Arv Edgeworth Deception


I know that this is a strange title for a post, but I was hoping it would get your attention. This post is really about an email exchange from an IFB “Evangelist” named Arv Edgeworth and I would love for everyone to read it. I get quite a bit of email from IFBers who are angry with me and my site, but this particular email exchange is such a good example of what I write about on this site that I just had to make a separate post for it.

This is from an exchange with an Evangelist in the IFB camp with a Doctorate in a ministry related field who first contacted me to share the “truth” about the KJV. His name is Arv Edgeworth and he claims to be an evangelist with much experience and knowledge and even has his own website at www.truthandscience.net

As you can see from the exchange, it was quite unproductive as far as our communication went. I did my best to communicate my point of view and he did his best to robotically preach at me.  My attempts to redirect his preaching, assumptions and attacks were met with hand waving and resistance beyond my capability to restore. I finally had to cut him off because of his anger and verbal abuse towards me.

The post you will read below is our entire discussion, word for word, raw and unedited.

Pleased be WARNED!!! This isn’t for the faint of heart. If you experience PTSD symptoms from flaming and written words then please do NOT read this until you are ready to tolerate the type of information presented here.

I will simply post the messages starting with Arv’s initial contact and ending with the most recent email. Some of the replies got messy in the sense that they started to run together (you will see why as you read it) so I tried to indicate who is writing and what the scenario is. Hopefully that will make it less confusing. To try and make it even less confusing, I will post MY replies in red so that they stand out.

This is the original email sent from Arv:

I’m not sure where you got most of your information about Bible versions, but someone has been lying to you, and that can be proven. It is quite obvious you have not read the biographies of the King James translators, nor are you familiar with the backgrounds of Westcott and Hort. If you would actually like to know the truth (which I doubt) please contact me.

Hi Arv,

Most of the resources we used are listed in the Bibliography below the article.

Ultimately, the article is about KJV Onlyism. Information about the translators of the KJV and Wescott and Hort are not included simply because of logistical reasons. However, you are welcome to share any information you think would be helpful.

Steve

Hi Steve,

I am an evangelist. In the last 14 years I have spoken in over 300 independent, fundamental Baptist churches in 25 different states. I have spent a great deal of time discussing doctrinal issues with those pastors. I have also discussed standards of dress and conduct with them. I send out a newsletter to about 2100 independent, fundamental, Baptist churches nation-wide.

Bible Versions
At different times I have been on both sides of the fence on this issue. It would be good for you to read the biographies of the King James translators. I would suggest: http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/transtoc.htm. It also has much information about the translation process. This website has much information about Westcott and Hort. By the way, they had nothing to do with the KJV that we use today.

Something to think about. In Genesis 3, the first statement recorded for Satan was him asking the question: “Yea, hath God said?” Do you think Satan might want to attack what God has said or promised? Would it be to his advantage to corrupt the Word of God? If he could water down the gospel in some way, or attack the deity of Christ for example, how do you think he might go about that?

To give just a brief background of the manuscript issue: In the 4th century Constantine ordered a man by the name of Eusebius to translate 50 bibles for him and gave him a set of changes he wanted him to make to produce a bible that would be acceptable to a wide range of people. Eusebius had been a disciple of a man named Origen, who had many heretical beliefs himself. It appears from the manuscripts found that are believed to belong to that group, that Eusebius later added many changes of his own, with each copy containing a few more changes. Westcott and Hort hated the Textus Receptus and wanted to come up with something to replace it (I can give you the actual quote of them saying that if you would like). Using two manuscripts that are believed to be two of the 50 that Constantine ordered to be made, Westcott and Hort compiled a new manuscript that had not existed previous to this. The two manuscripts were the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. A very liberal German scholar, Count Tischendorf, studied both manuscripts and came to the conclusion they were both written by the same man, and he also believed it was Eusebius. From the Westcott and Hort manuscript come all the modern versions today. The NKJV was supposedly translated from the Textus Receptus, but later many changes were made based on the Westcott and Hort.

The majority of IFB pastors I know would not take the position that someone could not be saved with a modern version. That is an extreme minority position. Although they were translated from corrupted manuscripts, most of them still contain enough of the gospel that someone could get saved, and often do.

Dress Standards
I agree with you to a certain extent about extreme dress standards, but I think you would agree that each pastor has a responsibility to teach his personal convictions about what the standards should be in his own church. I believe God would hold him accountable if immodesty was allowed in the worship services or church activities. The Bible instructs us to dress in modest apparel, but there might be a difference of convictions as to what that exactly means.

Steve, something you need to keep in mind is the autonomy of the local church. Each local church is to govern themselves concerning doctrinal beliefs and matters of practice. One of my pet peeves is when certain pastors set themselves up as a little Pope in their particular “camp,” and they expect other churches in their camp to follow their lead.

I’ll give you an example of that. I speak on the creation versus evolution issue, one pastor contacted me about speaking in his church. The first thing he wanted to know was what my dress standards were, if I wore facial hair, etc. (try to figure that one out by the way, no facial hair?). I told the pastor he was not my pastor, and it was not his position to inform me as to what my convictions were to be in those areas, he was undermining the autonomy of the local church, as I was accountable to the leadership of my own pastor, as well as my personal convictions in those areas, but I would certainly be respectful of his convictions and would be sensitive to that so as not to cause problems in his church if he would decide to have me speak there (he didn’t).

There are certain “camps” that really put more emphasis on outward appearance than they do doctrinal issues. That is unfortunate, and unscriptural.

Music In The Church
A couple things to keep in mind about music. The Bible seems to indicate that was Satan’s area of expertise in heaven. There is also a difference between the words and the music itself. It is a scientific fact that notes can be arranged in a way to affect people’s moods, etc. and you can actually slow a person’s heart rate down or speed it up. What if a piece of music had no words? People who have expertise in that area can look at a piece of sheet music and tell you if it is good music or bad music, and what affect it will have on you psychologically. Just making you feel good isn’t enough. A beat or rhythm that appeals to our flesh may not be the one that uplifts us spiritually. We need to be conscious of the battle going on between our old nature and our new nature, and try to be sensitive as to what pleases God and what does not.

Grace
This is not an excuse to live any way we want to. Let me give you a good biblical application of grace. Titus 2:11-12 says: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” The proper result of grace in a Christian’s life should cause us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. That is what a proper understanding of grace should teach us. An understanding of grace that allows for worldly lusts or ungodliness in one’s conduct would be an improper application of what grace means or should produce in our life.

The Church
You touched on this on your website, but understand that Baptists are the only group that does not trace its roots back to some man or woman in the last 1700 years. But the true body of Christ is made up of every truly born again Christian regardless of what denomination they might be a part of, or even if they attend a church or not.

Steve, be very careful as to why you accept a certain teaching or reject it. We might not like a doctrinal position, but is it taught in the Bible? Examine your reasoning as to why you may or may not like the teachings of fundamental Baptists. The majority I am acquainted with are not as you picture them on your website. Fundamental Baptists are not a cult, although there are a few here and there that are a bit scary, I’ll give you that. You were not abused because you were taught to use the King James Bible, although there are extreme positions in that area. You were not abused because you were in a church that believed tithing was scriptural. You were not abused if the pastor had personal convictions that women should not wear pants. Actually, the only apparel mentioned for men was skirts. You don’t hear that taught much, accept maybe in Scotland.

My pastor teaches wearing what is appropriate for the occasion. I personally like it when ladies wear skirts and dresses to church. Some of our bus ladies don’t even own a dress or skirt. Nobody would ever say a thing, unless their clothing was too revealing. As a man with a sin nature, I am glad there are some dress standards that people seem to go by, although not much is said about it. If the ladies play softball, culottes are just not modest. If the church doesn’t want them wearing lose-fitting ball pants, let them join a Ping-Pong league or something.

Although you might not agree with everything I have said, I hope you will give it some consideration. Check out my website at: www.truthandscience.net. Take care my brother.

In His Service,
Dr. Arv Edgeworth

Hi Arv,

I certainly appreciate you taking the time to share this information. I must admit that I’m a bit disappointed though. You said that you would share “truth”, but all I see is opinion and hearsay. What you share is nothing that I haven’t heard preached at me 1000 times before in my IFB experience. I was really hoping that you would share new information, but it really feels to me that you are just regurgitating what you’ve learned rather than truly exploring the “truth”.

Along with the above mentioned issues, there are several things that I find rather disturbing about what you write, but before I spend time countering your arguments, let me ask if you really want to have a discussion about this. In my experience people will write to berate and attack me about the information I provide and when I take the time to write back in defense of my position I never hear back. So do you want to have a discussion or are you just interested in sharing your point of view?

Either way, please let me know.

Thanks again,
Steve

Hi Steve,

If you want any kind of discussion it will have to be about facts, and not just your opinion based on your personal experience, which is what most of your website is. When you state that we got our current KJV from Westcott and Hort, how exactly did they pull that off since their text came about in 1881?

Arv

Before I had a chance to reply, along comes…

Hi Steve,

I would like you to clarify a few things for me before or if we continue:

1. You said you were hoping for something new from me, what I told you was the same things you had heard 1000 times. You said you were taught you can only be saved with the KJV, I said just the opposite. You said you were taught women couldn’t wear pants, I said the opposite. If you were taught one thing, And I said the opposite, how exactly could what I said be the same thing you had heard 1000 times. Things that are different are not the same.

2. You say you are not interested in my sharing with you my point of view. If you are only interested in your own point of view, why have a discussion? How exactly do we have a discussion if only one point of view will be considered? Do you consider what you believe to be more than just your point of view? Could you explain that please? You have already indicated that you do not consider my opinion as being “truth.”

3. You indicate what I say is just opinion and hearsay, but what you say isn’t. You claim you are interested in exploring “truth.” I have to ask you this question: Where do you feel the Word of God stands in all of this? Do you believe the Word of God is absolute truth? If you had to choose between man’s opinions or the Word of God, which would you choose? Do you believe your interpretation of scripture is infallible? What does biblical inspiration mean to you exactly?

4. You say you want to hear something new. What if some of the things you were taught are actually the truth? Are you open to that possibility, or are you completely closed-minded as to that possibility? Maybe you aren’t as interested in the “truth” as you claim.

5. You indicate if a church teaches that modern Bible versions are translated from corrupted texts, and Christian women should not wear pants, and Christians should tithe, and not listen to Christian Rock they are a cult. It seems that what you are requiring is for your followers to believe exactly like you do in those areas. How exactly is that different from the group that you are attacking? You claim they attack those that don’t believe like they do, you have set up a website to do the same thing. If some day someone broke away from your teachings and started using the KJV for example and started tithing, would they consider your group a cult? What exactly is the difference?

By the way, I hate untruth with a Passion. I have had a passion for truth my whole life. If you are not really interested in what the truth is, but just in promoting your own point of view, don’t waste both of our time. There are too many people out there that actually want to know the truth. So far I have real doubts about you.

In Search of the Truth,
Arv Edgeworth

Hi Arv,

I really wanted to reply to what you wrote in your [original] message, but with two new messages I’ll skip that for now and I’ll reply to this one first since it is the first of your two new messages. (I’m being over wordy because it’s difficult to communicate via email. Lack of verbal, visual and body language queues often leave people mistaken about my intentions and I don’t want you to get the wrong impression.) I really am interested in what you have to say.

As we proceed, please remember that YOU were the one who initiated contact and said that YOU would provide the “truth”. I told you that most of what you wrote seemed like opinion and hearsay because I saw little evidence of truth in what you wrote. When I asked for it again you wrote back with two messages both of which conveniently deflected the focus onto me leaving me with still the unanswered question about what “truth” YOU are trying to share. I’m happy though to reply to whatever you would like to know about me and my point of view.

I’m interested in the truth as well, however, it is impossible to discuss ONLY truth here. We are ultimately talking about issues of value. In philosophy, we call a sole focus on truth/fact when it comes to issues of value a Naturalistic Fallacy. I’ll spare you the lecture on logical fallacies. You can research it if you wish. But ultimately, it will be a difficult discussion if we focus only on fact since statements of value cannot be reached by premises of fact alone.

Now having said that, to answer your question, I never said that “we got our current KJV from Westcott and Hort”. The current KJV version (which is at least the 4th revision of the 1611 KJV) is based on the work that Westcott and Hort did. In other words, Westcott and Hort is part of the heritage of the current version of the KJV that we have today. This is stated very clearly on the site. Please re-read what I’ve written there if you find yourself confused. There are a lot of scholars who report this. You can find more information about where we got that information in the Bibliography section under the article.

Steve

This is where it may get confusing for the reader. Arv was refusing to stick to one topic so I had to reply paragraph by paragraph to keep from further confusion. Arv’s words are in black and mine are in red.

Hi Arv,

Please see my reply to your questions below in red text.

On Sun, Dec 19, 2010 at 12:19 AM, Arv Edgeworth wrote:

Hi Steve,

I would like you to clarify a few things for me before or if we continue:

1. You said you were hoping for something new from me, what I told you was the same things you had heard 1000 times. You said you were taught you can only be saved with the KJV, I said just the opposite. You said you were taught women couldn’t wear pants, I said the opposite. If you were taught one thing, And I said the opposite, how exactly could what I said be the same thing you had heard 1000 times. Things that are different are not the same.

You don’t know everything I was taught and I never said that I was ONLY taught the opposite of what you wrote. Thousands of people have written to me and said almost the exact same things you’ve said. It’s nothing new to me.

2. You say you are not interested in my sharing with you my point of view. If you are only interested in your own point of view, why have a discussion? How exactly do we have a discussion if only one point of view will be considered? Do you consider what you believe to be more than just your point of view? Could you explain that please? You have already indicated that you do not consider my opinion as being “truth.”

I never said that I’m not interested in you sharing your point of view. You said that you would be sharing “truth”. I told you that most of what you wrote seemed like opinion and hearsay because I saw little evidence of truth in what you wrote. So help me out. Please separate out your opinion from the “truth”.

