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 Responses to “ About This Site ”

  1. Brian says:

    I am very happy that you have created this web site and exposing the legalistic independent fundamental baptist denomination, as I call them, to who they really are. I am very sorry you went through all of that with this movement. The IFB are definately set in their ways. I want you to know that I am on your side, unlike those other people, who commented on here. I have been to web site such as http://www.av1611.org and http://www.jesus-is-savior.com and they attack any christian who are non-kjv only. av1611.org, the person who runs that site, slanders CCM artists and claims that they are both under the influnce of, and are tools of satan.
    They slander Michael W. Smith, Third Day, Point of Grace, Steve Green, Sandy Patty, Amy Grant and jesus-is-savior.com does the same thing to Mercy Me.

    Have you heard of these bible colleges, Pensacola Christian College, Hyles-Anderson College, Crown College and others? Please resond to my comment. Like I said, I agree with you about as I call them, the legalistic independent baptist movement. There is even this cocky, prideful, arrogant, “preacher” who pastors an IFB church in the Phoenix, Arizona area, who preached an entire sermon entitled, “Why Billy Graham is going to hell”.

    • MH says:

      That pastor in the Phoenix area calls himself an IFB. He dwells on the outer fringes of reality and often misinterprets Bible truth. In Arizona, he is considered a “lone ranger” and he lives to draw attention to himself. I am sorry to see so much negativism on this site toward IFB churches, but I truly understand the hurt that many people have suffered in these churches. As a closing word, I would like to declare that I am an IBF pastor who loves Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and has compassion for the lost.

      • Jenni says:

        I am also from an IFB church and I LOVE IT. I am sorry for you experience, but we are all of course imperfect. The devil will use good churches if they let him…. but I am very disappointed in this article. You are tearing down another denomination that is preaching the gospel. This blog does nothing for the cause of Christ… shame on you.

        • Katie says:

          So Jenni, I guess it’s safe to say that you are omniscient since you know everything about this blog and that it “does nothing for the cause of Christ”? Or are you pretending that you know everything and that since this site doesn’t agree with YOU then it “does nothing for the cause of Christ”? Aren’t you making assumptions about what this site is doing for the cause of Christ? Shame on you.

  2. Joanna says:

    I totally agree. I also grew up in this type of church, am now 23, & have found myself pulling away from the Bible as a help tool/guide because of such experiences you describe. That analogy helps me greatly & gives me hope that I can look beyond what I’ve been “taught” and see what God is trying to teach me.

    As for Brian’s comment…my sister went to Crown College near Knoxville, TN, and he is right. They focus way to much on things that DO NOT MATTER (length of skirt, no flip flops, long hair????), and the people there [as well as my home church] honestly do not care about you as a person–putting themselves above you, judging you if you do not act as they act, dress as they dress, do what they do. There is definitely a sense of pride in it as well…as if they are proud of their ignorance. They don’t want to know the truth. They don’t want to grow in the Lord. They don’t want to be a help to others.

    To all who read this: PLEASE pray for my family & me, that we may truly seek God and not get caught up in the ignorant beliefs we are surrounded by and raised in…That we have a healthy hunger for God, questioning to find the truth…That we not get caught up in religion but get caught up in God.

  3. Joe says:

    While I agree with much of what you are saying, you over generalize Baptist churches in your descriptions…severely. I have lived in several states and attended at least 30 Baptist churches in my lifetime and the type of church you are referring to only makes up 3 or 4 of them. While IFB churches can be and many are like what you are describing, it does not make up anywhere near the majority of Baptist churches in general. IFB churches are a small portion of the total Baptist churches and choose that name in large part because they want to seperate themselves from other Baptist churches.

    I am sorry about the struggles you have been through and pray you get through them. We just have to be careful how we describe these situations because of the immense emotion involved. It is not fair to group all Baptists in with them.

    Site Admin wrote a response: I actually haven’t made any generalizations. I state quite clearly in the third paragraph above “I will let you, the reader, determine which applies to you and your unique situation.” I also state very clearly that I’m speaking from my experiences. This site is about my experience and what I find dangerous about the IFB, nothing more. Please read the site before making assumptions. Thanks

  4. Christine says:

    This is a comment on the Administrator’s comment to Ike (Discussion with Ike has been moved to Here). All I can say is Amen, Amen, and Amen! Keep up the awesome work of giving your time to expose the stiff-face, “see something wrong with everything that does not look religious” Pharisee movement – the Pharisee was alive and well on earth when Jesus was here, and unfortunately that same spirit never died. God bless you :)

  5. Helen says:

    I’m really happy that you took the time to make sure others will hear about your experience. I strongly agree that most Fundamental Baptist are Pharisees. I’m speaking of the management and the staff not so much about the poor people they mislead and control. I spent part of my life in a Baptist Church and can testify of their abuse and mind control that is so far from the loving grace of God, His salvation and freedom. They have captured my sister’s brain and free-will alienating her from those who love and care for her. Stay away from this self-righteous cult and embrace God’s love!!!

  6. Bill says:

    I have been in an IFB church for 12 years. I am a student of the scriptures and always follow the lead of the Berean Christians in Acts 17. Please give me some examples of what I should be watching out for and the accompanying Bible references. I am always willing to rethink my beliefs if I am given Bible truth to judge them by. Thanks!

  7. Linda says:

    I am grateful for your site. My daughter (age 32) & her husband & their children are currently steeped in an IFB church that has caused them to turn against everyone in our family. They confronted us about the NIV and the praise music at my church…etc.. and we all refused to change. There was no success in arguing…they seemed to use some scripture or other, out of context to counter everything we said. Other judgemental and tragic events happened and after just 3 years, we’ve all recently received notification by email or letter that we are no longer to contact them in any way because we are “toxic” to them. For me, that means I will not see my grandchildren! They are planning to homeschool their young children, and haven’t even gotten any immunizations or medical care. My daughter gave birth at home with a mid-wife only. They have rejected most traditional medicine. They are extreme in discipline with 2 little girls aged 2 & 4. No TV, no pants for females, etc…. It is very sad and frustrating for our family. We don’t know what to do…besides prayer of course!…but we fear that they could be trapped in this church for years!!!!! Thanks again for your website, it has helped me to understand the problem a little better.

  8. Lani says:

    Really appreciate this site. I once had an intimate relationship with the Lord and was very happy, but then I started attending an IFB church and was made to feel like God was always made at me and never approved of me, my spiritual life has dried up, I no longer attend any church, and there are many painful associations between the Bible and church. I miss my walk with the Lord.

  9. Pastor William Smith says:

    It is a shame to see how much the IFB churches have sunk into legalism and control. The truth is I know more that are the way you describe than not. Yet I know many who have moved more to center in the last years. I would like to think that the church I pastor is more like the latter than the former.

  10. BILLY says:

    Hello I need help in the worse way and I hope you can answer me today. Heres the story a family Im fond of were praticing Lutherns very very inept in helping the church and seeminly very good people. One day a fella who was a graduate of a known IFBC Midwestern College had knocked on their door and invited them to a church he recently opened in a public meeting room. Since this time they have changed dramitically, there children are not allowed to watch Disney movies or attend Disneyland. The woman now seems to wear her shirts above her collar bone. They are now bothering their neighbors whom have Barrack Obama pictures in their windows and are recommending that his picture be taken down and a picture of Jesus be put up.Im afraid now that the minister is trying to convince them to sell their house. WHATS GOING ON HERE

  11. Jason W. Elder says:

    @BILLY

    What do you by them being “very inept in helping the church?” It seems like you were bragging on them, but “inept” means “incompetent.” Typo maybe?

    Anyhow, Why do you think the pastor wants them to sell their house? I’m IFB myself, but I admit, that did raise an eyebrow.

    The other things you mentioned, however, don’t seem like much reason for alarm, when you consider them individually.

    1. As far as Disney goes, the Southern Baptist Convention (a mainstream denomination) boycotted Disney for years.

    2. A married woman wearing less-revealing clothing certainly doesn’t hurt the cause of Christ. But maybe there’s more to the story than that? I mean, I knew a family who enforced a 2-finger rule on their daughters’ clothing (their shirt collars couldn’t be lower than the width of 2 fingers from the collar bone). Now, they didn’t impose that rule on anybody else, but I did think it was weird.

    3. I’d much rather look at Jesus than Obama, McCain, Palin or any other politician. Maybe they just want a better role model for their children? Again, maybe you can tell me more about the situation.

  12. Sisterlisa says:

    Sigh* Wow. This is an amazing article for me. I have been a member of an IFB church for 14 years and it is definitely an abusive one. It really shook my faith to come to this conclusion and I searched the scriptures diligently, fasted and prayed, and double checked everything I was taught.

    I can tell you that I love the people in the church and endeared the pastor as a spiritual father and named two of my children after two of his family members. I do not regret that, and I still pray for him.

    Yet when you realize you have been taught false doctrine by people you have trusted, it really hits with a big blow. Most people really are just deceived and don’t intend it on purpose. I can forgive those who taught me wrong, however I know what is taught when a member leaves the church. They teach you not to have fellowship with them anymore. They also strictly forbid that you ask them why they left.

    I have watched several couples whom I trusted for spiritual guidance leave and not tell us why. THAT was hard. Leaving a cult you were deceived in for a length of time is difficult and we have not even broke free all the way yet. We covet your prayers in this.

    I have met many, many fabulous people from IFB churches, some of which spoke such incredible truth that my entire life was changed. However they don’t believe in having elders and don’t welcome correction very well in leadership. This is where the Enemy puts his stronghold in the lives of leadership, they become proud and don’t take correction or disagreement very well at all.

    They are adamant in leading souls to Christ for which I am thankful, however many times the decision is under coercion and confrontation which brings a false conversion. I used to think an abrupt departure was best to get out of a cult, but it depends on the situation. Now I think slowly and gradually can be good. Most people don’t notice when you slip out quietly. Much easier. Yet always still difficult.

    There was a time when I would have laughed at someone if they said my church was a cult. Now I know the truth. Someone must have been praying for us. :O)

  13. Lori says:

    I grew up in an IFB church. My parents, siblings were all members for 20 years. I was 27 when we left so it was basically all I knew of church. Though when we were in it you couldn’t have convinced us that we were in a cult like church or a church where spiritual abuse was running wild, after we got kicked out on our heads we saw it for what it was. The only type of people that come and stay are those that are very needy and those who are baby Christians. I could list them by name and my family was one that was needy at the time my parents joined. The pastor is “God” and so you don’t question ANYTHING outwardly even though so many things don’t add up or make sense or just are not right. There were no deacons or trustees or any other people in leadership. All of the men are pansy “yes men”. The problem was ALWAYS in the pew and was never behind the pulpit. If we thought the church was dead, we were the ones that were dead. Unless you gave more every year to missions you weren’t spiritual or trusting God enough. Before special offerings(which were in addition to the regular offering) that were at the end of NEARLY EVERY service the phrase, “what God doesn’t get on Sunday, the devil WILL get on Monday” was made. My mother was to the point of feeling bad about spending $1 on a soda during the week!!!! We were being sucked DRY! An elderly woman that was our friend and also left when we did was giving out of her savings because there was so much pressure to GIVE MORE! I could go on for 3 hours about all that was “normal” there. It is very painful to suddenly lose people that you cared for and were friends with and that respected you. They no longer want anything to do with us…we’ve fallen you see. The pastor could NEVER actually be WRONG so they wouldn’t even ask what we had to say about the situation. What “pastor” says is absolutely true. Whether the members fully realize it or not they ARE eagerly awaiting all of my family’s demise. I know, I was one of them. They are right about everything, they have, know and do all truth. They are superior to EVERYONE. There is none more righteous or closer to God then they; seriously, that IS the thinking. They condemn and criticize EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. They control you through FEAR. To keep you there you are reminded of those whose lives have fallen apart after leaving…there was a list given from time to time of those who left and were now dead, out of church, divorced, sick, in jail or whatever. They destroy with their mouths those who don’t line up with them…I watched this over and over. With my family letters were sent out to those we knew to tell them “the truth” about what happened. You have NO say in anything. If you dare speak up you will be humiliated publicly. Being outwardly “right” is more important than being inwardly right. THEY ARE PHARISEES! They are EXTREMELY arrogant because they “have, know and do all of the truth”. Every preacher or author “on the outside” is wrong, liberal, or an apostate. Anyone in any other kind of church are in a “so called church.” The ONLY godly music was the hymns sung in church or the cheesy, generic, off tune music of those that came through to sing and had made CDs. Soundtracks were a no-no. Sure, the outside of their cup is gleaming, but the inside is full of stinky old milk. Their “Christianity” is disgusting. I’ve done the research, we WERE in a cult like church and a church filled with spiritual abuse. I’ll not say that all Independent Baptist churches are cult like, they are not but that one was and I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy to get sucked into that place. Once you are in you can’t get out unless you dare question or confront the pastor on SIN. Painful though it was it is the best thing that could have happened to my family. Thanks for reading.

  14. Alvin Jiron says:

    Amen…I currently attend a church in Colorado Springs, CO., where opinion and personal preference seem to take preeminance over Christ’s Doctrine. I have been there for almost 3yrs and realize that the Church’s spiritualiy has not grown, nor the number of converts, yet we claim to be the only church in the city that God is using. I have heard preaching against public school kids, inter-racial marriages(in which I have one), people putting there very lives in risk of car-accidents, and heart failure if one was to ever leave the church. I too have heard preaching against any other version of the bible (though I believe for textual reliablility for the English speaking language the KJV is acurate)and that one can not be saved outside of the KJV(wait sorry KJB). I’ve heard that Jesus Christ the God incarnate, the Lord and Saviour is a “Baptist” and anyone who is not a true Baptist will not be part of the Bride of Christ but will for eternity wonder outside the New Jerusalem(explain that one)….Period…Women can not wear denim dresses,, we ought to look like IFBC< so we should were White shirts and black ties or singular colored ties. “Fasting is not a Doctrine that is commonly preached if ever in our church????? Seperation has to do more with Dress and Music rather than, seperation unto spiritual Holyness and spiritual discernment??? I’ve noticed that Gossip is a huge thing among even the so called respected wives of those men who hold positions. The one I suppose thet gets me the most is this one.. Do not dare go against God’s annointed..or Hey if you don’t like it take it up with God, He wrote the bible not me. Like it or Lump it. Even though Soul Liberty is a Docrine of the Baptist Church, dare one get the boldness to actually live it in truth and Grace. Eveyone seems to either be called to be a preacher or pastors wife or missionary or missionay’s wife. I recently noticed in the last two years of the Seniors graduating class from Cornerstone Baptist Academy, that they seem to be turning away from God instead of wanting to serve him. Tithe and Curses go hand in hand in the preaching of stewerdship. We preach Grace to get them in but Law to try and disciple them. Several times have my wife and I had several concerns that we had council on and in the meetings the Love seemed overflowing and accepting of our concerns, but come sunday night,,,”goodnight” it was amunition for a series of sermons for the “church” a way to say…this is what I really think about your concerns. I just fill that the Zeal is there, but it is not driven by the Grace of God and Law of liberty. Rather being perfect in our own eyes and IFBC standards rather than being perfect in obedience to Christ. Please let me know what to do. Because I feel in my heart that God may want my family and I to move, but my wife just does not see it like I do.

  15. Amanda Frick says:

    Alvin, you and I attend the same church, and I must say, if you are not happy there, you should really leave. Your soul will not grow, nor your personal walk with God if you continue to attend a church that you do not agree with nor feel a part of. I am not saying this in judgement or harshly, or anything else. I used to attend every week, 3 or 4 times a week, but as you know, I have moved to Europe. However, I do look forward to attending CBC when I get back. Anyways, should you want to talk, my email address is amanda.frick@hotmail.com I can understand where you are coming from on many of your points!!

  16. Michele says:

    I came upon this website by accident and read over the comments on IFB churches. I have been an IFB for 40 years and I must say that the one thing I agreed with here is that many of our churches have become legalistic. I myself have been caught up in legalism before and still must fight the urge to be judgmental of others at times. I do not want to sound critical of anyone here but I must say however that I do agree with the standards and convictions of the IFB movement because we teach that Christ has called us to be a peculiar people. We are to be separate from the world. We are not to look like the world, act like the world, dress like the world—-I mean if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck then it is a duck. Are we Christians or are we still a part of this world? We live in the world but we are not to be a part of it. We teach that there must be a difference in us for others to see Christ. This difference comes first on the inside at the time of regeneration and then IT WILL show on the outside. If we as Christians listen to certain types of music, wear certain clothing, or participate in certain activities that appeal to the flesh or appear worldly then we are not in close fellowship with God as we should be. When the flesh wins the spirit loses! I do agree that our pulpits should not be used as a chopping block so to speak. I have known many preachers who acted horrible and offended lost people who may have never gotten saved because of their experience in an IFBC. We as Christians however must grow and realize that as the Bible says—Perfect peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them.

  17. Ryan says:

    I have had my own negative experience with the fundamental baptist churches. I was a member of one for over 18 years. After coming to Christ, I now see how legalistic and shackling the fundamentalist movement is. These churches turn more people away from Christ than towards Christ. They forget about the Freedom that God brings. They forget that they cannot win God’s approval by their actions.

  18. Alvin Jiron says:

    In the End of things we must agree to Search in finding Christ to serve ourselves. When it comes down to the brass tax of things we must realize who we serve and that is Christ Only. I believe that if we are to consumed and worried about not offending someone or a particular denomination than or focus is not on Christ, but on the preacher or the movement. Sould Liberty is what it boils down to. We must find true liberty in Christ ourselves rather than get to cought up in everything that is said behind the puplit especially preferrence over doctrine.

  19. Alvin Jiron says:

    @Amanda Frick Hey, definitely, hit me back, for sure and we will discuss these matters.

  20. aaron says:

    @Linda
    Hello. I am currently a member of a IFB church and you know I have seen in this church the translation struggle and the immunization problem and even the birth at home. What is this stuff and where is the origin?

  21. Debbie says:

    I am a member of a IFB church and love it…I have been in one all my life…although some are legalistic, I have not had that experience. It is my desire and the desire of the majority of our congregation to grow closer and closer to Jesus….it is a personal walk with Christ. I love the fact that my first and only experience with church is the IFB Church…AMEN

  22. April says:

    God bless the person who has this site up!! It takes a lot of courage to speak out & I am glad that you have. Kudos to you & a hug too!

    For over 19 years I was in a very abusive Landmark-Primitive-Baptist-Calvinist CULT. I started getting indoctrinated while still in college. When I joined it was a very vulnerable time in my young life. At that age, I was smart enough to see that the church I was raised in had problems & I believed there must be something better out there. But I was too young to realize that no “church” is perfect & there are often times no easy answers in life.

    Anyhow, so so so thankful to the Creator that we escaped w/ our souls, lives & sanity. Walking away from the abuse was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I knew God is so much bigger than that bullshit “true church”. The man of God (cough cough gag gag) was accountable to nobody. A one man show it was & still is. The “pastor” was perceived as “God’s mouthpiece” and God help anyone who would question, disagree or point out error….well, I should know, I was one of them. I began to think for myself & could no longer swallow the poison coming from the bully pulpit every sunday.

    Oh…I was a “true believer”….I checked out my brains because I was constantly reminded of my “total depravity” and not to trust myself or my feelings. I had to be obedient & trust the *pastor* & his interpretations of the bible. Inside I felt something was wrong, but was told that my doubts were of the devil. Nothing like being told you are demon possessed to drive you over the edge…but I believe God was & is w/ me. I wouldn’t fall for the FEAR BS anymore. I’m a FREE creature under God. The leader is the master manipulator, using the “bible” to CONTROL people. FEAR reigns in that group. IMHO

    There was so very much I was disagreeing w/…..I could no longer continue to support him, our integrity was at stake, so we quietly left. We never even gave a reason because we had tried to talk to xpastor & it was going nowhere. At every turn WE were the ones who were “wrong”…
    WE were always the “problem”.
    we were told the devil was causing us to doubt (since when is honestly questioning, evil????)
    I was told to stuff it, I was yelled at & humiliated…
    (people will often do pastor’s “dirty work” for him)
    …..we realized that nothing would change his mind, so
    why make a big deal, just walk away. and we did. thank God! Of course walking away isn’t really that easy when you are told that God might just KILL YOU for walking away from his “true church”.
    It’s HORRIBLE psychological TERRORISM. Talk about using FEAR to CONTROL people & their lives!! Xpastor got up & LIED by yelling that “anyone is FREE to leave this church!” what a crock of shit….he JUDGES YOU & tells you to “watch out for God’s fiery indignation…” I saw that he was totally being dishonest & I’m thinking does anyone else see what he just said as not being true???!
    FREE to leave would be a hug & blessing in my book.

    I wish I could go back in time, but I can’t. What a waste of 19 precious years to all of the legalism & spiritual abuse.

    At the time, I wasn’t aware of truly what I was getting myself into….I got RE-baptised by pastorX because I was told
    that my immersion baptism I received in college wasn’t “valid”. It never dawned on me that by being RE-baptised by him he’d have a hook in me & attempt to keep me trapped in his “church” my whole life!!!
    I began to feel like i was in a prison…..it’s a very long story.

    We gave our lives for that group & we were BETRAYED. Betrayed & hurt to the core of our (my husband & I) beings. I would never set foot inside any baptist church (cult). I am so at peace, I believe God still loves me. I’m good w/ God…but religion sucks.

    Just my opinion from my personal IFB HELL experience of over 19 years. I can so relate to this quote by Pascal,
    “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” I may put some of my “story” here at a later time.
    Thanks for letting others & myself speak out.
    And for anyone struggling w/ abusive religion, my advice is GET OUT!!
    God will NOT be angry with you. You have FREEDOM in Christ. Don’t let some power crazed narcissist supposed “pastor” “lord it over” or have “dominion” over your faith & your relationship w/ your creator.
    It wont be easy, but God will be with you & don’t be too hard on yourself. The abusive leaders/pastor are taskmasters that you will NEVER be able to do enough for, but GOD is NOT like the abusive leaders.
    REST & GO in PEACE.
    April

  23. Lisa says:

    I was raised up in a very legalistic UPC church. I was saved at 17 at a southern Baptist church. I married a man who was saved into a IFB church. We are a military family so we have to travel and move around quite often. I was encouraged not to put the Man of God above God by my southern baptist pastor. That has helped me to see that All men everyone of us sin and are sinners. Saved and unsaved no sin is any bigger and we need grace. I can tell you that I have found Good Independant Babtist churches. They love people and love the Lord. They do practice the King James Bible, I do also . Mainly because I was shown were NIV does leave out certain verses pertaining to salvation. How ever I do not believe that only KJV people are true christians. It is what I do because I like those verses they help me tell people about Christ loving them .

  24. Ramon Graham says:

    After reading these comments my heart goes out to those that have been so horribly hurt. I am an ordained Evangelist Minister in an IFBC. I have seen most if not all of what has been described here. However, let me say this, these things are found in all religions. The Church I minister in and out of makes every effort not to be ligalistic or condeming. After all we are all just sinners saved by Grace. My I caution each and every one of you to pray God lead you to a Bible beleiving Church. I use the KJV because of the beauty of the language. I do not object to your reading any version you like. However for clarity and understanding I would recomend all members follow along with the same version being studied, taught and preached from.

    Any pastor or teacher worth their position should be well enough studied to clearify any confusion. Men in any teaching or preaching position should never point fingers at anyone without realising the three fingers pointing at themselves. Christ is the head of the Church! No one else should ever think they are.

    Please continue to pray God lead you to a Church where you can serve and be served. Time is moving on and things do not look good for America or the world. People need the Lord. Christ is our only real hope.

    I have and will continue to pray for the spirtual healing we all need.

    My god richly bless you all.

    In Christ’s Love
    Bro. Graham

  25. Ramon Graham says:

    @Debbie
    Please consider reading my comment #24

  26. Robert Palmer says:

    I went to a church tonight and found out when there that it was an IFB church. I can sum up my experience in one word: “Oppressive”

    Though they preached a correct message on salvation, I felt ashamed as a missionary, for all those peoples in the jungles of Panama I had preached to if ever they had to hear and listen to what I did tonight. Those poor people in the jungles come to church with little or nothing but a desire to know the truth. I sincerely do not believe these new converts on Panama would be welcome in the IFB church. How shameful to the name of Jesus. If a message preached in church cannot be preached to the poorest people elsewhere in the world, then such message should not be preached anywhere! Legalism is always wrong. The problem with legalism is that it is deceptive, especially deceiving those who adhere to its mandates.

  27. Michelle says:

    @Alvin Jiron
    In response to Alvin- my husband and I had a tough time reaching our conclusion- because quite frankly we were afaid we’d be cursed, but finally we decided it was best for our family that we leave. Every one in our family is much happier. We found a church that we like, however, we are a bit reluctant to join one at this point. We can look back now and see tons of manipulative tactics that we did not recognize at the time. Can’t tell you what to do except to not be afraid to question some of the things you are being taught. You are not questioning God or His sovereignty, you are questioning man’s philosophy. It is okay to test and see if those things are Biblical.

  28. Tom McLean says:

    @Lori
    Lori, I was in a church similar to that in Dillon, MT. Do you mind telling me the name or where that church was? Thanks,Tom

  29. Ken says:

    This post has been moved to the “Emails Received” page.

  30. Fred says:

    @Lani
    Lani, I truly believe the Lord hears your heart’s cry, I really do.

  31. Sonia says:

    Thank you so much for this site. Last year at age 41 I suddenly saw clearly the extent of the mental and emotional abuse perpetrated by my mother, who got into the church, and forced me to go three times a week starting from when I was about 12 years old.

    My mother’s belligerent and judgemental way with me, my father, and anyone who did not meet her church’s standards was horrid, ugly, rude, and extremely damaging and hurtful. She destroyed her marriage and alienated her daughter with this behavior. Turned the home into a battle zone, while proclaiming self-righteous innocence. I had mental health issues in my twenties and was hospitalized off and on for a few years. The mind-f**k stuff (from both parents) finally coming to bear. How can you reason with someone who doesn’t think you have a right to your own opinions and beliefs? Why would you bother to try?

    My struggle has been with my mother and her behavior which continues to this day. Judgmental, not listening, active FORGETTING what does not fit into her schema, (four times I’d told her I’d gotten saved and she forgot each time…because when I didn’t do exactly what she thought I should, in her mind, meant I wasn’t saved…the last time was for putting an unwashed dish in the sink). Ultimately, she rejected me when I finally called her on her s**t. I felt so liberated! Wait, you mean not having any relationship is an option? Thank you!

    Months later, she’s apologized for what went down when I was a kid, and wants to be in touch. But I seen the promised land — don’t know if I want to go back to what she has to offer!!! Listening to my heart, and God, I wonder if being around her is good for my own spiritual, not to mention mental, and emotional life. I’m seeking the most compassionate way. If she insists on seeing me as a sinner, shouldn’t I simply respect and honor her beliefs, and take myself out of her world?

