Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Deception

Exposing the Dangerous Teachings of the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Denomination

About This Site

Thank you for visiting. This site is dedicated to exposing the Mind Control, Manipulation, Deception, Spiritual and Emotional Abuse, Heresy, Legalism (“Phariseeism”), and Authoritarianism behind the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination (IFB).

I was a member of a spiritually abusive Independent Fundamental Baptist Church for a little over 25 years. The focus of this site, therefore, is the issue of spiritual abuse and deception in the IFB churches. This site also has a secondary emphasis on other Christian churches, but will mostly focus on the IFB Denomination. Like others who have similar sites, the reason for concentrating on the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination is simply due to personal experience.

Most Baptist churches are very similar to the IFB. Some are a little different and may be less strict or have different stances on scripture, but for the most part they are all very similar. I can really only speak from my experiences so that is why this site is singling out the IFB. Much of what you will read here comes directly from my personal experience. Much of the information contained within this site can be generalized to other churches, but not all of it. I will let you, the reader, determine which applies to you and your unique situation.

I’ve been accused of making the fallacy of hasty generalizations or that I’m simply over generalizing based on just my experience. While I can’t say that every IFB church is run in a spiritually abusive manner since that would be an impossible claim to knowledge, I can easily infer, based on my experience with multiple IFB churches and based on others who I’ve talk to or shared their stories on this site, that most are. Since leaving the IFB in 1999, I have encountered many people who have come from not only IFB churches, but also other Christian churches with similar experiences of spiritual abuse.

Although I understand that good things still happen in IFB churches and that many people are brought to the Lord and salvation, I still believe that the IFB operates much like a cult. Afterall, God can use a cult to bring people to him.

Because of the definition of a cult I can’t say that the IFB is a cult exactly, however, it does have some cult characteristics which I will expose. For example the IFB churches that I have experienced, believe that a person can not truly be saved if they read a version of scripture other than the King James Version. Part of the definition of a cult is “a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist” – Websters Dictionary

While on the surface the IFB seems to be a traditional Christian organization, within the walls of the church there is false and extreme doctrine, heavy manipulation and mind-control of its members, and manipulation of the Word of God that hurts people.

It is not the intention of this site to hurt or defame anyone. I will do my best to not single out a particular church. It is the sole intention of this site to bring into the light the hurtful and dangerous practices of the IFB.

To the right please find links to many of the false teachings of the IFB. I encourage you to speak your defense and your experiences of the IFB as well as your support of the information on this site. Finally, please feel free to participate in our monthly survey (poll changes will depend on the amount of interest this site generates).

As you read through this site, please remember that it’s not the church you are attending that saves. Only God has the power to judge a person’s heart and save him/her. Be careful to not give the IFB or any religious organization for that matter, the praise and glory that only belongs to God.

Keep in mind that even though people may make known the good things that are being done in their church or religious group does mean that there aren’t abusive things happening and does not give them the right to dismiss or excuse that abuse. It is wrong and dangerous to ignore/dismiss abuse on the grounds that good is also happening.

When discussing this with a good friend of mine he told me not to throw the baby out with the bath water, implying that I should just filter out the bad stuff that I see/experience and keep the good stuff. When it comes to church, however, I find it unacceptable that there should be such “bad stuff”. Are we not supposed to be an example of Christ to the world? I’m convinced that much of the world’s difficulties, including Atheism, is a direct result of this “bad stuff” from the church. I have spoken with many Atheists who explain to me reasons behind their decision to become an Atheists and they are very similar to the experiences I had growing up in my IFB church.

The analogy that works better here is the baker who mixed a teaspoon of dog poop in his brownie mix. Once the brownies were mixed, baked and completed, it became impossible to know where the brownies ended and the dog poop began. Even with such a tiny amount of dog poop the brownies were uneatable. And so it is with the abusive church. When a person experiences spiritual abuse from those who are supposed to imitate Christ, it becomes impossible to separate the abuse from the healthy components of the church.

Am I saying that the church and the people in the church should be perfect? Of course not. Pastors and church goers are human, however, the church should be a place where humanness is met with the Grace of God not the judgmental legalism of the Pharisees. A good friend of mine told me once that people who were abused have a tendency to shy away from the abuser and the object used to abuse. So for example a child who was abused by his father who used a belt to beat him, will forever equate his father and that belt with abuse.

The same is true for spiritual abuse. When a particular church or organization abuse a person and they use the Bible to perform the abuse, you can deduce what will happen. The one thing that a person needs to heal from an abusive situation, the Bible, is the very thing that person can’t turn to because it was the object of the abuse.

There are verses in the Bible that still to this day I can’t read without re-experiencing the abuse again. The problem is that they are the very verses I need to help in the healing process. That is what makes spiritual abuse one of the most horrific problems in today’s society.

If you wish to find out more about me, contact me or sign my guest book you may find those links at the top of this site as well. Thanks again for visiting and we hope that this information has been helpful.

657 Comments

  1. @ Mike

    “And guess what? I bet you dont care about what is happening within the calvary chapel church huh? Only the “IFB” denomination.”

    Actually I do care about the abuse in the Calvery Chapel denomination. If you had taken the time to read the site and taken time to try and understand me and the purpose of this site before you made your attacks then you’d know that this site and my mission is more about spiritual abuse than a focus on the IFB. I simply write about the IFB because that’s where my experiences have been. This is discussed very clearly on this very post. I’m not sure how you missed that.

    “Nobody cares about your experiences and self pitty parties you all have here.

    Just leave the church, join another one and be happy.

    Because nobody, nobody, nobody cares!!!”

    Boy I could have a field day with this. Let’s see what responses I can come up with…

    1. I guess you’re a “nobody” then?
    2. You obviously cared enough to write a comment about not caring.
    3. You must be onmiscient then? You really know what everyone in the world cares about? That’s a pretty awesome claim.
    4. Since when is dealing with abuse a “self pitty party”? That’s pretty insensitive don’t you think?
    5. Millions of hits to the site, thousands of comments and shared experiences… that’s hardly “nobody” don’t you think?
    6. How did you miss the thousands of comments from people who do care? Willfull ignorance would be my guess.
    7. I care, are you calling me a “nobody”? That’s not very nice.
    8. God cares. Are you calling God a “nobody”? That’s pretty disrespectful.
    9. If you ever experience abuse I hope that nobody tells you that you’re just having a self pitty party or to just get over it and move on and just be happy. How rude!
    10. Just because you’re an insensitive, rude, uncaring, unsympathetic, ignorant, etc prick who just had to let us know that YOU don’t care doesn’t mean that everyone feels that way.
    11. You have an ironic way of letting us know that you don’t care.
    12. What I don’t care about is that YOU don’t care about this.
    13. Oh boy. I guess I should take down the site then since “nobody, nobody, nobody cares”.
    14. Oh OK, I didn’t realize that “nobody, nobody, nobody cares”. Thanks for letting me know. I guess I’ll stop blogging about the IFB then. Thanks for your help!
    15. Even if “nobody, nobody, nobody cares” I’d still write about this because it’s important and interesting to me.

    OK, so anyway I’m moving on since this is apparently an exercise in futility. Just consider that when you say that “nobody care” you aren’t only insulting me, but the thousands of people who have come here to agree with this site and it’s contents and share their own similar experiences. You are also, by default, in this assertion making an awesome claim to knowledge, one that demands at least evidence (of which you didn’t provide) if not proof.

  2. I was searching the web about evangelizing and ended up here with the article “Roman Road Deception”.

    I am not a Baptists or ever was an “IFB”. Never heard of them and dont care about them. Who really cares? Only you guys. I use to go to Calvary chapel and found a whole forum just like this one about the calvary chapel churches.

    And guess what? I bet you dont care about what is happening within the calvary chapel church huh? Only the “IFB” denomination.

    Nobody cares about your experiences and self pitty parties you all have here.

    Just leave the church, join another one and be happy.

    Because nobody, nobody, nobody cares!!!

    1. God cares Mike!

      “Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

  3. Trudy,

    “Amazing too how this group thinks they have this all resolved so they can move forward like nothing happened…hmmmm….thinking that its not all resolved…”

    I completely agree with you. When I was in the IFB, it was very common to just sweep things under the rug and pretend that they didn’t happen. If someone did find out that some wrong had been done, instead of dealing with it, they do damage control. There might have been others who this woman influenced in the same way. It’s hard to know until the first person speaks out. Unfortunately, the victim has to live with the consequences of other people’s actions for many years, while the perpetrator goes on with life. I’m glad you’re courageous enough to take a stand!

  4. Trudy-I’m glad you have gotten through this with your faith intact, so many faced with these same circumstances, I’m sure would have tossed it in and given up completely on faith/God!

    The way this has been handled is so “typical” in IFB circles. I’m a retired police officer, and I’m wondering if criminal charges could have been placed against the pastor’s wife for facilitating this arrangement? I’m not sure, even in my state what, if anything she could have been charged with, but I’m thinking of something along the lines of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor(s). But so much time has passed that’s probably not a viable option at this point. But I am still very concerned of any other kids that she may be in contact with, and if she is in a position of authority over any of them?

    I know you want this to come to light. Have you considered contacting 60 minutes or some other news shows, not sure if you want that type of coverage or if your son does, and I don’t know if that would be the best thing for all involved. One of the things that upsets me so much is that the way the IFB is set up (similar to the Tina Anderson case) it allows folks to manipulate the system to take advantage of people, in fact, power-hungry folks are drawn to the IFB like moths to a flame, because they know what kind of power is available there!!

    God bless Trudy, sending prayers your way, you don’t mention if you are associated with a church now, but I do hope you have some REAL Christians around you to help you through this painful situation.

  5. @greg
    Greg – I am saved. I know Jesus Christ not only as my Saviour, but as the Lord of my life. I did and still do know how incredibly amazing it is that Jesus sacrificed for me, like I was his only child. I know how depraved our old nature is and am wise enough to know that I need to feed my new nature. I know how important it is to examine myself to be sure my motives and actions are pleasing to God.

    I can say that I got saved due to wicked circumstances in my life such as an abusive husband and his family. It seemed that even that long ago evil people enjoyed manipulating and abusing thier position of power. I submitted to a supposedly saved husband until it turned real bizarre. God doesn’t expect a woman to submit to what I had to. So after many years of prayer, fasting, and submitting I divorced him. Feeling that I had saved my kids from that type of lifestyle I find out I handed them to a much more wicked situation.

    So I look at what has happened to my kids and it sickens me. All I can do is know that I did what was right…and I know that. These people that have covered sin all of thier lives should have never been in the roles they were/are still in to be able to hurt my kids. You are right…how many other situations has she orchestrated and how many more will she. She actually got up and apologized to this church in Iowa this week…guess they got it all right now in thier own little world. His followers (not the Lord’s followers since that building has been so void of truth for so long) have actually voiced that, well she said she was sorry. OMG – guess they haven’t sought God’s face in like forever if ever. Never mind I Tim 3:4 and 5, One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Afterall I’m just a divorced woman that you USE to be able to control and manipulate.

    Amazing too how this group thinks they have this all resolved so they can move forward like nothing happened…hmmmm….thinking that its not all resolved…I am the one that you betrayed folks as well as my kids and ALL kids that walk/walked through those doors. He calls himself a leader and turns his wife loose with a bunch of teenage boys and girls? No such a good idea…you would think he would know that about his wife by now.

  6. Trudy- Wow!! A couple of thoughts spring to mind.

    First I think of a single mom trying to do her best by her children and getting them into the church, and under the PROTECTION (laughs) of that church. Then for the MOG’s wife to undermine your authority over your son on something so serious as facilitating a sexual relationship, with her daughter no less! (talk about living vicariously through your children) What I would be curious to know is if this pervert facilitated any “other” sexual trysts with kids under her control.

    You already said what I was thinking “this is a perfect example of a group of people following a man.” And this really is the main problem!! There is too much authority given to the MOG, particularly in the IFB, this must be stopped. The main reason is because it is not scriptural!

    I was sickened by the pastor’s attitude, you could see he wanted this incident to stay under the rug. And then of course the yes men, coming to his rescue, all much too familiar in IFB circles.

    My last thoughts, you don’t mention your personal relationship with the Lord, after all of this, but I simply want to encourage you to lean on and trust God! My heart goes out to you and your son, and this girl, the kind of manipulation these kids went through, and in a supposed Christian environment, just incredible!

  7. I wasn’t even part of an IFB church until I was on my own with young children. I listened to the leaders of IFB churches as to how to raise these children. Afterall what did I know? A divorced woman. When you are in the middle of it it is like you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    OMG – now I find out the pastor’s wife (behind my back mind you) set up my 16 year old son with her 16 year old daugther. Supplied sex ed books (becasue after all her husband wash pushing being pure until marriage so the teenagers were not supplied such materials in the church or school), condoms, locations to have sex (her home and a hotel), AND most importantly – justification!!! She told them that in God’s eyes they were married. Now many years later I find out about this. My son takes it before the church. The woman admits it in a letter, the pastor admits knowing about this, and the daugther admits her mom facilitated it. ALL documented on this audio. Listen to this pathetic audio as a “man of God” justifies not having his house in order. Even goes to the extent of calling my son a “molester.” I know the definition of a molester. The question cecil is do you know what its called when your family is this much of a mess? Do you know what a “man” is labeled that can’t keep his family in order? Do you know what a female is called that hands your daugther to a teenage boy all the while decieving the single mother that entrusted his life to you people? FYI – it wouldn’t be crazy, or unstable that’s what you call anyone that has the guts to stand up for what is right.

    This is a perfect example of a group of people following a man…this church actually voted to keep this guy in as thier. Amazing enought the children of this group of ostriches are NOT in church. They have had it with the schaaps and a whole laundry list of coverups. They want nothing to do with church. You know if this guy that calls himself a pastor, since biblically he isn’t qualified with his family being such a mess – actually read the whole bible he wouldn’t need to have a church vote on whether or not he remain as thier pastor he’d have enough you know what to get out. But after all as this whole situation reveals this has NOTHING to do with God. This has to do with ego and pride and a bunch of followers so spinless they can’t do what is right. Like God doesn’t see this? Come on…

    You gotta listen to this meeting….what a joke. And I’ve email Christian Law Association twice to get no reply. So if we can’t get this good old boy’s club to be held accountable using good old boy’s clubs let’s get this out to everyone! And you know what? I could care less what that group of people call me or anyone else calling them out. Afterall, as this audio will show….their lack of discernment is the only thing they do possess.

    http://soundcloud.com/jwillia/jeremy-willias-meeting-with-1

  8. What is the difference between what I discuss in my posts and when many churches recommend colleges and universities supported by their denominations or affiliations? I mentioned a company recruiter at a job fair. A company recruiter will tell the applicant to visit as many booths of other companies as possible. One will look at the resume to see if they are hiring for the position or qualifications posted on a resume. Many denominations do offer their members tuition discounts and scholarships. This is common. What is different is that the minister does not forbid a student from considering another school. Also most ministers at most healthy churches I’ve visited will not single out an individual publicly either or definitely will not share private information in public without consent. One must ask if the person giving consent understands what one is doing and is capable of giving that consent. Also one must pay attention to signs that a person might be reluctant to discuss this matter and should not push it and respect the individual’s decision. Another area where I feel there are abuses are in the sciences and math. I think those students have special gifts that others do not have, especially in the more advanced applications. I know there is a lot of mention of the gifts in the Bible in the book of Acts. We think of “spiritual gifts.” We don’t think of scientific or scientific people as a population in need of reach. We think of foreign c ountries. We live in a country which is very high-tech. I think it’s very important that churches realize that high tech students do have a place in the church as well as in the secular world and that these gifts must be developed wherever they exist. If we exclude the scientifist or mathmetician from our church by only referring students to schools with arts and humanities programs, we don’t develop that gift. That person we exclude could be a missionary outreach to the science and math community. That person may be needed in our own schools whether they are public or private. That person goes out to the job world and can be a ministry in one’s personal witness by one’s actions in a secular community. That person needs a college campus which is regionally and professionally accredited. Many do have medical programs. Medical school is only one aspect of the sciences. I’m talking about other fields too. We think of not using gifts in respect to money or perhaps art and music. I think it expands to other areas, and in our high-tech continent, it expands to those who are endowed in the high-tech areas of science and math. This can, overtime, cause one to lose interest in the fellowship with other Christians and with churches. Many schools do have religious organizations on or near campus too. Often many churches announce their graduates and list the schools where they are applying or attending or their alma maters after graduation. It’s not only important at graduation, but also during high school during preparation for college. Some programs require an early decision by a certain grade level. I know there is a schism with many churches in respect to the sciences and maths. Also many teaches don’t know how to teach them in a way that they are comprehended or enjoyed by students. I like sports. Not everyone was created to be a college or professional athlete or even a performing artist.

  9. I’d change the title of the former minister from the particular church I posted from ordained minister to IFB Campus recruiter. At that point in my life, while I was vaguely aware that college recruiters existed, I really made the association with recruiters in relationship tocollee and professional sports, not religion. As I look back in time though, many years later, his focus was primarily on either BJU or Hyles Anderson. Even many recruiters look at the student and try to learn a lot about the student prior to helping an individual find the best choice of a college or university which meets one’s needs. I got the impression he met the needs of the particular college campuses he was recruiting just like company recruiters seek applicants for a particular industry.

  10. I am not talking about situations where a church is hiring somebody on the pastoral staff or as a teacher. In those situations, the applicant gives consent for background information to be shared about one’s academic background, job experience, and aspects of one’s faith and family. This is the information that often is disclosed when a committee and church consider candidates. I am mentioning situations where a church tries to restrict a person from leaving or perhaps transferring outside their network by damaging one’s reputation unnecessarily. While I wasn’t the victim, I was in the congregation and knew that the pastoral staff at this IFB Church should not have shared this information to the congregation when the individual was leaving the church. I realized something like this could happen to me. I don’t think these churches realize that their members may see “The Writing on the wall”. It happens in secular situations too. There were two situations on the church level that happened that caused me to question everything and that’s when I left, but I left gradually. I also knew had I stayed, there would have been intense pressure to either return to the same college and/or go to one of the others recommended by the church. I haven’t gone back to either the university or the church in over 30 years either. I have been to churches that would not consider doing w hat was done in these two particular situations. I’m aware that this is a common practice among unlicensed pastors. If they were licensed, it wouldn’t be tolerated without disciplinary action. The basic attitude is “Don’t say anything. It didn’t happen to you. Stay out. Don’t be concerned.” Another prevailing attitude is “If it’s the Lord’s work, we can do anything we please whether or not it’s the law.” Is this really what Romans 13 says? I question that. We live in a Democratic Republic which gives us lots of freedoms. We can go to any church we want relatively easily also. That’s not true in other parts of the world. The type of information I want d isclosed is the type of information that’s commonly listed on resumes.

  11. There are waivers in respect to when a professional counselor can contact the authorities if one believes the patient may be harmful to oneself or others; however, one should never contact the entire congregation and share information about employment, health, and mental illness with the congregation without the consent of the individual. Even when the individual provides consent, that could still put one on shaky legal ground. The best thing ministers can do would be to refer the matter of a professional state licensed psychiatrist. If the psychiatrist and attending physician find no other medical causes, then the person can be referred for counseling by a psychologist, medical social worker, nurse, or vocational rehab counselor, or college career counselor.

    I have mixed feelings about group counseling on these situations. In some ways, it can help. But there may be people who are not yet ready for this who can’t be objective either cause they are so supportive or their situation or are so hostile to it. Many people who are recovering need a supportive environment that’s neutral. That’s not always easy to find. People want to help but may not know how to help. Sometimes it is necessary to relocate to get the help. We didn’t have the internet back then so we couldn’t network with one another. College application fees vary so even if there are colleges who may work with students from a particular IFB school, it wasn’t easy to find out which ones did and apply to them. The IFB groups would cut off their members entirely once they left. Then in some parts of the country that were very hostile, they would enter environments where they were basically treated in a way that ignored or tried to destroy that faith altogether. Some may feel this way. However, I think there are many who still want to have faith. When the school was constantly in the news in addition to having radio stations cut off their programs at least temporarily, which happened in the 1980s, one became very isolated. There are some who fared better than others if they had a supportive environment. It wasn’t easy to find that supportive environment even when people wanted to provide it. Counselors had to have experience dealing with these issues. Also people feel uncomfortable talking about this. In some environments, counselors could get into trouble for even discussing religious issues too. I think it’s important to put the entire situation in perspective with good as well as bad. Some may say there is no good. Some may say there is no bad. Most experiences in one’s lifetime have both. I’m sure I’ll hear criticism for this comment from those who find no bood or no bad. Sometimes something can seem psychological that actually has a physical origin. Things are not always what they seem to be, and it take s a professional counselor with medical surpervision and a medical background to be able to know when other referrals may be necessary as well as a definite thorough physical exam. There can also be referred pain issues or even technology that differs in one region from another. In some of the mainline denominations, state licensure is necessary for ordained ministers. Some mainline denominations also have their own medical staff. In others, there may be situations which are separate. It’s really important to have a professional team approach which respects the individual’s confidentiality within professional boundaries. Iti also takes counselors in some cases that are trained to detect learning disabilities. Some schools are better than others in working with students with learning disabilities. Some are more subtle than others as well. Many community colleges are quipped to detect and assist students with learning disabilities who may have compensated and made it through the system in elementary or high school. Many community colleges can be good bargains financially also and may be ideal for students who need to live near home and or may not know what they want to do. This goes for private junior colleges too. Some schools may offer small classes with low student teacher ratios. Many parents want to send their children to larger schools or whatever school somebody recommends but that’s not always the school that’s best for a teenagers. Sometimes a year or two working prior to going to school can help somebody appreciate the value of money or get a taste of working in different environments. I’m very skeptical of this one solution for all mentality I see.

  12. @EBR
    EBR, I agree what you shared in your first paragraph. All those things come into play, I know from personal experience. It wasn’t until my third ‘christian’ counselor that I finally found one who understood cult dynamics (including aberrant religious groups) and could effectively address that aspect of my experience as well. This particular counselor had come out of a religious cult, and did have formal counseling training-licensed training. I think what Don said in #135 is true as well. I would want the cautions you mentioned, EBR, however, because I learned the hard way that counseling can be misguided or ill-informed.

  13. You asked if I would agree about any psychologist or psychiatrist being able to counsel what goes on in some of these churches. I will say “No.” They will think the person seeking counsel is mentally il and may not realize that an individual has been taught to think this way in formal instruction or through the environment. This is especially true if one comes from another religion rather than Christianity. In some regions of the country, where a counselor has lots of experience with people from a particular group, one may understand this, in others, one may label the person by symptoms from a disease. It also depends on what attitude one has towards religious matters. Some believe religious matters play no part in psychology or psychiatry and others believe religious matters have a very important place in psychology. Some patients want psychology only and other patients want their spiritual matters addressed. It also depends on the support of one’s individual family and church setting. These factors can and do vary depending on the person affected.

    In the 1950s and 1960s, denominations did not mingle together. Now, there is a lot more mingling between denominations as well as cooperation that didn’t exist before that time.
    The attacks on other denominations can be quite destructive at times. I think others though are beginning also to realize common areas of belief among the denominations and have learned to pull resources together for a common good in some cases. I come from an interdenimational and cross cultural setting so I’ve had to learn this over years. I do understand what you are saying though. I prefer to live closer to the church I attend, either walking distance and or within a direct bus route. Many will travel a long distance though, especially if they live in remote areas and/or their family has attended a particular church or sometimes if they have specific ministries that they believe their families need.

    I believe that we have the ammendment that grants us freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I believe that we have people who have died and sacrificed to make this possible. I don’t want to lose either. However, I do want disclosure. I think disclosure would give us information we need to make the decision that’s best for our own families. I also want to know the background of those instructing me. People have mixed feelings about honorary doctorate degrees and it’s a common practice both in the religious and secular world. Also others take many years to earn these degrees the traditional way. I do wish they would at least use an abbreviation such as HD.Ed., HD.Div., etc… There are some institutions which have decided to ban the practice entirely. I want to know the qualifications of the person I call doctor. I also assume a doctor has a license. This isn’t always true. That can make a big difference in ethical practices and affiliations. In the political arena, one will probably find out once a person runs for public office or is connected to a national campaign. One doesn’t find out otherwise. I certainly didn’t know. I didn’t even know there was an honorary doctorate. My parents were college educated and were skeptical. If I had known I was dealing with an honorary doctorate, I probably would have responded differently, but maybe not. I didn’t know I was dealing with an association either until about three years after I joined the church. I learned that actually at college, not at church. A number os students from the same church learned that we were attending the wrong Sunday school and were told the following fall semester we needed to return to a different class, after our second year, maybe even longer.

    In respect to laws and traditions, I love the traditions at Christmas. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. There is comfort and structure in laws. The problem though occurs when the practice of the law is so rigid that one can’t see any exception or waiver even when practically it might exist. This is why I used the sample of Jesus healing on the sabbath. He got in a lot of trouble for that too in the New Testament Days. The Pharisees and Saducees were always questioning Jesus and u sing the law to try to trick him.

  14. I am not saying competetion is bad such as inthe marketplace or in sports. iam stating the hideous religious turf wars that go on between denominations. Where on any given Sunday in America you witness the most divided day in our country. Religion creates division ; relationship with Christ enables unity. That is One Spirit;One Church;One Christ :One Lord over all. This is not rocket science theory theology very simple very plainly enumerated in the Word Of God. It is so simple that I believe a child could understand it. So whats the problem? Christ made it simple:man makes it complicated!

  15. Because I live across the street from a IFB pastor,You folks understand that I see things up close and personal for many years. Observation #3; It is interesting to note how IFBers are taught against and to resist any Psychological intervention for balanced living or shall I state balance Christian living. Yet, there are a lot of psychological dynamics being play out in there lives whether they admit to its existence i.e. manipulation,intimidation and or abuse or reverse psychology, these are the very items that could be handle by even a well trained non-christian therapist would you folks not agree?

  16. in the Old Testament, there was no healing on the Sabbath because work was not allowed on the Sabbath. In the New Testament, Jesus did heal on the Sabbath, not to break the law but because it was a very rigid interpretation of the law and Jesus came to see that people lived and healed.

    I think human nature looks for the concrete and that includes things that are easy to understand from a human perspective. Also our laws make us feel safe. Competition is not always bad. Paul talks about competition in sports in Phillippians. It becomes a problem when it is not placed in balance with God’s intentions. I don’t know whether or not this makes sense to you, Don Komos.

  17. Don,

    In heaven we will be perfect. It is the faith in the cross and resurrection that leads to salvation and especially the acknowledgement and confession of sin. Ephesians 2:8-10
    Romans 10:8-10, John 3:3-5 In the Old Testament, before our sins were atoned on the cross, there was an emphasis on the exact obedience of the law. I don’t believe the Christian walk is supposed to be a free-for-all. That’s also a misunderstanding of grace to the other extreme. We’re talking about a balance with both grace and justice.
    I think people are competitive by human nature. People try to please and gain approval which is part of our human nature. Sometimes there is a viscous cycle. The focus is supposed to be on God and the Bible and the Holy Spirit. I think the balance goes off center in either direction and sometimes both at the same time. Think of a tightrope. When one walks a tightrope or even a balance beam, one has to keep one’s eyes focused. This is also true for performing pirhouettes in dance. In sports, we use objects for “spotting”. In our Christian life, we use the Bible, pray to God, and seek the dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Anyone can be deceived. Do people want to be deceived. Some do. Many probably don’t and some may not even realize it’s happening if it’s very subtle. We have to be always on watch too.

  18. Bob, I was touched by what you said on your post dated March 26, also similar to the book Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Satan distorts things so well that one doesn’t even realize that the word has been manipulated. That also goes for one’s beliefs and walk.

  19. Please folks get off the Baptist doctrine bandwagon and get into the whole word rightly divided line upon line precept upon precept. The sum of thy word is true oh Lord! there is no time for this doctrinal gamesmanship…Pleeaaasee!!!

  20. Can anybody tell me if IFB’ers are competative because of their legalistic nature or does their legalistic nature make them competative and perfectionistic?

  21. Sometimes when I walk into an uneasy situation that involves some type of confrontation, I apprehend, I freeze That frozen feeling can get in the way of consolation I need to feel from the scriptures and Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. I’ve learned over the years to try to use visualization and even music and poetry to help me conquer the pain and move past it. Sometimes getting out an taking a walk helps too.

  22. I was reading the top. I hope in time that you’ll be able to read some of the passages you loved as a child without the pain of abuse although I realize that this can occur over a period of time rather than all at once. When a person feel denied of even a hearing or totally robbed of justice, anger boils inside. This also happens when people feel that they are being brushed off and that serious concerns are being ignored.

    I know I used to feel this way, not necessarily due to justice, but because in a graded classroom, I felt performance anxiety and sometimes as I got older, at least into my teens and twenties, stage fright. Of course, when I combined the link to my faith, rather than becoming a source of consulation, it became one more subject I had to conquer rather than a relationship with God. This was how I felt about reading in general and wasn’t limited to religious materials. Now I can read and really enjoy it. Now, many years later, I can really enjoy the music too.

    Sometimes people don’t understand why a person looks for good even in a bad situation. Soem feel that finding good even in a bad situation removes the serious concerns. I don’t think it does though. I think it can help heal. It’s not something we can do on our own strength though. We have to ask God for divine intervention. In some cases, that divine intervention in itself is a miracle. There are times when I believe we feel justified anger and it doesn’t go away until we respond and recognize whether or not its legitimate and if it is legitimate, it doesn’t go away until we take action.

    At the same time, while people are alive, they have the chances to change. I don’t know what will happen in the future. I can’t see that far ahead. I try to take one day at a time.
    Sometimes when I get discouraged, I just look at the framed copy of “The Serrenity Prayer” and just pray and let God handle the situation from there.

  23. @Tim
    hills from whence

    I think the responsibility here is shared by the church in the sense that the church is supposed to be the shining light in the community and provide the example that Christ intended; however, we have a responsibility ourselves to go to the Bible, study, and pray.
    We also have a responsibility in this computer age to do some research on our own, which by the way is much easier than it was in the past. We have so much more at our access than we did in the past and so quickly with just the touch of our fingertips. God rewarded the Christian who realized one needed help and just asked for wisdom and discernment whether it was the great king like David or Solomon or whether it was just the ordinary common folk just making a living in one’s daily routine. he provides the Bible and the Holy Spirit for our discernment as well as prayer. I’m not asking you to abandon convictions, just to go back to the Bible. Jesus is our focus. It’s easy to get a bracelet and read that question. I have a lot of questions about this “bumper sticker” Christianity or commercialism in the Christian walk myself, including the bracelets. It’s not so much that there isn’t a message, but that it’s displayed in a way that I think cheapens the message.
    “Honk honk for Jesus” also could cause a car accident for those who get distracted by noise. The h orn in the Bible was used for specific purposes. It was used very by shepherds very carefully too as much as the staff. In Revelations, i think God is not only talking to the seven churches, but individuals as well. And he says repent and return. He says that in the Old Testament too, just looking toward Christ whereas in much of the New Testament, we are looking back except for the period in which Jesus walked with the apostles. Great leaders like David and King Solomon and Daniel were rewarded for asking God for guidance. The list of leaders that turned to God is long. Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 6:6, Matthew 7:7, and Matthew 11:28. The Psalms are among my favorite though.

  24. The third church I mention is not affiliated with the same organizations as the first two. The second was a “sister church” of the first even though it was a very small group. While a sister church may not necessarily constitute a denomination in respect to size, there isi a connection, and when you add their affiliated organizations, while the structure may be looser, i can’t call them independent. They are affiliated and need to publish their affiliations.I didn’t know that the first church was affiliated until my second year at the college. If I know in advance, it doesn’t bother me as much if they make it well known who the affiliations are, but when they try to act like there are no affiliations, then it does bother me.

  25. One of my concerns has to do with what I believe is a great emphasis on the apocalypse. i have mentioned on other posts that I do believe the Book of Revelation is inspired and should be read. I don’t want anyone to draw the wrong conclusion. I think it’s important that before a person reads the Book or Revelation, they understand other parts of the Old and New Testament first. I don’t see how very young children can do this. I’m not talking about individual verses that are used for assurance and comfort.

    I am talking about churches who use the apocalypse to rush their converts into decisions. I am talking about guessing a particular date. I do believe we are supposed to speak when Christians observe Christians engaged in activities that oppose the word. That is a spirit. What I differ with is when Christians are trying to guess the actual identity of an individual person called “The AntiChrist.” I do not believe this person has been revealed at this time but will be revealed in the future. There is not only in a danger in respect to rushing decisions which should take time, but also in being wrong. I have heard a number of guesses about the identity of the individual called “The AntiChrist” which is different from unbiblical preaching. If Christians, especially well known leaders guess and try to identify this person in error time after time, it takes away the credibility of their ministry. The secular industry has jumped on the band wagon. I have also said this before. The secular industry wants money and ratings. That’s their goal. It’s not necessarily scriptural accuracy. It sells. I realize very young people go to secular movies too.

    I believe that we are supposed to wait and be prepared. We are supposed to study Scripture. If we belive it is being used in error, we are supposed to speak out. However, we must be very careful in the way we do. We must use caution. People don’t grow at the same physical, mental, or social rate. They are often grouped by age for practical reasons.
    Churches like to encourage inviting new people. While it is true that many will have a background where they have learned to discern scriptures, they may also have students who don’t. When a church offers studies in the Book or Revelations, I don’t recommend that they should stop studying the Book or Revelatoins, rather instead, that they include prerequisites and really consider the audience. This might be better in a smaller group or at least a group where the teacher knows the members or others attending a particular class. I can’t count how many predictions about the last days I have heard with specific dates and hours. That I know is unscriptural. But I have also heard evangelists try to guess the specific identity of the antichrist, the person. When either doesn’t happen, people question it, especially if the person does this time after time.

    I believe that there are many scriptures that can be used in respect to conversion and assurance and I’m not convinced that we need to base these altar decisions on the rapture and events after the rapture. I have no objection to using Romans or John.

    I have fellowshipped with other Baptists myself even after leaving the IFB. I apologize if I ever gave the impression that I oppose Baptists. I don’t. My posts are not geared to all Baptists in general. I objected to the fact that a particular church felt that it represented the “true Baptist” and that a particular college did too. There were other Baptists in respect to churches as well as colleges and universities. I fellowshipped with people of different denominational backgrounds also.

    I learned that there are other ways of soulwinning also. At the time I was in this particular group, I was taught that there was one way, the way practiced by the church and that was it.

    I believe the Spirit leads. We must wait for the spirit to lead. We must pray for the guidance. The spirit also leads in individual ways at time. Sometimes in the desire for enthusiasm and numbers, the Holy Spirit gets pushed to the side.

    I hope I clarify my position on this. I think a lot of this actually has to do with a desire either to push numbers and or for a minister to try to duplicate the work of another ministry.
    God may use one person one way and another, a different way. I think sometimes we try to create a mold that may or may not be scriptural.

  26. Another thing that makes people assume so many Christian groups aren’t cults is they believe in the “hard hitters” of the bible. [the trinity,resurrection, ect.] It doesn’t have to be that they reject Christ’s deity to qualify. So many just point to the JW’s and Mormons but I think the most dangerous ones are the less obvious which is what of course the website helps display.

  27. A.- What your saying makes sense and I can see why that would be. It is so true and it is the same in our romantic relationships with men and women and friendships for that matter. Hence that is why it is so important to take things slowly and really weigh what you are taking in. I have to force myself to do that because I am a very trusting person, I have had to become much more of a critical thinker when it comes to peoples motives and agendas.
    Emotions definitely can misguide you and I have to be particularly careful in my case. Really it is old fashioned common sense on so many judgement calls even though that sounds almost too simple to say especially when so many come from backgrounds where “normal” was chaos.
    My brother is a staunch Lutheran pastor with legalistic views[Missouri senate.] His family barely talks to us and especially me because we’re too “worldly” when it comes down to it as to compared to Martin Luther’s law.[yes, they worship Martin Luther plain and simple.] It is SO obvious what MAN has created and what Jesus hasn’t. Jesus doesn’t split families apart or hurt others in any way it’s that simple. I feel a HUMBLE church that doesn’t have to put on a show or feel they have something to prove[uh oh, that almost describes Jesus] is going to be the most likely church for a healthy fellowship with the Lord while putting HIM first with His word. What’s going on today with the Joel Olsteens and hundreds of other false prophets is just,in my opinion, pimping out Jesus.

  28. Kira, it is so good to hear your thoughts and your ability to discern your situation. People who have become experts on cults and aberrant groups say that when a person leaves one deeply enmeshed type of group, they often are drawn to another with similar dynamics-even if the theology is vastly different. Knowing this, and having left an IFB, I am very much on guard about feelings and emotional pull I may feel when visiting other (in my case) Christian groups. I want to make sure my attraction is healthy and not simply same dysfunction, different group. Something to think about. For example, strict fundamentalist Muslims, if converted, would have a tendency to feel most at home in a strict fundamentalist ‘Christian’ group rather than in something less strict/fundamentalist. Obviously it wouldn’t always be true, but the conditioning tendency would be there. As humans, our inclination is to be drawn to what is familiar, hence the repeat attraction of victims to abusers, etc.

  29. Thankyou SO greatly for this site! I come from a very diverse Christian family. Mom Catholic, dad non IFB Baptist,brother Missouri senate Lutheran Pastor. I am now going to my dads church which I feel is a HEALTHY mix of TRUTH meeting classic Baptist decree as you’ve mentioned on here. People maintain who they are in Christ without being “browbeaten.”
    I have to say that I JUST started going to my dads church because prior I had become attracted to our local IFB church first.[attending for about only 3 months.] What lead me there was a IFB website-Jesus-is-saviour.com. that I had been studying from for 7 mo. You could say I became a bit brainwashed by seeing OVER AND OVER again how EVERY other denomination and bible that was non kjv was evil!! For some reason though I was drawn to this site like a moth to a flame and literally became addicted to it. The guy who is a pastor who presides over it WORSHIPS Jack Hyles which NOW after doing some real research sounds as though he was in love with discipline rather than the Lord.
    I’ll tell you I feel I was attracted to this “brand” of Baptists because I am a bit of an extremist myself which I realize isn’t always healthy. Meaning that I am the type of person that if I like something I like it 110% or if I DO something I give it 110% so a bit of overachiever tendencies there. [making me ripe for the picking I’m sure.] When you have that personality type it’s easy to miss the point and find yourself miserable over something you should be ENJOYING!!!
    What stopped me from going a 110% into the church? When I read in the churches school handbook [I was wanting to send my 7 year old to their private school] about using corporal punishment at THEIR discretion. I may project extremist tendencies upon myself but thank GOD not my kids!! Anyway to say the least I couldn’t picture Jesus with a varnished paddle awaiting the next child to “loose his walk with the Lord”. My ideals with the churches motives began to crumble and the Holy spirits discernment kicked in.
    I have a long background in mental health nursing and I know all too well how abuse starts and why EVER entice the possibilities?? While going to the church I did notice how the kids were like little soldiers, while that isn’t a BAD thing given a place and a time with knowing how to be “proper” in public situations I felt there was just something still unnatural with it. So…the corporal punishment makes sense because it would be encouraged to do at home as well.
    To spank or not to spank. This is how I feel about it and I feel Jesus did as well as it better fits HIS nature.

    Susan Lawrence of Arlington, MA, a homeschooling Lutheran mother, was distressed to see an advertisement for a child discipline tool called “The Rod” in a Christian homeschooling magazine. It is pictured above. Interviewed on Beliefnet, she said:

    “There are about five verses in Proverbs that do speak of beating your son with a rod, and also in Proverbs they speak of beating fools on the back, and that kind of thing. There’s a lot of punishment in the Old Testament. If you read the whole thing, there are floggings and stonings and all kinds of harsh punishments.”

    When asked about Proverbs 23:13’s statement: “…if you beat him with a rod he will not die. Beat him with a rod and you will save him from the grave,” Lawrence said:

    “It’s a lie, because children who are beaten with a rod sometimes do die. Between one and two thousand children die every year in this country from corporal punishment. One hundred forty-two thousand are seriously injured from corporal punishment every year in America, according to the Dept. of Health and Human Services and the New England Journal of Medicine. So it can’t be taken literally.” 11
    bullet Michael Jost writes that a “shebet” can mean a scepter or a staff as in a shepherd’s staff. It is a sign of authority and a tool to shepherd the sheep. He writes:

    “According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, ‘the scepter originated in the idea that the ruler was a shepherd of his people’….[Like shepherds,] As parents we are to guide our children in the wilderness of the modern world. We need to provide them with a set of values and with ways of approaching life that has integrity and respect for others as a cornerstone. We certainly don’t do that by beating them. A shepherd who beats his/her sheep, will have no flock. The sheep will run from his/her voice and flee from his/her calling….We parents are the shepherds for our children. By applying the rod of protection, guidance, care, and nurturance, we can guide them into adulthood. But if we spare the rod, children are abandoned to their own devices and limited experiences for guidance. Discipline is about instruction, NOT beatings. ****A child cannot LISTEN to someone he/she is afraid of. *****Lessons cannot be integrated by one who is in shock from having been struck. What they learn is distrust, fear, and violence.” 12
    bullet Grace Chou studied the passages in Proverbs after receiving a suggestion from her mother to stop spanking her son. She writes:

    “I found the perfect example of grace-filled discipline in Jesus. [Author Rick] Creech notes that, ‘Some of the things of the Old Testament were done away with when the New Testament came into place. Take the adulterous woman in John 8:3-11 for example. The law of the Old Testament stated very clearly that if anyone committed adultery, they should be put to death. But Jesus did not allow the men to put her to death. Instead Jesus said to the men, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus did not change the moral principle that was in the law, because he still told the woman, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” But Jesus did change the way that the requirement of the law was enforced. Jesus did away with the harsh physical punishment, but he still upheld the moral standard.’ I knew it was my job as a parent to do the same.” 13,14

    Ok. So while my local church MAY be one of the “good” IFB churches according to some peoples standards, I sense ,and am now confirmed by your site, that there is a UNHEALTHY balance there of “God loving us” BUT we have to be RIGIDLY obedient in order for Him to do so. They have the dress codes, KJV only, schools, everything that seems to keep everyone SEGREGATED into their own community.[no computer use,tv,no worldy music according to THEIR definition of worldly.] They are NOT allowed to have interests in dating ESPECIALLY with another kid from a different denomination. All the red flags are there.
    We also have a” character training center” of theirs in town which caused a stir because of being unlicensed ect. My town is small so people were calling them a cult ages ago. The church has been here about 17years. Believe me,I realize having the state involved isn’t always a great thing BUT I have seen abuse through my line of work while working in private health care facilities and I’ve seen the state improve things in some needed cases.
    I decided to explore the center online and our local paper covered the story 2 years ago based on reports of a sex offender teen being placed in their group home. Also paddling reports. The sex offender kid was court ordered to be there and the paddling went unfounded so end of story. The state is involved there now but on a very superficial basis because they ofcourse are not state funded. The pastor NEVER did comment to the paper about anything. Why?
    I turned from hot to cold with the thoughts of joining the church needless to say.[ I feel like a sucker for having been so enticed by that website first and foremost.] There are just too many red flags of deceit going on. Especially when the sheriff of our town goes to the church!Since we are a small town rumors are so frequent people just parrot eachother but there is also the advantage to see connections more clearly given it’s a smaller circuit of information to filter through.
    My final thoughts are what would your advice be in becoming proactive about spiritual abuse awareness for an individual to partake in in their community? I want to do this for the kids sake first and foremost. We have all the typical cults in our town as well. AGAIN thanks for the insights I “get it.” Also, another thing that attracted me to the church was the pastors zest for spiritual warfare training which I do highly regard and feel more churches desperately need to preach on. However a little goes a long way and this subject has the potential to cause someone to have a nervous breakdown if also taken to extremes. I have a bad feeling they use this to CONTROL people rather than “empower” them in the name of Christ. I suppose that actually comes through clearly because they are against tv, internet use ect. ALL TOGETHER as these are considered the devils playground.
    The saddest thing about all of this with ALL extreme Christian movements is that they miss the point entirely and teach children and people to actually NOT trust the Holy spirit to talk with their heart and give them the NATURAL discernment that comes with that communication. People aren’t able to encompass their NATURAL God given gifts as well and are pressured to pursue others.

    Thankyou so much for letting me post and I hope I’ve helped contribute to your site by helping someone else:)

  30. The college or university becomes a “hub” for all the ministries affiliated with an church, association, or denomination. This is especially true when the educational facility has a large audience through television evangelism. The college or university provides the education and the recruits for other ministries, for which often the church is a part whether it is independent or affiliated with an association or denomination. It is evident, whether or not I like it, that there are serious problems with the institution I attended. This nullifes the time, financial investment, and accomplishments of students as well as faculty and administration. Materials from publications are used by supporting churches whether they are independent, affiliated with an association, or part of a large mainline denomination. In many organizations, the information is accessible and open. More instruction is provided.
    Also there are choices. There is respect for iindividuality. Many pastors recommend their alma maters or the college supported by their denomination, but many do not do this at the exclusion of other schools. Many of the large mainline denominations do have college and university campuses which are regionally accredited and also with programs which are also professionally accredited which is also very important. Many professional affiliations are required. In many schools, the staff and faculty come from different backgrounds with different alma maters, public, as well as private. They come with a wide variety of experience in their vocations also. My particular situation was very closed and not regionally accredited. My attendance basically has been nullified and discredited. Many students will not list this particular school on their resumes. In some states, it is against the law to list this school on any resume or even to apply to a government job. Other states are more supportive. People may have different experiences based on where they live. Once upon a time, people attended college after high school. That has changed. People often have to go back. The problem is that they can’t pick up. Also what should be an alma matter with a good student spirit has become an alma mater of shame. The leader has made irresponsible comments about the government, also places faculty, administration, alumni, and the current student body in question. This does not happen at other Christian schools. This is not the norm. If you talk to people at that campus or their satellite church colleges, you will be told something entirely different. The church is in effect, a college satellite just with a different name. I can’t distinguish the two very easily whereas in other situations, they are separate. The sexual scandals associated with some of these churches and ministries nullify this identification. This destroys the credibility of one’s testimony, forcing one to start over from scratch. That’s the not the purpose of a Christian education. My focus really is more on the college than anything else.

  31. Joe,
    I would concur with what you said. The IFB doctrinal statements are pretty good for the most part, but they add a lot more in subtle ways. I have found it interesting that the most important and well defended beliefs in Fundamentalism are things like KJV-onlyism, and women wearing dresses, and tithing. I wish they would defend the freedom that believers have by believing the gospel. Well, I can dream, right?

  32. Btw, most IFB churches will tell you that Baptists aren’t the only ones going to heaven. Saved people go to heaven. Most will admit that Baptists aren’t the only “good” christians. Yet this is my experience, having been in IFB churches for my entire 37 years. They won’t say it, but their life declares their belief that they are the only good christians and will have heaven all to themselves. They are “baptist briders.” They deny it, but this is how I see their response: “I am large, gray, have large ears, and a trunk. But I am not an elephant.” What?!

  33. To be honest, IFB churches have not been around since Christ. Churches that have held similar beliefs have existed since the time of Christ, but to tag on IFB to the claim would be erroneous. I don’t believe that many would disagree with the doctrine of your average IFB church. However, it is their approach way of doing things that is headed for a dead end in our society. I have found a wonderful church that believes and teaches baptist doctrine. It isn’t a baptist in name church. IFB churches have become nothing more than sounding brass. I am at a church that loves. @Karen

  34. Karen – I’m glad that you found a good church that you feel like God is using you at. But seriously it is you that needs to do some investigating about the history of the Baptist church, btw, I would agree with you that it didn’t come out of the catholic church. Jesus Christ is coming back to planet earth looking for Christians, (blood-covererd saints) not just Baptists.

  35. I realize Steve probably won’t allow this post but I just wanted to say; Hi Karen, I’m the notorious heretic Kenneth that you have probably read about many times on this forum. I just wanted to say that I’m sorry that you didn’t get the opportunity to be warned about the hornets nest that you just stirred up by standing up formyour beliefs and Church. They don’t take to kindly to people saying blasphemies like “I love my IFB Church” on here. Sorry, and keep up the good fight my sister in Christ.

  36. So Sorry you all feel this way! Ran across this web site by accident, and can’t believe what I am reading. I have been a member of IFBC since 1981 and would never go anywhere else. If you would do some investigating on the history of it, you will find that this church has been around since Christ, it never came out of the Cathalic church (protestant) as some will say and like in all churches, people are human and make mistakes and churches are branded for these reasons. The beliefs I have today are the beliefs I had when I chose to be a part of this church. Jesus Christ is real and coming soon, I want to live for him, win others to him and be a blessing to others until he returns and the church I am in is where he lead me to serve him.

  37. @Joe….I just left an IFBC and the preaching was awesome! I loved the old fashioned values and love and support from my church family! You are right it is difficult finding that kind of preaching in other churches! I was considering just going to Sunday school and purchasing DVD of the previous weeks’ sermon to listen at home, that way I can fellowship and hear the word!

  38. @Joe

    Joe, You weren’t getting “good, solid Bible preaching” while attending an IFB either so anything different than the IFB would be an improvement IMHO.

  39. When I was in my old IFB Church I wanted to find out more about IFB Churches so I did a google search and typed in “Independent Fundamental Baptist”. This website was one of the first ones to come up on the google search. This website kind of left a bad taste in my mouth with the IFB’s so I had to end up leaving My old IFB Church. I did another google search today for “Independent Fundamental Baptist” on google and this website was the second one to come up behind the wikipedia thing for IFB. Thought this would be interesting to share.

    with his stripes we are healed,

    A brother in Christ

  40. The problem: I can’t find good, solid Bible preaching outside of a IFB church. Yet, I don’t want to go back to an IFB church. My choices: swallow lack-luster preaching and a liberal view of scripture or swallow ridiculous standards while being a square peg in a round hole. Hmmm. It may be easier to start a church than it will finding a good church. What a shame!

  41. Rich,
    It is not just the liberal churches that are moving away from the IFB, conservative churches are dropping the Independent Fundamental Baptist label. The reason is as I understand it is that too many people have been exposed to bad teaching and unbiblical practice in many IFB churches. I know that they are not all like this, but many are. If I were to start a church, I wouldn’t use the IFB name because there are too many bad churches already using it.
    I would also say that it is about time that people who are truly concerned about biblical separation, start looking at some of their own associations. Are you separated from Jack Schaap and Hyles-Anderson? No one would know by the name of your church.
    I have to say that I believe the Fundamental Baptist movement started well and was sound in its early stages. One of the basic problems that has plagued it ( and many other good churches as well ) is that evil men and imposters have crept in to the leadership. Evil men have taken over a lot of churches and great damage has been done. Men like Jack Hyles were not exposed for their false teaching like they should have been, and now his error is being perpetuated a thousand times over to the detriment of families and people across the country. When I see false teaching like this going on, I have to stand up and say something. I know that IFB churches do a lot of good, but there are a fair share of bad ones leading people astray.

  42. @bob
    I do not usually reply because normally it starts a huge thread, which is not my goal.
    However, I feel compelled to comment on “That is why a number of churches have dropped the Fundamental and Baptist label.” The reasons are numerous and may include your reasoning, but many are compromising and capitulating hoping to draw a crowd. Many (not all) of these “Come-As-You Are, Leave-As-You-Came and You’ll-Keep-Coming-Back-Just-The-Same “churches greatly water down the Gospel and particularly the doctrine of ecclesiastical and personal separation. Many times they “drop the name” because they are no longer either fundamental in doctrine, nor Baptist (historically) if belief in practice. Hope this does come off as holier-than-thou or know-it-all. I am the Pastor of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. It is our conviction to be such based on God’s Word. We are not mad at everybody else, nor do we believe that one has to be a Baptist to go to Heaven. When we disagree with another Church or group of churches on non-essentials, my response is always the same, “Our sign says Independent (Autonomous, Self-Governing according to the Word of God).”

    1. Hi Pastor Rich,

      Thanks for writing. I don’t usually comment on posts from IFBers for the same reasons, unless I’m asked for a debate of course. I can see you cringing as you type wondering what kind of backlash you will receive. I wish more IFB Pastors would come here willing to have an open discussion, but as you probably noticed it doesn’t usually work out that way. We aren’t bad people Pastor Rich. We simply see what’s wrong with the IFB and want to be a voice of change. I have just one question for you right now. Can you please back up those beliefs with scripture for me? I’m curious to know, in particular, how you came to the conclusion that “ecclesiastical and personal separation” are part of the gospel message?

  43. Lipton,

    Thanks for the information. It cleared up some confusion.

  44. John – I think the little globe thingy is going to pick up where your internet server is located. That may or may not be where someone is actually sitting.

  45. I saw on the cool visitor map on the revolving globe that a recent visitor came from San Dimas, California. I thought this was a made up place because of the movie I used to like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Depending on which Bible version you use I now count this movie rubbish, dung, garbage, etc. That I may win Christ (Philippians 3:8).

    The Lord loves us all,

    A brother in Christ

  46. Greg, I agree with you per your caution about things with men’s names attached. I simply don’t go to any church for the time being but I have noticed that churches I have visited are far more likely to be following some man (Calvin or some popular author such as Piper, Driscoll, Grudem, etc.) that I ever remember being the case in years past.

    What you have added regarding Lipton’s comments about Jesus not being preached very much in IFB churches is fascinating. I think your reasons are right-looking at Jesus can be very uncomfortable. I think I will have to check the sermons from his church since they are online and see what I can learn about this.

  47. Lipton, I feel for you in this, for sure. The only advantage you have as far as I can tell-maybe two-is that you are the man, so they probably don’t accuse you of not submitting to your spouse, and you are able to stomach going to her church. I am no longer able to go to his. I met with him and his pastor once, and I met with the pastor another time much more recently and both conversations were so dismal I have decided to brush the dust off the feet. I wish I could stomach it-in a way-because we are pretty much like two ships passing in the night with the amount of involvement he has at his church. I am a church widow, as the description goes.

    I am intrigued by the idea of talking to him about Jesus more, though, especially since their relationship seems to focus more on the bible and rules than it does on Jesus though they preach about that on rare occasion as it relates to sinning and getting right with God and then serving Him. Thank you for this suggestion!

  48. “Try to talk to your husband about Jesus. He probably doesn’t hear enough about Him at the IFB.” True words, isn’t it odd? IFB’s will preach sermon after sermon and then tag it with an appeal to come to Jesus at the end of the message, an unsaved person must be thinking, who’s this Jesus, this is the first I’ve heard about Him today! I left the hardcore IFB about 3 years ago, but its only been about the last year that I have noticed that this “religion” that I was apart of my entire life, that was supposed to be about Jesus, doesn’t talk about or “preach” much about Jesus. I have a feeling the reason is, if you start looking at Jesus and the things he taught, he starts stepping on toes real hard as it relates to legalism, and where would most of these IFB’s be w/out their their favorite past time, pointing out the faults of others!

    I comment over at SFL (stuff fundies like) regularly, however I hesitate to reccomend it to alot of people because most anything goes over there, simple faith is often marginalized, it also seems that Calvinism is the most “accepted” form of faith, which I find odd, why would one leave a man-dominated faith (IFB) and go right back into another man-dominated faith (Calvinism) To anyone reading this, anytime a man’s name (John Calvin) is attached to a belief system, enter cautiously, in fact I personally would say avoid it.

    Prayers for you and your family, it is very difficult navigating the land mine field that you presently find yourself in. Unlike what SFL says though, there are good people and there is faith in some of the IFB’s, unfortunately it is so littered with legalism its hard spot at times.

  49. Anonymous, your story is similiar to mine. My wife is IFB. She was “backslidden” when we met and then married. Then she started going back to church. I tagged along and got saved! But the more I heard from the IFB, the more questions I had. The more questions I had, the more I realized the answers were not adding up. Fast forward a couple of years now and I am trying to get her to see the error in the IFB teachings on some things. I have to be patient as to not do or say anything to jeopardize our marriage. Our marriage is more important than the IFB. So much so that I still attend the IFB. I have come to the realization that we can believe different things but it doesn’t matter as long as we both believe in salvation in Jesus Christ by grace through faith.
    Anyway, I pray for your situation. Try to talk to your husband about Jesus. He probably doesn’t hear enough about Him at the IFB.
    And one more thing that may help you in your journey, a website that I find therapeutic….stufffundieslike.com. You’ll laugh, you might cry, you might do both at the same time. It is a lighter look at the IFB.

