The Sounds of Fundamentalism: Mass Delusion at Middle Tennessee Baptist Church

tony hutson

Tony Hutson

Warning! This video may be disturbing to some people. I have sat in many such services. Today, I have a hard time watching videos such as this.

This is the one hundred and sixty-second installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip from a service at Middle Tennessee Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, pastored by Tony Hutson. Hutson is the son of the late Curtis Hutson, editor of the Sword of the Lord. — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist periodical started by John R. Rice.

Video Link

What follows is a video of Hutson using his children to whip up the crowd into an emotional frenzy.

Video Link

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Series Navigation<< The Sounds of Fundamentalism: Tim Tebow Isn’t a Good Christian by Tony HutsonThe Sounds of Fundamentalism: The Democrats are the Party of the Anti-Christ by Jim Bakker >>

13 Comments

  1. Joel

    Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

    Reply
  2. Ami

    WTF did I just watch?
    Actually, I skipped around and caught just a bit of it.

    Gee Bruce, thanks for the memories.
    UGHHHHHHH.

    Tony reminds me of Brother Ron.
    Brother Ron is why I can’t listen to Amazing Grace.
    Ever. I have a visceral reaction and run screaming from the room if I can’t get the person to change the channel or whatever.

    When I was a young person, our family attended church.
    All the time.
    Alllll the time.

    I didn’t go to a Baptist church, ours was a rolling in the aisle congregation.
    Some pentecostal churches do a whole prayer thing at the end of a service or when someone gets inspired in the middle and can’t seem to stop himself (or more rarely, herself.)

    There was a guy in our church who would get up and lead a song to get everyone going. Then, after about four repetitions of the song, when everyone was groovin’, raising hands, whispering prayers or getting brave and shouting hallelujah instead he’d just stand up there and sort of hum.
    The.
    Same.
    Song.
    Over and over and over.

    Grease mixed with tears would roll down his face, and he’d haul a big white hankie out of the back pocket of his polyester leisure suit and mop up occasionally. The pianist would continue to play.
    The.
    Same.
    Song.

    I later heard he’d been busted for touching his daughters inappropriately.

    Ahh, what memories.

    Reply
  3. Rachel

    Any mental health professionals here? Revealing, I think, that the only time we see females in these videos is when it’s the pastor’s daughters being used to big him up. These young women have been brainwashed which is actually abuse. . .and they can’t see it.

    Reply
  4. Matilda

    Maybe it’s different for americans, you’re more used to it, but in the UK, if I were to take an average secular adult brit to a ‘service’ like that, they’d think I was crazy, that we were at a mental institution and be horribly embarrassed. As Captain Cassidy says, these fundies have no idea how to ‘win souls’ and their totally bizarre and inappropriate methods of evangelising never have the required effect so all they can come up with, is ‘do it more and do it harder’. What a hideous hideous advert for christianity that guy is…!

    Reply
    1. Rebecca

      I think it’s definitely, in part, a cultural thing. I wasn’t able to hear from the video what these folks were actually preaching.

      Coming from a pretty staid higher church background as a young person, my first visit to a pentecostal church was a real shock.

      ( I mean in my childhood congregation, no one as much as said an “amen.” aloud.)

      I remember sitting calmly in the pew when this older woman leaped up from nowhere, ran shouting to the front of the church, and then abruptly collapsed on the floor. I honestly thought she may have had a seizure and perhaps needed CPR. I actually went to the front of the church to ask if she was ok.

      It was explained to me that this was being “slain in the spirit.”

      We have some pretty wild brothers and sisters out there. One thing is for certain no one will be “nodding off” in one of these congregations. 🙂

      Reply
  5. ObstacleChick

    Well that 1st video makes me think humans are not as evolved as we think. But then again, fundamentalist Christians don’t believe in evolution anyway so there’s that.

    Inot that 2nd vodeo, I was thinking those poor girls just wanted to sing their song while that guy was rambling on and on, then they started their own emotion fest during the performance.

    I thought I knew every gospel song out there, but I have never heard that one! Guess my 25 years out of fundamentalist church is showing…..