    Anyway, what I appreciate about this site, the gift it has given me today, is that it places her behavior in CONTEXT. I never had a problem with the people of the church, really, the pastor in his wife believed what they did and it seemed misguided, but they always treated me with respect. But now I can see my own mother’s behavior as an combination of her own particular personality trait (a knower, obeyer and enforcer of rules, who is ruled mainly by fear, and takes comfort and solace in rules…the “cops and accountants of the world” ) and the awful influence of church itself. She got into the wrong crowd. Her powers might have been used for good…

    This IS an “angry” site, as one of your detractors has said, but I don’t see a problem with that. One’s anger must be honored and acknowledged, for one’s own health. The people who have been a source of the anger wouldn’t listen compassionately, which further exacerbates the problem, the anger bottled up with no place to go–crazy making! Gratitude is a wonderful antidote, but screaming in pillows or creating sites so that people can speak their truth is helpful too. Acupunture and other alternative health remedies were also really helpful for me.

    Gratitude is the way to peace, I think.

    My spiritual life is deep and rich. Would it be this wonderful if I hadn’t been raised by a Christi-Nazi? Probably not. No matter what else I have to say about my childhood, there WAS an extreme focus on God. Not a bad place to start.

    A few years ago I found a spiritual teacher, a Hindu actually, who even when I wasn’t looking for it, has somehow brought me back to Christ — she preaches no particular religion, but but exemplifies and lives the love of God, to such a great extent that I feel like I KNOW what it must have been like to live in Christ’s time, and actually see him and be around him. (amma.org for those interested)

    I experience the type of intimacy with Him that my mother would scoff at and disbelieve if I were to share it with her. But at this point, I know not to cast my pearls before swine…it wastes my time and annoys the pig. I don’t need her approval of my relationship with God. She appointed herself God’s bouncer, but that too, is not my problem. It’ s between her and God.

    Such a pure unconditional love that emanates from my teacher, allowing one to see oneself truly through God’s loving eyes, and feel honored to humble oneself before the Lord’s grace…what a difference from the type of humbling that takes place by the jack-booted thugs of the IFBC such as my mom, using the tools of shame and guilt and attack. Again, if i hadn’t had the type of grounding I did early on in this abusive legalism, would I be where I am now? Doubt it.

    My teacher herself was treated quite abusively as a child, by her own parents, and had this to say about it.
    At the time, she received everything that happened as God himself, as the will of God, and is now grateful for the severity and demanding exactitude, because it helped her to learn discipline, and to hold high standards. She counts her early abusers as her first spiritual teachers.

    Everything in this life brings us closer to God, whether we are aware of it at the time or not…
    Might as well give thanks from the get-go, and ask to see it as God sees it, see and trust its purpose and meaning.

    Another way to find gratitude for my experiences…
    I was raised by someone, and brought to a church were they really TALKED the TALK,
    and that means I can go a step further, and WALK the TALK.

    I once got into an altercation with a Baptist..she’d started asking about what I believed, and I was happy to share and find commonality in the love of God. But it turned out she wasn’t actually curious; I asked her to speak to me respectfully and not to preach, but simply share what SHE believed, and share her joy in that belief. She wouldn’t, or couldn’t. The third time she ignored my request, correcting me and casting me as wrong and a sinner, I had to ask her to leave. As she was leaving, she shouted bible verses and “sinner” at me, red faced. In that moment, I realized I had a choice. I could argue with her about Christ, or I could exemplify Christ, right then in that moment. I ushered her out, looking at her with love and compassion as she fussed, and quietly shut the door, love and peace in my heart. No indignation, no anger, no giving her another thought once she was gone from my sight. A blessing, Christ’s love through me. ..and she the instrument of it.

    On your way to God, you can’t stop to argue with every dog that barks.
    There’s too much worship to do!

  32. Bryan says:

    Do you understand even what a cult is? Do you understand the Biblical defintion of legalism? As an IFB preacher who runs a ministry to help free people from both, thre is something to consider. While there may be some IFB congregations that fit this description, the IFB Movement as a whole doesn’t.

    (Article removed by Admin due to copyright violations) The answer to your questions is yes to both.

  33. Brian says:

    @Brian Bob Jones University is also legalistic. They forbid things that the Bible does not categorically condemn. Also, Pensacola Christian College. They are extremely legalistic. Have you heard of these two places in the IFB?

  34. April says:

    @Brian
    Brian, Just my .02 worth… I have heard of Bob Jones Univ. (Xabusive pastor spent I think a year there..why doesn’t that surprise me????) anyhow, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) BJU & PCC, are very legalistic.

  35. Oscar says:

    @Alvin Jiron
    Thanks for your letter Alvin. We also stumbled into this. The people seemed so nice and we were looking for a church with more children programs.The pastor said ” WE just preach the bible here” so sounds good, Right?

    I’m not going to try to list all the stuff. You and others have nailed it and I am not perfect by any means. My wife is totally caught and will not even hear anything except what Pastor says.She answers all with “NOW I KNOW THE TRUTH, I WAS WRONG BEFORE.” Also she wants to put our kids in their little school. I told her no and told pastor no.They keep asking her to enroll them.

    So, our marriage is being torn by this conflict.She told me that her relation to GOD has nothing to do with mine And I will be going Hell.”THANKS DEAR”. Now I just try to say as little as possible to maintain peace ( except for the school thing).I’m a prisoner to IFB

  36. April says:

    @Oscar
    I feel bad for you & others who are prisoners to the manipulation of abusive churches & so-called pastors. Just my opinion, I’m thinking if the kids go to the school that the indoctrination will just continue..**SIGH**. My heart goes out to you. I have seen abusive religion destroy families & marriages. I can say my husband saw the BS years before I did, so please don’t give up on your wife. When my husband was pointing out hypocrisy & questioning the leader I thought he was being influenced by evil, that’s what I was taught. but over time I could see some truth into what he was pointing out & little by little the truth was actually penetrating into my brainwashed soul.

    Maybe someday she will see how twisted it all is. It is hard to realize what a sham it is because it looks sooooo good & right at first.

    My husband & I were going to leave a first time, then because of the leaders harsh & condemning words, I got scared & sucked back into the “Borg”…my husband was devastated. A few months later we finally left. When you get to the point that you want to run screaming out of a “church service” you know it’s time to leave!

    After finally leaving my husband shared his thoughts w/ me about if he had to stay… that he figured he’d just “play the game” and go along for the sake of his family. (living a lie, but doing it to hold on to his family) I couldn’t blame him.

    Thank God over time I also began to truly see the abuse & the legalism & eventually walked away from that bible cult w/ my husband. For me it was way harder…guess I was just more of a sucker than my husband.
    At the same time we are out of there, better late than never.

    I wish you the best & hopeful thoughts to you & yours.

  37. April Trendt-Frazier says:

    I am writing due to a conflict with my husband and I. My husband is completely brainwashed into believing that if he does not do what the church wants him to do that he cannot serve the LORD. I have realized that this church was not for me. I also had my children in their little school, and I did not like the books that they were learning out of. I sat and read one of the 8th grade U.S. History books that my son was required to read, and I could not believe it. It was all WHITE history, nothing on slaves, nothing on the halecaust, I know I spelled that wrong. Anyway, just the christian founding fathers. I understand the importance of that message, but the wrongs in history need to be taught to our children too, so they will not repeat the evil that has transpired in the past. Anyway, please pray for me. My husband will not listen to me. I think he thinks like some of the others on here, that I am being influenced by evil. I love the lord, and I am saved. I just want him to understand. Thank you for allowing others to post here. May GOD bless you and keep you.

  38. April says:

    April Trendt-Frazier :
    …. I did not like the books that they were learning out of. I sat and read one of the 8th grade U.S. History books that my son was required to read, and I could not believe it. It was all WHITE history, nothing on slaves, nothing on the halecaust, I know I spelled that wrong. Anyway, just the christian founding fathers. I understand the importance of that message, but the wrongs in history need to be taught to our children too, so they will not repeat the evil that has transpired in the past. …. I love the lord, and I am saved. I just want him to understand. Thank you for allowing others to post here. May GOD bless you and keep you.

    I believe God does understand. ;-)

    The cult I escaped had lots of demented teachings, they were more in the background, not mentioned in “sermon/rants”..but the mindset was there, IMHO. here are some examples,

    the Indians deserved their fate because they were “savages”, this is utter bullshit! The “white” men wouldn’t have survived had it not been for the compassion the “savages” showed them.

    Slavery is “OK”..the bible backs it. Yeah…the bible also backs stoning children who disobey their parents..where does it end?
    So many teachings that were just plain CRUEL…but the “bible”…”good book”….”god’s word”..backed it.

  39. Cris says:

    @Linda
    Dear Linda,
    I am so sorry for what you are going through – not being able to see your grandchildren must be very difficult. I can empathize with what you have written. My younger sister’s husband is an IFB Pastor, they too have written us a letter stating we are ‘wicked’ people, that we listen to the devils music and therefore want nothing to do with us. Prior to them writing the letter, it was brought to our attention that they were doing there own investigation on us — their response was that they did this so that they would know who to stay away from. The sad part in all of this too is that my sisters and parents also go to their small church. On occasion when i have seen my sister and her family their behavior is very stoic, there is no joy in them. There is a lot of negativity that comes from them.
    I do pray for them – we know that our joy comes from the Lord and that He gives us strength!
    btw; there was nothing to investigate and we are a Christian family!
    We must continue to pray for them.

  40. Denise says:

    I just want to share a little of my experience. Before I go into it I just want to state categorically that I believe basically all the things that make the IFB. So I do believe that the KJB is the most accurate (after much solo investigation on the history of the different versions, the people who were on the translation teams, etc). I also believe that we should be seperate. If we as Christians look like the world, talk like the world, act like the world, dress like the world, we are certainly not seperate and ‘called-out’. I agree with modest dress as the bible commands although I haven’t quite settled the dress-only issue as of it (currently studying it). I do not go to and IFB church currently but I have attended one in the past. The sad part about it all is that while the place had great teaching about false doctrine, taking a stand, etc, the pastor lacked the self-control and humility to effectively shepherd a church. He called our house screaming on several occasions, called my daughter who is on the Autism spectrum names such as rangy and wild (to be fair she wasn’t diagnosed at the time but we were in the midst of pursuing diagnosis and he knew that). He spent much of his time assuring his congregation that the church was the best our city had to offer and preaching on faults/sin as something would occur. Ex. Teenage girl dresses with a skirt a little too short and guess what’s preached on Sunday! It’s like he never planned an actual teaching sermon but rather used whatever the members did wrong to set an example.

    The pastors wife would call in sick to work and take off with a friend for dinner in another city without sharing with her husband. Their daughter was drinking often at the same time the pastor was praising her holiness. The whole thing left me shaken and disillusioned. As a young Christian I intended to leave church and never go back. Within a couple months I was convicted and began attending another Baptist church (not IFB). Now we know of another IFB in our city and have met the pastor and his wife (they counseled us a while back) and feel sure they are loving and genuine. At the same time their teaching takes a stand so we are really thinking about giving that church a try. I think bad church situations and controlling leaders do happen in every denomination so we must look for true churches where the leader leads and teaches, in love. We must not sacrifice the truth of issues for the sake of remaining united but when we do point out fallacies we must be sure to do so in love with all reference to the scriptures. Please pray for me as we try out this new church. God Bless :)

  41. oscar says:

    Thanks April,
    I’m still hanging on and hoping. We get along pretty good if I just don’t comment. Seems odd that I’m the ” Leader of the Home ” and have to keep my mouth closed. Anyway I’m not a scholar and won’t pretend to be. I can only live by faith. Listening to hate and prideful comments for an hour gives me a headache. With luck maybe I’ll get kicked out for not being active enough.

  42. April says:

    @oscar

    Keep hoping & praying Oscar she may come around some day.

    You don’t have to be a scholar to be a good person. God writes his laws into our hearts & we have the Holy Spirit in us to help us. Funny how the religious zealots, as I unfortunately was, forever read & study the bible…I think of the verse “ever learning, yet never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” IMHO little realizing that Jesus’ religion is so simple, you know, love God & your neighbor. Jesus fulfilled the law, yet all kinds of laws get heaped on believers shoulders making folks depressed & crazy. I don’t see simplicity or common sense in the controlling religious legalists camp.

    I believe controlling pastors thrust themselves into marriages using their supposed “authority”. I recall when I started to seriously listen to my husband, which of course opened my mind to questions & doubts about the church doctrines, & the pastor’s interpretations of the bible. When we tried to leave the cult church, in a conversation b/ just the pastor & I, he slyly brought up how “…seems like your husband is the problem…” (or words to that effect.) I believe Xpastor’s purpose for that comment was to put a wedge into our relationship w/ the “your husband is doubting & we can’t have that evil influencing you…” scenerio. I can’t remember the exact words, but I believe, the sentiment was to persuade me to trust the PASTOR & NOT my “doubting” husband. It was very manipulative.

    All the best to you & yours… I know it’s not easy, but I hope someday you will have a good outcome to it all.

  43. Mariette says:

    I too know what everyone is speaking about. I am 18 and just left an IFB church as I needed to for university. I knew there were problems, but being rremoved from the situation magnified the problems. My dad is actually an IFB pastor. Being raised as a pastor’s daughter, I saw many things that I disagreed with. I was raised that wearing pants was wrong, Praise & worship music isn’t for real or genuine Christians, the father should always be the head of the home no matter what, ect…

    I guess I really started to struggle when I looked at the Bible for myself, and it wwas clearly not saying that women should only wear skirts and the other 101 rules we had to follow to “be safe.” My dad actually got abusive with my sisters. He even strangled my sister for not bringing he Bible to church.

    I disagree with my father and his IFB teachings on so many different levels. Being 18 and truly away from everything for the first time, though, I have been left very confused. Everyday it is a struggle feeling like I need to live up to a certain way because I “owe” these people for giving my family the means to live.

    If anyone has a familiar situation or advice I would sincerely love to hear.

    Mariette

  44. Michelle says:

    I am amazed to see a common thread in these comments. That common thread is how the pastor is always preaching that the husband is the head of the household, but at the same time, he subtily places a wedge between husbands and wives. He lets the wives know how great he is, and how horrible their husbands are at leadership. He wants you to listen to him, and when you listen to your husband, he gets offended. When I finally started to listen to my OWN husband like the Bible tells us to do, things suddenly changed. They really do not want wives to honor their husbands! If wives honored their husbands, their church congregation would be much smaller, because, after all, most of the “active” members are the women!

  45. mike says:

    IFB was the first church my wife and I attended after our salvation.The pastor there was abusive and paranoid that others were trying to take over leadership.I counseled him several times “that this was not true” but it never seemed to sink in.
    We were there eight years and the KJV only doctrine was starting to sweep through our church just before we left.
    Well my wife and I had read “the book” a very lose translation of the bible by Pat Robertson first and then we bought other bibles.
    So I knew I was saved and I knew it didn’t matter what bible you read, because God is eager to save people.
    The eight years I was there I saw many people come and go because of the Pastor.this angered me because we had constant sermons about bringing them in, only to watch them leave offended when we did.
    One day during prayer meeting I just asked God to allow me to leave this church and I did and we never looked back.
    They sent over the youth leader to try to talk us back in and I guess the Lord spoke through me that day.
    I told the youth pastor.
    No we won’t be coming back and furthermore you tell the pastor…. that if He doesn’t start doing right and continues to run people away, then He will be run off and will not be allowed back no matter how much He pleads with the church.
    Well a few months went by and I got a call from the pastor and He asked me to meet him at the local mall.
    When I went down to meet Him I found him in a terrible state and I felt sorry for Him.
    Just as I had prophesied, The church had found mild forms of porn in his desk for a second time and they had asked him to resign.
    He seemed almost suicidal. I comforted him as much as I could and begged Him to get help and trust that the Lord was not finished with Him and that He was still loved by the Lord.
    Well I went back and started to attend again after the new pastor was hired and the old Pastor Literally begged the church to allow Him to just be a member but they would have none of it.
    last I heard He was attending a southern baptist church.
    We also have been in southern baptist churches since.I have finally seen the other side of God preached. The soft and loving side, the side that does not condemn anything and everything.
    I learned a lot In the IFB church because neither my wife nor I were raised Christian.
    I have continued my education in Christian apologetics for twenty years and I really loved and still love the pastor and the Church and wish only good things for them. I hope all is well with them but I could never be in that denomination again.

  46. mike says:

    PS. I don’t believe at this time it{the IDFB} can be classified as a cult since the one I attended held to all the tenets of the faith such as the Triune
    Godhead and salvation by grace to name just a few.

  47. Al says:

    In my search for what I call recovery I have come accross this site. It’s not that misery loves company but it is comforting to know I am not alone. When you leave a controlling environment like IFB you feel VERY alone because all of your life is wrapped up in church and all your friends are in these churches. When you leave you are cut off. Such a sad testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ.
    I will return here for more info and sharing. I have learned much through my experience and would like to share more.
    It saddens me to look at the group I was in as a cult. But much of the help I have received is from reading material from authors writing about recovery from cults. There are many similarities even if IFB are not cults they practice many of the same techniques.

    Thanks,

  48. Sara says:

    All I can say is Wow, I’ve been looking for a site like this for a very long time. It is so affirming to know that others have gone through what my family has with and IFB church, and that we’re not alone.

    My dh was raised in IFB church, and I joined one 2 years after being saved when watching the 700 club. All of the things you mentioned went on at that church, but we too were too blind to see it. We raised our son according to their teachings and counseling, and now our son is 17 and wants nothing to do with God. He has seen people that call themselves Christians do the worst things. My dh became disabled and we were treated horribly as he could no longer physically attend service 3 times a week and do all the other things he had been doing for the church.

    My son attended the church school at the time, and was picked on mercilessly by the kids there becuase of this. At one point in time, he wsa in a van with a bunch of kids, no adults present, and the children chanted “you don’t belong here.” We got out not long after that. We were so blind and it has hurt our family so badly.

    if just one person comes to this site and their eyes are opened to the spiritual abuse they are under and get out, wow, that would be wonderful.

    We also lost many friends when we left, our whole life felt empty, and we spent a good couple years waiting for God to punish us. It is still hard to feel “safe” in church and we are very reluctant to trust leadership, but God has been with us all along in amazing ways despite not being in IFB church, something we were taught could never happen.

  49. Regina says:

    Hi everyone! Thank God we have all found this site, and that we are not alone! We could each write a book about our IFB experiences.

    I would call the IFB cult-like for its tactics, but since the true salvation Gospel is dispensed, it is not a full-blown cult. The spiritual damage inflicted, however, is comparable. Although spiritual abuse occurs in all denominations, I would say the IFB has it more than not. Therefore, I urge all who are there to depart, and all who are considering attending, please go elsewhere. If your child is in an IFB school, that is most unfortunate, and I urge you to explore another alternative. Ease him out of there and into a new setting, due to culture shock and inferior education. The way I feel at this point, public school would have done my child less harm than his IFB school. At 9 years old, he was well-grounded and walking with the Lord BEFORE his undeserved sentence in the IFB. At 16, he attends his new church and school activities more for the social contact. He is socially awkward, lacking valuable education, and he remains estranged from the Lord. Traditional hymns and contemporary Christian music alike leave him cold. Even I can barely stand to hear old favorites like “Victory in Jesus,” et al. The memories have destroyed my former pleasure in them. Whenever I hear “Pastor’s” personal favorites, I get angry, depressed, anxious, and nauseous.

    My son and I got trapped in an IFB church for 6 years. The first 2 years seemed OK until I transferred him from his larger, excellent Christian school, to the tiny, one-room church school when he began 5th grade. When he completed 8th grade, we FLED. In those 4 years at that church and school, my son and I both lost many family members and friends due to our need to be separate. My son brought his best friend from his former school to church one Sunday, to the disdain of the congregation and the other kids, because his clothes and mop-top hair were unacceptable. We discontinued doing fun activities because they were of the world. We even physically destroyed expensive (and harmless) CDs, videos, game systems and games, because they were of the world and getting in the way of the things of the Lord. We had ourselves and our home prayed over and prayed through, like an exorcism, to remove the remnants of any evil spirits that still may have been lurking, even though we already destroyed everything we could think of.

    We stopped going even on short trips, because we had to be in church “whenever the church doors were open.” (Never mind that while on the road once, we took the time to stop in at a non-IFB Baptist church to attend the Sunday evening service. We were at the wrong church, not OUR church).

    My son wore a white shirt, black tie, pants, and shoes to school every day, while I wore long skirts, even on the coldest, snowiest days. They all laughed when I slipped on the ice and all was exposed when the skirt flew up around me. I never did give my son a crewcut, as I was frequently requested to do. I just kept it off of his ears and his collar. We were taught that shorts and swimming in the summer (or any time) were not to be. To this day, swimming no longer interests him, although he delighted in it before we fell into their snare. Even t-shirts were frowned upon in favor of collared shirts. No man better be caught wearing any kind of pastel colored shirt either. Ladies’ blouses better not be any lower than 4 finger widths from the neckline, or else!

    “Revivals” were frequent, held at our church and at other IFB churches miles away. All of them were attended, even if they were held during school hours. My son was actually ill after having traveled to one and being forced to endure 5 hours of “screaching.” I’ve walked the aisle for salvation more than once, just to be sure, since I still never felt “right with God.”

    Physical education at the school consisted of lame exercises, kick ball, pushups, or marching. There was no gym, so frequent sprained ankles on uneven ground outside has resulted in my son’s painful, early arthritis today.

    I don’t want to calculate all the money this UNEMPLOYED, DISABLED, WIDOW donated to the needs of the church, the pastor’s family, and to a scheming, lying, hypocritical family, the head of which was the “Assistant Pastor.” As time went on, we got to see the rampant, grievous sin and hypocrasy of various members and those in the pastor’s own family. Even a revered, visiting evangelist screacher, blew it and showed his true colors.

    After the Assistant Pastor’s family got done squandering and milking whatever they could, they latched on to an out of state pastor’s family and church to begin the process there anew. They even managed to weedle a whole new house from Habitat for Humanity.

    Enter a new “Assistant Pastor,” a young upstart punk from a local IFB college, itching to get his power trip going. He easily got things his way from the aging pastor, who was at least “kind” in his abuse. This young guy pulled out all the stops with his abuse, using the personal matters within the congregation as sermon material, dismissing those who weren’t fully under his thumb from teaching Sunday school classes, and telling this widow, after having donated THOUSANDS of dollars, that I “really need to tithe.” He also announced at the school banquet, that “those who are not with Pastor, are against him,” referring to those of us that were not enrolling our kids in their “high school.” That school, after my son had a legitimate argument with “Pastor,” even threated to delay his 8th grade graduation!

    Well, I’ve become all worked up again, and I could go on and on with more horror stories, but I better quit here (for now). Maybe I’ll come up with a bedtime story or two in the future.

    I am just very grateful for this site on which we can all vent and help each other through our collective IFB nightmare! Thank you for your attention.

  50. Brian says:

    There is another church like this in Albany, Georgia. The pastor is arrogent. Look at this site: http://www.brothermike.com

  51. Matt says:

    Hey Brian, I’m not an IFB however I’m going to PCC (pensacola christian college) Not really because I want to, but it’s where God has called me to. Even though a majority of IFB leaders are judgmental and ignorant, we cannot turn out to be just like them by judging them back. God bless.

  52. Brian says:

    @Matt If you’re not an IFB, then you should not go to an IFB college. Arlin Horton, along with the administration will control every aspect of your life. IMO, they are the most legalist IFB college in the United States, after Hyles-Anderson. Going home for thankgiving is even prohibited. They will not cut you any slack. You need to read the Student Voice. http://www.pensacolachristiancollege.com

  53. April says:

    Brian :
    @Matt ….the administration will control every aspect of your life. IMO, they are the most legalist IFB college in the United States, after Hyles-Anderson. Going home for thankgiving is even prohibited http://www.pensacolachristiancollege.com

    That place sounds scary!

    Seems to be a very controlling, authoritarian mindset…I guess God is a dicator?? & they want to emulate what they believe God is (dictating over others?)??? and not going home for Thanksgiving…wow, these folks evidently want more control over a person than their own loving family. God gave us our families!! Seems like some people want others to devote all loyalty to THEM & their organization/dogma/theology.

    So reminds me of the abuse….

    God, please get people out of places like that!

  54. Pastor Martin Siegwart says:

    I grew up in a liberal church that judged everyone that had a lower standard than ours even though I was allowed to teach AWANAS after drinking beer and being immoral on the weekends. My wife and I finally found an IFBC and I led my first soul to the Lord ( what a thrill that I have had the pleasure of partaking in as long as I do not quench the Holy Spirit by living in a sinful , bitter condition)No church or pastor is perfect and I am sorry that the majority of the letter writers are so judgmental toward folks that were probably doing there best to love you and try to shepherd you in a right direction.I know the world says to do your own thing , but put yourselves in the shoes of a pastor who truely loves you and would give his life to see you turn out for good and for God. There must be Biblical standards or we would not know right from wrong. I know that many have left our church with the same criticisms that I read in your letters BUT WHERE IS THE LOVE AND PRAYERS FOR THE PASTORS AND THEIR FAMILIES THAT ARE JUST TRYING TO DO RIGHT ??? a Pastor

  55. Brian says:

    @April Did you go to the link of the web site I posted?

  56. ramar says:

    maybe yes to some but not all ifb’s are like this. the church i have been attending is an ifb and typically the governing pattern is synonymous with many published experiences. im losing direction but im studying and praying for light that we may find a scriptural assembly. I hope reforms shall be made for the greatest glory for the LORD.

  57. Sarah says:

    Not every IFB church is as described on this website…I’ve never been taught by anyone including the pastor of my church that you are only saved if you read a certain version of the Bible. I don’t know a SINGLE IFB church that says that. Yes, we use KJV but when talking about salvation it has nothing to do with the version we read! : ) It is about realizing you are a sinner and believing and accepting what Jesus did!The only time I could see that making sense is if someone is reading a version that says anything other than accepting Christ to be saved. Anyway there are a lot of things you say on here that are right on. Like with separation-we are called to be separate in the Bible so I don’t understand this argument. I don’t believe that I will go to hell if I wear jeans. If Christians continue to do things that un saved people do, is that not just confusing them? I heard a sermon recently that said if we continue to look and act like the world, someone who isn’t saved is going to look at us and go-what is so good about them? Why do I need Jesus? I am exactly like they are…I know that how I LOOK and ACT isn’t going to save someone! I realize that 100%. But they way we are could sure mislead someone. I really truly believe that. I think in any denomination there are extremists and those who are more liberal. I mean in the southern Baptist church I used to go to the kids that made up the youth group were out drinking and having sex on Saturday night and then right there in church being an influence to others(most scary, YOUNG kids ) anyway I know there are definitely those who take extremes in the IFB church. I can say that the one I go to isn’t at all like it is described on here. If you read the Bible and believe in Jesus and have him as your saviour, you realize the Bible IS what we should live by! It lays out plainly how we should live…as far as schools being legalistic and stuff. I do agree they are very very strict, most of the time way more strict that families are that are in the IFB church. I see a good reason for this though. In places that are training men and women to do work either as pastors, teachers in Christian schools or churches or whatever. It’s important I think to not have any distractions that could lead a girl or young man off course from what they are there to do. Anyway these are just a few of the things I think! I could keep writing forever but I have already written a lot : )

  58. Brian says:

    @Sarah Don’t take sides with this legalistic IFB movement on this anti-IFB web site!! :(

  59. gerry says:

    Comment removed by Site Moderator. Comments are welcome. Personal attacks are not!

    Click here to read Gerry’s comment.

  60. James says:

    Comment removed by Site Moderator. Comments are welcome. Personal attacks are not!

