10 September, 2007

VHS-Onlyism Becoming More Popular

Pensacola, Fl - It's Sunday morning at Bible Believers Baptist Church in Pensacola, and the congregation has gathered for Sunday School. Recently the class started a new video series on the book of Mark taught by one of their favorite preachers, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman. David Peidt, the Sunday School director settles the class, opens the time in prayer, and then pulls out the VHS tape that contains Dr. Ruckman's message. "You know, some folks don't even believe in using VHS tapes anymore" he comments to the crowd. A soft series of agreeing responses follows, and the group settles in for the message.

Bible Believers Baptist Church is not alone. Recently a number of independent fundamentalist churches have begun to go on the offensive against what they feel are "threats to the distribution of Biblical truths through the medium of VHS tape." One of the leaders of the movement is pastor Mike Paulmon of Wichita Bible Church.

"We are staunchly VHS only at our church" stated Paulmon. "For fifteen years the VHS tape was used to mass distribute preaching throughout the world. Then they started coming out with all of these new forms of media, DVD and now all of these digital forms like AVI files and MPEGs. These are nothing but a trick from Satan to confuse and deceive people."

Paulmon went on to further explain how the use of other forms of media causes confusion.

"You take for instance this VHS tape" he said. "It's just perfect. All I do is pop it in my VCR and record whatever I want. Or if I need to I just set up a VHS camcorder and record something. I can then take that very same tape and pop it into any VCR around the world and it's good to go. Now, all of this DVD business, not every DVD player can play every DVD. Some of them won't work. Besides, to be able to record a DVD you've got to have a special recorder, and a special player. Now the DVD is bad enough, but you take all of these electronic files that you got to have a computer to play them on, like the AVI, MPEG, WMV and VID, it's nothing but confusion. You send someone a file and you've got to have the right program or else it won't play."

Giving further fuel to their cause, some notable figures in the fundamentalist world have joined their cause. One in particular, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman himself, recently spoke out in favor of using only the VHS.

"The VHS is perfect in every way," stated Ruckman. "There's no need to improve upon that which is perfect already. Those who are putting out all of these new deforms of media are all part of the Californian Cult, lusting only after money."

Ruckman went on to further state that he intends to write a book on the subject, due to be released at the end of the week.


Richard said...

Priceless. That's all I can say.

Dr. Rick Amato spoke at my church last night and used the phrase "fun-dam-mental". Absolutely zero fun, too much damning, and most of 'em are mental.

I laughed so hard I had to slap my hand over my mouth.


Amanda said...

Humph! Any true believer would know that beta is the only true format!

Team Tominthebox News Network said...


Actually Beta Max was the 6th type of video format, thus imperfect. It never really caught on well. But the VHS tape was the seventh and therefore perfect type, refined in a fire seven times.


Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

At my church we are REAL old school, we only use the VHS 1911 aka the Reel-to-reel.

Lee Shelton said...

Hey, if VHS format was good enough for Paul and the other apostles...

Anonymous said...

Amen brother! But don't forget about the other divine "tape" the cassette tape... Remember, disc starts with the same letter as devil!

Anonymous said...

"I can then take that very same tape and pop it into any VCR around the world and it's good to go."

Not so! American tapes & VCRs use the NTSC, or Authorized format, that communicate only with American televisions. Few TVs & VCRs in other parts of the world speak NTSC. Most speak a dialect of PAL or SECAM. One would have to contextualize the tape into a local language via a universal VCR and TV. Indigenization is a vital videological principle that cannot be overlooked by a narrow, techno-centric worldview.

Call me a moderate on this one, but if we're ever going to see VPMs (video-planting movements), we're going to have to utilize locally reproducible technologies.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the term "fundamentalism", despite the bad press and alternate definitions, I understand it to simply mean fully embracing the doctrines of the faith you claim to follow, inpterpreting its scriptures as inerrant. Thus I would say that truly being a Christian fundamentalist is something desirable.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we have to backtrack even more and go back to film.

Remember how churches used to show 16mm movies?

The only thing necessary is a frequency converter to generate 60Hz in the regions where they use 50Hz AC. Otherwise, the projector runs off-speed.

Oh dear. Hollywood is responsible for movies, and we can't have that evil influence now, can we?

"dt" is on to something with the beta format, though. After all, "Beta" *is* a Greek letter, and the NT was written primarily in Greek, wasn't it? So the beta-max format would be in keeping with "authentic apostolic video" formats!

Especially so in PAL (Paul, Andrew, Luke) since that's what they probably use in Rome. But then, you could make a case for NTSC (Nathaniel, Thomas, Simon, Christ), too.

Tim Ashcraft said...

The VHS - containing the Audio and Video, with all the former formats (16mm, Super 8, Reel to Reel, Cassette, and 8 Track) diligently compared and revised.

RScottR said...


Fundamentalism is a rejection of the historic confessions in favor of a minimalistic "fundamental" creed. It is really a step backwards.

Kay said...

jamesr, you need to be careful with going back to film. It all depends which film you are using, and where it has been stored for the last few years.

The surest way to avoid error is just to stick to the VHS.

Anonymous said...

Scott, Thanks for the clarification. If that's what is typically meant by the term among Christians, I can see why it has negative implications.

Frank Sansone said...


That is a very biased and inaccurate way of describing Fundamentalism. It has nothing to do with a rejection of historic confessions. It has to do with assertion of core doctrines.

I don't want to hi-jack the thread, but Fundamentalism started as a multi-denominational movement that affirmed key doctrinal truths (such as the innerancy of Scripture, the deity of Christ, etc.) in the face of the attacks upon those truths by the liberalism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many (especially of the early Fundamentalists, but also of some today) still held to historic confessions, but were clarifying that there were some things that we non-negotiables that were worth standing upon.

In Christ,

Pastor Frank Sansone

Highland Host said...

Pastor Sansone.
You and Scott are working with two different defitions of fundamentalism. You are working with a broad one that would include Gresham Machen, Scott with a narrow one that would not. Thus you only appear to disagree. The narrow definition would refer to people who are Dispensational (which Machen was not) and, under the influence of J. N. Darby, tend indeed to reject historic confessions. So indeed, it all depends what you mean by fundamentalist!!!
Unfortunately the term has become loaded with negative connotations in the past few decades. I'm English, and we tend to see the word as referring to something American and negative. Well, American and therefore negative!!!

Regional coding is an invention of the devil and big business. Or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Three words: eight track cassette.