“Independent” Deception


Independent deception

I get so many comments and emails complaining that the IFB can’t be considered a denomination because they are “Independent” Fundamental Baptists with an obvious emphasis on the “independent” part. I really can’t believe the number if people who take offense to my calling the IFB a denomination. Well, I guess I can believe it because I was taught this as well in my IFB experience. I guess it was just unexpected how many emails and comments I would get related to the defense of the IFB as “Independent”. There are so many thing’s wrong with the IFB that this seems minor in comparison.

I’ve discussed this topic at length with several folks who have asked me for a debate. The same argument keeps coming up over and over again, so I thought I’d write a post explaining my position on this. That way when someone else wants to argue this point I can just refer them to this page and they can take it or leave it.

Lets take the emotions out of the equation. IFBers are emotionally tied to the idea that they are “independent” – free of any governing body, autonomous and self sustaining. If we take the emotions out of the equation we can think logically about it and apply some much needed critical thinking I think we will see that this idea of “independence” is really nothing more than slight of hand.

The IFB teaches, as I was taught when I was in the throws of this cult-like denomination, that because they are “Independent” they are somehow exempt from scrutiny because each church operates and governs itself “independently” from any other organization or church. As an example, a recent visitor commented on the ABC’s 20/20 investigation of the IFB by stating

“I find it ironic that the term IFB is used rather than the whole name, INDEPENDENT Fundamental Baptist. The key word is Independent. You cannot judge all Independent Baptist churches by one. church because they are INDEPENDENT of each other.”

This is a perfect example of the thinking of the IFB. This is nothing more than mere hand waving and it is crammed down the throats of every IFB congregation (well, OK, MOST IFB congregations – there are you happy those of you who would blame me for sweeping generalizations?).

Personally, I think this issue is a con game. It’s a slight of hand misdirection to keep people from thinking that the IFB as a whole – the IFB “group” for lack of a better term – is connected in many ways (which I will talk about so keep reading). I also think it’s this is an area of focus for leaders so that other major issues are kept in the background, unnoticed – or what we call in Philosophy 101, a Red Herring fallacy.

Majoring on the minors

I plan to write an article on the topic of “majoring on the minors” at a later date, but this issue can serve as an example for now. The logical side of me wonders if the IFB focuses on this issue to distract from more pressing issues. This is certainly evident on this site. Out of all the problems and horror stories presented on this site, the most frequent complaint I get is this issue of calling the IFB a denomination.

Child sexual abuse, mental manipulation, financial cons/scams (i.e., tithing), etc. all happen withing the IFB and people are worried about me calling the IFB a denomination. If that’s not telling about the false teachings and brainwashing that happens withing the IFB I honestly don’t know what is.

So lets think logically about this for a moment. The definition of a denomination is simply “a religious group, usually including many local churches…” and “a name or designation, especially one for a class of things” The American Heritage Dictionary. According to those definitions, the IFB would be considered a denomination.

But lets not only step outside of our emotions for a moment, lets even go a step further and step outside of the dictionary definition of a denomination and think completely logically for a moment. If there are several church/religious meeting congregations (to use a church word) around the country that teach similar beliefs, traditions, doctrines, etc., and each use THE SAME NAME to identify themselves, what else would you call it? a group? a congregation?, a union?, an organization? or can we not just use the typical word that’s used in our society to identify a like minded group of people with a religious preference – a denomination?

Logic dictates that ultimately this is nothing more than a semantics game that the IFBer use. The word “Independent” is really a misnomer if you think logically about it.

If a person accused me of sweeping generalizations I must insist that it is not me who is making the comparison. As already stated on this site, I’m simply sharing my experiences. So the association with all things IFB is the IFBer’s association not mine. 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. IFBers are associating with the IFB because that’s what they WANT to be – and for all reasons that they have. This is THEIR association not mine. I didn’t choose that association for them.

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.

One disgruntled visitor picked a fight about this topic with me and stated

“The “I” in IFB is supposed to stand for independent. Therefore we are not or at least are not supposed to be chained or linked together in any way. The idea of multiple Churches banding together a pooling their financial and clergical resources together is absolutely in no way scriptural. This idea was originally started by the Roman Catholic Church and due to the Protestant reformation these flawed and unbiblical practices carried on with those who left the Catholic Church. I can say for fact though that a true IFB Church does not claim to be Protestant because we were never in anyway associated with the RCC.”

This simply isn’t true. The IFB would like you to think that of course, but most IFB churches are started as a “sister or daughter church” of another IFB church. My family helped start three of them. They weren’t allowed to operate unless they did things the exact same way as the “sending” church. There may not be a national convention that each church answers to or a corporate identity, but there is certainly not “independence” in the sense that the IFB would have you think. The term “Independent” is truly a misnomer. The idea that the IFB church is “independent” is a blatant lie at best and manipulation at worst.

The IFB really is a brand – for lack of a better term. To think otherwise is nothing short of delusional. If a church doesn’t want the association of Independent, Fundamental, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian 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.

*****************************************

Update:

It came to my attention by an astute reader that there actually does exist a “fellowship” of Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches in each individual state. Upon further investigation I’ve found at least 42 states have an organizational body called a “Fellowship of Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches” and two Global organizations.

The first one is the Global Independent Fundamental Baptist Fellowship www.gifb.org and the second one is the Independent Fundamental Baptist International www.fbfi.org.

So much for “Independent” eh?

It 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 global/international “fellowships”.

By the way, isn’t it interesting to see the word play here? The use of “fellowship” is a nice way to disguise an organizational body isn’t it? Hmmm…

This entry was posted on Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 9:29 am and is filed under 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.

78 Responses to “ “Independent” Deception ”

  1. Paul says:

    Steve,

    Sectarian – adj. adhering or confined to the dogmatic limits of a sect or denomination; partisan. Narrow-minded. n. One characterized by bigoted adherence to a factional viewpoint.

    I completely understand your getting more flack on this then on other issues. The problem with calling Independent Fundamental Baptists a denomination is because they are SECTARIAN. Most sectarians are intolerant of the views of any other sect. Under the broader title of IFB you have those who are liberal, conservative, or even moderate. Then we can get more pointed by saying this one or that is KJBonly. Then in order to draw proper battle lines we have to determine if you are Hyles, PCC, Bob Jones, Crown, Clearwater, West Cost, Champion, Liberty, Golden State… Amongst this list the hatred and disgust for even one another goes quite deep. So grouping them under the same title is intolerable because of their own factions.

    • Steve says:

      Good Point Paul, but it still feels like a semantics game to me. I guess sect would fit a little better, but the site is really about IFB in general so I just stick with the term denomination. IFBers would still argue if I called them a sect. It’s a no win situation.

      • Paul says:

        Steve,
        You’re absolutely right, it can be and is often a game of semantics. Your use of the word “denomination” is well within the boundaries of the definition you gave in your article. Even if we used the 1828 edition of Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (in my day it was many IFBer’s dictionary of choice) you would be OK. Webster’s 1828 – “A class, society or collection of individuals, called by the same name; as a denomination of christians.” The reason so many are unhappy with your use of this term is because they have RE-defined so much of everything they touch in order for it to mean what they want it to mean. I guess the point I was trying to make is that when you group the IFB churches together they balk because they can’t stand each other. You have to be in the right “camp” within the IFB because if you’re not – there’s hell to pay. Example: nut case Pastor Steven L. Anderson’s “Repentance Blacklist.” http://www.repentanceblacklist.com/

        Carry on Brother.

  2. Heather Allison says:

    First of all, I am a Christian. I have put my faith in Jesus Christ. I have accepted His gift of salvation by putting my trust in Him & realizing that His death on the cross has paid for my sins. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God – completely. I believe EVERY word! I do not waiver on my beliefs. I do not take part of God’s Word as truth & leave the rest alone. I try to live by the principles found in God’s Word. These are my convictions. I would die for these truths. But, I must add that I think it’s wrong when you add your ideas & philosophies to God’s Word & make it say what you want it to say to support your beliefs. The Bible is not a book that you read. It is a book that should be studied. If your Pastor teaches something that you believe is not true, it is your responsibility as a Christian to find the truth in God’s Word, and leave the church if they are teaching unbiblical things. As a Christian, I also have standards. Everyone has standards. There are some things that people wouldn’t wear. There are some things that people wouldn’t do. So, for me, I don’t feel comfortable wearing certain things, going certain places, doing certain things, etc… These things, I would not be willing to die for, but I willingly choose to abide by these standards. I shouldn’t have to feel ridiculed by society or called a cultist when I choose these standards for myself. My church has NEVER made me feel that these standards are the most important part of my Christian life. I have several close friends who do not have the same standards that I do. They are just as involved & accepted in the church as I am (and rightly so). It is unfortunate that there are some Pastors and church members (and might I say some non-churched people) who commit these completely disgusting sins. They are WRONG! I choose to attend an Independent Baptist Church BECAUSE they are fundamental. It is not wrong to be fundamental in your beliefs. The definition of Fundamental is: 1. serving as an original or generating source. 2. serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function. It is basically, sticking to original beliefs & not changing with the times. People tell us that it is wrong to not change when society changes. Some people take this to the extreme (i.e. the Amish). I don’t believe that it is wrong to keep up with the times technologically (I have a 4th generation iPod, a Wii, a flatscreen tv, etc…). I don’t think it’s wrong to keep up with fashion (to a point). I do think it’s wrong to change what you believe just because it’s not socially acceptable. Does this really make me a cultist? The Bible says “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” What I have learned & been assured of can all be backed up with scripture. What are you assured of? What do you base that on? I have a wonderful family. I have a wonderful church. I have a great job. I live a beautiful life full of faith, love, peace, and hope. These things are important. I hear people all over the place talking about these things and how much they want them. Please don’t let some ignorant people who claim to teach the Bible keep you from the source of these things. I live by the principles found in God’s Word. Find a church that preaches the Gospel. That’s the most important thing in the world. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” The Bible has the answers, so find someone who teaches the truth. Be willing to ask hard questions, but be open to finding the truth.

    • Charles says:

      Heather wrote:

      I choose to attend an Independent Baptist Church BECAUSE they are fundamental. It is not wrong to be fundamental in your beliefs. The definition of Fundamental is: 1. serving as an original or generating source. 2. serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function. It is basically, sticking to original beliefs & not changing with the times.

      The problem I have with this, Heather, is that we aren’t meant to STAY in the fundamentals. A person is supposed to learn the fundamentals then move on to more mature things. In sports, let’s say baseball for example, children learn the basics of the sport first. This is called learning the fundamentals of the sport. They then move on to learn more intricate details of how the game is played and what strategies to use and when to use them. The fundamentals are just the beginning of learning.

      The same can be applied to our faith. To stay in the fundamentals of our faith is to stunt your growth as a Christian. God wants us to grow and mature spiritually, not stay in the fundamentals. Fundamentals are meant to be just what it says in your definition – the “BASIS” for building on.

      • John 10:10 says:

        Charles,

        I think you made a good point on that were not meant to stay in the fundamentals. I think I found some good scripture for this.