  50. John, thank you for what you shared. I am going to copy those verses. I hadn’t put them all together quite like that but you are absolutely right. When I was single, the verse that spoke of God being the husband to the husbandless and the father to the fatherless was my comfort. I am finding I need it again in a certain way; it came to my mind in fact two days ago so your own comments here are surprisingly timely.

    My husband does have a number of very good qualities. He also happens to be a stuanch Bob Jones U. type of Fundamentalist. Having discovered this has really added to the pitch of my learning curve-no doubt his as well though we tend to end up with different answers to the challenges.

    As I have read through the comments in this blog site, I can hear so many commonly held statements, and they are so nearly indentical in how they are stated per each theme or topic that it is almost as if they have all been memorized rather than truly thought out. That is the impression i get, anyway. When I began thinking about what my husband’s church was teaching-on more areas than just the restrictions for women (their view of separation, music, ‘biblical authority’, the bible as the final authority rather than the Holy Spirit, dispensationalism and how that played out for them, etc., etc.) I had to begin really thinking for myself and answering the red flags in my gut so to speak. I was told I was being unbiblical, unsubmissive (both to my husband and to the church authorities) and I felt as though I were speaking to people whose understanding was darkened. that is not just because they didn’t think as I did because I know people who don’t line up with me on every issue yet I can tell they are somehow truly thinking and examining things without blindly following the party line so to speak. There is a light on in their mind.

    This has all resulted in my husband and I not even being able to talk about God or the Holy Spirit or the bible or anything related to it, because he cannot really come out of the mindset to truly discuss things. It is, sadly, like being married to an unbeliever in that sense. It is not what I had hoped for, but it definitely has sharpened my own thinking, caused me to know more clearly what I believe and why. This is a good benefit. It has driven me closer to Jesus.

    It is nice to know there are still men as well as women out there who understand these things in this light. I hope and pray that you will find a blessing of a wife!

  51. Anonymous,

    Good post. at the beginning of your post you said “I am married to an IFB”. Not only that your married to Jesus Christ himself. You have another husband. No only you but also me and ever Christian there is. Jesus Christ is the best Husband there is. I’m not gay or homosexual but Jesus Christ is a good husband to have. I’m also maybe hoping for a godly wife someday, Lord willing.

    “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2). That’s from the NIV
    “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2). That’s from the ESV
    “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” (Romans 7:4). That’s from the KJV
    “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.” (Romans 7:4). That’s from the NKJV.
    By the way I’m not saying your husband is a bad husband. I’m sure he’s a great husband. I’m just Saying Jesus Christ is a better husband.
    The Lord loves us all,
    A brother in Christ

  52. Joe, you make good points. I am married to an IFB and no longer go to his church and have a deep distaste for IFBism despite knowing some good people within those churches. When I first realized what IFBism was all about-after having married into it without much awareness (all the website information for this particular church is vague and only an insider or someone who knows would know what to look for in the veiled wording of things) I felt a growing horror at what I had gotten myself into, since my spouse was and is deeply involved in and staunchly believes in his church. I am an IFB widow-very possibly for life. When I began asking questions about the church’s beliefs, the responses I got were so arrogant and unloving I was astonished. Then, when I had disagreements with my spouse, I was told our ‘marriage problems’ were because I wouldn’t submit to him. On and on it went. This is a very conservative IFB though without a lone eagle at the helm-there is a main pastor, an associate, a youth pastor and a music leader as well as someone who runs the school. There is also an elder board. The governance is rather consistent with the ‘best IFB practices’ though I disagree with it in principle.

    All this to say that when I finally quit going, I was deeply angry, stunned, horrified at my situation, and so on. I was so angry that this website seemed tactful to me. I was angry that so many out there in IFB land were being deceived and taught things I thought seemed blatantly contrary to Jesus’ teachings at a minimum…much less the rest of the biblical account of things, as well as contrary to what I sensed the Holy Spirit was sayiing to me. I agree that some may be put off by tones that go beyond a certain limit. For others, it will be a very welcome balm. I don’t know if it is possible for a web or blogsite to have a broad spectrum approach. It may be, but it would likely leave the folk on either edge out a bit. Anyway, We also know that Jesus appeared to use what would seem to us to be some pretty strong language to the Pharisees a few times, so He had some scorchers, too.

    It may be something you or someone could do…have a blog that is a bit tamer for those who need that. I have not been offended by this site, but sensibilities do vary so I can understand what you are saying, I think.

  53. Steve,
    I’ll be honest with you. I am 37 years old, have spent nearly my entire life in IFB churches, and have been an ordained youth pastor in an IFB church for the past 4 years. I am leaving my position, with the Lord’s leading, to begin a home for troubled teenagers. This home is affiliated with a nondenominational organization. I realize that I will not be supported by most pastors of IFB churches. I am willing and ready to leave “the IFB” to follow God’s will. I agree with much of what you have to say. My pastor friends (we are all around the same age) agree with me. There is not much of a future for IFB churches. That way of thinking is of a dying breed. They have painted themselves into a corner…and most will not humble themselves and admit their way out. There is a generation of young preachers frustrated with the direction of the average IFB church. Most IFB churches will never admit to being “Baptist-Briders.” Yet, they describe themselves as such. “I am large and gray, with big ears, and a trunk, but I am not an elephant.” Do what? Yep. Your average IFB pastor. “Baptists don’t go to heaven. Saved people go to heaven.” Sounds great. Just don’t fellowship with any of them. They may be Christians and going to heaven, but they aren’t good Christians. I see and agree with much of what you have posted on your site. I have broadened my own horizons and have become more concerned with following God’s will for my life and not just what an IFB preacher would do. However, your site is rather provocative. In a sense that instead of leading the (IFB) reader to your conclusion, you start out in opposition. Readers automatically become defensive. The truth must be shared…with love. Package the truth in such a way that is easier to accept. Otherwise, instead of being a watchman who is warning others of going astray, it may come across as a brother sowing discord. The name of the website does not help. I want to warn those in IFB churches of the wrong direction I believe most are headed. I do not want to be sowing discord.

  54. can anybody (ANYBODY) explain to me how the Holy Spirit fits into the operation of the “Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Movement” I just don’t see it functioning there period! confused in Detroit

  55. I’m so glad my Best Friend’s kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).

  56. All-My church is Landover Baptist Church. Check us out for a different perspective. Your minds might open. – Mike

  57. Neen, I was in A IBF church for years then recently about two yrs ago left. I now attend a forsquare church and feel so close to God! I would like to inform you that that IBF churches differ. Some are more radical then others and some are not radical very much. The one you spoke about seems to be a very starange one. My parents IBF church isn’t like that. Not saying I agrre with it but their church isn’t near as bad as the one you mentioned.. as far as the kjv stance and no pants or makeup or whatever, that is all man made self opinions. That is shoved down peoples throats. Its just dictatorship is all it is. I pray churches like that go away. Its funny that a lot of the radical crazy and somewhat eveil churches like westburro baptist and the baptist church in arizona with that crazy steve anderson guy, there both Independent baptist. Idk me personallyIm just thankful I left the IBF church, but ther are some fine ones out there I’m sure.. I’m praying for you and my Christ Bless you

  58. I am writing from a very different veiwpoint as I have never been a member of an IFB church. I have only experienced them through others that I know who are members. I saw 20/20 last night and it got me EVEN more worried and sad for my sister and her kids and wanted to get information and support from others that know more about them.
    I grew up in Pennsylanvia, in a loving, Catholic family with 4 siblings. My parents guided and encouraged us to acheive our goals and dreams, and cheered us on along the way. They certainly were not perfect parents but they tried to bring us up as honest, empathic, educated and generally good people with happy, fulfilling lives. I am so grateful for them!
    My sister met a “born again” friend in college and since then began her drastic personal transformation from the fun-loving, athletic, sweet sister, to an all-encompassing Jesus-endoctrinated servant to her husband. I feel like I lost my sister that I knew and loved. She moved to Alaska with her “in hopes to become a pastor” husband 20 years ago and had several children. When I first met her husband, I remember not feeling that he was truly genuine and never trusted him. He was very extreme with his beliefs about the world, the limiting roles of men and women, and always had a “Jesus” reply to ANYTHING you may have said….I always felt (and still do)judged by him. But because he tried to be so sweet and charming to people, my parents and others thought he was just such a great guy…a great christian guy for their daughter. WELL!….as the years went by, my parents (and the rest of us) increasingly learned how extremely conservative and distant they had become as they segregated from the family and anyone who wasn’t fundamentally christian, like them. He is very controlling, authoritarian and according to family members who have seen him preach, uses a strict KJV yelling style that is rightous and unyeilding!
    My sister and her daughters ONLY wear long conservative dresses and headpeices. The girls are not allowed to attend college and because they won’t get SS#’s for the kids, my dad’s hope to set up college funds for all of them was fruitless. They beleive the husband makes the final decisions and my sister doesn’t challenge him. They forbid dancing, any modern or rock music, alcohol use and don’t have a tv or radio. They shelter their kids from the REAL world and their extended family. I havent seen them in 5 years and before then it was 5 years. I don’t even know my neices and nephews and this point as my attempts to email my older nephew (to keep a connection) were suddenly stopped. Her husband twice reemed me out via email because I forwarded a link (to my sister)on gay marriage and another about the importance of “Acceptance” of diversity in order to create a healthier world. His responses were soooo harsh, judgemental and self-rightous that any christian message he was “trying” to send me was lost. Also, they never even acknowledged my wedding a few years ago… except for telling me that I should not marry my husband because he was divorced. I felt so hurt.
    My parents often gave them money (to help them out with raising a family) but looking back on it, they never used that money to come visit them for years and my parents sadly hardly know those grandchildren…and my parents have only been kind and generous to them (But Catholic). Sadly, my dad suddenly passed away right after a family reunion that my sister in Alaska didn’t attend (despite not seeing my parents in 5 years! Yet they never complained about all the money they would accept from them!
    I could go on with tons more concerns but I think you’ve got the picture. To me, this type of extreme “christian” thinking is full of HATRED, INTOLERANCE, IGNORANCE and OPPRESSION which fuels the opposite of what Jesus was all about, in my opinion. I worry for my sister. This is an mentally abusive situation, at the very least….in other words, CULTLIKE!
    Thanks for reading this really long comment and I’d appreciate any feedback or advice.
    –Neen

  59. Check out Pensacola Christian College. I believe it is IFB. The people who are running it seem to be the most unchristian people. They intimidate their employees. They out and out lie to get what they want. They used straw buyers posing as young poor couples to rip off people to get their houses. They want to create a closed off compound. Men and women have to use different doors to enter buildings. Men had to go through spot checks to insure their hair is not too long and they have appropriate dress. They basically drag everyone into hall and run measurements. They supposedly have laxed some rules probably because their enrolment is down. They once made all of their students vote in Florida. No one could use the absentee ballots that many had already. They had to vote with the choices picked by school. precinct normally had no more than a 100. PCC ran all 4000+ through the precinct. I was in line for 7 hours listening to them. For being in college they pretty much new nothing about real life. They got away with it with no punishment.

  60. Can’t sleep after seeing the 20/20 piece tonight. It was very upsetting & yet I’m glad to see it come to light. My Grandfather was an IFB pastor. He & my Grandmother are both dead now but all of the 7 kids (my Dad included) were raised in the church. My Dad was the only one who didn’t become a pastor (or marry one). I remember my Dad & Mom telling us kids a story about how they spanked one of us when we were just a few months old over & over until we finally fell asleep (probably passed out). My Dad said it was because they could tell it was an “angry cry” & that they had to spank that “strong will- full disobedience” out of us. I’d never heard anyone else ever say anything like that until tonight. My sister & I were sexually abused by my Dad from about age 8 until high school. I really relate to what Steve says. I am absolutely a believer in Christ. I consider myself a Christian & can’t imagine how I would have survived without my Faith. And yet it makes me absolutely sick that my Dad used his position as a Deacon to manipulate. I believed what he was doing was my fault because he talked so much about God & could quote scripture. He was involved in the church. I felt it must be me. I got counseling as an adult & got help. Unfortunately my sister didn’t find peace anywhere & committed suicide 4 years ago. I feel that not only my Dad but a lot of people at IFB at to blame.

    1. Hi Kay – I’m a regular contributor here and just want to thank you personally for stopping by and sharing your story. It’s not just healing for you, but others that hear your story may find the courage to stand up be heard, I know it must be so difficult. It’s hard for me to imagine hearing all of that holier-than-thou preaching at church and then having family member(s) who espouse those same beliefs molest you.

      I am delighted that you maintained your faith, yes God is faithful, and please accept my condolences on the death of your dear sister.

  61. This does not, however, downplay Jesus as Heir and King and FATHER appointed saving grace! :o)

    1. Sorry, this is meant to piggy back off of my post further up. 🙂

  62. 20/20 made me sick to my stomach. IFB is nothng short of a cult, where perverts belong…a bunch of very sick and twisted people hiding behind a so called religion. You will never convenience me that sexual/physical/emotional/spiritual abuse is right. Shame on you animals….

  63. This story on 20/20 is disturbing. I’m glad people are standing up for themselves. @ Elijah some people unknowingly worship Jesus as God. I’m glad to have a church family and be active in a church where I haver listened the difference between The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Now on the book of Genesis its does say WE, suggesting that God is speaking of himself and someone else. Just another thought, are we required to know who is not going to hell? People seem preoccupied with that.

    1. All-Sorry about the reply being to Chi, when it actually isn’t. It was just the closest reply button! Just heard of IFB on the 20/20 show tonite, and was really shocked. Unfortunately, I don’t have time, given the late hour, to reply to much or carry on a spirited conversation. I’m just learning more about this group. I must admit I’m not christian, jew or any other major anything to do with a mono-deity theology. I am an ordained minister and high-priest, though. A comment as I leave, though. All this talk by IFB and others about the KJ version of the bible being the only true bible and their stance against gays as being sinners or worse. How do you accept King James I as the true translator of the the bible and the fact he was gay, and probably a pedophile. I chuckle.

  64. …and then there are the IFB churches…just when you think you’ve heard and seen it all regarding christians out of control, running amok in the name of the Christ, you find out about the unbelievable behavior of some of these IFB church members and particularly their pastors and male members. What a travesty! What a depraved lot of sinners! The simple fact that such wolves in sheep’s clothing execute such nefarious deeds confirms not just the presence of evil in this world but that Satan is alive and well. Blot them out, this stain on mankind. They want OT judgement/justice? I say give it to these pastors and their henchman congregants. And the wives and mothers that condone such idiocy. Don’t look to man for the solution; look to the purity of Jesus, the Son of God.

  65. Elijah- Jesus Christ Is God. The Bible has many verses supporting this.. the Father son and holy spirit are all three different and beautiful beings but yet all the same. Three in one.

  66. Great site, let me point out where the problem stems from for the baptist,
    They commit idolatry by worshiping Yeshua (AKA Jesus Christ) as if he were God, I believe he is the son of God or the messenger of God. Yeshua never was and never will be God, himself.

    Those who worship Yeshua as God, indirectly worship the devil, and cannot be “Born Again” as they do not believe that God raised Yeshua from the dead, they imagine that God raised himself from the dead. This is a _HUGE_ spiritual problem that shall result in their likely damnation and judgemnet against them for believeing the biggest lie in the world today.

    Even the Muslims know that those who worship Mohammad as God worship the devil and not the one true God.

    1. Hi Elijah – You’ve got way bigger problems than Baptists.

      “Me and the Father are one” Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

      1. “The father and I are one” is so overused and incorrectly distorted. This simply means in essence that they stand for the same Kingdom. Over and over I hear this one scriptural verse used to back up the trinity idea when the trinity isn’t addressed in the Bible rather created by the Roman Catholic church. However, many, many places it is mentioned of how Jesus the son is praying to and speaking to his Father in Heaven. Don’t quite see how or why he’d be praying to himself and asking himself why he has forsaken himself. I know how fierce most Christians are on this subject and have left it an area to agree to disagree in my own life. But what I find amazing is the lack of scripture to back up the trinity whilst the communication directed at his FATHER was seen again and again.

    1. Hi John – I watched this yesterday and really enjoyed it, I would like to show this to some fundies and listen very closely to see how they could possibly disagree with such sound teaching.

  67. Hi Vicki – You will have to take up the alcohol thing with Jesus, his first miracle was turning the water into wine. Have a look at a couple of OT verses. Dt 14:26 and Isaiah 25:6.

    I believe that many pastors don’t know the bible as they should, for instance the above cited verses leave no doubt that some consumption of alcohol is fine, drunkeness is what should be preached against.

    Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think about these verses.

    God bless.

  68. I completely agree with the teachings of IFB churches about the KJV and NO drinking of alcohol, and no need to form associations or conventions since it’s not in the Bible. Not many Baptists will speak up about much of anything,especially about the evil of drink and that is one fantastic thing about IFB IMO. However, IFB that I was around went a little too far with some things, such as women wearing pants and regular church attendance even for the disabled or ill. If they had more members it would probably ease up some, but most don’t want to join a conservative hell fire preaching church nowadays, unfortunately. Anything is better than being around so called Christians and preachers that don’t even believe the Bible though.

  69. Aww sad kennteth is banned but I understand why.. I enjoyed his comments. Not is an agreed sense but to see how IBF supporters are stuck in their ways. As I’ve said before I do know good hearted IBF people who love God, but as a whole most are iggnorant and radical. Steve I respect your stance and am in agreeance with a lot of your opinions. One thing I must say I disagree with is your stance on not attending church? Or am I mistaken?

  70. Hi Steve – Just a couple of housekeeping things. It seems that I am able to post my stuff easier, haven’t lost any for awhile, for someone that doesn’t know how to cut and paste and all that other stuff you recommend, this is mighty good news. Sometimes if I take awhile to post and then hit submit, it will tell me it didn’t get the “captcha” code, then I put it in again,and it has taken it, where in the old days it didn’t.

    I don’t see in the links the “Kenneth” link, did you decide to take it off? Kenneth still emails periodically and referred to something he said, and I went back the other day to verify and couldn’t find the link, I’m not suggesting that you put it back, just wondering where it went.

    I enjoy this site very much, its funny how at times there will be several conversations going at once and then it all dries up for a few days. I feel that this site and a few others are really at the forefront of the battle over fundyism, and just a wonderful place for hurting folks to share and be comforted as I feel Jesus would have wanted, instead of the pounding they get from the fundies – you’re not good enough, you don’t pray enough, you don’t give enough, you don’t read your bible enough, How in the world can fundies twist a gospel that is supposed to set us free and turn it into a religion in which everything is your fault?

    1. Hi Greg,

      Patricia, our webmaster, has made some improvements to the site so I’m glad to hear it’s working better. Here’s a tip. After you write a comment but before you submit it, use your mouse and “right click” (use the right mouse button), select the “select all” option and then right click again and select the “copy” option. This stores what you just wrote in your computer’s memory and if something happens to the post, simply use the right mouse key again and select the “paste” option. This will copy what you have saved back into the comment’s field. That’s how you “copy and paste”. If this is confusing then do a search for “copy and paste” to learn how or take some time to practice. It will dramatically decrease the amount of “lost” comments you seem to have. Feel free to use this site to practice. I can delete any extraneous material.

      The discussion with Kenneth has been moved to the “Discussions” page. Here’s the link: http://www.baptistdeception.com/discussions/

      Kenneth has continued to verbally assault me so he has been permanently banned not only from posting comments, but also from even accessing the site. I hope that doesn’t hamper your discussions with him.

      I’m glad to have you here, Greg. You have such well thought out replies. Twisting the gospel is a generational error. People are taught a certain way of thinking then they go on to teach others. If you tell a lie often enough, loud enough and for long enough, people begin to consider it truth. I believe that’s what’s happening in today’s churches, especially the IFB.

  71. A – I will pray you find a church that fits your personal needs and that helps you continue your amazing growth in the Spirit.

    To everyone: I have been reading some of these comments by IFB supporters and it is sad that in their comments they are acting just like most IFB churches do every week! Do they truly feel Christ condones this?? We must pray for them.

    1. Thank you, Tim. That means a lot to me. I also appreciate that you ask for prayer for those who seem out of touch-the IFB supporting commenters.

  72. Steve and the regulars – Just finished reading Kenneth’s final tirades, wow, talk about rich! You should not drink coffee and read Kenneth’s posts, fair warning!

    That first post was really something. Essentially it says “I Kenneth, God’s personal assistant, have arrived, put down your bibles, what do you need them for when you have me. All of you, especially Steve, are in error, now please shut down this site and all will be forgiven, rewards have been lost, but you will be saved, as if by fire.”

    Would any of you like to send your kids to Kenneth’s SS class?

    Kenneth no one treated you badly here, in fact you were treated with dignity and respect. You received far better treatment than we received from you.

  73. Tim, I actually don’t go to a church right now. I nearly break out into a cold sweat just going into churches. I am really trying to think carefully about where I would want to go. I have visited a few places but am really putting the church thing on hold for now. I read a lot, visit blogs, and meet with a few friends one on one. That is my fellowship for now. What about you?

  74. Either would I A. What church do you attend now?

  75. In light of his lack of response, I hope Pastor Lynn has taken the time to actually investigate the truthfullness of the history he has been espousing. I believe that is the greatest hinderance to most people who are struggling within the IFB: they are scared to face the fact that their parents and/or pastor may not be telling them the truth.

  76. Tim, it is the same with me and my family, which is very painful still, but I wouldn’t trade my new closeness Christ for a lack of pain and some degree of familial separation.

  77. @A- it is very amazing! I only wish my family would do the same. But they are so deep into it and wish I would come back

  78. I like many others have been freed of the IFB church. First off I will say there are some IFB churches who are not as strange and harmful as others,but for the majority they are just cultish,dogmatic,legalistic,radical, man made opinion churches who ruin the name of Christ and Christianity as a whole. I have been to at least 35 of these churches throughout the northwest. Now that number may not seem so large but there are many more that I know of and even more that others I know have been to. There are many examples of wrong that I could share but to keeep this comment not so long I will only share a couple. My first example of pure wrong that the IFB church did was tell me that music with drums and gutair and what not is wrong and sinful and of the devil. I wanted to join the choir ot singing group but was not allowed do to my belief in spiritual gifts and the fact that I do not posses ties and suits nor wish to wear them. That is absolute filthy for them to do so. I can laugh about it now but then I was deeply hurt and offended. My second second example is this. I wanted to help be a teacher for kids in church but was denied because I use a “fake Bible”… I use the NASV and NLT but they say only the kJV is Gods true word. I asked them which KJV considering there are multiple KJV versions. Anyways needless to say that was the last straw with them and I left! I have never felt so closer to Christ in my life and I zam so thankful HE helped me escape the evil cultish church. Yes some goos can occcur in the IBF church and they do bring people to Christ but be careful for they are most undoubtedley distgusting in what they teach

    1. “Have never felt closer to Christ in my life…” Tim, I echo that sentiment. Amazing, isn’t it?

    2. Tim,
      Your experience with the IFB is not much different than mine. Thankfully, I had been taught good doctrine before I attended an IFB church.

      I think the IFB system is very insidious because they actually believe correctly on most Bible doctrines. Satan doesn’t create his own system of religion, he always twists the true system. I think the reason why the IFB is so dangerous, is because you have a false system of religion functioning like the true one. I mean, from a distance, it is difficult to see the difference between the genuine and the fake. It is not until you get close up that the differences become apparent.

      Often times, I think that Legalism is simply trying to live the Christian life in the power of the flesh. An unsaved person can try to live the Christian life in an outward sort of way and look pretty good doing it. The legalist, however, will always be exposed at some critical point when true spiritual energy is demanded.

      I am still amazed, and even confounded to this day that the kind of churches mentioned here continue to function as though God were smiling on them. One Scripture that comes to mind is ” if the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness”. I can hardly think of a worse place to be in than thinking I am pleasing God and about His business , but never really knowing Him at all. May we truly know Him.

  79. Your comments reasonably lead to certain assumptions which require questions in order to clarify whether or not the assumption is true. That’s why I asked a question, rather than stated a matter of fact.

    I’m afraid I am not familiar with any David Benedict other than the one who is a self described baptist historian. I do not believe he is a credible source. Anyone that knows the result of their investigation before conducting the investigation, is not objective and therefore not trustworthy. He set out to create history, not account for it, and I don’t know of any objective historians that agree with his findings. They are unabashedly self serving and, frankly, very elementary. Do you not ever wonder why there hasn’t been any “works” on “baptist history” written in the last century that don’t merely regurgitate the same material that has already been conclusively established as false? Why hasn’t a single religious historian, other than those who readily affiliate themselves with the baptist, ever came to the conclusion that baptist can be traced back to the 1st century?

    If you are not suggesting there is a conspiracy, maybe you could list these persons who have set out to taint the baptist denomination by creating fantastical histories. Because it sure sounds like a conspiracy.

    Surly you can see that things are not adding up here. It’s time for a little intellectual honesty that might require you do the unthinkable and look at what you have been taught from an objective point of view. Do you really believe these things, or do you just want them to be true because of certain predispositions?

  80. There is no conspiracy, I merely stated a fact in regards to most classical baptist historians.

    A lot of the info I have is from historian David Benedict.

    I am not perpetuating any lie, I stated what I believed based on historical facts and historians.

    I was never required to memorize anything of the sorts, so please do not assume so, and please be careful of the judgmental tone in your writing, I am not assuming anything of anyone here, I would appreciate the same courtesy.

    1. PastorLynn – I am enjoying the history lesson and discussion, and will reserve my opinion for the time being, I do want to ask you, did you get any of your information from the aforementioned “Trail of Blood” and if you didn’t, what do you think of that book/pamphlet.

      Also I have been in email contact with Kenneth and he requests you email him, his email is listed with his first post.

      @Steve – I hope passing that message is Ok? If not feel free to edit.

  81. I am not aware of the position that a non-gnostic sect of paulicians existed prior to the 7th century. Maybe you could give a objective source for your info and I would be happy to look at it.

    Your paragraph that beings “Baptist are not protestants” sounds shockingly familiar to what I’ve been told by certain IFBs. Are you required to memorize this statement as an article of faith? I have never seen any objective evidence that supports this position. In fact, the only source for such that I have ever encountered has come directly from IFBs. It’s akin to a person listing themselves as a reference on their own resume.

    I don’t doubt that there was Christianity in England shortly after Christ’s death. However, I have no reason to believe that it resembled the beliefs of modern day baptist (not just IFBs). Are you suggesting that the baptist religion was started in England rather than in and around 1st century Palestine? I’d be happy to look at some of your objective sources. Also, why would any baptist want to associate themselves with the Lollards? They believed in infant baptism, consubstantiation, the invisible church and rejected the trinity.

    I agree with your paragraph that beings “The line of English churches.” There is a plethora of evidence to the effect that John Smyth, an Anglican priest, started a new sect that we know today as baptist (he and his followers were also the predecessors of Anabaptist, i.e., what we call Mennonites today). He did not join a faith/movement already in existence that could trace it’s roots back to the 1st century. He started something new.

    It is impossible to trace churches that hold to “baptist principles” past the early 17th century because they simply did not exists. And I adamently disagree with your suggestion that there is some conspiracy by which persons posing as IFBs create ridiculous histories (e.g. “The Trail of Blood”) in order to “taint Baptist history.” Since the late 19th century, ardent and sincere baptists have been trying in vain to link themselves to 1st century Christianity. When faced with unfavorable facts, they have created their own and thus perpetuated an untruth — a lie.

  82. Pastor Lynn: In an earlier post, you mention something to the affect that IFBs are the heirs of the Paulicians and that IFBs never “split” from the Roman Catholic Church. How on earth you (or other IFBs — I know it is a prevelant opinion) came to this conclusion is beyond me. Even more so, why would you want to assoicate with the Paulicians? They rejected a good portion of the NT, added a few books to it, and rejected both baptism and the lords supper. In fact, the only thing that they and the IFBs have in common is the rejection of the veneration of Mary, which I feel is the only reason IFBs thought it proper to attempt forming a link to them in the first place. Throw in the fact that the Paulician movement didn’t come about until the 7th century (way after the formation of the RCC), and it is obvious that the IFB has simply just created this supposed connection in an attempt to further distance itself from Rome. It’s a lie and one of the main reason I can’t alighn myself with IFB beliefs. Why lie?

    1. JohnS:

      What you were referring to was paulicianism movement, which was started by Constantine in the 7th century AD. They called themselves paulicians after the first paulicians who can be traced back to the 3rd century AD. Not the same thing.

      Baptists are not Protestants. The name Protestant was given to those churches which came out of Roman Catholicism during the Reformation which began in the 1500s. It originally applied in the 1700s to Lutherans in Germany, the Presbyterians in Switzerland, and Anglicans or Church of England. Later such as Congregationalists, Episcopalians and Methodists were added to the lists of Protestants denominations. Though many people including Webster’s Dictionary refer to Baptists as being Protestants, it is not historically correct to refer to them as such or to lump all non-catholic denominations in one group and label them Protestant. Historically, Baptists were never a part of the Roman Catholic Church or the Protestant Reformation. They cannot be correctly called “protesters” or Protestants who left the Roman Church.

      In recorded church history there is not one recorded incident of a Baptist church being founded out of Roman Catholicism. Protestants for centuries, saw the Baptists as their “enemies” and murdered them by the thousands in the name of Protestantism.

      The historian David Benedict states the Gospel was preached in Britain within sixty years of the Lord’s return to heaven. These churches appear to have been baptistic and remained sound until Austin, the Catholic monk brought Catholicism to the Isles in 597 A.D. He states there were Baptists in England 1400 A.D., and mentions William Sawtre, who was identified as a Lollard and Baptist. He was the first person burned at the stake after Henry IV’s 1400 A.D. decree to burn heretics. His “crime” was he refused infant baptism and rejected the Anglican church as being biblical. Benedict states that the English Roman Catholics in 1535 put to death twenty two Baptists for heresies. In 1539 thirty one more that had fled to Holland were apprehended and martyred there. He records that five hundred others who were identified as Anabaptists were also killed in England during this period. After Henry VII separated England from the Roman Catholic Church the Baptist fared no better. Many Baptists were executed by the newly formed Church of England during what is called the “Protestant inquisition.”

      The line of English churches that can be traced, who called themselves Baptists, began in 1610 in Holland. This is not to say there were no Baptists in Britain earlier, but that this began a line of churches whose history can be traced. It began with a man named John Smyth who was an ordained bishop in the Church of England. In 1606, after nine months of soul-searching and study of the New Testament he was convinced the doctrines and practices of the Church of England were not biblical, and thus he resigned as priest and left the church.

      Because of prosecution by the Anglican Church of all who disagreed with it and who refused to agree to its authority, John Smyth had to flee England. In Amsterdam, he with Thomas Helwys and thirty six others formed the first Baptist church of English people known to have stood for baptism of believers only.

      It is difficult to trace churches that held to Baptist principles down through history. Some Baptist historians have made attempts at doing this, but in many cases refer to groups as early Baptists, who did not hold to pure New Testament beliefs. Some have tried to establish that “according to history, Baptists have an unbroken line of churches since Christ.” These historians, in a try to show an unbroken line of Baptists in history, have embraced groups which were clearly not doctrinally sound. But most of these historians either have a motive to taint Baptist history or have left baptist churches altogether.

      So there is no lie on my part, please do not assume so.

  83. What happened to the older posts? I was going to reply to a post that someone made about my post but can’t access the older posts…

    1. Alan, click on the “Older Comments” link just below this comment. You’ll have to scroll through till you find the one you want.

      1. Steve, there is an error 404 “page not found” when you try to go back to the older comments.

        1. We are working to solve this problem. Sorry for the inconvenience.

          Patricia
          Webmaster

  84. The Independent fundammental baptist movement is decreasing. KJV Onlyism requires a charismatic leader to keep it going. Many of those leaders are much more elderly now. I used to be involved in an IFB church but left due to its mind control, kjv onlyism, and preaching a false gospel of say a prayer with me and you’re saved. Many of the characteristics of IFB churches are characteristic of cult.

  85. PastorLynn – I have attempted two detailed responses and they won’t post, maybe I will try again tomorrow.

    1. I don’t know what’s happening. I’ve even had problems getting comments to work. The site’s webmaster told me that Word Press just released an update so I don’t know if it’s Word Press or the theme we use or what, but I would recommend writing comments in a word processor on your computer and saving it and then do a copy and paste so that if something happens your work isn’t lost.

      1. Steve – I have seen you recommend the above for saving comments in the past, I am near compurter-illiterate, have no idea what you are talking about, maybe I can get my son to help out.

    2. I look forward to it! 😀

      I have been enjoying our discussion. It’s nice to calmly discuss differences without name-calling starting. Which is what I usually get when I discuss similar topics with other Christians of other viewpoints, they start yelling at me and calling names.

  86. I apologize if my pointing out of other churches hurting people seemed like an excuse for what some IFB churches have done, that was not my intent.

    I don’t excuse any church, including IFB ones that hurt people, there is never a good excuse for that.

    I knew eventually the how legalistic are you question would come out, so before I answer the set of questions, I feel it is important to define legalism:

    1. A strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.
    2. Theology .
    a. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
    b. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.
    3. In Chinese philosophy, the principles and practices of a school of political theorists advocating strict legal control over all activities, a system of rewards and punishments uniform for all classes, and an absolute monarchy.

    I don’t believe our church matches any of those descriptions, or my personal beliefs.

    1. Do you teach OT mandatory tithing? Or NT graceful giving as each man purposeth in his heart , so let him give?
    A) Neither really. We teach you don’t have to give any money to the church period if you don’t want to. We aren’t going to force you to, nor condemn you if you don’t. But we do believe God blesses giving, so we teach to give not for the churches sake or some law, we teach they should for their benefit of God’s blessing in their lives, because God can far out give anything we do, but it is till entirely up to them. (plus the pastor doesn’t know who gives what or if they give at all, he doesn’t want to know, it’s none of his business, it’s between them and God whether or not they give)

    2.Are women welcomed wearing slacks in our services?
    A)If you were to look from the platform, I’d say 80% of the women in our church are wearing pants, and it doesn’t make us treat them any different. So I’d say they are welcome.

    3.Are the preacher’s personal convictions taught as standards to be followed in church?
    A) No. He will sometimes say from the pulpit while he is preaching what he personally believes about things that aren’t clear cut in the Bible, but says it is up to each individual to study it out and develop their own personal belief/conviction about it.

    4.Are all types of Christian music allowed and promoted the church services.
    A) We typically use much more traditional music like hymns when it comes to our church services, but we have had blue-grass gospel bands play too, so we aren’t too strict. We don’t want the music to be the focus of the service, we want the preaching to be, so we try to keep things simple. We don’t promote any kind of music period, because we don’t think what we sing/play in church is all a person is allowed to listen to/sing in their own lives at home or where-ever. Music is a personal conviction to each person, so you can listen to whatever you want at home, we don’t care, but the church sets what kind of music gets played during services.

    5.Are deacons and ushers required to wear ties
    A)I will broaden this question to people who work in church in general and dress outside of church. During services if a deacon or usher is performing a church duty that day, then yes, we require them to wear a suit and tie. But they don’t have to be deacons or ushers; it was their choice to fulfill those roles. And were told ahead of time, if they wanted to perform the role, they were required to dress up nicely for services the were performing duties. They didn’t have to take the role, we didn’t even ask, they volunteered, so they agreed to dress up. If they are not performing a duty that day, they can wear whatever. Same for Sunday School teachers. If people want to volunteer to teach they have to abide by a dress code, they don’t have to teach if they don’t want to, it’s their choice. And I know some people say that’s limiting people’s ability to serve. But really, if a tie or skirt is really going to keep someone from serving, because they were asked to wear one if they want to teach, then they have another problem, because they are letting a piece of clothing come between serving or not, is it really that important? Outside of church, teachers or deacons or any other position can wear what they want outside of church, it’s up to them.

    6. Are people of color welcomed?
    A) People of any color are welcomed in our church, after all, white is a color 😀 We have evangelists and missionaries who are Asian, black, Hispanic, Indian, you name it, we probably got them all. All are God’s children, so we welcome everyone.

    7.Are folks of mixed marriages welcome?
    A) Yes. The Bible isn’t against it, so neither are we.

    KJV Only?
    A) I use the KJV, our pastor preaches out of the KJV, our teachers teach out of the KJV, but we don’t jam it down people’s throats. I use the KJV because I believe it is the best version of the Bible we have available. Same for our Pastor. Now, like I said, that is what we believe, we don’t tell people it is the only true Word of God, we have no way of knowing that. But by studying its history we think it’s the best. People are free to use other versions if they want. We don’t preach KJV only, but we do share that we think it is the best, but it is up for them to decide. We believe people can be saved by reading the NIV or any other kind of Bible. The KJV does not have a monopoly on God, I personally know people who were saved using other versions. So like I said, it is what we use, but we don’t preach on it.

    And you mentioned in your own life the divorce thing. To let you know about our church, we have 2 ushers, a trustee, and 2 Sunday school teacher’s who are all divorced, so obviously it’s not unpardonable to us.

    Hope that helps answer some things.

    1. On another note Greg. I just thought of this. You mentioned how you were never ALLOWED, I was wondering exactly what you meant by ALLOWED, and did you ever VOLUNTEER? I am asking because I know in our church, our pastor very rarely goes out and asks people to do things, most of the time people come up to him and volunteer, once in a while he will say there is a need in the church and asks if there is anyone willing to help out, but that is about it.

      So did you ever volunteer to usher or anything?

    2. PastorLynn – Again a very graceful response, very rare among IFB’s that post here, just read their comments for yourself.

      My legalism definition is alittle more detailed:

      1) Distorting the gospel by adding conditions to free grace: Acts 15:1, 7-11; Galatians 1:6-7, 2:11-16, 4:8-11, Galatians 5:2-4, Col 2:16-17
      2) Substituting man-made regulations for the Word of God: Matthew 15:1-3
      3) Majoring on the minors and neglecting the more important issue: Luke 11:42
      4) Overconcern with the externals while disregarding matters of the heart: Matthew 23:27
      5) regarding with contempt or judging a brother based on matters of personal conviction: Romans 14:1-5
      6) Trusting in ourselves that we are righteous based on religious performance: Luke 18:9-14
      7) Hypocrisy, the leaven of the Pharisees: Luke 11:53 -12:1

      I did see alittle fundy peeking in some of your comments. You said “We don’t want the music to be the focus of the service, we want the preaching to be.” Sounds nice, in a way, but I submit that there are people that wouldn’t even listen to a sermon, that could be reached by a song, also just placing one gift over another, is in and of itself very fundy, if you want to refute that, I already know where you are going and have a ready answer. You also said “they are letting a piece of clothing come between serving or not, is it really that important” Well apparently it is, according to you! My Pastor says he feels compelled to wear a tie to “look” like a pastor, Umm OK, well give me the scripture for that, I don’t care what anyone wears to church, including the pastor, but just think about Jesus for a moment and His teachings, and then think about your “tradition” of dressing up, I can see Jesus laughing right now, of course I am well aware that He is looking on the heart.

      Your IFB is truly different from any that I have ever experienced, I would probably feel comfortable there.

      Almost forgot, is your father the pastor at the same church that you are Assistant Pastor at? If so, that is very common fundy practice, not saying its wrong, just very common.

      I lost a much more detailed response than this, so here goes nothing.

      1. I am not the assistant pastor of my dad’s church, I am over 500 miles away sadly 🙁

        Making the preaching the focus of the service is not about putting 1 gift ahead of the other. Jesus reached people by preaching to them, not singing to them, so we try to follow the same example. I am not dismissing music, I totally agree with you too about music reaching people. I have seen music be a very powerful tool in reaching someone, but it just isn’t the focus in our services, that’s all.

        There is no scripture for a tie, ties didn’t exist back then, neither did skirts. There is nothing Biblical nor special about the dress code we use for our workers, it’s just what it is. We felt like there should be a standard so we set one, nothing spiritual about it, then again robes back in Bible times had nothing spiritual nor Biblical to do with them either. We don’t pretend that the Bible dictates what workers wear, because it doesn’t, it’s just the standard we decided on, and we tell our people that.

        I agree that if your list is what makes up the tenants of a church, then the church is wrong. We don’t believe any of those on that list, neither should any church.

  87. PastorLynn – I play in a gospel bluegrass group, and have for the last 12 years. Bluegrass is a popular style of music in our area. We play in all types of churches, have even played in black churches, all kinds of different denominations, lots of Baptist churches, in fact the name of the group is the Shenandoah Baptist Boys (someone put us on you tube a couple of years ago playing for a river baptism) so I suppose that I can speak with some authority about what “goes on” in IFB churches, also was an IFB myself for over 40 years, I know whereof I speak. All of the stories of abuse that are told here, have a very strong ring of truth to them, based on my own personal experience. You are correct to say that abuse goes on in all types of churches, most “men” cannot handle the kind of “authority” they are given in these IFB churches, or any church that sets up a man as a king, as do IFB churches.

    Your argument about pointing out others bad behaviour to “excuse” your own is not a very good defense, I submit, as do hundreds of others here that there is something very wrong with the IFB “movement” as you call it. I was in my last IFB church for about 20 years, was a faithful, tithing member and wasn’t as much as allowed to take up the offering. Why? Good question, I’m assuming it was either because I didn’t wear a tie, or that I was divorced (the IFB’s unpardonable sin)

    Let’s see how fundy/legalistic you really are.

    1) Do you teach OT mandatory tithing? or NT graceful giving as each man purposeth in his heart so let him give.
    2) Are women welcomed wearing slacks in your services?
    3) Are the preacher’s personal convictions taught as standards to be followed in the church?
    4) Are all types of christian music allowed and promoted in the church services.
    5) Are deacons and ushers required to wear ties?
    6) Are people of color welcomed?
    7) Are folks in mixed marriages welcome?
    8) Last but not least, are you KJVonly?

    Steve is presently dialoguing with Kenneth on their own thread, so probably many of your questions will be answered there, and feel free to join in. I appreciate your obvious compassion and concern for the people of God, and the carrying of the gospel message to a lost and dying world.

  88. This is where I see a problem. In order to say most IFB churches are bad or legalistic would require extensive firsthand knowledge and research based on visiting most of the IFB churches in America, which I don’t think anyone has done. I could point you to multiple sites similar to this one, which points out the fallacies and wrong-doings of Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and various other churches. IFB churches are not the only kind of churches that do wrong things sometimes, others do too.

    The reason being is that churches are made up of and run by people. People are naturally sinful, and are not perfect, and as long as churches, of any kind, are made up of, and run by people, horror stories of this kind will continue to happen, not just in IFB churches, but all different kinds of churches all across the world. Christians who should be kind, and respectful, and gracious, and forgiving won’t be sometimes, because they are human, meaning sinful, and that lack of Christian behavior will sometimes hurt others, that does not mean IFB churches themselves are bad, it’s that sometimes the people in them and the people that run them, aren’t doing right which causes strife.

    I’m not saying there is no such thing as a bad IFB church, I know there is, but I also know of plenty of other kinds of churches that have hurt people, badly at that, I would know, we have had people who have come from other kinds of churches who were abusive and come to our IFB church and have found refuge and acceptance and peace here.

    I do not concern myself with other churches; that is not my job nor my concern. Do I wish other IFB churches would get things right? Sure, but I am not their judge, God is. I am not going to stand before God one day to answer for the sins of other IFB churches who did wrong, nor am I going to be judged on how I criticized other churches, I will stand before God for my own account while on earth, and what I did with the church he gave me, while I was here, nothing else.

    Our pastor teaches our church regularly to not concern ourselves with the deeds of other churches, that is for God to deal with, we have our own problems/needs to be deal with. He teaches us not to judge other churches, because we need to work on the beam in our own eye if we start exalting our church above others, or start condemning other churches for what they have done, they are made up of people just like we are, and to think we are not capable of similar sins, would be foolish, and that pride will bring us closer to falling. So no, we don’t criticize other churches, that is not any 1 Christian’s job, that is God’s job.

    IFB is not a denomination, nor an organization; it is a Movement, a loose one at that. Our church is completely independent, it doesn’t answer to anyone but God, no higher group of people, nor doctrine/teachings set by a special group, the church is run by itself, autonomously. So I have no other organization to answer for, they have to answer for God one day for their own actions.

    I also feel for those whose lives have been shattered by IFB churches, but I also fell for the hurt for the ones who are hurt by other kinds of churches, that hurt goes around churches of all kinds.

    1. Pastor Lynn wrote:

      In order to say most IFB churches are bad or legalistic would require extensive firsthand knowledge and research based on visiting most of the IFB churches in America.

      That’s not necessarily true. Lets say this site is about Vanguard or Fidelity investments. Lets say that Vanguard and Fidelity were mistreating people and misusing their funds. Do I have to visit or experience every Vanguard or Fidelity franchise/business in America to decide that I don’t want to invest with them? After all Vanguard and Fidelity “are made up of and run by people. People are naturally sinful, and are not perfect, and as long as [financial institutions], of any kind, are made up of, and run by people, horror stories of this kind will continue to happen”. Of course not!!! How absurd. One bad investment and I would run the other way.

      The same applies to churches. Like Steve and others, I’ve had bad experience with the IFB. The IFB is not mishandling people’s money but something much more precious and important, their spirituality. The IFB is a type of church and as such are all similar. A particular IFB church calls itself an IFB church because it wants to associate with and subscribe to a certain set of beliefs and characteristics. One doesn’t need to experience all the IFB churches in America to know that there is something wrong with the IFB in general. One bad experience with mishandling of my spirituality and I’m running the other way.

      1. I would agree with the financial analogy if IFB churches were at all similar, but they are not. Vanguard and Fidelity are national corporations that have multiple locations, but they all report back to the same corporation, the corporation sets the rules/standards and the branches follow them, IFB churches, do not.

        IFB churches are autonomous of themselves, they do not answer to a center church, they each set their own standards. We are identifying ourselves by calling ourselves a Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.

        Independent – Self-explanatory. Each church is separate and has no direct affiliation to any other IFB church, nor do they answer to any other group, or board.

        Fundamental – Supposed to adhere to the fundamentals of the Bible as the basis for all beliefs and standards.

        Baptist – the history of the Baptists roots back to the Paulicians, never part of a split of the Catholic Church.

        You can easily see similarities between different IFB churches, but similar does not mean same. You cannot judge all IFB churches based on others, since they are independent entities.

        A lot of lost people have had horrible run-ins with Christians, who were awful to them. Should they make a judgment call on all Christians based on the few they’ve met and their bad experiences and similar stories that they have been told by friends and co-workers or random people on the internet?

        The answer is no.

        1. And in regards to “handling” your spirituality, no church OF ANY KIND should handle your spirituality, only you and God should.

          Your spirituality is between you and God, and no one or nothing else. You should never EVER put your spirituality in the hands of other people, it needs to be in God’s hands only.

          As I said before, people are sinful, even pastors, so your Christianity or spirituality should never hinge on a person or church, eventually they will let you down and hurt you. That is why the Bible says multiple times to put your cares and trust in Him only, because he will never let you down or hurt you.

        2. IFB churches are autonomous of themselves, they do not answer to a center church, they each set their own standards. We are identifying ourselves by calling ourselves a Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.

          Pastor Lynn, this simply isn’t true. The IFB would like you to think that of course, but most IFB churches are started as a “sister or daughter church” of another IFB church. My family helped start three of them. They weren’t allowed to operate unless they did things the exact same way as the “sending” church. There may not be a national convention that each church answers to or a corporate identity, but there is certainly not “independence” in the sense that the IFB would have you think. The term “Independent” is truly a misnomer. You are being fed lies about the IFB and I really hope that you will open your mind to hear the truth.

          Katie is right. The IFB really is a brand – for lack of a better term. To think otherwise is nothing short of delusional. Here’s why…

          A person who is an Independent Fundamental Baptist calls himself/herself such because they WANT to associate with a certain set of beliefs and values. You, for example, are no doubt associating with the IFB because that’s what you WANT to be – and for all reasons you have. This is YOUR association not mine. I didn’t choose that association for you. The same is true for a particular church. If a particular church or congregation call themselves Independent Fundamental Baptist then they are associating with all that represents an Independent Fundamental Baptist church. That’s their association.

          If a church doesn’t want the association of Independent, Fundamental, Baptist, Methodist or whatever, then they shouldn’t associate as such. The error in association is the church’s not mine. This isn’t blame shifting, but simple common sense. If a church calls itself Independent Fundamental Baptist then it needs to be willing to accept the associations that go along with it – both good and bad.

          I discussed this at length with Arv Edgeworth. You can read more if you wish by clicking here.

          1. I am not being fed lies, unless you are implying my Dad and both my grandpas have been feeding me lies my entire life?

            The IFB church my dad is pastor of was started back in 1944 by a group of people who split from a Christian Church. They went out, pooled their money together and bought some land and built a basement. They decided to call themselves a baptist church, wrote a constitution based on IFB standards, and began looking for pastors. So they started an IFB church from scratch, no sister church or required beliefs came with it. they answer to no one but God.

            The church I am assistant pastor at now was originally a Bible church, when it started in 1972. after 20 years they didn’t like the direction the Bible Church denomination was going so they changed them selves to a baptist church and adopted IFB standards. No sister church involved nor required beliefs.

            I do know of some churches that started off as sister chapels from other churches. But the ones I know, once they became self-sustaining, Wrote up their own constitution, decided on their own standards, and went from there.

            It would not surprise me if some IFB churches didn’t do it that way, but then, I don’t answer for them, and they don’t answer for me.

            And trust me, I know of some of the “bad karma” so to speak that comes with the IFB name, I have personally witnessed to people who have had bad experiences with other IFB churches, and that made it difficult sometimes, but I don’t, my dad doesn’t, nor does my pastor use the term Independent Fundamental Baptist to identify ourselves with similar churches, we use it to show our basic belief:

            Independent – Self-explanatory. Each church is separate and has no direct affiliation to any other IFB church, nor do they answer to any other group, or board.

            Fundamental – Supposed to adhere to the fundamentals of the Bible as the basis for all beliefs and standards.

            Baptist – the history of the Baptists roots back to the Paulicians, never part of a split of the Catholic Church.

            That is why we use that description. I could throw in evangelistic, Bible believing, in front of the name which would make our church a IFEBBB Church, but that is a bit too long. 😀

  89. PastorLynn – You certainly speak with much more grace than we have come to expect from most of the IFB’s that comment on this site, as you yourself can verify, by simply reading your fellow IFBers posts, frankly I would be ashamed, were I you, to be associated with such folks. Bob pointed out something that I would also really like an answer to, and that is, you don’t seem terribly concerned about those that represent IFB’s in such a nasty fashion, you know, get the beam out of your own “organization’s” eye first.

    How could you rationally explain away the hundreds of horror stories that have been shared on this site, and have very similar themes running through them? I know when I found this site last summer, having come out of an abusive IFB church, I felt like I was coming home to a place where folks could understand me, because we had similar tales to tell and share, and I have found healing for my hurting soul listening to others that fought a strong fight to break free from the oppressive and legalistic (cultish?) IFB. Many, including myself have come out of it with our faith even stronger, some unfortunately have had their faith and their lives shattered, these are the ones that I especially feel for. And then others, although still reeling from the abuse, maintain their faith, but want nothing to do with “organized” religion.

    I did use the “mothership” reference, but I would echo Bob’s statement above. I don’t know what unsaved folks would be doing on this site, but I feel certain they could find more love, acceptance and the gospel here than most any IFB church on Sunday morning.

  90. This site is extremely confusing to me.

    Is its purpose to root out bad IFB churches and practices or to brand the IFB movement as a whole as bad due to bad experiences?

    I believe, as I am sure that you do, assigning a general consensus to a whole movement based on a few bad personal experiences is both unfair and judgmental. Some of the arguments I have seen on here have been civil, some not so much, so I could brand this whole site as a bunch of negative/anti-authority/whiners but I am not, because that only describes a few people that post on the site, not the majority.

    Some of the horror stories I have read that have happened to people in IFB church hurts me. I hurt for them, and the pain they were caused by that church, and regret it and wish it never happened to you. I have seen people get hurt by people in church and have seen that take them away from God and forget about church or Christian living in general. It is awful, but I have seen the same things happen in non-IFB churches. There are a few bad apples in every bunch; you shouldn’t throw out the whole bushel based on a few bad apples.

    I am a IFB assistant pastor, I grew up in IFB churches my whole life. Both my grandpas were and my Dad is a IFB pastor. My parents made me go to church when I was little, I was given the choice later, and I chose to go, because it was the life that I wanted because I have seen God bless in so many ways, that I wanted to be a part of it. I was taught from the pulpit and at home that everything we believed and practiced was based on Bible principles. I was taught not to judge people at all, because the Bible says very clearly not to judge others or else you will be judged. I was taught to love and care for; open/accepting/inviting to everyone despite any of their short-comings or background or attitudes, that because God loves everyone, so should we. I was taught to guard my feelings, and to not letting any person’s offence against me affect my relationship with God. I was taught to forgive others no matter what, because the Bible tells us to forgive, or else God won’t forgive us (not a reference to salvation, but blessing).

    This is my IFB experience(how IFB churches should be), and that is what I teach/preach from the pulpit or the classroom. I have probably been in 50 different IFB churches, all of which taught the same basic things. Sure, they may have been a few things here in there that I wouldn’t have done that way, but hey, who am I to judge? Have I heard of some bad IFB churches, oh yeah I have, but have also heard of a ton of other bad churches, that are non-IFB.

    I am sorry that people have had these horrible experiences in IFB churches, but please do not brand the whole movement based on those individual churches, that is being judgmental, which is wrong.

    Something else I have noticed in the various arguments that I have read, is people talk a lot about the “tone” of the wording people post, most often in reference to people defending the IFB movement. How they need to be careful as to how they post and if they think Jesus would say or want us to say things like that, and would it draw people to Jesus? I totally agree, people need to watch their tones, but that is PEOPLE, not just IFB people, that goes for everyone. I have seen quite a few posters use the phrase Mothership when referring to the IFB movement, is that a good tone? Would that attract people to Jesus? Calling other Christians(whether you agree with them or not they are still Christians) calling them Bigots/Trolls/Mind-Readers/Slaves/ignorant/self-righteous, would that attract people to Jesus?

    And yes, Jesus did rebuke people, but in context, he rebuked scribes and Pharisees (both non-believers) about their false ways and trying to get Jesus to misstep, he did not rebuke random believers in crowds.
    I liked it when Paul said – if a man preach Christ, leave them alone. I wish more people would take this stance. People are so often busy infighting with other Christians, that we are missing the big picture. We should be reaching others for Christ, not arguing with each other about differences in church opinions. What’s really more important?

    Though I do know that the purpose of this site is not to draw people away from churches; but unbelievers, who do not have the discerning Holy Spirit in the lives, could very easily misconstrue this site as a means to denounce churches all together, whether they be IFB or not.

    Just a few thoughts.

    1. Lynn,
      One of the main reasons I post on this site is because there are a number of Christians in IFB churches that are caught up in legalism and a cult-like system of religion. I would like to be there to help people like this who are looking for answers when they run into problems like so many mentioned on this site. No one is saying that all IFB churches are bad, just most of them.
      I wish that you were as focused and concerned about your own house as you are about those outside your group. When I was in an IFB group, other churches and Christian organizations were fair game for criticism. When you are on the receiving end of criticism, all I hear is screaming and crying. When your leaders are held to a biblical standard, then you want to rule out all judgement ( really discernment).
      As far as I am concerned, this site does not function as an outreach to unbelievers. Unsaved people have no place in these discussions, since they are still in darkness concerning the truth. We are dealing with people who want to know the truth about God’s Word and the proper function of the church.

      1. Well said Bob.

    2. Well spoken Pastor Lynn. Victims of abuse? Horrible! Perpetrated and / or ignored by leadership? Should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Branding all Independent Fundamental Baptist CHURCHes as a cult? Very judgmental and very unCHRIST-like.

      1. Pastor Rich – Watch 20/20 tonight, 4/8 at 10:00pm/est, and see what your fellow IFBers are doing to young girls and the cover-up that goes along with it.

