About Me

This page offers a brief introduction about me and about why I am making this information public.  This information will be brief and to the point.  I can’t give a lot of details about me because I still have family and many good friends who are involved with this type of church and I don’t want to risk hurting those relationships.  

My name is Steve Sorenson. I was born and raised in the Independent Fundamental Baptist church.  I was part of their abusive traditions for over 25 years.  My family went to church every time the doors were open.  We were there for Sunday school, Sunday morning service, Sunday evening service, Wednesday evening prayer meeting/youth group, and Thursday evening evangelism. I grew up believing that I had to act, dress, behave, talk and sing a certain way in order to be accepted by God.  I had to sing their music, read their books, study their literature, play the sports they deemed were appropriate, and use only the KJV or else I was considered a rebel unworthy of the title Christian.  Nothing I did was ever good enough.  I believed that I had to be perfect in order for God to like me.

We went to a big church that also had a Christian school so I received the same messages about myself and God at school from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.  I was physically and emotionally abused by teachers, class mates and church staff for many years.  I was called names and paddled for almost no reason at all.  I felt like I was walking on egg shells the whole time.  I was never allowed to explore the real me.  I had to be who they wanted and expected me to be, basically a robot.  I’m still struggling with who I am and who God made me to be.

Several years ago a friend introduced me to Max Lucado’s “In The Grip of Grace” which opened my eyes and began my recovery.  I’m now continuing my recovery process while trying to help others who have come out of abusive churches.

The result of 25 years of spiritual abuse from this cult like denomination has lead me on a roller coaster ride of emotions and crises of faith.  Never in my life have I experienced the grace of God like I did when I found out the truth regarding this denomination.

I never experienced the grace of God because the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination doesn’t teach the true Grace of God. Grace is equivalent to a curse word unless you were using it to describe salvation.  They highly discourage any discussion on grace because they are afraid that grace will be used as an excuse to sin.  They misinterpret Romans 6:1 and take it out of context to justify this fallacy.

My life experiences have forced me to study the scriptures, to know the Word of God and easily pick out doctrinal and interpretation errors. Now, I’m just an average person who decided to reject the false teachings of the Independent Fundamental Baptist church and start thinking and reading scripture for myself allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me and my understanding of the Word of God.  I am no longer an “institutionalized” Christian.

What is an “institutionalized” Christian you may ask? An “institutionalized” Christian is a Christian who believes in the teachings of a particular church, denomination, or sect and places those teachings and traditions above the Word of God.  The leaders of the Independent Fundamental Baptist denomination got their teachings from other IFB organizations who have gotten their teachings from other IFB organizations and so on. The teachings and traditions have been taught and passed down for so long that they are considered equal with the Word of God and are no longer questioned.  No longer is the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teaching the Bible.  They are now teaching the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination traditions.  They are being deceived and then turning around and deceiving others.  It’s a vicious cycle and the hold is very strong.

If you have questions please use the Contact link in the menu above.  Thanks again for visiting.

217 Responses to “ About Me ”

  1. MVS says:

    I really appreciate your taking the time to organize this website. I was involved with an IFB church for less than a year, but I believe the Lord had me there for His purposes. It was very educational, as God began to expose their flesh-based ministry one layer at a time. They are based on a foundation of the Law,and that is why there is actually so much uncovered sin in these groups, because the “by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death”. Seemed to me that the head of the Church (to them) was their pastor, and not Christ. When I commented that the pastor was preaching Moses, and not Jesus, they asked me to leave. Of course, Pharisees are offended by Truth. Read Mt.15.13,14. I am glad you were able to shake the dust off your feet, and move on down the ” narrow way”.

    • kari says:

      I am a memeber of a IFB Church and I love it. I have been a member of Methodist, Southern Baptist, Assembly of God, Church of God, and nondominational. I have been a childrens director and a church secretary for a new more modern church and hated it. The thing with the new modern churches is it’s all about the show. How big the light displays are, the best snacks before church, the rock band for the singing, messages that have no meat, and its all about numbers not how many people are saved but just attendance. And about the legalism issue it all depends on the church. I was a member of a church were you had to follow the church rules and I go to one now where it’s about your relationship with Jesus instead of if you went to movies on Friday night. Abiout the literal meaning of scripture if you read a book you usually take it a face value so why not take the Bible with the literal meaning?

      • john smnith says:

        You take all books at face value. This is naivete at it worst. You therefore must take Mein Kampf at face value. Not questioning opens the door to facism.

  2. KMH says:

    I am so thankful for this website. Thank you whomever you are for doing this. I know you wish to remain annonymous but my guess is that you are a female, like me, and that you were involved in First Baptist Church in Hammond Indiana. I’ve been there and just some things you said lead me to think you are what I have assumed.

    We were in a church like this in Canada for some time, and it nearly destroyed everything about me and my family. It has been the darkest period of my life.

    I am at the point right now where I don’t even know if I beleive in God anymore. I feel like he is just a great big puppet master. It seems that there is always a carrot being put in front of you, so to speak, and it is always unattainable. I do not understand how the bible can say we have free will and then go through things no person should have to withstand, because we tried to go and exercise that free will. It is all a big game and I hate people who play games. Jealous people are irrational and controlling right? Then what does it say to people that the bible says God is a jealous god. Has it not dawned on anyone that means then that God is controlling and irrational? Why would anyone want to be associated with this in any way?

    • Lynne says:

      In love I share this…you must know God & Lord Jesus Christ illustrated in the flesh who He is. If we hold another idol up we recieve that idols reward…believe me I know. God is love & already demonstrated that love in Lord Jesus & His sacrifice. Jealous is sort of symbologic language. It does not mean in a unrightgetous way & we use it. I think of it as a husband & wife being commiitedto 1 as 1 flesh & than the other breaking that union unjustifbly for another whom is not even worthy of that love…and so on. Yet that other waits & still loves on & does not evil. I fthe unfaithful leaves they choose out of felowship for thier wrong heart. Anyway…please read Matthew, John, etc. If God washes the feet of the Diesiples & teach them to do likewise this is a loving & good God. Thats why John says God sent His Son into the world not to condem us but to save us (John 3:17). Began fellowshiping with Him & ask Him to lead you to Godly fellowships (whether home, building, mall, etc) of Believers in love with Him & wanting to share His love with others. I’ll be praying that you come to know the love of God that surpasses understanding. I use to feel similar in some ways but God love & grace is magnificent & undeniable. I was spirtually abused but God is healing me & much of me not knowing Him & worshiping others incl bad leaders etc was my sin issues & heart. May the good LORD bless & keep you in Lord Jesus. Love in Christ-Lynnette

  3. Tammy says:

    KHM
    Dear friend in Christ,
    I feel your hurt and confusion. Please let me if i can be of some help. God is a jealous God but not in a controlling irrational way. He is jealous if our “first” ( before all else) in life is not him. The bible teaches seek ye first the kingdom of God and his rightousness and all these things shall be added unto you. The things in life we endure or go through are for our growth and benifit. It was once so beautifully said: Imagine we are surounded by our heavinly fathers angels and satan and the world are hurling things at us, hard things! and God instructs his angels to stop them. No! don’t let that through, no! don’t let this through. And so we are invisibally protected! But then God says ” Let this one through” and so it hits us. But it has been “FATHER FILTERED” Why. For our growth, so we will have the experience to help someone else further on down the road. Who knows why but we must trust that it is for a right purpose. Now is the time to draw close to your saviour. trust him who breathed life into you and knit you in your mothers womb. He knows the beginning from the end, we cannot know this. Satan would love for you to turn your back on God because of a hurtful church experience. Don’t make the mistake of lumping your Saviour in the same pile as your church experience. Our hope is in the LORD!!!!! Trust him, He is for you!!! He wants you to know the answers and understand! Trust him, cling to him. NEVER DOUGHT IN DARKNESS WHAT GOD HAS SHOWN YOU IN THE LIGHT.
    prayerfully
    Tammy

  4. KMH says:

    Dear Tammy,

    Nothing is ever going to get me back into a church again.

    I know what I have been through in my life in the past 16 years since I started going to church and I can tell you that God has RARELY stopped those dart and arrows. The last 16 years of my life are very similar to that of Job. So I have decided to take Job’s wife’s advice to him. Curse God, and die (not literally in my case though). I can not put God first in my life. There have been many times in the last 16 years that I have earnestly tried to do that. I have done everything you are supposed to do, and not because it was expected, but because I did truly and sincerely in my heart want it. And not once has God been there for me. It has been almost 16 years of silence from Him and I think that is unacceptable. So I am done. Simple as that. I am not looking back and my life has been better since.

    P.S. – I wanted to add that I am not lumping God into the same pile as my bad church experience. I am saying that God has let me down and hurt me more than that church experience did. I can not ever welcome him back into my life after what I have been through.

    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Dear Friend,

      I’ve been right where you are. I was an IFB pastor’s wife for over 25 years. When my ex divorced me the church kicked me out for not following him to another state even after the divorce was final. I came to the conclusion that if this is what God is like and He was never going to accept me no matter what I did or how much, then I didn’t need Him, church, the Bible, and Christianity.

      Alone in my apartment one night, God spoke to me. Not audibly, of course, but absulutely WAS Him. He said to me, “I didn’t do that!” I as like, “What?” and He repeated the same statement to me, “I didn’t do that! What happened to you in the church and all these years was NOT me, it was man!” I chose to believe Him, because up to that point I had not been able to separate the two, they were synonamous. That was the beginning of my healing and my path to finding out who God really is.

      Is it not God that has not been there for you. It is not God that has let you down. It is not God that has made the demands on you that you have attempted to fulfill. IT HAS BEEN MAN!!! Once you get to the point where you are striving to please God instead of man, the frustration ceases. More emphasis was put on pleasing the pastor or the Man of Gawd, than was actually put on pleasing God.

      I hope someday soon you too can make that distinction.

      • greg says:

        BeenThereDoneThat – Beautiful, wonderful, healing words. I am so glad that our Lord drew you unto Himself and spoke to your heart. What a message that is for us today. Oh that we would draw closer to Him. God bless you!

  5. Doug H says:

    Dear KMH,

    What you are experiencing here on earth in your pain is an example of what life WITHOUT God will be for eternity if you don’t put your trust in Jesus Christ. I don’t know what you mean by God letting you down as He has not promised us happiness and peace here on earth, but rather Jesus tells us we will suffer great tribulation. (John 16:33, John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.) Do you think that Stephen enjoyed being stoned for his stance in the Faith?

    It is somewhat ironic that you want to “blame” God for what has happened to you and that He didn’t pull you out of it, and yet now you are “happier” that you have no-one to blame…

    It is very difficult being a Christian today, because there is so much false teaching out there and you get one extreme or the other, either so much freedom that following Christ means just about nothing, or overbearing control from the power-hungry. I would recommend staying away from “church” for a while and reading your Bible. I can also recommend some excellent teachings by Norm Wakefield, especially the Raised Up With Christ series.

    Because of Him!

  6. Gary says:

    This comment has been move the the “Emails Received” page so that I can address this reader’s concerns.

  7. Saved By Grace says:

    Dear Steve,
    You have said alot on your site abut what IFB believe but I didn’t see a section on IFB teachings about Jesus and salvation. Did I miss a link or do you think that the IFB is correct in that teaching?

    • Jeff says:

      The IFB believe in salvation only by believing and confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, Romans 10.9-13. That works cannot save you, Eph. 2.8-9. And nothing can take away your salvation, Romans 8.38-39.

  8. Steve says:

    This site is a work in progress and as such isn’t complete. There are many more topics that I would like to write about including what the IFB teach about salvation. I wrote some about salvation in my discussion with Ike. You can read that by clicking here.

  9. William M. Jackson says:

    Friend,

    I feel so sorry for you and all who think the Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches are a denomination and that all it’s pastors are dictators.

    I have had some very prejudicial things happen to me at the hands of Independent Fundamental Baptist pastors but consider it human error and attribute it to being hardened “as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” II Timothy 2:3.

    I have been told that I could not have a bus route because I was black. I am German-Spanish and Negro on my mother’s side. I did not leave the church but rather exercised myself as a Christian and offered my services to the pastor by finishing painting the church which another left undone.

    An Independent Fundamental Baptist church usher called the police on me when I visited his church and was communicating with his daughter which I knew when she was a H.A.C. student in Hammond, Indiana. This was in Missouri. I rebuked the man for his hard heartedness but assured him that I would not attempt to see his daughter because I regognized he had authority even though his daughter was an adult.

    In Oregon an Independent Fundamental Baptist pastor wrote my Oregon pastor and told him that he was going to call the police on me if I should visit his church again. I spoke to his secretary two brief times while visiting his church. I asked her about her husband and she told me she was widowed for 4 years. I wanted to introduce her to a man of my church whose wife left him with 2 daughters. I did not get bitter, I gave in to the pastor’s wishes and never returned to his church nor did I communicate with that woman again. I did, however, rebuke him to his face when I met him in Tacoma, Washington at a preacher’s conference.

    You sir, are certainly misbehaving as a Christian, condemning the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement because of your bitterness stemming from your lack of spiritual understanding of the order of church government. The pastor is the bishop of the church under Christ!

    He is to govern the operation of the local church and we are to obey him as we are spiritually discerned that he is following Christ! “Obey them that have the rule over you, amd submit yourselves: as they must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 11:17.

    You surely are grieving those who have attempted to show you the truth of Christian living as we are to live through the government of the local church!

    William M. Jackson

  10. Kenneth says:

    Just stumbled on your website. I came out of the IFB denomination about 5yrs ago. What helped me more than anything was the Spirit of God using godly influences in my life. I highly recommend Bob George’s website RealAnswers.net – People to People radio broadcast. Starg with his article on 1 John 1:9 and his books ‘Classic Christianity’ & ‘Growing in Grace’. I will never go back to an IFB mentality again, God be my strength. Once your eyes are open to the legalism & performance based acceptance, it is sickening to see others overcome by it.

  11. KJ says:

    Thank you for your web site. I am a former IFB (14 years) who has been miserable most of my Christian life because of them. All the things you list are true about the ones I went to. They condemned me for wearing pants, yet a young lovely could prance around in skimpy clothes; they assumed all single women are on the prowl; it was the married women in the church who had the prominent affairs. The song leader/youth leader was openly sleeping with the teenage girls. A deacons wife stole money from the offering plates but this was covered up whereas they would expose anyone listening to christian rock. Over 50% of the teen girls were pregnant out of wedlock right after graduation even though they wore modest coulottes etc. all the time (unless they were attractive, then they could wear whatever). The pastor was “good friends” with a women not his wife and would visit her alone at her home all the time. Another pastor left his wife for a teen girl. The teen girls took nude pictures of each other; one became a lesbian later on. Some of the boys secretly carried switchblades and did drugs outside of church. All of this and yet this church had the audacity to declare it was more biblical than any “liberal” church around and had the “true faith”. I have found after leavint this church that most IFB churches are exactly like this and finally got brave enough to leave them altogether. Thank God!

  12. PAUL LOOPER says:

    I REALLY FEEL SORRY FOR YOU SIR. I HOPE THAT ONE DAY BEFORE YOU DIE THAT YOU WILL COME UNDER CONVICTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND REPENT,BEFORE IT IS ETRNALLY TOO LATE. THE WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST…I AM TNE WAY,THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE,NO MAN COMETH TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME.

  13. Steve says:

    @PAUL LOOPER
    Paul,

    You quoted John 14:6 and I must remind you that that verse says, “…no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” NOT “…no man cometh unto the Father, but by me, and the IFB.”

    You unjustly judge my salvation and I thank you for being a perfect example of why I speak out against the IFB. Well done.

  14. April says:

    KJ :
    Thank you for your web site. I am a former IFB (14 years) who has been miserable most of my Christian life because of them. All the things you list are true about the ones I went to. They condemned me for wearing pants, yet a young lovely could prance around in skimpy clothes; they assumed all single women are on the prowl; it was the married women in the church who had the prominent affairs. The song leader/youth leader was openly sleeping with the teenage girls. A deacons wife stole money from the offering plates but this was covered up whereas they would expose anyone listening to christian rock. Over 50% of the teen girls were pregnant out of wedlock right after graduation even though they wore modest coulottes etc. all the time (unless they were attractive, then they could wear whatever). The pastor was “good friends” with a women not his wife and would visit her alone at her home all the time. Another pastor left his wife for a teen girl. The teen girls took nude pictures of each other; one became a lesbian later on. Some of the boys secretly carried switchblades and did drugs outside of church. All of this and yet this church had the audacity to declare it was more biblical than any “liberal” church around and had the “true faith”. I have found after leavint this church that most IFB churches are exactly like this and finally got brave enough to leave them altogether. Thank God!

    That is GREAT!
    Good for you for escaping the trap of abusive, controlling religion!
    Hypocrisy does abound in many of those groups….very sad.
    I pretty much avoid “religion”…too much confusion, they’re all fighting one another, even the “christian” denominations with each other!

    and I absolutely abhor the “we’re doing true religion better than anyone else” shit. YUCK!
    Keep walking the road of freedom…
    which I think can be a lonely road.

  15. KR says:

    Dear Steve,

    I am sorry that you feel this way about IFB churches. However, I cannot find any purpose in creating a website that leads others away from the Lord. I am sorry for all of you on here who have had bad experiences. Although I have never experienced anything remotely close to the problems listed here during my membership, I regret that you guys have. “Hypocrisy abounds” everywhere, we are a fallen people. If you find a rotten church, and they are most certainly out there, look for another. But look at the people who have written you, one admits to feeling let down by God, another doubts His existence, and another says they will never enter another church. Please be careful that your discontent with your church and you desire to post about it on the internet has not in fact enlarged hell by those who were perhaps once closer to salvation. Yes, the IFB churches have a dress code, and a moral code; but so does God, be sure not to confuse man’s condemnation with the Holy Spirit speaking through them.

    • Steve says:

      I’m afraid you’ve got it backwards. It’s the IFB that’s leading people away from the Lord, not this site. This site offers hope to those who have been hurt by the IFB. People aren’t sharing their pain and thoughts because this site is here. They are sharing their pain and hurts because the IFB hurt them. If they didn’t share them here they would share them someplace else. Your assumption that this site “leads others away form the Lord” is twisted on so many levels, but ultimately it shows your ignorance about the issues presented on this site. Please try to understand where we are coming from and what we are trying to do before you attack us.

  16. KR says:

    And yet oddly enough, the only people you have publicly responded to on this page are to those you feel you must defend yourself. The people crying out and searching, what have you done to help bring them closer to Lord? Regardless of denomination or the lack thereof, I see no uplifting comments to those who are ready to abandon all faith.

    • Steve says:

      So because YOU don’t see “uplifting comments to those who are ready to abandon all faith” that means that I’m doing nothing to help people? Perhaps you should open your mind just a little bit. I have no interest in defending myself to your or anyone else. I respond to people who attack me because those are the people who perpetuate the hate and abuse from the IFB – like yourself. I only wish to show those who visit looking for hope that there is a logical and rational response to people like you who remain closed minded and refuse to see the harm that the IFB does and the subsequent good that this site does.

  17. KR says:

    That is precisely why I say “publicly”. In my very statement I acknowledged that you perhaps spoke to them privately. However, what about those who only read you page without posting any comment, and never saw those things that you wrote to uplift people. I am not hateful or abusive, nor do I wish to see anyone hated or abused. But if you want to actually help people perhaps you should allow for the possibility of “viewers only” to see what you recommend as an alternate to Indepenent Fundamental Baptist churches. Do I believe you have to go to an IFB church to be saved, no. Baptist, no. You actually do not have to attend church at all. But lost sinners need to be saved and that should be your goal; that is the ultimate “good that this site” could do.
    I agree with you that most situations in life can be responded to logically and rationally, but I fail to see that in all of the comments with which you have responded. So far you have called me ignorant, a perpetuator of hate and abuse, and closed minded. I am not close minded, I am narrow-minded.

    “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14

    • Steve says:

      The purpose of this site is to share my story and what I believe is wrong with the IFB. It is an attempt to combat the negative, harmful and twisted teachings of the IFB and provide hope for those with similar experiences. Gaining hope, by the way, is a byproduct of finding out the truth.

      The purpose of this site is not to “uplift people” or keep people from abandoning their faith. People abandoning their faith is a consequence of spiritual abuse not the message of this site. As unfortunate as it is, I feel no obligation – within the bounds of this site – to keep people from abandoning their faith if that’s what their abuse has lead to. If people wish to come to see me or my colleagues for counseling then that’s where I am more then happy to help them through their crisis of faith. But I can’t and won’t do that on this site.

      By contrast, people who come here to disagree get more of my attention because I want people to see that there is at aleast one person out there who is willing to stand up to those who perpetuate the abusive teachings and traditions of the IFB. Besides, I’m always up for a good debate.

      Matthew 7:14 is an analogy about salvation. It’s not permission for people to keep a “narrow mind” and ignore warnings about harmful biblical exegesis. We are admonished to examine what we are being taught to make sure that what we are being taught from scriptures is accurate and trust worthy (see Acts 17). A narrow mind is the same as a closed mind because a narrow minded person has tunnel vision and can’t (or refuses to) see other points of view – exactly what you are doing (or at least it appears that way to me).

      Closed minded is coming to a persons website, attacking it’s author/commentors and refusing to ask questions or try to understand the oposing perspective. When you stop attacking me, finding things wrong with my site/point of view and attempt to understand my position then I will be able to respond in a more rational manner. I will not tolerate people coming here to preach at me or attack me, this site or the people who post comments on this site.

