Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Deception

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

Overview of the IFB Church


Overview of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination


A Brief Survey Of Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches: What They are and What is Their History

Contents:

WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST CHURCH?

The name Independent Fundamental Baptist Church is used traditionally by churches which pattern themselves strictly after the example of the early church as found in the New Testament. Today the name Baptist is used by many churches who are not truly following the teachings of the New Testament. Thus the words “Independent” and “Fundamental” have been added by many Baptist churches to further identify themselves as truly Bible believing churches and to show a distinction between themselves and Baptist churches who were not following God’s word. Most “Baptist” churches were in the past founded on the sound doctrinal teachings of the New Testament, however, many of them have in varying degrees drifted away from many of the teachings of the Scriptures. Some of these churches have gone so far to even deny the fundamental teachings of the Bible, such as the deity of Christ, the virgin birth and salvation by the Grace of God, through faith. Others have to a lesser degree compromised the Word of God by their teaching, practices and church polity trying to confront to popular religious tends. These worldly churches still call themselves “Baptists” but in fact they do not believe or practice what true Baptists have historically believed and more importantly what the Word of God says. The true Independent Fundamental Baptists have no association or fellowship with these churches because they teach or practice things contrary to the New Testament.  

The name Fundamental Independent Baptist is of recent origin and came into being because many modern day Baptist churches compromising the Word of God and teaching and practicing false doctrines. There were however, many Baptists who loved the Word of God and held true to it and refused to abandon teaching the New Testament. In order to distinguish between the doctrinally unsound Baptist churches and those that believed the Bible many Baptist churches changed their name. These true Baptists added the adjectives Fundamental and Independent to their name in order that they not be identified with the false practices and teaching of the doctrinally unsound churches using the Baptist name.

The word “Independent” means that the church is not a member of any council, convention or is a part of any hierarchy outside the local congregation. An Independent Baptist Church would not be apart of a national organization that would exercise authority over the local church. Thus, the name “independent” means that the church patterns itself after the New Testament example and stands alone under the authority of the Bible. Independent churches have no organized organization over them in authority. They direct their own affairs under the authority of the New Testament Scriptures, free from the outside interference. The New Testament teaches that Christ is the head of the church,(Eph. 5:23) and the Chief Shepherd )1 Peter 5:4). The local pastor is the shepherd (Heb. 13:17, Acts 20:28, Eph. 4:11) or leader of the congregation. The Independent Baptist church has a congregational form of government with each member having the right of the vote and all the affairs of the churches are conducted by the local congregation following the guidelines of the New Testament.

Independent Fundamental Baptist churches have fellowship one with the other and often cooperate in such things as evangelism. They, however, will only fellowship or cooperate in joint meetings with churches of like belief. They will not participate, on a church basis, or any outside function with churches which do not also strictly base their faith and practice on the New Testament. They will not engage in joint meetings, or evangelistic endeavors, with Protestants, Catholics, or other doctrinally unsound church groups, who do not hold to the fundamental teachings of the New Testament. Examples: Billy Graham, Promise Keepers. Fundamental Independent Baptists church will remain separate from these churches as well as other Baptists groups who participate with the unscriptural churches. They practice the Biblical teachings of separation as stated in Ephesians 5:11, which says, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. ” The Independent Baptist believes that to join with churches who teach and practice false doctrine is condone and even show approval of Biblical error and that all doctrinal error is sin.

The church government of many Independent Baptist churches are to have pastors and deacons as officers of the local church. (1 Tim. 3:1-16) However, some Independent Baptist churches do not accept that the word “officer” is the proper biblical term to be used and particularly does not apply to deacons. (For a explanation of the biblical role of deacons please go to http://bible-truth.org/deacon.html

The pastor of the church is called by majority vote of the congregation. Men meeting the Biblical qualification of deacons (servants) (1 Tim. 3:8-13) are appointed from the local congregation and approved by the majority vote. Many Baptist churches have Trustees, but their position was established in order to have legal “signatories” to sign legal documents of the church. Biblically neither Deacons or Trustees are a governing body, or a “board,” but titles of special appointed servants who serve at the will of the pastor and congregation. In a biblical church the pastor is the “overseers” or leaders of the congregation. (See Acts 20:28, Hebrews 13:7)

The word “Fundamental” means that the Baptist church uses the New Testament strictly as its authority for faith (doctrine) and practice. In recent years the news media has called doctrinally unsound church such as the Charismatics and Pentecostals “fundamentalists. ” Even some TV evangelists have referred to themselves as being “fundamentalist. ” But they should not be confused with Fundamental Baptists. They are worlds apart. Many of the TV evangelists and all of the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches promote teachings which are not Biblical. Fundamental Baptist use the name in its strictest sense as meaning holding to the fundamentals of the New Testament teachings without error. True Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches uphold the purest teachings of the early church as revealed in the New Testament.

BAPTISTS ARE NOT PROTESTANTS

 

Baptists are not Protestants! The name Protestant was given to those churches which came out of Roman Catholicism during the Reformation which began in the 1500s. It originally applied through the 1700’s to Lutherans, and Anglicans. Later Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Methodist were added to the lists of Protestants denominations. Though many people including Webster’s Dictionary refers Baptists as being Protestants, it is not correct to refer to them as such or to lump all non-Catholic denominations in one group and label them Protestant. Historically, Baptists were never a part of the Roman Catholic Church or the Protestant Reformation and therefore can not be correctly called “protestors” or Protestants.

Its is true that many Baptists left the ranks of Protestant churches which were doctrinal unsound and apostate. They left these churches because of their strong conviction the Word of God should not be compromised. Some formed new churches and called themselves Baptists to make it clear that they believed and followed the New Testament. It is not historically correct to identify Baptists as Catholic “protestors” who left the Roman church. In the many books on church history which make up the bibliography for this paper, there is not one recorded incident of a Baptist church beginning founded out of Roman Catholicism. Protestants for centuries saw the Baptists as their “enemies” and murdered them by the thousands in the name of Protestantism. It is surely an affront to any historically informed Baptist identify him by the name of a group that has so hated and persecuted them down throughout history.

There have always existed, from the time of Christ, New Testament churches which were not a part of the Roman Church. In fact the Roman Church can only trace its history back to 313 AD when the Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity a legal religion. In 395 AD, Emperor Contantius “Christianized” Rome and made the worship of idols punishable by death. By 400 AD, the Emperor Theodosius had declared Christianity the only state religion of the Roman Empire. Many churches by this time had come under the domination of the Rome government and had ceased from being New Testament churches. When the Roman Emperor declared Christianity the religion of Rome, he in mass “converted” hordes of pagans which made up the Empire. Pagan temples became the meetinghouses for “Christians.” Rome, then hired unregenerate pagan priests as “Christian” ministers. The influx of these falsely converted pagans is one reason Roman Catholicism came to have so many idolatrous and pagan beliefs.

However, in the midst of all this apostasy, which was the founded the Roman Catholic church, there were groups of Christians who were never a part of the “Christianization” of the Roman Empire. These New Testament believers rejected every attempt to include them in with the other churches who compromised and accepted the Roman government’s money, rule and authority.

The over the years the growth of so many false and idolatrous practices caused some within the Catholic church such as Martin Luther to rebel, and to try to “reform” the Catholic church. This was the birth of Protestant churches. Although, many Protestants returned in part to a belief in the Bible as their authority for their faith and practice, not one of them EVER completely left all the doctrinal errors and false teachings of the apostate Roman Catholic church. There is not one Protestant church that is doctrinally pure following the example and polity of the New Testament.

Protestants have never accepted the principle of separation of church and state. In Europe, Protestant churches are “state” churches and supported to some degree by government imposed taxes. In Germany, the state church is Lutheran and in England, the Anglican church, France, the Roman Catholic Church, etc.

The idea the bread and wine (grape juice) in the Lord’s Supper becoming the physical body of Christ when taken is a Roman Catholic teaching that Protestants only changed slightly. Martin Luther until his death held to this false sentiment and disputed with the Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), over the matter. Still today, many Protestants see the Lord’s Supper as a sacrament, having to some degree saving properties or giving some spiritual benefit. True New Testament Christians have always rejected such unbiblical ideas.

Protestants still practice infant baptism which is not taught in the Word of God. Many Protestant denominations still hold to the writings of their church fathers as a source of church doctrine and have never accepted the Bible as their sole source of teachings for their faith and practice, which is a foundational teaching of Catholicism. They all hold to a system of hierarchy in church government and do not accept the autonomy the local church. The New Testament teaches the absolute autonomy of each local church who is to govern itself as the Word of God instructs free from outside authority and control.

Baptists, basing their beliefs solely on the Bible, and in particularly the New Testament, have never held to these teachings and see them as heresy. Thus, history and the doctrines of Protestantism clearly show that Baptists are not Protestants.

WHO WERE THE FIRST BAPTISTS?

 

In determining who were the first Baptists, you must first identify who you are referring to. You could mean those persons or churches which held to the Baptists beliefs although they may not have called themselves Baptists. Or second, you could be referring to those who held to Baptist beliefs and were called by the name Baptist.

It is difficult to trace Baptist churches down through history. Some Baptist historians, have made attempts at doing this, but in many cases refer to groups as early Baptists who did not in fact hold to pure Baptist beliefs as held today. They tried to establish that “according to history, Baptists have an unbroken line of churches since Christ”. (Quote from Dr. J. M. Carroll’s booklet “The Trail of Blood”) These historians, in an attempt to show an unbroken line of Baptists in history, have embraced groups which were clearly not doctrinal sound.

In the simplest of terms a true Baptist assembly is one which follows the New Testament as his sole authority for his faith and practice. Whether these groups of believers called themselves Baptists or not, if they were doctrinally pure, following the New Testament for their faith and practice they were New Testament churches and thus they can be called Baptistic. The point is the name Baptist in the beginning was used to designate a true New Testament assembly that was biblically sound. They many have been called by various names, before assemblies used the name Baptist. The crucial point is not that they called themselves Baptists, but they followed the Bible as their sole authority for faith and practice. The connection with past churches for the modern Baptist is not the name, but rather their doctrine and practice.

Some Baptists such as the Landmark Baptist and those often referred to as
Baptists Briders”, infer they can trace their history back to John the Baptist who was the first Baptist. However, John the Baptist was an Old Testament saint and the last Old Testament prophet (Matt. 3:3). He did not belong to, nor was part of the any “ekklesia.” Yes he baptized, but His baptism was the baptism of repentance (Matt. 3:2) for Jews who were preparing for coming Messiah and Kingdom God had promised them. John was beheaded by Herod (Matt. 14) before the Lord Jesus announced the coming establishment of the “ekklesia.” (Matt 16:18). John was God’s true prophet and the forerunner of the Messiah Jesus Christ, but he was not a part of the dispensation of the institution of the local church.

In examining many so-called early “Baptist” churches you find many doctrinal errors and false teaching. Surely, no church that practiced false doctrine, as many of these groups did, can in truth be called a Baptist church. It is my conviction that it is not possible to “trace” an unbroken line of Baptist churches from Christ until today. However, let me strongly say there has always existed an unbroken line of churches who have not erred from the faith, and been true to the Bible, God’s Word. In fact Jesus emphatically stated in Matt. 16:18, concerning preserving the institution of the local church, that even “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Doctrinally sound New Testament churches have always existed from the time of Christ and the Apostles until today. To call these people Baptists or Baptistic, in the sense the believed the Bible and followed it as their sole authority for faith and practice, in the same way true Baptist churches do today, is acceptable, although it serves no purpose. To say there is a unbroken line or succession of Baptist churches from the time of Christ until today cannot be shown from history.