        1. Sorry Greg…I was not home at 10:00 PM tonight. I will try to watch on the Net though. I have enjoyed the civility of your discussion with Pastor Lynn. Well done! Both have treated each other like brothers. We certainly can disagree without being disagreeable.

          “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” – Romans 14:10-12

          I shudder when I think that one day I will stand before Christ and give an account for how I led His congregation. How much more to abuse a child! To abuse a child and betray the trust given to the Pastor by the church is truly a “treasonable” offense. I fail God daily, but with His help and by His grace I will seek to lead His church (which I have been ordained and called to under-shepherd) in a way that would be pleasing to Him; and a way that will not to bring reproach to His name. By His grace, I have never and WILL NEVER condone such rancid behavior.

          In response to the comment of “your fellow IBFers”; that’s just it, I am part of an Independent Baptist Church. I don’t run in “circles” or “camps”. I’m really Independent…really. I’m not a Ruckmanite nor a Garlockite. I don’t take my marching orders from Greenville, SC or Hammond, IN or anywhere else. I try to be and hope I am the real deal.

          1. Pastor Rich – Believe me, if you have more than 50 people in your church you are going to hear about the 20/20 segment, it was devastating to the IFB. Nearly all they reported can be found detailed right here on Baptist Deception, including my own personal story of spiritual abuse.

            The once proud Baptist faith has fallen on hard times, I am frankly ashamed to be identified with this once strong and good faith. I am helping a pastor friend of mine start a new work, and we are very small, and I have hinted loudly that we should drop Baptist from the title, because of all the negative connotations mounting against this once-proud name, but so far its fallen on deaf ears.

            Jesus Christ is not coming back to planet earth to look for Baptists, He’s coming back to look for folks that are covered by His blood, and it frankly does not matter what the name over the door says.

  91. Hi Kenney – You said “I say this because I noticed you made the remark that you would like to debate one of the (Pastors) who wrote you.” I inferred, as most any rational person would, that you were a Pastor. So stop with the sarcasm, because that will only get my sarcasm going and then we will appear to be like 3rd graders on the playground.

    Your defense of a 17th century, antiquated, english translation done by baby-sprinkling Anglican translators, using a Catholic Priests (Erasmus) Greek New testament, which originally contained the Apocrypha, ironically, demonstrates your lack of faith that our Almighty God could preserve a bible that english speaking people of today could actually read.

    I will close with the same closing Paul used to the Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 6:11-13. I know you won’t understand it in the KJV, so feel free to look it up in the NIV, or any other good newer translation.

  92. Comment moved to the Debate with Kenneth page. Feel free to join us there.

  93. Greg obviously you need to practice on your reading skills because no where in my post did I indicate that I was a pastor and I find nothing hilarious about my post that is unless you find the truth funny. You guys who defend the hogwash posted on this site act like a bun h of spoiled kids who hate any kind of authority. By the way Greg, I did not speak to Steve in an abusive manner actually no worse than Jesus spoke to the heritics and Pharisees of his day. we are commanded to earnestly contend for the faith on delivered to the saints in Jude : 3

  94. Steve – The site is acting very strange today, feel free to edit my dual responses if you wish.

    I can just imagine the aggravation that the IFB’s must feel when they click on what they probably think is going to be a cheerleader site and then find out you are exposing them.

    I must be alittle dense because I just recently realized this, and I am sure that’s why we have so many trolls come by.

    And it seems our boy Kenney is somewhat of a mind-reader “knowing” why you left the mothership and all, btw, isn’t there scripture (KJV that is) against such things?

  95. Kenney – I know its early in the year but I think your post will be a strong contender for “most hilarious” for 2011.

    On a serious note, please re-read your what you have written here. Do you believe that “your” Saviour would have spoken this way? We are used to folks like you and are very familiar with your mindset, but really, do you think an unbeliever that read your post would be attracted to your faith? Would a loving God of the universe, who provided a way of salvation for all of us sinful men have spoken to Steve the way you did here? Steve is a big boy and can speak for himself, but you indicate you are a pastor, how is this ministering to Steve, and any needs he may have?

    In His Grace,
    Greg

  96. Hey Steve, I have spent as much time on your site as my stomach can stand. I know from reading several of your responses to pastors trying to reason with you that you simply enjoy arguing. I’m not going to waste my time arguing with you simply because I know you enjoy arguing and you can’t stand being wrong, in fact you refuse to be wrong and it doesn’t matter to you how far out in left field you have to go to refute sound do tribal teaching. I wonder if you realize how wushu washy you are about the garbage you are spreading about the IFB CHURCH! That’s right I said CHURCH! The last time I checked the Church was an institution that Jesus himself ordained when he told Peter that upon this rock (Peter) will I build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. You know, my Bible teaches that the only person who attacks the Church of God is Satan. I really don’t understand what your problem is and I really don’t understand why if you were so unhappy in the IFB why you waited until you were 25 years old to leave? I really doubt they locked you in and held you hostage so I’m guessing (based on your arrogant unsubmissive attitude you portray throughout your writings) that you were perfectly happy with the Church you were attending until something caused you to blow a gasket. I’m guessing that you were blatantly sinning and the Pastor or other member of the Church called you out on it and instead of doing what the Bible says for you to do which is to repent, not to man but God( were Baptist not Catholic). My other guess is that here you are, 25 all grown up and someone in the Church suggested to you that maybe it’s time for you to start serving the Lord (He’s still waiting by the way) and you didn’t want to deal with the acountability and responsibility of being a leader in the Church. By the way hiding yourself behind the mask of this website does not keep you hidden from God. You will have to answer for every idle word you spew out in anger about Gods Church on this website. I do want to suggest to you that maybe you wouldn’t seem so ignorant if maybe you tried doing a little homework about the Bible and almighty God’s Church before you start ranting about them. I called you wishy washy earlier based on a couple of topics I picked out from your rants. Number one, you claim that the KJV is full of errors and it’s just a copy of a copy of a copy. That part, as much as I hate to admit it I agree with based on the fact that we no longer have the original transcripts. You even said this yourself but later on in your rant you claim that the modern versions are more accurate because they follow the original manuscripts more closely than the KJV. Hello! Didn’t you just finish saying that we no longer have the original transcripts? So how in the world do you or anybody know if these modern translations are closer to the “original” transcripts or not? Another point you tried to make about us KJVonlyist is that we claim that the KJV is more accurate because it’s older. How about trying to not put words
    in our mouths. Although I do believe the KJV to be Gods preserved word to the English speaking people I don’t make this assumption based on it’s age, but you on the other hand do make assumptions that older means better (more accurate) when it comes to the age of which text the modern versions are translated from when you claimed that the modern versions are more accurate because they are translated from earlier manuscripts. Make up your mind! What’s it gunna be olders better or not. Oh yeah and the Obam/Bush comparison was a horrible example of age not meaning better. Obama is the worst president in history. I am getting tired of typing on my phone so I’M going to try to wrap it up. I am just really trying to figure out why you hate the IFB Church so much that you felt the need to create a website totally dedicated to attacking the Church of my Lord and Savior Jeaus Christ by spreading lies and misguided information. Yes the IFB Church is a relatively small organization and are in no way affiliated with one another but in case you didn’t realize it God did promise to preserve himself a people who hold true tomhis laws and statutes which isn’t a bad thing as you try to make it our to be. From reading most of you hate filled message I noticed that your biggest beef with the IFB Church is it’s strictness. Well in case you didn’t notice Jesus was never as relaxed in his teachings as you and your ecumenical buddies want it to be. Jesus was always cut and dry, your either hot or cold there is no middle ground. I don’t think you even realize what the word fundamental means. Let me explain it to you. Fundamental means we stick stricly to the teachings of the Bible. If that means we are viewed as radical then so be it. I would rather God say well done my good and faithful servant than to hear him say what’s the matter with you? Are you retarded? I gave you an instruction book and you took it upon yourself to rewrite it to fit your self. People talk about how crazy fundamental Islamist are and that they are the radicals in their religion but actually they are the ones who are truly living the life that the quaran tells them to the other ones you don’t hear about are the ecumenical ones like you and you followers who choosemto live the watered down versions. Well I’m tired of writing on this phone and it’s getting late anyways so I better stop. I can’t wait to see the brutal way you attack my reffutal because we all know how much you hate to let someone else have the last word, but if you are serious about having a debate the. count me in. I say this because I noticed that you made the remark that you would like to debate one of the Pastors who wrote you. I will only debate you with scripture though and not your personal agenda. oh yeah I forgot you don’t believe the scripture since nobody has a perfect Bible. One last question, if you believe that no Bible is perfect and that fallible man has corrupted the word of God then why don’t we all just burn all of our Bibles since none of us know what is genuine or what was added by fallible man. oh never mind I forgot Almighty Steve will enlighten us all since he is all knowing and perfect and undoubtably more superior to the almighty infallible eternal God who is the same yesterday today and forever who created everything including his own word but is simply way to incompetent to preserve his word to all generations as he promised. Do you really believe that God is mighty and intelligent enough to create all things but is not capable of keeping some ink on paper unchanged for all mankind. Yes I know you are saying to yourself that man did the translating so therefore is is flawed. But don’t you think that All knowing God took measures to keep his own promise to mankind? I am serious about talking to you more
    about this so I am going to give you my email and phone number if you would like my mailing address contact memandmI will provide you with that also. Anyways sorry about all the typos as I mention I’m typing on my phone So it’s
    kinda hard to do.

    sincerely
    Kenneth Fuquay

    [email protected]. Hope To hear from you soon

    1. Kenney – I just want to let you know that even though its early in the year, I think your letter will be a strong contender for “most hilarious” post for 2011.

      On a more serious note, please re-read your post, we know your mindset, we have seen if often, but Kenney, please look at what you have written here, do think your Saviour would be happy with its overall tone. Do you think that an unbeliever that read this would be attracted to “your” Saviour?,

      I love our Lord more than ever, I just can’t imagine Him speaking to somone like you have spoken to Steve here, but Steve is a big boy and can speak for himself.

      In His Grace,
      Greg

    2. I just like to let comments like this speak for itself. The most interesting thing about this post is at the beginning Kenneth states: “I’m not going to waste my time arguing with you…” then at the end states: “I’m serious about talking to you more about this…”

      Kenneth is your typical blog troll. Not worth wasting time on a reply. I think it’s funny actually, and quite sad because he really believes what he is saying. It’s a good example of how confused someone can get with the IFB.

    3. It’s good you’re not going to waste your time arguing.

  97. Hello again everyone,

    I was just informed that the church/school i used to work at will be closing their’ ‘mens dormitory’. They’re going to be turning it into a prophets chamber and meeting place, which will leave a young man homeless but to live in the office of the ministry he works in, the printing ministry of the church. He was told he could certainly live in the church office if he wished. The only problem with this, is the whole idea of the chemicals and fumes which always reside in the place. Their’ decision is to put in a ‘vent fan’ to remedy this issue.

    I personally lived for 2 years without actually installed heat, cool, or even a window in a room while working there. I’m sick of allowing this sort of treatment to continue. There are other factors with such things as debts owed my company, rumors damaging my business, and other things that have ultimately drove me from even caring about attending church any longer. I would like to know if I would be in error by doing what my business partner has suggested and just file lawsuit against the church for this garbage. Such things as the room I resided in were pointed out as needing to have an egress by even the Fire Marshall before I took over residence in the room. I tried repeatedly to take care of the issue with them, but things eventually went to ‘if you want a window in there, then put it in.’

    Folks, it wasn’t my responsibility to pay for that window. I mean, they owe my business a good chunk of money, and before I left were demanding rent from me for a ‘room’ and didn’t even have a rental agreement! I wasn’t a student there! It was even in my agreement with the pastor to not have to pay rent while I worked for the ministry! But since that pastor has returned to evangelism, the ‘new blood’ has begun causing issues with ideas which had been shot down by the previous pastor for over a year. So, in light of the fact that once the boy leaves I’ll have no other ties to worry about, cause he most certainly will not chose to live in an office where he works like that, I’d like to know if I would be in the wrong or just putting this bunch of phoney christrians out of business once and for all.

    I hate that things have gotten this far, but that church has just pushed too much. As far as I’m concerned, if they’re not practicing what they preach, and haven’t for quite some time, then I’m not going to feel guilty about closing down a business, cause it’s obviously not a real church.

    Any input would be helpful and appreciated.

    God Bless…

    1. Lars,
      This is certainly a difficult issue to handle and I don’t know for sure what is the best way to go here.
      I would ask yourself if you are able to just walk away from the whole mess and chalk it up as a lesson learned. I know that would be difficult in its own way, but it would be good to just disengage from the whole mess.
      If you did want to pursue a legal remedy, I would give the church leadership the option of mediating the situation with you and another objective church in the area. This would give the church a way to avoid going to court which is Biblical priority for believers. I understand this option is not likely to go very far because these kinds of churches don’t like accountability, especially from “liberal” churches. However, I think it is important to do due diligence in presenting the church a way to settle the issue in a fair and un-biased manner.
      I would suggest talking to a reputable church leader in the area, one who understands these types of churches and is willing to confront problems. This way at least, you give the offending party an opportunity to settle the matter in a fair way, without being pressured into court.

  98. As I heal from the abuse from the IFB I realize more and more that my IFB was and is a cult. It has been over a year and I am still struggling and having horrible flash backs. All I ever wanted was God and I had a hard time the last 5 years that I attended finding Him. He wasn’t there. Man and man-made rule took over. Thanks for your story Lars and hope the best for you.

  99. Hello. I was previously employed in a combined IFB Church/School setting. I was also a member of the church for many years. I can honestly say this from reading many of the posts on this site. Many of the ‘bad’ aspects of the IFB church and its’ subsequent affiliates are most certainly not what could be deemed as a real ‘Church of God’. Now don’t get me wrong. I willingly turned in my resignation of my duties with the church and corresponding college. But, it was due to the facts that what I saw and was subject towards on a daily basis, not only offended me, but also offended and sometimes shook the very beliefs I had in God, the Bible, and Salvation.

    I’ve been saved for many years. I’ve also studied the bible since a small boy originally in catholic and lutheran schools and churches growing up. I’ve personally NEVER heard many of the ‘facts’ that were stated from the pulpit of the IFB church during sermons ever mentioned during my times in the other faiths. Such things as ‘The Lutherans believe you can lose your’ salvation.’ which was touted from that pulpit too many times for my taste. The conservative politics, the ‘gay agenda’ and other matters which truly meant and still in my humble opinion mean nothing to true growth as a christian have always flown about the church. The allegiance to the preacher, to the church body ‘members’ and sole provision of those areas are strictly out of line in regards to scripture. Yes, the church is the bride of Christ. Yes, god will always be in the midst of the body of believers. And yes, once saved always saved. But, even though they preach salvation through faith and not by works of our own doings, they never live up to their’ own preaching in these regards. Even going so far as toward paying their’ debts in order to ‘continue the ministry of the gospel’.

    Folks, I’m not posting this to anger people. But let’s just face facts in some areas. The IFB’s are more of a cult, than anything else. The totally allegance to a preacher, to a church building, to fellow members with even regards as to never even paying debts owed because of a title they may hold inside a church, are totally out of line with reality and life in general.

    I left that IFB church for the simple fact they weren’t truly following God’s word. I don’t know everything about the bible, and will never claim to. But facts are facts. Being administratively involved, and involved with other IFB people and places over the years has never offered anything but what could truly be deemed cult-like activity in many regards. While I agree there ARE many good people, schools, and churches that are IFB related, my personal experiences have shown the one I was personally involved with to be anything but Godly, and anything but ‘innocent’ to the ‘ridicules’ of the world.

  100. Terry,

    Have you ever either driven or been in the passenger side of a vehicle when encontering a very dense fog, so dense that headlights barely help and nothing can be seen ahead either by oncoming traffic or by the people in your vehicle? Your comments are valid so i’m not trying to invalidate you in any way. in this case I do feel the fog is the deception itself. I’m hoping in time it will life and, as I said in previous posts, you’ll be able to somewhat distance yourself emotionally from its effects. I did figure out that no matter where I go, I’ll probably have to deal with it so running away is not necessarily the answer, although sometimes it’s definitely a temptation. i’ve tried that approach. If it’s not direct in a physical sense, it’s indirect in other ways. I had to go through this process myself. My brethren are probably convinced that I want to ignore the Holy Spirit which is not at all what i want to do. Nor do I want to remove any type of standard from my life. I never asked for a free-for-all either. I do think a person can be very emotionally close to a situation cause I also went through that phase. Work with somebody who is a state licensed professional who also has a theological background and understands some of these religious issues.
    i realize in some areas this might be challenging cause some are very hostile to Christianity and others aren’t, and i don’t want to send you into a hostile environment, perhaps a neutral but not luke-warm carefree environment. I know that some will label everything that doesn’t match with their lifestyle lukewarm. This isn’t really what I’m talking about. You will meet new people. You will have a new start and you will get a new chance. I think it’s important that you not only rely on websites or the internet but that you find fellowship someway or some support in the community where you are currently living as well as professional help. Some issues you are dealing with make you the victim of criminal conduct. Healing occurs with time. I think that these situations may help you cross that bridge. Do you understand what I’m trying to say as you cross over that bridge and heal?

  101. Terry,

    I wish so much that 30 years ago, I had taken the advise i’m giving you before i got into a fight and acted impulsively during a very emotional time in my life. Imipusle got easier after that. Sometimes I wish I could go back and turn the events around so I made that call about an hour or even a day sooner than I did before the fight. i’m sure I could have had a third party intervene. i’ll just say plans had been made and when I wanted to change those plans at the last minute, my immediate desire for a sudden change in plans waqs not welcomed. I don’t need to go further.

    I hope that you won’t take this the wrong way and I hope that you will talk with somebody. It could even be a physician at an urgent care center or a licensed medical social worker. it doesn’t hurt to be evaluated not only for the spiritual and emotional aspect of depression but also the physical aspect too. Initially I think it’s good to find somebody with a combination of a pschololigal and medical background to make an initial evaluation. If you don’t need the medical aspect, they can refer you outside the medical profession to a PH.D. Start at least with somebody in the medical profession though.

  102. While there are some good IFB churches, the majority employ most of the tactics of cults. While railing against the abuse of the RC church, the Pastors set themselves up with a constitution that gives them full control of the church with the deacons acting as a rubber stampers. I’ve witnessed pastors allowing BJU/PCC to run their churches, forbidding other colleges access to their church, refusal to discipline church members for various conflicts, refusal to follow Matthew 18 in counseling church members, and just plain old ignorance in regards to translations while clinging to a version of the Bible which none of their members even understand due to archaic language. The sermon topics miss entire doctrines such as grace and christian
    liberty while self righteousness is held as a virtue(we are superior to those “other” christians-evangelicals). And this is the “more normal” versions of the IFB variety.

    The far wacked out IFBers consist of Faithful Word Baptist (Stephen Anderson) who are so ignorant and plain stupid as to believe that Jesus actually wore pants. One KJVO site on facebook had an article as to how Jesus was coming back to end the Federal Reserve system. Then there’s the nutjobs of Westboro Baptist who protest every funeral they can find. Oh and lets not forget the other wack jobs who blow up abortion clinics to stop killing(oxymoronic at the least).

    To look at the IFB and think that these chuirches actually represent any version of Jesus that the world wants or needs is insanity. Jesus needs to fire the IFB PR Firm giving him a bad name.

  103. I agree with many of your concerns about the IFB and like the way you present your concerns in an objective fashion. I have “visited” some of the anti-IFB groups on Facebook, most of which require joining the group to be able to make any input. I have been surprised by some of those group that actually are as bad–or even–worse that the IFB they condemn and are seeking to expose as a cult. They don’t seem to realize that though they oppose much of the corruption in the IFB, they are not much different in the way they operate their groups. If you say anything that can be construed as calling the “group” into question–well I was just trying to find out what one was all about and one person red her own “red flags” into my phraseology (she thought I talked too much like an IFBer) and the group administrator immediately showed me the “exit” from the group and essentially told me that if I did not agree with anything then I was invited to leave. So I left, and then they were mad, yet glad that I did. I think groups like that have become the very thing they condemn and are just as bad in their own way. I appreciate YOUR honesty and forthrightness about your experiences and you willingness to tolerate views that may not completely agree with you.

    1. There is one thing that I think is important to point out, and that is, groups that gather for various reasons have the right to set up their own rules as to how they will operate.
      Churches, on the other hand, are owned and divinely appointed by God. God has given instructions on exactly how churches are to function and operate. God sets all the rules about who is in, and who is out, how the leadership is appointed and functions.
      Churches become cults when God and His word are no longer the real authority, rather, human leadership, rules, and teaching are substituted for genuine, and Divine authority. No one in church leadership has the right to act outside of God’s revealed will and plan in Scripture. If they do, bring it to their attention. If they don’t recognize God’s authority in Scripture, get out of that church and find one that truly desires to honor God and the authority that is God’s word.

  104. I attended a KJV-only independent fundamental baptist church for 2 years. A lot of zeal for door-to-door and tract evangelism, but kinda cold and intolerant of other evangelical and Reformed Christian groups. When I came to believe in the doctrines of grace (like the Calvinist Baptist Charles Spurgeon), my pastor asked, “how did you get into that mess?” I felt I was in good company with Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, John Bunyan, John Eliot, William Carey, Adoniram Judson. Many of these fundamental baptists tell people to say the sinner’s prayer and equate that with salvation, as though the sinner’s prayer is magical. One time the pastor boasted that over 200 people “made a decision,” after the easter play, but only a couple returned. The pastor devoted a whole sermon on dancing and why it’s wrong…ridiculous…even though dancing is mentioned in the bible as a response to God’s goodness…they condemn drinking wine when God says He gave it to us for a blessing Psalm 104:15. Many of them major on pet peeves…they talk about being born again and grace—but what they do is give the grace in one hand and take it away with the law with other hand with all their rules about dress, contemporary music, etc. The whole King James only position is silly and divisive…Ruckman being the cause of stirring up anger and bitterness in these people. IFB people I have known are very ignorant on the history of bible manuscripts and how translations work which is why many non IFB Christians see them as ignorant and backwoodsy people. John the Baptist the first Baptist, the apostle Paul read the King James, the trail of blood, and other historical inaccuracies I heard while attending an IFB. Amazing! They hardly ever do the Lord’s Supper–like 4 times a year, even though the early church did it regularly…I could keep going on, but what’s the point? If you’re an open-minded KJV-only Baptist, you’ll be open to what other conservative Christians have to say…if not, then you’ll remain ignorant and self-righteously convinced that there is no truth outside KJV-only Baptists….

  105. Katie, Judges, lawyers, and politicians are expected to be
    exceptional debaters. Disagreement is definitely a major
    responsibility in their professions. Public and private lawyers
    often go to court, so at least court cases become public domain,
    except perhaps in juvenile court. As members of the American Bar
    Association, certain levels of education, expertise, and licensing
    is required. In many instances, other details also become disclosed
    when they are politically involved. This might also include
    lobbyists. These professions are extremely analytical and
    persuasive, we hope. Membership in a denomination or association is
    not necessarily bad. I do think this information should be
    disclosed though prior to membership for adults and teenagers. A
    lawyer is going to be hesitant about signing a contract without
    knowing all aspects of the terms. Many churches and their
    affiliated organizations encourage blind trust and some oppose any
    involvement in any court, or did at the time I was a teenager,
    although that has changed. How much control does an external
    organization hold over another organization? What are the
    conditions and terms of membership? How are they enforced? What is
    the financial influence one organization may have upon another?
    These are really the questions I’m asking. Are there other more
    subtle forms of influence and control one organization may hold
    over another. Organizations vary so I don’t expect the answers to
    be the same and may vary widely. We have the internet now. Back
    then, it was much harder to do research and information wasn’t
    always available. Also many were just encouraged to have a blind
    sense of trust.

  106. Many churches do list their affiliations or denominations
    in the weekly church bulletin as well as on the papers they issue
    at their monthly business meetings. Many denominations also list it
    on their signs on their front lawns. I would also like this
    information to be shared with adults and teenagers during
    membership classes for ordinances like Baptism by immersion and
    communion. Methodist churches practice confirmation. They are also
    listed in the telephone book and other directories as well as many
    hymnbooks. I’m not saying a church can’t or shouldn’t join another
    organization, but i encourage written disclosure for teenagers and
    adults. I’m not Roman Catholic; however, many mainline
    denominations do take much more time preparing their converts for
    their sacraments than the independent Baptist Church I attended and
    mention in these posts. I do not think any decision should be
    entered into very lightly just to require a quick counsel at the
    altar or maybe one or two visitations by a member. I really think
    the pastoral staff need to know the members and be involved more in
    the process. i don’t like assembly-line statistical Christianity.
    In a very strict church, such as the one I mention in my posts,
    especially, I feel that any decision is comparable to entering a
    convent or monestary in respect to their expectations. I think it’s
    unfair to approach such an important matter with such haste. Take
    your time. I hear about numbers. Many bad decisions have been made
    solely for the desire to increase numbers. Numbers then become
    their own Gods. The Bible is supposed to be the focus. We are
    supposed to look to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. If we want
    numbers, study math and algebra and statistics and probability. 2
    Corinthians 5:17 talks about the desire for a new life. Phil 4:8
    plus the 10 commandments of the Old Testament and the Greatest
    Commandment of all are so important. Study the apostles and
    epistles first. Maybe take three to six months. The best membership
    class “I ever attended in my life was nine weeks long and included
    the beliefs and values with scriptural references, history of the
    denomination and Christian movements which influenced it, and
    expectations of the church for the new member as well as
    expectations of the new member of the church. It was taught by the
    minister. I learned about the church constitution also. I
    definitely think that more preparation is needed prior to and even
    after marriage. The military often recommends attendance at a
    military information school or “marrying into the military.” That’s
    a major lifestyle change. I think some churches can be a major
    lifestyle change. I think more time needs to be invested before
    decisions are made. Also individually, more research needs to be
    done. A church should welcome a slower decision that’s more thought
    out than a hasty one. More information is available now than was
    available back when I made my college decision. I didn’t hate the
    church. I would have liked it a lot better had the minister worked
    with my family and addressed the concerns. We want to trust the
    people in church, especially in church. We want to feel safe in
    church most of all. The college actually had a very good arts
    program. I do think there is a need for a classical or traditional
    arts program on many college campuses that doesn’t require one to
    compromise one’s values. private funding may be a different issue
    but I do feel college campuses ask for very expensive tuitions and
    need to provide education that will be recognized academically and
    professionally as education takes time. I do not have an issue with
    any college that wants to be privately funded.

  107. Arv, I really don’t understand why IFBers are so against
    the word denomination. The dictionary defines a denomination as “a
    name or designation, especially one for a class of things.” and “a
    class or kind of persons or things distinguished by a specific
    name.” and “the act of naming or designating a person or thing.”
    What’s the big deal? It just means that IFB churches are similar.
    As an attorney I’m in a private practice group, but I’m not paid by
    the group, I’m paid by my clients. I’m considered an “independent”
    private practice attorney. Does that mean I shouldn’t be called an
    attorney? How silly. I’m still an attorney even though I carry the
    designation “independent”. The same holds true for the IFB. Each
    individual IFB church is “independent” but collectively they are
    known as IFB. The IFB churches are a “class” of church. That’s just
    another way of saying denomination. It’s just how our society
    identifies a group of like minded churches. Katie

  108. Arv, I agree with your post in part. I recognize that good
    IFB churches exist. By the way, this site deals with Independent
    Baptist churches, not all Baptist churches. If there are churches
    of any sort, that are hurting people and teaching false things
    about following Christ, shouldn’t we point that out. Love insists
    that I warn people about the dangers in so many IFB churches. As
    for the good ones, They are responsible to distinguish themselves
    from the bad churches. The problem is, in my opinion, that the bad
    IFB churches far outnumber the good ones. That is why a number of
    churches have dropped the Fundamental and Baptist label. The
    reputation of the Fundamental Baptist name has been greatly
    damaged. The cause of this is not from the outside, but from the
    inside. Their reputation has been ruined from within because
    leadership in IFB churches have not been held accountable by church
    members to follow Scripture. Also, sin has been covered up far too
    many times when it needed to be dealt with in a biblical manner.
    This is why the ” IFB brand” has been tarnished beyond repair. You
    had better get used to people criticizing IFB churches, and if you
    don’t like it, I would suggest changing your name to something that
    is less corrupted.

  109. Arv: The difference between an independent church and a
    denomination is that an independent church has local autonomy and
    can choose to do everything within its congregation. If they seek
    outside sources for their work, they vote, and then can choose a
    local business such as local book and music retailers, printers,
    restaurants and caterers, subcontractors, etc.. If you ask about
    the colleges they recommend or what mission boards they use, that
    may give you a clue. Some larger organizations may be very
    controlling and others may allow the church to keep their local
    autonomy. This may also include smaller accrediting bodies as well
    as where they recruit their ministers. You might say that if the
    external organizations where they belong are very controlling, that
    no longer makes the church truly independent then. That’s the
    argument. Some churches are very open and will publish all their
    affiliations in the church bulletin and disclose such information
    at all business financial meetings. Others are more secretive. I’ve
    mentioned in other posts that I have had very different experiences
    with independent churches so I don’t they they are all the same
    either. I am not necessarily talking about your church. I am just
    mentioning a specific church I attended when I was in high school
    and college. I am not talking about every single independent church
    or every denomination in the country. There are so many. I’ve had
    good experiences with Baptists as well. I’m not Baptist myself
    though. I do think it’s important to know this information about
    your church. It should be available in places like your church
    library, financial sheets from business meetings, notations for
    publications and copyright, and also with events that the church
    sponsors. This also could include campgrounds. Does it rent the
    full facility and expect exclusive usage or does it share with
    other groups who might also be staying at a particular place for a
    retreat? Some of the larger organizations may just be external
    supplementary resources while others may be very controlling. If
    the external organizations are very controlling, then the pastor
    loses some of that local autonomy. This is especially true if they
    practice impulsive excommunication because that adds an element of
    fear and intimidation. Some churches do have boards of trustees,
    boards of directors, elders, and deacons, etc.. Others just have
    one person in charge. Since each group is different, I can’t say
    they are all the same. All I can say is I had a particular
    experience with one that called itself “independent” and later I
    learned that it was a member of a very controlling organization.
    The second church was very small almost like a home Bible Study but
    far away just in a different direction. I only went to that one two
    or three times before I started looking for something a little
    closer. I mentioned that I liked the third one very much but it was
    a little further and I was still looking for something within
    walking distance from my home, or at least within a direct bus
    route.

  110. Erik – How long have you been drinking the Kool-Aid, no copyright on the KJV? You’ve got to be kidding me! Yes the KJV is copywritten. The University presses of Oxford and Cambridge have copyright privileges on the KJV and have for centuries, it is the “Crown Copyright” This lie (about the KJV not being copywritten) was started by the biggest liar in the country, Peter Ruckman, in a propaganda book he wrote several years ago.

    Now I’ve told you who the biggest liar in the country is, now how about the 2nd biggest liar? Gail Anne Ludwig, Kalada, Latessa, Riplinger! That’s right boys and girls your fundy hero has been married 3 times, all husbands still alive. I guess her ex’s couldn’t put up with her lies either.

    She lies on nearly every page of New Age Bible Versions. She loves charts in this book comparing the “perverted” bibles with the KJV, funny thing is, she often times misquotes the “perverted” bibles and at times also misquotes the KJV. Oh well, I guess lies are ok as long as she is serving the Lord! She blasphemes when she says that God told her what to write down in NABV and she was just acting as His secretary. She confuses Bishop Brooke Foss Wescott who was instrumental in providing us with a very good greek new testament with William Wynn Wescott, the founder of the London Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn. When confronted with her many mistakes she will not admit any wrongdoing. She has attacked many serious defenders of the KJV such as David Cloud of “O Timothy Ministries” and the Waites of the “Dean Burgon Society.” Quite a spicy girl Ms. Gail. I just dig that acrostic algebra!

    I love it when uneducated IFB’s start running down them “wicked Catholics” when they wouldn’t even have thier KJV had it not been for the faithful efforts of Erasmus, (catholic priest who remained a faithful catholic til his dying day) it was he who provided the greek new testament which the KJV translators used for the KJV.

    Erik I really hope and pray at least a tiny ray of light is starting to seep into your pitiful, indoctrinated brain. You have been fed lies, you have come on here meaning well and exposed your ignorance for all the world to see. I used to be where you are. Please begin to study these things for yourself, but until you do please stick to topics that you know at least something about.

  111. I send my daughter to an IFB school where we attend church.
    (I had three other kids that went to the local public school. It
    was a disaster!) This church is great. Best thing that ever
    happened to my family.

  112. Arv said there are 25 million baptist churches in the US! at 307 million americans as of the 2010 census, that’s one baptist church for every 12 people…I doubt it, America is at least 25% catholic and the there are muslims, jw’s, mormons, episcopalians, jews, atheists, and alot of people don’t go to church…even if half the country was a church attending Christian that would be one baptist church for every family…where do you get your numbers??

  113. I know this won’t get printed, but I’ll submit it anyway. There are about 25 million Baptist churches in America, according to some estimates. They are individually governed. There is no “IFB” denomination. It is a straw horse that only exists in someone’s mind. That’s why they are called independent. If there are a few hundred, or even a few thousand, that hold to extreme positions in some areas of doctrine or practice, they do not answer to any other fundamental Baptist churches, nor are the majority of good fundamental Baptist churches accountable for the individual actions of others. If there is any blame that actually exists, let’s direct it toward those that are actually guilty.

    1. Being “independent” Baptist is actually a misnomer in my opinion. If such Baptist churches are anything, it is NOT independent. They may be independently governed without interference from a church organization, denomination, but they are certainly not completely independent. They have certain connections with their pet colleges and the have their pastor’s conventions and conferences where they all gather to keep up with what is going on with and in the IFB. So, in many ways they do have and maintain connections with each other and the separate from other churches which don’t “toe the IFB line” to the satisfaction of the rest. These interconnections and inter-relationships with other IFB churches, ministries, educational institutions, and IFB pastors with other IFB pastors are informal and perhaps loose, but they make the term “independent” quite misleading and somewhat inaccurate.

      1. Terry,
        IFB churches are independent in the sense that they are totally without accountability. Of course, that is is not a good kind of independent. Look, if IFB pastors will not be accountable to God’s word, should it really surprise us when they balk at human peers who point out their error?

  114. Idolatry can set into a church or even various Christian
    affiliated organizations which a body of believers supports when
    the emphasis changes from the Father, Son, and Holy spirit to
    mathematical statistics. Then the pastor becomes a “celebrity” or
    “recruiter” or mid-level manager when we look at the whole picture
    even if a particular local body calls itself independent. An
    association may have a looser structure than a more traditional
    denomination. Still there is a higher level of command, especially
    if certain aspects of the minister’s salary are financially
    supported by these outside organizations as well as the body of
    believers. This is especially true if they practice impulsive
    excommunication on a regular basis. It may be overt or secretive.
    I’m not saying a church doesn’t or shouldn’t want to grow in
    numbers, just that the emphasis on numbers doesn’t become a greater
    focus than God’s definition of Christian growth defined in the New
    Testament Apostles and epistles. It can even happen with ordinances
    or sacraments or any other aspect of Christian life found in the
    church or its supporting ministries when the one exceeds the
    balance of the others. Often the church doesn’t see this happening,
    nor do the outside organizations supporting the church and vise
    versa. It could even be something materialistic. And it could be
    the civic laws that apply for occupational safety of the structure
    and its insured vehicles and drivers, etc… This is what I’ve been
    talking about with my posts. I’m not suggesting a free-for-all
    environment by any means. If I wanted a free-for-all environment, I
    wouldn’t be going to a church in the first place. Sometimes
    churches can close opportunities though with vague understanding or
    definitions or applications. We wouldn’t dare ask that everyone
    stop reading books soley cause there are bad books or magazines on
    the market. That would be ridiculous. Yet we do this with the arts
    which include literature as well as music, dance, and visual arts.
    I do believe that there are principles that apply in Phil 4:8. I’m
    not just writing off any limitations. Some will think if I use
    restrictions I’m talking about something else so I’ll use another
    word. I’m not asking you to abandon your restrictions if they help
    you lead a Godly life either. I do believe convictions come from
    the Holy Spirit. We have to look at the Bible. Prayer or any other
    aspect of the church life should not become a vain act but must
    have meaning. Private life is as important as what we do in public
    too. God can see our hearts. Other humans can only see outward
    appearances. God can see the whole picture and many times believers
    in a body can’t if one’s family and friends fall outside the social
    circle of the church. We have to becareful about hasty
    judgments.

  115. We don’t want to feel expendable in the very church and
    it’s affiliated organizations where we choose to participate, and
    many also want to be productive citizens in our civic
    responsibilities and volunteer work also. Certain practices,
    whether they are directed at an individual or just one becomes
    aware of them, cause one to feel expendable. Church is about
    teaching, building, and rebuilding lives. At the very last
    breathing moment, a sinner turned to Jesus Christ and asked for
    forgiveness and was forgiven. In life there are times of
    achievements, and unfortunately also times of setbacks. There may
    be situations where that correction occurs outside of the walls of
    a particular organization. I realize this. Church is also supposed
    to be a place of accountability not just for the attender or new
    member, but also for the highest levels of administration and
    everyone between and that includes the first time visitor.
    Discipline, when it occurs, is supposed to occur with a sense of
    humility and with chances. I do believe as Christians we are
    supposed to care about the physical needs of those within our walls
    as well as the outreaches in the communities. This may even include
    exceptional situations like national disasters. When does pastor
    worship start? I believe it’s a gradual process and in many cases,
    the believers are not even aware that they worship a particular
    pastor. I don’t know if this is even intentional. The focus is
    supposed to be the Bible rather than a member’s name. When that
    name starts to be substituted by other members and mentioned as
    often or more than the Bible, or when a church falls apart because
    a certain person leaves, then it’s pastor worship, or any worship
    of any leader. That’s when it becomes idolatry. It doesn’t even
    have to be a person. It can be a practice or even an object. When
    the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost no longer seem to be the focus,
    that also becomes idolatry. This can happen gradually. When it
    becomes imbalanced, it becomes idolatry. When there’s no
    accountability, it also becomes idolatry. I’m not implying that
    churches should be free-for-all environments. That’s not scriptural
    either. I’m not referring to “itching” ears in my posts.

  116. This is gonna be long and my prayer is SOMEBODY gets to
    read it. First of all know that I speak the truth in love and that
    I WILL see all of you again someday. So we can talk it over then if
    you want. It’s a shame to see the folks on here suffering from such
    a delusion. In this “End Times” world we live in, it’s not
    suprising you would utilize your God given free will to choose a
    more “seeker sensitive” approach to evangelism. Legalism is another
    way fo sayinbg you follow the Law. If you say “My God wouldn’t send
    ________ people to hell your right..he doesnt exist. If a Judge
    allowed murders to go free he wouldn’t be a good judge, right? Then
    how can you even imagine that God would let you get away with sin?
    Those who have not accepted Jesus as their personal saviour before
    they die WILL GO TO HELL forever. I don’t want you to go to hell
    (and it seems like alot of folks on here won’t regardless) then get
    saved! But their is a sickness in this worldly world. People think
    God will let them do whatever they want. Why do things God’s way if
    doing it the world’s way gets more results, right? Why “offend”
    people, right? The Ten Commandments are offensive to all sinners
    (like me), because we are all guilty. The only way I can “judge
    righteously” is to discern wether or not they have been saved
    through faith in Jesus and asked Him to be LORD of their life.
    Everything else is a personal decision that they will have to be
    accountable for..but NONE of the legalistic convictions of IFB
    members are going to make a differnece in the condition of their
    personal salvation. The Bible says many will get into Heaven by the
    “skin of their teeth”. Throughout history God’s people have been
    persecuted for trying to live Godly lives that seem weird or
    offensive to their contemporaries. Their is one indisputable fact.
    If it’s in The Bible it’s true. If you think it was written by men,
    you don’t know a thing about the TRUE history of how we got the
    Bible from the apostles. And I’d dare say that MOST Christains have
    NEVER read the whole Bible, much less outside of church or only
    when God has “let bad things happen to them”. You see..Baptists
    never “came out of the Roman Catholic Church” as we were never in
    it to begin with. Too much TV for most of you honestly, not enough
    study of the important things in this life. Truly, I have many
    friends saved in all kinds of Christian denominations. As for me,
    the Holy Spirit led me to my beliefs through BIBLE READING!!
    ….and only after 15 years did I hear about an IFB church, the
    first of which I left and the current one I don’t agree with
    everything my pastor does but I know his stance on God’s word and I
    agree with that. I’m sure The LORD doesn’t need or require
    mankind’s assistance with preserving His written word. That is why
    the KJV is the ONLY non-copywrighted Bible in the world. If it
    really is God’s word it should be free, don’t you agree? Wearing
    skirts, abstaining from alcohol, not condoning homosexuality,
    turning off the idiot box or just living a seperated and peculiar
    life are not going to get you into heaven. But they are a measure
    of your personal obedinece to God based upon the guidlines given to
    YOU from God. Again, He gives you the choice, some will barely make
    it and some will shine like the stars. I myself am an IFB member of
    my local New Testament church. Jesus promised that they way was
    narrow, not hard. (Check your Bible version) Gail Riplinger PHD
    Harvard and Cambridge educated scholar has discovered the KJV reads
    at a lower grade level than all other versions and has a built in
    dictionary…sound like OH I DONT KNOW A MIRALCE??!! In the end
    many will depart from the faith and give credence to the duplicit
    doctrine of devils and aid in the formation of a one world church.
    A feel good place where everything is always somebody else’s fault.
    But someady our protests will someday sound stangley familiar to
    words spoken in the past…”But God the WOMAN made me do it…But
    God the SERPENTmade me do it..HILARIOUS!! Nothing changes in our
    sinful nature. Good thing God’s word doesn’t change either. No need
    to debate, I’ll let God do the fighting. If your uncomfortable with
    my comment, why? Is it because not not so secretly you watch TV
    programs you would be afraid to watch with Jesus in the room?
    Because you drink to excess where the Bible COMMANDS YOU NOT TO
    drink wine at all (By the way wine was not alcoholic, it was a
    small ammount used to purify dirty water or grape juice..fact look
    it up..oh wait you’d have to turn off the TV for a while right?)?
    Is it because you use God’s name as a curse word? You would rather
    do ANYTHING but read His word? Your too afraid to stand up and
    witness to your friends, your children and strangers who will
    someday cry out to you “Why didn’t you tell me about Jesus?”? Is it
    because you think evolution is true, a stupid unprovable, state
    sponsored religion that even scientists secretly admit is a theory?
    Is it because you think that DEEDS will get you to Heaven, or maybe
    it’s because your pride (and who is the father of pride?) has
    allowed you to forget that I am like Paul, CHIEF AMONG SINNERS, yet
    I hope to be humbled enough to try to submit to God and his
    commandments. I am that “Christian dude” who comes to your house
    because the “mainstream Christians” are afraid of offending people.
    THAT is why the JW’s and Mormons and Muslims are growing and we are
    shrinking. What Atheist wants to be a part of a church on a Sunday
    that says they honor God then walk, talk and act like them during
    the week. I don’t blame them…at least they are honest about their
    lack of faith. And even though I fail constantly at being the man
    He wants me to be, I still try to do God’s will, not twist it into
    some disgusting, perverted man-made lie to suit my 21st cntury
    lifestyle. I don’t care if you EVER go to my church, really I
    don’t..I want you to get saved..and if your saved and your not
    doing much for The LORD I want to make you uncomfortable. I just
    hope you see yourself in the LIGHT OF GOD’s WORD and see that you’
    like me are found wanting. EVERY WORD IN THE KJV IS TRUE AND IS OF
    NO PRIVATE INTERPRETATION…THEREFORE IT IS LITERAL!!!! That’s is
    why you are scared, scared like Paul was. Why don’t you “Think for
    yourself, independently.” Stop asking your pastor or your friend or
    Oprah what you should think and ask God!!! Do you really believe in
    Him or not? Because if you are offended by the TRUTH that’s your
    problem. That’s why it’s called the TRUTH because it let’s you know
    that you ain’t got it…

  117. @ Christian This is not just one pastor. I have heard
    thousands of stories of the power hungry “pastors” in the IFB
    churches. We nearly lost our daughter to suicide because of the
    evil things that were going on and we could never get to the bottom
    of it until a week before we left. We have been out for 13 months
    now and we are still a mess from it. Why do you want to argue with
    all of us about the wickedness that goes on, do you think we are
    all making it up. I can see you have been trained to attack anyone
    who says anything about the IFB. There is some really bad stuff
    going on in this group. Rape, child molestation, and child abuse
    and they cover up for each other in the name of God. I don’t think
    so. If you love the IFB have at it but stop making comments to
    victims who have been hurt and abused enough. That is exactly what
    you are doing. Go somewhere that is for you. We are here because I
    faith and our lives have been shattered and like I said in my first
    post unless you go through it you will never, ever know what we are
    dealing with. You truly are a IFB. By exposing the evil that goes
    on does NOT hurt the name of God but shines light into the
    darkness. So if you love the IFB fine but leave those alone that
    have already been hurt by people like you. You do not have a clue.
    If I sent you my full story you would not believe it. My question
    to all IFB that come on here and other forums dealing with this
    wickedness. WHY DO YOU CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THE IFB NAME AND NOT YOUR
    LORD AND SAVIORS NAME???? Christ would be rebuking these wicked men
    just like he did the Pharisees. If you don’t post this I understand
    but I am tired of people thinking this is nothing and they are
    sometimes even getting away with murder.

  118. Christian – Can you attend Sunday worship service in jeans and a t-shirt?
    Are you allowed to listen to christian contempory music?
    Can your girlfriend/wife wear pants to church?
    Could you have a glass of wine with your meal, if you were dining out with your pastor?
    Is tithing mandatory to be a deacon?
    Is attendance at church every time the door is open an indication of someone’s spirituality?
    Have you ever disagreed with your pastor about anything? How was that received?

    You see most of the above are dictated by the IFB’s, you may say you agree with them, but do you? Not one of these is explicitly covered in scriptures, these are a matter of personal preference or conviction, but most of these are taught as absolutes in the IFB.

    Please read through this site you will see similar stories from people all over the country that have similar tales of how they were abused by their churches/pastors.

    I do wish you well.

  119. as for pants…. we will leave that up to broad interpration… but as for IFB being bad.. you can’t judge all people for the sins of one, God wouldnt do it and niether should we. I dont say your religious cect is off, so what is this junk. Are you so mad at your past to blame everyone?

  120. Church – A building with a special room, specifically designed to focus on one person.

    Discipleship – Teaching people, who could not or would not do what you do, to do what you do.

  121. The modern day institutional church has made the “pastorate” into a vocation not a function within the body of Christ. IFB colleges are filled with young men who have been called by the pressure of “barn-storm, shingle-rattlin, fire and brimstone, rabble-rousing” preachers who are asking “WHO will stand in the gap and make up the hedge?” or “Where’s the MAN!” And those who surrender to this noise consider themselves “called of God.”
    However, there are men that who are fulfilling the “function” of a pastor. They are not called by a title nor would consider taking the title of “pastor.” They are not a CEO overseeing their empire and its people. They are just men who have traveled the road with Jesus and are eager to point others towards Him. They possess no “authority” over others but are equippers and encouragers.
    Just some thoughts.

  122. JP – You present all good points. I have had the IFB expereience in my rear view mirror (at least the worst of it) for about 2 years now, the farther I get from it, the better I can see the shortfalls. When you are raised in this mess and taught “how” to interpret the bible from the IFB point of view, and never allowed to have an independent thought, or God forbid interpret something differently from the MOG (man of God) it is very difficult to escape. Many of us have our entire lives, friends ect, built around the church, and when that is taken away, it can throw your life into a mess.

    I well remember my old fundy pastor regularly saying “don’t believe me study it in the bible for yourselves” so at least he stated this even if he really didn’t mean it. So I did study and finally had to leave his church when I found the IFB belief system regarding certain issues were wrong. Anyone reading this, please study the bible for yourselves and if your church is getting it wrong, speak up and challenge the MOG, and let him know you don’t believe as he does.

    Pastor worship as you say is rampant. Where do the fundies get this teaching. Our precious Lord Jesus came to planet earth as a servant, and we are supposed to “worship” some sinful, uneducated man, are you kidding? I am looking into this whole one-man rule over the church, I am inclined, from my study of scripture, that this approach to authority in the new testament church is wrong. It appears to me that the 1st century churh practiced multiple elder rule, thus not allowing one “nut” to take a church over the cliff, think Jim Jones, in other words that authority wouldn’t be invested in one man, but several, then you would have some accountability, as it is now, the MOG is king over his domain, I think this is wrong and very unhealthy.

    I wish you well, keep on keeping on in the name of Jesus, and let Him be your authority.

  123. “Christian”,

    I’ve heard these exact arguments before. Simply because we are discussing the faults of the IFB movement, we are labeled as “Sowing discord among the brethren”. Let’s turn this around and see how the shoe fits on the other foot:

    The Catholics consider themselves to be Christian, yet every IFB church I know rails against Catholics and Catholicism. Wouldn’t that be a case of the IFB churches “sowing discord among the brethren”?

    I already know your answer before you post: The IFB churches are right and everyone else is wrong. It’s OK for IFB churches to blast Catholics because they are obviously not true Christians, right?

    The kicker is throwing in the “judge not lest ye be judged” at the end. After lambasting all of us for speaking the truth (& yes- everything in my post is the truth), you throw that at us to remind us that we shouldn’t judge, correct? Remember what Jesus said in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” We are to judge righteously and if that involves bringing IFB churches to task for their misrepresentation of the gospel – then so be it.

    Having attended IFB churches for over three and a half years, having been a member who never missed a service during that time (& attended 95% of the other church functions), and having earned a Master’s degree in Ministry from an IFB college– I feel that I am qualified to express my opinion on the subject matter.

    I’m not saying that each and every IFB church has these types of shortcomings and is misrepresenting the gospel, but I do know that the two churches that I attended (and several IFB preachers /evangelist I met) presented the gospel (& conducted the church business) in a manner consistent with the other people’s experiences listed here.

    The pastor worship is rampant in the IFB churches that I knew. Here’s a direct quote from an IFB pastor during a sermon where he is discussing people having an opinion that is different than his point of view: “If you would spend more time helping people to fall in love with the pastor than trying to win them over to your STUPID point of view we would (have a better church.)”. That quote is not out of context, he meant exactly what it says. From the first hand experiences that I’ve had, the IFB pastors have zero tolerance for disagreement with their point of view.

  124. Christian, I’m wondering how you interpret the word “pants”
    from “And women should not wear that which obtaineth to a man.” Men
    wear underpants, should women not wear underpants? Men wear shoes
    and socks, should women not wear shoes and socks? Men wear
    deodorant, should women not wear deodorant? See how silly that is?
    Why pants? What is so special about pants and how do you get
    “pants” from that verse? I would love to know.

  125. Christian – Do you really believe that the Romans hung the dead body of Jesus upon the cross of Calvary as the KJV says at Acts 5:30?

    Where was God’s word prior to 1611?

    Does your church teach that we are to obey all the ceremonial Law, all 613 laws? I see you quoted the “pants” law, but I submit to you that female slacks are not men’s pants. I also submit to you that we are no longer under the law. Does your IFB still worship on the Sabbath, which is Saturday?

    The bible tells us to try the Spirits, have you tried this Spirit that you are involved in, and is this Spirit from God?

  126. TM – God bless you and your family, your story touched my heart, unfortunately this same type of story has been told over and over on this site. Simple-minded, uneducated, mean-spirited men taking advantage of people in “their” flock, that is part of the problem with the IFB, no accountability, they brag about being independent, and then abuse the people in “their” flock. I wish you and your family well and continue to seek the Lord in your lives. God cares what is on the inside alot more than what is on the outside. The IFB’s love to major on the outside, what you wear, the music you listen to, how many times you are int the church etc, always worried about the externals, dare I say it? The Lord looks at the interior, and is concerned about the heart.

  127. I was saved 18 years ago and attended a church that was
    very legalistic but not IFB at the time, now it is but the pastor
    has calmed down a bit, then I attended a major pharisee church that
    was rather ridiculous as I look back and after all the nonsense we
    got out of church for about 2 years because I just couldn’t stand
    the meanness of christians and if being a good one meant I had to
    be like them then I didn’t want to be a “good christan”. I couldn’t
    stand to hear preaching or be around any of it and I believe God
    was up in Heaven with a big club waiting for me to mess up. Through
    those years being out of church God was gently working on me trying
    to get a hold of me. My kids had went to a baptist church(I grew up
    in a southern baptist church and had heard the gospel many times
    and the pastor and his wife were just decent loving people, so my
    view of God wasn’t tainted.)At the time a baptist church was just a
    baptist church, I didn’t know anything about the southern
    convention or the IFB. So I thought I was attending a church like
    what I grew up in. At first it was ok I though all the people were
    kind and for the most part the preaching was ok the first couple
    years and God had gotten a hold of me big time. He took me on quite
    the amazing journey. I no longer believed He had a club waiting to
    beat me down but was patient and loving and was starting to believe
    He loved me. We became members which was a huge step for my husband
    because he had experienced bad things growing up in his church. Our
    family went through some very hard times with lots of medical
    issues and after all that turmoil we had our 5th child who was born
    with HLHS. The left side of his heart was not developed and it
    require 3 surgeries so we spent lots of time in the hospital and
    our kids were still attending the IFB while we were gone and we
    found out later that the people were horrible to them. My 14 yr old
    son was told by the “pastor” that his brother was born that way
    because he wasn’t right with God. My children were traumatized.
    Soon after we came home from the hospital things started happening
    to my girls and all of a sudden some of the moms hated my
    daughters. My children didn’t bother people were very quiet and not
    trouble makers but we weren’t conformers and I know now that was
    the main issue. We had problems after problems for 5 years and we
    just thought it was a bunch of angry stupid women but right before
    we were run out the door for trying to get to the bottom of our
    daughters unstableness we found out the “pastor” was behind all of
    it. Turning the women against me and my family. This man divides
    husbands and wives and had done it with me and my husband. I wore
    skirts for 7 years and now know that it is a man-made rule. My
    story is so long and I can not believe some of the things people
    were willing to do to please their leader at our family’s expense
    and at the worst time of our life. My son is 6 and is doing well
    but it was touch and go many times and they did not care. My former
    IFB by definition is truly a cult. Not because I am angry but it is
    a fact. The leader controls so much of other peoples life and they
    let him, down to the beating of their children. He wanted us to
    beat our kids and we wouldn’t do it. I would of never thought that
    the “church” I was attendeding 7 years ago that such wicked things
    happened and may of not believed some of the stories but unless you
    go through it you will never really know how wicked the IFB is. I
    am sure there are some good men in the IFB but you eventually have
    to get out or conform. Anyone that stands against these men are
    immediately tagged as enemies and must be dealt with according to
    the only way these fraudulent “men of God” know how. By separating,
    dividing and deceiving instead of taking heed according to God’s
    Word. We left Nov 15 of 2009 and no one has contacted us and all
    think we are evil. Even my husbands sister thinks we are the wicked
    ones and we truly did not do anything but try and survive. We tried
    our best to do things according to scripture but it backfired every
    time. I believe the IFB is a dangerous, dangerous religion and many
    lose their faith in God and blame God. I know I did when we first
    left. I was trying so hard to be close to the Lord and be obedient
    to Him and do what He wanted but on a good note going through the
    many battles that I did because of the IFB God did an amazing
    healing in me and that only proves God can be anywhere even in a
    dangerous cult. People die and children are raped and molested in
    this cult and the people cover up for each other and let the
    children suffer because of fear, guilt and intimidation. I have
    heard many testimonies of these very things and they are usually
    bullied to shut them up. A lot of these mean are just brute beast.
    So before you attack maybe you ought to be concerned with what is
    truly going on in these so called churches. I wouldn’t want to be a
    part of any of it and I think the Lord doesn’t either. How could
    He??? There was so much more that happened to us but I haven’t sat
    down and taken the time to write it out. Keep up the good work and
    bringing light into the darkness.