        “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.And this will we do, if God permit.”(Hebrews 5:11-6:3). Thats from the KJV

        “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.” (Hebrews 5:11-6:3). Thats from the NIV.

        Greg, would this be an appropriate scripture reference for What Charles is trying to make in his point? I am no expert in Scripture and I am a babe in Christ growing on the milk of the Word ( 1 Peter 2:2).

        From the KJV its “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).

        From the NIV its “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).

        The Lord loves us all,

        A brother in Christ

  3. Susan says:

    Steve, by the logic pattern followed in your discourse, is it appropriate to assume that you are pleased with and purposefully choose to be identified with the behaviors, choices, and errors of every other person also named “Steve”?

    • Steve says:

      Hi Susan,

      Arv Edgeworth tried to use the same argument only he used Tim rather than Steve. You can read it if you wish here.

      I didn’t choose the name Steve it was given to me and it is now my legal name. By contrast a person or church identifies with the IFB by choice because he/she/it WANTS to associate with a certain set of beliefs, traditions and values. Steve didn’t get that choice when it came to his name.

      So to answer your question, no, it’s not a fair or logical comparison. Look up the logical fallacy faulty comparison. It just doesn’t fit.

  4. Katie says:

    @Susan

    Ya know, Susan, when my husband and I were trying to name my first child, who is a boy, he wanted to name him William. I didn’t want that name because I associated it with a William that used to bully me in school. So your comment really serves to enforce the message of the article very nicely.

    The difference is the victim. I was a victim of abuse at the hands of a boy named William and that colored the way I view that name. Steve is a victim of abuse at the hands of the IFB and that abuse has colored the way he sees the IFB.

    The bully didn’t choose to have the name William. The IFB, however, choose the name IFB, as Steve said, because they want to represent what the IFB stands for and as a result choose to associate with all things IFB both good and bad. A person who goes to the IFB doesn’t necessarily choose to be abused by the IFB, but they do choose that particular church because of it’s representation to all that the IFB means and does.

    Being given the name Steve isn’t abusive. So the association to other guys named Steve simply doesn’t exist.

    I hope that makes sense.

  5. Alli says:

    I spent almost a decade in different IFB churches; their claim to “independence” (as a way to escape accountability for bad behavior ~ “THEY did that, WE didn’t, WE aren’t associated with THEM!” is laughable. What cheek to lie like that when any idiot can see it’s a lie.

    They all believe pretty much exactly the same tenets (and any IFB church with a website will have it’s “faith statement” or “what we believe” tab, feel free to do your own comparisons), and a good number of them belong to the FBFI or FBFA.

    Now, if you are SO independent and don’t have anything to do with one another, why are you all members of the same associations? Do you all know what an ASSOCIATION is?

    My old churches frequently had visiting pastors from other churches, or pastors who stayed in our parsonages while they were church planting, or pastors who traveled by trade. We had guest speakers who had spent their lives as missionaries in other countries.

    But no, we’re all “independent” and have nothing at all to do with each other.

    YEAH RIGHT! Liars.

  6. Michelle says:

    Here’s a logic question: If these churches are all “independent” then how come they’re putting out “resolutions”? Here’s a recent one from the Indiana bunch,

    “IFBF Resolution on Compromise

    Forasmuch as the Indiana Fundamental Baptist Fellowship of Churches has from its inception adhered to Jude’s admonition to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints,” and

    Whereas, every generation faces its own unique and specific challenges to steadfastness and fidelity to the Scriptures which are able to make one wise unto salvation; and,

    Whereas there have in this generation arisen movements which have called for a merging of professing Christendom to gather under a Gospel banner, rallying ‘round a mantra of holding to and setting forth the gospel message, i.e. that Christ died for our sins and was buried and rose again the third day, as the only test of faith for fellowship and the standard for legitimacy in New Testament Christianity in this 21st century; and,

    Whereas the IFBF has always been and remains to this present hour committed to the biblical principles of both personal and ecclesiastical separation, believing that the whole counsel of God’s Word is our imperative and that erring brethren ought to be loved, yet admonished and even separated from when persisting in error;

    Therefore, be it resolved at this IFBF annual meeting in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, on the 12th day of April, 2011, that our constituency goes on record as affirming our commitment to these separatist principles and further

    Be it resolved that we as a fellowship of Independent Baptists reject the compromise of the present Together 4 the Gospel movement, and similar current theological philosophies, associations, publications and trends impacting churches, colleges and seminaries which for the desired end of togetherness, cooperation and oneness in our understanding minimize doctrine and sacrifice faithfulness to our historic separatist, Biblicist stand, i.e. that of separation from Christian individuals or organizations that affiliate with those who deny the faith or are content to walk together with those who compromise the doctrine and practice of Scripture;

    Be it further resolved that the IFBF affirms today that it stands as a separatist body where it stood at its inception when, rejecting the new evangelicalism of the 50’s, the IFBF was born and came into existence because of a need for a strong fundamental, separatist, Independent and Baptistic Fellowship to which men of conviction and churches of like faith could adhere; we stand now where we stood then, and we shall continue to steadfastly stand for and upon the once delivered faith, so help us God. “

  7. Claudia says:

    I grew up IFB and I agree with you. Have you seen this chart yet? Perfect illustration of the lack of real independence.

    Truth Seeking Graduates of Bob Jones

  8. Sisterlisa says:

    @Claudia Great map, Claudia..and they say they aren’t ‘connected’. O_o

  9. bob says:

    Sisterlisa,
    I was curious to know whether or not you knew that there were links on your site to men who question the inspiration of the Bible? Also, there was a link to another man who praised the book by Rod Bell in which he questions the existence of hell?

  10. Jim Gordon says:

    I have spent many years reading and studying the bible. One belief that this has led me to is that we should question our church, we should compare them to scripture and if they match up to God’s Word then we should faithfully support our church.

    All I see from several people here is bashing God’s Church wholesale. Are there bad churches, absolutely. Are they for us to judge? I think not. Should be prove the church we attend, yes. Should we go around bashing the rest. God forbid.

  11. Katie says:

    @Jim Gordon
    Jim, in one breath you say that “we should question our church…” then in the next you condemn the way in which we are doing it.

    As a result, I’m confused. Where do you stand on the issue? Can you give some examples of where you see “several people here bashing God’s church wholesale”? What do you mean by “God’s church”? Do you understand the difference between “God’s church” and the IFB?

    Thanks
    Katie

  12. Purrie says:

    Steve i read your post and im not sure what i think about it. i agree with many of your points, but it is not my place too judge. i believe everyones relationship with god is with god alone not with any man who claims the right too go before god.

    “Judge not lest ye in turn be judged” “let you who has not sinned cast the first stone”

    simple and yet strong words. no church should claim the right too tell someone that they MUST come before the congregation and ask for their forgiveness, it seems rudimentry at best when someone asks this.

    “no man shall come before my father but through me”

    once again stating that forgiveness is gods territory not mans. While i feel that no religion has the entire truth but rather bits and peices of it too make it a whole, this may not be the belief of other denominations or sects. I am sorry if this is not “politically correct” my using the words denominations or sects, but i feel that any Group that waves the same flag is a team so in the words of religion they are a denomination.

    I agree that KJV is not completely accurate it is called the “King James Version” because King James had the book put togeather for HIS group sect or what ever. It may or may not be complete, but through generations and years the book has been translated many times thus loseing small peices along the way even if it is only 1 or 2 words here or there those 1 or 2 words can totaly change the meaning of the sentance.

    You cannot say:
    i smacked my sons butt
    and then have it say
    i smacked my son

    one says my son probably did something he shouldnt have and recieved a small punishment
    the other could say that i abused him.

    with that in mind yes i think it is not TOTALY accurate but i do belive much of it is there. but as was said yes you MUST take the rest of the story in context too understand the meaning behind one verse.

    in the story of adam and eve:

    if you only knew that they were kicked out of eden and had kids, you may interperet it as sex is a sin even when married.

    but if you read the rest of the story they did something they were forwarned against with dire consequences. then kicked out and reproduced. I belive this is the downfall of many sects, misinterpertation. i am not saying it is intentional.

    If you look at the Pentacostal denomination they have 2 very different veiws on baptism,
    1 being you MUST be baptised under “the father the son and the holy ghost”
    the other being you MUST be baptised under the name of Jesus and NOT the titles.

    so in the end i think it should be up too everyones independent decision. I think your post is very helpful (maybe a little biased but everyone is biased too some extent about their beliefs even myself) and i appriciate that people take the time too put their opinions out there for others too see. while some people may say that it is wrong others may say that it is what they hold onto dearly.

    The problem is the unknown, and because we DONT KNOW for 100% sure what is there and what isnt, then we are stuck in the never ending cycle of who is right versus who is wrong. I say make your own decision based on what you feel is right. how do YOU believe as compared too how everyone WANTS you too belive.

    Thank you again Steve for putting this information out here for us too read it is informative and gives both sides of the debate which i feel is a good thing for people too see.

    Sincerely
    Purrie
    nekodamphyre@yahoo.com

  13. bob says:

    Purrie,
    It is your place to judge what is said on this site and what is said by any man for that matter. We are not in the position to declare ultimate judgement on someone, but we had better be able to know what is true and what is false. Paul said “he who is spiritual judges all things”.
    Many of the issues we are discussing have real spiritual implications. What you and I believe about these issues may well be the difference between a fruitful life lived for the glory of God, and a life that is somewhat misguided and misses the mark.

  14. greg says:

    Hi Purrie – I just want to clarify something you said.

    You said “but through generations and years the book has been translated many times, thus losing small pieces along the way.”

    It would appear that you believe from this statement (I could be wrong) that somehow or other the KJV is the standard and that when translators make “new translations” they use the KJV to do that, many in KJVland believe just that. That is not how translators work, modern translators have thousands of biblical manuscripts that they work from to give us truly “new” translations. When the catholic priest Erasmus was putting together the Textus Receptus, he worked from only 6 manuscripts, and did not have the entire new testament, he had to go to Latin Vulgate to fill in the missing holes. Today modern translators have over 5,000 manuscripts to work from. (the KJV NT is based on the Textus Receptus)

    I personally believe that the KJV was a great translation for its time and remarkably similar, w/out one major doctrinal diffference from the newer, and I believe more accurate translations.

    I think this is the first time I have seen you comment here, pls stop by anytime.

    • Joe Lusk says:

      Greg,

      What you say is partially true. Erasmus did have a fraction of the manuscript evidence we have access to today, but the fact still remains that even modern scholars utilize the text types or families for categorizing the manuscripts based on similarity. There are (including only manuscripts) around 5,500 – 5,900 manuscripts available today. The vast majority of which still agree with the Byzantine or Traditional or Antiochan text. The other 5% of manuscripts claim to fame is age alone. How this makes them more accurate baffles me. The modern translations are based on either the Alexandrian text or the minority text that stand in agreement with about 5% of the total manuscript evidence available or what is called an eclectic text which claims to be based on all manuscript evidence, but favors heavily the Alexandrian. The overwhelming majority of manuscript evidence we have today agrees with the Textus Receptus, the basis for the KJV. I do think that a more modern version could stand to come from that text (NKJV not a fan) though the necessity is debatable. Just to be clear…

      • greg says:

        Joe, I suppose my first question to you is why was my previous statement to Purrie only partially true? You elaborated on my comment, but never pointed to anything that I said was untrue!

