Tuesday, June 19, 2012


*Note: When the author renders the word 'Church' as seen, he is referring to the Main-Stream, Corporate Entity Institutional 'Church' System commonly accepted for what a church is today. When he renders the word church in lower case letters, he is referring to the Authentic, Home based church of Christ's design.

In this commentary, I'd like to address FUDS. This word is spliced together from four different words, and I want to tell you how I came to know about this acronym so that we can see how it translates into all of our lives. I am going to give a first hand account and my own real life experience to illustrate this point. I ask for your patience.

After High School I enlisted in the United States Air Force. I stayed in four years plus one and was very familiar with the military being the son of a thirty year veteran of the US Navy. I was somewhat used to military life and saw a comfort in knowing what I was getting myself into. After my extra one year extension was up I decided to move back into civilian life. I knew almost nothing about the workforce in the private sector except for the few odd jobs I had during my teen years. Nevertheless, I was eager to get going to find a new career.

I moved to an unfamiliar area of the country and was living with my Dad in Virginia Beach, VA. His plan was for me to take advantage of my G.I. Bill, resume college, and live with him free of charge. This sounded good except I was now under his thumb and didn't have the freedom I was accustomed to having while on my own for five years. After a short time, I decided that I wanted to go to work and make money so that I could be independent, have my own place and just be, 'Funky and Free.' I made a deal with my Dad that I would work a job and would give it all I had for six months. If I didn't do really well at whatever I chose to do, I would lick my wounds, come back under his guidance and go to school as he planned.

At twenty three the world was my oyster. I could choose anything I wanted; well, almost. Since I didn't have a degree, so I had to choose something that would make me the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time; as long as it was legal, moral and ethical. I searched the paper and found a lot of what is known as 'Blind Ads.' Being an ex-baseball player and track star I answered an Ad that read, "Sports Minded People." I actually thought that the job would be working for the City's Recreation Department getting ball fields ready for little league games. What did I know? When I arrived for the interview, I was told little and asked to wait for a phone call to see if I was selected to attend their 'Orientation.' The call came and I was to be in the office first thing in the morning. I got the job! What would I be doing? I had no idea.

The next day the Personnel Manager was telling the 'Company story.' He pointed out that the Company was known far and wide as the "General Electric of Europe." I liked that because I just came back from spending three years in the Netherlands. This company was from Germany and made everything from small electrical appliances to prefabricated housing. They had locations in thirty three countries, but they were new to the US market. They were expanding once more, and felt ready to spread their wings here in America. They were going to infiltrate our market with their most successful Product line. He brought out a roundish plastic device, which was pale yellow in color with a dark green band around the center and what looked like a rectangular dark green button on the top. It was about the size of a bowling ball, but didn't weigh nearly as much. There were gill slits along the sides and an open one inch port going through the center of the device along the bottom from front to back, extending about three inches. On the top of the devise was another port, and there was a dark green 29 foot electrical cord attached as well. In the center of it all was an electrical motor. The Manger called it, "The Heart and Lung." I gotta admit; I got a little scared at this point ~ (just kidd'n).

He told us that their whole vast empire was started with this little motor and that it was known in most every household in Europe as the 'Kobalt,'1 or Pixie. I still had no idea what it was. The Manager took out from his blazer pocket a straight, dark green 7 to 8 inch handle, which he snapped into place into the port on the top. I clicked in like a seat belt. Now I was intrigued. "What's coming next?" I thought. He then plugged the cord into the wall socket and pressed the green rectangular button on top. The device came to life as it blew air at a whirlwind pace. I thought, "Great! A portable air conditioner!" But I was wrong again. Anyway, he started Producing a lot of other little things to attach. He brought out a dark green strap with hooks on either side, attached them to the hidden receptacles on the unit and placed the "Kolbalt'1 around his shoulder like a woman would wear a purse. He then connected these two long yellow plastic tubes at the end of each other and connected one end to the device. He turned the unit on again, and what he had created before our very eyes was a leaf blower! I was beginning to like this new toy.

He removed the tubes and the handle. He brought out two metal sticks about an inch in diameter and 18 inches long each. He clicked one end into another and clicked the far end of the now three foot stick where the short handle was a minute ago. The other end was covered with the same dark green plastic handle the shorter handle sported. On the other end of the device he snapped on what looked like a flat head about 16 inches wide with a skinny neck, which attached to the devise where the tubes once were. He called this, "The Optimum."1 This thing was beginning to look like a motorized alien. A long dark green cloth bag was brought out, which has a thin tube up it's spine. He clicked this into the rear port and secured it onto the long handle with another hook just like the carry-on strap had. The flat head swiveled from left to right when he maneuvered the handle either way. I didn't notice it at first, but the flat head had wheels on it's bottom. Turns out, the whole thing was a home care system, which included a vacuum cleaner.