    Click here to read what James had to say.

  61. Saved By Grace says:

    It seems sad to me that you have had such a horrible experience. It also seems to me that you have singled out the only ‘denomination’ that is not teaching with a ‘contemporary’ twist. Spend some time in the other denominations and I asure you, you will have to expand your web site to include their faults, too. Your accusations against the IFB would not even have a listening ear if the world had not been taught a ‘feel good’ doctrine in the more liberal churches of our day. I have read your grievances and understand that there is always a little truth in every deception. Sir, your deception has enough ‘truth’ in it to convince people that may not know any better, but as for me and my house…we will serve the LORD. (in the the old fashioned IFB way)

  62. April says:

    @Brian
    Hi Brian, I clicked the link, saw briefly some stuff, then my virus detector said “Warning…” so I exited the website.

    I don’t believe I need to check out that site to know about PCC…I have heard about that place as well as Bob Jones University & all I can say is it seems authoritarian & controlling. Just my opinion.

  63. joe schmoe says:

    Well, I’ve gotten burned too, but I’m not bitter…sounds like you want people to join your pitty party.

    Just keep walking with God and obey him and he’ll pull you out.

    I got kicked out of my church…5 years of blood, sweat and tears and all because some guy was doing all these things he should not be doing and I thought he was a Jesuit infiltrator…still think he is…and prayed 3 months and went to my pastor -in confidence- and told him and he flipped out (he’s a neophite)…I stayed 2 extra years and all these people came out of the woodwork to accuse me of God knows what till I got kicked out…If that were not bad enough, they just completely excommunicated me and this Guy I call Mr. Stumblingblock made sure I was not welcome at the bible college where I was going to get my masters and then he called every church in my town to tell them God knows what about me…that I’m a troublemaker…because I brought up issues in private to my pastor…never told anyone outside of leadership anything.

    Oh well…I may have to relocate out of my city if I want to go to an independent baptist church, but you know what?…God never abandoned me and I still walk, witness, study my bible, pray, obey, etc…I’m still born again and my hope is still alive.

    But, I will say this…they ought to have a ‘Diplomacy 101′ and make it mandatory for all ifb leaders…they just took me out back and executed me…then they put on the really long philacteries in their ‘leadership’ conferences and wax eloquent about the ‘inner workings’ of being a baptist leader…they should listen and learn from their own preaching

    best advice…pray for them and be like Job that prayed for his friends and God released his captivity…be like Joseph…their brothers meant their betrayal for evil, but God meant it for good.

    My hope is still alive

    I’ve been out of church for 2 years but read my bible every

  64. debra says:

    well done for being brave enough to stand up for what you beleive is right. I count myself as a beleiver in christ.I am an ex-baptist member of an independent baptist church and resigned due to in my opinion the misuse of their idea of how to live biblical lives. They encourage you to read the bible, which i did, the more i read it, the more i equated their rule obsessed thinking and joyless behaviour with the pharisees. the most important words as quoted by Jesus himself was love the lord your god with all your heat and love thy neighbour. That as i understand, means a love and compassion for all people not just members of the baptist church. They seemed more obsessed with petty rules, and placed more emphasis on some issues than others, that suited their own agenda rather than extending true christian love. I particularly think of how Jesus was “told off” and quoted from scriptures about healing a man on the day of the sabbath, as that was the day of rest according to scriptures. He had to remind them of the higher reason for the laws. Many independent baptist churches seemed to display disturbing animosity towards homeosexuals, because biblically the practice is decreed as wrong, but they forget to still love the homosexual and to treat him with compassion, understanding and kindness.This is only one example of many. Just the general attitude of condemnation and sin orientated thinking, lack of joy. The whole purpose of Jesus dying on the cross, was that we may repent and turn to him and be so filled with his spirit that we no longer want to sin. This is good news and therefore dwelling on sin, just brings people down. We try to sin no more because we joyously love Jesus and want to spread that joy he brings us. Not spread misery,doom.gloom and pious condemnation.Jesus clearly chose to be with the obvious sinners and untouchables, like tax collectors,prosititutes and adulterers, who showed humility and repentence, he led them away from their ways,because they loved him. He was far more critical of the self-richeous.I have had many humbling,personal experiences of christ’s love and as a result it has given me compassion and understanding and a desire to pass this wonderful grace on.This love he filled my heart with is not because i am particularly good, but because he gave his love and i am humbly grateful for this.I knocked and he answered.I do not hate the members of indep. baptist churches, but i pray for them, because their attitude puts a lot of christians off track and discourages and depresses them and also discourages non-believers from seeing the light. Pray a lot and be guided by the spirit. God bless and may Jesus and all he stood for,be stood up for bravely as you have done. God bless

  65. Amy says:

    It is nice to know that I am not crazy after all. I felt like no one could possibly understand what was feeling. I still have ALOT of fear, anger, anxiety, guilt, confusion about everything that I experienced in a IFB church. I am thankful God allowed this in my life so that in the future He will be able to use me to help others. As for now, I have ALOT of healing to do. I am currently in a Evangelical Free church where I feel safe spiritually. I am still extremely gaurded though. Thank you so much for shedding light on this subject. God is the only true source of strength and hope because right now I really do not trust people at all!!!!!!!

  66. pennyb says:

    I went to an IFB in Jackson, MS for 15 years of my childhood. From the time I was 4 years old until I was old enough to not go (18). I definitely suffered spiritual abuse and have been dealing with this spiritual hole in my life for the last two years specifically. Most recently, I have come to realize that I never fully comprehended God’s amazing grace and unconditional love for us as sinners. We are all sinners and must die daily to live like Christ. A christ centered church is not a place for saints but a hospital for sinners.

    See as a child then teenager in this church, I was worthless to the preacher. There were deacons until they disagreed with the Pastor and he did away with them. I too have seen many people led to the Lord (Soul Winning) and then driven away by condemnation and judgement on them. We were taught that women did not wear pants, boys cut their hair, you sit 12 inches apart, and movies,tv, radio, dancing where all bad.

    I blame this church for my misunderstanding of Christ’s love, but Thank God, I have recently been born again. I can use this painful experience to learn from. Unfortunately, my mother still attends this church. She will never leave because she is in her 70s and this is all she knows. She too can be judgemental and condemning. I still get the speech, “If you would have listed to Bro. XXXX you wouldnt be in the mess you are in”.

    Thank goodness God saved me from this believe and now I know and experience his love and can hopefully learn to be forgiving and show love to those who have hurt me. Like Jesus, we must love our enemies. We must pray that he will show us how to love them and change their hearts.” Romans 12: 9-21.

    I too have been angry and this verse has helped me: Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry, and yet do not sine. Do not let the sun go down on your anger. and do not give the devil an opportunity.

  67. ronnie says:

    What I notice as a member of a fundamental baptist congregation is being bombarded with sermons about soul winning, giving, and honoring and being loyal to your pastor. However, not much preaching about the person and works of Christ, the Holy Spirit, regeneration,justification, repentance, and election. Seems to me the system is not Christ centred, and more like a fellowship centered on a person in the pulpit.

    While I admit that soul winning or witnessing is a must for a christian in obedience to the Lord, I still believe it’s the Spirit work to communicate life to one who hears the gospel. Those who experienced regeneration, and knew what true repentance and faith is hopefully can relate to what I mean.

  68. Lisa says:

    I wonder if children raised in such strict environments will eventually abandson any faith once they are on their own. When a child is told everything remotely fun (movies, TV, sports, many games) is sinful, they will see Christianity as boring and God as one quick to punish. I can agree that playing poker for money is wrong, but not a simple game of “Go Fish” or “Crazy Eights”. Many R rated movies are not appropriate, but why can’t people see movies like “UP” or “Night at the Museum”?

    • Steve says:

      Lisa, I’ve met many people who have rejected the faith and even become atheists because of their bad church experiences. You’re fears are reality.

  69. Jerry says:

    Freind there are greater enemies out there than a few who build self above Christ, don’t let this haterate eat you up , as long as people are in this body we shall be afflicted, be careful in attacking His Body even if it doesnt please you. Jerry

  70. Casey says:

    Folks, if you think IFB churchs are strict and legalistic, just wait until you find out how strict & legalistic God is! He put alot of very strict do’s & do not’s in His Word. The Bible says to pray for those that despitfully use you. Are you praying for them? You speak of Pharisees. Perhaps you should turn to the Bible and see what Gamaliel had to say. I read the previous posts and the predominate theme is bitterness. One posts even starts out that they aren’t bitter and with in a few sentences, bitterness was rearing it’s ugly head. Jesus says that there are 2 great commandments: Love God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. Only God knows if you follow the first one, but your posts seem to indicate that you don’t follow the second. Whether the IFB churchs are wrong or not, the matter should be dealt with in prayer with God, not on an internet website. God has the power to change things if it’s His will, while this website has no power to do that. The level of your walk with Christ is now available, for all who visit this site, to see. Please pray before posting, and choose your words carefully. Don’t be the stumbling block that God speaks of in His word. I would like to thank the website host for letting me post, and I’ll be praying for all of you. Casey

  71. April says:

    Casey :
    Folks, if you think IFB churchs are strict and legalistic, just wait until you find out how strict & legalistic God is! He put alot of very strict do’s & do not’s in His Word. The Bible says to pray for those that despitfully use you. Are you praying for them? You speak of Pharisees. Perhaps you should turn to the Bible and see what Gamaliel had to say. I read the previous posts and the predominate theme is bitterness. One posts even starts out that they aren’t bitter and with in a few sentences, bitterness was rearing it’s ugly head. Jesus says that there are 2 great commandments: Love God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. Only God knows if you follow the first one, but your posts seem to indicate that you don’t follow the second. Whether the IFB churchs are wrong or not, the matter should be dealt with in prayer with God, not on an internet website. God has the power to change things if it’s His will, while this website has no power to do that. The level of your walk with Christ is now available, for all who visit this site, to see. Please pray before posting, and choose your words carefully. Don’t be the stumbling block that God speaks of in His word. I would like to thank the website host for letting me post, and I’ll be praying for all of you. Casey

    Wow…so if I speak my truth I’m not following the 2nd of the two great commandments according to you?

    So….who made you judge, jury & executioner?

    My God isn’t some zeus in the sky waiting to hurl lightening bolts at people for supposed infringments of what you call “strict & legalistic” rules. But since you’re talking about these strict & legalistic rules why don’t you stone the children to death who disobey & go buy a few slaves while you are at it? Living by the good book, right?

    Aren’t folks saved by GRACE according to the bible?
    Ya ever read Micah 6:8 “what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, love mercy & walk humbly w/ thy God” ???

    Why shouldn’t abusers, who use God’s name to hurt & abuse others, be exposed via the internet? Should people have just sat around & “prayed & let God deal w/ it?” while Hitler or Stalin were murdering? …don’t you know that for evil to prevail, all it takes if for good people to do NOTHING. Maybe God’s will is for us to bring to light & discuss these issues… bring them out into the open.

    The truth shouldn’t be afraid of being shown, but those who are abusive & hypocritical sure don’t appreciate the spotlight of scrutiny!

    I do not see speaking the truth of ones experiences as being any “stumbling block”. By your statements you seem to think people are some “stumbling block” for voicing their experiences with abusive religion.

    Must be nice to be the judge.

    Maybe once you’ve walked a mile in those shoes you would not be so quick to judge those of us who have been through a fire you could not possibly imagine.

    BTW, I am pissed about what happened to me in God’s name, call it “bitterness” or whatever. I’m a feeling human being that God made, I have emotions & if I feel bitter & hurt by what I experienced then it just goes to show that I am HUMAN.

  72. kizzy says:

    @Linda
    I must say that you need to read your bible more! your children are only following what God tells them to do in Dueteronomy 22:5 that says that its an abomination for a woman to wear a man's clothing I guess that following God's plan is overboard in you opinion then. The bible also states that if we spare the rod we spoil the child. This means that we ought to spank our children when they sin. This actually shows them that we do love them. Also, stop interfering with the decisions they make!! The Bible says train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it. They have the Bible to back them up in these situations. Also to those that say that keeping your children from sinful or questionable activities will bore them and cause them to stray from God , do you realize that the bible says be ye angry and sin not. This means that we should depart from all appearances of evil. I think that there are a lot of people on this site that want to live like worldly christians. If you live the way that the world does they see no difference in you. What have you even been saved from? If you are no different then there is nothing that the lost world would see that they need.

  73. Sandra says:

    Casey, The churches that are mentioned on this site are churches that are based on traditions of men NOT on the true Word of God. Therefore, they have done great damage to the cause of Christ and in individuals lives…mine included.

    False teachers are to be exposed for who they are. Those legalistic rules are put in place so others will be conformed into the image of man NOT God. Like the pharisees of the NT todays pharisees reject who Christ of the Bible is and set out to make others conform to their image not Gods. If you would but read your Bible you would see how Christ interacted with the pharisees and openly rebuked them. He called them a brood of vipers at one time. That is pretty strong language. He wasn’t out to be mean, but expose them for who they really are, enemies of God. He did that so others would not fall prey to their traditions.

    Time and time again as you read the testimony of those of us who have been freed from the bondage of legalism we share that we have a true hunger for the Truth of God’s Word, not mans. We seek after Him and His righteousness. We long to grow in grace and knowledge of Him and Him alone. We are sick and tired of trying to follow the dead traditions of men. We understand who these folks are and how they operate. We understand that our character will be and has been maligned due to the fact we reject their traditions. We understand we will and have lost relationships. We understand the we are and will continue to be labeled as heretics due to the fact we have left “the faith”.

    We have paid a heavy price for our freedom in Christ. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have lost friends, family, and have had my character maligned countless times. I get angry emails and comments made towards my family and I by those who are still trapped in the bonds of legalism and wish to place us under the same bonds. I hold no hatred or anger towards them but I do mourn for them. You and others like you have no understanding of what a true life in Christ is therefore you have no understanding of the new found freedom we have in Christ. That is incredibly tragic. I would like to encourage you and others to read Matt. 23. You will get a clear picture of the churches I use to attend.

    Matt. 5:20…”For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    @Lor

    @Casey

  74. Paul says:

    This month I will celebrate two years since I exited IFBC’s. This was after attending for over thrity years, going to their schools and holding position(s) of leadership. About three years ago I ran smack dab into religion (man’s attemps to earn God’s approval) in the church I was attending and discovered it had well saturated my own life. I began to question much of what is being discusse on this site. It’s a long and exciting story as God began to unravel my belief system to rebuild the relationship He had always desired with me. One day I happened to come across a book on the web. A free .pdf download entitled “So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore?” (currently in Walmart stores) http://www.jakecolsen.com/
    It put into words what my heart had been feeling for a long time. Through it I became gratefully disallusioned with the Institutional Church. My realationship with Jesus has skyrocked in the past two years. Father has and continues to connect us with people who are hungry for Him. I’m enjoying the journey with Him as He places people in front of our lives to love as He loves us. I don’t attend the weekly show anymore, where I set and watch what’s going on up front. Not intrested in another sermon but love the continued conversations that I find myself in. Living loved – because we have a Father who loves us more than anyone on the planet ever has or ever will.

    Paul

  75. JLR says:

    This post was removed to the “Emails Received” page. You will find Steve’s reply there as well.

  76. JLR says:

    @joe schmoe
    Dear Joe Schmoe, I am sorry that you have had to experience this terrible ordeal. No doubt, what was done to you was absolutely wrong! I am a IFB preacher, and I can say truthfully that it shames me that these men are called IFB preachers.

    I have a friend in Indianapolis, IN who pretty much experienced the same thing you did. I mean it. The exact same thing. But also like you, he has learned not to be bitter, to understand that the Word of God is our absolute priority, and he is having to move on. I will pray that the Lord will continue to heal and guide you in the time to come.

    God Bless

    JR

  77. Paul says:

    @JLR

    A man of learning will not only know his argument, but also the arguments of those who oppose him.

    Having attended, been schooled (HAC, 7 yrs. 2 degrees), and served in IFBC’s for over 32 years, I am well versed in the teachings, dogma, and doctrines of Fundamentalism. While it is true and in this I would agree with you, that not all those in IFB circles are the same. Some are better, others worse. I have watched Fundamentalism over the years become something far different from what it once was. What I have observed over the years is that the aroma or savor of IFB’s is very close in smell and taste. Of course, this takes on slightly different hews depending on which school or ministry you’ve attended. I have been one who has held, taught, preached, defended, and espoused the view of IFBs over the course of time mentioned above.
    I believe your summation about people being hurt and/or bitter is only partial. While there are those who have been hurt, I believe this is the minority of those who have become disillusioned and are speaking out today. It is taboo to question or disagree with pastors in the IFB churches.
    Please consider the statements below from http://www.lifestream.org/bodylife.php?blid=53

    “Religion survives by telling us we need to fall in line or some horrible fate will befall us.”
    “Institutionalism breeds task-based friendships. As long as you’re on the same task together, you can be friends. When you’re not, people have to treat you like damaged goods.”

    “The problem with church as you know it, is that it has become nothing more than mutual accommodation of self-need. Some need to lead. Some need to be led. Some want to teach, others are happy to be the audience. Rather than become an authentic demonstration of God’s life and love in the world, it ends up being a group of people who have to protect their turf. What you’re seeing is less of God’s life than people’s insecurities that cling to those things they think will best serve their needs…

    “That’s the problem with institutions isn’t it? The institution provides something more important than simply loving each other in the same way we’ve been loved. Once you build an institution together you have to protect it and its assets to be good stewards. It confuses everything. Even love gets redefined as that which protects the institution and unloving as that which does not. It will turn some of the nicest people in the world into raging maniacs and they never stop to think that all the name-calling and accusations are the opposite of love.”

    I believe your below statement encapsulates the thinking of most if not all IFBs. And therein lays the foundation of your error. All else is built thereon. Please realize, I do not believe you will see what I am saying. I believe you will disagree. That’s OK. I understand because this was once me.

    You have stated: “I believe God’s Word, the Bible, and all that it says and teaches. Friends, our first loyalty must and always be to the Word of God, not to a church, a preacher, a denomination, or tradition.”

    Please don’t back peddle as soon as you read the following, you have made your statement. Jesus is my first and only loyalty. I too believe the Bible and its teachings. But, you have given the Bible preeminence. This is the place only Jesus should hold. IFB’s with its KJVonly views have made the Bible the forth member of the Godhead. The KJV of the Bible has become the standard by which every thing else is judged. I know the arguments, the books, and the web sites that support the above. Please consider my opening statement and consider the links listed below. I was like a fish in a fish tank. My whole world was there. Then one day God threw me into the ocean.

    http://www.awildernessvoice.com/GEC.html
    http://www.awildernessvoice.com/WordMadeFlesh.html
    http://www.kjvonly.org/
    http://www.kjv-only.com/
    http://www.lifestream.org
    http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id11.html

    I choose not to comment on other statements in your post although I see other areas that I believe need discussing.

    We have a Father that loves us like no one ever has or ever will on this planet.
    Paul

  78. Sandra says:

    @Paul

    Paul, Thank you for the book link. I finished reading it last night. We too have been set free from the incorrect modern mindset of “church”. I would agree with most of what the book says. However, we have been blessed with a very rare…not perfect…church family. The preaching & teaching is right on with scripture. Unlike most churches though, there is no pressure to serve, attend or any other “standards” enforced.
    This church has been a true blessing to us as it let us rest in the Lord as we were led by the Holy Spirit and learned what it is to walk with Christ, not in traditions of men. For the past 4 yrs. we have been able to grow tremendously in the Lord with other believers living along side us. For the first time in our lives, church wasn’t the focus; God is!

    Such a precious gift from God.

    When we were in IFB church we truly thought we were serving God and living for Him. As many of us now know, we were deceived. In reality, we have replaced a relationship with God with church and all it’s requirements. Folks ask us often when we share what God has done in our lives why we even attended such a church. I tell them it is all we knew and that fear was a strong factor as well.

    Folks still in it, as you said, just don’t see the deception as of yet. I pray for those still caught in the web of deception. I pray the blinders will fall off and that they will see the majority of IFB churches really are.

    I once was lost,
    but now I am found!
    Was blind
    but now I am free!!!

  79. Dove Spirit Woman says:

    Hi! I have been a member of an IFB church since 1992. Before that, I was raised partially Southern Baptist, and partially according to the traditional ways of my Cherokee grandparents. I am born-again and follow the Lord 100 percent. I am 43 years old, and yes, I wear long skirts and dresses and have very long hair. I wear make-up, watch TV, currently attend a secular college, and enjoy some contemporary Christian music, although my church does not approve of it, does not allow it in church, or it’s college affilliates(Bob Jones University and Ambassador Baptist College). i AM PLANNING TO TRANSFER TO one of these colleges soon.

    I know of a couple of IFB churches and their church-supported organizations that are, indeed, spiritually abusive, and to some extent, physically abusive with children(ie, spanking allowed by Sunday School teachers). Some of the parents take corporal punishment too far in the name of Jesus. NO, no, this is WRONG. MY church is not one of these churches. The colleges my church supports does not promote such things. There ARE rules for both men and women attending these colleges, such as dress code…women wear longish skirts and dresses, and men wear suits. However, women are allowed to wear skorts casually when school is not going on, and men are allowed to wear jeans. Casual dress is allowed ”off the academic clock” but it must be godly and modest. The college students at our church are expected to maintain the same dress codes and conduct mannerisms as they do at school. However, women like me who do not go to these colleges are in no way treated as outcasts if we wear slacks. The idea is MODESTY. One need not look like Ma Ingles and her girls to be modest. The idea is modesty and taste in OUR time and culture. We aren’t Old or New Testament Jews and Gentiles living in desert areas in the Middle East, and God does not expect us to be. I WEAR DRESSES BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO, NOT BECAUSE MY CHURCH MAKES ME FEEL SINFUL IF I DON’T! I sympathize with anyone who has suffered spiritual abuse. I HAVE, but not because of a church. i SUFFERED spiritual abuse from my own husband. But please do not lump all IFB churches like apples into one barrell. One bad apple does NOT spoil the whole bunch. Also keep in mind that it isn’t IFB churches taking advantage of people, brainwashing, etc. There is a ”cult” called Church of God Restoration. I invite you to go to their web site. Just key in CHURCH OF GOD RESTORATION on [an Internet search engine] and click the link when it comes up. Look especially at the photo galleries. And check out other links exposing this ”church”. Study their beliefs. I have NEVER heard of ANY IFB church say that if one does not belong to an IFB church, that person will go to hell, or that one cannot be saved outside of a IFB church. I may be wrong on this but I’ve checked out boocoos of IFB web sites and been to several IFB churches and have never heard this said. Also, [search online for] the WORD OF FAITH CHURCH, SPINDALE, NC. This is a real cult, just minutes up the road from me. Read about all the national publicity on this church and thier practices.

    aT MY CHURCH, i AM FED SPIRITUALLY. I am always challeneged in spiritual discipline.

  80. Terry says:

    @Pastor Martin Siegwart
    It should start with you exemplifying the love of Christ as the leader. You can’t do that when you are picking motes out of a brother’s eye.

  81. Terry says:

    @kizzy
    You have made a whole list of incoherent judgments in your post. None of them are backed with Scripture, and none of them have any logical relationship from one argument to the next. I don’t see what point you are trying to make except that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

  82. Terry says:

    First, I don’t think this website is an anti-IFB pity party. These are people with real hurt and real needs. Second, I don’t agree that labelling and condemning all of the IFB churches as an organization is right. Many are excellent churches with folks that love and serve the Lord genuinely and sincerely. You will find similar abuse and control issues in any denomination. Third, as one who has been victimized in three abusive church ministries, I can add my testimony to the fact that the abuse is real and the spiritual damage is real, though I am not sure that all the people in any particular abusive church are intentional participants in the abuse. The intention is most clearly seen in those at the top as they respond to perceived threats to their power and control. In this, the abusive intimidation and controlling behaviors are most clearly intentional and calculated. Unfortunately, the term “leadership” has come to classify many abusive actions as requirements of good leadership. While the abuse is very real, it can also be very subtle. What all of my experience has underscored to me is that we have and can trust no one but God. And there is nothing for us to hold on to except His Word. What more do we need? Fellowship with others is critical, but God can and will provide for that. I think this website could be the first step for healing for many people–we have to start somehwere.

  83. Brian says:

    Here are some comments on You Tube from IFB church members:

    to ilovestorms, i understand where your coming from to a point, i grew up in a very “Conservative” Baptist family, and i dont think card-playing and movie-going are evil anymore, i grew out of that, but what i havent grown out of is my understanding of the truth that the King James Bible is the perfect, preserved Word of God and I still consider myself an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist, we answer to God and His Word

    ILovestorms is my you tube user name.

  84. Ryan says:

    I think it is a shame and disgrace for you allto talk about your churches like this. Remember what the word of God says. It would be better for a person to have never known the truth than to have known it and turn their back on it. so turn unto your own vomit, but remember Christ still loves you.

  85. Ladybug says:

    I am so happy I found this site! I just finally left the IBC that I have been a part of for 7 years and I am feeling God’s tru grace for the first time in YEARS!!! Praise Jesus I am FREE!!

  86. peter g tomaro says:

    this site is very helpful I think I seen it all in the Independent fundamental Baptist churches.There are a few that are doing a great job and are loving but the movement is ready to die. Rules and non bible standards have killed it. 90% of pastors kids do not make it because they can not live up to the standards by the way us adults have the same problem. I have many friends in these churches and pastor friends you would not believe what they really feel about the church.Many do not study and the ones who do begin to ask questions thats when you get in trouble. the truth is they do not want you to think for yourself.pray for the many who want out but are scared of there peers.

  87. Michelle says:

    It’s not wrong to question the truth of something! It is wrong to question whether or not God is true, or whether or not the Bible is true. However, if something seems manipulative, or if what they are teaching is confusing, it is Okay to study the scriptures and see if what they are teaching is right. That is Biblical to do. It is wrong to use the Word of God to make people AFRAID to question what they are taught. Doctrines like clothing, music, dating, spanking- those are all okay to study out for yourself. There is nothing CLEAR cut in the Bible about them. It is wrong for people to make you feel guilty about not agreeing with how they want to apply standards.

  88. Brian says:

    Why does everyone freely accept other versions of the bible. When reading from the bible and everyone has different versions, doesn’t that cause confusion? Who is the author of confusion? All of the negative comments are a result of ignorance.

  89. Jacob F says:

    I was trained up in the IFB church from the age of fifteen all the way to a small IFB College to be one of their preachers. When I didn’t agree with the legailistic doctrine, they tried their best to ruin a young man’s life without an ounce of consideration for my feelings or what haveck it may have caused me down the road. Thank God I have responded to the criticism by going to college again to be a State Trooper and have done incredibly well. Yet, I have dedicated the rest of my life to warn people about the legalisic, dangerous, and abusive church which claims to be God’s Church. If there is anything I can do, you let me know. I promise to help as long as God gives me breath :)

  90. Michelle says:

    In response to Brian- Is it wrong for me to not talk the same way they talked in the 1600’s? Because if I spoke that way today, most people would not understand me. There are different ways to say the same thing- that is not wrong. I have read the King James Version exclusively since I was 20 years old. I am 37 now. Today, it is still hard for me to understand at times. It took a long time for me to not feel guilty about reading a different transcription, but I’m glad I do now! Most people do not want to change the meaning of scripture- they are only updating the language so that it can be understood. I’m sure there are some bad transcriptions out there, but let’s please not accuse good, godly men who love His word of being people who are out to get us and rewrite God’s word all for money and power. That is slanderous.