  18. KR says:

    With all do respect sir, you always ask others if they have read your site, and I ask you the same thing. On other pages, I have asked questions. Here is another one. You are driving down the road, you see a sign. The sign reads narrow ahead and cautions you to “slow down”, so you do and slowly make your way through. I guarantee that if it said “road closed”, you would not slow down, you would stop and most likely turn around. Narrow and closed are two different definitions.
    Narrow: -adj limited in range or scope
    Closed: -adj brought to a close
    I am narrow minded in that if the scripture does not back it up, I refuse to believe it.

    • Steve says:

      You have yet to pose a question to me that shows the slightest hint of wanting to know where I’m coming from. I don’t even see a question in the comment that I’m replying to now. So far you’ve only asked me two questions, both of which were based on your unfair judgment of me and the site and both of which I answered.

      We are talking about minds not roads. A closed mind means that you are closed to points of view and beliefs other then your own. Your mind is narrow so it is closed to other ideas and ways of thinking. It’s really not that difficult to figure out.

      Your road analogy is actually a good analogy to support my argument. On a narrow road it is difficult or impossible to turn around or navigate in ways other then what the road allows. A narrow road does not provide good opportunities to change directions or alter your course. A narrow road will not allow for flexibility thus making your journey closed to alternative routes. The same is true with the mind. You are thinking narrow minded and have a closed mind to other ideas and possibilities. I don’t know how to make it more clear to you.

      This is the very problem I have with the IFB. They want people to have a narrow mind so that they don’t ask questions and think for themselves. They want people to refuse to interpret scripture in ways other then how they interpret scripture. The Holy Spirit is supposed to be your guide as a Christian not the IFB. When denomination or group promotes their ideals, beliefs and traditions they are interfering with the work of the Holy Spirit.

      So let me challenge you since you refuse to believe things that scripture doesn’t back up. Where in the Bible does it say that Christians are supposed to have a narrow mind? Please provide support from scripture that Christians are just supposed to follow the teachings of the IFB in a “narrow minded” fashion.

      Also, in your very first comment, you cautioned me to not “enlarge hell” with my site, then in a later comment you judged me for having the wrong “goals” for this site. Since you are so careful to follow scriptures and your “holier then thou” attitude doesn’t allow you to be flexible enough to consider things that are outside your narrow focus, can you please show me from scripture where you are supposed to judge other Christians for not doing things the way YOU think they should be done?

  19. AJ says:

    Hi Steve, you are obviously hitting on some nerves with this site and I say keep pounding away. The truth is never easy to accept and painful to be faced with. If you want to know the truth of the IFB, look to it’s fruits. I grew up in the IFBC and was later sent to an IFB boarding school for ‘rebellious’ teen girls. We are not talking about drugs or boys…I was guilty of talking back to my parents and listening to the devils music. This school was like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. They would deny meals for failing to memorize scripture. I learned to memorize the words out of necessity, but the meaning behind the words became void. They used humiliation to break the will, I think in the hopes that the broken spirit would be more manageable to God. I was called worthless and undesirable. I was constantly compared or referred to as a harlot or a slut. I was beaten down, tortured and humiliated all in the name of God. Why would God want anything to do with me? By the time I left I was so beaten down spiritually that it was easier to turn my back on God for good then continue trying to please a God who hated and despised me.

  20. Matt says:

    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for putting this out in the public domain. We left an IFB church on June 1st, 2009. There are so many similarities in the stories I hear from people that it is scary. I truly believe many of these so-called churches are actually cults. The god of thse churches isn’t God at all.

    Anyway thanks for the time and courage it took to help educate people.

  21. Matt says:

    @KR
    “Can’t find a purpose in creating a website that leads others to away from the Lord”

    You perpetuate the “circle of silence” that IFB churches love to use to keep their dirty laundry private.
    You judge the motives for this website without any basis in fact.

  22. lisa says:

    Comment moved by the site moderator. Please click here to see the comment and a reply from the site owner.

  23. JMWJ says:

    I GO TO A INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH, AND I HAVE NO PROBLEM THERE WHATSOEVER. I AM NEW TO THIS THOUGH, BUT THEY TEACH THE WAY TO HEAVEN, IT IS FAR FROM A CULT. IF IT WASN’T FOR THE INDEPENDENT FUNDAMNETAL BAPTIST, I WOULDN’T BE WHERE I AM TODAY. UNDERSTANDABLY CHURCH DOESENT SAVE YOU, BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST DOES. NO ONE CAN SAY OTHERWISE. I RESPECT OTHER’S OPINION, BUT WILL HAVE TO SAY I DISAGREE. THERE ARE SOME BAPTIST CHURCHES WHO DON’T TEACH FROM THE SCRIPTURES, BUT IF IT’S THE WORD OF GOD, YOU CAN’T CHANGE THAT, IF YOU DO, YOU ARE A PARTAKER IN TEACHING FALSE WORDS. AGAIN I AM NEW AND I BELIEVE IN THE LORD, AND THATS WHERE MY FAITH WILL STAY.

  24. gloria says:

    Steve,

    Praise God for what He has done in your life!
    I was blessed to read your exit story out of the IFB church.
    I especially apreciated your remarks in light of the fact that I was deeply involved the mormon church ( another institutionalized church/cult) and can relate to your thoughts you expressed.

    Once a person has been set free from the bondage of legalism and
    the cult, grace can begin to work in the heart of that individual and healing can begin.
    May God continue to bless you in your healing process,

    Gloria

    ps. wonderful, wonderful informative site! Thank you!

  25. gloria says:

    To JMWJ:

    Not sure if you realize that when you write/type in all capital letters it is “screaming” or “yelling”. I think a person can certainly disagree without needing to yell.
    Perhaps you didn’t reliaze this.

    Kind regards,

  26. Brandon says:

    It sounds to me like you are 25 years old and are counting all of those 25 years as your “life experience”. It sounds to me like you grew up in a Fundamental Baptist Church, went to college and to graduate school, and now (having your first taste of freedom) realize that there is another world out there. It sounds like you are angry because your parents sheltered you from the world you are now experiencing. IF only we could all be so lucky. I am 25 as well but I am completely opposite of you. I spent the first 18 years of my life as a Roman Catholic, the next five in the Marine Corps (where I seperated from faith completely, traveled extensively, drank, smoked, and went to war), and finally came to my senses and was saved in a Fundamental Baptist Church. Due to my background I have a very questioning and naturally doubting mind yet at every turn I have found that our fundamental teachings do not stray. The fundamental part is exactly why they do not stray. It sounds to me that you need to gain a little perspective on life but I am positive that you will return to where you have strayed. What you are doing is nothing new and nothing different. It is in fact quite natural. My prayers are with you.

  27. Morgan says:

    Steve,
    Thank you for this site exposing the fatal flaws of fundamentalism. I have been debating/dialoging with online fundamentalists for over five years, and completely concur with your conclusions. I believe the most outstanding characteristic of fundamentalism is its lack of charity, which leads to all sorts of other unpleasant characteristics.

    I am a convert to Catholicism, and the hatred of the Catholic church by fundamentalists never ceases to amaze me. As you say, misconception, misinterpretation, and falsehood seems to be passed on from Bible school to pastor, to church member and is swallowed whole because “that’s what Pastor says”.

    Keep up the good work, Steve.

  28. Ukulelemike says:

    I joined my first IFB church while I was in the Navy in Long beach, back in 1987, and have been in many since, both as member and as a visitor. I have seen both good and bad leadership in them, oppressive and liberating. The key phrase in the IFB churches is “Independent”. Being a divorced man, I have known what it was to be treated as though I had committed the unforgivable sin, and have also been taught that even the worst of sin is still a sin to be brought under the blood of Christ, and both in IFB churches. It seems to me that you have thrown out the baby with the bath water. The IFB movement began because some preachers saw how the word of God was being lessened and questioned, and the churches were going liberal, so they began the fundamentalist movement, seeking to move back to historic, fundamental practices and principles. Some have gone into legalism, to be sure, and others have allowed in the very liberalism they sought to avoid, but there are many godly, loving IFB churches that teach pure doctrines of the word of God, above their own traditions. That’s why, after many years in the IFB churches, I am still in one, and am the pastor of it. I have dealt with some who think my church is a bunch of weirdos who don’t fit the IFB mold, because we’re rural, with lots of, let’s say, ‘mental issues’-former drug abusers and alcoholics, dirt-poor desert rats and fetal alcohol adults. But we love them, lead them to the Lord and teach them to do the same. Don’t judge the whole by the few. And those who have left churches and feel free outside, remember, the church is not the building, but the body of Christ, of which you need to be a part. if you aren’t a part of Him, what are you? that isn’t liberty, but license.

  29. David Emme says:

    I feel for you brother and am glad I did not have your experiances as basically God wired me in a way to really oppose and fight-if I was in your shoes-I do not know but I have always been a fighter in a certain way. Maybe my own self eesteem issues in the past or from a broken home but I always wandered why when I left an IFB church or institution-Why did I leave on bad terms? Of course as honestly seeking the Lord-I found this was a you problem and not a me problem.
    God bless
    David emme

  30. Carrie says:

    You’ve shared many important reasons why you put on this site that I want to call re-attention to a couple in my words:
    1.Sin is something God died for–Sin HURTS people…we’re not to make ‘light’ of it–whether it is in the flock or in the ‘pastor’.(and most especially if it is in the pastor)…for instead of holding himself up on his untouchable ‘throne of Diotrephes’, throwing down judgmental lightning bolts (and we’re not talking about judging being ‘discernment of wrong doctrine’ here–but wrongly judging the motives, intents and thoughts of another’s heart which God has told us NOT to do)–the Bible tells a preacher to “LEAD by example”! The Flock needs to see that God does NOT have ‘double standards’–He is no respecter of persons. A preacher (who should be a ‘leader’ and an example–NOT an over-lord) should be the very first person to have a heart that is ‘broken and contrite’ by his own sin. That kind of example would help others (who see that servant/humble Spirit of Jesus–open their hearts to the Lord and come under conviction of their own sins.
    2. The devil also could quote a lot of Scripture ‘at’ Jesus, but Jesus showed us that there were other Scriptures to counter the devil’s taking things out of context for his wrong motives. So any amount of justifying of sin by a preacher doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in God’s sight. True love for a preacher and the flock holds him accountable now…and addresses sin–NOW…before more damage is done to others.
    3. “Learn of Me for I am meek and lowly” Jesus said. So HOW can a ‘preacher’pastor teach ANYthing about our Lord if he hangs onto His sin of pride. Jesus didn’t worry about His reputation Philippians beautifully tells us–and tells us to have His same attitude of heart.
    So preachers who don’t get right with God in this manner–who will not even consider that they, too, ‘could have blind spots’ (LOGS in their eyes)-aren’t fit for the position of ‘preacher/pastor’.

  31. Carrie says:

    Another way to put it: (I like the KJV on these words especially).

    The Bible warns us to stay away from preachers who cannot have a sensitivity to their own inflicting of harm or hurt, for these are just a bunch of NOISE! 1Timothy 1:6 calls them VAIN JANGLERS and 1Cor.13:1 TINKLING CYMBALS So while they pride themselves that they are they only ones who ‘care’ and share the Gospel, all their NOISE gets in the way of lost people hearing and understanding the true Gospel; for God slso declares that He is love and see to it that we love each other fervently.1Peter 1:22 and by the way: Making false accusations DOES NOT EQUAL “love”, dear preachers! (but is breaking one of the Ten Commandments for you guys who want to exalt “law”.

  32. C. Collazo says:

    When I started reading this column I thought, uhm?! Is this William Miller?; then I thought, nah it’s gotta be Joseph Smith, Jr. So, I suppose next time I read about you, it will be about a new Christian movement with your name attached?? I feel very badly for you. You are a very angry person. Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. You “followed” the “hypocrites” for 25 years uhm? You grew up believing that you had to act, dress, behave, talk and sing a certain way in order to be accepted by God. I don’t know what your bible says (you still believe the Word of God?!), but God is a god of specificity. He does indeed instruct “His people” to talk, sing dress, act and behave a certain way. If He says it I believe it. And as angry as you are, you are counseling people. That’s pretty scary. We will be judge on His rules. Not yours not mine. That’s probably why we call Him God and the rest of us sinners. You’ve strayed.

  33. Chris says:

    Steve, keep up the good fight. I’m so thankful for you and your site. I found some resources for you if you don’t know about them already. First is…Matthew Paul Turner. His website: http://www.jesusneedsnewpr.net/ Also if you google Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Cult, there is a facebook page for survivors. I read the book by Michael Yaconelli “Messy Spirituality” from your recommmendations. AWESOME book! Another one that I’m reading now is called “Breaking the Rules: Trading performance for Intimacy with God” By Fil Anderson. Also, anything by Brennan Manning is amazing too!

    There is no sense in arguing with the people that don’t agree with you. Wouldn’t arguing be commiting sin anyways? I often think back to when Jesus was here. Did his disciples, the adulterous woman, the woman at the well, Peter who denied Him, etc. have to think about what they were going to wear when they were hanging out with Him? Did they have to be dressed “sharp” to be saved? It breaks my heart as I know it does Jesus’ to have people think they have to perform and dress a certain way for Him to accept them. I know you (Steve) already know this and I’m sure it breaks your heart as well. Matthew 11:28 (New Living Translation) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Jesus, I pray that You would reveal Your love and grace to everyone that is carrying those heavy burdens of ‘rules’, ‘Performance’, ‘good works’, etc. and that You would give them REST. Thank you Steve!

  34. C. Collazo says:

    The God who is not interested in what we wear (according to most of y0u), was very particular about dressing Aaron and his sons. He had a problem with “nakedness”. You know, like they way most people are dressing today.

    Exodus 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

    and here we go again:

    Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

    Let’s see, I listen to HIM or I listen to you…..uhm. I think I’ll stick with the one who is and always will be and whose word shall not pass.

  35. Stephanie Pierce says:

    Amen!!!! Amen!!!!!! Amen!!!!

    @C. Collazo

  36. Stephanie Pierce says:

    I certainly don’t thank the person who made this site, EXCUSE ME. BUT THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR THE wORD OF GOD! I’D LIKE TO BE KIND, BUT I WON’T APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS! I am sixteen years old, and I go to Blessed Hope Baptist Church in Jasonville, IN. I also attend the school there. I have more to say later, but I have to think about it rationally because this has made me so mad that my heart was pounding earlier. By the way I am not brainwashed and I’m not in a cult. I have made a choice, and you’re making yours.

  37. Susan says:

    C. Collazo :The God who is not interested in what we wear (according to most of y0u), was very particular about dressing Aaron and his sons. He had a problem with “nakedness”. You know, like they way most people are dressing today.
    Exodus 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
    and here we go again:
    Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
    Let’s see, I listen to HIM or I listen to you…..uhm. I think I’ll stick with the one who is and always will be and whose word shall not pass.

    The thing I find interesting about this mindset, C. Collazo, is that the IFB picks and chooses what verses from the Old Testament ceremonial laws they will follow. Why do you emphasize ONLY verse 5 in that chapter? What about verse 6: “If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:” or verse 8 or verses 11-12: “11Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.” Why are you (and the IFB) so concerned with verse 5 of that chapter and not the rest?

    Deuteronomy 22 is a chapter about the ceremonial laws that God’s chosen had to follow during their time period. When Jesus came to earth the ceremonial laws were abolished. You may want to read up on the NT teachings of ceremonial laws. The IFB gets this VERY wrong. NT Christians (that’s us) don’t have to follow those ceremonial laws of the OT. We are no longer under the Old Covenant. We are New Covenant Christians. NT Christians are ruled by grace and mercy NOT law.

    The same is true with Exodus. The author of Exodus is recording a conversation between God and Moses in chapter 28. This is NOT a message to NT Christians. These are laws given to the people of that time period.

    You really need to brush up on your knowledge of the Bible. It’s sad to me that you are so bound by a legalistic righteousness. I hope that one day you will experience freedom in Christ.

  38. C. Collazo says:

    Ms. Susan. I chose these passages, because they are written in the Bible and were directly relative to the point that a prior writer made. Although, as you point out, I “need to brush up on my knowledge of the Bible”, which, if I understand your “mindset” is only comprised of the New Testament. I thought the Bible started with Genesis and ended with Revelations. And I know, I read somewhere that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit in its entirety. Well, maybe partially, according to your mindset. Apparently, God was on a mission to confuse mankind with these “Old Testament ceremonial laws” that don’t even apply. I wonder why He included them anyway? But, as you say, “IFB picks and chooses what verses from the Old Testament ceremonial laws they will follow”; although you NTers go a little further and just obliterate Books that do not reflect or agree with your mindset. I must admit one thing, this is the first time I have ever heard that the book of Exodus is just a conversation between God and Moses; thereby, excerpting or putting aside this Book as, not necessarily applicable to today’s Christianity (per your mindset). What I can’t understand is what happened to Jesus?!! He kept quoting the Old Testament to everyone He met. Did He not know that grace and mercy had kicked in and He was no longer under the Laws of the Old Testament? So you say, “NT Christians are ruled by grace and mercy NOT law”. If I understand it correctly, the Ten Commandments are laws written in that passé Book called “Exodus” and I believe repeated elsewhere in the Old Testament; but then again you are not under the “laws”. So which law and which prophets was Jesus referring to in Matthew 5:17, 5:18 and 5:19? (Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.) But then again, Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

  39. Susan says:

    Your sarcasm and attacks only go to show your inability to have a rational discussion.

    You didn’t answer my question. Why do you pull out some of the ceremonial laws in Deuteronomy and Exodus about clothes and such but ignore others. Deuteronomy 21:19-22 for example: 21:19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 21:20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21:21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: Would you seriously tell me that if you had a son and he was rebellious you would follow this ceremonial law and have the elders of your church stone him to death?

    I will educate you on one thing though. The Ten Commandments aren’t ceremonial laws they are moral laws. That’s a good example of why I said you should brush up on your knowledge of the Bible. You can’t even distinguish between ceremonial law and moral law.

    Yes, you are right, Jesus came to FULFILL the law. That means “to accomplish the purpose of” or to “satisfy” or “to bring to an end, finish or complete, as in a period of time”. That means that the law has been replaced by the grace and blood of Christ so that we are no longer required to follow the law of Moses. Ceremonial laws were about cleanliness. The ceremonial laws acted as the blood of Christ. When Christ died on the cross his blood now covers our sins and we are no longer required to follow ritualistic ceremonial laws to cover our sins. This is a Huge interpretation error of the IFB.

    I’ll refer you to the prophesy by Jeremiah – Jeremiah 31:31-34

  40. C. Collazo says:

    Susan,
    Please read my first sentence. There I answer your question as to why I chose those verses. Of course the blood of Christ covers us from our sins and we are no longer required to follow ritualistic ceremonial laws. However, IFB Christians do not have a license to go on and do whatever feels good. I’ve visited many NTrs churches and frankly I saw no difference between being at a rock concert and being in church. The music is loud; and that’s my opinion. But of course, in your opinion that portrays me as “irrational and sarcastic”. I’ve seen women in micro minis, men in shorts and sandals and just absolutely no difference between them and the decadent wordliness around. The majority of the youth are exhibiting their Tattoos. Even city courts have a dress code, not the NTrs. I bet you if they were asked to have lunch at the White House, they’d put on their best rags. But, again, as you specifically pointed out above, you are not under the law. And I say to you, Susan, let IFBrs go on loving the Lord, serving Him and rejoicing in their Salvation. The only one who is right is Jesus Christ; and to Him be all the Power and Glory forever and ever.

  41. Susan says:

    Your first sentence doesn’t answer my question. My question is “Why do you pull out some of the ceremonial laws in Deuteronomy and Exodus about clothes and such but ignore others. “ I’ll ask it another way, if you follow what’s written in the Bible why do you then accept some of the ceremonial laws while ignoring others?

    I don’t understand your way of thinking. What’s wrong with micro minis, men in shorts and sandals and having tattoos? Because they look like the secular world? How ridiculous. I would venture a guess that you live in a house do you not? Well those in the secular society live in houses so does that mean you are acting like the secular society? The secular society eats out at restaurants and watches TV and movies. Do you eat at restaurants and watch TV and movies? If so then you are acting like the secular world – shame on you.

    We would dress up for a visit to the White House out of respect for the president and concern for those around who might be judging us (hmmmm… sounds familiar to the IFB eh?). (By the way, I’ve been to the White House in shorts and sandals and no one cared). God doesn’t demand that type of honor. He tells us to “come just as you are”. Nothing is required for us to worship or to make God like us more. You are being fed a lie by the IFB that we need to act, dress, sing, worship, etc. a certain way for God. That is not true.

    Secular society stays away from church because of stuffy “Christians” like yourself who judge people that don’t ‘do church’ the way you (and the IFB) demand they ‘do church’. To me, that’s more damaging to the cause of Christ then people wearing shorts and mini skirts to church.

    This is classic majoring on the minors. The IFB is notorious for that. It’s sad and SINFUL to judge people based on how they worship and what they wear. I would encourage you to take the log out of your own eye before you try and take the speck out of someone else’s eye.

  42. C. Collazo says:

    Susan, of course you see nothing wrong with mini skirts, nudity, tattoos and the like, you’re too far gone into the world to even minimally comprehend the meaning of “sanctity”. And, what a ridiculous example you set. A house is a material object made by human hands. Man is a creation of God made in His image; the temple of the living God; if that person has been saved. You are so hung up on stuffy Christians as you so kindly define any Christian who wants to differentiate him/or herself from the wicked world, that you have become insensitive. It’s “sad and sinful to judge people” you say. Read what you write, every word you write is selectively judgmental. You’ve lost touch. If God can’t make you see your error, far be it from me to try:

    Matthew7:6Give 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.