It was a modular system, which could dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture for household or commercial use. It had another flat head with a black square sponge on it about 18 inches square. The idea was to sprinkle a chopped, white, moist, spongy material soaked in Isopropyl alcohol and fresh fragrance onto the carpet. He spread this material called, "Kobasan"1 onto the carpet like chicken feed and moved the "Frischer,"1 which is German for 'Freshener,' into position. He turned on the machine and the Frischer's square sponge vibrated the Kobasan into the carpet. The Frischer would work its magic by loosening the washable dirt, which is dirt we cannot vacuum up like stains and odors from the fibers of the carpet, while the alcohol in the Kobasan would absorb the loosened stains, dirt and odors into the chopped up spongy material. This stuff dries very quickly, so after a few minutes, the whole mess is vacuumed up and we have a fresh and dry cleaned carpet!

After the demonstration he got into the Compensation Plan. I'll just say that it was very generous. I figured that with a new Product, which had not been seen in our country, that worked that well and looked so cutting edge, was bound to sell like gangbusters. Of course I didn't know anything about the Direct Sales Industry, but the Manager assured us that training would be Provided. And it was! I was the Top in my class! Actually, I was in a class all by myself; literally! No one else came back the next day. Now, here starts the point of this message. At the end of the Orientation, after he showed us how much money potential was involved, he began his damage control pitch. He told us that our friends and loved ones would be asking what we'd be doing. It would be embarrassing for to me to tell my Dad that what his son found a job as a 'Vacuum Cleaner Salesman.' I wasn't looking forward to that at all! So he gave us a line to tell about the Company story and the money potential.

Then the Manager got down to soothing our fragile state of mind. He told us that everyone in the room was going to be experiencing what is known as FUDS. FUDS are Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts all mixed up in a big pot of Skepticism. He told us that everyone goes through it when we make a life changing decision. This began to make sense as I was at a crossroads at this point in my life. I'm sure that most who read this are remembering back when they first encountered FUDS. I went home expecting the worst from my inevitable encounter with my Dad. I didn't pull any punches, though and told him straight out what I was going to be doing. I said, "Dad, I was accepted into a Commercial Airline Flight Training Program." Ha, ha-ha...,No! I'm just kidding. I told him the whole story from beginning to end. After all, we had a deal. Six months of a good, honest hard working effort, and if I don't see myself going anywhere, I'd quit and go to school. This was Thanksgiving weekend of 1982 and the only people I knew in that area was my Dad, my Japanese Step-mom and my Grandparents, who were also staying with my Dad. I didn't exactly have anyone to show my new wears to. It was doubly difficult because it was a holiday weekend where everyone is busy entertaining family from out of town. I didn't want to intrude on their family time. My Dad agreed to have the whole family watch me fumble through my first demonstration. They were kind and gracious, but neither my Dad or Grandparents bought one. That was okay with me as I was only on my "Practice Weekend."

I thought I was through for the weekend when I called my Manager, but he encouraged me to go to my neighbors homes and ask them if I could give them a 'look see.' I told them I didn't even know them, but he insisted I try. I went directly next door. My Dad lived in a nice luxury townhouse and there were about six of these units joined together. After I knocked on the door, I introduced myself as the neighbor's son next door. He let me in and saw the show. To my amazement, he bought one. I went to my next neighbor, and he bought one too! That weekend alone, I made $436.00. Back in 1982, that was close to $1,000 or more today. Just so I don't leave you hanging, I was very successful. Even my Dad was Proud of me. He said he didn't factor in one thing toward me making it in that business. After just three months and after I moved out, he said that he didn't count on my ability to be able to sell those things. It was a real nice moment when your Dad says that he is Proud of you. He actually bought one after my fourth month.

Like I said, I moved out of Dad's into a new 'pseudo-hip bachelor pad' and later was Promoted to a high Manager level position with the Company just as my sixth month duration was coming to an end. I moved to Atlanta and I became the Divisional Supervisor's Assistant over seven States in the Southeastern United States. It was a fun time and worked out well. I was living the Funky and Free life that I always wanted. Anyway, after that, the FUDS went away and I was able to Proudly say that I sold vacuum cleaners for a living. I had a nice career for a good many years. My decision to not continue with college was the right move for me at that time in my life. If I had gone to Bible College as planned, I would have had to UN-Learn what I learned. All of that time and money would have been wasted on me.