        While the Byzantine text-type represents the vast majority of the Greek texts we have available to us today. There is a fairly simple reason for this. Within just a few centuries after the writing of the New Testament, Latin superseded Greek as the “language of the people” in the West. So, of course when folks are no longer speaking Greek, the production of manuscripts in that language will be less than if everyone is still speaking that language. There are other reasons why Byzantine text-type are in the majority, but that is the main one.

        Older doesn’t always mean better, I agree, but are you not concerned for the lack of ancient witnesses in the Byzantine text-type? I certainly would be, were I a big TR man!

        I would love to see a new translation come from the TR, but I’m sure it would not be accepted by the KJVonly’s, because most believe in double-inspiration, meaning that not only were the “original autographs” inspired but also the KJV translators! I love the NKJV and think the editors did a great job! I particularly like that they show where the TR differs from the Majority Text, and the Alexandrian text!

  15. Jon says:

    @Claudia
    That chart is an example of a “connected graph” structure, but not of a tree. A tree is a particular type of graph, but a graph is not necessarily a tree. Why is this important to know? It is impossible to derive a hierarchy from a connected graph if it is not tree (by definition). That thing is a mess – it shows all kinds of connections, (“edges”) – with a special position and color granted to Bob Jones University in the middle – but there is no logical reason to consider that node to be the root of a tree. Is that supposed to be the root? If so, someone drew it incorrectly.
    Also, is there a legend for the diagram? What is the meaning of the various edge styles? They are meaningless without a legend.
    Jon

  16. Heather Allison says:

    Charles, I don’t check this website regularly, so I just saw your comment. I absolutely agree that we should be growing as Christians. The passage in Hebrews that John 10:10 references is a very good example. My point was not that we shouldn’t grow in our knowledge & should just accept what is fed to us like little children. I was making the point that the Bible is our sole authority of faith and practice. We don’t follow what is “politically correct”; we follow what is biblically correct. As an Independent Fundamental Baptist I choose to believe only what lines up with scripture. The Bible says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” I believe this, and I try to always weigh the things that are taught in my church against the Bible. By the way, a fundamental is also something that is necessary to make something what it is. To use your example of baseball: if you take away the use of a bat or a ball or something else fundamental to the game then it ceases to be baseball. We have to hold on to the doctrines that make Christianity what it is or it ceases to be Christianity. That was my main point. I hope this cleared up some things for you. If you need clarification on anything else I said, let me know. I would be happy to explain my stand. Thanks!

  17. Charles says:

    Heather, Thanks for trying to clear things ups. I never said, however, that we should “take away” or give up the fundamentals. I agree that the fundamentals of the faith are important, however, the IFB would have us stay in the fundamentals. That’s not how we grow and mature in our sanctification process.

    To stick with the Baseball analogy, you’ve misunderstood what the fundamentals are. The bat and ball are NOT the fundamentals of baseball. They are not even fundamental to the game. The bat and ball are ESSENTIAL to the game but not fundamental. This sounds like a semantics game but it’s not so bear with me.

    LEARNING HOW TO USE the bat and ball are considered the fundamentals of the game. The fundamentals are things we learn not things we use, for example, learning the proper stance at the plate, keeping your eye on the ball, holding the bad the correct way, running to first base upon hitting the ball with the bat, trying to tag the base with the ball before the runner gets to the base. These are fundamentals and yes the fundamentals are continuously used even during professional games, but if you STAY ONLY using the fundamentals then you will forever stay in the T-Ball league and never progress or add to the fundamentals that you’ve already learned. The pros use all kinds of tricks and techniques to advance their runners and try and score. Little leaguers can’t do that because they are just learning the fundamentals. If you are constantly focusing on the fundamentals then you are missing the other more advanced techniques for playing the game.

    The same is true for our spiritual life. The IFB would have us remain in the fundamentals, never growing or improving on them so that we grow and mature as Christians. The IFB remains in the little leagues while those who build on the fundamentals move on to other things. That’s my point.

    Moving on from the fundamentals doesn’t mean that we are giving up the bible as the “sole authority of faith and practice”. Actually the opposite is true. As you work hard and study scripture you can then build on the fundamentals and move on the the meat of the Word and not have to rely on the milk.

  18. Jon says:

    @Claudia
    Regarding the chart: I’m still curious. How, exactly, does it show a lack of independence? Do you know even half the people or institutions shown on the chart, where they stand on specific issues (take, for example, the KJV-only issue), or which specific issues would represent an agreement or disagreement between any two people or “nodes” shown on the chart? It is also missing most, if not all, of the “key” players that represent the types of ideas or organizations that this website is addressing (it is also missing some key people and institutions which probably belong to the chart based on the apparent, but as of yet unspecified, criteria for inclusion, but are definitely not the type of organization or person this website is addressing), but seem to be conveniently missing. So, either this chart represents an “outlier” group within the so-called “IFB” (an amazingly diverse group it is, apparently, for being such a tightly-connected, hierarchically-organized “cult” – if this chart truly represents an “IFB cult”), or you made a mistake and posted the wrong chart.

    Jon

  19. Heather Allison says:

    Okay. I’m tired of the semantics. Let’s get off analogies. Just talk plainly. What do you believe my Independent Baptist Church teaches? What makes you think that we’re only living on the milk of the Word and not the meat? You keep saying that IFB churches are not encouraging their members to grow & mature as Christians. This is a completely false statement (at least for all of the Independent Baptist Churches that I have attended). I want to hear from you what you believe we teach. What do you define as “the meat of the Word”? And what do you think we should do to grow and mature as Christians?

  20. Michelle says:

    HI Heather,

    You said, “I was making the point that the Bible is our sole authority of faith and practice.”

    We are conservative homeschooling family with 5 children, and I was used as multiple bad examples in a sermon from the pulpit of an IFB pastor earlier this year. We love the Word of God and do see it as our sole authority. I am so SAD that this has happened because I do believe that IFB churches really do love the Word of God; but they also want to add to it and consider what they add being “fundamental”.

    The pastor’s sermon was based on the verse in Acts about the church being in one accord and gathering together daily in the temple. His family – wife and son – had previously dropped some pretty significant hints to us about things. His wife caught me when I was leaving one Sun. morning and said, “Michelle, now you come back tonight. You need to put the Lord first in your life. It’ll be a change but a good one.” They think it’s a Biblical fundamental that everyone is there when they are; but I guess even their 3 meetings a week is a compromise from “meeting together daily in the temple”. Their son had pestered our son all last summer for wearing “shorts” to church. He wore knee length khakis and polo shirts. His wife was very concerned about our teen daughters “dressing modestly” for a multi-church youth event. Our girls do dress modestly, but we do wear pants. She wanted them to wear culottes – again under the umbrella of BIBLICALLY fundamental.

    Then I guess when we didn’t respond to their “hints” he did a sermon from the pulpit on Sun. morning. You would think that a Biblical fundamentalist may want to use his pulpit to actually preach the Bible. The theme of the sermon was being in one accord based on that one verse in Acts; but it seems like being in one accord to him meant doing what he said.

    With fists clinched he said, “Some people miss church for a football game.” Now I’m not a big football watcher, but my hometown team – the Saints – made it to the superbowl in 2010. I had a dry party, and we didn’t go to church that Sun. because of the party. 49 weeks later he used this as a bad example in his sermon. List keeping on people – maybe????

    Then he actually said, “Some people miss church activities because they say they coach”. Yes, that was me. We missed 2 nights of VBS in July of 2010 because I was coaching our 5 year old twins’ soccer team. When I told the pastor’s wife that we would miss a couple of nights because it was the 1st week of practice. She said, “But they can miss.” I said, “But I’m the coach, and it’s the first week. I’m going to do what I committed to.”

    Then the topper of his BIBLICAL fundamental preaching. He said, “Some people come to church to only fill their bellies.” Yes, that was me. Our twins were in a Christmas ice skating show. The weekend before Christmas they had 2 shows on the Sat. It was a 13 hour day. Our 2 teen daughters that day were scheduled to do some volunteering in Chicago. That Sun. this Biblically funeamental and obviously very loving church had a potluck. I did not get anything ready for it with my 13 hour ice skating Sat. My husband took our kids to church that morning. I stayed home to prepare something. I got there for the potluck. After the potluck they were having a singing service. I had to leave there with our twins because they were having an end of show party; so in this Biblically fundamental very loving pastor’s mind I had come to only “fill my belly”.

    We met with his wife and him after this “sermon” to confirm this stuff. He felt it was under his pastoral authority. I think it was a waste of pulpit time and just down right mean. He was not preaching the Word of God. He was preaching his word. During our meeting he said, “Everyone here knows that I don’t allow shorts at church events including the church picnic for boys or girls.” He doesn’t allow – more Biblical fundamentalism or abuse of pastoral authority????

  21. greg says:

    Heather – Does your church teach mandatory tithing for NT believers? That is not scriptural. Mandatory tithing was for Jews under the law. NT believers are to give willingly and “not” under compulsion, (why?) because God loves a cheerful giver.

    My old IFB teaches that divorce is an unpardonable sin (almost!) How surprised I was when I found out that God himself was a divorced man, read it for yourself at Jeremiah 3:8. It’s hilarious to think that the Creator of this entire world wouldn’t be “qualified” to preach in an IFB!

    Dressing up for God on Sundays. Ridiculous! Not only is there no teaching about this foolishness, but our Saviour specifically condemns such foolishness, look it up for yourself at Mark 12:38. Jesus cares about what’s on the inside, Pharisees care about what’s on the outside, which do you care about?

    Is the KJV required in your IFB? It’s not in some IFB’s, but I noticed that you quoted the KJV at 2 Timothy 2:15, if you have read through this site you know that I believe that the KJV is a fine old translation, however this is one of those places where the NIV is much clearer. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

    At any rate, I wish you well in your walk with God and hope that you are not in a spiritually abusive IFB. God Bless.

  22. Heather Allison says:

    Greg, To answer your questions:

    Tithing – We do not mandate anyone to give anything to the church. We do believe in tithing as a part of God’s economy. We preach & believe that one of the keys to God’s blessings in any age is to be a cheerful & sacrificial giver. To not instruct people in this would be to withhold an avenue of the blessings of God. (Luke 6:38)

    Divorce – I’m not going to respond to your lackluster interpretation of Jeremiah 3:8. To act like God was physically married to Israel, you would also have to accept that Israel & Judah were physically sisters. It is clear that God hates divorce but recognizes that it exsists even in the lives of His believers. I know of no churches that refuse to restore divorcees to the fellowship of the church. But I have seen situations where it has been complicated to do so. By the way, to your joke that God can’t preach in my church: if God doesn’t do the real preaching in a service, then there’s no point in having church.