  43. Melanie says:

    I cannot believe you do not see the fact that your negativity on the church is drawing people away from the church. You want to make the claim that people need to look deeper into your public opinions and the fact of the matter is most will not study it in its entirety. Comments from both sides of the fence seem limited in what your faith and beliefs are. Some are struggling with faith in Christ and you have given them more reason to be. I would hope our true focus in these end days (in times when we will be lovers of knowledge) would be to win souls not focus on emotional hang ups which EVERYONE HAS!!!! I am so grateful for the SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST regardless of man’s fallacies. GOD IS SO GOOD AND MAY HIS NAME BE PRAISED!!!!!!

  44. John says:

    @C. Collazo Can you give some specifics on where in the Word it says how we’re supposed to “talk, sing dress, act and behave a certain way?” etc. Can you be very specific as to why someone can’t listen to say, bluegrass gospel instead of the old hymns? Can you tell where in the Word it says that a born again Christian has to tithe or be harmed by the destroyer? Can you show us where in the Bible it says men have to wear a suit and tie to church? Can you tell us about where the Bible it says “the head of every man is Christ” and not your pastor. How about Matthew chapters 20 and 23 where the Lord tells our leaders to be servants and not worry about titles? (Please forgive me for sounding a little hateful or impatient. I’ve had these rules pushed on me for years without someone giving me a good biblical answer instead of their own opinion.)

  45. C. Collazo says:

    4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

    5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

    6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

    7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

    8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded.

    11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

    15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

    16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

    Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

    13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

    14 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

    15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

    16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

    17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

    9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

    10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

    1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

  46. John says:

    @C. Collazo
    I should have said this before, Mr. Collazo, but my viewpoint on many practices and beliefs in the Church are fairly conservative. I don’t like men wearing shorts in church, I think woman should cover their bodies. I’m not a fan of contemporary Christian music (especially stuff with drums), I respect the role of the Pastor, and I think that many, many Baptist churches are doing good work. So, I’m not what you would consider a liberal by any stretch. That being said, you never really answered my questions. Please answer my questions regarding traditional hymns being the only “right” kind of music, men being required to wear suits at church, Christians being instructed to tithe a minimum of 10%, and the questions about titles and leadership. I understand how some people will glean their beliefs from certain scriptures, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re correct. (I think it’s called a “private interpretation.”)
    The Scriptures you reference do make mention of how a woman should dress, but the only thing it gets specific about is the broided hair, gold, pearls, and costly array. and your other Scriptures make mention of many good things, but they don’t specifically or directly answer my questions or many of the questions raised on this site. At most IFB churches, clapping is highly discouraged if not downright forbidden . I’m pretty sure that Scripture does not agree with this. (I’m talking about clapping DURING the music.)
    I think one of the problems is that many people (regardless of what church they go to) will take their personal beliefs and preferences and try to use Scripture to force them on other Christians. Doesn’t the Bible say that we’re allowed a certain aount of freedom according to our conscience? (Romans 14 & 15, 1 Cor. 8, 1 Cor. 10:23-33, Col. 2:16)

  47. John Taylor says:

    I was interested in the comments of ukulelemike.How was he ever allowed to be a pastor in an IfB Church.Divorce seems to be a road block to most of those who desire to pastor in that denomination.I understand they believe in perpetual adultery with no cure for the guilty parties.I would truly love to see the pros and cons on this issue from some folks who have a real grasp of comparative scripture analysis, and not just personal opinion.What sins are not covered by I John 1:7&9? Was the woman at the well in John 4 still in perpetual adultery after her conversion? What is the bibical difference between pardon and forgivness.Was king David a perpetual adulterer after psalm 51? Was king Solomon considered illlegitimate because of David’s sin?

  48. michelle says:

    My son,his wife and my 2 granddaughters attend a Baptist church with the independent belief.I attend a pentcoastal church.I have attended baptist churches in the past so I am familiar.I am proud my son is serving God but alot of things ppl.have written on here about the baptist beliefs,I see with my son.There is some differences.Apparently my sons church believes once saved always saved.And there is no backsliding or losing your salvation.If this happens to you,it just means you were never really saved.They believe in soulwinning.And that is fine except when they go knock on doors and talk to ppl. about being saved.The 1st 30 minutes or more is teling you about hell and if you don’t get saved you will be burning for eternity.And if and when you decide at that moment to become saved will they tell you about Jesus and all the wonderful things God will bless you with in heaven.Don’t get me wrong hell is real and I believe we need to be told and taught that.I believe we all as christians have worked to do and telling others about Jesus is one of those jobs.But I believe the message about Jesus doesn’t change but how you delieverd to others is a different story.I believe you tell the whole messages and not withhold based on if someone decides to get saved or not at that moment.I wear pants and skirts to church.I wear make-up.I wear my wedding ring and mothers ring.I also believe in a dress code somewhat.I believe if you are serving God then you know what to wear and what not to wear.And God will put it in your heart if what you are wearing is ok.It says in the bible and it has been written on hear many times already about broided hair,gold and modesty.We are not to wear such things as to draw attention to us and off God.We are not to wear things that causes man to lust because men are easy to lust.And that is in the bible.So if I come in the church with my cleavage exposed or my behind hanging out,then I’m wrong for that.But if I come in church with a pair of pants or even capris on and say a pink shirt not a gray or black shirt,that covers me in ok manner,then I’m good.My sons church believes that as christians we should stand out among the rest.And they do it by what they wear but I believe we stand out by our words and love for Jesus.We don’t have to make others feel like we are better than them.Because it wasn’t the pharisees and the supposely Godly men that Jesus was sitting and breaking bread,it was the taxman,the prostitutes,etc.The sinners I do believe.Because he was treated like a sinner by these religous so called men of God in his day.My son tells me that I’m not saved because I wear pants,make-up.Ilisten to bluegrass gospel,I like casting crowns,third day.I like alot of diffrent gospel music.I even like hymn music.We sing out of hymn books at church to but we have praise and worship music.I clap my hands,I lift my hands,i tap my feet.I enjoy praising God.My son talks down to me like I’m beneath him now.He dont curse or anything like that but he is constantly judging other denonminations.According to his church if your not baptist or darn near close to it,you are gonna burn in hell.And that is all him or his church talks about is hell,hell and more hell.Yes hell should be talked about and taught,I agree but so should be Jesus.My daughter had a baby in June,well my son’s pastors son went to the hospitial at my sons request.Well he told them that was a happy and wonderful thing to bring a new life in this world.But there was something more important to think about than a new life and that was death.And where they would end up if death came and they were lost in their sin.Come on now.That was uncalled for.Their holding their newborn in their arms and he trys to steal their joy with his words.I love my son and I want him to serve God.I want all my children to serve God but I just don;t know.My son has 2 daughters.Well his pastor has 5 children and his children have 5 children.Now my son wants 5 children.My son walks and talks like them.They don’t come off genuine to me.There almost all robotic.I went to see him babptized at his church.You have a man stand and direct you to sing.He would say this side sing this verse and this side this verse.We couldnt just sing,even that had to be controlled.And he said after we sing this song,everybody will walk around and greet each other.And thats ok to fellowship and talk to each other.But we had to sing a song 1st,then we had to shake an greet and get back to our seats.We have rules and guidlines to go buy under God,I believe that.But God is not a God they make him out to be.God is just and fair.He isn’t sitting with a frown on his face in Heaven waitig to see who he can scratch off his list.He is aloving God that is trying his best to get us in heaven but he did us free will.So if we die in our sin and go to hell remember God didn’t send us there.We sent ourselves.I believe that but I believe certain religions can leave a bad taste in ppls.mouth about God.And they will be jugde on that themselves to.Don’t get me wrong the word of God will step on ppls.toes because they don’t want to hear the truth about God and what he says.And that is different from what I mean by bad taste in mouths.I will not say all baptist but my son and his pastor and pastor family are just not sitting well with me.I know my story isnr as extreme as some on here but me and my son can’t even talk hardly anymore because of the stuff he says.He already has us burning in hell because we are not a baptist and live the way the baptist say we should live.

  49. Barbara says:

    Steve, I appreciate your opinion on the IFB as I have experienced some of the things you speak of, however, I would like to also mention other churches of of demoninations and how they treat people, I speak especially about “Women” of the churches. I have visited churches and not ONE women spoke to me let alone welcomed me. I think people get high mined in their own spirituality and that they “have arrived” so to speak about their relationship with the Lord. I know to have friends we must first show ourselves friendly. I think alot of women in churches are a bunch a phoneies. They could care less about people. I have longed to have a friend, someone that loves God and wants to serve him. I have found no such person, so I feel very lonely for true fellowship among women, I don’t trust them and I think they want to make themselves feel on a higher plan than others. God help their feeble attempts of being a “Godly Women”. I am glad I have a Father in Heaven that can meet my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Women, wake up do what God wants you to do. Make yourselves friendly and a help to those in need……

  50. Dean says:

    Hi Steve,
    I’m a former Mormon and but God saved me years ago as I was intending to serve an LDS Mission. I ended being baptized in a really wishy-washy CBA Baptist Church that was so extremely broad new evangelical that it stood for absolutely nothing. The Pastor there even ended up joining the Roman Catholics! I was so really glad to have a IFB church to “escape” to back then. The Pastor and church were very much a Blessing to me then because otherwise I think I would have giving up on going to church all together like you have. I’ve moved on now but I still have a very friendly relationship with my former Pastor and the church and they always make feel welcome when I go back to visit. I’m sorry you had such a bad expirience in a IFB Church. I considered my expirience in the IFB like going to “boot camp” to help me to become a better warrior for Christ. Steve, please study your Bible more carefully and what true Baptist History really is and maybe you to will have a different point of view of your expirience of your IFB church also?
    Lord Bless!
    Dean

  51. greg says:

    Dean maybe you should try studying about Jesus and his history it will be much more beneficial than studying Baptist history. Jesus’ history is about God, Baptist history is about man.

  52. Katie says:

    Dean, I don’t remember Steve saying that he has given up on church all together. It’s a shame that your IFB experiences have taught you to judge others. One of the reasons I stay far away form the IFB

  53. greg says:

    Dean,

    I was so quick to respond with the above that I failed to congratulate you on escaping from the mormon cult and to welcome you into the family of God.

    Don’t know how much you have read on this site, but this site ministers to hurting folks all over the world that were hurt and wounded by legalistic independent fundamental baptist churches. Some of those type churches are obviously worse than others. I hope you have found a good one, but as Katie pointed out, its very obvious that you are “infected” with legalism based on how you have thrown your judgement down on Steve.

    Just read over the next couple of days some of the comments on this site, you will see a very familiar pattern emerge of spiritual abuse foisted opon many of us.

    Whom the Lord sets free is free indeed, and that’ll preach!

  54. ALG says:

    Steve, After reading through your site, I have come to the
    realization that you are dealing with the personal spirit of
    bitterness. Let me give you some of my background. I was in an
    independent fundamental baptist church 9 months before I was born.
    I have been in one all of my life. I am now the pastor of and “IFB”
    church. I know many people who have been hurt over the years. Many
    of them were close family friends. The problem is this, they are
    still stuck on the fact that that certain church and pastor were so
    “legalistic” that they felt they could not be good enough for the
    Lord. I knew this mindset myself. But I turned to my King James
    Bible and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. I quit worrying about
    what the standards of the church were, and I realized that the
    “standards” would come naturally to me as I followed Christ. Why?
    Because I wanted to be closer to Him! Many pastors that I know have
    learned from our “forefathers” and the fact that you attract more
    flies with honey than you do with vinegar. They are letting the
    Holy Spirit convict hearts while lovingly preaching the Whole
    Counsel of God. I have found that many people really do not want to
    make a change for the Lord. They want to be “who they are” and
    still have God in their life. The Bible says that when we are
    saved, that old things are passed away and all things are become
    new. We are given a new life in Christ. A life that He paid for
    with His own blood! Shouldn’t I want to be closer to Him? The
    closer I get to Him, the more people I’ll draw to Him. Be careful
    on this site that you don’t give an “out” to those who are just
    looking for an excuse to “write God off.” I know you have been
    hurt, but it is time to move on. Get in your Bible and through the
    “one interpretation, but many applications” try to be a help those
    who may be hurting from a bad experience with “IFB” churches. From
    what I’ve read of you on this site, you’re willing to argue your
    point to the end. You’re not willing to accept someone else’s
    opinion against yours otherwise you would not have this site.
    You’re willing to question everything and all because this site is
    dedicated to “your own personal” conflict. It is refreshingly
    apparent to me that you still care about the Lord, but you will not
    grow in the Lord until you give your being hurt to Him and move on.
    Why don’t you take what you have learned and “mix it with faith”
    and go on and grow in the Lord? Thanks for letting me post this,
    ALG

  55. Esther says:

    I believe in God and have experienced first hand his power.
    My experience with a fundamental baptist church has been
    disheartening. A close relative of mine is a member of this
    fundamentalist baptist church in granite bay ca. They do not
    celebrate any religious holidays as do most other christian
    churches. Nor do they celebrate anyones birthday. Recently my
    family member suffered a stroke was deemed incompetent by his
    neurologist at hospital.Another fam,ily member made the mistake of
    calling their pastor to the hospital thinking my relative might
    die. This pastor visited said a short prayer and then proceeded to
    ask the stroke patient for monies due his church. Several days
    later he returns to hospital with several deacons as witnesses
    coercing my relative into giving everything they and their spouse
    own to this church pastor. The pastor has now put his name and
    several deacons name on my relatives account is running the
    business into the ground. For nine months we his family have been
    fighting them in court. they made up lies against the non church
    member spouse who my relative was living with prior to the stroke.
    This LMMBC took out a restraining order saying the spouse had not
    fed or taken care of my relative. ALL LIES! The spouse took my
    relative to three ER before one would admit them for observation
    and tests. My relative stroked out the next day. The house was full
    of food they both had eaten dinner and breakfast out the day before
    my relative signed the CC bill. My relative could not physically
    even copy his initials on papers this pastor had drawn up. Nor
    could they speak more than gerbils. Legally anything they have done
    is under scrutiny of federal bankruptcy laws time is slowly
    crawling through the legal system while this church takes the
    monies destroys a once viable business brainwashes my relatives
    mind with lies fear and hatred keeps them away from the spouse
    family and outsider church friends all under the guise of god. This
    is not right and being fundamentalist they have no federation of
    church overseers. In the bible it does make note of end times false
    churches this is one of them. Why does not christian churches
    govern themse3lves to protect this from happening. I imagine this
    pastor is mailorder as I cannot believe this would happen with a
    real man of god.

  56. R. G. Tharp says:

    How tragic Steve. Your parents would be heartbroken. Jesus’
    is. My family grew up in a great IFB church (you know the church
    Steve) with a precious Pastor who was not at all a dictator nor did
    he Lord over God’s heritage. In my estimation, bitterness and
    rebellion to the truth is what leads people to this kind of
    reckless agenda to discredit a group of believers who, yes, have
    within them SOME men bereft of character and perhaps even without
    true conversion. However, Your father was not one of those men, nor
    was mine. They were true men of God who loved God’s people and gave
    their lives to proclaim the truth. The scriptures overwhelmingly
    condemn what you are doing and I assure you, our chief Commander
    and Shepherd would not join you in your efforts. I am saddened to
    NOT see the gospel on your front page. The disciples spoke of a
    group in their day who were casting our demons and doing works for
    the Lord but they were not “of them”. Jesus said “forbid them not”
    Paul said about the men in Acts “leave them alone”. Paul wouldn’t
    do what you are doing, certainly Jesus wouldn’t. Jesus was too
    consumed with getting people the Gospel. He exposed the LOST
    religious pharisees of his day but you never saw Jesus attacking
    any group. IFB groups have been historically guilty of this,
    attacking those with whom they do not agree. Listen IFB churches
    and the like, shut-up, quit your griping and preach the Gospel!
    Perhaps the Gospel is what you should direct your greatest efforts
    toward. This world is dying and going to Hell and Christians want
    to waste time quibbling on web sites about who is right and who is
    wrong. PREACH the GOSPEL. That is what this world needs. What is
    tragic is that when a lost person comes on here and reads what some
    of these alledged Christians write they no doubt want to run away
    from this worldy contention. To those who have been hurt by a
    church – I too have been hurt. Imeasurably! By carnal, ungoldly,
    IFB Christians. I will not hold their actions against all other IFB
    Christians. I will not talk of it here because to do so would be
    worng. Why? It is under the blood! I have forgiven them because I
    love my Lord too much to harbor any bitterness toward any person. I
    think of all Jesus has forgiven me of and I find it very easy to
    forgive those who have hurt me. Be ye kind one to another,
    tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake
    hath forgiven you. Let me say to any reader who may not know Christ
    – The christian life is NOT about rules a regulations, it is about
    a PERSON. The sweetest person you will ever know, the LOrd Jesus
    Christ. He died, was buried and rose again and is ALIVE so that he
    might have a relationship with you and wash away your sins. He has
    gone to prepare a place for you in heaven and he is coming back one
    day. Oh how I wish you would receive him as your payment for sin!
    See John 3, Rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23 and Rom. 10:9-10 Jesus said “And
    I, if I be lifted UP from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
    While Jesus is speaking of his death, it applies to today. Lets all
    stop lifting up our agenda, our ideas and our opinions. Lets lift
    up Jesus. This world in decaying around us, Jesus is coming soon.
    We must go and tell them! Please note – I will not respond to any
    post made to argue what I have stated above. The truth does not
    need debated, It only needs proclaimed!

    • greg says:

      R.G. Tharp – You apparently, personally know Steve, so I
      normally wouldn’t comment, but it was the way you ended your
      comment that provoked me. (I will not respond to any post made to
      argue what I have stated above. The truth does not need debated, it
      only needs proclaimed.) It is precisely this attitude, that I’m
      right you’re wrong, that makes this site so worthwhile to those of
      us that have been harmed by the IFB. Don’t want to speak for Steve
      but its probably one of the main reasons he started this site. Hey
      everybody we have another prophet (R.G. Tharp) he holds all truth,
      and knows all things, he’s just like Jesus. Take your toys and go
      on home R.G. Steve has done more ministry here by providing this
      site to us hurting people than you probably ever will. I’ll finish
      with a plea. Look at this site and see how the same type of
      judgemental, unloving attitude that you expressed in your comment
      and pray and allow God to do a work in your heart to cut out some
      of that stone that you have hiding there.

    • bob says:

      R.G. Tharpe, I was hoping you would stay and and help us
      figure out where we are going wrong. I wonder if your IFB church is
      anything like the one I went to. The pastor there insisted that I
      had to submit to him without question. Also, he told my wife not to
      cooperate with me and my leadership since I stopped going to his
      church. I wonder if your church is steeped in legalism, which is
      really a false gospel. Don’t you think it is odd that so many
      people have similar stories about getting out of legalistic and
      oppressive IFB churches? Is your church really one of the good
      ones,or are you so lifted up with pride that you can’t even
      consider that you may be in error? Why is it that you and other
      IFB’s always suggest that leaving an IFB church is the REAL problem
      and going back to you, is the real solution? Why isn’t a personal
      relationship with Christ through His Word sufficient?

  57. Starcher says:

    I was in an IFB church and school for several years as well. I had discovered that beneath the surface, the formula for their success was “inspired” if you want to call it that, from a different religion altogether! More of a circus than a church, and they put on a show that robbed people of millions of dollars and misled thousands of souls. I also believe that they send out “missions” teams to try to intimidate those who speak up about their operations — in other words, they pay groups of shady characters to gang up on their critics. From its beginning to the end that will be disclosed one day, I do believe they are not God’s favorite sons in the church industry. This website is good; keep it up for a long time.

    • bob says:

      Starcher,
      The operation you speak of sounds like Hyles-anderson and First Baptist in Hammond. Robert Sumner did a story on this operation in the late 1980’s. The place was run like a church/mafia!

      • Starcher says:

        New church, old methods it seems. Organized crime under the public image of love and leadership. They may be a front organization for Mafia activity; I have read that sometimes the mob does that, puts some people into the religious area to rescue their criminal fallout. Some people forget that the churches get their no tax status because of the government, and the government can remove that status if the church crosses the legal lines. Some churches are diseased; but if they disappear, there will always be Christians. I believe that IFB church design and structure is inherently faulty if so many of them have this kind of fallout. Disappointing how even in the comments, the IFB supporters are abusive to those who have an experience and belief to share.

  58. R. G. Tharp says:

    Greg,
    You are correct and I should have been more clear about what I meant that I would not argue about. What I say is not truth in itself, but rather what the scripture says. So far as my statement about what stands – let me be as clear as possible. What was stated about the Gospel and the scriptures is what needs no argument in my mind. I did not intend to convey that I am truth or what I say is truth, my greater intent was to state that I did not wish to argue with anyone.

    If someone is saved, they have the Holy Spirit to guide them. Just be sure you are in fellowship with him. Bitterness, unforgivenss, anger, malice, all of these grieve him and we thus are not in fellowship with him.

    “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another…” I Jn 1:7

    GET THE GOSPEL OUT TO THIS LOST AND DYING WORLD! JESUS IS COMING SOON!

