A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter Nine – Embracing the Darkness

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CAWatson's picture

John,

Please publish this book in print form when you are finished. There are a number of individuals to whom I believe would benefit from reading this - both believers and unbelievers (and even one family member). 

John E.'s picture

Lord willing, I'm planning on expanding it and approaching publishers (like Crossway, where I have some contacts). We'll see. It's a long shot, even with my contacts.  

Bert Perry's picture

...and one that I've got no easy answers for; why are some attracted to things like sleazy nightclubs, and some--saved or not--couldn't care less?  I guess you've got easy answers like "common grace" and "meaningful moral teaching by parents and teachers", but to use a couple of examples from my life, I've been at parties where marijuana was smoked, and I've been at parties where Everclear punch was served, before I was in Christ, and my response was basically "dumbest party ever." 

I guess I wasn't in willful rebellion, which counts for a bunch, but still that generates the question "why wasn't I?"  I had some "good" reasons to rebel--parents' divorce, being at the wrong end of the pecking order at school, etc.. 

My thought is if a book gets published, maybe someone will start thinking of that why and come up with some good answers.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture

 

Excerpt from Chapter Nine: "One of the nice things about large churches with over a thousand members is that it’s easy to slip away and nobody notice."

.....but only if the attendee has elected to merely attend services, and intentionally avoids getting involved with other people or the church's ministries.

My church is big, really big.  We just saw approximately 5,400 people attend our Easter services last weekend.

If I chose to, I could simply disappear into the crowds, and likewise slip away without anyone really noticing.

But if one attends not only services, but also an Adult Bible Fellowship (aka Sunday school class), a small group, a men's or women's ministry group, and/or various other Bible studies, and if one serves in various ministries, it becomes impossible to simply, "slip away and nobody notice."

If I were to elect to try to "slip away," I'm positive I would be inundated with telephone calls, emails, and visits to my home from pastors & lay people alike who were concerned about my sudden absence.  But that's because I attend a number of other groups besides just services, and I serve in multiple ministry roles.

It's all a matter of one's involvement and commitment.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I think we had about 70 for our Easter services!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Richard Brunt's picture

John, I was going to wait till you were done with your story to comment and I may comment again when you are done, but I feel compelled to comment now. 

First I want to second the idea of this becoming a book.  I personally will buy a few copies.  

Thank you for not glorifying your sin.  I have heard quite a few "testimonies" that seem to do so.

Richard E Brunt

Andrew K's picture

Richard Brunt wrote:

Thank you for not glorifying your sin.  I have heard quite a few "testimonies" that seem to do so.

"Yeah, I was the biggest, toughest hombre around. C'mere, kids: feel this fist. This fist punched out a cop, then grabbed his buddy by the belt and threw him out the window. Good thing for you I'm saved now..." 

John E.'s picture

One of my fears is that I will inadvertently glorify my life and sin. I'm facing that fear as I work on the next chapter. Skipping ahead almost 4 years, it begins at the time of my life when I was the "happiest" in my rebellion. Being honest about my mindset while unveiling the ugliness of sin is challenging. The chapter concludes as God is beginning to break me. Once it's published, I would love your feedback, Richard (and others), about whether I struck the right balance or not.

Overall, the feedback I've been receiving and, hopefully, will continue to receive will help me when I rework the series into a book. 

Ron Bean's picture

I share a measure of the pain you express in this installment. A lot of us carry the scars left by sin. While we are thankful for the gracious forgiveness of God for Jesus' sake, the sight of and memories evoked by those scars is still painful. I prayed daily that my sons would be spared from the sins of their father.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

John E.'s picture

Thank you, brother. I too pray fervently and daily that God will save my kids while they're young. I do not want them to have my life. As I watch and praise God for how many of the twenty year olds in my church are faithfully serving God and pursuing holiness, I long for my kids to serve God their entire adulthood. 

By the way, you're (Ron) making your entrance into my story two chapters from now :)