It cannot be stated too often that the importance of these churches was not in their name, but in what they believed and practiced. These churches patterned themselves strictly after the New Testament example, and this made them valid churches approved of God. This is the true heritage the Fundamental Baptists holds dear, there have always been assemblies which submitted themselves only to the sole authority of the Word of God. It is difficult to document these congregations because they were rarely in the spot light of history.

For an example there is Patrick of Ireland. Patrick was born in Scotland in 360 AD and sold into slavery at age sixteen and carried to Ireland. Later, he escaped and became a Christian missionary. Although the Roman Catholic Church claims him as one of their “saints,” there is no evidence he even knew the Catholic church existed. In his writings he appears ignorant of the practices of the Roman Church and never refers to church councils, creeds, traditions or even to the existence of a pope. There was no hierarchy in the churches he founded, which were patterned after the simple New Testament example. These churches were missions minded and formed schools to train preachers and missionaries. Later in history, around 600 AD, Austin, Catholic monk, was sent to Britain by Pope Gregory the Great. King Ethelbert and his court, and a considerable part of his kingdom, were won over by the successful monk. (David Benedict, A General History of the Baptist Denomination in American, and Other Parts of the World, London: Lincoln and Edmands, Nr. 53, Cornhill, 1813, Fundamental Baptist CD ROM Library, 1701 Harns Rd. , Oak Harbor, Washington 98277) Under the Roman Catholic influence these missionary centers diverged into monasticism. However, history is clear that in the beginning and into the 9th Century there were churches in Britain that rejected pedo-baptism, popery and other false doctrines of the Catholics. These churches remained sound in doctrine and practicing the faith of the New Testament. These churches are good examples of Bible believing churches that existed independent of the Roman Catholic Church, and were for some time not corrupted by its influences. They were in fact churches founded on the same New Testament principles that modern day Baptists traditionally founded their churches.

Some have pointed to the Anabaptists as the examples of early Baptist churches. This again cannot be proven from history. The Anabaptists were mostly a God-fearing group of people. They loved the Lord and many of them gave their lives and fortunes for the sake of Christ. However, history does not record even one Anabaptist group or church becoming or founding a Baptist church. Most of the Anabaptists successors became the Mennonites, Amish and Quakers. Not one Baptist church can show in its history a direct succession from the Anabaptists. Many Anabaptists churches were strong New Testament churches believing and following the Word of God. Other Anabaptists groups were in gross error and corrupted. As with any true New Testament church, its validity as a true church approved of God, does not, nor or ever did rest on its name or upon a succession of churches, but on its adherence to the principles of God’s Word.

Some Baptist churches believe in a succession of Baptist churches who passed down the authority to baptize and give the Lord’s Supper. It is my conviction that this is contrary to the very foundation of what is a true New Testament church. A true New Testament church bases its faith, practice and authority solely in the Word of God. To hold to the “secessionist” position takes the authority away from the New Testament and places it in the hands of man. Secessionism is the gross error of Catholicism. God said He would preserve His church and that task was not left in the hands of fallible men or groups. God, I believe deliberately used isolated groups in many different places during time to preserve His church and did not choose to use a line or chain of churches to past His Word and authority on to the next generation. He preserved His word and the Word preserved a true Gospel witness during every moment of history since Pentecost. What possible value is there in appealing to a supposed unbroken line of Baptist churches as a church’s authority. There is every value in appealing only to present adherence to the New Testament as one’s sole authority for faith and practice.

The best illustration of this point can be made this way. Suppose an airplane flew over some isolated country that had no past or present contact with anyone else in the world. Further, suppose that a Bible somehow was to fall from the plane and the inhabitants of this isolated land were to be able to pick up that Bible and read the text for themselves. Suppose too that some of them on reading that Bible were to believe and repent of their sins and place their trust in God’s Son and His redemption for personal sin. These new believers would then, following the New Testament example, submit to believer’s baptism and organize a local church. That local body of baptized believers would be as valid a true New Testament church as any church Christ ever founded. Why, because it was founded on God’s Word and there is no necessity that it have contact with some other church which belongs to a succession of churches. It is a historic fact the first Baptist church in America was founded by another Baptist congregation. It was founded by Roger Williams, according to the teachings and example of the New Testament. The Gospel is to be preached throughout the world by believers empowered by the Holy Spirit as Acts 1:8 plainly states. When a congregation results from the preaching of the Gospel, authenticating that congregation as a New Testament church rests solely on its doctrine and practice….not in its affiliation.

WHEN AND WHERE WAS THE FIRST RECORDED BAPTIST CHURCH IN HISTORY

 

Benedict in his history of the Baptists states the Gospel was preached in Britain within sixty years of the Lord’s return to heaven. These churches appear to have been baptistic and remained sound until Austin, the Catholic monk brought Catholicism to the Isles in 597 AD. He states there were Baptists in England 1400 AD. He mentions a man named William Sawtre, who was identified as a Lollard and Baptist, was the first person burned at the stake after Henry IV’s 1400 AD decree to burn heretics. Benedict states that the English Roman Catholics in 1535, put to death twenty two Baptists for heresies. In 1539 thirty one more who had fled to Holland were apprehended and martyred there. He records that five hundred others who were identified as Anabaptists were also killed in England during this period. After Henry VII separated England from the Roman Catholic Church the Baptist faired no better. Many Baptists were executed by the newly formed Church of England during what is called the “Protestant inquisition. ” (David Benedict, A General History of the Baptist Denomination in American, and Other Parts of the World, London: Lincoln and Edmands, Nr. 53, Cornhill, 1813, Fundamental Baptist CD ROM Library, 1701 Harns Rd. , Oak Harbor, Washington 98277)

The line of English churches that can be traced, who called themselves Baptists, began in 1610 in Holland. This is not to say there were no Baptists in Britain earlier, but that this began a line of churches whose history can be traced. It began with a man named John Smyth who was a bishop in the Church of England. In 1606, after nine months of soul-searching and study of the New Testament he was convinced that the doctrines and practices of the Church of England were not Biblical, and thus he resigned as priest and left the church.

Because of persecution by the Anglican church of all who disagreed with it and who refused to agree to its authority, John Smyth had to flee England. In Amsterdam, he with Thomas Helwys and thirty six others formed the first Baptist church of English people known to have stood for baptism of believers only.

Smyth, believed the only real apostolic succession is a succession of Biblical New Testament truth, and not of outward ordinances and visible organization such as the Church of England or the Roman Church. He believed the only way to recover was to form a new church based on the Bible. He then baptized himself (which is not biblical) and then the others of his congregation. In only a few years however, the church had lost all but ten members to the Mennonites and other groups in Holland. Smyth died in 1612, and the church ended in Holland shortly after that with Helwy, Thomas and John Murton returning to England as persecution there had lessened. History records the members of this Baptist church went back to England or remained in Holland and joined Mennonites. It did not produce a succession of other churches, but those who founded it went on to set up other Baptist churches in England.

Back in England these men, on returning to England, formed the first recorded Baptist church on English soil. By 1626, the churches had grown from one, to five churches and by 1644 there were forty congregations. Through preaching the New Testament, the Gospel went forth in power and the Baptist movement grew rapidly.

These first Baptist churches formed in England were Armenian in theology, which taught that all men could be saved. The Calvinistic or Particular Baptists were a different group and believed in limited atonement in which only the elect could be saved. Particular Baptist had their beginnings around 1616, when some “dissenters” left the Church of England and were lead by the Rev. Henry Jacob. By 1644, these congregations grew to seven churches.

About this time the Puritans were also becoming strong in England. The Puritans were dissenters from the Church of England. They wanted to bring reform to the Church of England. Although they were a great deal more pious than the Church of England they still practiced most of its beliefs including infant baptism. Anyone who differed with the practices of the State church were subject to great persecution. Puritans and Baptists alike, to escape persecution, migrated to the New World.

One man Hanserd Knolleys, is an example of dissenter of the Church of England who had to flee to America. He was a presbyter and former deacon in the Anglican church. Knolleys was under deep conviction of the need to preach the New Testament and follow its example as one’s rule of faith. He refused to wear the robes of his church office, and refused to let unsaved people take the Lord’s Supper. Further, he ignored the reading of the “order of service” and simply preached the Scriptures. To preach the Bible without the rituals of the Church of England was against the law. Knolleys joined other dissenters left England. In 1638, he landed in Boston and settled for a short time in Piscataway (now Dover) in New Hampshire. There he became the pastor of the Puritan church. The Puritans were in control of the colonies and in fact had set up a theocracy in which the Puritan church governed both secular and religious affairs. Because Knolleys refused to baptize infants and preached against it he was banned from the colony by the famous Puritan governor Cotton Mather. Knolleys after two years returned to England at the request of his father. He became an outspoken “Separatist” or dissenter of the State church. In 1645, he formed a Baptist church in London. Shortly after the Church of England fell from grace when the English monarch was overthrown and the Presbyterians became the favored church of the state. The Presbyterians took over the job of persecution biblical believers and forbade Knolleys from preaching in parish churches. He, however, continued to preach by holding services in his own home. One of the last acts of the Presbyterians, before the Long Parliament in England fell, was to past a law passing the death penalty on anyone who was caught holding to what they called “Eight Errors in Doctrine.” These “doctrines” included infant baptism.

Knolleys was imprisoned many times and suffered at the hands of the “State Church”. He is only one of many such godly men who would not compromise the truth. The “crime” of these men was that they believed the Bible was God’s Truth, and rejected dictates of false churches and men.

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE BAPTISTS IN AMERICA.

 

It is well to note the Pilgrims were also Puritans, and Puritans were Protestants who had left the Church of England. They should not be confused true Bible believing churches, because their beliefs and practices were much like the Church of England. Although, they were not as corrupt as the Church of England, they still practiced a strict ritual of church service, a state church, and among other things, infant baptism. They were intolerant to anyone who did not agree to the authority of the Puritan church, which was supported by a governmental church tax of all the people. You may admire their piety, but a true believer in the New Testament would have a great problem with many of their doctrines and especially why they persecuted the Baptists and drove them from their colonies. Everyone in the colony was automatically a member of the State church and were taxed to support it. Failure to pay the tax brought the wrath of the civil and church leaders and people were publicly beaten, placed in stocks, fined, imprisoned, and banished from the colony by the civil authorities under the direction of the Puritan church officials. Puritan churches persecuted the Baptists in America until the U. S. Constitution was made the law of the land in 1787. The first Baptist church on American soil was a direct result of the Puritan persecution of true New Testament believers.

Roger Williams is credited with founding the first Baptist church on American soil. Williams graduated from Cambridge University in 1627, and was apparently ordained in the Church of England. He soon embraced “Separatists” ideas and decided to leave England. In 1631, he arrived in Boston. He was much displeased with the Puritan theocracy. He strongly believed in separation of church and state and upheld the principles of soul liberty. “Soul liberty” is a belief that everyone is responsible to God individually. It bases its belief in the New Testament teaching that every believer is a priest to himself, having full excess to God without the need to go through a church, church leader or priest. (Hebrews 4:15-16 and 10:19-22) Despite his views he was made the pastor of the church in Salem. Shortly after that, because of his doctrinal preaching, he was forced to leave Salem and went for a short time to Plymouth. He returned to Salem where he was summoned before the court in Boston because of his outspoken beliefs and was banished from the colony. The charge recorded against him was that “he broached and divulged new and dangerous opinions against the authority of the magistrates. ” Clearly, he was banished because he believed in religious freedom and believed and taught the New Testament was a believer’s sole source for his faith and practice. His “crime” was that rejected the unbiblical ideas of a state church, infant baptism and other false teachings of the Puritans. The Puritans did not believe in such things and they drove him from their colony.