    • Katie says:

      R. G. Tharp, I wasn’t going to address your comment since
      you said that you weren’t coming back, but since you came back and
      clarified what you meant by that I would like to share some
      thoughts on your original comment…

      1. R.G. Tharp wrote:

      How tragic Steve. Your parents would be
      heartbroken. Jesus’ is.

      Like Greg said, do you know Steve personally? How do you know his parent’s would be heartbroken? How do you know they aren’t helping him with this site?

      2. R.G. Tharp wrote:

      Oh how I wish you would receive him as your payment for sin!

      Since when were Christians allowed to judge another person’s salvation? Where is that in the Bible?

      3. R.G. Tharp wrote:

      The scriptures overwhelmingly condemn what you
      are doing and I assure you, our chief Commander and Shepherd would
      not join you in your efforts.

      The Bible tells us to expose false teachers and belief systems. Since this is essentially what Steve is doing, how can you believe that Jesus
      would be heartbroken and that God would condemn it? We aren’t supposed to follow “human traditions” and “empty (hollow) and
      deceptive philosophies”. – Colossians 2:8

      Paul warned us about self imposed rules and standards, self-imposed worship and false humility – Colossians 2:20-23 What about Matthew 7:15 where Jesus warns us about follow false prophets? The practices and traditions of the IFB are what’s condemned in scripture not this site.

      4. R.G. Tharp wrote:

      What is tragic is that when a lost person comes on here and reads what some of these alledged Christians write they no doubt want to run away from this worldy contention.

      What about all the people this site has helped? Why do you ignore that? How tragic the stories of the people who have been hurt by the IFB and been turned off towards God and Christianity as a result of the abuse by the IFB. Why is it tragic when a lost person comes to this site but not tragic when that happens in the church?

      5. R.G. Tharp wrote:

      The christian life is NOT about rules a
      regulations, it is about a PERSON.

      Then why does the IFB follow rules and regulations so much? Again I refer you to Colossians 2:20-23

      Finally, you condemn Steve and this site for not preaching the gospel. Not all are called with the gift of evangelism. What about the other gifts such as encouragement, music, prophecy, giving, healing, wisdom, prayer, etc. See Romans 12, I Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4, among other passages that talk about spiritual gifts. Perhaps Steve doesn’t have the spiritual gift of evangelism, but of encouragement and healing?

      Your condemnation and judging Steve and this site for not
      evangelizing smacks of arrogance in that you claim to know what
      Steve should be doing and what the Holy Spirit should be guiding
      Steve to do. This is pure IFB Phariseeism.

      I would encourage you to pull the log out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck from Steve’s (or anyone else’s) eye. You proclaim to have the truth yet most of what you say is easily refuted by the Bible. It may be a good time to re-evaluate what you think is truth.

  59. greg says:

    R.G.Tharp – I must say I like the tone of your comment this time alot better than your first. I guess I will take a stab about answering some of your judgemental attitudes towards Steve as he hasn’t, at least not as of yet.

    You say:

    1) Steve’s parents and Jesus are heartbroken over what Steve’s doing.
    How do you know that Steve’s parents are heartbroken over what he’s doing? Have you spoken to them about this? They may be delighted that Steve is ministering to hurt and broken people, isn’t this what Jesus did? How cocky to presume what Jesus is heartbroken over. Who in the world do you think you are speaking for Jesus? Who are you to judge another’s servant? This may be exactly what Jesus had in mind for Steve.

    2) Scriptures condemn what you are doing?
    Really? I notice you didn’t provide any “scripture” for this. I don’t see anywhere in scripture where ministering to hurting people that have been run over by pharisees is not scriptural, in fact I see just the opposite.

    3) Paul wouldn’t do what you are doing?
    Friend you need to really study your scriptures.(KJV or otherwise) When Peter was caving in to the Jews wishes, your favorite translation says that “Paul confronted him (Peter) to his face.” Just like the IFB’s, the Jews were trying to cram the law on the gentile believers, just exactly as you are trying to do to Steve because he’s not doing what you “think” and have been “brainwashed” to believe is ministry.

    R.G. – You have drunk deeply from the IFB Kool-aid fountain, you are judging others just as you have heard from the pulpit of your little IFB church. God is bigger than your small conception of what faith and religion is. You would do well to pick up your KJV and read it w/out preconceived notions and let the Holy Spirit truly lead you. That’s what I’m doing you may say. Really? Look at your comments here and others that are still locked in to IFB teachings, and just see the judgement you bring.

    I perceive that you have zeal without knowledge.

  60. greg says:

    Hi Katie – When I posted my last comment yours hadn’t posted yet, hey you know what they say about great minds!!

    Happy New Year to you and yours and God bless?

    • Katie says:

      We must have been writing about the same time. Sometimes it
      takes a little bit before my comments appear. It’s always nice to
      know you aren’t alone. Happy New Year to you and yours
      too!!!

  61. greg says:

    Don’t know why there is a question mark at the end of that sentence, I’m sure God will bless.

  62. Lynne says:

    Wow…it sounds like thier are some hurting people out there & we the church are responsible for loving & healing them to health by Gods grace. I believe I attend a IFB church & my experience has been so far completly different. If it ever changes…I’d be glad to share. I personally did-like ‘denominations’ since various kinds of fellowship in a perfect world would all be the same and I will not tolerate placing anything or one (denominational manmade,e tc) over Gods word the Scriptures…thats to have an idol. I’d be honest & sat that I don’t believe the IFBfellowships are all bad & perhaps most importantlty, that the doctrine they all hold to, is man made teachings over Scripture…in fact I wonder if it would be impossible since to be Independent mean you do have autonomy. One thing shared under CUltic was misue of women…(for example role of Elder/Pastor/Bishop being male & wives submission to husband,) is designated in Scripture & all Bible belieing churches would agree. But if they all were to teach women should not go to college as doctirne or even sharing that as a common opinion…thats obviously not Scriptural at all!

    Many other types of Godly fellowships I believe hold to same regaridng roles of men & women based on Bible. Yet on this site they aren ot singled out. So either all IFB hold to some wicked teachings or just some bad apples like everywhere…thats where the confussion come sin for me & I do have concerns over the authors objectitivy & docrine since he/she seems to have a view (biblical submission) as unjust to women & I wonder how much is distorted? Is this all true or not? I really fear for the author & what occured to him…but I sincerley think this lable on all IFB is wrong. If someone can prove to me by showing me the tenents that makeup IFB that are non-biblical (becasue many of the ones on markings of a cult like women submiting to thier own husband sis Biblical & was a red flag for me that something may be wrong here)…please share it. I just joined I believe (I’m not sure) a IFB church (since they do not call themselve such I don’t know) & I joined b/c they actually teach & prach straight from the Bible here in Marylan…something a true Bible belieiver may be hard press to find in Baltimore. I’m very grateful for them. I wore sports jersey my 2nd night jeans to Wed night Bible study & the pastor commented on the platform that same night aganist wanting all people to be cookie cutter but rather be who God wants us to be in Christ. I was relieved & I had just staretd visiting. Even on the web it says wear whatever you’re comfortable & enphasis Biblical fellowship. So…had I been weak or confused & saw this & then thought that church was IFB & stayed away…boy would I have missed out on such a loving & friendly Godfearing bunch of folk. That I fear is how satatn can use & misuse our pain. I’m not staying stop…do what God wants but is it? I would us ethis aganist all spirtual abuse incl within denominations…if all are proven to act the same. Sadly, spirtual abuse is everywehere…but Gods grace abounds more. I’m very sorry for the hurt cause you & your family. I encourage you to read read the word, be in a biblical & loving fellowhip, prayer & please forgive those who mistreated you…don’t allow satan any foothold. I’m glad you are safe now & I hope you are all God desires in Christ. If I ever experience anything as you have shared that is wicked (note not biblical womanhood for example but lets say saying unless I had KJV I’m not saved)…I’d know that I was not where God would have me I believe & I’d run for the hills. I pray that you & your family propser in the Lord Jesus…in His love…

  63. Sheila says:

    Just browsing through the site. Found out about it from someone on youtube. Hello to all from a former IFB church member. I didnt leave my IFB church because i disagreed w/ them or was angry or anything, i left because of my own personal struggle w/ sin and the tole that it took on my life. my husband and i separated and i followed him to get back together – thank God! So that’s what took me away from my IFB church that i loved and still love so much to this day. Since I’ve been away however, I’m beginning to question their teachings on only a couple issues. But I’ve always wanted to ask this question to a group of IFB’s or former IFB’s: (this is a serious question) What’s the one sin that we’ve been taught that will remove us from Gods protection?
    I recently heard a Pastor say that if we commit this sin, we are opening up our life to Satan to come in and destroy us. I was sickened and i flat wasn’t buying it anymore.

    • bob says:

      Sheila,
      I am not sure, but I am going to guess tithing.
      By the way, I lost my wife in an IFB church, yet I am still thankful that God brought me out of that place. I wouldn’t go back there for anyone or anything.

    • Paul says:

      Sheila,

      I love your willingness to question.
      Your question: “What’s the one sin that we’ve been taught that will remove us from Gods protection.” This sound so much like a if you don’t perform right, I won’t…..
      Then the Pastor who stated, “that if we commit this sin, we are opening up our life to Satan to come in and destroy us. In other words, if you don’t live the way (I)we tell you to, Satan will destroy you.
      Please, tell me at what time does God stops loving you? Is God the divine protector? Or is he a Father that wants to love his kids and walk with them as they struggle even with sin, and brokenness….. We live in a broken world, a world of chaos because of sin. A world where the rain falls on the just and on the unjust. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people – and vise-versa. But at no time does God not love His children.

      Free .pdf download to a great book I believe you’d enjoy.
      http://www.lifestream.org/download.php?f=5

    • Katie says:

      Sheila,

      I was always told that any unconfessed sin would “separate” you from God’s love and protection.

  64. alice says:

    I got to a IFB church and we are not how you claim we are. I don’t appreciate you posting that this is the was all IFB churches are. If my church taught what you claim they teach I would not be a member. I would appreciate it wif you would not claim this is ALL ifb churches.

    • bob says:

      Alice,
      I would agree that there are some good IFB churches. The problem that I and many others have pointed out, is that many of them are not good churches. IFB churches have fostered a culture of corruption and false teaching that make some of them cult-like.
      I am happy that your church is not one of them. However, I would like to know if you are concerned about other IFB churches that are leading people into legalism and false teaching?

  65. Mark Kronkinski says:

    WOW,
    I never thought there would be so much to say about the IFB. I guess they are not all the same because they belive in the authority of the local church. Please do not be upset that I used the word authority. Its how they say the way each Church acts is not accountable to another. Makes them all different I guess. I was wondering if you could tell me when you realized you were a sinner who deserved to spend eternity in a real Hell. When did you trust that the blood atonement of Christ was the only way to settle your sin with God. Was it at the IBF or after you left? I am also wondering how your parents took this. Did they support you? I used to attend a Church like you say you attended.

    MARK

  66. Racquel says:

    Hi Steve, I really like your site, and I am glad of the work you are doing here! I know there are alot of pentecostal spanish churches that act like their church is the only one going to heaven, its sad because in heaven there is a whole lot of room for more than one church! I had gone to one of those pentecostal churches growing up and I thought I wasn’t good enough for God. I learned about God’s grace at a Calvary Chapel years later, and there gave my heart to God a new =) Its sad that there seem to be many churches who are leading people astray, we need to pray for them!

    Keep up the good work!

    In His Grace,
    Racquel
    ps i watched that special tonight on ABC about the IFB churches, what an eye opener!

  67. Mitchell says:

    Steve, thank you for sharing your story. I was moved by your story, and a bit shocked. I think what was most shocking to me was the notion that a child wouldn’t know God’s unconditional love for them. God loves you, even when you can’t figure out what there is to love about you. I wouldn’t have made it through my teenage years without knowing that, and without knowing that no matter what, I could always turn to God. We are all valuable to Him. How could any church fail to teach that message to their children? I am so grateful that you have learned to think for yourself, and encourage others to do so as well.

  68. D.J. says:

    “In the Grip of Grace”? No way : ) That book was what started the healing process for me. I was a junior in college at PCC (circa 1999), and my religious life was poisoning me. I was in desperation, but I didn’t know why. I thought “I” was the problem. I started reading that book, and God used it to begin to set me free. I felt like I was reading porn because I probably would have gotten in trouble for reading it while at college. #grace

  69. Taylor Jorgenson says:

    Dear Steve,

    I am Taylor and I am the one that had the horrendous grammar the other night. I was expecting a response from you, but then the way I was saying everything didn’t point to you giving me an answer, so answering that first message won’t be necessary. The “truth” of the matter is this: Is exposing of the “deception”(as your website puts it)of IFB churches going to give you a reward at the Judgement Seat of Christ or as I put it the other night the Bemaseat of Christ or will it it suffer loss according to I Corinthians 3:13-15? You can’t deny that because if you do, I question your salvation. Because you know that it all boils down to that.

    Like I said before: I am siding with IFB churches and the KJB. I will except my correction, as I said before, from my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Can you say that same thing to me? What is your defense in this matter? I will gladly answer back.

  70. Chris says:

    I have attended Church off an on all my life. Being raised as a Methodist, I was suspect of Fundamentalist Churches. I thought of them as being backward and narrow-mined. Well, long story short, I was saved in an IFB church about five months ago. I has been the best experience of my life. I AM ADDING YOU TO MY PRYERS. God Bless.

  71. greg says:

    Hi Chris – I’m so delighted you have gotten saved, welcome to the family of God. It seems that you have listened well in your few months in an IFB, because you put in caps that you will be praying for us, I am assuming that is because you think we are “out to lunch” if I’m wrong just let me know, also when you put things in caps it makes victims of IFB abuse feel like we are being “shouted” at yet again, I know you are in a system that tells you that “we’re right and everyone else is wrong” but maybe you can be that one in a million fundie who has alittle compassion and empathy for folks, just like Jesus did. You can read about him in your KJV in the gospels, I know that fundies don’t read about or study Him very much, but He is a wonderful person who really demonstrates “true” love.

    God Bless.

  72. Laura says:

    @kari
    I agree with you Kari. I am a member of an “ifb” church and have been involved with other churches of other dominations through my life and never received the meat God was needing me to receive. Our church as well is very concerned with the people coming to salvation and not about attendance. I’m baffled at the amount of comments I’m reading all over the net on ifb cult rules and such… Never once have I been given a rule to follow. The head of our Bible Baptist Church IS Jesus Christ and that’s preached regularly. Our pastor brings the true word of God, and if anyone is offended, they are offended by God, not the pastor. To categorize us all in one group of “cults” is wrong in so many ways. It’s a massive shame there are sick and twisted “church leaders” who are going in such an evil direction, but that’s the case for a lot of religions and churches. And for the record, our IFB does not think we are the one true church, or even a religion. We are. Body of faithful, Bible believing, Christ following people. We have strong guidelines to follow for those of us in the childrens ministires, such as never trying to physically discipline, and in the way we talk to our students. I got a kick out of that interview on 20/20, when the lady said something about her closet of IFB dresses… Maybe she was required to dress a certain way, but never once have I been instructed on how to dress or do my hair. And the men in our church certainly recognizes the important roles we women have and hold us with respect and appreciation for the ministries we are involved in. The people of the world can’t possibly understand why we do the things we do. The bible tells us to be doers of the Word, and not hearers…. Read your bible, yes take it literally, and live your life you can to PLEASE the LORD. “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ”!

  73. Maggie says:

    Hi Steve, thanks for your story, I just watched a TV program about the IFB Cult Survivors and I was both angry at how they have gotten away with this abuse for years and I hesitate to say probably still are which is frightening and also heartened by those brave women and men who have come forward and pressed charges against these perpetrators. I wish you all well in your recovery, none of you are at fault in any way!

  74. concerned in kcmo says:

    this is very scary to me. our daughter has been brain washed and controlled by her husband since last august. it all began when they started attending a church. I have attended the church and talked with the pastor. I feel it is her husband’s family that leads this cult like life and are IFB’s working thru their church. I am not for sure how to get my daughter back. We are not allowed to see her or the baby now.

  75. Ngirlmarie says:

    Love this site!!! I have similar expiriences being in an Apostolic Pentecostal church most of my life.. totaly know what your going thru..and it takes time to even relise the full extent of abuse you went thru and to not feel guilty about leaving church and people you’ve known forever… Thanks for sharing and ive learned alot!!

  76. Linda says:

    I lost about half of my extended family when my brother-in-law molested my daughter. He and my sister have been involved with an IFB for many years. He totally denied any wrong doing of course and my sister backs him up. He is well-respected in his church and it makes me sick. I never knew how devastating molestation could be, not only for the victim, but for the entire family. Even before the incident, we could see my sister turning into a different person. She used to be so independent and say whatever she wanted (even if no one wanted to hear it!). She was free. Now she puts my brother-in-law number 1, her only son never has to do “women’s work,” but her two daughters have to do all the housework. She has shielded her children from every temptation and worldly object, even going so far as to make her son look away from a billboard with a woman on it wearing a bathing suit! She began to say that my children were a bad influence on her kids, and we’re Christians. My kids could be crazy, wear clothes that didn’t match, etc. Anyway, I’ve lost a sister and 3 of my children’s cousins whom they loved so much. All because of ONE MAN who refuses to tell the truth and hide behind the church and his piety. Our entire extended family has been split in half over this matter. They choose to believe the man we used to call “Mr Perfect” instead of my daughter, and why would a 13-year-old make something like that up? Anyway, I am sure not all IFB churches have sexual predators, but we need to be so very careful in any church. Listen to your children. Don’t hide.

  77. greg says:

    Linda – I am deeply sorry for the this abuse your daughter has had to endure at the hands of this “perfect man of God” as well as the legalism that has swallowed your precious sister. You didn’t actually state that this incident has been reported to the police, but if it hasn’t been, please report it immediately. It is very doubtful that your daughter is this predator’s first victim or will be his last.

    I feel for your sister and her children, they have now been indoctrinated into this abusive, legalistic system and truly can’t see the forest for the trees. If your brother-in-law is charged and convicted with this crime against your daughter, maybe, just maybe, some light may enter your sister’s world, and she may be able to see her way out of this mess that is know as the IFB.

    Prayers for you and your family, especially for your daughter, she should receive some counselling.

  78. Linda says:

    Greg, thank you for your comments. Yes, we went the legal route and, long story short, nothing was done. My daughter has come out of this with her self-esteem and mental/emotional health intact. I am concerned about my sister’s children and the super-protected life they live. I pray for them often. My sister is in total and complete denial. I know that she loves the Lord, so I just pray that He takes care of her precious family.

  79. John 10:10 says:

    Katie,

    I’m not trying to be rude here. I see you saying a lot to people something like “that word is not in the Bible” or “that phrase is not in the bible” or something else like that.

    The Word Trinity is not in the Bible. The Trinity is a Biblical concept but the word aint in the Bible.
    I think most people would agree that Christianity is more of a relationship with Jesus than a religion. I don’t see the word relationship anywhere in the Bible. I see the word Religion in the Bible.
    I want to be a Christian Missionary, Lord willing. I don’t see the Word Missionary anywhere in the Bible.
    Etc.

    Maybee you should cut back on this a little because it can come off as offensive. This is just a suggestion but feel free to do what you want. Just some thoughts.

    not of this world,

    A brother in Christ

  80. Patriot says:

    Hello there, ran across your website while I was searching for a Independent Fundamental Baptist church closer to where my parents live so they can start attending. I feel bad for your past experience, but it has been the total opposite for me. I was raised a Catholic with liberal spiritual beliefs and even believed in evolution, then I started going to a Southern Baptist Convention church where I believed on the Lord as savior and was born-again. But I did not really begin to grow spiritually in my walk with the Lord until I joined my Independent Fundamental Baptist church, now my family and I are on fire for the Lord and serving Him in as many ministries as we have time for. We are truly blessed to be in an IFB church!