    Dressing up for church – The real problem with the scribes in Mark 12:38 was not their clothing; it was their heart. They used the clothing to cover up their sin. Read the rest of the passage, and you will see that. No matter what someone wears to church, if their heart’s not right, God will see their real condition. As far as why we dress up, that’s a matter of personal choice. We do not condemn anyone for what they wear to church. But what you wear does reflect how you feel about yourself, the people around you, and the situation in which you find yourself.

    KJV – The KJV is the only translation used in preaching & teaching in our church, but we have no idea what other versions people bring with them nor do we ask. All I ask is that people be honest with the light that God has given them and not be cajoled into using a certain translation because they’re told that they’re unenlightened if they don’t.

    And, no, I am not a part of a spiritually abusive IFB church. It is a spiritually instructive place of liberty in the Holy Spirit.
    To close, I believe that my church exemplifies 2 Corinthians 1:24.

  23. Charles says:

    Heather Allison :
    Okay. I’m tired of the semantics. Let’s get off analogies. Just talk plainly. What do you believe my Independent Baptist Church teaches? What makes you think that we’re only living on the milk of the Word and not the meat? You keep saying that IFB churches are not encouraging their members to grow & mature as Christians. This is a completely false statement (at least for all of the Independent Baptist Churches that I have attended). I want to hear from you what you believe we teach. What do you define as “the meat of the Word”? And what do you think we should do to grow and mature as Christians?

    No, Heather, I’m not going to allow you to bait me or try and change the subject. I originally replied to your statements about why you choose to attend an IFB church. You stated:

    I choose to attend an Independent Baptist Church BECAUSE they are fundamental. It is not wrong to be fundamental in your beliefs. The definition of Fundamental is: 1. serving as an original or generating source. 2. serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function. It is basically, sticking to original beliefs & not changing with the times.

    That statement just stuck out to me as illogical so I replied sharing my thoughts about why it’s important to move on from the fundamentals of the faith. That’s all. You don’t have to get all angry and defensive about it. I’m just trying to share my point of view. I’m not saying that we should abandon the fundamentals. I just think that we should build on them rather than continue to make them a focus and priority.

    I don’t know your church nor do I care about it. And I never said that IFB churches are not encouraging their members to grow & mature as Christians. Don’t put words in my mouth.

    Finally, If you’re tired of semantics then stop arguing semantics. Look up the definition of “fundamental” because you’ve got it wrong. Fundamental does not mean

    sticking to original beliefs & not changing with the times.

    as you seem to think – or as you’ve been brainwashed to believe. Fundamental means: The underlying foundation that serves as the groundwork of a system. (American Heritage Dictionary)

    If you want to stay in a church that keeps you working on the foundation, then by all means have at it. I couldn’t care less what you do. A mature Christian is a Christian that can feel safe to build on the foundations or fundamentals that he/she has learned and start ingesting meat (anything other than the foundation) of the Word.

    If you continue working on the foundation of a house, the house will never be built will it? A house is more than just the foundation. You’ve got to lay the foundation then build on it. There’s another analogy for ya. See I Corinthians 3.

  24. greg says:

    Heather – Tithing is what Jews did under the law. There is no such thing as NT tithing, if you are not giving money to a Levitical Priest, you are not tithing. NT giving? Absolutely, tithing? No, you are more than 2,000 years late for that. Scripture pls if you contend otherwise.

    God got a divorce, your favorite translation says so, I’m having a difficult time following your logic. Most IFB’s wrongly interpret scripture to not allow divorced men from becoming pastors, hence my deduction that God Almighty isn’t qualified to be a pastor in the IFB.

    Jesus, wearing his traditional garb, would be sneered at were he to walk in most IFB’s, just based on His clothing, in fact, he would probably not be allowed in some IFB’s. Jesus not only does not speak about wearing “good” clothes to church, he specifically condemns it at Mark 12:38.

    I would encourage you to “listen” and follow whatever translation you use, you seem to want to wiggle abit when that “word” goes against the teaching of your IFB.

  25. Katie says:

    @Heather Allison

    Heather Allison :We do believe in tithing as a part of God’s economy.

    I’m curious to know what you mean by “God’s economy” is and where it’s found in the Bible?

    Thanks
    Katie

  26. Heather Allison says:

    Michelle,
    A pastor should never use the pulpit as a place to air his frustrations with church members. That is wrong. If he admitted that his sermon was aimed at your family, and he’s not willing to apologize for that, then I think you should consider finding another church. I agree that there are churches (in every denomination) where the Pastor abuses his authority. I don’t think that it’s wrong if a Pastor has a legitimate concern about something and goes to you one on one to talk with you about it, but he should not talk about it from the pulpit. I understand that he admitted he was talking about you, but if you do go to another church & the Pastor preaches on a topic (such as faithfulness to church or sacrificial giving) don’t assume that he’s talking about you. I say that to encourage you not to be suspicious of every preacher from now on. My husband is a Pastor & we had an incedent where a couple left & never came back because they thought my husband was preaching about them. That was not true. We tried to talk to them about it, but they were completely convinced that he was trying to single them out. It’s very discouraging when you are misunderstood and lose a church member over it. I understand that this is not the case here…just some advice for the future. Don’t let this leave a bad taste in your mouth for Independent Baptist Churches. Contrary to what some people believe, they are not all completely the same. May God bless you and your family as you seek His will in this matter.

  27. Heather Allison says:

    Charles,

    I am not trying to bait you. It’s just that I already explained my position on being fundamental, and I agree (as does my church) that Christians should be growing “in grace & in the knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.” The reason I asked that we get off analogies is because I don’t really understand exactly where we differ. I think you’re misunderstanding my position, & I’m probably misunderstanding yours. It’s just easier to get that cleared up with plain talk. (I apologize if my tone seemed angry to you).

    By the way, I didn’t put words in your mouth. You did say: “The same is true for our spiritual life. The IFB would have us remain in the fundamentals, never growing or improving on them so that we grow and mature as Christians. The IFB remains in the little leagues while those who build on the fundamentals move on to other things. That’s my point.” I’m sorry if I misunderstood and thought you were saying that IFB churches aren’t encouraging their members to grow & mature as Christians. That’s just what it seems like you’re saying to me.

  28. greg says:

    Heather – You can stop your search for examples of NT tithing, there aren’t any. I would like to put you and your pastor husband to work on another bible trivia question. Tithing was for Jews under the law in the OT, please find any example where that tithe consisted of money, just one.

  29. John 10:10 says:

    Greg,

    Interesting post about the Jeremiah 3:8 scripture. We are the Bride of Christ and we are Married to Christ and I hope Jesus never divorces us. Jesus is the best husband ever. I’m not gay or homosexual but Jesus is a great husband.

    “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2). That’s from the NIV
    “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2). That’s from the ESV
    “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” (Romans 7:4). That’s from the KJV
    “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.” (Romans 7:4). That’s from the NKJV.

    Also I believe Michelle mentioned that she missed a church meeting one time because she had a Super Bowl Party for her favorite team the Saints. I was a Christian for less than a year and my favoite Football Team The Alabama Crimson Tide was in the national Championship vs. The Texas Longhorns. Luckily I did not have a Church meeting, a prayer meeting, A bible Study or something like that Scheduled on that day. Anyways Alabama Won 37-21 and I was pretty happy. I was kind of upset The Texas Quarterback Colt McCoy got injured during that game. To my Knowledge Colt McCoy is a Christian and he now plays for my favorite NFL Team the Cleveland Browns. Alabama had to get through the Florida Gators to get to the national Championship. The Alabama vs. Florida game was great but the worst part was seeing Tim Tebow cry. To my knowledge Tim Tebow is a wonderful Christian.

    Roll Tide Roll

    Even better-
    Even so, come, Lord Jesus,

    A brother in Christ

  30. bob says:

    Katie,
    I will attempt to answer your question to Heather about God’s economy. The word “economy” refers to the way God deals with people in a particular time period. For example, the church age is also known as the grace economy, referring to the unique way in which God is working through His people in this time period.

    The Scripture reference you could look at is Ephesians 3:9. The word in my Bible is “administration” or another translation is “dispensation”. Whatever the translation, the word means “house rules”.The idea being that God has ruled over His people or managed them in different ways in various “dispensations”.

    The best example is the different ways in which God ruled or managed His people under the Mosaic Law versus the age of grace. Salvation has always been the same in every system though, salvation by grace through faith in the promised Redeemer who would be our substitutionary sacrifice for the penalty of sin.

  31. greg says:

    John – Beautiful verses, I like seeing verses from different translations displayed together. I was debating with some calvinists last week and even though my favorite translation is the NIV, I found myself quoting the KJV to them in a few passages because I thought it made the subject matter clearer. I see so many folks are using the ESV now, and I really need to check it out, I found a couple things I didn’t like about it, I need to check further. Btw check out the NET bible, just google it, it’s free, it is about the best bible resource I have ever found. The notes that go along with this are outstanding, in many instances it will tell you which ancient manuscripts contained the verse and which didn’t, of course there are only a small few of those, that are even disputed.

    College football, I just love it! And it’s looking like that may be all we get this fall, with the NFL dispute going on. I was soooooo dispapointed to see Colt McCoy get knocked out of that championship game, he is a great quarterback and christian young man. Yes Tim Tebow is another great christian young man, we really do need to hold these young athletes up in prayer.

    @Bob – Good to see you again. I believe as you about “God’ economy” but I’m like Katie, I was wondering what an IFB preacher’ wife would have to say about it.

  32. Michelle says:

    HI Greg – The ESV is definitely the new “cool” Bible used by all the “neo-reformed”/Calvinist cool types. I don’t know why they’ve taken such a liking to it; but one large hip church in our area gives them away because they put page numbers up for references. EEEEWWWW

  33. John 10:10 says:

    Greg,

    Thanks for sharing that NET Bible resource. I checked it out and it seems to be very helpful and it is very resourceful as well. It is a good resource to have and its nice that it is free. Also I use the ESV and it is my second favorite and preferred translation. I don’t like and agree with all the things they tranlsate though in the ESV. For instance, I don’t like how they translate “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14). I don’t like how they use the word “hard” in this verse. It makes it seem like salvation is hard to attain. The NIV and NASB use Narrow instead of hard. the KJV uses strait instead of hard. I believe the NIV, NASB, and KJV are more accurate with this. However, the NLT and NKJV use “difficult” instead of “hard”. No translation is perfect but I don’t like how the ESV uses the word “hard” in this verse. The ESV is still my second most used and favorite translation. I posted a link below with a short two minute video clip of Christians Leaders endorsing the ESV if anyone wants to check it out. Unfortunately, one is the Calvinist John Piper endorsing it. The link is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVVJeeg8hYY&feature=related

    Peace,

    A brother in Christ

  34. greg says:

    Yes I debate calvinsists regularly and I find that most of them use the ESV. As I have mentioned before, I have come across a few things that I don’t particuarly like, one that comes to mind, and I’m not sure of the verse, but the ESV says “being saved” and the NIV and KJV both simply say “saved.” and I prefer that, but as you so rightly said no translation is perfect, but we can be sure that our reputable translations are very good and do in fact contains God’s Word.

