Archives for April 2011


The dictionary defines systemic as:

“of, relating to, or common to a system”

“systemic” in Frederick C. Mish, ed., Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

The discussion on the fundamentalist blogosphere lately has been very heated over stories of scandal and sexual abuse in or connected with ministries widely viewed as fundamentalist. (I phrase it that way because some may dispute the fundie credentials of some of these ministries.)

I really don’t want to get into a “fact-finding-fault-finding” scream-a-thon here. But Bob Bixby brings the word ‘systemic’ to the discussion and others have said similar things. By systemic, Bob says he means

I think it is right to say that she was wrongly treated because of a systemic abuse of victims in fundamentalist circles. I insist on the word “systemic” because I do not think that IFB people consciously scheme about how to make people suffer.

I do agree that abuse is systemic in the culture of IFB. It is systemic because of the general IFB understanding of church, discipline, sin, authority, and the Bible.

So… systemic… “of, relating to, or common to a system”

(Now, before we go on, let’s note that Bob is broadening the topic from sexual abuse to ‘abuse of victims’ and that this issue is ‘systemic’ because of the IFB “understanding of church, discipline, sin, authority, and the Bible.” Bob is painting with a very broad brush and using the current scandal to attack his favorite whipping boy, independent Baptist Fundamentalism.)

But is ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘child abuse’ systemic to Christian fundamentalism?

A friend of mine sent me a few links tonight about another very very tragic and disgusting story about another independent Baptist and another scandal. I’m not going to include any links, its just a completely disgusting story. In this case, it appears there is a serious sin issue, this time on the part of a pastor. That’s all the details I’ll give.

But the story gave me pause. Not another one! And then again, this question came to mind: is ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘child abuse’ systemic to Christian fundamentalism?

Because if it is, every right thinking fundamentalist needs to GET OUT, fast.

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do you do child dedication services?

I don’t.

I am wondering about the rationale for these types of services, however. I wonder if my readers may have thoughts to contribute on the subject.

I realize that such services are a bit of a staple in evangelical/fundamental church circles. There are several reasons why I am against them.

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as a mad man…

Proverbs 26:18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

I’ve never liked April 1 and the foolishness that goes on. I especially don’t like it when Christians join the ‘fun’.