3. You indicate what I say is just opinion and hearsay, but what you say isn’t. You claim you are interested in exploring “truth.” I have to ask you this question: Where do you feel the Word of God stands in all of this? Do you believe the Word of God is absolute truth? If you had to choose between man’s opinions or the Word of God, which would you choose? Do you believe your interpretation of scripture is infallible? What does biblical inspiration mean to you exactly?

You said that YOU would be sharing “truth”. If you want to share “truth” then share it. I’m more than interested in the truth.

To answer your questions:

I’m not sure what you mean by “where do you feel the Word of God stands in all of this?” That question is too vague to answer. Clarification would be appreciated.

I believe the Word of God contains absolute truths and is itself completely true. This, however, is were discussions on “truth” become blurred. We are trying to derive conclusions of value from fact alone. It doesn’t work. Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as “is the Word of God absolute truth” because the Word of God contains more than just absolute truth. It contains commands, principles, promises, precepts, etc. some of which are open to personal conviction (reference 1 Corinthians 10)

I would choose the Word of God. Which is why I question whether what you share is “truth” or opinion. What scripture are you using to support your beliefs and are you sure you are interpreting them properly?

No, I do not believe my interpretation of scripture is infallible.

Biblical inspiration means that God used human beings to communicate his thoughts through the written Word of God.

4. You say you want to hear something new. What if some of the things you were taught are actually the truth? Are you open to that possibility, or are you completely closed-minded as to that possibility? Maybe you aren’t as interested in the “truth” as you claim.

I never said that I wanted to hear something new. I was just hoping (expecting is probably a better term to use) something different from you since you implied that you had new information to share.

Some of the things I was taught are true. I don’t deny that.

5. You indicate if a church teaches that modern Bible versions are translated from corrupted texts, and Christian women should not wear pants, and Christians should tithe, and not listen to Christian Rock they are a cult. It seems that what you are requiring is for your followers to believe exactly like you do in those areas. How exactly is that different from the group that you are attacking? You claim they attack those that don’t believe like they do, you have set up a website to do the same thing. If some day someone broke away from your teachings and started using the KJV for example and started tithing, would they consider your group a cult? What exactly is the difference?

No, that’s not what I said or implied. Please re-read the section of the site where I talk about the IFB showing signs of cultish practices (you can find it on the “About This Site” page).

I don’t have “followers” and I don’t require anyone to do anything. I don’t teach others and I don’t have a church where I preach what I believe. I don’t attack anyone or anything. I’m simply sharing my experiences.

The difference is that I am but one person sharing some thoughts and experiences, I’m not a “group”. The IFB is a powerful organization filled with lies, manipulations and abuse – some of which are exposed on my site with more to come.

By the way, I hate untruth with a Passion. I have had a passion for truth my whole life. If you are not really interested in what the truth is, but just in promoting your own point of view, don’t waste both of our time. There are too many people out there that actually want to know the truth. So far I have real doubts about you.

Me too.

Now, I’ve answered your questions and put up with your attacks. Will you please share the “truth” that you say you have?

You have doubts about me because you haven’t taken the time to get to know me or my experiences. You’ve come to me with pre-conceived ideas about who I am and what I’m about. I’ve entertained your assumptions and false assertions in the hopes that we can have a serious discussion and that you would, in your wisdom, share something that would restore my hope in the IFB. I’m still waiting.

Steve

The same here. Before I had a chance to reply to an email Arv sent he promptly sent two more. Having replied to the two new emails, I’m now backtracking and trying to address that other email. Here it is…

Hi Arv,

I decided to just go ahead and send this to you. I worked on it so I figured I might as well send it. My responses are in red text below. For what it’s worth…

Steve

Hi Steve,

I am an evangelist. In the last 14 years I have spoken in over 300 independent, fundamental Baptist churches in 25 different states. I have spent a great deal of time discussing doctrinal issues with those pastors. I have also discussed standards of dress and conduct with them. I send out a newsletter to about 2100 independent, fundamental, Baptist churches nation-wide.

I would be more interested in your training and education. Being an evangelist says nothing to me except that your work is to evangelize. Where do you get your beliefs? How have you come to the knowledge you have? Are you following the “truth”, as you call it, or simply following what you’ve been taught? Is your training and education well rounded or is it simply passed down information from the IFB? I would be a bit leery about someone who is simply passing on information about what they have learned in a particular denomination. That is not real truth, it’s simply truth as you know it.

Bible Versions

At different times I have been on both sides of the fence on this issue. It would be good for you to read the biographies of the King James translators. I would suggest: http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/transtoc.htm. It also has much information about the translation process. This website has much information about Westcott and Hort. By the way, they had nothing to do with the KJV that we use today.

Westcott and Hort may not have had anything personally to do with the KJV that we use today, but their work helped form the modern KJV that we have today. You could say that the work of Westcott and Hort is part of the heritage of the current version of the KJV that we have today.

Something to think about. In Genesis 3, the first statement recorded for Satan was him asking the question: “Yea, hath God said?” Do you think Satan might want to attack what God has said or promised? Would it be to his advantage to corrupt the Word of God? If he could water down the gospel in some way, or attack the deity of Christ for example, how do you think he might go about that?

Yes, I agree. That’s why I’m against the KJV. It is a corrupt version that is used by Satan to deceive people, especially when it is touted at the “perfect, preserved Word of God”. You can read more about that on my site if you wish.

To give just a brief background of the manuscript issue: In the 4th century Constantine ordered a man by the name of Eusebius to translate 50 bibles for him and gave him a set of changes he wanted him to make to produce a bible that would be acceptable to a wide range of people. Eusebius had been a disciple of a man named Origen, who had many heretical beliefs himself. It appears from the manuscripts found that are believed to belong to that group, that Eusebius later added many changes of his own, with each copy containing a few more changes. Westcott and Hort hated the Textus Receptus and wanted to come up with something to replace it (I can give you the actual quote of them saying that if you would like). Using two manuscripts that are believed to be two of the 50 that Constantine ordered to be made, Westcott and Hort compiled a new manuscript that had not existed previous to this. The two manuscripts were the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. A very liberal German scholar, Count Tischendorf, studied both manuscripts and came to the conclusion they were both written by the same man, and he also believed it was Eusebius. From the Westcott and Hort manuscript come all the modern versions today. The NKJV was supposedly translated from the Textus Receptus, but later many changes were made based on the Westcott and Hort.

Thanks for the info. What is your source? Where did you get this information?

The majority of IFB pastors I know would not take the position that someone could not be saved with a modern version. That is an extreme minority position. Although they were translated from corrupted manuscripts, most of them still contain enough of the gospel that someone could get saved, and often do.

Yet, it’s still a position that abounds in the IFB and it’s a false and dangerous teaching. While the majority of pastors you know would not take that position, it’s important to remember that you do not know the majority of IFB pastors. Also, the newer versions were not translated from corrupted manuscripts. This is a lie (I thought you wanted to share “truth”?) There is information about this on the site with resources to back it up, if you’d like to read it. What is your source for the assertion that “they [modern versions] were translated from corrupted manuscripts? Where did you get that information?

Dress Standards

I agree with you to a certain extent about extreme dress standards, but I think you would agree that each pastor has a responsibility to teach his personal convictions about what the standards should be in his own church. I believe God would hold him accountable if immodesty was allowed in the worship services or church activities. The Bible instructs us to dress in modest apparel, but there might be a difference of convictions as to what that exactly means.

Where did you get this information? What is your source? Where in the Bible does it say that “a pastor is responsible for teaching his personal convictions”? If that’s true I would agree but it’s important to make the distinction that a pastor is supposed to TEACH his personal convictions. A pastor should NOT force his personal convictions on his congregation which is what a lot of IFB pastors do. It’s one thing to teach/share a personal conviction. It’s another thing to force the congregation to adhere to his personal convictions and use those personal convictions to manipulate and deceive his congregation. It’s important to remember that there is a difference between personal convictions, absolutes and preferences. The way we dress is a personal conviction and should not be forced on others.

Steve, something you need to keep in mind is the autonomy of the local church. Each local church is to govern themselves concerning doctrinal beliefs and matters of practice. One of my pet peeves is when certain pastors set themselves up as a little Pope in their particular “camp,” and they expect other churches in their camp to follow their lead.

Where did you get this information? What is your source? The “local church” is not biblical. Can you please show me one passage of scripture that advocates the idea of a “local church” that we know of in today’s society?

I share your pet peeve. It discusses me to know that there are pastors who are so controlling and manipulative.

I’ll give you an example of that. I speak on the creation versus evolution issue, one pastor contacted me about speaking in his church. The first thing he wanted to know was what my dress standards were, if I wore facial hair, etc. (try to figure that one out by the way, no facial hair?). I told the pastor he was not my pastor, and it was not his position to inform me as to what my convictions were to be in those areas, he was undermining the autonomy of the local church, as I was accountable to the leadership of my own pastor, as well as my personal convictions in those areas, but I would certainly be respectful of his convictions and would be sensitive to that so as not to cause problems in his church if he would decide to have me speak there (he didn’t).

There are certain “camps” that really put more emphasis on outward appearance than they do doctrinal issues. That is unfortunate, and unscriptural.

Agreed.

Music In The Church
A couple things to keep in mind about music. The Bible seems to indicate that was Satan’s area of expertise in heaven. There is also a difference between the words and the music itself. It is a scientific fact that notes can be arranged in a way to affect people’s moods, etc. and you can actually slow a person’s heart rate down or speed it up. What if a piece of music had no words? People who have expertise in that area can look at a piece of sheet music and tell you if it is good music or bad music, and what affect it will have on you psychologically. Just making you feel good isn’t enough. A beat or rhythm that appeals to our flesh may not be the one that uplifts us spiritually. We need to be conscious of the battle going on between our old nature and our new nature, and try to be sensitive as to what pleases God and what does not.

Where did you get this information? What is your source? I’m not sure what your point is about this. Are you saying that it’s a sin to have an emotional response to music? Music is amoral. It is neither right nor wrong. I would encourage you to read the passage where David danced before the Lord. He was rebuked by Michal for dancing and the Lord made Michal unable to have children for rebuking David. (See 2 Samuel 6 20-23) David was having an emotional response to what the Lord had done for him and the music helped him express that emotional response before the Lord.

Yes, I agree that it can be used for wrong, but so can food. Does that mean we shouldn’t eat? Music is not inherently evil or good in and of itself. Secondly, why does music only have to affect us spiritually? Are you saying it’s a sin if music affects up physically or emotionally? We are more than just spiritual beings. If music affects us emotionally I think that could be a good thing. Music therapy helps many people who struggle with grief, depression, anxiety, etc.

Grace

This is not an excuse to live any way we want to. Let me give you a good biblical application of grace. Titus 2:11-12 says: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” The proper result of grace in a Christian’s life should cause us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. That is what a proper understanding of grace should teach us. An understanding of grace that allows for worldly lusts or ungodliness in one’s conduct would be an improper application of what grace means or should produce in our life.

I agree (see also Roman’s 6). It’s important to remember, however, that Grace should also not be used to form a doctrine of legalistic righteousness. Grace is undeserved favor in the eyes of God. We have grace because it is a gift not because we earn it by the way we live. Titus 2:11-12 is incorrectly interpreted in the KJV. It’s not grace that teaches us to deny those things, it’s salvation and God and the sanctification process where we learn to be more godly and live correctly. Grace is already present when the sanctification process has begun.

The Church

You touched on this on your website, but understand that Baptists are the only group that does not trace its roots back to some man or woman in the last 1700 years. But the true body of Christ is made up of every truly born again Christian regardless of what denomination they might be a part of, or even if they attend a church or not.

Denominations are not biblical. Denominations are used by Satan to dismember the body of believers – the true church – and cause division among us.

Steve, be very careful as to why you accept a certain teaching or reject it. We might not like a doctrinal position, but is it taught in the Bible? Examine your reasoning as to why you may or may not like the teachings of fundamental Baptists. The majority I am acquainted with are not as you picture them on your website. Fundamental Baptists are not a cult, although there are a few here and there that are a bit scary, I’ll give you that. You were not abused because you were taught to use the King James Bible, although there are extreme positions in that area. You were not abused because you were in a church that believed tithing was scriptural. You were not abused if the pastor had personal convictions that women should not wear pants. Actually, the only apparel mentioned for men was skirts. You don’t hear that taught much, accept maybe in Scotland.

I would advise you the same way. Are you accepting a certain belief because that’s what you’ve always been taught or are you really searching scripture? Examine your reasoning as to why you may or may not like the teachings of churches other than the IFB.

I never claimed that I was abused for the reasons you state.

My pastor teaches wearing what is appropriate for the occasion. I personally like it when ladies wear skirts and dresses to church. Some of our bus ladies don’t even own a dress or skirt. Nobody would ever say a thing, unless their clothing was too revealing. As a man with a sin nature, I am glad there are some dress standards that people seem to go by, although not much is said about it. If the ladies play softball, culottes are just not modest. If the church doesn’t want them wearing lose-fitting ball pants, let them join a Ping-Pong league or something.

I‘m not sure what “Ping-Pong” has to do with “loose-fitting ball pants” but I remind you of your words… “I personally like it…” It’s a personal preference. It shouldn’t be forced on anyone. If someone comes to that church and feels uncomfortable and leaves because they can’t dress like they are “supposed to” then the church is damaging the cause of Christ. If you feel that you are somehow better then someone else because of the way you dress then you are being legalistic and are no better than the Pharisees.

Can you show me in the Bible where it tells us that we are supposed to dress up to do to church?

Although you might not agree with everything I have said, I hope you will give it some consideration. Check out my website at: www.truthandscience.net. Take care my brother.

Consider it considered. I love the creation/evolution debate by the way. I’m a huge creationist, although I would imagine that we wouldn’t agree on everything, but that’s for a different day and time.

Hi Steve,

To keep what I originally wrote to you in context, I said the “truth” about Westcott and Hort and Bible versions, not anything else.