  35. bob says:

    John 10:10,
    Are you sure John Piper is a Calvinist?

  36. John 10:10 says:

    Bob,

    Thanks for your response. No I’m not sure whether or not John Piper is a calvinist. But he claims to be a Calvinist. he sais he is a 7-point Calvinst instead of a 5-point calvinsit. Piper believes in the traditional 5 points and adds to more. I found that information from this link:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/what-does-piper-mean-when-he-says-hes-a-seven-point-calvinist

    I actually leared that John Piper was a Calvinist from this website. on topic 13 of this website “Jesus and the Law” Greg said that Piper was a Calvinist. I would have used Greg’s exact words but the comments for that page aren’t loading right now. This site is primarily for exposing the IFB but it is also useful for learning more information as well. I don’t know whether or not Piper is a Calvinist but according to the above link I think it is fair to call him a Calvinist.
    With his stripes we are healed,
    A brother in Christ

  37. Michelle says:

    This one from the ESV bugs me, “Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. ”

    IS the way hard or narrow – as in only 1 way through Jesus. I suppose the word, “hard”, appeals to Lordship Salvationists who are typically calvinistic – trying to perservere to be assured of their election.

  38. greg says:

    John Piper is the superstar of calvinism right now in this country followed closely by John Macarthur. Both men, I believe are sincere, good men, and I have read some of their materials, and they both have some pretty good teachings. But I in no way shape or form can support calvinistic/reformed theology, I consider it a man-made theology, of course to folks that support it, they would consider it bible theology. I feel similarly about Joyce Meyers, she has some absolutely wonderful, practical teachings, but I cannot for a minute support her theology, and unfortunately she falls into that millionaire , televangelist mold.

    Of course all of the above is beyond the scope of this website, and everyone may study the bible and believe what they want. But as I have commented before, I find it strange that anyone would leave the man-dominated IFB and go into calvinism, which to me is a man-made theology (John Calvin) and it happens with a fair degress of regularity, from what I can tell.

  39. EBR says:

    I will try this again since I got an error message at the same time I got a confirmation message. Steve, I am just assuming that the previous message did not go through. This happened yesterday. I did use the CAPTCHA Code.

    1. The college or university becomes the hub in respect to a wide variety of ministries it supports and recruits and educates. It doesn’t matter whether I’m talking about a small independent local church, a member of an association, or an institution sponsored by one of the large mainline denominations. Serious problems discredit the investment, time, and accomplishments of everyone involved whether they occur by the whole body or just those at the highest levels of leadership. Many students are Christians. A few have been burned to the point they may never want to set foot in church again. Unfortunately should they ask for accountability, they are labeled as unbelievers or rebels or malicious people when in fact I believe many want to be responsible witness and civic members of their own communities. Most important, we expect honesty in church, and that includes the ministry where the college church is affiliated. Also, choice is important. In many case, there were choices. I was steered away from many others that might have been very good experiences. I did like the youth activities of the church on the high school level. I even liked some of the activities on the college level. There is a lot more to this decision than just good food, theater, music, sports, and activities. I believe the trust I initially had has been eroded. That’s sad. i didn’t give up Christianity. I can’t openly discuss this without receiving a lot of flack though. It does interfere with my Christian life in that I can’t discuss it openly even in church or employment or with my family. It creates anger.

  40. EBR says:

    Sooner or later, most people will encounter situations where the people they associate with do not share their beliefs or values or priorities. This is especially true when people have secular jobs. Some Christian jobs may keep some more insulated. Some may not or just have different encounters. The dogma does not allow for members to deal with these situations. One is either in the flock or out. I’ve been in other environments with other Christians where this is not the prevailing attitude and where people learn to work together in spite of their differences. My school would say that’s compromise. If I don’t agree with something, I just don’t do it as an independent individual decision. Sometimes I say something. Other times I just politely recline or withdraw. Mostly though, I want to be able to have a life that is a witness that’s not hampered by the reputation of a school I was pressured to attend at a very early age. People do ask about religious backgrounds. I’ve withdrawn there too just so I avoid having to answer questions. I can’t be truthful without receving a lot of flack due to the news media and internet. It is disturbing cause I wish that I could be fond of my alma mater as other students at other Christian universities are.

  41. EBR says:

    If you throw a stone into a pond, you will see the circles expand outward as it splashes into the water. A Tsunami starts out with a shockwave that expands and as the waves reach the shore, they become very large, especially as they approach the bays. This is also true for hurricane surges. Rogue waves have destroyed boats. An avalance or lahar or even a flash flood can do intense damage. This is also true for churches, colleges, mission boards, publications, etc… College do have a central place when it comes to recruitment for students as well as employment in supportive ministries and churches.

  42. EBR says:

    Now I am aware of the differences between the evangelicals and the fundamentalists. I guess they existed since the 1950s from what I have read from other sites. I am now aware of the issue about regional accreditation. I think I was graduating at a time when some theological schools were accredited and many weren’t but later applied. Then there were others that refused it altogether. I didn’t fully understand the impact that not going to a regionally accredited school would have, not because people didn’t tell me. They tried. Even Christians tried. But I was told by people at the church and school I had nothing to worry about. It was a clue to stop and wait a year and continue my studies at the community college where I had already completed my first year. People really didn’t feel comfortable talking about the differences at that time either and it was hard to get specific details. I needed to see written documentation. I also needed to look it up myself. I did live near a few college libraries and had access to a public library as well. I did feel somewhat angry when I learned about TRACS. I question though whether somebody could win a lawsuit, especially in the age of the internet where information is readily available. At the same time, most people trust the mentors in church. This the reason why I didn’t look even though I should have when others questioned it. I also should have visited other Christian schools and completed my associate degree. One year might have made a big difference in my transfer plans. This was not my original plan I had worked out with my guidance counselor at high school. Even though I feel somewhat frustrated, I blame myself because I do feel that I could have found the information. I wish I had looked just because I didn’t have to go, at least not because my parents were pressuring this decision for me. There were people at camp and at my community college who were very concerned about this decision and who tried to warn me about accreditation issues. The church and the college staff toldl me I also had nothing to worry about, which isn’t exactly true. I hope those who look up this website will realize that there are some very good regionally accredited Christian Colleges. I am not telling you that you have to surrender your beliefs or your values or convictions. That’s what the school and the church I attended at that time wanted students to believe. Even with the TRACS accreditation, one can look this up on the internet. I didn’t have the internet at the time. The information probably existed but I just didn’t spend enough time researaching information that may have either been on reserve or required access at a college library.

  43. EBR says:

    This weekend we had the Iowa Strawpoll. A lot has been on the news. Personally, I consider myself a conservative reformed evangelical Christian; however, when I was a teenager, I was convinced that God’s will was to consider only an IFB Church and BJU. I had a lot of reservations about listing the school I attended; although I did sign the petition. Some may ask why in the world a conservative Christian would consider writing posts on this site. Our politicians attended institutions which were regionally accredited. Many are fully aware that both regional and professional accreditation are necessary for entry into graduate programs and licensures for occupations in many states. Many are also aware that there are states where one is actually committing a felony by listing a nonaccredited “for profit” school on one’s resume or employment application. Even in some other states, there is not guaranty that classes from non-accredited schools will transfer. I also have issues with TRAC. Anybody can form an accrediting body. If the body is so determined to not be confused with a regional accrediting body, the acronym, or initials should not begin to even remotely resemble or rhyme with the other bodies if wants to avoid. I know that this issue has been addressed on Larry King Live in the 2000 campaign. I know this issue came out back in 1980. I know many are being referred from their churches or other ministries to these schools. While on campus, one can be insulated. One hopes to work with the church. Churches don’t employ the entire congregation for the most part. There is a chance also one might have to transfer or possibly re-enter school at a later time in life. It is true that church is voluntary. It is true that college is voluntary. I just want these organizations to be up front. i also don’t want decisions to be rushed. I had completed a year at a community college. Many admissions counselors even at some of the conservative evangelical colleges will advise students to complete their associate degree first. Many churches and campus organizations could have been good choices for me. I was only allowed to consider a few. I looked at the link with the flow chart. I told the administrator I would have used a pie chart with the personality at the center. We are not supposed to be worshipping a particular person. We are supposed to be worshipping the Trinity, God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. There are schools which are not fundamental or evangelical that might have also been choices I would have considered. Since we can choose, we can choose to go or not to go, but I want facts. I felt that this was deceptive. This is why I posted on your website. Also employers often require people to work with others who do not share the same views. IFB movements limit one’s opportunities only within their given parameters. I deal with my Brethren all the time. My primary issue is college. i feel that the college or university is the center of the ministry in that they provide the training, education, and referrals and media coverage and publications and often even are the basis for recruitment in missions. I can’t prevent any official from going there. however, I wonder with so many colleges and universities which are accredited, do they realize that their attendance gives the imipresson that everything is ok. Many alumni are having a difficult time transferring or even with jobs. I hope the officials pay attention to this website and start asking themselves this question. A minister may use their attendance at a non accredited institution to recruit students.

  44. EBR says:

    Education is a very important issue in any Presidential election. There will be an elimination process that occurs over time until we reach the conventions of both parties and then our national election. I realize candidates want to appeal to voters and definitely need to raise funds. Sometimes a visit by a particular candidate may be a catalyst for change. Rev. Alan Keyes might be a good example of this. I’m trying to consider both sides of the picture.

    At the same time, we have motel conference centers and public arenas. I wish each candidate would base one’s decision about visits to schools on whether this is an institution where one would enroll and finance members of their own families and close friends. Even if they don’t enroll their own family, many will look at their presence and many may make the decision to enroll their families or church members based on their attendance. I don’t want to judge individual churches I have never attended. I have made it clear on posts that the only churches I am actually including are those who are affiliated with these ministries either on the college level or the church or elementary and secondary school levels as well as other connected ministries. I am not discussing other churches or schools, just the ones involved in my particular situation. I realize churches may have different associations. i do want disclosure and more information before making a major decision and definitely more than 40 minutes of instruction. I think I had one half hour visit during a weekly evangelism home visit and maybe five minutes during an altar call before i was baptized by immersion. In my situation, i wanted choices. I believe good ones existed. I do believe I was steered to one school at the exlusion of other churches. i am not talking about omission. I am talking about specifically telling students not to go to other schools which were regionally accredited solely because they were regionally accredited. Students need to know there are laws in many states forbidding job applicants from mentioning non accredited education on applications and resumes and even taking exams for licensures for certain occupations. I want this corrected. This is something that should concern politicians. Maybe a campus has one status in the state where it’s located. However, students from these colleges and universities come from many states and also different countries.

    Will it rule out my vote? Not necessarily. I want to hear their speeches. I want to know other things. It does make an impression. I realize even very liberal colleges and universities sometimes bring people on campus just to stir things up. That they accomplish. What is the impact on the Christian community as a whole?

  45. Alli M says:

    “This simply isn’t true. The IFB would like you to think that of course, but most IFB churches are started as a “sister or daughter church” of another IFB church. My family helped start three of them. They weren’t allowed to operate unless they did things the exact same way as the “sending” church.” – Steve

    I completely agree with this. If my parents ever left the “jurisdiction” of the church (for purposes of vacationing, visiting relatives, etc.), they had to attend church at every available opportunity and clear the church they were going to visit with the pastor prior to going out of town.

