The Best of Crazy Fundamentalist Preaching

January 20, 2012

You know, sometimes we get so caught up with celebrity personalities, we forget to notice the little guy.

There they are, plugging away, fighting the good fight, and no one seems to pay attention.

Today, I want to correct that.  Because while there are the big guys like Rob and Mark and Pat kicking hornet’s nests, there are plenty of other guys who deserve their time in the sun.

I don’t usually single people out, but today, I want to celebrate Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church, an Independent Fundamental Baptist congregation that meets in a classroom-sized space in a strip mall.  Many of you have watched him on YouTube preach with godly ferocity about the importance of wearing pants or urinating while standing (for men) or the evils of painkillers during childbirth (for women).  If you don’t know this guy, then you are missing out.  His star is rising, with every appearance on local news and getting tased by hecklers.

I’ve compiled a “best of” list of some of Pastor Anderson’s most inspirational quotes, a tribute, a salute, if you will.

And maybe you can help me figure out just what it is with fundamentalist preachers.

The “Best of” the Pastor’s Sermons

This is it.  If you need to bone up on your Anderson-isms, this quick list will baptize you with the fire of his convictions:

“Only the King James version says this.  God said a man is someone who pisseth against the wall.”

“I hate Barack Obama.  Well, you say ‘you don’t like what he stands for.’  No, I hate him!  I’m going to prove from the Bible why I should hate Barack Obama, why God wants me to hate Barack Obama, why God hates Barack Obama.”

“I hate homosexuals.  I think they are all deviants and predators.  Every homosexual I’ve ever known was a deviant and a predator.  At my Christian high school, there were gays, believe it or not, and they’d all try to come on to everybody.”

And the classic:

“Many people today have the idea that Jesus Christ while he was on this earth had long hair and wore clothing that looked like a dress. The reason for this is that…Sodomite homosexuals such as Michelangelo painted Jesus to look effeminate and to have long hair in order to make him fit their own queer image.

Some have even made utterly ridiculous and bizarre statements such as, ‘pants had not been invented yet,’ or According to these ‘scholars,’ the men of the past who built the pyramids and Stonehenge just hadn’t thought of pants yet!

What I believe is based upon the Bible, not ‘historical evidence,’ but the historical record also proves that men in the ancient Middle East wore pants.  The Bible uses the word ‘breeches’ to refer to pants. Our modern day spelling of this word is ‘britches,’ such as in the expression, ‘he is a little too big for his britches.'”

You can watch the pastor’s pants sermon here.

What Is It with Fundamentalists?

Now, pastor Anderson is just one guy.  One of an unnumbered crowd of fundamentalist pastors and church members.  And I just don’t have a lot of person contact with fundamentalists, so maybe you can help me with some of these questions I have:

What is “Fundamental?”

It amazes me how much time fundamentalists spend talking about topics that I can only consider to be anything but “fundamental” to faith.  Pants?  Pain Killers?  What do they mean by “fundamentalist?”

We Don’t Need No Education

Pastor Anderson boasts on the church’s website that he “holds no college degree.”  But wait!  He has “over 140 chapters of the Bible memorized, word for word.”  So he’s just educated enough to be dangerous?  Hell, the guy says that Bible college is unscriptural and wrong!  We live in a time when ignorance is celebrated and education is derided by reality stars and pastors alike.  Meanwhile, most of us hold stronger beliefs than ever, while knowing less about the world than ever, despite unprecedented access to information.  How did we get here?

Take Three Times a Week

Pastor Anderson is a relic from a bygone era when people attended church on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights.  I cannot imagine any pastor who was able to compose three meaningful sermons every week.  Almost as impossible to imagine is a congregation that wants to hear the same man three times a week.

Tell me what you think.  Anyone come from any fundamental churches?  What am I missing?  How do these churches keep on attracting people?

 

37 responses to The Best of Crazy Fundamentalist Preaching

  1. Hi Matt,

    Maybe I don’t belong here.

    My website is titled “The Rabid Fundamentalist” and my blog is “Rabid Fun”. I gained those titles because guys at work teased me for being religious by saying, “Here comes that rabid fundamentalist again” so I accept the mocking and wear the title with honor.