  91. Sisterlisa says:

    I have shared this link with many people since my last comment on this page from April 21,2009. We are no longer with that church. It has been a nightmare to get out and it’s no wonder people move away when they need to break free.

  92. Dave says:

    Divorce hurts but it doesn’t make marriage obsolete or wrong, Church or pastoral abuse is wrong and hurts but doesn’t incriminate most IFB churches. I can’t argue with these personal stories b/c I don’t know you or the churches that you dislike but most of the people that post speak of a better life now and a more spiritual walk while they bash those that wronged them. I would encourage each of you over time to consider Jesus’ example of forgiveness and perhaps your story of forgiveness will have a much bigger impact then even this website of sharing how you were wronged.

    Reading these makes me thankful that I have not had the same experiences as some of you had and I hope each of you find a Bible believing church that you can serve in and grow.

  93. Brian says:

    There is something I do agree with the IFB about, but it’s the ONLY thing and that is that they do not adhere to the doctrine of calvinism, also call Reformed Theology. The theology is defined by 5 points on the infamous acrynim T.U.L.I.P. They teach that man has no free will and that because God is sovereign, He chooses who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. The people He chose for heaven are called “the elect” and that Jesus Christ only died on the cross for them, which is why the L in the TULIP stands for “Limited Atonement”. They are irresistably drawn by the Spirit by “Iresistable Grace”. IBF rejects that God sends people to hell, who never stood a chance of being saved, becuase they are not part of “the elect”. I agree with them about not adhering to those teachings, but that’s the one and ONLY thing that I agree with them about.

  94. April says:

    @Jacob F
    It is sad…yes, they do try to ruin people’s lives who get the courage to point out what’s wrong & leave. They want to be able to judge & exclaim, “see there…God judged him for leaving the fold! God will punish…blah blah.”

    It’s very, very sad.
    It’s a good way to control people though.

    I am so GLAD for you that you are making a good way for yourself!
    Keep up the good work & informing others about churches that abuse.
    Thumbs Up!

  95. Jonathan Brett says:

    BRAVO!

    The time is long past due for people to start taking truth as the authority rather than the “authority” as truth.

    My history is very much the same, having spent 38 years in legalistic “Baptist” sects.

    By definition they ARE cults, which prevent you from feeling led by the Spirit of Truth to think outside of those walls.

    May every human experience a release from such traps, and learn to experience the FREEDOM in Jesus.

    Jonny

  96. Amy says:

    @Lori
    Lori…..wow, seriously it was like reading my own story. I was not in the FBI church my whole life like you were. I actually came INTO the church at 27 and stayed until about 8 mo. ago. My husband and I are still trying to wrap our minds around the last decade of our lives. We had our children in the tiny little Christian school connected to the church and so when we finally started to see the abuse and hypocrisy in the church it was like turning our lives upside down because it meant not only leaving the church but also taking our kids out of their school and sending them to the “evil” public school. You are SO right about the fear part and bringing up the demise of others who left as a scare tactic to stay there. I literally felt like I could not even breathe I was so scared when we left. I sometimes still feel that way. There are flaws in the public schools for sure, but I have to say that I am not sure there could have been a worse message sent to my children than what was being presented to them by the “Christian leadership” in the school they were attending. Not to mention the lack of true education. My 4th grader is way behind because they hire unqualified people to teach and pretty much think you are ridiculous to worry about your child’s academic achievements as long as they are in a Christian school, that is all that matters. I was definitely brain washed into believing that. I am not a stupid person and I knew logically that much of what they were saying was way off base, but logic has very little to do with faith, and so I blamed myself for not being spiritually strong enough to believe what they were saying. Honestly, my family (siblings, parents)could not believe I would be so irrational as to think this was best for the kids. Looking back, I’d kinda like to slap myself upside the head. But when you are under mind control, you seriously do not trust yourself to do ANYTHING if it is not backed up by those “all knowing” 45 people who regularly attend church with you. I am just relieved to be gone and on the road to really embracing Christ again. I am so happy He loves me despite all of my flaws. One day I pray my family will finally feel free of the judgement. THe one who was affected the most is my soon to be 18 year old. He was treated pretty harshly over the past decade by the people in the school and he was one of the first to have pointed out all the hypocrisy years ago and we just kept telling him to trust God and we did nothing. Honestly, we believed we were in the right place doing the right thing. Now naturally he is a little hardened toward the things of God and I do not blame him. I just pray God will capture his heart once again and allow him to embrace the true love of Christ. Your story was a true encouragement that we do not stand alone and we are not nuts. Other people have been through the same thing. God bless you.

  97. B.Odell says:

    Informative site.At 13 years of age,a friend invited me to church.It was one of these deals that had a fleet of buses that went out into the poor and mid income communities and picked up “us poor, ignorant, little minority kids” and evangelized us with tootsie rolls and subpar sunday school teachers that were, in hindsight; condescending, repetatative in their lesson delivery, unwittingly prejudiced, and adamant that KJV was the final authority on Gods word.Yes, it was one of these IFB churches and it was the late 70’s and i was very young, but inquisitve about God and learning about the word of God from the only source I knew at the time. Thankfully, my parents warned me of the dangers, and so I kept a safe distance.I do remember some of these so-called bus drivers(Bus Captains they were called) frequently visiting some of the more attractive teen girls on their routes. I thought nothing of it, because remember; I was only 13 and so were they.Judging the “bus captains” or their motives is pointless; however, I will say that the tragic stuff that has happened to some of these people subsequently, over the years, is really mind-blowing.
    I consider myself a lay Buddhist at present day(43 yo) and I will say that the “Law of Karma” does exists in this life and possibly the next and how you treat people is a reflection of your true spiritual state.
    Evil is reciprical just as Good and calling yourself pastor, deacon, brother,sister, father, whatever is only a label.
    Peace and thanks

  98. sheila says:

    I was at church , about 5 all other member’s above me leving… and the film when on… my older sis beside me it was the nazi’s and a chistian man being pulled apart by a truck on all four.. then a child having his or her eyerdrum brust with a stick..by the nazi party…this is not a dream, i remember it…. this is not what u dream I didn’t find this by accidentup in a child’s head….. This is somthing they remember for the rest of the life’s….. WHY…..

  99. B.Odell says:

    Hi sheila..I think you’re refering to the Ron Ormond / Estus Pirkle Film “If footmen tire you, what will horsemen do?” This film was made in 71 and was Pirkle & Ormonds’ vision of what america would be like if communist forces took over.In retrospect the film has become an underground cult classic(not because of it’s cinematic value) but because of it’s over the top, propaganda-esque,greasy way of trying to make a social commentary on something they had no clue of.It’s awkward, campy,made on heresay and on testamonies “they heard”.Sheila..thats how propaganda works and why the images stuck with you.Hope I’ve shed some light.Peace.

  100. Peter says:

    This comment was deleted by the moderator. Comments are welcome, ad hominem attacks aren’t.

    **Update: I’ve moved this comment. Please click here to read the comment and my reply.

  101. bob says:

    I attended a fundamental baptist church a few years ago. I never felt comfortable with the kjv only doctrine or the dress code. The pastor preached a message in which he declared the kjv doctrine to be a fundamental of the Christian faith. I proceeded to question him in private about this since I believed he was in error. He told me I needed to submit to his teaching. I told him that I could not submit to an unbiblical teaching. He told me that I needed to find another church if I wouldn’t submit to his teaching. I did just that. However, my wife refused to leave. Again, I approached the pastor in private to insist that she should leave as well so we could attend church together. He only maintained that my wife didn’t need to follow me if I wouldn’t submit to him. And of course, submitting to him meant attending his church.

    Unfortunately, my wife left me a few months later. I contacted the pastor a number of times to affect reconciliation with my wife, but he will not do anything unless I go back to his church and submit to him.

    As for my wife, she does not want to have anything to do with me because I attend a ” worldly” church. With all of that, she is treated as a member in good standing and teaches Sunday School.

    This is a sad and an amazing story. I pray for my wife every single day.

    I am so thankful that i have God’s Word, and the assurance that comes from a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Word.

  102. the incredible joshman says:

    Hello everyone. I have only been christian a few months but have been studying scripture for a couple years.I am SO GLAD I started reading scripture before I started looking for a church.

    I hear these horror stories all the time and the couple of IFB churches I have visited , you can just see the cult like atmosphere. Everyone is in a shirt and tie , or some dress from the 1300s , and the joy and smiles you see in the church are completely phony.

    Funny thing is , I agree with a lot of their principles. It IS sinful to watch non christian movies and play most video games. So for those of you who left on that basis , I must say that you were wrong.

    But most of their rules have no basis in scripture at all. Rules against christian rock , women wearing pants , and 8 trillion other things are the very reason people want nothing to do with christianity.

    Its also the very reason the jesus movement of the 1960s was so strong. The hypees had mostly come to san fran in rebellion against the church culture of the time , and it wasn’t until the lord reached a couple of em that they realized that jesus is not this hellfire and brimstone , suit and tie , racist , legalistic god that the churches made him out to be.

    Once the hyppees realized that , they were more than willing to accept jesus with ooen arms, starting a REAL christian movement.

    The IFB might be the most dangerous denomination out there , although there are plenty. And I for one , believe we need another grassroots jesus movement in this country again. We all need to just get back to the bible and lemme say I am. Very sorry about the abuse you all have suffered at the hands of these stoic christians

  103. bob says:

    Hey Joshman, I think you are spot on about staying true to Scripture. That is the key. Jesus said,”you will know them by their fruit.” It wasn’t “you will know them by their rules, or kjv, or their dress code.”

    A lot of people don’t know what to look for when they go to these churches. The people seem really nice, old-fashioned, and committed to God. The pastor ” preaches from the Bible” and things seem OK.

    I am most concerned about people who have never been to a church, who don’t know any better. Some genuinely want to please God and follow Christ and this is all they know. We need to be ready to help people who are caught-up in these churches.

  104. the incredible joshman says:

    You are dead on brother. And that’s the thing. Someone may recently find christ on his own , but because his knowledge of scripture is scant , he gets caught up in the heresies of the first church he walks into.

    5 years down the road , he is so ingrained into that culture , having read scripture thru denominational eyes , that he can’t even recognize unbiblical teaching when it is presented to him.

    I have never had a serious discussion with a fundie baptist end well. They start out nice , but when you show them from scripture where they are wrong , the tone changes quickly. And then they start calling you unteachable and all kinds of other name.

    What is it about that denomination that produces so mane pompous asses?

  105. Paul says:

    John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
    Returning to our first love may not be so much about our loving Him as much as it is in coming back or even staying in the place where we realize that we are loved by Him. I John – We love him because he first loved us….. Even with all our brokenness, waywardness, and sin. We have a Father that loves us like no one on this planet ever has or ever will. Those who are well loved, love well. It’s not about rules of dress, which book, where we attend; it’s about Him and He is rather fond of each of us.
    Live loved! http://www.lifestream.org/waynes-books.php?bid=5

  106. LR says:

    Comment moved to the Shared Stories page.

  107. CarolinaGirl says:

    Thank you for this site.. I thought I was the only one who had experienced such pain. By the grace of God (and a much needed intervention by my family) in the last year, I have recently been able to seperate myself away from an abusive IFB. It was VERY difficult at first when I was shunned by my “brothers and sisters” to bring me back into the fold and into submission, but I am also finding that several people have been through similar circumstances and they can either make one bitter or better. I have seen both and I choose better. I am now in a balanced evangelical church. Thanks again for this site.

  108. LR says:

    One of the things I have come to terms of late is the pursuit of pure, unadulterated truth, or to put it simply, “Above All: Truth”. When I became a victim of spiritual abuse by IFBCs, I decided to check and validate everything they (IFB leaders) have ever told me, from KJV only, to tithing and church history. I’m still on that quest and have come to the conclusion that I will never know the complete truth this side of life, maybe in the next one, (then again where is it stated that once we die we will be omniscient?).

    If my faith, denomination, church, etc, cannot stand up to the scrutiny of honest questions and examination of truth then it needs to be cast aside. For example (this is for you hard-core IFBs): Suppose for a minute that we have solid, undeniable evidence that the KJV-Only stance is incorrect or that the KJV Bible has errors due to the translation process. Now most of you IFBs will have stopped right there and not understood the question so . . .one more time: SUPPOSE, that we have solid, UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE that the KJV-Only stance is incorrect and that the KJV Bible has errors due to the translation process (Ok IFBs, hang in there don’t switch off, just SUPPOSE!). What will you do? Will your faith crumble because it is centered on a human endeavor? (The KJV translation was after all done by humans not angels.) Do you have the courage to look at that portion of your faith/belief and say “that belief was wrong”? What if the same thing can be said about tithing? Or other precepts of the IFB movement? Most members of IFB churches that I know will not consider such questions and operate almost as if they are in a cult. They will run away because it threatens their entire spiritual world and they are afraid. Like the classic scenario of the abused child that refuses help because despite the abuse (or incorrectness of teaching) that is all they know and the alternative (the unknown) is not acceptable. Despite the guilt they feel over some of the smallest things in life, despite the fear that God will send the “Devourer” (Mal 3:10-12) if they don’t tithe, or God will visit judgment upon them if they do not attend every service or church event “Not forsaking the assembly” (Heb 10:25-27). Some will reach a level where they feel they are doing it out of love for God and not guilt, but what happens when that feeling dissipates? That’s right, you start doing it out of guilt/fear! (Come on, admit it, it’s ok, you can tell us, we’ve been there :) Yet despite all this, they feel they are in the proper spiritual world where everything is as it should be. Until the abused reach a level of pain where they say enough is enough! Have the courage to start asking questions at your church! Ask them the hard ones! When they give you there standard, patented IFB answers, go to the internet (Google It!) and research the opposing views, print them out, go back to your preacher/SS teacher and sit down with him and review them point by point. Here are some good ones to get you started: Is tithing for the New Testament church? What evidence do you have to support Pre-Trib Rapture theory? What is Preterism? History of KJV-Only issue.

    I predict a couple of outcomes once you start doing this: 1. the preacher will meet with you and tolerate this a few times then tell you to stop asking questions or leave the church. 2. The preacher will start to avoid you and make excuses why he can’t meet, may defer you to a deacon/Sunday school teacher, if you persist he will ask you to leave the church. 3. The preacher will start getting mad and start using you as the topic of preaching during subsequent services. 4. Maybe, just maybe, the preacher will meet with you and welcome your quest for truth and embrace your endeavor.

    People who have written on this site opposing Mr. Steve Sorenson simply lack the courage to honestly look at their IFB beliefs/movement with an open, clear, un-predisposed mind. They have been successfully programmed to lock their mind and throw away the key using the very scriptures they profess to follow. They will justify cruelty, anger, name-calling, profanity and violence all in the name of their god. I see them stoning the woman caught in adultery whereas Jesus simply let her go. Do you have the courage to see if we the abused are right? Try it! God will not condemn a person who is honestly searching for truth right? Ask God to show you and have the courage to take the answer even if it goes against the preacher/church/denomination. After all, you have been preached that there are incorrect wayward churches out there; all you want to do is make sure you are not in one of them.

    I can tell you of the wonderful freedom and happiness my wife and I enjoy now that we no longer attend these churches. We stopped tithing years ago and that “Devourer” fellow (still sounds like WWF character or something doesn’t it?), he never did appear. I have not lost my job, my car did not explode (boy, sometimes we make God out to be a terrorist don’t we? Car bombs and all.) I have spoken out against these so called men of god (yep, little ‘g’ on purpose there) and no “She-Bears” have appeared to devour me. God has not killed my kids. I will continue to call out these men of god as I see them, some are ignorant fools and some are just plain asses. I don’t answer to them anymore; in fact they in part should answer to me for leading me astray so many years. They should answer to you too; after all they claim to have the truth! (Again, Google what they are teaching) For those that doubt my experience, understand that I was well on my way to becoming one of them. I was an Adult Sunday school teacher, preacher and deacon over the course of my IFB life and was on the cusp of enrolling/attending Ambassador Baptist College in North Carolina following after Ron Comfort. Glad I didn’t. I would rather be an “Honest Sinner, than a Fake Saint”. And I will be the first one to tell you I am not perfect or holy, but then again, unlike most IFB preachers I’ve known, I never claimed to be. Peace, out! :)

    Interesting note: The group of people that got yelled at the most in the Gospels were; (yep,you guessed it) the Pharasees. The same group that would give a tithe of their herbs/spices but ignored the weightier matters; justice, MERCY, faithfullness. Sounds tragically familiar.

  109. peter tomaro says:

    I like the site very much. God open my eyes up to what I was just a year ago. I was caring about the rules that the Independent Baptist set. I thought I had to earn Gods love by doing all the right moves I could never live up to all the rules. Most people in this movement become mean and many keep getting saved. I began to study this and found that many people feel the same but afraid to speak out. Most get saved again and again because the movement makes you feel if you sin your not saved. There are a few Independent Baptist churches I been to that do not act like this but let me say there are very few of them. My study began six months ago I been to over 110 IFB churches. Took notes and talked with members .Let me say so many members are ready to get out and many just go because thats all they were taught. The number one thing I see is the IFB does not want you to think for yourself. There is so much mind control out there it is sad whats happening. I also learned that its movement is going down fast. Pastors, most of them do not study and are poor on knowledge so if you have some bible knowledge it makes them feel very uneasy.The number one thing I found is there known for being mean and nasty people also strange. Sad to say 90% of members do not believe in what ther taught. The pants and dress issue is a joke.There funny doctrine is so confusing that members do just about anything.If your in this movement you better be real careful it can destroy your family I saw this over and over again.

  110. Peggy Attaway says:

    Thanks for the website. I am in the process of detaching from my in-laws over these very issues, their “know it all” attitude is overwhelming. Although I know it is wrong to feel this way, I almost feel like not even discussing church or my faith with anyone. I am so sick of their dominating, judgmental attitude that I am ashamed of how they represent Christianity. I am sad for the people around me who really need church and some sort of walk of faith and they will never know that because of how turned away from Christianity they become over these kinds of folks. Again, thanks for the website and the information.

  111. candice says:

    Hello;
    I attended an IFB church for only 2months off/on so I donot know all about them church wise I have been on both sides. One IFB with a pastor whom my husband didn’t even like & the other one it was lovely,but God didn’t call me there. I am now with the Chicago Bible Students here in Texas & I can tell you, reading the bible in another version besides KJV (though some in my congeregation still use that one,& have others)w/o being critisised like the IFB church has done. I hope no matter what cultish church you came from ,know that God can heal you. It isn’t the scriptures that are bad, but how people abuse them.I wear a headcovering(mantella type) during my biblestudy/congregational time& yes I wear dresses/long skirts as well, but also wear pants during the week when needed & hmschool my children. We put God first& if that means leaving a cult like atmosphere to get a better walk with God, let it be.thanks for sharing your website.

  112. Matt says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for articulating what has happened to you and for allowing me to know that I am not alone. You help me understand that I was correct in pulling my family out of an IFB church.

    We still have so many friends in the church that need to read your story. They don’t agree 100% with the philosophy of the church, but I wish they could see how they are enabling stories of abuse to continue by ignoring the “dog poop in the brownies”.

    Thanks brother, I can hear the “well done” you will one day receive!!!

  113. gloria says:

    Hello. I have never been involved with an IFB church,but have a friend who recently has. I am deeply concerned for her. Please let me know how I can help her. I have finally come out and told her I think she is involved in a cult. She became very angry. Any suggestions on how to share the truth with her?

    Thanks!

  114. bob says:

    To Gloria,

    I am involved in a similar situation with my wife. She is attending an IFB church in Butler, PA.

    The fact that your friend became angry with you because of your concern indicates to me that something is wrong there.

    I would try to maintain a friendship with her. This may be difficult, because people who are legalistic do not like being around ” worldly ” people.

    Point her towards the truth. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, give her clear Scriptural counsel that exposes error. The truth will set you free.

    Then I would pray. Behind these cults, if that is what it is, satan is in control to a degree.

    I certainly feel for your predicament. I know what it is like to lose someone you love to a church that looks very religious, but is in fact enslaving.

    One prayer you might want to consider is a prayer I have prayed many times for my wife. You can find it in 2 timothy 2:25-26. The following chapter has also been helpful for me.

    I will pray for you and your friend.

  115. daniel smith says:

    you people are a bunch of heethans. Just because you walk out of the church house with your feelings hurt doesnt mean the church or pastor is in the wrong. the word of God pricks even the coldest hearts and how dare you say that you would pull away from the Bible as a tool. If you read you KJV Bible which is the one you should read because it was inspired by a KING the way God intended it to be. He was inspired by his faith to try his hardest to make a direct original translation for the English speaking people.anyway if you read your bibles at all you wouldnt be able to contradict half the things you are saying. Heck even if you read a new american standard which is an abomination in my opinion you could still not contradict these things you are saying.People these days expect to FEEL GOOD like Joel Olsteen or somebody and forget about sin. If you think being a christian is a walk in the park you are WRONG. you should be proud to stand up for christ and be persecuted and beat down and have no friends. you shouldnt want to be around wourldy people, which is straight out of any scripture from any bible even the wrong ones. All these new Bibles are clearly mistranslated on some parts. However, though I am an IFB I do believe that you dont have to be led to christ by a direct verse from the KJV. You could lead someone to christ from word of mouth or even a track. What happen to people won to chirst befor bibles were even printed. I guess if this post is even offensive it will probably be removed to promote this websites cause, but I hope it reaches who its meant to and helps you to open your eyes.

  116. gloria says:

    THanks for your thoughts & ideas, Bob. You are so right, the Word of God is the “sword of truth”. I have avoided “bible bashing” with her. I have honestly not said much, because she became so upset, as well as brought in her husband. Sigh…
    I do understand the workings of a cult. I was a Mormon for 19 yrs of my life, and understand well the trappings. I pray one day your wife will be set free in the perfect liberty of grace!

  117. Mary says:

    I think you are way over exagerating the IFB church. I am a member of an IFB church and it is definitely not what you are describing. I’ve attended other IFB churches and they are also not what you are saying. In fact, I’ve attended other “Christian” (non-IFB) churches and my life wasn’t changed until I was shown the real truth. Seems the IFB churches are one of the few that are willing to do that. Once I saw what God really says in the Bible, my life truly changed and I am happy and free knowing that God loves, accepts, and forgives me. There is nothing I have to do to earn my salvation. I no longer suffer from depression and feelings of suicide. We have a close family and I have WONDERFUL children! Doesn’t sound like what you say. This is definitely not a cult, the IFB church does not preach you cannot be saved outside of this church, I have never heard that in any of the IFB churches I attended. I love my IFB church and they are like family to me!!

  118. Deborah says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to find this site! I intend to return and read as many of the comments as possible. It’s great to discover that I am not the only survivor of an IFB church!

    I was raised in an IFB church in the 1970’s. It was a horrific experience that still causes me pain. My parents were normal before they became indoctrinated. My family’s life looked happy on the outside, but inside it was full of fear and what I call “religious abuse.”

    The long term effects of how that church negatively influenced my life are numerous. When I was 18 years old, I left that church. Why do those days still haunt me? I don’t think my parents realize how horrific those days were for me.

    I think I was fortunate to have had a good solid upbringing as a young child before my parents joined an IFB church. Even as a child, I knew when the teachings got bizarre and just plain wrong. I would sit in church and ask myself why my parents were going along with the things that were being preached as “God’s word.” I knew deep inside that it was inappropiate and abusive to the church members.

    People were taught that the preacher was telling them exactly what God wanted them to do and if they did not do it, they were going against God. The rules were so ridiculous. Even as a child I recognized their dogma for what it was. I am so thankful that I was blessed with an open mind and that I had the courage to maintain my sense of self throughout those rough years.

    The church’s practice was to verbally beat people down so low that they had no will of their own. Some of the adults did the same thing to their kids when they got home. At times, I had to pretend to be beat down, but, I never was. I prayed to be rescued and one day I was. I grew up and made my own way in the world and thank goodness, it didn’t make me hate God. I knew all along that God had nothing to do with the IFB church.

    I never understood why my parents didn’t recognize what was happening. I’ll post more details later if anyone is interested in reading. I would like to know how extreme the cruelty became in other churches across the country. I saw the cruelty this faith teaches firsthand. I also saw it at least 10 other sister churches. (Other IFB churches that we socialized with, but had no technical connection.)

    Some of my family is still in their IFB church. I have not attended it in many years and have no intention of doing so. From what I can see, it may have changed somewhat, but I can’t be sure. They still have many of the same rules and they still don’t promote education. I believe that higher education threatens them.

    I developed my own ambition and went on to graduate from college and obtain a post graduate professional degree. In my experience with the IFB churches, there were rarely any members who had any higher education, unless they had attended an IFB college such as Bob Jones University.

  119. bob says:

    To Daniel,
    I am not sure your posting deserves a response, but here it is.
    It should be obvious to everyone that most people here are not complaining about hurt feelings, but overt spiritual abuse. This is an issue that should concern you as well. Jesus said that it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown into the sea, than to cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble. I think it is pretty serious.
    As for Bible translations, if you can show me one verse in the Bible that supports the KJV-only doctrine, I will crawl on my hands and knees to the nearest IFB church ( about five miles away) and offer a public apology.

  120. Alice says:

    I am not really sure how to respond because I am currently IFB, my husband says to obey him in all things and so that’s what we are. My family is concerned about me and think I’m starting to think i’m in a cult. I will admit I am King James only, wear ankle length skirts / dresses, no newspaper or TV and that really doesn’t bother me too much, but there are other things that I notice. The biggest focus seems to be on dress codes, on the fact that almost everyone else is a cult but us (that must seem funny on this site), and other Baptist denominations are wrong. There is not much love for the brethren outside of our small groups. We have taken things to the extreme. No make-up, cutting or braiding your hair. No, I do not even own a pair of pants (an allowance was made for thermals under my dress because I get really cold) I was really happy when I got saved and we served the Lord joyfully, but we left the IFB church and went to a more stricter one. I have no problem with no t.v. (glad we finally got a computer) and on a few occasions my husband lets us have meals with family. But everytime I say the wrong thing, it is supposedly of the Devil and I must not be right. Not everyone is like this but I am not sure what to do because I have been programmed that I am in rebellion for my thoughts. We are not serving the Lord like we use to and I really miss that. Sometimes I think we push people away. That is sad because I don’t want anyone going to hell. I’d rather tell them about how Jesus died to save sinners rather than it’s not right to wear pants. And yes I can admit that I have become what some would consider Phariseeical, but things are starting to look different to me.

  121. bob says:

    To Alice,

    It looks like you are in a really tough situation.

    I would like to offer one thought. Do you want to follow Christ above all else? Is God’s approval more important to you than than everything else? Is pleasing Christ your number one priority, even above your family?

    Honoring God above all others can be difficult, especially if your family is not supportive of that. Remember that Jesus said if anyone comes to Me, and does not hate ( in comparison of his love for me) his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

    God’s approval is worth far more than anyone else’s. Making Christ number one brings us liberty and joy. The blessings of following Christ, however, may come with persecution.