    I spent no less than 8-10 years in this IFB church, who openly stated that if you weren’t doing everything they told you to do, then you were not right with God and you were headed directly to hell. The irony is that they are the first to bash Catholics as a religion that teaches its parishioners they can only enter heaven based upon good works. If “good works” specifically do NOT get you into heaven, then why does it matter what I wear, if I tithe, if I attend church regularly, if I participate in door-to-door visitation/soul-winning, if I go to the movies, if I dance, if I drink? Because it doesn’t. My personal relationship with God is what matters.

    For the record, the church I attended publicly criticized Bob Jones University as a secular/liberal college and would only advise its members to attend Hyles Anderson College where men could learn to be pastors and women could learn how to marry them. They now have their own college in the same city and obviously “encourage” it as the sole option for higher education. I give you their facebook page:

    http://www.facebook.com/NorthValley

    I think it’s important to note that they appear to completely ignore the posts on their page with regard to (prior or current) sexual abuse. (Posts as recent as September 17 and 19, 2011.) It’s astounding to me that the Catholic church as been raked over the coals (AS THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN), but the sexual/physical/emotional abuses perpetrated by the IFB churches have gone virtually unnoticed and the staff members seem to walk away unscathed. I appreciate sites like this that draw attention to these snake oil salesmen selling an “IFB-only” God to unsuspecting masses. By the way, I don’t have a Catholic agenda either, I was just using them as a means to point out the blatant hypocrisy dished up by the IFB churches like a table full of finger sandwiches at a church potluck.

  46. aaron says:

    I have been in an ignore church now for 23 yrs and i now pastor one. I feel very sorry for many of you who have had seemingly horrible exp in ignore churches. I have never believed or taught that standards make anyone spiritual. The fact is the goal in ones Christian life better be to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. As for why being independent is so important it is simply that we have no overseeing convention or association that we answer to. We do not have to agree to a set group of guidelines or anything else. We are self governing and the Bible is what we answer to. And as far as my church having anything to do with other ignore churches, just because we have the same beliefs does not mean that I am accountable for their actions. There are orb churches all over that do things I disagree with. I do not agree with protesting soldiers funerals or burning somebody else’s sacred book just to get media attention, none of that junk does anything to promote the cause of Christ. Finally regarding my own personal valability, I believe that Gods word reigns supreme, therefore if I day anything unscriptual in my teaching or preaching then I am wrong and God is right. I do lead in a dictator fusion but rather I try my best to simply lead by example and I do not mind constructive criticism because I can use all the help I can get. On a doctrinal note, I am sorry to the person who was told at an ignore church that they would burn in hello if they did not follow their rules. The only sin that has ever sent anybody to helm is that of rejecting Christ as Saviour and once someone does that they are sealed unto the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit and nothing will be able to separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

  47. aaron says:

    I apologize for some reason my spell chech unknowingly replaced ifb with ignore.

  48. John 10:10 says:

    Aaron,

    I’ve been in a couple of ignore churches myself. Some of them are not really friendly or welcoming and do a good job of ignoring people.

    “For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:21) From the NASB. It should be called the NASV. I think Steve would agree with me about that.

    but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,

    Child of God

  49. EBR says:

    The one thing I struggle with from my memories is the issue of separation especially referring to either the governnent or specific rules that were in place at the time I attended the university.

    i did mention I signed the accreditation petition. Do I think t his will happen? I think there might be a lot of baggage that could make it difficult even if ever decided to become regionally and professionally accredited, at least now.

    Some schools in the country have selected to be regionally and professionally accredited and at the same time accept private funding. What i don’t understand is why the school has accepted public funding and refused regional and professional accreditation. i’ve struggled with the way they define the convictions. We find evil books. Does this mean we decide to ban reading cause somebody might read an evil book. They would say this is ridiculous. Yet this is how they handle the arts and other rules. This does not mean I think we should do things that are evil. I believe that we are supposed to follow the Bible.
    Also there are times when i do believe that God instructs an individual through the Holy spirit to avoid a certain activity that continues to pose a temptation. At times that may be justified if the person continues to get into trouble with a certain activity or environment or if it becomes a stumbling block. Some people are helped by very strict rules and environments. I question the rigid thinking here though. I also question the one format for everyone mentality. i also don’t see the level of separation they claim to have practiced in ways they claim to practice it.

    I do not believe all IFB churches are bad. I do not believe all Baptists are bad. I do believe that there are some that are well known that give the rest a bad name.

    i have also said that it is mostly the college or university where i have my dispute. There are some things about the church which did bother me. People go to colleges and universitives and vocational schools to find jobs for employment. I believe many parents invest also with this in mind. I believe the college or university needs to help with this not prevent this from happening and that education and training must be portable. A person can come in or leave a church. it’s a little more difficult with a college in a way that’s different from attendance and membership in a church. Also many colleges and universities have Christian organizations as well as nearby churches who support ministries for students attending college. I don’t believe that there is only one “absoloute solution” to colleges and universities. Children are taught to honor their elders and definitely honor their parents. i do think church is supposed to be an example whether it includes the minister, deacons, elders, church administration, teachers, coaches, mentors, etc… Church is supposed to be a place of trust. This is one place where members and even attenders should be able to trust one another if there is no other place in the community or a rural area. I think people should be there because they want to be there of their own accord. They should know that those guiding them are looking out for them. I do not want to label every single IFB country. I believe there may be very good ministers and leaders who are treally trying to do God’s work as well as in other affilations and denominations. i do believe the reputation has been stained. This particular school I attended seems to get much more public national and maybe international attention than others. Often the publicity is negative. It gives people the impression that they represent the entire christian movement in the country. At the same time, they give the impression from endorsesments that everything is ok when it isn’t. Also, the very claim that they are separated remains to be questioned if they are doing what they are doing in respect to what they never said they would do with separation. i guess I feel the university has lost focus. Did I hate all parts of campus life. No. Iw as there for two years. Obviously, during that time, since i went there willingly on my own, I found something i did like maybe that I feel is somewhat redeemable. i’ll get a lot of criticism from saying this from people who are much more skeptical than I am also. i’ll get criticism from people who feel I should not be complaining at all and should not say anything either. I expect it will come from both sides. i do believe education has to be portable. One should be able to move. i thinkt he same is true for jobs too. In some parts of the country, one can, and in others, it’s very difficult. There are people who have had better experiences and others who have had much worse experiences. I think accreditation and financial aid are two separate issues. I see them separating in one issue but not the other. I feel that there has been a loss of focus which is very confusing to many. I don’t lump everything into just one category. At the same time, I felt they did in writing and in preaching.

  50. EBR says:

    I think the solution is to teach Christians to use discernment based on what they read in scripture as well as praying for the intervention of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think the solution is to ban every record, CD, DVD, movie, or even radios and TVs or books. We can find evil anywhere we look. At the same time, if we look, I believe we can find good and bad examples of churches and ministries.

    People comment a lot based on their experiences and their experiences are different from one another sometimes and other times share a lot in common. I don’t want to lump all churches or ministries in the same category though. For my reference, I am referring to particvular schools and churches.

    I will say though that the reputation of a college or university follows an individiiual in respect to careers in a way a church may or may not, and for this reason, I do believe it is essential for a college or university that advertises occupational curriculums outside just Bible Study to have the necessary regional and professional accreditation and licensure required in its specific region state, and range of occupational majors. I do believe that the funding issue is separate from the regional and professional accreditation issue in those which offer majors outside of Biblical interpretation. Funding may be public or private and I believe the funding issue is an option hwereas the accreditation issue is not. I am referring of course not just to a school that teaches just Bible but to a college or university that offers many majors for occupations, especially those which need licensing and accreditation. I think the reputation of the school is very important and that also follows a student and a church or other ministries. I do feel BJU has been in the press so much more than many other institutions across the country. Students from BJU deal with these issues caused by the media attention probably a lot more than students do from other schools across the country. Where trust has been broken whether by issues about accreditation or funding or even more serious issues about physical, emo tional, and sexual abuse, there are definitely serious problems that don’t just affect one ministry, but many ministries across the country whether or not they are connected or not or to what degree they are connected which also may vary too. Would I like to see the reputation of the school I attended change? of course. Do I think it will happen? That remains to be seen but is not in my power. I can only express concerns about it, that’s all. I’m no longer associated with it. I have not be in the campus since I left over 30 years ago. While I was not in major trouble when I left, I would not be welcomed on campus for participating on this website, but even before that, I wouldn’t have felt welcomed on that campus and really would have felt awkward about going on that campus at least after 2000. That’s the point at which I became aware of a lot of the news. It was disheartening to me.

  51. EBR says:

    I am getting the impression from other posts I’m reading that originally, the writer meant to use “independent” and substituted “ignore” by mistake. In following posts, the term “ignore church” seems to be repeated intentionally to imply a church that is misguided, lost its original focus, hypocritical, exceptionally legalistic, and dysfunctional in contrast to one that may really be trying to do what’s Biblical. Am I correct? Of course we are questioning who actually governs the church, the local body or a larger outside institution such as a college or university, mission board, publication, or some other affiliation. Whatever. Anyway, I think this information should be disclosed prior to membership. I realize that a church can vote to be affiliated with another organization and can vote not be to be affiliated with another organization as well. I’m not sure that “Independent” is the best word to use, but wonder what word would be more honest. I definitely think this information needs to be mentioned as well as its expectations before one becomes a member. I also want more time taken in instruction before Baptism and Immersion and membership. God knows the intent of a person’s heart. He knows the intentions of a particular family intended on making a commitment. He also knows the maturity and background of individuals and families. He knows the ineer while everyone else sees the out manifestations. A church that takes more time is not going to be necessarily a church that is punished for not obeying the Great Commission. I don’t think God wants these matters treated lightly. We often talk about marriage in terms of husband and wife. There is a marriage between the believer and the church and God in heaven. God doesn’t want us to enter in marriage lightlly and yet these churches enter into membership very quickly.
    I don’t think he wants the believer to live in an emotional state of terror either. I’m not saying that God is just ignoring laws. I don’t believe that either. I don’t think he wants the “anything goes” church as much as he wants the legal church” but a balanced church. The focus has to be God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. THere may be some convictions or practices by that church which are not necessarily Biblical but make some sense. When something is not exactly Biblical but does make sense, the church can explain that this isn’t written verbatim in the Bible, but explain the reasons why they are practicing what they are practicing before one becomes a member and even afterwards. I want to know about these “honorary doctorate degrees” too both in private and public institutions. I have mentioned I felt that we should use “hd.” as an abbreviation for these degrees on written publications which also list the institution where these “degrees” were awarded” and perhaps even information why they were awarded. There are people who invest alot of time and money and experience into earning the traditional MD and/or PHD.
    It bothers me that the honorary doctorates are given out. I think there are other ways to reward the efforts of people and reckognize their accomplishments.
    This is the age of the internet. It’s much easier to look up information than it was back in the 1970s and 1980s when a hard drive took an entire room on its own before families had acces to personal computers. Peoole won’t necessarily look up this information if they are told to trust blindly. There was a reason I needed to stop and look up this information. Some people would say I should have checked out reserve materials at a library. Many libraries restrict “reserve” status for those who have membership privilieges. Also one has to have a library that has the information in the first place. In 1976, I never had heard about this particular school. I had no intentions to enroll there. It wasna’t in my state but across the country. In 1977, i needed to go to the library and check this information. I did have friends who were members at these libraries and would have looked up this reserve information had I asked. It wasn’t as easy as it is now where anyone can just type the information into a search engine. It did exist. It is partly my fault in a way. But also at the same time, church is a place one should be able to trust. I do believe in that particular situation there was deception both with the church as well as the institution. It definitely was not independent. It may have been affiliated. It may have been self-governing on a local level, although i believe even that self-governing was very influenced by BJU and Hyles as well as Pennsala Christian School and Bible Baptist College in Clarks Summit. I haven’t heard about the others on the Freedom from Abuse list though. until I read some of the other posts with this website as well as other forums. I was aware of some things and became aware of others in the 1980s, but it was back in 2000, when I became aware of other issues.