In 1638, Williams made his way to what is now Providence, Rhode Island, and there bought some land from the Indians. Some of his former congregation in Salem joined him and they set up a colony. Its beginning charter reads as follows:

“We whose names are hereunder written, being desirous to inhabit ourselves in active and passive obedience to all such orders or agencies as shall be made for the public good of the body in an orderly way, by the major consent of the present inhabitants, masters of families, incorporated together into the same, only in civil things.”

In 1663, Charles II, gave the colony a royal charter and it read:

“Our royal will and pleasure is, that no person within the said colony, at any time hereafter, shall be in any wise molested, punished disquieted, or called in question, for any differences of opinion in matters of religion, and do not actually disturb the civil peace of the said colony”

This was the first time in the history of the world that a government was established which granted religious freedom! This charter was the very cornerstone of American religious freedom! Up to this time Williams was not a Baptist. He continued to read the New Testament, and became fully aware that infant baptism, sprinkling for baptism, and allowing unsaved people to be members of the church was not Scriptural. Thus, resolving to follow the Lord’s commands in truth, in March, 1639 he formed the first Baptist church on American soil. He began by baptizing himself and then baptizing ten other members.

Shortly after that, Williams withdrew from the church and became what he called a “seeker.” History does not record why he would not identify himself as a Baptist. Please note that this presented no problem for this first Baptist church in America. This church was not founded on a man, but on the Bible. It was not founded because a line of Baptist churches down through history. It was founded because some saved men believed the Bible and wanted to follow the New Testament example of what a true church should be. Even after Williams left it, it continued to follow the New Testament and was not adversely effected. It was not the man who founded the church that was important, but the New Testament principles on which he founded this church. They called themselves Baptists because that was the best name they could choose to describe what they believed and the name identified them a Bible believing people. This church had no ties to anyone or any other church, yet this was a Baptist church as much as any Baptist church ever was. They were a New Testament church, not because of a succession of churches or men, but because they formed their church on the principles of the New Testament. That made them in the eyes of God as legitimate a church as any Paul founded. The sole authority for any true church is God’s Word and not it founder, or its heritage. Not once in the New Testament do you find even a hint that a church was legitimate because it was founded by Paul or called itself by a particular name.

However, let no one think little of the name of Baptist for it is the name that most has identified those individuals and churches who have uncompromisingly stood on the Word of God. They are the only group into modern times whose churches were founded on the Scriptures alone and not on the traditions or works of some man. Baptists have always been the champions of the Word of God and preaching of the Gospel. History is clear there is no other denomination that has so loved and been faithful to God’s Word as has the Baptists. Even the enemies of the Baptists openly recognize their zeal for the Word of God.

After Roger Williams stepped down, Thomas Olney took over as the pastor of the church in Rhode Island. Although, this was the first Baptist church to be founded on American soil there is no recorded offspring from this church and modern American Baptist churches can not trace their history directly to it. Other churches founded in New England and in the Middle colonies were the actual mother churches of modern Baptist churches as these churches were responsible for starting other churches.

On May 28, 1665, a Baptist church was founded in Boston, by Thomas Gould, who refused to accept infant baptism. There were nine original members of the church which included two women. A storm of persecution broke out because these Baptist preached what the Puritans called “damnable errors.” Most of the members of the church were fined or imprisoned or both, at one time or another. Thomas Gould, died in 1675 an untimely death, partially because of his having his health broken by several long imprisonments.

In 1678, shortly after the church had erected a new building, the Puritan controlled government nailed its doors shut and forbade anyone under penalty of the law to enter or worship there. This lasted only one Sunday however, and the following Sunday the doors were opened and services held in defiance of the order. The magistrates found their order was becoming unpopular and impossible to enforce so the church in the future was left unmolested. In 1684, a Baptist church in Maine seeking greater religious liberty was relocated to Charleston, South Carolina.

The Dutch colony of New York for a time persecuted Baptists within its territories. The first Baptist church in New York was started by William Wichendon, in 1656. He was heavily fined and then imprisoned. Being to poor to pay the fines he was banished from the colony. Later, the Dutch issued new orders and allowed religious liberty.

In 1700, a Baptist minister, William Rhodes began to hold meetings on Long Island and in 1724 organized the first Baptist church there. The most important center of early Baptist churches was around Philadelphia, “the city of brotherly love.” In 1684, Thomas Dungan started a church at Cold Springs, New York which lasted until 1702. In 1688 a Baptist church was organized at Pennepeck, Pennsylvania with twelve members. It helped start the first Baptist church in Philadelphia the following year. It became an independent church in 1746.

Offers of religious liberty drew many Baptists to settle in New Jersey. The first church was founded there in 1688, in Middletown and was made up of many who had fled persecution in the other colonies. Many churches were organized in the following years.

In other areas Baptist churches were being formed about this same time. In North Carolina the first Baptist church was started in the northeastern coastal region at Perquimans, in Chowan County in 1727.

In Virginia, Baptist were not welcome. Before the America won its independence and the Constitution became law, the Episcopal church, which was the American branch of the Church of England, was the only legal church in Virginia. There was a fine of 2000 pounds of tobacco for failure to have one’s infant children baptized. One Baptist church, however, did begin after 1714, in Surry Country, and another at Burleigh, Virginia. Virginia was especially harsh in religious persecutions. Anyone not holding Episcopal ordination was forbade to hold services. Baptists with other citizens were taxed to support the Episcopal church. It is well to note that not all Virginians felt this way. Two champions of religious liberty were the Virginians Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Thomas Jefferson is believed to have been deeply influenced to press for religious freedom in American, by the plight of several Baptist preachers he knew. For example inn Isle of Wight county in southeastern Virginia, Baptist preachers were taken to Nansamond River, nearly drowned by Episcopalians to show their contempt for Baptist’s beliefs in immersion and their rejection of infant Baptism. They were then tarred and feathered and ran out of the county.

The center of Baptist activity in the colonies was in the Philadelphia area, and Baptists held regular “general meetings” of the churches for devotional and evangelistic purposes there.

It can be historically determined that forty seven Baptist churches were in existence before the Great Awakening. All but seven were above the Mason-Dixon line. Baptist continued to grow in numbers through the period of the Great Awakening and up to the time of the Revolutionary War. Baptist as a whole were patriots and many Baptist pastors served as chaplains in the Revolutionary Army. The Great Awakening stirred religious interests in the colonies and a reported great revival took place. The Revolutionary War for some time slowed the growth of Baptist churches. However, after independence was won and the Constitutional written giving all Americans religious freedom, the Baptist again began to grow until today they are the largest denomination in the United States.

WHAT MAKES A TRUE BAPTIST?

 

Today there are at least a hundred different groups which all themselves “Baptist.” Many of these churches have conflicting beliefs and practices. The natural question then to ask is, “What makes a person a true Baptist?” In examining the history of Baptists and determining what makes up a genuine and true Baptist, five distinctives should be noted. These five distinctive beliefs separate the true Baptists from other groups who have mistakenly taken the name Baptist and all non New Testament churches such as the Protestants. Examine any church in light of these five distinctive it will be shown if they are true historical Baptist congregation which is synonymous with what is a true biblical New Testament church.

It is well also to note that these five distinctives are traits also of the true New Testament church! These distinctives are the distinctives taught in Bible which constitute a true New Testament church. The one thing that makes one a Baptist is that historically they have followed the New Testament alone as its sole rule for faith and practice. Baptists strongly insist that God’s Word is not up for arbitration or subject to the individual’s, group’s, denomination’s or church’s “private interpretation”. (II Peter 1:20) Baptist believe you do not have to be a Baptist in order to be saved and have eternal life, but a person must believe the Gospel as revealed in the New Testament. (I Corinthians 15:1-4) Further, if a person is truly saved and strictly follows the principles of the New Testament he will in a true sense be a Baptist whether he uses the name or not. Baptist also believe the Bible interprets itself, and that Christ is the only head of the church.

Fundamental Baptists are strict in interpreting the Bible in a “literal” sense. In other words, when the Bible speaks, the words have a literal meaning and that it the meaning God intended. They reject the efforts of the many who “spiritually” interpret the Scriptures, placing hidden or specially revealed meanings to the words of the Bible. Further, they reject so-called “scriptures” of modern day so called prophets. They believe that when the Book of Revelation was completed by the Apostle John about 90-95 AD, the Word of God was complete. It is believed that God meant what he said in Revelation 22:18, the Scriptures were not to added to or taken from. (See also Gal. 1:6-10, 1 Tim. 6:30, Titus 1:9-11, II Tim. 4:1-5, 1 Cor. 13:8-10)

Ask these five questions of any church, and if they can answer all five in truth with a yes, then you will have a true Baptist church. All others miss-use the name.

THE FIVE BAPTIST DISTINCTIVES

 

    1. WE ACCEPT ONLY THE NEW TESTAMENT AS OUR AUTHORITY IN ALL MATTERS OF FAITH AND PRACTICE.This means that we do not accept any authority except the New Testament Scriptures. Christ is head of the Church, and it is His bride. We believe the Word of God, the Bible is complete and it solely, “. . . Is given of by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God many be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16-17)We reject that God is giving supposed “new” Revelation, believing that God forbids any adding to or taking away of the canon of Scriptures. (Rev. 22:18-19) We do not accept any authority over the New Testament Church, but Christ Himself, including any hierarchy to include popes, modern day prophets, or councils of churches.

 

    1. WE BELIEVE THE CHURCH IS TO BE MADE UP OF SAVED BAPTIZED BELIEVERS.
      Baptist reject the baptism of infants flatly! The church is made up of Baptized believers only. (Acts 2:41-42) An infant is not capable of believing, and is protected by the Grace of God until the age of accountability. Further, only those who have believed and trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior is a member of the body of Christ. Only the saved who have publicly professed salvation can be a member of a local New Testament church.

 

    1. WE BELIEVE IN STRICT SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. Jesus said to “”render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” Further the Scripture says “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion that light with darkness?” No power on earth is higher than God’s Word, and the church should not be in any way yoked with the state, or controlled by it. We support the rightly appointed authority of government over us and pray for them that we live our lives in peace.

 

    1. WE BELIEVE IN THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER. The Scripture teaches that every believer can without the aid of priests or churchmen go, “boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in the time of need”. (Hebrews 4:16) The Scripture states further in Hebrews 10:19, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” The believer does not needed a priest or a church to intercede on their behalf to God. The believer can boldly, by the fact of being washed in the blood of Christ, instantly be in contact with God by simple prayer, and further can bring his petitions or requests for forgiveness of sins directly to God himself. (1 John 1:19) No church has the authority to forgive sins or grant intercession to God.

 

  1. WE BELIEVE IN THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH. Simply stated the Scriptures gives no higher authority than the local congregation of born again, baptized believers. We believe the local church is to be governed by the Word of God, and the local church does not need, or does the Scripture teach that the local body rests under the authority of any earthy group. It is a group unto itself, under the authority of God, and solely responsible unto Him for its conduct, direction and affairs. Jesus in Revelation 2:6,15, stated that He “hated” the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. This group of heretics in the early church with other doctrinal errors promoted a clerical hierarchy in the church.

Concluding Comments:

A church which cannot answer yes to all of these questions cannot historically call itself a Baptist church. These are the distinctives which separate Baptists from all Protestants, any organized church or “Christian” cult.

A person can rightly take pride in truthfully bearing the name Baptist. Many men have suffered and given their fortunes and their lives to hold the name in truth. It stands for devotion and a strict obedience to God and his commandments. It holds high the saving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed in the New Testament and an unwavering commitment to carrying out the Great Commission, that is, to teach everywhere the truth of God’s Word.