  128. First off… Jesus loves you all, and so do I. Give up the
    arguments, I am a IFB, and we are none of the bad stories you guys
    have made up. We believe the Bible word for word…The KJV 1611 by
    the way, the infallible word of GOD.(perfect) We doe everything it
    says, and try not to do anything it doesn’t.. though none are
    perfect… Not 1. And women should NOT wear that which obtaineth to
    a man… (pants) Her hair is here glory… And all that believe in
    their heart that Jesus died and was risen, and confess with their
    mouth, their sins SHALLL BE SAVED.. and to sow discord among the
    brethern is wrong, and a sin.. So just read your BIBLE….. and
    praise God for your life today… And judge not least ye be judged!
    Love in Christ, Dennis

  129. JP, Your story sounds so familiar. It’s love with a hook. Do everything just our way and we’ll love you, question or disagree – you’re trouble. Hope you are doing well. God Bless.

  130. Here is a brief overview of my time in IFB churches.

    Part One:

    The first IFB church that my family and I went to had about 30 members. The people were kind and the pastor seemed ok. After attending church services for about two months, we decided to join. Immediately after the service where we were voted in, the songleader & the pastor came up to me to have a little “chat” about the rules.

    I was told that there were dress codes for everywhere no matter whether we were in church or not. No shorts, my wife wasn’t to wear pants, we were to dress modestly, etc, etc. They were treating me like I knew absolutely nothing about the bible and they acted like their instructions were directly from the bible. I was partially amused and partially irritated. I waited until they were finished with their instructions and then I asked (since we were discussing dress code), why didn’ t the women in the church have their heads covered as it says in 1 Corinthians?

    They kind of stood there for a few seconds staring at me, not knowing what to say. I followed up with a question asking why the women were allowed to speak out loud in church when in 1 Corinthians it says that women should be silent in church. The songleader didn’t say a word and just walked away. The pastor said, “Well, that’s a good question. I’ve wondered about that one myself” and then he walked away. I wasn’t trying to be a jerk, but I wasn’t about to let those two think that they could buffalo me with random rules that they couldn’t back up with biblical scripture.

    We stayed for about two more months before we stopped attending that particular church. The last straw was an evangelist they had in for a weeklong holler-fest. This yahoo bellowed and yelled about how he and his family were righteous and the rest of us were a bunch of sinners who were spitting on Jesus with the way we were living our lives (sadly – I’m not joking or embellishing; that really was what most of his preaching was about).

    There was a boy (about ten years old) at the church service one of the nights this evangelist was preaching. The boy was sitting in the front row and he had an earring. The evangelist noticed this boy’s earring and proceeded to mock this boy and talk about how when he was a kid they would have “beat the snot” out of any boy who wore an earring. I looked at the pastor (who was sitting on the front row) and he was smiling and shaking his head “yes”. I couldn’t imagine anything more un-Christian than making fun of someone for their appearance (in a church setting especially). When we left the church that evening, it was all I could do to not to punch that evangelist in the nose. I told the pastor on the way out, “we won’t be back”.

    Part Two:

    We thought IFB churches can’t all be like that. Let’s try another…

    The second church was initially better than the first. The people were wonderful and the pastor had a passion for preaching. There were no red flags or warning bells, so we joined after attending services for a couple months.

    By the time we left three years later, the main reasons we left were: (1) pastor worship, (2) increasingly manipulative tactics by the pastor, and (3) you weren’t a “Good” Christian unless you were at the church every time the doors were open (which was all the time). I really tried to keep things in perspective and give the pastor the benefit of the doubt, but I couldn’t in good conscience keep my kids in that church setting any longer.

    The pastor was NOT to be questioned about his decision on anything. A deacon told me (shortly before he left) that while on a trip to a bible college he had met one of the pastor’s professors. He told the pastor in a deacon’s meeting that he had met and talked to so and so. The pastor got red in the face and yelled at the deacon, “YOU ARE NOT TO SPEAK TO HIM EVER AGAIN”. The deacon was flabbergasted as to his reaction because the professor didn’t say anything bad about the pastor (things that make you go hmmm?).

    The pastor was a master at insinuating you were doing something wrong (he would do it from the pulpit or in random conversations). He wouldn’t say the person’s name – but pretty much everyone knew who he was “admonishing” that service. He was fond of saying that if you felt convicted by a sermon, then the Holy Spirit is trying to get your attention about sin in your life (Of course it couldn’t be that the pastor was throwing insinuations during a sermon while staring at you).

    The pastor worship thing was getting to me also. We even had an evangelist who basically said that if anyone questioned our pastors character that it would be acceptable to punch them (I’m assuming that he meant punching a man, maybe a woman would deserve a slap?). If you heaped praises on the pastor and told stories about how much you love the pastor, then you were A-OK.

    During that time, my family & I rarely had any time together just as a family. We were at church over 22 times a month (Sunday morning & evening worship, Wednesday night service, Thursday evening soulwinning, Saturday morning soulwinning, Men’s breakfast gathering, Women’s meetings, Nursing Home visitations, etc, etc). I figured up that between getting ready for church activities, driving to church, attending the service, etc – that we were spending about 80 – 100 hours a month in church activities. That’s like having a second job. To put the icing on the cake, we would be reminded every once in a while that we weren’t doing enough and if we REALLY loved Jesus we wouldn’t mind giving more of our time to the church. I’m not sure, but I don’t think Jesus would have minded our family having some time to be together at home as a family.

    Preaching Themes common in this church:

    You think you’re saved, but you’re not – You might be on your way to HELL!

    If you don’t want to help the church all the time – your priorities are screwed up (YOU MIGHT NOT BE SAVED!).

    Tithing – Give till it hurts and then give another couple percent (That shows you’re a Good Christian).

    Why your pastor is right all the time (and anyone who questions him is wrong).

    Why IFB churches are the only true churches.

    And my favorite: anything that was controversial was labeled as Strong Meat that mature Christians would understand (meaning that if you didn’t understand or didn’t agree, then you were a “baby” Christian).

    I could go on with many more examples of the IFB mindset, but I should bring this to a close. I met many wonderful and gracious people in IFB churches. Some of those people were struggling with the same reasons that I left, but chose to stay for whatever reasons. I pray that they have either found peace with their decision to stay or have found peace in a church that is not “works” oriented.

  131. Paul,
    Thank you for your words. I feel so much better. Before this web site.. I keep thinking why am having to defend myself against the Pastor. For example…He kept saying the sooner we marry the both of you the better so we won’t be in sin. He even wanted to marry us earlier than the date I picked out. He said i can marry you tonight and then we can have another on the date we picked out. I told him I will not do this and lie to my family about the day I got married. There are other things but won’t mention. Has anyone ever heard of the book THE HOME by John R. Rice?? My ex-fiancee’s pastor recommended this read before we got married. This book totally brainwashed my ex-fiancee! I think there is a better way to counsel couples for marriage.

  132. Paul, I did like your comment which you posted on March 2, 2010. I thought Winifred made some very valid points in her posting on July 25, 2010. Corey keep your focus on God and let the Holy Spirit guide you through your study of the Bible. If you continue to feel discouraged, maybe visit with other believers who will accept and appreciate you. You don/t have to accept this as the norm.

    Conviction is the result of the filling of the Holy Spirit. We have tools. Those instruments can be used for good or bad just like a vessel is molded by an artist or an instrument is played by a master. God made each person different. I like to read Psalm 139.

    Actually I can back what I say in posts with the scripture. In some cases it might take the concordance, appendix, table of contents, outside commentaries, and Lexicon. If I don’t have the background myself, I sometimes turn to these sources.

    Pam, everyone in the church is a sinner. We’re all sinners. That message occurs in Romans and all through the Bible in all the apostles and epistles. If we didn’t sin, we wouldn’t need God’s help in the first place. I realize some have forgotten this fact. They just became absorbed. Each day is a brand new chance to start over. Just don’t worry about the huge picture God only sees and take one step at a time one hour or day at a time, whichever works best. I love Proverbs 3:5-6. God didn’t give up on us. Sometimes we feel like giving up on ourselves. I know I’ve gotten discouraged and frustrated at times. At those points, God seems to know and just sends a wonderful Christian into my life and I’m uplifted. Music and poetry also uplift me as well as those walks through the park, devotions by the lake or on a boat, and sometimes, since I have verses memorized, even swimming laps in a swimming pool or any other excercise. That should be exercise. I’m still getting used to some of the changes in the restructuring of this website.

  133. I did find that my remote control for the DVD Player had a menu button. It allows me to watch whatever I want to see at a particular time and skip over the rest. The guide button is helpful too. I wish that the print was a little larger though cause I need a magnifying glass to see the fine print, especially against a very dark surface. I don’t have a zapper yet but that’s a great invention!

    Before I write a post, I want to let you know that often I scroll from top to bottom, sometimes reading the rest of the comments several times. I also check for new entries. Sometimes I miss hearing from some of the people who were writing posts.

    There are things I cannot post because I have to respect other’s wishes for confidentiality. I do see a pattern in many of the posts though that do have similarities to my own. I wanted to let you know that I am so encouraged from those Christians, who in spite of obstacles and set backs have still managed to hold onto the faith and continue to pray and search.

    I love Christmas. However, for me as well as others, it is a stressful time of year. The tree is up and decorated. That’s about all and some will wait until the very last minute. I don’t feel prepared yet. I do know from one day to the next, I try to take one day at a time and sometimes, even stop and take one hour at a time. I do thank God for those who bring encouragement into my life. I just try to figure out one step at a time how I can contribute and where my contribution would be helpful. We have to find some time and just capture a moment in time and meditate, somehow leaving those external extractions behind us. The great thing about Christmas and Easter is that we still have redemption.

  134. aj,

    While your ex-fiance has lost the privilage of holding you in his arms, you are free to stand in the full embrace of a Father that loves you like no other can or will. Glad you found this site!

    God Bless

    http://www.lifestream.org/waynes-books.php?bid=5

  135. I cannot believe i found this site. I was wondering if I was losing my mind. My story is similar to Bob’s (in the way that this IFB church breaks marriage.. in my case a potential marriage). Well i have a whole story behind this… but to cut to the chase. By the way, I have been going to a First Baptist Church all my life. When I started going to his church i had noticed the teachings seemed legalistic. With my ex-fiancee being a baby christian I noticed him saying he wants to do right by following the bible word for word. He was also getting so fearful and stressed out that God was gonna “Get Him” if he did not follow the bible word for word. During this time, he was even getting panic attacks. He even went to the Emergency Room for them. This is what led him to read the bible non-stop, to propose to me, and then break the engagement off one day before our wedding. He says god hardened his heart and told him not to marry me because i have been married before or else he will be committing adultery. It has been 8 years since my ex-husband left and he is with someone else. Ex-fiancee says that is the only reason he could not go through the wedding. I am able to say I am no longer with him. I have looking on the web for answers and felt alone.. but after reading this website I am relieved that I am not the only one experiencing this. I guess the only thing i can do is pray for my ex-fiance and hope he grows in his faith to know that these kind of teaching don’t reflect the kind of God we have. I now know that I am not alone.

  136. I mentioned before that the church which I mention in this post had a very large bus ministry which included at least four counties. The attendance fluctuated weekly on my bus route. There were times though when it became overcrowded. I know the bus driver did ask people to call in advance when they were inviting guests.
    Children forget. Adults forget. If each passenger brings a few guests, this can create a major problem not only in respect to capacity, but also in respect to the ratio of adult supervision for children. It can cause distractions. Add inclement weather! I think churches need to consider delays and cancellations during inclement weather and make announcements before drivers and passengers start their commutes. Churches also can consider their climate when scheduling events. I do know that many churches do have sign-up sheets. Also many churches will work to arrange carpools if the need exceeds their vans or buses. Churches can also rent facilities and share resources with other churches of similar beliefs and values. School buses do not have extra poles, railings, and hand grips that are available on public transit buses. They do not have restrooms like coach buses. It’s great to extend invitations to believers and guests. However, while this is a good cause, public safety cannot be compromised. It may be good to have a written policy that can be explained in fliers handed to children and their parents. These also get lost. It’s important for bus drivers and their assistants to call in advance. If overcrowding may be an issue on a particular week, the bus driver and assistants may be able to contact the church to arrange for additional assistance with transportation, or perhaps rent a facility closer to that neighborhood for an outreach or work with other churches.

  137. Hi Bob,

    Wow, appreciated your comment. You summed up this “legalistic” attitude very nicely.

    After having been isolated and programmed in this legalistic mess for so long, its at times difficult to stop seeing the world in this light. What I’m saying is, I must conciously work at not falling back into this legalism that I have been taught/indoctrinated in since I was a child. This seperation teaching in the IFB is just huge! And the problem is, just as you mentioned above, it leads to all kinds of other abuses. I mean where does it stop? You know Satan loooooves it! Using one of the oldest sins in the book, PRIDE – Hey we’re seperated and just alittle better than the average bear.

    Anyway want to thank you for the good word you gave today, it truly blessed me. Oh that we would just get our eyes on the Saviour, it will change you!

  138. There is a false teaching called “separation”. You will hear these IFB types talking about being separate or different from the world. There is a true biblical teaching that teaches Christians not to follow the sinful patterns of the world system. Bible doctrine teaches a Christian to follow Christ, to imitate Jesus, and to ultimately be like Jesus Christ in our behavior. Simply put, the goal of a Christian is to become like Jesus Christ.
    The false teaching focuses on outward behavior such as what you wear, where you go, and what you listen to. The first problem with this teaching is that it sets up a false premise for godliness. True godliness is a heart attitude of devotion towards God out of which one wants to do what pleases God. Godliness is a heart attitude that demonstrates itself in “fruit of the Spirit”. False teachers encourage their people to adopt outward behaviors that substitute for true godliness and christlikeness.
    The second problem is that these “standards” become totally focused on self. Instead of looking to Christ and His example, and imitating His character, the focus is on MY standards and MY being different from the world. No longer is the goal to be like Christ, it becomes MY own effort to be religious.
    In the case of these false teachers, they twist the Scriptures. The true meaning of the bible is lost on them as they pursue their own agenda. It is not that they don’t use the Scripture, they misuse it to promote a false godliness, or ” a form of religion” if you like.
    You will notice how often these “standards” they emphasize so zealously are not even taught in the bible. That should be a dead give away to anyone who truly desires to follow and honor Christ.

  139. Hi Wanda,

    I’m curious, where in the bible does it say that women are not to wear pants? Also who decides what dishonors Christ? You, your husband, your pastor, your Sunday School teacher?

  140. Wanda,
    You just contradicted yourself. If you believe woman should not wear pants and you should separate yourself from the world, than you are legalistic. You should be more concerned about honoring Christ by rejecting false teaching. You are dishonoring Christ by holding to traditions of men rather than the word of Christ.

  141. Y’all are all wrong. I attend a IFB and its not legalism. We believe in seperation, if you read your Bible than you know that women are to not wear pants, and we are to not listen to anything that will dishonor Christ. But what do I know ,I’ve been a brainwashed “victim” for the past 5 yrs. LOL

  142. Keith,
    Welcome back into the freedom that Christ gave us. I am glad you had the courage to stand up to a bully pastor.
    We are followers of Christ, not men. These kinds of churches often function as a means for people to live a religious lifestyle, without the benefit of a real close relationship with Jesus Christ. When people within these churches demonstrate the ability to think in a biblical and independent way, they are no longer useful in their religious system.

  143. IFB churches and their pastors only 3 interest in you. 1. Total authority over your life. 2. How much money they can get out of your wallet. 3. How much work they can get out of your ass. My wife and I were members for three years and that is all it seems that the church wanted out of us. They have no interest in a person’s well being whatsoever. IFB is a collective monster that believes in the thre Ws, Win them, Wet them then Work them. Because I possess high skills with multimedia, leaving the church had been extremely difficult. We attempted two other times and were conned back into the fold. This time around the pastor is not as successful because I caught him red handed being verbally harsh to my wife. Also he preached a sermon with a demonstration that if you don’t go out soul winning you will have blood on your hands, and he had the assistant pastor put his hands in red dye and hold them up as a scary demonstration. He used the passage out of Eziekiel 3, which he took way out of context because it was a message to the prophet to warn Jerusalem that the Babylonians were coming, and the passage is not meant for today’s times. We live in an age where Bibles are everywhere, there’s a church on almost every corner and preaching is both on radio and television 24-7. Therefore, nobody is responsible for another person’s spiritual fate. Several days later after we left a letter stating we’re leaving, he sent us a letter saying were making a huge mistake and we have no scriptural reason/right to leave. Is there a scriptural reason to leave? The answer is no, and you don’t need a scriptural reason to leave a church. I live in America where everyone has the freedom of religious choice. I don’t feel guilty for my decision because I believe that God wants us to be at peace and not be in an environment where we will be manipulated and stresses. Remember this — salvation is for those who want it and not for those that need it.

  144. Alan,

    What’s more amazing is your hypocrisy. I can’t believe you don’t see it. Allow me to illustrate using your own words…

    I feel blessed to have attended an “non-denominational” church for a few months. There I learned just how lost and full of legalism my prior IFB church was. It opened my eyes to how strict I had become with my stunted spiritual growth. I reluctantly attended church once a week at most. Now I attend church 2 to 3 times a week and look forward to the services. I regularly read my Bible and am growing spiritually. None of this would have happened if I was still at my legalistic IFB church where the music was more shallow and traditional then worship, my friends had no problem judging and gossiping and being gluttons, and nobody would notice or care if you didn’t show up at church for a month at a time. In other words, we were not much different than the Pharisees. The Bible calls for us to be different yet many churches now would rather legalize their standards than risk a non-performance based righteousness and corresponding fall in donations.

    I would say to those who feel their non-denominational church is “watered down” to visit other non-denominational churches. The first one I attended was suffocating so we simply left and went searching for another solid preaching church with a better pastor. We went to a couple more that were not watered down at all. We finally settled in at the 4th one we visited which we totally love. The pastor preaches the true undiluted Word of God yet with love and compassion. The congregation is the most genuinely friendly and loving people we have ever met.

    I would encourage you to listen to the sermons from my church and see that you can be loving and compassionate while still upholding the values and morals the Bible instructs us to uphold. The church I attend is Calvary Chapel in Sacramento California and the media at their web site is at http://www.calvarysac.org/

    We are at a time where we need to get closer to God and to his Word. There are some whacky non-denominational churches out there, just like with any other groups. Yet I would say there are far more lost churches of oppressive IFB than other churches. Please pray for guidance and don’t let a bad experience make you stereotype all non-denominational churches.

    So hopefully, with this illustration, you can see just how foolish your way of thinking is.

  145. It’s kind of ironic that I stumbled across this site while looking up a church I attended for a brief period that was an IFB church I would consider oppressive. Yet my post is in defense of my current IFB church.

    I feel blessed to have attended an “oppressive” church for a few months. There I learned just how lost and watered down my prior church was. It opened my eyes to how complacent I had become with my stunted spiritual growth. I reluctantly attended church once a week at most. Now I attend church 2 to 3 times a week and look forward to the services. I regularly read my Bible and am growing spiritually. None of this would have happened if I was still at my feel good non-denominational church where the music was more show than worship, my friends had no problem going out and having drinks at a bar, and nobody would notice or care if you didn’t show up at church for a month at a time. In other words, we were not much different than the rest of the world. The Bible calls for us to be different yet many churches now would rather lower their standards than risk lowering attendance and the corresponding fall in donations.

    I would say to those who feel their IFB church is “oppressive” to visit other IFB churches. The first one I attended was suffocating so we simply left and went searching for another solid preaching church with a better pastor. We went to to a couple more that were not oppressive at all. We finally settled in at the 4th one we visited which we totally love. The pastor preaches the true undiluted Word of God yet with love and compassion. The congregation is the most genuinely friendly and loving people we have ever met.

    I would encourage you to listen to the sermons from my church and see that you can be loving and compassionate while still upholding the values and morals the Bible instructs us to uphold. The church I attend is Liberty Baptist Church in Southern California and the media at their web site is at http://libertybaptistchurch.org/media2010.html

    We are at a time where we need to get closer to God and to his Word. There are some whacky IFB churches out there, just like with any other groups. Yet I would say there are far more lost churches of other denominations than oppressive IFB churches. Please pray for guidance and don’t let a bad experience make you stereotype all IFB churches.

  146. Katie,
    I think you asked some excellent questions! It is puzzling to me how religious people have such a pretense of following Christ and really knowing Him, and yet they can’t even answer basic questions from the Bible.

  147. RH,

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds pretty much like you are saying that if you don’t go to an IFB then you aren’t really a Christian – That’s the very definition of a Pharisee.

    Can you please tell us where in the Bible it says that if a person doesn’t attend an IFB church then they are not “believing everything in the Bible” or trying to make the Bible “fit the way they want to live”? Can you please show us where in the Bible it says that if a person doesn’t attend an IFB then they are “obeying the flesh” or not “being obedient”?

  148. You have got to be kidding me. Pharisees?? I think everyone who has a problem with the FIB Church should take a look at themselves and compare themselves to what is taught in the Bible. Do you really believe everything in the Bible or only what fits the way you want to live?? Are you liveing the way God tells us to or the way you want to?? Are you obeying God or your flesh??

    If you are having problems with being obedient to what God says and living the way you want than who is the Pharisee?? Study your Bible and see for yourself.

  149. if there is anything i have learned in being in this type of church my whole life, its that if someone does not believe like us they are outcast. Anyone that goes or did go to IFB can agree with me on that. If a family leaves the church they leave because ” they are dropping thier standards and cant handle the preaching”. Not because they are tired of all the judging and not being involved because of the simple fact of the women in the family wear pants All who0 read this knows this is true. If a family never gets involved they are ridiculed, if they never sing or wana help its because they are backsliders, If they never give a testimoy its because “apearently God isnt doing anything in thier lives they wana share”. testmoniy time has become brag on me time. Prayer request has become who can tell the worst story or has more poeple they pray for a chance to be heard. These things are not right. The focus has been taken of God and put on standards works and who can out do who. My words are strong but anyone that goes to IFB churches can tell you its true. We have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, and yes give to missions, but do nothing for our community accept visitaion on one night of the week. THIS IS NOT BIBLE. We were put on the earth to do two things. Praise GOD and reach others, but mostly we worship our works and give God the praisee when something good happens but when something bad happens its a “trail”. It may be a trail or it could be the simple fact that bad things happen

  150. A show is a place we go for entertainment for a shoft period of time, maybe an hour or two. It might be a play or concert or dance performance, perhaps even a sport. When it ends, we leave and go on with our lives.
    There are lights. There is music. Sometimes there is dance. There is often a story. Often it hopefully ends in a curtain call and applause. in sports, we hope to see the atheltes of our choice win or at least give the game or their event their best performance. Then the event ends. We go on to our private lives. They go off the stage.

    i think we expect something different with our worship service though in the pastors and staff. The saem is true for a college or m ission board or even a congregation. Should we expect t his from our civilian authorities or celebrities? Probably. Should we expect this of our civilian teachers? Probably. But we do expect this in the people who are our teachers especially in the church and at a higher standard. We don’t just expect preaching or storytelling but we expect the lives of those we evmulate to not only preach and provide an example, but to be people we can honor and look to for advice. We expect these leaders to live the Bible they preach and teach. We don’t expect it to end after the service. We expect this for life or at least the time that they are in power in a specific congregation, mission board, college or university, social outreach, or another venue. We don’t want to just see preaching. We need to see a reason why the suggestions work. We want these people to be led by God. So we expect consistency, not just a staged performance. I realize entertainment exists within the church. It’s forcus should not just be for feeling good or having a great time but for instruction. An athlete seeks a coach that has a proven technique rather than an amateur. An athlete is concerned about safety and the maintenance of the equipment. An athlete wants to see proven results. If the coach has proven mastery, the athlete doesn’t follow just cause it’s a command, but because the athlete sees the coaching is genuine in a way that promotes the athlete. Thes same may be true for a performer. In secular entertainment, the focus is not necessarily on God. in Christianity, it’s supposed to be on God and the Bible. It’s also supposed to be a relationship. I do like radio and TV but over years, do we have a sermon or some type of theatrical production? We have to watch the leaders not only when they perform at the pulpit or in the choir or some public venue where they are being recorded, but also in their regular lives off the stage. We want a leader who connects with the people. We don’t want that connection to stop after the performance whereas in a theatrical production and sometimes even in sports, it does. The same migiht be true for a cultural performance. i’m not saying performances are bad. I’m just saying that we don’t want our preaching to be nothing more than a public performance with all the technology recording the show.

  151. If we just want to do what we please, why would we go to church in the first place? Why would we stay? There are other places where people can socialize if they want no restrictions? If we want to just hear what we want to hear, that’s very easy to do also and one doesn’t need church to do that either. It’s true one can find extremists in fundamentalism as well as extremism on the liberal. it’s true that there are people who are crazy almost everywhere and that almost every organization that has humans has one.

    There was a time in society when many did go to church. Also there was a time in society where the person who didn’t go to church was the exception and no t the rule. That’s changed. Now it’s voluntary. Also people move around today more than they did in the previous generation. Attendance and membership are voluntary for adults. A person might visit church for a special occasion. I am not talking about the person who goes once or twice a year for holidays or a special occasion or party. i am talking about people who attend or are members on a more regular basis. If people go to church when it’s no t required, I believe that they are seeking. This also includes those who go to smaller Bible Studies. This would also include people who study the Bible in the privacy of their homes or a library, etc…

    Actually I do believe many do want guidance. They want to make sense of the world. They want to praise. They do want to fellowship with others sho share their beliefs and views. They want to reach out to others. Many who are parents or grandparents understand that there is a need for correction. Any athlete who is successful understands there is a need for correction. I’m not convinced we’re asking for a society that has no correction. I do believe correction can be done in a way that’s constructive and brings hope and encouragement and growth. It’s also correction that’s universally practiced within a group. In what we call “gray areas”, while i am not as strict as i was in the past when I did attend an IFB church, i still do believe that there are principles in the New Testament that guide what we do in thought and action. Church is not the only place we have restrictions. We have restrictions at schools, homes, and in other public areas of our lives. Children might not always want correction but I even think children u nderstand the need for correction and intervention. I do believe there is a difference between criticism done in concern and humility and in respect over criticism done in a bullying manner or exclusive way that shuts out any creativity. on the other hand, i grew up when everything was being questioned. I’m not convinced either that the absence of criticism really fosters creativity either. We think of discipline in a negative way. It do esn’t have to be negative. And it can be done in a very positive way with a good teacher or coach.
    What is the focus of the criticism. In the Christian life, it’s supposed to be God. Sometimes though some situations occur where a single person seems to be the source3 of criticism and where one person holds oneself more esteemed than others and forgets one is answering to even a higher power. If a person is in a position where one cannot ask questions or freely express one’s opinion without fearing ridicule or excommunication in some form or another or even bullying, then I have some question whether that person is truly independent and i’ve noticed in some situations that while a congregation may claim to be independent, if the person has to answer to a higher human authority such as a leader of a school, then that congregation is not really independent if all the converts are pushed to attend a few specific schools at the exclusion of others. That person is just answering to others trained to make sure that everyone thinks and acts the same way and the one who dares deviate is subject to severe consenquences. This would include members of the board who are also students as well as deacons, elders, and other ministers and lay personnel within a church and perhaps a faculty or administration of a school. it’s assured that everything will reamin the same and that no other dialogue will or can exist. That’s not how we define “independence.” 44

  152. A lot of people like to listen to what is called “easy listening” on the radio. This contains music that’s soft and mellow but it also includes genres such as rock-n-roll, rhythm and blues, jazz, and country western as well as occasional opera and musicals, even patriotic music and Christian music. It includes other genres as well. People don’t always realize what they are listening to if the music is not from their time, especially if it’s more than 50 years old.

    Actually there wasn’t a ban on secular music because they did play music from some of the very popular well loved musicals in their concerts.

    Instrumentation just means that the music does not have the lyrics included, but if it’s rock with the lyrics, it’s still rock without the lyrics. The same is true for secular music.

    Remember, in the secular world, money becomes a major issue. The question is not what the viewers believe necessarily but how much money a particular artist can make for a production company with sales. The same is true for TV programming. When I was young, a cable channel had 15 channels. Now we have over 300 and in some systems, over 1,000. I think one can find what’s appropriate according to one’s beliefs and values. We also have CD boomboxes where we can go and listen to what we like. And now they came out with zappers.
    There is also a switch to turn the TV or radio on or off. The same is true for the computer and internet. And there are blocks for the internet.

    Personally, I do wish that I had an option about whether or not I wanted to watch previews on DVDs. I like the ones that have them separated as special features as opposed to the DVDs where one has to watch them just to get to the selection mode. Sometimes I want to see trailers. And sometimes i don’t. A good family movie can be preceeded by a trailer a parent might not want a child to see.

    I do think we have a lot more choices. But organizations need to be consistent with their policies. If they do have outright bans, they need to make sure that the organizations are actually following the regulations with the bans. If not, maybe it’s time to review and modify the policies so they will be consistent with their preaching.

  153. Usually, the groups that claim to ban dance are specifically complaining about what is called “close” or “pair” dancing, not necessarily all forms of dance. The bans or restrictions are emphasized because the organizations want to discourage what encourages or resembles sexual forplay in that the hands touch private parts of the body or the body slides together in the movements. I can understand an outright ban or a restriction in this type of activity at group functions although i am not opposed to it myself. If it is tolerated, leaders can demonstrate what is acceptable prior to opening the dance floor.

    Calisthenics in itself is not dancing. Marching itself is not dancing. Carrying a flag or decorative rifle or school banner in a parade is not necessarily dancing. Screaming and holding pom poms is not necessarily dancing.

    When music is added and the movements become rhythmic and contain fancy footwork, graceful balletic arm movements, balancing poses, twirls, spins, acrobats, mounts, leaps, and are done in a routine either individuially or as a group in precision, then it becomes dance. This also includes holding streamers, batons, umbrellas, pom poms, and even balls. Even gymnastics which is a sport has a balletic component in its floor=ex and balance beam routines. There are also traditional folk dances where only the hands touch and the body really doesn’t come in close contact, but while these dances may not be seductive, they are not necessarily Christian either. I have no opposition to “Christian choreography” where the dances are done to glorify God. I have no opposition to classical toepoint or waltzes. If an organization has what I described in this paragraph, then they have dance. If they ban dance and have these examples of dance, it is confusing to everyone and also looks hypocritical to anyone who has any background in recognizing or studying dance. I think it would be more honest to restrict dance. If dance is totally forbidden, then it should include a ban on all kinds of dance.

  154. One of the characteristics of a cult is that the people do not handle criticism well. Rather than deal with the issue that is raised, they will often attack the person who is bringing a critique. Instead of considering the critique in a biblical manner, you will see them hitting back with things like, ” you are worldly”, “you don’t like good preaching”, or ” you just want to live like the world”. It is unfortunate when people stop thinking in a way that is independent of the group.

  155. Jamie,

    Your letter was so full of grace and understanding I just don’t understand how anyone would not want to worhip with you. So much sweetness and charm and longsuffering to others that are not on the same blessed spiritual plane as you. Thank you so much for coming down to our lowly level if only for this brief time.

    Greg

  156. I have a question for everyone that is so negative toward the IFB…what exactly did you want to do that you couldn’t do? Did you want to dress and look like the world? go to the movies and smoke and drink and listen to christian rock music? I am not really sure what hurt you so badly……why the anger in the teachings of the church to stay away from the world and as the bible tells us “all appearance of evil” I am not really clear on how you seem to be able to grow spiritually by getting away from the IFB….when they seem to be guiding you in the right direction….of course that is assuming that they are telling you to spend time reading the bible for yourself….some of these cases seem to be extreme and that is unfortunate. I have not experienced some of that, but I do relate to some of it. As far as the “horror” stories of not listening…those are not probably scare tactics, but actual warnings….trying to keep you safe…but it’s true, everyone has to learn for themselves. But, how can you condemn pastors for preaching the truth of the word of God. I think that you should be taking a look at the “liberal” preachers that say you can do whatever you want without consequences (because there are consequences for our actions). Sure, you can do what ever you want. Most of this sounds like people that were looking at the world and wanted to participate. I know people on both sides of the fence. I know there are fakes on both sides, but just because someone is coming to the IFB and faking it doesn’t mean that is the way the church is teaching them….you have the same fakes on the other side….BUT….maybe it’s OK there…so that’s the difference? I don’t know. I personally am sick of this “EVERYTHING GOES” teaching that’s going on today and sucking in more and more people. And it truly is destroying lives….PRAISE God for the Men and Women that stand up for the Gospel and don’t water it down……as long as it is written in God’s word then it is truth. Calling these preachers Pharasees is just plain crazy……..well, maybe your experience was extreme. I read most of them but not all. I just know that the bible talks about in the last days people will not be able to handle sound doctrine and will look for a tickling of their ears……or just whatever makes them feel good. Well, in my opinion you are JUDGING the IFB …so you are just as bad.

  157. Choreography is defined as the arrangement of dance movements in dictionaries I have used. That includes definitely the hands and the feet and often the entire body since posture is very important as is eye contact.
    In respect to public theatrical performances, those attract local critics. Also if you have members of the arts coummunity who are professional performers who probably do have a dance background, it looks very hypocritical to anyone with a dance background when a particular institution forbids dance and replaces it with what they call “Christian choreography.”

    Now I have no objection to Christian choreography in the sense that it keeps dance more traditional and modest so it does not resemble sexual forplay. I think that’s the goal they are trying to accomplish. A set of chaperones and adult supervision, and maybe even chaperoned buses and carpooling may help to prevent certain types of less desired behavior from occuring in church or school settings.

    Privately, parents need to know the attitudes of the arts instructors prior to sending their children to classes. This is the same for people who are adults who are considering taking classes on their own as well as those enrolled in dance aerobic programs at fitness centers and even and definitely modeling school. It’s important to enroll with teachers who not only know the beliefs and values of the families they are teaching, but those who will respect concerns about dance, costumes, and makeup, even acting on the stage.
    Some do. Others don’t. This is extremely important in the selection of any college or unnivrsity or perhaps even some type of dance group on the high school level or a private group. Dance, music, and arts are mediums. I don’t see these same colleges and universities prohibiting music or art as a whole although they restrict it. I think the same approach could be taken for dance.

  158. I have no objection about secular dance performances such as the Nutcracker ballet at Christmas. I love classical ballet although I was taking gymnastics by the time my teachers offered toe pointe. I have seen more traditional ballet which is either performed by more traditional ballet conservatories or gymnasts and figure skaters as well as Christian ballet companiees who minister with Biblical themes. I think this is more what I had in mind.

    Footlose was a very well made movie but after watching Ariel, by the end of the movie, I understood the minister’s point of view who was the father in that movie. She gave him every reason to be concerned and forbid dance.

    I think dance, like art and music are mediums and can be done in ways that are glorifying to God or ways that are seedy and invite sin. i think if somebody is thinking about studying dance, one should learn a lot about the beliefs and values of the instructors at any particular school or guild or theater prior to taking clcasses. It’s often necessary to take classes so the instructors can observe the habits prior to a major performance. It’s not always enough just to have talent. They want to see technique, endurance, and ability to follow instructions as well as creativity. I realize some are able to learn by watching movies or TV though. I did take dance when I was a child. There were four years when I stopped and then I resumed. I can understand restrictions with dance. i think they should be upfront and provide restrictions. I know when i am seeing dance because i had instructions as a child. I would rather the preachers define Christian choreography as a restricted from of dance than to entirely forbid dance. I can understand restricted dance in respect to ballet and gymnastics. I took ballet, tap, and jazz. I can understand concnern about costumes also. But parents and students need to tell their iinsturctors when they have those convictions.

  159. Pam,

    I struggle myself with expectations others have set for me in addition to expectations and dreams I have had for myself whether or not they were realistic then or can be pursued now. I struggle with an appetite that worked when I was a youth and was easily able to do a whole lot of physical excercise to keep up with burning the extra calories. Well I’m mid-age, not quite a senior citizen yet, and things have changed. i can’t meet those demands. I have to rely on the therapeutic DVDs rather than the gymnastic coaches and ballet teachers.
    I should add those danceaerobic instructors who are in outstanding physical condition whereas a pushup would be a major accomplishment for me. My older sister had sent me some fitness DVDs and t hen I found some of my own that met my current health situation which restricts what I can do. I still am working on t he motivation aspect now that I actually have the treadmill. I know people have lost a lot of weight just using the treadmill. I have an excercise bike too.

    Sometimes things change throughout our lives and we can’t fulfill what others hoped for us or what we hoped for ourselves whether or not these things were realistic or scriptural or not. We can only look to God to work with us for what we are now and pray and try to follow his word. I love the song Day by Day from the musical, Godspell. I love the song, By My Side too from the same musical. God accepts us for who we are.

    When I feel really down, I sometimes listen to Psalms also. I read them in the Bible. I also have a DVD of psalms sung to music accompanied by acoustic guitar. I also love to listen to the lyrics of traditional hymns. Sometimes I just turn the lights off and close my eyes. I do listen to contemporary music. Music is a way I destress myself. So is dance.

    I cried when I watched the movie, Footloose cause I understood both sides of the conflict. I identified with that movie very much. I also understand why ministers are very concerned and sometimes forbid dance, but I don’t hold that conviction anymore to that degree anyway.

  160. Pam,

    Jesus responded to the cries of those with physical ailments including leprosy, persecutors such as the Apostle Paul; members of the Pharisees including Nicodemus; women and children, tax collectors, the skeptical Thomas, the denying Peter, and basically anyone who came to him for help. When you feel discouraged, just remember this. I love to read John 17. I love to read any scripture which refers to either the parables of the Lost Sheep or Prodigal Son. He deals with us at the time and the place we come to him. He asks us to come to him with our burdens and also to let him direct us.

    I know others love to take a walk in nature and/or listen to music. He’s not comparing us to anyone, but it’s easy for individuals to compare themselves to others just by human nature.

    I love the song from the musical, Walk On. It starts … When you walk through a storm, keep your head upu high… The Musical is Carousel. The song is called Walk On. Another song I really love is Climb Every Mountain, from the Musical, The Sound of Music.

  161. A friend wrote this (link below) This say really well!

    Leaning In
    This comes from the finding-the-truth-in-strange-places department of my life. If you want to know why God often speaks to us in a still small voice, I know of no better explanation than this, by a chef and former NFL football player:

    If you want your kids to listen to you, don’t yell at them. Whisper. Make them lean in. My kids taught me that and I do it with adults now.
    Mario Batali, in Esquire

    Great advice for parents! Even better for us to understand why God doesn’t scream his plan and purpose into our lives. It’s an invitation not a demand! Yes, it takes a bit to learn to listen to that voice and give it the place in your life that it deserves, but what he wants most is for us to lean in and enjoy him, not just get his wisdom.

    My sheep know my voice, Jesus said. It’s not about hearing first; it’s always about relationship!

    http://lifestream.org/blog/2010/10/21/leaning-in/

  162. Christine: the KJV is a TRANSLATION of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Since the time of the TRANSLATION of 1611, many and more reliable, manuscripts have been discovered that greatly add to the task of modern TRANSLATIONS. The KJV is God’s Word as much as the NIV or NASB is God’s Word. Have you ever read the translator’s preface to the KJV? In it, they admit they are mere TRANSLATORS, doing their job as best as they can, but not perfectly as no one is perfect.

    Which whole chapters and verses are missing from the NIV? One could just as well say they were erroneously added by the KJV translators. When you start with the presumption that the KJV is the only inerrant translation and any deviation from it is a “perversion”, you are assuming something that God never said or intended. Only the original manuscripts – those actually written by Paul, Mark, etc. – are without error. Every other version of the Bible we have has some small errors or inconsistencies that have built up over the last few thousand years of Bible history through manual copying and translation. However, God is faithful and good and we can tell for certainty that 98% of what we have, both Old and New Testaments, is what the original writers intended to write.

    Christine, come out of the brain-washed KJVO cult.

    Read James White’s “The KJV Only Controversy”.

  163. Christine,
    I am glad that you are in a good IFB church. I know there are good ones out there, people only need to be careful about some of the bad ones. I personally know about the cult-like characteristics in some of these churches. One such IFB church helped split-up my marraige, and now my wife is lost in legalism.
    There is nothing wrong with the King James version of the Bible. I believe it is a fine translation. However, a translation is all that it is. The problem I have, is with people who say that” the KJV is something more than a translation of the Bible, so it should be the only one we use”. There is a lot that can be said about why the newer translations are better in some ways, but I would just point out that God never told anyone to use the King James version. It is a fine translation I believe, but that is all. Just don’t make a “new teaching” by insisting that the KJV is the gold standard for Bible translations. By “new teaching” I mean adding to Scripture.

  164. Christine,

    First off its sounds like you are in a very unique IFB church, and it sounds like a very good church, so praise the Lord for that. You are also right that the KJV translation is much older than the NIV translation, and by the way the KJV is a very good translation. What folks sometimes get confused about is the work of translation. The manuscripts that are used to translate the NIV are hundreds of years older than the manuscripts used to translate the KJV. When the catholic priest (Erasmus) put together the greek new testament that the KJV translators used to give us the KJV they only had about (6) manuscripts, modern translators have thousands of manuscripts, some going all the way back to the 3rd century. The manuscripts used to translate the KJV go back no further than the 10th century. So many people believe that the older manuscripts are better, because they are closer to when the events actually happened.

    There are only minor differences in the reading of any “good” translatiion and there are no major doctrinal differneces. I prefer to study and read from the newer translations because I can understand them alot better than the KJV.

    Hope I’ve been able to answer your questions, and God bless you as you pursue His will in your life.

    In Christ,
    Greg

  165. DEAR GREG:

    the KJV was around waaaaaayyyyy BEFORE the NIV…so it can not leave anything “OUT”….the NIV..ADDS words that were not originally THERE…(yes, it can be argued that its for better understanding) Also, as Mark419 stated, there are things MISSING from the NIV…(which again, came AFTER the KJV)… there are LITERALLY whole verses and chapters in the KJV MISSING from the NIV… once I compared the 2 and saw that myself, the truth was obvious to me that I was missing out by only using the NIV. If we are to take and believe the WHOLE bible as God-breathed fact…then why does the NIV remove stuff and see it as ok? How do you explain that?

  166. ok…so, this sure sounds very odd to me. We attend a IFB church and have for awhile now. Yes, they believe you should really only use the KJV becuause that way everyone is on the same thing, due to EVERYONE having their own bible out there now. But there is no dress code… I wear jeans and a t shirt even. There is no condemnation, etc. Everything is scriptually based. Our church is loving. Always gives GOD the glory when people are saved. Our pastor even prays in at the beginning of every service for God to hid him behind the cross, for no one to see him, but Jesus etc… Our church is growing astronomically and always has. A lot of these steriotypes Ive been reading about IFB churches, I have NEVER seen at our church. Women cut their hair, there are men with long hair- my son even- no one bats an eye about who is wearing what, etc. The focus is on Jesus.

    Music?! Um, my sunday school even has a ROCK BAND. We are constantly chatting about how great this or that song on the Christian radio stations are, etc. (including those stated IFB supposedly is against listed above.)

    Also, the church doesnt just focus on getting people “saved” and then leaving them like so many Ive come across b/f They help you every step of the way. I have tried many, MANY different denimonations and they each had their own weird “quircks”…. Our IFB church seems much more “NON denominational” than any church Ive tried that called themselves that.

    Now, I did know a woman who sais she went to a “IFB church” once…she wore only dresses and skirts, never cut her hair, her husband RULED her, and they even lost their 1st baby during childbirth because they believed C-Sections were WRONG…they let their baby die instead of allowing the emergency Csection… THAT, that maybe a CULT, yes… BUT They IFB church I am at now…it is NOTHING like that at all as I stated…

    I believe there are pastors overtaken by sin, greed, etc, in EVERY denomination, that end up hurting people by trying to bend the truth with their own beliefs… BUT not just “IFB” churches…and not all of them… I think that by saying the “IFB churches” are like that, you are scaring people away for salvation in general…

  167. Mark,

    1) In Jude verse 25, the NIV says that God gets glory “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The KJV leaves this phrase out.

    2) In Acts 4:25, the KJV says that God spoke through the mouth of David. The NIV says that God “spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David.” The KJV leaves out the Holy Spirit.

    3) In Acts 16:7 the KJV says, “the Spirit suffered them not.” The NIV says, “the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” “Of Jesus” is left out of the KJV.

    4) In Philippians 1:14, “of God” is left out of the KJV. The NIV says the “word of God.” The KJV simply says “word.”

    5) In Colossians 2:9, the KJV says “in Him.” The NIV says “in Christ”

    To force people to conform to one translation of the bible is an added or extra-biblical doctrine which the bible does not teach, to do so is a grievous error.

    In Christ,
    Greg

  168. Mark,
    No one here is labeling all independents. I think we all agree that there are some good fundamental baptist churches.
    What we are pointing out, is the false teaching and the cultish way in which many of these churches operate. They insist, for example, on using the King James translation. These churches tend to be authoritarian and use authority in a carnal and unbiblical manner. They raise their traditions to the level of Bible doctrine thus nullifying the rightful place of the Word of God. They tend to be very legalistic ( keeping rules that focus on outward appearance without addressing the heart). All this adds up to a “form of religion”. Independent Fundamental Baptists haven’t proved to to be very good at dealing with sin in their churches. Although, they have become experts at covering it up. Clean up your own mess, then come and help me with mine.

  169. I think this is ridiculous to label all independants as such you have. Independant Baptist churches go all the way back to the beginning since the church was established. WE are bible believing christians that follow the word of God and for people today to have comfort in their sins is the whole problem today with churches. The King James Bible is Clear on the Wording and it hasnt been reproduced like all the other bibles we now have. ever tried to drink a glass of wine with water in it? I know Catholics who have been saved by reading romans. I can attest to the king james because its very accurate. For instance, the NIV has several verses and names and the blood taken out of it. its watered down and the Word of God is what judges people. When someone feels attacked at their sin, they attack the church instead of recognizing their wickedness and repenting. I dont know many pastors who are abusive or controlling. The pastor is to be a spiritual advisor only!! he is to give advice based on Gods word, and that is it! ive been to several churches and they look more like the world than a holy house of God. Bringing in Rock bands, and taking out the hYmnals and not preaching the word of God. but how can they hear without a preacher;. Look up the word Preach and tell me what it says, to raise your voice. AS christians we are to rebuke sin where ever it is.most churches these days dont preach sin and separation. How do you reach the lost sinner if you look just like him??? hes not going to see anything different in you to change his ways. we are an example and if people nowadays get offended. well tough!!! its called Conviction!!!

  170. Hey Allen,

    Yes friend you have found a site that will minister to your hurting soul.

    I can see that you have been hurt badly after your years of dedicated service. One thing I would reccomend is to work through your anger and pain and work toward forgiveness for those that have hurt you. If you think about it the people in charge are just regurgitating the things that they have been taught. Its kinda like the kid that grows up in an abusive household, often times he grows up to be an abuser himself, that’s all he knows!

    Let me say I can relate to the financial part as well, they didn’t get me for as much as they got you for, yet I still felt very taken advantage of. As I started to study about tithing and giving (much good info on this site) I began to get God’s real message on giving and so the last couple of years there I started to direct my money to missionary efforts instead of the “Storehouse” oh my, some folks have got alot of explaining to do when they see God face to face.

    Friend God bless you, don’t give up on the Lord, He is faithful and just. My last comment reminds me that I too will stand before a just God and I will also be judged for the things I have done in this body.

    Keep on keeping on for Christ. I would be interested to hear more of your story when you’re up for it.

    God Bless,
    Greg

  171. This site is such a blessing! Thank you bro for putting it up…the dogs at my old church (Lighthouse Baptist, San Diego) would probably think we’re communing and doing the work of devils here in posting on this site…they messed me up pretty bad as well.

    You guys are right…it’s a priesthood of the believer and we should all be guided by the book and the holy spirit but these dogs turn you into twice the child of satan that they are…After 5 years of blind obedience and brainwashing the dogs still think I’m not saved…the director of the bible institute actually had me walk down the isle again for salvation…after 5 years of being in the church or doing ministry over 30 hours a week!…can you believe that? the dog probably still doubts i’m saved.

    Anyway, doesn’t the bible somewhere tells us to call them by name? I don’t have a problem naming some of the Dogs and Jesuit Priests at my old church…or is that ‘having a bad spirit’?

    If it werent’ for sites like this I would think they are right…that i’m just some rebellious child of satan that won’t submit to the all knowing, all powerful ‘man of God’ who talks to God (Ex Cathedra)

    The jerks not only left me messed up but defrauded me financially on top of that over $100 grand…and they still call me a devil!

    Go figure!

  172. Amanda,

    I’ve never heard of Phil Kidd, and I don’t know how familiar you are with this site, but it sounds like you’ve been damaged by an abusive IFB church. Believe me most of us hear have similar tales.

    Your final paragraph concerns me though. It sounds as though you may be prepared to throw the baby out with the bathwater, please don’t! There are wonderful churches all over this country, that do a great work and minister to hurting hearts just like yours. Our God is wonderful, and yes men and women will be held responsible for harmful things they have done to others.

    Please continue to seek after God with your whole heart, read His Word in a good translation, and I am confident He will restore you and your faith.

    In Christ,
    Greg

  173. Has anyone heard of the preach Phil Kidd??
    He really is a good preacher, but there are a LOT of things wrong with what he teaches. He actually seems to have lightened up in the past few years, but when I was little and went to the Independent Baptist church I did, he was almost crazy. And so was my pastor. You have no idea what went on in that church. It was ridiculous and continued to get worse every service.
    And my roommate used to go to Pensacola Christian as did many of my other friends. Along with Clearwater Christian, Crown, Hyles-Anderson, and Liberty University (which is actually one of the more liberal schools).
    The things Christianity and religion altogether has come to is just absurd. The leaders and blind followers have allowed it to become a monstrous heartache for most, not to mention an excuse to slaughter humans of opposing views. That goes for religion as a whole.

  174. John,

    When people embrace the obviously false idea of inspired bible translation, that embracing indicates a foundational rejection of the original words God preserved.

    The original words are preserved in aggregate, as Bob alludes to. Psalms 12:6 Refer to “God’s Words”, not a translator’s! Since God is perfect, so, as his “own words” they don’t need further “refining” by a translator or anyone else! So this business about perfect translations is near-blasphemous!

    God gets it right the 1st time. So we but need to learn “His Words”, which are indeed perfectly preserved in aggregate, and because in “aggregrate”, testable, not just in one manuscript, but in them all, including the textus receptus.

    As Christ Himself said “My words shall not pass away” these (words) were not spoken in english. So the (words) that are His, are “NOT” in english. You kjver’s still awake? It’s ok to translate, so long as you compare the translation to the Words God preserved, since only those words will never pass away.

    I wish I could claim credit for writing the above, but except for a few embellishments of my own, I picked this up from “The KJV Only Debate Blog” but it expresses my opinion of the matter perfectly.

    Kjver’s love your translation, preach from it, follow it, believe it it God’s Word in 17th century english. But whatever you do don’t make the mistake of calling it God’s only preserved word in english. In other words don’t hold an exclusive-allegiance-to-one-revision-of-one-edition-of-one-17th century-anglican-translation-of-the-bible-into-elizabethan-english-ism.

    Because He Lives,
    Greg

  175. I left an IFB KJO church several years ago where the pastor was the owner of the church building and the land it sat on. He was the money counter, the song leader, the primary soloist, and he and his wife were the church board. If you had any concerns about anything doctrinal, you were considered out of line if you questioned him. It was his way or the highway, despite God’s rules about this kind of thing in Titus 1. This man bashed all other churches and anything/anyone else that was not KJO or IFB. His church what the only real church in town. Sadly, he has run off several people and families since I left, and some of these people have gone back to living like the unsaved. I only hope they do not blame God for what this hireling did.

    Thank you for putting up this site!

  176. Im sorry for any of you that you have had a bad experience with Baptist people or churches. I admire all of you that you got out of those situations that you were in but I as a Baptist Preacher have not in anyway judged any of Gods children for any of their descisions, I belive and teach out of the Bible, I choose to use The King James Bible that was what i grew up listening to in a Methodist church and thats what i am familiar with. I learned at a young age that it doest matter where or what kind of church you attend there are going to be bad apples its like children in school there will always be some that will think they are better than others and some that will shun you for what you do or belive. I am yet a young man at age 28 and hopefully have many years to live and learn and teach others. One thing that i would like all to remember, That a unrully tongue can prais God and curse man that was created in the likness of God but this should not be so Thank you all for your time and GOD BLESS YOU no matter what denomination you are or what bible you read God still loves you

  177. I want to make people aware of a dictator, nutcase pastor you must avoid. He is proud, arragant, slick, suave, mean, explosive with a short fuse, and most everything this site talkes about. This puffed up with pride, brutish lording pastor is named Dr. Gerald MCKelroy, pastor of the Bellmead Calvary Baptist Church, of Waco, Texas. (A side note, do you remember any other cult leaders that came from Waco, Texas?) Here is the church website http://www.bellmeadcalvary.org/. You must avoid this nut case at all costs. Also avoid his clone and assistant Quinton Thompson. These two extremists are a disgrace to our Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Gerald MCKelroy embezzled thousands of dollars from his former church in Oregon on his lavish salary and bennys, for his lavish lifestyle. No one was allowed to know his salary. Thus, he was able to buy lavish horse barns, horses, horse tac, lavish carriages, lavish motorcylces, trucks, lavish boats, 4000 square foot custom built home with acres, and large, lavish motor homes. The man needs to answer how he could afford such lavish items. I’ll tell you how, he bilked the church and people out of millions in the time he was in Oregon. And it disgusted many people how he would ultra critisize his wife and kids in front of anyone, and gossip about church members to other church members. And oppose church members against each other quareling. And he publically said he will “cut their heads off” if anyone opposed him, or tried to get involved in looking into his finances. Listen to some of his sermons online. You’ll agree.

    Read through this website and you will find that it’s a blue print of Dr. Gerald MCKelroy, a graduate of Hyles Anderson College.

    I am proud to be a godly independent Baptist at a godly independent Baptist church, and it sours my stomach that there are such puffed up, caustic, brutish independent baptist churches out there. Folks, not all independent baptist churches should be lumped together with the extreme, cultic, caustic ultra IFB churches. There are extreme nutcases in all walkes of life. Unfortunately, there are bad IFB churches too.

    1. I must mention my post on October 2 was in our opinion from
      our view point. We would like to know Dr. Gerald MCKelroy how your
      church could afford to pay you your luxuries.

  178. Many churches have term limits for their pastors. A new inexperienced seminary graduate or an intirim pastor may have a shorter term. Many times these terms can be renewed when there is a match. Sometimes they can be renewed indefinitely if everyone in a congregation or parish is very happy with the situation. In other churches they can take votes according to established procedures. A lot of times these votes are done by secret ballot too. I’m not referring to these situations. I sometimes wonder with new graduates if they might be able to reassign duties but that may or may not be an option. These are not the churches or situations that I am referring to in my posts.

    I am referring to situations where a leader is almost unremoveable, irregardless of theology or conduct. I’m talking about situations involving votes by hands. I’m talking about situations where any opposition will be squelched before any vote ever takes place. I am talking about situations where the installation of a leader is almost guaranteed as long as the person can preach.

    In many situations, if the reason for leaving is not due to crime or major differences in theology not specified at the time of interview, or contrary to the time of the interview, members need to realize there are living expenses involved as well as the adjustment in moving and other aspects of family life. I don’t think that this should be the first resort and also there should be transitional time. I don’t think it’s right just to throw somebody outside on the street with no shelter, job, food, healthcare, or leave a family homeless even if there is a disagreement unless it is caused by criminal conduct. Sometimes there is just a personality of perhaps some type of disagreement in the way somebody carries things out, but it’s not criminal and it’s not a theological issue. Sometimes it takes the entire congregation, not just an individual. There may also be other reasons ministers leave which have nothing to do with dissatisfaction or problems.

  179. Paul, thanks for the comment about civility. I agree with you. If we can’t be civil with those we disagree with, we probably wouldn’t be able to be civil with anyone.
    And Bob, I disagree with you about the originals. I don’t anyone, anywhere in the world today has a copy of the originals that were penned.

