What a strange bunch of contrasts.
We took my youngest to the hospital for grunting-while-breathing, and within 24-hours after the IV antibiotics he was playing “Punch Out” with the Get Well balloon my parents brought him.
That hospital trip — like any other, I’m sure — moved from soul-sucking boredom to tearful panic. And during that ebb and flow, I got two emails. One explained what a rapturous “blessing” it was that God took me away from BJU since I could no longer ruin young lives like I had so clearly done for years. :/ The other email described an actual blessing — how God is using Elise’s little cherry dress to show a young, nearly-forgotten girl how much He loved her.
A lengthy conversation with a young man wrestling with his fundamentalist upbringing made me realize that fundamentalism doesn’t teach progressive justification (like Roman Catholicism). Nor does it teach progressive sanctification (which it ironically calls “perfectionism). It teaches a kind of perpetual justification. That you have to continually beg for salvation or risk certain doom.
I found last year’s Opening Evangelistic Service from BJU. Go listen to it. It’s a perfect encapsulation of everything Grant and I stood up against and were forced to resign over. It’s all right there. Nothing’s changed. I’m told that the dorm room leaders had to do damage control for months after that sermon.
And while I was still reeling over that slipshod retelling of the Prodigal Son parable, an old friend pointed me to WorldMag’s recent podcast on the same parable — “Becoming the Third Brother.” Listen to Marvin Olasky’s description of the Elder Brother in the second part. Sound familiar?
Of course, BJU got a mention in Forbes list of best colleges based on student satisfaction. #279. North Greenville is #154 and has record enrollment this year in this economy! GQ listed BJU, too, but for a more dubious honor.
I found this little chestnut — Stuff Fundies Like. Every post is brilliant and therapeutic and hilarious. I bet you can’t read just one!
I’m on my second read through Steve Brown’s Scandalous Freedom. Here are the most important chapters for recovering fundamentalists. Take a look. And if listening is more your cup of tea, here are the podcasts. Just listen to the first one, if nothing else.
Yes, Steve Brown is the hero to every one of us still struggling in recovery. And then he goes and does something like this and shoves us into joyful and raucous laughter!
Steve Brown? You rock. Really. Thank you!