The validity of a church as being a true Biblical New Testament church does not rest in it ability to show an unbroken line of succession from the time of Christ. In fact, no church on earth can make that claim. Even the Roman Catholic Church which boasts of his unbroken history cannot prove an unbroken line of churches earlier than the Third Century, and what Catholicism teaches today in no way resembles what the New Testament teaches or what the early churches believed and practiced.

We must agree with John Smyth, the true New Testament church is founded on its belief and practice of the Scriptures, and not on any outward succession of a visible or invisible organization. In this sense, any church which founds itself strictly on the New Testament teachings, is a true and Biblical church, even if it existed in time, only yesterday. It is not the name or the organization that makes a Biblical church, but its practice of the faith as revealed in the New Testament.

It is the Word of God, the Bible, that makes up what is a real and true church! The Bible and only the Bible reveals to men how to have their sins forgiven and have everlasting life and heaven. That is what saved believers have always believed, because that is what the New Testament which is God’s Word to man says.

The Baptist bases his authority solely on the Bible itself. They do not accept that authority was given to any particular man, pope, prophet, group or church on earth to be the means of the salvation of men. God has not entrusted that authority to impart salvation to any man or church. God alone has that authority and He in the person of the Holy Spirit brings conviction and salvation to those who in simple faith believe.

A church that is a biblical one, patterns its self-after the example in the New Testament. It is one made up of baptized believers organized in a local congregation for fellowship, teaching and evangelism. All systems of hierarchy set up by man over the authority of the local church has lead to doctrinal errors and corruption without exception and God has not party with them.

Bibliography

  • 1. A History of the Baptists, John T. Christian, Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
  • 2. A History of the Baptists, by Robert G. Torbet, Valley Forge Press, 1987.
  • 3. The Baptist Heritage, Four Centuries of Baptist Witness, H. Loen McBeth, Broadman Press, 1987.
  • 4. A Source Book for Baptist Heritage,H. Loen McBeth, Broadman Press, 1990.
  • 5. The Baptist Heritage, by J. M. Holliday, Bogard Press.
  • 6. The Baptist March in History, by Robert A. Baker, Convention Press
  • 7. Christianity Through the Centuries, Earle E. Cairns, Zondervan Press
  • 8. Documents of the Christian Church, Henry Bettenson, Oxford University Press
  • 9. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Marie Gentert King, Editor, Spire Books
  • 10. A Manual of Church History, by Albert Newman, Vol. I and II. , The American Baptist Publication Society.
  • 11. Miller’s Church History, by Andrew Miller, Zondervan Publishing House
  • 12. A Short History of the Baptists, by Henry Vedder, Judson Press
  • 13. A Short History of Western Civilization, by John B. Harrison and Richard E. Sullivan, Michigan State University.
  • 14. The Trail of Blood , J. M. Carroll, Ashland Avenue Baptist Church

© Cooper P. Abrams, III ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This publication has been reprinted with permission from the author. http://www.bible-truth.org/fundbapt.htm

85 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. Does Westboro Baptist in Topeka, Kansas (Thank God for 9/11, God hates fags, Thank God for dead soldiers) fall under the IFB category? Just curious.

  2. IFB churches are not the problem. Using the KJV only is not the problem. Lack of pastoral accountability is not the problem. Dress codes are not the problems. Separation is not the problem. PEOPLE are the problem! And as long as we allow people into churches, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Southern Baptist or IFB… there are going to be problems.

    People have a tendency to attempt to conceal their sin. Smokers use breath mints. Drinkers go to the next town to buy their drinks. Adulterous generally hide their actions. Gossips offer plausible deniability. Pedophiles hide in dark corners. The list is endless.

    People sin, and people attend churches. Pastors tiptoe around specific sins so not to offend. Still others rail about the same sin constantly, possibly out of their own guilt. So what is the solution? Shall we simply eradicate all sermons about sin? Shall we offer excuses that “we’re only human”?

    No, we are to teach and preach the Word. But rather than ordaining ourselves mini-Holy Spirits we need to be faithful in our teaching, we need to teach repentance, and we need to leave the conviction of sin, righteousness and judgement to Almighty God. He is much better at it than we are.

    Pointing out failures of pastors, church congregations and movements can be informative as long as we also point out that not all, or even most of the groups involved are entwined in grevious and blatant sin. But when we begin to paint entire church groups with the broad brush of generalities then OUR motives become suspect.

    I watched a man die last week. He has been an alcoholic, had been sexually abused in a Catholic orphanage, had lost his family, and had lost everything. I sat next to this mans bed for hours as he screamed in agony and torment. No words could console. Nothing comforted. And only imagination could describe what his mind and soul was experiencing. It was horrible.

    I cannot judge this man. Yes, I knew the life he led, and there was nothing externally that suggested he was anything but a vile sinner who was never saved. But God knows his heart. God knows if he ever accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour. I cannot know.

    Nor can I know the heart of those I preach to. My responsibility is to preach the Word. That saintly old woman in the pew may be depending upon her infant baptism to get her to heaven. That godly Deacon, so righteous on the outside, may have deep dark unrepentant sins no one know about. And that homeless man that shows up every few weeks may have truly accepted Christ in the past, but events of life led to his downward spiral.

    A preacher told me once we were not to judge, but that we were to be fruit inspectors. I’m sorry Brother Irv, but you are wrong. When we arrive in heaven we are going to be surprised not only by who is there, but by who isn’t there.

    For my part, I will continue to preach the Gospel and to teach the Word faithfully. The rest of it is up to our Heavenly Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

  3. Greetings,
    I am currently working on a research paper in seminary. I chose to focus on the doctrine of separation as typically understood by Independent Baptists (I was one). Since you seem to be more of an authority on this, could you recommend some source material which would specifically deal with this from an IBC perspective?

    My email is *****
    Thanks

  4. Rachael – God bless you!! I can certainly forgive you. I made a very similar forgiveness plea on facebook just yesterday, asking all to forgive me if I had ever “legalistically stepped” on them. We “all” make mistakes, the only thing we can do is apologize and attempt to do better. It’s so good knowing that we have an “advocate” with the Father that helps us to do that very thing.

    I wish you well in your new school and church. I don’t know awhole lot about the Episcopal church, but I’m sure there are some wonderful folks there. The one caution I would give is to allow God to speak to you through the scriptures, that is the most critical. This site and others consistently speak about folks that follow and uplift man, in my faith I want only to lift up the God-man!!

    I still attend a tiny (20-30 on Sunday) Baptist Church, and yes it is IFB. The pastor is a self-taught, good man. I met him about 25 years ago and our “spirits bore witness” that we are the sons of God. He is not nearly as fundy as where I left from, and is learning. I hope I’m helping him in his faith journey. But I don’t self-identify as a Baptist any longer, I simply say that I’m a christian. I’ve become weary of those labels, and the Baptist one carries alot of baggage now.

    So wonderful to hear you are making progress in “your” spiritual journey.

  5. @greg
    Found you after all this time!!! I just wanted you to know that I have made the decision to leave the IFB. I have transferred schools and since then I’ve had to find a new church. Being curious, I tried the Episcopal church and am now making arrangements for my confirmation. I have also spend a good bit of down time ruminating over my beliefs of my church, and the fallacies of their theology. I feel silly because some of the things I stood up for on this site are the same things that made me leave. I hope you can forgive me for perpetuating those stumbling blocks. God bless.

  6. BTW, my Church of Christ neighbor and I were good friends, and looked out for each other. She even gave me a monetary gift when I had no money for food. I am a musician, so really wouldn’t be very content in a church where I couldn’t play an instrument and never did go there, except to attend her funeral. The acapella voices were very beautiful, and I knew she would have enjoyed hearing them.

  7. When people ask me what church I am a member of, I always tell them “the Heavenly Church”, wherever and whoever that is.

  8. S.J. – Those good Church of Christ folks, I have a few friends in that faith, good folks, but as you’ve so clearly pointed out, completley out in left field as it relates to musical instruments in the church. (I do love acapella singing, btw.)

    You know, when you really dig into many “religions” you find much of man’s tradition. The IFB’s always point fingers at the Catholics, but the Baptist faith is loaded with the traditions of men, I guess it’s kind of hard to escape. I am personally done with “religion” If asked what “religion” I am, my standard answer is “christian” even though I am still attending a little Baptist Church.

    God richly bless you and Merry Christmas!

  9. @greg
    When I told my Church of Christ neighbor that the Scripture tells us to worship God with musical instruments, she said “That’s Old Testament”, but in the New Testament it says to “sing, making melody in your heart to the Lord.” And she said that means that your vocal chords are the instrument. I went on to share with her that in that same passage it says, “singing psalms, hymns (which by the way modern churches are throwing out) and spiritual songs”. My study of the word “psalms” is that it includes singing with a musical instrument. So, IT IS in the New Testament! To only teach from the New Testament and ignoring the old is not using the whole Word of God. I began my spiritual walk with Jesus studying the New Testament, but my journey through the Old Testament only reinforced my belief in the New and showed me more about God. I saw Jesus there and the Holy Spirit! I was able to better understand the New Testament. That’s kind of like being an American and never knowing enough about the nation’s beginnings to be able to make an intelligent decision about whether some politician is leading us away from freedom. I believe the “all scripture is given….” passage to include the Old Testament, too. Though we no longer keep the ritual and sacramental law, God’s moral laws and prophesies of things yet to come are not to be ignored. And I’m so glad for the “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” verse…favorite song! Blessings.

  10. @ Bob & Greg, I can’t say how much I agree with your posts. If people would only study the Word of God for themselves and stop being pew sitters and believe everything the pastor says of gospel truth they’d be able to spot a false doctrine/teacher a mile away.

    As for being responsible to share the gospel with those whom God has put in our path; our daily life should show we are different by our character and the way we live. We should stand out because we are different. Not because of how we dress but by who we are. For example, we had Dish installed in our home a few weeks ago. After working for a few hours in our home, the Dish tech stopped working and looked at me asking, “Am I correct in believing this is a Christian home I am working in?” I said yes. He said he could tell because I had a joyful spirit. He then began to ask me questions and we had a good conversation centered around God from there on. For another example, our neighbor is a lost man. He tells us all the time he can tell we are believers because we are different in how we treat him and others in our neighborhood. He brings up the subject of God and church all the time. Again, it’s not about how we dress, but about who we are. The transformation God is making in our lives makes us stand out. It certainly isn’t about our adherance to a set of manmade rules. Our lives reflect the light of Christ.

    I have to chuckle every time I think about a comment our former IFB pastor said about “lifestyle evangelism” as he puts it. He said from the pulpit, “No one ever asked me if I was a Christian while out in public!” I’m thinking that’s not a good thing.

  11. Greg,
    I understand what you are saying about these kind of messages with strong emotional appeals. It seems as if the preacher thinks it is within his ability to persuade people to accept Christ or to get people to witness or whatever. I do dislike what seems to be human effort in trying to do what only the Spirit of God can do through a clear presentation of the word of God. I am not in favor of tactics that play on peoples emotions so as to secure a visible result.
    I understand what you are saying by the verses you referenced in John. I think it is true that God certainly does choose people and draw them to Himself. I think it is exactly right to see that without divine drawing, no one ever would come to Christ. Also, those who God draws will come to Christ and believe in Him.
    It is also true that we have a responsibility to tell people about the gospel message, especially those who we have contact with. Certainly we are not responsible for people we never have an opportunity to witness to. On the other hand, we are responsible for witnessing to people God brings our way. Look at Ezekiel 33. It may be this passage of Scripture Paul had in mind when he said “I am innocent of the blood of all men” because he had taught them the whole counsel of God’s word.
    I find it difficult sometimes to keep God’s sovereignty and my responsibility in balance. Both are true and one doesn’t cancel out the other. I certainly need God’s help to do the things He has asked me to do.