    One area where I struggle is sometimes I run into somebody from these institutions and just being associated with the institution brings back memories and expectations even if I’m not being abused by a particular individual. I am referring to Brethren in the same position I am who are struggling with the same issues. There are some who want nothing at all to do with anything with Christianity. There are others who still want the Christian walk. There are people who have moved on. It’s also very tense cause when we started, we had high hopes. One wants certain expectations of a Christian experience. We want ti to work out. Some will say why? Even if the hope is not necessarily justified, we pray for miracles. We want to see the correction whether or not that desire is rational or possible.
    one feels connected and one wants to be connected witih something that’s good. This may sound strange but I hope in some strange way you understand this. Maybe there’s a mourning process when our dreams are shattered.

  52. EBR says:

    I just learned that BJU has announced that it will be applying for regional accreditation from SACS. This is not the end of the process. Parents and students need to realize that professional programs which require licenses also need the paroper professional accreditation.
    I still think there is a lot of baggage to overcome in the repution of the school. I do think this is a step in the right direction though, even if it’s late. Education must be portable. A student can’t see the future a year or two ahead. We don’t know what circumstances may require us to change our initial decision. In my case, it was somebody in the medical profession in my hometown who made the recommendation to my parents and myself . Originally the public and private schools I had considered during my high school and freshman college years were within about 160 radius from my hometown. It would have been much easier to commute as well as continue medical care I had been receiving since childhood. It would help to make education portable for those who leave for a variety or reasons. Hopefully, it will make credits much more transferrable.

    I am also aware that Chuck Phelps resigned. I don’t think I knew who he was. I have heard his name on the news in association with the 20/20 report by Elizabeth Vargas. There are many people who were on campus that I have probably heard about or heard from the pulpit, but often these are people who were restricted from the daily lives of students. Many faculty did not mingle with students except maybe in respect to dorm life or perhaps campus parents and faculty advisors to organizations. These were people that were at assemblies or in the theatrical campus productions, but I don’t remember knowing this person personally.

    When a student becomes ill, I think that there needs to be a policy that if a student has to miss classes due to being sent to Barge Memorial, the campus parent (better if they call them campus sponsor) should be contacted immediately. I think, if not the campus sponsor, all students should receive visits at least from their dorm nurses and hall monitors, preferably even the dorm supervisor. I also feel this school has a large film department and could easily make videos available to its students whether they be used during illness or even to help students who have academic difficulties at the library or through a tutoring center.

    I have often felt that disclosure is the best policy when it comes to providing information and that it should be done prior to church membership and participation in ordinances or sacrifices. We do have a right to worship and a right to assembly in this country. In order for it to be voluntary, I think we need to know what we’re getting into before we make a major commitment as well as the reasons.

    I also think the goal needs to be retention. Students need to feel secure about the work they complete. They should find ways to help the students succeed from the time they enroll until they graduate. Disciplinary measures need to be conmensurate with the problems that are to be solved. They need to be constructive in a way that will help the student learn rather than just in a way aimed at punishment or very severe measures.

    It would profit if students who attend are students who really want to be there in the first place and choose this lifestyle. If they don’t they need to be able to transfer their credits as well as their work experience outside of the institution. The institution doesn’t have to finance future choices, but it shouldn’t hold them back either. If they can’t for any reason, they also need portable education. And it needs to be portable in time because people do change careers over their lifetime and go to school later in their lives once they have commitments in settling down and starting their families. Don’t throw people out on the street. Help them rebuild their lives whether it’s on campus or by transferring outside.

    Does this get rid of all the problems. No. But I was somewhat surprised to read about this and glad that they are making the move at least. People want their work recognized before they receive their crowns at the second judgment, in our present lifetimes. We don’t know when that second coming will be. Only God does. It could be soon. It could be a long time from now. In the meantime, we’re stuck with our current circumstances. Most people do want to feel valued by our mentors, especially in church and Christian organizations.

  53. EBR says:

    Penalties can be used in very severe cases. However, I do feel when I read the Bible that discipline is designed to be carried out in a way that corrects first and that total separation should be the very last resort when all other attempts fail. I think the efforts at discipline need to be rehabilitative rather than destructive or final. Discipline in the Bible is conducted with humility and privacy first before it becomes public. Singling out is public and often a first resort. I think the measures have to be suitable for the actual offense, not as a means of confinement or “jail” but instead as a way of teaching and improving and retaining an individual. Some people call these “teachable moments.” I think there are many references to this all over the New Testament in the Apostles as well as the epistles and even in the Old Testament. Jesus gave many chances to start over and rebuild their lives. Some are afraid that if such measures are used, that will make them “liberal.” I’m not talking about just creating a free for all environment where there are no standards.

  54. EBR says:

    @Alli M
    i don’t want you to think I’m ignoring this. This is obviously one of the very difficult aspects I’m including when i talk about the baggage associated with BJU and other IFB related ministries even if I myself, was n ot actually a victim in this particular aspect. I was bothered by things that were said by members of the administration and guest speakers from the pulpits. I felt that the church that recruited me to the campus fit that description, and while I did not attend Hyles, many from my church youth group were directed there. I know that the bus ministry, which was extensive, was influenced by Jack Hyles. We didn’t live in the grand prairie,national or state forest, or a desert though which was far from civiliation. i started becoming aware of some of this news in 2000 and since then. But I wasn’t aware of it at the time I made the initial decision to attend that school. There were a lot of rules back then, and based on the rules, it would have been the last thing I suspected although i was young back then. So I believed a lot of what I was told or what was written on paper and didn’t question when I had reason to stop and hesitate.

  55. Nicholas says:

    @greg

    Like most IFBs, greg is anti-calvinist. You will never get these guys to explain John 6, Romans 9, Ephesians , etc. Most IFBs do not recognize that they have any traditions, and this blinds them to their traditions.

  56. Nicholas says:

    The IFB quoted in the article insisted that Baptists are not Protestants. This is another IFB deception. This is the heretical teaching of Landmarkism. These IFBs who insist that they aren’t protestants are extremely cultic. Their false version of history comes from J. M. Carroll’s “The Trail of Blood” and Benjamin G. Wilkinson’s “Our Authorized Bible Vindicated”.

    Baptists are indeed Protestants, and their beginnings are in seventeenth century England. You can argue that they have some influence from the Anabaptists, but that is it.

  57. Thomas Wheeler says:

    Icome to the conclusion they like focusing on ” Independent ” because they feel independently free to do as they please with no accountability. And they really do seem to be free to commit any Spiritual Abuse they want with no recource for the victoms. For the most part even when victoms go to the secular authorities the Church is given the benifit of the doubt! Sad!!!!!

  58. greg says:

    I don’t actually have a dog in the fight, but my name did pop up once there by Nicholas. First off I would love to exegete any passage in any of the books you mentioned, come on back if you like. I particularly like to demonstrate to uneducated calvinists how Paul in Romans 9 is simply showing the differences between Jews under the law and the Gentiles under the New Covenant, once one understands these simple principles statements like “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” and “does the clay tell the potter what to make of it” become very clear. It’s just that folks want to read their “taught” theology “into” the scriptures, and I see this all the time with the man-made theology of calvinism. No one picking up a bible and reading and studying it would come up with calvinism, it must be taught!

    I have read Carroll’s “The Trail of Blood” was taught it for years in the IFB and never bought into it! It’s history cannot be substantiated whatsoever. I also don’t consider that I am a Protestant in the sense that I contend there have always been folks that had “true” faith and carried that faith to the world, they may not be a large group that is recognized by historians, but that doesn’t concern me in the least. I only care what God’s word says.

    Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

    There have always been a remnant of “true believers.” We appreciate very much Luther’s contributions, but do I think everyone was in agreement with the catholic church until Luther’s time? Certainly not!! It’s actually foolish I think, to not recognize this!

  59. Nicholas says:

    @greg

    Romans 9 is talking about the election of individuals. That is the clear and plain meaning of the text. It is you who is reading your own traditions into the text to avoid the Bible’s clear and plain teachings on predestination. To think that you are approaching the Bible without any traditions of your own shows you are blind to your traditions.

    All of your comments show that you are still the same old IFB fundamentalist you always were.

    Baptists are Protestants. Get over it.

    Way to eisegete Romans 1:20, by the way. That is a terrible abuse of the text. It is not talking about remnant believers.

  60. greg says:

    Nicholas – Tks for coming by, it occurs to me that this site is actually not set-up for discussing these type of theological issues. So Steve may ask us to take it elsewhere.

    Pls simply read Romans 9:1-5. Paul is speaking to his Jewish brethern “theirs is the adoption of sons; theirs the divine glory, the convenant, the receiving of the laws, the temple worship and the promises, theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ”……..can we agree this is talking about the Jews? I hope so…..now look as it turns to gentiles/us in v-6 “it is not as though God’s word had failed , for not all who are descended from Israel are Israel (bringing in the Gentiles here) Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abrahams’ children. …………v-8 In other words, it is not the natural children (Jews) who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise (Gentiles) who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”

    Romans 9 clearly is speaking that it’s not just the “natural” children, which of course he means Jews that are God’s children, but the children of the promise (Gentiles) who are now also able to come in through the new covenant.

    I follow no man or traditions of men, I open my bible and read,study and believe. Pls refrain from calling names, I will attempt to do the same.

  61. Joe Lusk says:

    Steve wrote:

    “But lets not only step outside of our emotions for a moment, lets even go a step further and step outside of the dictionary definition of a denomination and think completely logically for a moment. If there are several church/religious meeting congregations (to use a church word) around the country that teach similar beliefs, traditions, doctrines, etc., and each use THE SAME NAME to identify themselves, what else would you call it? a group? a congregation?, a union?, an organization? or can we not just use the typical word that’s used in our society to identify a like minded group of people with a religious preference – a denomination?
    Logic dictates that ultimately this is nothing more than a semantics game that the IFBer use. The word “Independent” is really a misnomer if you think logically about it.”