  81. Free Spirit in Christ says:

    I was raised IFB.
    I walked on eggshells for about 17 years.
    I wore long dresses.
    I only learned KJV.
    I went to Hyles-Anderson College.
    This college is one of the “top” IFB colleges, and run by the “head” church of the IFB denomination.
    I graduated from there, and even went back to start a Master’s degree there…. because, well, by golly, if you’re a girl and not married, then you are counseled by the faculty to stay there longer. Anyway…..
    I am NO LONGER TRAPPED in an IFB church!!!
    I am so happy!
    (Oh, and I am married! To an awesome Southern Baptist guy!! :)
    Realistically, I think that the IFB is probably 70% helpful to the cause of Christ, but 30% hurtful. Not a great statistic, but in my observance I have seen many unchurched people come to know the Lord through the IFB (even if they are coerced into wearing long dresses and denied the great experience of modern praise and worship music!). I can think of more than a few of my fellow IFB college students who, once they started studying the Bible on their own, moved to a more contemporary Christian church. Of course, I know quite a few who were so overwhelmed with the “Unofficial IFB Requirements To Be A Good Christian” that they just gave up on trying to have a simple relationship with God and turned back to the world. That’s the hurtful part. But for every person stunted in their Christian growth by their IFB church, there’s probably three who were reached and helped by it.
    I do not recommend anyone join an IFB church – ESPECIALLY if they are a new Christian. But for those who are in one, and feel God is using them where they are, I just encourage you to not claim the “standards” as commandments of God… if you want to follow your church’s standard as your way to show your love to God, then, great. But the minute you start thinking you are better than a non-denominational Christian because you wear a tie to church, then you should go to your closet, burn all your ties, and go serve in the non-denominational church! Actually, you should do that anyway, in my opinion… :) But I’m not God, and you check with Him first.
    I am SO HAPPY to no longer be a part of the IFB!!! I was helped by that church family for many years, but I came to a point in my relationship with God where I needed to realize that He loves me NO MATTER how well I follow the rules, and when I came home on a break from college, I decided to be a “rebel” and listen to the local contemporary Christian radio station…. and I heard Matthew West’s “You are Everything”. It touched my heart in such a tremendous way, that I began to question why “The Church” didn’t allow contemporary Christian music. I got on the internet and began reading more, and also came across an article explaining how the IFB’s use of certain Bible verses “requiring” ladies to wear dresses only was ACTUALLY referring to women wearing warrior clothing or armor. http://www.actseighteen.com/articles/women-pants.htm
    At first I stayed in denial – no, the IFB must be right! Why would they lie to me??
    But….
    As I talked to God about it, and prayed, I felt a definite discomfort that I needed to take a break in pursuing an IFB Master’s degree, and think through this. So I did.
    A church in Dallas, TX called Watermark totally changed my mind on non-IFB churches!! An awesome community of sincere, passionate Christians who are honest and encourage each other in small groups in homes. This contemporary non-denominational church also is big on service – always putting together community service and outreach opportunities. You can tell the ladies are Christians by their Christlike spirits – not just odd long dresses. They LIVE Christianity first, build relationships, then convert. VERY VERY different from the IFB church I was raised in.
    Whew.
    I know now the IFB “lied” to me… but I think many of them really truly feel in their hearts that their teaching is from God. But I’m sure that a number of those at the top knew verses were taken out of context, but they wanted the results so badly and needed Bible to back up their own personal opinions on dress, music, etc. so they taught their own man-made ideas…… “Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.” Matt. 15:9 NLT

    Results look great (little girls is sweet dresses, boys orderly military haircuts!) but they create a very false layer of assurance that following all the rules = a relationship with God.
    And it doesn’t!!
    I’d rather have my daughter serving God, being His hands and feet in our community, and having a meaningful relationship with Him than to have her wearing culottes or skirts!
    I hope if someone reads my story, and wants to honestly explore Christianity outside of the IFB, check out Focus on the Family’s website. Yes, I know that’s taboo. But just do it!!! Be a Free Spirit! :)

  82. bob says:

    Free Spirit,
    That was a great story. It is good to hear from people that made a break from the “old paths” and are able follow Christ where He leads.
    Your assessment of the IFB in general sounds about right to me. I think most of them teach salvation by faith accurately, it is living by faith that they get wrong.

  83. greg says:

    freespirit – Your story has made my morning, thank you for sharing it!! It is because of sharing beautiful stories of freedom in Christ like this that I continue to thank our benevolent site owner, Steve for providing us this forum.

    Your 70/30% of helpfulness from the IFB quote is about right I think, there are folks that would condemn everyone with the IFB title, but as you rightly pointed out there are some wonderful folks w/in this movement, just badly misled on so many things.

    How many folks do I know that had their head mixed up by Hyles-Anderson? Thank God Almighty you escaped that place with your sanity. Jack Schaap has some serious issues. How can anyone that knows anything at all about God and the bible follow this man, btw, that’s one of the biggest problems in the IFB, following men.

    I am presently in a tiny IFB, about 20 on Sunday, last night, Wed., we had 7. An old friend of mine has started this work, and I’m trying to help get it started. I have spoken to him about just dropping the IFB title, but he’s not having it. I’m aware of at least 1 good SBC in the area but that’s about it, my choices are fairly slender, so maybe my “job” for now is to continue to help show my pastor friend the “real” grace of God.

    Tks again for your comments, you have encouraged me and I’m sure you have encouraged others.

  84. John says:

    I was saved in an Independent Baptist Church. Until then, no one really worried about my soul. After that, I got all this advice in what I needed to do next, blah, blah, blah. My pastor taught me to search every sermon and Sunday School lesson to see if the message was Scriptural. He taught me to think for myself, that I was ultimately responsible for my actions, so I needed to know the Scriptures. I have been a member of several Independent Baptist churches since. I never saw any coverups, any sexual abuse, any physical abuse, any mental abuse, except against 2 of the pastors by the deacon boards and members who think they run the church because they had been there the longest. So don’t come here with your website linking alll IFB churches together. Are there bad ones? Of course. You were always responsible for knowing the Scriptures, not just now, and you should have gotten out of that ONE church years ago. Congrats on being out now, but don’t paint everyone the same because of YOUR bitterness and naivety.

  85. Patti says:

    I was raised in a a Baptist school that was GARB but everything they did and ruled us by was just like I am hearing about in the IFB. It was awful. I appreciate this website.

  86. angelie says:

    going through this website, it really hurts me how people can think it is “spiritual abuse.” i am 17 years old and i have been going to an IFB church since 7th grade. Through the years i have been taught everything there is to be taught and i have been rebellious and was not “separated from this world” i went to church 3 times a week, sang in choir, was part of a girls singing group, went SW but i was listening to worldly music, dressing immodestly, and pretty much doing the things us teens were taught not to do. But it wasnt until i had the DESIRE in my own heart to serve the Lord did all this become clear for me. So i think thats just wat it is, if you dont have the desire then you will feel like the rules are just being shoved down your throat. ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE THAT DESIRE AND DEVELOP AN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD will you submit to serving HIM.

  87. Paul says:

    @angelie
    Anglie you are absolutely right. When your heart desires to embrace Jesus, you have tasted and have found that the Lord is good. Now all the rule keeping is no longer a chore. But from where you are standing the rule keeping will begin to suffocate that relationship. It will become the surrogate and without realizing it, the important thing will become just that – rule keeping. Begin to question or disagree with any of this and you will be considered wayward. Believe and go along with everything, and you’re fine.
    You will become more and more right as others become more and more wrong. Standards, the KJV, winning the lost, your church and you’re back on the performance treadmill not realizing that you are being distanced from Him whom you seek to embrace. I realize you will not agree, that’s OK.
    One question, who is it that says that you have to be in CHURCH everytime the doors are open?

  88. Charles says:

    @angelie

    How sad it is to me, Angelie, that your sadness is directed at the abuser rather than the victim. This shows your lack of maturity and understanding of the issue. It’s rather difficult to have that “desire” you claim is so necessary when someone is beating you over the head with scripture. It would appear that your “desire” has left you with little compassion. I wonder, what good your so called “desire” and “personal relationship with God” is if you lack compassion for the lost and hurting.

  89. John says:

    @paul, you asked Angelie, “One question, who is it that says that you have to be in CHURCH everytime the doors are open?” Most IFB churches have 3 services a week. That’s 4 to 6 hours a week, depending on the length of services. You make it sound like people are at church 24/7. But I digress. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said: 1 Corinthians 4:2 (KJV) 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Ministers, as well as members of a church, especially those who teach, sing in the choir, usher, etc., should be found faithful. Even if you don’t have an office, but are a member, the scriptures tells you: Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)
    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
    The Life Application Bible notes this: To neglect Christian meetings is to give up the encouragement and help of other Christians. We gather together to share our faith and to strengthen one another in the Lord. As we get closer to the day when Christ will return, we will face many spiritual struggles, and even times of persecution. Anti-Christian forces will grow in strength. Difficulties should never be excuses for missing church services. Rather, as difficulties arise, we should make an even greater effort to be faithful in attendance.Life Application Study Bible.
    Finally, the sign of a Christian is that he will love the brethen. What a blessing it is to be a member of a local church! Psalm 133:1 (KJV)
    1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

  90. Paul says:

    John,
    How I make it sound like people are in church 24/7 is beyond me. And while the Holy Spirit did have something to do with I Corinthians 4:2, He certainly was not equating this to being faithful to meetings in a building two or three times a week.

    (stewards of what?)

    CHAPTER 4
    1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

    Hebrews 10:25 is just giving exhortation for believers not to go it alone and to encourage one another. The early Hebrew believers under persecution certainly did not do this at a regular time, in a regular place, in a designated building.

    I guess that within local gatherings people are able to love their own. But let that cross denominational lines and it looks like anything but love. History proves this. Dwelling together in polarization, vying for position and power.

    Quit proof texting.

  91. Heidi says:

    Steve, may God bless you for seeing Him in the midst of all the legalism and deception.

  92. Heidi says:

    http://www.sacandco.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=89181&catid=2

    If anyone would like to read this link, it’s regarding Regency Baptist Church in Orangevale, CA. I had to turn “Pastor” Nichols and his church in for bludgeoning docile rabbits to death in a public park IN FRONT OF SMALL CHILDREN. They then consumed the meats of the dead rabbits and YES, they fed it to the kids. The article made top story on News 10. Please read if you are interested in gearing more. Of course, his comment about me was “(Shes) full of it”…. typical IFB response lol

  93. Benjamin Pearson says:

    I’m sorry that you had experiences like that, but i want you to know that not all Independent Baptist Churches are like that. I hope that the Lord blesses you in continue in your journey with the Lord.

  94. John says:

    @paul I have neither the time nor the inclination to try and teach someone who slants the scriptures to mean what he wants. You are dead wrong in your exegesis.

  95. Charles says:

    @Benjamin Pearson

    You’re either delusional or in denial. That’s like hearing someone say that they don’t like Burger King hamburgers and telling them, “not all Burger King hamburgers are like that”.

  96. Charles says:

    @John

    1. I don’t remember Paul asking you to teach him anything.

    2. I’m afraid that YOU are the one who is slanting scriptures… (i.e., how do you get church attendance requirements from the word “faithful” in I Corinthians 4:2?) – talk about twisting scriptures.

    3. How you get “be a member of a local church” from Psalm 133:1 is beyond my comprehension. I would LOVE to hear further explanation (er I mean exegesis) on that one.

    4. Typical IFB response. Someone counters your argument with some ideas on a different (and might I add more accurate) interpretation of scripture and your only reply is nothing short of hand waving. “Sorry but your ‘dead wrong'” isn’t a very strong argument.

    5. I’m afraid that it is YOU that needs to take a few lessons on proper exegesis… and try not to take lessons from the IFB. That’s where you are getting confused I think.

  97. Paul says:

    @Heidi
    Heidi,
    These are definitely “men” men. Quite able to kill the most ferocious rabbits.
    Love what you did.

  98. Lynne says:

    @BeenThereDoneThat

    @BeenThereDoneThat
    Awesome testimony…praise GOD & thanks for sharing!

  99. Lynne says:

    @William M. Jackson
    I admire & exhort your humbleness & willingness to not return evil for evil…but nevertheless I would stay far away from those who ‘profess to know Jesus and so clearly demonstrate absolute ignorance of Him & Gods character”. If it were other sins besides racism (for example theft, sexual immorailty, etc) that were constaant reminders of the lack of fellowship & fruit of Jesus as Lord…wouln’nt we seek elsewhere? In the end…we should be where GOD desires…but what I’m growing to find (by the way I’m no longer fellowshiping at the IFB but a non-denominational) is that the more religious one tends to be…the better reflector of a true lack of relationship with the LORD. We are saved by faith alone…once we place our faith in Jesus alone then supernaturally His Spirit indwells us & changes us inside. When we are truly changed inside…we have the power & desire to live for Him…we dont have to try soo hard to be religious (on outside or rules, etc) which usually accompanies a real lack of love (as you shared) but instead we are filled with true righteousness & desire to live that out. Often I suspect places in zeal for law do so out of lack of real love & grace that is what truly saves & really transforms heart. Thus they do not know GOD but religion…like everyone else. Perhaps this also explains how so called Christians held slaves, were KKK (and still are) and hate today…they are ‘professors’ w/ religion but no JESUS I believe. May GOD bless!

  100. Lynne says:

    @Heidi
    No Vegan-Just curious…was they simply killing rabbits & eating them?? lol…I think too may of us like to eat meat but dont want to see it be made into dinner food. Anyway…sorry but yes I’ll check out this ‘sweeping’ story….just sounds a bit…well…silly but then again I don’t know no facts. -

  101. Lynne says:

    @Charles
    Although I agree that meeting & fellowshiping is about whom we meet with (saints are the church not the building)…how, when & where is liberty. What is not ‘liberty’ is lack of love. Come on fellows…if its IFB vs Non IFB then one is just as guilty as the other.

  102. Charles says:

    @Lynne

    Liberty certainly isn’t with the IFB with all their rules and standards and man made traditions. If you think this issue is simply IFB vs. Non IFB then you are sadly short sighted.

  103. bob says:

    To all,
    David Jeremiah is currently teaching on the book of Galatians. I think his messages are really good and his teaching on Galatians is “spot on”. I decided to buy the whole series on cd and sent them to my wife:). Keep praying and reaching out to the people you love, God may use you in some way to bring them to the knowledge of the truth.

  104. Lynne says:

    @Charles
    Clarity…What I mean is I guess that how we address the spirit in which we engage is is a non-liberty issue…we are commanded to engage in love & when I see fighting w/ words b/c of sharp disagreement I think that we can forget that the commandment we have to engage in a love is forgotton. If an IFB does allow liberty in such things it should be accpetable…after all the fact of ‘Independent’ DOES mean they are free to govern apart from a ruling body other then Jesus. However, if it does not allow liberty where liberty is given it should be addressed but never in the spirit of Ima a non IFB Christian or an IFB Christian as an escuse not to practice love. Occasionally,I see the same ‘lack of love’ on both sides of this issue…and my point is its never liberty in failing to love the brethren.

  105. Charles says:

    @Lynne

    Can you please share the scripture reference where “we are commanded to engage in love”? What do you mean by that? I wonder even how you can tell just through written posts on a blog whether someone has loving intentions or not. Are you psychic or something?

    Fighting doesn’t automatically mean that love isn’t present. Just because two or more people are having a “sharp disagreement” doesn’t mean that they aren’t sharing their individual view points in love.

  106. Jeff says:

    You are very bitter. I’m sorry you were hurt. Sounds like you simply need to forgive people for being flawed. Nobody is perfect, and as a result, neither is any church. I hope you eventually let go of this irrational hatred. Abuses are horrible, in fact, abuses in the name of faith are beyond that, possibly the worst thing someone can do to someone else. But, the fact of the matter is that every group or organization has upsides and downsides. The downside to IFB is that there is no governing body that can catch and punish those that behave inappropriately, that is up to you as a member, or up to your parents if you are a minor. If your parents felt that the teachings were right, and that those teachings are the ones they wanted imparted unto you, are you really mad at the IFB, or are you neglecting to honor your father and mother? Forgive your parents for placing you in a church you disagree with, then you might forgive the pastor and leadership of your IFB. Best wishes,
    Jeff C.

  107. Charles says:

    @Jeff

    I’m sorry you are so judgmental and condescending, Jeff. I hope that you will eventually start trying to understand rather than jump to judging someone based on a website.

    Abuses ARE horrible (your words) and I pity you for blowing them off as something that “just needs to be forgiven.”

    You are a class act! I rank you up there with child molesters and murderers. There is a special place in hell just for ass holes like you that abuse in the name of Christ and then go around telling people that they just need to forgive. You hand waving the abuse as just something that needs to be forgiven and expect God to be pleased with you. You take sides with the abuser and berate the victims and then expect us to listen to what you say.

    I remember something about a millstone and drowning for those who offend such innocent victims. May God have mercy on your soul!!!

  108. JHON DEAR says:

    CRY BABY….AGU, AGU, AGU, AGU, AGU

  109. Charles says:

    Very smart argument Jhon. Did you think of that all by yourself? You have changed my mind!!! I am now going back to the IFB because of the truth of your message!!! Thank you very much!!! Well constructed argument of logic and reasoning. pfffffff

  110. shycat says:

    I have looked at this website for two days now and finally have made up of my mind to never visit. I cannot properly say what i want to say for then i would have to go into a discussion and that is not what i want. I just hope people will only view this as an opion only website.

  111. Paul says:

    @shycat
    Too funny. One of the things that I enjoy about being out of the IFB movement is that I can have a discussion with other believers. I’m more interested in having a conversation with others than sitting through another sermon where everyone is preached at. Of course, this is just my opinion.

  112. Charles says:

    @shycat
    Yeah that would be horrible to have an open minded discussion about the IFB. I guess it’s easier to stay closed minded and blindly follow the IFB dogma. Congrats on taking the path of least resistance.

  113. Bob says:

    I just wanted to share something with you, the IFB as you refer to it , did not save me; The HOLY GHOST convicting power of GOD, not the IFB showed me that I was a sinner on my way to hell. I thank GOD for a man of GOD that stood up and preached the truth to me. I was one of these people that was on the outside looking in, and yes I too thought that they were a cult, until I found the truth. I have been saved for 11 years now and I must say that it changed my life. If you read Genesis and study it out you will see that GOD gave everyone a free will and it is yours to do what you want with it. There is only one judge and that is Almighty GOD himself, but we can judge a person by the fruit they bare. Quit complaining and blameing others for the way that your parents raised you, that was their descision, not the church you attended. And yes the bible does teach us that if you dont have love and forgiveness in your heart then you dont have GOD, by they way that word CHARITY that is mentioned in the bible means love. By the way charles, thanks for the vocabulary.

  114. Charles says:

    @Bob

    1. Can you please show us one place on this site where someone is complaining and blaming their parents?

    2. Can you please show us where in the Bible it states “that if you dont have love and forgiveness in your heart then you dont have GOD”?

  115. Bob says:

    Was it not Steves parents that took him to an Idependent Fundametal Baptist Church, you are right, he did not secifically blame his mother or father, but they are the ones that put him in the church. Read 1 John Chapter 1 verses 1-10 (PRIDE) is a sin Charles, pride has stopped a lot of christians from serving the lord. GOD is Love. Pride keeps us from foregiving people whether we are right or wrong. I have seen churches split because of pride.

  116. Paul says:

    @Bob

    Bob states: “I have seen churches split because of pride.”
    Were any of these IFB churches?

    In an article from “Christianty Today,” the author pinpoints the problem.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/julyweb-only/mostriskyprofession.html?start=2

    It’s an amazing statement, and all the more when it was written by one of Christianity Today’s own writers. “So we have a system in which pride and hypocrisy are inevitable,” writes Mark Galli in an article titled, “The Most Risky Profession.” And there’s more all the way from ambitious churches lusting for size and that we have shaped the American pastorate so that the sin of arrogance is “impossible to escape”. One can’t help but wonder why his advice falls so far short of actually resolving the problem. It’s a “red pill” moment as this article offers us the choice to see things as they really are or to drift back into the illusion that we can just make the best of a bad system by praying for your Pastor, which by the way, will not change the “system.”

  117. Charles says:

    @Bob

    Bob :
    Read 1 John Chapter 1 verses 1-10 (PRIDE) is a sin Charles, pride has stopped a lot of christians from serving the lord. GOD is Love. Pride keeps us from foregiving people whether we are right or wrong. I have seen churches split because of pride.

    Uh Bob, that’s a stretch. 1 John 1 is not about Pride and I don’t see where you get the idea that “if you dont have love and forgiveness in your heart then you dont have GOD” from that passage.

    Would you like to try again? You’ve piqued my curiosity. I would love to know how you came up with that.

  118. Matthew says:

    Hello Brother Steve. God bless you for your testimony, however, I would like to point out to you a couple flaws in your arguments. Please hear me out. I live in Oregon and have never been east, but from what I’ve been told, what you are saying about these kinds of churches might well be true. However, if a church calls themselves an IBF, and yet they pass on traditions as you say, then they are obviously not independent at all. Jesus warned us about putting tradition higher than God’s word (Matthew 15:2-9) as you have mentioned, so I commend you for recognizing that.

    The other thing I would like to point out is that you cannot call the IBF a denomination, because a denomination is in fact a subset (subgroup) of the Christian church at large. If a church is truly independent, that means they are not part of any group. Where I’m from, IBF churches are often just that because they do not wish to participate in this exchange of traditions if you will and thus get distracted from discerning the will of God through sound doctrine from the Word of God.

    I attend an IBF church, but we are truly not associated with any other church and I can assure you that our pastor preaches from God’s Word and is clearly spirit led. I have been saved for almost 20 years now and while I certainly make no claims of being perfect, I know from the bible that we are able to identify people/churches by their fruit according to the scripture.

    My whole point is to encourage you not to make sweeping generalization statements about all IBF churches. With that said, I appreciate your testimony and look forward to meeting you someday dear brother. God bless, Matthew.

  119. Lynne says:

    @JHON DEAR Well Bro Charles, this is good example of lack of love! Remeneberprofessors…if we don’t love the brethren we don’t know GOD.

  120. Lynne says:

    @Charles Perhaps you’re correct…I have limited experience with an IFB church, I was in between church fellowships & visited Rosedale Baptist in MD. I wanted to be baptized and they baptized me after a interv w/ a bro. He was it seems on fire for the Lord…but I left soon, realizing it was not where I believed God wanted me to be. They did not really ‘advertiise’ I think IFB but when I did some digging it was listed as a IFB. These very issues were brought up via emails, and I expected feedback, and it was all positive from Pastor Tewell & I even aplologized on behalf of those who may have been accusatory towards him on my behalf, after running into neg stuff about IFB & he seemed not offened based on email. But after I arrived for service, it ‘seemed’ like I was being preached aganist…you know when a sermon seems particuarly geared towards you. I had this occur once before, so I’m kinda familar w/ the feeling.