    I am just trying to say that your personal relationship with Christ is number one. No one or no thing should keep you from following Christ and loving him with all of your heart,soul, and yes, your mind.

  122. Deborah says:

    Alice,

    My heart goes out to you. I’m glad you found this site! I can’t tell you what to do, however, I can tell you what happened to my family. My original post is the second one above. My early years are about 95% like the story of the author of his site.

    My family, especially my father, were great, warm, fun loving, wonderful people before they got into the IFB church. As they got more and more brainwashed, they changed as people. They changed in a negative way. They alienated everyone in our lives, including family, except for other devout IFB followers. It was HORRIBLE for the children of the adult members. I could see how miserable my parents became, yet they claimed they were free in Christ Jesus; that they were reborn. It was all a lie. They had no REAL comfort in their church, although that is the most important, all consuming thing that existed for them. They were obsessed with condemning other people for allowing the devil in their lives. If they saw me watching American Bandstand, they might call the family into the dining room and preach and pray over me to be delivered from Satan for hours.

    All of my skeptism was confirmed a few years ago when my brother developed a drug addiction. My parents both had breakdowns. They were devastated by it and literally fell to the floor crying and screaming. They were inconsolable. Who did they call? Me and my other brother. They did not call anyone from the church, not even their pastor!!!!!!!

    During this time, they never spoke of God, they never mentioned the Bible or prayer! My brother and I had to babysit them and hold them for days to get them through this. I asked myself, “How dare you torture me in that cult for years growing up and yet when you need the support of God and that church, it’s as if they didn’t exist!”

    After my brother got out of rehab and got straight, they returned to the church and took my brother with them! I prayer for them all now. It just breaks my heart. They are now in their 60s’ and 70’s and will never change. I know that. I regret that I actually lost my REAL parents in 1971. I pray that you find peace.

  123. Robert hardesty says:

    I find reading these incents interesting. I dont beleave they hold any weight on all IFBC I have been to all kinds of churches and i have never found the amoiunt of truth i have found in IFBC. Never once has any of the pasters i have served under ever told me that the KJV is the only bible to read. but they have said that it is the only true translation of the bible nor have they told me that I need the Bible to get saved through. every paster in any IFBC I have been to has told me to (read the Bible). Now they have told me the only way to be saved is through Christ and if you dont beleave that then its a reflection of your beliefs not the IFBC teachings. now i havnt lived your life so i cant say what you beleave but i do know what i beleave and i beleave that IFBC are a good faith based teacching. iI hope you fine the truth in your search God bless you

    athlic churches

  124. Alice says:

    you probably haven’t been to many. As I said earlier, we were in an IFBC and loved it. We were serving the Lord faithfully, passing out tracts at the downtown area, working in another ministry helping. Whe we left that church we went to another IFBC (another state) and then things changed. We we told you could only get saved by the King James Version (we were)dresses and skirts are required 24/7 for females and no shorts or tank tops for men. Again I do not have a problem with most of that. Again I mentioned we are to have no television, we do not take the paper, women are to have long hair and men’s must be kept short, beards were often frowned upon but wasn’t a big issue. We were not to fellowship with those of other denominations or what we considered liberal IFB churches. We had certain sister churches to meet with. I like the standards and the King James only stance. However, in this new church the standards became most of all the preaching. Since their is a syndrome “the man of God” fear was placed on those that would dare to question his authority because we were warned of God’s chastisement on us, the evangelist that came in said the same thing. If you think the pastor’s wong you follow him anyway and pray for him and let God deal with him. When we learned certain things about our pastor’s (we all are equal at the cross) it had a bad effect on our family in an extreme way. I am not against stndards, my husband now has a problem with going to church because none of them we have been to since have met up to the standards (appearance and seperation)that we have been under except the mennonite church we’ve attended and he says there wrong too because of doctrine. He doesn’t want to preach anymore either. I really love my family and don’t want to go through each day hearing how I’m of the devil because I mention trimming my hair or saomething that offends him. (no I did not go physically against him and trim my hair) I want him to be happy again and there only seems to be anger. I am was divorced and married my husband. I am his first wife. He was offered and accepted a pastorate at a local Baptist church. It did not have the same standards as the IFB and he quit. But since I was considered a doubled married woman and he was disqualified by the IFB standard from pastoring (they let him preach but not pastor) we were rejected from them and now we are as if ex-communicated from what we come to know. Only a few will even talk to us now. No not all IFB churches are like that but when you have been pouded with preaching saying you have to act, dress, reject, and not waste your time on reprobates it’s alot to overcome. Although we are not there now and my husband doesn’t ask anything wrong of me, neither does he allow me to make many decision for myself. He believes the man should be controlling in authority in all areas. I cannot trim my hair, if I decide not to wear a hair covering then I am not as close to God (I recently asked about yhat because I do cover or did until a couple of days ago, No earings, makeup, braiding of the hair, ankle length skirts and dresses only, I cannot use his radio because I might listen to inappropiate music (CCM), If I disobey my husband I am in rebellion to God and if I obey his every rule I am becoming depressed. I am saved by grace though faith and want joy in my life.

  125. Alice says:

    to Deborah: and others
    My daughter, now an adult ran away becuase we imposed some rules that were extremely strict and unfortunatley we did not show love toward her as we should. We did it because we did not think she showed the proper attitudes in our beliefs. I’m sorry I did not take the time to give her some choices and lessons in brotherly love, but we are now close and she is a married woman. She does wear pants now, but at least she usually keeps a long skirt in the car to change before she comes over. (Respectful)

    To Robert:
    I agree that many IFB churches may not be this way and in fact the first one I mentioned was a loving, caring, community evangelistic, church that cared about souls and winning the lost to Christ. They did not have the same rules as the second one (in a different state) did. They had joy and encouraged reading the Bible, and being involved in witnessing. And they believe the King James Bible is the only bible but that the others hold enough truth that a person can get saved. It was the first time I have been out on visitation and we helped the elderly. They also allowed the children to caroling.

    I never even knew there existed a church as the one I spoke of until we went to the second church and things were on the other end of the spectrum. You could not even join unless you dressed a certain way. They were all about standards and I agree about the importance of standards because man sees the outside and God sees the inside, however almost all the preaching concerned that. There was little love among the brethren of the church because it seemed many were looking for faults in the others (which is what happens) They did preach you could only get saved from the KJV (and I am KJV only, but not sure on my stance about the salvation issue) I’ll go further to say that my husband was asked to pastor a church. The Church allowed things my husband disapproved of so he quit. Since the pastor of our church did not approve of him pastoring the church (although my husband was allowed to go off preaching)we are no longer wanted back. They said he was not allowed to be a pastor because I am a double married woman. As some of you know that means I was married and divorced before marrying my husband now. I am his first wife. Things seem to becoming more intense now than before or maybe I’m just noticing it more. May I add that my husband was a preacher, and we were both Sunday school teachers but because I had been married before he could not actually pastor. They may be right and us wrong, but the unloving attitutdes, nasty letters, and and asking us to not contact our friends from the church was too much. What happened to trying to reconcile and repentence?

    They ain’t not all bad, and if I had not gone to that church and went through those experiences perhaps I would have a hard time believing anything the people on this site posted was true.

  126. Rodrigo Diaz says:

    I am a proud Independent Fundamental Fire Breathing Baptist Christian. I respect everyone’s opinion but I have been to many Christian churches and have never been to a type of Christian church in which is so direct with Bible Doctrine. The Independent Fundamental Church is a blessing. Keep preaching that FIRE preaching.

  127. Deborah says:

    Rodrigo,

    What impressed me with your post is that you stated you respect everyone’s opinion. That is a good trait and not one that I encountered with my vast experience with IFB churches and followers. I am curious as to what part of the country you garnered your respect for differeing opinions.

    In the southeastern part of the country, different opinions in IFB churches are the devils work and an attempt to sway you from God’s will. They are not well tolerated.

    I have sat through numerous services in which anyone with a differing opinion was laughted at, mocked, condemned to hell or cast out of the church as an example of what happens to those whom disagree with their program.

    If you love the IFB church you have found and its your free will, that’s fine. My parents never realized how totally controlled they were by their IFB church. I’m not saying you are, but my parents lost the respect and fellowship with most all non-IFB people, including family and never stopped to think why. They lost it from me, their daughter, and that didn’t even phase them. I had no agenda against the church. I was a 10 year old child, but I knew their way was full of intolerance and ignorance.

    I saw thousands of fire breathing IFB sermons over the years and never saw how they contributed to anything accept to stir people into hysterical, sanctimonious behavior. It ran the kids from the front row to the back of the church.

  128. gloria says:

    Alice,
    I just read your post. I am glad God is opening up your eyes to the truth. I want you to know I stopped and prayed for you. To have the courage to step away, and for your husband to see the light too. The Gospel = good news. It has nothing to do with how we dress or what version of the Bible we read. May God continue to encourage you!!!
    IN Christ,
    gloria

  129. Jodie says:

    I was doing some googling about the IFB because I have a couple of married friends who were recently saved and became members of an IFB church, and came across this page. Hopefully I can gain some insight…

    By nature, my two friends are very opinionated and intelligent and want to do what is good, but as baby Christians it is so easy to be decieved by legalism/old covenant if you have not done any research previously into what being a Christian is really supposed to be and how we are all made new in the acceptance of Christ’a free gift of eternal life.

    Over the course of their membership my friend(the wife) has become thrown into teaching young children’s sunday school courses, and what I do not understand is why would they have someone who is new to the faith teaching others? In addition, it has become very apparent that her husband has become more controlling and judgemental of people who are supposed to be their friends, and they have both become judgemental of our friends who are very charismatic, of other denominations (such as myself, I am a born and raised Methodist, but have been doing a lot of searching into other faith traditions for the past 6-ish years.) The last time I hung out with them I noticed a tinge of hatred in my friend’s voice when she was voicing her opinion about our other Christian friends & their compassion for animals, or interest in science. It certainly seems to me that this is NOT loving Christian behavior, and they were not like this before they become members of that IFB.

    I am trying to salvage a friendship with them, but it is becoming increasingly hard for me since it does not seem like they respect me as a person for having different gifts and beliefs than them. If anyone could help me out with this situation I would surely appreciate it. Thanks and God bless.

  130. Deborah says:

    @Jodie

    Hi Jodie,

    I’m not sure what kind of research you are attempting to conduct. I think there are a number of posts here that give detailed descriptions of life in an IFB church and some may contain links. I wish you and your friends the best, but I would remain cautious. It’s difficult to understand the magnitude of the IFB church, unless you have been there.

    My parents were indoctrinated over the course of about a year by the IFB. They were in their 20’s and while raised Methodist and southern Baptist, had been out of church for a few years. They were treated like royality by the church at first. My parents went from happy, good loving people to mean spirited grouches. They have mellowed since they hit their senior years, but my true parents never returned, I’m sorry to say.

    I’m not sure what would have happened if one of their friends would have discussed concern over their behavior with them. I suspect my parents would have written them off as ungodly. They would not entertain any criticism of their church or its teachings. My father was so confrontational that most people didn’t try to cross him about his faith. He ruined most all of his relationships with familty and non-IFB friends. I was a child, but even I could see that most of them thought he had been brainwashed. He was truly a different person.

    Do your friends have children? If so, I feel for them. The kids will suffer. I have no doubt about that.

    Despite their profession of salvation and peace through the grace of God, I found them to be a very miserable bunch, who never missed an opportunity to degrade anything that was not sanctioned by them. They spent a lot of time on matters regarding the body, such as showing an arm or knee and not much concern with matters of the mind, such as education and mental health.

    I am so thankful that I made it out without hating God and the Bible. That is saying a lot since I was verbally abused with it for years.

    I hope you are able to help your friends. Keep us posted here.

  131. Jodie says:

    Hi Deborah,

    So you pretty much described them exactly! All I wanted to know is what the church is like and the experiences of members were like, since I know nothing of it. Unfortunately I just have not had the time to read through alll the posts everyone has made, just checked back to this today. But yes they do have children-3 and one on the way. I’ve met people at work and school who came from IFB families who were so hurt and frightened by their churches and the “God fearing” practices that it completely turned them off to God’s love, and it makes me very sad.

    I also meant to say that I do have other Baptist family members who are nothing like what my friends are turning into. I have not confronted my friends about this but it is not just me that has noticed the change in their behavior and mentality, and I know that in 2 Timothy it talks about staying away from that kind of confrontation and arguments, because it will not do anything but cause hurt. I know it’s better to be patient and compassionate for my friends, but also that I cannot change what is on their hearts. It just bothers me that they spend more time ragging on other Christians who don’t adhere to the same doctrines they do, it is so retroactive to what we are really supposed to do, which is spread God’s love! A little while back they did mention interest in finding a different church, but were very VERY particular about their statements of faith so we shall see how this all plays out. I just hope it does not come to the point to where they alienate all their friends, because we love them and want them to be happy and blessed too. Thanks for the response and God bless you:)

  132. Deborah says:

    Jodie,

    You seem to have much compassion in your heart for your friends. You also seem to have a very deep and personal relationship with God. Hopefully that will assist you in creating a good example to your friends.

    I am sorry for the length of my post, but there is no way to provide a sense of what I experienced without the details.

    I can only say what I experienced in the IFB churches I attended growing up. I have family who still attend and they convey to me that the teachings are the same, although the degree of severity varies based on the particular pastor of the church. Some are more dogmatic than others, but the rules and practices remain the same in their church.

    Some things that stand out in my mind were the mean spiritness of the church leaders, usually the preacher. I often felt that if the preacher was not so hostile, the members would have been more compassionate. The teachings hailed ignorance as holy. They taught that God can speak to and through you as an uneducated, uncultured, unprofessional “man of God.” That was VERY important to them, because once you establish that God is speaking to and through you, then anyone in the church is afraid to question you, because they would be questioning God.

    With that established, they then lay out the rules. First get saved (code word for accepting Jesus as your personal savior, being reborn in Christ,) and usually this is done in a highly charged alter call in which many church members sing, cry, shout and beg. This comes after a long sermon of screaming and threatening people with burning in hell, never seeing their family again, being hit by a car, hit with cancer, etc.

    The sermon will also contain digs at any other denomination and mocking the First Baptist Church, because they have fancy stainglassed windows and use proper grammar. They ridiculed any other church and any other practice. They would list the groups of people who were going to hell: Catholics, Mormons, etc. If it was around election time, they would tell you how to vote and how the liberal candidates were trying to persucute their church and have them put into prison. They taught that the ultimate goal of the government was to persecute the IFB.

    The christians who really wanted to please God would do as follows and if you didn’t, you were considered worldly. Worldly is code word for sinful, not Christ like:

    No pants on females.
    No long hair or medium length hair on males.
    No music except for gospel, that was approved by the church.Contemporary Christian music was not allowed as it was too worldly.
    No attendance at any church that was not an IFB.
    No other version of the Bible except for King James Version. Any questioning of this was grounds to be kicked out of church.
    No smoking.
    No alcohol of any kind at any time. And should avoid shopping anywhere that sold alcohol
    No remarriage if you had a living spouse. No divorce. If you had been divorced and had a living spouse, you could not hold any office in the church or teach Sunday School.
    No television.
    No dancing of any kind, including ballroom, square or tap.
    No mixed bathing, which means only swimming in a pool with people of same sex.
    No going to a beach or lake because you could see someone there who had on a swimsuit of the opposite sex.
    No movie theaters.
    No attendance at a county or state fair.
    No purchase of a lottery ticket. I knew a poor lady who was kicked out because she won $100,000. in the lottery.
    No mental health treatment or rehab, because God would take care of that and you didn’t need any other help.
    No ecology. It’s based on humanism.
    No opportunity for a woman to speak in church. She could stand up in the congregation and give her testimony, but could not speak up front as
    the men could.
    No choir robes because women could hide their short skirts underneath.
    No church bulletins, because they would hamper the holy spirit.
    No public school education because they were brainwashing your children with ungodly messages to disobey their parents and teaching evolution.
    No value on college education. They tolerated some Bible college at places like Bob Jones University or Liberty. NOTE: I have checked their rules and apparently both have lightened up on them over the years.
    No focus on nature or admiration of animals. Pets should not obtain much attention or undue care. “Dog is a dog and should be put outside.”
    No peace signs. It’s a sign of the devil.
    No astrology. It’s satan’s work.
    No Santa and no Christmas tree. It’s idoltry worhip.

    No fellowship with worldly people, including people who do anything that is not in their rules.
    No questioning the preacher about the rules. If you do, you will be called up before the church and “prayed” for so that God will get you back in line. If you fail to follow the rules and after being prayed for by the church, you are not “convicted” of your actions, then that means you are not saved and are going to hell. Then you should be kicked out of the church because they cannot fellowhip with a sinner in the midst.

    This list could go on.

    The worst thing I encountered was the refusal to consider any other point of view. Not only were differing opinions wrong, they were sinful and against God. They would often say that they could not guarantee that other demoninations would not go to heaven, but they were fairly certain that there were many “so called” Christians who would wake up in a lake of fire and regret that they stayed Methodist, or southern Baptist, etc.

    Once we had a couple visit from a Southern Baptist church. The preacher stood up in his sermon and pointed them out and told them if they stayed in that church, he did not want their blood on his hands, because they were not right with God! It was so cruel to watch.

    They convince the members that their way is the only way and the member becomes afraid to go against them for fear of disappointing the church and God.

    Sorry for the length, but this describes only a portion of what I saw with this group. Others may have different experiences. I can’t say your friends church is like this, but it is MY experience.

    Lastly, I will add that many of the preachers who did this to my family, left the church in scandal. Most after discovering they were having affairs with other married church members, stealing money, and one having criminal charges of molesting children.

    I wish you and your friends the best.
    God bless you all.

  133. Clyd says:

    Not all Baptist are alike/similar. Primitive Baptist beliefs are very different from other Baptist denominations. Much of the abuse you describe comes from their belief in salvation by works not by Grace.

  134. Paul says:

    Clyd :Not all Baptist are alike/similar. Primitive Baptist beliefs are very different from other Baptist denominations. Much of the abuse you describe comes from their belief in salvation by works not by Grace.

    Cyld, It’s true that you can find just about anything under the awning labeled Baptist. In my experience the abuse that has been mentioned above accutately describes the IFB mindset and they do believe in salvation by grace through faith. It’s through Jesus and him alone apart from works. The catch though is — now that you’re saved…..here’s the rules.

  135. Alice says:

    Mrs. Deborah you forgot no celebrating easter too. It is alright to celebrate Independance day and Thanksgiving though.

    I am not against or for many churches. I was in an IFB church that I really liked and they loved and cared about others. The rules were scriptural because the pastor believed that if your not hindering the church that your home life should be a matter you take to the scriptures

    Another church I was involved in is why I started seeking and searching because almost all the above applied. The preaching seemed sound but I notice we were changing and instead of being evangelical and wanting to get the gospel out, we were becoming nasty towards others and looking down on weaker brethren, and other Christians (especially the SBC) Maybe that ‘s why they have the term :fighting fundamentalist”

    My husband went to extremes with the teachings to the point that even the church we were in wasn’t godly enough and they were to worldly (and that was one of the strict ones)Because I am starting to be in disagreement with my husband on certain issues our marriage is strained. It is hard enough that some look down on us because I am divorced and remarried. He has found another church for us to attend and I do understand that a wife is to be in total obedience but in my mind I think some things aren’t as they should be. I want to know what God would have of me and I search the scriptures wanting to know if it’s alright to do certain things. Even simple things;braiding of the hair, trimming it (i do have long hair) being able to see my children from first marriage, not telling people about them when asked if we have children. Sometimes I think it’s wrong to not tell the truth about it. (not referring to a lie but silence)My husband does not approve of ALOT of things and I know there not sinful but I have been so indoctrinated about submissiveness that I am not sure what the Lord would allow of my own free will. I tried to talk to my husband but as the IFB (only the extremist) teach, just do what your told or your out of the will of God and then comes the fear part. Sometimes I get scared. Fear of the Lord is healthy, being scared of constant wrath is not.

  136. Deborah says:

    Alice,
    I’m not sure how to respond to your post. It sounds very serious and quite sad. It reminds me of the sad and joyless life my parents lived as devout IFB.

    I would actually advise you to talk to a professional about your situation. I would suggest you take care to protect yourself from any harm. I get that feeling from your posts. I could be wrong.

    God bless you. I hope you will find answers to help you.

  137. Paul says:

    What religion can do, Christ can undo….

    The people came in deeply oppressed, expressionless, looking like they’d come to a funeral, or at least another person from America telling them how they were failing. But as Kent and I began to share about Father’s love we watched a miracle take place. Oppressed expressions gave way to skeptical looks, then to hope, and finally to embracing God’s love for them and they began to laugh, ask questions and celebrate a rich heritage they hadn’t realized was theirs.

    http://lifestream.org/blog/

  138. Alice says:

    That sounds beautiful

    I have attempted to get help but it did not turn out well and my husband believes it is ungodly and worldly to do so when I am commanded to ask him, it may be that I would be talking to a woman that wears pants or has short hair, or wears makeup, or does not use KJV only or is of another faith. Sometimes I do think if it’s just him and how he is being an extremist or if it’s really the teachings of our beliefs that he just takes too far. (1 Corinthians 14:35)This site is important to me because I was really starting to get depressed and even thought of running away myself, but now I know there are others out there. As I said (for the benefit of all you IFB – which I still am) It may be that its just something my husband goes to EXTREMES about and not the church. The rules listed by Mrs. Deborah though do apply and I agree to an extent. Some allowances are made. I have to be careful about getting help because my husband mistrust doctors and believes most are of the devil.

  139. Charles says:

    It seems to be a common trait of folks to take one side of the story and run with it, especially if it involves wanting to live a life separated from things that might give an INDIVIDUAL trouble. I understand that there are many “religious” folks that hurt people in the name of their “religious” practices but I also understand that there are much more thefts, abuses, and outright injustices done in the rest of the world, not just in what is refereed to as the “IFB.” Shoulden’t professing Christians take each INDIVIDUAL case INDIVIDUALLY? Are the facts given by the posters on this site just a bit exaggerated at times? Surely there are problems in IFB churches but what about your church? What about your marriage? What about your kids? What about you? I’ve seen some things in various different IFB churches but I personally haven’t seen these different rules and regulations in many of them. In fact, in my INDIVIDUAL experience, I haven’t seen many of them in ANY of the churches I’ve attended. Maybe a few here and there, but never all of them. If there is physical abuse in a relationship get out of it. If there is physical abuse in a church house, get out of it. You decide what constitutes abuse for yourself. Bashing someone, even with the seeming intent to help someone, will never help the cause of Christ. He died for ALL sinners so that we might be reconciled to the Father. He rose again on the third day and proclaimed the victory over death, hell, and the grave forever and whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved! Repent and believe the Gospel and see what Jesus Christ will do!

  140. bob says:

    Alice,
    I have been following your postings and I find them quite interesting. I truly sympathize for you and the situation you are in.
    I just wanted to remind you of one thing that I thought would be helpful. The bible is your one and only authority for truth. I know you must want to please your husband and respect him, as you should. However, God’s word is the ultimate authority. What God has said in his word is the final and ultimate authority on what is truth. Your husband has authority to operate within the framework of Scripture, that is all.
    Just imagine if your husband were to ask you to do something that was a clear violation of God’s word. Do you think that God would be honored by obeying your husband over Him? Of course not. We must obey God rather than men.
    I know your situation is difficult and delicate to handle. I just want to encourage you to make sure your number one loyalty is to Christ. I know that Christ will be honored if you put Him first, and you go to His word as your source of truth.
    I am sure you know that God is not honored when we blindly obey people, whether they are pastors, parents, or our spouse. God is honored when we put him first and study the Scriptures to show ourselves approved. Read Acts 17:11 and notice how Paul calls the men more noble-minded, because they searched the Scriptures to see if what the apostle Paul taught them was true.
    I hope this was helpful. I am sure your situation is far more complex than I understand it. I just want to encourage you and be of some help.

  141. Deborah says:

    @bob

    Bob,
    I agree with your post above. I empathize with Alice because her story seemed quite severe and based on her description of her husband, I was concerned for her physical safety. Maybe, I’m off base, but when there is a concern for safety, I’m not sure what to say. I think your words are true. The problem is, no matter what she says to her husband, he is not likely to change his position. Then what do you do? It’s really a tough situation. I feel for Alice.

  142. Paul says:

    Alice:
    I met Jesus at the age of 24. Man was I excited. I was alive with God. Life had come. Then I hunkered down and began running on the treadmill of performance. I mean, after all, we were doing something GREAT for God. Deeply involved in Church, Bible college, and then the ministry. But after thirty-two years, I found His life in me was slowly being suffocated. It had almost killed myself, and my family spiritually through our aberrance to religious obligation. We had walked the walk and talked the talk seeking to gain our Saviors approval not realizing we already had it. About three years ago in the midst of some deep questioning I discovered I had ran smack dab into “religion” in the church I was attending. I also found it was all over in my life. Jesus had been waiting all along. He breathed His life back into our relationship. My IFB belief system was crumbling fast. It was being replaced with what He had always wanted – Me to be loved by Him. We get it for about the first 24 hours after salvation. Then we seek to conform to this, that, and the other only to miss the relationship He desired to have. Today, I’m living loved, and loving others as He loved me. Jesus is always kind, tender, and loving. He has never forced His way into any of our lives.

    From Anna, Mister God and the Black Knight by Fynn
    “Sometimes Tich, I think it’s a whole lot easier for kids to know Mister God than it is for grown ups.”
    “Why, Finn?” she persisted. Why?”
    I didn’t quite know the answer to that one, so I just had to make it up.
    “Well,” I began, “I reckon grown ups have often got so many problems of their own that they just haven’t got time to… er…er…”
    “Play?” she suggested. “Play with Mister God. Eh? Play?”
    “Something like that,” I said.
    “Um. Grown-up people make church so, well, serious that they ne-ver have time to play, do they, Fynn?”
    “I guess you’re just about right on that one, luv,” I replied.
    “Too busy trying to earn enough money to pay the bills, I guess.”

    Alice, Go play with Jesus for awhile. He really enjoys this.
    Love your husband as you’re loved by HIM. John 13:34
    Ya, might pick up a copy of “The Shack” (great playground) although the religious community may frown.

    You are deeply loved.

    http://www.lifestream.org/bodylife.php?blid=37
    http://lifestream.org/waynes-books.php?bid=5

  143. jacob says:

    To Daniel Smith,
    Not to be mean or sound attacking, but I don’t believe your post will be removed. Your post is the perfect example of what everyone on this site is talking about.

    1.) Of all the posts here, your post (which represents the Independent Fundamental Baptist faith) is by far the angriest. You lash out and attack everyone (name calling and belittling). Do you think Jesus would respond in the same tone?

    2.) Your answers are very canned. In other words, they are answers we’ve all heard before. From reading your post, all I hear is the IFB church. No where do I hear “you”. You don’t offer much depth to what you have to say. Very robotic and unnatural.

    I hope you don’t take my comments as an attack. There has to be a reason why you are on this site and reading through what people have to say. It is because there is a little light inside of you fighting vigorously to be let out from above a cloud of lies and deception the IFB has created over your eyes, mind, and life. In the words of the IFB…I pray for you for you are lost. And really, I do pray for you!

