So I guess the way to keep your status in hardline Independent Fundamentalist Baptist circles if you have been there from day one is to marry a divorced person and then cop that your initial confession of faith wasn't sincere to begin with. Otherwise, you'll not be anything other than a wallet to dump into the collection plate for the rest of your life. Interesting how God can still use you that way but in no other if that is the path you pursue.
A Baptist opposed to movies condemned cinema because the medium can evoke emotions such as fear in response to situations that the viewer is not actually experiencing directly at the moment. But don’t Bible stories and passages often do something categorically similar? For example, those such as the Book of Revelation that describe death on a planetary scale in the hopes that the reader will come to a particular decision regarding Christ.
A pastor opposed to the cinema tossed in for good measure condemnation of Vacation Bible Schools that attempt to reach children through entertainment. But if it’s not fun, on what grounds are children obligated to attend Vacation Bible School? Given its not directly commanded in the pages of Scripture, you can’t very well guilt them into attending.
A pastor opposed to cinema also condemned the notion of fun from the standpoint of the terms etymological origins as “vulgar merriment”. I bet his wife finds him a real hoot in the sack.
A pastor opposed to movies claimed that allowing a desire for innocent entertainment in children will lead to a desire for “adult entertainment” when they have matured. So I guess the title of that tract would be “From Bunnies To Bunnies: The Journey From Fuzzy Lagmomorphs To Heffner’s Groto”.
Apparently the idealized Christian world we are supposed to endeavor to implement before Christ even returns is one where women can’t vote without a man’s permission and where forms of popular culture such as movies and amusement parks are to be condemned (and thus probably forbidden) not in terms of content but rather as forms of expression altogether. I find such a realm no more appealing in which to dwell than a secularized debauched or totalitarian dystopia.
A Baptist pastor condemned Sunday School studies that used as a discussion starter the Beverly Hillbillies and Mayberry. So if cultural references are off limits, is the Apostle Paul to be condemned in his address on the Aeropagus for mentioning the altar to the unknown god or the quote from a pagan poet about in God how we live, move, and have our being? And if no Christian is to be acquainted with the popular culture, how were those assembled supposed to understand the like kryptonite to Superman simile utilized in the sermon? In the kind of regime advocated by these ultralegalists, shouldn't such a remark be grounds for defrocking the pastor?
The preacher in a series of sermon condemning the cinematic art form in the same set of homilies condemned those that hop from church to church. So should a dictatorship of these kinds of legalists ever rise to power, would the next thing prohibited after movies are eliminated be going to another church without permission? If so, on what grounds so such ministers then justify the existence of Protestantism?
The Baptist pastor condemning movies said the cinema was evil because it sparked a desire and expectation that relationships ought to be romantic. I guess the ideal procreative copulation should be prearranged by church authorities like the breeding of livestock for the creation of the optimal super solider, oops, I mean missionary.
A pastor condemning movies insists that children standing quietly in the presence of an adult waiting to be acknowledged is still a form of interruption. So apparently after they are conceived in prearranged emotionless breedings, they serve little function beyond that of field hands.
It seems that the pastor of a series of sermons against the existence of motion pictures has himself been the subject of allegations that he undermined a child molestation investigation of those on his pastoral staff. Seems to me that the Bible speaks more against bearing false witness and that those harming children would be better off with a millstone placed around their necks than whether or not sequential film footage is used in the production of dramatic narrative. A church that has had a pedophile problem on the pastoral staff doesn't exactly have much of a leg to stand on in condemning dating as part of its congregational constitution.
A Baptist pastor bragged how, if his son exhibited any signs of liking or loving something more than Christ, it was gone. Wonder how long until the child learned that particular household it did not matter so much what was happened on an individual's inside so long as the boy learned to squawk the expected platitudes on signal like an exceptional trained parrot.
A pastor opposed to entertainment suggested that parents should toss out anything as soon as it violates the guidelines of Philippians 4:8. Does this include passages of Scripture such as when Tammar was raped by her half-brother or when David got so horny watching Bathsheba bathe that he was willing to have his devoted friend murdered in his pursuit of her? So if ugly details are allowed in the Bible as a way of arriving at more profound truths, why is such a literary strategy to be forbidden in other forms of narrative?