    Needless to say I was stunned b/c by email I got the impression no hard feelings. I don’t know if I was just being parnoid or if true…but yes that is the feeling I got. I might add my car temp broke down after I was near joining, so during those weeks out, is when the digging began, after running into this site. Doing a Bible Study…one man stated aloud a comment about makeup, and this same pastor that babtized me made it clear in my opinion, makeup was no only an option but enhancement. But its obvious, that its a way different Church culture than many, in that it was an ‘issue’ by someone in attendance…and a man at that,,,lol Also, during Evangelism (before the incidents mentioned above),outreach, it was very few there for so great a number in church and the atmosphere was not exactly friendly but not hostile entirely, I noticed I was the only person wearing pants under a top that could pass for shirt or blouse. Also, it was primary ‘that day’ on contacting those who have been missing. I thought it was just outreach to all lost…kinda naive I guess to think that, as I look back. Overall…bottom line my experience was very limited & I heard was attracted to the preaching through the Bible chapter by chapter & verse by verse kinda service & in my mind it seemed & still does seem like it was sound biblical doctrine, except maybe on tithes.

    As far as KJV only, I never had that pushed & I do believe pastor Tewell was trying to be open to all without loosing his own pref for some traditions (like his wife never wore pants & other women there) yet were open & preached aganist being closed to those who differed. I think all the emails on behalf of stuff like this kinda got to him (hes only human) & he felt abused,,,so his sermon that day dealing with Jesus being betrayed by Judas might have been not God soley directed, as he went into as I walke din, on being betrayed, watching the company you keep, etc. After all, where is it in Bible Judas was influenced by company he kept…see my point? Also, he was soo enthusatically, looking at me, as if to say: I’m glad you walked in! But again…how much was it me too…I cant be certain.

    As far as KJV I so know for a fact & have info on links, where they show how verses are deleted from other translations & its written (not sure if true), how the NIV board has a lesbian on the translation committee. I dont believe KJV is the only Bible to have but I do believe based on facts, that others leave out important Scripture, so I would always keep a KJV alongside any other for comparison. In retrospect, for the Lord has greatly blessed me & moving me closer to a love for Him & genine love for Body of Christ; I do not know enough regarding the IFB (that expericne was soo short) but I am thankful that the author of this Blog Ministry has & is growing in closer relationship with God through Lord Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) & if not that is my sincere desire for him & all that happen by this site. Again, I;m genuinally sorry for anyone abused in the name of God but under the spirit of ‘religion’ but remember: ‘Whom the Son sets free is free indeed”! May GOD bless~
    p.s I’m blessed to have found a Bible believing fellowship, not religious in phairsee but in love & its a blessing…

    p.s. I’ve been blessed to find a Bible believing & teaching fellowship & not big on religion of Phairsee but religion of love,,,the pastor really seems to love the Body of Christ (all members not just those who look, act or think like him).

  121. Lynne says:

    @Bob
    I praise God for all good He has done in your life. Love does not mean abusing a child in the nale of God. If true, its not something to be silent about & all righteous anger & indignation needs to be heeped at the soo called ‘church’ that taught false teaching. Its hyprocritical to say we are accounatble for sin then uphold any abuse & spitual abuse in guise of God, if true…shame on you!

  122. Lynne says:

    @Charles
    All trhough Bible its clear if you dont love brethren dont know God & forgive others or your sins wont be forgiven…I mean these are actually Scripture quotes paraphased. Something is wrong. Mat 6:15~1 Joh 2:9-11 are just ‘2’ examples.

  123. Lynne says:

    @Charles
    um…how can you ‘have God’ & not ‘know God’…pls ‘attempt’ to answer that question. And anyone who thinks a system, or anything can’t be changed by prayer to God for intervention (even if that intervention is deliverance out) seems to not be familar with Him as well on a ‘relationship’ level. I disagree with many and have shared it…but yet I admit you do not ‘seem’ to know in relationship the Lord God Almighty, He who changes & keeps supernaturally. He’s the had it not been for the Lord…I would be dead God. Its not totally descrable, but once you began the encounter…you can not stay the same…and this goes for the ‘religious but lost’ folk as well.

  124. Charles says:

    Lynne :@Charles All trhough Bible its clear if you dont love brethren dont know God & forgive others or your sins wont be forgiven…I mean these are actually Scripture quotes paraphased. Something is wrong. Mat 6:15~1 Joh 2:9-11 are just ’2? examples.

    Lynne, Bob stated “if you dont have love and forgiveness in your heart then you dont have GOD”. I don’t know what he meant by that and I still don’t because he never told me. I can only surmise that he is talking about salvation since that’s the only thing I can think of that “you don’t have God” means. I can’t find the phrase “you don’t have God” in the Bible though so I can’t be certain.

    The Bible is clear that salvation is a gift and NOT earned by works (see Romans 6:23, Titus 3:5-7, I John 1:9, etc.). So there is either a major contradiction in scriptures or there is a different meaning behind “you don’t know God” if you don’t “forgive or love the brethren”.

    Since Bob never explained further (except to try and redirect with the Pride issue) and you seem to agree with Bob, I’d like to ask you to please explain further because I’m very confused by what you and Bob mean by those things.

  125. Charles says:

    Lynne :@Charles um…how can you ‘have God’ & not ‘know God’…pls ‘attempt’ to answer that question.

    I don’t know what you mean by that terminology. You’d have to define what you mean by the terms “have God” and “Know God”. The term “have God” isn’t even in the Bible that I’m aware of. I’m assuming for the moment that by “have God” you mean salvation??? If so, I would imagine that once a person is saved he/she can “have God”, but sanctification is a process that remains incomplete until we get to heaven so we can’t fully “know God” in this life time. But I’m not even sure why you are asking me that question.

    Lynne :@Charles …but yet I admit you do not ‘seem’ to know in relationship the Lord God Almighty, He who changes & keeps supernaturally.

    What gives you that impression? How can you be the judge of what my relationship with God does or doesn’t “seem” like (what are you using as a measuring device so make that assumption)? Not everyone has the same type of relationship with God and it’s very judgmental of you to take what you think a relationship with God should look like and try to fit me in that box. I’m unique and my relationship with God is unique. My relationship with God is really none of your business and is strictly between me and God.

  126. Lynne says:

    @Charles Dont know about Bob, what he means nor what I agree with..lol…but pls ‘ask Bob what he means, as for me: just what already shared…”dont love Brethren (that goes for me, you, bob, any professing saint) then dont know God. If anyone hates bro then love of God not in them (same for me, you, bob, etc). I John 5:”..Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God” What command on love & forgivness? Pls see: See: 1Joh 4:20 ~(Matthew6:14-15)~(Matthew6:12)~(Mark11:25-26).
    May God bless . p.s. Did not respond to rest b/c seemed more rhetorical & based on ‘defense’ stance. For record not attacking you, or ‘judging’…I stated clearly ;it ‘seems’ and thought I made it clear (pls forgive me if I did not) why…b.c you ‘seem’ to be resisting command to love & fogive or argue over what is clearly Scriptural. In one response you stated ‘how do you know I’m not being loving in doing speaking aganist something’…ok I agree that is love to speak aganist but in how you do so was my point. I was not saying you personally was not but agreeing that love is important…then you seemed to want to debate Scriptures on loving brother as saying I’m changing salvation as free gift. I dont know if you are saved, angry, defensive o=& probally have been sinned aganist…but whats the point of rhetorical debated on Scripture clearly given. If you’re ‘comfortable’ with salvation that mean snot knowing God (you meaning either this as a rhetorical stance or personal)…than you have free will,

    But just as I would be leary with a professing Christian claiming to be saved & yet not loving bro & abusing them, I would be of one ‘resisting forgiveness & as a mandate in Scripture’… the more you are in fellowship & in Him…some sin issues are not able to be nourished, and unforgivness, bitterness, etc are included. Well this is the the end & again…may God bless & if I’ve sinned aganist you in any way…may God convict me, pls forgive me I’m sorry.

  127. Lynne says:

    @Lynne
    p.s. 2: If anyone has abused (spirtually, physcially, mentally,etc) you and/or anyone on this blog…I’m genuinally sorry, recgonize & and acknowledge what was done, and am sorry & my genuine prayers for healing, restoration & all that God desires for you all are petioned, in Lord Jesus name!. Just ‘felt’ wanted to share this.

  128. Lynne says:

    @Lynne
    p.s. 3…now I think I know why I ‘felt’ led to go come back & check all Bob’s comments, in refereance to the above” Quit complaining and blameing others for the way that your parents raised you, that was their descision, not the church you attended. “…I WHOLEHEARTDELY disagree with that. Anyone abused in a Church or anywhere, but esp in the Church…its our responsibility as members to address it, so if any abus ehappened, that false teaching & wolf & sheep clothing should not be let off the hook & its outright unloving to tell someone (esp raised as a child in it…but anyone) to Quit complaining and blameing others .” They are to blame, as well as, the parents are responsible …and only God knows all is judge so no wonder you are defensive…I';m so sorry, I should have been careful.

    As for forgivness and love…the grace of God Whom dwelss are true Believes will enable. May God bless all…Shalom

  129. jacon says:

    @Charles
    1john 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

  130. jacon says:

    @Charles
    also if you cannot forgive people thier transgressions then you should question your salvation. any one man or woman that has called upon the name of jesus for forgiveness knows what they have been forgiven, the depth width and breadth of that includes EVERYTHING. you should be able to forgive likewise!

  131. Charles says:

    @jacon

    Matthew 7:1-5
    King James Version (KJV)

    1. Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4. 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? 5. 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.

  132. Charles says:

    @jacon

    How do you know I can’t forgive them (or even that I haven’t forgiven them)?

    The last time I checked, me forgiving people of their transgressions isn’t a prerequisite to salvation.

    Ephesians 2:8-9
    King James Version (KJV)

    8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.

  133. greg says:

    @Charles
    What is a mote? mete? beam?

  134. Charles says:

    @greg

    I have no idea Greg. I was just trying to speak Jacon’s language. Trying to beat him at his own game I guess. If he can judge us using the KJV then we should be able to tell him not to judge right?

  135. greg says:

    My question was really to Jacon, to attempt to get him to think!!!!!!!

    I consider myself to be of at least average intelligence, and I certainly have a difficult time wading through this type of language to understand what our God and Creator wants us to know. This passage of scripture is case in point. It is an extremely important message that our Creator wants us to learn from and yet in the KJV its muddled up with words that most of us today can’t understand. I wish these good KJV folks could simply open their eyes and come to understand that their favorite translation was made for folks that walked this ol’ Earth several centuries ago.

  136. Kelli Parker Becton says:

    Charles, I’m sorry you were so terribly hurt. I also grew up in the IFB church/ school/ home and suffered some of the same abuses. The actual teaching of scripture (in my case) was spot on and some great teaching. There were a handful of people in authority – mainly the dean of women – who were pretty messed up, mean spirited, abusers who liked to use God’s Word as a weapon to do harm in order to assert power and build themselves up. Like I said though, it was limited to a select few- but those few did a lot of harm. Fortunately for me, I came from a loving home and with God’s help I managed to climb out of the self esteem issues which resulted. We eventually left the church (as a family) because my parents became aware of the abuse of power in too many instances. Any time you gather a group of people – and throw in religion – especially when there are people actually coming to Christ- satan will work to find a foothold and do his worst. Sadly, some will work hard for him and hurt people like you. I don’t blame the IFB, and actually still hold mostly the same beliefs – the people who did the abusing will answer to God for what they’ve done. I understand your need to speak out, but please be careful how you do it so that you don’t become a stumbling block to someone who doesn’t know God at all. I didn’t walk in your shoes, so I won’t try to address the issue any further except to encourage you to keep working it out with the Lord – allow His love and forgiveness to fill you – and follow His lead. God bless.

  137. Jana Sanger says:

    I’m hoping someone would be willing to answer this question. Preferably those of you who are or have in the past been a part of and Independent Baptist Church. I’m wondering why in this particular church, a person who says they are a Christ-follower and has found their salvation in Jesus (and fruit is shown in their lives), later says “I was just saved!!! I thought I had been but part of me doubted…and I really wasn’t saved! Now I KNOW I am!!!”. I’m just so very confused. I, along with my sisters, were raised in a wonderful church that preached of God’s goodness, grace, forgiveness, mercy, as WELL as his justice and the truth of what it means to fear our Lord. My sister started attending an IFB about 10 years ago. Shortly after she began going, she called my mom saying that she finally got saved. At this point she was like 28. But I know she was truly saved by God before that. I know she had prayed the prayer of salvation long before this. Fruit was evident in her life long before this IFB “revelation. She is not the only person I know to do this. Can someone please tell me what is being preached in such churches to make their congregates second-guess their salvation???? Thank you so much!

  138. Ral Shannon says:

    Jana, I keep coming back to this site since discovering it a few days ago. The reason I keep returning is that I’m trying to figure out where my IFB pastor is coming from. I was raised in a General Conference Baptist church & in a Christian home. I was saved in July of 1952 (one month from my 12th birthday). I know my Spiritual gifts and have used them many times while in the GCB church. Later in life, I came to love the GARBC type churches as they are closely stitched to the GCB the way I saw it. Later on, I had serious trouble in a Southern Baptist church. After retirement, we moved to a very small town where there two Baptist churches, a Southern and an IFB. While visiting a fine GARBC in a town, too far to get to just Sunday morning services, the pastor suggested we join the IFB church we are now in. We’ve been in this church 4 or 5 years now. I loved it at first but then that love began to fade. I’m terribly hard of hearing but I run the sound system (I have a great deal of trouble with it too). I am unable to hear much of what is said during the services but I record and edit the whole services, so I hear what all was said after the services and at home. There have been many times that I had to call the pastor to see if he wanted a mistake removed from his sermon. One time, he thanked me for catching one but all the others, he told me that he didn’t understand what it was that I was challenging so I figured what’s the use and decided to not call him about the mistakes. After I finish editing, I place them on the Internet. That was a bit of background.
    The reason I search this site and others, is to try to figure out what’s going on. After some knowledge that the leadership of the church was actively stirring up discord, I did a study of Proverbs 6:16-19 on my own. I sent the pastor an email regarding it, telling him that he or whoever is doing this, is bound to lose rewards and this activity is a horrible abomination to God. After that, he acted like he didn’t know what I was talking about. He previously said that the whole Bible will be preached in that church but I highly doubt if Proverbs 6:16-19 will ever be preached.
    After reading your post and heard what my current pastor has said, relative to this, I have to conclude that nothing counts that has taken place in a church other than a IFB church. One other thing I had been trying to figure out why, I had told this pastor of an experience I had that I couldn’t fully understand other than it was a word of knowledge from God. He negated it as if I was nuts or something but today, I heard him say the same experience happened to him. In other words I must conclude that God only gives special or should I say a word of knowledge to my pastor, no one less than a pastor.
    A non-related point I want to make here, at this point in my life, I truly don’t believe the IFB church my wife and I are members of, is a cult but rather, because of our pastors’ upbringing in and IFB church, certain things he does or says are cultish. Our pastor was previously a police officer and for that, I seem to gather that he believes he is above the law to some respect. ..Ral@Jana Sanger

  139. Alan Boyd says:

    Please visit our site to see and understand exactly Who, When, Where, Why and What are Independent Baptist. The most important page is “Ponder” Lets us know what you think?

    http://www.johnsoncountychurches.yolasite.com

    Thanks and God bless…. Alan

  140. greg says:

    Hey Alan, After visiting “your” site, I would recommend that you come back and read all the articles here, there is much knowledge here that you should avail yourself of.

  141. Ral Shannon says:

    I previously wrote that the reason I come to this site and others like it, was to try to figure out my IFB pastor. It took a while but I believe I finally figured him out however I don’t wish to say much about it because I am always trying to be very cautious not to spread discord. I will say however that once a person attends all the services in an IFB church and then quits attending all but one, they become an outcast in that church, at least in the church I am a member. If it weren’t for a promise I made to God about 30 years ago (in the 1980’s) I would have already joined the ranks of the unchurched, just because of happenings in my IFB church. I fully understand what can cause people to quit attending churches. Much of it has to do with spreading discord amongst the brethren which is an abomination to God. This takes place regularly in my IFB church. This IFB church where I’m a member is the first ever church that made me an outcast. I’m said to be a weak Christian and people are told that they should not associate with a weak Christian (this is why I say it is cultish – in my previous post above). I didn’t think I’d ever say that it’s a wonderful blessing to be hard of hearing. I used to edit the sermons (some of them are just talks as I see it). I’d remove the unwanted sounds and remove mistakes after contacting the pastor about them (all that I contacted him about, was in relation to God’s almighty power as he at least did not believe God was all powerful and all knowing as he stated several times – some of which are still on the church site. Since recently figuring out why he quoted Hebrews 5:12 to me while coming very close to me, to be sure I heard it, I recently quit editing the whole sermon as I no longer am the least bit interested in listening to what he has to say. I just edit the beginning and the end (as do all other web masters who place the sermons on the Internet). As I used to edit them, I had to listen to every word he said, so I didn’t miss something that had to be removed.

  142. greg says:

    Three to thrive! Yep you are not faithful, because you are not attending 3 meetings a week. (love to see the scripture to support that) Sounds like your pastor is becoming more king-like. It’s difficult for simple men to handle authority.

    “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

    Welcome, and I would like to hear more of your story!

    • Steve says:

      In the IFB it’s all about numbers. I remember my churches had designated “counters” each service to count how many we’re in attendance. If people don’t come for every service then the numbers seem to be less so they promote the idea that you need to be there every time the doors are open to keep the “numbers” up. If the “numbers” drop it reflects poorly on the leadership who in turn put pressure on the congregation to bring in more people. It’s such a scam.

  143. Ral Shannon says:

    I just wanted to return here and write that I’ve been feeling bad about one thing I previously wrote and need to make it right. I wrote something to the affect that if I had not made the promise to God, that I made, I would join the ranks of the unchurched. I did mean that I can thoroughly understand why some completely quit attending a church but for myself, I don’t believe I could do that. I’ve been attending church ever since I can remember and most of the time, when I was on vacation, I would attend church in the area I went to (when I could locate and General Conference Baptist church or one that I had listened to the minister a long time). I’m really not much for blogging (I’m not so good at writing either) but I will probably return at a later time with more information.