This whole story has to do with choices and how we deal with the emotions involved at the time we decide to move on these life changing decisions. Now for the application for all of us. When I grew up in New York City and later Central Florida, I was raised a Catholic. Not just any Catholic, but a New York City, Sicilian, Roman Catholic. Impressed, huh? Me neither. Anyway, I was indoctrinated into this religion all of my life. I was baptized, catechized, comm-unionized, comformized, homogenized, pasteurized, simonized and martainized. I had it all! All I needed to get into Heaven was my last rights read to me before I died and a little time in Purgatory. At least, that's what I was taught. My conception as to who Jesus is was slanted, as you can imagine. The Catholic portrayal of what He was like was grossly distorted. In my indoctrinated mind's eye, He was a long haired pretty boy that needed a shave and a pair of pants. But since we were taught that He is God and all, I kept these images to myself.

After I was enlisted in the A.F. I was introduced to the real Jesus Christ. On March 12th 1981 I received Him as my personal Saviour. Thirty years had passed where I was indoctrinated into the Independent Fundamental Baptist 'Church.' Up until three years ago, I wasn't experiencing FUDS at all. This time it had nothing to do with a career move. I was about to leave the 'Church.' I had 'Fears' because I was afraid of the unknown journey, which lay ahead. I was 'Uncertain' because I wasn't exactly sure that I had all of my reasons clearly defined. I had my 'Doubts' because I never really studied Home churches before and I didn't want to do anything against the Lord's church if that really was His model. I was 'Skeptical' because I thought it could be a 'movement.' Actually, I had no place to go other than to my friend Steve's who lives some seventy five miles away.

I was very involved in my Institutional 'Church.' I had a group of men who I taught every Friday night at our Addictions Program. I was the Junior Sunday School Superintendent over twelve Sunday School Teachers and three hundred plus children. I preached messages, taught Bible, sang specials, ushered, went soul winning, acted in 'Church' plays and attended almost every function that I could. My best friends were all involved and I saw them constantly. They're beautiful people I might add. It was a happy time. So, why would I want to leave all of this? It wasn't easy putting my finger on it, but to know the whole story please read my post entitled, 'Why I Left The 'Church.' To continue, I didn't have any axes to grind with my brothers and sisters. I didn't even have an axe to grind with my pastor. I did have an axe to grind with Satan though for counterfeiting my LORD's church into an Institutional model. The only difference in the Institutional Roman Catholic system I was raised in and the Institutional Baptist 'Church' was doctrinal. The model of World Religion remained.

I began to discover that man-made traditions and super-imposed laws from the Old Testament to the New Covenant were being taught within even the Baptist Institution. Although I accepted these teachings, I really didn't know why I didn't investigate them further. Tithing wasn't an issue with me. I was tithing, giving to 'Faith Promise' and so on. When a friend of mine quietly left my old 'Church,' on the other side of the State, I was concerned for him. I didn't want to pry, but I called him to let him know I was his friend and that I wouldn't abandon him. That's when he sent me something called, 'The Tithe Test.' You can take it yourself. It is found on this blog site in the Post Titles section to the left of this article. Go ahead! It'll take you five minutes. Anyway, because I had too many irons in the fire with all the messages and lessons I was preparing, and all of the activities I was committed to in the 'Church,' close to six months went by before I finally took it. Guess what? I failed miserably. I realized that I didn't know anything about the tithe. Here I was, giving ten percent and more of my income, for over thirty years and didn't know why, other than what pastors told me. I should've taken Jesus' Word more seriously and studied it out for myself long ago. What these pastors are teaching and what Jesus teaches about the tithe are polar opposite.

Anyway, this was the catalyst for me opening up my eyes to the inconsistencies I began to witness within the Institute. I was torn between two worlds. One of truth and the other of fantasy. The fantasy of the Institute was a feel good experience that I didn't want to let go of. I had all of these friends, my Men's Class, my singing, my Sunday School responsibilities, my standing in the 'Church;' it was all too wonderful to cut loose. The fact is, I was living within a Matrix! The 'Truth' of the Scriptures showed me, overwhelmingly, that tithing, pastoral authority and the Institutional 'Church' setting were counterfeits and lies. The people within weren't the Problem. They are mislead just like I was. Even the pastor was mislead, but once I knew the truth, I had to make a choice. This was the hard part. This is where FUDS showed up once again.

