Here we go again. Similar to the Robert Fry post, it’s not my main goal to call out particular churches, schools or people. When they are abusive, however, I feel responsible to expose it. Here’s another example of the bullying I receive on a consistent basis from IFBers.
Over the years I’ve had many people of the IFB variety write, complaining because they think that I’m just a bitter ex-IFB hell bent on vindication. Some even go so far as to judge my salvation, my relationship with the Holy Spirit and my sense of duty and ministry and the work God is doing through this website. Occasionally an email will simply be nasty and mean. The following is an email sent by Don Boyce who serves on the Board of Directors at Westgate Christian School in Spartanburg, SC. In one snarky remark he managed to insult me, verbally assault me, judge me and claim to know what God’s will for me is.
Subject: You’re not qualified!
I think you are what you claim IFB churches are… judgmental, mean spirited, cultish. You have NO Biblical mandate to put yourself in a position of judging another man’s servant. Read your Bible friend! Instead of wasting time condemning others why don’t you create a website to win souls…you know that thing Baptists have been doing long before you came on the scene!
So I thought it would be appropriate to set the record straight. I’m sure many more people visit this website wondering the same thing. I realize that my writing style and the controversial topics this site is about may often lead people to wonder similar things. I want everyone who visits this site to know that I consider this a ministry, one God has called me to, the purpose of which is to expose the false teachings of the Independent Fundamental Baptists and provide a beacon of light to those who have been deeply wounded by this cultish organization.
So with that in mind, here’s my reply to Don:
Thanks for writing. I’ve answered similar objections many times on the site. It would do you well to read them. Assuming you probably won’t, here’s a summary:
1. You aren’t God (are you?) so isn’t it safe to say that you don’t know what I’ve been called to do?
a. How do you know I’m not qualified? Do you know my qualifications? My education? My experiences?
2. God hasn’t called me to evangelize nor has He given me the gift of evangelism. I’ve been called to and given the gift of exhortation. Despite not evangelizing in a more direct way, however, my way of “winning souls” is by exposing the dangerous and unbiblical teachings of the IFB. Those who read the truth of the Word are set free from the oppression and legalism of the IFB and many go on to accept Christ as their Savior as a result. It’s a shame that you can’t (or refuse to – not sure which) see that.
3. How do you know my time is being wasted? Haven’t you read the thousands of comments from people who have been encouraged by the site? Haven’t you read the thousands of testimonials of people who resonate with the message of this site? I guess it’s a waste of time to encourage and help people who’ve had bad experiences among the IFB? That’s pretty insensitive don’t you think?
4. Doing something for a longer period of time doesn’t necessarily equal correct. That’s called an appeal to traditions fallacy.
5. My biblical mandate is Colossians 2:8 (clearly spoken about many times throughout the site). Here are some others: Matthew 7:15, 1 John 4:1, Titus 1:10-11, Galatians 1:6-9, 2 Corinthians 1:11-15, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 2 Peter 2:1, Ephesians 5:6-13, and John 7:24. That’s all I can think of at the moment.
6. I’m not judging, just sharing my experiences and the truth of the Word.
7. I have read the Bible, many times. I’ve committed much time and prayer to studying the scriptures free of traditional Baptist interpretations. This has helped give me great insight into the truth of the Word.
I don’t think I’m above making mistakes so if you’d like to prove me wrong you’re welcome to. I’d much prefer open dialogue to castigation. I respond much better to relaxed, well thought out critiques, but It’s up to you.
Thanks again for your time.
So let me just reiterate, Yes, I do have a Biblical mandate for BaptistDeception.com. My Biblical mandate is 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” (NLT) That verse is a charge to the layperson (me) to be on the lookout for false prophets and teachers (the IFB). This website shares the revelations I’ve learned after “testing” the IFB and finding them decidedly misguided in their interpretations and applications of scripture. The errors found in the traditional IFB teachings have spread like a virus, capturing the hearts and minds of people all over the world. I feel a strong burden, which I interpret as coming from the Holy Spirit, to expose the false and dangerous teachings of the IFB.
Acts 17 tells the story of Paul and Silas who traveled to Berea to preach. There they met a sub group in the Jewish culture (the Bereans) who valued objective truth. Acts 17:10-12 tells us that, after they “…listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” (NLT) I echo this value. After being in the Independent Fundamental Baptist denomination for 26 years I decided to do exactly that. I searched the scriptures to see if what the IFB was teaching me was truth. After doing that I realized that the IFB was absolutely NOT teaching truth. Feeling an overwhelming burden to expose these lies, which could have only come from the Holy Spirit, I decided to publically write about them and expose them to the world.