  144. Ral Shannon says:

    Something else I’m struggling with and cannot seem to figure out, maybe someone on this board can help me with it. I’ll start at square one.
    I was raised in a Christian home and in Northern Minnesota. When very young, I remember walking a very long ways, to go to church. The church was a General Conference Baptist Church. Later in life I got very sick and had to be admitted in the hospital. I had Nephritis and was in the hospital nearly a full year (I failed that year of school). After returning home, my mother told me that there was a point in which the doctors said that they did all they could do for me and that most likely I won’t make it. She said she had the people at church pray that I would recover. My mother had very strong faith, I was given her diary after her death in December of 1963. In it, she recorded dates of when the family was in need of things as well as dates of God provided for the needs. Unfortunately though, my parents never witnessed to us kids (I have a younger brother and an older sister, neither of them want anything to do with God). I remember times in church when God was calling me but I resisted (I remember the resistance). Then while at a summer Bible Camp, during a meeting time on the sandy beach, during the invitation, I responded to God’s calling and gave my heart to Jesus (everything during that meeting remains so clearly etched in my memory, it was in July of 1952). Upon returning home after camp, I was baptized in my home church (First Baptist Church of Chisholm, MN). Somewhere in there, I’m not sure exactly when, I remember receiving a very clear calling to be a Home Missionary. I told my parents but they said nothing. I told my pastor but he said nothing. I told my Sunday School teacher but he said nothing. While still quite young, I remember hearing my dad and mom talking and mom said I used to be just as smart as my brother and sister before I got sick. Later on while in school, the teacher told the class that she wanted to help them with what they wanted to be when they grew up. She went around the room and read what each person wrote down and then talked to them individually. She came to my desk and read what I wrote down “a Baptist Home Missionary” but she said nothing, she continued to the next person in the class. I could not figure out why no one answered me. God also let me know other things but I kept them to myself (oh, I still know what they are but I’ll just ponder them in my heart). I left home and went looking for a place to live that never snowed. I pretty much found it and settled in this area but it’s really hot in the summer! I continued attending church, working and married a wonderful girl in 1964 that spoke very fluent Hillbilly. In the early 1980’s while at work, I was lifting a very heavy box and felt a pop in my back. I decided to complete paperwork the rest of my shift. I ended up in the hospital with a compressed disk in my lower back. I chose against the surgery since the doctor said I could end up paralyzed. I was sent home and had to remain flat on my back for 2 months. During this time, I read my Bible from cover to cover and was also reading the bible with our daughter when she got home from school. I changed doctors and the new doctor helped me to be able to walk without the extreme pain and so I returned to church and volunteered to help with the sound system although I was hard of hearing (but they had a system that worked and with headphones, so I managed). Some time later, the pastor challenged everyone to pray every day, that souls would be saved through the ministries of the church. Several (including me), took him up on that challenge and as I prayed, I realized that I am the church, so I started praying that souls would be saved through me. Oh, did God ever answer that prayer!!! It was so exciting how God caused my personal ministry to flourish. I started out writing mini sermons as when I previously would share the sermons from church on Cassette tapes with people, I could tell that they often did not listen to the whole messages, so I figured a 15 minute message would do a lot more good and so I ordered a case of blank 15 minute cassette tapes and wrote my first message that I entitled “You Can Have Another Chance”. I then took the mini-sermon to church and recorded my voice, reading the message and placed it on each side of the cassette tapes, I hired a print shop to provide a special sized tract with the complete message on it and also Cassette labels. I then handed them out to people at work and other places, letting them know that it is my voice on the tape and the same thing on both sides. One evening while leaving work, one of the guys who worked in the warehouse hurried up to me and said “I want to share my testimony with you because you’re in it.” It was so wonderful. He asked me if I remembered giving him a tape on You Can Have Another Chance, he said he played it in his van as he went home for lunch one evening and he prayed the prayer that was on the tape and when he got home, since it was late, he woke his wife and had her listen and she also prayed the prayer on the tape. Another guy who worked there, when he came to work one day, rushed over to me and gave me a big hug and said “Thank you for not giving up on me”. He also prayed the prayer on the tape. There were others. My personal ministry flourished during that time, not only did I have a large tape ministry but I got permission to visit vets in the vet hospital (I did that once per week) another once per week visitation was at a nearby retirement home. My greatest love however was going out door-to-door in what I called Neighborhood Personal Evangelism [NPE]. I had taken some correspondence courses from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. I got some of the guys that I led to Christ at work, to help purchase the books I needed and they each then kept one of the books after we each read them and I received a diploma from Moody Bible Institute of Chicago in Evangelism. While at this church that really helped jump-start my personal ministry, the pastor asked me if I’d care to participate in a course on discovering my Spiritual gifts, that I did, so I discovered that my gifts were Helps and Pastor. I questioned the “pastor” part. He said “well not as he is a pastor but rather, that I have a pastor’s heart”. Satan came and did some of his dirty work at that church and so there was a church split, the pastor then moved to a small town further North (a place that gets some snow). The deacons said the building would be sold to a secular business. My wife, daughter and I then went to a Southern Baptist church, closer to home and found after some time that it was not for us (long story but in part); I was involved in my neighborhood, with NPE and would stop by the church to tall the pastor of the contacts I made each time. One time, I told him of a new couple who moved in the neighborhood and that I told them that we would be having communion the following Sunday and since they are regenerated Christians, they would be welcome to partake of communion (that was the wrong thing to say as I quickly found out). He screamed at me saying that they need to be members of that church to partake of communion. I asked him since when did the Lord’s table become the church’s table and I further told him that it sounds to me that he believes that a person needs to be a member of his church, in order to get to heaven. To that, he ordered me to get out and not come back. Se we decided to join a community church not far away. This church had a Home Missionary as I discovered. I was asked to participate in a session on (oh, I’m having a senior moment – can’t remember the term at the moment). It had to do with generating new ideas for evangelism. Out of it, I became part of visitation team actually the Visitation Coordinator. That was very enjoyable as I love visiting folks maybe more so now in retirement. One day at church, I asked the Home Missionary to go with me some Saturday during NPE to see if there was something I could do better. He met me at my house, chatted a bit and prayed before we left. As we got outside, he asked if I had better shoes and clothes I could wear, I didn’t. at the first door where I led in prayer with a young man, to receive Christ, this so called Missionary broke into the conversation saying that he and I were businessmen; I thought to myself what in the world??? He knew full well that I was a Security Guard for a local Security Company. That happened again at another place and so it was bothering me and I suggested we quit for the day. During the walk back to my house, he told me that I should quit what I was doing. He said I am not good enough. He said I should leave that to professionals like him and that I should support him in his work. I thought about what all he told me, I knew from the very beginning that I was not good enough but God was helping me with that. He was very influential and so I decided I was not as good as I may have thought and so I quit as he suggested but I didn’t support him financially as he suggested. Not long after that, we sold our house and moved to another distant part of the area. We visited a General Association of Regular Baptist Churches type church for the first time and after the first visit, my wife asked what I thought as we were walking to our car. I told her that that was love at first site and that we will join that church. We loved every meeting, went to each one. I began doing NPE again and found a lot of cults in the area but I was able to deal with them, with God’s help. Satin again was at work in that medium-large church. One of the long-time members didn’t like the pastor and was going around telling members what was wrong with the pastor. When he came to me, I told him that he is talking to the wrong person, I jokingly said: “I’m a Tuckerite”. The pastor he didn’t like was named “Tucker”. Well the satan jr managed to get enough to force the pastor out and so another church split took place. We tried to encourage Tucker to start a new church in the area but he decided to go to the other side of the country where it wasn’t so hot in the summer. There were other churches and other church splits (certainly what is an abomination to God as in Proverbs 6:16-19 and no wonder). I’ve wished so many times that I had checked out the areas churches before moving to this small town, a long ways from other towns of any size as there are two Baptist churches that we could join, a Southern Baptist and an IFB. Since a former pastor warned me against joining the IFB church, we joined the SB and remained until the head deacon became an enemy of the pastor and he caused a church split, we left at that time and after visiting around, decided to go ahead and join the IFB church. I loved it at first but things began to happen. Well I told the pastor when we were thinking of joining that church, that I was called to be a Home Missionary and told him one of my Spiritual gifts “Helps”. After a rather short while, I volunteered to go with the Soul Winning group of two (the pastor and one deacon). Even though I was plagued with the inability to walk without a cane, was old, heavy, hard of hearing and had diabetes for about 35 years with Neuropathy (very painful and limiting). Since I was unable to go around and talk with people, I would drive around after letting the other two off, we would be able to call with our cell phones if needed. I found a guy out by his curb and pulled up to chat. He had told me that he was saved soon after birth as his parents had him spinkled. I was at a loss for words at the moment as he had to leave. I told the others when they were done, of my experience and my loss of words to say. That was most certainly a mistake. The pastor told all the men to meet him in his office for Sunday School, before I sat down, he stood very close to me and quoted Hebrews 5:12. I didn’t know what to think. I pondered that for a long time. During a sermon, I heard the pastor say (since I was sitting close to the front), he started in: “I don’t know why, I do not know why people feel they must impress me when they join a church by telling me all kinds of good things they’ve done. We took this one guy out soul winning who said he did that before and he was so stupid that he didn’t know how to ring a doorbell. I knew full well that he was talking about me as did others. I forgave him for that and continued with all the services. I’d even get there before the doors were opened but since I could not climb steps, I had to wait for someone to come to open the door. Since the heat is extreme here, I was just getting ready to go back home one time when a deacon drove into the parking lot and hurried to open the door. Since the person who was doing the sound system wasn’t reliable, I took over that position. I was recording all the services. I found it somewhat different than the analog system I was used to operating but found that the mixer didn’t work with all it’s functions and so the headphone was of no use. I had to wait until I got home, to hear what was said while I edited the recordings. The pastor had torn me down many times and I know other people knew he was referring to me. I began losing interest in this church and told the pastor he should find someone else to do the sound system. I then began hearing sermons on people who wanted someone else to do their job in church (many, many sermons of that sort). The pastor clearly had it in for me, big-time. When my wife went to visit her sister in the hills one year and the pastor found out about it, I heard sermons on people who take separate vacations and the fact that he doesn’t allow his wife to get so many feet away from him. Some time after that (when he apparently forgot what he said about he and his wife regarding separate vacations), I learned that his wife had gone to Atlanta alone and then to a northern mid-western area and had trouble, ending up in the hospital. After this and other lies I’ve discovered, the pastor one Sunday thanked me for getting the sermons on the Internet so soon as some people wrote that they have get-togethers (something the pastor does not agree with) in their home in a distant area and they play the sermons from our church. I wasn’t feeling up to par at that time and he had already badly damaged one Spiritual gift of “Pastor” (a pastor’s heart), I know I shouldn’t have said it but I snapped back with “I don’t believe you!.” When people lie to me more than a few times, I tend not to believe them. Well I don’t want to be guilty of spreading discord amongst brethren (I don’t know who all will read this) and since that very well might happen if I continue here, I’ll close. A reader may wonder why I continue attending this IFB church, well I made a promise to God a while back, back in the 1980’s when my wonderful wife had cancer and I pleaded with God not to take her away from me. I made this promise and I fully intend to keep it as it is extremely important to me. I’m going to let this go without proofing it as I have a sore eye. An eye doctor hurt my eye during an examination.
    Maybe some reader of this list will care to offer a suggesting to me, if they lived through my long, life story.

  145. greg says:

    Well you did start at square one! It sounds like alot of fundamentalists have taken advantage of you through the years, which is what alot of this site is about. If I followed correctly I think you said there is another church there in your area, perhaps check that out.

    I couldn’t personally stay at the your present church with the way you have been treated, but realize after this period of time, you have made life-long friends there, so if you stay, I suppose maybe you could keep a low-profile and help out where you can.

    Won’t it be wonderful when we put off these bodies of flesh and can give God proper, perfect Praise!

    God Bless You!

  146. Ral Shannon says:

    Yes Greg, there is actually another Baptist church in my area but my wife feels too uncomfortable about that one but going to an all-black church wouldn’t bother me the least bit. Well I do like many of the folks at my present church but they apparently were told not to have anything to do with me away from church as they are quite unfriendly away from church. Yes, it is extremely difficult for me to stay there but I tune out the talks by the preacher (I don’t call them sermons anymore). When he teaches the Bible, he usually does a very good job except whenever he belittles God as he did when preaching through Revelation and other times that I edited out his mistakes when he gave me the go-ahead. I left it in there in the Revelation series since he stated that he believes that the angels come into the churches so they can report back to God what’s going on there which is totally ridiculous concerning an all-knowing God. Then he says that we are sealed when we ask Jesus into our heart, that the Holy Spirit comes in and seals us. If the Holy Spirit comes in and is with us and the Holy Spirit is a member of the triune Godhead, then how is it, that God relies on angels to provide Him such information??? It’s totally ridiculous!!! I know the angels are messengers but certainly not to provide information to God, that’s totally ridiculous!!! I take my wife to church each Sunday morning (the only service she wants to attend). I record the service and put the preachers talk on the Internet after editing the beginning and ending so they are uniform, then I place them on the Internet. I used to edit the whole talk but no more, I do not care to listen to his talks anymore. I’m there only for the sake of my wife. I do keep a low profile, I don’t bother anyone, I turn away from the ones who are very unfriendly with me, for their sake but am very friendly with those who are the same to me.

    Oh, how I’m looking forward to that trumpet call and forevermore, being with my God. I am sad though that my brother and sister hates anything related to God. My sister has been heavily involved with the New Age movement for several years, my brother is an agnostic.

  147. greg says:

    It looks like you’re kinda stuck, with you continuing to do the recording and then putting the messages on the internet, as well as your wife wanting to go to at least the one meeting a week. I suppose you and she would have to make a “command” decision as my wife and I say when we decide to do something we’ve been pondering, if you were to leave. I wouldn’t hesitate to try out the black church myself, and that’s the point though, we are all different, and our experiences are different. I am sure that you have attempted to put God in His proper role in your life, and I believe He will guide you through this trial as well!

    I am convinced that God is able to guard what you and I have entrusted for that day!

  148. Ral Shannon says:

    Yes, “stuck”. I’ve used that term before in relation to this situation. If I were to do as you say, in relation to you and your wife’s “ponderings”, I then wouldn’t be keeping my word, to God. Now you know what it is, don’t you. I need to be careful with my wife as with others, in relation to spreading discord amongst the brethren. I love my wife very much. I remind her of that daily and often, more than once per day. I will honor her wishes (this is part of marriage). Thank you Greg for your encouragement.

  149. bob says:

    Ral,
    I am curious as to what you are referring to as “keeping your word to God”.

  150. Ral Shannon says:

    I thought that would be simple to figure out with what I previously wrote about my wife having cancer in the 1980’s. Well I pleaded with God, not to take my precious wife from me and so I promised Him that I would always take her to church. It’s been very difficult at times in this IFB church – extremely difficult as a matter of fact. I once talked with my wife about the situation, telling her that we are behind closed doors and that neither of us should discuss any of what I was telling her as it would fall into the category of spreading discord amongst the brethren and I pointed out to her that that is something that’s an abomination to God according to Proverbs 6:16-19. She did understand but as we talked in the past, about being part of a local church, she did not want to drive to another area to go to church each Sunday. I can see her point and I understand why she does not want to go to the all black church (although it wouldn’t bother me). Well I may as well admit that I’m VERY STUCK at that IFB church. I was praying about it on the way to church yesterday morning and I have to admit that it was easier for me to handle it yesterday. It seems as though some people were friendlier yesterday and there are new members too, others have left.

  151. Ral Shannon says:

    A friend just sent me an email that shows a picture of Christ with a staff, amongst some sheep. It made me think of two things immediately. One being Luke 15:4 and the other of something my IFB pastor said, “why he doesn’t check on a church member who is away unexpectedly and then I thought of when he said “I wish I was God, because things would then be a LOT different!!!”, he did not say that in a loving manner.

  152. Matthew says:

    @Ral Shannon
    That’s disgusting!!! That thought has never even crossed my mind, even for an infinitesimal fraction of a microsecond. Quite the contrary in fact. I’m incredibly grateful that GOD is GOD!! He is mighty, and worthy to be praised. He is kindhearted and merciful. He is the righteous judge and just. He is altogether lovely!! Glory to God alone!! :)

  153. Ral Shannon says:

    I’ll say a hearty Amen to that Matthew!!! Even though there are quite a lot more that I find upsetting regarding how my IFB pastor conducts himself, I need to steer clear of it all except this one basic fact: I’ve mentioned before that when my IFB pastor glorifies God only and teaches God’s Word only, he does a wonderful job but when he tries to glorify himself and acts how he would if he could be God, things then go sour. I’ve said this before as well; that being that I don’t wish to stir up discord amongst the brethren as that is an abomination to God. I hope that the only people who will come across this that I write, are those confused about IFB leadership, having experienced it. Here I go, trying to write something that I don’t know how to write.

  154. Matthew says:

    @Ral Shannon
    I’m a bit perplexed at this discussion though. Referring to IFB as an organization is an oxymoron. IFB (INDEPENDENT Fundamental Baptist) MUST be independent, ergo, NOT an organized group. Any IFB I’ve ever been too (I’m from Oregon) has cherished the true Word of God and taught it sincerely in it’s entirety. Even the unpopular doctrine against homosexuality, abortion, and the like. My pastors have never been afraid to preach the full truth of the Gospel and all other books in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Any pastor who does not is a coward and a hypocrite and does not belong behind the pulpit, nor are they qualified to lead a congregation. All glory be to God and His only son Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected for our salvation and sanctification through his blood and not by works. Thanks to the Holy Spirit for guidance, peace, wisdom, discernment, and all good works wrought through him. ^.^

  155. Ral Shannon says:

    Matthew, I don’t think I ever referred to IFB as an organization. I sure didn’t mean to anyway. I think I always said “my IFB pastor” or “my IFB church”. Only the one (the only one) that I am familiar with. And if I ever break away from it, I will certainly NEVER attend another one. Maybe I hadn’t mentioned the fact that my IFB pastor has never attended any seminary. Personally I don’t think he did so well in High School either but that’s beside the point. Apparently my IFB pastor has not studied the Bible in its entirety as he said he had, multiple times because he previously didn’t believe that God is all powerful or all knowing, until I talked with him about that and after I did, he did state to the congregation that he believes God is all powerful and all knowing. I cannot speak for my IFB pastor anymore than I have, in stating what he previously said about God’s omnipotence or omniscience (although he never as far as I know, used those terms). I’ll not say anything more about my IFB pastor than I have already said as I don’t even listen to him anymore. He has lied to me multiple times (as previously stated). I tend not to believe people who lie. When I attend church (IFB church), I tune out all that the pastor says. I used to edit his complete sermon to remove all the ah’s, ah ah ah’s, butahs, andahs and throat clearings (it was very bothersome to do all that too). I don’t edit his talks that way anymore because in so doing, I would need to listen to everything he said on the recording and I choose not to do that anymore. I only edit the first few words and the last few words and adjust the volume and remove as much noise as possible, probably just like any other web master who places their minister’s talks on the Internet. Just a note here, I call my IFB pastor’s whatever, talks, because he seldom preaches a sermon anymore unless he started doing so again but I’m horribly hard of hearing and the only way I ever heard anything was to edit what was recorded. I don’t talk about these things to anyone from my IFB church or who has ever been to my IFB church. I only wrote what I had here because in the beginning (well, after I started not liking the IFB church so well anymore) because I was searching where my IFB pastor was coming from. Now, I just don’t care anymore. I would never suggest to anyone that they even so much as visit my IFB church. Not the way they treat me there, just because I lost heart in that church and quit attending all the services. I’m now termed a weak Christian and other members have been told not to associate with me outside the church, to just be friendly with me when I’m at church. To me, that is very cultic as the Bible is very clear on how to treat members of the church. I know those Scriptures will never be taught in the IFB church I belong to!!! As stated before, multiple times now, I do not wish to spread discord amongst the brethren and I’m not a blogger. I was just searching and now, I have found.

  156. Ral Shannon says:

    It’s pitiful, that Jack Schaap recently fell into Satan’s clutches. This is horrible news to the Christian community in these last of the last days when Satan is very actively going to and fro, seeking whom he can devour. Satan is certainly winning since it is factual that Christianity is on a decline the world over and atheism in on the increase all around the world. I’m certainly not a fan of Jack Schaap nor of any IFB preaching as far as that goes but we don’t need Christians especially in high places, roaming around without their armor securely in place. The armor that God has provided for our safety.

  157. Larry Cox says:

    Bro. Sorenson
    You speak of love and then show alot of Bitterness half truth and pure lies at times. I would imagine you would not be on for an open debate online. I would love to challenge many of your accusations, and beliefs. I have been in the Ministry for 22 years and have been in the Independent Baptist Church since I was 14. I want to openly challenge you to a debate on your website with a connection to your followers. This debate will be in Love, and completely based on scriptural doctrine and principles. I will be honest, you may have come from a difficult family life, but not a difficult Church. Much of what you say simply shows you have little knowledge but much spite in this area. E mail me and I will have my computer guy set this up.
    Please contact me soon.
    Bro. Larry

    • Steve says:

      Larry,

      I’m always up for a debate and I’m intrigued to know your thoughts, but I don’t think it would be very beneficial since you’ve already made up your mind that I’m a liar. You have an interesting way of approaching someone for a debate (“Hey there, your a liar, lets have a debate”). Not exactly the most inviting way to approach someone. I don’t appreciate being called a liar and I don’t appreciate you making assumptions about me (especially about what my experiences in church have been). I think I’ll pass. I’ve been down this road before (see the debates I had with Arv Edgeworth and Richard Hivner for examples) and although it would probably provide some great content for the site, I just don’t have time or energy right now for someone who thinks he already has me figured out before the debate even starts. Unless you’d like to reconsider your assumptions and accusations, thanks but no thanks. Besides, I’m not sure how YOUR computer guy is going to set up a debate on MY website.

  158. greg says:

    Hi Larry, I just want to point something out to you. It would seem that you are very proud of the IFB and your long tenure in the Baptist faith. You do realize that the Baptists don’t impress God at all, don’t you? Nor do any other denominations! Jesus Christ is not coming back to planet Earth looking for baptists, Jesus will be looking for those that are covered by His blood!

    Re-read your comment to Steve and see if you don’t see some pride sprinkled throughout your comments. I’m sure, btw, that you are sincere, but after having spent so many years in the ministry, I would have hoped there would have been more “grace” sprinkled into your comment……just sayin’.

  159. Ral Shannon says:

    I’m beginning to believe that pride flows freely amongst IFB leaders. I know my IFB pastor is very prideful. A while back I mentioned to my IFB pastor that he sure pats himself on the back a whole lot. I believe he would do much better if instead of elevating himself in services, that he would elevate God, he’d do much better and probably be successful at growing his church instead of seeing people come and go so often as they do.
    Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. [KJV]
    Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith. [NASB]
    Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. [KJV]

    Clearly, God hates pride!!!

  160. greg says:

    Ral – You have struck the nail squarely on the head as they say! Just by the way most of their churches are organized gives these simple men too much authority, which inevitably leads to pride.

    But to be honest, as men, we must all watch ourselves over this sin of “pride.” One doesn’t have to be an IFB pastor to be tainted by this sin. As men we must constantly watch ourselves, I could become “prideful” over this post, where I am pointing out the “sin” of pride. If we recognize who we are, “sinners saved by grace” I think that helps us to fight against this wicked sin of pride.

    Note whenever you are in a service, how often the MOG (man of God) refers to himself, I, me, mine..etc. Really we aren’t there to hear about the pastor and his relationship with God, although some examples may be alright, we are there primarily to hear about and learn about God, and to uplift and praise Him! When I read your post, I thought about what Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me”….this is what IFB pastors, indeed, all of us Christians should be doing!………..what a marvelous God we serve!!

  161. Ral Shannon says:

    Yes Greg, I certainly agree that it can be very easy to say things in a prideful manner and we need to be careful not to sin in the same way as we are communicating against it. I have as well, in my warning of spreading discord, been concerned that I could be committing that very act at the same time that I was warning against it.
    The fact is though, when we hear the pastor talk of so many things that he is proud of that he accomplished, those listening can learn to become prideful themselves if they’re not real careful. We are to be like the Berean believers in that what we hear taught in church, we should search the Scriptures daily to learn if what we are taught, is indeed true. [Acts 17:11]
    “We aren’t there to hear about the pastor”. This in fact, is why I phase out the talks of my IFB pastor and no longer edit his full talks. I go to church to worship God and hear His Word taught, so now I listen to other pastors on TV and the Internet. I also listen to very worshipful music on youtube.com and sing along with it when I’m alone since I cannot carry a tune (I’m a bad singer). Apparently it’s the kind that is not allowed in an IFB church, as they have only certain songs they allow to be sung out of the hymnal – apparently so that when they visit like churches, everything is the same.