  12. Not sure where to post this so let’s try here.

    I’ve told bits and pieces of my story here over the last couple of years, so don’t want to travel back through all of that, suffice it to say I left a very legalistic IFB, and now find myself in a tiny, new work that a friend started about 4 years ago (about 20 on Sunday) he calls it a Baptist church, I spoke to him about taking the baptist title out of it, but he wouldn’t have it. He is light years away from the legalism of the last church, but holds tightly to the KJV (too tightly I think) but is not fanatical like the last pastor.

    Anyway at least once a year we set up a tent and have an old-fashioned revival. I usually look fwd to these. We have special music and usually 2 preachers a night. Well last night the first speaker, spoke on Hell, he said not many preach on Hell anymore (yea, right!) Anyhow he screamed through most of it (funny I never see Jesus screaming at folks, particularly His followers) told some fantastic tales, not saying he was lying, but, well you know what I mean. Ok so he starts attempting to pull the heart strings about loved ones that you are around daily, and if you are telling them enough about “getting saved” etc. He then begins crying, I’m not an expert at body language, but it certainly seemed contrived, preachertainment some would call it. But anyway he says that if those folks go to Hell, that their blood would be on your hands. I immediatley thought that my God must be alot bigger than his. I’m made of dirt, but God is gonna let my neighbor go to Hell because the dirt-clod next door didn’t give him a Chick tract!! Really!! What gets my goat on this style of preaching is that as much as these baptists act as though they follow nothing but the scripture, it seems they don’t read it or study it much. Jesus as clearly as the Son of God could tells us says (John 6:37-39,43 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. ………v-43 Stop grumbling among yourselves, Jesus answered. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    Based on the Word of God, I submit to you that God’s plan will not be thwarted because I fail to do something. Don’t misunderstand, I believe we are to preach and testify, but, from what I understand no one’s blood will be on my hands if they wind up in Hell. Romans 1:20 says that “For since the creation 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.”

  13. Hi, in your opening statement use say that “God has not party with them”, those who operate under any ‘systems of hierarchy set up by man over the authority of the local church’. I assume you are referring to the errant position that many ‘Pastors’, ‘Deacons’, or ‘Elders’ have taken placing themselves between God & Man.

    Typically they take the following verse an stretched it like a balloon:
    Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they
    watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it
    with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

    Even if a church blows the interpretation of verses like this and sets up what you refer to as a hierarchy, I feel you are in error to claim that ‘God has no party with them’, see for reference the 7 churches in Revelation which had great things going for them, but Christ had to deal with their errors.

    God uses us, to the extent that get out of His way…

  14. Some more deception I would like to expose are these IFB web sites.

    http://www.av1611.org/ – this web site is dial-the-truth ministries, but I call them dial-the-

    halftruth and deception ministries. IMO, this is is baptist deception at its absolute worst.

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/ – This site is run by a Jack Hyles follower.

  15. Bob – So true, the subject that I simply couldn’t justify (there were several) with my old fundy church’s teaching with scripture, was tithing. The more and more that I looked into it and studied the scripture, I realized not only were they wrong they were *completely* wrong about tithing, in fact, they didn’t have a clue, and this was the standard teaching throughout the IFB. Fortunately my current pastor, though still somewhat legalistic, has studied and understands that tithing was for Jews under the old covenant/law, I’m just hoping he keeps studying about some other issues, but you know all of us are learning and growing (hopefully).

  16. Greg,
    You can tell when people actually study their Bibles. People who study don’t fall so easily for false teaching. You can tell right away that something doesn’t sound right.

    If only people would study more to know the voice of their Savior, there would be no one to follow the false teachers. Unfortunately, serious Bible study is in short supply these days. Those who put in the effort will be greatly rewarded while those who neglect it do harm to their own souls.

  17. @bob
    No…I simply believe we are not required to tithe (like keeping law) but it is a good thing to if one wants to. It should be free. Therefore if a church is teaching Tithe is mandatory or sin if not done…they are I believe in error. Likewise…if a church is teaching its wrong to do so…they are also in error. Tithing I believe is liberty.

  18. This is one of my hot buttons.

    I think a biblical case can be made for modesty, for both men and women, beyond that, you would be hard-pressed to find anything else. But this issue is just another one that the IFB’s get wrong, worrying themselves over externals as opposed to the internals. I have spoken to my pastor about this, and he insists that its fine for me as a parishioner to come as I am, but he as a pastor should be dressed alittle better, I told him if that is a personal conviction that is fine, but did he have any scripture to support that, of course he didn’t. Jesus didn’t find it necessary to dress differently than anyone else, why should the MOG? (man of God)

    Please anyone readng this, go back and take a couple weeks and seriously read through the gospels again, over and over, our Lord talks about, and condemns pharisees and others for dressing up the outside and not being concerned about the inside, btw if the inside is right the outside will follow.

    About modesty, my wife and I attended a concert that my son’s band performed at a teen group in a neighboring town. I commented that some of the teen girls were dressed entirely innappropriately with tiny shorts, which were very immodest, so there certainly should be a standard for modesty.

    A side note, my son’s group “In Search Of Reason” has been selected to play for CreationFest this year. This is the largest christian gathering in the U.S. attracting more than 100,000 last year. My son’s group will be performing on the Indie stage at 10:00 am on July 1.

    Hope that last wasn’t too much personal info.

  19. Bob,

    Steve must have been on vacation or something. I posted my last post like 3 days ago and it just came up recently. I’m not sure what the Word of God sais about dress. But I’m pretty sure we can agree that If I showed up to your Church naked i would probably not be allowed in. I would either be kicked out or asked to put on something to wear. Would you agree with me on this? So I’m guessing that pretty much every Church other than Ivor Church has a dress code. Ivor Church is the only one I know of where you can virtually “come as you are”. Again I’m not sure what the Word of God sais about dress.

    not of this world,

    A brother in Christ

  20. John 10:10,
    So the the issue is that there has to be a Biblical standard for dress. What does the Bible say about the way Christians should dress?

  21. Bob,

    when I said “I hear a lot that the IFB has strict dress standards. I would agree with this.” I meant to say that I agree that the IFB has strict dress standards. I do not agree with the IFB on their viewpoint of strict dress standards. Hope this clears up some confusion. I have never dressed up for a Church Service and I think people should come how they want.

    But still, I think if I wanted to lead Worship wearing Just a speedo I probably would not be allowed to do this in most Churches. If I wanted to wear a sponge bob costume while leading worship I probably would not be allowed to do this in most Churches. I think most people would agree with me on this.

    If someone just wanted to wear their socks and nothing else to Church they would probably not be allowed in most Churches. They would probably be allowed in this Church though called Ivor Church:
    http://www.wvec.com/news/local/INSIDE-A-NAKED-CHURCH-85062392.html

    when the apostle Peter was fishing he stripped and was naked while he was fishing (John 21:7). If the apostle Peter wanted to show up to Church one day while he was stripped and naked he would probably not be allowed in most Churches unless he put on some clothes.

    So I still think Just about every Church has Strict dress Standards whether they know it or not. I doubt I would be allowed to wear Just a Speedo to any Church on a regular basis.
    I would prefer just wearing casual clothes like I do just about every time. The only time I ever dressed up was for Job interviews. I don’t like dressing up. I think any Christian should be allowed to wear what they want.

    With his stripes we are healed,

    A brother in Christ

  22. Bob – Well said!

  23. John 10:10,

    The issue that concerns me about “dress standards” is that the position a church takes is a Biblical one. A church only has authority to set guidelines on dress as it is addressed in Scripture. Churches don’t have the right to make rules about dress apart from Scriptural guidelines and principles.

    I have heard people argue that a certain type of dress is more attractive to the world, or woman wearing dresses sets them apart as being different. The faulty logic here comes from not paying attention to the Scripture. Believers are not set apart by the clothing they wear so much as their conduct, character, and lifestyle. Nowhere in the Bible do I see that Christians are recognized by their clothing. Christians should be recognized by their love for Jesus and one another. The way a Christian dresses should be governed by their love for Christ and other people, not by rules imposed by a religious authority to make one look righteous.

  24. I hear a lot that the IFB has strict dress standards. I would agree with this. But I also would agree that just about every other Church denomination has strict dress standards as well. For instance, if I was regularly wearing a swim suit or Scooby Doo costume to any Church I would probably be asked to Change into something more appropriate. If I was wearing a sponge Bob square pants costume while leading worship I would probably be asked to change into something more appropriate. If lots of the Church congregation was wearing Scooby doo and sponge bob square pants costumes or swimsuits regularly to Church I would guess that some people would probably leave and look for another Church. Just some thoughts.

    With his stripes we are healed,

    A brother in Christ

  25. @G.L. Caudle

    Hi G.L.,

    I, for one, am glad you won’t post here again after that comment, but I hope you will at least read this, although I’m not holding my breath.

    I find your post rather disturbing, but what I find most disturbing is your use of scripture. You have accused Greg of

    “Throughout all your conjecture you based none of you opinions on scripture.”

    yet you have essentially done the same thing. Sure you used scripture, but only as a hammer to bash Greg on the head. You’ve done nothing to

    “directly compare doctrine and practices using scripture to make the assertion which is correct.”

    either. All you’ve done is pull some verses out of context and manipulated them to fit your point of view.

    Any idiot can do that. For example, G.L. I think that you should go kill your children. “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” Psalm 137:9. Or, I hope that you’ve beaten your children today, “13Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” Proverbs 23:13-14 – see how silly that way of using scripture is?

    Your use of scripture only shows your ignorance of it.

    Finally, you stated

    adhering to correct doctrine and proper practices should be the focus in our lives. Mark 7:7, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”.

    This is just too weird for me to not comment on. You are doing exactly what Mark 7:7 speaks against, you are teaching false doctrines and commandments of men. How can you not see that? You are truly blind and I hope that you will one day see more clearly.

  26. G.L. – My statement about folks not studying and just sitting in the pew and listening to the MOG, was not addressed to you specifically, but to folks generally, you wouldn’t agree to this?

    I’m trying to figure out if it was worse of me for not using scripture to answer your question, which btw is not a question that required scripture, or yanking a handful of verses completely out of context as you did.

    I admitted, in my comment, that I was somewhat caustic in my writing (I could definitely get better in that department) but I re-read what I wrote and didn’t think it was horrible.

    You want to point out that you think that I have anger issues, but have a look at your comments, I don’t see awhole lot of love dripping off of your comments either.

    Ok how about some peace “Blessed are the peacemakers” I apologize for my abrasive writing style and did not purposely write to offend you, but make no mistake, someone can be dunked until they know every minnow by name, but that doesn’t make them saved.

  27. @greg
    First I find your demeaning undertone disheartening. 2 Timothy 2:24, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient”. Is this really what you’re doing here? Do you think you can bring others to Christ in this manner? In answer your assumptions about me. I do attend the Church of Christ. My brother attends an IFB church. And I don’t study my Bible enough and would say no one does. The study of God’s word deserves more time than this life holds. 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. You are correct, I was surprised. Mostly because that had nothing to do with my question. If I were asked to compare the church I attend with another denomination that I knew about. I would directly compare doctrine and practices using scripture to make the assertion which is correct. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.
    So you made assumptions based on very little. Matthew 7:1&2, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”. You place too much value on modern denominational history. The bulk of your comments were about the historical background of the Church of Christ movement. Modern church history is irrelevant, not only to our topic but to us in general. Again adhering to correct doctrine and proper practices should be the focus in our lives. Mark 7:7, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”. I would also venture to say the same of you, which you said of me. You don’t study enough. Throughout all your conjecture you based none of you opinions on scripture. I liken this to attending a Bible study without your Bible. Finally, I think you have some anger issues. Someone, somewhere has hurt you. Furthermore I believe it involved religion. This would explain the abrasiveness with which you deliver what should be the most joyous information of the Gospel of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. We should never be arrogant in the word, instead humble. Proverbs 21:24, “Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath”.
    I will not post here again. I see through to the intensions of this site. 1 Peter 3:16, “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ”. I humbly asked a question.