    Incidentally, I’m typing this at 5 a.m. while wearing only a bathrobe. Is that ok?

    A fundamentalist is a person who believes the fundamentals:

    Christ has come. Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again… and we ought to behave ourselves till He does.

    Anything wrong with that?

    Rabid is a word referring to a person’s joy in a thing–such as a rabid football fan.

    Anything wrong with that?

    Sorry, but I never heard of pastor what’sit till you gave him a platform here… but before I go watch his video, I’ll go put some pants on.

    John Cowart
    a rabid fundaentalist

    ps: Matt, I’m recovering from the eye surgery fine. I’m thankful for the prayers of you and your readers.
    jwc

    • John, I’ve missed your comments here. So glad you’re well enough to “show up” once again–and happy you’re posting again on your own blog!

    • Glad you are back, John! I’ve been thinking about you while youve been away.

      I like your definition of fundamentalism. By that definition, I am a fundamentalist. But either the word lacks the true meaning, or the “fundamentalists” are misusing the word. So much of what they preach is outside of those fundamentals.

  2. Just had another thought Matt:

    Comes the day when the heathen demand, “All Christians line up against that wall in front of the machine guns”, then you and I will need to walk over and stand shoulder to shoulder with Pastor Anderson in front of the wall.

  3. You, know, I realize that Bible College and Christian Education is a positive thing, and it’s an important to tool put you onto the road to becoming a pastor, but I sort of agree that you don’t need it.

    Paul didn’t have Bible College, none of the Apostles had Bible College. I think it’s quite possibly a case of The Church copying what the world has done. Maybe, as Steven Anderson says, we aren’t depending on our church enough for spiritual teaching, and Bible College has become a crutch. Maybe we think that going to Bible College will give our faith the boost that it needs, when really, we’re not giving it our all?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think this guy is way off the mark for the most part. I just think there’s a small grain of truth to the message. It’s too bad his church-based “education” hasn’t exactly formed his faith biblically. :/

    • Aaron, I think I hear you. As a young man of 19 I went to Bible College. I had passion, I had desire, I wanted to change the world but I was ill equipped. I needed polish and sharpening.I needed a better understanding of the whole Bible and key doctrines. I needed to know something about greek and hebrew. I needed other men pouring into my life. I needed to grow up (how many churches hire 19 year olds?). I needed to know how to put a sermon together and make visits and set boundaries. Bible college helped me in those ways. I would have loved to have had a Paul in my life whom I could have been mentored by and traveled with but that rarely happens in churches these days. My passion wasn';t enough, it needed direction.

    • Actually, didn’t Paul have the equivalent to Bible College? He was highly trained in Judaism, as pointed out in Acts 26.

      • Maybe so, but even Paul’s education was given within the Jewish community. They didn’t send him off to a College to teach him. Even there, Paul’s formal Jewish education wasn’t what gave him his passion for Christ.

        I’m not saying that Bible College is a bad thing, I’m thinking that maybe what is achieved in Bible College could be, or should be, achieved in one’s church. Maybe we should be taking our Biblical teaching further within churches, instead of having to go away to Bible College in order to further our teaching.

      • :) yep. You mean the apostles weren’t all a bunch of backwoods hillbillies?

    • Good point, but it is a two edged sword in my opinion. When the church can’t provide the depth and breadth of education that a college can, then are we in the wrong by going where the resources are? Secondly, the apostles did not have many things which are available to us, but I don’t believe it is therefore “biblical” to eschew those things – education, medicine, etc

      • Absolutely what I was getting at. It might be better if The Church could provide these things, but it rarely does, so we have Bible College to give us further teaching.

        Of course, Anderson’s approach is a great example of how eschewing education completely is a bad idea.

  4. Couple things–

    1) In my day, before we had all these newfangled YouTubes and such, no one would’ve known anything about this guy except the dozen people that made up his own congregation or whoever happened to pass by his strip-mall church on their way to Family Dollar. Nowadays, all you have to do to get famous is have a webcam and be a freak. (Now excuse me while I go chase those dang kids off my lawn.)

    2) Of late, I’ve also been pretty disturbed by the “anti-education” bent that seems to be going on, and unfortunately it hasn’t been confined to wacky preachers in store-front churches.

