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Gimme That Old Time Religion

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The ratings were up last season because of Jessa and Jill courting.

I had stopped watching, then started again. A person can take only so much of "the Duggars visit a farm." The focus on relationships is far more interesting to me, and obviously to others as well. 

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I think all of these "cults" that claim to live after the bible are just cherry-picking. Sure, they might things a bit farther than mainstream Christians do, but in the end they still don't obey every rule that the bible contains, not even the ones in the New Testament. Cause that would be pretty impossible to do.

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As a former Bible professor, I can verify that this is true.  Which is why, IMO, a more rational approach to the Bible is to try to live by the timeless truths behind the principals therein; you don't have to appropriate the same culturally specific practices as they did during OT or NT times to be a Christian.  It's the spirit, not the letter, of the law that is important, as Jesus constantly emphasized to the Pharisees.

 

YMMV.

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As a former Bible professor, I can verify that this is true.  Which is why, IMO, a more rational approach to the Bible is to try to live by the timeless truths behind the principals therein; you don't have to appropriate the same culturally specific practices as they did during OT or NT times to be a Christian.  It's the spirit, not the letter, of the law that is important, as Jesus constantly emphasized to the Pharisees.

 

YMMV.

I think so too. I'm a Christian myself, but I don't take everything that is written in the bible literally.

 

It's funny that for many fundies, the Duggars aren't even fundie enough. Like they let their daughters vote! Which is a big no-no in some circles, that women get to vote.They support catholics like Santorum. Also a no-go for many fundies like really fundamental baptists who think that catholics aren't Christians at all and will go straight to hell. Faithful Word baptist church in Tempe AZ is one example of a really crazy pastor, who makes the Duggars look like liberals.

 

That goes to show that there really isn't an objective reason for the Duggar worldview that the Duggar girls should be able to vote, yet shouldn't wear pants. Those are simply the subjective personal values of JimBob and Michelle, who enforce their own opinion on their adult daughters.

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I'm on my phone and can't figure out how to make the quote function work so my apologies in advance!

Someone above said, "That goes to show that there really isn't an objective reason for the Duggar worldview that the Duggar girls should be able to vote, yet shouldn't wear pants. Those are simply the subjective personal values of JimBob and Michelle, who enforce their own opinion on their adult daughters."

If I could add to that, it's also what Bill Gothard has told the Duggars to believe/do. To me that is tragic, because the guy has twisted and mangled the Bible to enforce his rules and put these people into a mental bondage that is very hard to escape. And even though Gothard has resigned (after the testimony of 35 different girls & women that he sexually harassed and molested over a period spanning about 40 years,) the Diggar's and the Bateses still wholeheartedly support him.

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Makes me wonder how many of the other "suitors" were either scared off or didn't answer the questionnaire right

 

I know that the no birth control thing is a Quiverfull thing, not an evangelical thing. One of the things that evangelicals snark on Catholics about is the no birth control / big family thing. It is considered irresponsible and barbaric.

 

I can easily see a very conservative Christian guy failing to pass the courtship test if he said anything positive about family planning.

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Even most Catholics these days use some kind of birth control. They want to live within their means, and - hopefully even afford to pay for their kids to attend college!

Edited by DangerousMinds
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I think most Christian denominations are ok with some type of birth control. Even the Catholic church nowdays won't preach against stuff like NFP anymore, and many Bishops are ok with condoms too. Granted, NFP isn't as effective as the pill for example, but you can still use it to avoid that you end up with 19 children. You might end up with 8 or something like that, but that's still a manageable number, whereas 19 is simply irresponsible towards the children.

 

So I can see Derick being ok with some kind of birth control. He might not put his foot down right now, because he knows what kind of pressure Jill is under to deliver a baby for J'Chelle and Boob (and also for some more TLC specials), but in a few years, after a few babies and some breakdowns of his wife, he might change his mind.