The Bible tells us to beware of false teachers (Matt 7:15), watch for false teachers (2 Tim 4:3-5), compare their teaching with Scripture (1 John 4:1-3), avoid cultish organizations (Mark 13:22), rebuke them (Titus 1:10,13,16), and withdraw from them (1 Tim 6:5).
This is my ministry. This is what God has called me to do. God has used this site and the message of it to reach countless people who would have otherwise been captive to the false teachings of the IFB. It has also been a beacon of light for those who have left and/or excommunicated and are feeling hurt, betrayed, abandoned, neglected, alone and confused. This site has been cathartic for me and a source of hope for thousands of others. It is my prayer that it will continue to be that for a long time to come.
In case you’re interested, here’s the remainder of our conversation. Don wasn’t satisfied with that answer and went on to continue to verbally assault, threaten and harass me. Please find below the rest of our exchange.
Don emailed me twice following my reply to his initial email. Hopefully you can see the irony. His first message was:
Answer no a fool according to his folly
So then after calling me a fool, I guess he wasn’t able to actually remain silent and decided to go ahead and “answer a fool according to his folly” anywaying. Here’s his follow up reply right after he got done saying he wasn’t going to “answer a fool according to his folly”:
Any individual who, with a broad stroke, seeks to condemn a large segment of the Christian Church based on isolated extremism that no doubt exists, is in my view, unwise. Exhortation is building up not tearing down. You are in a very dangerous position Steve. It is one thing to dialogue on issues with the hope that Truth will prevail but you have engaged in outright condemnation of God’s people. This is the way of Baalim who sought to curse God’s people……very dangerous. Calling it a ministry and saying its [sic] Gods [sic] gift for you to do so is self deception. I too have some disagreements with some of my IFB brothers, but for me to cast them in the evil light that you do is no different than the very thing your [sic] accusing them of! You are doing the SAME thing your saying they are doing…..judge not that ye be not judged. I don’t know you nor do you know me but I trust we both know The Lord. I have been in an Independent Baptist Church for nearly 30 years and I can say with all honesty that the way you have portrayed us is completely out of bounds. I have no doubt that there are some “hyper-fundamentalists” scattered about but by and large the Baptists are God fearing, Christ honoring people who desire to know God and make Him known. My advice to you is to not position yourself against His Church. There are more prudent ways to address issues you may not agree with. Just so you know….this website came to our attention through a young girl who posted it on FB at the risk of alienating herself from her parents who are very godly and loving people. You need to be very careful friend. God is not in the business to use “ministries” that cause rebellion against parents.
Answer no fool according to his folly. I could say the same thing. That swings both ways.
You’re minimizing and trivializing a very serious issue. [This site isn’t based on a few “isolated extremism” instances]. You have no idea who I am, what I’m doing or why I’m doing it yet you seem to know what God’s will is for me. How presumptuous! In typical IFB fashion you’ve gone on the attack never stopping to even try to see things from my perspective.
I answer to God not anyone else and certainly not you or the IFB. I’m not doing this because of some petty disagreement and I’m not cursing anyone. This is about exposing abuse, manipulation, coercion, and blatant scriptural/doctrinal error (all of which I – along with thousands of visitors – provide ample evidence for on the site). I’m fighting for the spiritual lives of countless victims of IFB indoctrination. My exhortation is not directed towards the IFB, but towards the millions – yes I said millions – of people who visit my site so that they can finally find hope and freedom (even at the “risk being alienated”). If you can’t see the value in that then I’m afraid that’s your issue not mine. I’m nothing like the IFB. I’m an advocate for the victim while you and your ilk are advocates for the perpetrators.
You seem to have no idea (or care) about how huge this problem of “hyper-fundamentalism” is and your attempts to minimize it in order to have a softer pillow at night is your downfall. You offered your advice to me so my advice to you is to stop offering advice to people who (1) didn’t ask for it and (2) you didn’t take the time to understand before offering them advice.