  28. I’m referring to a mistake I made in my fairly long comment, which you may not have seen yet, once you do you’ll understand I was correcting a statement in my next to last paragraph.

  29. @greg
    I don’t understand the context of your comment. I should have or you should have? What does this have to do with our discussion? Please elaborate…

  30. Should have said “of course no singing with musical accompaniment.”

  31. G.L. – I’m surprised but shouldn’t be by now that folks know so very little about their respective churches/traditions, most just sit in the pew and simply repeat what their pastor has told them, never checking and studying for themselves, “what thus saith the Lord” You act so surprised that I questioned you about “which” Church of Christ you were referring to, do yourself alittle favor and have a look at wikipedia’s lists of “Churches of Christ” First and foremost I wanted to make sure you weren’t referring to the “The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints” which is a flat-out cult.

    Ok, so I’m pretty sure you are referring to the Church of Christ that was founded by good ol Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) He was a fine Scottish Presbyterian who left Ireland to come to western PA. in 1807. He had a few different views and was eventually censured (kicked-out) from the Presbyterian church in 1809, so he eventually started his own church. In 1906 there was a split with this group, some believing that there should be no musical instruments in the church (don’t know where this got dreamed up, certainly didn’t find it in the bible) This is when they started calling themselves the “Churches of Christ”

    A couple of things. First anytime a man’s name is attached to a system of theology my antennae go way up, think Campbell, Calvin, Arminius, Smith etc. Actually what should have been first was the erroneous teaching that water baptism has anything at all to do with one’s salvation, it does not! This is the biggest wrong teaching of the Churches of Christ, although you have lots of company in this wrong belief, it is still wrong teaching. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward decision and has nothing to do with your salvation.

    There are a number of other wrong teachings w/in this church but the false teaching about baptism is far and away the biggest, some of the others are, not believing in eternal security, and close behind is not believing that one can “know” that you are saved. “These things I write unto you that ye may know that ye have salvation.” These are the mistakes one finds when following man-made theology.

    I am not trying to be overly critical and yet I only have a certain amt of time to get to my points and while doing that I often come across that way, so forgive me. Make no mistake though baptism will never save anyone!

    Some years ago when I was attempting to find another church for my family to attend so as to escape a spiritually abusive IFB, I found myself at a Church of Christ that had split from the large COC in town. I heard an absolutely beautiful message, very uplifting, of course no singing, (Btw I like acapella singing, no biblical reason for it though) also didn’t talk about baptism that day. The pastor followed up with me with a long phone call, and that is when we began to discuss the baptism issue, he was very cordial and we simply agreed to disagree, which is probably what you and I will have to do.

    G.L. – Like I alluded to earlier most folks don’t study their bible, and many do so with preconceived ideas, please have a look at your church’s stance on these issues according to scripture and see if Thomas Campbell is right about these things.

  32. @greg
    Please excuse me. I only know of two. The first is the United Church of Christ and secondly is the one I refer to, Independent Churches of Christ.

  33. I suppose I should have asked a couple of questions first, to which group of “The Church of Christ” are you referring? I apologize for my assumptions!

  34. @greg
    If it isn’t to much trouble please explain your assertion. I would love to know your thoughts on the matter.

  35. First I would disagree that The Church of Christ teaches first century, new testament doctrine.

  36. How would the IFB Churches differ from other churches that teach first century, new testament doctrine? Such as The Church of Christ?

  37. @jeannie

    I loved what you said about knowing the nature of God. One of the best sources I have found concerning His nature, the Nature of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is at the following link:

    http://servant.org/

    Gayle Erwin does a wonderful teaching on the nature of God. His resources are free from this sight. Hope you’ll check it out.

    Paul

  38. @Saved By Grace
    I agree! This is the only point that I disagree with of IFB doctrine. Jesus quoted the old testament. Jesus was prophesied in the old testament. It is an important part of the church. I really have an issue with this point. It shows God’s promises to us and more importantly it shows us God’s fulfilled promises to the church. I believe it is almost impossible to grow to a complete relationship with God without knowing his nature. Sure the new testament is important but so is the old testament.

  39. You people are idiots, You can’t have the new testament without the old, Christ believed in and followed the old testament, this is why it says he was betrayed on the passover, because he kept the passover and all the other commandments that are in the old testament.

    Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    1. Hi Ahlayashabi – Please forgive us if we have offended you in any way. We can clearly see the Spirit of God in your gracious post.

    2. I think you are confusing ceremonial law with moral law. What Jesus is talking about in Matthew 5 is ceremonial law.

      You are right, Jesus came to fulfill the law. To fulfill something – as in “Jesus fulfilled the law” – means that it is satisfied, meaning that it is no longer needed. He was talking about ceremonial law not moral law – I think you are confusing those two.

      Have a look at Matthew 15. The entire point of Matthew 15 is Jesus telling the Pharisees that the ceremonial laws were no longer needed since the reason for them (the cleansing of sin) was replaced with Christ’s eventual death on the cross. Christ’s death ushured in teh New Covenant where ceremonial law for the remission of sin is replaced with grace and mercy. This is Bible 101 stuff.

      You seems to be as blind as the Pharisees. I do hope that your eyes will be opened up soon because keeping the law will not grant you entrance into heaven.

      I do like your nice touch of calling us idiots though. That shows your lack of emotional maturity. That coupled with your seeming lack of spiritual maturity will make for an interesting combination. I hope you come back to comment more. I’m looking forward to laughing at more of your comments.

  40. Hello,
    I would like to hear further explanation of the following:
    “The New Testament teaches the absolute autonomy of each local church who is to govern itself as the Word of God instructs free from outside authority and control.”
    -What about the Jerusalem Council in Acts (I believe I am using the right title here, but I have not check my accuracy)? Also, and I’m not sure how to word this question properly, but during the building of the original NT church as described in Acts and further in the rest of the NT, wouldn’t they have had to subscribe to some form of “outside authority and control” in order for the church to be formed? For example, Paul wrote letters to the churches, each being intended for one church, and then other churches used them and later they were accepted as fully inspired parts of Scripture. But wouldn’t Paul himself, or the original church to whom the letter was sent, count as “outside authority and control”?

    “They practice the Biblical teachings of separation as stated in Ephesians 5:11, which says, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. ” The Independent Baptist believes that to join with churches who teach and practice false doctrine is condone and even show approval of Biblical error and that all doctrinal error is sin.”
    -How do you determine whether or not a church teaches or practices false doctrine? Is it based on the individual church or whole congregations?

    Also, as a Southern Baptist, I am wondering if your fifth distinctive disqualifies my congregation, since we are members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Unfortunately I am relatively new to this denomination; I do not know how much authority they have over my individual church. If that membership does not disqualify us I would say that we qualify as true baptists under your definition of the term.
    Thank you.

  41. My question would be: When has anyone ever given 10% to “GOD.” It more often then none goes to the support – building, supplies, salaries – of a ministry under the leadership of usually “a man.”

    Excellent book on the subject is “Should the Church Teach Tithing” by Russell Kelly

    Free .pdf download at the below link.

    http://www.truthforfree.com/files/PDF/REK-Tithing3.pdf

    1. If it furthers & advances the Kingdom of God (the Church, Evangelism, Missionaries, etc), then I believe it is going to God. For example when Jesus said to not store up treasures on earth where they would persih but in Heaven…I believe He’s refering to at least in part some Godly endeavors (that often take money)that we do for His namesake. Also, when ‘only what we do for Christ will last’ would include contributing to kingdom endeavors. Personally, I try to for the most part give as I think God is pleased incl supporting Evangelism Ministrys like Compassion (that not only care for childrens physical need but also spirtual vs. the formerly known as Christian Childrens Fund now I believe under the name Child Aide, mainly becaus eCompassion confesses to be Christian & I believe to support church endeavors. Its not that I wouldn’t want to give to both…but if I only have 30 dollars; I’d rather give to feed, clothe, house & most of all share the Gospel vs just feed, clothe & housed. One can be feed, clothed , housed & grow up lost & will die but the Gospel offers Eternal Life!

  42. p.s. clarity/dont want to lie…as far as experiences at churche sin regards to Tithing:

    I practiced tithing at former Non-Den church…PAastor explained tithing, giving & offering I think & wa sclear not mandatory but really…why tenth only…actual giving by restricting only seemed to be what I learned from that…its all His. Visited Calvarly Chapel her in Rosedale area…has tith online but what they view is unclear. Any way dont want to lie on any church. As far as I recall no church ever told me must. So far newere at IFB church (if is …is refered to as one by a IFB site think) & has not as far as I know been told must. Treated like everywhere else been. If other will share. Also, I support tithing personally.

    1. Lynne,
      I am having a hard time figuring you out. It sounds like you believe that we are not required to tithe, but somehow we are better off if we do? Also, you keep mentioning Jesus’ statement about not leaving tithing undone. I have to tell you, Lynne, if you want to keep one part of the law, without keeping the rest of the law, you are guilty of breaking the whole thing. If you want to be under law, you need to keep all 613 commandments of the Mosaic law.
      Lynne, why is tithing so important to you anyway? Under grace we can give as much as we like. The grace economy is a much superior way to live a life pleasing to God. We have the personal presence of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, why would we want to follow rules that were intended for people living in the power of the flesh?

      1. Bob – Just want to commend you on how clearly you are able to elucidate on a given topic, I’m envious. I think Lynne has been fed a large dose of legalism, and just can’t seem to escape it.

        I love your statement above about “The Grace economy” I think I’m going to have to “borrow” it.

        @Lynne – I appreciate your dedication and your spirit to pursue what God would have for you in the area of giving. Remember new testament christians are “never” compelled to give mandatory gifts, if you have been taught that, you have been taught wrong.

  43. Lynne,
    Giving ten percent to God is a good thing, I agree with that. However, Jesus did not tell you or me that we should give ten percent. Jesus’ statement to the Pharisees about tithing would not apply to you because you are not a Jew under the Mosaic Law.
    God has set up a completely different program for believers in the church age. We are not under law, but under grace. We have the freedom to give as much as we like, without any compulsion. We give out of thankfulness to God for what Christ has accomplished as we are led by the Spirit. There are no rules about what to give at all. We are not under law. God does not lead His children by rules. God leads us as we depend upon the Holy Spirit and keep His Word.

    1. I understand all that. I already addressed the 1st point regarding them being under Mosaic Law vs us if you read all you’lll find them incl how Jesus spoke to similar crowd regarding what is Adultery, etc…also I already explained its not mandatory & no one says you better or must incl where I;m at…I already explained how Jesus stated it was not to be undone while He expanded on what should have been done of which they failed…if it was all about Mosaic law only they would probally I think be in compliance but Christ fulfilled & was teaching in consitency with that. Read all (mor ethan on epost under name Lynne). Thanks but addressed all points. May God bless Bob

  44. Oops…in 1st paragraphh in one sentence I actually meant something more like this: the Law is fullfilled…now we can truly do good works that are pleasing to the Lord for the sins are washed away with & following the Law to make us right, which it never could but only point to our need for redemption, is fullfilled.

