26 Comments

  1. John 10:10

    This is a sad story. I do believe that people who are saved and committ suicide go to heaven. Other people might disagree with me on this. I hope this guy was saved. speaking of his mom he said “she believes the state of my physical body is much less important than the state of my soul”. This is a true statement. If this guy was not saved he’s having a much worse time right now. Again, sad story. These IFB stories are starting to get worse every time.

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  2. M.E. Anders

    I nearly wept when I read this letter. To think that such a tortured soul was left scarred in life and death through the terrible things done to him. I have no other words.

    The pain and suffering that so many Ex-christians must endure when they “leave the fold” is inexplicable. I have felt it myself, though not to this extent.

    Thank you for sharing this letter.

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  3. Nicholas

    Ms. Anders, please do not equate Christianity with the IFB cult.

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  4. Pastor Scharkley

    I am deeply moved that this individual had taken his life due to those things happening to him. this is one of the reasons Christians should get in a Church where there is more teaching from the Holy Book and now on the manipulative teachings on pocket books (money). Lurking among the Churches are some dark entity, which hides itself among the body of Christ called “false-prophets” teaching what they shouldn’t or twisting scriptures to their own advantages. But I can assure you this God’s purpose for us is to live as Christ commands, this does not mean for us to do whatever; when ever, where ever. “The rope of the Gospels and its teachings are tight, but they are right”. It takes a very special person to accept the ways of the Lord; that being a sinner saved by grace through faith, What happens to a persons choice is still up to them, if a person choose to obey Christ and live or disobey and die, spiritually, remember Judas Iscariot? we really can’t blame people for our choices, they belong to us, some of us must find strength within and say to ourselves, “it’s a personal thing between me and God”, what others say and do is not my God, so it is my declaration, “Christ I live and “For Christ I will wait tilmy change come” to take my life? I follow Christ not Judas Iscariot”. Church don’t make me, the Gospel do. and to say I suicide for a denomination or belief is lame. because in the world there are more than thousands of practices, but to kill myself for I claim to be deceptive is backwards wouldn’t you think it would be logical to leave it, than to die for it?belief, wow! it must be a belief, true since people are willing to kill themself over it…

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  5. Pastor Scharkley

    I am deeply moved that this individual had taken his on life due to those things happening to him. this is one of the reasons why Christians should get in a Church where there is more teaching from the Holy Book and than on the manipulative teachings on pocket books (money). Lurking among the Churches are some dark entity, which hides itself among the body of Christ called “false-prophets” teaching what they shouldn’t or twisting scriptures to their own advantages. But I can assure you this; God’s purpose for us is to live as Christ commands, this does not mean for us to do whatever; when ever, where ever. “The rope of the Gospels and its teachings are tight, but they are right”. It takes a very special person to accept the ways of the Lord; and that being sinners saved by grace through faith, What ever happens to a persons and their choice is still up to them, if a person choose to obey Christ and live, or disobey and die, physically, spiritually or both it is totally up to them., remember Judas Iscariot? we really can’t blame others for our choices, they belong to us, some of us must find strength within and say to ourselves, “our choice is a personal thing between me and my God”, what others say and do is not my God, so it is my declaration, “for Christ I live and “for Christ I will wait till my change come” to take my life? no! because, we are to follow the teachings of Christ not the example of Judas Iscariot”. Church is a meeting place for chritians,everybody in the church are not saved and are not Biblically equipped, so a person should rely on Bible truth to change us, people in church don’t change us, the Gospel do. and to say I suicide for a denomination or belief is lame. because in the world there is over thousands of churches, and practices, but to kill myself for a claim that I consider to be deceptive would be somewhat backwards don’t you think so? wow! it must be a belief that is so true since people are willing to kill themself over it…
    I know the Gospel is true, but we don’t have to suicide over it… sad for such a soul that could’ve been great for God, only if he knew what people say versus the Bible truth really doesn’t matter…..

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  6. Paul

    Pastor Scharkley states:
    “Lurking among the Churches are some dark entity, which hides itself among the body of Christ called “false-prophets” teaching what they shouldn’t or twisting scriptures to their own advantages.”

    Dear Sir, Please be careful lest you find this to be a description of yourself. When you make the below statement, you reveal your own error.

    “Church is a meeting place for chritians, everybody in the church are not saved and are not Biblically equipped, so a person should rely on Bible truth to change us, …”

    Is God’s church really just a meeting place for Christians. Isn’t this reducing it to being that place on the corner made with brick and mortor? And who is it that makes up God’s church? Wouldn’t you agree that one must be equipped in order to help equip others?

    And what does this mean?
    “The rope of the Gospels and its teachings are tight, but they are right”.