  144. jacob says:

    I meant to say: “Your post will NOT be removed”

    Also, recognition is the first step to recovery. I’m glad you are aware of this site. It has helped me recover by leaps and bounds. You’re not alone!

  145. Deborah says:

    Daniel Smith, I went back and reviewed your last post after reading the post of Jacob above. Your words are quite familiar to me. I grew up IFB.
    My parents have been in it for years.

    I recently told my mom, who still attends IFB church, that my disabled cousin had been uplifted by hearing a sermon from a popular preacher on the tv. My mom immediatley recoiled and said that she bet it was easy to “feel good” when someone says nice things about God. Her church is way above that kind of thing. I was initially surprised that she would begrudge a disabled little lady a blessing, but then I realized it was not my mom speaking. It was something she has been forced to belief. She believes that she must be verbally abused in order to live right. It’s sad.

    I will encourage you to continue to read on this site or any other place that offers information. I only wish that my parents would have been able to read and learn about what they were getting involved with.(IFB) If that had happened, perhaps I would still have my great parents from my early childhood.

    I’m sure there must be people in your life who worry and are concerned about you. I hope you do keep your eyes open and really listen. People on this board share their experiences because others have the right to know. We can only hope it will make a difference in someone’s life.

  146. Ashley says:

    You are making a judgement call on ALL IBF’s. I guess we all could do the same thing in regard to the Catholic church. But I, unlike you, don’t judge a denomination based on a few bad churches. I’ve been to several different IBF’s due to moving around and I am here to tell you, they are the most loving group of people I have come across. They would and have done anything for me and my husband. There was one church in particular that although we had only been there less than five times, helped us out so much financially or else we would have lost our place to live. They didn’t even know us.
    The church back home, those people are God loving and God fearing people! Most wonderful people I’ve come across and I miss them dearly. You are just being vindictive and I think you are going about this in a very evil manner trying to give my church family a bad name. As they say, it ain’t nothing but the devil. This really is an evil, evil move and I for one do not appreciate it! You really need to be prayed for. And by the way, how do I even know your story is true?
    I don’t know what church you, the poster, went to and those who say you can’t question the pastor. Not true of every IBF. We can have discussions with our pastor anytime we’d like. We do have a deacon. What is the purpose of having a group of men, all trying to run the church. That is left up to the pastor and whoever he wants to appoint. He is the one who was called by God, not you guys.

    @Lori

  147. David says:

    The Bereans weren’t Christians yet in Acts12. I am a Fundamental Baptist. Legalism is defined ” anything that adds to salvation” Noone in the Independent Fundalmental churches that I have attended has added to salvation. There are standards. Standards are important. How else would you be able to seperate yourself from the world “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed” if you don’t have some kind of standards. Standards and legalism are not the same thing.@Bill

  148. candi says:

    @Linda
    iI HAVE HAD ALMOST THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO MY LITTLE GIRL, WHO IS NOW 26, SHE MET AND MARRIED IFB AND SAID AT THE WEDDING WHERE MY FATHER A METHODIST MINISTER, SHE SAID SHE HAD NEVER BEEN SAVED UNTIL SHE MET THIS MAN..AND I KNOW SHE WAS. BUT BESIDES BREAKING ALL OF OUR METHODIST HEARTSD. SHE HADS SAID SHE HAS TO STAY AWAY FROM US AS WE ARE TOXIC TO HER WALKING WITH THE LORD AND ONLY BELIEVESIN HERBAL CURES AND HAS POLYSISTIC OVARIAN DESIEASE AND I JUST WISH SHE WOULD SEE A DR. AND I KNOW GOD IS THE BEST PHISISIAN BUT I WANT GRANDKIDS AND I KNOW SHE DOES, SHE ACTS LIKE METHODIST ARENT SAVED SINCE WE WERNET IMMERSED, AND SHE IS ON ME ALL THE TIME. I GO TO CHURCH NOW TO BABPTIST AND PENECOSTLE AND METHODIST, I AM GETTING SO MIXED UP…MY PARENTS RAISED HER AND ARE VRY HURT BY HER…I AM GLD SHE ISNT ON DRUGS OR OUT IN THE STREET , BUT SHE ISNT THE SAME JULIE AS SHE WAS, SHE WEARS LONG HAIR AND , ONLY LISTENS TO CHURCH MUSIS WHICH I LIKE TO DTO ALSO … BUT SHE IS ARGUING THE METHODIST THING AND WE ARE HERE FOR SUCH A SHORT TIME AND I THOUHGT I TAUGHT HER BETTER THSAN TO ARGUE RELIGION…AND I THIBNK SHE IS SCARED ALOT OF THE TIME. SHE IS TRULWEY SAVED AND AS I AM AS WELL BUT SHE TLKS ABOUT THE DEVIL ALOT…ANYWAY AT LEAST SHE IS IN CHURCH AND MAYBE ONE DAY I WILL UNDERSTAND IT..ASHE IS A WONDERFUL GIRL AND I LOVE SO VERY MUCH I JUST WISH SHE WOULD LOVE US LIKE SHE USE TO…..AND SHE ALSO ARGUES WITH SRCIPTURE…

  149. gloria says:

    Candi,
    I am truly sorry to hear about your daughter. Just keep loving her and praying for her. I was involved with a religious cult for 19 yrs, and my family kept loving me and praying for me.

    Hang in there,
    gloria

  150. jacob says:

    @ashley. You, yourself, may not “judge a denomination based on a few bad churches” but the Independent Fundamental Church (which you are a part of) does judge everyone who’s not an IFB. And that percentage of non-IFB church going crowd is so much larger. In retrospect, I honestly believe the devil is working amongst and through the IFB Church.

    Like I’ve said to Daniel Smith…there has to be a reason why you are on this site…a little inkling inside of you is curious what “we” (the people the IFB judges) think. That little inkling or voice, my dear, is God speaking to you. I pray for you!!!!!

  151. jacob says:

    …and Ashley…We have all come from an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church…this is more of a support group. We are not trying to be vindictive…much rather, we are helping each other out… I pray God removes the IFB blinders from off your eyes. I really do hope you can open your mind and heart a bit to think for yourself and read what we have to say without preconceived notions which the IFB instilled in you.

  152. Annamarie Longfellow says:

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I swore I’d never ever go to church again no matter what kind. I went to Frontier Baptist Church in Durango, CO about 3 1/2 years ago and stayed. Our Pastor preaches out of the bible and we are told to take it or leave it. He is not going to defend the bible. He does not judge. He does not tell us what to wear. If we come to him for counseling he does ask us to be reading our bible first. He is humble! In my family experince we had a huge challenge medically – he was willing to learn about it and helped us through – he did not demand we do things his way. He prayed for us. Our church is small without much money but if anyone has a challenge EVERYONE helps in any way they are able to.

  153. April says:

    Ashley :
    ……. He is the one who was called by God, not you guys.

    @Lori

    Yeeaaah riiiight……any controlling, narcissistic nut-job can claim they are “called”, that proves absolutely nothing, except that a person “claims” to be “called”.

    While we are talking about that, I say I’m CALLED!!!!
    Yep, & this is what God is saying for me to speak here…..

    “they loooove the chief places & loooove to be called “pastor” or “elder” & love the free reign of power over the flock…& they loooove the lack of accountability…& they love the FREE UNTAXED $$$$,
    & they love having a gig where THEY are the “mouthpiece of God”…& they love all of the adulation & complete attention on them while “preaching”….& they just love “lording it over” the flock”…”
    amen.

  154. Deborah says:

    April :

    Ashley :……. He is the one who was called by God, not you guys.
    @Lori

    Yeeaaah riiiight……any controlling, narcissistic nut-job can claim they are “called”, that proves absolutely nothing, except that a person “claims” to be “called”.
    While we are talking about that, I say I’m CALLED!!!!Yep, & this is what God is saying for me to speak here…..
    “they loooove the chief places & loooove to be called “pastor” or “elder” & love the free reign of power over the flock…& they loooove the lack of accountability…& they love the FREE UNTAXED $$$$,& they love having a gig where THEY are the “mouthpiece of God”…& they love all of the adulation & complete attention on them while “preaching”….& they just love “lording it over” the flock”…”amen.

    I knew many so called “men of God” who fit your description, except they never called themself elder. They mainly requested to be called Preacher or Pastor. That was very important to them.

    My experience was that all but one of the IFB preachers that I knew, was on an ego trip, even though they would deny it. Their messages were delivered in such an abusive and arrogant manner that I never felt safe in trusting much of what they said. I read my Bible and tried to listen to more educated speakers who seemed to be more learned in their speech and decorum. That was not easy to do since my parents ridiculed any preacher who was not an IFB preacher.

    During my childhood and teen years, I was exposed to many IFB churches and preachers. (We had regular evangelists preach revivals and our members traveled to churches all over the southeastern US for revival services.) We regularly had missionaries speak from all across the world. I only saw one man that stood out as different. He was quickly discarded and replaced by a full fledged tyrant. The new man soon took over the church.

    Most of the “men of God” that pastored at our church left in scandal and disgrace. It was because an affair they were having blew up, they had criminal charges filed against them for sexual abuse of children or they were caught stealing money. You must give the deacons credit though; they went out and replaced the guy with another one just like him. The fire and brimstone sermons that these wayward men had preached during their immoral or criminal activities, did nothing to disway the members from jumping onto the next “man of God” who exhibited the same talents for guise LOL.

    The member’s and deacon’s fear of God’s wrath was so great that they could not or would not properly investigate the credentials of these men. They also blindly shattered relationships with family members because they had to do anything the preacher said because he was “God’s man.”

    It was a sick system and resulted in creating illness in many lives. I viewed it as a form of illness even as a child and still see it in that way. My parents become sticken when they were in their 20’s and now they are in their 60’s and early 70’s. They are not as ill as they once were, but it is still rather debilitating to them as they still attend the church.

    Does anyone who if there are any longtime IFB members (adults) or preachers, who have been deprogramed after many years and now speak out against the faith they once advocated? I know of some who got out when they turned 18 years of age, but I’m curious about any who get out when they are 40.

  155. April says:

    Deborah, So true what you have written.

    I think when a man sets himself up in a system with absolutely NO accountability, it’s just a matter of time until he gets on a power trip. And I know what you mean, we were told not to listen to those “other” preachers, if you had a problem the pastor would always recommend one of HIS sermons.

    It does seem that lots of folks in the IFB, at least the group I escaped from was quite rife with illness, both physical & mental. One guy killed himself, another lady, after we escaped tried killing herself a couple of times & was *church disciplined & excommunicated*…there is NO MERCY for hurting & damaged people. From my experience folks were USED & tossed out when everything was sucked out of them…their livelihoods, their wonder, their spirit, their $$$$, their health…. If you weren’t making the church or pastor look good….well they just didn’t want you anymore.

    I joined the group in my early 20’s & left in my early 40’s….almost 2 decades of indoctrination, guilt & brainwashing to undo.

    I can’t speak for others, but I can say that in many ways I have undone the indoctrinations/beliefs in my mind & spirit. I just can’t worship a God who would be so cruel, knowing his creatures were made “flawed”.
    Nope, to me GOD is way more merciful than these peon little controlling “men of god”. I do believe there are many blogs of folks who no longer hold to the fundy view of God who at one time did. :)
    All the best to you Deb,
    April

  156. Brian says:

    @David David, the word “legalism” is not only used by Christians in connection with salvation and justification. When it is used in terms of justification, “legalism” mean adding works to faith, or human merit as a condition for salvation. The standards you are talking about are man-made traditions ADDED to the Bible. This is when the term is used in connection with sancification. Fundamentalists, like you, who believe in having these standards often answer the charge of legalism by saying that you believe in salvation is by grace alone, therefore you are not a legalist. You do not think that the term applies to your rules and regulations for the Christian life. but it does, whether you think so or not!

  157. Brian says:

    @David No, David. You are right and wrong. Legalism is not only defined as “anythings that adds to salvation” as you say. The term is used by Christians in connection with both justification AND sanctification. When used in connection with justification, the term had to do with man-made traditions added to the Bible, which are your standards. Fundamentalists like yourself will often answer the charge of legalism by saying that you believe in salvation by grace alone, therefore you are not a legalist. Having standards that go beyond what the Bible says is also legalism!! You’re like Jack Hyles.

  158. Brian says:

    Brian :@David No, David. You are right and wrong. Legalism is not only defined as “anythings that adds to salvation” as you say. The term is used by Christians in connection with both justification AND sanctification. When used in connection with sanctification, the term had to do with man-made traditions added to the Bible, which are your standards. Fundamentalists like yourself will often answer the charge of legalism by saying that you believe in salvation by grace alone, therefore you are not a legalist. Having standards that go beyond what the Bible says is also legalism!! You’re like Jack Hyles.

  159. Deborah says:

    @April

    April, I am so glad to hear of your liberation. It it rare IMO. It must have taken a lot of courage for you to do what you did. Do you really feel free of it?

    I have been away from it for many years, however, I often still think of what I witnessed and how my and my family’s lives might be so different if we had only settled in a different church. I try to focus on the positive. I am the person I am, because of what I went through. I think I learned to be more patient, more open minded, and to stand up for what I believe in. I basically looked at the teachings of the IFB and how they conduct themselves and and tried to do the opposite. Not because I wanted to be difficult, but because I knew it was right. I knew from an early age that I never wanted to be like them.

    I also learned how good people with good intentions can do bad things and hurt the ones they love, all in the name of IFB teachings. That is a difficult concept for many people. I had to adapt it or sever my relationship with my parents.

    Do you still have family in an IFB church? How do the IFB church members relate to you now?

  160. April says:

    Deborah, The members in the group we left have absolutely nothing to do with us…& we relocated our lives to this state for their supposed “church”! Betrayal is what we experienced.
    Through this I have learned a lot, but I am not happy with what transpired & I long for the day to see justice & some restitution.

    I have tried to undo the dogma by focusing on the truths that were ignored in the cult. I think I literally had to re – brainwash myself to get all of the garbage out! Many things are triggering, I can not listen to anyone preach…I cannot stand the KJV….I would never step foot in any baptist church…it all just has too many painful memories. I refuse to listen to certain hymns. So now I focus on more positive things. LIfe is hard enough without being beaten down every friggen sunday with how we are all such “totally depraved” sinners & God wont be happy w/ us unless we do what the “pastor” says. Nope…I will not blindly accept that anymore! I also have spent much time reading Thomas Paine, Emerson…folks who dared to question dogma.

    I feel for you if your parents are still in IFB. I guess you will have to do what your gut tells you. I absolutely believe some folks are sincere, I know I was…they don’t want to hate or judge or be cruel, but that’s what the leader’s dogma is telling them to do. They want to be righteous & think that being that way is the way to God. I hope you just use the good sense you have…I hope you can regain a measure of your relationship w/ your parents & also be able to have some peace inside. You will know if you’ve had enough…don’t let them run you down because you don’t believe exactly as they do. I don’t mean to tell you what to do, I just hope you don’t let yourself get hurt again.

    I personally hope I never see any of those people again. That’s how bad the damage was to myself & my family. Matter of fact, we will be moving out of state soon & I will never see those people again.
    Good riddance! They were so willing to toss us aside as if we meant absolutely nothing….well, so be it. They in turn, mean nothing to me.
    Oh I do hope they escape the borg…I do hope they someday see that God is sooooo much more merciful, & not limited to what some preacher says about him…I wish them to find freedom because those people are in a prison of their own making. Well…it’s the leaders making that has the shackles locked anyhow. The leader is most responsible.

    Thank God I have no family who are IFB, none were in the cult I got involved with. So that has made my exit & transition much easier than someone like you, who still has relatives w/ that mindset. ((((HUG))) to you…I can’t imagine having family reject me & I know folks who leave who have family in it much suffer a whole lot. :( I do see some people who are still in the group from time to time, but they pretty much avoid me, don’t go out of their way…it’s as if I am a stranger to them. That hurt real bad, but I made up my mind I would not give up who I am for those relationships. I could not just say “oooohhhh it’s all gooooood….I forgive….no problem” BS It wasn’t “all good” & I was absolutely finished playing pretend. I never was good at glossing over what I saw as the truth. Those groups have painted on false smiles…false joy…it’s all for show. It wasn’t truthful, it was very deceptive & I despised it, especially towards the end. At first, you don’t fully see it, but over time it becomes clear what it’s really about, & it aint about God.
    Just my opinion.

    I think the reason I’ve been able to undo much of the brainwashing is that I was NOT raised IFB. I was raised in a loving, somewhat liberal, very large Catholic family. My dad smoked & drank 7&7’s, we went to public school, sports, music, movies, television, etc….We didn’t have much $$, but the holidays were something very special. We would all sing Christmas carols at Christmas time & my dad would play the accordian for entertainment as well.

    I got sucked into the IFB during college & joined after graduating. It was a very uncertain & vulnerable time in my life. I wanted to be a better person, I knew I had made mistakes…I was ready for some good changes to my life. IN steps an older student, getting her masters degree…& she really seems to have her act together! Over time she would quote the bible & finally loaned me some audio cassette tapes of a preacher. I listened & over time….not realizing it, the way the bible was used to manipulate & guilt me into accepting doctrines & agendas that I otherwise would not have accepted.

    I got sucked into the vortex. You can read some of my story on this site at the “shared stories” link. Over time, to the chagrin of my parents & family, I gave up Christmas, Easter, Halloween, my goals, my friends, my family (to a degree)…..it was expected all of my focus should be on this group,(the true church) leader & I guess God was somewhere in there. Although I was very sincere & naive & had no idea how bad it really was, until it was too late.

    Again, my saving grace was I REMEMBERED WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE FREE…I wanted to be free again!!! I felt in a prison in that group & so longed for the days when God loved me, no matter what. I missed the good times of the holidays & I missed my family…

    Well Deb, I’ve rambled & I apologize for how long this is!

    It’s not an easy road, but I hope you can find peace & realize that God is not some abusive deity waiting to hurl lightening bolts at us, but I believe in God’s goodness & mercy. Hang in there & I think you are doing GREAT for all you have been through.
    Yours,
    April

  161. anonymous says:

    i have been following independent baptists for some years or so, and at first being baptist seemed lovely, then i realized some of them were so lovely and some of them were just pure trashy people. there are the arrogant ones and the fake ones. the fake ones like to hide behind what they say and lie about what comments they make to other poeple. in person theyre real nice…but they can also talk behind your backs too. i knew a lady who couldnt make it to church every sunday and they were talking about her behind her back like she was crazy. she wasnt crazy she just had an “Episode” of a mental illness…seems like they didnt care. some of them are so lovely. anyways i left because i felt like they were being deceptive and trying to manipulate people with mindgame tactics….though they have wonderful doctrine and go soul-winning, some of them are so fake when it comes to treating people with common deciency. they expect apologies and they cant even apologize for the bad things they say to other peoples faces, and behind their backs. when you say something at least have the courage to honestly respond when someone asks you! now that i think about it, i kind of wish i never went to the church at all, i wish i went to other churches that do believe in being “Saved” and following the bible. they are wonderful when it comes to doctrine but some are so unloving when its involving people are rumors! because of that, i have known some people who left that church with the denomination… it was fake! but some were so loving, thats the worse part. just because they look decent with their clothes it doesnt always mean that they will all act the same. some people i know left because their actions pointed in a way different to their “holy” doctrine. there are nice people there, but not everyone is as nice as the doctrine. who doesnt want to be modest? thats nice, but what about being modest in actions and day talk?

  162. anonymouss says:

    anonymous : who doesnt want to be modest? thats nice, but what about being modest in actions and day talk?

    i hate to be bashing them on here. but i noticed those flaws. also theres one-sided gossip that they do sometimes. about other people, and other churches. they are wonderful in everything else but it may not have been for me. sometimes i question how some people can deal with the arrogance that some baptists happen to have. the “Soul-mate” teaching is what is taught to make christians believe that having a “soul-mate”…no, not all christians have a soul mate so they shouldnt be going around telling everyone they have one in sunday school. it isnt correct. might as well just tell them that the bible teaches that not every christian will have a soul mate. also, their doctrine about salvation is not legalism. they do beleive that accepting christ is the way to heaven and what they do is go door to door inviting poeple to church telling them how to be saved, (go to heaven) by believing in jesus. if anyone isnt sure about how to go to heaven just tell god that “i accept jesus into my heart and i believe that jesus died for me on the cross, that jesus was risen on the 3rd day from the grave” and there you have it youre going to heaven cause you trusted christ.

    anyways some of the church folks were loving, but i regret ever having gone there. they are very smart with scripture which is wonderful, but after all that hypocrisy that i noticed, it made me feel as if some of them could not become trusted, which was awful, because i had to see some truths for myself. because of some of the advice i was first taught, i had more dilemmas than i originally had. i almost wish i hadnt have settled for that church, that i should have visited other churches before having gone to that one. what was attractive about that church is that there is a bus route. thats wonderful, but what about the bus workers? are they as wonderful as the bus route all the time? that i dont know.

  163. Deborah says:

    What a great post April. Your story is very inspiring. I hope you do find peace and can enjoy church again. I found a wonderful church that is near my house. One of my best friends is a deacon there. She is very involved with this baptist church, but is very open and understands about my tendency to keep my distance with organized religion. Due to the religious abuse growing up, I don’t feel compelled to be too involved with the church, but they don’t mind. They are happy to see me to the extent that I feel comfortable.

    The pastor is so kind and intelligent. He gives wonderful sermons that give me things to think about and examine in my life. He challenges you to seek God’s will and purpose for your life. I weep during most every service, because you can actually feel God’s presence in the service. The sermons are spiritual food and not used as a whip to beat you. I feel so good to attend and when I leave, I always thank God for giving me the opportunity to attend a real worship service. This is something that some of my family members have never had. (Not only are my parents still in the IFB church, but my younger brother, his wife and kids.) My brother doesn’t follow the dogma though. He takes away what he likes and leaves the rest.

    The churhc I attend is an older church with mainly older members, (over 45), but there are a few members with kids. You can wear anything you want to church such as pants, t-shirts, jeans, etc. and nobody minds. They just welcome you and are so friendly thanking you for coming. My friend who is a deacon always serves alcohol at her holiday parties. They don’t try to rule your life, but only help you have a better relationship with God.

    I hope you can find a place like that.

  164. nathanael loveless says:

    @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 nathanaelloveless@yahoo.com .God bless

  165. April says:

    @Deborah
    Thank you Deborah! I am glad you have found a church that works for you & no pressure.

    I will try to re-read some of your earlier posts.

    Did you post “your story” on this site?

    Take Care & all of the best to you! :)
    April

  166. anonymous says:

    @anonymouss

    @anonymous

    hi i wrote the previous posts also but not everyone in the church is bad. if you dont like it just leave. the bible says to s”peak no evil of the ruler of your people”. ifbc are certianly not legalists. if they are its because they are trying to make people believe they are so that the church members can conform to their lifestyles. the people arent rotten, and some may be arrogant and may not follow all their rules, but its because the arrogant chose not to do so. n every church theres at least a group of people who dont accept every part of the “good church people behavior”

  167. bob says:

    Anonymous,
    I agree that not all IFB people are bad. I am sure that there are a number of good people in these churches that genuinely want to follow Christ. I also agree that they teach salvation correctly.
    However, IFB churches tend to be extremely legalistic. They don’t add works for salvation, but they do add rules for daily living, and plenty of them. Legalism is depending on your ability to keep the rules to be right with God. The bible teaches living by faith. I want to do what pleases God because I have already been made right with God.
    I would also point out to you that pastors are not ” rulers of the people”. If they would like to be first, they must become servant of all. God’s leaders are not to be dictators, but servants.

  168. Deborah says:

    April :@DeborahThank you Deborah! I am glad you have found a church that works for you & no pressure.
    I will try to re-read some of your earlier posts.
    Did you post “your story” on this site?
    Take Care & all of the best to you! April

    Yes, April. I made my first post on this thread on Feb. 16 about my story. I also posted more about it on Feb. 18, 22,24 and 25.

    I was so excited to find this site. I know there must be many more people who experienced what we have. Some kids are still going throw that abuse. It breaks my heart, but there is really nothing you can do about it.

  169. Don P says:

    I agree with alot of what most everyone have talked about, although I believe that some of what is being called obusave seems to me as just being seperated from the world, such tings as listing to worldly music, and destroying ungodly CS’s or movies. These are things which a person who wants to grow closer to God would not mind doing. I think we need to be carful not to be quick to judge, be absalutly sure that any thing you are asked to do can be biblicaly backed up. I my self have been an Indipendent Baptist for over 30 years. While I agree with most of the standards set forth by our pastor, I would not go along if I thought fo one second they were not biblicaly based. We have standards such as people dressing appropetly, attending worldly movies, allowing ungodly music or material in our homes, but all these are not forced on us rather it is a choise we as individuals make ourselves and we would never ever impose any standards on a new visitor or believer. God uses the preaching of the word to teach and train new and old christians alike.

  170. Deborah says:

    Don P. I appreciate your comments, but based on your words, it doesn’t sound as if you were brought up in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. Those of us who were have an entirely different take on the matter. When you say teachings were not forced on you, I chuckle. Everything I saw in the church was forced. It wasn’t done with a handgun, but with mind control and firey sermons that caused fear.

    I don’t think people usually realize they have been brainwashed or unduly influenced. They may realize it down the road, but usually don’t have the open mind to see it when they are under the influence.

    I fully support the right for everyone to worship as they choose, but I do take offense when the rights of children are trampled upon or when people get sucked in by false prophets. I saw plenty of both while growing up in one of the IFB churces.

    I’m curious Don P. What brought you to this board?

  171. Paul says:

    Don P stated:

    We have standards such as people dressing appropetly, attending worldly movies, allowing ungodly music or material in our homes, but all these are not forced on us rather it is a choise we as individuals make ourselves and we would never ever impose any standards on a new visitor or believer. God uses the preaching of the word to teach and train new and old christians alike.

    I find this interesting. My old IFB pastor used to preach a message that stated that the two legs on which the church stood were standards and soul winning. It all sounded good but I could never find any scriptural reference that backed this. Standard are about ethics. They always have been and always will be about ethics. No one ever came to Christ through standards. They came because He invited them into a relationship so they could know His Father. No one ever grows in the Christian life through standards. They grow through a continued relationship with the Son of God. Life in Christ is not about ethics but relationship. When we fall into the illusion that there is something I must do or can do, then we erect standards believing this will win us favor with God. Or there’s a certain way He wants us to live so be must do this or not do that. The more we lean into the standards lie the further we distance ourselves from what God desires. The Jews had 613 do’s and don’ts in the law and it was these “standards” that blinded them to who Jesus was.

    How much would Jesus be criticized by our standards today. How he dressed, where he went, who he spent time with. If our desire is a close relationship with the Father, standards really don’t come into the mix.
    “God uses the preaching of the word to teach and train new and old Christians alike?” Really. Or do we use the preaching of the word to conform others to what we want? Then we go out with the “Good News” to threaten unbelievers with Hell so we can conform them to His standards.

    I got into the IBF movement because I wanted to do something great for God. I got out because I wanted to join Him in the great work He was already doing. And, Oh my, it looks so much different from what I thought it was when I was in the IFB churches. Totally enjoying the relationship w/Him!! Letting Him lead and enjoying the journey.

    I John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    Or – teaching for doctines the commandments of men.

  172. Jen says:

    Hi people!