  162. Ral Shannon says:

    Oh, what an easy question to answer. I would direct you to Proverbs 6:16-19. Spreading discord amongst the brethren is an abomination to God. Ever hear of a church split? They are caused by spreading discord amongst the brethren. I think I mentioned about me sharing me heart with a brother at church one particular time and he was doing the same with me. My IFB pastor saw us talking and looked worried (he was the church janitor at the time). I told him I’m looking forward to chatting again sometime. The next Sunday, I was there when he came in. The sound area (where I sit) is right next to the entry door. When he came in, I looked up at him with a smile and he looked at me with total disgust. I’d say there’s a real good chance that discord had been spread prior to that second Sunday. I have a pretty good hunch of who did the discord spreading but I cannot say for certain, God knows. That guy would never look at me again, always kept his back to me until it apparently bothered him too much and he left that church. Any wonder why discord spreading is an abomination to God??? It destroys churches

  163. Ral Shannon says:

    Well when I write here only (not in a Word Document first), I make too many typos. The IFB pastor was not the janitor but rather the guy whom was talking with me that particular Sunday. There’s a “me” that should be a “my”. There may be other mistakes as well.

  164. Ral Shannon says:

    Another thing I should have stated in my answer to Steve is the fact that the reason the IFB pastor looked worried is because I told him one thing and his secretary another thing the each pertained to experiences I have had that are extraordinary or supernatural. Things that are apparently taboo in an IFB church. I previously promised my IFB pastor that I’d never again speak of those experiences to anyone who has ever had and experience in an IFB church, so I don’t know why he was worried because I don’t lie. Maybe though, enough IFB pastors lie, that they all think that’s something everybody does. I’ve read where some have referred to the owner of this list is a liar. I’d guess that the one calling him a liar is really the liar. I don’t know but I know that God knows.

    • Steve says:

      So let me make sure I understand… you believe that “sowing discord” means sharing your experiences with another person in the church, telling a similar but different experience to someone else and it was an experience that the pastor didn’t like or agree with. As a result you think that you were “sowing discord”?

      If so, I don’t see how you got that idea from Proverbs 6:16-19. Can you explain further?

  165. Ral Shannon says:

    How in the world did you get that so mixed up??? #65 above is all about sowing discord only. #67 above is about why my IFB pastor looked worried when that janitor were sharing with each other (#67 is a clarification for “My IFB pastor saw us talking and looked worried” [from #65]). #67 has absolutely nothing to do with sowing discord amongst the brethren.

  166. Ral Shannon says:

    Steve, I’ve written this before. I’ve stated that I’m not a blogger, not real good at this type of communication, I’m not real smart. If I messed up this site, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wrote your answer wrong so it was difficult for you to understand what I wrote. Here’s my final statement for this site: I feel I am very much stuck at the IFB church in which I am a member. I truly wish I never became a member of the IFB church and if I ever am able to break away from it, I will probably just ask them to take me off their books as I most likely will not join another church. I will most likely regularly attend another church but I highly doubt if I’ll ever join a church again. I feel this IFB church I am in, has messed me up big time. If this is difficult for anyone to understand, I’m sorry. I won’t be answering any more questions on this site, nor will I make any future entries.

    • Steve says:

      I was just asking questions and trying to understand. Sheesh

      • Ral Shannon says:

        Steve, I’ve written under other headings, maybe not so much, hopefully I didn’t confuse anyone with what I wrote but if you would care to, go ahead and ask what you want of me and I’ll do my best to answer you so that folks can understand. Quoting what you asked above “So let me make sure I understand… you believe that “sowing discord” means sharing your experiences with another person in the church, telling a similar but different experience to someone else and it was an experience that the pastor didn’t like or agree with. As a result you think that you were “sowing discord”?

        If so, I don’t see how you got that idea from Proverbs 6:16-19. Can you explain further?”, no, not at all. Sowing discord is saying things about someone in church that could be true or untrue, to make people turn against them or against the church. Like a guy in a really good church we were members of in another community but this guy didn’t like the pastor even though he was a very good Bible teacher, it’s just that the guy thought he should stay in the church office all day to answer questions when he called to get info. Instead, the pastor was out helping people, visiting & witnessing. When this guy came to tell me what he didn’t like about this pastor, I told him that he was talking to the wrong person as I am a Tuckerite (I was joking about that name) but I was honestly saying that I loved that pastor. The pastor’s name was “Tucker”. Sowing discord is more-less gossiping and if caused trouble (Discord). Church splits are one result of people sowing discord, people quitting the church could be from someone sowing discord. I believe the pastor of the IFB church where I’m involved, is guilty of spreading discord amongst the brethren, just by telling people not to associate with me because I don’t attend all the services anymore, therefore I’m a weak Christian. Not only is this termed as sowing discord but it is also cultic as this action when people listen to the pastor saying such things, gives the pastor controlling power.

        Oh, I hope I made myself clear in this but if anyone wants to question me in this, have at it. I’ll do my best to answer.

  167. Ral Shannon says:

    One more clarification. Steve, I’m not upset on account of you but rather, my inability to write exactly what I mean. Anyway I’ve written more than I intended to in the beginning, so this is a good place to cut it off.

  168. Jeff says:

    I think you may have just hit one of the bad ones. I’m Independent Fundamental evangelist. I don’t wear a suit in the pulpit, I don’t use the KJV, the church I’m staffed at has no problem with any sport. We use Ephesians 2.8-9 very often it’s not about acting a certain way it’s about faith. Every IFB pastor and evangelist I know teaches that.

    • Ral Shannon says:

      Well Jeff, I’d take a wild guess that you are located somewhere in the world other than the USA. Oh, but there’s another possibility as the pastor of another, further away Baptist church, that we’ve visited some time ago, stopped by to pay a short visit as he was on his way to visit his sister in another county. While visiting me, he stated that he is independent, fundamental and a Baptist even though his church is publicly affiliated with another Baptist association. He recommend a Baptist church to me in a near-by area whereas the pastor went to an IFB school but was with a different Baptist association. Well I did check the church out via the Internet and sent a question to the pastor but he never answered my question and we never visited that church. Actually I have heard other Baptist preachers say that very same thing, that they are independent, fundamental and Baptist. I am very happy to say that I am now in a non-Baptist church, one in fact, that is most like a New Testament church that I’ve ever been associated with as I have never seen any place in Scripture that teaches that people are to join a church and be recorded as a member (like joining by letter or by baptism), other than being in God’s family. Also, this church we are now associated with, teaches Scripture only. The pastor does not preach sermons that he believes the people need to hear, like “Hypocrites”, my former pastor preached that sermon three times that I recall in the approximate 5 years that we were members of that IFB church. He claimed that he preaches the whole Bible but he hadn’t the whole time we were there. I became fully bummed out on that local IFB church we were in!!! We agreed to leave quietly as we did not want to spread discord, as if we said bad things about that church to other members who liked that church (people who apparently don’t listen to sermons and apparently don’t know much about what the Bible teaches), I feel that would be spreading discord amongst the brethren. James 1:22 says that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves. Acts 7:10 & 11 show that we should be like the Christians in Berea and search the Scriptures daily, to see if what is being taught, is correct. The IFB church were my wife and I were members, the pastor did not believe that God knows everything (as Scripture teaches He is). He has stated multiple times that he believes that angels come down to the churches and go back to heaven, to report to God what is going on in the churches. In other words, God relies on created beings to provide information that He does not know already. I say that is absurd!!! And that alone is good reason not to remain at that church. But unfortunately, there are many other reasons. I’m convinced though, that people don’t always listen to what the minister says.
      Since Johnny the Baptist was at the IFB church that I was a member of, the pastor allowed him to have a link on that site. Since ministering that the IFB church I was a member of, he left the IFB and he now says he is dependent (dependent upon God). Here’s a link to Johnny’s site, to one of the places on his site: http://www.johnnythebaptist.org/survivor/ – this location has a hyperlink stating “Some Baptists I’d like to barbeque”, don’t miss it.

      • Jeff says:

        It sounds to me like you got a bad church or a bad pastor. As IFB churches are independant from one another we don’t all share some beliefs with other IFB’s and even other Baptist sects like FBC or SBC. From my personal experience with the IFB and other Baptist association I haven’t come across what you have. I do know some pastors who are KJV only and do speak out on that or a hymnal only worship but that’s about as extreme as I’ve come across. If you don’t mind me asking what was the name of the church you attended? And what was the Pastor’s name?

      • Jeff says:

        Oh, I’m in Oklahoma btw.

        • Ral Shannon says:

          Jeff, from your comment of January 5th and what you said on the 6th, you must fall in the category of what I spoke of previously, where I stated that there are Baptist ministers who are not of an IFB church but rather are members of various associations, who will state that they are independent, fundamental and Baptist; because you say you “don’t wear a suit in the pulpit” (all the Baptist churches I’ve been in, do wear a suit – even in Arizona’s oven) and you “don’t use the KJV”, etc. Keep in mind that I previously stated that I do not have much experience in the KJV only IFB church. I am very glad of that and I am also very glad that I am no longer a Baptist!!!
          BTW, I’m in Arizona. The only IFB church I was ever associated with is Florence Baptist http://www.florencebaptistchurch.com and I NEVER want another association with ANY IFB church!!! Does the church where you are on staff, have a web site? If so, I’d like to take a look at it. If not, I’d like to know the name of that church. If you listen to some of the sermons on Revelation, particularly the beginning through chapter 3, I believe you’ll be shocked in learning some things that the pastor said he believes. One thing I believe is absolutely silly is when he refers to “Escanology”. I know, there’s no such word. I told him the correct word is Eschatology and I asked him if he wanted that part changed. He said he did not, I suppose he thinks it’s funny. There are other sermons he had done and are on the site, that have serious mistakes in them but he wanted them left that way. I edited his sermons and offered to remove his mistakes but he only asked me to remove a few. Actually what I should have done is after the first ridiculous mistake he made (as per how he believes), I should have refused to edit all others (as I did toward the end of my stay in that church). And I should have left that church much sooner. Frankly though, when I first joined that church, I enjoyed it as the pastor then was preaching sermons on Faith and I felt he did an excellent job. After he had announced that even though the hot season had begun, he feels it is time to begin building the new building and a lot of money was spent (wasted). There came a time when all construction had to end. From then on as far as I know, he never preached on faith. I did wonder in the beginning of my association with that church, why, he was tearing down someone all the time but I figured at that he must be joking. I discovered years later that he always talks about people behind their backs, of whom disagrees with him. I told him one time that when I first joined that church that he preached on Faith and lifted up Christ but then he began talking about how good he is and about other people in the community and them saying how good he is and that he is referring to the church as “his church” and he preaches “his messages”, etc and I told him when he lifts up himself instead of Christ, I am beginning to dislike this church. He immediately changed his tune and stated the next Sunday that he is nothing more than the pastor and is replaceable (or the like), that the church is Christ’s church and the sermons he preaches are messages from God, not him. He apparently wanted everyone to know that, in case others were hearing what I was hearing. After I left that church and he realized that I would not be returning, he emailed me and asked if I would continue to do the web site. I said I would for a little while and he said he needed all info about the Food Bank removed as it needed to be changed. I removed what he wanted and let him know it was done as he requested. He thanked me and wrote that he’d have to tell me what happened about that sometime. A day or so later, I sent him a note telling him that I am not interested in knowing anymore about that church and I asked him to find someone else to do the site as I am really bummed out on the IFB church and don’t want anything at all, to do with it. I reminded him that I had told him several times that I’d train someone to do all that I do there, but he apparently took it as a joke (he even preached hateful sermons about people saying “someone else should do what I do”). I said now it’s too late, I’m too bummed out on that church to want to do anything for any IFB church. I’m out of the Baptist association and want to remain that way.

          • Jeff says:

            I’m not criticizing you for removing yourself from the IFB, if I had the same experiences as you when I first joined I would be out myself. I’m sorry if I came across that way. But what I don’t like is that people are putting all IFB pastors and churches in the same box. The church I am associated with is IFB, our pastor does wear a suit and use KJV but I don’t and I know a few others that do not. Our pastor isn’t die hard KJV it’s just his preference.

            There are two main groups in the IFB. The ‘classic’ baptist like what you described you were a part of. There is a reason they are called the Baptist Taliban. Then you have the modern baptist we try to keep out methodology up with the times as well as stay doctrinally sound.

            Here is our churches webpage.
            http://bbcchickasha.net/

          • Ral Shannon says:

            Jeff, I visited the link to your church that you supplied. I’m an older guy and don’t see so well, so I need to go on memory a bit and that is not at all reliable but I think I read where you said that you are on staff at your church. While visiting your site, I checked the list of staff members and did not find anyone named Jeff but that’s okay, I understand (even though I may be wrong regarding my memory). All the staff except one, had suits on, even Kent York, (the evangelist that was listed). By bringing this up, I’m not trying to cause trouble or anything and well like I said, my memory isn’t so good but thanks for sharing your site.

          • Jeff says:

            I know I’m not on our webpage, there are a few of us who aren’t. Pastor does wear a suit in the pulpit and so does Dave. Paul never wears a suit, he only wore it for the photo, and neither does Michael. I typically wear a Polo, in the summer, or a sweater, in the winter, blue jeans and boots.
            We all have different styles.

  169. Steve says:

    Jeff wrote:

    But what I don’t like is that people are putting all IFB pastors and churches in the same box.

    No one is doing that Jeff. Please read “Broad Stroking” Deception for more information. I also talk about this accusation on the About This Site page.

  170. Jeff says:

    You dismiss the fact that we are independent of one another. The only governing body of the church is the church. Even though we may have associations or fellowships with other churches we are still independent. What our church body decides is completely different that what the IFB church across town decides.

    “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 ”

    What you stated is present in SOME Independent Fundamentalist churches but not all. Do you have that disclaimer anywhere on your site?

    Then you want to say that we are a denomination, but we are not. The Southern Baptist are a denomination. The have one central governing body, whereas an Independent Fundamental Baptist church’s governing body is the individual church and it’s body.

    The Independent churches you point out, and like you had association with are becoming less and less.
    Also there are ‘bad’ churches in any denomination you can’t judge the group by the few.

  171. Ral Shannon says:

    When my wife and I were visiting other churches, one was a Baptist and we entered during their SS time. when that was over, the young pastor came to greet me and I asked what kind of Baptist church it was. he said IFB. I told him we were coming out of that type of church, so we will not be staying for the service and so I told my wife that we are leaving. I am extremely satisfied in the church we are now in. It’s not any form of Baptist as the one we recently left caused me to actually want to quit going to church period. I could not do that though, we continued looking and when we visited the one we are now in, it was like a breath of fresh air. It is most like a New Testament church of any I had ever been in. I absolutely LOVE it!!! If we ever move away from where we are now, I will only go to the same type we are now in. It’s the only type of church that I’ve ever heard of that teaches directly from Scripture (the whole Bible), NOTHING else. Every pastor of this type of church I have heard, teaches Scripture with a humble heart and a wonderful shepherd. The IFB church I came out of, the pastor was no shape or form, a shepherd. He was not the least bit humble. I heard him say more than once that he wished he was god and if he could be, things would be a LOT different!!! He did not say that in love. My guess is that life would be similar to that of hell.

  172. Steve says:

    Jeff Said:

    You dismiss the fact that we are independent of one another.

    I didn’t dismiss anything. I have an in depth article about that. Click Here to read it.

    Jeff Said:

    Do you have that disclaimer anywhere on your site?

    Yes. I’ve already given you the link with my “disclaimer”. Didn’t you read it? Click Here.

    Jeff Said:

    Then you want to say that we are a denomination, but we are not.

    You’re arguing semantics. Again, Click Here to read more about that. Read all the way to the end.

    It would do you well to read the site before further comments. It’s so sad to me that you come here and are so quick to defend the IFB and so quick to make accusations and assumptions without even reading the site. I’ve even given you precise locations on where to find the information you’re looking for and you still didn’t read it. I’m not sure if your really that defensive of the IFB (despite your claims to the contrary) or just lazy.

    I would also recommend that you read through the comments and the debates where these topics are discussed at length.

    This is a perfect example of why I’m so skeptical of people who are involved with the IFB who come here to try and convince us that their IFB is so different from those other dangerous IFBs. you’re not different at all. It’s the same song and dance that we’ve seen a thousand (or more) times before. You’re so mixed up with the IFB and so brainwashed that you don’t even know what you’re involved with. Like so may who have come before you, there’s nothing you can say that we haven’t heard before. Some IFBs may be less strict or less legalistic/authoritarian than others, but guess what, they are still IFB and that’s enough to cause me concern.

    • greg says:

      Jeff – We (IFB Escapees) have seen and heard all of this before. You seem like a nice person, but you are consistently pushing your agenda, and as has been pointed out, are not engaging with the info available here.

      “Whom the Lord sets free is free indeed”

  173. Lucy says:

    Not all IFB churches are the same..but sadly many are. I was raised IFB. My parents were not nearly as extreme as some of my friends parents. I had a friend whose mother would literally beat her with sticks off trees. They took “the rod” LITERALLY. She was not allowed to believe in Santa Clause,The Easter Bunny,or the Tooth Fairy. Because that would be “lying” and took “The focus off of God”. She is scarred from her experiences to this day. I consider myself lucky that my parents didnt completely drink the kool-aid. I was so incredibly sheltered though,I went completely wild as a teenager and ended up pregnant. I had no idea how to function in the world around me. When you raise children in this environment,it is easy for them to make many mistakes. The kicker with these churches,is every other religion is WRONG. The girl I spoke of earlier,dated a Jewish boy. Our preacher nearly broke his neck trying to convert the Jewish boy’s family. Christians arent supposed to judge,IFB churches WILL judge you. Especially if you make a mistake or wind up pregnant out of marriage. If you don’t shut your mouth,and go with the program they will make you feel so bad and ashamed of yourself it will keep you out of church for many years. I speak from experience. I was angry with God. I doubted God’s existence for a long time after my experiences at an IFB church. I also went to an IFB school. We took a Christian Womanhood course where they taught we were to be polished cornerstones at our husbands side. They do not encourage women to think for themselves or be educated. Independent churches may very well be “Independent”,but they all have standards that they work off of and sadly many of them are alike.

  174. Melanie says:

    Hi! I came across this website tonight and just thought I’d throw my 2 cents in as a member of an Independent Fundamental Baptist church. I was not raised in a Christian family but we did attend a Southern Baptist church off and on while I was little. As an adult, I committed my life to God in an Assembley of God church. I ended up in a Church of God and became very involved there. Though it was a more liberal church of God where women wore make-up, pants, jewelry, etc. and there weren’t any laid out rules of conduct. They were all unspoken. After attending that church for 7 years, the Lord opened my eyes to the unscriptural teachings and the unscriptural way the church was run. Most of your complaints about the IFB church could be applied to this church of God. Thankfully, the Lord brought me out of that church and put it on my heart to truly search the scriptures and study what different churches believe and how they were founded so that I might make a more informed decision about what church to attend.

    Believe it or not, my studies and search led me right to the door of my local IFB church after 3 years of searching!)! My church doesn’t have a dress code or list of rules. My Pastor preaches God’s word-he doesn’t preach his message, twisting scripture to support his ideas. The women at my church wear jewelry, make up, pants, etc. My church is far from perfect and I hold no loyalties to the IFC as a whole-just to my local one. My church is the only local church that isn’t either steeped in tradition or very liberal.

    My only problem with my church is the pressure to attend all services and participate in all activities. There is too much emphasis on numbers and growing the church rather than feeding the sheep IMO. However, this seems to be a problem at every church I’ve ever attended so no big surprise there! Also, there is a bit of adding to scripture-such as saying drinking alcohol is wrong. I haven’t had a drink in years but Jesus turned water into wine so who are we to say drinking wine is a sin when God didn’t? I feel like we detract from our witness by saying we stick to the word of God and then adding to it when it suits our purpose.

    However, I feel that these are minor points and this church is the best of my choices. I feel that my job (regarding finding a church) is to find the church in my area that is closest to the biblical pattern and attend it.

    I’m so sorry for the terrible experences so many of you have had in IFB churches! God is true, even when the men who claim to represent Him turn out to be liars.

  175. Laura says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The references to books, websites, and sermon series has been very helpful. Steve, you’re doing a great thing here.

  176. Jake says:

    I’m with you all the way. I grew up in this kind of home and church of this denomination. Soon as I got outta high school in the 90’s I started looking real quick for a way out. Sure I still sometimes refer to myself as a Christian and sometimes I don’t because growing up in this environment you were never really sure. Never could live up to the standard they set in being a Christian. Spiritual Abuse, I know all about it.

  177. Kevin says:

    LOL…you forgot to add in your bio something like this…

    “Obviously I was hurt and have not gotten over it. I label all IFB churches as wicked as a result of this. I blame others and take no responsibility for my ill feelings that I harbor deep in my heart. I go beyond disliking IFB pastors, churches and members to a near hate. Bitterness reigns in me, and I am consumed with these thoughts nearly 24-7.”

  178. Ima DecentGuy says:

    Wow you are really angry and judgmental. hypocrite. Maybe you are IFB afterall.

    • Steve says:

      Thank you for your kind words. What an intelligent and rational response! It must have taken you quite some time to come up with that lengthy and in depth rebuttal. How ever did you come up with such a clever reply. Name calling is indeed a difficult and special art form. I bow to your superior intellect.



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