Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Deception

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

Do Baptists Make Lousy Christians?


The following is a contribution by: H.A. Parker.  You can find out more information at pastorsinknead.wordpress.com

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A tremendous effort to suppress criticism is ongoing fight in the Christian world, specifically for the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist denomination. The reason why this title goes with the Baptist label is primarily because this is the same group that heralds itself as the heroes of true Christian Orthodoxy. Like any other sectarian group in the Protestant fold, there are some significant things this group contributed; however, unlike the other denominations, these accomplishments are not necessarily positive ones. If anything positive were to be said on behalf of the Baptists, these actions are far and few in between. Before discussing the negative things this group has done in the name of Christianity, let’s examine some of the positive things first.

As all Christians know, Baptists are champions on a number of things that are somewhat significant to the idea of contemporary culture. Believer’s baptism is one of them; the only thing they did which most in the Reformed community flat out rejected. Obviously, this sacrament makes a ton of sense only if you wish to identify with a church through converted means only. In other words, you can only be baptized and identified with the Baptist community by profession of faith only. With this type of attitude, this sectarian church has a slight immunity from the poison of church infidelity, save that on the rare occasions where someone makes the church split through immoral acts. Other than that, the Baptists have had its goodness in retaining Orthodoxy through the implementation of credo-baptism only.

The ‘separation of church and state’ are another example; this doctrine is firmly implanted into the minds and hearts of all Baptists. They look to the first amendment as a means for protection because they think the phrase “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” means somehow that it equals the separation of church and state. This notion is half-true; while Congress had no interest in establishing a sectarian religion as the national belief, this comes from the influence of the Baptists and their sympathizers. Back in the day, Baptists were fairly anti-intellectual and had no interest for doing anything other than evangelizing the world through riotous means. Because each town was disturbed by Baptist turmoil, especially in the state of Virginia, it is not surprising some people became saddened to see these poor wretched souls stuck in jail cells for this urgency for the gospel. In essence, this group well influenced the writing of the first amendment. Thank you, Baptists in general.


  
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Beyond that scope, one should not that these are the only two accomplishments of the Baptist church; much of the other characteristics of the Baptists are entirely borrowed from other denominations. Hardly of these ideas are original to the Baptist identity, especially if you are an, Born-Again, Bible-Believing, Biblicist, Dispensational-type, independent fundamentalist Baptist. The variety of influences from the surrounding denominations has made the IFB churches what they are today and it’s no wonder why no one has seen this before.

Independency, a dearly beloved and well cherished privilege in the IFB circles did not start with them; in fact, this concept came from the rigorous Congregationalists of New England. Yet, even they did not take either autonomy or independency to great lengths like the Baptists of today. Those Puritans fought for something similar to the views of Presbyterianism, but without the label; most ideals would remain intact, except that the congregation had the right to overthrow their pastor if they chose to do so and practice strict communion.

Another unoriginal feature to the IFB movement is the prohibitionist stances on alcohol; little do most Baptists know, this view did not become prominent until the late twentieth century (well after the invention of Welch’s Grape Juice). Though this pietistic viewpoint was prominent roughly around the 1820’s, the problem these IFB Christians do not tell their audiences is the sheer fact that it was the Methodists who took this stance against alcohol first, not them silly old Baptists. The reason why this grew as an influence resulted from the cross denominational changes (e.g., when a Methodist becomes a Baptist or vice versa). The exchange of these ideas is not surprising in our circles today.

Sunday School, the enterprise of Baptist Evangelism, is another prominent feature that did not originate with the IFB circle; in fact, if one does his or her homework, the concept of teaching Bible to students on Sunday instead of mean ol’ Catechism Class, was taught by (gasp!) Congregationalists! This concept became a pervasive influence upon Baptist circles today because thanks to the non-Baptist group, the Congregationalists used this idea to further education the parishioners for the missionary fields. Unfortunately, Baptists miss the point when they take ideas from other Christians and decide to label it as their own.

While I have more to continue on the subject, I must put this part of the article to a close. Hopefully, there will be more readers taking interest on the subject in general.

Parker

Updated: June 13, 2014 — 8:15 pm

11 Comments

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  1. Dear Mr. Parker, As to your query as to whether or not Baptists make lousy Christian? , I shall ask you 2 questions. Do you think Charles Spurgeon ( the Prince of Preachers ) was a lousy
    Christian? If your not familiar with him I would suggest reading TREASURY OF DAVID. Have you read any Alexander Solzhenitsyn? If not try ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH or THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO. The cruelty and inhumanity that he and countless millions endured (millions died ) were also experienced by Baptist. Solzhenitsyn speaks highly of Baptists. I can’t quote exact words but they went something like this:” the unspeakable treatment the prisoners received was like water off a ducks back to the Baptists “and further commented “the Baptists were not prone to spiritual collapse.” I’m personally a Christian first and a Baptist last. Hopefully I reflect the glory of Christ to those whom I meet. Whether or not I’m a lousy Christian I’ll let God decide. By the way on this website wasn’t there a BEARING FRUIT DECEPTION ? Who made you judge of Baptists or anybody? Well at any rate I hope I have answered your query in a gracious manner.

    1. I think there are some great Baptists, but as I said in the letter, I am specifically referring to the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Community. Some types of Baptists are good e.g., Reformed Baptists. However, it’s very rare that these individuals make good history. The Baptists of today betray their ancestors by aligning themselves with the Reformed point of view than their ancestors did.