  180. Ali K.
    How would you know what someone’s true home church was?

  181. We were in an IB church in Australia for nine years. Yeah, like many people here say, there are many wonderful people there. However we found that this church prides itself very highly on being more scriptural than all other churches. When I wanted to compare some of their teachings to the Bible and talk to them about it, we were ejected from the church by the Pastor.
    It wasn’t done biblically though, rather the Pastor told me privately that I had to leave the church but publicly told the congregation I had decided to leave! All the people at the church know the disparity in our stories, but are content to let us be kicked out under cover of darkness for wanting to discuss some doctrinal issues. More detail on the issues at ianparkinson.com

  182. I think that Romans 13 does talk about our civic duty to follow the rules of our government as best we can, especially in many instances in this country, where we can much easier than in other parts of the world. I’m not convinced that becoming a Christian gives us total freedom to abondon our laws but when possible to try to work within that context. There are times in anyone’s life, where an individual may need to take “time out” and look inwards and also if there are problems change. Sometimes a sin may affect the way we might serve in the future and other times, it’s just a temporary setback. A minister needs to help rebuild lives that are not perfectly fit puzzles and even lives where parts of the puzzle are missing altogether. Financial support is a different matter. A church does not necessarily have to financially support a Christian who may be involved in ministries a body of believers does not support. I do think a person or church has to becareful not to tear down everything. If a Christian is voluntarily part of the body, a Christian may be obligated to follow the practices of a particular body of believers. If a Christian leaves, especially if one leaves quietly or without a scandal, I don’t see any reason for the practice of blacklisting. If a person asks for financial support, a church body can just say “no.” But I’m not sure a church body can entirely void the person’s previous life. Nor do I think they should. At best, I think a church can just say they don’t financially support a particular ministry. Leave it at that. Sometimes we can vote about leaders. In other situations, one may have to leave. But even there, new opportunities exist. In situations where sin has become public rather than private, sometimes the method or place for service becomes restricted for a period of time, sometimes even permanently.

  183. Do not assume all IFB churches are the same. I’m sure the same can be said of any denomination & anyone whos had a bad experience! but not once have I read here that satan could be using this info to discourage people from theyre true home (church). people take things the wrong way all the time! this is just one persons perspective! its like me saying “all women are the same”…

  184. God will hold us responsible in the Great judgement day. He will look at our hearts. Most people focus on outward appearances. This is especially true in our country just by the nature that we have so much access to public worship and can take so much for granted. We can even have a website like this. That’s the exception and not the rule. God can’t be fooled. I believe he will hold Christians accountable for their exposure and how they respond at the level of their knowledge. I definitely think he will hold those who ban or manipulate the Bible even if we don’t see the judgment we’d like on earth. God determines how long he will keep the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit who leads, convicts, and comfort. Throughout history, what happend when they tried to ban or manipulate the Bible? These were some of the greatest revivals. Also there were some exceptionally strong Christians. I don’t believe we have actually started the tribulation even if we may be heading towards the end times. I’m not going to start guessing names or dates. But I do think we have to be prepared. We have to try to avoid being distracted too.

    I wrestle with what man does to Christianity. I wrestle with myself too cause I have made messes as well as others. I mentioned that I want to see justice. We’d like to see it in our legal system and we’d like to see it in our lifetime. Whether that happens or not is determined by God. If they escape it temporarily, eventually it will come, if not now, in the tribulation and Great Judgement. I don’t always understand why things happen the way they do. A lot of times actually I don’t. This is where and why we have to pray for the discernment of the Holy Spirit. This is why we have to focus on one day at a time. It’s not even just a matter in respect to where we worship but in secular areas as well. A few may be fortunate to participate in salaried full-time Christian service or may be able to have their whole lives around other Christians. Many have to deal with the secular world after all. This is where our lives are supposed to be a light. It may not be in preaching, but in the dispensention of gifts. We think of Gifts in terms of Acts and what goes on in the church. But gifts also include how we treat others outside of the church. The apostles and disciples had secular occupations and they were varied. They came from different backgrounds. In the Old Testament there were a lineage of ordained priests in respect for occupations. It was passed down the family line. That changed with the New Testament.

    Have I had problems now and then. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have any need to write any posts. I wish I didn’t need to write any posts. I am thankful also for those Christians who didn’t have to go through what some of us have. God ordered us to pray for those who hurt us. Even Christ forgave the people who crucified him. He gave forgiveness to those who abandoned him or misunderstood his mijistry. He revealed himself. He had patience we don’t. I know I don’t. When we hit those periods in our life, we have to realize what they are and find some means to change our focus, including reading the scripture, praying, having fellowship with other Christians, and listening to music and reading books. We have to surrender our frustrations to God about others and just concentrate about our own lives and pray that we can serve God how he wants. That is so hard. It doesn’t come naturally at all. But again, this is just where we need the working of the Holy Spirit for healing.

  185. John,
    The original manuscripts have been copied many times. The copies themselves have been copied and translated many times. The result is we now have thousands of copies of books and large sections of the N.T. When we put all the copies together, we can see clearly what the entire N.T. looked like in the original.
    The KJV- only belief has its origin in man and not Scripture. If the KJV were necessary for godliness, God has failed to keep His promise to give us everything we need in Scripture. The Scripture existed long before the KJV and if the KJV disappeared we would be no worse off.

  186. EBR,

    I’ve enjoyed your recent posts. I’ve watched and read what you have written in an effort to get to know you better. You seem to have a good heart. I’m looking forward to getting to know you more down the road. God Bless, Paul

  187. John,
    I’m moving my next post to the KJV page on this site because of its length. I do this with some reservation. It appears that some of the language there is what I would choose to stay away from. I love an honest, civil discussion. It’s not about whose right or wrong. It’s about Him. He’s our goal.

  188. Paul, That’s a very good question. I don’t know exactly what God’s preserved Word was in 1610. I know what I believe about God’s Word today. Did God bless the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, Bishop’s Bible, etc.? I really don’t know. Listen, do the English versions in use today agree? No. Do they disagree in passages with major doctrinal implications (for lack of a better way of putting it)? Yes. Do they come from different familes of manuscripts? Yes. Is God the author of this confusion? No. Is Satan attacking God’s Word? Yes. If Satan is attacking God’s Word, where’s the evidence of it? My belief is that it contained in the newer version which are based on the Catholic/Alexandrian family of manuscripts.
    Bob, I don’t think there are 6,000 copies of the ORIGINAL N.T. manuscripts anywhere in existence today. There are manuscripts that are very, very old, but they are not the ORIGINALS. I don’t think anyone has seen the originals in almost 1900 years. (Just a guess.)

  189. one of the reasons why many Christians purchase reference books, commentaries, Bible studies, and other reference materials is t6o acquire a better idea about how langauges translate as well as differences in cultures. Sometimes one language does not have a word with the same meaning to exactly match a term in another language. I don’t know about how many travel or speak to foreigners to travel to our country. Even in our country and other English speaking countries, we have dialects. And the same word may have more than one meaning or connotation. Also formal language is different from the daily vernacular we use on the street, not necessarily cussing, just common expressions. I’m not talking about bad offensive language. Sometmes even the spelling or pronunciation from one region to another may vary. I’m not talking about errors which are intentional in the text they are intent to deceive. I think many who translate want to get the best possible translation. In common languages, it may be easier. In some of the others, it may be more difficult.

    I didn’t mean to use “curse” to imply foul language. i’m not referring to those words that get people in trouble by this reference. I did mean a feeling of anger and a word that would imply condemnation.

  190. I don’t want to forget the European Reformation either. I gave out that website from Wikepdia Encyclopedia becasuae I felt it was interesting to read. i’m thankful for some of the religious Christian movemeents which occurred at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century as well which had influence on later movements closer to my time.

    God isn’t going to let me point fingers at anyone else at the Final Judgment. i am going to be held responsible for my own life. My redemption comes from his forgiveness and his atonement on the cross and the fact that he rose again. We think of buildings and physical assemblies. God has a different definition.

  191. I looked up History of the Bible and Bible Translations on wikpedia Encyclopedia. It’s an interesting website.
    People forget that at one time in history, only the church and the aristocracy had access to the Bible. The commoners had to depend upon the church or state recognized clergy. Actually women and children didn’t read. People didn’t have access to the Bible unless they were members of the aristocracy. The access we have to the Bibles also was greatly influenced on the Printing Press which we can bless or curse depending on how we feel about particular contemporary translations. In this country, Bibles are easily accessible. The internet gives us the opportunity to find and order translations that may interest us if they are still in priint. We can also go to book stores or churches or publishers. God is going to hold me accountable for what I do or don’t do. I have no desire whatsoever to abandon my faith. The focus of my faith has to be on Jesus Christ and I have to remember that I too have messed up in life and I too need healing. If i didn’t have any problems, i wouldn’t need the forgiveness of Jesus Christ in the first place. I have to also remember that it is the Holy Spirit which convicts the individual. There are a lot of distractions and it’s very easy to get caught in them. I too want validity. I guess that’s what I want the most. Where is the source of this validity? This is the judgment which comes from God based on the Bible.

  192. My initial acceptance occurred at a campground many years before I attended this particular church. At the camp, the decision i made was a private one preceded by four weeks of vacation Bible school at camp every morning. It was backed up by further instruction at a private school I attended in elementary school. I had been to other churches as well. I had also attended Sunday School four months before i responded to an altar call. I knew the references in the Bible for Baptism by iimmersion. This is not something I personally entered into very lightly. At this time, I also had instruction in confession and Holy Communion as well. Therefore, for me, i do not think I rushed into this decision. i do feel that I was pressured into rushing into membership though as it was pretty much handled with Baptism at the same time. However, for others, i felt there was very little time between the time they responded to an invitation and were baptized with very little instruction, perhaps only a soulwinning visitation. Some won’t question quick decisions. This is my question. Many pastors will take a lot more time to counsel an engaged couple prior to getting married in the church, adn definitely at the college level. There were very strict rules and counseling was required prior to marriage. I think permission was required prior to engagement too for those who wanted to marry on campus. That’s what other engaged couples who married on campus told me. They also had to wait until their junior or senior year and receive counseling either at the school or at their home church if they wanted to marry on campus or while they were enrolled as students at the school even in between semesters. In the New Testament, we not only learn about the marriage between a man and a woman but between Jesus Christ who is considered the groom and the Chiistian who is considered the bride. I know other churches whether they are IFB or other affiliations do take more time to instruct their believers in between the response to an invitation as well as for membership and ordinances or sacraments such as Baptism and Confession and Holy Communion. At the Baptist church, these were called ordinances but I do know many churches call these sacraments. For those churches who practice confirmation, many also take a long time with teenagers preparing for that as well. I know churches who have taken from 4-9 weeks of classes in specific insturction, sometimes even longer. They try to know the converts.

    This may explain why my differences occurred with this church and others I have attended where i felt I grew as a Christian. I was only Baptized once. At one point, some did suggest a second Baptism becausae I felt invalidated by my college experience and went through some turbulent times. Also i think in many cases, they like the converts to have the permission of their parents or wait until they are independent and living on their own.

    I don’t focus on paraministries unless the material from the paraministries is endorsed and used by the church or school in all insturciton. I am referring to one time situations. If a situation is a continual tradition that is practiced on a regular basis, then I consider it part of the church life even if the actual ministry is outside the church. When it comes to radio and TV, if the material from the ministry is used as part of the instruction, then I include it with the church. If it’s mandatory, i consider it part of the church. If it’s a one-time situation or it’s voluntary and not required or only attended by a small group, then I consider it auxillary. Visits to the school were definitely endorsed by the church as a regular field trip for prospective students. What people do on their own time outside of church may or may not necessarily be endorsed by a church. A church may react possitively, neutrally, or if they do not support the ministry, they will definitely mention this to the person who brings it up. And with TV and radio, there are tunning knobs and power switches. We also have control over what we read on the internet as well as materials we purchase at book stores.

    If there hadm’t been a lot of pressure to attend a particular college, I might not have even posted my comments. I do believe that God does call Christians to a higher standard than the general secular public. I definitely believe he calls leaders of ministry to a very high standard. The insturction is not only in reference to the Bible. That’s expected. But the leaders are supposed to apply what they learned and set the example for everyone else. If they have personal reasons that interfere, they need to step down. It shouldn’t require a major public scandal or a situation which is forced. Some mention crime. Crime must be reported to the civil authorities to be handled by the justice system. If the act is not “criminal”, but still affects the ministry, i don’t think ministers should bring their congregations through the mud or ruin the credibility of the institutions they lead. The actions depend on what has been done. In some situations a believer is condemned whereas the leader almost has no discipline or nothing is done. in some churches, action can be taken. In other situations, nothing happens through the church administration and unfortunately in some situations, the perpetrator is still in power or it becomes an ugly public church and legal battle that ruins the morals and credibility of not only the ministry involved, but the trust of all believers in other similar ministries which might use the materials from this ministry. It has a rippling effect.

  193. “…what Gods said and what we believe is that God preserved His Word. If He did, where is it?”

    Please, Please tell me what this “preserved Word of God” was called in the year 1610.

    Maybe God woke up one day, put his head in his hand and his elbow on his knee – looked at Jesus and said, “Ya know, I just feel like I’m forgetting something.” Jesus being as insightful as he is maybe asked, “Did you get the KJV…er I mean the KJB finished yet? You know it is the year 1611 and people are waiting?”

    I mean, after all, don’t you state that God promised to preserve His word to ALL generations?

    Please tell me what this “preserved Word of God” was called in the year 1610.

  194. John,
    The evidence that God has preserved His word is in the nearly 6,000 copies of the original N.T. manuscripts.

  195. Bob, what Gods said and what we believe is that God preserved His Word. If He did, where is it? Is it contained in several translations that we have to combine to get what God said? Or is it only contained in the “originals” which no man has seen in a very long time? Or is it not preserved and we just have to hope in the “better renderings” and more “accurate translations”? No, we feel that God has preserved His Word and that it is the KJV for English-speaking people, and we feel that the other translations are the result of Satan’s attack on the Word. It’s really that simple. Can anyone answer why God would inspire His Word exactly the way He wants yet wouldn’t preserve it?

  196. J.R.
    My understanding of Duet. 22:5 is that this verse is referring to those who purposely dress to look like the opposite sex. The reason it applies today is because God said this act is an abomination. Whatever was an abomination to God then, would be now also. I have no idea what this has to do with women wearing pants.
    As far as the long flowing robes, I am drawing a blank.

  197. My focus is not on an optional activity which exists outside the church on a sporadic basis. My posts have to do with worship services, youth activities, educational materials, bus ministries, campaigns, and leadership within a particular assembly that affect everyone the same way and are subject to ridicule when not adhered or when violated. I am not referring to state ro federal felonies or ettiquette or dress standards which would probably be reasonable in most work places. A private institution can set its own codes of conduct for its members. This does not apply to those who do not attend even if they are related to somebody who does. I think churches might be able to provide guidance to members in some social situations so that being a member of a church does not force a person to leave one’s family in this country. I realize in countries where Christianity is forbidden, this may happen if persecution is involved. However, at this writing, we still have a lot of choices where, when, and how we worship, especially in larger metropolitan areas. It’s wonderful when families do worship together because they share beliefs and values and attend with enthusiasm. It’s wonderful to have visitors. A member often attends instructional classes prior to officially joining the church and definitely before being allowed to vote. I am referring to situations which apply and are mandated by the whole church body at any given time.

  198. The exaltation of the KJV to perfection and lifting it as the standard whereby all else is judged is delusional. Is it a good translation? Yes, as are others.

    http://www.kjvonly.org/
    http://www.kjv-only.com/

  199. John,
    God certainly has promised to preserve His word. It is not difficult to see how God has providentially preserved His word during the last 3,500 yrs. There is nothing wrong with the KJV. It has proved to be a fine translation over the years.
    Look, if God thinks we should be using the KJV, why didn’t He just say so? It is fairly obvious that God didn’t say we should be using the KJV. You need to be careful about holding to teachings that the bible doesn’t support.

  200. Bob, we believe in and use the KJV instead of the other versions because of the major differences between them. The vast majority of new versions agree in the places that they disagree with the King James (Mark 9:46, 1 John 5:7-8, Matt. 23:14, et al). We believe that God inspired and preserved his word with no errors (Psalm 12:6-7, Psalm 119:89, Matt. 24:35), and that the preserved version for English speaking people is the KJV. We do not believe that you need to compare all the versions to find out what God really meant nor do we believe you need to be able to read ancient Greek or Hebrew to know what God really said. I believe that the author of all the confusion regarding the different versions is the devil, not the Lord. He (the devil) has been attacking the Word from the beginning (Gen 3:1), and this attack partially consists of deleting and changing many key passages, which we can see in the new versions.

  201. I have further studied and searched the scripture pertaining to the issue of clothing.
    The most common verse quoted by those proclaiming that women should only wear dresses is Deuteronomy 22:5. This verse, when taken out of context is viewed and applied by many as to pertain to clothing. The verse, when researched as it should be “as commanded in the bible to seek out the truth” speaks of ceremonial law to begin with. Furthermore the verse, when correctly translated by ANY scholar identifies without arguement that the verse is talking about items worn by a Man ” actually translated STRONG man” who is a warrior or soldier. These items in reference are to the nature of swords and armor, not having anything to do with the clothing being INDIFFERENT between a man and a woman. I would also like to know where the bible states in the KJV that the clothing of a woman is described as ” modest apparel is a long flowing garment”. I am not saying that this is not in the KJV bible but have not been able to locate this. Please refer to me this verse if I am in error. I am still searching the word of God and the references available to me for all the truth I can find.

    Thanks to all for the replies on this. …. JR

  202. Larry, Your understanding and definition of legalism is flawed. Yes, adding works to the finished work of Christ for salvation is legalism. But what you are saying is that once a person is saved, we are to live by rules, “standards,” law. This too is legalism and negates relationship with Christ.

    http://www.theopedia.com/Legalism
    Legalism, in Christianity, is a term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct for a person to merit or obtain salvation, blessing from God, or fellowship with God, with an attendant misunderstanding of the grace of God.
    Simply put, legalism is belief that obedience to the law or a set of rules is the pre-eminent principle of redemption and/or favor with God. Its opposite extreme is antinomianism which claims that moral laws are not binding on Christian believers.

    Then you state: “in fact in the Bible, modest apparel is a long flowing garmen. not form fitting, tight revealing the parts of the body that should not be revealed.”
    So by your own definition, men are immodestly dressed!

  203. may i say one thing is it wrong for a church to have standards of there workers i am what the baptist church would call a bus kid and by any other church i would have been deemed a lost cause i LOVE jack schaaps preaching!!!! what ever happened to the days when it was ok to preach against sin preaching is too nice today even amoung the baptist church and i have more respect for a man that holds his love for God to high standards i wanna go to church her God speak through a sermon and go home and honestly feel like crap be humbled and exspearance a true change from the lord

  204. Larry,
    Teaching women to wear dresses is a false teaching. 1 Tim. 1:3 warns about teaching different doctrines. If the bible does not clearly teach dresses for women then it is a false teaching. It doesn’t matter how wonderful you think dresses are, you are in error.
    Neither tithes or giving are commanded in the bible. Stop putting believers under a yoke of slavery.
    Also, if the King James version was the one we should use, why didn’t God say so. Did God tell you and not me what version we should use? Stop teaching different doctrines.
    How could you not know that legalism affects the believers walk as well as justification? Paul wrote the book of Galatians to Christians who were troubled by legalistic false teachers. Paul had strong words for those who were trying to put the Galatian Christians under law.

  205. Larry, you’re giving us your definition of legalism (and that of many other Baptists). The word legalism does not always mean “salvation by works.” To me it means trying to enforce a set of standards on someone or trying to make someone live by a very legal standard. In many cases, this “standard” is more a case of personal preferences than actual biblical rules. Dictionary.com has a few definitions of legalism, but these two stand out: “a. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
    b. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.” I think that what most of us are talking about here is the latter of the two definitions.
    So as far as these standards that we’re talking about, are they definite, biblical rules that God wants us to follow or are they personal rules? For example, does the Bible specifically prohibit women from wearing pants? Does the Bible prohibit a Christian from listening to say, bluegrass gospel as opposed to hymns? Where in the Bible does it say that men have to wear suits with a white button-up shirt to church? Where in the Bible does it say that it is mandatory for a Christian to tithe? These are all examples of doctrine that is forced upon us by many within our denomination. The reality is that many of these examples (and many others) are based on personal preference, not direct clear-cut guidance from the Bible. I go to an IFB church and will probably continue to do so, but I don’t think that we’re always right on everything. We have a bad habit of trying to enforce our own likes and dislikes on others and then question their level of commitment because they don’t measure up to our standard (spiritual pride). I do agree with you on the KJV though.

  206. THANK YOU Larry…very well said. I appreciate both yours and Bob’s comments on here.

  207. i keep hearing legalism. legalism is works for salvation. most independent fundemental Bible believing churchs do not teach legalism. and those who do are only in name not doctrine. salvation is by grace through faith. that is it. nothing else.
    as far as standard, i do not believe woman should wear pants. the Bible says a woman should not wear mans clothing and vice versa. pants were made for men, i know, some say pants are made for woman now as well, but they were made for men originally. in fact, they can make a dress for a man, doesn’t mean it is right. i do not condemn woman who wear pants, our church has several woman who wear them, but we do believe there ought to be a difference in how we dress. the Bible does talk about this in great length. in fact in the Bible, modest apparel is a long flowing garmen. not form fitting, tight revealing the parts of the body that should not be revealed.
    the Bible says, come out from among them and be ye seperate and touch not the unclean thing… now we are in the world, but not of the world. if the world hate us, remember it hate Me (Christ) first. as a Christian grows in the Lord, he/she will get rid of things in their lives that do not belong there. God does look on the heart, but what is in the heart will be shown outwardly as well. women should look lide women and men should look like men. sodomy is wrong just like lying, incest, fornication, adultery, backbiting, murmuring, stealing and murder.
    as far as the King James Bible, if you speak and read english then it is the Bible for you. other translations come from other manuscripts and leave out parts of the Bible, change it to meand something else. and yes there are books you can buy that show every difference between the KJV and other translations. on the whole, and studies from none Christians groups even, prove and say the KJV is the easiest of all translations to read and understand.
    tithing, giving what ever you want to call is commanded in the Bible. now, if for no other reason, we should do it because the Bible says too, but the Bible does teach we ought to do it because we love Him. Christ said, if ye love me, keep my commandments. noone who knows the Bible can say that these verses have been used out of context either.
    the Bible does not teach religous toleration nor mixing of religion.
    now praise the Lord we live in a free country and we can believe what we want to believe. at the same time, God gave us the right to choose to believe what we want. to refuse Him or accept Him at the same time nowhere does the Scripture teach or show Christ tolerating or mixing religions and sins.
    now if you don’t like your church, find one you do like. if your pastor is not preaching correct doctrine, then it is the churches responsibility to replace him or go somewhere else.
    eveyone in here almost is bashing standards or so it seems, but dress standards, music standards and every other standard, even those who we are to associate and fellowship with are found in the Bible, but i here no one knocking the Bible, just the churches who follow it. now if you don’t believe, great fine and dandy, that is your choice and at least you are man enough to say what you believe whether you are right, wrong or indiffernt.
    i attend an independant Bible believing baptist church and only those who call us legalistic or wrong are those who eventually leave the church and find one they agree with or not at all. but most of them have proven with their lifestyle, that it is not what the church believed was wrong, but that they were. they don’t even know what the Bible says. i have a friend who quit coming because we do teach women should not wear pants and he said we were legalistic. legalism is salvation by works not faith. baptist are not legalistic. we may have high standards, but not legalism.
    as far as brainwashing, we teach and preach the Bible, just like the world teaches immorality, ammoral, no right or wrong, your brain is filled with the truth or lies, just depends on what you are filling it with and believing.
    and yes you can be saved on your way to heaven and not use the KJV or go to a baptist church and live like the wolrd. you might be wrong, but you can still be on your way to heaven if by faith you have trusted Christ as you Lord and Saviour.
    most who take the Bible out of context by the way are those who are trying to justify not living the holy life they KNOW they are supposed to be living.

  208. J.R.
    I am very sorry to hear about your situation. I was in almost the exact same position three years ago.
    It sounds like the church has embraced false teaching and may be cult-like. You are going to have to be ready to make a stand for the truth. Get ready, you may be in for a real fight if you want to move your family away from that particular church. I will pray for you and your situation.

  209. HELP!
    To begin, I was raised IFB. While growing up I dont recall ever feeling anything but shame and guilt after going to church on sunday mornings. I do recall in my memories, thinking that alot of the rules and instruction given were “off the wall”.
    All of this has led to where I am today, though it took a long time for all of this to come out.
    I am now 37 and married for 15 years to my highschool girlfriend. She was raised church of christ for about 12 years then IFB afterward. Her parents are VERY strict and taken by all the IFB standards. We moved away shortly after highschool and things were great. We were attending church, but not caught up in all the crazy man made rules. Me and my wife were then a team and we did everything together. Now we are totally apart except that we still put on the show of a happily married couple.
    The seperation between us started when we began attending a IFB church after moving again 7 years ago. She has become more and more involved with this church as I have become distanced from it because of the crazy rules and beliefs set forth by most of the members and the pastor. She is also taking our kids with her as well and I am afraid they too will become “brainwashed”. My wife has been SAVED three times since she started going to this church because they induce heavy guilt upon the congregation during every meeting. My son has also been SAVED twice due to a IFB youth seminar in which the rantings and worked up mood of a very practiced soul winning preacher breaks the childs confidence and assures him that he is not saved.
    My wife has taken on a sunday school teaching role. She has seemingly abandoned my home and is at the church at least 5 times a week sometimes until 10 PM. Her new found friends have convinced her that wearing pants is unbiblical and have ofcourse given scripture to accompany this. I am enraged at all of the crazy thoughts they have put in her head and I am very concerned for my children. I am also convinced that I will not be able to live like this alot longer. I would like to ask if anyone has any ideas that might help pull her out of this situation and bring us back together as a family. She is very defensive and will bring up scripture “pulled out of context” and she will also state that the views she shares with the church are biblically sound. I am afraid she is falling for man made rules and mistaking them for the word of GOD.

    Please help….

  210. Gordon,

    I have been to other churches since I left this particular one that did not have these characteristics. I think they often start gradually and subtly because the focus changes from God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to a particular person or perhaps a set of rules without the members realizing this is happening. The other element that I didn’t find in other churches that I found in two in my late teens and early twenties was that I experienced fear of everything which was in the environment. I was discouraged from associating with anyone outside this particular environment too. God’s will was left to be determined by the minister or members of the leadership and no questioning was allowed.

    If a person takes a risk such as travel, preparation is needed whether it’s camping in the wilderness or perhaps visiting another country with a foreign language or entirely different culture. I have been outside the United States and Canada. I also loved camping when I was younger. I still love hikes on nature trails and even occasionally a horse trail ride. If you travel in a foreign country, this country is your host and you are the guest. Also there may be different laws and customs. I live in an area where there are lots of tourists so even if I’m not travelling, I hear lots of foreign languages spoken all the time. Our laws and protections end the minute we leave the border of the United States. In some countries we do have embassies and consulates. In other countries with hostile relations, we sometimes have envoys if anything at all. There are also innoculations. It may not be so easy to get out if one gets into trouble. Be very careful about planning when travelling, but I don’t necessarily recommend avoiding it, just studying and preparing in advance. I don’t want you discourage you from trying new experiences that could really be interesting and a lot of fun. But I do want you to go into situations with some research and preparation. Definitely try to know what will be expected and what your resources will be before you leave. Sometimes you have to depend on your own research. This might also apply for opportunities away from home even in our own country. This is not necessarily what I mean about stepping out of a comfort zone. However, becareful who you follow if you want to come back.

    I’m not sure why I was so vulnerable. i had Christians who were very concerned about what was going on and tried to warn me but they used “persecution” anytime somebody didn’t agree with the actions of the ministry or those it supported. I was afraid to look somewhere else. I was also afraid to mingle with others outside that environment and even my family. Sometimes one can learn from a secular source; however, in those situations, one has to put the teachings under the light of the scripture. The focus has to be the scripture not materialism or lack of materialism, an individual, or a set of rules. The confiction comes from the Holy Spirit. So does guidance. So does comfort. Instruction comes from Jesus in the New Testament. The apostles came from a variety of backgrounds and still practiced their professions.

  211. Gordon,

    Be careful anytime anyone tells you to go beyond your comfort zone, especially if this person barely knows you or is representing the group. Sometimes one does need to go beyond one’s comfort zone. Other times going beyond the comfort zone can get one in a lot of trouble. I’m not sure that this advise should be given to a group in general. This is the type of decision that one might want to discuss with a counselor outside the church also. Do some research. Find out exactly what going outside the comfort zone entails. Do your own research. Don’t depend on anyone else doing it for you either. Whenever I hear that advice, red flags shoot up in my mind. When I follow it, i get into trouble. But a person who is afraid to take any type of risk may need to do something different once in a while. It depends on what one means by going outside one’s comfort zone. Also analyze the consenquences if you do. I really do believe at one point, you have to listen to that intuition inside you, but at the same time, I realize that sometimes when we’re told something we don’t want to hear, then we don’t want to listen when we do need to listen. There is not a right or wrong answer to this for every situation but each individual situation. Pray with others. Study the Bible. Also look beyond the immediate circle. Don’t soley make a decision based on materialism or lack or materialism either. In high school, I defined a cult by no materialism and a free-for-all environment.

  212. I do take the time to read the newest posts by the admini8strator as well as others who make individual comments or dialogues.

    Gordon,

    What are the beliefs of the church? Can you support their ministries?
    Does the leadership in a particular church acknowledge that the members come from different backgrounds with different talents and gifts?
    Is individuality allowed or is everything determined by the “group.” The group might be the leadership and the leadership definitely sets the tone? It could also be determined by other believers within the church?
    Is there one solution for everyone?
    Are you in agreement with guest speakers?
    Can you live by whatever rules exist in a congregation?
    Do you have a chance to interpret the Bible or is everything interpreted for you?
    Is every male expected to be an ordained minister? Is every female expected to be a teacher, nurse, or mother?
    Does the church respect those with mathematical and scientific backgrounds?
    Are you being held responsible for the actions of others outside the ministry either from leadership or other members?
    Do they respect your wishing in respect to volunteer work.
    Do they respect other bodies of believers who are in your community who have similar beliefs and values?
    Do you feel cornered? intimdated? This doesn’t matter whether you can point to something or not. Do you have an uncomfortable feeling?
    Are you being brushed off?
    Are there various ways to participate or is everyone expected to participate in worship the same way at the same time?
    Does the church recognize government licensure in respect to professional occupations that require it?

    i think these are questions you can ask when looking for a church or deciding to leave a church. I do blieve there are good churches out there and hope you find one that helps you grow as a Christian.

  213. I read the posts about the Anti-Christ. I don’t try to guess about a specific person who will be the anti-Christ at this point in time. I realize others do. But I think it would be easier to the antichrist to come from a part of the world that’s underdeveloped with an unstable government or non-existent justice system, maybe even the wilderness or a system that can be very easily dismantled. In a Democratic Parliament, they can have votes of “no confidence” where they can remove the entire leadership and parties in power in one day and replace them with something else. We have jails and asylums in this country. in others, the bullies gain power and take over and act impulsively with or without any reason or accountability. Does this mean i agree with policies? Not necessarily. We are able to vote at least for now. Do I have concerns about what is happening in our country and the world? Of course. But I still expect the antichrist to be some type of charming psychosociopath without the norms and mores we value. I could be right. I might be wrong. I expect this person to be a bully with a “charming personality” defined by those who want power and are willing to surrender any beliefs and values in exchange for power.

  214. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose

    Romans 8:28

    Dear friends,

    It’s hard to see how Romans 8:28 applies when you loose your house…The house your parents broke their back their whole lives to have…The business that took 15 years to build. The ultimate sacrifice made by my family to give Latin America a Bible Institute.

    The images of being mocked by Donovan, Forte and Clipper (Ruckman’s board of directors) as I poured my heart out to them…begging them to let me stay, telling them that I would keep my mouth shut -after a $15 Grand theft from Mcardle- and after $70 grand down the drain setting up for producing a Spanish online bible institute and all of Ruckman’s materials in Spanish.

    Me begging them accomplished nothing! The decision had been made, Mcardle warned me I would be immediately thrown out if I opened my mouth. But somehow All things work together for good to them that Love God.

    I enrolled in a Masters Degree program for family counseling. I would like to work with victims of Cults…I guess I’m one of them.

    Wanting to serve God and give my life to him I ended up being abused by people like Jeff Mcardle.

    One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn to do is to pray for that…man. I guess I can empathize with people who have to
    pray for rapists and murderers that destroy someone in their family. Jeff Mcardle lied to us and destroyed the work of my family, our house, ministry, business…everything…ran away with the money like it was nothing and then I’m sitting in Ruckmans office in what feels like the craziest episode from the Twilight Zone…only I’m in it and this time I’m the victim.

    You know…I actually thought about ending my life for a long time…How could I possibly go home? How could I face my parents having lost everything they worked for all their life…I guess somehow the Lord gave me the Grace to overcome…Maybe that’s the purpose…to be broken to be able to be of service to other survivors of cult behavior.

    I’m not saying that all Independent Baptist Churches are ‘a cult’…but there’s definitely many cult like attitudes and practices and there’s people that promote that…check out http://www.baptistdeception.com…there‘s many other sites.

    Anyway, It was hard to learn to pray for Mcardle…it felt exactly like praying for a monster that murdered and butchered your family…that’s exactly what that sick psychopath did, but somehow the Lord gave me the grace to go through that.

    You know I’ve had a chance to talk to Ruckman a couple of times -he finally answered the phone after 6 months of me calling-…maybe the blogs and emails helped.

    I learned one thing from Ruckman…that you can know alot of bible and be a complete reprobate, liar and ruthless criminal.

    I learned one thing from Mcardle…that you can be in the ministry and pass as a caring, genuine missionary and in reality be a crook and a psychopathic criminal…but hey, Obama just gave a Rosh Hashanah speach that sounded just wonderful…so I guess its possible…the devil will come as an angel of light right?

    Anyway, Vince Larue (Mcardle’s golden boy) has done an extraordinary job censoring me online…they have filed a million grievances with Blogger and Wikipedia and have labeled me as a spammer on google, aol, hotmail, etc (That’s what we got from Vince Larue for all the money we gave him for web development…Vince will fit right in with Mcardle’s clan…Vince makes a good baptist criminal, very clean cut, very well spoken while completely ruthless and devoid of any conscience…a perfect Mcardle clone…I guess they really don’t want the truth to get out that they are hardened career criminals that steal for a living.

    Anyway, I just wanted to give a quick update

    Please pray for us, especially me. We lost absolutely everything! We went from middle class to extreme poverty in 9 months…thank you Jeff “judas’ Mcardle and friends…

    …The Lord has reassured me that you will one day get YOUR JUST REWARDS!

    GOD IS NOT MOCKED, WHATSOEVER YE SOW THAT SHALL YE ALSO REAP!

    I CLING ONTO THE PROMISES OF LUKE 18…WE GAVE EVERYTHING TO SERVE GOD…I GAVE UP FAMILY, HOUSE, JOB EVERYTHING TO GIVE LATIN AMERICA AN ONLINE BIBLE INSTITUTE…AND GOD PROMISED IN HIS WORD TO REWARD ME 100 FOLD…HE ALSO SAID VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.

    I JUST HAVE TO KEEP CLAIMING THOSE PROMISES, JUST LIKE ROMANS 8:28

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!

    IN CHRIST,

    ALLEN SANCHEZ FOR SPANISH BAPTIST PRESS

  215. The state is the sovereign over the corporation, but the bible says that Yahuwshua is the sovereign over the church. So if a IFB or any other church for that matter has a 501(c)3 corporate status then there is no way that they can be defined as a biblical church…they are liars and imposters plain and simple because 501©3’s are non profit IRS run institutions…not biblical based churches. Still It really amazes me to see the level of psychological mind control and brain washing that goes on in most of these IFB churches, in many ways they hold their legalistic pagan traditions over and above the truth of YAH… legalistic pastors are the modern day Pharisees, judgmental and hypocritical they pat themselves on the back and expect a salary…where in the bible does it say that pastors are to receive a salary. Most IFB cults hide behind the guise of holiness while robbing there congregation blind and the Jesuits sit back and laugh. Sadly IFB cults must duplicate themselves and this is why they really focus on recruitment of young gullible teens and pressure them into going off to bible collages without first making sure that it is the calling and guidance of the Holy Spirit to do so for these young people….they did this with me and it pushed me away from them. If there is one thing that IFB pastors hate more then anything it’s hard questions about the leven in their worship…but if these questions are asked the pastors will usually ostracize you as they did me. I do not mean to speak evil of dignitaries, there are some good people who mean well who are IFB’s but the majority of these IFB churches generally speaking are a den of religious hypocrites liars thieves and snakes that have compromised with the Jesuits and have done evil in the sight of Yahuwah…Shalom

    Please visit my you tube page at Youtube.com/reformer82

  216. I grew up in a IFB and I noticed that there are many hypocrite’s that claim to follow the Bible and the Bible only, yet they hold to false doctrines like Sunday worship and Christmas Easter Hell 10% tithe and the Rapture which have no biblical basis other then what is twisted around and abused. Also you are right there is much religious formalism and legalism within the traditions of the IFB churches such as the judgmental dress code, no beards must be clean shaven, the stale and stagnant hymn’s, criticizing others who might use another bible other then the KJV ect, it seems to me that in many ways many fundamental independent Baptists are more concerned with impressing others with their fancy suits and ties then they are with the truth’s of the Bible and winning the lost….my question is did Yahuwshua wear a suit and tie, did Peter or Paul? Does Yahuwah sit on his throne wearing a suit and a tie? I seriously doubt it. But the IFB pushes it as if it is some kind of infallible doctrine like as if YAH is really impressed with the their fancy suit’s or as if that is what is going to make people attend their churches. All of this a control measure to manipulate the members of that body to pledge total unquestioning and in many ways blind obedience to the pastor and the many unbiblical teachings of that cult. Truth is the so called churches are not really churches at all they are counterfeits …why because they hold a 501(c)3 statues which incorporates that church into a corporate institution thus placing it under the jurisdiction of the state…any church that receives a 501(c)3 is automatically an organized religion and a state organized INC business. It is well know that the sovereign to the corporation is the Cesar {state}…but did not Yahuwshua say that he was the head of the church his body? Yes he did… and even more there is no biblical instruction given for the church to corporatize itself or for pastors to receive a license to preach…501(c)3 churches are not even churches at all they are big business monopolies leeching off and sucking the financial blood out of their naive victims.

  217. Hey, I just ran across your website…wish I had come across it years ago! I came into an IFB church in San Diego, CA 8 years ago…man did they mess me up! I really wanted my life to count for Christ, surrendered to preach and go to the mission field etc…The people that run that church (lighthouse baptist/Doug Fisher’s church) are straight out of the twilight zone…Fisher’s preaching is pretty safe but inside those church walls in the bible institute the kind of mind control and manipulation that happens is straight out of hell…yeah, they teach that the man of God is supreme and that he is to Lord over you and that you can’t get saved outside of an independent baptist church and that you can’t know God apart from a King James bible and all this stuff…the kids that grow up there are worst!…they can’t hold any kind of a regular job or talk like a regular person…everything you do is a sin and they go nuts with the long skirts, short buzz cuts and ties….I think you have to wear one of those 4-5 point hankerchiefs on your suit pocket to be saved…ridiculous…the whole thing ended up in me loosing my home and business and being defrauded over $125 grand by criminals in the ministry…see my site for details http://www.solascripturas.com…that woke me up though…and shook my faith in IFB Cult Churches…all they care about is the money and putting you to work…I gave over 20% of my income and worked 30-40 hours a week in the church -without pay- and I had to do that I guess to be saved or stay saved…and the day I started questioning the ‘authority’ of these little ‘g’ gods, they threw me out, cut me off all my friends and they don’t give a damn…the Jeremiah 23 pastor Dog Fisher would not give me 2 minutes to let me know why I was thrown out after 5 years of blind obedience…the funniest thing is that It looks like other have had it worst than me…amazing!…Thank you for your website! People post your experiences here…make sure others know…the Jesuit Priests and little ‘g’ gods that run these churches need to be held accountable for their manipulation and spiritual crimes! In Christ, Allen Sanchez San Diego California

    There is a priesthood of the believer in the book of Hebrews…I like that!

  218. Gordon,
    I don’t think there are any denominations that have a lock on good churches. I don’t attend a denominational church myself, my church is more like a bible church. Sadly, there are not many churches in my area that are committed to teaching the whole counsel of God’s word. More and more it seems that fads and fluffy Christianity are becoming more popular. However, God has saved us and gifted us with gifts that are to be used within the body of believers. It can be frustrating sometimes when churches don’t do everything right. So we have to find a church that is trying to honor God and His word and get involved. Remember, there are rewards based on faithful service, and shame and loss for those who don’t invest wisely. All the best to you in finding a church. Also, look for individual people who are trying to follow God and do what is right. You may find a home bible study that is helpful as well.

  219. Thanx, but I’m not in the Pitt’s. I guess what I’m asking is what type of church do you that affirm Mr. Sorensen’s charaterization of IFB’s recommend for me for worship, friendship and service?

  220. When I mention bus ministries, I do not oppose them altogether. They can be very helpful for those who do not drive. A church can even be commended for encouraging car pooling when it can be done. What I am referring to is not athletic or art competitions, but when there are smaller IFB churches in a community that could be handling the ministries very effectively but are not being given the opportunity to minister within their own communities because a very large extensive ministry is competing for the same population. Also I object when a minister states to be the only one who has studied the Bible and understand salvation by Grace in a community. This is what happened in my case. Many ministers may recommend a college. They shouldn’t be extremely judgmental about those who chose to go to a local community college or junior college and they could refer students outside their ministries. This is where my issue is, moreso than with actual beliefs and values. Also parents should make the decisions about what is right for their families. Sometimes people feel like they can tell everyone else what’s right for their family too. I’m not saying that they have to change what they are doing, just realize that others may have different reasons for doing what they do. Respect differences.

  221. Gordon,
    If you live in the Pittsburgh area I could recommend a church. If you want to hear the gospel read the gospel of John.

  222. Lynn,
    I think your right that legalistic false teaching is a major concern here. I know legalism runs across denominational lines as well.
    One of the things I have noticed since I have been here is the number of people who have come out of legalistic and cult-like IFB churches. There are far to many people here who have been hurt by false teaching. Having experienced it first hand, and knowing something about it, I want to help other people who want to know the truth. I want to help people get Bible based answers to these problems.
    Look, I don’t think IFB churches as a whole are necessarily worse than other denominations. In some ways they are better and in some ways they are worse. Each church has to be evaluated individually. One thing I know, there are a lot of people here who have been devastated by false teaching, and I want to help them.

  223. I feel that the name/description/purpose of this site is a bit misconstrued. This website shouldn’t be called baptistdeception.com, and really, according to all that your saying, you don’t like the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement, (it’s a movement, not a denomination, FYI), so shouldn’t it be IFBaptistsdeception.com? But by what I’ve read you are vilifying Independent Fundamental Baptists, as a whole, even though you are only saying you write based on personal experience and what other have said to you, but you still generalize IFB’s as a whole, whether you are doing it purposely or not. But the issues you speak of are not that of Independent Fundamental Baptists, but legalistic ones. Ive been in churches that didn’t even have baptist anywhere in the name, but they were legalistic. So your issue should be with Legalism, not IFB’s. So saying your issue is with IFB Churches and their deceptive doctrines is misleading since really you take issue with legalism. So by that merit, your site should really be called http://www.LegalismDeception.com That would be the more correct/direct description of the issues you have, which I agree with. I am a Independant Fundamental Baptist Pastor, and I hate legalism, it ruins churches, but not all IFB churches are legalistic, some are for sure, but not all.

  224. Hello all,

    This is my second post. I don’t know what happened the first time, probably user error. I’m just beginning to wrap my head around this problem that many of you are describing. I’m wondering is there a specific presentation of the gospel clearly and entirely on this site?
    Do you recommend any specific denomination or church to attend?

    Happy for any thoughts or recommendations,
    Gordon

  225. Maybe I’m blind but I cannot see a page dedicated solely to salvation on your homepage. I’m a christian already but I would like some clarity on some things that are not expressly covered on your homepage. Could you point out your salvation invitation/explanation and also, could you recommend any church that would be acceptable for a new christian to attend? Thanks, Gordon

  226. Pray. Pray directly to God and never ever let a church, any church, or man, any man get in between you and the Lord. Simply pray

  227. I just finished the best autobiography I have ever read “The Heavenly Man” About a 16 year old Chinese boy that got saved.
    The IFB churches could learn alot by reading this book it’s not all about church being in control, but God being in control.

  228. I agree with David that when Christ returns your eyes will be opened.
    As you sad on your site we should not cause one to stumble.
    If we do not teach (all)of God’s word then we are causing them to stumble when they think they don’t have to be Christlike.

  229. I am not saying that problems do not exist in an accredited institution, campus ministries, or even paraministries. In a regionally accredited institution, if a student successfully completes courses with grades of C or better, this education is acknowledged and one can transfer the credits somewhere else. Ont he other hand, I really want to restrict my focus on situations I have personally experienced. A lot of the comments I am reading show me that many others have also had similar experiences that have dampened or eliminated the enthusiasm and excitement which I believe should be part of the Christian walk. I even know church groups who are addressing these matters in support groups to deal with these exact issues.

    I am going to take some time out for a while as I feel I am beginning to relive this when I really need to focus on the present and future. This is not a reflection on any comments I have received from anyone, just a personal struggle of my own. I do want to say farewell and thank you for your support though. I’ll play it by ear as I don’t know yet when I will come back. I considered the possibility maybe of returning on the 28th of every month; however, I feel a need to balance my priorities and live in the present for those who love me and want me to move on.

  230. I look at some stages during my lifetime experience at this point. I’ll enumerate them.

    1. Awareness of other viewpoints besides my own, irregardless of whether I agree or disagree with them.
    2. Reflection and self-examination. If it applies, I try to change what may be offensive.
    3. Mourning (guilt, anger, sadness, and flashbacks)
    4. This is the hardest of all: forgiveness of others as well as oneself. That’s a lifetime challenge.
    5. Praise and gratitude. Find someone or something. It really is uplifting. That can even be music, art, literature, a hobby, scenic places of natural beauty, etc…
    6. This is another really difficult one. Prayer and it’s not just for those whom we like but those who drive us up the wall. It’s also to discern situations. We don’t need it just when we hit bottom but also when we’re at the peak. We need it all the time. It can be done with discretion showing courtesy towards others.
    7. Healing. It occurs gradually. It is inward. The Holy Spirit is involved in this process. In many cases, it’s private. Sometimes there are advances of growth and other times there are setbacks. This is when I’m likely to turn to a poem like “Footprints in the Sand.”
    8. Witnessing: Visitations are easier because an initial contact has expressed interest. Therefore, they are not entirely “cold situations”. Still one must take great care and preceed them with prayer. Witnessing can occur in many forms, especially today with the internet. It’s not necessarily canvassing although it can also include this. THere are some situations where a quiet presence can be a great source of comfort too. The greatest witness is change.

    Again, I do not want to attack all Baptists. I don’t even want to attack all IFBs. We live in a country where blood was shed so people could worship freely. We have so many choices, especially in metropolitan areas. In rural areas, there might be fewer options. That’s actually not true anymore with the internet and TV and radio. Some of the heroes in my life have been those who try to live by what is mentioned in the prayer, poem, “Let Me Be An Instrument of the Faith”. While the prayer itself is not in the Bible, I believe the principles are. There is not a literal reference to a “Golden Rule”; however, I do believe that it is implied in principles in the New Testament as the result that we feel love.

    It is the tactics that cause me concern that I am questioning in my comments.

  231. Paul,

    My daddy always told me that I was too blunt for my own good, but I can’t help it. I have to own who I am before I can repent. That is why I’m not afraid to talk about my life experiences. The reason I do it is because I know there are people who need to hear that God’s grace is extended to everyone, not just those who follow the commandments, or go to church, or do as they are told. He is everyone’s God and he is available to any person at any time. He just loves us, all of us. The murders, the castaways, the adulterers, the afraid, the rich, the poor, the beautiful and the not so attractive. All of humanity was created for him. Not everyone will choose him, but at least those I come into contact with will know the option is available to them.
    I’ve already began reading the book. Thank you for the link. I can relate to the message in so many ways. I know that I will enjoy it very much.
    Pamela

  232. oops – http://www.lancasterbaptist.org

    I am not a member of either of these churches. I just feel the pain of some of your comments, can even relate, and find these two ministries refreshing.

  233. Hey everybody! There is an IFB church that understands the word grace and actually uses it! This church is definitely pastor-led, but not in the sense he lords over the people. He has a team of people that keep him accountable and does not use his pulpit as a bully pulpit. Many of the more “traditional” IFBs have a hard time “fellowshipping” with this church b/c of their contemporary relevance. Those of you who haven’t completely jumped ship yet should check it out. BTW, unlike so many pastors, the pastor of this church has 3 children who are all serving God. They aren’t bitter rebels whose parents disciplined without love or consistency. wwww.lancasterbaptist.org is the church website. Another IFB church, which is relatively new and definitely “outside the box” can be found at http://www.southlakebaptist.com They call themselves a VINTAGE church – who know IFBs could think to use such a cool word? Check ’em out. these churches are definitely reaching out in love and making a difference! The one in lancaster, CA looks like an IFBC but the spirit there is blatantly different than the stereotype. and the “vintage” church – you wouldn’t even know they were ifb if you didn’t do a little research.

    Have fun!

  234. In r by ecent months my eyes have been opened as I as got very serious about studying the Word. I have been attending an IFB church for 14 years. Our church isnt as bad as some of the ones I have read about, but it is very wrong in many areas. I believe most IFB churches our “glory robbers”! I can’t stand to see so many preachers lifted up as if they were God Himself! These churches use such manipulation by twisting the Scriptures to fit thier agenda! Thats how cults are born everyday! The deception is that they do preach truth to an extent, for example, they preach salvation by grace but they are no different then the Galatians who fell into the trap of legalistic sanctification. These churches will never exposit the Word of God verse by verse with thier congregation. Why? Because these people would truly learn the Scriptures and leave them. My church never preaches or teaches from Romans 6,7,and 8 (the constitution of the Christian life) and they never truly learn how to walk in the Spirit and grow in grace. IFB churches for the most part are committing the great sin of ommission by preaching “soul-winning” door to door, which they twist by not understanding that Christians were fellowshipping house to house. Yet, they do not truly disciple anybody! Wow! Why is it these pastors think they are doing the will of God by breaking Jesus’ commandment of the “Great Commission.

    Thank u for this website! I never grown more than I have in the last few months by studying the Scriptures and I am looking for a church that teaches the “whole counsel” of God!

  235. “I know a woman who raised over $11,000 in support to travel to Africa for three days on a “mission” trip. She took her whole family for Christmas holiday.”

    Ohh, this is something that really bothers me about “missions” trips. It appears to me that it is a way for some people to get a free vacation or time in another country and call it a “mission”. This especially is true for teenagers – in the old days their parents paid for them to travel the world. Now, they ask for money for the church to travel around the world and call it a mission trip.

    How much good would have been done for the people of the village if the airfare alone for the mission was donated to the church there? Don’t we trust the people to handle money to dig their own wells and buy their own livestock or build their own clinic? Instead we waste it on airfare for “missionaries” so they can feel good about themselves. Won’t it help the people more to give them a sense of accomplishment for solving their own problems with the money they are given, rather than making them feel like charity cases begging for crumbs from the white man’s table? Why do we treat them as children?

    I am not complaining about established charities that do good for many people, such as World Vision or Catholic Charities. I am complaining about ad hoc “missions” programs that people throw together to make them feel good about themselves. Save the money for the missions trip and donate it to World Vision if you want to make a difference. They are there in country and know what the needs are. They treat people with respect, not like children who should feel grateful for a handout.

  236. Greg,

    Thanks for you thoughts. I’ve had to parce my way through the KJV only issue as that WAS my position for years. This is a huge area of debate and can get really, really messy and heated. God really does want to be known and He can accomplish that in many different ways.

    Paul

  237. Hello EBR,
    I listened to what you were saying and heard that you have some precious places where you can go to be embraced by a God who loves you. I too have some favorite music and or poems. I also heard something that we all fight against. At times our being private is nothing more that not being able to find someone whom we can be safe with. Someone who will accept and love us for whom we are. I love those relationships where I can just be me with all my brokenness and junk still intact. It can g Our presence is Him, our past is gone. God bless.

    Paul

    (Sorry everyone – my mind says one thing, my fingers say something else – please over look my spelling mistakes. I submit my comment and then reread and then cring.)

  238. Hello Pam
    Loved what you wrote. I printed it off and gave it to my wife. Told her, “You need to read this.” She did. Her response, “I like this girl.” I love the fact that your relationship with Father is such that you know as His child He is not requiring you to put on religious garb. I loved what you said about fear. God is not a God to fear but a God to embrace (I Jn. 4:18). Loved what you said about the $11,000 – toothpaste and soap vs. cows (well not quite in those words). But I loved most your authenticity. You’re real. Unafraid to be known for whom you are and unafraid to be deeply loved. Your rock! The link is to a free .pdf book entitled: “He Loves Me.” I think you’d enjoy. http://www.lifestream.org/download.php?f=5

    Paul

  239. I appreciate so much brother Steve creating this forum and allowing us all to talk/vent about our experiences in abusive ifb churches. I was involved in one for about 20 years, left about 2 years ago. Although the pastor wasn’t as bad as some I have read about on this site, he did want strict compliance of “his” rules, he was also strictly kjv, my last day in the church was the day he stood in the pulpit and tried to tell us there was a secret code contained in the kjv involving a certain amt of vowels and consonants that was not contained in any other version. By now I had started to earnestly study the kjv issue and knew this was a complete load of the stuff that makes the grass green. No one was allowed to take communion except church members, imagine denying a child of the Living God, communion! I feel foolish to tell it but we are “fessin” up here aren’t we? I remember telling my daughter that once upon a time there were unicorns because it was “in the bible” Oh My! My marriage of 20 years fell apart, and the pastor never visited or called me or tried to help me.

    What I want everyone here to do is take that precious Word of God of your choice, and yes if you can understand it the kjv is fine, it is God’s Word. Stay in it, live it, seek God’s will for your life. God loves us so, and seek out other believers of like faith. I am presently in a tiny (15 on Sunday) Baptist church, with none of the nonsense that went on before in the other ifb church. Before I found this present little church I landed, for about a year, in a Southern Baptist church and they graciously received us and allowed us to receive communion, and even went out of the way to make us feel at home even though we never technically joined. You know Jesus reserved his harshest comments for “religious” folks. I feel for all those stuck in these loveless, works oriented, legalistic churches. It is hard to break free from them but believe me and all these others, it is worth it and there is a wonderful life God has for you, to worship in truth and in Spirit is simply wonderful.

    You know it is really odd in a way, that pastor of mine would constantly yell at us to stay in the Word, and you know what I did, and because of that it ended up that I had to leave. The precious Word of God revealed to me just what a one-way, grace-killer pastor he really was.

    I had better close now I’m starting to ramble. There just really is so much to say. In one way I feel so terrible to have put myself and family through 20 years of that mess,and yet I have learned things that perhaps I would have never learned. God help you if you try to put me in your legalistic cage. The Word says that whom the Lord has set free is free indeed! Don’t even think I will sit quietly by and let some uneducated preacher try and explain that the kjv is the “only” true word of God for english speaking people.

    Stay in the Word. I would like to reccomend a book for everyone, it is Chuck Swindoll’s “The Grace Awakening” It’s a great book for anyone but especially if you are just about ready to leave a legalistic church or have just left.

    God Bless You All,
    Greg

  240. Ryan,
    I know there are good IFB churches, but there are more than a few that operate like a cult. Also, legalism is serious problem that tends to follow IFB churches.

  241. The church hasn’t totally lost that focus. It’s true that many times they (we) got sidetracked, but there are still many assemblies that fulfill the church’s focus.

  242. Ryan,
    The problems I have seen are not about Christian liberty or personal preference, they have to do with false teaching and unbiblical practices. I wouldn’t waste my time complaining about pastors whose philosophy doesn’t suit my taste. What I am pointing out is unscriptural methods, rules, and teaching.