  45. Well originally Abraham initiated giving a tenth of his to the priest in the Melchizdeak order which was a “type” of Christ I believe. I dont believe it is a Law that one has to tithe. The Law was done away with…perfect love fullfills all the Law was trying to acomplish. My point is that Tithing is good since Jesus says they should not have left it undone. He spoke aganist them leaving the others things undone. Even though they may have been “uner the law” as you say…Jesus did not cease sharing the fuller truth of the Law & stretching us to grasp the fullfillment of the Law. For example these same people existed when He taught to look upon a woman with lust was Adultry & not just the physcial act. He did not fail to share truth although He was not yet crucified…so likewise I argue that since He said it should not have been left undone…He meant what He says as He shared the fuller meaning I believe of the Laws. No Law we are obligated to in the sense they have any weight of sins being dealt with…for Jesus done away with sins. The purpose of the Law being fullfilled we should do all good works in Christ for we are saved to do good works.

    Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”

    No tithing is not mandated, no good work is..just as no good work can save us. We do good works (they are only truly good b/c of the bllod of Jesus that justifys us & are perfect through His shed blood). Tithing is a good thing to do & I believe God can be glorified if done with right heart, intent & purporses.

    Also in regards to the rest…common sense is you give according to how you deal with your values ,etc. I know that we don’t use argriculture in the same way they did. We use our monetary resources alone. I’m not sure how they upkept thier Synagogue & relate dcost…but if I’m not mistaken I learned during a conference that they actually gave more than our equivalent of a tenth in regards to thier goods/wealth (like mince, spices, etc)…and perhaps separate monetray covered that cost or these items were bartered/traded to pay bills. But it seems bottom line the wealth & sacrifce of it to kingdom building remains the same.

    Also…as in regargds to whom Jesus spoke to (“they were Phairsees”)…I don’t think that matters, the Phairsee just happened to be the ones constantlty questioning & troubling Him…as well as were the Religious Leaders of that day whom example was probally looked at by others to follow (note Jesus: Do the things that they teach’, Jesus said, ‘But do not do the things that they do’). However, bottom line…Jesus never shared but truth to all incl Phairsees so if His position on tithing was as being not to be left undone…than I believe it stands as something that is good to do, pleasing to God.

  46. Greg,

    I’m sure you realize all this, but I thought I would throw my voice in it. The Pharisees tithed on all their belongings. Right down to exactly a tenth. For IFB churches, most use this as a baseline in their giving with II Cor 9:7 for guiding in the heart of giving. The old testement tithes went to the Levite priests to support them (Numbers 18).

    LORD Bless,

    Mike

    1. Greg all churches that suppoort Tithing as a good thing (incl IFB, CALVARLY CHAPEL, Many Non-Denominational Chruches,etc) Tithe a Tenth of thier income to building Gods Kingdom. No one in USA at least (whether IFB, CALVARLY CHAPEL, MOST CHURCHES, etc) tithe on all belongings at they practiced thier & our money/wealth/argicultural exchange & system is very different. I think I already addressed that point. If someone wanted to Tithe down to a tenth of all they owned & sell or give value of it…I’m sure they could.

      The point is Jesus not only did not condem it but He said it should not have been left undone. I think that point was already addressed. So how all USA (& most Developed Nations tithe, etc) is no different than at my IFB Church fellowship I attend. Please do not take this the wrong way…but coming from someone who I think is more objective (i was not raised in a IFB, just joined, been a part of non-denm & other denm fellowships), well here goes in love:

      …it almost seems like you have an ‘axe’ to grind with IFB Church. But if your ‘axe’ is based on tithing being practiced & encouraged (no one mandates & makes me give)…then you have a ‘axe’ with much of Christendom. Desire your best & healing in Lord Jesus if not. Also, from personal expreicne…i know how it feels to be spirtually abused. It’s so important to ask Gods help in forgiving them…otherwise satan can get a foothold. I’m not saying thats the case only sharing my experience & by Gods grace I have done so I believe. Blessings & again…I’m so sorry you were hurt like that you & your family.

      1. Lynne Wrote:

        …all churches that support tithing…tithe a tenth of their income to building God’s kingdom.

        This is what’s known as the Argumentum ad populum fallacy. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s correct.

        1. Thanks for any love shown but what you just did Kaatie was take a few lines I wrote and placed them within your own idea…and that is know as “taking something out of context” . I already estb basis of why Tithing I believe is good (must read all post under Lynne). In reference to the quote you took it wasi n explanation in regards to another point poised regarding tithing a tenth of income vs. actual agriculture and/or stock as the Jews did back then…and it was in a common sense response to the rhetoric regarding why tithe a tenth of income vs possesions being sold, etc is done by most churche sin Usa & other developed nations. Thanks and may God bless.

          1. Lynne,

            I read what you wrote, that’s why I replied with what I wrote. You said that I pulled that phrase out of context but then you went on to prove that it was in context.

            At any rate, logical fallacies don’t need to be in or out of context to be called logical fallacies. A logical fallacy stands alone whether in or out of context. It’s the phraseology itself that one calls into question as being logical or illogical.

            You stated that all churches tithe a certain way and used that “fact” to justify a way of thinking. This is known as the Argumentum ad populum fallacy. Just because “all churches” do something a certain way (whether it’s tithing, tithing a tenth, standing on their heads when they pray, or whatever) doesn’t make it correct.

            I’m calling into question yourreasoning as to why you are defending your belief about tithing. Your reasoning is faulty. That’s all. It’s nothing personal, just logic.

        2. Tithing preceded the OT Law. It is the Lord’s tithe, and God chose to use his tithe in the OT and in the NT for the maintenance of the priesthood (those that are called out for the specific service of God in ministering to the Lord and to the people on behalf of the Lord) and the maintenance of the house of God… a place wherein God’s people assemble for the purpose of worship (honoring) the Lord.

          Tithing is still a required act in obedience just like loving the Lord thy God and loving thy neighbor as thyself is. You CANNOT be loving either if you are refusing to render unto the Lord that which is his, and this includes tithing.

          1. @Jeff

            Tithing preceded OT law? LOL

            You have it backwards. Tithing preceded the NT and ended with the establishment of the New Covenant. Tithing was never supposed to be for the “maintenance of the house of God…”. That’s NOT in the Bible – anywhere!

            Tithing is no longer a requirement and God doesn’t not require a tithe for obedience as is preached in today’s churches. That’s why Paul advocated free will offerings (see 2 Corinthians 9). Sorry to tell you, but you’ve been deceived.

            Please see the “Tithing Deception” and “Tithe 10% or Get Punished” articles for more information.

  47. Lynne- Thanks for clearing that up. I thought that this was the passage you were referring to. A couple of things to consider here, first he was speaking to Pharisees, and they were in fact “still under” law. Something else to note here, what were they tithing? “mint, rue and all manner of herbs” all agricultural products from the land. I know of no place in scripture where a “tithe” is ever money! No one I have ever talked to or debated can show me that money is ever to be considered a tithe. A tithe was to be given by Jews under law to a levitical priest and as far as I can tell, it was always a product from the land, be it animals or some sort of plant life. Now I am in full agreement with you that we should support our places of worship with our monetary gifts, but a mandatory tithe for new testament christians? Nope, don’t see that.

  48. Thanks for your response. My point (and I just found Scripture) was that Jesus did not disnounce it as bad…He says (less I misunderstand) “these you ought to have done” without leaving the rest undone”. Here ar ethe key words: “ought to have done without leaving the others undone”, which would mean that tithing is good. Here is the Scripture I’m refering to:

    In Luke 11:42 he says, “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”

  49. Lynne – While I agree with most of your comment, I would be very interested in finding where Jesus teaches about tithing in the bible.

    Bottom line, tithing was commanded for Jews under Law. No new testament christian anywhere in scripture, that I know of, is compelled to give a tithe. If I wanted to tithe I wouldn’t know where to go, because tithes were paid to a levitical priest. The new testament says “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” that pretty much destroys the idea of someone being “forced” to give.

  50. p.s. I personally do not think tithing is wrong, When Jesus refers to tithing didn’t He uphold it & only objected to other sins but did not speak aganist it. I believe every one should realize that all is God & if a saint desires to put a tenth to honor God & furthering His kingdom or whatver portion as He desires…that s a noble act between God & Himself. I do however disagree with anyone mandating that a tenth should go to them & to the church as they see fit only (like giving some to other Christiann Ministries, some to local churche , etc) or that even mandates a tithe. I know that as I give more to the Lord I’m blessed more & even if not I want to. So, obligating someone to feel like they must…is not I believe what God wants. I respect a church that weloclmes being a part of my tithe but does not mandate that I do. ANyone who wont give to thie ronw family or help the place where they go to felloship togther (bills etc) is pretty lousy I think & no amount of preaching it will probally make a differenc eunless God pricks thier hearts.

    1. Lynne,
      Jesus upheld tithing because the Mosaic law was still in force for the Jews until the death of Christ. Tithing was never required for anyone except Jews who lived under the Mosaic economy.
      Christians under the grace economy give out thankfulness to God for what Christ has done for them, without any compulsion.

  51. I love the way David Hayword (aka The nakedpastor) explains some of the problem.

    http://www.nakedpastor.com/2011/01/27/total-unaccountable-power/

    total & unaccountable power

    One of the most unsettling things to experience is dealing with corruption in power.

    Like friends of my son who were in Mexico recently. They were just outside of the resort area on the beach at night and were stopped by a group of policemen. The cops accused them of urinating in the water. Everyone knew this was a farce. But the police proceeded to arrest them and throw them in jail. One of the cops finally suggested giving them all their American money and they’d be free to go with a warning. The tourists and the police finally separated after hundreds of dollars changed hands.

    Total. Unaccountable. This kind of power is frightening to meet with.

    How many people are in churches were the pastor is unaccountable? Where the pastor’s power is total? The only power above the pastor is God, and God’s silence seems to imply endorsement and collaboration. There’s no recourse. You either comply or you are thrown out.

    I’ve experienced this kind of power over and over again in the church. It’s ugly and frustrating.

    1. Paul,

      The powertrip, which is all I’ll call it, was even noticed to be among some of the laypersons who were ushers, or just people who ‘knew’ people. It seems like in the church I personally attended, that the powertrip I saw actually stemmed from a total lack of ‘outside’ maturity from the church in general. I grew up in a Catholic church and boarding school, then was taken out and placed into Lutheran surroundings. From there, entering into an IFB church really gave me a culture shock. There were other factors, such as the ‘show business’ aspects of the preaching as well as the powertripping that actually planted my difficulties to begin with. It seemed that if some people (which were several…actually almost all with very few exceptions) were given any place of position within the church, they responded with a sole purpose for having the pastor pleased with them, and definitely staying in his face about ‘ideas’ which truly seemed more ‘personal preference’ than such ideas of benefit. I really don’t know how to describe it. It was almost like watching 12yr olds trying to run a corporation. Everyone wanted attention from the pastor and never left the man alone to truly study God’s Word.

  52. I can relate i was in a IFB church, glad to be out. But not all Baptist churches are that way! Im a Southern Baptist and celebrate Jesus and His grace!

  53. Rachael,

    I appreciate your response, I am especially glad to hear that your mother has returned to the church. So many churches have lost wonderful ministry opportunties by turning away those hurting, divorced folks, its a shame, God help us all to be sensitive to those who are hurting all around us.