You talk about opinion and hearsay versus the “truth.” When it comes to Bible versions, Westcott and Hort, church history, etc., all you have to rely on is hearsay and opinion. You start out anti-fundamental Baptist, and anti-King James Version, so it is only natural that you will only believe information given on those two issues that go along with your pre-conceived mindset. It will not matter to you how credible your source of information is.

The Bible you prefer is the New Living Bible, correct? Did you know that is not a word for word translation? It is a thought for thought translation, or paraphrase of the Bible. It is a revision of Ken Taylor’s Living Bible. The translators did not attempt to translate the Greek or Hebrew words into English, they merely wrote down what they thought God meant by what He said. It is also a gender-neutral translation. Other changes were made to be politically correct. I can take a word in the King James Bible and look that very word of in the Greek or Hebrew to see which word it was translated from, and what the word means. That makes a great Bible study. It helps in getting the correct understanding of the passage. Does it bother you at all the many verses that are completely left out in your “Bible”?

Some of the people who worked on the translation of the New Living Bible were from man-made denominations that believe we can lose our salvation. Do you think that would have any affect on what they thought God meant by what He said?

There is no independent, fundamental, Baptist “denomination.” As you have admitted on your website, fundamental Baptists trace their fundamental beliefs back to the first century church. That would just make them mainstream and traditional Christians. All of the man-made churches that came into existence since then are denominations. You said the IFB is a powerful organization, there is no such organization.

You have made a distinction between having a discussion and my sharing my point of view. You still need to clarify exactly how we have a discussion without sharing our point of view.

You ask me to separate my opinion from the truth. You claim you saw little evidence of truth in what I wrote. If you are going to accuse me a lying , tell me what I lied about. We’ll discuss that.

You claim that you only state that IFB show signs of cultish practices. You state that “the IFB operates much like a cult.” You are careful to say that you can’t say that the IFB is a “cult, exactly, but it does have some cult characteristics which I will expose.” You state: “While on the surface the IFB seems to be a traditional organization, within the walls of the church there is false and extreme doctrine.”

I assume one of the things you consider false and extreme doctrine is tithing. Do you know how many of the man-made denominations also believe that tithing is scriptural? Most traditional Christian churches teach that. I understand why you don’t like it though.

One of the things I would suggest you do first is have someone proofread your website. There are typos all over the place. I just ignore them in your emails, because I know what you mean, but the website should be a little more professional. There is a lot of misinformation on your site, but I doubt you want to know the truth, proof of that would be whether or not you went to the website I suggested and read what they said about Westcott and Hort and the translation process. My guess would be no.

It is stated the King James Bible has had four “revisions,” which is not exactly true. In 1629 and 1638 they made corrections of earlier printing errors because of the type-setting process. These were actually two stages of the same process. In 1762 and 1769, in another two stage process, they did a standardization of the spelling. They did find some mistakes such as “And Parbar,” instead of “At Parbar. These corrections were made. But if someone told you Westcott and Hort had something to do with this process they clearly lied to you.
Arv

Before I had a chance to reply to that, along comes…

Hi Steve,

You said there is no such thing as “local church” in the Bible. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth.” 1 Corinthians 1:2 “Unto the churches of Galatia.” Galatians 1:2 (These are churches that meet in a particular local area.) “To the saints which are at Ephesus,” “Unto the church of the Thessalonians,” etc. The church at Corinth might not do things exactly like the church at Ephesus, they didn’t have the same pastor. What exactly were you trying to prove by being against the term “local church”?

You said it is important to know that I do not know the majority of IFB pastors. I have spoken personally with hundreds of them (over 300 that I have been in their churches). I have probably had correspondence with hundreds more in the last 14 years. I have been on the websites of hundreds more and checked out their doctrinal positions. I think I have a pretty good idea of what is out there. I’ve met pastors like the ones you have mentioned, and from my personal experience I would say they are a real minority. Since you say you are only relying on your personal experience, which is limited, I would say that does not leave you as an expert in what is actually out there, although you seem to think so.

Arv

Hi Arv,

I’ll reply as I did before. See below.

Steve

On Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 11:50 AM, Arv Edgeworth wrote:

Hi Steve,

To keep what I originally wrote to you in context, I said the “truth” about Westcott and Hort and Bible versions, not anything else. You talk about opinion and hearsay versus the “truth.” When it comes to Bible versions, Westcott and Hort, church history, etc., all you have to rely on is hearsay and opinion. You start out anti-fundamental Baptist, and anti-King James Version, so it is only natural that you will only believe information given on those two issues that go along with your pre-conceived mindset. It will not matter to you how credible your source of information is.

If you wanted to share the “truth” only about Westcott and Hort and Bible versions, then why did you share so much other information with me? If you intended to share the truth about the KJV then why did you feel it necessary to try and school me on dress, music, etc. Why not just stick to the topic of the KJV?

So now I’m biased? More unfounded assumptions and accusations. Have you even read the site? I started out as you are, IFB to the core. During my research I found out that other information. That’s the opposite of biased and opposite of your accusation.

I could say the same about you. Your preconceived notions about me and your lengthy experience in the IFB could mean that you are biased. Why can you see that in me but not yourself?

The Bible you prefer is the New Living Bible, correct? Did you know that is not a word for word translation? It is a thought for thought translation, or paraphrase of the Bible. It is a revision of Ken Taylor’s Living Bible. The translators did not attempt to translate the Greek or Hebrew words into English, they merely wrote down what they thought God meant by what He said. It is also a gender-neutral translation. Other changes were made to be politically correct. I can take a word in the King James Bible and look that very word of in the Greek or Hebrew to see which word it was translated from, and what the word means. That makes a great Bible study. It helps in getting the correct understanding of the passage. Does it bother you at all the many verses that are completely left out in your “Bible”?

Where did you get this information? How do you know verses were left out? Yes, I’m aware of the differences in the New Living Translation. The translators still used the Hebrew and Greek text to convey their translation. I prefer a dynamic equivalence versus a formal equivalence translation since it’s easier to understand – thus the appeal of the NLT. Did you know that the KJV uses both styles of translation? It is impossible to have a 100% formal equivalence or word for word translation. This is addressed on the site. Please refer to the KJV Onlyism article on the site for more information.

I address the issue of versions “leaving out information” vs. the KJV adding information on my website. There are no verses left out. The KJV translators actually added verses not the reverse. Please refer to the website for more information on this. So no it doesn’t bother me that there are verses missing since that’s not true.

Can you tell me where [it says in the Bible that] it is a sin for the Bible to be gender-neutral or to be politically correct? How is that a bad thing? Did you know that the users of the Geneva Bible rejected the KJV when it first came out for the same reasons that you now reject our modern versions? Perhaps your resistance to the modern versions is more about your desire to follow tradition than getting at the truth.

Some of the people who worked on the translation of the New Living Bible were from man-made denominations that believe we can lose our salvation. Do you think that would have any affect on what they thought God meant by what He said?

More hearsay. Where did you get that information? What is your source?

There is no independent, fundamental, Baptist “denomination.” As you have admitted on your website, fundamental Baptists trace their fundamental beliefs back to the first century church. That would just make them mainstream and traditional Christians. All of the man-made churches that came into existence since then are denominations. You said the IFB is a powerful organization, there is no such organization.

This is a semantics game. It’s a denomination; there is no other word for it. It’s a group of churches that follow a similar set of distinctive. Organization, denomination, group… it’s a like minded web of churches.

You have made a distinction between having a discussion and my sharing my point of view. You still need to clarify exactly how we have a discussion without sharing our point of view.

I answered that question in my previous email. Did you even read it?

You ask me to separate my opinion from the truth. You claim you saw little evidence of truth in what I wrote. If you are going to accuse me a lying , tell me what I lied about. We’ll discuss that.

I wrote counter points to your arguments in my previous message. Did you even read it? Those are the areas that I feel you are sharing opinion rather than truth.

You claim that you only state that IFB show signs of cultish practices. You state that “the IFB operates much like a cult.” You are careful to say that you can’t say that the IFB is a “cult, exactly, but it does have some cult characteristics which I will expose.” You state: “While on the surface the IFB seems to be a traditional organization, within the walls of the church there is false and extreme doctrine.”

I assume one of the things you consider false and extreme doctrine is tithing. Do you know how many of the man-made denominations also believe that tithing is scriptural? Most traditional Christian churches teach that. I understand why you don’t like it though.

I talk very clearly on the site about why tithing is wrong and unbiblical.

One of the things I would suggest you do first is have someone proofread your website. There are typos all over the place. I just ignore them in your emails, because I know what you mean, but the website should be a little more professional. There is a lot of misinformation on your site, but I doubt you want to know the truth, proof of that would be whether or not you went to the website I suggested and read what they said about Westcott and Hort and the translation process. My guess would be no.

This is what’s called an ad hominem fallacy. My “typos” have nothing to do with the content. You have typos and grammatical errors too, who cares. I wasn’t aware that we were working on a formal publication.

How do you know I didn’t read the websites? More assumptions and accusations.

You doubt that I want to know the truth because you never asked me. I’m open to whatever truth you wish to share. I will remind you of the saying… People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I feel that you care very little about me and are only interested in spreading the IFB dogma. Show me that you really care and I may be more open to hear what you have to say. So far I haven’t read anything from you that shows me you are interested in getting to the truth as much as you are in trying to educate or correct me.

It is stated the King James Bible has had four “revisions,” which is not exactly true. In 1629 and 1638 they made corrections of earlier printing errors because of the type-setting process.

These were actually two stages of the same process. In 1762 and 1769, in another two stage process, they did a standardization of the spelling. They did find some mistakes such as “And Parbar,” instead of “At Parbar. These corrections were made. But if someone told you Westcott and Hort had something to do with this process they clearly lied to you.


Hi Steve,

I would like to take a step back if we could. We haven’t gotten off to the best start. I will accept a lot of the responsibility for that. I apologize. I’m really sorry you had the experience you did in a Baptist church. I have been in my current church for about 29 years. I haven’t read hardly anything on your site that applies to my church or pastor. I was in a Baptist church for a couple years before that where some of it would apply. I have seen examples of just about everything you mention on your site in some form in Baptist churches. I have actually seen far worse in one church, maybe I’ll tell you about that one some time.

There are actually small movements within fundamental Baptists where some of this would be the norm in some form, although maybe not to the extent you experienced. I know you probably find this hard to believe but there are thousands of fundamental Baptist churches where most of your info wouldn’t apply. It isn’t being completely honest to include them in that. You may not be intending to but you are giving the idea on your website that the majority of fundamental Baptists are like this. They really aren’t. Steve, you admit having limited knowledge in this area, and are just going by your personal experiences, but you then state things that include thousands of good churches that you have absolutely no knowledge of at all. I understand your admitted anger because of what happened to you, but that doesn’t give you the right to try to muddy the good name of thousands of good churches in the process.

I agree with you speaking out about what happened to you. People need to be warned, and I appreciate the help you are trying to give others who have experienced some of the same things. Lumping all fundamental Baptists together and making them all guilty by association is not the way to go about it.

Are you aware of the Reformers Unanimous group? It is often referred to as R.U. It is an addiction ministry to reaches out to people of all kinds of addictions. We have had one in our church for over 5 years. It is spreading through independent, fundamental Baptist churches, and not just in this country. People of all kind of addictions are getting real victory in their battles. We have had such success in our area the County Sheriff, the jails, rescue missions and other groups are sending people to us. We have had over 75 people saved through our local chapter just this year. They are joining the church, becoming active in ministry, we just had to expand our auditorium to accommodate all the new people. We have a really caring group of Christians in our church that are really making a difference in our community. Too bad you couldn’t have gotten into a church like ours first. But maybe God had you in that church for a purpose. You can be a help to others that otherwise you might not know they exist. I’m just afraid you may be doing great harm to other good Baptist churches like ours out there that might be able to help people. There might be someone in our community that could benefit greatly by the love our pastor and our people have for people, but they might visit your website and shy away from the help that is there because we are fundamental Baptists. Satan is the enemy, not fundamental Baptists. There are some bad things happening in the name of Christ and of Baptists that are terribly wrong, make sure you are placing the blame where it belongs, or you could actually be fighting against the cause of Christ and causing great division in the church.

I have read all of the information on your website. I have also been on a few sites lately that agree with you on a few things. To give you a little more information about myself, right after I got saved I was in a church for 10 years that believe you can lose your salvation (not a Baptist church). The first church I was in after that (was a Baptist church) had a number of problems. After visiting a number of churches in our area and talking to about 12 different pastors I was beginning to wonder if there were any good churches out there. There wasn’t anything major like what you experienced, but one for example was a Baptist church that teaches you can lose your salvation, another was Calvinistic and taught man doesn’t really have a free will.

I mentioned that some of the translators of the NLT believe you can lose your salvation, some of them were Calvinistic also and believe man doesn’t have a free will. You believed this was hearsay and asked for my source, I actually did research on them from a pro-NLT website which gives their names and tell which college or group they are affiliated with. I know what many of those groups teach and believe.

The reason why I object to Baptists being called a denomination is because of their association with the beliefs and teachings of the first century Christian church. If the enemies of the early Christians had not started calling them “Baptists” because of their rejection of infant baptism, sprinkling, and insistence upon baptism for believers only, they would just be called Christians today. Methodists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Pentecostals etc. were started by some man or woman in the last 1700 years, and I tend to think of them in terms of a man-made denomination. I usually don’t think in terms of the Christian faith or Jewish faith as being a denomination. But you are right, it is just a matter of semantics, and it’s not that big a deal. I liked the information you have about who a true Baptist is.