 

And also, I'm pretty sure he was thoroughly questioned by Boob and J'Chelle and maybe some other ATI officials, however, if he really wanted to meet Jill and watched enough TLC Duggar episodes and read enough ATI "literature", he probably knew exactly what to say in order to pass the exam with flying colors.

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Catholic here.  It's been 13-14 years since I got married, so I'm not sure, but I think the priest asked us during our initial discussions with him if we were both open to accepting children and would we agree to raise them in the Catholic Church.....not whether we were open to accepting all the children God wanted to give us.  But I'm 100% sure about this:  not only did the Church not preach against NFP, they were pushing it.  During our Pre-Cana weekend (run by the Church), they brought in a young married couple who explained how to do NFP.

 

 

Catholic here too and indeed the priest said the exact same thing.

Edited by Rhondinella · Reason: added quote responding to

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I think most Christian denominations are ok with some type of birth control. Even the Catholic church nowdays won't preach against stuff like NFP anymore, and many Bishops are ok with condoms too. Granted, NFP isn't as effective as the pill for example, but you can still use it to avoid that you end up with 19 children. You might end up with 8 or something like that, but that's still a manageable number, whereas 19 is simply irresponsible towards the children.

 

So I can see Derick being ok with some kind of birth control. He might not put his foot down right now, because he knows what kind of pressure Jill is under to deliver a baby for J'Chelle and Boob (and also for some more TLC specials), but in a few years, after a few babies and some breakdowns of his wife, he might change his mind.

 

And also, I'm pretty sure he was thoroughly questioned by Boob and J'Chelle and maybe some other ATI officials, however, if he really wanted to meet Jill and watched enough TLC Duggar episodes and read enough ATI "literature", he probably knew exactly what to say in order to pass the exam with flying colors.

That makes no sense to me. If you are using any form of birth control including, NFP and condoms why not use all forms. The result is the same. [snip] Either way you are trying to avoid conception and that is a no no, right? I just don't get all this supernatural crap. [snip]

Edited by Rhondinella
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Not saying I agree, but I think the thought process is that it is one thing to prevent conception and another (and apparently forbidden) to use any form of birth control that stops a pregnancy from proceeding. However, I'm not sure which ones do that or if that is even how it really works.

[snip]

Edited by Rhondinella

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During our Pre-Cana weekend (run by the Church), they brought in a young married couple who explained how to do NFP.

Same here.  But our NFP couple had 6 children, were pregnant again and admitted that they weren't very good at following the rules ;)

 

I was also struck that weekend by how in the same "class" the husband said that as good practicing Catholics we shouldn't be doing anything to prevent a pregnancy.  Cut to 15 minutes later he was talking about his mad skillzzz in charting his wife's cycle and saying that he was able to plan vacations around her fertile days so that they could have fun without risking pregnancy.  I stopped listening after that. 

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Just a heads up about the blog post linked right above: Rachel Held Evans, the writer, has gained quite a name for herself in Christian circles, especially of the more anti-fundie (but not completely liberal) variety.  She was raised Evangelical and and then started to question some of the very fundamentalist beliefs she was raised with.  She started her blog as part of that questioning and discovery.  She has since written a couple books (one of which became a NY Times Bestseller) and has gained a large following for her blog.  She is still a Christian, very much so, but has just come to see that much of what she was raised believing wasn't fundamental to Christianity itself, but rather a particular variety of Christianity that she just couldn't believe anymore.  Her writing is always thoughtful, respectful and intelligent.

 

So, anyway, I don't know her personally or anything, but I read a lot of her stuff, and I'm just saying, she's worth a read, even for non-Christians.  And I actually saw several people on my FB and Twitter sharing this article today, so it's gotten some attention.

 

(Edited to add:  I just Googled and found this 5 year old article from Evans which briefly references the Duggars and questions the ethics of bringing as many children as you can into the world.  It's not the topic of the entire article, but it's in there).