    Paul

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  7. Katie

    I have been in my Independent Fundamental Baptist church and never once has our pastor discouraged us from reading the bible ourselves and seeing what we ourselves think of it. In my Sunday school class and regular church we actually have people that come out with questions about the scripture and in my Sunday school class we bring our own questions about the Bible and either the teacher or us ( the students audience whatever u want to call us) answer it or we look it up. Like I’m seriously not going to feed you bull saying everyone in the church are nice because there is not one place were everyone is nice and perfect but there is real lOve in my church even if everyone doesn’t get along all the time. And our beliefs as an Independent Baptist church is that once saved always saved, to be saved u must believe that Jesus died for you and rose again and is your savior and we believe in the King James Bible only. Honestly I don’t see how that’s a cult or cult like and please don’t ramble on about how I have been ” brainwashed” and have had teachings shoved down my throat. And please don’t think all of independent Baptist churches are all alike. Come to my church and I promise you that you will be welcomed and not by a fake facade. ( just talk to mama rose everyone loves her, she will talk your head off) anyway no I’m not an adult just one or two years shy of being an official adult. But thank you for listening

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  8. Katie

    Oh and I too feel close to God when I am in nature. My mom often says how can someone not believe in God when they see all the beauty and complexity of nature. And about the poor man that committed suicide you can blame that on Independent Baptist’s. Yes he was raped but there are people who are abused physically( raped etc) and abused mentally yet they do not committ suicide they deal with it and get help. But this is a really sad story:(.

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  9. Charles

    @Katie

    Uh, Katie, I don’t recall anyone blaming the IFB for Bill’s suicide.

    Also (regarding your first comment) no one is saying that you can’t ask questions in the IFB. Of course anyone can ask questions, as long as they are the right kind of questions. The problem comes when someone questions the teachings of the IFB. There is a difference.

    If I come to your church I will be welcome, of that I have no doubt. But that welcome will only last so long as I don’t question their teachings or become a member and then later decide I want to visit another church. The “welcome” that one feels in the IFB is conditional. It’s not the kind of welcome that you are trying to pretend it is.

    Sorry, but that’s reality. I guess when you get to be an adult you might understand.

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  10. Katie

    Typical that you would twist my words around. You can ask ANY kind of question wether that question be why they teach what they teach. You can ask why the people in the church believe the way they due and trust me if you want to visit another church then that is your personal choice, and one of my friends would go to one church on Wednesday’s and then my church on Sunday’s and no one treated her any different. No one would treat you any different either because it was YOUR choice and I’m not pretending I’m just saying the truth. And just because I’m not an ” adult” doesn’t mean I don’t understand things and that I don’t understand reality. And honestly I’m not trying to change your opinion of independent baptist churches I’m just giving you my opinion and view of things. Thank you.

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  11. Charles

    Katie,

    First, I didn’t twist your words. You misunderstood. To question means to challenge. I’m not talking about simply asking questions. I’m talking about challenging or disputing the teachings – as in “I question (challenge, dispute) the IFB doctrine or mandate to tithe” (for example).

    I dare you to go into your SS class this Sunday and dispute the churches stance on tithing. That means that you tell your SS teacher that you disagree with tithing and that you refuse to pay tithes to the church anymore. If you would be so bold I would love to hear how that goes. I’m not holding my breath though.

    Second, YOUR words… “You can ask why the people in the church believe the way they due…”. Perhaps you should start with a dictionary to figure out what “to question” means and the difference between do and due before you try and start philosophical debates.

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  12. John 10:10

    Katie,

    you may have or may not have been “brainwashed” in your IFB Church. I’m pretty sure about one thing though and that is there is some bloodwashing going on at your IFB church.

    “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5). From the NKJV.

    what can wash away our sins? nothing but the blood of Jesus.

    with his stripes we are healed,

    A Child of God

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  13. Chims

    I am IFB and hate to hear us called a cult. That said, the IFB’s I know are not all so cut-and-dried slit your throat for being a human types either. I wish we were not getting so much bad press lately but it is the individuals of any walk and faith who abuse others in any sense of the word who get all the attention. It is not the mother living quietly at home, loving her child and her God, and not angered by the lives of others.

    I feel for the soul who wrote this. I grieve for him, and for his family. I wish spiritual abuse did not exist in any religion at all, much less one that should know more about the mercy of God towards sinners (which we all are) than it appears to from the outside looking in. I will happily live my life to the opposite of the IFB reputation and hope and pray that many, many more of my generation will do the same.

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  14. bob

    Chims,
    I agree with your sentiments. I know that there are some good IFB churches and you can’t lump them all together.
    One of the problems I noticed with IFB churches in general is their one elder form of church government. There is usually a body of deacons as well that have the ability to over rule on matters. The problem comes in when the only elder ( the pastor) takes control using his personal influence or ” I am your authority attitude” to get his way and wield his influence over the people. So long as good godly men are in the pastor or sole elder position, things go pretty well. But if you get a man who is selfishly ambitious and does not have the humble attitude and character of Christ, look out!
    I certainly wish you and your church the best as you serve Christ.