  2. This article seems to be mean-spirited, and I would doubt it’s helpfulness to folks that have been hurt by fundamentalism. The tone seems to be that same precise tone that we fled, only directed back at the the Baptists! And I’m reminded that 2 wrongs don’t make a right! Many of us are STILL in Baptist churches, btw! Certainly there are many things wrong with some of those churches, but surely there are some good things as well. Baptists have made some great contributions in our society, and some still are. This is far too much lumping all together, and I reject it heartily!

    1. Well put. That’s kind of the reaction I had as well. I appreciate this site because it helps to hear from others who had similar experiences in the IFB and who similarly reject many of the “values” that come out of it, but there is a point where, as you said, it can seem like we’re just returning the very tone we fled, and if that becomes the general tone of the site (and I don’t think it will), I don’t think I would want to spend my time here anymore.

    2. I re-read the article, and want to clarify my earlier statement.

      I’m not sure that I realized that the author was speaking about ONLY the IFB’s, and I see that he did specifically mention them. Several of his points are definitely dead-on, but I stll feel could have used abit more grace.

      While the IFB’s have significant problems overall! It’s because of the independent factor you can find SOME IFB’s that have abit of sanity! I have found that because IFB’s take on the “spirit” of the Pastor/king, so if you have a sweet and kind, non-legalistic pastor, the church will often reflect that! However, I’m reminded that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It’s because of this fact, that while a good pastor starts off with wonderful intentions, it often devolves into a dictatorship!

      As far as Baptist churches contributing good things to society, as I alluded to earlier, I primarily was thinking of the Southern Baptists!

      The comment of Mr Parker’s about good Baptists, and he specifically mentioned “Reformed Baptists” I would take exception to, as I reject any and all of calvinism, as a belief system. but that is not the focus of this comment nor this website.

  3. “A tremendous effort to suppress criticism is ongoing fight in the Christian world…” I will agree with this part of your statement. I don’t agree that it is specific to the IFB though. I know they work very hard to cover up any type of scandal and when authorities are brought in and they can’t hide any more, people immediately jump into defense mode, but that is not something that is exclusive to the IFB. I have also been part of the SBC and there are churches within that denomination that do the same thing. I think all denominations want to suppress criticism of their denominations. No one likes to be criticized.

    I will also agree with you that some of the standards which the IFB holds dear have been taken from other denominations. As the decades have passed, those standards have been heralded as exclusive to the IFB.

    I don’t know that I would call Baptists lousy Christians though. I am still very Baptistic in my beliefs, although not in the way I was when I was in the IFB. I go to a non-denominational church now, but most of us are also pretty Baptistic in our beliefs and come from different forms of the Baptist church. I would not call any of the people I worship with on a regular basis, lousy.

    1. I’ve left the Baptist movement altogether since they have done more harm than good in the sense that this group takes advantage of the ideas other denominations developed and take credit for what is not theirs. Furthermore, what ideas has the Baptists developed (besides believer’s baptism & separation of church/state) did they develop independently. Hardly anything is original to the Baptist cause, yet they view themselves as the champions of orthodoxy which they are not.

      1. I completely understand. As I have studied more about what other denominations practice and believe, I have been surprised at how much the IFB takes from other people. I was always taught that the IFB were the only ones doing it right.

      2. Parker, I appreciate your attempts to warn people about the seedy side of a particular denomination. But statistically, IFBs only make up 15% of American Baptists. The IFB mentality is essentially the same mentality that we see in any other group that begins to confuse doctrinal words with a true relationship with God, and becomes obsessed with obscurantist interpretations of dogma. There are Traditionalist Catholics (such as Opus Dei), Eastern Orthodox, and even some Reformed groups (such as the “Christian Reconstructionists”) who not only exceed the IFBs in their obscurantism, but who, if given the chance, would actively impose their convictions on their respective societies through violence . I’m afraid the Baptists simply don’t have a monopoly on spiritual abuse – and they are far from the most dangerous.

        Also, the contributions of believer’s baptism and separation of church and state are HUGE. By comparison, what have the Anglicans given to the Christian world? Or the Methodists? Or the Presbyterians? Would you seriously want to live in a society that didn’t believe in church-state separation?

        That said, most evangelical Christians today prefer to be non-denominational in approach, and discrete Baptist identities (or Methodist ones, or Reformed ones, etc.) seem destined to fade away within a generation. But using “Baptist” without qualification just discredits your site.

  4. The “independent” aspect of groups often means trouble.
    Under the guise of being separate from the world,called out, it appears that a cult instead is formed, that has it’s traditions, norms and practices
    that they try to scripturalize.
    We need the Holy Spirit for revelation and understanding, not mans vain traditions.

    The problem is there is a man running the show instead of him letting God use him.
    It’s a one man show, a man known as the “man of God” and
    people are following him, more so than Christ.
    So where there is perceived absolute power, there will always be corruption.
    This is why these types of “churches” can be a haven for
    pastor idolatry, spiritual abuse, and all other types of abuse.
    Wide open doors and windows for the enemy to get in and get busy.
    It is subtle but it becomes more
    about man and going through motions, than God.
    And instead of Gods pure sound Word being taught, interpretations and traditions are taught.

  5. That is a general comment about
    independent organizations, and how they tend to be, from what I have seen.
    So I’m not narrowing it down to any one particular group.
    Isolation and separations that are not God influenced are very dangerous.
    There is a lack of accountability
    and the leader just does what he wants it seems.
    And the people sit around saying amen.

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