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Just a heads up about the blog post linked right above: Rachel Held Evans, the writer, has gained quite a name for herself in Christian circles, especially of the more anti-fundie (but not completely liberal) variety.  She was raised Evangelical and and then started to question some of the very fundamentalist beliefs she was raised with.  She started her blog as part of that questioning and discovery.  She has since written a couple books (one of which became a NY Times Bestseller) and has gained a large following for her blog.  She is still a Christian, very much so, but has just come to see that much of what she was raised believing wasn't fundamental to Christianity itself, but rather a particular variety of Christianity that she just couldn't believe anymore.  Her writing is always thoughtful, respectful and intelligent.

 

So, anyway, I don't know her personally or anything, but I read a lot of her stuff, and I'm just saying, she's worth a read, even for non-Christians.  And I actually saw several people on my FB and Twitter sharing this article today, so it's gotten some attention.

 

(Edited to add:  I just Googled and found this 5 year old article from Evans which briefly references the Duggars and questions the ethics of bringing as many children as you can into the world.  It's not the topic of the entire article, but it's in there).

I want to add my amens about Evans. I've read A Year of Biblical Womanhood that taught me much about the religious beliefs we've encountered with the Duggars and family from which Evans departed while remaining a highly spiritual woman. I also read her blog via facebook. She's a fine writer. 

Edited by mbutterfly
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The big problem with ATI, the Duggars, and the rules is not (necessarily) that rules outside the Bible exist. All Christian parents have rules for their kids not explicitly outlined in Scripture. The problem is Gothard and the like tell you that following their rules is necessary for salvation. I grew up in a different Fundie ilk (google Jack Hyles) and it was the same thing. You live in constant fear of messing up.

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ATI conference is still in it and Michelle referenced Alert cadets.  I then stopped watching.

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I'm bringing this question from another thread because it really relates to the Duggar's religion. It is surprising to me that they would not be supportive of military careers for men. They are surely not pacifists. I understand it would be difficult for the men to have women superiors in the work place, but dang -- that's going to happen anywhere. Surely there are high level women in the Walmart corporation, for example. Does anyone know more about this religious group and their views on military service. 

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They are not against the military but the curve ball is not be able to have a supervisor that doesn't hold your beliefs and/or a woman. That's why those that follow Gothard are usually business owners or missionaries. It limits your job choices if you can't have woman, gays, liberals or Catholics etc. as your potential bosses.

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They are not against the military but the curve ball is not be able to have a supervisor that doesn't hold your beliefs and/or a woman. That's why those that follow Gothard are usually business owners or missionaries. It limits your job choices if you can't have woman, gays, liberals or Catholics etc. as your potential bosses.

It would be interesting to learn where in scripture they find any words about not working for someone with a different belief system. 

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It doesn't have to be in actual scripture for them, it only has to be in the word of Gothard.  I had some brief hopes that they would distance themselves from him after his latest problem and perhaps in a few small ways they are.  They still follow a ton of his teachings though.

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Surely there are high level women in the Walmart corporation, for example.

I don't think Derrick is part of an ATI family.

Gil Bates left Nabisco after joining ATI to start his tree business.

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I don't think Derrick is part of an ATI family.

Gil Bates left Nabisco after joining ATI to start his tree business.

 

Derick and his family apparently attend(ed) a regular Southern Baptist church.  I hope he feels "called" to continue that path. 

 

Gil leaving what sounded like a good job with benefits has always made me sad.  I don't think his parents thought that was a good idea either. 

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It always frustrates me (as a Christian myself) that some Christians seem to abdicate common sense in the name of faith. If you are determined to have a huge family, I would think that a secure job with health insurance and benefits would be seen as a blessing from God. In fact, the Bible does have harsh things to say about those who will not provide for their families. Yet I have heard of some (not many) Christians eschew things like medical insurance and homeowners insurance because they think it shows a lack of faith in God's provision. Why couldn't it be seen as part of God's provision? I'm sure Gil works very hard at his tree business. It just doesn't seem to me the most logical way to provide for 21 people.