Your story of the FB post is case in point. You speak of a girl who was so scared of her parents (I’m assuming they are IFB) and the IFB that she didn’t feel safe enough to post a simply link? This girl took the “risk”…risked what? If the IFB is as benign as you claim, what did she have to risk? Why was she so fearful of being alienated if her parents were such “godly and loving people”? Why would her parents think she were rebellious for posting something that exposes the IFB? The last time I checked, declining to stay in the same denomination as your parents and offering reasons why is considered an act of free will NOT rebellion. Why would they think it was rebellious? You’re absolutely delusional!!! You contradict yourself and you can’t even see it. This would be laughable if it weren’t so sad. You seem to be so blinded that you can’t see how scared the IFB has made a young girl. Dare I ask what happened? Was she shunned? Did she receive any black lash? Was she coerced into removing the link? If she was manipulated in anyway (e.g., called rebellious) then everything I said is confirmed yet you still deny it (or at least minimize it). What a shame! How sad for you that you can’t see the pain of a young girl trying desperately to escape the clutches of an abusive cult like denomination because you are so focused on defending your belief system! How short sighted and sinful!
Also, I’m not “positioning myself against His Church”. I’m positioning myself against the IFB.
Finally, the irony here is that the site wouldn’t bother you if there weren’t some truth to it. You’re taking this personally and I don’t know why. Are you this young FB girl’s father? This isn’t a personal attack against you. If what I write doesn’t apply to you then what difference does it make to you what I say or do? My invitation and request to you, once again, is to engage in open dialogue and rational discussion rather than attacks, assumptions and castigation. I’m more than happy to explore my errors and I’m open to the fact that I don’t know everything. If you’d like to have a discussion about what you see as error then great, I welcome it. Pick something and let’s discuss it. If you continue to experience the urge to tell me what to do or what God wants me to do, or you can’t refrain from attacking me with a generic “you’re wrong” and prideful attitude with nothing to back it up then please don’t contact me again. I’ll defend myself if I have to, but I’ll not continue exposing myself to your abuse.
You are obviously are a very bitter man and full of pride. Millions? Your full of yourself not the precious Holy Spirit. May God help you see the error of your way
Website stats are displayed on the site for all to see. If you’d actually read the site before berating me you’d know that.
You’re a closed minded minion only interested in perpetuating the IFB dogma and abuse (see I can throw empty insults around too).
Thanks for providing a shining and precise example of exactly what I speak out against. I’m looking forward to displaying your abuse towards me on the site as an example for all to see.
Please don’t contact me again!
If what I said in my e-mails are “abuse” you have a distorted view of what abuse is. You speak of berating and yet it’s you doing it. I’ve made no personal attacks on you Steve. I simply brought out your error of which is obvious. It was you who berated a family you know nothing about. It’s you who are attacking someone, the very thing you say others are doing. You’ve made a so-called “ministry” out of berating people you disagree with and have justified it in your mind as “helping” people. It is you who is doing the castigating and name calling, i.e. “delusional”, “abuser”, etc. All the things you accuse others of, you’re guilty of! It’s not unusual of being guilty of the very things we claim others have problems with. You have deceived yourself…you have some real issues friend. It is sad you’ve had an apparent bad experience with a church on the fringe and have allowed it to make you bitter and not better. We will all stand before God and give an account of our actions. If you put my name out there and demean my character, of which you apparently have no clue about, you will be risking legal ramifications. Defamation of character is against the law bro…I would suggest you tread carefully. I will gladly oblige you on not contacting you again. If I thought I could help you I would but that’s obviously not the case.
What part of “don’t contact me again” didn’t you understand?
Besides, if you didn’t want your character defamed on the site then you should have been more careful about what you wrote to me. You’re the one defaming your character by what you wrote, not me. You initiated contacted, I only wrote in response and to defend myself.
I’ll not be coerced or threatened nor will I stand for bullying. [The fact is that you came to this site and initiated contact. That first message (see above) was an attack on me. My replies since have been in defense of that attack and of your continued attacks on me. Never once did you humble yourself and apologize for that initial attack. You never answered my questions, nor did you respond to my attempts at redirecting you to a honorable and healthy discussion. You just insisted on attacking me and voicing your opinion of me. That’s not very Christ like! I don’t allow people to bully me. When someone comes here to attack, bully and intimidate me I will defend myself and I have a right to do so.]
Now listen carefully… I’m not going to say it again because MY legal recourse will be a cease and desist for harassment… DON’T CONTACT ME AGAIN!!!