  243. Yes, that is why I focused on “organized gatherings”, Baptist, Wiccan or otherwise. It is human nature to control and to do it in the name of comfort is worse. Though we are all sinners saved by grace, I lived an extremely sinful life. I lived on the streets, I’ve had an abortion, my parents disowned me, I’ve been divorced, I was an adulturess, a liar, and the list is unending until we get to one point; I knew that I would cease existing if I drew one more breath without receiving Jesus Christ as my personal Savior Oct. of 1997. The Holy Spirit convicted me, not a man. I had heard scripture many times in my life, but when He (God) called me I chose Him. Just as the thief on the cross was not required to be baptized, I did not have to do it, but I did as a public profession of my belief. Just as the woman at the well had a past that he knew, he knew my past and wanted me when no one else would speak my name. This is who Jesus is, and the church is too busy doing business as usual. The church has lost focus of why God called them to gather in the first place. To edify one another, to teach each other, but most of all to “love one another, and again I say, Love one another.”

  244. @ Pam. One thing we have to recognize is that a thirst of control can go both ways. Sometimes we (IFB and others) have to realize that things aren’t always right or wrong, but simply different. (I’m obviously talking about gray areas here)
    Different churches appeal to different types of people that are looking for different types of things. (Again, I’m not talking about doctrine, but idiosyncrasies, style, standards etc)
    For example, in our county there are 3 IFB churches that are the same in doctrine but are all slightly different in our ways of doing things.
    Sometimes Pastors like things to be the way they are simply for a comfort level. Tradition isn’t sacred, but neither is it necessarily sinful.
    IFB pastors get the brunt of criticism and are called controlling when they don’t want to change, but what about the church member who is controlling and is trying to impose their will upon others. Isn’t that the same thing, only reversed? (Pam, I’m not saying this is you, you post just triggered a thought)
    Of course, what we need to be careful of is blasting those that have slight differences as wrong, when they are only different. (Which the IFB have to a better job of).
    (Sorry for so many brackets in this post)

  245. I scanned this website out of curiosity to see what was meant by the title. While I know from my own observations that many people experience genuinely bad situations in IFB churches, I would differ with two commonly espoused themes: first, that all IFB pastors are basically alike and second, that their motivation is to deceive. Most of the IFB preachers I know believe as strongly in their independence as they do the fundamentals. Also, although I am sure there are those who preach Christ in pretense, many of them that I know do have a strong desire to reach the world with the gospel – often with great personal effort and sacrifice.
    As an ordained preacher who grew up in Baptist churches, I have seen and heard things that I believe are unscriptural. The following are what I have observed to be two root causes:

    1. Baptist philosophy. I cringe every time I hear a preacher say he has a philosophy. Sometimes what they have are really principles that are consistent with scripture (Paul did teach “and such like”); usually, however, it IS a philosophy, which is warned against. How a man who claims to be a Fundamentalist can have a philosophy is beyond me. A pastor can and should set guidelines – often based on judgment calls for what he believes is the right direction – for how the church operates, and must instruct accordingly; teaching elaborately constructed philosophies is another matter entirely.

    2. Baptist pride. Again, another thing the Bible warns against. I believe that is why some go the trail of the Baptist Briders. Somewhere along the way, the “modern fundamentalist movement” became more important than the Great Commission. We became impressed with the state ranking of our churches when most of the world was still unsaved. It became more about “keeping up with the (Pastor) Joneses”, and the bus ministry became more about driving attendance numbers than reaching people and changing lives. It became more about driving their people to build buildings than leading them to build holy lives.
    It has also led some to strive to acheive “inner circle” status or outright prominence.

    I have a few words of advice in response to these comments. First, please don’t let your experiences cause you to depart from the faith. Keep your eyes on the author and finisher of your faith, and don’t let the Deceiver beguile you or turn you aside through the offenses of men. Also, as you seek to understand what Christian liberty is, don’t use your liberty as an occasion to the flesh or exercise your liberty at the expense of your testimony. We are taught to walk in wisdom TOWARD them that are without, not with or against. Being the light of the world is a serious matter that requires our utmost attention. We are bought with a price, and though the Lord desires us to serve him out of love, we owe our Saviour nothing less than our all.
    May God bless you as you grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ.

  246. I have two poems I like very much which give me a positive perspective on Christianity: Let Me Be An Instrument of the Faith, and Footprints in the Sand.

    Two beautiful hymns that help me refocus are: Lord I Want To Be A Christian and Take My Life And Let it Be. Some hymnals also have a hymn called Here Am I.

    When I feel discouraged, I love to listen to classical, traditional, Southern Gospel, and contemporary Christian music as well as secular music. Music and poetry are also great forms of praise. My life is full of peaks and valleys, some I disclose and others I prefer to keep private. When something is public, it can be very hard to live in the present and future if one is only reminded of one’s mistakes in the past.

  247. The church has lost focus of the purpose God gave it. All denominations suffer dictatorship, unfortunately. Any organized gathering will ultimately make someone experience unpleasant emotions. God created us free will agents, so if you don’t like something get out. I too was a member of an IFB Church. I didn’t like many of the rules. One of the main things I hated was being required to wear skirts for any church function. I understand modesty and I admire anyone who carries it out, but God doesn’t care if I wear a pair of pants or a skirt. I know this because I have a relationship with him and he would let me know if he had a problem with it. I asked the preacher once, “why is it so important for us to wear skirts and dresses?” He replied “because we want to remain as close to tradition as possible. Women have always worn skirts.” I pointed out that men actually wore dresses too and they were called tunics. He was not pleased with me. I was not trying to be a smartass; that really was my thought process. Why change anything? Should we not all wear what people wore when Jesus walked the earth? They take a drastic view of how worship music is demonstrated too. I’m a singer and I love gospel music. The church we attended only allows music played live on a piano or acapella now.
    Seriously, take off the blinders. It’s all about control and needed control is steamed from fear and God is not fear, he’s love. God isn’t about control. He even allowed the angels in heaven to conspire against him with Lucifer. God knows all; he’s not afraid. He created every creature to walk their own path. Choose him, or do not choose him. He’s not going to make us choose him, that’s why the scriptures say “choose today who you will follow.” Hence the word choose.
    I now attend a Southern Baptist Church and I see so much out of balance within those walls. One of my main concerns with churches today is how they totally mix up the great commission with oversea missions. I know a woman who raised over $11,000 in support to travel to Africa for three days on a “mission” trip. She took her whole family for Christmas holiday. I listened to her talk about the trip and the one thing I heard more than anything else she said was “my family is going to have such a learning experience, can you imagine my kids pulling water from a well? They’ll have to if they expect to drink.” Mission outreach isn’t about having a family experience where children are taken thousands of miles away from home to a remote area to prove that they have it good. Missions is about meeting people where they are and showing them love. They handed out soap and tooth paste, but can you imagine the awesome well or farm animals that could be bought with $11,000????? When a deed is done through self interest, it isn’t a deed done from God’s love. God’s love is pure and has NO self interests.
    I am at a place in my walk with God where I realize that he is with me at all times in all places. I have social standards and laws that I must ethically abide by to remain a productive citizen out in the world. I want to be someone that people love and like to be around. I want to remain faithful to my husband and loyal to my children. I want to honor my father and mother and I want to be modest for myself. I do not need to be governed by legalism or man-made law. My ideal of worship is walking in the mountains in his presence with my family, enjoying the wonders he spoke into existence. I want to lift my voice to him and listen as the chords echo off of the tall hundred year old hemlocks. I don’t want to conform to expectations of the committee. I just want to worship. Does that make sense?

  248. Paul,
    That was very interesting. It seems like tithing out of duty is a legalistic form of giving. I love the verse in 2Cor. that says ” each one must give just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. If we are obligated to give a tithe or any amount, that would be compulsion. I believe God wants us to give generously to support good ministries and faithful men and woman committed to spreading the gospel. I also believe that God wants us to give cheerfully, from a thankful heart, not out of a sense of duty. I think giving should be an expression of our hearts desire to join in and participate in what God is already doing in the world. Giving to God and His work also shows where our priorities are. Christ cannot be Lord of all if He is not the Lord of our finances as well.
    I think that shows the problem with tithing, like legalism in general, it takes the heaven high ideals of the Christian life, and reduces it to a few shallow rules to follow.

  249. Volunteerism is not supposed to be mandatory. This confusion seems to exist in religious and secular institutions frequently and in many situations. I have done lots of volunteer work with enthusiasm for causes I support over my lifetime. I do not want to be humiliated in public or private if I say no or restrict what I can do or how often. I feel this has to be a personal decision not made under pressure. There may be reasons one may not want to discluse publicly or privately. I am so thankful for organizations that respect the individual’s privacy and respect one’s final decision without extra questioning and with appreciation.

  250. Many years ago, long before I came across comments posted on your website, I became aware of publications by Max Lucado, David Seamans, Stephen Arterburn, and possibly Dale McCleskey. They also discussed the 12 Steps of Recovery and Serenity Prayer.

    I like when churches provide pew cards, opportunities for service, talent surveys, and elective topical Bible studies. I had to adjust to hearing different translations but have learned to accept comparisons. Some will leave the decision to the believer and respect one’s final decision for participation. Unfortunately others aggressively persue their members in public without taking the time to find out the reason in a private conference. I’m not certain one has to provide a reason if a ministry is “voluntary.”

  251. @Brian
    Often, churches have the same version in the pews available for those who do not have Bibles of their own. Usually the translation will be listed in the bulletin also. The confusion you mention is probably more likely to happen in Sunday School, evening activities, or mid-week Bible studies. Some people do not understand Old English and a modern translation is easier for them to read and understand, especially if the teacher is able to explain the lesson to everyone. I love the Old English and find it poetic. Churches usually keep one publication of a hymnbook in the pews as well. Many hymns have a variety of different arrangements and sometimes even list different verses or having slightly different phrasing. This is also true for some of the popular creeds. Sometimes comparisons can be interesting though.

  252. @ Paul. I’m going to put my comments under the tithing thread so the general comments don’t get gummed up with off topic stuff. See you there!

  253. @bob
    Bob, The IFBs churches I have been in the authoritarian type of leadership has certaintly been there. The leadership has all the answers – now fall in line and follow me. It’s love with a hook.

    Back to the tithing thing that I have recently posted. How about taking a test to see what you do know on the subject? Follow this link: http://www.freelygive-n.com/uploads/The_Tithe_Test_2_-_SYA_Edition_-_Imbed_Link_and_R_Box.pdf

    Have a great day and live loved – because you are!

    Paul

  254. I want to edit this.

    While I don’t believe that salvation is based based on works (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 10:8-10), I can list many scriptures in the topical concordance which state that the actions are outward manifestations of our faith. Our lives must back what we read in scripture like a reflection one sees in a mirror.

    I’ll return to the next sentence.

  255. @mike
    I share many beliefs and values with those who attend these churches you are discussing.
    My issue is not as much about the beliefs and values as much as it is about intimidation and the group mentality. I have read the book of Hebrews which encourages Christians to assemble together. I have also read Matthew, especially Chapter 6. I think there are times when we need to be alone. Most important, the focus is to be on God first and it must be a genuine experience rather than some meaningless staged presentation. While I don’t believe that salvation is based on works (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 10:8-10), I can many many scriptures in the concordance of the topical concordances of the Bible which state that others look to us to see if our lives back up what we read in scripture. It’s a mirror of our walk with God. I don’t know if you have ever read Screwtape Letters or Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis or even Pilgrim’s Progress. I can’t remember the author. These books discuss many of these points in the Christian walk.

  256. @ Paul.
    This is why I have chosen this site as one that check daily as I search things out.
    A place where we can have a reasonable discussion, and if we end up disagreeing, we can do it agreeably. I know traditionally IFB’s have had hard time doing that, but in my experience, so have xIFB’s.
    I’m going to go through the tithing stuff, then I’ll post again.
    Till then;

  257. @Ryan
    Ryan,
    I didn’t think you were nitpicking. I just hate reading what I’ve just written and find mistakes that I cannot correct. The above was my way of correcting myself. So here’s another correction. As I wrote this I kept asking myself, “Has it been that long?” So I checked my dates once again. It was July of 2006 not 2004. So my over lay of time was a couple of year off.
    I totally agree with the name calling part of your response. I don’t believe this or other types of stereotyping are warranted. I have found that too often name calling is someone’s only defense. I love talking in hard places even when there are strong opposing views. I’m always looking to find where I am wrong. Because I have been so totally wrong before and wouldn’t budge. It’s difficult next to impossible to talk with those who have already made up there mind as to what they are going to believe.
    I would love to sit down with you, the guy who put this site together, and others on this site over a cup off coffee, or better yet over pizza, and be able to hear what God is doing in each of our lives. I know from reading that there are those who have or are going through some really difficult times. Often this is when Jesus walks the closest.

    God bless

    Paul

  258. @ Paul.
    Thank you for the link. I will check it out.
    And I’m not nitpicking everyone’s spelling. In hindsight, I should not have posted that comment to Norbert. I had no idea the effect it would have on people.
    When most people are on the same page, and are ‘friends’, well, friends can let things slide.
    But when there is a dissenting voice that yells out “Your are liers”, what’s the first thing you think? (rhetorical question)
    I had started going through the links at the top of this page, and just haven’t gotten to the tithing one yet.

  259. Paul,
    I agree with what you are saying, and I don’t think all IFB churches are bad. However, there is a tendency among IFB’s that is fairly predictable.
    Perhaps, the worst problem is the authoritarian type of leadership. In these churches, questioning the pastor, or disagreeing with the teaching is an impeachable offense. They just will not tolerate dissent of any kind. This is the polar opposite of the Biblical model where everyone is responsible to God to study the Bible and know truth for themselves. God is not honored when we accept teaching from men without clearly seeing the teaching in Scripture. In reality, that is elevating man’s word above God’s Word. Keep studying, and then spread the word.

  260. At least two spelling mistakes: “as” should be asked. “Probable” should be probably. Sorry. It would be nice to view the post prior to posting it.

  261. Ryan : What I’m trying to figure out is if these scenarios are those of people acting in the flesh, or if there is actually something wrong with the general theology of the IFB. That’s all.

    In July of 2004, we had week long soul-winning/revival services. This included guest speakers. One of these speakers was a former pastor and now full time evangelist (Dean Miller). Not lacking for illustrations, he had an arsenal of stories to unleash upon his hearers as he eloquently danced the scriptures to build his points of truth. One such point was that of Christian tithing. I had been in and attended church for now some 32 years and had agreeably participated in this practice. But now I was challenged to question tithing. Not because the evangelist did not himself adhere and promote this practice, but rather because of how he propagated it. Malachi’s curse thundered with brute force upon those who were unwilling to open their purses or wallets (in my case) to supporting the local church. He stated that when he was a pastor if someone came to him for counseling he would first turn to his secretary and as her, “How’s their tithing record?” He followed by stating that he could not help anyone who was cursed of God – that is if they did not meet his tithing demands. He was harsh, cruel, and extreme. But for me, hey, he’ll be gone in a week; I can endure this. The week expired and he left, well almost. His messages had stuck with my then pastor. He continued where the evangelist left off now in the same tone and demeanor. Now every time before the plate was passed this black cloud hung over those where were not right in this area. Thus, I began my investigation and thorough study of the topic of tithing. I wanted to know what the Bible said about it. In my reading, I came across those who were hurt, those who were mad, and those who were just crazy. But there was an unfolding dimension of truth taking form before me. I really do want to know God for who he is. I began to realize that what I was being taught and had been taught from the pulpits of IFB churches was not what the Bible taught. Oh, sure, the proof texting was there and once a verse was lifted out of context it could be made to say just what the preacher wanted it to say. But that was over six years ago. I have since then left that church. Or should I say, I was no longer welcomed there. Ministries that I had headed are now lead by others more willing to go along with… Students I once taught are now taught by others. God has continued to patiently and lovingly restructure my belief system as I’ve endured the pain of His showing me other areas where my doctrine did not reflect who He is. So the question remains, “….is actually something wrong with the general theology of the IFB?” You’ll have to decide that. Theological doctrinal battles of words will not win anyone to anything. God has to win our hearts to the truth. He invites us into the reality of who He is.

    This site is more that two years old. It’s a little different then when it crossed my path some three or four + years age. Back then, you had to become a member of the site. As I recall, I was the first to join. It was shut down for a time because of people linking junk to the site. My appeal to this site was because it echoed some of the concerns that I was facing.
    And of course, one of those concerns was the truth about tithing. This site reflected much of what I was now learning. It even endorses Russell Kelly’s book. Probable the best and most through book that I have read on the topic. Free pdf. Download on this site or at: http://prayershack.freeservers.com/ Scroll down a ways, it’s on the left hand side along with some other free stuff.

    Love the dialogue, not the sermon.

    Grace and peace

    Paul
    [email protected]

  262. I realize you are upset about this website because people have communicated problems. This website has been around for two years. I just found it now. I don’t think it’s that easy to find because I had to crossreference words just to get to it. Also there are websites where members who are very grateful for the movement can post thier praise as well. I have actually read some of the praises as well as the complaints.

    @ EBR. I’m not upset about this website at all. In fact, my first post said that it would be a regular read of mine for I am looking for truth. I am in the IFB, but want to align my life with the Scriptures, so if there is something un-scriptural about the church I’m in, I want to know about it.
    There are absolutely some IFB churches that are over the top. And these have hurt people deeply. I recognize that and am sympathetic to their stories. What I’m trying to figure out is if these scenarios are those of people acting in the flesh, or if there is actually something wrong with the general theology of the IFB. That’s all.

  263. I own vinyl records, cartridges, CDs, VHS, and DVDs. I feel the following disclosures would help me make decisions. Some of this technology was not available to the general public in my youth.
    1. Information about the ministry, biographies, qualifications of instructors, supported ministries.
    2. Suggested reading materials, recommended study materialss, prerequisites
    3. Ratings for age appropriate material.
    4. Make trailers and other advertisements special features. I hate secular and religious DVDs which require me to listen to trailers before I can select other options.

  264. Initially, at least in high school, my plans did not include an IFB college. It was recommended at the exclusion of other schools. I had a lot of people from my youth group and surrounding churches attending this particular institution. There are times of the year when being on campus was a lot of fun. However, a great weekend or retreat is not necessarily a reason to select a college. When I attended, most people did not have computers and we did not have the internet. I had to depend on the recommendations of others. I honestly believed back then that the recommendation by an ordained minister was automatically “God’s will.”

  265. I referred to a trilogy of films on a previous post.

    1. Scripturally, Christians are instructed to know the signs of the end times but not assign a particular date or time of day in which Jesus Christ will return for the second coming. I do not know why pastors and movies quote the exact scripture and then try to do exactly the opposite. Christians are not the only ones guilty of this either. There are many in the secular world who try to guess at the exact date the world will end. There are many movies on this subject, some with scriptural references and others without them. If the subject is popular, people tune in. The problem with this is that if the date and time guessed does not happen, those who guess look like fools or reprobates left behind when half the population disappears. Outsiders feel this is like crying “wolf” too many times. People respond at first for an emergency. However, there are so many responses so many times that by the time the situation really arrives, people become skeptical or reject the warning. This happens for national emergencies like hurricanes also. People within a Christian body may have more tolerance. Those outside the Christian body become alienated and distrustful. New converts may be very confused.

    People come from different educational environments. Christians have different rates of growth and exposure. You can have two people at the same age in the same church. One may grow up in a private school or be homeschooled. This person may attain knowledge at an earlier time than somebody who has never opened a Bible or is just starting to learn the scriptures. There are also different interpretations, especially for the Book of Revelations. There are different translations. I am not saying that this is what the minister at your church does. I don’t know where you go to church or school. I’m not asking you either. In many colleges and universities, students have to take preliminary courses or proficiency exams prior to enrolling in advanced classes. Many require that students have background in the prophetic books of the Old Testament as well as exposure to the New Testament so that the information connects in a way that can be understood. This includes the usage of concordances and commentaries, etc… This is especially true if the church has many visitors and/or the event is held in such a way that people who do not have this level of instruction or are not mature enough to understand the background can get hurt.

    The first movie I saw was shown after Sunday school and the morning service. We actually had two Sunday schools because this was a mega church and the classes were determined by the bus schedules and communities they served. Most of those who attended had families who were raised in the church. The others had to find a way to carpool because the buses did not provide service after the movie. The pastor even had reservations which he mentioned prior to the movie. Members of the church felt that this movie had some value so they provided an opportunity for many to see it in our high school youth group. There were a few members who came from public schools or were relatively new to the fellowship. At that time, I did not have the level of instruction in the Old and New Testaments that a college campus or university recommended to grasp this. I had some background but it wasn’t extensive like the academic training you might have.

    The second time I saw the other movie in the trilogy, Image of the Beast, I was older and did have the background since this was after college. The problem I had was that this was shown as a nondenominational event at a rally and many people brought very young children and even infants. We can restrict attendance for a variety of reasons. My reason for suggesting restriction was due to the fact that I believed this was more advanced required an audience versed in scripture, perhaps in a prophetic class prior to the viewing.
    I was very upset that it was shown in a situation in front of infants, toddlers, kindergartes, elementary school children, and teenagers or adults who may or may not even read the Bible. This was one of those events when members were invited to bring their friends for a membership rally. It was at a different church and I do not know the denomination or affiliation. It was held in a campmeeting situation.

    By the way I do love the revival and campmeeting form of worship. I do think there are topics that need to be taught to the age or experience appropriate aaudience and the Book of Revelation is restricted in that sense. I am not suggesting that the Book of Revelation be avoided. I hope I have clarified myself here.

    I apologize for panicking about my grammar and spelling when you were actually writing to somebody else. I do think communication is important. It can detract. I’m not angry at you in any way especially since I did go to high school and have an associate degree from a community college. I can’t bring up my grammar and spell feature when I’m entering this website because I don’t know how to access the menu bar for Microsoft Word. It is a valid comment even though my salvation does not depend on spelling or grammar. Consider yourself gifted if you communicate very well. Many others may not have the same skills.
    The best way you can help is by setting a good example on your own posts.

    I realize you are upset about this website because people have communicated problems. This website has been around for two years. I just found it now. I don’t think it’s that easy to find because I had to crossreference words just to get to it. Also there are websites where members who are very grateful for the movement can post thier praise as well. I have actually read some of the praises as well as the complaints.

    We have the infallible Trinity: God, the father; Jesus Christ the son, and the Holy Spirit. Human beings are not infallible and neither are their institutions irregardless of whether they are IFB or some other affiliaton or denomination. The church is a place of redemption or it is supposed to be a place of redemption. Unfortunately, in some cases it is not. I do not know which church you attend. I am not judging your church or minister or members personally. The posts I am writing about are based on my experiences. There may be others that have similar experiences from eitiher the same ministries or other ministries within or outside that affiliation or denomination. I understand that the difference is that in an affiliation, there is more local autonomy whereas in a denomination, there are different levels of the chain of command. Some affiliations are very siimilar to denominations and others are very independent of denominations. Many times they are similar and that can be confusing. I wasn’t even told about the affiliation. I like to know what the affiliation is prior to attending a church. “I also like to know what ministries an affiliation or denomination support. If a group adheres strongly to a particular set of beliefs and values, that is not necessarily nondenominational. THere are many groups of Baptists.It is not just one denomination or sect. This is actually true for many other groups as well as many have different bodies and various level of cooperation between the different bodies. If a group calls itself nondenominational or interdenominational, it should respect the beliefs of those from other groups. If they are strict about adherance to a specific set of their beliefs, I think they should call themselves by the names of groups which share similar beliefs even if they are a different body within a denomination. I hear the word independent and often I find that churches who claim to be independent actually are affiliated with other groups whether they are looser structured affiliations or different sects within a denomination or specific set of beliefs. This is where I feel some of the decpetion occurs. When many talk about accreditation, they mean regional accreditation applied to the secondary schools and colleges which transfers to many around the country. There are different crediting bodies too. I think it’s important for the members to know whether courses will or will not be acknowledge by many schools. I think families have the right to make the best decision for their members especially if the parents are paying for the education and in many instances this is the case. Students need support from their families. Some schools have what are called “21 privileges” for students who are financially independent or older at the time they enroll. Others choose to work. That decision needs to be up to the individual and one’s family. Pastors can make recommenations.

  266. @Carrie
    Carrie,

    My salvation is dependent upon my belief in Jesus Christ and my acceptance of his gift. My sins were attoned by the sacrifice on the cross. While actions do not determine salvation in themselves, they manifest one’s life. These posts are forms of written expression. Communication can be enhanced by improved spelling and grammar. He can expect me to work on my spelling and grammar and proofread what I write since I claim to have earned a high school diploma and associate degree. I’m not upset about this. I realize he may feel that we are attacking the Christian faith and may even feel like this is personal. Actually he was talking to Norbert. I became self-conscious when I realized that I didn’t proofread and edit my work. I’m not really upset with Ryan. I did want to know if there is a way that I can use the spell and grammar features with this post as the menu bar doesn’t come up when I enter my comments since I’m not in Microsoft Word.

  267. Good grief. There is a stereotype of IFB’s that are strong on the Bible, but ignorant of everything else. When they get angry, (which, admittedly is too often) they usually whip out some spur-of-the-moment email that has poor grammar and poor spelling. This in turn is mocked by the non-IFB’s. I see it all the time.
    If Norbert (who is attacking those on this site) feels that he is right, he isn’t helping his case by seeming ignorant. He is opening himself up for mocking, and a dismissal of his views.
    In these forums, since we can’t see each other face to face, people read into our words. We want to present the best possible argument, that’s all.
    I was trying to help Norbert, I wasn’t speaking to anyone else. I apologize if you (EBR and Carrie) were offended.

  268. In ref to EBR’s note to Michelle:
    Perhaps you’ve now realized that the devil has always misused Scripture like in the wilderness where the Lord Jesus corrected him (referring to other verses.) This shows me that the devil really does hate Scripture so does all he can to pervert it; he knows when used by the Holy Spirit, our Counselor, it will bring down strongholds that he has set up in people’s lives.
    I have learned more than anything else during my IFB experiences to rely upon Him-His Spirit will build up and He has done it as I prayerfully studied His Word. He has brought me to know and trust Him more, thus staying free by not giving my submission to many out there who’d love to control me instead of Him– He gives me victory as I learn more and more how to ‘abide in Him’ and yield to His Spirit (Romans 6) -His Word is powerful Hebrews 4:12; The promises of what His Spirit does in the believer and teaches one through it, are seen a lot in John. We are not to be controlled by those who want to over-lord us, whether they be IFB preachers, Catholic ‘priests’, or Church of Christ (or other false “Christian” groups) even or psychiatric counselors who mix secular theories (devised often by those who admitted they hated Christianity) with His pure Word.
    “Grace and peace be mulitiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” 2Peter1: 2-3
    Isaiah 9:6 announced “and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Hey! He made and designed each of us; He knows the number of hairs on our head, He understands our thought afar off (as David said) so I believe He is able completely to speak to, and guide this sheep of His…Who else does a believer ‘need’ then?
    Isaiah 30:1-2 is plain also:”Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that taketh counsel, but not of Me…” We see people heading to every kind of (so-called, self-appointed) “high priests” today instead of Him; that is denying His love and sufficiency for those He gave His life for. He deserves all the glory–all the praise–all the credit for His marvelous grace and provision for His sheep; He does it …can do it…and DOES do it–All by Himself! (and I give Him all my love and adoration and praise!
    love to you all
    carrie

  269. @Ramon Graham

    I always had concern about conversions which were the result of fear, especially with particular movies about the future based on interpretations of Revelations. I was bothered that such movies were played for audiences who were just entering the congregations or visitors who were attending a special event without former studies of the Old Testament, these parts are considered prerequisites at many of these colleges. If they made college students take introductory courses, why were they introducing inexperienced believers to these movies without previous studies. I would rate these movies R and definitely would not recommend them to people with very limisted exposure to the Bible. I was furious when t hey were used for evangelical campaigns. Actually I got into arguements with a few Christians about a series of three movies: A Thief in the Night, A Distant Thunder, and Image of the Beast. I saw two of them: A Thief in the Night and Image of the Beast. There are other movies of this nature that have also been used and have been told about those. I started questioning this when a minister showed these movies after discussing Theologians. There were a lot of exact predictions of when the world would end. The problem with this is that the world didn’t end on t hose dates they guessed. The other problem with this is that several epistles warn that we won’t know this information in exact detail but we need to be preparing in the present and focusing on our current lives. One should have a background from Daniel, Isaiah, and other major and minor prophets. I guess what bothers me about fear is that when one’s faith is based on nothing but fear, that might work for a visit to the altar, but during hard times, the fear that is supposed to help one in a present situation actually is the fear that makes one distant. The very source of healing becomes a source of terror. One has to be very careful and cuatious and studied when one interprets some of the books. Revelation also has figurative language and many references to the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. I find this to be the most difficult book of the entire Bible and I did take classes which studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

    I live in a region where I run into many IBF members even though I am no longer IBF myself. When this happens, especially when I’m given tracts, I find myself trapped in some type of time warp even though this is not the “Collective” and I’m not a member of the Borg. That’s a reference actually from Star Trek and Science Fiction. However, it’s something I wish I did not identify and I wish it was only something I saw on a Sci Fi show.

  270. @EBR
    Dear EBR,
    I believe you see that there will always be those ‘used’ by the evil one to discourage one in their Christian walk and witness–those whose pride in their ‘abilities’, apparent feeling of superiority ( of perhaps their use of English grammar for example?, ) can greatly impede spiritual growth in the sheep; Also, I’ve observed in IFB churches in different parts of the country, that this is often accompanied by a destructive, condemning spirit.. They seem not to understand the importance of ‘edification’ of other believers but often stay in a critical spirit often, never looking to, nor commenting on any ‘good’ as 1Cor.13 defines ‘love’; and as we have seen that 1Cor. 8:1 says’ that knowledge puffs up but love edifies’; so pride does tear down and discourage–a prime tool of Satan’s, whether that was their intention or not. In this case I’ve had to address ‘wrong’ and will be accused likewise; but the bully type needs to be stood up to -for his own sake as much as for others. He unknowingly is on ‘self-destruct’; his harsh, critical spirit, missing the points being made on others, is also being used to the devil’s advantage–as a bad witness in the world’s sight as well as being used to hinder the young believers. (I hope he is a ‘sheep’. I’ll pray he is.)
    AND, I figure he will not see the ‘point’ but will notice some grammatical or construction errors.
    Poor critic, I feel sorry for you. You are in bondage.

  271. @Paul

    @carrie
    We are often talking about not only local, but regional, state, national, and even international ministries. This is another reason why so much damage is being done and it is experienced by so many people. There have been times in history where others questioned not the word but the way that the Bible was being used unintentionally or deliberately. Great religious revivals have resulted from people who have stopped, prayed, re-examined themselves, and made positive changes. Whether or not there is a revival is something God will determine. But an individual can make a difference in a group. A good witness can have a good impact. People do notice positive changes when they see them.

    Ryan, I agree that my spelling and grammar need some work. You didn’t write to me since my name isn’t Norbert; however, when I read that comment I went back and read my own comments and caught mistakes that should have been corrected with proofreading. If we are on this sight, can we go back into Microsoft Word and edit or check for mistakes in grammar and spelling. Please leave this ignorant fool some simplistic instructions so my comments don’t detract from what I want to express due to mispellings and the improper use of grammar. I have Moxilla Firefox so I need to learn how to edit Microsoft Word.

  272. @Michelle
    My experience has been similar to yours. The difference has been that at the time I went through this, it was very hard to find an objective person. If the counselor is not familiar with this type of situation, might misdiagnose e person using a variety of terms which include: disassociation, schizophrenia, bi-polar, autism, anti-social, borderline personality, paranoia, and withdrawn. There are even more I may not have listed. Also others who mean well may recommend reprogramming, avoidance, and other solutions. In my situation, people made name associations and mixed up ministries and told my parents what they guessed. They thought I had one situation that was totally different and unaffiliated with the environment where I was actually exposed.This is also the result of confusing news events. They thought one of my friends was a survivor who was trying to recruit me in a different situation. That was even worse than the one I was in, except for the fact that I was still alive and in the United States. I didn’t watch or read much news while I was away at college. Therefore it took a few years to figure out what was going on and why. However, by that time, my frustration and isolation reached a point where I actually gave up but fortunately God had other plans. Fortunately God was able to bring people into my life who were able to help me in the way I needed help. I understand what Brian said about verses that became a source of discouragement rather than healing. This happened to me. Sometimes this still happens to me. Sometimes also I worry too much about the group. I sometimes found myself considering my experience the religious version of “The Borg” as defined by the Star Trek spinoffs.

  273. I will make a special effort to slow down and check my spelling and grammar. I will spell humility correctly.

    Many years ago I had the opportunity to attend Bill Gothard’s seminars for three evening sessions. They were held at an arena. Many church affiliations, families, and individuals were present so I suspected there must have been at least 5,000-7,000 in attendance. During the presentation, the lights were turned off so everyone could see the screen. I don’t take notes very quickly though. I only got Bs and Cs.

  274. @ Norbert. I am IFB, but you don’t help your case when you have poor spelling.
    Just saying. It just adds to the stereotype.

  275. You are a lier. You are criticizing the IFB without any concrete reason

  276. @EBR
    I’m glad you shared, brother. Thankyou.

  277. I have been following all of the comments with interest. I have read most of them (sometimes the really long ones with no paragraph breaks make my eyes glaze over) and have been impressed for the most part with the charity exhibited here (especially Bob). His comments are well thought out, Scriptural, and not obnoxious.
    I am in the IFB, and have been searching lately for truth. Most of the anti-IFB sites I have found use the same tactics and hateful philosophy that they decry about in the IFB.
    I will continue to search, and this site will become a regular. There are others that I have stopped going to for the above reasons.

  278. I don’t want to continue rehashing my experience as I have mentioned pretty much what I need to say. I think there’s a point where one can stop and move on. But this has helped.
    I am only discussing experiences with institutions I actually attended. I am not taking sides on those where I was not involved.

  279. What’s wrong with this comment?

  280. I don’t think prayers need to be long or one needs to share private information in lengthy detail. I have been to prayer groups where the leaders were aware of the abuses from other fellowships and really helped those from those environments and also respected private
    “unspoken” requests or even very short brief sentence prayers with maybe a reference in the form of an adjective or word or two. I have been reprimanded for mentioning an unspoken request by other Christians in other groups. As I look back though, I don’t handle my own stress that well and really, while not meaning to sound selfish, I would prefer not to know livid details about situations which do not affect me or where I don’t know the people involved. Yet I can pray because I believe the God I have come to know is omnipresent, understands the need for privacy and in the book of Matthew, the merits of privacy are definitely mentioned. I don’t condemn prayer. Some of the songs written as prayer are beautiful and inspriting. It’s sad that an experience which was meant to be very uplifting, inspiring, and helpful has turned to be so sad and painful. I know some people do believe but because of the pain and sadness, it has been hard for them to come back to God even though they long for the relationship they once had at an earlier time before it was corrupted. I have trouble sometimes with holidays which I once loved and sometimes the songs which I loved also make me sad. I prefer to study the Bible in non graded situations where I don’t have to deal with the added stress of tests and quizzes and papers and can just practice my faith. I do love songs like Day by Day and By My Side and We Shall Overcome and even He’s Everything to Me and some of these were not allowed as part of the worship. I can think of other contemporary music. I love some of the orchestrations by both traditional instruments but also have a combination of classical, tradition, Southern Gospel, and even contemporary choruses and songs and I would say that probably half of that music would not check in the environment I left. It wasn’t just inspiration. If they didn’t like the lyrist or musician, the music was also blacklisted. The saem is true for publishers.

  281. @April

    I ran into the issue about baptism twice. The first time I did agree to a baptism by immersion because at that point, it was very meaningful to make this decision on my own as an adult. The second time I ran into the issue I decided just to stick with my initial Baptism of immersion because when I was originally baptized, I believed I was saved and at that time, it was before I became disillusioned with the IBF movement since I didn’t even know what IBF meant or was aware that the IBF church attended even belonged to an affiliation at all. The second time i did participate with my testimony where I mentioned the verses for where my salvation is grounded.

    I have read about comments about bus ministries. The church I attended at that time had such a large bus ministry that it probably needed a separate garage for its mechanics, maybe even an airplane hanger. In a rural community, a bus ministry might b e justified if neighbors are acres or miles apart and one must travel 1-2 hours just to find the nearest city or town or township. While there were farms in between the towns and lots of corn fields, the farming wasn’t that extensive and there were other independent Baptist churches as well as other ministries by other denominations within walking or a short driving distance. Since then, I think that church is move involved in the community that it was at the time I attended. There have been some changes. There was about 1-1/2 years where I visited other independent and denominational ministries that were closer to home too and did not have this experience at every church. I want readers to understand that I am not talking about every single IBF church nor am I condemnning every single IBF ministry. I don’t. The buses helped the elderly too. And they provided a coach bus for long distance trips. I just feel that extensive bus ministries can overlap the work of good local churches and walking is much easier and preferred when possible. And carpooling is possible with shorter distances.

    The insitutitions I attended attacked other institutions who were also spreading the word and had very similar religious beliefs, in cluding other IFB ministries which I valued. The problem with t his attacking is that when I left, it ruined my family relationship and also made it hard to leave one church and when I visit others and am asked about my background, some say, try this church and that’s the very church I left. Or they say you are conservative or fundamentalist and we’re not. I’ve run into that too. And if you know about music and or participate in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School or other ministries, you are also asked about one’s background. And if the background was one which ridiculed other ministries, even years later, decades later, it’s not easy not to live in the present because the past follows one everywhere. I don’t want to deny my Christianity and yet sometimes I find myself hesitant even to bring up my background or contribute when my contribution might be v alued. In history, there have been movements where people did express their concerns orally and well as in written form even before the age of the internet. I wish ministries would focus themselves on the body of believers to whom they are ministering and let other assemblies focus on their attendants and members. I have found myself on the defensive and apologizing for what I believe not becasue of my beliefs but because of the actions of the members in the highest level of leadership who have a national and international profile.
    It has made witnessing very difficult and/even impossible.

  282. @April

    @Carrie
    In my situation when I was in my late teens and early twenties, the pastors were the very people who asked their members to hold them accountable and I remember a few sermons where they actually told their members to hold them accountable and even provided a few suggestions about what steps could be taken. This isn’t always easy to do in such an environement. I find it very frustrating as a Christian because I want to see justice on earth and have an opinion about what type of justice I want to see and when I want to see it that is not necessarily scriptural but just human nature. Who says balance is easy?
    I think the song” We are Climbing Jacobs Ladder” shows how Jacob wrestled physically with God.” I’m not necessarily sure I am mentally or emotionally wrestling with God but since these are his ministries, maybe I am. Jesus did destroy a temple when there were a lot of problems and sin occuring in the temple. He made his views very well known. He also will hold everyone accountable in heaven even if they are not held accountable on earth. Actually I do think they are held accountable on earth. Unfortunately when they are, they happen in the form of scandals and this too hurts the Christian body and it makes it very hard for other Christians to trust and walk even when those Christians are trying to walk and live the lives of Christians as they interpret in the Bible. It’s true that we can over generalize too or that this could happen to any body of belilevers irregardless of affiliation or denomination or even a small prayer group. I am also aware in some cases about the cost of exposure. I am aware of the blacklisting practices although I am not aware that I have personally been blacklisted. There used to be a time when everyone would stay and listen and never question. And there was a time when the same individuial would stay at the same body from presentation, baptism, communion, confirmation, marriage, and the last rites or whatever sacrements and ordinances practiced by a certain body. I think there is a big difference in previous generations and current generations. On the other hand, we have to be careful when we blog these posts. I do not want to discourage people from being involved in church. THere are some ministries within the IFB that I liked too that I am not condemning. I’m not sure everything th at happens happens to the entire group at the same time and place. I feel there is room for individuial interpretation and questions. Also most Christians I know have struggled at some time or another. I do not think the struggle makes one a “reprobate.” In fact, I don’t think one becomes a reprobate either until after one dies or the rapture, whichever occurs first. Until then, there is always room for redemption and change. Even with the churches in Revelations, God said repent and turn away so even at the very last second, there was a chance for redemption. I don’t necessarily understand the Book or Revelations and am not sure I interpret it the way it is taught sometimes. But I do think that the problems we are discussing on th is website are problelms that were occuring at the time it was written.

  283. oh, ok, EBR you’re still coming from what you’ve been through at youth camps and schools then , I now see. That must have been very difficult at times in addition to the nice ones you said you’d met. You have my sincere compassion after I had inadvertently enrolled my daughter in a very severe IFB school one year…where there was the sin of favoritism–a gal smacked her in the head for not saying the volleyball team was as great as the other thought–but the other girl was a relative of the staff and wasn’t disciplined and my gal was labeled a ‘rebel’…she did need to be more considerate how she spoke perhaps:O) but not labeled and abused–by letting the other one off and not held at all responsible for the hard blow to my daughter’s face either.
    We all have been exposed to some hard, legalistic-leaning (some well-meaning, sure)–but ‘in the flesh’ folks at times. There is a need to also have contact with older, mature, loving Christians with the ‘balance’ you mentioned that the Lord does bring one into as you utterly depend upon Him for it–(I think of how He says He is both “Love” and “Truth” both–and just and merciful while He deals with sin, yes, as well as balance in our activities that you were speaking of I see now: arts, music–and, by depending upon the Lord for the guidance you mentioned at the end of your last letter. Right! (and sadly it seems both art and music has been infiltrated with compromises nowdays so we need great discernment, right?)
    but I was back on the problems we’ve often seen in the church of ‘sin’ and the justifying of it causing big harm.

  284. EBR, if I sounded ‘hard’, I truly apologize. But I am very very sad and sick to see preachers who will justify their sins using a Scripture or two, instead of being true leaders, and real Christian men-who follow their Lord’s example in humility as in Philippians 2, “making Himself of no reputation and lowering Himself” (and He took our sin on Himself) whereas they will not even take responsibility for their own sin but cast blame (which is a worldly belief system, not ours–of not assuming any responsibility for one’s mess-ups/ sins, but instead, casting blame on everyone else.) It is not godly. and is cowardly on top of that. Real leadership is not too proud to say “I made a mistake”–that would teach the rest of us to take responsibility for our sins and mess-ups, (being contrite and repentant) and then after taking this to the Lord we have the reassurance we have been forgiven. Yes! but the Lord wants us to face ‘sin’–and turn from it. First to be able to recognize wrong, sinful attitudes, thoughts, acts (toward Him first of all and toward others)–but if the ‘leadership’ are blame casters who never take a tiny bit of responsibility for sin then how can others get free of their own sin? Instead they learn to cast blame too…and are in bondage. That is not godly examples–but a serious denial of what sin is. and it is easily used of the evil one to destroy people who don’t realize that a preacher should be like the Lord first–and have the wisdom that James described in chapter 3. Then they can follow his correct example and not have their minds messed up…by the contradiction of what they may read in the Bible but not SEE in the lives of the preachers. Some of us can see that contradiction and realize they cannot join such, but new believers are going to be very affected in wrong ways. True conviction and repentance, receiving His forgiveness for our sins, will keep us in the freedom the Lord said He came to give us–blame casting will keep all in bondage.

  285. and that IS the problem–sin. This ‘balance scale’ thing sounds good–but it fluffs over the
    true and UGLY, underlying problem–and that is “Sin” (that that God sacrificed His only Son for–that which made it necessary for so high a price to be paid for us by the Lord Jesus)
    so it is very serious.)
    and it’s a big problem when one encounters preachers who don’t want to consider that they too can (sin) and don’t see sin in themselves, for then there is NO “God reaching out to us, forgiving us and revealing His will when we pray and seek his word in the Bible” if folks have been raked over the coals by sin in the preachers and their families…instead with their lack of conviction and repentance, it sets a VERY terrible example for those under their ‘(so called’) “leadership” –the sheep have no example of what ‘contrition’/ true repentance is. Sheep are focused on a shepherd–too often the one who should be an ‘under-shepherd’ but who often want to have the imminence like Diotrephes and THAT takes peoples’ eyes off the “right emphasis” as you said.
    .

  286. It helps to have verses like Colossians 3:23 and Philippians 4:8. They serve as guidelines.
    I struggled because the arts are mediums which can be used in a way that honors God or dishonors him and that determination is not made by the medium itself but by what one does with the medium. I refer to drawing and painting and sculpturing, dancing, music, and literature as art.

    Faith is what God provides through Jesus. Religion is what we do to what started out as “faith.”

  287. The emphasis on Christianity has to be centered on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This is the first of the 10 Commandments in the Old Testament. This is definitely the theme of the New Testament where our salvation is based on the crucifixion and resurrection and the new life we are given in the desire to want to be holy and sanctified. The problems we discuss occur when that balance has been lost and the balance scales are lobsided in ministries and in our own personal lives. It can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. Fortunately we have a God who reaches out to us, forgives us, and can reveal his will to us when we pray and seek his word in the Bible.

  288. and I can vouch for them being ‘in the flesh’ while they were preaching right things, for they had no reason to be ugly, sharp-tongued, judging my heart’s motives intents at the same time they were preaching about saving souls. I can tell you that their rage at me, (NOT ‘the fruit of the Holy Spirit), started when they sensed I wanted to discuss how they were ‘acting’ from Scripture. They hated my disagreeing with their over-lordship and saying “OW! that hurts! ” in a strong tone that a woman should never have I guess, when falsely accused. their hateful fleshly words and acts (like destroying what was left of my marriage)–is obviously to just about anyone in the world: ‘NOT of His Spirit’ even when they think they are “doing His work”. They are, instead, disobeying Him, and being used of the evil one to possibly destroy completely the work His Spirit had begun in them with their legalism in their flesh-(from the pride that thinks we can still be good/obedient without total disillusionment with our old man–without finally seeing after life experiences, that truly ONLY surrender in faith,to trusting Him to do the work that He promised to do, will then keep that old sinful nature nailed to the cross and see what God will do without our hindering Him, getting in His way with our ‘over-lording’ . Jesus told his disciples the night of their last supper that we were NOT to be over-lording, authoritarians, but to be like Him Who came as a Servant of the sheep.

  289. no.3 about Denice’s (and others replies as well).
    in other words:
    Just as we are ‘saved by faith’, we are also sanctified in the same way: by faith in His finished work and our new position “in Him”. As we identify with what He said through Paul in Romans 6, the Holy Spirit does a work within us, to DO/ to BE (and especially He is producing our Lord’s image in us more and more–when He ‘is lifted up’, He said, others will be drawn to Him. When we concentrate on trying to “BE/DO” instead of abiding, looking at/focusing on Him, the old man/sin nature tries to, and sometimes does, assert itself.
    the Lord Jesus also said that ‘they will know you are Christians by your love’ for each other; and I have seen IFB preachers who had no clue what ‘love is apparently (which makes me worry for them if they really know Him–for He would teach them, the Scriptures say, how to love. )
    You can preach good doctrine and should but a preacher will also be giving an answer to Him about also ‘leading by example’–whether they did that or not, too.

  290. no.2 about Denice’s;
    could it also be that we, even as mis-led believers, STILL think there is some ability or good in the ‘old man’ –that he/we can ‘pray, be obedient enough to be better than other Christians? or they’d put it ‘just closer to God’ through their obedience; they don’t realize that it is the ‘old man’ that God said died with Christ on the Christ, that they are relying upon, I realize. But when we haven’t realized (after much sad experience, that there is NO good thing in me, as Paul reasserted and seemed to realize in Romans 7, then it does look like they are (legally) trying in the flesh to do what ONLY the Holy Spirit can do and wants to do, in these new creations of His.
    We are empty vessels and don’t still realize that until we keep flopping and hurting ourselves and others–trying to be good–to be obedient–be better by works than others…
    then we keep seeing we need total dependence upon Him daily for that power to do what our new heart craves to do…so we learn more all the time to “ABIDE” in Him…we cannot produce fruit but He the vine, only can. It is all a work of His Spirit…and we praise Him all the more all the time as we realize how we slip back into our fleshly works, unless we are communing with Him daily–spending time with Him in His Word…but it’s like He said…He is Spirit and they that worship Him must do it ‘in Spirit and in truth’…(I’ve seen the IFBs go after the truth and try and preach it but they seem to say one can only improve by self-effort. I know they’d disagree for they do not see that truly they are STILL legally trying in the flesh…(and the flesh part does reveal itself in wrong judgment of others and in trying to drive/control them; NOT ‘lead’ them like the Good Shepherd does, through His Spirit inn those that are born -again.)

  291. This from Denice, is more (even if ‘well-meaning’) clouding of the real issue. I sit here praying after reading the above from Denice: “Lord, how come they don’t see what we were saying?” It must be that they have not yet been ‘on the receiving end’ of wrong and hurtful attitudes and wrong judgment which can destroy faith. It is NOT what is preached that is ‘the problem’ we keep submitting here: it IS harmful, hateful, “high-minded”, arrogant attitudes toward others, misrepresenting the very character of our Lord Jesus. The biggest problem is their seeming hypocrisy–for they have double standards; while often sounding very good in what theypreach about important things like: the Gospel –contrition over sin and hurting others and grieving Him, conviction, repentance etc never seems to be applied to themselves. Not going by the same standards and adding to God’s at times, can so turn people away from further seeking the Lord and getting to really know Him, if the ones they see who say they are His ambassadors, act hurtful, are not ‘meek and lowly in heart’ like He is, and who hold themselves up as ‘judges and overlords’ of the body which they often think of as ‘theirs’ instead of “God’s”and instead of being his loving examples to His flock.
    They get in God’s way severely with people’s precious souls, thinking He needs them to be in “His place”; even secular people can see through them and it hurts the cause of our Lord Jesus when they do not PRACTICE what they PREACH.

  292. I came across this website because I was doing some research on why IBF do not participate in communion. I must say that I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and I value an individual’s opionion. I joined my church about a year ago and I have never been spiritually happier. I grew up in a baptist church where I watched deacons sleep with loose women and teenage pregnancies. After a few years of neglecting public worship, I begin to feel convicted for not attending church. I prayed and asked God to lead me to a church where there was corruption and wordly acts were not condoned. I honestly believe God led me to the IBF church where I am currently a member. I do not agree with some of the teachings like men not wearing shorts or flip flops and women should only wear dresses or skirts. Still, I love my church family, I have never felt so welcomed and loved. I must admit, I don’t always wear dresses, but I feel more of a lady when I do. Although, this is the teaching, no one looks down on members who wear pants, in fact there are some women who wear pants to church and they are not looked down upon. Our main goal is having a closer relationship with God through prayer and obedience and winning souls to Christ. We learn to be stewards for Christ by giving, serving, and loving our fellow man. Anytime I question what I hear at church I come home and ask God to lead me to the scripture which backs up the teaching. I have yet to find anything about men wearing flip flops and shorts. I do believe that we should separate ourselves from the world. I feel that someone should be able to look at me and tell there is something different about me. I cut my hair, in fact it is a very short cut. I have gotten many compliments from other members in the church. I can say this about our church that I have not seen since I was a little girl..members go out of their way to help each other and others in the community. I am a single parent and anytime I need help with something people are more than willing to lend a helping hand. We look out for each other. We believe in the power of prayer as we are constantly praying for each other. Prayer changes things and I am a living witness to that! I love the fact that they instill total abstinence until marriage, especially since I have a teenage daughter. I wish we attended this kind of church when I was a teen. The only thing that I do not agree with is the way the girls are taught at the school which is the reason why I did not put my daughter in the school. I do not believe that young women should be taught against following their dreams of having a career. They teach girls to go to college to be a teacher in a IFB school in hopes of growing in up to marry a preacher or missionary. I do not want my daughter to give up the chance of having a fulfilling professional life, thinking she will marry a man who will work to take care of her while she stays home to be a baby making machine. I married young to a man who was COGIC and they didn’t believe the women should work. I ended up giving up a career and the chance to further my education to be a stay-home mom and cater to my husband who after 10 years left me with two kids and no life skills. To the people who do not agree with the teachings…read your Bible and trust in God. Clothing will not get you in Heaven nor keep you out. Salvation is the way. Also I would be more concerned about being in a church that conforms to the world more than I would with one that does not. Many churches today will not teach against common sins such as homsexuality or fornication for fear of offending someone. Typically if you feel offended you are guilty…that’s what conviction is.

  293. What about the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention)? They are very legalistic too and racially biased?

  294. I am not going to attack every aspect about the IBF movement because sometimes, some of the instruction was helpful. I did want to stay out of trouble and avoid narcotics, premarital sex, alchohol, other types of criminal activity, and gangs. I liked having friends I knew from church at college. Their parents often sent us carepackages and even stopped to v isit us when they visited their own offspring. I had friends who had brothers and sisters on campus and access to family cars because they were juniors, seniors, or students with 21 privileges who were financially self-supporting adults. I enjoyed the youth activities at church as well as camp. I actually I loved working at a campground for two summers. The camp had different affiliations from the church and the college. There was definitely concern about my choice raised by the ministers at the camp as well as those at my public community college which was regionally accredited. Others schools had been mentioned by those, but anytime I mentioned these schools at church or college, they were very strongly discouraged and forbidden although as I look back, they could have been very good choices for me. I also was dealing with the serioous terminal illness of a close friend at school and church.

    The rules, while I didn’t always agree with them, actually were not one of the reasons why I left the IBF. I probably needed the daily room inspection. I got a few but not too many demerits. I didn’t get in trouble at camp for room demertis. I had friends. Also I had been approached about being nominated for an office in my society the following semester after some seniors would graduate. I was also involved in sports, other organizations, and ministries. I viewed the dean the way a child would deal a visit to the principle’s office. I did visit the dean at her apartment and one she drove me to a medical appointment. That was the extent of my contact with the dean. As for the administration, well I only saw them in group events such as chapel services, vespers, and assemblies. I saw teachers in classes, sponsors (campus parents) at picnics, and advisors in organizations and prayer meetings. Students and faculty and administration didn’t mingle much like they did at the public community college.

    I was bothered that all the work I did would not transfer, but not only would it not transfer, but colleges didn’t even want to look and evaluate the credits. On one tour, Imentioined the name and the students and teachers laughed and th is was a conservative Christian college too. Even some of the IBF affiliated schools were mad at the administration at my school and definitely so was the moral majority. The other aspect was that counselors who were not familiar with the campus thought it was paranoia or bi-polar or schizophrenia or autism. Some counselors who tried to discuss religious matters in a helpful way to me were actually disciplined . Some in the medical field are in conflict with religion. There may have been reasons to support some of those concerns partially but there were also some reasons to consider the religious influence that were also ignored or could not be discussed. And unfortunately some dissillusioned patients wanted to ban religion for everyone as well.

    I don’t mind if I get a letter or card from a church in a new location. Many churches do this. I do mind when I tell somebody I am churched and they will not take “no” for an answer.
    I mind when I’m chased around a store. If I want to read or listen to religious material, I can go to a store or booth at a fair or a church or school or library, etc… We definitely can easily find religious instruction on Cable TV. There are several channels affiliated with Christianity on TV as well as the radio. Sometimes I do listen to these. I also have an audio Bible New Testament. I wonder now if soulwinning really is essential with the internet. I guess what I objected to was not that it was done, but it was done in a confrontational way. I also think some of the bumper stickers I see are annoying and actually use God’s name in vain even if the followers do not realize this. They can also be destracting to drivers.

    Blacklisting was the practice that upset me the most and caused me to leave these groups, not because it did happen to me but because I had seen it happen to others and was afraid it might happen to me and got out before they got a chance. /Those who were blacklisted had given up their entire life serving God. I don’t think the blacklisting was merited and I notice that the blacklisting doesn’t occur among those with the worst offenses or those who are popular or make a lot of money or have some type of celebrity status. I also felt the punishiments were very severe for very minor or even trivial offenses and in some cases were totally unexcusable. I didn’t like the forbidden lists. I’ve noticed that they have changed over the years. Also one was held reponsible for the actions of others. That may have merit within the body of believers but not necessarily outside and those who came from homes outside who did not support the ministries, life could get pretty tough and definitely judgmental. We can’t control the actions of others, only what we do ourselves. This is why we have civilian judges in the legal system. We are accountable for our own lives at our own churches, ministries, schools, community organizations. Also the Spirit of God has to move and convict. I think everyone expected soulwinning to do this and if it didn’t, the soulwinner was blamed.