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  15. Katie

    Not suprising that you would call me out on a typing error. And I believe in tithing because
    In the Bible it says “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” that is in Malachi 3:8 and in Malachi 3:10 the Bible says “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to recieve it.” that is in the KJV ( King James Version) so why would I dispute something I believe in? I wouldn’t because that would be stupid. And my pastor says if u dont pay tithes it’s not between you and him or the church it’s between you and God. So maybe it’s not the fact you have something against independent baptist biblical teachings but the fact that you have something against God. Idk though I’m just a kid. Maybe I’ll know when i’m an adult.

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  16. Charles

    @Katie

    Typing error??? I doubt it. Isn’t there anything in your IFB dogma about lying???

    I wasn’t asking you to denounce your belief in tithing. I was just using that as an example of something you could use to try out my suggestion. Glad I didn’t hold my breath.

    Just PRETEND that you disagree with your church’s stance on tithing (or something else if you don’t want to use tithing like door to door witnessing, going to movies, dancing, Christian contemporary music, etc.) and you refuse to follow that belief to see the reaction you get. Kind of like an experiment to see if I’m right. If I’m wrong then you have nothing to lose since your church will still accept you. If I’m right then you will see what I’m talking about.

    I’ll refer you to the critique of the classic IFB tithing scriptures that you quoted that’s already on this site. I’m not wasting my time arguing them since you probably won’t be interested in anything that an non-IFBer says about them anyway.

    So, no, I don’t have anything against God, just the IFB – thanks for judging me though and living up to the standards set by the IFB on judging people. Well done!!!

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  17. Chims

    I agree Bob, and have been under spiritual abuse from this type of pastor before. Needless to say we did not stick around. We were broken but that lead to resolve to bring change within the faith rather than from without.

    I agree that spiritual abuse exists in some (perhaps many – God forbid) and pray that as time moves on and younger eyes continue to be open and resistant to this unique form of spiritual warfare that we will consciously move away from these stuck-in-the-past and nearly unbiblical ideas.

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  18. bob

    Chims,
    It is good to hear that you avoided a bad situation. I was in a very authoritarian type of IFB church for a short time.
    Christians who know the Scriptures have a priceless protection against ungodly men who pervert God’s truth and church. Those who fail to study God’s word put themselves in real danger. But it is young believers and new converts that I am concerned about the most.

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  19. greg

    @Katie
    Hi Katie – I have enjoyed reading your comments, and I appreciate that you use scripture, and it is the matter of the scripture that I wish to discuss.

    The passage you quoted in Malachi was written to Jews that were under the law/old covenant, we are now under grace/new covenant. Now if we (baptists pastors consistently teach this) try to apply this passage to christians under grace there are a few problems. Have a look at the passage again, do you see any money mentioned at all? So please tell me how does your pastor see money here? Where were these Jews supposed to bring these tithes? To the storehouse. Where is that, well preacher Dave said that the church is now the storehouse, ok, please tell me where that verse is located, let’s keep this entire teaching biblical.

    Tithing is biblical, it’s just not christian. Tithing was for the Jews under the law, tithes were never money, this is what so irritates me with the false teaching of the Baptists, the tithes were agricultural products from the land, never money, if I am wrong please list verses. Never were gentile (non-Jews) ever asked to tithe, NEVER!

    Are we to support our NT churches, absolutely, giving is all over the NT, but tithing was for Jews under the law.

    2 Corinthians 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.”

    The above is NT giving, about as far away from legalistic tithing as one could get!!

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  20. Sylvia

    I am overwhelmed. I had no experience with child molestation or anyone who had been molested til I was in my twenties. I guess maybe I was pretty sheltered. After meeting several woman who had experienced molestation, I was stunned at how often it occurs and began to realize that often you can identify them before they share their full past with you. It leaves lasting damage and truly does affect them the rest of their lives. However, this man’s letter clarifies the damage in a way I was ignorant of. I didnt realize how pervasive it is in the abused person’s head. How it haunts every relationship. How it destroys every joy. I guess I’ve been pretty naive. IBF or not, his accounting of the shadow of abuse is so disturbing. I am so sorry this letter ever had to be written but, am so glad he did.

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  21. J. C.