    I saw someone mentioned CBC (Cornerstone Baptist Church) in Colorado Springs… there is a large and growing membership there and it’s a really accepting church. I had a really positive experience attending there when I lived in Colorado Springs and miss the Pastor’s biblical teachings and the fellowship, and the music. There were a lot of families and the children were all respectful, and the people there were loving and really great to be around. As far as dress and clothes are concerned… I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to cover up more than you show off –as far as your body is concerned– because there is too much nudity around today as it is. We need standards. I’ve seen a lot of WRONG attitudes from people dressed with “modern” clothes, too. We are all human. All churches have some undesirable things going on because they have humans in them. I must also add, I have had pretty rotton experiences in other denomination churches-non-denominational, Catholic, charismatic, evangelical, etc… I think it is not good to lump all baptist churches because at CBC I had a great experience. It’s great to have a place to converse about this. Thanks for reading!

  173. Terry Carter says:

    I’m new to the site, so forgive me for asking a stupid question. Is the IFB you refer to a fellowship of churches or exactly what does it refer to? I am a true independent Baptist. Yet, like you, I don’t agree with some of the bad practices you mention.

  174. April says:

    Deborah, Just read your posts….WOW! Been there, done that!

    I don’t have a lot of time right now, but some things that crossed my mind as I read your comments…
    ~other preachers were always looked down on & accused by pastor of doing sermons to “tickle peoples ears” (they weren’t serious enough, just wanting folks to feel good. Gee…what a sin to give folks some hope!!!???? I would leave the sermons feeling beat up & abused half the time)

    ~I can’t tell you how many “professions of faith” I heard that included the KJV as being the “true word of god”….since when is faith professed in a book have anything to do w/ believing in Jesus & God????…but, with MANY of the IFB/Primitive Baptist sects, the KJV issue is now an issue that has caused a hell of a lot of division within Christendom

    ~There is NO amicable way to leave the (cough cough) “church”.
    “church” meaning their little cultic group/sect. Nobody, but nobody leaves on good terms. Anyone who leaves is usually “church disciplined” & “excommunicated”, slandered from the bully pulpit, shunned… the verse used is usually the one in Hebrews “forsaking the assembly”

    Well, enough for now….I’m just so so happy to be out of Fundymentalism!!! I will never trust a pastor, ever, ever again….I will never walk in a building where there is a preacher who has absolutely NO EARTHLY ACCOUNTABILITY. Anyone like that has become a law unto themselves…..they’ve set up their own little fiefdom.

    God sees it for what it is. & folks NEED to speak out. Those who tell others to not speak of the abuse are HIDING ABUSERS. The truth needs to come out into the light. The truth isn’t a fraid of the light, but those who feel the need to “hide” the deeds & doctrines of their little cultic group & leader show themselves for exactly what they are.

  175. Deborah says:

    April, It sounds like you experienced many of the things I did. How people stay in it, is beyond me. I will never forget when I first attended a church that I felt good when I left. I felt spiritually fed, not abused. I regret that most of my family dosen’t even know what that is like. They have been in it so long, they think the insults and putdowns are what they need! We once had an evangelist preach to our IFB Christian school, that every morning when you get up, you should look yourself in the mirror and say “Drop dead, you are a totally worthless person.” I’m not kidding. He was trying to promote humility I guess. He went on and on about how horrible we were as humans. We already had very timid, religiously abused kids in the school. I feared they might hurt themselves. He was such a jerk. He was very mean to his wife. He should have not been allowed anywhere near children, but he was God’s man so his word was gold. LOL

    What I hate the most is that my parents pride themselves on their long time devotion to their church. They deeply believe that it has made them better people. I’m sure it would hurt them to know that they are worse people for getting taken over by the IFB. The best parts of them left long ago. They have mellowed some now that they are older and they have some positive traits, but most of them you have to sift for because they are saturated with mean spiritness, narrow mindness and superioty.

    I don’t know of any friend or family member who would ever discuss religion with them because they use it like a weapon against you. It has alienated many people, but my parents think it’s the other person’s fault and that it’s other people who are just not right with God.

    I’m torn as to whether I should ever tell them how I feel about it. They are now in their late 60’s and early 70’s. I’m not sure what would be gained. I guess I feel like an abused child. Would it be right to pretend they didn’t abuse me if they had beat me with a weapon? Religious abuse is different, but it’s still bad. Should I just keep my opinion to myself or tell them how I feel?

    They know I refuse to attend their church, even for special occassions such as homecoming, family day, etc. Sometimes I just want to say, “I don’t like your church. I never liked your church. It’s a very dangerous place to go. It robbed me of good chldhood and of the good parents I had before you got brainwashed. I lost my real parents when you got sucked up into the IFB dogma. Your insistance and devotion to the teachings of the IFB shows your ignorance. I wish you would break free of the IFB so you could actally enjoy a loving relationship with God before you die.” How’s that? Too mean? I might could soften it a little.

    Any thoughts?

  176. April says:

    ((Deborah))

    I recall leaving after a sunday beat-up sermon & feeling low. I mentioned to another member that I didn’t need to be beaten up every Sunday. She glared at me & yelled “we NEED to be whipped!” That’s the mentality. Also, I think it’s easier to CONTROL people if they are constantly being beaten down & made to feel unsure of themselves. Hurtful comments, as you wrote, “worthless person” or what we were often told as Jehan Calvin popularized “Totally Depraved” “desperately wicked heart”…wouldn’t it be easier to control a group of folks who had pretty much ALL of their self worth & esteem ripped from them?

    I think these abusive controllers know that & that’s why they use the tactics they use. Just a hunch I have anyhow….

    As far as your parents…that’s a rough one there. If it were me, sheesh, I don’t know what I’d do. But…here are some things that crossed my mind thinking about you & your parents.

    I think if there is a way to let them know what you experienced & how you believe the IFB changed them negatively…, I feel they should know this. What do you think?

    At the same time, what would that information do to your relationship with them?? That I think is important. Also, if you tried to address these issues in a loving & not a harsh way…at least you would know you tried to be compassionate, but at the same time speak your truth.

    Maybe there is a way you could put it that wouldn’t be too harsh, of what you wrote I really liked “I don’t like your church. I never liked your church. It’s a very dangerous place to go.(maybe you could use the word “hurtful” which is not as judgmental as “dangerous”…though that is the truth isnt it?) “It robbed me of good childhood and of the good parents I had before you got brainwashed. I lost my real parents when you got sucked up into the IFB dogma.”
    “I wish you would break free of the IFB so you could actally enjoy a loving relationship with God before you die.”

    Maybe you could bring to their minds pleasant memories of your childhood BEFORE they joined the cult. Try to get them possibly to recall the fun & pleasant times, love of life & the feeling of God’s unconditional love they might have felt before joining abusive religion. You won’t know how they will react, maybe w/ fondness or maybe w/ the standard IFB dogma.?????

    Again, these are just ideas floating around in my head.

    Do you have something inside of you that really wants to tell them how their belief system, namely the IFB hurt & damaged you? Hurt & damaged your relationship w/ them & their lives in this world?? I think if this really eats away at you & bothers you, then perhaps it might be something that you need to do. Everyone is different so you will know whether your parents might need to hear some of the ugliness of the truth, or to soften it a bit????

    Well Deborah, these are just thoughts of mine, ultimately you should do what YOU feel is best in your situation because all of us are very different. What might work for me, might NOT work for you in your situation. So I do hope that you will do what you feel is the best.

    All the best to you with this situation. (((HUG)))

    I’d give you my email, but I don’t want to put it up here & make it public. You seem like a beautiful person & I wish you only
    the best! With HOPE, April

  177. bob says:

    Deborah,
    I think I understand why you feel the way you do about your parents church. I wouldn’t attend the churches special services either. Going to their church for any reason only validates their system. It would only give them hope that one day you will ” see the light” and come to their church.
    I am somewhat familiar with their tactics. Especially pastors and graduates from Hyles- anderson college, should be given special scrutiny. My wife attends a church pastored by a Hyles proto-type. You wouldn’t believe the manipulation they use to try to get me to go to their church. Actually, you probably would believe it. My wife has actually left me, teaches Sunday school, and the church doesn’t have a problem with that. The pastor says that I must go back to church there, submit to him, and then he can work on trying to restore our marriage.
    These are the the kind of people I have been dealing with. I am sure you know them as well. It is as if they see things completely upside down. There is no reasoning with them. Whenever you try to use Scripture, they get mad and walk away. The truth however, is the only thing that is going to do any good. The truth in love of course, and God working in their hearts to see a true picture of Christ.
    I read a verse the other day, you might find it interesting ( Rom. 16:17-18). It is certainly an odd situation to be in where the people you love the most, and the people who should love you the most, well, it’s like they hate you. The whole situation baffles me.

  178. April says:

    bob :
    …. The pastor says that I must go back to church there, submit to him, and then he can work on trying to restore our marriage.
    These are the the kind of people I have been dealing with….. Whenever you try to use Scripture, they get mad and walk away.

    Bob,

    I just had to comment on some of what you wrote, which I have quoted above. The first one, seems like the pastor is on some power trip, big time! And it’s ironic how they can scream scriptures from the bully pulpit to back up their opinion, but when you find scriptures that are contrary to their interpretations & manipulations they just can’t take it. As if they are the only ones who can a read a bible!

    These guys are full of themselves & their egos. too bad so many folks continue to stay & put up with the BS. When people stay in it, it gives the abusers support & validation, thus keeping the machine alive & well & further damaging people’s lives. ***SIGH****

    Thanks for letting me vent about that. All the best to you.

  179. bob says:

    It is a real shame that people get caught up in this sort of thing. I believe that there are some good well-meaning people in these types of churches. There are some people who just don’t know any better and are misguided to some degree.
    There is no excuses though, for the pastors and leaders who lord power and control over God’s flock. These are the ones who will face greater judgement because they know God’s word. These are the ones who should be caring for and protecting God’s flock.
    In reality, I feel sorry for pastors who abuse their position. If they they knew how awesome, and powerful, and holy God is, I think they would be trembling to think about their responsibility to God. I would never want to be in their shoes.
    People may appear to be getting away with their sin, and for a time it may seem to be forgotten. However, we are all going to stand before Christ and give an account. Remembering this is good for me as well.

  180. Nan says:

    @JLR I would like to talk to a pastor who is not part of my IFB church. I was not saved until age 22 and came to a baptist bible college with my H an boys age 4 and 6. I am now 60 and the journey has been blessed and sexualy abusive. I t started with me when a drama teacjer became flirty, he later ledt the college with his group of female admirers and wife with 4 kids. I saw thr wolf even at my young age of 22,however I became depressed and confussed by this. I was hospitalized and the IFB pastor Mr President did not want the diagnosis written down since my H taught at the IFB grade school, I rexieved not treatment as it would not look good. I also did not name the Flirty Offender. That ended in a divource after W discovered the rel H was having with the women that followed.
    I should have learn from that but apparenty did not since when my son became 15 we were called in by th principal of the IFB achademy to tell us his 25 yr older teacher was caught in a motel room by her H with my son. Well needless to say my H was promptly fired by Mr President and we were sent away as bad parents as was the Bad teacher sent on her way. Our family did not survive this well and I eventualy divourced my H due to feeling he should have stood up to the IBF for the sexual abuse. ( That son is currently in treatment for addictions and extreem anger at the church, Even refuses to use NA since they talk about God.
    I went on to do my masters at a st university and am a psychotherapist in private practice today. If that were only the end of it. About 4 yrs ago my other son who had become alcohalic a depress disclosed in a histarical breakdown how he had been sexualy abused at the IFB grade school during a spanking for not doing his homework. He described the offens in detail while weeping uncontrollably saying I could not tell you Mom because I was how you suffered with my brothers abuse. I remember the day he came home at age 10 not being able to sit down in the car, and when I asked him what was wrong he said I got spanked and my butt is bleeding. I looked at the stripes on his upper bottom and there were small beads of blood. That was not the blood he was talking about as I know now.
    I went to the church and the perpetrator but ofcourse the Perp did nothing and the new Mr Prisident does not believe my son because of his alcoholism and the Old Mr President remembers that I had been depresed once. I am still attending as is the perp but am being told FORGIVE and more FORGIVE but the perp is not held responsible and praised from the alter for his wonderful career, keeping the state out of the affairs of the church.
    I am so sad. Both boys are working in therapy today but it will never be OK. I love God I am forgiving of the perps but why does the church hide the Wolf amoung the inocent sheep,
    Need Good Spiritual Guidance.
    Nan

  181. bob says:

    Dear Nan,
    Why don’t you name the abusers, that way they will not be able hide among the sheep and cause more damage.

  182. Nan says:

    @bob
    The abusers have been named to the Pastors and school abministrators, The school informed us of the 1st sons abuse and sent everybody on there way by taking the job. The pastor in my seconds sons abuse knowns the name and feels no need to report it since HE does’t believe it, so based on his non belief nothing is done. I am the M. My son is unable to even say the name outloud due to overwhelming anxiety although he has talked with the pastor, and is not believed. That traumatizes us again.
    It is my hope he will get strong enough to move ahead in some way from his fear. Therapist may use EMD to bring fear down.
    It was my hope by bringing it to the attention of The President that they would do something other than NOT BELIEVE, so we are stuck in the situation waiting to be believed. Thanks for you interst. Pray for the Pastor to see the way I guess?
    Nan

  183. bob says:

    Dear Nan,
    Why would you stay in a church where the leadership doesn’t believe you? Trust in a church environment is basic to its function. How can two walk together unless they agree? Your attendance at this particular church says to the leadership that you agree with their judgement and support their decisions.
    This must be extremely confusing for your children. It must cause them a lot of anxiety to see the person who loves them the most, supporting the people who are responsible or covering the harm done to them.

  184. David Emme says:

    Am not saying I am all knowing, but in my expetriance for 20 yrs now(funally leaving) I tend to see quite a bit is more about using the flesh to clean from sin(a house divided will not stand). Not sure what everyone thinks, basically 14 years ago I adopted Calvinism and really would see years later to make this connection. Right at the same time this happened-I was going to Bible College-OCBBC and all of a sudden-this one thought has come to mind-they say they are saved by grace and act like they are saved by works. Ultimately the conclusion for me was the sin nature is not the propensity to do evil bt to depart from God and self reliance of self redemption in self righteousness by the knowledge of good and evil as this opened Adam’s eyes and now he determined righteousness-not God. There is quite a bit going into this-this is the most boiled down I can make it that we use the sin nature-knowledge of good and evil to sanctify ourselves from sin which by the way-no where in scriptures does it teach we sanctify oursleves but only sanctify the Lord God and his word in our heart when it is God who sanctifies(do we really think we can now overcome sin when it is so obvious quite a few Christians sin?) This is where I give the words of Christ-A house divided against itself will not stand as Christ taught in Matt 16-deny yourself and pick up your Cross and follow me(Christ). These were not the easiest thinhgs to learn by a long shot-but I learned them.

    For me, I just hope many will see and understand and for many years God was merciful to me-to extend the same mercy to others which is not exactly the easiest thing to do. Besides this-mercy should not compromise faith.

    God bless
    Dave Emme

  185. Nan says:

    @bob
    I agree trust is iportant, It is hard to separate from the authority of the pastor dogma, but I am feeling the hoplessness of continuing to try and worship there. How ever if we all leave when there is abuse where is the refermation ever going to start. My boys do not understand and maybe I need deprograming from the idea they are the TRUE church, I graduated from a IFB college for undergrade and the idea of them having the truth and others do not has been drilled into my head, Gus me thinking I could get the Pastor to see and believe the harm that has been done is unrealistic, I pray that God would open the eyes of Mr President. I am not a member, Was taken off the membership when my marriage broke up and I got divourced. I could never join it again, Does God want me to point the light at the abuse since it is embedded in my families suffering over these 30 some yrs? Perhaps the cost is too high to continue to attend. Who’s voice will be heard? God doesn’t want this kind of suffering in His churches, I feel burdened for my family and others to atleast try to shed a light.
    Nan

  186. bob says:

    Dear Nan,
    Knowing when to stay to effect change, or leave is a difficult decision. I don’t know what else you can do to address the situation. The reality is, the leadership may never accept the truth. When things have been covered for a long period of time, repentance is rare.
    Sin effects the entire church. How can God bless a particular church and their ministries when sin is covered?
    You may want to look at attending a Bible church or another good church in your area. We all need to be around other people who genuinely love and support us.

  187. Michelle says:

    My experience is that my ex-pastor of an IFB church had conviction of the Holy Spirit confused….as a result those of us who sat and listened to the condemnation did as well. If you are feeling singled out fearful and extremely ashamed, then you are being manipulated and caused to feel less than worthy to live! That is man! When the Holy Spirit points out things in our lives, it is gentle, there is peace and hope- knowing something can be done about it- you don’t feel like the worst failure on the planet! THAT is conviction! I NEVER experienced conviction at that church- just major anxiety, fear and shame. Alone at home, in my private time with the Lord, I began to see the difference! Our pastor enjoyed seeing people afraid to see him in public if they weren’t dressed “properly”, etc….I doubt that is how Jesus operates- in fact, that is NOT how he operated in the New Testament. Just some thoughts.

  188. Carrie says:

    I appreciate your being here for us. I’d be back later for I’d like to share more but have to hurry off for the husband is returning from his church which has demolished our marriage completely. Thankyou for it helps to read these very very similar things by others. I’d like to encourage others that God has seen me through and He is not like what they believed if they’d never got a picture of Him outside the Independent Baptist churches.

  189. Carrie says:

    I haven’t read every comment yet, (but I certainly intend to for it has been wonderfully helpful to read what you’ve shared here. I must smile as I tell you one that really sounded like “I wrote it” (although I’m sorry that I can’t quote it exactly–I’m looking back for it). BUT, it was similar to ‘you realize something is really wrong when you want to RUN out of a church service!” I’ve known the Lord for about 50 years, (even if I went off doing my own thing and ignored Him during my college and eary marriage years)–and I’d NEVER experienced anything like these things. (my experience that you all are describing so perfectly).
    I’ve found some more balanced IFB folks over the internet as I’ve searched for help since my marriage was literally destroyed by these people. (It’s my 2nd one for first husband died, thankfully he’d never set foot in a IFB church I’m thinking now–for he did give his life to the Lord in a Southern Baptist church.) BUT that seems to be the hook–so many ‘churches’ are getting liberal that these IFB ones SOUND so very good–(but one just doesn’t realize when you get more into them that you’re fixing to get beat up if you ask a question about their beliefs or just want to discuss Scripture if you’re a woman and you are quickly brought to know that ‘EVE WAS DISCEIVED so you probably are too, being a woman”etc etc…and then judged and condemned for asking…it was so amazing that they could destroy what was a great marriage (My husband just bought it all hook, line and sinker–liked the ‘being in control’ of your wife idea)–and they can destroy and judge your heart ‘in the name of Jesus’–SO that is why I appreciate this site. FOR it is so very very wrong to misrepresent our Lord and be haughty while you share the Gospel. They have had a double standard and do ‘respect persons’…As you’ve said above: it’ ok for the preacher to sin.
    Worse: a woman needs a ‘priest’ to tell her which Scriptures apply to her, as she reads–or if they only pertain to men…
    THAT’s just terribly wrong…and could destroy a woman in so many ways…
    So I hung back from joining and my husband said I was “in rebellion against God!!!!” BALONEY! I just miss my husband –he became a clone of his preacher that he exalted way way too highly…and the guy let him. So we all know the Lord isn’t any too pleased sharing His glory wit these guys, is He?

  190. Carrie says:

    I can see you do understand and was trying not to make my comments too long. However, I do need to thank the Lord for His deliverance. I used to cry and cry myself to sleep for years, and my husband thought that was good for me and would misquote the scripture about “godly grief bringing repentance”–but he didn’t want my ‘input’ for I told him this kind of grief wasn’t ‘godly’ but wrongly inflicted by people (and I’d never seen “christian” people be so cold and with absolutely NO compassion/NO mercy, ever in my life.) It took many years of crying out to God (for these folks can really just about convince you that you are ‘slime’ (but, while they’re wrongly judging you. They have totally wrecked the esteem and trust, with which my husband had held me for at least 9 years, before getting with them. It’s like they’ve really washed out his brains and helped him sear his conscience. (This must be ‘demonic’). Certainly it could be demonic for SO SADLY they are looking like the type that Hollywood does movies about. That’s most horrible. I had thought Hollywood was just overtly lying to the public but when more and more of us are coming across real people like that in churches like many IBFs, these preachers and their supporters are being the ‘devils’ advocates’. You know how the devil does–mixing in error with some truth. (which subverts the whole thing–well it is leaven, and leaven of the Pharisees at that, as has been said above.) So this isn’t a place to air bad things but MORE it’s a place to help those who’ve been beaten up in Jesus’ name. The Lord gave me so many beautiful Scriptures over the years of watching my husband get worse here with these people–I hung on to them–even by my teeth for a long time–also hearing the misused ones by the ‘preachers and their spouses’ ringing in my ears…(the ones they quote but don’t live by)-and eventually God’s Spirit drowned out their perversions and hung on to me…it grew over these six years)…THEN he let me see a wonderful teaching by Miles J.Stanford–The Green Letters. All the things He had been teaching me to save me from this pharisaical legalism, were repeated by this gentleman. It’s like the Lord wanted me to get it straight from Him first for He knew I’d have a BAD problem in trusting ‘just anyone’ after all this. SO I write to encourage those of you hurting out there-just keep your eyes on Him and He will heal your heart as He is healing mine. He reassured me I am sanctified the same way I was saved–by faith. That I died with Him and now my life is ALL Him now! I AM a new creation! and these mixed up IFBs just need to read and take to heart the WHOLE New Testament and put up their ‘readers digest condensed versions’. Even if I don’t have a ‘husband’ anymore…I have a Husband always and soon He will wipe all tears away from my eyes and yours. He said to jump for joy when we’re cast away and reviled…and finally He reassured me that these people who can scratch sinful ears of men who want to be ‘over-lords’ and not leaders–well God assured me He DOES receive, love, and accept me! Things I thought I ‘knew’ but I have gotten what turned out to be a wonderful ‘refresher’ course–in the fiery furnace. SO I praise Him for it now. The giant boulder (the Pharisee type tries to put on one)–has been pushed away by the One Who sets and keeps us free.

  191. Carrie says:

    @April

    Dear April,
    You have so pricisely ‘nailed it’ as you’ve shared what you’ve been through. (You put it SO well, thanks! AFter what I’ve been through, my heart “was and is quickly ‘with you’ “–for what that’s worth. But it is worth a lot to me, to read your thoughts and I am grateful for them.
    It was hard to believe this wasn’t the “Twilight Zone” or something –I was hoping to WAKE UP for the last six years, but the nightmare just kept growing. I cannot believe these people who preach the Bible AT you but who can’t apply anything to themselves. Perhaps their consciences are seared from judging others in the ways James said NOT to–for they have put themselves in the place of God. WELL the devil wanted that place too so how are they different?
    It’s been un-real …these people SAY they are God honoring and fearing blah blah blah…but disregard the commandment Jesus gave us directly to “Love one another -and others will know we’re His followers” with ‘love’ like they’ve shown folks–all it leaves is for one to find some itty bit of kindness or compassion perhaps in a ‘bar’ or one can pay a mess of money for a shrink I guess.
    However neither will be necesssary for me. Despite what they think–(and what they think just doesn’t matter)–the Lord lives in me and loves me and is healing me (and you and the others) from their abuse. and now I can read His Word and grow, heal, and love hearing His voice and not their voices of perversion and subversion. Thanks for sharing for it has helped me, much, too.

  192. Carrie says:

    @bob
    Bob, I just wanted to thank you for your comments here. God has used them to help me. I knew you’d been through it but I also knew it was God’s Spirit directing your comments. (and THAT IS NOT something I could say in an IBF church, right? :O)
    I have ‘lost’ my husband to an IBF church and spin off. I appealed and appealed with Scripture and as kindly as I could but got to the Proverbs verse in my thinking too–(That a fool’s mouth invites a beating” and I was about willing to help out with that in recent years, sad to say, even if I’m making a joke here, (and you KNOW “they” have absolutely NO humor…and I know the Lord does)…so,anyway I got to see the real need for cleansing the Lord wanted me to maybe –haha and not what they were saying about me- I can’t believe the ‘condemnation and threats’ these people will so glady heap upon you–and they knew me only ‘weeks’ and just barely…whew! I’ll keep you and your wife in my prayers. (Sure appreciate yours for me and my husband who feels he is getting ‘martyr points’ or something for sticking with me. It’s painfully obvious every day…so sick. BUt He is coming back soon for us and I really want to share Him but am stuck by myself–family alienated…but God DOES give me the grace ‘they’ give lip-service to…he receives and accepts me and you totally…for you and I know that ‘we are IN His Son’…I found the “Green Letters” finally which confirmed things the Holy Spirit had been showing me over these last terrible six years…It was a good thing to know He was teaching me–those poor folks at my husband’s ‘church’ donn’t think God can teac a woman…and has given her an over-lord to control her. Isn’t that just demonic bondage! but there I go again.
    blessings and prayers to you.

  193. bob says:

    Carrie,
    It is good to see that you have been able to stand firm in freedom. I can just imagine the things you have seen and experienced. I wish there was some way to open peoples eyes. I know that God hears my prayers for my wife, it just may be a matter of time. I know God is good and His way is best.
    I certainly will pray for you and your husband.
    I am wondering what the green letters are. Also, what is the background of your husband’s pastor?

  194. Carrie says:

    Thanks for the encouragement for it’s been a ‘long haul’. I explained better in some letters that weren’t shown here. The preacher does ‘talk a good talk’, but my husband cannot see the seriousness of falsely accusing me for just asking questions (when we were just visting even).
    So since our marriage was in need of healing already, the devil used this guy to ‘finish us off’. It took so many years for me to be convinced that Yes! the Lord wanted me to remain in the freedom for which He had died to set and keep me free and that a woman wasn’t a lesser being in His eyes than a man. (I used to teach ladies ‘submission’ many years ago and it wasn’t ‘the kind’ rammed down womens’throats in this place.

    and the Green Letters is a compilation of teachings by a Miles J. Stanford who taught well about the true grace of God (not like these folks’ “grace Plus works” way of thinking. (I immediately was suspicious of the name…being around IBFs –but all it implied was “How” we grow…He does it! As you could see–by my ‘joke’ about proverbs–meaning the temptation arises when people misrepresent the Lord first, and attack your character and reputation…I can see MY need to abide in Him for His life to make me grow. These people without realizing it think they should work ‘with His help’ to serve Him so I’m sure their motives were right way back ‘once uponn a time’–BUT one cannot fulfill the right motives with the WRONG methods, the Lord showed me over these last six fiery years. It was good for me to go through this in that it made me seek Him more, read more of the Word and pray more –although at first one ‘hears in her mind’ those Scriptures ‘they’ used to attack her with…but then the HolySpirit gives more and more others to me and others so abused, to counter their misuse of Scripture…HOW DO they ignore chapters of ‘other’ verses to justify what they do to people?!
    Well you asked about his background…it’s always been in an IBF church but the older guy I wonder about-and didn’t learn…you sort of have to ‘approach his throne’ carefully to see if he will speak with you after church and then they do not spend time with others beside their immmediate ‘blood’ kin…nor do they come to the aid of the others…
    rarely anyway…I don’t understand that at all either. What about “BLood-kin?” instead of ‘blood-kin’? My husband sort of forced me to join the first one and then the spin off one began in our town east of there after about a year and a half. I was hoping they might be different, but at that time i still didn’t know much about IBF thinking. It gets into them at a young age, doesn’t it? So this young man was just the same identically. (and I’ve been accused of disagreeing with him ‘just because’ he was young. NO! that wasn’t it at all…but for it did turn out clearly after these years that it IS a ‘pride’ problem…for one doesn’t dare disagree or have a different idea from him or he gets very angry and attacks your reputation or character…
    IF that’s NOT perverted what is? These guys, (I saw clearly more later)- are setting themselves up so highly ‘to be as god’ and judge others’ hearts motives and intents…like James says NOT to do!
    It was unreal to me for I’ve been a Christian for 50 years, even if I’d gotten into the world right after high school for a time–but the Lord brought me back to Him! Isn’t He a wonderful Savior? He does keep working on us and if we think He needs our ‘help’ we are very deceived, aren’t we? We cannot do a thing…but abide in Him and THEN by believing that promise (of being sanctified by faith as well as being saved by faith–He does do the work in and on us! The Green Letters confirmed what the Spirit had shown me as I cried and cried out to Him, seeing my marriage be blown “In Jesus Name”

  195. bob says:

    Wow, that is a crazy story, and one that is very similar to my own. I am sure pastors in these types of churches find it easier to write of women. However, they did the same thing to me without any consideration for my leadership responsibility. I made the ” mistake ” of questioning the pastor and submitting to Scripture rather than the pastor. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter who you are, when you bump into their sensitive pride, you are going to experience their wrath. Like I said before, what we are going through today, is nothing compared to what false shepherds will experience in the judgement.