    Art is a media whether it is music, art, or dance or any other form. It can be good or bad and the artist is the one who makes it that way. I can see principles like Phillipians 4:8 or Colossians 3:23. I struggled with this. A G-movie theater still has previews. Previews may be offensive. Christian choreography and gymnastics are forms of dance. So is the Minuet. So is dance aerobics.

    There were many people in my life who were very kind and supportive to me. I do not want to condemn these people any way and am thankful for the role they played in my life. I did like the shepherding movement. I am not condemning that either. In conclusion, I probably was upset about the tactics more than anything else.

  295. Winifred hasn’t read very much or very well then with her idea of ‘our feelings hurt’ (and she still sounds like a ‘jump to conclusions’ and ‘make a snap judgment’ (WRONG judgment of people that the Lord tells us not to do)’, typical IFB therefore.

  296. @Travis
    yes! thankyou, much, Travis. You’ve encouraged ME, too, to keep praying for my husband who’s been deceived in this stuff for over 6 years now!

  297. Travis, I enjoy hearing stories like this. It encourages me to keep praying for my wife who is caught up in a similar type of thing.

  298. Very True, I too have been caught up in a very deep IFB Church that uses the Bible to beat on you. Praise God that my Wife left the Church 5 years earlier and saw “the Light” and didn’t give up on me, we nearly got divorced because of my Strong stand that I was right and everyone else was wrong. Very bitter to the Slick, Manipulative ways they / “the System” works on people to do the things they teach and preach. I better stop talking now, it only gets worse and nor do I have the time to explain my entire experience at a Legalistic, Cult, mind controlling, anti “other Race”, total seperation “even from Family”, etc, etc, etc, you know where im going and what I mean…. Travis

  299. @Paul
    Wow! Very insightful. I was not saved until the ripe age of thirty-one after living life as a shameless profligate-I was not your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety sinner-I was an outspoken blasphemor, a drug-addicted theif, basically, a flamboyant street thug . . . After several years of good discipleship, the Lord called my wife and I into pursuing foreign missions. We moved in order to attend seminary. Finding a church was hard . . . my wife and I appreciate (prefer) a more traditional church . . . Somehow, the CCM and more modern tunes remind me of the ‘bad ole days.’ Well, finding a traditional church became difficult . . . until . . . I happened across our current church . . . an IFB church. Now, I want to be clear . . . A lot of what I have read seems to be exaggerated accounts of people’s feelings getting hurt when confronted with sin . . . However, I do believe that much of the leadership in IFB churches is ill-equipped at helping newly converted profligates conform to the image of Christ . . . Every person that has joined the church in the past 3 years has been a Christian (or at least was ‘raised Christian’) for years!!! We are talking about those whom the Holy Spirit made sensitive to the sin of coloring outside the lines when they were 8 years-old type people. I often feel (there’s that little word-the true common thread in these posts) like I do not belong . . . I can’t talk about my successful law or medical practice, or my godly parents, my 15 generations of missionary grandparents . . . get the picture? Anyway, I don’t think IFB churches (at least in my experience) are legalistic or pharisaical-they preach salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone-not salvation by works . . . What many of them lack,is the ability to come alongside a filthy-rotten sinner, who has been redeemed by the finished work of Christ, yet is still contaminated by the world, still smelling like the mire, and love that person-that child of God-love that wretch and help them to fix their eyes on Jesus and be transformed further and further still . . . to participate in the work of sanctification . . . You see, Jesus raised 3 people from the dead . . . Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, and Lazarus . . . all were quite dead . . . however, they were at different stages of being dead . . . Jairus’ daughter was still warm . . . one could hardly tell that she had passed . . . while the widow’s son was already in funeral clothes . . . dead just the same, but his death was a bit mopre decided in the eyes of man . . . but, Lazarus . . . O, Lazarus . . . he stunk . . . he was shut away . . . his funeral clothes had already began to sink into his flesh . . . Yet, Jesus called them all forth from death . . . Jairus’ daughter with but a still, small command . . . the widow’s son with a touch . . . and Lazarus with a shout! Come on, IFB, can you not bring yourselves to embrace Lazarus and help loose him of his funeral clothes?

  300. Thanks for caring about this guy enough to answer him, Bob. I was just thinking “SIGH -here’s another to add to my list of those ‘calling down fire on us from heaven’ that I will pray for…

    and because of folks like him, it’s another lonely Sunday

  301. dear David,
    I think it is fairly obvious that one of us is totally blinded by Satan. Pride is characteristic of people outside the control of the Holy Spirit. A self-righteous attitude is common among those who think they can please God by their own self-effort.
    ” And He told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  302. you all are ignorant and Satan has you blinded. One day, when Jesus returns, and he is returning, your eyes will be opened up and you will see the truth. The CCM crowd is as much a tool the the devil as is alcohol and drugs. It’s weak minded, so called “Christians” like all of you that cause harm to the cause of “Christ”. Get over yourself, repent and get totally right with God…..before he returns

  303. @Steve hirsch
    well, no, Steve, but, it almost sounds like the IFB churchmen get together from across the country and decide to pattern themselves like the other ones (sadly). Anybody else heard of this one Indiana? It is baffling how these folks can use their (added) ground rules’ to tear up families and surely the Lord detests them for that (‘what God has put together let NOT man put asunder’) with his attempts to add to the finished work of the Lord on the cross. But they keep putting themselves in God’s place. (sounds like what Lucifer wanted to do).

  304. Steve,
    I wonder what causes the families to be broken up? This sounds like a really bad place.

  305. Anyone of you ever heard of Fairhaven Baptist Church in Chesterton Indiana? Beware of the mind control and manipulation from the teachings from this church. I have seen many families broken up while I was there. They definitely fit a cult-like mold. They pretty much believe that if a woman wears pants, they are not saved.

  306. @bob
    Hope you had a good holiday. Thanks! how sweet He is–the way He uses these ‘vessels’, for edifying and encouraging. (I’m glad you said I encouraged you and gave some insight for the way I’ve been disesteemed and held in contempt the last 6 years, it was plain they questioned His even being in me at all. With their gross lack of consideration, edification, compassion, I could think the same of them, but MY Bible, (unlike ‘theirs’?) has verses that warn me not to ‘play God’. (I love how David said to please not turn Him over to men’ but to God for he knew God only was trustworthy and merciful.)

  307. Bob,
    It’s hard to confront them with the truth lovingly as you mentioned. It is the right way of course, but I’ve yet to see an IFB devoutee that doesn’t resort to name calling and “rigthteous anger” and quote some scripture that calls us ex-IFBer’s fools and apostate then shut off all conversation. Until it happens to them they may not see. My wife and I have nephews/nieces that are in the IFB ministry and we worry about them. Even when they can see the wrong-doing of the IFB pastor they still stick by him quoting/paraphrasing verses like “Touch not God’s annointed” and let God will deal with him. They’ve threatened us with she-bears for speaking out, but Oh-well. We ran into a She-Bear with cubs in Gatlinburg TN, she had her chance, she walked away.

  308. Carrie,
    Right. I don’t think the Bereans would want to go there anyway. Perhaps some of the people who visit this site will begin to question the things they are being taught in light of Scripture. We may not see the end result, but, I trust and pray God will use the truth to bring people out of false teaching. I have been learning recently, that the only way to help people in the dark, is to confront them with the truth. I mean, I want to do it lovingly, with gentleness, its just that nothing but truth can help someone in error. Nothing but light can help someone in the dark. Thanks for your insight and encouragement.

  309. @bob
    and good answer to Kevin also. (another one who pops in just long enough to read very little if any of what we’ve submitted that we’ve been through, and doesn’t consider our reasons given from scripture (as we do what the Scriptures told us to: to test and prove) and they realize we don’t agree with everything done in IFBs and are apparently ticked off and just start haranging.
    (without ANY reading–and ‘their fingers shoved inn their ears and hands over their eyes’) lest they hear and see. (they just don’t WANT to…so they need to go somewhere else and quit taking up our time needlessly if they don’t want an ‘honest ‘ discussion.)
    but you answered in a Godly way as if perhaps they might really down deep somewhere in their souls and spirits there is hope that they haven’t yielded to total brainwashed acceptance of everything they heard in an IF church. We all want to be loved and accepted; but you and I realized that Jesus’s acceptance and receiving of us was most important; so we don’t go along with things that are ‘off’–for it would lead others astray. I don’t think many IFB churches would welcome the “Bereans” to join them.

  310. @bob
    After all these years of prayer and extra Bible study, trying to understand these people, I realized their double standards, control seeking (like God needs their help or something?) and you ‘wrapped up the situation’ precisely. You’ll aways be in my prayers, brother.

  311. Kevin :…if they are using the Bible not taking verses out of context but preaching what the Biblical author meant then they are trying to protect us and have a greater good because the Bible says that all preachers will give account for their flock one day and we will to on whether we listened and changed to be more like Him.

    That’s a big IF, Kevin. That’s the problem though. The IFB DOESN’T preach “what the Biblical author meant…” They preach the TRADITIONAL beliefs of the IFB not the Bible. IFB preachers are trained by IFB teachers. How then can they correctly interpret the Bible if they are only following the IFB teachings themselves? This is one of the things that make the IFB a cult like denomination. They refuse to consider other preferences/convictions/interpretations except what the traditional IFB teaches.

    You are doing the very thing that you speak out against… pulling verses out of context so that they fit your message. How can you not see that?

  312. Hi Kevin,
    I do not hate anyone in the IFB churches, and I do not reject any part of the Bible or its teaching. What I do hate, however, is false teaching. I cannot tolerate those who distort the pure doctrine of God’s Holy word. There are pastors in many churches, like IFB churches, who set themselves up as an authority in an unbiblical and carnal way. These pastors are ruling by their OWN authority and not as a humble servant. There is a biblical authority that qualified pastors have. It is to the man of God who accurately teaches the word of God that I am to submit. Many pastors like Jack Hyles have lorded their own authority over God’s flock. Jesus said ” whoever wishes to be great among you must become your servant”. 1 Peter 5:3 says pastors must not lord it over those allotted to their charge, but prove to be EXAMPLES to the flock.

    I think the bible teaches that humility is the hallmark of a great christian leader. Jesus said that their has never been anyone greater than John the Baptist, yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Numbers 12:3 says Moses was more HUMBLE than any man on the earth.

    God’s word is my ultimate authority. Anyone who says something different than the teaching of the Bible is to be rejected, not obeyed. Rom. 16: 17 says Now I urge you brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hinderances contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and TURN AWAY FROM THEM.

    Should I listen to God’s word, or the IFB church?

  313. Growing closer to God is not leaving or joining an IFBC. The Bible is a narrow book the world and people’s feelings are to accept and love everyone but Jesus does not accept our sins. Jesus loves us but not the things we do. Jesus always addressed People’s sins (the women at the well) (The rich man). So was He Lording over their lives yes He is our Lord. So if any church preaches and teaches the Bible they will tell you that you have to live Godly and stop sinning. And even though we still make mistakes and commit sin He does still love us but we need to repent and go on not live in our sins (God forbid Paul says). Most people who are complaining about the IFBC is right some are very strict Biblically but the pastor just preaches it is up to you to change or not or live right before God. If it is not shown to you in the Bible then don’t do it. But don’t resist preaching because it is confrontational. Look at the Old Testament every time the prophet came to town he was preaching against compromise because it is natural for us to go astray that is why Jesus calls them Sheppard’s and the people in the church Sheep because whether we know it or not if they are using the Bible not taking verses out of context but preaching what the Biblical author meant then they are trying to protect us and have a greater good because the Bible says that all preachers will give account for their flock one day and we will to on whether we listened and changed to be more like Him. The Bible is very divisive what do you think the families of the disciples said especially the fishermen and the tax collector. They left our family to go do what? When we are truly saved now it is time to forsake all and follow Him. Hopefully most of your family will follow to but just like in the Bible days people will show up for miracles and signs but when Jesus asked them to give all or stay up and pray only His disciples will be around and even most of them will fail but they are still trying. That is why Jesus said to be my disciple you have to hate your brother and your sister. The Bible divides! Narrow is the way of righteousness and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction. Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Why did Jesus say that because the disciples were not doing and would not do the things that the people of their day were doing. Jesus was Lording over them and Jesus still Lords over us our pastor don’t but sometimes we think he is but he is just saying what the Bible says we need to get made at Jesus not the Pastor that preaches the Bible hard and straight that is called honest and pastor is just the messenger do not blame the messenger. Lu 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Because if you love one person too much and they disagree with the teachings of the Bible an say well now that I’m saved and can eat drink and be marry and do whatever but you tell them that Jesus is asking us to separate ourselves from the world which is what the Bible says but your family says no you have to chose which way will you go your families or Jesus and the Bible? There is Love in the Bible but there is also Hate and we need to love the things that the Bible loves and Hate the things the Bible Hates not the people but the things people do. Rev. 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Man if someone lived that way he would be looked at like a weirdo. Let me ask everyone a question does the IFBC Hate any of you? Do you hate them? Most of you do even though they have tried to love you and your family and told you the truth you hated them for it because you would rather just go to church on Sunday and live any way you want the rest of the week. Neither Jesus nor His disciples did that! Please do not respond to me with how you feel use the Bible to defend your reasoning, Jesus did!

  314. Carrie,
    I think I know what you are dealing with. My wife left me to stay in her IFB church. They are not concerned one bit about her going back to her husband.
    Imagine that I was attending their church and my wife left me to go to a denominational church. I can only imagine how they would condemn her as a liberal, rebellious, out of the will of God. They would demand that she submit to her husband if she claims to follow Christ.
    See, I don’t think they are concerned about honoring God and submitting to Him. I think for them it is about control. There is a subtle philosophy there that the closer to God you are, the more authority you have to control people.
    I love my wife dearly. I will not, however, trade in the freedom that Christ died to give me. I am sorry if this hurts her feelings, but I cannot deny Christ by putting other peoples opinions and desires above His.

  315. make that “made sure we would NOT have a government with ecclesiastical control over us”

  316. Happy Fourth of July! I wish I could express this better, but I know our founders fully realized the need to keep away from a ‘state combination with a particular religion’; so they made sure they kept them separate so that we would have a government with eccleiastical control over us. SO when a church over-steps its scriptural bounds and interferes with the “liberty with which He has set us free” one cannot compromise even for a beloved husband. It’s the same thing when a ‘preacher’ decides his ideas are to be set as rules over all in a church and he thinks of it as ‘his church’ (not God’s flock); As a woman I cannot pervert a good concept of submission for the sake of belonging. These principles used to be understood. I do think there is too much similarity in the IFBs and the Muslim belief when it comes to their ideas about women; NOT what the Lord thought of us, and I’m so grateful to Him for that. I’ve heard some real put-down twists of Scripture about women in IFB churches and I was shocked that they could say they have such love for the lost but such a drive to control women at the same time. That does NOT go together and shows me their understanding of the true gospel is lacking greatly —about the roles of men and women and what a marriage is. SO how can they really know Him and our relationship with Him now during this ‘betrothal period’? It isn’t a true picture of what our Lord accomplished on the cross for us and in His resurrection, so it does need to be addressed in a site such as this. Many IFBs give a warped look at the Lord. But the founders understood Him better and were trying to make sure all of us had freedom of conscience-a most precious ‘right’ that God gave us. So why can’t IFB men? They’re to be LEADER/EXAMPLES!

  317. I was raised in an IFB, and those I attended are a part of Satan’s greatest deception. I have seen families destroyed. True expository preaching is rare & expository teaching is replaced by shallow quarterlies & denominational literature that push the IFB mindset. When I left that sect, I spent several months studying God’s Word with an open mind. The legalistic chains fell off, & I obtained an understanding of who God really is for the first time. The IFB theme should be “God is love as long as you live by our standards”. My family members who are still members of that cult, are incapable of discussing theology. Any disagreement with the church/pastor/denomination is rejected outright as being wrong because it is in disagreement. No matter how you phrase it, that is cultism, & it is the IFB standard.

  318. There are a bunch of ‘Mary-types’ popping in here just long enough to throw a quick stone, who don’t read and don’t care–who remind me why I’m not so sad now to NOT be included in my husband’s bunch …err “church”. He became a ‘clone’ (and self destructed); but I thank God He didn’t abandon His marriage to me. What a faithful, loving, merciful Husband!

  319. Morgan,
    That is funny, but I wouldn’t give them the pleasure.

  320. So Bob, are you implying that if I go to my local IFB church with my very short hair, a blouse, and blue jeans on, and carrying a TNIV Bible, and wearing a crucifix, I won’t be judged as a reprobate sinner? I should try it next week!

    hahahahaha!

  321. Paul,
    I think that is exactly right. If someone views grace as a license to sin, then they don’t really understand grace. Grace is God giving salvation and many many blessings at the cost of His own Son. Grace is free to you and me, but it is not free to God. Grace for you and me cost God a lot, more than we will ever know.
    By God’s grace ( riches that I don’t deserve at Christ’ expense) I have been raised up with Christ and seated in the heavenly places. I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Because God has done so much for me, I don’t want to go on living like someone who doesn’t know God. I don’t want to go on doing the same things that caused Him to die on the cross for me. Now that He saved me and blessed me , I want to do what pleases Him. That is how grace works. That is why Paul said ” I do not nullify the grace of God ( with lawkeeping) for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ died needlessly.”

  322. JE :I have read many comments, and the sad thing is many of you are uneducated about what legalism really is. Legalism is adding works to salvation by grace.

    Legalism, in Christianity, is a term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct for a person to merit or obtain (1) salvation, (2) blessing from God, or (3) fellowship with God, with an attendant misunderstanding of the grace of God. (from Theopedia – numbered references are mine)

    When an IFB defines legalism, he stops after point #1 – salvation (which deals with justification). For by grace are ye saved, ….Eph. 2:8. Points 2 and 3 deal with our sanctification and here the IFB often removes grace and replaces it with law. Grace is not the license to do anything you want – that’s just stupid.

    And of course, we can come up with a multiple number of varying definitions of legalism. I’ve given one that I view as being fair.

    Again I would recommend Philip Yancey’s book – “So What’s So Amazing About Grace?”

    Paul

  323. I think everyone is making a major thing out of nothing….I’m sure ol’ Satan is sitting back laughing away and rooting all this discention on. My husband and I are members of an IFBC in Phoenix, prior to living here we lived in NV where we also worshiped at an IFBC. Having been christians for 65 and 40 years respectively, and having raised our children in a church going Christian home – I can honestly say that iFBC ARE NOT trying to ‘rule the roost’….yest they have standards that people in the church who want to participate at the leadership level must meet – most being dress code, actions in public where they will run into the ‘real world’ outside the church…if felt committed to it the men and women go ‘soul winning’….hoping to encourage people who have visited our church to return (no force use). The Bible calls us to be ‘separatists’ and that’s what you see in us…someone different who follows the Lord, lives what he/she believes, and lives by the teachings of Christ as laid out in the new testament. Many in our church love the old time Hymns, the hymns that see to have almost disappeared with the praise music that is so popular coming on the scene. IFBC like traditional services – there’s nothing wrong with that. Our main thing is we preach Christ – born to a virgin, living a sinless life, crucified, and resurrected from the dead = HE IS RISEN! Remember the only way to heaven is through confessing your sins to GOD, accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior…..then you may follow Him throw the waters of baptism…. It’s as easy that.

  324. @Morgan
    a p.s. Like you said you’ve ‘been there and done that’; we didn’t ‘volunteer’ to go through that and find out what we did;
    but now many years later, I’m very glad for what He has taught me in His Word about it all; same old things that were going on when He walked the earth, right? Phaiseeism, and heresies that were dealt with in the letters He used to create the New Testament to guide us through these times . He said things would really get tough, didn’t He (I keep reminding MYself) and I don’t want to be a ‘whiner’ but one of His ‘good soldiers’ ; but one who others can see Him in, is my highest prayer and hope; so I know He’s used this ‘fire’ to purify me and I keep finding out more all the time that YES I sure did need it. But He does things in just the right amounts-He knows how much we can handle without breaking –like the silversmith that yanks out the metal at the precise moment so it isn’t damaged but will reflect the smith’s image most clearly and brilliantly. Wow! I love His ways and how He does use what we’ve been through to help other believers greatly. (just like what you wrote edified and encouraged me). Thanks for writing.

  325. @Greg
    well said, my brother. (all of it)

  326. @Morgan
    Oh, how beautifully said! thankyou!
    it’s so comforting and refreshing when another believer ‘sees’ and understands. You DO understand. You did see that in actuality that their demands on their wives–were extra ‘ground rules’, was a twist on the ‘submission’Scriptures, effectually making their every notion, whim, ‘edicts’, an ‘addition to Scripture’; also it was a very unloving, dishonoring, hard burden on a wife.

  327. @Carrie – you are so right about the submission thing. They are teaching these poor young women to submit to every whim and desire of their husbands. I believe the Bible teaches us to submit when the man loves his wife and family as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. It does not mean submit when the man is not considerate and loving to his wife and does not have her best interests at heart. It does not mean submit when that would put the family at risk, nor submit because he believes her job is to make his life easier. It does not mean submit when the man simply wants to have control over the wife and wants to test the limits of that control. Oh yes, I have been there and done that.

    Too many IFB churches make the issue of submission into something it was never meant to be: a test of a woman’s salvation. If she submits, she is saved. If not, her salvation comes into question. Hyles-Anderson College even brags that they teach women to be submissive to their husbands. It makes me sad to think of the damage that they are doing to the women that go to this college and buy into their false teaching.

  328. @JE

    JE :
    I have read many comments, and the sad thing is many of you are uneducated about what legalism really is. Legalism is adding works to salvation by grace.

    JE, this site talks about legalistic RIGHTEOUSNESS not legalistic salvation. Had you actually read the site before you judged it and jumped to conclusions you might have known that. Moron.

    PS – Can you please show me where in the Bible it says that not attending an IFB church is “sprinkling a little spirituality on your sin” and where our “living sacrifice” must happen in an IFB church? If you can show me in the Bible where it says that those things are fulfilled ONLY but attending and IFB and only by following the teachings of the IFB I will quit my church and attend an IFB for the rest of my life.

  329. I have read many comments, and the sad thing is many of you are uneducated about what legalism really is. Legalism is adding works to salvation by grace. You have also lumped groups like the ABA in with IFB which do NOT belong together. I challenge you to search the scriptures for the truth. It is a Christians responsibility to be HOLY! MAny of you have left IFBC for modern laodicean churches (lukewarm-ruled by the people). I understand that these are easier to go to because there is nothing taught to motivate a change. My Bible says that “If any amn be in Christ, he is a NEW creature, old things are passed away, behold, ALL things are become new.” Sprinkling a little “spirituality” on your sin filled life is not what God requires. A “Living Sacrifice” is what God says is our “reasonable service.” Don’t rationalise your casual Christian lives to me. You will oneday answer to God for it. I hope you all will live for God and not self.

  330. Surprise! another thing: I have had the honor of leading a ladies’ group in a study of “submission to one’s husband”; so when I said we are to have one “Boss”, I hope you could see that I wasn’t saying we women are to not go by those scriptures on the proper working order of things that God set up for our true freedom and protection as women. No, but I stood against the new (twisted) definitions I was getting from these men in the IFB churches I attended. (at first I thought they couldn’t MEAN the things they were saying THAT way-for look at those wonderful sermons they preach on other things-and the way they seem to care that souls get saved! How COULD they deny other Scriptures and be that OFF?! so at first it shook me a lot for I thought maybe these ‘great preachers’ were seeing some nasty things in me I needed to repent of?! Well they were acting like they did…so I took it over and over to the Lord and over and over He brought chapters full of verses that countered the way ‘they’ had preached ‘submission and Eve was deceived’ AT me…as well as they way they added ‘rules that your husband has a notion to add’ (that contradicted Scripture) TO my submitting to him. It didn’t take long for the Lord to show me that this ‘control notion’ of theirs, was an area only belonging to Him-the one “Master”–Not to men and not even to ‘MY man’ who was patterning himself after his ‘preacher’ instead of after the Lord Jesus. Jesus loved to set women free and the truth keeps women free too. So I wouldn’t want a woman to go there! I couldn’t sleep at night if I was responsible for inviting some young lady to attend a place which contradicts (in their perversion of Scripture by adding to and taking away)–what the Lord did for them as well as for men. He has no double-standards! I’m so grateful. We are seeing these religions prominent in the world–and the Lord has esteem for that ‘rib he fashioned’ whereas they have none. So I couldn’t let the IFB disesteem and wrong assessment of me, (and they only were around me hours’ not ‘years’) twist, pervert the truth –for they are acting as the devil’s advocates. How CAN they not see that? (I suspect the root of their sin is PRIDE. I understand more all the time the seriousness of ‘pride’ and why God hates it –and said it was at the root of Satan’s fall). So I ask for His conviction of sin daily! Thanks for your prayers that I stay ‘broken and contrite’ before him–that I never think more highly of myself than Iought (and I have been accused of that with IFBs but that was only for asking them their beliefs. They get hateful if you just disagree with them it looks like.

  331. Me, AGAIN. I hope it’s ‘obvious’, but I write this in case it isn’t, that I am NOT trying to share ANYthing that you guys aren’t already much aware of, being yourselves, trained by Him; but I really mean to share just HOW wonderful and faithful a Savior I keep discovering more and more, that He is! I thought I knew that, but these years with the IFBs have gotten me more into seeking Him in the Word–well what else could I do? I was so desperate! (and ‘desperation and need’ is good! haha otherwise we start back into more ‘self’-sufficiency than we realize we are.) BUT for these people to be THAT deceived so as to ACT so ugly to me was so SHOCKING! and worse: HORRIBLE for they proclaim they are representing the Lord Jesus to people. He has, as He promised in Romans8:28, worked it entirely to my good; but if He hadn’t been ‘in’ me already, being born again of His Spirit, it (the IFB years) WOULD most likely have been used by the evil one, to DESTROY me spiritually. It robs one of her faith that took decades for the Lord to build as she read the Bible. It would rob her of her trust in Him and her trust in His Word. (and I could tell you all the specific ways if you ever wanted to know) BUT my delight now is in His faithfulness to me; I learned what Icouldn’t have (without IFBs) about what He suffered, too.For example, he was ‘set at nought’ (with scorn, contempt) and speaking of ‘good experiences’: that IS what I went through; and now I see that it was a kind of ‘honor’ that He let me go through it. He was with me, He has shown me in the last 6 years as I plunged into the depths of His same heartaches with “preachers, preacher-wives, husband”/feligous folk who might not even have a ‘relationship’ with Him; That is scary. for I couldn’t tell if they really KNOW Him–only He knows. But I feel sorry for people who walk in there and get assaulted (not edified) and given a wrong picture of Who He is-by their terrible examples. He enabled me to not ‘go along to get along’ for His sake. I pray for them and for my husband, they have the wolf’s hair down in their eyes. (there are wolves in there somewhere in the IFBs yes. But some surely are real Christians,who’ve been deceived–for their flesh likes the ‘power trip’ or something…only God knows what. But this was to say He has taken me back through things He’d taught me in the Word over the years–but now they’re EVEN deeper and richer in beauty and meaning. I do praise and thank Him!

  332. and Bob’s important point (that I know you agree with as I do, Paul) is that His Spirit does speak to our hearts and minds through His Word. But I have known His guidance in many wonderful ways, hard to explain, but they never contradict what He says in the Bible. So it is the wisest caution for Christians today, NOT to trust their hearts–a proverb says if you do you’re a fool; The devil works in the realm of ‘feelings’)

  333. To Paul and to Bob,
    (I can get in here and irritate you both probably :O) BUT
    I will. but Auntie Carrie” here was thinking you still both ARE still ‘on the same page’, as Paul was hoping).
    I believe you fellows agree that we’re seeing a huge apostasy of the church as it joins this ’emerging church’ kind of thought/movement –using mysticism, the experiential, feelings, and usage of terms like ‘journey’ etc. so, perhaps Bob was making sure that wasn’t what this fellow was recommending –just as a precaution? As a woma, most especially-prone to relying on the soulish part-the emotions especially, “BC”–the Lord has had to work on me a lot to not trust my ‘feelings’ and check out my ‘perceptions’ by His Word very carefully before being tempted to act upon either.
    And if I read you guys right I believe Bob was emphasizing the need to stay yourself upon the ‘FACTS’. (I’m from a police family background so have wanted to design a T-shirt with a Bible and caption: “JUST the facts, ma’am!”)….and the facts as I speak of them are the Scriptures.
    But then I sure agree that it is the ‘how’ we’re going to do this that is important. And I think we all three truly know it is by faith –sanctification and salvation both. So He is taking us upon ‘the journey’-but He is directing the whole thing –His planning. Maybe these ’emerging’ church folks (I call it ‘submerging’) are looking at the journey more than the Captain of the boat? But I believe that Paul you were just saying that we have to keep looking to the Lord Jesus, abiding in Him daily, and His Spirit will lead us through the Scritures, teaching us and keeping us safe from all deception, giving us discernment. (and gives us insight on our ‘life’s experiences’ to keep us rationally trusting only in His Word and not our feelings. I do think we’re all saying that. and to give the real ‘authority’ to the Lord and not to men (and Paul wrote for us not to be ‘servants of men’, didn’t He? I do LIKE that verse.) For the way they would make me into a ‘slave’ is to force me to take THEIR word for their ‘requirements’ and not question them by submitting verses that contradict their ‘pronouncements’…(I’ve met too many “Pope-types” in the IFBs.
    but we need to have only one Boss…and it isn’t mankind but His wonderful Spirit Who promised to not only save us but guide us through this world…(using his definitions of ‘journey’ and we sure all agree!)
    and those are in the Bible…but His Spirit keeps us free …as we depend upon Him and NOT ourselves. Our ‘old man’ tries to assert himself so we ‘die daily’–but truly it is FAITH -reckoning that we died with Him on the cross–that allows His Spirit to give us more and more victory over that flesh (that would,like Bob said, make us slaves to sin). But it seems that the Spirit’s working is KEY! for focusing on Him,spending time with Him in the Word, is when He gives us the ability TO reckon, TO see it is accomplished. We are seated with Him in the Heavenly places. He enables us to yield to Him which is what we want to do…but it has come to me–by simple FAITH that it was done and He keeps delivering me from unbelief and fear. (that isn’t license’–but reckoning which we can’t even do–but like Bob says- the He is the TRUTH. ” Thy Word is Truth and His Spirit is truth”; I just think IFB folks leave out the working of His Holy Spirit and try to advise folks it is something they are to do themselves. WHAT A LOAD to put on them. So it is a ‘how’ question. And He told us ‘how’ to ‘journey’ : by abiding in Him and He produces the fruit and works to change us into His image. WOW! Herein, is FREEDOM and liberty. We love Him and seek Him therefore more all the time–especially when He allows us to see that the ‘old man’ is NASTY –that he had to DIE completely on the cross (in our identification with His finished work)…but IFBs I believe have a tendency to push ‘works’ first–and we are going to do those works IF we abide first in Him–seeking HIs Face. He promised! (those are promises I’ve not heard preached on in IFBs–His finishing what He started in us –that He is goinng to present us spotless, He will do it!Hebrews 13:20-21

  334. bob :
    Paul,
    I am simply saying that a spiritual journey has some definite direction and concrete substance according to Scripture. The Bible is very clear about what a spiritual journey looks like. People are not free to go in whatever direction they think God may be leading them.
    I agree with you that conformity in religion is a problem. I think following men and conforming to other people’s expectation is a huge problem. That is why truth, or the Bible, is vitally important to having an authentic relationship with Christ. In order to honor God, one must come to God on His terms and submit to Him. People are all different. We have different gifts,abilities and personalities. We may look different following Christ, but there is only one way to Christ. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Those who claim Christ as Saviour have one objective standard for for knowing what God wants of us, the bible.
    Jesus said ” I am the truth”, and” Thy word is truth”. ” The truth will set you free.” I would argue that truth is the goal.

  335. @Carrie
    Carrie
    Thanks for your reply. Please don’t ever think that a reply from a man would hold more value than yours. My original thoughts were that Bob and I were kind of on the same page at least in the same chapter. I’m not sure where he’s at on this one. I’m more than willing to listen.

    Paul

  336. @Paul
    bob must be on vacation; I’ll wait for other believer/brothers to answer your honest question; and I think I’m seeing your point. (and I believe you and bob are both closer in position than it might first appear to you.
    so I’ll ‘wait in the wings’
    for I think a reply from a man might mean more to you possibly.

  337. Paul,
    I am simply saying that a spiritual journey has some definite direction and concrete substance according to Scripture. The Bible is very clear about what a spiritual journey looks like. People are not free to go in whatever direction they think God may be leading them.
    I agree with you that conformity in religion is a problem. I think following men and conforming to other people’s expectation is a huge problem. That is why truth, or the Bible, is vitally important to having an authentic relationship with Christ. In order to honor God, one must come to God on His terms and submit to Him. People are all different. We have different gifts,abilities and personalities. We may look different following Christ, but there is only one way to Christ. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Those who claim Christ as Saviour have one objective standard for for knowing what God wants of us, the bible.
    Jesus said ” I am the truth”, and” Thy word is truth”. ” The truth will set you free.” I would argue that truth is the goal.

  338. @bob
    “You’ve lost me: This “naked pastor” guy looks like bad news.”

    You got this from this article?

    “Some of what you are saying sounds good, but there is some really bad advice on his page.”

    And that really bad advise is?
    The whole article is about not giving into the pressures of conformity and the consequences of not giving in.
    It’s the freedom from conformity to enjoy your own spiritual journey with God.

    What am I missing????

    Paul

  339. @bob
    Currently don’t agree. I think his article get’s it right. While seeking freedom is not the ultimate goal, neither is truth. He (Jesus) is my ultimate goal. In Him (His kingdom) there are no boundries. Boundries are just another way of erecting another box to contain us. That does not sound like freedom but another form of bondage. If we are ONLY to live in the kingdom of this world, we would do well to erect boundaries (LAWS) that would keep up from sin for when we cross those boundries we become bound. He invited us into a new kingdom.

    We are free when we love God with all our heart. But when has the best of us, on our best day, accomplished that?

    http://www.lifestream.org/bodylife.php?blid=54

    What Life in Him Looks Like
    “That’s often the hardest thing for people to see when they have been disillusioned by church life as many define it today. Immediately they begin to look for another way of doing church and jump right back into a different form of religious performance, rather than learning how they can simply follow him.
    Part of what Jesus was encouraging Nicodemus to do was to stop trying to put boxes around the life of his Spirit, which can never be contained. Have you ever tried to stuff the wind into a box? Have you ever tried to stop it, or make it blow a different direction? How futile! So is trying to control God’s working by boxing it into forms we prefer, or trying to control the outcomes we want from him.”

    Paul
    I’ve been the RU director and taught boundries.

  340. @bob
    Can’t agree. I think his article get’s it right. While seeking freedom is not the ultimate goal, neither is truth. He (Jesus) is my ultimate goal. In Him (His kingdom)there are no boundries. Boundries are just another way of erecting another box to contain us. That does not sound like freedom but bondage. If we are ONLY to live in the kingdom of this world, we would do well to erect boundaries (LAWS) that would keep up from sin for when we cross those boundries we become bound. He invited us into a new kingdom.

    We are free when we love God with all our heart. But when has the best of us, on our best day, accomplished that?

    http://www.lifestream.org/bodylife.php?blid=54

    What Life in Him Looks Like
    “That’s often the hardest thing for people to see when they have been disillusioned by church life as many define it today. Immediately they begin to look for another way of doing church and jump right back into a different form of religious performance, rather than learning how they can simply follow him.
    Part of what Jesus was encouraging Nicodemus to do was to stop trying to put boxes around the life of his Spirit, which can never be contained. Have you ever tried to stuff the wind into a box? Have you ever tried to stop it, or make it blow a different direction? How futile! So is trying to control God’s working by boxing it into forms we prefer, or trying to control the outcomes we want from him.”

    Paul

  341. @bob

    Amen, brother! well said ‘good and faithful servant’.

  342. Paul,
    This “naked pastor” guy looks like bad news. Some of what you are saying sounds good, but there is some really bad advice on his page.
    Seeking freedom is not the ultimate goal. I would submit to you that truth is paramount. Knowing the truth about God and the bible, sin salvation, etc. Freedom has to be defined by truth, otherwise, being free according to one’s determination becomes the goal.
    There is a freedom that comes from knowing the truth. We are free from the legal requirements of the law. We are free from the penalty of sin. However, the truth of God’s word describes exact boundaries where freedom exists. We are free when we love God with all our heart. We are free when we seek to carry out God’s will.
    Freedom ends when we cross the boundary. Everyone who commits sin is slave to sin. Seeking freedom for freedoms sake doesn’t always work, unless freedom is subject to truth.

  343. I love what this guy writes – it doesn’t get better than this. Livin’ free and enjoying the journey. Hope you are too.
    Paul

    What I’m All About
    http://www.nakedpastor.com/archives/5565

    A primary concern of mine as a pastor, and always has been, is encouraging people who feel spiritually disqualified. There are a lot of them. Religious communities are often very specific on what their members are to believe and how they are to behave. Conformity is usually the strongest dynamic at work.
    So when an individual finally realizes that her beliefs have been prescribed and her behavior censured, she has a choice. She either continues in her conformity or, usually at great cost, she examines, explores and expresses her own beliefs and exercises, experiments and embraces her own behavior.
    What I see happen most of the time is this person is made to feel uncomfortable and eventually unwelcome in the community. But again, she has a choice. She can choose to boldly continue in her independence and with courage and joy nurture her own spiritual life. Or, as I see happen most of the time, she will continue to allow the condemnation of the community to darken the skies above her and dampen her spirit and cause her to feel spiritually disqualified.
    This is what I’m about: to free people within communities whether it means they stay or have to detach; and, once they are individually free, encourage them in their new-found spiritual liberty.

  344. I would like to add one thought here. “You who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” The context of this verse is pretty clear ( Gal. 1-5).
    Legalism is a problem that affects ones salvation. Working to earn God’s approval is a false system for salvation.
    Legalism is also a problem that affects sanctification. Saved people can get ensnared in a system whereby they must work or keep rules or go to church or give so much or read the right translation or wear the right clothes or do ANYTHING that supposedly secures God’s approval. The fact is, there is NOTHING you can do to secure God’s approval. People are made right with God by faith in Christ’ finished work on the cross. Once you trust Christ as your only Saviour, you have, now and forever, eternal life.
    Christians grow in christlikeness the same way they became saved. We grow by faith, by believing what God says, and living like it is true. We grow by exercising faith, without adding rules. Adding rules to God’s system for sanctification has the same affect of adding rules to God’s system of salvation. Not only do rules not help, they actually nullify grace, or render grace useless, or make grace of no effect. In Christ alone we really live. To Christ alone glory and honor.

  345. Pat,

    Your speech is so fimiliar to me in tone and argument because it is what I once was. One comment when you stated the following:

    “Oh and a P.S. if I may. One thing is for sure if you don’t do anything else you better stay in church every time the doors are open because that is another command Heb 10:25&26”

    This is what you have been led to believe – you’ve swollowed it, believed it, and now propagate it; but Hebrews 10:25-26 has nothing to do with going to church (a building). This verse says nothing about having to be at a prescribed place (building) at a prescribed time (everytime the doors are opened). It’s an admonition for believers (Christ’s ekklesia) NOT TO GO IT ALONE. We are to gather with other believers for the purpose of “exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

    Who is this Jesus anyway? Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners – Matt.11:19, Luke 7:34. This one who continually broke the rules of his day and would not be pressed into man’s mold but brought us a new way and a new kindom. Who is this Jesus?

  346. @Pat
    There is a ‘but’…I need to appeal to you though, if I don’t sound ‘loving’ it is because we are told to ‘hate evil’. and “Hate” is a strong word-just like my ‘gut reaction’ to seeing ‘leaders’ allowed to sin (and ‘sin’ as defined in the Bible). We aren’t to tolerate sin in the church no matter who commits it for the Lord’s Name’s sake and the protection and edification of His sheep. So when you said, “Actually one that preaches legalism is not one that preaches or teaches godly standards, or against sin, etc.” –don’t you know that we agree with you? We don’t disagree with that at all, and when you say that kind of thing-it rather appears that you have not read much at all of what we’ve shared here so you’ve wrongly judged (looks like you’ve jumped to your conclusions with a pre-set mind, for someone told you like they did me–we are ‘sinners’ to question a preacher.And that can sound like a ‘false accusation’ even if you didn’t mean it that way. and yes, that does get irritating to say the least for most of us here have been through that a lot in IFB churches–James and Romans2, and 14, make it clear there is such a thing as a wrong judgment of people, don’t they? And I believe you’d agree that there are not double standards–when you spoke of addressing ‘open sin’–so that should include the preachers also, right? But most of us have been beaten down for thinking that God’s standards that we totally are in favor of-(not what YOU said)–but that they also apply to preachers, their wives and other church ‘leaders’-who we here have seen consider themselves ‘above question’. Surely you don’t agree with that either? We’ve tried to explain that above, but most of us here are edifying other believers so they can do just what you say you’re wanting to-get out there, share the Gospel and hopefully be used of the Lord to bring in more ‘fish’. But first we need some edifying as Ephesians says we’re to do. Then we’re equipped for the ministry. So that’s what all this is about.

  347. @Pat
    I wanted to offer you my sincere apology that I wasn’t a bit more careful in the ways I answered you. (You don’t realize how you came across I’m sure. We all have our blind-spots (or ‘beams’ in the eyes, me especially, I’m sure).
    so I pray you will truly know, Pat, I DO love you. I’m sorry I was ‘severe’ with you perhaps. I meant to just ask if you could realize that some things you’ve said were much ‘out of line’ in that you were judging motives (and wrongly) of people you don’t know whatsoever. Yes, we are to ‘judge doctrine’. I agree with you on so much of what you’ve said, really. I’m sure it is difficult to understand what I was trying to say, in that I’ve been on the receiving end of men adding their ideas to the Scripture and thinking that was what had to be ‘obeyed’. They often have not realized their additions but someone needs to love them enough to call that to their attention, for that IS ‘legalism’–adding traditions’ or notions of men TO what God has said. (or they’ve subtracted many verses as well, and you and I know that God said not to do either. So please know, Pat, that I do honestly care for you. (and I’m sure that means nothing to you)but to others out there who are reading, know that we Are to share the truth in love for God is both…so pray for me to do it more lovingly but not compromise a jot or a tittle either thanks!

  348. no Pat but thankyou for you have made it obvious to any reader here by your so aptly illustrating that you ARE the ‘hit dog’–and you keep proving it talking with the ‘love of the Pharisee as he throws rocks meaning to kill…
    you are making or yourself a perfect example, the epitomy, of the ‘concision dog’ that is warned about in Philippians 3:2 “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision (the Greek for concision’ ‘a mangling’- really fits your attitude, by the way) Paul called the Jewish teachers ‘butchers’ -a mere cutting away of the flesh’-not the circumcision that God does in the heart.

  349. @Carrie
    Just as many folks in this blog and you are the prime example of what Christ was talking about in Matthew 7:6.

    “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

  350. @Pat

    well, as I got on the website I could smell the smoke from your loving reply Pat so I didn’t ‘eat up your every loving word’.
    I think you’re a prime example of the expression: ‘the hit dog barked’

  351. @Carrie
    Hmm Carrie I can really feel the love in your reply to me.

    Actually after about the first paragraph of your rambling I decided that I have better things to do then to go on and on in a post where people do not want to be confused with facts because their minds are made up. The fact is there is no way I am going to convince anyone here (the Lord probably can’t either) that the path they are taking is a destructive one. Of course that doesn’t apply to everyone here.

    There are a couple of things in this blog that I will mention in an attempt to not leave folks in an ignorant state of mind. Number one the folks on this blog (most of them anyway) need to look up the definition of legalism. There appears to be a misconception that anyone that believes in Biblical standards, and edifies church members in that direction they are labeled a legalist. Actually one that preaches legalism is not one that preaches or teaches godly standards, or against sin, etc. Legalism in its accurate definition is preaching or teaching that biblical standards (or works)are a way to Heaven. While I am sure that there are Baptist churches out there that believe that way I cannot think of any except for one in Texas that I have been exposed to. Even though that is what some of you may consider a IFB I have never been to that church because I know from talking to that Pastor their beliefs. I also do not go to any churches that are contrary to the scripture that is what independent means. Does the Bible say that Christians should have fellowship with unbelievers? No they should not II Cor 6:14. Does the Bible teach that it’s members that are in open sin should be embraced and allowed to remain in open sin while being members of that local body? I Cor 5 answers these questions better than I can say. Does the Bible teach us how we as Christians should dress? I Tim 2:9. Does the Bible teach us what kind of music we should listen to? Yes it does in Col 3:16. God has standards by which we are commanded to behave. If you don’t like it take it up with God but don’t shoot the messenger because you don’t like the message. I read in my Bible about another group of his people that felt the same way about God’s standards, and He called them stiff necked and backsliding. I am sorry if I offended someone on here that did not need offending.

    Also what I meant by not having time to go on and on in a blog like this was not to imply I did not want to hear or care what someone else has to say or their opinion. I just meant that these things take a lot of time to get into and I have a lot of things on my plate, as all Christians should. For example I have spent close to two hours just in these two things I have written and close to three when combined to trying to skim over what everyone else has had to say because their is so much. That is three hours I could have been reading my Bible, praying for someone on their way to Hell, or telling someone out there about Jesus. I just do not want to take the time as I know by reading God’s word that I have to give Jesus an account of my time at the Judgment Seat of Christ (I Cor 3:13-15)

    I love you all… Yes even you Carrie.

    Oh and a P.S. if I may. One thing is for sure if you don’t do anything else you better stay in church every time the doors are open because that is another command Heb 10:25&26

  352. @TNT

    TNT, I really can relate to your story. I attended an IFB church as child through my teen years by force from my parents. It really had a negative impact on me, but I will not allow it to ruin my spirituality. I still have a problem with too much church involvement, but I do attend a regular Baptist church that is loving, welcoming and not abusive.

    When I think back about what I witnessed and read some of the testimonies here, I think it may be more sinister than just some misguided, good people. I used to always think the people were actually good, but they were just misled. I don’t know if I really buy that anymore.

  353. Amanda,

    Thanks for your post. Wishing you the best where you’re at.

    Much of the problem with the Western institutional church is that it gets side tracked from being a place where people are loving God and loving one another. As growth comes, it becomes a place that has to be managed and controlled and that means eventually someone will have to be put in his or her place. It now has to be funded and programs are erected to keep the show on the road. The managing of this “thing” is what robs life from the body. The pastor becomes the CEO of the institution instead of the humble servant to the body. Everything is geared to upholding the institutional prescribed beliefs (hard preaching) instead of brothers and sisters on a journey discovering whom this God is while learning to trust and walking with Him. The care and survival of the institution becomes more improtant than the individual. Each person needs room to be where they are in this journey with God working in transforming them as individuals instead of everyone being conformed by the institution.
    In my journey, I’m not interested in another sermon as much as I’m interested in a conversation where brothers and sisters can dialogue together. The institutional church becomes a surrogate for real life. Unless you have become disillusioned with the matrix, you will never go looking for anything different. Just some thoughts.

    Paul

  354. @Amanda

    Dear Amanda, thankyou for sharing and I’m so delighted you have a more ‘balanced’ IFB church–that actually goes by the Bible instead of just preaching it. We would all have loved to have been there instead of the ones we were in, I’m sure. For what we experienced was way beyond (a ‘little) “flaw”…but outright, destructive SIN in those who are supposed to ‘lead by example’. “Flaws” I could easily have over-looked, dealt with. But when you’ve you’re being sinnned against by ‘preachers’ who are breaking the ‘laws’ of God themselves without any mercy, commpassion, humility on their part whatsoever, one has no choice BUT TO flee before you’ve compromised your own conscience to ‘fit in’ to their group. (which you’d have to do to over-look things that are hurtful (“sin”) to the body. So congrats! you’ve found one that just has a few ‘flaws’! Wish I had!

  355. As a child I went to a Catholic school and attended a very liberal Presbyterian Church for most of my life. At 14 I moved and began attending a Southern Baptist church. After many years of attendance I still was not saved and had a very vague idea about what salvation even was. When I was 19 I met my now fiance who had grown up in a strict IFB family and attended an IFB school in his church. He left the church around the time we started dating because his current pastor hassled him incessantly about dating an unsaved person. In retrospect, his pastor was right, the righteous have nothing in common with the unrighteous. However, I and my fiance felt that his pastor had a right to his opinion but was not in charge of dictating his life or mine. Though he was not attending church he still spoke with me often about God, about getting saved, and about what being a Christian really meant. I began to become sensitive to the word of God and came to the realization I was lost. As his family came to accept me and I learned to look past what I perceived as their “odd ways” (dress code, strict beliefs, etc.) I became very close with his family who also helped to guide me spiritually. On August 20, 2009 they invited me to a tent revival meeting where a traveling evangelist was teaching. When the altar call came I refused to go to the Lord. I had so much pride and fear. That night I went home feeling so strongly convicted that I prayed to the Lord that I could let go of my materialism and pride and that he would save me! The next night I went again to that meeting and accepted Christ as my savior!

    Though I was still hesitant about IFB beliefs, immediately after I got saved I had no church to go to. My fiance’s old church (also his parents’ church) had recently booted its old pastor and brought a new one in. I began attending that church until I could find another. What struck me, though, was the love the people of the church had for eachother, the love they had for God, and the sensitivity they had when it came to God’s word. IFB is a far cry from Catholic or Presbyterian faiths and I experienced somewhat of a culture shock for the first few months of attending that church. And I, too, became concerned about the congregation’s emphasis on legalism.

    I then heard two sermons my pastor preached called “Is it me? Is it me? Am I a Pharisee?” and another called “Majoring on the Minor” And it changed my whole perception of the church. It turned out that he hated what I hated. He didn’t hate the IFB standard of living, he hated the emphasis on the IFB standard that was placed over winning souls to Christ. He addressed the issues of the IFB church – the judging, the holier than thou attitude, the idea that law is more important than grace, and that a person’s heart and soul is so much more important than a piece of clothing or a personal practice.

    I have been attending this church for almost a year now and I love it. I feel as though it’s a place where I have really been able to grow spiritually. Do I agree with EVERYTHING the IFB church says/does? Absolutely not. I’m highly educated, I have my own mind and my own ideas and thought processes. I’ve come to accept that I’ll never agree with any church 100% but I’m doing well if I am in 90-95% agreement with the church and the congregation. I understand the concerns people have with the IFB church because I had those concerns, as well. I’ve fortunately found a church that also takes issue with some of the same things I do, and we’re all actively trying to get ourselves out of the way so God can work.

    My fiance, while still an IFB, would call himself a victim of the legalistic doctrine. He felt his life was made up of so many “You can’t do’s” that he really missed out on some fun things in life.

    I sympathize with those who feel they have been spiritually abused by the IFB church and can see quite well how that could easily happen.

    MY fiance and I have made this pledge – love and attend our IFB church, accept what we know to be Biblically true, live as cleanly as we know how, and make sure we never lose ourselves to the point where we don’t evaluate everything that is being fed to us. We’ve accepted that while the IFB church definitely has flaws and it’s own set of problems, that all other churches we’ve attended have even more flaws, and it’s our job to stand for what is Biblically right and true. Independent Fundamental Baptist is so far the denomination that we have found to be the most Biblically sensitive and accurate, which is why I think many who may not share all of the IFB beliefs still attend IFB churches.

  356. @TNT

    Hello, Im glad you wrote.
    It sounds like 2 Corinthians!:2-3 here on this website, doesn’t it? (It’s been so helpful to find understanding Christians here and who do sympathize.)
    The Lord’s used many here to help ‘plant my feet like hind’s feet on the high places’ again as I read what they’ve been through.
    It’s helped me keep my focus on Him and His Word, and off the fouled up,legalistic, ‘sheep-preachers’, or wolves in sheep’s clothing–(often only God can tell which is which, right?)
    I know He will keep mending you as He has me–I’ve experienced, especially after getting away from the ‘problem IFB’ places that He is The GOOD Shepherd, all right! He got us out of this situation that SOUNDED like it was Biblical but then ACTED entirely differently than what was preached. No matter what was REALLY going through their heads–they THINK they are doing God’s work, don’t they, and many probably want to/mean to–but the devil sure can use them to hurt folks’ faith when they are ‘in the flesh’ and not ‘in the spirit’–for the Lord told us that those who worship Him must do it ‘in spirit and in truth’. I also have been so surprised that ‘they’ think they can actually ‘tell’ if you are saved or not–looking for ‘sin’ , ‘fruit’, but can’t see it in themselves (the beams in the eyes)–but also don’t seem to realize that if we’re born again –it is like in John3:8 like the ‘wind that listeth and others can’t tell where it’s from or where it’s going’. In 1 Cor. 4:3-5 (another passage that must be missing from ‘their’ Bibles), Paul said not to judge ahead of time, and that it was a ‘small thing’ that he was judged of them–for he didn’t even judge himself. But then, that is what I’ve kept doing for years now. It’s hard to believe they can skip over many passages of Scripture to dwell on (and then not apply) a few verses. THEY decide which are more important, I guess. (but that is NOT their Biblical ‘right’ to) Romans 14 seems to apply to many I’ve met…
    (I really do ask God to apply them to me first–but then it seems so glaringly OBVIOUS by THEIR lack of applying them in their own lives, that they missed them somehow.) They seem to make certain things of greater importance (than love, compassion)–things that they’ve decided only apply to women and not men…or things that don’t apply to preachers to do –just the ‘flock’. I loved the cartoon Paul shared.
    (talking about DOUBLE standards! and God isn’t pleased with that hypocrisy…so if they don’t want to be called ‘Pharisees’ maybe they should avoid resembling one? Like someone shared–the ‘walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck…well maybe it IS one..that finally hit me after I kept making excuses for these ‘godly’ people in my heart for the first little bit–the Lord SHOWED me the errors, but I kept thinking ah NO, they can’t be THIS BLIND?!) Keep sharing…I only share with the hope of ‘edifying’ or being encouraging…and am just looking forward to reading what the rest of you have in your hearts to share.

  357. I was in an IFB for 9 1/2 years and it nearly destroyed what faith I do have. Our whole family has never been treated so badly. I attended a non-denomination, a Bible Church and they were self-righteous and legalistic but they were not abusive or liars. The IFB church was awful and they were very deceitful. I thought I was loved but it was all a lie. To all of you who think that websites like this hurt the cause of Christ you are wrong, I have dealt with another one and it has really helped in a very hard part of my healing. These guys are picking of the pieces of those who have been destroyed. I thank you for this place. There is defiantly a pattern in the IFB. I can only think of a couple men who came through my former church who were just gentle loving souls. I am no longer am a Independent Fundamental Baptist and never want to be one. My former church is a cult because they are under control of a man and not the Holy Spirit and they worship this man and they don’t even see it. It is idol worship. Also in my IFB demons were used as to keep people under control. You were afraid to do anything for fear of becoming possessed. Fear, intimidation, guilt and control. So to all of you who are hurting I know what you feel and I don’t know if I will ever recover. I left my church Nov. of 2009 and have attended a Southern Baptist church. I don’t feel the place is toxic or the people are abusive but have no desire as of now to be in church. I have read some very good books, “Twisted Scriptur”, “Toxic Faith” and I read some of the biographies of Jim Jones survivors. My former pastor used some of the same things to control us. Everyone was suspicious of each other because he turned people against each other. I want to heal and get past this but there is something so ugly about church right and it is more than just human error, it was on purpose in the 1st degree. Thanks.

  358. I am deeply saddened by your situation. I feel our main purpose of being here is to help non-believers see truth, but I do think such believers (and I do know they are believers) as the IFB followers turn more away than bring into the light. However, I just wanted to remind you that in most states there are Grandparent Rights that can be upheld by courts; you may want to check this out. Normally, I would think you wouldn’t want to add “fuel to fire” with your relationship, but it seems your situation is way past that!. Good luck. I will pray for you.