    Oh, and I also remembered another group whose system of education consists of memorizing their holy book to the exclusion of every other piece of information–that would be the Taliban. But unfortunately, I kinda doubt this dude would see the parallels.

  5. There is nothing quite like a snorting, stomping, spitting, spraying, sin hating, huffing and puffing, hyperventilating preacher holding a leather bound KJV 1611. They have only a high school education but are proficient in Elizabethan english used 500 years ago! The have figured out all the intricacies of the 2nd coming as they relate to todays headlines and they can sniff sin out a mile away.

    Fundamentalism is a culture; a culture of arrogance and legalism. People like being told what to do, They like clear rules. They like visible lines that tell who’s in and out. Fundamentalists are happy to oblige our need for black and white and order. They doubt everyones salvation except their own! We have lots of them in our town and i love their exuberance, boldness and willingness to go out and get people. It’s their arrogance and separation that leaves them lacking.

    I think the problem with a lot of “religion” is the lack of serious thinking and study and understanding of the scripture (and grace!). I know lots of men who quote “I am ordained of God and I don’t need mans approval or Bible school.” Usually those are guys who preach the same thing every week and beat the same dead horse. They could use some education. On the other hand we have whole denoms who are so smart that they have left the ancient ways behind. Either way there is a lack of regard for the Word of God!

  6. OK, yes, Anderson is a wacko. There’s no denying that.
    The only thing I want to comment on is …”a bygone era when people attended church on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights.”

    Believe it or not, that still exists, at least here in the deep south. And some people like it.
    Now, most of those people aren’t church staff members, but there are some that do.

  7. Wow. It is interesting how a guy like this can use the Bible to be hateful. Don’t get me wrong, sin will always be sin, and God will always hate sin.

    It appears that guys like this are pretty much like the Pharisees were. They took their knowledge (and education) and turned it into some sort of pious bologna. They made it harder for people to find God, and I pretty much think this guys does too.

    Don’t hear what I am not saying, sin is the issue, and faith is the only answer.

    I do think there are a lot of folks that would shrink back from their faith at gun point, that is the moment when your faith needs to be for real. Persecution has a way of growing churches, just look at China (or Acts 6).

    Fundamentalism often attracts those that need a structure and recognized control. (I personally dislike religious structure. IE: Worship, offering, sermon, closing prayer every week until you puke.). It is strange blend of truth and religion, but so is Universalism.

    All of this only matters when one has a relationship with the Jesus and hears the Holy Spirit. There is an awful lot of bad teaching in seminaries and Bible Schools (I did both and it gets to be a lot about intellectualism and not a lot about God.).

    I think a lot of believers are tried of this sort of stuff, but those on the outside think it’s nuts.

  8. I would like to respond first to the rabid fundamentalist. There is a little more to protestant fundamentalism then you mentioned in your post. I’ll only mention one more of the biblical fundamentals that are adhered to and that is that scripture is the sole source of faith forming knowledge. Though this is a self refuting doctrine fundamentalists insist on adhering to it. I think the exposition of this particular “pastor” is a wonderful example of the fruit of this doctrine.
    Saying Paul was uneducated or didn’t attend “bible college” is completely wrong Paul when still Saul underwent a long period of formation under rabbinical schooling. Not to mention the several years of study mentioned in scripture after his conversion experience on the way to Damascus I don’t have my bible handy so
    so I can’t remember the exact amount of time spent but nevertheless Saul/ST. Paul was in fact a well educated man. Please quit trying to portray him as an ignorant country preacher with no formal education it’s simply untrue.

  9. I used to attend a church that met three times a week, like you allude to, but I don’t know how “fundamental” they were. I think they had a more literal view of most things in Scripture, but not so much that they couldn’t learn and grow closer to God.

  10. Wow. “The ridiculous notion that pants hadn’t been invented yet.” That is hysterical. Did they wear polo shirts as well?

    More disturbing than the fact that “reality stars and pastors” deride education is the fact that many politicians these days do as well. What will become of our society if it is run by those who glorify ignorance?

  11. “What am I missing?”

    Clearly you are missing the truth that is only found in the 1611 KJV! Stop using the devil’s tools (logic and reason), accept the only pure translation of the Bible, and you will see the light!