    My Response:

    Let’s consider that these teachings regarding local New Testament bodies are biblical. Because the authority for all faith and practice prescribes these principles then it would make sense for several churches basing their practices on the same authority to arrive at the same conclusions regarding them even if the churches never had any association whatsoever… That is perfectly logical, which seems to be a favorite word of yours.

    Steve wrote:

    “This simply isn’t true. The IFB would like you to think that of course, but most IFB churches are started as a “sister or daughter church” of another IFB church. My family helped start three of them. They weren’t allowed to operate unless they did things the exact same way as the “sending” church. There may not be a national convention that each church answers to or a corporate identity, but there is certainly not “independence” in the sense that the IFB would have you think. The term “Independent” is truly a misnomer. The idea that the IFB church is “independent” is a blatant lie at best and manipulation at worst.”

    My Response:

    About the starting a church issue, you can no longer be the one to claim that IFB churches are the only ones hiding the facts. The sending church in this starting process does maintain a level of authority over the starting church until the new church is organized and becomes indigenous. At that point all authority is relinquished and it too becomes independent. Before that point, most often, the case is that the sending church is bearing the vast majority of the financial burden. I know our church, which sends out men to start churches quite regularly, supports their church planters at full capacity as far as a salary. They then encourage them to gain a bit more support for church expenses. SO it is to be expected that what goes on is of particular interest to the sending church. If the sending church in you r case was retaining authority beyond the organization of the new church then the problem is with the sending church, not with the process or other churches that happen to have the same name. The label on a can only represents the content of the can if the content of the can accurately reflects the label. The only way to find out is to open the can. I can assume all day long that can only contains green beans because the label says so, but I can also be real surprised when I bite down on a stem. I know real quick that while a lot of the content lined up with the label, not all of it did. The fact is green beans aren’t wrong; therefore I don’t change the label claiming the can contains green beans. The content is wrong. So I either need to change the content to match the label or I need to change the label if I have no intention of working to keep foreign objects out of the can, like stems. The fact also is that the Grace of God needs to be considered because my best efforts to keep out stems, from time to time, are going to fail. Does that make sense?

    Steve wrote:

    “The IFB really is a brand – for lack of a better term. To think otherwise is nothing short of delusional. If a church doesn’t want the association of Independent, Fundamental, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian 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.”

    My Response:

    Has it occurred to you that the association isn’t with a group of churches? Is it not possible for the association to be with a group of beliefs? Again if those beliefs are Scriptural and several churches are based on the Bible then it isn’t illogical for them to have the same associations even though those associations aren’t directly with each other.

    Steve wrote:

    “It came to my attention by an astute reader that there actually does exist a “fellowship” of Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches in each individual state. Upon further investigation I’ve found at least 42 states have an organizational body called a “Fellowship of Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches” and two Global organizations.

    The first one is the Global Independent Fundamental Baptist Fellowship http://www.gifb.org and the second one is the Independent Fundamental Baptist International http://www.fbfi.org.

    So much for “Independent” eh?

    It 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 global/international “fellowships”.

    By the way, isn’t it interesting to see the word play here? The use of “fellowship” is a nice way to disguise an organizational body isn’t it? Hmmm…”

    My Response:

    You go out of your way to show your ignorance here. I mean this not as a slander, but the fact is you really know next to nothing about your topic. This makes you appear to be nothing more than a bitter and disgruntled scorner. Whether that is indeed the case or not, I do not know. That is simply how you make yourself seem. The idea of fellowship from a biblical perspective (look the word up) is to labor together. This is a biblical principle. Paul the apostle started churches all over the then known world. His support came from several churches at different times. The idea of a fellowship is a group of pastors (not churches) that get together based on a set of agreed beliefs to consider missionary and church planting or advanced training endeavors. The pastors typically go back to the churches they pastor and present the works to the church or a particular church planting or missionary family will be scheduled to appear at the church to present their work. The church will then vote based on its own constitution and by-laws to determine whether or not they are going to support the proposed work. Each church is free to make its own choices and to support or not support who and what it likes. Many pastors are a part of many different fellowships. The fact is they can do what they like with who they like because of their independence. You and I support the same government with our tax dollars, but we maintain our personal freedom and personal independence. We obviously don’t agree on some things and possibly that would be the same in a political forum, and yet we are co-laboring to support the same government. My decisions are made without regard for you and yours without regard for me. We are independent of one another and yet we ‘fellowship’ in that way.

    Conclusion:

    I have no problem with a person that disagrees with me as long as he has sound reasoning. You do not. That makes me sad for you because I believe that you are a part of a group of people that have made decisions because you have been hurt. I will be the first to admit that there are many churches that claim to be “IFB” that are not. If someone does things differently than they do they call them out for it and disassociate with them over it and talk bad about them and things of that nature. This betrays their claim to believe in independence. I have no problem with disassociation. That is up to a church to do as they please there, but beyond that the affairs of another church are simply not our business. Make your decisions and move on. That being said, because a principle is poorly represented does not mean that the principle is to be done away with. Principles are based on objective truth. So regardless of the misrepresentation of a principle the principle must stand even still. The worst example of this is a crazy church in Kansas (I believe) with Baptist on the name. It breaks my heart, some of the things they say and do, not because I care about them and what they are doing. This may be wrong of me, but when I think of them and what they do and say it makes me angry at them, but it makes me sad because of what people will say about something that is good being misrepresented. The church I am a part of is a wonderful loving church that believes the Truth of the Word of God and is serious about the work of the commission Christ gave to churches. Though it has Baptist on the sign and we hold to the distinctive principles that distinguished groups of people throughout history from other religious groups we are nothing at all like that church in Kansas, nor do we believe the same on anything that I know of. So because of that let us all maintain our independence. You find a church that teaches the truth according to what you can follow, but please be encouraged to know that there are some good churches out there that are indeed independent in the way they are governed, they are fundamental in their approach to truth and stand firm on the fundamentals of the faith, and they are Baptist. They are also, to steal a term from another fabulous Fundamental Independent Baptist church, interested in Honoring God and helping people. These are just some things to consider. I am sure you probably have.

  62. Steve says:

    @ Joe Lusk

    There are (including only manuscripts) around 5,500 – 5,900 manuscripts available today. The vast majority of which still agree with the Byzantine or Traditional or Antiochan text. The other 5% of manuscripts claim to fame is age alone. How this makes them more accurate baffles me. The modern translations are based on either the Alexandrian text or the minority text that stand in agreement with about 5% of the total manuscript evidence available or what is called an eclectic text which claims to be based on all manuscript evidence, but favors heavily the Alexandrian. The overwhelming majority of manuscript evidence we have today agrees with the Textus Receptus, the basis for the KJV.

    I’d be curious to know where you got these statistics and how accurate they are.

    • Joe Lusk says:

      Hello Steve,

      I apologize for the delay in response. I do not check my gmail account often enough, and so things like this tend to go unnoticed longer than I would like to admit. In answer to your question here are few of my sources are Trinitarian Bible Society found here – http://www.tbsbibles.org/ – another is English Bible Manuscript Evidence by Robert J. Sargent. As for the numbers and statistics you can find that information rather simply just by a Google search. The Byzantine is called the Majority Text because of the fact that the vast majority of extant MSS evidence supports it. It really is a fascinating study. If you email me I would be glad to send you some work that I have done on the topic.

  63. Steve says:

    @ Joe Lusk

    As I read through your comment (this one) I can’t help but wonder if you really took the time to understand what I’m doing and saying or if you’ve just responded out of anger and defense.

    I’ve read it and re-read it and still can’t decide why you’ve said the thing you did. It’s as if you just decided to chastise me and move on without ever stopping to ask yourself if you truly understand me and my intentions.

    It’s obvious that you have no idea what this website (or me for that matter) is about and in typical IFB fashion you’ve attacked without provocation or insight, then seemingly scurried away leaving nothing but devastation in your wake.

    Now here I am, sitting here hurt and trying to pick up the pieces. Once again hurt by an insensitive and uncaring IFBer. Sometimes I wonder why I continue to subject myself to this pain day in and day out.

    Anyway, my reply to your other comment has gone unanswered so I’m assuming that you have no intention of returning or engaging in open rational discussions. As such I’m not going to waste my time replying to this comment unless you are willing to have a calm rational discussion about it. If so let me know and I’ll form a counter reply. If not I’ll simply let your ignorance speak for itself.

    • Joe Lusk says:

      Steve,

      I first want to apologize if my response seems harsh, but I feel that the tone of the response was fitting of the tone of the original post. I may have read wrong, but the original post seems like an attack in the form of painting an “accurate” picture of Independent Fundamental Baptist churches. I truly am open for discussion on the matter, but much of your post is a gross misrepresentation of those you are characterizing. That is what I tried to show in my response. My use of the word “ignorance” was not meant to be slanderous. It was used within the confines of its definition. It just meant that by your post you don’t seem to know very much about the pure idea of Independent Fundamental Baptist beliefs and practices. As I said in my post I will be the first to say that those beliefs and practices have been misrepresented by many. However, I also meant what I typed when I said that the veracity of a principle doesn’t depend on those that represent it. I would be glad to discuss the topic rationally. I have no desire to attack. I am willing to defend something that I fell like is being wrongly portrayed. Even if it is something that I disagree with that someone misrepresents to further help our cause (whatever that may be) I am not ok with that. If my post needs to be explained or discussed feel free to let me know. Thanks.

      • greg says:

        “you don’t seem to know very much about the PURE idea of independent fundamental Baptist beliefs and practices”

        Not to answer for Steve, but it may be because he’s busy studying the pure ideas of God’s beliefs and practices!

  64. Steve says:

    @Joel Lusk

    As for the numbers and statistics you can find that information rather simply just by a Google search.

    I’m more interested in professional resources. Anyone can find anything doing a Google search. I can even find evidence for aliens living on earth doing a Google search. I’d be much more appreciative of scholarly materials.

    The Byzantine is called the Majority Text because of the fact that the vast majority of extant MSS evidence supports it. It really is a fascinating study. If you email me I would be glad to send you some work that I have done on the topic.

    I know it’s a fascinating study, that’s why I studied it. All this is discussed quite thoroughly on the KJV Onlyism post. And I provide references to back up what I write, more than just a Google search.

    By the way, “Majority Text” doesn’t necessarily equate with more correct or even more accurate.

    I’d rather you posted your information here since this is where we are discussing it. But if you insist on emailing me, you can use the Contact Me link at the top.

  65. Steve says:

    @Joel Lusk

    I’ve moved on Joe. You can read my responses to you here.

    “I truly am open for discussion on the matter,”

    “I would be glad to discuss the topic rationally.”

    I’ve invited you several times for a discussion, but all you do is just keep telling me that you’re open to discussions… so I’m just waiting on you. Whenever you’re ready. Again, you can read my rebuttals here

    “If my post needs to be explained or discussed feel free to let me know.”

    I did let you know – several times. I’m not sure how you missed it. Still waiting (and It would be nice to have a little more than “just do a Google search”).



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