    Reply
  6. Geoff

    I’m no atheist but I don’t think this rubbish has anything to do with God. I don’t even know what to say , it’s religious madness. If perchance I unfortunately found myself to be in this queer situation I would flee like a criminal from a crime scene.

    Reply
  7. Geoff

    Someone should throw a beehive through the window.

    Reply
  8. Ian for a long time

    Obstacle Chick, I hadn’t heard this song, either, and I had 30+ years in. That being said, I know Sword of the Lord used to print their own hymnals and would add songs into the new books. One church we went to had SOTL hymnals and there were a few “non-canonized” songs in there. After a while, we got used to singing them, and they became normal.

    I was watching the video and remembering the times I saw stuff like this. I didn’t mind a little show of emotion, but I hated the 5 minute yelling sessions. One pastor we had was from from that area, so he knew all of the big names. He was able to get Jim White up to Alaska every year. That man would run around like a maniac. Looking back, Jim White was like a Christian Chris Farley.

    These Baptists would damn a Pentecostal in a moment, but they are acting exactly the same. Dancing, jumping, running around, all that was missing was speaking in tongues.

    I don’t miss this at all.

    Reply
    1. ObstacleChick

      Ian, you are most likely accurate that these Baptists would damn a Pentacostal. My personal experience with IFB was through my Christian school, but all of the pastors that they brought in to preach to us at Bible conference were very proper and low key. I LOVE your statement about a Christian Chris Farley! I can just picture it now! (One of our family’s favorite SNL skits is Chris Farley as the motivational speaker, living in a van, down by the river). I never personally witnessed stuff like this. The pastor that the First Baptist Church I grew up in brought in over 25 years ago (he’s still there) was clownish by my standards, but he NEVER ranted and raved like these guys. He would tell some jokes and walk around the stage, but not even 10% as active as these guys. Interesting stuff, to say the least. I always felt that Baptists were “low church” and un-intellectual, but this behavior certainly takes the cake.

      Reply
  9. Tim Allen

    There is bible for everhtbing that went on in the video. You have no right to get on here and go against Brother Tony Hutson and Middle Tennessee Baptist Church. Those girls are not brainwashed, they are bloodwashed. If you would repent and be saved by the grace of God, you wouldn’t mind the shouting and praising that you call yelling and screaming. If you didn’t like that…you will not like what happens in Heaven when we praise Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Tim,

      Where, oh where, do I begin.

      First, I have every right to go against “Brother Tony Hutson and Middle Tennessee Baptist Church.” It’s called freedom of speech. Personally, I think Tony Huston is a bully and a thug. In other words, he is a great example of an IFB preacher.

      Second, I have already repented, and I have been gloriously saved by the grace of God. Surely, you believe in once saved, always saved? I’m a Christian, brother, according to your theology. Of course, I don’t claim to be a Christian. I am an atheist. But, I was a Christian for 50 years, so I know just a little bit about Christianity — especially your flavor of the one true faith.

      Third, I know screaming and hollering when I see it. I also know culturally conditioned religious expression when I see it too. The behavior shown in the video is typical for southern Baptist churches. I have attended camp meetings in the south, and watched grown men act like drug addicts on meth. Such behavior is culturally learned. In the north, such behavior is rare. Why is that? And the northern churches that are more expressive? They have a pastor who was raised — drum roll, please — in the south.

      Fourth, have you been to Heaven? If not, how can you possibly know what is or will be going on in Heaven? You don’t. All you are doing is projecting your personal religious experiences on to what the Bible says about Heaven (not that Heaven exists, it doesn’t). By all means, provide Biblical proof texts for your assertion that the culture in Heaven will be just like the one found at Middle Tennessee Baptist Church. I’ve read the Bible a time or two or fifty, and I don’t recall reading anything that remotely sounds like Sunday night church with Tony Hutson and Middle Tennessee Baptist Church.

      Fifth, I do like the cliche, they are not brainwashed, they are bloodwashed. I might use that for a new blog post.

      Have a good day. Thank you for commenting.

      Bruce, a sinner saved by reason

      Reply
  10. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

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