The reason I questioned Westcott and Hort having anything to do with the King James Bible is because the last revision was before they were born. This is what you said: “The current KJV version (which is at least the 4th revision of the 1611 KJV) is based on the work that Westcott and Hort did” I guess you will have to explain what you mean by the 1769 revision of the King James Bible being based on the work that Westcott and Hort did. Westcott was born in 1825, Hort in 1828. How is that possible? You also stated: “In other words, Westcott and Hort is part of the heritage of the current version of the KJV that we have today.” How can two men born over 50 years after the last revision of the King James Bible be a part of it’s heritage, which would come before? You then state: “I don’t know how you still think that I’m telling you that Westcott and Hort participated in the current KJV translation unless you really aren’t reading what I write.” Again, how could it be based on their work and they be a part of its heritage if they came on the scene over 50 years after the last revision was made? I’m reading what you write, it just doesn’t make any sense. I’m trying to be kind here, not attacking. I’m not saying they participated in the translation process, you’re not really reading what I’m writing. How can a translation be based on a work that came over 100 years later (1881)?

I hope I didn’t sound too attacking, and I hope we can be friends and reach some common ground. Take care.

In His Service,
Arv

Hi Arv,

Apology accepted. Thanks for recognizing those things. I feel you are still making assumptions about me (I don’t recall admitting that “I have limited knowledge in this area”) but I guess this is a start. Hopefully as we continue our discussion you will come to a greater appreciation for my position and the reasons I have the website.

Ultimately, I consider myself as someone recovering from abuse in the church or more commonly known as a bad church experience (one that, for me, lasted almost 26 years in multiple churches). I’m sure you can imagine that after 26 years of abuse one would become somewhat mistrusting of anyone resembling/defending those who have been the abusers.

In reality, my site is more about spiritual abuse (abusive spiritual traditions, practices, teachings, beliefs, etc.) than the IFB. I write about the IFB simply because that’s where my experiences were. You can read more about spiritual abuse here http://www.baptistdeception.com/spiritual-abuse/
A few books on the topic include: The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen, Healing Spiritual Abuse by Ken Blue, Toxic Faith by Steve Arturbern, Chruches that Abuse by Ronald Enroth and Twisted Scriptures, by Mary Chrnalogar. You may also find interesting Messy Spirituality by Michael Yaconelli and Exegetical Fallacies by D.A Carson.

It’s amazing to me that you (and others who contact me with similar complaints) focus your attention on the abused rather than the abuser. It would be similar to a police officer getting angry at the rape victim for being mistrusting of guys rather than focusing his attention on the rapist. Had the churches I was in not abused then I wouldn’t have a felt need for this site.

You say I may be doing harm with my website, but I see it as the churches that are doing the harm. I’m just writing about it. What about the people who had given up all hope in church and Christianity until they found healing because of my site and/or the resources found within and came to Christ? Who are you to judge what God can and can’t use to bring people to Him? It’s this judgmental attitude that is so damaging to the church.

Someone once told me “don’t throw out the Baby with the bath water” regarding my reports of harm in the church. But I submit that there shouldn’t be “bath water” to throw out. The church should be a sanctuary (no pun intended) for the hurting, abused, tired, weak, and needy. Instead it has become a pious institution that promotes programs, self-righteousness, legalism and traditionalism above all else.

I’m glad you see that “people need to be warned”, and that you “appreciate the help [I am] trying to give others who have experienced some of the same things” because that’s what I want to accomplish. However, people accuse me all the time, as you have, of “lumping all fundamental Baptists together and making them all guilty by association”. Please keep in mind that I’m not the one associating one church with another. If a church doesn’t want the association of Independent, Fundamental, Baptist, Methodist or whatever, then they shouldn’t associate as such. The error in association is the church’s not mine. This isn’t blame shifting but simple common sense. If a church calls itself Independent Fundamental Baptist then it needs to be willing to accept the associations that go along with it – both good and bad. The same goes for other denominations.

Please keep in mind also that the site isn’t finished. It’s a work in progress. I intend to write much more about spiritual abuse in general, some of which may apply to your current church.

I’m not sure why you are sharing resources with me about addiction. I don’t have any addiction issues. Is the reformers group also about abuse issues?

I understand what you are saying about the translators of the NLT, but I still don’t understand why that’s a bad thing. To me it’s a good thing. To have such diversity and accountability so that no one doctrinal position, belief or understanding of scripture takes priority makes for a more thorough and reliable translation. I feel that you see the translators of the NLT as having malicious intent for injecting their beliefs into scripture (similar to what I was taught in my IFB experiences). To me that is an unfounded worry with no basis in reality. I see them as opening up a new world of understanding for those who have a hard time with Old English and Greek/Hebrew interpretation.

You told me that you can look up any word in the KJV in the Greek and Hebrew and understand what the translators were trying to communicate. But what about people without those resources and knowledge? I would think that it’s a good thing to have a version that is more readable and understandable so that the Gospel message can reach more people. Not everybody has a library of Biblical study material and even less have the basic understanding of how to use those resources anyway. This is so simple it’s frustrating. Why would anyone defend an archaic text that only a Pastor or Theologian can interpret? (That’s a rhetorical question by the way. Unfortunately, I know all too well why people defend the KJV).

Anyway, regarding the KJV, there are scholars who assert that the 1769 edition of the KJV wasn’t the last.

Steve

Hi Steve,

I don’t think we are making much progress, but I’ll address a few things anyway. I was really hoping you would take a step or two to reach some common ground, but I can see you won’t. You admitted limited knowledge in this area because you are basing it on the few churches you have been in, and the hearsay from other people claiming similar experiences. What are there about 25 million mainline Baptist churches, just in America? So let’s say you have personal information about 100 of them. Would you not agree that is somewhat limited? You state: “While I can’t say that every IFB church is run in a spiritually abusive manner since that would be an impossible claim to knowledge, I can easily infer, based on my experience with multiple IFB churches and based on others who I’ve talked to or shared their stories on this site, that most are.” If you claim that “most are” abusive you are making an impossible claim to knowledge. Exactly how can you easily infer that? Is that not being dishonest?

But I guess that would depend on what you call abuse. If you call using the King James Bible, or practicing tithing, or practicing biblical separation as being abusive, then most churches of any denomination could be considered abusive. Although most churches other than Baptist are getting away from the King James Bible (but not all) the majority of Christian churches in America still believe in tithing and biblical separation. Would you consider them abusive? Your own preferred Bible translation doesn’t back you up on the biblical separation issue. I’ll touch on that at the end.

You claim I am defending the abusers, that is not true. I clearly condemned those churches that practiced the things you mentioned, I am defending the churches that are not practicing forms of abuse that you claim still are, even though you have absolutely no personal knowledge of that. If I had the 2100 independent, fundamental Baptist churches on my mailing list all email you and let you know they are not practicing those things, it still wouldn’t matter to you, that is how deep your hatred goes for any fundamental Baptist church. It is the IFB you are angry at, not the abuses themselves. The fact it happened in the IFB is enough justification for you to take out your anger on all the other ones for allowing this to happen. Faulty logic, but understandable.

This next statement is real funny: “In reality, my site is more about spiritual abuse (abusive spiritual traditions, practices, teachings, beliefs, etc.) than the IFB.” Your hatred for the IFB comes through loud and clear. The part about abusive spiritual teachings and beliefs is really, really, funny. What is that exactly, anything that cramps your desired lifestyle?

I warn you about the harm you may cause to good churches that are not practicing spiritual abuse, although you slanderously claim they are, and you accuse me of being judgmental. Your whole site is judgmental. The sad thing is you are judging churches as being guilty of abuse just because of the name on their sign out front of their building. Is your hatred for Baptists so deep that it doesn’t concern you at all about the good churches you may hurt in the process?

What you said about associations is really funny. If all the good churches don’t like my accusing generalizations about Baptists they should change their name. If I knew someone named Tim that was a child abuser, then heard of several more child abusers named Tim, and I created a website stating that most people named Tim are child abusers, and people started telling me they know a lot of people named Tim who are not child abusers. So my response should be: If the majority of good Tim’s don’t like it, let them change their name? You actually think that makes sense? Would that let me off the hook for making the wrong statement to begin with? Of course not. I doubt if the degree of anger and hatred you have will ever allow you to do what’s right in that area.

Crime shows about serial killers come to mind. Because of some kind of abuse in their childhood, the killer takes out his revenge on not only the guilty parties involved, but a lot of innocent people who are guilty by association. Somehow they also manage to pick up a fan-club along the way. I’ve see you’ve done that also.

On your site you state: “It is not the intention of this site to hurt or defame anyone. I will do my best to not single out a particular church. It is the sole intention of this site to bring into the light the hurtful and dangerous practices of the IFB.” Let’s think about that. It wasn’t the majority of IFB churches that did this to you. Instead of singling out a few, that actually did the abuse, let’s condemn all the innocent ones too. You are accusing the “IFB” of hurtful and dangerous practices as a group, for which you have no knowledge of. I have informed you that it is not true of our church, and hundreds of other “IFB” churches that I know about personally, but that does not matter to you. You are determined to take out your anger on all “IFB” churches, whether they are guilty or not. I know, “If they don’t like it, change their name.” If all the good “IFB” churches changed their name, then that would make your statement true, wouldn’t it? However, since that isn’t going to happen, it makes your all-inclusive statements false. Don’t try to give me the garbage that you are interested in truth, that is a lie. You are interested in revenge, pure and simple, and any innocent parties that get hurt in the process, so what. Is this your idea of your own healing process? Well, I guess it works for serial killers. Makes them feel better anyway.

You stated: “This is so simple it’s frustrating. Why would anyone defend an archaic text that only a Pastor or Theologian can interpret? (That’s a rhetorical question by the way. Unfortunately, I know all to well why people defend the KJV).” I know all too well why people like yourself attack it also, and it has nothing to do with not being able to understand it. If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me and just become more defensive. Our Sunday School kids about third-grade level understand it by the way. Jr. High level at least and above I guess on the national averages.

I want to leave you with some verses from the NLT about biblical separation. I would like you to explain to me in your own words why these are not referring to biblical separation.

James 1:27
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”

Romans 12:1-2
1 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
How do we keep our bodies holy, not copying the behavior of the world, and learn what is good and pleasing to God?

Romans 13:13-14
13 “Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.
14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.”

1 Corinthians 5:11-13
11 “I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.
13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
What exactly about “not associate with, don’t eat with, remove from among you” do you not understand in the NLT?

1 Corinthians 6:9-12
9 “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.”
On not becoming a slave to anything, could that be interpreted as anything that we could become addicted to?

1 Peter 1:14-16
14 “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
“I’m going to drink, smoke, dance, gamble and party so that I can be holy in everything I do.” Right. What was that about not slipping back into our old ways to satisfy our own desires? I wonder what that is talking about?

Galatians 5:19-21
19 “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
So if you are going to do any of those things, make sure it is always in moderation.

Romans 14, 21
14 “So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.”
You mean I should be concerned about what others might think about the things I allow in my life, and how it might affect them? How legalistic.

1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 31
23 “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
When you allow questionable things into your lifestyle, make sure you do it in a way that will bring glory to God. I can’t help you there. I’m not sure how you can do that either.

1 Peter 4:3-5
3 “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5 But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead.”
Oh wait. You do plunge into the wild and destructive things they do. Well, let the party begin.

The NLT has a lot to say about separation doesn’t it? I just gave you a few. Just reading those verses probably made you feel like were back in a Baptist church didn’t it? Well I can see you will have to find a different Bible version that maybe waters it down a little more. I’ll let you know if I hear about one.

Steve, you are an angry hate-filled person that is so bent on taking out his revenge you have no concern over who gets hurt in the process. You can use all the double-talk you want about helping people get healing, that isn’t what this is about. If this was about abuse, you would focus on the abuse, because it happens in many denominations, but it isn’t about the abuse, it is about something that only exists in your imagination. The majority of IFB churches are not guilty of abuse. But what you call abuse and what actually is, are two different things anyway. You should change the name of your website to SteveDeception.com.

What if tithing was an Old Testament practice? Tithing was actually started 400 years before the law was given, it was just regulated under the law. The Ten Commandments are part of the law. Which one of these is it okay to break? What if the New Testament churches had no direct scriptural teaching in the New Testament about financing God’s work? Should they consider principles in the Old Testament as a guideline? Since ten per cent was given 400 years before the law was given as an example of giving, should that be given consideration? You do know that the word tithe means ten per cent right? A lot of things that have become a standard way of doing things in modern day churches have no clear teaching in the Bible. They didn’t have a whole Bible to carry to church with them then, should we get rid of them? At the start they just met in homes or the local Jewish synagogue. Just because we have a group of 600 Christians in our area is no reason to build a larger building, right?

If you ever do visit a Reformers Unanimous meeting, I hope you don’t stand up and say: “I’m glad the grace of God allows me to drink, smoke, and gamble.” The people who’s lives and families have been destroyed by these might not appreciate it. The grace of God isn’t a license to sin or live any way you want to. A Christian’s life he lives out in front of people is supposed to show what the grace of God can do in a life to change it.

I could quote to you from many, many Bible scholars teaching that 1 John chapter one is talking about Christians, not lost people, and why, but I know you would reject it anyway, and I don’t want to confuse you with facts. Ignorance just shows a lack of knowledge, someone might be able to fix that. Willing ignorance shows lack of character, you usually can’t help that person much, nor are you supposed to spend much time trying. I’ve tried to help you Steve, but I doubt if God is going to get much of a chance to help you either. I doubt you will ever admit you are wrong in any of these areas, so I will not try to help. Good-bye Steve.

In His Service,
Arv Edgeworth

Hi Arv,

Bummer. I thought we’d just begun to make progress. You will have to define more clearly, then, what you mean by “common ground”. Finding Common ground typically comes over time. It’s not instantaneous. If by “common ground” you mean my agreeing with you then why don’t we start with what we do agree on? I recall a few things on a previous email that I agreed with you on. Can’t we build “common ground” from there?

Aren’t you assuming that I have knowledge in this area from ONLY personal experience? I never said that experience is my ONLY source of knowledge about this topic. That is yet another assumption you have made about me. I’ve studied this thoroughly and I have a cohort of colleagues who have studied this as well. I have thousands of people share similar experiences from all over the world. Each of my colleagues have thousands of people share similar experiences. I’m not pulling this out of thin air or making it up.