  359. Doctrine, Truth and Love
    Why was it true in Jesus’ day that those most familiar with the Scriptures were least able to recognize God himself when he stood right in front of them? Is the same still true today? A recent conversation Wayne had gives he and Brad the opportunity to discuss doctrinal conflicts, how to help people open to truth instead of declaring a doctrinal war that destroys any hope of growth. And why is it that people most committed to their doctrine, seem to be least transformed by the power of Christ’s love?
    Hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen.

    http://thegodjourney.com/2010/06/11/doctrine-truth-and-love/

    Paul

  360. @Morgan
    Hi Morgan…mind if I join in again? I do actually wait a bit to see who else would like to join and add their thoughts before I do.
    Let’s get back to that last sentence of yours, ok?:
    “And if they aren’t using the same doctrines and practices, who has the authority to say which church is teaching error and which isn’t, if they are all claiming to be led by the Spirit alone and the Bible alone?”
    I believe you just made a very good point about ‘who has the authority’-thanks! Truly God has made it clear that it is only He Who has ‘the’ Authority over the Body of Christ’. So He left us His thoughts–His ‘directions’ the Bible)in which He also left us His ‘doctrines’ (Gr,means “teachings”.)–He reaffirms in so many places in it, that He is the truth–His word is ‘the’ truth, and ‘cursed is he that trusts in man’ instead of/more than Him. He made it clear that men are fallible, right? He only is totally trustworthy–worthy to be our authority and guide. He is the head of the body, as you know, and He left us His Word and His Spirit, for He said He didn’t want to ‘leave us orphans’. He knew there’d still be the fallen, sin nature trying to rise up when in pride, men compare themselves superiorly to others–and think they should be ‘boss’ “have dominion over”–and Paul said they didn’t come to do that 2Cor.1:24–(for their own good of course.) The Body of believers is THE ‘priesthood’ 1Peter 2:9 (we do never need another one over us the Bible makes clear. (and there wasn’t to be a “Niko” Greek for ‘conqueror’/’over-comer, over the “Laity”, Greek “laos” the people -Rev.2:15)..and the body of believers are equal in necessity and importance in His sight. 1Cor.12; Ephesians 4: 7-16) That’s why careful choosing of leaders and holding them accountable to the Body, is in His Bible, for the sheep’s protection. We will always have ‘men’ who will add their own thoughts to God’s or who leave out part of God’s–so the rest of us HAVE to be checking upon them.(for they are strictly told in the Bible NOT to ever do those things). Paul didn’t get offended at the Bereans (Acts17) who checked on what he said but commended them. So if a preacher/leader in a ‘church’ is offended –he has a ‘problem’ and someone needs to love him enough to hold him accountable for his sake and the sheep’s sakes. For one example: -it’s the washing Jesus spoke of in John 13:2-17…for we are ‘clean’ for we are born again,v.10, but we do help each other stay clean vs 14-15. He said to. Romans 15:14 says we are all able to admonish one another. (and that isn’t that ugly way of doing it that we’ve experienced, hey guys? with condemnation/shame/false guilt added to it by self-exalted ‘men’.) Jesus said we’re to be just like he who came as a servant Matthew 20:25-28 with no ‘dominating over each other’ and Matthew 23:1-12 makes it clear we’re not to exalt people nor give them ‘titles’. So it is up to US, the body of believers, to hold people accountable to God’s teachings (“doctrines”) like even Jesus said in John 7:16 “Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine (teaching) is not Mine, but His that sent Me.”

  361. Morgan,
    I would like to take a stab at that last question. You have the right and responsibility to judge churches, pastors and teaching by the Word of God. The Bible, God’s Word is the final and ultimate authority. It is your responsibility and mine to make sure the churches we attend and the teaching we hear lines up with the Word of God. We have a very heavy responsibility don’t we? I want to make sure I have heard God clearly and know what He has said, and then I am going to stand firm no matter what, so help me God.

  362. Apparently in fundyland, the only ones who get to judge are the fundies.

    Mr. Fundy, we have judged your IFB movement – if you like to call it that – and found it wanting in grace. It is legalistic to the core. It is judgemental of all who are not IFB’ers. And I would venture to say that IFB is a denomination, although they wouldn’t call it that, because they believe in basically the same doctrines and practice the same things. And if they aren’t using the same doctrines and practices, who has the authority to say which church is teaching error and which isn’t, if they are all claiming to be led by the Spirit alone and the Bible alone?

  363. Pat,
    I appreciate you chiming in. It is good to get an IFB perspective now and again to help us sharpen the debate. I do agree with you that all iFB churches are not the same and there are I am sure a few good ones.
    One of the issues I have with IFB churches is that they preach against fellowship with sinning Christians, but they can’t seem to discipline their own members, and many of them tolerate known sin in the leadership of other churches they associate with. I would point to Jack Hyles and Hyles-anderson. The sin there has never been brought into the light and confessed openly. Sadly, many of the same problems have been multiplied many times over. Godly men have tried to confront the problem, but the leadership has acted like nothing wrong ever happened, or if it did, they don’t care.
    To sum up my point, it is my opinion that the Independent Fundamental Baptist name has been ruined beyond repair. There is just too many problems associated with the name. I haven’t even mentioned the false teaching,or the cult-like leadership. The bottom line is, when you share a name with someone, what they do affects you.

  364. to Pat, who probably ‘can’t take’ honest discussion of God’s Word and hasn’t returned after throwing his ‘rocks’:) BUT, for whoever’s still with me on this: I ended my last appeal, asking that we check how people are defining words–most especially “God’s”; so, let’s go back to some words and phrases of Pat’s.
    1.Pat said “Not to purposly discredit him or her (whatever the case may be because it is not mentioned) but these types of arcticles are usually started by someone with another agenda” Not ‘discredit’ no…just say the moderator’s “trying to hurt others’ faith” and that those who write have an “agenda”–giving a BAD connotation to each post…(we’re just trying to brainwash others with our ‘agenda’s , hurt their faith, sow discord” etc huh Pat?
    2. who is really causing the “abomination”: “the discord between brothers” Those who would stand in the way between what God told us to do and what ‘they’ want us/not want us to.
    and when God told us to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” in 1Thessalonians 5:21 the word ‘prove’ in Gr means ‘to test, try, examine, discern, interpret”. Did it say first go ask your superior, (preacher) what a verse means? No, for in many other places the Lord Himself promises us that He will teach us. But yes, we should be able to ‘run it by’ the preacher, especially if you’ve come to trust him over time, and “examine it” together. (I am so grateful God reassures us that He is NO ‘respecter of persons’–that He isn’t partial to one of us over another…we “in Christ Jesus” are all Blood-bought, Blood-covered and “IN” Him…so the Lord God sees His Son’s precious Blood when He looks at us–we are equal. ) Many other verses instruct us to ‘discern, test, prove’ what we hear and read.1John4:1, Rev.2:2; and we know Jude:3 tells us to “earnestly contend for the faith”; well HOW are we to do that if we disregarded, disrespected, and told (in many ways) to NOT question ‘the authorities’? “False witnesses” and “proud looks” are also listed in Prov.6:19, Pat. And I’ve had IFB preachers bear false witness against me and never seemed to lose a minute’s sleep in doing so. What hard hearts–to go with their own ‘wrong’ judgments, even when appealed to with facts, and destroy people’s lives, (marriage) reputation with that husband and others, etc.! and have not the slightest tiny doubt, apparently, in their own minds and hearts, that they may have made a (horrible) mistake with life-long consequences for us that are affected by that false judgment of theirs. Besides, they will have eternal consequences of their actions (some sins follow after” and I’d rather that not happen either for I still care for them and for those who have trusted them unquestioningly (which I hear is one ‘sign’ of a cult–unquestioning loyalty to a preacher–Bro Dave Cloud has a great article about that.)
    So the ones sowing discord’ are those who tell you NOT to do what God told you to in the Word–they are the ones ‘separating us from THEIR company’ in Luke 6:22-23, (and that is DEFINITELY ‘sowing discord among brethren’ if you’ve ever been the ‘separatee’), so I guess I now need to be ‘obedient’ and go LEAP for joy as Jesus told me to, right? :O)
    I appreciate what is shared here; we are happy to tell them that God is not happy with their being treated with ‘condemnation’ and hard-hearted, inequity. But that God (unlike what they’ve seen often ) has great pity and tender mercies for us …The Lord Jesus reaffirmed that in Luke 4:18 “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath annointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted (unlike what I’ve experienced in IFBs) , to preach deliverance to the captives, (instead I’ve seen people ‘taken captive’ into a coercive, harsh, imbalanced “gospel”, so-called); and recovering of the sight to the blind, (enough said above in previous post); to set at liberty them that are bruised” wow! isn’t that just beautiful? and I haven’t experienced that liberty in IFB–it’s like they don’t have “Galatians” in their Bibles, or Romans 8 for that matter.) so we’re here to edify and pray to be used of His Holy Spirit to help others…and those who keep falsely accusing us and what we’re doing might ought to have some ‘fear of God’ when they attribute His work to the devil.

  365. Pat…I feel ‘likewise’–I hesitate to even try any further appeal/”responding to this blog”,to you, since you seem to be so very much like many I’ve run into, and very likely you have your fingers stuck in your ears and mind already made up. SIGH You said you “weren’t going to make this an ongoing waste of your time”? That sounds like you don’t want an honest discussion of Scripture with us, making you appear that you can ‘dish out’ Scripture to others, but don’t want to hear others that apply as well. Perhaps you should, like I have done when appealed to with Scripture, sincerely ask the Lord to convict me to see if this was a ‘blind spot’ of mine (since we all have them–and that is why I ended the last with the idea you are misapplying the beam’ verses because in these cases you’re like the ‘blind leading the blind’. You’ve shut your eyes, to the idea that perhaps you should check to see, if perhaps the versese came to your mind first (by Holy Spirit?) for a different reason than using them as ‘stones’ at us here. Could you consider that they could possibly apply to yourself, too? Often the verses used to ‘attack’ me in the past (they thought) turned out to be THE very verses, ( I could see, as a believer in our Lord Jesus,)that some hurled at me, could apply in their own lives. Like once, the proverb about hearing both sides of a story was ‘yelled at me’…whereas the ‘yellER’ had no intention of hearing the other side, himself, that I was trying to appeal to him with after he’d falsely accused me.) I quite agree with you that each of us should only share what can be backed up with many verses of Scripture and from all over the Bible, and not one or two, out of context for it is “His opinion” alone that we should trust). I’ve heard those same old tired phrases (“I’m too busy trying to tell people about Jesus”– (so in your humble opinion, we do NOT do that in our lives because we’ve dedicated some time, prayer, and thought on this website, endeavoring to edify other believers? And SURE! if there are those who were hurt in an IFB church without coming to know the Lord as Savior (because there were Phariseeical people standing in their way, who say they believe verses but don’t apply them personally, for example–the, yes! we especially want to give them some of our time and counsel from the very caring Holy Spirit Who wants to make sure that He is lifted up and NOT some “Over-lording” man who is accepting our near ‘worship’. We’re to put God’s thoughts above a man’s and sometimes that takes clarification. BUT can we ask a question, as you have here, when we’re in many IFB churches? NO…or hardly ever without ‘catching big trouble’. That is not Godly…I never read that Jesus got angry, or felt ‘threatened’ by a sincere question about what He was saying, have you? but Philippians 2 said He made Himself of no reputation; and James describes the wisdom from above perfectly–but that is not the ‘wisdom’ many of us have seen in many IFB churches. James 3:17 tells us that God’s kind of wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. So when many of us here have seen just the opposite (and God can show us those things even if we don’t have a title)–and we question as to ‘why that is’–then we are ‘damned’ in the one’s estimation and judgment, that we cared enough to ask…for they will have to give an account later–better to get it right now than later–Matthew 5:22-26;Lev.19:17 THAT IS ‘love’, too.) SO, WHAT ARE you basing your assumption/JUDGMENT upon what do you JUDGE that we are doing since you know our hearts so well with your divine insight.But then, you did make that clear at the end: “:committing abomination”)
    That was QUITE a judgment you made “that the one running this site was using it to destroy faith”! What a thing for you to say! I’d like to think you are just ignorant to make such an accusation against someone who one can see if you’ve been through it–is clearly wanting to edify those whose faith has been severely hurt, by those who say they are Jesus’s representatives (preachers, preachers’wives, etc in IFB) churches for they EMPHASIZE they believe the Bible!! (well if so why don’t they LIVE BY it, then?) And right after you attacked the man’s character and motives, you then quoted “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, etc” HOW COULD you do that? You say you aren’t judging but YOU SURE DID! You do your head-bashing with Phariseeical rocks’ in the name of “fruit of His Holy Spirit”? You are so typical of the blind ones that people on this site have been run over by…that I decided to write you more, still knowing it’d do no good for you personally. But someone should say “SHAME ON YOU!!” fellow! You’re begging someone to ask you “Who died and made you God”? James 4:11-12 It is YOUR kind that is the abomination you accused the moderator of being…for you and those like you that we’ve gotten to know in many IFB churches (NEVER did we say they were ALL that way–‘by faith’ we pray they aren’t! for the Lord’s Name’s sake!)–but you are the ones causing the dissension between brothers especially because of the arrogant pride in you that we here have all witnessed in these destructive (MIS)representatives of our Lord–Instead they act more like hirelings/over-lords, assuming a kind of over-bearing RULE that the Lord specifically commanded them not to (Mark 10:42-45 for starters), instead of leaders/over-seers of the flock meek and l

    Somehow in the over half dozen “cracker barrels” I’ve been a part of, I’ve never heard sermons on Psalm 51:17: “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart…” Matthew 5:3 “blessed are the poor in spirit” (needy, lowly in heart, poverty of spirit from a broken and contrite heart)–but even if you’ve heard these preached, what we’re saying here is that we have not seen in in the lives of many many IFB preachers who are told to lead by their example to GOD’s (not ‘their’) flock. Instead many of us have only been at the receiving end of proud, haughty people (not like ‘Learn of Me for I am meek and lowly” huh?) and if we were new in the Lord, that COULD MOST certainly affect their growth, or kill it, in the Lord. and that is WHY Jesus said “Beware of dogs” and “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” for if we are trying to be a Christian with our ‘old man’ and think we’re doing good…we get very proud..but if we keep seeing that we are all ‘very needy sinners’ (like the woman in Luke 7:36-50, then we will be glad we are not a part of a ‘perfect church’ (for many IFB’s THINK they are)–but we will be happy to fit into an imperfect one (where they don’t pretend to be anything else BUT sinners IN NEED of God’s grace)–then yes, Pat I’d like to be a part of their IMperfect church-a godly, unhypocritical one! I sort of wonder ‘just where’ you think you fit in really? It’s about definitions of words and twists on them…and that is why I just poured my heart out to you–for I didn’t like your twists on God’s Word.

  366. jump in their guys–like Paul did (good job).
    I never ceased to be amazed that IFB’s think “God needs their help to judge and attack people about whether they ‘are saved’ …how many documents that we could write etc, witnesses we could bring to them, would convince them anyway, if we’ve disagreed with, or questioned, an IFB? and then talk about ‘love’ while they assassinate people’s reputations and characters. And preach about ‘beams in eyes’ when they are the blind leading the blind.

  367. Pat,

    Thanks for your post. I am a 58 year old man. I was saved at the age of twenty-four. Have attended IFB churches for over 30+ years. The problem is far more reaching then just the IFB churches. Which ever institutional church, by what ever name, on which ever corner of the street, each and every one will attempt (conscienciously or not) to conform you to what they are. Their dogmas, their doctrines, their interpretations of what scripture teaches. The problem I have found in IFB churches is that, more often then not, there is no room for disagreement. It’s love with a hook. I have found that this site has given people the freedom to express some very valid concerns as they have inspected the fruit(s) of the IFB movement. True, not all are the same. True they are independent, and different churches serve up the meal differently. But once I’ve visited several Cracker Barrells and find the same thing on each menu – and have determined that much of what is served is unfit for consumption – regardless of how nice the resturant staff might serve it up. I’m not going back and, yes, I would probably tell some of my friend what’s being served there.
    And this I can back up with scripture KJV or NIV. And those last three letters have probably turned off most IFB.

    Philip Yancey’s book – What’s So Amazing About Grace. Say’s it well.

    Paul

  368. I am a man of 43 that was saved as a child and now I am a missionary. I almost didn’t take the time to respond to this blog because it is almost as if the moderator is going through and stiffling the post from those in disagreement. To be honest I usually don’t take the time to do this sort of thing because I am usually too busy trying to tell everyone about Jesus. However there are some things that haven’t been said that should be said. Let me say first I am not going to say anything on this blog that I cannot back up with scripture, secondly I am not going to make this an ongoing waste of my time. Time is too precious and people are going to believe what they want in the end anyway.

    First of all let me point out that I don’t see anywhere in the original bio or arcticle where the moderator gives a clear testimony that he is even a born again Christian. People can be church members but are still lost. I find it very curious that anyone would begin such a article and not give a testimony of salvation and state what they believe.

    It is quite possible although maybe not probable that he or she has never been saved and is subtly using this blog to destroy faith in those that are. Not to purposly discredit him or her (whatever the case may be because it is not mentioned) but these types of arcticles are usually started by someone with another agenda. Now as I promised I said I would back up my comments with scripture. Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Something about fruit it is not a seed it is out in the open, to be seen touched, tasted, etc. If this person was a true Christian than he or she would have more love for what he or she is calling IFB’s. In this blog the fruit of the spirit are missing. i.e. love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness. The very things that he or she is accusing so called IFB’s of being he or she is guilty of the same. This is what Christ means in Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Also where is the testimony of faith by the moderator? Let me point out that I am not judging but merely fruit inspecting.
    I’ll tell you what I will do. I am very suspicious that this post will make it past the moderator so I will see if he will do the Christian thing or stifle my voice here. That will be between this person and God. If he or she does allow my opinion I will get on here and leave a couple of more points for you to think about. If not let me say a little more before I close.
    IFB’s as they are so called is not a denomination, as the first letter in IFB testify’s this as it means independent. Therefore any Baptist church that is independent can follow the Bible as they are convicted. Hence you cannot judge all by one or two or three, or a hundred. I will analyze it more accurately and with more dignity for you than the moderator did with their Fodor and brownie analogy. Think about someone that has done you wrong (everyone should have someone that comes to mind). I do his name is Robert. Well because Robert did me wrong, I am going to bad mouth not only Robert but anyone named Robert. Or let’s say you went to a Cracker Barrel in Virginia (put your favorite restaurant here) but the food and service was terrible. Then you give Cracker Barrel another try in Florida but you received a like experience. How many times has something like that happened to you at a food chain you have visited? Honestly think about it. Then since those two Cracker Barrels were bad how many of you will never go to another Cracker Barrel again? Realistically you may tell your friends, neighbors, and those you meet that are traveling by those Cracker Barrels about your experience but I doubt you would advise them not to go to another Cracker barrel anywhere. Why do you think it is so easy to do it with the so called IFB’s? Because Satan makes it easy for you to do so. I am afraid what you are doing is committing an abomination as defined in Proverbs 6:19 sowing “discord among brethren.” The truth is that there is not perfect church only a perfect Savior. I will tell you what I preach. If you find a perfect church you better get out before you mess it up. If the moderator thinks that churches should be above imperfection then he needs to read the New Testament again.

    In Christ,

    Pat

  369. Dear April, I’m glad you wrote.
    and I ‘feel with’ you…for the Lord hated religion for it gets in the way between Him and the people He put His life down for.
    I’m glad to be able to reassure you that you can trust the Book. I did and the Holy Spirit speaks to me through it (His Word-the Bible) to set and keep me free from ‘religion’ as He and I have a closer and closer relationship’ as I do. I promise you this true. (and has been with me for over 50 years) but when I’ve trusted ‘men’ too much (in different churches) they’ve thrown me for a loop and hurt me…but Jesus is our faithful Friend-merciful and compassionate and re-directed my ‘gaze’ and focus back to being on Him alone. and then there was healing and JOY restored!
    The Bible is like a ‘road-map’ through this messed up world–it is His “Manufacturer’s Handbook” too. So while I do understand your feelings right now, don’t let ‘those people’ rob you, or destroy you. Haven’t they already done enough damage–the Lord told me.
    You’ll notice the passage about the hireling is right before the verse “But the thief comes to rob,kill and destroy”–there’s a reason for that. Even if these guys/girls are only misled too they can be used to hurt your faith and the Lord hates that–that’s why the only people He got furious with and ‘physical’ with, were the Pharisees, right/ So you just write anytime, and we’re glad you did, April. I am with you in heart/spirit. Just keep your eyes on Him. He won’t ever let you down. And the way He will have a close, sweet relationship with you, is most especially as you read what He wrote to you-it’s His ‘love-letter’ to us.
    Not that book of no-no-s we heard about in some places like many IFB churches…
    bless you!

  370. Wow! I’m really happy to have found this site! I am in the process of trying to recover from the nineteen years of brainwashing that being raised in the IFB way has tried to do. I will not reiterate everything that has been said about the crazy beliefs of the church but I want to say one thing. I do believe that the IFB is a cult through and through, I believe this because even though the salvation is supposedly gospel based, it is completely up to the interpretation of the pastor to tell you what to do with your life according to the IFB that is a cult! I have been affected my this cult permanently and wish other people would see it for what it is. Paranoia over a book that supposedly contains all life’s secrets. All of life origins and ending in a book! Thats bull shit!

  371. I hope, if we want to know about Lester Roloff, that we won’t just consider once source (like Wikipedia) while looking for the whole picture of this man, an do some more research. (Negative charges are easily spoken, and quickly believed and especially we know the media twists, leaves out, adds whatever to give things a certain spin. (and believers are not at all ‘popular’ with the media, are we? Ask me, for I’ve experienced their deception and disregard for the facts, myself-first hand.). The man did help young people that others had completely given up on. And, he is to be commended for standing against government intrusion into all our churches’ business –with their demand for ‘state licensing’.

  372. ;O) So, “can anyone say a hearty AMEN!” (we’ve heard that expression)– to the idea that ‘just perhaps’ I’d been holding onto a big load by myself for quite a long time, and just let it all out in the above thoughts I’ve shared with you? (In another words, I hope I didn’t ‘over’ share. BUT, I know you understand. For it is almost “INcredible” that IFB people who can often beautifully share the Scriptures (usually Old Testament though) in an effort to ‘share the Gospel’, don’t seem to be able to show His character of meekness (“strength under control–like the bit in a stallion’s mouth keeps him), humility, and Christ-like love for the sheep. Somehow they miss applying the fact to themselves, that we’re to keep growing into His image. Jesus said when “I am lifted up…(not the preacher lifted up)–I will draw all men unto Myself”.

    So I have shared a lot, but am much looking forward to reading YOUR comments.
    (for up til now and findinng your website, I’ve ” had the ‘right’ to remain silent and anything I spoke WAS used against me” by my deceived husband. It felt for many years I’ve had fellows trying to subdue me into being like a ‘Stepford wife’ or something–like women can’t believe what Jesus said when He said (through Paul, even) that He would teach us and renew our minds.
    So thanks for your understanding. It’s great to have believer brothers and sisters here who understand and care (what a ‘novelty’ )
    I’ve been a very lonely lady for a long time.

  373. Deborah,
    I also noticed that Jack Hyles sermons were listed there as well. There seems to be a double standard about separating from sinning Christians.

  374. bob :Deborah,What pastor are you referring to?

    Here is a link.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_Roloff

  375. Deborah,
    What pastor are you referring to?

  376. Morgan :Casey, there is a world of difference between SBC’ers and fundies. SBC’ers and Converge Baptists are not even in the same ballparks as the legalistic “do as I say or burn in hell” fundies. Grace is not even in the vocabulary of fundies. To the fundies I have met, faith in Jesus is merely a “Get of of Hell” card. It is not a matter of actually choosing to follow Jesus as a disciple or do as He said and love one another.
    I am close friends with a number of Converge Baptists and they are wonderful, loving people. They put Jesus first in their lives, and don’t impose a man-made set of rules on others. It’s funny how fundies condemn Catholics for their “man-made traditions”, yet they themselves subject others to their own “man-made traditions” and become the modern day version of the Pharisees.
    Here’s an example of modern fundieism.
    http://www.amazinggracebaptistchurchkjv.com/

    Thanks for that link. It was exactly what you said it was. Quite sad indeed. Did the pastor mean he was a church “planter” as he states or “planner?” Maybe I misunderstood.

    I was a little surprised to see the sermons listed on that site for one preacher. His ministries for children were shut down in controversy due to numerous allegations of abuse by him and his staff. I guess he is still respected in the IFB circles.

  377. I came across this site by accident and have read many of the comments written here. I was saved being in an IFBC back in 1977. At first I fell victim to some of their legalistic ultra biblical teachings but throughout the years the Lord gave me spiritual maturity as I grew in the Lord and was able to “grow out” of these legalisms. I started attending non IFBC churches who taught the word of God but was considered a rebel and an infidel by the IFBC I previously attended. Nevertheless I prayed and forgave them. This past week one of those IFBC pastors I knew for 32 years fell victim to an armed robbery, an event that ripped my heart apart and caused me to weep. The funeral service was held in the deceased pastor’s church and many of the local IFBC pastors came to pay their last respects to the fallen pastor and took turns preaching during the funeral service. During their sermons they spoke how much they loved and how much they will miss the fallen pastor, but, not one single tear was shed by these pastors. There was a time that I thought that they took turns competing against each other who was the better preacher. Anyway, I have no doubts whatsoever the pastor went to be home with the Lord, but the mere fact that my friend and brethren met an untimely and violent death was reason enough for me to weep. Either I’m too sentimental or these pastors are too calloused to shed one single tear for a brethren whom they “loved and will forever miss”. God forbid that we fall prey to legalistic teachings and doctrines that will only serve to distance our love towards our fellow brethren.

  378. @Morgan

    I wonder what some of the preachers they extoll would actually say about Amazing Grace? Would Charles Spurgeon or Billy Sunday (Calvinist Baptist and Presbyterian respectively) really approve of people condemning others as heretics for using a different translation?

  379. @Casey
    If you see the picture of the Pastor’s wife Beth (under Women’s teaching or some such heading) notice how scared she looks. I feel sorry for her.

  380. @Morgan
    Amen! I’ve seen that site and it could have been a parody by mocking atheists like Landover Baptist Church!

  381. pastor nate loveless

    nathanael loveless :
    @Bryan
    I know for a fact that the independent baptist movement is not one of compassion but of legalism.Ijust have to set the record straight having been in the movement for 26 years as well as being the son of a black independent baptist pastor and a soon to be pastor as well.I have been to white and black ifbc churches and they are still the same now as they were when the Lord himself told me to leave.The churches are dead spiritually,the pastors are quite judgemental,unfair.manipulative,controlling,selfish,ones who dont mind lording over the sheep as peter said not to,unclear of understanding the power of the Holy ghost,divided amongst each other ecspecially if your a black pastor there wont be preaching from a black man in the vast majority of white ifbc churches .There is so much deception in this movement that ifbc does not understand that the wheat grows with the tare,theology does not make a pastor right and it sure doesnt teach him how to pastor!I have watched people being torn to shreds spiritually in the pulpit (including my wife and I),and as i have seen many say dont say the pastor is wrong you are totally out of order forever! i have watched the mental abuse and the false love between white pastors towards black pastors and how blacks are made to believe that they are called to reach the black community as if Christ had not died for all and with that type of mindframe you will never see the ifbc apart of a spiritual awakening in the usa or anywhere else because thou hast a name that thou livest and are dead!The gospel is only shared with in the denomination itself as if thats wise to go preaching to the same six churches you affiliate with.what about methodist?what about holiness and pentecostal?what about presbyterian?what about cogic?what about non denominational churches? why have the so called complete truth and only share it with those who already have the same thoughts and truth you do?its like an oxymoron! but noone likes to hear this kind of stuff because it makes an ifbc preacher think am i really doing the commission or am i having a spirit like jonah?there is so much foolishness going on and God never called his people to be seperatist only cults operate like that seperation from works of darkness in context is talking of the sins in the verses before that statement was made!The body of Christ is suffering severely because of sects like ifbc,and yes i am baptist but im a holy ghost filled tongue talking christian first so i just want to say for those who want more of Jesus realize ifbc is not a movement because any movement in Christ will change communities as well as surroundings but the ifbc has failed to do so.so until we all come into the knowledge of the unity of the faith in Christ Jesus try uniting for Jesus and we’ll see less sites like this and more life changing word come through the body!so God bless if anyone wants to talk of more my email is [email protected] .God bless

    @kizzy
    im sorry but you are taking that scripture out of context pants were created 500 years after this scripture was around if your going to use that scripture than you got to use the whole law of that context! God bless and Jesus saves!

  382. pastor nate loveless

    @kizzy
    im sorry but you are taking that scripture out of context pants were created 500 years after this scripture was around if your going to use that scripture than you got to use the whole law of that context! God bless and Jesus saves!

  383. Casey, there is a world of difference between SBC’ers and fundies. SBC’ers and Converge Baptists are not even in the same ballparks as the legalistic “do as I say or burn in hell” fundies. Grace is not even in the vocabulary of fundies. To the fundies I have met, faith in Jesus is merely a “Get of of Hell” card. It is not a matter of actually choosing to follow Jesus as a disciple or do as He said and love one another.

    I am close friends with a number of Converge Baptists and they are wonderful, loving people. They put Jesus first in their lives, and don’t impose a man-made set of rules on others. It’s funny how fundies condemn Catholics for their “man-made traditions”, yet they themselves subject others to their own “man-made traditions” and become the modern day version of the Pharisees.

    Here’s an example of modern fundieism.

    http://www.amazinggracebaptistchurchkjv.com/

  384. Casey,
    As far as I know, Southern Baptists tend to be pretty solid as far as doctrine. It all depends on the individual church.
    MacArthur has a lot of good things going for him. He has a lot of helpful commentaries, he is very strong on the sufficiency of Scripture, and is a good bible teacher over all in my opinion.
    There are a couple things I would not agree with him about. Sometimes he tends to lordship salvation. The eternal sonship of Christ ( the idea that roles in the God-head are interchangeable). 3. Limited atonement is the 5th point of Calvanism and I think it is most unscriptural.

  385. What is your opinion of Southern Baptists (who make up the majority of Baptists in America) and Calvinistic Baptists (ie John MacArthur).

  386. Thanks for reading. I was hurrying in the end, realizing, that yes, it was LONG. and I left out an important word from the end of the verse 1John 5:3 “…and His commandments are NOT grievous”. KEY WORD: His
    for the commandments of men become like the ‘added tradition’ of the Pharisees who put them ahead of God’s commandments. (and that sounds like the over-bearing IFBs I’ve met who decide which verses weigh more heavily upon one, while leaving out (disregarding the rest of what God said). So these men are over-bearing and the Lord is NOT! THAT is important to share. He lives in us and as we abide in Him, depending upon Him daily and not ourselves, not exalting men (and Paul had a lot to say about ‘not thinking of men more than one should’ didn’t he?)–but as we abide in Him He will bring forth fruit. He promised. He keeps His Word that we are sanctified by faith in those same verses we love (like Romans 6 ) just as we are saved by faith. It is ALL GRACE.
    Paul said ‘he burned’ if someone’s faith was hurt. (I could give you the verse, but just get out your good concordance and read God’s thoughts for like He said in John 6:63 –“It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” That to me, reveals the problem we’ve been talking about here: men adding ‘ground rules’ and works pervert the Scriptures. They get in the Lord’s way with people and they are cautioned that they will be held to give higher account. That is sin.
    and the fear of the Lord is hating sin/evil, the verses say. SO do we hate these messed up preachers? NO! but we do pray their eyes will be opened and come under conviction-that their seared hearts will be softened up–and they will truly REPENT now. ( I want that for their own sakes and the sakes of the people who are trusting them.)
    But Yes, I LOVE the Bible and the KJV language really touches/speaks to my heart,ersonally. But the Lord brought me back to him even reading a paraphrase. THAT’s how mighty His Spirit is. So we’ll pray that these ‘preachers’ will get to know Him better so as not to corrupt His Word, get in the way of the Spirit’s workings in peoples’ lives.

  387. Thanks, April for writing.
    I just hope that if a person who is ‘recovering’ from heretical belief and unChrist-like treatment in a ‘church’, reads our appeals here, that that person would see that God so clearly said in the Bible He has made possible a personal relationship with Him; He ripped the veil of the temple apart, from top to bottom showing God made peace with us for we couldn’t through our efforts that He accepted His Son’s sacrifice in our behalf.) By this clearly he showed that ‘religion’ is not the way–but He is. (John14-6) named only, the Lord Jesus Christ. (My aside: like the little mouse living in a biscuit tin found it didn’t make her a biscuit).
    Neither does belonging to a certain, certain named ‘church’ assure one’s ‘salvation’ nor acceptance with God. So I do warn others not to join some belief-system that says one needs a priest to explain the Scriptures to you and that you are going to hell if you’re not a member of their ‘church’. For that IS HERESY and/or cultish. We know that a regular person, even woman, can pick up a Bible seeking Him, and He will speak to us through the Scriptures, from the plain sense of the words.
    (literal). We have the assurance in many scriptures that He will teach us and renew our minds–He said He would! So, I believe my anger at these ‘preachers’ was righteous, when they came across as being a further ‘need’ for the sheep-that one in their ‘church’ might not be getting it straight (as they read the Bible) and most especially if you are a woman. In fact, they felt they should write the ‘women’s Bible study’ for the women. They are standing in opposition to the faith that the Lord gave Scriptures to instill in us—precious promises He meant for us to count on. I refused to let these people rob me of them.
    Their ‘god’ must not be as ‘big,loving,capable’ as the Lord Jesus I know. My Lord Jesus said there is no condemnation for me now that I am ‘in Christ Jesus’;I have been born again. And, it is not up to them to do an ‘inquisition’ to decide if I have or not. I stand upon His promises. I thank Him that He said “My sheep know Me…no one can snatch them out of My Hand”. He said He would finish what He began in me and it is NO ONE ELSE’S business–to try to assess me, nor do we women need to be treated as if we have the discernment or minds of children.
    SO yes, I see that often IFBs are heretical in effect ADDING to Scripture (and didn’t God say that was a BIG BIG thing NOT TO EVER DO?)
    but when they add their thoughts of ‘how to control’ women, people, they are ADDING to His finished work. ANY so-called church that says that Jesus’s death,burial, resurrection were not enough and one has to add works to grace –is to be AVOIDED like a PLAGUE. So I can’t do a ‘Catholic’ church either, nor “Church of Christ” nor others that think you need another “priest” besides Him or that His Holy Spirit in one is not enough–that you need an authoritarian preacher to ‘help’ you out–slapping you down like that girl kept getting slapped down way back when in that old movie “Airplane” (I shouldn’t have watched). They think that that’s what they’re there for–all that ‘rebuke puke’ and slandering your character, telling you that you are in ‘rebellion against God!” if you don’t go along with their every thought. A little saved child would probably know better than that, don’t you think? We are to ‘consider one another’–to love. Don’t they have that verse: “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies” in their Bibles (along with practically ‘chapters’ of verses about ‘love’ so as to understand that their kind of ‘love’ just is NOT.
    I thank Him that He would and does, live in this very IMPERFECT vessel as was also said. I do not want to grieve my coming Bridegroom, so I stay away from these people who must not realize just HOW well they match Jesus’s descriptions of the Pharisees. Truly they are deceived for they do not see their own legalism. A cherished verse of mine, because I do happily submit to my loving, just, impartial God–not to men that over-step their ‘authority’, (I belong to God, the Lord Jesus-NOT to them and if my husband patterns himself after them, I am not to follow after him in this case.) back to the better words: Galatians 2:5 “to whom we gave place by subjection, NO not for an hour that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” (Surely it is PRIDE that keeps them from applying Galatians to themselves as they preach the Scriptures AT people.For Galatians reveals the awesome liberty we have in Him and Romans 8 –shows how he took the burden we feel–wanting to be holy people, representing Him right, too, and please and honor Him-that would be a ‘burden’–(but He said His commandments are grievous”) for it is great JOY to know that He will do it in us, and carry that kind of burden of our hearts, and is just to forgive us of every sin (1John)
    WOW! WHAT A WONDERFUL SAVIOR is Jesus our Jesus!

  388. John, it’s not ‘you,personally’, but your way of talking is a perfect example of some IFB people I’ve met.

    Another thing you said: “I get the impression that those people frankly just cannot stand the commandments of God simply because they keep them from doing the things that they want to do”

    Well, I’ve met IFB preachers/their wives etc. who have apparently “gotten their impressions of me”-and then proceeded to make judgments of my character, motives, etc after having known me only ‘x number of minutes,, and that were entirely WRONG and not based ‘in fact’.
    and in their minds, their ‘impressions’ are now set in stone–and are the way it is–THE truth. That is setting yourself “up there with Him”; we are NOT equal with Him even saved; He knew we would still be fallible and sin down here (even when we didn’t mean to–but that we should be able to have our hearts soft enough that His conviction of sin would make them contrite and broken enough-to repent and turn from that sin.
    But I don’t see MERCY exhibited–and He did tell the Pharisees “Learn what this means! I will have mercy…” for He is merciful
    and James told us in 3:17 what the ‘wisdom of God’ was like –“…easy to be intreated and full of mercy” Well, I haven’t found that with IFB preachers–instead anger at my appeals (which I’ve tried to do in a good spirit, but I have at times lost patience, and I did apologize for my getting very irritated, to them–but they have been sorry for NOTHING. They have done no thing wrong–they have handled everything perfectly, (They think–and I’ve become their scapegoat). Blame casting, and taking no responsibility, nor even considering that they may have made the tiniest error or misunderstood me and others–is their whole way of thinking. THAT is NOT scriptural as most everyone (else) can see.
    David understood the ‘acceptable sacrifice’–but that takes a tiny inkling that we may have been wrong… and that is a very tiny bit of humility. But these guys have thought they don’t have to have any…So they’re holding themselves ABOVE, not accountable to, the Scriptures.
    Don’t THEY have some ‘godly fear’ of the judgment you mentioned, John? It doesn’t appear they do. NO wonder God hates pride. It destroys preachers, churches, sheep, testimonies in the community…etc

  389. Perhaps John meant to be ‘exhorting/helpful’; ? If so, it didn’t come across that way at all. However, this is such a common, typical attitude that I’ve been shocked to come across often in IFB churches, that I must appeal: WHY IS THERE so often this ‘seeming practice’ of setting yourself up on your throne as judge (under the thinking that you are ‘THE authority’– despite God’s express words to NOT do so, for only He knows a person’s heart with its motives, intentions, pains, and hopes etc. Do you have the “Readers Digest Condensed Bibles” that you haven’t read enough other verses which tell us that God did reserve this kind ‘of judging’ strictly for Himself? Isn’t this obviously equating yourself with Him as being able to judge as James expressly warned us against? (For this is not about ‘judging/discerning doctrine’. What many of us have seen are humans setting themselves up as judges of the peoples’ hearts–thinking that they CAN determine those things in them that only God says He can.
    Aren’t you taking entirely TOO much upon yourselves? DO you believe He needs your ‘help’ in this area? NO, instead He warns that this is ‘leaven’and is ‘phariseeical’, over-lording, in nature. and John, do you realize you did some of this same ‘judging’? to talk of people here “not wanting anything to do with God or His commandments” and blaming that on an IFB church. I may have read one or two folks whom I could tell were in so much pain that they were backing off IFBs and maybe church in general for awhile. IF there was one here somewhere (?) who really did say that, then WHY did you not appeal to them in love that you care and are praying for them, seeing what they experienced was done in the Name of our Lord (and isn’t that just disgusting how people seeking to know Him are mishandled and carelessly thrown away by people claiming to be “His ambassadors/representatives”? An ambassador is supposed to be representing his sovereign in truth by his example. Where is the compassion for people’s pain? I don’t find much compassion in IFB churches. I thank God that He had compassion on us, knowing that we can never be or do, in the flesh, what only He can. So he was so compassionate about our state He died in our places. But these wrongly judging ‘so called’ leaders in IFB churches who are hard as nails, quick to snap-judge people’s motives, make ‘kingly’ assessments (THEY think) and that are condemning, I wonder if they really know the Lord at all.
    In several places including the ‘shall we call down fire?” one by the disciples,(and one in Job) the Lord said they didn’t know of what kind of Spirit they are. And what we here have said is that we didn’t expect to be pelted with rocks in a ‘church’ for being different, for accidentally breaking ‘ground rules ‘that we didn’t find in the Bible.
    and those are NOT ‘commandments’, John that we turned from. So who do you think you are to judge? (an IFB preacher?)

  390. So then according to what you shared here, you believe that the verse could be applied to an IFB PREACHER, too?–that it should also be inferred in what you said “In other words: when a PREACHER loves God, keeping His commandments is no big deal, a PREACHER just does it”
    You’ve missed the point. What many of us have seen are IFB preachers who think they are ‘above the Lord’s commandments’ like in my case where they made false accusations/judgments. The Lord doesn’t accept ‘peoples’ persons He is not partial to men-does NOT over look their trying to hold to ‘double standards’ thinking of themselves as superior, infallible ones that no one should question; and in fact God loves them (and the people they have been inequitable/unmerciful/unjust with), enough to hold them accountable. We certainly should too. IF you can read–you didn’t try ‘reasoning from the Scriptures’ as we have here. Instead you did a typical IFB knee-jerk reaction; shamefully making judgments people’s hearts and not considering the facts that we’ve presented in light of the whole body of scripture and not a verse or two out of context. So if you’re not an IFB preacher you’re much like ones the dear ‘sheep’ (“God’s not the preachers’) here have been assaulted in their faith, by.

  391. Deborah, Carrie & Morgan….TOUCHE!

    I also experienced much of what you wrote.

    Carrie, what you said about “rebuke, rebuke, rebuke”….OH dear God, so true! The demented cult I was in it was always about “doctrine, doctrine, doctrine!!” Yet there was no discussion as the leader has his “doctrine” all figured out & us little peons had better not dare to question or insinuate that something could be amiss. (been there, done that) and someone mentioned Paul…totally! Jesus was utterly ignored & anything Paul supposedly wrote trumped Jesus & HIS teachings.

    The IFB group I escaped, it was IFB Calvinist, totally 5 point hardshell calvinism intermixed with the demented abuses of the primitive baptist cult. Hell on earth is what it was in the end.
    Took a long time to really see it for what it was.

    and Morgan, good for you in finding Catholicism. I find the service to be about worship & the focus is NOT on “the sermon” & some man standing in a pulpit, demanding attention for 90 minutes of screaming & ranting & using the bible to guilt & manipulate the flock. Many preachers, IMHO LORD IT OVER the flock & Jesus teaches that his system should not be like the worldly systems of hierarchy. My xpastor was enchanted with the Godfather & mafioso type stuff….that should have been a warning there. The puppet master, controller, abuser.

    As far as Catholics, I find them to be tolerant (for the most part.)
    I found the opposite to be true w/ the IFB who usually have the “holier than thou” attitude, always always looking down at any other christian religions, believing that they & their little church=cult are IT. They alone have the keys to the kingdom, the proper bible interpretation, the proper way of doing religion.
    HA! what a bunch of bullshit

    Oh & John, didn’t Jesus say that love is the fulfilling of the law?
    I don’t want to debate bible religion because I have heard it all, but I have found that “obedience” is synonymous with “doing what the pastor says”. Love is the fulfilling of the law & Micah it says what the Lord requires, “to do justly, love mercy & walk humbly w/ God”.
    Your words are standard IFB dogma. and I wont even get into your snide comments about people who supposedly “can’t stand” God’s commandments…well maybe people are sick & tired of MEN’S demented commandments that they command but USE God’s name. They are liars & are looking to control people & get themselves their religious “gig”…absolute attention & adulation for proving nothing but that they were supposedly “called” to preach…& don’t forget the free untaxed cashola…$$$$$.

  392. I John 5:3

    “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and his commandments are not grevious.”

    In other words, when a person loves God, keeping His commandments is no big deal. He/she just does it. Period.

    After reading a lot of what I am seeing here, I fear that this verse is NOT the testimony of a number of those commenting. Unfortunately, I get the impression that those people frankly just cannot stand the commandments of God simply because they keep them from doing the things that they want to do.

    I have no doubt that many of the experiences here are legitimate. What I have seen in some IFB churches is sickening. But the claim that some IFB church is somehow responsible for someone wanting nothing to do with God or His commandments won’t impress Him much when it is time for His judgement. The fact is, He does deserve obedience–including holy living.

    I wish the best spiritually for all that are reading.

  393. Arthur Lynch :,…the reason I am a IFB is that it is the closest religion I’ve found to the church of the bible. .

    I’m courious as to what this means to you. How is it the closest religion you’ve found to the church that is found in the Bible?

    Paul

  394. Arthur, did you read the comments above about the abuse that people have suffered from members of IFB churches?

    The Scriptures are God’s word, but they are interpreted by fallible men. Just look around you and you will see how people interpret Scripture differently – while claiming to be led by the Spirit. If I was in a church that had controlling, abusive, legalistic pastors I would know they are not following God’s Word, but their own religious pride.

    I was married at one time to the son of an IFB preacher. When I married him, I had never heard of the IFB church movement. My husband mis-used Scripture to constantly berate me, try to control me, and spiritually abuse me. He admitted he was backsliding. I should say so. He smoked, grew and sold pot against my increasingly frantic objections. He “allowed” me to go to a church of his choosing, but would find excuse after excuse not to attend church himself. I was to submit, not ask questions.

    Finally I had enough. I told him I wanted a divorce. He told the pastor of the church I was attending. The next Sunday, hubby shows up to church with me for the first time in months, and I was subjected to listening to a sermon directed at me to submit to my husband and not divorce. Because, of course, the husband is always right. Wrong.

    That was the last time I went to that church. My husband promised to change… after the next crop of pot was sold. I stood firm and obtained a divorce. I never looked back. Thank God I was able to support myself and my children with a good paying job.

    I am now a happy convert to Catholicism. I have had many online discussions with IFB’ers over the years and have found them to be a most unpleasant lot. Like someone above said, the main things with IFB’ers is REBUKE and DOCTRINE. Love is only for “the bretheren” and they don’t care what Jesus said, only what Paul said. What an unfortunate group of people they are. They are the ones who will be crying “Lord, Lord, when did we see you hungry, or naked and not minister unto you? And Jesus will reply, Depart from me. I never knew you.”

  395. Arthur,
    I am not sure who you are addressing your comments to. Not all IFB churches bad. I know there are some good ones. What people have been pointing out is that there are some common problems among IFB churches. Just read down the page and you can see what they are.
    I think that false systems of religion do cause some people to stumble and even become bitter towards church and even towards God. That is very sad to see. This is why I have spoken up about the problem. There are quite a few IFB churches that are cult-like. The two main problems are that the pastors are the authority rather than God and His word. The other problem is false teaching. The teachings of men are substituted for Bible doctrine.
    People who are caught up in false teaching tend to become angry and defensive when their beliefs are questioned.

  396. Arthur Lynch :Okay, I might not be the smartest kid in the group so I ask you, what is it that you don’t like about the IFB? I’ve been with the IFB about 22 yrs and I’ve seen the good as well as the bad. But it’s not the IFB movement that I follow, I the reason I am a IFB is that it is the closest religion I’ve found to the church of the bible. If I was to follow after man, then I might have left the IFB Church. I ‘m KJV only by choice and not because I’m told that I should be. When I did the research I stayed KJV. We get our authority to preach, teach, or speak Gods work for the scriptures and not from how men feel. I would like to know what it was that cause you to flee from the truth, was it man and that you had a hard time following Gods words. I’m not trying to be mean, I just want to know.

    I’m glad to see you post here Arthur. I wish my parents had had the curiosity and open mindedness to do that when they first became involved with an IFB church many years ago instead of blindly following everything they were told without any question.

    Sorry for the length:

    I will try not to repeat myself as I have several other posts upthread about my experience growing up in an IFB church, school and home. It began when I was about 10 years old, so I remember how my parents were before they became obsessed with the church. They still attend the same church.

    I respect the right of anyone to have their own religious beliefs as long as it isn’t hurting others. If you are an adult and aren’t hurting anyone else, it’s really up to you how you worship. My criticism of the IFB churches is based on what I have personally seen with my own two eyes from the time I was a child. It happend not only in my parent’s church, but in the sister churches in our area and also in IFB churches that we visited far away. There church is located in NC.

    I suffered emotional, psychological and religious abuse because of the IFB church and I witnessed many other children and adults suffer as well. My parents were brainwashed by the church and it really changed them from great people to people whom I did not want anything to do with. (We have since reconciled and have a close relationship. We steer clear of the subject of IFB churches.) They also alienated themselves from most of their family and friends who were not IFB church members. That has mostly been mended too, since they have gotten older and rely on family more than they used to.

    This alienation started because the IFB church teaching was so mean spirited and arrogant, that it caused them to believe that if you were not doing it the IFB way, you were bound for hell or if you weren’t bound for hell, you were living outside of God’s will.

    If you were a member of a Southern Baptist Church, Methodist Church or other, they would raise an eyebrow and turn their nose up in disfavor. Those people were not to be trusted or brought into fellowship. You could only convert them and if that didn’t work, you should separate yourself from them.

    The IFB preachers would often made fun of other demominations from the pulpit as it was sport. They would say, I’m not saying that members of other churches are not going to heaven, but I would be scared to be in their shoes and wake up in enternity. There are going to be a lot of “so called Christians who wake up in hell.” One preacher told a couple visiting from a Southern Baptist during the sermon in open church that they were wrong and it was sinful to stay in their own church. It was pathetic the way they criticized any other denomination. These teachings were not just from preachers, but visiting evangalists too.

    The IFB churches are big on the teaching that salvation is NOT based on works, but on grace. They do not teach that you must do all these things to go to heaven. They are clear about that, but at the same time, they give you a list of rules and you MUST follow them or you are not right with the Lord and will get a tongue lashing and even be called out in church or removed from office if you disagree.

    Many of these so called rules that God wants you follow as a good IFB Church member were ridiculous and based on whimsy. The rule makers could not even give a good reason behind many of these rules. It was just something they had heard from someone else and hadn’t thought it through. Many of these policies were a case of the blind leading the blind.

    As a child I became accustomed to hearing blaring sermons from uninformed, uneducated and often self-ordained preachers who had no real understanding of the Bible, but were bent on controling others with weak minds and trusting spirits. I grew up being told to keep quiet and not ever question these precious men of God, their credentials or their background. Many of these preachers ran through their church, most leaving a trail of adultery, larceny, child abuse and other scandal. The attitude of the churches never changed and they never wised up. They were so insecure in their own ability, they practiced preacher worhsip, although they would stongly deny this.

    You ask if people who are critical of the IFB churches have a hard time following God’s word. First of all, I would like to say that I have rarely felt that God’s word was being taught in any effective manner in an IFB church. In my experience, most of their preachers have limited knowledge about the Bible. Their reasoning is illogical, attitude haugthy and opinion about education negative. There’s not much for me in that kind of environment.

    I stive to live the way I believe God wants me to live. I’m sure I fall short and am not perfect, but when I was a child and in the IFB church, I felt very uncomfortable in the church and it had nothing to do with not being able to live according to God’s words. If I could have listened to God’s voice, I would never have gone back. I was a kind and sweet spirited child who went to the alter to be saved, sang in the choir, read my Bible and tried to be a good Christian, all the while feeling like the people in the church around me were out of their minds, including my parents. No one told me this. I reasoned it from common sense and a stong sense of right and wrong.

    I do think there were some great people with good hearts in the church, but they were not brave enough to question things when it was obvious that they should.

    These are only a few reasons I have issues with the IFB church. I hate to think that other kids still suffer like my friends and I did.

  397. Good point! You said, Arthur, “If I was to follow after man, then I might have left the IFB Church.”
    Many here are trying to make that same point. Our only allegiance and loyalty should be to our Lord Jesus, the way my Bible reads. We do love the brethren. (and 1Corinthians 13:6 reminds us “(charity/love “rejoiceth notin iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth”) Our ‘first love’ is God-our Lord Jesus. He paid the price for us–we’re betrothed to Him and we’re to be faithful to Him. To allow, and to go by, some of the things done in many IFB churches-especially in ‘exalting man’ above scripture by allowing them to get by with things they shouldn’t, is downright disloyalty to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let’s look at some important word definitions together:
    “Loyal” means faithful to a prince or superior
    (so let’s not let a ‘man’ think he is superior to going by
    God’s Word, either); it means ‘true to a plighted faith, duty, or
    love; not treacherous” You get that!? anything else is treachery.

    “Loyalty” means fidelity to a prince, sovereign, (and our Sovereign
    is NOT ‘the preacher’ even if sometimes he thinks he is.)
    or to a husband or lover” and we know Who our Husband is, right?

    “Fidelity” (in above def) is an important word we should know:
    meaning “faithfulness, firm adherence to a person (Person in our
    case, or party, with which one is united or to which one is
    bound; loyalty; honesty; veracity; adherence to truth.”
    If we allow anything else in our ‘church’ it will corrupt the
    sheep. It is LEAVEN.

    “Disloyalty” means 1.not true to allegiance; false to a sovereign;
    faithless, (whew! that is serious too–faithLESS)
    2.False,;perfidious (violating good faith or false to trust; treacherous 3. not true to the marriage bed. (and we took up the cup of the covenant ourselves. He expects us to be true to Him-the world looks to us and we hope they see His image–not the image of a ‘man/preacher’ no matter how nice he is, how passionate or good in his preaching. And the Lord expressly told us the night of the last supper NOT to ‘over-lord’ each other, but to be like Him Who came as a servant.

  398. I hope you could see my ‘typo’– that I meant to say “we wonder why preachers ARE NOT not held accountable to go by all the Scriptures” just as the rest in the IFB church are? They are to “lead by example” and someone needs to truly love them and the sheep enough to stand up to them and say “that is WRONG”, if their example is not like the Lord Jesus Who said “Learn of Me for I am meek and lowly”, or not like when the Lord Jesus countered the devil’s mis -use of Scripture out in the wilderness, with the rest of the verses or the true meaning of what the devil was twisting. Otherwise, truth is perverted; like Steve’s example up at the top: that does add some ‘poop to the brownies’. Aren’t we to love the Lord Jesus and be more loyal to Him and His Word than ‘men’?!
    I’m sorry that men have messed up the IFB’s reputation; we shouldn’t have allowed them to unchallenged. Ignoring their misconduct, sorry attitudes, self-aggrandizement is disloyalty to the Lord Jesus.

  399. Dear Arthur,
    You seem to be asking a sincere question, although it appears you haven’t read much in this site. If you had you would most likely have understood that there are many here who do love their KJV’s and who just wondered why the preachers are also held accountable to go by the Scriptures. Many of us have observed a ‘double standard’ in place–a respecting of persons’-in many IFB churches–not at all ‘godly’ nor ‘God-honoring’–but in effect, lying about Him in their misrepresentation for they KNOW they’re to be LEADERS of God’s flock–Not ‘over-lords’ who appear more like “hirelings”–who accept the adoration and unscriptural submission of the sheep–that only belong to the Lord Jesus–not ‘man’.
    So we here have shared the damage done to us, hoping that some of these ‘preachers’ would realize they’re going to be in a great lot of trouble when they stand before him–they’ve hurt His sheep and caused them to get away from the true meaning of those Scriptures that you and I revere (often by leaving out so many dozens of verses, and stressing the others, until they’ve gotten into a ‘legalistic’ unbalance and become more ‘Phariseeical’ in their attitudes. We are able to admonish one another…and the Lord expects us to stand up against what is wrong for that is “SIN” and sin is what He died for. It is not a ‘light’ thing to be ignored and over-looked when the men who’ve set themselves up as ‘heads’ of the IFB sin in their attitudes, etc and it is not corrected.In addition think about it! Many have come into an IFB church, hearing they really preach the Word of God, but when these people in charge don’t apply it to themselves, it couuld affect these seeking people deeply–could even turn them away the rest of their lives, from seeking God. We here have seen that. It is awful and marriages have been destroyed “in the Name of Jesus”. My Bible says that “what God has put together let not man put asunder”. It’s just that all the Scripture, not just part of it, has to be addressed and applied equally to everyone. But most especially Romans 6 where we learn we died with him and have died to sin and to the law.

  400. Arthur Lynch