According to an anti-movie preacher, those that think that motion pictures can serve as a method through which to reach the lost with the Gospel are guilty of the sin of Uza who was struck dead for touching the Ark of the Covenant to keep the scared relic from falling to the ground. Granted, nothing can replace the foolishness of preaching in spreading the salvation message. However, what is to be done with creative types within the church? The way these hardline fundamentalist churches are operated, there is no way there individuals are going to be allowed to express themselves unless they are part of the in crowd that run these places. Most will be shouted down with a Bible pingpong bashing if they even raise a question that has the hint of clashing with the interpretation preferred by the pastoral staff or Sunday school teachers. If these types ever took over, it would probably be a daily marching out to the equivalent of the Cambodian rice paddies of anyone that dare exhibit literary inclinations.
A Baptist pastor complained about contemporary parents having to provide entertainment, activities, or toys for their children. In other words, once those of this mindset have had their fun making the child (with the minimal amount of movement possible in order to avoid the possibility of such gyrations potentially leading to dancing), they pretty much just want a child to make themselves look good. The rest of the time, I guess, the child is obligated to occupy their time rocking back and forth chanting Scripture like a student in some kind of Christianized madrassa. This pastor continued that he did not think that parents do not need to provide their children with toys or activities because these did not exist for centuries. That's because most of your kids would have died before they were five years old, the rest were worked to death in the fields or sent off to fight in their lieges' wars, and the few that made it through all that were probably eager to be planted in the ground by the time they were 45 years old. But those were the good all days we are are suppose to be eager to get back to.
God equips every believer with a spiritual gift. However, for whatever reason, they are not always able to exercise it within the context of the formal organized church.
A Baptist pastor opposed to the existence of cinema complained how the media spreads doctrinally false assumptions and ideas about the Afterlife. But isn't that the outcome to be expected if Christians are to be actively discouraged from pursuing careers and callings in the creative endeavors?
A critic of social media at a Ligionier denounced these kinds of websites because the providers would rather monetize than connect with you. So I guess the speaker wasn’t provided with a fee for his services and all of the tickets to the event were provided gratis on a first in line basis. Interesting how in Christian circles it’s appropriate for some to make money from the goods and services that they provide but not others.
A critic of social media at a Ligioner conference said the words “monetized relationship” like it was a bad thing. But isn’t that marriage essentially is? One partner gives certain things so that they can get certain things in return. Women feigning shock at such an observation wouldn’t marry a poor man if he was the last one on earth and men posturing how much more valiant than these sentiments would have no interest in the relationship if it meant never seeing their wife with her cloths off.
A critic of social media at a Ligioner conference remarked that the sense of COMMUNITY created through these communication technologies is false because no one is there to lift you up should you become discouraged. However, if one turns to those in positions of conventional church authority during such times, you are often just reamed a new one for having fallen into sin over something as minor as not having one of those chicken-excrement smiles plastered across your face.
The same leftwing female campus ministers working to set up a place where WOMENNNNN can be inspired through “storytelling, mentoring, and connection” would probably burn their bras in protest if they wore any if news got out that Promisekeepers was conspiring in a similar fashion on behalf of men in an academic setting.
A critic of social media at a Ligionier conference observed that this technology caused some Christians to engage in impertinent speech. The only definition of this the speaker really provided was of mere commoners daring to vocalize disagreement with things said by Christian leaders. You know, the whole touch not the Lord's anointed jazz. The critic remarked how those posting such content wouldn't dare say the same thing if the rhetorical target was sitting their beside them. You will note nothing was said one way or the other whether or not the observations were valid or not. If part of the reason for the existence of the professional ministry is to point out where the mere pewfillers have gone astray from God's revelation, what is so wrong about voices from the peanut gallery pointing out where those haranguing them to straighten up and fly right have themselves fallen short of the target?
A critic of social media at a Ligionier conference suggested that Christians ought to be held accountable over what they post online. In other words, you shouldn't be allowed to update your blog until you've gotten permission from your pastor or at least the deacon board. And why should those that would never be allowed to hold any kind of ministry position in a church other than collection plate contributor allow their lives outside of the church to be controlled to this extent?
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.