Thursday, December 8, 2011

There's Crazy, and Then There's FIC Crazy

Courtesy of the folk at the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, we have yet another sign that the Apocalypse may indeed be upon us. O.M.G.

Perhaps they just made a really poor choice for a title, but God help us all, preparing a 2 year old for marriage? What the...?! At 2 years old you should be learning how to go poopy in the potty, learning to not eat boogers, learning to talk without spitting, and playing with blocks and Legos. 

This kinda crap is just more evidence of just how uptight this crowd is. (I'd pay an enormous sum of money to see Zach Galifianakis do his stand-up routine at a Family Integrated Church, or at a VF or Gothard conference)

A couple quotes of note...

It is folly to think that we can wait until our children are on the brink of marriage to communicate to them a Biblical vision of courtship and marriage.

Folly? Really? Folly? Proverbs a lot, do ya? Speak English, please. Not a legalistic, uptight version of Christianese. And I got news for ya - You can wait until your kids are retired and you still won't be able to communicate to them a "Biblical vision of courtship". It doesn't exist. It's a figment of your religiously addicted imagination. Besides, 2 years old ain't exactly on the brink of marriage in any culture I know of.

I'm curious if they start training them on the sexual aspects at such a young age. I mean, in a system resourced by rapid, rabid procreation, sex is the most important element, no? At what age is it "biblically" appropriate to let them know precisely what their ha-has and hoo-hoos are for?

The world doesn’t wait; It begins attempting to instill an unbiblical, romanticized view of marriage in your children from their earliest years.

No fear mongering there. Yep. That's exactly what the world does. In fact, I think there was a board meeting for the leaders of "the world" a while back where they decided to do that very thing. So, if you don't learn to control the mind of and brainwash your child early, you're definitely gonna lose them to the world. It's a conspiracy, I tell ya. {SA}

Employing an array of passages primarily from the book of Proverbs, Mr. Sides demonstrated that in scripture the language that’s used to describe wisdom is largely the same language used elsewhere to describe a good wife. It is imperative that parents teach their children to pursue and love wisdom as a training ground for courting a wife in future years.

There's the Proverbs infatuation rearing it's legalistic head. Don't get me wrong, I love the Proverbs. I also realize that they weren't written to me specifically, but were written to and for the Holy Spirit-less children of Solomon in most cases, and to and for some other Holy Spirit-less people in a few other cases. It would be more than a little spiritually immature for me, a believer with access to the Holy Spirit, to use the Proverbs as a rulebook for life rather than as a supplement.

I've always wondered how the Proverbs worshipers feel about drinking. I mean, there's this in Proverbs 31...

4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine.
      Rulers should not crave alcohol.
 5 For if they drink, they may forget the law
      and not give justice to the oppressed.
 6 Alcohol is for the dying,
      and wine for those in bitter distress.
 7 Let them drink to forget their poverty
      and remember their troubles no more.

Are they ok with booze as a numbing agent for people in peril, whether physical, emotional, financial, what have you? Do they consider it "godly"? It's obviously "biblical", but is it "godly"?

From where I sit, it's kinda hard to argue that the FIC crowd isn't a cult.


  1. Not sure if you can call all the weird people that populate the conservative demographic you write about to be in a cult. People can be freakishly weird without being in a cult, it doesn't make them any less freakish. ATI is definitely a cult because they follow the teachings of one man in particular, but these FIC ppl and the vision forum folks... I think they just twist scripture as a matter of combined ignorance and arrogance and fear wrapped into one big ball. Unfortunately this cocktail is a problem common to humanity, just these ppl happen to suffer from it worse so they are attracted to each other. I haven't heard that they follow any one "prophet" or one "pastor" as a solid group thought, just give their own church pastors unlimited interpretation powers. Just very very weird ppl.

  2. Who DO they worship--God or Solomon? And, do these people (ATI/IBLP VF FIC) even understand what the new covenant means?? I guess Jesus died on the cross for everyone but them. I really get angry at their willful stupidity in this regard. HE did NOT die for us to become Pharasees......