I can infer that “most” churches are abusive because of the definition of spiritual abuse, not because of my experiences. No, that’s not being dishonest. It’s sharing information and allowing the reader to determine for him/herself what applies to his/her unique situation. I talk about this very clearly on the site and I also share what typically constitutes abuse.

I never said you were defending the abusers. Please stop putting words in my mouth.

I don’t have hatred for the IFB. I have hatred for spiritual abuse. You speak of my faulty logic yet you continue to use ad hominem fallacies to argue your point.

All churches are spiritually abusive in one way or another. It’s unavoidable. My focus is on exposing it and helping people avoid it.

Your comparison of denominations to a single person named Tim doesn’t fit. You are comparing an organization with an individual. It’s not a fair or logical comparison. I bet this is why you don’t like the term denomination being applied to your church because if you deny that Baptist is a denomination then you can more easily hand wave the abuse done in the name of the IFB. How convenient.

Again, I ask you what your purpose is in sharing Reformers Unanimous with me? Why do you assume that I drink, smoke and gamble (which I don’t)? Why do you automatically assume that I have an addiction of some kind?

What do you mean by “biblical separation” and how did that come about in the discussion? I thought you were going to share truth about the KJV? Can you please pick a topic and stick with it? I’m having a difficult time following your jumping around.

You will need to answer some of my questions before I answer any more of yours. I would suggest that you calm down before you write again. You’re a pot calling the kettle black when you speak of my anger.

Also, let this serve as your last warning. If you continue to accuse and attack me you will be cut off. I’ll not tolerate your unfounded assumptions about me, your calling me a liar, your judgments about me, your bullying, your attack of my intelligence, your perpetuating the spiritual abuse anymore. You don’t know me or my lifestyle and you don’t seem interested in getting to know me. You only seem interested in cramming your closed minded beliefs down my throat. One more comment that’s derogatory about me and we’re done. So if you want to continue I suggest you find a different way to get your point across.

Steve

Hi Steve,

This is a pretty long one. I’m sorry if it seems like I’m jumping around a bit. You have mentioned the information on your site, so I have read every article, so I’m thinking back to your overall site information, not just the King James Bible issue. What we have been discussing has really been more about fundamental Baptists in general, not just this one issue. On your site you do state that much of what I will read there is based directly on your personal experience. I think you are too limited in that to make the generalizations that you do. I can see though if your personal experience has been in a certain type of churches, that maybe all were in a certain type of fundamental Baptist church, how that would affect your view of fundamental Baptists in general. You have knowledge of thousands of Baptist churches through your contacts, as do I. My experiences seem to have been quite different from yours. I have been a member of two different fundamental Baptist churches, exactly how many fundamental Baptist churches have you attended for any length of time? I only ask that so I can understand your experience better, not because I think my experience is greater.

I want you to try to see something from my vantage point. I agree with you completely about some types of abuse that goes on in the name of Christianity (not just the “IFB”), but I disagree that some of the things you list as spiritual abuse actually are, although I think I understand why you consider it to be. But when you attack the “IFB,” you are attacking me also. I have been a fundamental Baptist for about 31 years. To me that is a personal attack. When you indicate “most” fundamental Baptists are guilty of spiritual abuse, I do take that as derogatory statements about myself, my family, and my pastor and church family. Your only response to your all-inclusive statements are, that if I don’t like it I can change my name. I consider Baptist tradition similarly to being an American. I am proud to be both, despite our imperfections. You claim you are not out to hurt or harm anyone. You justify that by your not naming any particular church. When you make derogatory statements about “most” fundamental Baptists, these churches are made up of individuals. They don’t exist as an organization without any faces. These are personal attacks against people, most of whom you don’t even know.

I’ll try not to be attacking you personally, but I do believe you have a lot of misinformation on your site, and I think you are making statements that are untrue, but I know you are probably not intentionally lying about it, and you actually do believe you are being truthful. You condemn fundamental Baptist churches for being against drinking, smoking and gambling, and say on your site that these are: “incredibly unbiblical, but also very dangerous and damaging to the name of Christianity,” but then say you don’t do any of these things either? So you actually do practice separation? I know you included a lot of other stuff too. You accuse fundamental Baptists of pulling scripture out of context to support biblical separation, but that is what the scriptures clearly teach, and it is also practiced and taught by just about every mainline denomination. Should you single out fundamental Baptists when it is a common Christian practice and teaching? You give the Bible quotes, claim they are taken out of context, but offer no proof that they are, or explain what they really mean. Those verses say basically the same thing in your own NLT.

On your site in relation to biblical separation you say that the fundamental Baptists make the claim that they are the only ones who truly believe the Bible. All others (other churches/denominations/fellowships) are misinterpreting the Bible and spreading false doctrine. Most other denominations teach and practice the same thing about biblical separation. If an individual Christian doesn’t believe in practicing biblical separation, I think they are being dishonest, at least with themselves, about what the scriptures actually teach in that regard.

On your site you state that the “IFB” claim that if you don’t go to a Fundamental Baptist Church you are believing a different message. Could you be a little more specific? We know that Methodists, Church of God, Assembly of God, etc teach that Christians can lose their salvation, I know you don’t believe that. Many Arminian churches have taught an experience where you no longer have a sin nature. I doubt if you believe that either. You mentioned you didn’t believe in the faith healing teachings of the Pentecostals, and I doubt that you practice speaking in tongues either. The Presbyterians and some Bible churches teach Calvinism, that God just chooses who will go to heaven, and who will go to hell, without regard to man having a free will and the ability to make choices. I doubt you believe that either. Seventh-Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. basically teach a works salvation and don’t believe in the new birth such as you and I have experienced. Would it be an accurate statement to say that other churches believe a different message, or did you have something different in mind?

You stated you never experienced the grace of God because the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination doesn’t teach the true Grace of God. Could you explain to me what you believe the true Grace of God is that is taught in scripture? I think I have a pretty good idea about what the Bible teaches about grace, but help me out here.

You stated that the “IFB” misinterprets Romans 6:1 and takes it out of context. I have read the end of chapter 5 in the NLT and all of chapter 6. I wanted to make sure it doesn’t teach something different about grace than the King James Bible does, but it doesn’t. So please explain to me what you think the correct interpretation of Romans 6:1 is. Thanks.

You said: “I can infer that ‘most’ churches are abusive because of the definition of spiritual abuse, not because of my experiences.” If you are including biblical separation as a form of spiritual abuse, I guess you will have to include your NLT version of the scriptures, because it teaches the same biblical separation that the majority of Christian churches teach on the same subject. I noticed you didn’t respond to respond to the verses I gave you from the NLT about separation,

You just stated: ” I never said you were defending the abusers. Please stop putting words in my mouth.” Let’s see, your exact words were: “I’m sure you can imagine that after 26 years of abuse one would become somewhat mistrusting of anyone resembling/defending those who have been the abusers.” It sure appears that “defending those who have been the abusers” was a part of the sentence. Sorry if I got the wrong message from that.

On your site you state: “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.” I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it appears you are stating that the teachings of the independent fundamental Baptists are not based on what the Word of God says, but have just been handed down. A lot of Roman Catholic teachings are just based on traditions, but I try to base all of my beliefs on the Word of God. It appears you are saying I don’t, since I am a fundamental Baptist. It appears you are claiming that the majority of teaching of fundamental Baptists are just handed down and not based on scripture. You are including me in that, and I consider it a personal attack.

Now you make this statement: “All churches are spiritually abusive in one way or another. It’s unavoidable.” Would you like to explain that statement? Have you told the pastor at your current church that they are guilty of spiritual abuse? Tell me about the ways your current church is spiritually abusive.

I am an individual, I am a fundamental Baptist, so I am guilty by association. Your solution is to change my name. How exactly is that different that a man named Tim being guilty by association? We are both individuals who are considered guilty because of what we call ourselves. I think the comparison is pretty clear.

By the way, so as not to put words in your mouth, you just stated: “I don’t have hatred for the IFB. I have hatred for spiritual abuse. On your site you state: “I guess it’s no wonder why I’ve been so angry after my abusive experience with the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination.” Most of your focus is aimed at the “IFB.”

There are some doctrinal teachings that are not abusive in and of themselves. If taken to extremes, almost any Bible teaching can be, if applied in an extreme way. Something for you to consider. Is it possible that because you have had a number of doctrinal teachings applied to you in an extreme way, that you now reject the Bible teaching itself, and consider it abusive, when it might not be if applied in a reasonable way?

Let me address a few commonalities you give for fundamental Baptist churches. I don’t believe biblical separation is unscriptural, nor just exclusively fundamental Baptist, there are other groups that take a more extreme position on this than Baptists. I don’t think we should be quick to condemn them because they have different convictions than our own in certain areas. Legalism can be abusive, but so can liberty, if we condemn those whose convictions are different than our own.

The church is commanded to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. That includes more than salvation and evangelism. The fact that you mention tithing as one of your biggest complaints, along with separation, baptism, music standards, dress standards, strict child discipline, church membership, etc. leads me to believe they didn’t just focus on salvation and evangelism almost to the exclusion of all else. I think you have disproved one of your own points.

Our church doesn’t try to hide emotion. If a song is sung from the heart once in a great while a person will have trouble singing because they are touched by the message. It is not unusual for us to clap after a song or musical
number. We also applaud missionaries and special speakers.

Do you believe that membership in a local church is not practiced by almost every denomination? If it is, that wouldn’t be a commonality just with Baptist churches. You seem to be indicating these are common with fundamental Baptists but not with other denominations. I don’t believe that is the case with most of these. How can a local church discipline a member out of the local church, if they are not already a part of that local church?

Question: Are new believers instructed to get baptized by immersion right away after salvation in the Bible? The Greek word for baptism does mean total immersion also. No other form was called baptism until several hundred years after Christ.

Music. IFB churches all have different standards concerning their music. I have been in worship services in over 300 different IFB churches. I have observed everything from traditional to Christian Rock. Many have more than one service on Sunday morning. In the contemporary service just about anything goes sometimes. Steel guitars, drums, ladies with tambourines, whole orchestra, etc. We prefer more traditional, but throw in a few choruses from the overhead projector. That is what most of our people like. I don’t think you have any authority to decide for us what we should or shouldn’t allow in our services. To say this as kindly as I can, that really isn’t any of your business.

Steve, you have this idea that all IFB churches do things just this certain way. That is absolutely not true. Part of the autonomy of the local Baptist church is that each individual church governs themselves in these areas. That is part of what makes Baptists who they are. Here is a link if you want to add this into the equation of who fundamental Baptists are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptist_Distinctives. I have collected over 150 science books by the way. I love science. Real science that is, and not what is often passed off as science today. I believe that the majority of scientists and science teachers today cannot recognize where real science ends, and their philosophical worldview begins. That has been a great hindrance to real science. If you want to read a great book on the subject, check out “The Limitations of Scientific Truth” by Nigel Brush. He has a Ph.D. from UCLA and is an assistant professor of geology at Ashland University in Ohio. As a scientist he has conducted archaeological, geological, and environmental fieldwork in England, Canada, New York, Ohio, and California. This is an excellent book and I think you would really enjoy it.

I think you are a bit confused by the difference between fellowship with God, and our relationship with God. They are two different things. Sin has no affect on my relationship with God (I am His child), it does affect my fellowship with God.

First you state: “Just because a Believer has a chronic sin or is living a sinful lifestyle doesn’t mean that God has turned His back on him/her. He will Continue to pursue that person until that person either returns to a relationship with Him or dies.” But in the next sentence you say: “Our relationship with God is not dependent on our behavior.”

On the one hand you talk about a person living a sinful lifestyle either “returns to a relationship with Him or dies.” If he must return to a relationship with Him, that would indicate that they are not “in a relationship with Him.” You can’t return to a relationship if you are still in a relationship. You indicate a person living a sinful lifestyle are out of a relationship with God, but then state our relationship is not dependent upon our behavior. It can’t be both. Then you state it is: “freeing to know that my fellowship with God is not dependent on my behavior.”

You are using fellowship and relationship interchangeably, and they are two different things. My relationship cannot be affected by sin. That is where grace comes in. I will be His child no matter what. That is my relationship. My fellowship is dependent upon my behavior. Interpreted properly, that is what 1 John chapter one is referring to. If I am living in a sinful lifestyle it hurts my fellowship with God. If I walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. Cleansing in this chapter is like having a clean slate with nothing to break our fellowship. One sin doesn’t break fellowship, living in a sinful lifestyle does. The whole chapter is speaking to Christians. John uses the term “we,” believers, throughout the passage. The first three verses lets you know who the “we” is. Our “joy” is connected to our fellowship.

I didn’t mention Reformers Unanimous because I thought you had an addiction. You indicated that the IFB churches were so focused on salvation, etc. and were not as concerned about meeting the needs of hurting people. I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, but I don’t remember the exact statement. It is interesting though that the things people often want the freedom to do, are things that enslave them and take away their freedom. I’m not as concerned about things I might not be able to do, as I am about the victory Christ has given me from things that Satan will try to use to destroy my life. He has set me free. Praise His name. I hope I wasn’t too accusing or derogatory. Take care.

In His Service,
Arv Edgeworth

Hi Arv,

I’m so glad you wrote back. I was hoping we could continue. I think things would go more smoothly if we could focus on one topic at a time. I’ll try to follow your email as best as I can. See replies below in red.

Steve

Hi Steve,

This is a pretty long one. I’m sorry if it seems like I’m jumping around a bit. You have mentioned the information on your site, so I have read every article, so I’m thinking back to your overall site information, not just the King James Bible issue. What we have been discussing has really been more about fundamental Baptists in general, not just this one issue. On your site you do state that much of what I will read there is based directly on your personal experience. I think you are too limited in that to make the generalizations that you do. I can see though if your personal experience has been in a certain type of churches, that maybe all were in a certain type of fundamental Baptist church, how that would affect your view of fundamental Baptists in general. You have knowledge of thousands of Baptist churches through your contacts, as do I. My experiences seem to have been quite different from yours. I have been a member of two different fundamental Baptist churches, exactly how many fundamental Baptist churches have you attended for any length of time? I only ask that so I can understand your experience better, not because I think my experience is greater.

