Things That Make Your Non-Evangelical Friends Say WTF? — Part Two

wtf

Guest post by ObstacleChick

Part One

We have already covered some basic WTF-worthy aspects of Evangelicalism. Here are a few more WTF-worthy items for your enjoyment.

Sunday School/Bible Study

These were small groups segregated by age group, or by gender, or by marital status. Larger churches would have children’s Sunday school classes segregated by school grade. Children’s classes would be focused on a Bible story, perhaps singing, and an age-appropriate craft or game. Teens were generally segregated by gender and school grade, and life issues would be discussed in “context” with Bible verses. Adult classes could be segregated by gender or by marital status (couple’s classes) where life issues would be discussed in “context” with Bible verses, or Bible stories would be discussed in general.

Sword Drills

Students stand, Bible in hand at their side. The moderator calls out a Bible citation. The first student to find the verse and read it allowed correctly scores a point. (KJV Bibles only; no tabs separating books of the Bible allowed).

Pledging Allegiance to the American flag, Christian flag, and the Bible

This was done every day during Vacation Bible School and was done occasionally at church and occasionally at school. As an adult, I realized that this was a part of indoctrination of children into the concept of Christian Nationalism, that the USA was founded as a Christian nation and that our initial purpose has gone astray due to laws allowing “sin” and due to immigration of people who are not True Christians. And liberals – let’s not forget the liberals.

Vacation Bible School (VBS)

Summer Jesus-themed fun for the 12-and-under crowd, complete with Kool-Aid (the literal and the figurative). There was generally a theme for the week (or 2 weeks depending on the church and their ability to muster up volunteers) with Bible stories, games, songs, and crafts. Children were encouraged to invite friends, and churches often advertised with mailed fliers and banners outside the church. A successful VBS ended in a plethora of baptisms the following Sunday.

Youth Retreats

An emotion-filled trip for the middle school and high school “Youth Group” to go on with the purpose of saving souls and reminding us to live our lives for Christ (i.e., don’t have sex, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes; don’t listen to rock music or see rated-R movies; witness to friends; be “in the world but not of the world”). By the end of the trip there would be a lot of crying, and a successful youth trip ended with a plethora of baptisms scheduled for the following Sunday service.

Revivals

Often, a guest pastor or pastors, and sometimes guest musical groups, would be invited to preach with the goal of scaring, I mean, saving souls. Members would be encouraged to bring guests. Revivals could last for a weekend or for an entire week with special programming. Successful revivals ended in a plethora of baptisms scheduled for the following Sunday service.

Communion

Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper, was celebrated with grape juice and crackers/wafers. Supposedly before Jesus was arrested, he shared a meal with his disciples. He broke bread and told them that the bread was his body, broken for them, to eat in remembrance of him. He told them to drink wine, as it was his blood shed for them, to drink in remembrance of him. Baptists believe this is a symbolic gesture of Christ’s offering his body as sacrifice for our dirty, filthy sins. In our church, only baptized members of our particular congregation were allowed to participate in communion, which was conducted quarterly (closed communion). Baptists eschewed alcohol so grape juice was substituted for wine. We (made fun of) disagreed with Catholics who thought that the bread and wine actually converted into the body and blood of Christ through Jesus’ Power.

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12 Comments

  1. Dale

    I never took the Lord’s crackers and grape juice the last few years I was attending church. We were always told by the pastor to be sure we were “prayed up” and had no unconfessed sin; to take part “unworthily” could result in God striking us down in one way or the other…up to striking us dead. My life was already so fucked up by this point that I figured all I needed was for God to pile on something else. I’d confess everything I could think of and stuff I hadn’t even done but still figured I forgot something so I refused to partake.
    Bruce, is this unique just to Southern Baptists or do all fundamentalist churches preach the same thing?

    Reply
  2. Brian Vanderlip

    By Jeebers, ObstacleChick, this is exactly, to the letter, our Baptist Church in Ontario, Canada, right down to the faggot service at camp where we would weep and stand before our peers to admit what wretches we were and how Jesus saved us from our wicked selves. The deeply perverted abuse of youngsters in the church appalls me nowadays but it was all soooo normal in my childhood and youth. Many of my nieces and nephews carry on the tradition of harm to this day. There is little to no human insight into the dastardly nature of it all and when they speak of monks wearing hair-shirts or nuns whipping themselves for God, they cannot see any parallel at all to how they harm themselves and their progeny. Jesus of the church does not open eyes to the truth: He closes them.

    Reply
  3. Carolk

    I remember Sword Drills. It helped a lot if you had a good idea of where books were in the Bible, if not actually memorized the list of them. You were not allowed to have your fingers over the edge of the Bible as that was considered cheating. I was pretty good at Sword Drills. I suppose it helped that I knew Zachariah was not to be found where you’d find the Epistles.

    I think I was over (Vacation) Bible School by the time I was in first grade. In our church, we first had an assembly where they’d play these two stupid chords to tell us to stand up and sit down for the songs and Pledges. I always thought the please to the Xtian flag was pretty dumb. I did like the :crafts” though and Refreshment Time.

    Reply
  4. ObstacleChick

    Dale, I was afraid to be struck down and made sure to confess anything in thought or dead that I may have done before taking a bite of the cracker! I never saw anyone struck down though!

    Reply
  5. ObstacleChick

    Brian, fundamentalist Christianity is so abusive, particularly to children, women, and LBGTQ people. I despise it.

    Reply
  6. ObstacleChick

    Carolk, crafts and snacks were the best part of VBS. I see social media posts from the church where I grew up, and now they have multimedia song and dance productions we didn’t have when I was a kid. It’s high tech now.

    Reply
  7. Trenton

    The conservative churches I grew up in seem downright liberal compared to all the stuff mentioned in this series. Don’t get me wrong, they were still full of batshit crazy hypocritical backstabbers, but at least we weren’t pledging allegiance to the flag in church(school yes).

    Reply
  8. Jen

    Sooooo many flashbacks LOL. I had read the bible (KJV of course) through a dozen times by the time I was 11— I totally rocked the sword drills.

    Reply
  9. Goyo

    I remember all of this!
    Ex Southern baptist from East Texas here…I still have my tiny KJV that I used in the “sword drills”.
    Later as an adult, I was on the “committee on committees “, and we always wanted to bring a preacher that preached “fire and brimstone “ for our revivals!

    Reply
  10. ObstacleChick

    Go to, yes, the “committee on committees”. It’s like the One Committee to Rule Them All. How funny!

    Reply
  11. Daniel

    Some people believe the “wine” Jesus drank was non-alcoholic, even though there are plenty of passages throughout the Bible indicating that it was definitely alcoholic. If wine really was juice, the miracle wasn’t turning water into wine. It was keeping the wedding party going without alcohol.

    For those who don’t like raw foods, “Lord” in Chinese sounds similar to “cook”. So when someone says “Lord Jesus”, it sounds like they’re cooking him in preparation for communion. (Some will object that the tone is different, so the words wouldn’t be confused. However, I really do say “cook Jesus” sometimes, and no one notices the “slip”.)

    Reply
  12. Dale

    ObstacleChick, I didn’t either but the preachers sure could make you believe they’ve seen or heard of it happening. Not sure how they determined caused and effect…doubt if it was on the death certificate😆.

    Reply

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