There are those in my current home church who had no Problem leaving the Institution. Why?  Because they had their ducks in a row regarding what they knew of what Scripture taught about the church and tithing. They were better prepared than I was. I didn't know them until two and a half years later. When I first left, I just wanted to get away from a tithing atmosphere not putting two and two together that pastoral authority and the 'Church' building were intertwined. I still don't think having a building is wrong as long as the clergy doesn't demand the funding from the teaching of income tithing. I do think that having a building will influence a church to invent new ways to support it. There are 'Churches' in my area that teach that they do not tithe. Instead they teach "Giving" to the point that they actually mail out offering envelopes to their members. Of course, the pastor still gets paid from these "Offerings" and so does his staff. All they're doing is changing the name from 'tithes' to 'offerings,' and dispersing them the same old way the Institute does. Why? Because they're part of the Institution!

The difference I'm talking about is if I had a home church and wanted to make things more comfortable for my church family when they come around, I'd  erect a Pole Barn or similar structure to meet in. There is no cost to the others in the church and there is practically no upkeep costs. No offerings are needed to pay a staff or a pastor. It would be a personal decision as long as I had the funds to do it on my own. It would be a godly desire, which wouldn't bring a burden to others. I have a brother in Christ in my home church that when we meet at his home, we have our service in his two car garage. Then we move into the house to have dinner and fellowship on the Property. It's like a family outing. We meet in several houses among our church family and rotate each week from one location to another.

But this didn't present itself right away. Like I said, it took two and a half years for us to discover our new extended church family. This fact elevated my FUDS to a new level. When I first left, all I had was my buddy Steve and my other buddy Paul. The latter lives way out of our area, but he was able to guide me a little when I removed myself from the Institution. During this time span, I was learning more and more about the history of the true church and the history of the false 'Church.' I began teaching our little flock where it was we came from and how things got to be so messed up. The more I learned, the less my FUDS loomed large. My friend Steve and his family became my new 'Home church family' at the start. Soon after, his sister-in-law started to attend. Then we started to meet in her home with her husband and family. Then a friend from her husband's workplace began to come. Through the Lord leading Steve and his wife to home schooling events, they came into contact with others, who knew others, who know the folks we are in fellowship with now. Actually, I began writing this blog at the suggestion of my church family before we got to know our extended church family. They said that what I was teaching them needed to be exposed to others. So, here we are!

Soon after, my FUDS faded away into oblivion. These Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts gave way to the Four C's; Courage, Certainty and Confidence all backed up by the Word of Christ instead of Skepticism. Those who are struggling with FUDS, I encourage you to let Jesus lead you to where He wants you to be. Learn all you can about the church versus the 'Church.' Learn all you can regarding the 'Income Tithe' you are used to, and what Jesus says the tithe was all about. Learn about what a pastor should be, and his role within the church Jesus designed. Learn all of these things, and put this blog to the test along with the Holy Bible to see what I've been saying regarding these issues are true.

If you are at a crossroads, and want to make a break from the matrix of the Institutional 'Church,' but you are experiencing FUDS, take heart. The Lord has a better place in store for you. All you have to do is stop thinking Institutionally and start thinking Scriptural outside of the Institution. Don't be fooled in accepting their definitions of what things are. See for yourselves what the Bible's definitions are. Ask the Holy Spirit to take away the fabricated doctrines and traditions of men from your mind. Ask Him to teach you what Scripture really says about these issues and your FUDS will melt away. Here's hoping that you will follow His leading and arrive at your new destination of Courage, Certainty, Confidence and Christ. Thank you for reading and visiting ChurchPros.

1. The names, Kolbalt, Optimum, Kobasan and Frischer are trademarked names of the Vorwerk USA Company of Germany and in no way indorse any part of this article or blog. The opinions expressed in this blog and article are not those of Vorwerk USA and the Vorwerk International Company.


  1. Bobby,
    Nice article. It can be quite fearful and uncertain when Jesus asks us to take a different path.



  2. You're right Paul. It isn't easy, but it is rewarding, especially when one is lead of the Holy Spirit and Scripture. ~BK

  3. My chains fell off,my heart was free,I rose went forth to follow thee.FF

  4. Great read! Thanks Bobby!
    Ole' fuddy-duddy

    1. Thanks for reading. It's always nice to hear from my geriatric friends.