I want you to try to see something from my vantage point. I agree with you completely about some types of abuse that goes on in the name of Christianity (not just the “IFB”), but I disagree that some of the things you list as spiritual abuse actually are, although I think I understand why you consider it to be. But when you attack the “IFB,” you are attacking me also. I have been a fundamental Baptist for about 31 years. To me that is a personal attack. When you indicate “most” fundamental Baptists are guilty of spiritual abuse, I do take that as derogatory statements about myself, my family, and my pastor and church family. Your only response to your all-inclusive statements are, that if I don’t like it I can change my name. I consider Baptist tradition similarly to being an American. I am proud to be both, despite our imperfections. You claim you are not out to hurt or harm anyone. You justify that by your not naming any particular church. When you make derogatory statements about “most” fundamental Baptists, these churches are made up of individuals. They don’t exist as an organization without any faces. These are personal attacks against people, most of whom you don’t even know.

We are supposed to follow Christ and His Word not the traditions of men. See Colossians 2.

No, a personal attack would be naming a person and attacking them. I’m writing about the IFB not a particular person. You are taking it personally, but I don’t know how to stop that. That’s your issue not mine.

I’ll try not to be attacking you personally, but I do believe you have a lot of misinformation on your site, and I think you are making statements that are untrue, but I know you are probably not intentionally lying about it, and you actually do believe you are being truthful. You condemn fundamental Baptist churches for being against drinking, smoking and gambling, and say on your site that these are: “incredibly unbiblical, but also very dangerous and damaging to the name of Christianity,” but then say you don’t do any of these things either? So you actually do practice separation? I know you included a lot of other stuff too. You accuse fundamental Baptists of pulling scripture out of context to support biblical separation, but that is what the scriptures clearly teach, and it is also practiced and taught by just about every mainline denomination. Should you single out fundamental Baptists when it is a common Christian practice and teaching? You give the Bible quotes, claim they are taken out of context, but offer no proof that they are, or explain what they really mean. Those verses say basically the same thing in your own NLT.

Again, I’m not against biblical separation. I never said I was. I’m simply against the way the IFB teaches separation and how they have turned it into a doctrine that communicates it as a graceless legalistic righteousness.

I don’t drink, smoke, gamble, etc. simply because I don’t want to. The difference is that people with a legalistic righteousness mindset don’t smoke, drink, gamble, etc. because they feel it makes them more favorable with God – as if they are trying earning God’s grace and love by not doing those particular behaviors (that’s the way it was taught to me in my IFB churches). This is legalistic righteousness and it’s the very thing that Jesus warned the Pharisees about.

I feel bad that you spent so much time and effort looking up verses about separation and sharing them. I wish I could have explained further before you spent all that time – if only you would have asked rather than assumed.

I find it interesting that not a single verse you shared, though, mentions one word about drinking (drunkenness is vastly different from drinking), smoking or gambling. How did you come to the conclusion that those particular behaviors are wrong? What’s so special about those behaviors that make them stand out? Why point to them?

On your site in relation to biblical separation you say that the fundamental Baptists make the claim that they are the only ones who truly believe the Bible. All others (other churches/denominations/fellowships) are misinterpreting the Bible and spreading false doctrine. Most other denominations teach and practice the same thing about biblical separation. If an individual Christian doesn’t believe in practicing biblical separation, I think they are being dishonest, at least with themselves, about what the scriptures actually teach in that regard.

On your site you state that the “IFB” claim that if you don’t go to a Fundamental Baptist Church you are believing a different message. Could you be a little more specific? We know that Methodists, Church of God, Assembly of God, etc teach that Christians can lose their salvation, I know you don’t believe that. Many Arminian churches have taught an experience where you no longer have a sin nature. I doubt if you believe that either. You mentioned you didn’t believe in the faith healing teachings of the Pentecostals, and I doubt that you practice speaking in tongues either. The Presbyterians and some Bible churches teach Calvinism, that God just chooses who will go to heaven, and who will go to hell, without regard to man having a free will and the ability to make choices. I doubt you believe that either. Seventh-Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. basically teach a works salvation and don’t believe in the new birth such as you and I have experienced. Would it be an accurate statement to say that other churches believe a different message, or did you have something different in mind?

Re-read the beginning of that paragraph. I’m talking about the IFB’s claim to be the only “Bible Believing” Christians. My pastor and parents and teachers would frequently remind us that it’s important to go to a “bible believing church” and that meant an IFB church. All other denominations/churches didn’t really believe or teach the Bible for many reasons but mostly because 1. they didn’t use the KJV and 2. they weren’t teaching the fundamentals of the faith (according to them). It was as if the IFB has the only source of truth. This is not scriptural and it is nothing short of manipulation. It’s a lie.

I guess the word “message” isn’t very clear. I can see how that would be confusing. I’m not sure what a better word would be though, “set of beliefs” or “gospel message” perhaps.

You stated you never experienced the grace of God because the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination doesn’t teach the true Grace of God. Could you explain to me what you believe the true Grace of God is that is taught in scripture? I think I have a pretty good idea about what the Bible teaches about grace, but help me out here.

I think I already gave you my view on grace in a previous message. I’ll have to look for it.

You stated that the “IFB” misinterprets Romans 6:1 and takes it out of context. I have read the end of chapter 5 in the NLT and all of chapter 6. I wanted to make sure it doesn’t teach something different about grace than the King James Bible does, but it doesn’t. So please explain to me what you think the correct interpretation of Romans 6:1 is. Thanks.

The IFB teaches that Romans 6 justifies a legalistic or works based righteousness. The IFB teaches that a person has to earn God’s grace through performance based behaviors and standards of living. They confuse grace with sanctification.

Grace is not earned it’s given. Romans 6 is talking about abusing God’s gift of grace by taking advantage of it (sinning knowing that His grace will cover the sin or force Him to forgive). It has nothing to do with working to earn favor with God. We don’t have to do anything to earn God’s grace. God’s grace is a gift that is given. Again, I’ve already written this to you in a previous message.

You said: “I can infer that ‘most’ churches are abusive because of the definition of spiritual abuse, not because of my experiences.” If you are including biblical separation as a form of spiritual abuse, I guess you will have to include your NLT version of the scriptures, because it teaches the same biblical separation that the majority of Christian churches teach on the same subject. I noticed you didn’t respond to respond to the verses I gave you from the NLT about separation,

See my comments on separation above.

You just stated: ” I never said you were defending the abusers. Please stop putting words in my mouth.” Let’s see, your exact words were: “I’m sure you can imagine that after 26 years of abuse one would become somewhat mistrusting of anyone resembling/defending those who have been the abusers.” It sure appears that “defending those who have been the abusers” was a part of the sentence. Sorry if I got the wrong message from that.

On your site you state: “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.” I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it appears you are stating that the teachings of the independent fundamental Baptists are not based on what the Word of God says, but have just been handed down. A lot of Roman Catholic teachings are just based on traditions, but I try to base all of my beliefs on the Word of God. It appears you are saying I don’t, since I am a fundamental Baptist. It appears you are claiming that the majority of teaching of fundamental Baptists are just handed down and not based on scripture. You are including me in that, and I consider it a personal attack.

Again, I’m sorry you take those things personally, but I don’t know what to do about that.

Now you make this statement: “All churches are spiritually abusive in one way or another. It’s unavoidable.” Would you like to explain that statement? Have you told the pastor at your current church that they are guilty of spiritual abuse? Tell me about the ways your current church is spiritually abusive.

Because of our fallen nature, abuse happens in every church. A church and the people in charge of running it would have to be perfect in order for a church to not be abusive at least some of the time.

I don’t go to church currently. I believe church the way we do it in today’s society isn’t biblical. The simple fact that churches teach that people need to go to church is abusive in my opinion since it isn’t scriptural.

Many churches make people feel guilty for not attending – or at least not attending on a regular basis. This is manipulation and abusive.

I am an individual, I am a fundamental Baptist, so I am guilty by association. Your solution is to change my name. How exactly is that different that a man named Tim being guilty by association? We are both individuals who are considered guilty because of what we call ourselves. I think the comparison is pretty clear.

Your comparison is illogical. Look up the logical fallacy called Faulty Comparison. It just doesn’t work.

This is a two way street. There are really two ways to look at this. A person who is an Independent Fundamental Baptist calls himself/herself such because they WANT to associate with a certain set of beliefs and values. You are associating with the IFB because that’s what you WANT to be – and for all reasons you have. This is YOUR association not mine. I didn’t choose that association for you. The same is true for a particular church. If a particular church or congregation call themselves Independent Fundamental Baptist then they are associating with all that represents an Independent Fundamental Baptist church. That’s their association not mine. By contrast, a person named Tim doesn’t have much of a choice over what his name is. If, however, there was a Tim who was unassociated with the rape, but then decided that since he has the name Tim he will rape as well, then that would be his association not the victims.

I suppose that if we stretched this a little bit we could find the comparison that a person who was raped by a man named Tim would have PTSD regarding the name Tim or an aversion to men named Tim since it would bring back memories of the trauma. In this scenario all Tim’s would be guilty by association, but it wouldn’t be Tim’s fault. This would be the victim’s association not Tim’s. So I guess according to this scenario I am doing the association, but this isn’t the way I communicate it on the site and again, this is a two way street. It works both ways.

This get’s confusing I know, but you have to remember that I didn’t know you from Adam when I wrote those things on the site. I didn’t have you personally in mind when writing those things. I didn’t choose that you would associate with the IFB – that was your choice of association not mine.

By the way, so as not to put words in your mouth, you just stated: “I don’t have hatred for the IFB. I have hatred for spiritual abuse. On your site you state: “I guess it’s no wonder why I’ve been so angry after my abusive experience with the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination.” Most of your focus is aimed at the “IFB.”

Anger and hatred aren’t necessarily synonymous. One can be angry at something/someone but not hate it/them. I guess you could say I hate spiritual abuse and I’m angry at the IFB for perpetuating it.

There are some doctrinal teachings that are not abusive in and of themselves. If taken to extremes, almost any Bible teaching can be, if applied in an extreme way. Something for you to consider. Is it possible that because you have had a number of doctrinal teachings applied to you in an extreme way, that you now reject the Bible teaching itself, and consider it abusive, when it might not be if applied in a reasonable way?

I guess that’s possible simply because that would be a natural consequence of abuse and because I’m not omniscient. I’ve made extra effort to be careful not to reject a biblical teaching just because it was taught to me in an extreme way so it may be possible, but not probable.

There are some teachings that I don’t reject.

Let me address a few commonalities you give for fundamental Baptist churches. I don’t believe biblical separation is unscriptural, nor just exclusively fundamental Baptist, there are other groups that take a more extreme position on this than Baptists. I don’t think we should be quick to condemn them because they have different convictions than our own in certain areas. Legalism can be abusive, but so can liberty, if we condemn those whose convictions are different than our own.

The church is commanded to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. That includes more than salvation and evangelism. The fact that you mention tithing as one of your biggest complaints, along with separation, baptism, music standards, dress standards, strict child discipline, church membership, etc. leads me to believe they didn’t just focus on salvation and evangelism almost to the exclusion of all else. I think you have disproved one of your own points.

Our church doesn’t try to hide emotion. If a song is sung from the heart once in a great while a person will have trouble singing because they are touched by the message. It is not unusual for us to clap after a song or musical number. We also applaud missionaries and special speakers.

Do you believe that membership in a local church is not practiced by almost every denomination? If it is, that wouldn’t be a commonality just with Baptist churches. You seem to be indicating these are common with fundamental Baptists but not with other denominations. I don’t believe that is the case with most of these. How can a local church discipline a member out of the local church, if they are not already a part of that local church?

Church membership is not scriptural.

My site is about the IFB. I don’t include other denominations simply because my site is not about those denominations (and common sense logistical reasons also).

Question: Are new believers instructed to get baptized by immersion right away after salvation in the Bible? The Greek word for baptism does mean total immersion also. No other form was called baptism until several hundred years after Christ.

I’m not aware of scripture that teaches that “new believers [are] instructed to get baptized by immersion right away after salvation” (at least not off the top of my head). Why don’t you share with me where that’s found in the Bible?

I agree that the Greek word for baptism means total immersion. I don’t agree, however, that the intention of the translation was a command for everyone to be immersed and especially not “right away after salvation”. The principle behind baptism is a public display of salvation. There is very little significance of baptism beyond that of public display. If someone were to be baptized by sprinkling (say someone with aqua phobia or emphysema who couldn’t be immersed) I don’t think that God would mind or view that as a sin (at least I don’t see scriptural evidence to back that up). I was forced into baptism before I was ready because of the teaching that “new believers [are] instructed to get baptized by immersion right away after salvation” and I wish I hadn’t been because baptism is not something that we should be forced to do. It should be between the individual and God.

My baptism lost its meaning along the way because of the way in which I was forced into it. I regret that that part of my life wasn’t a more meaningful way to create a deeper bond between me and the Lord because of being forced into it before I was ready.

Music. IFB churches all have different standards concerning their music. I have been in worship services in over 300 different IFB churches. I have observed everything from traditional to Christian Rock. Many have more than one service on Sunday morning. In the contemporary service just about anything goes sometimes. Steel guitars, drums, ladies with tambourines, whole orchestra, etc. We prefer more traditional, but throw in a few choruses from the overhead projector. That is what most of our people like. I don’t think you have any authority to decide for us what we should or shouldn’t allow in our services. To say this as kindly as I can, that really isn’t any of your business.

I’m not sure where you came up with the idea that I’m trying to decide what churches should or shouldn’t allow in their services” or why you even said that. Care to expound?

