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I went to church today!

...An Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church, but it's a church nonetheless.

Steve had gone with a couple of his friends to a three-gun match up in Phoenix, leaving me with the morning and early afternoon on my own. I'd be aching with curiosity about the IFB church on Sandario, Living Word, because it is a little white building with a steeple and looks as traditionally "churchy" as you can get. So I packed up my 1611 King James Bible , put on a long skirt and a shirt that came to my elbows and covered my collarbone and off I went.

I was shocked when I got there. The congregation for the 11 a.m. service was maybe 40 people, and I was the youngest one there. I did not expect that. A couple of the women were wearing knee-length shorts and one even had a sleeveless blouse. The pastor was wearing khakis and a button down shirt, no tie. Stephen Anderson, the "Pissing Preacher" of Tempe, might be a shitstain on the ragged cotton briefs of society, but he always wears a jacket and tie when he has his Bible-based tantrums in front of his audience. The church is not KJV only either; a variety of Bibles including the NIV were in use.

Yelling seems to be inseparable from IFBs, but Pastor Mike wasn't doing it in a mean way, just an "I'm very excited about what I'm telling you" way. He also used a LOT more of the Bible than I've seen in non-liturgical services, including a full chapter of Matthew (15).

What was depressing, though, is that their god is Fear. Fear of current events. Fear of anything outside the security of Bible fundamentalism. And most of all, fear of death and decay. I think that the idea of dying and going into the earth naturally, to melt back into the earth and nourish the plants and insect life surrounding the body, is very beautiful. They were clinging to the idea that we will all be resurrected, and referred to 1 Corinthians about how if Jesus were not resurrected, we would be the deadest of the dead and all we do would be in vain.

This to me doesn't suggest they think all that highly of the Gospel message beyond "gettin' saved". Consider the Good Samaritan. That man's actions of saving another man's life would be "in vain"? Jesus's words to tax collectors and Roman soldiers would be "in vain"?

Needless to say, I didn't do the altar call at the end of the service. The fact that they sang "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus" like a dirge, when it needs foot-stomping and hand-clapping and joyful noise, didn't help a bit.

I'll be away for at least one weekend doing the Annual Training thing, but the other IFB church isKJV 1611-only, and I can't wait to see that. There's also the Red Rock Community Church, whose congregation seems to live entirely along one particular county road and the non-denominational church beside the one I went to today. During that time, I might need to hit up St. Bede's Anglican for a dose of sanity. I've also been told that the Anglicans don't demand you literally believe in God, so that's a plus.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
Oh when you try the KJV 1611 church be on the look out for my crazy cousin. She moved to you neck of the woods recently and that's the church where she'd worship. Sounds like the one you went to was too liberal for her. ;)
Jul. 28th, 2014 03:25 am (UTC)
Wow - haven't seen the pope cat in awhile
Jul. 28th, 2014 03:36 am (UTC)
Hrm. I need mystery. The whole literalist thing makes some rather astounding presumptions about what humans can know of the divine (however it's defined.)

Are the IFB more fundamentalist than the SBC? Or do I have it ass-backwards?
Jul. 28th, 2014 03:50 am (UTC)
They are two different denominations. The Southern Baptist have an umbrella organization while IFB are independent, just as their names suggest. As a result, they're all different.
Jul. 29th, 2014 03:54 am (UTC)
My cousin lead me to believe the SBC was far too liberal and wrong when it was all said and done.
(Deleted comment)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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