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It always frustrates me (as a Christian myself) that some Christians seem to abdicate common sense in the name of faith. If you are determined to have a huge family, I would think that a secure job with health insurance and benefits would be seen as a blessing from God. In fact, the Bible does have harsh things to say about those who will not provide for their families. Yet I have heard of some (not many) Christians eschew things like medical insurance and homeowners insurance because they think it shows a lack of faith in God's provision. Why couldn't it be seen as part of God's provision? I'm sure Gil works very hard at his tree business. It just doesn't seem to me the most logical way to provide for 21 people.

Yes, this whole way of thinking is simply stupid. Getting sick is something that happens to basically everyone in their lifetime, so having an insurance is a very sensible way to secure your family. I think most of these fundies are also very fond of guns, and none of these would ever say things like: well, I'm against guns, because I trust God that I won't get robbed.

But sure, stuff like health insurance is a sign that you don't trust God enough.

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Yes, this whole way of thinking is simply stupid. Getting sick is something that happens to basically everyone in their lifetime, so having an insurance is a very sensible way to secure your family. I think most of these fundies are also very fond of guns, and none of these would ever say things like: well, I'm against guns, because I trust God that I won't get robbed.

But sure, stuff like health insurance is a sign that you don't trust God enough.

The Amish live like that, but they live in a community that will come to the help of anyone who needs it anytime.  My parents live near a large Amish community, and it's amazing how the whole community can mobilize for one family.  There was an Amish family whose house burned down, and within three or four months, they were back in a new house (built by fellow Amish in less than a week) with all of their belongings replaced by others helping them.  They also don't draw Social Security (and many of them don't pay in) because the younger family members take care of their parents and grandparents. That being said, I don't think JimBob or Gil have that kind of community around them.  Gothard has actually taught the opposite.  The Amish preach community, while Gothardites believe in "every man for himself."

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Gil leaving what sounded like a good job with benefits has always made me sad.  I don't think his parents thought that was a good idea either.

 

It's okay; they just go to the ER whenever someone gets a sniffle.  They can't be forced to pay that way!  Who needs benefits??

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Moving from some comments in another thread -- Friendly Chapel in Little Rock being part of the Church of the Nazarene, and some people not sure why that makes people feel that it is Pentecostal or Fundamentalist.  Perhaps I can clear up some of the confusion!  My parents are long-time Nazarenes, and I was raised in it.  If you are a Nazarene, we can probably play "Who do you know" and we're probably less than three people away, as we were a fairly prominent family in our area, including my father being a trustee to one of the Nazarene colleges and as a college professor himself, knowing many of the faculty and administration throughout the US colleges and seminaries.

Anyway, coming out of the Holiness tradition, the Nazarenes do certainly qualify for the fundamentalist tag.  I grew up in a world that in all honesty, didn't look a whole lot unlike the Duggars.  There were arguments over pants or skirts, make up or no make up, my wedding was dry and there was no dancing (and it was not a Southern wedding) women tended to wear their hair longer, no movies, there was no "mixed bathing" at our District Campground, etc etc.  Times have changed somewhat, and the Manual has changed with them, but many districts are still far more Fundamentalist than others, and some churches are more fundy than others even within the same District or even the same Zone.

And it probably would come as a surprise to many, but the original name of the church was the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene.  This name was quickly dropped, however, because it soon became too controversial and divisive, as issues such as speaking in tongues becamse, for many people THE most important fruit and a sign of salvation, which was not part of the Nazarene doctrine at all.  However, many Nazarenes do believe in the gift of healing, the laying on of hands, annointing with oil, the gift of discernment, somewhat in the power of prophecy at the local level, and, of course, the big one -- the gift of sanctification through the Holy Spirit -- a second baptism, as it were.  How these are defined and used can vary from District to District and even church to church, but they are some of the very core beliefs of the church, and part of it's break from Methodism, which it believed 1) was too "worldly" and 2) had abandoned it's ministry to the poor and downtrodden as it moved to the suburbs.

Just through I'd throw that out there.  Not everyone grows up having to know the history of the Nazarene Church, but I was one of them, so I thought I'd pass along some quick info!

