Thursday, July 16, 2009

CCSG Chapter 1: The Salvation Experience [Part 1 of 2]

Read about this series of posts here, The Christian Culture Survival Guide.

Sunday school

The author begins this chapter talking about the ever dreadful Sunday school experience. He speaks about the labor of not just getting the “ticket” into heaven, but living a sanctimonious life until the train arrives. There is a vocabulary word to learn, as well.

1.Holy Spirit Fist- When a preacher slams a Christian on the head with enough force so the congregant falls back immediately on the floor. *

Not all “born again” experiences are the same. Some shout and dance. Some cry silently. Others dance around the church like, what the author describes as, chickens. I can attest to seeing many altar calls which lead to these scenarios (sans the chicken dance). Also, those who claim to have been saved claim a feeling of warmth and calmness after the Lord has entered their life. In my early flirt with Christianity, I cannot bear witness to ever feeling this, or even weeping (and consequently, was labeled a bitter person in my extremely fundamental church). And quite frankly, I tend to feel annoyed when a child who is seemingly unaware for any reason (in most instances, because they are too young) is brought up to the altar. This is because I feel like it is the child’s right to decide what they are willing to believe or not, and that they should come to that conclusion themselves when they’re ready and when they understand. The same goes for baptism. Do the parents earnestly believe it will do the child any good? As for me, I was baptized twice, and ended up rejecting the faith.

A child is usually left in Sunday school class instead of staying with the parent during service. Sunday school can range from being nothing but a one hour story session, to an “old-school revival” type bash. Fortunately, I was never subjected to this, I only observed. The author recalls knowing a Sunday school teacher who was an engaging storyteller, but modest when he claimed to be just an “old farm boy”, nothing overtly special. This Sunday school teacher was also his father. He would not allow the boys to leave class without first having them bow their heads, and proceed to asking Jesus to enter their hearts. And with that, a book reading would go to waste. Winning a soul for Jesus was equivalent to making an incredible play in Football.

* I was once subjected to a form of "holy spirit fist" at a three day long youth "Encounter Camp". While everybody was at the altar, eyes closed and hands in the air, the preacher came to me, put his palm over my forehead, and whispered in my ear a specific set of instructions- to let myself fall on my back. I was young and scared, and in an effort to hide my neglect of religion in a room full of fundamentalist, I obeyed.
Never again.


  1. Wow that's creepy. I never had the pleasure of a Holy Spirit Fist,but at a very young age I thought I wouldn't live to see the age of 18- we would all "be with the Lord" by then. I think that's when I realized it was all a bunch of B.S.

  2. I missed out on a lot growing up Catholic.

    I feel that "saved" 5 year olds are just ridiculous- how could you even form intent at such a young age, either way? Yet I've heard stories of parents screaming at weeping at their 2 year olds, desperate to save them before the end of days.

    Disturbing to say the least.

  3. @smarties,
    I used to fear being "raptured" before I had a chance to live a fulfilling life here on Earth. Perhaps my faith was always weak.

    It's usually these types of parents that make it difficult for children who reject the faith to openly come out, in fear of being stripped of various privileges or out casted.

  4. I did go to sunday school, but a weak diluted methodist one, and can't remember much from that or church except boredom. Thankfully my parents accepted this, and we were never big church goers (if at all). I'm glad I never had that deep instilled fundie fear, that lots of former christians report, and that fist stuff is just crazy.

    Useful bit of knowledge there mate.