“Should we start a support group?”
This is what I asked my friend the other day. We’d started e-mailing about something completely mundane, and somehow the topic came up.
As you all know – surely, you MUST know by now – I was raised in a very conservative environment. Not necessarily by my parents, who were very balanced individuals. My conservative environment existed more in my school and church surroundings.
As you also must know, for the most part, I cast aside the extreme conservativeness, the legalism, after high school, and really took my time discovering what I believed and WHY while I was in college.
It wasn’t until I started reconnecting with people from my past, old friends, that I discovered I was not the only one who remembered the craziness of culottes, KJV-only baloney, and the weaker vessel schmessel. (okay, I made “schmessel” up)
Anyway, apparently, there are several of us (many of us, I hope) who managed to escape with our brains and Christianity intact. In fact, many of the kids who grew up like I did, emerged victorious over the oppressive legalism machine.
Not all of us however. There are many rebels, and many who are still lost in the maze of rules and regulations.
At church, I met a friend with a VERY similar upbringing, and ever since we discovered the bond, we’ve enjoyed remembering what it was like"back then." It’s sort of like surviving a natural disaster – looking back, a lot of memories take on a rosy glow, even though it was horrible during the actual experience.
Anyway, it was from her I learned the term “IFB” which (many of you will know) means Independent Fundamental Baptist. I’d never actually put the initials together before, since our church (the legalistic one) proclaimed to be an “Independent Fundamental Bible-Believin’ Baptist Church.”
I guess, IFBBBC, isn’t quite as catchy. Sounds like a European TV station.
Anyway, as sister IFB Survivors, we were able to relate on a deeper level, despite being raised in completely separate areas of the county. It’s sort of amazing to me. I feel like she went to school and church with me, and yet…she didn’t. But it’s like she was THERE experiencing all the things I did.
Anyway, one day we were e-mailing fast and furious to one another with one IFB-related quip after another, and I asked her, “Do we need to start an IFB Survivor Support Group? I mean, just imagine how many of us are out there!”
She responded honestly that a lot of the sarcasm and cynicism we two harbor about the bad ‘ol days would probably leave us very biased, negative, and probably not very Christ-like.
I admired her for being honest. But, I have to say, I’m (as you know) insatiably curious about how many of us “IFB Survivors” out there.
Some of you will say, “Well, I went to Christian school or a Baptist church, but I was actually pretty happy. How do I know if I am an IFB Survivor?”
Well, THIS is a problem! We’ve got to comprise a test to help IFB Survivors identify themselves.
This is where I need your help. What do you remember about growing up IFB?
If you need an example, Heidi has several earmarks of IFB Survivor Syndrome on her blog.
Bonus points to anyone who uses the words culottes, revival, movies, sleep skirts, or submission!