit of fundamentalism” did not cause you to be angry, hateful and arrogant: YOU DID. If you never set foot again in another Baptist church, you will still have the same problem: YOU.
Although this article is directed at a particular audience, don’t think that any of the rest are exempt from this. I have been equally guilty of blaming someone or something else for something I did and I’m sure many readers have as well. But if you are a Christian, then you know the misery of living in denial of your responsibility for your own actions. It is a cancer that causes the emotional responses we see from the antifundamentalists, and a response that will destroy your marriage, your family, and your friendships, and your fellowship with God.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10