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Regarding the comment from @PinkSprinkles about Ben's dad and "great Christian" and the Reformed/Calvinist theology - my husband who grew up in a Reformed/Calvinist church says that he's never heard any of that about you can never know how great a Christian someone is. There surely could be a religion that preaches that, that the Seewalds follow - but I think that he more means that only God knows the heart and if we start labeling people to be "great Christians", it can set them up on a pedestal and if/when they fail (because we all do), it makes it that much more devastating (see for examples: any of the pastors/priests or Gothard or whoever, falling from their "higher" position due to sin).

 

I still think it was a jerky thing to say and he should have just said "Thanks for the compliment. We're proud of him", but I think that's where he was coming from, from a religious standpoint.

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The Duggars say that courtship is dating with a  purpose. Isn't real dating's purpose to see if the person you have feelings for is the person you want to spend your life with? They date without kissing, hand holding or sex. 

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FTR, I didn't confuse Nazarene with Pentecostal. I merely made a mistake when I identified Friendly Chapel, thinking that they were Pentecostal. It had nothing to do with mixing up doctrine and everything to do with my faulty memory! :)

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Isn't real dating's purpose to see if the person you have feelings for is the person you want to spend your life with?

Some people date for temporary companionship though. They may never intend for a specific person to "go the distance", but enjoy their company for a few months worth of dates.

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If you are a Nazarene, we can probably play "Who do you know" and we're probably less than three people away, as we were a fairly prominent family in our area

 

 

GEML, honestly, this is true of basically any Nazarene, isn't it :-)

 

And as a lifetime Nazarene I disagree somewhat with your characterization of the church as fundamentalist, but I think that partly depends on your definition.  Since this isn't really relevant to the Duggars since they are not part of the denomination, however, we'll move on.  (Feel free to PM me if you want to chat more.  Also, from the way you've described your family it's perfectly possible I know some of them).

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I just discovered this show's thread. I enjoy watching the Duggars and, yes, I do get a bit creeped out by them too. It wasn't until earlier this year that I read they were associated with Gothard because of that scandal. When I was in college, I went to a Basic Life Principles Seminar. I don't remember anything, only that it sounded like practical advice. Plus, back then I never questioned anything. Fast forward 20 yrs later, my church went through BLP again. Listening with fresh ears and being older, I was horrified at what he was teaching. Since I'm new to this show's forum, sorry if I repeat anything that's already been said. The things that really bothered me were:

1. Single gals should never live away from home. If they do, they will have a reputation of being wild and living in sin.

2. Women are always to be under the authority of man. If not her father, then her husband. If she doesn't have a father or husband, then it would be her brother. (I guess if she doesn't have a brother, it would be an uncle).

3. A woman should never get involved in a man's affair. Gothard told a story of a man who owned his own business. It started failing. His wife took over and rebuilt it into a successful one. What happens to the husband? He runs off with another woman. Gothard said it was the wife's fault for butting in. If God meant the business to fail, then it should fail.

I wonder how much of this influences the Duggar's view of how they should raise their daughters. I guess it doesn't matter how old the girls are, and if they remain single, they will always be under their Dad's rule even in their 50's.

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3. A woman should never get involved in a man's affair. Gothard told a story of a man who owned his own business. It started failing. His wife took over and rebuilt it into a successful one. What happens to the husband? He runs off with another woman. Gothard said it was the wife's fault for butting in. If God meant the business to fail, then it should fail.

This is just laughably absurd!  LOL! Oh these people and their kooky beliefs. 

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So. I'm in my 50's and never married. Not by choice, for sure. My dad passed in 2001, my half-brother about five years ago, and no living uncles either. Who will run my life? Also, since God hasn't sent me a husband nor any "blessings", am I cursed of God? Not that I don't occasionally have these thoughts myself (raised strict Southern Baptist), but I wonder if I were to ever meet the Duggars, how horribly they would judge me. With my whorish single ways (I'm the least whorish person you could ever meet), masters degree and fancypants career. And I also wonder if one of the daughters never married and lived with Michelle and Jim Bob the rest of her days. Would they be happy for the slave labor, heck yeah. But would they be secretly embarrassed and ashamed? Certainly they'd feel something was wrong with her. God didn't think she was worthy of blessings.