Steve, you have this idea that all IFB churches do things just this certain way. That is absolutely not true. Part of the autonomy of the local Baptist church is that each individual church governs themselves in these areas. That is part of what makes Baptists who they are. Here is a link if you want to add this into the equation of who fundamental Baptists are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptist_Distinctives. I have collected over 150 science books by the way. I love science. Real science that is, and not what is often passed off as science today. I believe that the majority of scientists and science teachers today cannot recognize where real science ends, and their philosophical worldview begins. That has been a great hindrance to real science. If you want to read a great book on the subject, check out “The Limitations of Scientific Truth” by Nigel Brush. He has a Ph.D. from UCLA and is an assistant professor of geology at Ashland University in Ohio. As a scientist he has conducted archaeological, geological, and environmental fieldwork in England, Canada, New York, Ohio, and California. This is an excellent book and I think you would really enjoy it.

Really? You are really getting resources from Wikipedia? I thought you had a library of resources? I’m not trying to be smart here, just shocked that you would share with me one of the most unreliable sources of information to help your point of view. It just seems rather cheap given the way you’ve promoted your knowledge and experience. Maybe I’m making too big of a deal about it, but it just caught me off guard that’s all. Sorry about that. No insult intended.

I’m really just curious to know why you are talking about science now? I don’t even have any information about science on my site? What do you know of me regarding my beliefs/views on science?

I think you are a bit confused by the difference between fellowship with God, and our relationship with God. They are two different things. Sin has no affect on my relationship with God (I am His child), it does affect my fellowship with God.

First you state: “Just because a Believer has a chronic sin or is living a sinful lifestyle doesn’t mean that God has turned His back on him/her. He will Continue to pursue that person until that person either returns to a relationship with Him or dies.” But in the next sentence you say: “Our relationship with God is not dependent on our behavior.”

On the one hand you talk about a person living a sinful lifestyle either “returns to a relationship with Him or dies.” If he must return to a relationship with Him, that would indicate that they are not “in a relationship with Him.” You can’t return to a relationship if you are still in a relationship. You indicate a person living a sinful lifestyle are out of a relationship with God, but then state our relationship is not dependent upon our behavior. It can’t be both. Then you state it is: “freeing to know that my fellowship with God is not dependent on my behavior.”

You are using fellowship and relationship interchangeably, and they are two different things. My relationship cannot be affected by sin. That is where grace comes in. I will be His child no matter what. That is my relationship. My fellowship is dependent upon my behavior. Interpreted properly, that is what 1 John chapter one is referring to. If I am living in a sinful lifestyle it hurts my fellowship with God. If I walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. Cleansing in this chapter is like having a clean slate with nothing to break our fellowship. One sin doesn’t break fellowship, living in a sinful lifestyle does. The whole chapter is speaking to Christians. John uses the term “we,” believers, throughout the passage. The first three verses lets you know who the “we” is. Our “joy” is connected to our fellowship.

I think you’ve misunderstood. This is a simple difference between god turning his back on the person sinning (what the IFB teaches and is not scriptural) and a person turning his/her back on God which is what happens. I’m talk about the IFB teaching that we need to earn God’s fellowship by our works. We have a relationship with God because we are his children I agree, but when a person sins it is the person that turns away (breaks fellowship) not God.

The problem with this is that we don’t only commit “ONE” sin at a time. We are fallible human beings constantly sinning all the time. If we only sin “ONE” sin here and there that would mean that we are being perfect during the times we aren’t committing sin. This idea of perfectionism is what I reject and what I speak out against on the site.

I didn’t mention Reformers Unanimous because I thought you had an addiction. You indicated that the IFB churches were so focused on salvation, etc. and were not as concerned about meeting the needs of hurting people. I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, but I don’t remember the exact statement. It is interesting though that the things people often want the freedom to do, are things that enslave them and take away their freedom. I’m not as concerned about things I might not be able to do, as I am about the victory Christ has given me from things that Satan will try to use to destroy my life. He has set me free. Praise His name. I hope I wasn’t too accusing or derogatory. Take care.

The same goes for a strict standard of living or strict adherence to one particular set of beliefs to the exclusion of all others. The very freedom that this is supposed to provide ends up enslaving that person with traditionalism, works based righteousness, holier-than-though attitude, pride, etc. I appreciate the victory I have in Christ from the temptations and devises of the Devil, but I appreciate just as much the freedoms I have from the institution of Christianity and all the baggage that comes with denominationalism, traditionalism, perfectionism, legalism, etc.

Well, I think I got everything, hopefully. It would be helpful in future emails if you could just talk about one topic at a time. Pick a topic and then when we are ready we can move on to a different topic. I would really like to have an actual discussion at some point rather than an exchange where you email me and I try to defend myself. That’s not a real discussion. There needs to be a healthy interchange of ideas and evidence to back up those ideas. True exploration of the Word of God is needed and I’m game if you are.

Thanks
Steve

Hi Steve,

I really don’t see any purpose in communicating with you any further. You feel you were “abused” by a church that was “IFB,” therefore most “IFB” churches are bad. Every time you say “they,” in regards to what you call the “IFB,” you are referring to me, because I am a fundamental Baptist. The majority of fundamental Baptist churches are good churches, and I’m not going to change my name because of a few bad ones, or because you say I should. The things you are saying are not true. You can try to spin that another way, but it is the truth, not that I’m sure you know much of what the truth is. I do not do any of the things you have accused me of, nor has my church. I’ve tried to explain this to you, but you refuse to acknowledge it. The majority of fundamental Baptist churches are good churches. Most of the things you are rebelling against are true of fundamental Christianity, not fundamental Baptists. You are just looking for excuses.

According to you, only using the King James Bible is abusive, tithing is abusive, getting baptized as soon as you are saved is abusive, not associating with those living in a sinful lifestyle is abusive, even going to church is abusive. I’m sure you’ll add more to your attack list as time goes on. Most of the claims you have made concerning extremes in the church are not true of most fundamental Baptist churches, when you claim they are you are lying. I’m not going to participate in your pitty-party any further. Good bye Steve. The attacks you are making against good fundamental Baptist churches you will stand before God and have to answer for some day. You won’t be able to reason it away with Him. I don’t have any more time for your foolishness. You are a wicked vindictive person.

In His Service,
Arv Edgeworth

Hi Arv,

Well, I told you I wasn’t going to tolerate your name calling and bullying any more so this needs to be over anyway. Every time I think we are finally getting somewhere you throw a little temper tantrum and start calling me names. I’ll not tolerate it anymore.

Anyway, I certainly appreciate you providing a shining example of what I speak out against on the site. I’m looking forward posting this on my site for all to see just how bad the IFB is. You represent them well.

I don’t see Jesus in you at all, but that’s not what the IFB is interested in anyway right – just trying to cram your legalism down people’s throats? I sure hope that the way you’ve treated me won’t harm your reputation as an evangelist once people see the way you treat others who disagree with you.

You will be in front on God one day as well my friend. I wonder what He will say to you for the way you’ve treated me and others in the name of IFB “truth”?

Good luck with following your man made traditions and religion. I’ll continue to follow Christ.

Steve

Hi Steve,

I hope you will read this whole email with an open mind. Don’t try to think of some way to refute what I am saying, just give some thought to it to see if there might be some truth to it. If you publish any of our private emails on your site I will possibly consider pursuing legal recourse. Depending on if it is slanderous or not. I don’t think I have called you any names, and if anyone is throwing temper tantrums that would probably be you. Every angry statement you have made about the “IFB” as you call it, is slanderous towards myself and every other fundamental Baptist. You just don’t get it. The 25 million or so Baptist churches out there that are good churches and following Christ and carrying out the great commission, in your thinking you are trying to hold responsible for allowing the abuse you claim happened to you in one or two other churches. They are not part of an organization, they are separate autonomous churches. You can’t hold all Baptists responsible for what a few are doing. Under the broad generalization that you have wrongly named abuse, every church of any denomination would be included. I guess that is why you feel justified in not attending church, and in doing so you somehow mistakenly think you are following Christ. Justification by redefining everything to fit your own view of what is true and what isn’t.

I believe the admonition was going into all the world and preach the gospel, not attacking all Christians for what you perceive a few bad ones have done to you. Paul’s admonition to the church at Ephesus was: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” 4:32

Steve, you need help. Please seek out a good counselor. You are attacking the wrong people and arriving at the wrong conclusions. Holding onto this hateful vindictive attitude against all Baptists (and most Christians) is not going to help you heal from the wrong you perceive has happened to you in the past. In your present state of mind I don’t think you can clearly separate the clear teaching of scripture from a possible excessive abuse of that teaching, if it exists anywhere but in your mind.

As it says in Hebrews 10:25 in the NLT: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” The King James Bible says it this way: “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.” I believe Jesus is coming back very soon. It is important for you to get into a good church where you can study the scriptures together, encourage one another, and prepare yourself for our Lord’s soon return. You are missing the big picture that is right in front of you. God accomplishes His will and purpose today through the local church. Everything that is attempted for Him needs to be in, through, and out of a local church, not a para-church group. That is the way God has chosen to work. That is why this is called “the church age.”

I believe the whole premise of your website is wrong. To stay out of church and sit around and hate Baptists is just what Satan wants. God could use you in a so much greater way if you would allow Him to. What you are doing is not going to build up the kingdom.

Where do you think the majority of people are finding Christ as their savior today? In fundamental Baptist churches. What churches do you think Satan would most want to keep people out of? Wherever they are most likely to get saved. Fundamental Baptists are just mainline Christians that have been doing God’s will from the beginning. If instead of doing all we can to reach people with the gospel in the time we have left, we spend our time attacking other Christians and making it harder for them to reach the lost, who is getting the benefit here? It isn’t Christ and His kingdom.

You have two choices Steve: follow Christ in trying to seek and to save that which was lost, or follow your revenge motivated path to disrupting Christ’s work. If you are truly following Christ, it will result in Him saying “Well done, though good and faithful servant,” when He comes. I hope you will take a long hard look at what your motivation is, and what the results will likely be. Be honest with yourself about what you would really like to accomplish through your website. Christ does have a plan for your life, it may include speaking out against evil, it will not include calling evil those who are not. Revenge isn’t the answer Steve. Even if it were, it would be against those who actually did the harm, and it would be Christ giving out the punishment, not you. Those that did the harm is not some “IFB” organization that doesn’t exist anywhere but in your mind. No matter how many times you say it, it will still not make it a reality.

What if you were abused? What do you think God’s will for your life would be, in relation to those who abused you?

Do you think you were abused more than Christ Himself was abused? What did He say? “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” What were Paul’s words again? The NLT says it this way: “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” It is quite obvious you have not forgiven your abusers, or you would not be involved in your current endeavors. I would be glad to try to help you Steve, I really would. Another test of your forgiveness would be this: how often do you pray for the good of those whom you perceive have abused you? Have you prayed that God would help them to apply the scriptures correctly and see their error? Are you praying for the other good churches that they will not fall into the same extremes? If not, why not? Wouldn’t that seem more likely to be what God would want you to do, rather than lump them all together and try to hurt all of them? Try to put another spin on it, or define it a different way, it is what it is.

I know we are human. It is harder for us to truly forgive and forget. Until you no longer hold animosity toward them, you have not truly forgiven them. Another part of the problem is this. Probably the real motivation behind what you are doing is not revenge, it is pride. The NLT Proverbs 13:10 says: “Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.” The King James Bible says it this way: “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” If you have contention towards the “IFB” today, what does the Bible say is the cause for that?

I know you refuse to consider it this way, but there is no “IFB” organization. There are millions of fundamental Baptist Churches, and a lot of other good churches who teach the truth of God’s Word that do not call themselves fundamental Baptist. Each church is responsible for what they teach, and how they teach and apply it. If some are not doing it properly, that does not make the rest of them guilty by association, which you are trying to do. It only works that way in your mind.

I wish you lived close enough to visit our church for a few Sundays and Wednesday nights. Just so you will know. The only time the King James Bible has been mentioned by name in a service in the last five years, was probably one Saturday night when the pastor asked me to speak on: Why we use the King James Bible. It is all we use in our services, we do not dictate to others what they can read or study in their home. I can’t remember the last time any teaching was done on tithing. We just take up the offering, and people are free to give whatever God dictates to their conscience to give. I’m sure there are a lot of people who do not tithe in our church, that is between them and God, and I’m not judging them either way. We don’t tell them, or have any signs up telling them the type of clothing to wear. If someone wore something that was considered to be too revealing, the pastor would probably speak to them in private about it in a loving way.

Because of our bus ministry and Reformers Unanimous ministry, we have a few men that have long hair, or wear an earring, or have tattoos (some women too). We have one fellow that occasionally wears a skirt (he’s Scottish I think). Nobody says anything to them. We just love on them and try to make them feel welcome. You will also see some ladies wearing slacks. If someone should stop coming for awhile or leave, we are encouraged to visit them, pray for and encourage them. It is considered the very last recourse to exclude someone from our fellowship, and it would not be our preference. We would exhaust all other avenues first. It would be with sad hearts we did so, but we have to obey the scriptures in this regards.

Our church tries to be a part of the community. We have allowed the local high school to use our fellowship hall for some testing a few times. We had a special celebration in our city this summer, we were allowed to have a three on three basketball tournament by blocking off two blocks downtown on main-street, while other activities were going on in the park a couple blocks away. Our associate pastor was the assistant football coach for a few years. We have a very good relationship with our city and city officials. We usually try to have a special Sunday morning service each year to honor those in public service. We have had about 35 or so that usually come, like the mayor, sheriff, township supervisors, etc. I don’t think the past governor has come, maybe the new one will.

I don’t know if I have ever heard anyone speak on going to the movies or dancing. Get people to seek holiness and they probably wouldn’t do those things anyway. To be honest, what exactly is the difference between going to the movies, or renting or buying a DVD, or even just watching them on your TV? Some movies we just shouldn’t watch anyway. One possible reason for not going to the movies, what if someone saw you that had a strong personal conviction about this? Whether we hold to the same convictions or not, we are instructed to seek the good of others ahead of ourselves. We are to refrain ourselves from damaging another’s conscience. By the way, just because we can’t be completely holy in this life, doesn’t let us off the hook for trying to live as holy as we can. As it says in Hebrews 12:14 in the NLT: “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” That isn’t a scare tactic by a “IFB”er, just what the scriptures admonish us to do.