    The KJV is a wonderful translation and very valid for its time, and you, like many others love it for its beautiful shakesperean english. It is in fact God’s Word in 17th century english. But it is for these very reasons that I and millions of other Americans can’t understand it. There are hundreds of archaic words that I have no idea what they mean and then you have words that have actually changed meaning since the KJV was published like conversation, to me that means to talk with someone, not in the KJV, it means behavior, prevent is another one, to me it means to stop someone from doing something, not in the KJV, it means to precede. And to top it off you have very strange sayings that I have no idea what they mean, the last half of the verse at Acts 9:5 is an example “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” WHAT! So just these few examples demonstrate why many people, including me have a hard time understanding this ancient translation.

    I’m all about modest clothing, but I can’t tell you how many sermons I have sat through where the “man of God” railed against women wearing slacks. He also had a big thing against girls being in beauty pageants, not sure what the problem was there.

    Sounds like maybe you are in a pretty good church. I would mostly be concerned about #1 more than any other. Would someone be frowned upon if they used another translation of the bible in your church besides the KJV translation? The church I left about 2 years ago had very nasty tracts in the back of the church that said horrible things about other translations, calling them perversions and so forth and actually saying outright lies about other translations.

    I appreciate your stand for the cause of Christ, and remember always to rely on the blessed Word of God to lead and guide you, there will be times perhaps, when someone you really look up to is promoting ideas that are not biblical and yet they try to use the bible to convince you of their veracity. The bible says “Let God be true and every man a liar” So follow the Word and you will never be led astray.

    Because He Lives,
    Greg

    1. Good job Greg!…in reference to your reply to Rachel above.

  54. Thank you for writing back. I would like comment on each trait if you don’t mind:
    1.) Yes we only use KJV (I perosnally like it better myself because I like the Shakespeareanesque vernacular versus modern but that’s a personal choice).
    2.) My Sunday school teacher and I have discussed the music issue and we both agree that there is nothng wrong with contemporary Christian music (I do believe some of it lifts up flesh rather than Jesus, though).
    3.) They don’t tell us what to wear more than any other church. We preach modest clothing (unfortunatly most of the girls at my church don’t adhere to it in that they wear skirts that expose all but a few inches of the upper leg). I myself wear pants and outside of church most of the other women do too.
    4.) There are plenty of church members that disagree with the preacher on many topics. None of us that I know of follow his every word like it was the Gospel truth. I believe any church that does that is potentially cultic because that means they worship the preacher rather than the Lord.
    5.) My sister left the church years ago and is living in sin (even by the standards of other denominations so please don’t take it out of context), but I talk to her every day. Since she has a place of her own now I don’t see her as much as I like but I won’t shun her because she left. In fact, I have no close friends that attend the same church as me. As long as they go to a God fearing church that believes in Jesus Christ and they themselves are not rebelling against God then it would not hurt my feelings if they went to Southern Baptist or Methodist churches.
    6.) I’m not sure about this one. I was always told ten percent and that’s I give for the most part unless I can’t afford it in which case I give what I can.
    7.) My mother is divorced, as are a few others in the congregation. She eventually left because my uncle (divorced numerous times himself), rode her case about it. Praise the Lord she started going back to church recently. She and another church lady had this discussion and the other lady said that to her it is a bigger sin to stay in an abusive, unloving marriage such as the one my mother was in, and I agree whole heartedly.
    8.) We had an elderly woman that lifted her hands and shouted to the Lord the entire service before she went home to be with Him. We also have a man that shouts Amen as well. I don’t see a thing wrong with it; He didn’t make us to be wooden.
    As far as I can tell, we are not cultic in any way and just like any other denomination we have our doctrinal differences. If you have any more questions or comments (as long as they are not rude), please feel free to email me again.

  55. Rachael,

    Does your church teach the following:

    1) strict adherence to one version of the bible
    2) tell you what kind of music to listen to
    3) tell you what to wear (John the Baptist probably wouldn’t be allowed in most IFB churches
    4) strict obedience to the pastor
    5) shun folks that have left the church
    6) teach old testament tithing – new testamenent giving is found in 2 Cor 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
    7) divorce as the unpardonable sin – you can be forgiven if you kill someone, or if you have been saved from a homosexual lifestyle, but God help you if you have been divorced, they will still let you come to the meetings but you have to set on the back row.
    8) forbid lifting of hands during the service, some of the IFB churches are more lenient on this matter that others. Of all my favorite things to do now that I’m out of that situation, is raise my hands and praise my precious Saviour when He stirs my heart. If you don’t already, try it some time. You cannot read psalms w/out seeing those raised hands.

    If your church does teach the following then watch out, you are probably in a manipulating extreme IFB church situation.

    Because He lives,
    Greg

    1. I attend an IFB church. I am divorced, and I always sit in the front rows.
      One young lady began attending a non IFB Baptist church. She is not shunned.
      Our Pastor teaches that Baptism does not save us and is no a requirement of salvation. We dress however we want, however, my Pastor chides me in good nature, because I frequently wear black clothing, but he is not being critical. So, I guess we are not all as rigid as one would believe from some comments.

    2. greg,
      I attend an Independent Baptist church and I’ll answer your questions…
      1. I believe that the King James Version is the inspired, preserved Word of God for the English speaking people
      2. Our church stresses the importance of listening to music that is Christ-honoring and doesn’t sound like “war” as the music mentioned while worshiping the golden calf in the Old Testament (inspired Scripture)
      3. I believe that the Bible is clear on what is modest apparel. If you think women ought to wear pants, that’s your prerogative. But if your wife and daughters are dressing immodestly to draw attention to their bodies, they’re not dressing in a Christ-honoring way
      4. Our pastor has NEVER once insinuated that the church ought to “obey” him. I have never believed in obedience to a pastor – just obedience to God’s Word
      5. We never shun people who leave the church. If someone leaves the church and lives a worldly life style (no church or fellowship with Christ, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, fornication, homosexuality, etc.) than we pray that they will get right with God
      6. ABSOLUTELY we teach tithing – if you don’t want to give a tenth back to the God that saved your soul from hell, then I wonder if you’ve met the same God that I have. However, tithing has nothing to do with your Salvation
      7. Off the top of my head, I can think of 7-8 divorced couples in our church right now (and we only have around 150 in regular attendance)
      8. This was the best one…members in our church raise hands, say “amen,” clap after special music (GASP!), and maybe even stand up and shout if the Lord really touches their heart

      Sorry that you had a bad experience, but not all IFB churches are alike, and mine is great! (My family moved alot when I was a child, and I’ve attended 7 different IFB churches in 4 different states…not all of them are same, but my current one – for the last 10 years – is great)

      1. I had a long response here, but I received and error.
        Not all IFB churches are this way. I have gone to Dayspring in Wisconsin and Hillcrest in El Paso and both have apps if you want to check them out. KJV Bibles are the best translations because they do not take out the blood of Jesus from scripture as the other versions along with other things.
        You should tithe, but if you don’t that’s between you and the Lord. Tithing is not for God. He can make it without out $$$, but we need to learn to let go of it.
        -Ray

  56. My church preaches those five points and we are an IFB church. I have done my share of research on what defines a cult and unless I’m missing something, we don’t qualify as a such. Yes, we do preach not to be unequally yolked with non-belivers and I agree with that. My best friend who professes to be Christian (she attends a Southern Baptist church), is dating an evolutionist and she tells me that religion is not high up on her criteria for dating and marriage yet she will call me, upset, and say that her boyfriend is hasseling her about her faith. I also believe that hanging around with non-Christians is detrimental to one’s faith as I have done this. It lead me down a road that took me farther away from God rather than closer. As for relating to other denominations and Catholocs, I believe that that is also harmful if one is not strong enough in their faith. While I do agree that there are some things that tradition has failed on (i.e. teaching that all sex is dirty, etc..), I see no sense in throwing the baby out with the bath water. (P.S. I request any comment left to me is free of insults and vulgarities, please). God bless. 🙂

    1. Thier is nothing ‘harmful’ in regard sto relating to other ‘denominations’ if ny that you mean fellowships that are Christian. Catholicsm is beyond a denomination & a religious institution with some Christian tenants. As many theologians say…we can agree to disagree on some things but when it comes to the Fundamental of the Christian Faith…based on by the way what God says in the Word, then that’s when one should draw the line b/c its no longer a matter of Christians in various fellowships & preferances that are allowable but then becomes a matter of even being a Christian at all (like Mormonisn, Jehovah’s Wittness, Catholics, etc). I believe the following is an accurate list of Fundamentals, but if anyone sees erro please inform us & esp with Scripture.

      THE FIVE BASIC DOCTRINES

      1. The Trinity: God is one “What” and three “Whos” with each “Who” possessing all the attributes of Deity and personality.

      2. The Person of Jesus Christ: Jesus is 100% God and 100% man for all eternity.

      3. The Second Coming: Jesus Christ is coming bodily to earth to rule and judge.

      4. Salvation: It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

      5. The Scripture: It is entirely inerrant and sufficient for all Christian life.

      Any professed ‘church’ that does not recognize these is Apsotasy & not the Church. Any church fellowship that encourages avoiding another Christian denomination/fellowship, even if they uphold & believe these, b/c they are not of the same denomination are in gross error & a cult.

  57. Hah I’m really the only reply to this incredible read?!

  58. CH (LTC) Jeff Burnsed

    In my civilian life..and please do pray for our military..I am very honored to serve as Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge in Jacksonville (FL). Comprized of many nationalities and backgrounds, the “secret of success”at CR, is that this is a “Bible Chuch” revolving around King Jesus. It is important to note too, that each Believer must be passionate about winning lost folks to Christ. That means every church service must provide a time for people to “come to Christ.” Every activity, every thing we do, needs to uplift King Jesus, and it must allow for winning precious people to our Lord. Thank you for the article, for your love for the King of all Kings.

  59. Sir,
    The Baptist church that I attend used the entire Bible, all 66 books. Not just the New Testament.

  60. @Fran
    Calvary Chapels do not believe that baptism is necessary for membership in a local assembly. They do not find support in the Bible for such a requirement. As a matter of fact, you cannot be a “member” of a Calvary Chapel. From a Calvary Chapel web site: “We do not maintain church membership; You must be born again spiritually to join the church of Jesus Christ, therefore membership is in the whole church of Jesus, not just our local fellowship.”

    This practice stems from their “Moses model” (top down) style of church leadership. From http://procinwarn.com/ccclergy.htm: “Most people do not realize that Calvary Chapel church organizations are not, themselves, affiliated with the original Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California. It is the clergymen who are affiliated. They submit a request to become affiliated and then are supplied with a form to fill out. The form contains many questions about doctrine and philosophy of ministry. The form is submitted along with the recommendations of other Calvary Chapel clergymen. If the staff at Costa Mesa accepts the person, he becomes an affiliated clergyman in a global network led by Chuck Smith.”

    Since there is no membership at CC’s, the congregation neither votes a pastor in, nor can vote their pastor out, if necessary, unlike a Baptist church.

  61. I think Calvary Chapel churches are great. I don’t know of any areas where their teachings are unbiblical or fundamental. The ones I’ve attend are really good.

    1. I found a load of stuff about people who claim certain Calvarly Chapels misueded them & did not know Bible & also on ehere in Maryland has a onliune tithe on website! That is just my point…you I fear are dedicating a almost hate site for this denomination when its no reason to…vs just warning sagnist all bad behavior. SOme Calvarly CHapels I’m sure are good felloships. Some IFB are good fellowships, some Plymouth Brethren Open) are good fellowships..etc. Now when the head of a church & all dem that fall in line must appply apsotast (like openly Gay Pastor, etc) than you should have some of them on here big. Note..I’, no particular denomination. So I wonder again is this God desire or your thing?

  62. Would you say Calvary Chapels are unbiblical and not fundamental? In what areas?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Deception © 2009-2016 Frontier Theme