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Are the Bateses still meeting for services at the Holiday Inn Express conference room?  That has been on their site for awhile now.  I can't figure out why they and the Duggars can't just attend a regular church.  What's the deal?  Are they not able to get along with others or too big to receive instruction from others?

Those churches are "too liberal" for the smug, legalistic Gothardites... They'll slum long enough to make a guest appearance at those churches (augmented by "love offerings" or book sales, of course) but they wouldn't dream of spending any length of time with women who work outside of the home or those who allow their children to date with no purpose.

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Isn't there also the issue that the entire family is to stay together the entire time rather than be separated out by age? I think that's a Gothard rule. Almost every church out there offers children's ministry and youth ministry that is somewhat separate from the adult ministry. What would happen if someone ventured an opinion that you couldn't tell your children was wrong because you didn't know someone told them in another room?

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Missy Vixen, I agree with you. I think that's exactly what goes on with them.I scratch my head, though, as to why would they allow Jill to marry Derick, whose family seems to be mainstream Christian? His mother works, wears pants and I'm sure attends a real church. I would like to pin Derick and his mother down and have them introduce themselves to us and let us know who they are...it hasn't been done. The Seewalds have done some of that, at least. I really would like to know how Derick and his brother grew up and just what Derick's intentions are in his own married life and how they differ, if so, from the Duggar lifestyle and belief system. Now that would be a really good show, not this crappy recap, fluff and fill junk we have to endure. Episodes which accomplish very little progress. I think TLC is trying to stretch out the puny 2 month "season" to end with Jill's already long ago wedding....

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Missy Vixen, I agree with you. I think that's exactly what goes on with them.I scratch my head, though, as to why would they allow Jill to marry Derick, whose family seems to be mainstream Christian? His mother works, wears pants and I'm sure attends a real church. I would like to pin Derick and his mother down and have them introduce themselves to us and let us know who they are...it hasn't been done. The Seewalds have done some of that, at least. I really would like to know how Derick and his brother grew up and just what Derick's intentions are in his own married life and how they differ, if so, from the Duggar lifestyle and belief system. Now that would be a really good show, not this crappy recap, fluff and fill junk we have to endure. Episodes which accomplish very little progress. I think TLC is trying to stretch out the puny 2 month "season" to end with Jill's already long ago wedding....

As the head of the household now, I wonder why Derick and Jill are not attending his church.

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As the head of the household now, I wonder why Derick and Jill are not attending his church.

Because although Boob might act as if he subscribes to that form of thinking- when it comes down to it, Boob thinks of himself as Jim Jones- and NO ONE can leave without consequences.  He is the top of the pyramid and he can change the rules as he sees fit.  The congregation must stay close to Jim Bob Jones.  

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A question about their beliefs if anyone knows. If one of the Duggar girls happens to get divorced, through no fault of their, would they be welcomed back into their parent's home? I mean if the divorce was strictly something the husband wanted.

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http://starcasm.net/archives/263315

 

This is an argument I can never win with all my Christian friends. Maybe I'm wrong or naive? I am tired of women getting the blame for dressing immodest. I always say, you could cover up a woman from head to toe and a man will still have sensual thoughts. And it's okay for a man to show his bare arms? Seeing all those muscles isn't going to cause sensual thoughts in women? The topic is so one-sided.

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http://starcasm.net/archives/263315

 

This is an argument I can never win with all my Christian friends. Maybe I'm wrong or naive? I am tired of women getting the blame for dressing immodest. I always say, you could cover up a woman from head to toe and a man will still have sensual thoughts. And it's okay for a man to show his bare arms? Seeing all those muscles isn't going to cause sensual thoughts in women? The topic is so one-sided.

I'm just going to say you'll have no argument with some of your on-line Christian friends, like here. 

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