What you are trying to do on your website, you will not find any justification for in scripture. You will only find verses stating as to why you shouldn’t. How does trying to live at peace with everyone line up with your attitudes and website?

There are two aspects to the “church” in scripture, one refers to a local body, the other the corporate body of Christ. Every born again Christian is a part of Christ’s church, which is called His body corporately. But about 90% of the times that church is mentioned in the New Testament, it refers to a church locally, not His church corporately. Most of the focus is on what goes on in the local church. That is just a fact.

In your mind you have set up a set of guidelines as to how everything is to be viewed. It is truth as you see it. You have developed your particular religious worldview, and you refuse to see it any other way. Truth is truth, and it is not relative. You can perceive some things as truth, that does not mean they are truthful. They can also end up being the opposite of real truth. Step outside your preconceived worldview and try to observe things as they actually are. That sounds easy doesn’t it? You did not form your current religious worldview overnight. It is ingrained in you. This time you have done it to yourself, it was not inflicted by others. This kind of self-abuse is harder to overcome. It could still be considered a form of abuse. Abuse is really a misuse. The real truth probably lies somewhere in between. The truth is out there Steve, at this point in time you have not found it. Don’t be satisfied with self-abuse. You are moving from one type of abuse into another. If you are guilty of anything, it probably starts with self-deception. Only the truth will truly set you free.

In His Service,
Arv Edgeworth

Hi Arv,

I’m not interested in communicating with you anymore. Although your emails have serve to reinforce my thoughts regarding these issues and as much as I would love to continue gathering evidence in the form of your representing what I speak about on the site, I must respectfully ask that you stop contacting me. I told you that your continued verbal abuse would end our conversations and I meant it. So please stop emailing me. I’ll not tolerate your anger and abuse any longer.

Regarding posting our conversation on the site, if you are so sure you have the truth why would you NOT want me to post it on the site? Hmmm, maybe you have something to hide after all.

Anyway, please read our “Terms of Use” which can be found at http://www.baptistdeception.com/terms-of-use/

Email communications become the property of the owners/operators of this site and we have the right to post them on the site as we see fit. We do not make the guarantee that email communications will be private.

By the way slander is a “misrepresentation”. I’m not sure how posting your own words could be considered a misrepresentation since they are YOUR words so good luck with “pursuing legal recourse”.

Oh, one more thing, slander is spoken. In print its libel. So if you talk to an attorney make sure you use the correct terminology.

Steve

This was the end of our conversation. I never replied to his final email for the above stated reasons. I never heard from Arv after that, but conveniently I did get several emails from other IFB pastors scolding me for this site. Here is one of them from a Pastor Dave Williams:

Sir:

Your website is so wrong it is laughable. Independent Baptists are not a denomination. They are just Bible believers. You have obviously never been to college and if so, you don’t have enough intellect to define common terms. I would suggest that you go to school so you won’t make such a fool out of yourself. You might even ask God for wisdom. You certainly have none at this time.

http://www.bible-truth.org/BaptistHistory.html

Pastor David Williams
Bay Area Baptist Church
Largo, Florida 33773
Phone: 727-729-6652
Web: http://bayareabaptistchurch.org
Web: http://ifyoucouldknow.info
Web: http://churchprospecting.com
Web: http://foundationsofmorality.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pastordavidpwilliams

I’ll let that email speak for itself.

I think it’s quite ironic that Arv is an “Evangelist”. I guess to be an evangelist in the IFB you have to evangelize by attacking and verbally abusing people. It is my hope that by posting this, readers will be able to see how dangerous this cult-like denomination really is. I think it’s inexcusable for an evangelist to act this way.

This is how the IFB spreads its message folks, by intimidation and manipulation. How sad it is that people are deceived into believing such lies.

OK, enough venting. Thanks again for reading.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 9:46 pm and is filed under Arv Edgeworth Deception, Debates, Independent Fundamental Baptist Church . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

25 Responses to “ Arv Edgeworth Deception ”

  1. greg says:

    I e-mailed both of these fine christian men (sarcasm) today and I suppose I will hear more IFB vitriol from both of them. If they think you are wrong, why don’t they in christian love reach out and “minister” and love you, and point out the error of your way. I’m just reminded once again how deceitful this IFB mindset is, someone believes differently than me so what must I do, share scripture with them, perhaps pray for/with them, examine further why they believe what they believe? None of those – I must attack, attack, attack, and find other like-minded cronies to join in the attack.

    Anyway Pastor Williams site is pretty funny (His is the only church in the whole Tampa area with the truth) don’t know how far you have to get away from Tampa before you can find someone else that has the truth.

  2. greg says:

    Steve – Arv and I had a couple of nice e-mail exchanges, we obviously had differences, but we were both playing nice, then he told me that if I knew the translation topic as good as he did that I would know thus and such, well that didn’t go over real well, so I started to get real pointed and knock down some of his all-star kjvonly’s, at that point it became a bit too warm for Arv in the kitchen, so instead of being a christian adult, his last e-mail he merely Romans 1:22’d me (juvenile) so I turned around and Galatian 2:11’d him (equally juvenile) thus ended our short discussion.

    It’s hard to hold onto this foolish KJVonlyism in the face of someone that knows anything at all about the translation issue, you know we really do have the internet to thank for allowing folks the ability to search out these issues, I mean even down to the actual manuscript evidence itself.

    I haven’t heard anything back from the so-called preacher Williams, I’m sure that he’s not abit brighter than ol Arv.

    May God be true and every man a liar.

  3. greg says:

    Steve – Arv came back for another round, I must admit I was surprised. He is probably lurking here now and may have seen the above “update” at any rate we can only pray that the Holy Spirit will begin to shine some light on his misguided KJV zealotry.

    Just a thought, but wonder what they would talk/preach about if you took away tithing and KJVonlyism.

    • Steve says:

      Hey Greg,

      Do you also enjoy beating your head against a wall? Because talking with Arv feels very similar :-)

      He did the same thing with me. He threatened to stop communicating and then would email me again. So I have a feeling that you haven’t heard the last from him. Then when I finally cut him off he got his buddies to email me.

      I just don’t understand how these people can’t see their hypocrisy. They are truly blind and it would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

      Steve

    • Kevin says:

      You know s/thing, it’s a shame that you lump any and all independent Baptist churches into one pot. Geesh, it’s no different than calling all politicians liars because you’ve heard some lie, or calling all people of color wicked because you came across one who was stumbling from having ingested too much wine, etc, etc….

      I could go on and on with similarities, but the vitriol seems to FLOOOOOOOOOOOOW from some of you. It’s as if you have an axe to grind…like you’ve got a chip on your shoulder.

      Whatever it is, make another attempt to “get over it”, ok?

  4. Katie says:

    OMG!!! That’s all that comes to mind right now… O…. M…. G….

    It doesn’t feel like that’s even a Christian talking. As I read it, it feels like someone who is just trying to make a sale with nothing more than dirty sales tactics. The “Manual of Sales Tactics” teaches that the sales rep “use bribery, coercion, intimidation and lies to get customers to the presentations…” where they can fill the customer with more lies, coercion, intimidation and manipulation.

    The only difference is that someone with dirty sales tactics training knows that they are using dirty sales tactics. With Arv, he seems truly delusional, really believing what he is trying to communicate. How pathetic!!!

  5. EDDIE says:

    I’ll let that email speak for itself.

    I think it’s quite ironic that Arv is an “Evangelist”. I guess to be an evangelist in the IFB you have to evangelize by attacking and verbally abusing people. It is my hope that by posting this, readers will be able to see how dangerous this cult-like denomination really is. I think it’s inexcusable for an evangelist to act this way.

    This is how the IFB spreads its message folks, by intimidation and manipulation. How sad it is that people are deceived into believing such lies.

    OK, enough venting. Thanks again for reading.

    WOW – WHAT A CHARACTER. YOU ATTACK ALL IFB’S FOLKS BUT WHEN YOUR ATTACKS ARE CHALLENGED, YOU TAKE OFFENSE AND MAKE IT SOUND AS IF YOU ARE A VICTIM?

    YOU ISSUED THE ATTACKS, MOCK THE PREACHERS AND CHURCHES AND NOW WHEN REFUTED YOU RUN AND SHED TEARS OF BEING A VICTIM. GROW UP! SURELY YOU DON’T BELIEVE YOURSELF? YOU SPEAK WITH VENOM AND WHEN IT IS DISHED BACK YOU TRY TO MAKE IT SOUND AS IF YOU “FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH”.

    YOU ARE TRULY SOMETHING TO BEHOLD.

    WHAT A LAUGH!

    I DOUBT THAT ANY OF THIS WILL BE PUBLISHED, BUT WHY NOT?

    • Steve says:

      And the attacks continue with YOUR post. So why don’t you do something different then and try to argue with logic and reason rather than continue the attack exchange?

      If I’m such a “character” and so immature, as you claim, then why don’t you help me and point out my errors rather than just continue the attack exchange?

  6. […] would be interesting some day to do a comparison of Arv Edgworth's arguments about the IFB being "independent from any organizational body" and the mission of those […]

  7. Jordan P says:

    @EDDIE
    WHY ARE YOU YELLING?

  8. John Doe says:

    @Steve
    Steve your a funny guy

  9. Thomas Wheeler says:

    Steve, I find as you know I still don’t agree with you on this KJV issue. That you are a very good representitive of those of us that have been abused by this very type of person. I feel the compassion that you evidenced in this exchange exemplifies the spirit of my preception of a Christ like spirit! I am proud to have found this site. I appriecate the work you have done here and hope God enables you to continue. I would appriecate your opinion of a page I am working on to point people to a relationship with Jesus rather then solely a Church relationship. It is http://www.facebook.com/page/Church-Survivors/351959144822796

  10. Thomas Wheeler says:

    In your exchange with Arv, you mention that tge Local Church in not taught in the Bible. Can you explain this for me. I may have miss it, but I would understand it if you didn’t it was very hard to keep up with all the issues he keep bring up.

    Thank you

    • Steve says:

      I’m not sure how to say it more clearly. We don’t find support for the idea of a “local church” (at least not the way it’s taught in the IFB) in scripture. If you know of scripture that teaches this then please feel free to share it.

    • Kevin says:

      Interesting, as when you see the word “CHURCH” used througout the New Testament, it almost ALWAYS refers to a local assembly of believers. lol

      (This is a single comment after wading through some of the…ugh, lengthy “garbage” written about above. I may offer up another comment or two as i scroll through some more of the comments. :)

  11. Thomas Wheeler says:

    Also, I’m also curious about your statement that the KJV today is influenced by Westcott & Hort. Are you refering to the NKJV? If so, that is where you lost Arv! Because, they nor I except the NKJV as a exceptable version. It’s my understanding that althought there was 4 different printings. That the 1611 version there was just correction for typos 2 times.

    The NKJV would be viewed by the socalled socalors of today as the 5th revision. Not to rehash the issue just looking for a clearification on this point!

    I have simply, in my heart, agree to disagree on the issue! So, please don’t think I am baiting you!

    • Steve says:

      No I’m not referring to the NKJV. Some scholars report a revised edition of the KJV in the 1850s that was influenced by the work of Wescott and Hort.

  12. Thomas Wheeler says:

    Not trying to be a oest here but what about the idea of the different books being written to the different churches. Corinth, galathia, etc.@Steve

    • Steve says:

      You’re not being a pest. I welcome the discussion.

      I don’t see the connection. How does Corinth, Galacia, etc support the modern day idea of a local church?

  13. Thomas Wheeler says:

    Just that they are refered to as the church at etc! I truely am not baiting you here. Please share with me or point me to where you talk about the local church as it is practiced today. I to believe that the Church today is not right. But, it is just something I have been force into as I am having a hard time fitting in anywhere! I find a personal walk with God a much more rewarding adventure!

    • Steve says:

      I haven’t really talked about it on the site yet except for in a few comments. It’s on my to do list of topics for the site though.

      Basically I think that this idea of a local church arose out of the teaching of Hebrews 10:25 and has been taken out of context and twisted like so many other passages of scripture. An autonomous local meeting place for believers with an organizational structure, a congregation, a board of directors, an executive committee, rights to vote, membership, etc. It’s all man made. We don’t find support for it in the Bible.

      When Paul was writing to the various “churches” he was writing to the body of believers in that location not to the Corinthian Baptist Church on the corner of 3rd and Main St. Corinth, for example, was a rather large city with a population of over 400,000 people. Paul was writing to the believers in that city not to a particular church like we think of it today.

      Now I realize that a local meeting place is necessary simply for logistical reasons, but to promote it as scriptural is a lie at best and manipulation at worst. The IFBs I grew up in taught that the “Local Church” (i.e., the local IFB church that one committed to as a member in a particular location) was taught in scriptures and a necessary part of our spiritual values as Christians. Hebrews 10:25 simply tells us to not ignore the need to meet together. That’s it, nothing more. How we’ve gotten so tied up in the way we do church in today’s society is mind boggling madness.

      By the way, another level to all this madness about a “local church” is the different denominations available. Where I used to live there were 5 churches within walking distance from my house. There’s no teaching in scripture for that, none that I’m aware of at least.

  14. Thomas Wheeler says:

    Thank you, this is reasoning I had come to as well but I just was looking for any other info you might have on the issue. I think it would be a very good topic for your site.

    I would really like you thoughts on my page if you get a chance to check it out. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Church-Survivors/351959144822796

    Thanks

    • Steve says:

      Your facebook page looks good but please be careful of copyright violations. What you’re writing is very similar to what we write here on this site. Please give credit to your sources.

  15. Thomas Wheeler says:

    Ok thank you steve God bless!



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