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Kisses Sweeter than Wi–. . . er, uh . . . Sweet Tea

[audio:peter-paul-and-mary-kisses-sweeter-than-wine.mp3]

But even in my re-telling this wanting-to-be-forgotten story, it’s revealing to find the persistent theme: God gave me good roots. Grant was my ally. He reassured and loved on me. My brother, too, was a reliable friend — honest but gentle. My dad was also a rock — ever the cheerleader.

But who was there reading, listening, comforting, reminding, dragging, and even nagging me all the way through? Who remembered the deep-down-all-of-me before the seeds of that abusive ideology took root?

My dear mother.

We were talking the other day. Mom had read my church‘s newsletter from this month and had noticed their support for CEF. My church and my parents’ new church, too, sponsor Good News Clubs at nearby public elementary schools. They even send kids to C.Y.I.A — CEF’s training for summer missionaries.

I was in C.Y.I.A. back in the day with no small amount of skepticism and criticism from the fundamentalists around us. My parents ignored it and so I did too. It had been a terrific experience for me. Instead of taking it all in, I was giving back. And it was when I was 16-year-old C.Y.I.A. summer missionary while teaching a little disabled child in my 5-Day Club that Jesus loved her that I really, truly realized (again) that Jesus loved me too.

Mom has said more than once in this mutual transition which moved us out of fundamentalism: “After all this time, I finally don’t feel at constant odds with my church’s philosophy. What took us so long?”

I guess we really never were fundamentalists, were we? 😉

5 thoughts on “Kisses Sweeter than Wi–. . . er, uh . . . Sweet Tea

  1. Oh man, Camille. You should know that a post like this only serves as fodder for the fundamentalist interpretation of 1 John 2:19.

    Oh what the heck. Keep it up :).

  2. I know all about having parents skeptical of the Fundy world. We’ve talked about that, I know. It is why I am where I am today.

    Oh, and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, sweeter than sweet tea.

    Um, well, maybe, I can think of one thing (person) sweeter. 🙂 But sweet tea is still pretty darn sweet, and I miss it up here in Chicago.

  3. Hi Camille,

    You don’t know me from Adam…but, as a graduate from the institution that gave you the big ugly ax, AND as a former CYIAer, I’ve decided to go ahead and leave a comment.

    All I really have to say is, thanks for attempting to expose fundamentalism a la BJU for what it is.

    I’m currently a graduate student at a seminary in Portland, OR and many of my faculty members give me a pat on the back and say, “You’ve come a long way” after they find out where I went for my undergrad. I can only smile and explain that I never was a fundamentalist, I just have good stories.

    CYIA is another set of stories altogether. So for now, congrats on your exit from the latter day separated saints…

  4. Thanks for posting this ‘random’ article. So encouraging to know there are ‘sane’ believers out there who ‘don’t’ consider ‘all of society’ to be evil, and public schools to be ‘of the devil’ simply because they’re ‘secular’, and ‘not’ a high and mighty Fundy or Evangie school. Not all christian schools ‘hurt children emotionally and spiritually.we just unfortunately seem to only hear of the bad ones that make kids ‘sick.’ I never heard of CEF before. I clicked on the link and felt such a beautiful loving spirit coming from the CEF ad. Imagine, God actually showing up in a ‘public school!’ I guess He’s not afraid of becoming CONTAMINATED with LIBERALISM or SECULARISM! ARRRRGGGHHHHH! I doubt Fundies even ‘know’ what the word means, they’ve sopped thinking so long ago.What would the Fundies think! WHO CARES! Isn’t it wonderful how God used your mom and dad, to live a true example of the real Gospel before you, and represent to you and your brother, normal christianity of kindness, parental love, letting you be yourselves, and ‘not’ try to make you ‘someone else!’ Was God ever planting God, healthy seeds in your life, which He would later use to ‘protect you’ when those warning red flags’ started popping up during your painful ‘crazy-time’ at the Fundy Gulag. ‘Crazy-time’ means, “something crazy is going on, but you don’t know ‘what’ until a lot of damage has been done by the ‘crazies’ who ‘aren’t’ you”! Wonderful how your mom encouraged you to be your own person, and think for yourself. I love Steve’s description of ‘the latter day separated saints’ funny as a rubber crutch.

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