Being raised Fundagelical means, you grow up inside a very controlled environment. I’ve written about how growing up inside the Fundagelical bubble creates an entire world view filled with alternative facts. Fundagelicals fear independent thought. Every effort is made to train up children who will not question or leave the denomination they were raised in. Pastors use fear of the outside world to scare parents into sending their kids to private Christian schools or home school them. If you ask parents why they chose to send their kids to a private school or to homeschool them, they will tell you that they want to protect their children from the evils of public school. Pastors paint the public school system as a gang-infested, drug and sex-fueled orgy run by liberal atheist hoping to destroy the faith of your children and get them to become transgender Satanist by watching the Teletubbies.

The reality is that Fundagelical leaders fear any teaching that is outside their strict doctrinal definition of truth. Controlling young people becomes a full-time job. Let me give you an example.

Bob Jones University, founded as a segregationist academy, and infamous for its long tradition of racism is the premier academy for Fundamentalist teaching. Bob Jones University doesn’t see university as an opportunity to expose young minds to all the possibilities; it sees university as an opportunity to conform young minds to a pre-set Fundamentalist worldview. Take a look at the description for their Biology degree, “One of the benefits of studying biology at BJU is that you’ll get a top-notch science education from a thoroughly Christian perspective. In addition to strengthening your faith in the reliability of the Bible, this perspective will also help prepare you to understand modern secular interpretations of science and apply a biblical worldview to them. All of our classes are taught by highly qualified faculty. In fact, practically all of our science faculty have terminal degrees in science. On top of that, they all hold to a Young Earth view of Creation.”

To make sure that students aren’t exposed to anything outside Fundamentalism, the student handbook carefully regulates what students can and can’t do. For example,

“The following music conflicts with our mission and is therefore excluded from performance, personal listening on and off-campus, or use in student organizations, societies, student productions, outreach ministries or social media:

• Any music which, in whole or in part, derives from the following broadly defined genres or their subgenres: Rock, Pop, Country, Jazz, Electronic/Techno, Rap/Hip Hop or the fusion of any of these genres.

• Any music in which Christian lyrics or biblical texts are set to music which is, in whole or in part, derived from any of these genres or their subgenres.”

As for movies,

“Movies can provide wholesome entertainment, helpful instruction, or profound insight into life and human behavior. However, much of what is and has been produced by the entertainment industry reflects views, lifestyles, and modes of communication which are in direct opposition to a Christ-centered life. These movies exert a worldly pull on Christians trying to develop Christlikeness that compounds with continued exposure over time.

Students are not to watch television shows, movies, or movie trailers on their cell phones or computers on campus. In homes, students may view PG-rated movies and movie trailers and TV-PG television programming. Unrated movies frequently contain objectionable content that has not been cut to meet rating standards and are not appropriate. Students are not to attend a movie of any rating in a public theater during a semester in which they are enrolled or during the summer if they are working on campus and not living at home. This includes when away from campus overnight (except for Thanksgiving and spring breaks). In addition, students are to avoid displaying on campus any pictures or objects promoting movies rated above PG-13.”

So, watching Passion of the Christ is out.

Internet use is strictly limited, and BJU uses a strict internet filter. Student social media is monitored for inappropriate content.

My favorite control mechanism to keep young minds away from any thought or idea outside of Fundamentalism is their church attendance policy.

“Students are expected to attend all Sunday morning activities of a local fundamental church (in most cases that will be Sunday school and the Sunday morning service) plus an additional service during the week—Sunday afternoon or evening service, midweek evening service or a church shepherding group meeting. A student may have up to four absences from services each semester for illness or travel. (Students who serve in Sunday morning nursing home ministries may consider that ministry equivalent to participating in their churches’ Sunday morning meetings.) The regional church list specifies a number of fundamental churches that students may attend. Before attending any church not on this list, residence hall students and day students not attending church with their parents are required to check with the director of Ministry Training.”

You may only attend churches approved by the school. God forbid that any student might accidentally wander into Open Door Ministries where I teach, their poor little heads would explode. I can see a BJU student returning to campus and confessing their sin of going to a church “IN THE MALL!” and how they could tell right away the place was one of those compromising worldly churches. “Can you believe they had couches?” It will be one of those stories they tell at church camp of how they were lured in by the use of similar sounded Christian words, but they knew when the preacher told them to think for themselves, they had stumbled into one of Satan’s many traps.

Many Bob Jones graduates go on to become pastors of Fundamentalist churches. They have been raised to never think outside of the box, to live in the box, love the box, and to build a box for the next generation. Everything outside of the box is evil and Open Door Ministries is definitely not on the list.

Thanks for reading! Please take a moment and share this post.  Don’t forget to like the post and subscribe if you haven’t already. You can watch my vlog at Rev’s Reels on YouTube. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Join me and a bunch of other former Fundagelicals at Open Door Ministries in Westminster at the Westminster Mall.