    Or maybe it’s just the Arizona heat. If I had to live in 120 degree heat I’m not sure what I would believe either. :)

  12. I’m pretty sure I just died of embarrassment/horror.

  13. It used to be that Christians got together to teach each other and to invite others into an intimate relationship with mysterious, living truths far beyond our comprehension.

    Then we decided to call it Seminary and charge people to attend.

    Ok, maybe that was a mistake. But the knowledge gleaned there is still really good knowledge.

  14. Can someone tell me what’s on that guy’s face? I keep thinking there’s a smudge on my monitor but apparently there isn’t.

  15. I’d be willing to bet that he believes that he and his 8 followers are the only ‘true Christians’…in the world.

    He’s a nut.

  16. Well, I am not fundamentalist and I do attend church 3 times a week. We are born again Christian. No, I don’t agree with what he preaches but there is certainly nothing wrong with that many services you don’t have to attend all of them if you don’t want to. I choose to. My church is about 2 miles away from his church.

  17. First of all, I am glad to hear from John C. again and the only thing I would add to his definition is that Fundamentalists believe that the Bible is a fundamental tool for helping us understand our world and helping us know how to live. Based on that definition, I attend a fundamentalist church that is starting a sermon series on Galatians called “Fighting for Grace”. We meet once a week in “big church” and once a week in disciple groups. I think fundamentalists get a bad rep because the media loves to focus on the arrogant leaders, like Pat Robertson, and the wackos like that church that protests at military funerals, and pastors in the midst of personal crises who prove that all people need the grace of God. And that really seems to be the media’s purpose, from the little I see: to tear people down and make them look ridiculous. Sometimes, just for fun, they build them up (Tiger Woods, Joe Paterno) to tear them down when they have a moment(s) of weakness or make a bad decision. Pardon me for that little soapbox segway.

    Regarding the educational level of Jesus’ disciples, including Paul, Paul was considered a brilliant rabbinical scholar. The rest of them were a bunch of backward hillbillies taught by the Son of God while he was still on the earth. And those backwards hillbillies probably knew Aramaic as well as Hebrew and maybe even bits of Latin and Greek ;-). As for education today, I think studying and seeking knowledge and understanding are very important and that schools can provide the structure needed for learning. However, memorization is not always the equivalent to understanding. For instance, I remember memorizing key battles in the Civil War when I was in Jr. high. However, I never understood the significance of those battles until last year, when my kids and I were studying the Civil War and the strategies used by the North to break the South’s supply lines throughout the war, not just during Sherman’s march. So if Pastor Anderson has taken the time to memorize huge tracts of…scripture, it is pointless unless he truly understands what it means. I think the Pharisees had memorized a lot of Scripture and look at how well it helped them in recognizing the Messiah! I don’t want to totally knock him since I haven’t watched him or read his stuff and probably I won’t given the fact that I need sleep more than I need to read something that might keep me awake more than your blog has.

  18. There is still a contingent of people who need an essentially works based Evangelical Christianity. This is an example of the kind of check-mark, recipe founded Christian walk. It’s just too hard to imagine that grace and salvation is free. Some need to earn it. To earn it you need a new LAW. The Law of urinals and no pain killers and pants and the like. To earn it you need an advocate, NO, not Jesus, an earthly go-between to cover for you at least 3 days a week.

    Sadly this is one drop in a huge bucket and they claim the same Christ as you and me and everyone else.

    “They will know by your love one for another”

  19. I have come across this guy before, his wife is a crazy fundie blogger, calls it the Pissing Preachers wife or something like that. This guy needs a time out in Gitmo.

  20. WanderingTraveler February 3, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Matt, not sure if anyone said this yet or not, but from going to a fundamentalist college, here is what I get is the deal with fundementalists.

    It’s control. Some (not all. But some.) have this idea that God means for one man (the pastor) to be in control and call all the shots in the church. In order to do this, they have the idea that they are above laws and accountability. If anyone disagrees with them, they are wrong.

    This isn’t all of it. (I am still trying to see through a lot of it.) But that is pretty much the root of it.

  21. Check out the “Dunning-Kruger” effect. An theory that in some way explains the phenomenon where the ignorant are more convinced /confident than the wise.

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