  196. Carrie says:

    So true! There is something really wrong with a so-called preacher who is told by God to be an example/leader, if he cannot even love you enough to ‘bear your burdens’ by caring enough to communicate with you about your concerns or just plain enthusiasm about Scripture and questions pertaining to both. There are just so many dozens of Scriptures that they don’t seem to want to address or go by. So I thought Steve’s illustration of the ‘poop in the brownies’ couldn’t have been better said. It’s just the reverse of what his friend said about ‘not throwing out the baby with the bath water’-(and Steve answered that perfectly–for leaving the poop in mixed with ‘perfectly good things’ does cause many to throw out the ‘baby’ (the Bible, the Gospel, and sadly even turn away from the Lord). If Paul said he was incensed about peoples’ faith being hurt, can one imagine just what the Lord feels about such? Well, He has clearly stated what He thinks about such things-all through the Bible. But the poor people who start choking on the poop and backing away are believing the preacher, his wife, and the others are really representing the Lord; I’ve seen it, too. And I’ve appealed and appealed to them for us to work these things out now like Luke said-to go to them (I agreed I don’t want to go to them without someone else in the room-I have MY reputation to look out for just like they’ve said they do). WELL Let’s meet in the yard then! NOPE. For I’ve given them every ‘out’–just asked if they could even consider the idea that they ‘misunderstood’ me and thus mishandled my husband’s and my situation (which they most certainly did over and over)-but they cannot even bring themselves to think they could have made even a little mistake apparently. So it’s at that point I can’t help but start wondering if they are not ‘false shepherds/hirelings’ who donn’t care for the sheep, instead of true preachers who just have some ‘pride/drive to over-lord’ problem That’s not at all like our Lord, as you know, Bob. I finally got to the part after the verses about going to them and getting it right’–where it is just as you said…if they don’t it goes to THE Judge. It amazes me how they don’t apply things to themselves–like where James talked about what the ‘wisdom from above’ is–and one characteristic is that it is ‘easily entreated’. (NO-doesn’t apply to these guys who are apparently worried that one is ‘challenging their authority’–there they go again, usurping God’s). And why don’t they even consider Luke 16:10 that says that “he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust in much.” So preachers who think they’re above being accountable for the harm they inflict–or who will not even consider a person’s ‘crying out to them that they’ve harmed him’ smear our just God’s reputation, misrepresenting Him as being a ‘respecter of persons with double, non equitable, standards’–like the nasty, capricious, (demonic) ‘gods’ of the greeks that just liked to hurt people; or who’d agree that ‘some animals or more equal than others’ (like in Animal Farm). So YES! perhaps people coming here will see that God’s Word was intended to be a love-letter to His sheep; and no human should try and get in God’s way by taking disagreeing with what God says about a person who has become a new creation in His sight. They should have godly fear of mishandling people and their marriages, but it doesn’t seem the ones I’ve met, do.

  197. April says:

    @Carrie
    Hi Carrie, I am glad that sharing some of my experience has resonated with you & made you feel that you are NOT alone. :)

    I am so sorry about your marriage. I saw marriages destroyed because of the supposed “truth”. In the group I escaped, if one of the people in the marriage didn’t follow pastor’s teachings, believe the same, or join the cult, that was an A-OK for the “believer” to leave the marriage. The person, like yourself, who wouldn’t swallow the dogma, hook line & sinker, is considered an “unbeliever”….& so the “brainwashed believer” is free to walk away from the marriage & I would bet, encouraged to do so. DEMENTED DEMENTED thinking that is!

    I am glad for you that you have the courage to QUESTION. and you are so right, these supposed “men of god” have set up a system with NO CHECKS & BALANCES, NO earthly ACCOUNTABILITY. They have set themselves up to be a law unto themselves & using God’s name to continue on the power trip.

    Well dear Carrie, I wish the best for you…I hope that you can keep moving forward in a good way. Again, I am sorry for the destruction of your relationship w/ your husband…it’s just HORRIBLE what these religious dictators will do to keep their “flock” in lock step. I hope someday your x sees the abuse for what it is…though I think some folks just want & need someone to dictate to them God’s will, like they need approval from a religious leader to validate them. I understand that disease all too well. But everyone has a breaking point & I got tired of being used & abused. Never again.

    So thankful & happy to be out of that abusive concentration camp!!

    Take CARE!!! :)

  198. Carrie says:

    Dear April,
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. The encouragement one receives here on this site is wonderful and reminds me of what is described in 2Corinthians,Chapter one about the compassion which comes from other Christians ‘who’ve been through things’–it is the kind that does the most good.
    Your prayers mean a great deal to me (yours and Bob’s and anyone else who feels so led to). My husband insists on ‘no divorce’ (and I think he thinks he is going to ‘get me saved’ or I’m going to ‘repent and join them’ someday. However he divorced me out of his heart and affections many years ago, after starting with these IFB people. With each passing month and year he has changed into a hard, over-bearing,’religous’ person instead of that gentle, Christ-like, ‘leader’ man I married. They’ve ruined his ‘Christian witness’ for he is now growing more into their ‘image’ instead of the Lord’s, as I believe the Scriptures indicate that God promises to always be working on us to become (His Image)- while in this world–and THAT attracts others to Him (when He is lifted up” in that fashion. And sure! we share His Word with others, EVERY opportunity we get and see what the Holy Spirit wants to do –it is the Sp…(even we women do). “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” it says in John 6:63 (I love the language of the KJV and feel it hasn’t left out anything important like the NIV for ex. but I know God is mighty to use whichever Bible to speak to peoples’ hearts). So I meant to just say, if He is making me the ‘way out–the way of escape’ that He promised. Maybe it is because He definitely IS coming very soon and here I’m learning to lean on Him more than ever before and He has given me much grace, for I haven’t seen a way to get ‘out’ yet. (for one thing my family has disinherited and dumped me, too–for they have a similar mindset–Don’t ever disagree with a guy who has a title. (and I’m sure appreciating the book of Job! Isn’t it great?!) So I’ve been trying to wait it out with him, even if he’s gone a lot and it is very hard to watch him take off ‘to church’ without me. We were so very close in our first years together-sharing the Scriptures and the Lord.
    These preachers should know God isn’t pleased with man who participates in bringing a marriage ‘asunder’ as the verse says. It is serious business. So why aren’t they quivering in their boots? They should be.
    I do ask for mercy on my health–it was getting bad after ‘my beloved’ dumped me for these good sounding people (and they do flatter him and vice versa; but then I started dwelling on His promises and He has increased my faith and is healing and cleansing my heart of bitterness…(and by faith I believe He is working to bring me to forgiving them more and more –I believe it just takes some time. BUt it’s important, if one sees that a ‘church’ isn’t living up to all the Scriptures, but brags that it is–to alert people that that is happening. So good for Steve! and bless you April! I’ll keep you always in my prayers too.

  199. Christian Truth says:

    I was in a good IFB with nice pastor but have seen enough bad things, visiting preachers who screamed ears off and one who insulted church member from the pulpit, after moving an IFB pastor preaching blind obedience to the government. Here is the deal, I believe “Come out of her” now doesnt just apply to the Catholic, Mormon or liberal churches, but perhaps the entire church system. There are a few good hold outs and houses churches out there, but most of the church system is owned and infiltrated by Satan and Satan’s workers, and the baptists from liberals to fundies are owned by Mammon just as much as the Catholics, United Methodists, Mormons and rest of them.
    Always put God first and your relationship with Him. Read the writings of Jesus Christ yourself in the BIble and seek to obey them. Reject those who use religion for mind control, power, money, and bloodlust. We are in the time of the great falling away as 1 Thessolonians predicts before the “man of perdition” reveals himself [the antichrist].

  200. don says:

    I do not understand my independent fundamentalist baptist neighbor. He has five children all of the girls got pregnant in their late teens and moved back to their parents home with their IFB parents. The sons also bring their very young wives home and get them pregnant. My other neighbor commented:”whats with all the chicken hatching? Don’t they know where in a bad economy?!?! With church givings down in Detroit, and the poor Baptist father and mother struggling is their not a personal responsibility to their parents and their church who has to support them? Is this be fruitful and multiply or be fruitful and be stressed? Is this part of their doctrine or just plain stupidity? Perplexed in Detroit

  201. Carrie says:

    a p.s. to April:
    I meant to say I sure agree that one feels you’re OUT of the concentration camp when you get out, or are driven away from, an IBF church. That is one big thing the Lord showed me–that He has made us more than conquerors and the victory comes in yielding our thoughts to Him in what can be a minute by minute ‘battle’ at first. Talking with Him about all the blessings He has blessed you with, has really helped me tremendously–just like the good ole song said about “Count Your Blessings”– (and don’t let ‘them’ steal those good old songs from you–God had them first). And getting away from ‘them’ is one of our biggest blessings, isn’t it-just as you said, no matter what losses we’ve incurred. Sometimes when I slip into ‘going through the garbage dump of past memories’–especially about them, I do start to worry about THEIR salvation. For 1 John makes it so clear that if they don’t love their brother (in this case-their sisters, April)–they most likely don’t know Him at all…and He is coming back for those He knows and who know Him it says in another place, right? I do so want God to ‘love my husband through me’–pray for me that when he starts acting like an IFB zombie and gets cutting in his character assassination of me (which I try not to listen to-and try to keep the subject on general things in life)–but when he does I have sinned in anger–even cussed. He LOVES to remind me that he and they don’t cuss. But then I am tempted to say that “No, you don’t care enough about me to cuss–and you have the sin of tearing up a marriage’-but then he says I’m just self-centered. So I really want to yield to the Holy Spirit and let my husband see the Lord–in case he isn’t really saved after all. But God knows and it is His business what is in our hearts–NOT ‘theirs’. So, I just pray for him . Thanks for the ‘shoulders’ and ‘ears’. Pray for me to ABIDE in Him and He will do it! (shine in me–isn’t it wonderful that He would live his life in these imperfect vessels?!) and ‘they’ aren’t going to take that important, liberating truth away from THIS sheep!

  202. Ian says:

    I have studied, listened to, and read works by Independent Baptist and its affiliated organizations. All I can say is that they seem to have made an idol of their cherry picking pietism (pig out all you want, but NEVER EVER drink beer; Girls have to wear long dresses, but men can wear different kinds of fabric).
    They have also allowed their deep seated dislike for Catholicism to be manifested in malicious false witness (Trail of Blood).
    Of course I don’t hate the people, and pray for them. But their most visible advocates, street preachers, make it very hard to love them.

  203. Deborah says:

    Thanks to April and Bob for your comments. You make some great suggestions. I intend to start more dialoge about the issue over the summer. I plan to spend more time with my parents during this time. I’m also going to talk to my brothers and see how much they remember. I have never spoken to my brothers about it before. They did not bear the brunt of the abuse as I did, but I wonder if they recall how I was treated. I am curious as to their take on it. I always thought I got hit harder because I was the oldest, but now I think it was mainly because I was female. They are definitely treated in harsher way by the IFB IMO.

    I have always made a big deal about things I did as a child that my parents really frowned upon. I make sure they know how happy I was about those things. For example, when I visited with my cousin, we went to her Methodist church. I was thrilled and talked about it a lot. I have always talked about how I got to attend the Methodist church with my cousin. They actually met the Methodist pastor and got to know him pretty well as he was very kind and attentive to my great aunt and uncle in their time of sickness and loss of their parents. Tried as they may, they couldn’t find anything negative to say about the man, except he was a horrible Methodist and he read something other than the KJV of the Bible. LOL.

    My desire is not to punish my parents for mistakes they made with me, but to help them feel better about their own life. I think that is going to difficult due to their age.

    It’s going to be difficult to get an audience with my dad as he is glued either to sports or Fox News most of the time. LOL. What can I say. I think their church put their seal of approval on that network. I told my mom last year that it’s probably not good for my dad to watch it nonstop because I think it causes anxiety attacks in him and may cause his blood pressure to run high. It hasn’t made any difference.

    Once in awhile my parents will say something that surprises me and make me think they are evolving. Over the last year each of them has made a statement about a political/social issue that is VERY contrary to the IFB church position. Maybe there is hope.

  204. clydz says:

    @Carrie I’ve never understood the thinking behind the salvation by works system. If you believe you have works you have to do to be saved than it follows that you would welcome the toughest meanest plainest talking ministers and churches to help keep your self in line. My understanding is that we are saved by Grave not by works

    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    2 Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

  205. Carrie says:

    I’m glad you wrote for I was just wondering about you, hoping you’d still be around. I appreciated your comments with April for they were also a help to me. Now I can at least ‘sympathize’ with you (for what that’s worth) about your parental situation. Mine are members of a different kind of “Baptist” but which still have some very similar characteristics to the IFB kind. (of course, sadly, the IFBs are totally convinced that they are very superior to those other “Baptists”; however, those other ones do NOT allow one to differ with the preacher nor ask him questions, either. They have both fallen for the exaltation of someone with a title’ (which Job said he wouldn’t do). Women are left to their “Beth Moore” courses for their discipleship/growth or they wander off into ecumenical ‘bible studies’, looking for the fellowship they didn’t find at ‘church’–the latter one is what my Mom did and they convinced her that ‘doctrine’ wasn’t important. My husband loves to speak of that delusion, but he doesn’t see that the “love one another” part is just as important as the ‘doctrine’ part–for God says He is both: Love and Truth. My mom’s study group felt they had ‘love’, but you and I know that real love doesn’t leave OUT truth, either.) But then the IFBs seem to redefine ‘love’ as “REBUKE REBUKE REBUKE, as in “scold/chew out, sharply correct”, etc all the time. and when one needs some help or encouragement, they are most always very absorbed with their blood (not “Blood”) kin. WHEW! I bet you and I could share some ‘hair-curling’ things the preachers’ wives have said to us, too,I bet. So ‘love’, being an ‘action verb’ isn’t discussed in the IFBs I’ve been in, the way the Bible discusses it–like “bearing one another’s burdens, having compassion,etc”. And, like a brother up above said, one seldom ever hears about the work of the Holy Spirit in a believer. (The IBFs I’ve been around gave the impression that ‘they’ have Him but probably NOT you!” and “you” are highly suspect and “guilty until you prove yourself innocent”–and that is after they’ve only met you a very few times. And of course, one cannot ever defend themselves with these folks who feel they have to be your ‘investigators’ and ask you many questions (but don’t you dare ask them one-no matter how you phrase it or with what nice attitude–in their books your attitude is wrong if you differ; but I go on too much. I just can’t believe they’re ‘for real’ for I’ve been around (real) Christians for a long time –off and on–over the years. They’re the gentle (but still firm); kindly and compassionate, quieter, unassuming ones. (with ‘self doubt’–but with complete trust in Him and belief that He does NOT condemn us–but promised to finish what He began in us”.
    I think it is a true, HUGE ‘pride’ thing. Human nature wants to be a part of ‘the ones with the truth doing God’s will’, right? but it seems obvious that they’re like other denominations with that attitude: “you have to be a member of OUR church” or you’re off and perhaps unsaved.
    Perhaps their ‘god’ isn’t as big as ours, Deborah. They seem to have to help Him out –and especially like that ‘control’ thing. That appeals to the sin nature, and God alone is to be allowed to ‘control’ us. A husband who is a true leader doesn’t have to demand it, does he? A wife is glad to follow such a guy, but not if he’s following a pompous, arrogant person over the proverbial cliff (spiritual suicide).
    I’m hoping your parents’ hearts haven’t gotten hard like my parents. For I’ve known that ONLY God can soften them enough that they’d even ‘consider’ my thoughts. They made it very clear they don’t want me around for just answering my daughter’s questions about their ‘preacher’–I taught her that the only one that you shouldn’t question is God. The Bible makes it clear that mankind is fallible. (but my husband thinks these IFBs are not at his church. Isn’t that so sad?!)
    I’m beginning to think that ONLY when we stand before the Lord will their eyes be opened and they are going to be so horribly shocked and grieved that they were THAT blind to their pride. I sure ask God to reveal to me mine–‘they’ are quick to say I have plenty…but I am truly sad that these IFBs will ‘lose reward’ when He comes. (and then maybe some of them should double check that they are really His sheep-to persist in doing things He told them specifically in the Word, NOT to.)
    well, sorry I didn’t mean to write this much. What has been shared here has been encouraging. Now I pray we all just keep our eyes upon Him and off all (of them who) distract/hurt us in stead of who helps us grow.

  206. anonymous says:

    @candi

    they teach that at the baptist church, that baptists arent supposed to hang around non-IFB’s and non-christians, so try not to worry so much. shes saved and in church which is a good place for her

    stay strong!

  207. Arthur Lynch says:

    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.

  208. Carrie says:

    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.

  209. Carrie says:

    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.

  210. Carrie says:

    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.

  211. Deborah says:

    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.

  212. bob says:

    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.

  213. Morgan says:

    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.”

  214. Paul says:

    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

  215. John says:

    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.

  216. April says:

    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…$$$$$.

  217. Carrie says:

    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.

  218. Carrie says:

    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?)

  219. Carrie says:

    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

  220. Carrie says:

    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!

  221. Carrie says:

    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.

  222. Casey says:

    What is your opinion of Southern Baptists (who make up the majority of Baptists in America) and Calvinistic Baptists (ie John MacArthur).

  223. bob says:

    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.

  224. Morgan says:

    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/

  225. pastor nate loveless says:

    @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!

  226. pastor nate loveless says:

    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 nathanaelloveless@yahoo.com .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!

  227. Casey says:

    @Morgan
    Amen! I’ve seen that site and it could have been a parody by mocking atheists like Landover Baptist Church!

  228. Morgan says:

    @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.

  229. Casey says:

    @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?

  230. David says:

    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.

  231. Deborah says:

    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.

  232. bob says:

    Deborah,
    What pastor are you referring to?

  233. Deborah says:

    bob :Deborah,What pastor are you referring to?

    Here is a link.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_Roloff

  234. bob says:

    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.

  235. Carrie says:

    ;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.

  236. Carrie says:

    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’.

  237. April says:

    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!

  238. Carrie says:

    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!

  239. Pat says:

    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

  240. Paul says:

    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

  241. Carrie says:

    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.

  242. Carrie says:

    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.

  243. Carrie says:

    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.

  244. bob says:

    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.

  245. Morgan says:

    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?

  246. bob says:

    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.

  247. Carrie says:

    @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.”

  248. Paul says:

    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

  249. Betsy says:

    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.

  250. TNT says:

    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.

  251. Carrie says:

    @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.

  252. Amanda says:

    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.

  253. Carrie says:

    @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!

  254. Paul says:

    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

  255. Deborah says:

    @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.

  256. Pat says:

    @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

  257. Carrie says:

    @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’

  258. Pat says:

    @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.”

  259. Carrie says:

    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.

  260. Carrie says:

    @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!

  261. Carrie says:

    @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.

  262. Paul says:

    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?

  263. bob says:

    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.

  264. Paul says:

    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.

  265. bob says:

    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.

  266. Carrie says:

    @bob

    Amen, brother! well said ‘good and faithful servant’.

  267. Paul says:

    @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

  268. Paul says:

    @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.

  269. Paul says:

    @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

  270. bob says:

    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.

  271. Carrie says:

    @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.

  272. Paul says:

    @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

  273. bob says:

    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.

  274. Carrie says:

    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

  275. Carrie says:

    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’)

  276. Carrie says:

    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!

  277. Carrie says:

    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.

  278. JE says:

    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.

  279. Greg says:

    @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.

  280. Morgan says:

    @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.

  281. Carrie says:

    @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.

  282. Carrie says:

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

  283. Carrie says:

    @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.

  284. Mary says:

    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.

  285. Paul says:

    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

  286. bob says:

    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.”

  287. Morgan says:

    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!

  288. bob says:

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

  289. Carrie says:

    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!

  290. Michael says:

    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.

  291. Carrie says:

    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!

  292. Carrie says:

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

  293. bob says:

    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.

  294. Kevin says:

    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!

  295. bob says:

    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?

  296. Susan says:

    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?

  297. Carrie says:

    @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.

  298. Carrie says:

    @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.

  299. bob says:

    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.

  300. LR says:

    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.

  301. Carrie says:

    @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.)

  302. Steve hirsch says:

    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.

  303. bob says:

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

  304. carrie says:

    @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).

  305. david says:

    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

  306. bob says:

    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.”

  307. carrie says:

    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

  308. Winifred says:

    @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?

  309. Travis says:

    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

  310. bob says:

    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.

  311. Carrie says:

    @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!

  312. Carrie says:

    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.

  313. EBR says:

    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.

  314. Tony says:

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

  315. Denice says:

    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.

  316. Carrie says:

    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.

  317. carrie says:

    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.)

  318. Carrie says:

    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.

  319. Carrie says:

    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.

  320. EBR says:

    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.

  321. EBR says:

    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.”

  322. Carrie says:

    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.
    .

  323. Carrie says:

    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.

  324. Carrie says:

    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.

  325. EBR says:

    @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.

  326. EBR says:

    @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.

  327. EBR says:

    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.

  328. EBR says:

    What’s wrong with this comment?

  329. EBR says:

    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.

  330. Ryan says:

    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.

  331. Carrie says:

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

  332. norbert says:

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

  333. Ryan says:

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

  334. EBR says:

    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.

  335. EBR says:

    @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.

  336. EBR says:

    @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.

  337. Carrie says:

    @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.

  338. EBR says:

    @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.

  339. Carrie says:

    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

  340. Ryan says:

    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.

  341. EBR says:

    @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.

  342. EBR says:

    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.

  343. EBR says:

    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.”

  344. EBR says:

    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.

  345. Ryan says:

    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.

  346. Paul says:

    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
    pmayru@sbcglobal.net

  347. Paul says:

    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.

  348. bob says:

    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.

  349. Ryan says:

    @ 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.

  350. Paul says:

    @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

  351. Ryan says:

    @ 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;

  352. EBR says:

    @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.

  353. EBR says:

    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.

  354. Paul says:

    @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

  355. Ryan says:

    @ 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!

  356. EBR says:

    @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.

  357. EBR says:

    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.”

  358. EBR says:

    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.

  359. bob says:

    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.

  360. Pam says:

    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?

  361. EBR says:

    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.

  362. Darrin says:

    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.

  363. Ryan says:

    @ 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)

  364. Pam says:

    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.”

  365. bob says:

    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.

  366. Ryan says:

    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.

  367. bob says:

    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.

  368. greg says:

    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

  369. Paul says:

    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

  370. Paul says:

    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.)

  371. Paul says:

    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

  372. Morgan says:

    “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.

  373. David says:

    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!

  374. Rudy says:

    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!

  375. Rudy says:

    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.

  376. Pam says:

    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

  377. EBR says:

    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.

  378. EBR says:

    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.

  379. Joe says:

    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.

  380. David says:

    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.

  381. Kathy says:

    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

  382. Gordon says:

    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

  383. Gordon says:

    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

  384. Pastor Lynn says:

    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.

  385. bob says:

    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.

  386. bob says:

    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.

  387. EBR says:

    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.

  388. Gordon says:

    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?

  389. bob says:

    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.

  390. Allen Sanchez says:

    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!

  391. Daniel says:

    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.

  392. Daniel says:

    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

  393. Allen Sanchez says:

    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

  394. EBR says:

    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.

  395. EBR says:

    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.

  396. EBR says:

    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.

  397. EBR says:

    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.

  398. J.R. says:

    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….

  399. bob says:

    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.

  400. larry says:

    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.

  401. Mary says:

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

  402. John says:

    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.

  403. bob says:

    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.

  404. Brandie mcn says:

    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

  405. Paul says:

    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!

  406. J.R. says:

    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

  407. John says:

    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.

  408. bob says:

    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.

  409. Paul says:

    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/

  410. EBR says:

    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.

  411. bob says:

    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.

  412. John says:

    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?

  413. bob says:

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

  414. Paul says:

    “…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.

  415. EBR says:

    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.

  416. EBR says:

    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.

  417. EBR says:

    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.

  418. EBR says:

    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.

  419. John says:

    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.)

  420. Paul says:

    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.

  421. Paul says:

    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

  422. bob says:

    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.

  423. EBR says:

    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.

  424. Ali K. says:

    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”…

  425. EBR says:

    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.

  426. Ian says:

    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

  427. bob says:

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

  428. John says:

    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.

  429. EBR says:

    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.

  430. Harry says:

    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.

    • Harry says:

      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.

  431. JamesThomas says:

    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

  432. Al says:

    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!

  433. greg says:

    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

  434. Amanda says:

    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.

  435. greg says:

    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

  436. Allen Sanchez says:

    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!

  437. greg says:

    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

  438. Mark419 says:

    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!!!

  439. bob says:

    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.

  440. greg says:

    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

  441. christine says:

    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…

  442. christine says:

    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?

  443. greg says:

    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

  444. bob says:

    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.

  445. Morgan says:

    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”.

  446. Paul says:

    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/

  447. EBR says:

    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.

  448. EBR says:

    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.

  449. EBR says:

    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.

  450. EBR says:

    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.

  451. Jamie says:

    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.

  452. greg says:

    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

  453. bob says:

    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.

  454. EBR says:

    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.

  455. EBR says:

    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.

  456. EBR says:

    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

  457. EBR says:

    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.

  458. corey says:

    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

  459. RH says:

    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.

  460. Katie says:

    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”?

  461. bob says:

    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.

  462. Alan says:

    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.

  463. Katie says:

    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.

  464. Keith says:

    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.

  465. bob says:

    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.

  466. Wanda says:

    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

  467. bob says:

    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.

  468. greg says:

    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?

  469. bob says:

    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.

  470. greg says:

    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!

  471. EBR says:

    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.