    @bob
    My problem comes from the fact that I am a single mom of four and feel like I don’t read my bible enough to have the right to make the decision to leave my church. I started going to my church when I was in a homeless shelter and in the process of leaving a 15 year marriage to an abusive & unfaithful (many girlfriends, drugs, etc.) man. Since then, I have become an RN and have a home for my children, two jobs, etc. However, my two teenagers do not go to church with me. I still love them. I am “supposed” to be giving up on them and focusing on keeping my two youngest in the church…and am just so conflicted. I am tired and want to just love my family just the way it is. I feel like it is time for us to have some LOVE….and ACCEPTANCE for who we are. There is still so much anger in my home that needs to be worked out. My 13 yr old son who still comes to church acts perfect when he is there, and is a high honors student at school, but has the biggest anger problem at home. Right now, I barely read my bible…and feel like I am too much in sin to even make a decision. So, I keep going…keep trying to “get right”…keep watching myself sin…keep thinking of that verse “fornicators, etc. shall not inherit the kingdom of God”…

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  22. bob

    Hi J.C.,
    It sounds like you are caught in a rut. Being faithful to a church is no substitute for fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Christ and His word have to have the central place in our lives if we are going to experience real peace and joy.
    I really do sympathize for you and the difficult situation you are in, and I am sure you are doing your best to raise your children. One of the things that bothers me about many IFB churches is that they insist on forcing people into their traditional mold. I think that it is most unnatural and unscriptural to expect everyone to look and act alike, especially in a rigid and traditional environment. If your children don’t have the freedom to be themselves and express their opinions like they should be able to do in a healthy church, they are more likely to resist attending or just tune out when they are there. I really hope there are people in the church that your children enjoy being around. I mean people that they respect and who’s opinions they would value. Kids need to be around good slightly older role models that they can pattern their lives after. This is the real business of the church. Teenagers need role-models. If your church doesn’t have this, I hope you can find a place where they can build some quality relationships.
    I will encourage you to make time to focus on your relationship with Christ by spending quality time in His Word and I will pray that He will bless you and strengthen you as you do. Remember, there are no substitutes to building your own personal relationship with Christ. You’ll see!
    If there is anything else you would like to discuss just post and let me know.

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  23. Thomas

    @Paul
    Paul you sound angry. Two types of people destroys the true meaning of Church they are Legalist and Modernist your view falls somewhere in the middle, ask God to come into your life.

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  24. Thomas

    @Paul
    The Church is a body of baptized believers in Christ, the Church is Spiritual and Visible in the World, All people attend the Visible and are very religious, but very few find the Spiritual, where the True Church Worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth.The Church building with Mortar and Stones is a meeting place, but the importance is our geniune worship and I truly believe everybody can worship God from their personal point of view, but the God of the Bible is to be worshiped by True Worshipers, in SPIRIT and in TRUTH John 4:24.
    Whenever evil is exposed for whatever reason people become offended and very offensive for what? guilt! well they try to hide or cover up their evil by pointing the finger at everyone else instead of confession they get mad because they are still in their old nature.

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  25. Debbie

    Wow is was hard to read this letter without tears.. I too was brought up IFB and I felt his pain.. I have about 55 years of crap buried in my head and its taken me this long to understand I serve a totally loving God compared to the God IFB preacher preached about!. I too a Christian thought there is no way God will love me.. I have been divorced, and that right there is huge!!! The pastor himself told me you will never be able to hold your head up in a church because of a divorce and guess what I believed it, becuase it was drilled in me. After going to a SBC i started learning of God’s love for me and how He only see’s me thru the blood of Jesus.. So I am pretty special, but its not to say the devil attacks me to tell me I am not.. I have forgiven this pastor who ended up having major issues himself which came out many years later, plus a divorce himself. So this IFB preaching messed me up.. I could never compare to that perfect life.. Its a spiritual abuse if its taken to the extreme! Thats what makes it so hard.. even today I try my best not to make everything black and white…not to put a label on everyone.. Thank you for this site.. I totally wish I could do somethings over in my life.. I would certainly have a closer relationship with Christ…..as I do now!

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    • greg

      Debbie – Oh yes Divorce, the IFB’s unpardonable sin, you can still come to church, (and tithe) you just have to sit on the back row………smiles!! Yep I’m divorced myself, not proud of it btw, but just to let you know I can relate. I remember tearing through the Scriptures to see just how badly God hated me because of what the MOG had to say about my wickedness, but a funny thing happened, I journeyed over to Jeremiah 3:8 and found that not only could God forgive me for my divorce, He could really relate. Why? Because He went through a divorce Himself!!! “I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries.”

      Make no mistake God does not like divorce, He also doesn’t like hypocrisy, malice, greed, envy, gluttony, hatred, bigamy……shall I go on? But the good news, the blood of Christ cleanses us from all of these sins………..I thank God that I don’t carry the burdens of my sins any more, God took them and put them as far as the east is from the west, when God looks at me, He sees the blood of Jesus….How dare any man make us carry the weight of our own sins, when, as a Christian we have an advocate with the Father!

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