  3. "The world doesn’t wait; It begins attempting to instill an unbiblical, romanticized view of marriage in your children from their earliest years."

    .....Because God forbid Children think that Marriage has something to do with love and romance. Quick! Crush all their childish dreams before its too late!!

  4. I guess that's what happens when the focus is on marriage. As important as marriage is there is still something more important, that is, the Christian faith.

  5. Actually, the assumptions implicit in the article were more frightening to me:
    "It is imperative that parents teach their children to pursue and love wisdom as a training ground for courting a wife in future years."
    I think it's interesting that they take a neutral term "children" and apply it only to boys. I think it is indicative of some gender bias which portrays men as the dominant/default sex.

    Secondly, this assumption is also interesting:
    "The world doesn’t wait; It begins attempting to instill an unbiblical, romanticized view of marriage"
    This is saying that marriage in worldly perspective is romantic and that biblical marriage is not romantic. I am wondering why they think Proverbs is anymore useful in discussions of marriage than Song of Songs. I wonder if they consider that book of the Bible to be romantic and unBiblical (hah!).

  6. I don't think little FIC girls are allowed to play with blocks or Legos ...

  7. What part of the first few verses of the Song of Solomon do these people NOT get?

    1:3 The lotion you have on pleases me. Your name is like perfume that is poured out. No wonder the young women love you! 4 Take me away with you. Let us hurry! King Solomon, bring me into your palace." The other women say, "King Solomon, you fill us with joy. You make us happy. We praise your love more than we praise wine." The woman says to the king, "It is right for them to love you! 5 "Women of Jerusalem, my skin is dark but lovely.

    In the above I see flirtation, romance, wooing, and the use of 3 senses and praise for the enjoyment of those senses: smell, sound, and sight.

  8. Dr. Clutz, there is more to the definition of a cult than following one leader. These groups have all the earmarks of a cult in their practices, including isolationism, authoritarian control, doctrine over person, shaming, bounded choice, and elitism. Just because they've replaced one leader with a group of leaders who promote the cult through books and videos, doesn't mean they're not a cult.

  9. Does anyone else find it ironic that these people forbid romance and attraction but expect couples to have sex often enough to produce 10+ children?

    I can't decide if this whole "no romance" idea is an issue of parents wanting control (and romantic feelings make children rebel) or a case of wanting men's authority to never be threatened (as it surely would be if they felt attraction to their wife and thus wanted to please her by giving in to her views).

  10. There is a peculiar (there's that word again) notion among the fundamentalist circles that any emotion is evil and of the flesh. I once sat through a Sunday School class where a woman asked if it was possible that Christians should refrain from laughter. Anything enjoyable that elicits strong feelings is a snare to temptation. They can't avoid the sex part since they want lots of children, but they can strip all the romance and fun out of things.

  11. Everything is so deadly serious with these folks. Childhood is a time to pretend, to believe in fairies and magic, to play dress up, play with dolls and Thomas the Tank Engine. It is not a dress rehearsal for adulthood. It lasts for a short season so like I tell my grandchildren "enjoy it, because you will be an adult for a long time".


  12. Dr Clutz,

    The term "cult" is not just a pejorative term to throw around at religious groups that people do not like. As Kristen noted, there are criteria that arise in every group, basically a group manifestation of the works of the flesh as Paul discussed in Galatians.

    If you prefer the Spiritual Abuse Model, take a look at Watchman Fellowship's profile:

    If you prefer Steven Martin's approach, a counselor at the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, take a look at the criteria of manipulation as it manifests in churches, what Martin calls "The Heresy of Mind Control":

    And specifically pertaining to the Family Integrated Church, you might benefit from reading Midwest Christian Outreach's materials on Vision Forum. They wrote and published the book critiquing Gothardism.

    You can visit my work, too: