Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Deception

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

Testimonials

Below you will find stories of those who are brave enough to share their experiences with the public. If you have a story to tell and would like to have it posted on this site please Click Here.

Sir,

I have been part of the IFB church for nearly 18 years, and lately I have been troubled over the same issues you addressed.

Sometimes, I feel as if I am being duped...give your tithe, mission support, and there is always some kind of "love" offering.

I missed two weeks of church recently for my brother-in-law's funeral, I didn't get a phone call to see if I was ok, but when I came to church someone gave me a card to give to my wife asking for a donation for a baby shower.

Speaking of missing church...don't get me started on this. Talk about being guilted into not missing a service...

Mark   

My 22 yo very naive stepdaughter has joined a IFB church in December and I have been watching her closely. They have now introduced her to a man from another IFB church in Ohio. He was supposedly just visiting the Pastor, but after one day at the church and speaking for 2 weeks they are now in a relationship and he is encouraging her to visit them in Ohio bc his parents are leaving for a year to grow the church. We have attended services there on Easter to show her our support and that she has family that cares about her. She is perfect prey bc she currently lives with alcoholic mother and new husband. She has said she can't wait to move out and unfortunately, while we keep communication open, we don't have room for her to live with us. we have the 2 younger children living with us. Please advise, if there is any, as to how we might be able hold on to her before she is in too deep, if not already too late. Thank you.

joy   

Hello. I was living in South Carolina with my husband and children, when an Independant baptist preacher knocked on our door and invited us to his church which was right up the road. We started going as a family not knowing anything about the denomination. We honestly felt so welcomed and fit right in with the people who were down to earth and friendly. The pastor was young handsome and charismatic. It didn't take long to learn all their unspoken manmade rules/laws like: no movie, no secular music, no pants for women, suits and ties for men and you better be there EVERY time the doors are open! Because IF you're not, they are going to mention it the following week by saying; "missed you last Sunday night". At first I felt closer to God than I ever had before and of course my entire family was saved and baptized. But after awhile the "rules" felt very oppressive. "KJV only" was okay by me and I really liked the way they preach. But the way they idolize Jack Hyles and others really got to me. I don't know if they all do this but my Preacher insisted they did'nt drink alcohol in biblical times, that it was only grape juice (I'm not buying that). I'll always love them for their love toward us and introducing me to Jesus in a big way but I don't like the rules and pressure tactics! If it wasn't for that-I would be attending one today! I also LOVE the soul winning! Whats not to love? I could say more but not enough pages here. My main point is..I do not think they are a cult. I just think they are a little off on their doctrine, and brainwashed by other "church leaders" but sincere in their quest for God, for the most part.

DJ   

This stuff, looking back in my experience all this for the most part is true, there was a lot of error but not everything was all bad however "A LEARNING EXPERIENCE" received a lot of accurate preaching along with hog wash.

ghostfire220   

Hello Steve,

I don't know if you're still active as I didn't see a recent post but I wanted to reach out anyway. My brother became involved with the IBF faith during his rehab for heroin addiction. They basically rebooted his brain and he bought in to their theology. He eventually started attending West Coast Bible College and while there he got engaged to a cradle IFBer. Eventually the pressure of their rules and standards coupled with the pressures from his fiancee's father to pursue a degree my brother didn't really want to do, he started using again and was turned in by his roommate. Needless to say, he was expelled and the girl's dad made her cut off all ties to him. After that he went to Anchor Academy to get clean again and to fix his "backsliding". He got clean, and started a job at the cotton gin near him. Of course they never got him psychological counseling to find the root of his problem, as reading the Word was enough. He relapsed again and now is back home struggling everyday. Through all this the desertion of his church and girlfriend, the unforgiving nature of the theology he still stands up for the IFB way of church. Sadly he has also got my mom and sister attending now. I just last December found my faith and am a confirmed Episcopalian. Their church holds like 4 different separation doctrines and consider my faith to be apostate so my family is supposed to separate from me, luckily they don't ...yet. It just upsets me this is the first faith they tried and now they have all these twisted perceptions about how to be a Christian and have all sorts of misinformation about my faith. We are an ecumenical denomination which they consider bad as they have separation doctrine. The anti-intellectualism espoused by there pastors causes them to be suspicious of most of what I believe in the Bible because I'm too educated and don't hold to 6 day creation or new earth theology. I have a very fulfilling church life and am thinking of being a priest. It saddens me because I feel they are getting a raw deal when it comes to their spiritual life. I've told them they don't need to join my church but I do feel they are being misled in there biblical teachings.

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Kyle Tribbett   
Kyle Tribbett   

Hello Steve,

I don't know if you're still active as I didn't see a recent post but I wanted to reach out anyway. My brother became involved with the IBF faith during his rehab for heroin addiction. They basically rebooted his brain and he bought in to their theology. He eventually started attending West Coast Bible College and while there he got engaged to a cradle IFBer. Eventually the pressure of their rules and standards coupled with the pressures from his fiancee's father to pursue a degree my brother didn't really want to do, he started using again and was turned in by his roommate. Needless to say, he was expelled and the girl's dad made her cut off all ties to him. After that he went to Anchor Academy to get clean again and to fix his "backsliding". He got clean, and started a job at the cotton gin near him. Of course they never got him psychological counseling to find the root of his problem, as reading the Word was enough. He relapsed again and now is back home struggling everyday. Through all this the desertion of his church and girlfriend, the unforgiving nature of the theology he still stands up for the IFB way of church. Sadly he has also got my mom and sister attending now. I just last December found my faith and am a confirmed Episcopalian. Their church holds like 4 different separation doctrines and consider my faith to be apostate so my family is supposed to separate from me, luckily they don't ...yet. It just upsets me this is the first faith they tried and now they have all these twisted perceptions about how to be a Christian and have all sorts of misinformation about my faith. We are an ecumenical denomination which they consider bad as they have separation doctrine. The anti-intellectualism espoused by there pastors causes them to be suspicious of most of what I believe in the Bible because I'm too educated and don't hold to 6 day creation or new earth theology. I have a very fulfilling church life and am thinking of being a priest. It saddens me because I feel they are getting a raw deal when it comes to their spiritual life. I've told them they don't need to join my church but I do feel they are being misled in there biblical teachings. I get all the usual IFB rhetoric, "you just want a preacher that tells you what you want to here," or "you just need to read your bible", "your church is of the world because you allow gays to marry and that's apostasy" They never wanna hear why we do what we do at service, rather just go on the assumptions and prejudice of their pastor. But, I love them and pray they will see the flatness of their doctrines and pastors teachings. Thanks for this site though. Please hit me back if you can

Thanks for critiquing the IFB movement and what it's really about. Being judgmental and self-righteous under the appearance of church-going.

Honestly, there's so much legalism in the IFB/IBLP worldview (IBLP doesn't necessarily consider itself as IFB, but shares its basic views). Classifying pants on women, instrumental music, casual clothing, curly hairstyles on men (not sure if the IFB thinks that way about women), and other physical things as sinful.

As for the 20/20 incident, it makes you wonder whether the legalistic ways of the IFB can really correct their sinfulness (their legalism and hypocrisy is also part of their sinfulness as well). One article that you could elaborate more on is the IFB view on "Soul-Winning".

One analysis (the IFB thinks that you're wrong if you analyze their teachings) of the IFB view on "Soul-Winning" (typically hyphenated), but mostly the IFB worldview in general can be read at:

http://www.a-voice.org/qa/ifbdogma.htm

As for KJV-Only, the Hebrew and Greek were the Original Languages of the Scriptures. There's no reason to demonstrate the I'm Right, You're Wrong Mentality of the IFB churches.

Hope that's been well explained and God bless.

Anonymous   

Hello, It is encouraging for me to have found your website. I left an IB church recently and with a group of about ten former IBs we started a Sunday bible study/fellowship and it is just such a blessing to be away from the legalism and politics of it all. There is true freedom in the gospel. How amazing the God we serve is. Lizzie M from Australia.

Elizabeth   

I read your website and can tell you from first hand experience how much I agree with you. My mom got involved in an IFB church when I was a child. After a short time, she began telling my dad (who was and is a conservative and respectable Lutheran) that he was a heathen and leading his children astray. He saw the danger of what was happening and tried to keep me away from her church. This leaded to increased violence.

As a child, I was confused. I was forced to start wearing ankle length skirts to school and was no longer allowed to socialize outside of school because my classmates were unsaved. Still, I tried hard to please my mom and the church, including going to Hyles-Anderson College when I graduated. I have completed four years at HAC and have one semester left.

While there, I have seen much that I disagree with. The academics (which were easier than the work I did in high school) were often forsaken and ‘big days’, ‘mission conferences’, and church projects took its place. I stayed anyway, partly due to the tremendous pressure from my family. I can say though that I’m looking forward to leaving. Upon graduation, I will leave for Air Force Basic Training and become and Air Traffic Controller.

I consider myself very lucky because I know that I only have a few more months of the IFB church. I do worry about my brothers. They see constant arguing and even physical fighting between their parents because of differences in beliefs. At 13 and 15, they are constantly told they are rebellious and hateful. They have been the subject of many a sermon. In reality, they are normal teenage boys who are seeing the truth and deciding for themselves what they believe. I just hope they don’t suffer long-term consequences because of the way they were brought up.

I’m in no way saying I’m turning my back on religion as a whole. I love God and believe in Him strongly. I read the Bible (I actually like the KJV because of its poetic language though I’m not opposed to other versions) and pray. I want to lead a clean life. But it hurts to be seen as a ‘heathen’ and a ‘homewrecker’ because of my decisions for the future. Thank you for showing the truth in this group.

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Anonymous   
Anonymous   

I read your website and can tell you from first hand experience how much I agree with you. My mom got involved in an IFB church when I was a child. After a short time, she began telling my dad (who was and is a conservative and respectable Lutheran) that he was a heathen and leading his children astray. He saw the danger of what was happening and tried to keep me away from her church. This leaded to increased violence.

As a child, I was confused. I was forced to start wearing ankle length skirts to school and was no longer allowed to socialize outside of school because my classmates were unsaved. Still, I tried hard to please my mom and the church, including going to Hyles-Anderson College when I graduated. I have completed four years at HAC and have one semester left.

While there, I have seen much that I disagree with. The academics (which were easier than the work I did in high school) were often forsaken and ‘big days’, ‘mission conferences’, and church projects took its place. I stayed anyway, partly due to the tremendous pressure from my family. I can say though that I’m looking forward to leaving. Upon graduation, I will leave for Air Force Basic Training and become and Air Traffic Controller.

I consider myself very lucky because I know that I only have a few more months of the IFB church. I do worry about my brothers. They see constant arguing and even physical fighting between their parents because of differences in beliefs. At 13 and 15, they are constantly told they are rebellious and hateful. They have been the subject of many a sermon. In reality, they are normal teenage boys who are seeing the truth and deciding for themselves what they believe. I just hope they don’t suffer long-term consequences because of the way they were brought up.

I’m in no way saying I’m turning my back on religion as a whole. I love God and believe in Him strongly. I read the Bible (I actually like the KJV because of its poetic language though I’m not opposed to other versions) and pray. I want to lead a clean life. But it hurts to be seen as a ‘heathen’ and a ‘homewrecker’ because of my decisions for the future. Thank you for showing the truth in this group. I hope many are helped by it.

I've had bad experiences with 1 particular IFB church... the emotional abuse, the guilt trips, that no other denomination of Christianity comes close to a bible believing church. The pastors at this particular church were very condescending, arrogant, self righteous, smug, judgmental and used a lot of legalism. Luckily, my own intuition told me to get the hell out of there! Its seems the more self righteous they are the more arrogance and pride they develop. Being there seemed as if I was never a good enough Christian. Constantly trying to measure up to their standards.

Kris   

Steve,
I came across your site while doing some searching and ended up staying for awhile to read through several articles. I grew up Baptist although not IFB. I am the Youth Pastor at a SBC now. I have learned over the years to study the Scriptures on my own instead of blindly following incorrect doctrine that I hear from the pulpit. I have to say that I agree with most of what I have read on this site, even about tithing. My church teaches tithing and although I disagree with it, so far they have not voted me out! I was reading the article on the Romans Road. I agree with the article and the fact that it is a cookie cutter, results oriented approach. I especially like what you said here: "We wonder if it’s truly possible to receive Christ without understanding the full impact of our sin and the process of repentance..." I have a passion for evangelism and one of the first things I taught the youth at my church when I first came on board was how to share their faith. We talked about what the gospel is and what it is not. We talked about how people now a days water down the gospel to keep from offending someone by saying things like "God has a wonderful plan for your life" and "You have a God shaped hole in your heart and only He can fill it" When I hear that, especially from the pulpit, it sets of a rage in me. Without knowing the full impact of sin and saying a magical cookie cutter prayer, can that person truly be saved? It is my mission to teach my church how to share their faith with the true gospel without pushing for results by getting someone to repeat a magic prayer. One things that you said in that article bothered me though. You said "Witnessing is about building relationships and showing who Christ is and deliberately planting seeds." While I agree that we should build relationships with people, witnessing is not just about actions, showing love, or meeting needs. What if the person gets hit by a bus before you ever share the gospel with him so he can know how to be saved? I see a lot of people use the excuse that they are building relationships and will eventually get around to sharing the gospel with someone.

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Matt Keesee   
Matt Keesee   

Steve,
I came across your site while doing some searching and ended up staying for awhile to read through several articles. I grew up Baptist although not IFB. I am the Youth Pastor at a SBC now. I have learned over the years to study the Scriptures on my own instead of blindly following incorrect doctrine that I hear from the pulpit. I have to say that I agree with most of what I have read on this site, even about tithing. My church teaches tithing and although I disagree with it, so far they have not voted me out! I was reading the article on the Romans Road. I agree with the article and the fact that it is a cookie cutter, results oriented approach. I especially like what you said here: "We wonder if it’s truly possible to receive Christ without understanding the full impact of our sin and the process of repentance..." I have a passion for evangelism and one of the first things I taught the youth at my church when I first came on board was how to share their faith. We talked about what the gospel is and what it is not. We talked about how people now a days water down the gospel to keep from offending someone by saying things like "God has a wonderful plan for your life" and "You have a God shaped hole in your heart and only He can fill it" When I hear that, especially from the pulpit, it sets of a rage in me. Without knowing the full impact of sin and saying a magical cookie cutter prayer, can that person truly be saved? It is my mission to teach my church how to share their faith with the true gospel without pushing for results by getting someone to repeat a magic prayer. One things that you said in that article bothered me though. You said "Witnessing is about building relationships and showing who Christ is and deliberately planting seeds." While I agree that we should build relationships with people, witnessing is not just about actions, showing love, or meeting needs. What if the person gets hit by a bus before you ever share the gospel with him so he can know how to be saved? I see a lot of people use the excuse that they are building relationships and will eventually get around to sharing the gospel with someone. Yes, Jesus was relational with those that he talked to but it was not weeks upon weeks of relationship building before He presented the gospel to them. The woman at the well, Nicodemus and the rich young ruler all got the gospel message within a short time of meeting Jesus. It was not days or weeks or months later. Not to mention, what about those people you will never see again? They need to hear the gospel too right? Maybe I took what you said the wrong way, but I am tired of seeing "relationship building" as an excuse to not actually articulate the gospel message. Thanks for your ear!

thanks & appreciation

Hi Steve, I just found your site by accident yesterday, but have been able to leave it alone. I'll try to be brief, but I wouldn't mind corresponding with you in greater detail. I wasn't raised in an IFB church, but rather as a catholic. About 10 or 12 years ago, I left catholicism and strived to find a "better" church, invariably I was drawn to IFB, although there aren't any locally, there were a few close enough to drive to. Much of what you write about I experienced somewhat, but the most important thing is the is the inadequacy I feel in not being "good enough",(ironically, I felt the same way in the catholic church). It got so bad that I stopped going to church altogether; being stuck in a depressive rut, I wanted to return to Jesus, but felt that I didn't have what it takes, or that somehow I wasn't truly "saved". What you have to say opened my eyes to the fact that God's grace is more than what we humans understand it to be, thank you. Joe

Joe   

I, too, was raised in the IFB church. From the time I was eight until I was in my mid-twenties, I belonged to this denomination. I finally got fed up with the attitude of the pastor and the IFB elite and my husband and I left. I have never attended another church since. I feel like I would be opening myself up to abuse again. Could you recommend some books to read or denominations to try? I am at a loss, and completely scared.
I have a 7-year-old daughter and will NOT have her subjugated like my sister and I were at the hands of this "church". Oh, the tales I could tell.

Christal Hager   

I to was raised in this and still struggle with this as does my brother, sister and many friends. The issues the alternatives seem to be worse either hyper-Grace/Reformism/Calvinism or just straight out rock concert with some sun shine message that doesn't teach you, grow you and certainly doesn't convict you. I had the privilege of being under Dr Adrian Rogers for a few years and really healed a lot under him as he was so strong and taught me deeper in my faith without the layer of traditions and legalism hoops. The contemporary movement sadness me as I see so many people that know nothing of the Bible don't really serve as there is no choir, no special music, and really such a business that there just nowhere to make the church your own, not to mention the other issues I've already mentioned. I really wish someone who understood that a Pastor need to teach, and step on some toes but also have grace and love, along with really worshiping God and not just being entertained would be a more Biblical church... I guess I'm rambling... I've just seen so many get out of church or go but really not on fire for God including myself. I have a hard time finding a church. Thanks for the book recommendations and this site.

Jason   

I have been reading this site tonight like FINALLY someone GETS IT!!! I am currently a member of an IFB church, though not the one I grew up in. I grew up in a very large IFB church and attended their Christian school where I was paddled all the time for the most innocent, minor infractions. We were screamed at and I was told all the time how bad I was. But I had a very tender heart as a child and loved God and desired to do right. However after years of being told what a brat I was it became a self-fulfilling prophecy and I no longer desired to do right. Upon graduation I was sent off to Bob Jones University which I actually loved but where after 2 years I was unjustly expelled over something I didn't do. I then came home to my gossiping church. It was at this point I rejected IFB and refused to go to church. My heart was crushed and I was doubting God. My parents kicked me out of the house and refused to talk to me for several years. I started dating a Catholic boy and actually joined the Catholic church for several years. After our marriage and birth of our first child I realized I did not agree with the doctrines of the Catholic church and so left and found a small, friendly IFB church. I began attending and I found the congregation to be very different from my old church yet in some ways...still the same. Still the IFB legalism. The way I was raised has messed with me and the way I think. I find myself struggling to extend grace to my kids. I am really rough and harsh with them. Not physically but with my biting words. I know this isn't right but I fall right back into the patterns that I was raised with. I did reconcile with my parents and everything but the concept of grace is just lost on me. I struggle with my temper and with constant frustration and unhappiness. Then I'm told I must not be saved or else I'd have the "joy of the Lord" and that if I'm not living a "victorious life" its because I haven't allowed "God's strength to be made perfect in my weakness". Anyhow, a wise Christian friend who was raised the same way I was directed me to this site.

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Sydney   
Sydney   

I have been reading this site tonight like FINALLY someone GETS IT!!! I am currently a member of an IFB church, though not the one I grew up in. I grew up in a very large IFB church and attended their Christian school where I was paddled all the time for the most innocent, minor infractions. We were screamed at and I was told all the time how bad I was. But I had a very tender heart as a child and loved God and desired to do right. However after years of being told what a brat I was it became a self-fulfilling prophecy and I no longer desired to do right. Upon graduation I was sent off to Bob Jones University which I actually loved but where after 2 years I was unjustly expelled over something I didn't do. I then came home to my gossiping church. It was at this point I rejected IFB and refused to go to church. My heart was crushed and I was doubting God. My parents kicked me out of the house and refused to talk to me for several years. I started dating a Catholic boy and actually joined the Catholic church for several years. After our marriage and birth of our first child I realized I did not agree with the doctrines of the Catholic church and so left and found a small, friendly IFB church. I began attending and I found the congregation to be very different from my old church yet in some ways...still the same. Still the IFB legalism. The way I was raised has messed with me and the way I think. I find myself struggling to extend grace to my kids. I am really rough and harsh with them. Not physically but with my biting words. I know this isn't right but I fall right back into the patterns that I was raised with. I did reconcile with my parents and everything but the concept of grace is just lost on me. I struggle with my temper and with constant frustration and unhappiness. Then I'm told I must not be saved or else I'd have the "joy of the Lord" and that if I'm not living a "victorious life" its because I haven't allowed "God's strength to be made perfect in my weakness". Anyhow, a wise Christian friend who was raised the same way I was directed me to this site.

I have actually not been going to church very much the past few years. I say its because of having very young children including a newborn but in reality I don't know if I WANT to go there anymore. I have felt that I don't belong for a while now but I'm not sure what to do. I want to KNOW God and I feel I don't. I always feel He is angry with me--my friend tells me this is how she has felt too thanks to our IFB upbringing.

Even my sister who is married to an IFB (though much more liberal) pastor has admitted to me that she struggled with doubts and worry because of our legalistic upbringing. Old IFB friends of ours have accused her of Calvinism because she has shed some of the old way of thinking and now has peace.

I'm rambling. I just wanted to thank you for this site.

IFB leaders, or rather, KJV Onlyists are known for their rabid anger when screaming and pounding the pulpit during their version of services. Just look at the fruits of Peter S. Ruckman, Jack Hyles, Steven L. Anderson, and the Young Baptists. However, does this screaming, raving, and ranting reflect the works of the flesh or the fruits of the Spirit? Galatians 5:19-26 clearly explains the difference between the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. The IFB ministers like Peter S. Ruckman, Jack Hyles, and Steven L. Anderson feel like they are being righteous by screaming in anger, but it is really self-centered, sinful pride under the appearance of righteousness at the core.

In regards to sinful anger, 1 John 1:9 tells us that God is faithful and just to forgive us for our sins. Remember, Jesus also paid for every sin on Calvary's cross, including sinful anger.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).

Anonymous   

Hello, thanks for posting this information. I wish I could say it was helpful, but right now it has only confused me more. I have been a Christian for most of my life. I have attended Baptist Churches, Pentecostal Churches, Word Faith churches and others. A year ago I started attended an IFB Church and find I am struggling with staying or leaving this Church. There is only 35 people in this church. All the Pastor's in my hometown ( I live in a bible belt ) literally shuddered when I told them where I was attending. Not ONE were happy for me. I love the KJV of the bible and not that fond of newer versions so this was a good fit for me. But when a lady wanted to start a bible study in our church and invite other friends from other churches where they had no ladies' bible study, the Pastor said no. "It's just for our ladies" he said. This troubled me. I understand he didn't want ladies coming in and disrupting our church ladies with different doctrine or ideas. This scares me! I haven't had problems with their teaching on the cross of Christ and they really stress the importance of evangelism which is important, but something doesn't sit right. I used to write songs in my former church but here they are not acceptable. I no longer have use of my gift. ?? My other concern is that all the other churches in the Abbotsford area are going "emerging church" and this is a great concern to me too. I don't know where to go now. I'm quite frustrated and confused. It won't be easy getting out of my IFB church. My friend left and they are quiet upset with her for that. I don't know if you can help me or encourage me here, but I needed to get this off my chest. I hope you will have time to answer my email. Thanks again for your post. It has made me do more indepth thinking. Sincerely, Bj.

Bj Andres   

Steve,

Somehow I stumbled across your blog and decided to take a look, considering I was once a "Fundamental Baptist" as well. I was converted in an IFB church in 1978 at the age of 12 during the preaching of the Gospel, and lived a mostly disobedient life of worldliness until 2002 when the Lord ( actually using David Cloud's website ) caused me to see the truth of biblical separation for the child of God.

I started growing after that, when I actually read my Bible instead of relying on the weekly sermons and Bible studies to keep me fed. I embarked on a testing of all things "IFB" which resulted in me leaving first, the IFB church I had attended for over 25 years, and then eventually all visible churches due to tolerance of their errors.

What I found reading over your blog, was an interesting mix of what I consider to be truth and error, which made me wonder if the person writing the blog had left that denomination for the same reason I did...that Fundamental, Independent Baptists are a *denomination* rather than a church of God's true saints, who mix large amounts of truth with smaller amounts of error, AND hold to those errors tenaciously...even when presented with the truths of Scripture.

I can see that you and I do not agree, especially on the English translation issue ( which really has nothing to do with whether or not the KJV is an "inspired translation", but has everything to do with faithfulness and accuracy when compared to the Majority Text, the Received Text and the Critical Text ) and I suspect that there are other things we will not agree on as well.

I briefly went over your list of "You Might Be an Independent Fundamental Baptist If...and found many things I agree with wholeheartedly.
However, I also found some interesting things that I not only disagree with your perspective on, but wonder how anyone who is seriously considering and weighing things biblically could not see:

>> Number 3 comes to mind immediately...not everyone who is convinced of the accuracy of the Authorized is IFB, nor were they ever in that denomination IMO. Look up a gentleman by the name of Will Kinney, for example. There are definite reasons for not trusting most of the new translations,

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Dave Gilbert   
Dave Gilbert   

Steve,

Somehow I stumbled across your blog and decided to take a look, considering I was once a "Fundamental Baptist" as well. I was converted in an IFB church in 1978 at the age of 12 during the preaching of the Gospel, and lived a mostly disobedient life of worldliness until 2002 when the Lord ( actually using David Cloud's website ) caused me to see the truth of biblical separation for the child of God.

I started growing after that, when I actually read my Bible instead of relying on the weekly sermons and Bible studies to keep me fed. I embarked on a testing of all things "IFB" which resulted in me leaving first, the IFB church I had attended for over 25 years, and then eventually all visible churches due to tolerance of their errors.

What I found reading over your blog, was an interesting mix of what I consider to be truth and error, which made me wonder if the person writing the blog had left that denomination for the same reason I did...that Fundamental, Independent Baptists are a *denomination* rather than a church of God's true saints, who mix large amounts of truth with smaller amounts of error, AND hold to those errors tenaciously...even when presented with the truths of Scripture.

I can see that you and I do not agree, especially on the English translation issue ( which really has nothing to do with whether or not the KJV is an "inspired translation", but has everything to do with faithfulness and accuracy when compared to the Majority Text, the Received Text and the Critical Text ) and I suspect that there are other things we will not agree on as well.

I briefly went over your list of "You Might Be an Independent Fundamental Baptist If...and found many things I agree with wholeheartedly.
However, I also found some interesting things that I not only disagree with your perspective on, but wonder how anyone who is seriously considering and weighing things biblically could not see:

>> Number 3 comes to mind immediately...not everyone who is convinced of the accuracy of the Authorized is IFB, nor were they ever in that denomination IMO. Look up a gentleman by the name of Will Kinney, for example. There are definite reasons for not trusting most of the new translations, and it has everything to do with the Greek texts used. A secondary issue is MONEY, and the publishing houses' apparent desire to "get things rolling" to keep money pouring in. Don't believe me? Check out the front page of Biblica.com. This page purports to give one a truly accurate AND readable translation, but what they do not tell you is how inaccurate the NIV really is. It uses Dynamic Equivalency instead of Formal Equivalency as a translation technique, for starters...look up the difference. Also, the use of marketing gimmick language to hook the reader into believing their claims is not only predictable , but blatant. Is God's word contained in the newer translations? Sure...but I think anyone doing careful research and that cares about every word of God will come to many of the same conclusions I did.

>> 14 comes next, and I wonder if you believe that CCM is OK? Frankly, it is rooted in the flesh and the Lord commands us to deny it, which can be difficult I admit. I've grown more in the last 3 years after setting aside any ungodly and worldly entertainment ( especially the music that has a beat and hooks the flesh ) than I ever did before.

>> 18 dovetails with 14, but only for the reason that I firmly believe secular music is of the world, and most of it is of the devil...rock music especially.

>> 29 is interesting, because state accreditation actually does limit what can and cannot be taught. I've seen many testimonies of what schools were limited to, once they sought state funding and / or accreditation. That aside, the best way for a believer to school their children is home schooling, IMO.

>> 30 seems unbelievable, in the light of what Scripture says about the flesh and about disciplining children. The best thing a parent can do is to start a program of corporal punishment as soon as possible, thereby limiting the severity of the inevitable teenage rebellious years before they leave home. Apart from the indwelling Holy Spirit in a saved individual's life, nothing but the Law and discipline will ever be able to fend off violence and rebellion in an unbeliever's life. There must be something to curb the flesh's appetites, and prior military experience coupled with a firm understanding of the unregenerate mind has gone a long way to convincing me of the necessity of them. Please read the Psalms and Proverbs again if you disagree with spanking a child.

>> 31 Women are not inferior to men, but God commands them to be in submission to their husbands. Please read Ephesians 5:22-33

>> 34 is interesting. The more I study God's word, the more I realize the probability that whole denominations ( and most that are in them ) are bound for Hell...Catholic or otherwise. God's word is very specific, and those that continue to hold to errors manifest themselves as not being of God. Catholicism is gross error, and just because someone professes Christ does not mean they are His. Genuine biblical fruit is the evidence of the inner working of the Holy Spirit...this can be evident in anyone in any "denomination", but I do not believe God will allow His children to stay in the midst of unbelievers any longer than He wants them to.

>> 39 is similar to 30 in that children are inherently disobedient, especially unbelieving ones, and misbehaving children need a firm but loving hand to guide them. Parents are to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and not coddle them or let them get away with blatant disobedience. Love is the most important thing in rearing a child, but next comes discipline, IMO.

>> 44 Secular psychology is just that...secular and worldly. There are many truths to be found there, but at the end of the day it claims to be a science, but one that in reality is based on observations and conclusions that are even less substantiated than man's other sciences. Psychology is the most incomplete science that exists IMO, simply because the conclusions and theories drawn from it are not even close to being 100% repeatable. Unlike electricity, one cannot guarantee that a man will behave the exact same way given the exact same set of circumstances...physics and other sciences are far beyond psychology...so why put any trust in it?

>> 45 IMO, mental health issues are the result of sin and the corrupt flesh we live in...anxiety, depression, excitability and the like are proof of it. Manifestations of things like "bipolar", "schizophrenia" and other similarly violent or strange behaviors should be treated the way they were in Jesus day...the result of the spiritual world wreaking havoc on sinners minds...I.e demons.

>> 48 Health issues can and often do happen as a result of chastisement of the believer. Try giving 1 Corinthians 11 a read...very informative. Scripture is the authority, not my word about it.

>> 51 Amazingly, IFB's are on to something. 1 John 2:15 is very explicit: " Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." This passage scared me near to death every time I saw it, considering how disobedient I had become during the 80's and 90's. You'd be surprised how scriptural IFB's are, despite their many errors.

>> 55 This one I actually tend to agree with on their part. The more I read God's word and the more I experience Him, the more I realize that holiness *is* attainable in this life. But it takes complete submission to God's will in our lives and is only attainable by those of God's children who are of full maturity. In other words, I'm not there yet and my belief ( based on Scripture ) is that it can only be done by being in complete harmony with God. The Holy Spirit is infinitely powerful, and discounting holiness for the believer should not be done, IMO. There are many who profess Christ and strive for it, but they use false doctrines such as "Conditional Security" to motivate their adherents to LIVE it. Then there are others who firmly believe that true holiness cannot be achieved in this life, and they hold to "Unconditional Security". If true holiness were impossible, why would the Lord say, " Be ye holy AS I AM HOLY"...it is an exhortation to God's elect children, and the implication throughout Scripture is that it is not only possible, but attainable at some point.

Most of your list I found to be interesting if not DEAD ON in their observations...but it seems as if you may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater in some of your assessments of the IFB's. Not everything they hold to is erroneous, Scripturally.

I really have one question...if you are a "recovering fundamentalist", what exactly is it that you have recovered TO? My recovery is to God's word and it alone...I hope that yours is as well.

May God bless you in the knowledge of His grace and person,

Dave Gilbert.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I've been going to an IFB church since I was saved about roughly 15 years. I believed everything they said until I started studying apologetics and began to think critically about theology. However, I still go to a local IFB church only because my wife likes it there.

What kind of church do you go to now? Does there exist a church that is really Christ centered and not traditionalism/money/guilt centered?

Thanks again,
Mark

Mark   

Another entry to post on You Might Be an Independent Fundamental Baptist if:

http://www.baptistdeception.com/you-might-be-an-independent-fundamental-baptist-if/#.VAs_P2M4fIV

If you say that modern evangelical leaders are more about popularity (unfortunate, but true), yet your spiritual gurus like Jack Hyles, Peter Ruckman, and Steven L. Anderson profess being "old-fashioned," but are totally self-absorbed, you might be an Independent Fundamental Baptist.

Anonymous   

IF the "young men" in the church are called by their parents,pastor,mentors or anyone else other than God, to preach,be a pastor or hold any office in the church than you are a Independent Fundamental Baptist.

ghostfire220   

I grew up in an Independent, Fundamental KJV only, legalistic Baptist church as well…unfortunately spent about 16 years there or so….. I was so turned off to it by the time I was 18, that I stayed out of church until I was about 28 or so, due to my ignorance, thinking that all churches were like this. I did not want to go to hell, but in my opinion, going to this chruch was hell, so I refused to go back.

Then when I was 27 or so, i was curious and thirsty for God, and so I started going to a southern Baptist church which turned me back on because they were not legalistic and taught me about a true relationship with God and that it is what’s in the heart that matters, not all the ridiculous man-made rules and “religiousness” that goes on in the Fundamental type churches. I have now attended a Full-Gospel Pentecostal church that is not legalistic, for over nine years and could never go back to the rigid, black and white way of seeing things….. fundamentalism. It is my strong personal opinion, that any time you have “Fundamentalism” in a “religion” it is going to be extreme and out of balance… the same goes with the fundamentalists in the mormom church, muslims, etc…. extremely out of balance in the worst sense.

Though I agree not all of these Fundamental churches are manipulating, mean-spirited, controlling modern-day Pharisees, like most of them (99.9%) are, they for the most part are, they do an EXTREME amount of damage to the “church” as a whole, as they misrepresent what the Gospel is truly about and get people side-tracked onto rules, so much that they are so busy trying to please the leadership of the church with the length of their skirt being just right, or whether or not they’re wearing panty hose, or the men’s hair is the right length, that their whole way of thinking eventually becomes consumed with pleasing the leadership,and not God.

They do this all in the name of what they interpret to be “God’s true old-fashioned way”…. thus they stick to the KJV of the bible, as they believe old-fashioned is the best and most right way to be a “Christian”. What they fail to recogize in their narrow-minded thinking, is that the KJV is a version of the bible as well,

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Christine   
Christine   

I grew up in an Independent, Fundamental KJV only, legalistic Baptist church as well…unfortunately spent about 16 years there or so….. I was so turned off to it by the time I was 18, that I stayed out of church until I was about 28 or so, due to my ignorance, thinking that all churches were like this. I did not want to go to hell, but in my opinion, going to this chruch was hell, so I refused to go back.

Then when I was 27 or so, i was curious and thirsty for God, and so I started going to a southern Baptist church which turned me back on because they were not legalistic and taught me about a true relationship with God and that it is what’s in the heart that matters, not all the ridiculous man-made rules and “religiousness” that goes on in the Fundamental type churches. I have now attended a Full-Gospel Pentecostal church that is not legalistic, for over nine years and could never go back to the rigid, black and white way of seeing things….. fundamentalism. It is my strong personal opinion, that any time you have “Fundamentalism” in a “religion” it is going to be extreme and out of balance… the same goes with the fundamentalists in the mormom church, muslims, etc…. extremely out of balance in the worst sense.

Though I agree not all of these Fundamental churches are manipulating, mean-spirited, controlling modern-day Pharisees, like most of them (99.9%) are, they for the most part are, they do an EXTREME amount of damage to the “church” as a whole, as they misrepresent what the Gospel is truly about and get people side-tracked onto rules, so much that they are so busy trying to please the leadership of the church with the length of their skirt being just right, or whether or not they’re wearing panty hose, or the men’s hair is the right length, that their whole way of thinking eventually becomes consumed with pleasing the leadership,and not God.

They do this all in the name of what they interpret to be “God’s true old-fashioned way”…. thus they stick to the KJV of the bible, as they believe old-fashioned is the best and most right way to be a “Christian”. What they fail to recogize in their narrow-minded thinking, is that the KJV is a version of the bible as well, and that there is nothing extra holy about a version that was made in the year of 1611. 99% of them would argue til they turn blue in the face, and sometimes even purple and black, that any other version is demonic and from the pits of hell. this is also a point where they go wrong, as we bring no glory to God whathsoever arguing about these matters, or anything that has to do with God… I have saw and heard of a lot of arguments in the Fundamental type churches, where people get so arrogant and hot-headed, trying to prove their point, as it is all based on a mentality of “we the KJV only people know best!!”… I honestly get very lost in this old version, as it is in Old English, and after going the spiritual abuse that I went thru growing up, I honestly never reach for a KJV bible. They believe it is the spirit of the Antichrist. They find soemthing wrong with anything and everything in Christendom that is not part of how they see things, or any way that is modern versus old-fashioned. God is not impressed with tradition or old-fashionedness, this is not God’s heart. God’s heart is love, mercy, and grace, and helping us find our way home to him one day, through that same grace and mercy, and love….

I have also discovered over the years that denominationalism is idolatry, and 99% of these fundamental Baptist believers are very haughty and prideful in the fact that they are part of this “elect” group of believers, and very proud of being a “Baptist” and you will be a whole lot more likely to hear them say this than to humbly say they are proud to be a “Christian” or “Child of God”…. They do not like to be around people who are not part of their elect group either, which is also not scriptural. I have a famly member who is a preacher at a Fundamnetal Baptist church and he finds something wrong with being on My space or Facebook, as it is “of the world”. Again, what they seem to fail to recognize, is that God can use outlets like this as a witness and for reaching people, and that it is not part of the “world” to let your let shine in that same dark world.

If wearing dresses makes me look holy, and my heart is dark as hell being judugemental and religious spirited, what would be the point? I know of a young lady who went to the same church I did while growing up. She told me the story where she raised 200.00 to attend a church camp, she did fundraisers, worked real hard to raise the money, and when it came time to go on the trip to the youth camp, her youth leader (who was also my youth leader) looked her straight up and down with a very demeaning and judgemental, better than thou mannerism, and said “You are not going to the youth camp, you are not holy.” He viewed her as “not holy” because she was wearing casual khaki pants, that were very decent and loose, and she did not find the holy code of wearing a dress, so he forbid her to go. The last I heard, she attends no church as she has been so hurt by this same church. She also was molested by the bus driver who took her to church, at this same very church in this town. He was also her God-father. I have heard story after story of people being hurt beyond measure by this church’s control, spiritual abuse, mind-control, judgementalism, rudeness, and hatred, all in the name of “winning souls to the Lord”.

I find personally that the whole wearing dresses all the time, sets up a spirit of “better than thou entitlement” or a sense that they are part of, again, an elite group of Christians, who have it all right, and that no one else does. It all boils down to “self-righteousness” though they are seemingly blind to discerning this. They find something wrong with anything and everything from Christian music with drum beats in it, a Christian singer without the look of a Fundamental Baptist, anyone who does not read the KVJ version of the bible, anyone who has been divorced cannot and is forbidden to get married in their churches, they mock people speaking in tongues, which is in itself bordering blaspheming the Holy Ghost, which the Bible says is unpardonable. I would not even want to get close to taking the chance of doing that… btw, Tongues is very biblical, and may I remind everyone, respectfully, that God never changes. They use the argument to explain their disbelief, that the bible says that “Tongues shall cease”. The words right after that in that verse is “Knowledge shall cease”. Has knowledge ceased yet? No…. it will only cease, just like tongues, after we are in eternity, and it is no longer needed here on earth…. What they are unfortunately failing to recognize is the big picture… Tongues shall indeed cease, in eternity, when we as believers, no longer have the need to use this spiritual gift for edification to the spiritual body as a whole and personally. They would find, however, that the gift of tongues would help get their minds off of themselves and their rules, and onto a supernatural and loving God.

I know I have rambled a bit, however I am very passionate about awareness on legalism and spiritual abuse, as I know, first hand, the damage it can cause to one’s spiritual growth and how one views God. Just because a church is zealous about “saving” souls, does not mean they are scripturally on the mark. We can, without even knowing it, be zealous in a way that builds ourself up, and not the true Kingdom of God. Thanks for reading, and God bless

Hello Sir,

just stumbled across this website and I have to say it's so encouraging to find like-minded folk who feel the need to share the truth. I commend your courage and tenacity! Boy, do we agree... we had years of problems with 2 ifb churches, many of which still taunt us to this day. Praise God we saw the light and are free! Wanted to like your page on facebook but I can't find it, seems it disappeared. Can you please point me in the right direction?

Emelyne Roth   

I'm reading all these posts about these baptist cults and to my surprise the one my daughter attends is on here Calvary baptist church with Wayne dillabaugh! They have sucked my daughter into this cult to the point where she had thrown away her family and education for them! I need help on what I can do to get my daughter home! If anyone can help me please email me!

Kelly   

Just ran across your site and like the things you explain.I was part of an ifb church for years and took me a long time to realize something was wrong.I hope lots of people find your site and read it. Thank you.

Daniel Moore   

I attend an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church and it is becoming a cult. The church policy is to have the children on Home Study, not to have TV, Radio, newspapers, telephones, computer or any contact with the world. Even in high school no dates, or go anywhere with other children. Everything is total parent control. This is worst than physical or sex abuse and courts are calling in parents to court.for this mental abuse. Families with children are now leaving the church.

Leonard Granger   

Hi; I was thrilled when I first found your site because there are few things I hate more than legalism. But I just read your article on homosexuality and it left me a bit confused. You say you're not convinced it's wrong. Then how do you explain Romans 1? I'm really curious about this, because so many professing Christians approve of homosexuality, and I'm wondering how they interpret Romans 1, which to me is obvious condemnation of the act.

Nathan A. Wright   

The Cult of Jack Hyles

Wylma Harmon   

Hi Steve,
I found your piece on the IFB as a cult incredibly refreshing. You mentioned that the church you attended had a 'Bible Baptist Institute'. Was it The Norris Bible Baptist Institute by any chance? The reason why I ask is that I grew up in the IFB community, Huisache Avenue Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas to be specific. The above institute was one the organizations our church had ties with. I just finished the first draft of my memoirs of being a child in the world of the IFB environment. I have since left that life behind forever, and looking back, I'm thankful that I turned out as well-adjusted as I did. I enjoyed your writing!
Antonia Kerr

Antonia Kerr   

I have been in the IFB church for about 20 years now and over the last 3 have started to question a lot of it's teachings. I went to the internet and found a significant number of people that saw the same problems that I did including. However, there seems to be a decreasing interest in calling out the IFB churches for their harsh and unbiblical stances. Several websites have shut down and most of the rest of them that are left seem to be all but abandoned. Stuff fundies like is still quite active but seems to be about the only one. I'm wondering if you had any thoughts on this?

Bob Davis   

I was married to a man that was planning to be an Independent Baptist Preacher. We went to a known Independent Baptist College to prepare for our future in the Pastorate. Our family grew and we have five beautiful children whom I stay home with. I teach school and take care of our home. We dressed the part, very modest, my girls did not even wear culottes it was long dresses and skirts. We didn't swim or go anywhere that people would be wearing less than what was acceptable. We served the church by being Sunday School teachers, nursery workers etc...We had family devotions, no TV, hymns were the only music in our home. My husband was very strict. I knew nothing of the bills, finances, or insurance. Shortly after college he accepted a position as a chaplain in a homeless mission. The children and I loved it there. We all felt like we were right where the Lord intended, until I became pregnant and had an ectopic pregnancy. We lost the baby and almost lost me. We had no insurance or savings so we had to do something. My husband decided he could go in the military, maybe pursue being a chaplain and when his time was up we could use the retirement and benefits to help us as we pastor a church. Great plans, but my husband had secrets. Military life was tough and he was away a lot giving him opportunities to live any life her chose. We were assigned to a post and immediately searched for a church that we could serve in and he was given the opportunity to serve but to preach on occasion as well. The Pastor had thought that we were the family that would someday take his place. His first deployment was five days after our fifth child was born. I was homeschooling two children and trying to keep the fort all together by myself. I had faith, prayed everyday for his safety and return. He returned withing seven months of what was suppose to be a year deployment,praise! During our times apart we wrote each other daily I clung to my phone and never wanted to leave the house from fear of missing a call. I thought our family had it all right! He returned, changed MOS's and was off to training three months after his return. We kept in touch but something was different.

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Frances   
Frances   

I was married to a man that was planning to be an Independent Baptist Preacher. We went to a known Independent Baptist College to prepare for our future in the Pastorate. Our family grew and we have five beautiful children whom I stay home with. I teach school and take care of our home. We dressed the part, very modest, my girls did not even wear culottes it was long dresses and skirts. We didn't swim or go anywhere that people would be wearing less than what was acceptable. We served the church by being Sunday School teachers, nursery workers etc...We had family devotions, no TV, hymns were the only music in our home. My husband was very strict. I knew nothing of the bills, finances, or insurance. Shortly after college he accepted a position as a chaplain in a homeless mission. The children and I loved it there. We all felt like we were right where the Lord intended, until I became pregnant and had an ectopic pregnancy. We lost the baby and almost lost me. We had no insurance or savings so we had to do something. My husband decided he could go in the military, maybe pursue being a chaplain and when his time was up we could use the retirement and benefits to help us as we pastor a church. Great plans, but my husband had secrets. Military life was tough and he was away a lot giving him opportunities to live any life her chose. We were assigned to a post and immediately searched for a church that we could serve in and he was given the opportunity to serve but to preach on occasion as well. The Pastor had thought that we were the family that would someday take his place. His first deployment was five days after our fifth child was born. I was homeschooling two children and trying to keep the fort all together by myself. I had faith, prayed everyday for his safety and return. He returned withing seven months of what was suppose to be a year deployment,praise! During our times apart we wrote each other daily I clung to my phone and never wanted to leave the house from fear of missing a call. I thought our family had it all right! He returned, changed MOS's and was off to training three months after his return. We kept in touch but something was different. After his return from training he announced he had to go to Korea for a year. We were to follow a few months after his departure, but he had so many excuses and wouldn't get me information I needed to get for us to get the ball moving so we could be together. He wasn't in church and wasn't acting like he cared. His communication was next to non existent. He came home unexpectedly after three months in Korea, to announce he wasn't happy and wanted a divorce. Then he boarded a plane and went back to Korea. I pleaded, begged, cried, prayed, I even asked a few men in the church to contact him. No one confronted him about what was going on. After a year in Korea and playing with my emotions telling me he wanted to work things out but didn't I finally came to the realization that something else had to be the cause for his unhappiness. I began checking websites...Facebook I finally found pictures of him and a Korean national woman together. I knew then where his happiness lied. I asked some men in the church again to confront him about his sin, but no one did. A lady in the church actually had the nerve to tell me that I must have done something wrong after I stayed in church and had not changed anything. He divorced me and married the Korean and brought her home with him. The church still has the sermons he preached on their website. No one ever confronted him and I had to not only pick up the pieces for myself but five other lives that was crushed. The church failed my family. His sin was never brought up. I can't look at a preacher without thinking about what his sin is that we don't know about. My children don't trust people either. I have since found out that their was more to him and his sinful ways. I have had to learn to forgive in ways that the church would never understand and because he handled everything I had to learn on my own and we lived by full faith and trust that the Lord would provide. I still home school and stay home so I am pleased. I don't trust the church and probably never will.

I now see that the independent fundamental Baptist denomination was not the denomination for me. After this political season I just can't stand being there. I do like the pastor and his family but I am not going to be a hypocrite. I'm a moderate person politically leaning more to the liberal. Before the election they played an audio of Mike Pence sounding so smarmy and sounded like a committed Christian was just as evil as his buddy Trump. He even claimed that prayer made a difference in the election. That Franklin Graham, Billy Graham Sun told people that its 7:30 at their time to get on their knees and pray. Yep pray for Trump and Republicans so that they could bring morality back to America. You were so right about the dangers of this particular denomination. There are people who are really do like however I cannot be a hypocrite. I am going back to becoming a Methodist because they are more liberal in their stance about a lot of the things that I believe. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the deceptive and to the harmful aspects of this particular denomination.

Wylma Harmon   

I am so happy I found this site. I went through years of therapy because of the cult like church I was raised in, abused in, brainwashed in and then shunned from in my time of need. 30 years in the same church and now I refuse to go at all. I divorced my abusive and awful husband and they said I should have stayed. Oh of course my family badgers me all the time as they are all ministers of one sort or another. They do not know how I feel about their theology because anytime I try to prove a point they gang up like rabid dogs. So I endure holidays and and reunions because of my elders in the family. And the elders are old time religion. They can be trusted. But not the ones under 60. They have all been brainwashed on many aspects of the faith because they listen to men rather than God. But through depression, being shunned, and beaten as a child in the name of God, I never hated God for what humans did. They used his name to excuse abuse. They used his verse after twisting them to get their way through guilt and manipulations. The ,,,,,,, LIED! Me? I'm far from perfect but still so happy God revieal to me that my past is not the kind of Faith he wants for me. [Praise God for setting me free. No matter how much they still shun me or lie about me or point their fingers, they will be judge one day just as I. And quite frankly, Praise God for that too.

Anna   

Would like to be in contact with someone who has had a fundamentalist come into there family through marriage, have confusion about bible verses they give me....I do not see grace!! Thank you

Bobbi   

Testimonial *I went to a IFB due to their door to door efforts ,certainly God used them in my search for a church and I was impacted by their fiery preaching , went to a IFB "college " in Mexico , came back to the states after a few years and went right back to the church that originally went the first time ( Northwest BBC, Keith Gomez , Elgin ,IL) stayed there for a few years only to be part of the mental , spiritual , and emotional abuse that the influence of Jack H. Produced in all the graduates from their college .

Not able to keep up with the unwritten demands ( dress code , assistance , visitation, church involvement, bus ministry etc etc ) moved to another smaller church (Spanish) where the "pastor" finally came to confess to his adulterous relationship with the church secretary that went for years .

By this time another notorious pastor in the Spanish IFB movement moved into town And while he was pastoring a Spanish department in Gomez church he took over as a "substitute " pastor , while the second church would find a another pastor .

By this time I moved my family back to NBBC to be under this notorious Spanish pastor ( the reason I do not mention his name is because my daughters are still under his influence , my ex wife divorced me ) .

Here is where everything started to get twisted : my ex wife was asked to be secretary for him , I allowed it thinking that what would be a safest place for her to be working at (wrong) just as his ex boss( he was staff for some 10+ years during Hyles reign .

His emotional support and influence made our marital life more and more difficult , their concept of leadership is measured in church involvement, the more involved the more "spiritual " you are ( false) . Having to work two jobs to provide for my family ( church salary is absolute nothing , all part of the manipulation scheme. I can explain in detail) there was not much time to get too involved at church , therefore nothing to be admired .

Hyles thought that no IFB should have deacons elected by the church as stablished in acts 6 basically not to have nobody to answer to ,

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Author *Victor ballesteros   
Author *Victor ballesteros   

Testimonial *I went to a IFB due to their door to door efforts ,certainly God used them in my search for a church and I was impacted by their fiery preaching , went to a IFB "college " in Mexico , came back to the states after a few years and went right back to the church that originally went the first time ( Northwest BBC, Keith Gomez , Elgin ,IL) stayed there for a few years only to be part of the mental , spiritual , and emotional abuse that the influence of Jack H. Produced in all the graduates from their college .

Not able to keep up with the unwritten demands ( dress code , assistance , visitation, church involvement, bus ministry etc etc ) moved to another smaller church (Spanish) where the "pastor" finally came to confess to his adulterous relationship with the church secretary that went for years .

By this time another notorious pastor in the Spanish IFB movement moved into town And while he was pastoring a Spanish department in Gomez church he took over as a "substitute " pastor , while the second church would find a another pastor .

By this time I moved my family back to NBBC to be under this notorious Spanish pastor ( the reason I do not mention his name is because my daughters are still under his influence , my ex wife divorced me ) .

Here is where everything started to get twisted : my ex wife was asked to be secretary for him , I allowed it thinking that what would be a safest place for her to be working at (wrong) just as his ex boss( he was staff for some 10+ years during Hyles reign .

His emotional support and influence made our marital life more and more difficult , their concept of leadership is measured in church involvement, the more involved the more "spiritual " you are ( false) . Having to work two jobs to provide for my family ( church salary is absolute nothing , all part of the manipulation scheme. I can explain in detail) there was not much time to get too involved at church , therefore nothing to be admired .

Hyles thought that no IFB should have deacons elected by the church as stablished in acts 6 basically not to have nobody to answer to , no elders , no deacons , free reign .

I learned a lot of all the inner movements of the IFB during the time my ex wife was his secretary, the manipulation , lack of accountability, "love offerings" ( tax free) , intimidation and on and on and on .

Finally we separated and I was served the divorce papers , mister F gave her a significant raise to move her out , and the late night calls once she lived by herself started to come in ( I had access to the phone bills ) . When presented this improper behavior to the "leadership " of the church was futile , they alll worshipped the man , total of waste of time .
A divorced woman still is working as a staff member , a pastor still committing emotional adultery , another family destroyed by the "leadership " of this IFB ,
I moved to a different church ( harvest) I've learned exponentially more over the two years that I have here than over the almost 30 yrs on the movement ,I still carry a lot of bagage from my endoctrinaton as a FB but I became at last free .

I've been training to be a biblical counselor, and I am seeing all the contradictions and manipulation that the movement does , I'm working with brothers in the process of being divorced ( not by our own choice ) or those getting out of the ,"JUDGAMENTAL Baptist movement " , please get out of the movement if you are subject to this class of abuse , your generations to come will thank you for that .

I accepted my Lord and Savior when i was 16. The conviction was great and i had been hearing the gospel preached and finally on a Sunday morning i went forward and ask the Lord to save me. This was not a IFB church. But it was full of people who loved the Lord i have no doubt. It was my girlfriends family church. I didnt grow up in church but my mother and father had good traditional morals and we were taught respect and love for others. I went many years without having teaching being part of church. I married my highschool sweet heart and we moved because i was working construction in the city that was several hours away. We tried several churches at this point and finally ended up in a IFB church.

At that point i was so happy to be in a church that had a discipleship classes and the more you wanted to learn the more classes they had for you. I soaked it up like a sponge. I was learning what i held so important in this life, the life of Christ and how to be a christian in a world that Satan has greatly deceaved. I was far from a fanatic but i am sure there where some who considered me that way. I felt the Lord calling me to preach. So I surrendered and started classes in my church for young men called in the ministry. I was a deacon also. I remember hearing this said many times. To whom much is given much is expected. The more i learned the more i felt the importance of sharing the gospel with the world. And then the other part of the great commission says "teaching". That was what i so much wanted to do.

So again the more learned. It came to the point i started looking at other church groups and people like they didnt have the knowledge i had or Satan had done a good job hiding the truth from those who didnt attend an IFB church. Mind you though i knew that not all IFB churches were alike. Some were more liberal and didnt hold to the proper ways to conduct a proper church. All was fine until there were problems in mine and my wifes marriage. They were subtle problems at first but some how i was caught very off guard and it lead to us separating and eventually divorce.

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Just a sheep   
Just a sheep   

I accepted my Lord and Savior when i was 16. The conviction was great and i had been hearing the gospel preached and finally on a Sunday morning i went forward and ask the Lord to save me. This was not a IFB church. But it was full of people who loved the Lord i have no doubt. It was my girlfriends family church. I didnt grow up in church but my mother and father had good traditional morals and we were taught respect and love for others. I went many years without having teaching being part of church. I married my highschool sweet heart and we moved because i was working construction in the city that was several hours away. We tried several churches at this point and finally ended up in a IFB church.

At that point i was so happy to be in a church that had a discipleship classes and the more you wanted to learn the more classes they had for you. I soaked it up like a sponge. I was learning what i held so important in this life, the life of Christ and how to be a christian in a world that Satan has greatly deceaved. I was far from a fanatic but i am sure there where some who considered me that way. I felt the Lord calling me to preach. So I surrendered and started classes in my church for young men called in the ministry. I was a deacon also. I remember hearing this said many times. To whom much is given much is expected. The more i learned the more i felt the importance of sharing the gospel with the world. And then the other part of the great commission says "teaching". That was what i so much wanted to do.

So again the more learned. It came to the point i started looking at other church groups and people like they didnt have the knowledge i had or Satan had done a good job hiding the truth from those who didnt attend an IFB church. Mind you though i knew that not all IFB churches were alike. Some were more liberal and didnt hold to the proper ways to conduct a proper church. All was fine until there were problems in mine and my wifes marriage. They were subtle problems at first but some how i was caught very off guard and it lead to us separating and eventually divorce. Ultimately she decided she didnt want to be married to me any longer. There is always more to these stories but i dont feel like it applies to what i am sharing at this point. I could blame it all on her but one thing i have learned is there is two sides to every story then there is the truth. Anyway, she didnt want to do counseling with our present pastor. So against my pastors wishes i went to another more liberal IFB church and tried to appease my wife with counseling there. All in all it didnt work out. So we separated and the kids and i still attended our IFB church. I went 6-8 months of trying to do the best I could.

At church everyone was just like normal but outside church people didnt invite us to do things like we always had in the past. It is very difficult to sit in church and feel alone but i did. Ultimately i wound up leaving church. Later i found out the pastor had told the people not to have fellowship with me. I felt like a failure because of the divorce and then an outcast. I tried to marry again to regain my foothold of being a normal family again. We tried for two years and the whole time I just felt weak because i couldnt stay unmarried like the apostle Paul. We went our sperate ways. I had tried to attend church with her all i could think of was how weak i was and a failure. After another failed attempt at trying to live a good life i attempted to take my own life by overdosing on sleeping pills. I woke up the next morning and cried because the Lord didnt take me. But on the same hand he must have something for me then. It was at this point i decided I needed to be back in church with my kids who are still pretty young at this point. So i went before the church again and apologized for leaving and ask them to forgive me and accept me back under the umbrella of protection that you can only have by being a church member. They accepted me back and this time i thought i will not sit alone that i would invite people to my house to fellowship. I remember having a family over one night and how awkward it felt for my friends wife. Here i was doing all the cooking and setting the table. At one point she ask if there was anything she could do and i said I had it but i could still tell it was uncomfortable for them both. Needless to say nothing changed on the fellowship side of things.

I just couldnt take it any longer so i left again. Bare in mind i was one in a handful of single people in the church. The pastor came and saw me after i had shared with the associate pastor that i was considering leaving. he told me then he probably should have had me under church discipline when the kids mother and i seperated. I just couldnt figure that out. I so needed my church family to help me through a very tramadic point in my life. I had lost my wife and my church family and couldnt figure out why it wasnt that way. It took me a few months after the kids mother and i separated to accept that even though its was Gods will for us to be together that she still had free will and it was her choice to not be married to me any longer. What i could not accept was why was i being chastised by my fellow christians and church members. I have left out some stuff that i think had to do with it though. After the divorce i went on depression medicine. That wasnt looked at as being something christians should do.

All this was 15 years ago and it wasnt until i read your article on spiritual abuse that i had ever really considered that maybe there was some stuff wrong at church. We had learned that people who left church and didnt get there lives straight that they would end up on skid row. My kids and i have done ok. Of all the things i know it is that i am a child of God and he hasnt forgotten me. I am not sure how i feel about all your articles. It was so ingrained black was black and white was white. I am attempting to get past this now and hopefully getting back into another church and working with the pastor on these things that the Lord will restore my joy for life.

Thank you

I hope I have used the correct form for contacting you with a question....it seems more like one for a testimony but....

Anyway, I have been told that IFB's believe in something about black/African Americans having the 'Mark of Cain" on them and that this somehow makes them inferior & justifies slavery.

This is a horrendous (mis)teaching if it indeed part of their beliefs. The problem I am having is finding where this belief is stated in print.

I would very much like to challenge some IFB family members but am quite sure they would just deny this belief is part of their system.

I'd really appreciate your help in finding source documents that are not just undocumented sentences in a blog...I want some real ammunition before I start the disagreement.

Thank you for your help with this. I really liked your article on Tithing.

Isn't the book on Grace by Max Lucado terrific?

Thank you for doing what you are to help bring truth to the church.

Kathy Heisleman

Kathy Heisleman   

I found a website that seemed fishy. It is called Jesus-Is-Savior. It talked about false preachers and I found out it was an IFB site. It is so hateful that I wonder who was so delusional. Then in further reading I see they are a part of the Cult of Jack Hyles. Who seems to me to be almost worshipped as God. Could you look into it?

Wylma Harmon   

I belong to a IFB and they have a bible college affiliated with it. I happen to see a catalog and I see why they don't accept govt. financial aid. It is sexist and discriminate. If you are divorced under 25 you can't enroll. Plus they have a stupid major "Marriage and Motherhood" get real. Also some majors like music in a non-scholastic system is only open to men. It's unbelievable that in 2014 this still exist. Oh, I agree with you on the KJV. It's stupid. They base it on I read on the manuscripts from Antioch. For some reason they believe that Alexandria and one other text doesn't agree.

freda   

I was in contact with you once a few years back. Once again, I am facing more brick walls. Even though i've been away from the IFB for 10 years, I'm still filtering everything through what I've learned from them. I will be going back through your website and will welcome any and all communication with you. Getting away from all this is so hard!

Tammy   

The IFB/IBLP world is known for adding legalism to the Word of God, not just for salvation, but also as a requirement for Christian consecration. The Apostle Paul had to write the Epistle to the Galatians because they had been misled by legalistic heresy. If justification before God came by our own self-righteousness, then Christ's Sacrifice at Calvary would be of no value as stated in Galatians 2:21.

Self-righteousness (usually spelled with a hyphen) refers to a smug sense of holiness over other people (aka being holier-than-thou), but self-righteousness (aka legalism) is just selfishness in the name of righteousness. Yet, legalists give themselves a license to sin through their own hypocrisy. It would also be worth reading Titus 3:5 in regards to legalism.

not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5).

That was quotes from the NKJV which is said to be a modern version of the KJV, yet the KJV-Onlyists are against the NKJV, even though the KJV-Onlyists are adding to the Word of God. Not to take away from the KJV, but the KJV is not the only valid English translation of the Bible available today. Either way, the Original Languages of the Bible were Hebrew and Greek.

Anonymous   

Ever heard of the Repentance Blacklist by Steven L. Anderson? This website, just like the KJV Onlists, is nothing more that smear campaign theology. Some of the names listed on this smear campaign of a website include people like John MacArthur and Charles Spurgeon.

Anonymous   

read some of these testimonials and everyone has a ring of truth to what is being shared. The dogmas that are drenched in sarcasm is neither a spirit of meekness that is required when we share scriptural tenets. But I have experienced much thru out my whole life that a brief page could not contain. I have studied Jewish and some Hebrew Idiomatic concept of Interpretation on bible passages and many of you are correct even though opinions vary we must perdue in peace with those who have been abused in doing so we show a maturity and genuine care for others which all of us will give an account for everything. All legalism will be judged also and God has not let this slide and If we suffer even for right things then even that is commendable before God. Meaning that God will one day vindicate you in Glory and to do what you have to do to remove yourself from these types of fellowships. The tattoo issue although it was mosaic law it has a principal value, our bodies are God Temple and so we don't desecrate His temple. It is one of those Areas of sin that does not lead unto death like sexual sins etc... I'm going to a IFB church and they are legalistic too in some areas I struggle to with this and I'm strong and opinionated myself not to give a da-- and am also considering leaving because there's other things that are not Kosher and I spent 30+ years overcoming dominance and entitlement posturing then mixing God into the equation is a raping of ones soul! Satan loves these abuse stuff and with pride so it lifts up those I any position. Baptist will always be somewhat judgmental and legalistic to some degree or another. But they aren't the only ones doing it. That's why God said they have a greater condemnation coming to them. God never forgets anything but it seems as if these people act like they will receive a greater commendation which is just the opposite! In the Spirit of the law we obey, not the letter of the Law which is legalism. The Law of Christ And v.s the Mosaic Laws which should be respected and not totally dismissed and throw out its principals. We are under grace but not a license to sin or cause our brethren or sister to stumble either so we weigh everything before God to see if He approves,

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KM   
KM   

read some of these testimonials and everyone has a ring of truth to what is being shared. The dogmas that are drenched in sarcasm is neither a spirit of meekness that is required when we share scriptural tenets. But I have experienced much thru out my whole life that a brief page could not contain. I have studied Jewish and some Hebrew Idiomatic concept of Interpretation on bible passages and many of you are correct even though opinions vary we must perdue in peace with those who have been abused in doing so we show a maturity and genuine care for others which all of us will give an account for everything. All legalism will be judged also and God has not let this slide and If we suffer even for right things then even that is commendable before God. Meaning that God will one day vindicate you in Glory and to do what you have to do to remove yourself from these types of fellowships. The tattoo issue although it was mosaic law it has a principal value, our bodies are God Temple and so we don't desecrate His temple. It is one of those Areas of sin that does not lead unto death like sexual sins etc... I'm going to a IFB church and they are legalistic too in some areas I struggle to with this and I'm strong and opinionated myself not to give a da-- and am also considering leaving because there's other things that are not Kosher and I spent 30+ years overcoming dominance and entitlement posturing then mixing God into the equation is a raping of ones soul! Satan loves these abuse stuff and with pride so it lifts up those I any position. Baptist will always be somewhat judgmental and legalistic to some degree or another. But they aren't the only ones doing it. That's why God said they have a greater condemnation coming to them. God never forgets anything but it seems as if these people act like they will receive a greater commendation which is just the opposite! In the Spirit of the law we obey, not the letter of the Law which is legalism. The Law of Christ And v.s the Mosaic Laws which should be respected and not totally dismissed and throw out its principals. We are under grace but not a license to sin or cause our brethren or sister to stumble either so we weigh everything before God to see if He approves, and remember what is not done in faith it is sin, faith that has it's instructions rooted in the Scriptures! God bless and I hope this helps someone. KM

Interesting perspective on tithing. I too have attended an IFBC and SBC most of my life and have felt that tithing and grace doctrines were at conflict with each other. I always felt that if we are to give cheerfully, and if the left hand is not to know what the right hand is giving, or if we are to give whatever God has purposes in our heart to give, then how can all this Biblical truth be conformed to the doctrine of tithing??? So, now that you left the IFBC where have you found a new church home? What denomination have you found to be more Biblically accurate in the things you found lacking? I'm curious where your research has lead you...continued blessings in Christ our Lord,
Mel

Mel   

I wish you post an article about dangerous of counseling with an IFB pastor.

Mathew   

It seems hypocritical how the IFB church says "go door-to-door soul-winning, but ignore those not raised in the IFB way." Is the IFB really reflecting the Love of Christ by ignoring those not within their cult? No, they are not.

Anonymous   

I was a member of Biblical Baptist Church in Beach Park, Illinois for 21 years, an IFB church. Pastor Ronald Petrick was pastor, his son Brian is now the Pastor. I was the Youth Pastor, Sunday School Director, and Master Clubs Director. My wife and I met, and married In this church. Three years ago we took our family out of that church, actually we were kicked out. We now attend Grace Community Bible Church. I do not wish to air my grievances let's just say the IFB movement, and this church included is an ocult. There are good people there that love the Lord that is what kept my wife and I there for so many years longer than we should have stayed. We thought since we were in a leadership position that we could change things, not true. Because I believe God is sovereign our time there was not in vain. God had us there to draw us closer to him. When we left I felt homeless, and guilty for putting my family through that garbage. I had to guestion everything that I thought I knew, or believed. What did I really believe? I asked God to reveal himself to me, and he has in many ways. I would say to everyone on this site bitterness is a hard road traveled. We are a fallen creation our default is selfish man centeredness. Praise the Lord your not in those ocult churches any longer. Don't hate God for your experiences embrace them allow God to draw you closer to him, and help someone else through the same situation.

Dave Corbin   

Needing some advice. My upstairs neighbor is an extremely preechy and intense fundamental baptist. His wife is very submissive to him as he rules the home, dumps garbage all over the lawn as he has decided scrap metal is a good money maker. Just being his neighbor is like walking on eggshells. He speaks in nonsense about the luciferian cross, he said I was a sinner because I tend bar for a living. How do I deal with this man? He's honestly one of the most unstable individuals I've met in my life

Ainsley   

Thank you for this site. I unfortunately just saw a link on Facebook to an article about a pastor in CA who was celebrating the tragedy in Orlando (http://the-daily.buzz/preacher-orlando-deaths/?utm_content=inf_10_1163_2&tse_id=INF_492c4f00358211e69519013b248da655). I immediately thought, "I bet this is going to turn out to be an IFB church." A quick lookup on the church's home page confirmed it - http://www.veritybaptist.com/index.html.

It's probably both sad and good that I recognized the IFB mentality right away. My family & I unknowingly ended up in one in MD for about 2 years after a frustrating search for a church that didn't put on a rock concert every Sunday morning and whose median age wasn't 95. We found a church that still sang hymns, had many young families, and seemingly a great kids' program.

There were several things that happened over those 2 years that I thought were strange or didn't agree with. Each one by themselves, though, didn't seem like enough for me to "throw a fit" and declare I was leaving, though, and put my family through the drama of another church search when it was hard enough to find this one. After 2 years though, when these things built up and up, and after a "Sunday School" lesson where the pastor said we should never question him in front of our children, and a sermon that was all about why Baptists were right and everyone else was wrong, I had enough. This place felt like a cult, and the whole time it felt like -I- was the one out of place for thinking all these things felt weird or wrong, yet I was the only one that seemed to think so, so wouldn't that make ME the crazy one?

I sat down and put together a list of all the things I remembered from those 2 years. When I look back at the list, reading it all at once, it's almost embarrassing that we stayed there so long when it so clearly (now) sounds like a cult. We recently moved to another part of the state and haven't found another church yet - I almost don't want to, because I'm so weary of the whole thing, but I need to find something for the kids at least. But anyway, I keep this list as a reminder to myself to never EVER go back to an IFB church (I refer to it as "crazy church" now whenever I speak to someone about it).

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Dave Menendez   
Dave Menendez   

Thank you for this site. I unfortunately just saw a link on Facebook to an article about a pastor in CA who was celebrating the tragedy in Orlando (http://the-daily.buzz/preacher-orlando-deaths/?utm_content=inf_10_1163_2&tse_id=INF_492c4f00358211e69519013b248da655). I immediately thought, "I bet this is going to turn out to be an IFB church." A quick lookup on the church's home page confirmed it - http://www.veritybaptist.com/index.html.

It's probably both sad and good that I recognized the IFB mentality right away. My family & I unknowingly ended up in one in MD for about 2 years after a frustrating search for a church that didn't put on a rock concert every Sunday morning and whose median age wasn't 95. We found a church that still sang hymns, had many young families, and seemingly a great kids' program.

There were several things that happened over those 2 years that I thought were strange or didn't agree with. Each one by themselves, though, didn't seem like enough for me to "throw a fit" and declare I was leaving, though, and put my family through the drama of another church search when it was hard enough to find this one. After 2 years though, when these things built up and up, and after a "Sunday School" lesson where the pastor said we should never question him in front of our children, and a sermon that was all about why Baptists were right and everyone else was wrong, I had enough. This place felt like a cult, and the whole time it felt like -I- was the one out of place for thinking all these things felt weird or wrong, yet I was the only one that seemed to think so, so wouldn't that make ME the crazy one?

I sat down and put together a list of all the things I remembered from those 2 years. When I look back at the list, reading it all at once, it's almost embarrassing that we stayed there so long when it so clearly (now) sounds like a cult. We recently moved to another part of the state and haven't found another church yet - I almost don't want to, because I'm so weary of the whole thing, but I need to find something for the kids at least. But anyway, I keep this list as a reminder to myself to never EVER go back to an IFB church (I refer to it as "crazy church" now whenever I speak to someone about it). I'm even leery of ANY Baptist churches as a result, even though that might not be fair to them.

Anyway, after we left that IFB church, I discovered this site and so appreciated the many articles that were here at that time. It helped validate that I wasn't the only one who thought this place was a cult and was abusive. And it was so helpful to see others call out many of the patterns I had "sensed" there (though nothing was every really explicitly stated). After I saw the article on Verity Baptist church, I returned here to see if there were any new articles. I see there are some, and I'm looking forward to reading them. I just wanted to say thank you for maintaining this site. I think it's an important one for those having issues in their IFB churches.

If you'd care to see the list I had put together, I'd be happy to share it, although I'm sure with your experience and with running this site, there may not be anything new in there you haven't heard before.

Thanks again, and best wishes to you.

Hi Steve! I'd like you to know that I believe your website is God's way of making me understand a lot of things. I am a new born-again Christian. Almost four months ago, I relocated to where my husband is working. Being new to the place and in a Muslim country, I prayed for a fellowship. After less than two months, my husband and I met this people and they invited us to join their fellowship. They are very nice people so I thought that was the answer to my prayer. I knew they're baptist but I didn't inquire more because I was enjoying their company. I didn't know much about the baptist church until recently. They told me they do not believe in speaking in tongues. I had that gift since I was 15 years old when a Christian friend invited me to their church event. When I got home that night with speaking in tongues, my parents were worried and thought something was wrong with me. My family was Catholic. So I tried to get rid of that gift for a long time, making my family believed that I didn't have it anymore. And I thought I could still do it again with my new baptist fellowship. It really bothered me and made me decide to leave the fellowship. But I was also evaluating myself if my reason is enough. So I checked articles why people leave the church. I also checked in youtube and saw the 20/20 video about the IFB. It was not good, not good at all. It made me want to inquire more so I checked our leader's facebook profile. His religious views is of the IFB. Wanting to inquire more and more, I searched IFB in google and found your website. It was a revelation to me. At one point, I thought of not leaving the fellowship because of the members who are now my friends. But fellowship is more than that. After what I've learned from your website, I don't think I can grow spiritually if I stayed. My husband and I had a discussion and we have decided to leave the fellowship.

I hope I didn't bore you with my story. And again, thank you.

Sincerely,
Nelle

Nelle   

I just googled this... I'm scared. My husband and I are... our marriage is destroyed. It's because I choose to go to a psych and take meds for my PTSD, GAD, Panic distorder, and manic depressive disorder. I am also seeing a therapist, outside the church. My own husband printed off almost a book off the internet that says I'm a rebellious wife and I'm basically practicing witchcraft, I'm a 'humanist' and 'worldly'. He hasn't shown me an inch of kindness and since walking out of a counseling session with Pastor and my husband, Pastor hasn't spoken to me since, his wife texted me once after the fact, and never texted back.

My own children who are teens now call me an apostate. I'm "openly living in sin" because I'm not completely submitting to my husband and letting him continue to think for me, and also that I choose to 'pretend I have a mental illness' (mental illness doesn't exist, it's just unconfessed sin in your life, according to the church, and my husband, and of course, my children.) He will not divorce me, but he threatened yesterday to legally separate, which makes it ok with the church, and he won't be responsible for me financially anymore, and he can get rid of me.

I'm so confused I need help!

Tivini   

This isn't so much a testimonial as it is a question. I currently attend an IFB church. They're pretty relaxed but I notice the Pastor seems to have some odd twists on theology. Our church lost its choir director and I was asked to step up and lead, since I have the background education in music and know how to direct. The Pastor, however, said no because "hymns teach doctrine and women aren't biblically to lead men in theology". I find that rather odd. What do you think?

leah dyanne   

Trying to stay anonymous is important, that is, I need to remain unknown for fear of retaliation from the IFB crowd. I have been exposed to all the errors spoken of; the tith deception, the control, legalism, meanness, harshness, and judgementalism and gossip. Its bad.

William Snarky   

So yeah

I hated how the IFB church I went to would call
My friends and Non denominational church I would go
To a cult. Don't ever say that about my other church or
About my friends. I used the NIV bible at my church and the
People were starring at my bible because it was different than
The King James which they say is easier to understand. SO NOT TRUE AT ALL
The fact of the matter is that the King James Bible is actually not so perfect
It's self. It in fact also has reworded verses and things added in there. The NIV is the
Best English Bible there is. The IFBs are kind of scary anyways and too mean
And serious sometimes. They are the cult and deceivers.

Dave Mercado   

Hi Steve,
I grew up in an IFB church since i was 2 years old. Not only that, but i went to the church's private school and i graduated from there in 2011. So, my entire life has been nothing but indoctrination from the IFB. In 2011, just a few months after i graduated high school , at the age of 18, i got married to my boyfriend of 2 years. ( we now realize we were WAY too young, but both agree that we jumped into marriage as it was the only way our strict IFB parents and church would let us be together, i mean we weren't even allowed to sit on the same couch, go out on a date, or be alone together for even 5 minutes, wouldn't you do anything to get out from under that kind of control? ) Anyways, the first 2 years of our marriage were spent trying to please the church, we served in countless ministries because that's what a Christian young couple should do, we were being completely fake while " serving the Lord " which was really just serving the church, and we were so miserable. We still didn't go on a date because for 1, there weren't many places we would be "allowed" to go, and for 2, all of our free time was spent at church. We were close to divorcing so many times. Long story a little shorter, i became pregnant July 2013, up until that point i really never thought for myself or questioned anything because i was taught to just follow what the IFB said and " obey my authority" , but now i had to think about my child and how i would raise her, and i started realizing here and there things that i didn't agree with anymore and i started thinking for myself, secretly though because i couldn't let anyone at church know because i knew that would mean being attacked and shunned. As a result of morning sickness and other circumstances, we became less faithful in church and dropped our ministries, which resulted in our church " family" treating us like strangers ( big surprise huh?) By the time my daughter was born, we had stopped going to church altogether. I have done quite a lot of research, which is how i happened upon this site. I read one article and found myself agreeing with you,

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Andrea   
Andrea   

Hi Steve,
I grew up in an IFB church since i was 2 years old. Not only that, but i went to the church's private school and i graduated from there in 2011. So, my entire life has been nothing but indoctrination from the IFB. In 2011, just a few months after i graduated high school , at the age of 18, i got married to my boyfriend of 2 years. ( we now realize we were WAY too young, but both agree that we jumped into marriage as it was the only way our strict IFB parents and church would let us be together, i mean we weren't even allowed to sit on the same couch, go out on a date, or be alone together for even 5 minutes, wouldn't you do anything to get out from under that kind of control? ) Anyways, the first 2 years of our marriage were spent trying to please the church, we served in countless ministries because that's what a Christian young couple should do, we were being completely fake while " serving the Lord " which was really just serving the church, and we were so miserable. We still didn't go on a date because for 1, there weren't many places we would be "allowed" to go, and for 2, all of our free time was spent at church. We were close to divorcing so many times. Long story a little shorter, i became pregnant July 2013, up until that point i really never thought for myself or questioned anything because i was taught to just follow what the IFB said and " obey my authority" , but now i had to think about my child and how i would raise her, and i started realizing here and there things that i didn't agree with anymore and i started thinking for myself, secretly though because i couldn't let anyone at church know because i knew that would mean being attacked and shunned. As a result of morning sickness and other circumstances, we became less faithful in church and dropped our ministries, which resulted in our church " family" treating us like strangers ( big surprise huh?) By the time my daughter was born, we had stopped going to church altogether. I have done quite a lot of research, which is how i happened upon this site. I read one article and found myself agreeing with you, and it's like you came from our ex-church! I have read the majority of your site and find myself agreeing with you. But here's where i keep getting hung up, after living IFB ways for my entire existence and now thinking on my own and reading things like your website that I'd always been taught were so wrong but yet i can't help but agree with... i feel so completely lost and now i don't know what to believe. Can you help me in anyway ? I do know that we will never go to an IFB church again, that we do not agree with their teachings and will not be indoctrinating our daughter with them, and oddly enough, after leaving the IFB , my husband and I have never been happier and we go on dates wherever we please. I hope you will excuse any mistakes as i have typed this on my phone at almost 2 am. I would like to hear back from you, i just feel so lost now and it's a very scary feeling, hoping you can help.
Thank you, Andrea

I was raise IFB I mean strictIFB! I Married a good man and we went to a prominent IFB church for many years and did so until a year ago. There were always things my husband did not agree with but we stayed thinking we could look past things. A year ago things came to a head and my husband decided IFB was a cult and in my heart I know he is right but I struggle with "are we doing the right thing" on a daily basis. I feel like I don't even have a relationship with God and even question how to have one. I feel distant and I feel it is affecting my relationship with my husband. It has in fact. I even told him last night I don't love him like I used to. I don't know what a right church looks like. We are white and we go to a black church and have been more accepted than the IFB churches we attended. I don't agree with their politics and it really bothers me.

What I want to know is this typical of someone raised IFB or am I crazy? How can I get help? I would appreciate any help I can't find anyone who has gone through something similar. Btw. My parents hate our decision and this affects me also

Jenni   

I am stuck. I've come to the same conclusions as your site as a missionary on the field, supported by IFB churches. Once I was out from under the preaching I grew up with I was able to delve into the Word on my own. I always thought the KJV only, skirt-ist stuff was junk (and never bought into it) but it wasn't until I started searching Scriptures that I figured out the tithing, fear mongering, works-based message, control, manipulation and guilt is so strong, and so wrong. And so much more...the secretive way illegal activities have been covered up and handled "in house" is so wrong. I can't be associated with this, and I've been ordained as a leader!! Its hard to explain the stress of what we've been going through. Being away from the system, on the mission field for 5 years I was able to go back through the experiences of growing up in the system and started to slowly realize how cult-ish it is. I determined I would not start a church like this, and couldn't do so with a clean conscience before God. Why would I entrap the souls of others in this type of a system? This can't be the "church" of the Bible. I started asking others my age in our church (I'm 33), they see it too. The guys that grew up with me in the system, they are starting to see it for what it really is. But the fear of "God'll get you fer leavin' here" and the oppressive loyalty to a man that is literally preached all the time is so stuck in everyone's heads. They are afraid. I am looking for a job, my family needs to get out and we need healing. I love Jesus, He changed my life. I was saved in spite of the system. There's so much more...thanks for this site. I'm glad to see others have come to similar conclusions and that what God has been showing me is not just me "backsliding" or that I'm crazy. I know I'm closer to Jesus than ever, and that's the problem. I no longer fit into the mold. I cannot be loyal to a man or a system, only Christ. Always only C hrist.

Looking forward to the freedom that will come with this transition. Thanks again for your ministry. It is powerful and very needed.

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Nick   
Nick   

I am stuck. I've come to the same conclusions as your site as a missionary on the field, supported by IFB churches. Once I was out from under the preaching I grew up with I was able to delve into the Word on my own. I always thought the KJV only, skirt-ist stuff was junk (and never bought into it) but it wasn't until I started searching Scriptures that I figured out the tithing, fear mongering, works-based message, control, manipulation and guilt is so strong, and so wrong. And so much more...the secretive way illegal activities have been covered up and handled "in house" is so wrong. I can't be associated with this, and I've been ordained as a leader!! Its hard to explain the stress of what we've been going through. Being away from the system, on the mission field for 5 years I was able to go back through the experiences of growing up in the system and started to slowly realize how cult-ish it is. I determined I would not start a church like this, and couldn't do so with a clean conscience before God. Why would I entrap the souls of others in this type of a system? This can't be the "church" of the Bible. I started asking others my age in our church (I'm 33), they see it too. The guys that grew up with me in the system, they are starting to see it for what it really is. But the fear of "God'll get you fer leavin' here" and the oppressive loyalty to a man that is literally preached all the time is so stuck in everyone's heads. They are afraid. I am looking for a job, my family needs to get out and we need healing. I love Jesus, He changed my life. I was saved in spite of the system. There's so much more...thanks for this site. I'm glad to see others have come to similar conclusions and that what God has been showing me is not just me "backsliding" or that I'm crazy. I know I'm closer to Jesus than ever, and that's the problem. I no longer fit into the mold. I cannot be loyal to a man or a system, only Christ. Always only C hrist.

Looking forward to the freedom that will come with this transition. Thanks again for your ministry. It is powerful and very needed. You can publish this if you need to, I've left most of the "incriminating" evidence off as I am still supported as a missionary by 70+ IFB groups. Not for long. Just please leave off my name and address.

God bless!
Nick

I'll just call myself Charis.

I am in the middle of a divorce. I am also suspected autistic (I will be formally evaluated this week).

My husband has been into porn and gazing at other women all over the place and being cruel and shallow with me for the entire marriage. Lots of counseling, lots of worksheets. I was always told to forgive, submit, don't be bitter.

I finally couldn't take it anymore. I was at the point that I was on my way out, but not quite out yet. I have no life skills, and I don't communicate well except in writing. We have 2 kids, and he was telling me that I would be filling his quiver with future children and to populate our church, despite my hyperemesis gravidarum, and dangerous births, severe depression, etc.

I was suicidal off and on. No job, home all the time being the "helpmeet."

He raped me.

Apparently, he had one of his "high temptation moments" and "went in to his wife." I was really sick, and depressed, and said "no, no, please no." He said "I'm sorry, I have needs. My temptation is high." The pastor and pastor's wife had us in counselling a day or two after. My husband said in an accusatory tone "she said she felt raped!" All eyes turned to me. The pastor said, "well at least he went to you instead of the porn." The pastor's wife nodded.

I was crushed. And I couldn't tell anyone. That was gossip and spreading a root of bitterness and division in the church, and those who spread division are to be noted and avoided.

I did leave state with the kids to visit family. It was only supposed to be an extended visit, but stuff kept happening to delay it. I was happy for the delays, but irritated and anxious about them too. I was getting in hot water time-wise.

My husband denies all of this on lack of evidence. The pastor sent an awful letter saying I would be subject to church discipline.

I have no evidence against him. It's he-said she-said, and he adopts a silky voice and manner where anyone can see or hear him. He has his church's backing. I am required to return to the state.

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Charis   
Charis   

I'll just call myself Charis.

I am in the middle of a divorce. I am also suspected autistic (I will be formally evaluated this week).

My husband has been into porn and gazing at other women all over the place and being cruel and shallow with me for the entire marriage. Lots of counseling, lots of worksheets. I was always told to forgive, submit, don't be bitter.

I finally couldn't take it anymore. I was at the point that I was on my way out, but not quite out yet. I have no life skills, and I don't communicate well except in writing. We have 2 kids, and he was telling me that I would be filling his quiver with future children and to populate our church, despite my hyperemesis gravidarum, and dangerous births, severe depression, etc.

I was suicidal off and on. No job, home all the time being the "helpmeet."

He raped me.

Apparently, he had one of his "high temptation moments" and "went in to his wife." I was really sick, and depressed, and said "no, no, please no." He said "I'm sorry, I have needs. My temptation is high." The pastor and pastor's wife had us in counselling a day or two after. My husband said in an accusatory tone "she said she felt raped!" All eyes turned to me. The pastor said, "well at least he went to you instead of the porn." The pastor's wife nodded.

I was crushed. And I couldn't tell anyone. That was gossip and spreading a root of bitterness and division in the church, and those who spread division are to be noted and avoided.

I did leave state with the kids to visit family. It was only supposed to be an extended visit, but stuff kept happening to delay it. I was happy for the delays, but irritated and anxious about them too. I was getting in hot water time-wise.

My husband denies all of this on lack of evidence. The pastor sent an awful letter saying I would be subject to church discipline.

I have no evidence against him. It's he-said she-said, and he adopts a silky voice and manner where anyone can see or hear him. He has his church's backing. I am required to return to the state. I still do not have alimony, though I do have child support finally. I will see what the autism eval shows (though I fit it very well, which is why it was suggested). As it is, I don't have skills for living alone independently. He is making sure I am away from every support network and pushing me to call off the divorce. I am terrified. He admits to nothing, and I am stuck.

Other women were dismissed from church positions like nursery for smoking... and it was done quickly. He was into porn and was keeping me pregnant and oppressed and was promoted to deacon and hailed as a model husband and father (hardly with the kids at all).

He took the kids out evangelizing and to abortion clinics.

I know I'm random. I'm just distressed. I'm sorry.

We'll see what happens from here.

Above is an alias because I still have many friends in the IFB and I love them and want to remain friends with them.

I went to an IFB from age 13-19. I am very grateful for the fact that they introduced me to Jesus and my new Christian life. The thankfulness ends there.

I also attended a small Christian school attached to the church.

I was suspended because someone saw me standing outside a movie theater and told the Pastor.

We scheduled our spring break to be opposite the local school district so we could not mingle with the unsaved. How can you witness and spread the Gospel if you don't have access to the list? The church's response was that we wait til they come into the church.

My dad had major surgery. When we got hone, we got a visit from the pastor. Thinking the best, I just assumed he was coming to check on my dad. But, he never asked how he was and never prayed with him. He only wanted to know when his tithe would be caught up since he failed to send it in while in the hospital.

A young couple was trying to conceive. They finally got pregnant and everyone celebrated with them. A short time into the pregnancy the wife miscarried. Being so traumatized and grief stricken they didn't know how to tell the church so they kept the miscarriage a secret. When the pastor found out, he didn't counsel them. Instead he made them confess in front of the entire church.

The married pastors son had an affair with a woman in the church. When discovered, the woman was forced to confess to the church, then forbidden to return, while the son remained in his staff position without any type of public rebuke.

I believe the KJV is the closest English tradition to the original Aramaic and Hebrew. But, the KJV is by no means more anointed than any other version. All have their value. I've compared the KJV to original writings and there are plenty of discrepancies.

After finally escaping the cult, I avoided church for 20 years and I am still reluctant, although willing, to get back involved.

I have much more, but am out of time. I would be happy to answer any questions and could send my email address if needed.

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Tony Zimmerman   
Tony Zimmerman   

Above is an alias because I still have many friends in the IFB and I love them and want to remain friends with them.

I went to an IFB from age 13-19. I am very grateful for the fact that they introduced me to Jesus and my new Christian life. The thankfulness ends there.

I also attended a small Christian school attached to the church.

I was suspended because someone saw me standing outside a movie theater and told the Pastor.

We scheduled our spring break to be opposite the local school district so we could not mingle with the unsaved. How can you witness and spread the Gospel if you don't have access to the list? The church's response was that we wait til they come into the church.

My dad had major surgery. When we got hone, we got a visit from the pastor. Thinking the best, I just assumed he was coming to check on my dad. But, he never asked how he was and never prayed with him. He only wanted to know when his tithe would be caught up since he failed to send it in while in the hospital.

A young couple was trying to conceive. They finally got pregnant and everyone celebrated with them. A short time into the pregnancy the wife miscarried. Being so traumatized and grief stricken they didn't know how to tell the church so they kept the miscarriage a secret. When the pastor found out, he didn't counsel them. Instead he made them confess in front of the entire church.

The married pastors son had an affair with a woman in the church. When discovered, the woman was forced to confess to the church, then forbidden to return, while the son remained in his staff position without any type of public rebuke.

I believe the KJV is the closest English tradition to the original Aramaic and Hebrew. But, the KJV is by no means more anointed than any other version. All have their value. I've compared the KJV to original writings and there are plenty of discrepancies.

After finally escaping the cult, I avoided church for 20 years and I am still reluctant, although willing, to get back involved.

I have much more, but am out of time. I would be happy to answer any questions and could send my email address if needed.

Hi, I read your blog, thank you for sharing. Can I ask what church you attended? Or do you know a "pastor" Wayne Dillabaugh? or Roger Voegtlin? I was also raised in an IFB cult. I have been in counseling for 10+ years now, still recovering. I was an IFB from age 5 to 18, same as you- in church every time the doors were opened, and went to the church's Christian school. I hated it!

Jennifer   

Concerning IFB not only do they try backing me into a corner on KJV only, but also on the word church (ekklsia) which they mean local, and that the body of Christ is not universal but in James 6,10 it calls the church the (Household of Faith), 1 corith 3,9 we are his husbandry, and his building, 1 peter (Living stones) and Hebrews (General Asembly) So this Local church thing they hand out to wont fly with Gods word..I went to one of their special meetings who was a guest speaker and he had a chart, showing thoughout the centurys they have been linked to anababtists, and some other kind of Baptist going to to the early church. I am go to an AOG church which is Pentecostal because we speak/pray in tongues. I remind them that Jesus warned the Pharisees.that calling something that is from God and attrubting it to the devil,is not sinning against Jesus but it would be a sin against the Holy Spirit and not to be forgiven

Perry Donaldson   

I didn't join. However the pastor does a very good job of making one feel as though they should, after attending about 5 months. I am uncomfortable with some of the views. Especially as I am a baptized Christian. I am trying to be sweet, kind and cool about it all. I cannot get around much to walk to some other church and have no ride. I want to back out of going in a polite and courteous way. I also am concerned about the possibility of them contacting my neighbors. I like to be left alone mostly as I am not a social person by nature

Mary   

This site has been a blessing to me. I was involved in a IFB for over 18 years. I was what you call a bus kid. My parents didn't go to church with me, they thought I was nuts. I was married twice in that same IFB church. I was widowed the first time and they rallied around me furthering my dependence on my "church family". I was actively involved in whatever they wanted me to do, was at church everytime the doors were open. I went to Hyles-Anderson College for a semester before I went back home as fast as I could. I was very disillusioned for a while met my first husband, got married and we started going back to that same church. A couple years went by and then he died. I was lost looking for something. My addiction got stronger. I then married my high school sweetheart who was born and raised in a IFB. Then the blinders started coming on. He was abusive and controlling and was only telling me that he was in charge because God wrote it in the Bible. The sermons from the pastor on marriage seem to agree with him. Fast forward 4 years and I had enough. After I left and moved away. I began to see things clearly for the first time in years. A couple years later I met my husband, he was attending a Southern Baptist Church. My new church family is open and honest. The pastor preaches the Bible, but isn't legalistic and tyrannical. I wonder if anyone besides me struggles with guilt over wearing pants, shorts and t-shirts in public. Does anyone besides me. still hear the voice in your head telling you that you aren't doing enough for God because your entire life isn't revolving around church services and activities. I am glad to be free of it. I have a wonderful supportive husband who helps me with my insecurites on what my role as a woman is. I have realized there is a whole world out there I was missing out on. I can still be a Christian but I still have to live in the world.

Angelia   

Help. I definitely believe the fallacy of the IFB church. Now I met this really sound Christian lady that is a member of the IFB. I am not and think it is a works religion that looks down on people. However, I really like this lady and she is very accomplished and knows were she is going in life. It is early in the relationship and I'm not sure if I should continue. (keep in mind this is hard because I really do like her but I know were I stand and think it is very wrong to add works to the message of grace)

Jeff   

My husband has recently been sucked by into an Independent Baptist church. He grew up in it (his dad's a preacher), but left when he was 17. After we met and married, he began attending a Methodist church and joined. He went to see his father a few months ago and seeing an opportunity to control him, his father swooped in. Our lives have been upside down ever since. I was just wondering if you are still active with this site, as a lot of comments and posts are from 2009. I would do anything to bring my husband back to reality and was hoping to find some tips to break through the brain washing.

Julie   

Testimonial * I have seen the light. This political season I've seen the true colors independent fundamental Baptist come out. And I cannot go along with it anymore. They are way too conservative for my liking. I'm also disappointed that a lot of African Americans who are I FB are following the lines off their white counterparts. I am grateful that you opened my eyes to the truth. And the other thing that bugs me is that I think that in a way it is cultish because at the IBF I attend they think of Jack Hyles as the be all and end of life. I will still attend until I find another church. There is another church for me, but not IF..

Wylma Harmon   

My husband and I have been in the independent fundamental baptist church since 1991. I was raised charismatic. He got saved 2 months before I met him. I was attracted to the fact that there was an absolute answer. My first IFB pastor was a strong, charismatic, funny person that everyone wanted to please. Like I said, I was attracted to that. I was 20 years old and searching for answers. Thankfully, my mom taught me one very important principle- God is always right, man can be wrong. And yes, this was from a Charismatic Christian.

Our first pastor ended up falling big time. He was involved in immoral behaviour for years. Manipulating women sexually. Stealing money. He finally got caught. Interestingly, it was after he sent nasty letters to us bad members who were either not tithing a full 10% or not tithing at all. We tithed about 5%, but I wondered how he knew it wasn’t 10%? Well, I felt so guilty, and so horrible. We made sure we tithed the full 10% after that! But, 3 short months later, God brought the hammer of justice down and he had to go to prison.

Our next church was a sending church from that one. Actually, they changed to a non-denominational church after about 5 years. We were burned, however, because my husband was not allowed to step-down as a worship “pastor.” We did not like having the “pastor” title. It wasn’t us. Originally, he was just helping with the music. Soon, he was attending the church’s school and was ordained, and I hated it. He would not let us step down….until a better, more cool guy came in- then he decided God didn’t want him to do that anymore. I was glad he didn’t have to anymore, but I realized they cared more about their church than their people. We were having financial problems, marraige problems, child problems and felt like hypocrites when reminded of the “leadership character traits” required in the Bible. Those weren’t good reasons to step down. Not being “cool” enough was a good reason. At this point, however, they were no longer IFB- they were not Rick Warrenites.

Then, accidentally, we happened upon a REALLY IFB church. Women in dresses and coulottes, music standards, you name it. I just wanted to fit in somewhere, and the rules seemed safe.

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Michelle   
Michelle   

My husband and I have been in the independent fundamental baptist church since 1991. I was raised charismatic. He got saved 2 months before I met him. I was attracted to the fact that there was an absolute answer. My first IFB pastor was a strong, charismatic, funny person that everyone wanted to please. Like I said, I was attracted to that. I was 20 years old and searching for answers. Thankfully, my mom taught me one very important principle- God is always right, man can be wrong. And yes, this was from a Charismatic Christian.

Our first pastor ended up falling big time. He was involved in immoral behaviour for years. Manipulating women sexually. Stealing money. He finally got caught. Interestingly, it was after he sent nasty letters to us bad members who were either not tithing a full 10% or not tithing at all. We tithed about 5%, but I wondered how he knew it wasn’t 10%? Well, I felt so guilty, and so horrible. We made sure we tithed the full 10% after that! But, 3 short months later, God brought the hammer of justice down and he had to go to prison.

Our next church was a sending church from that one. Actually, they changed to a non-denominational church after about 5 years. We were burned, however, because my husband was not allowed to step-down as a worship “pastor.” We did not like having the “pastor” title. It wasn’t us. Originally, he was just helping with the music. Soon, he was attending the church’s school and was ordained, and I hated it. He would not let us step down….until a better, more cool guy came in- then he decided God didn’t want him to do that anymore. I was glad he didn’t have to anymore, but I realized they cared more about their church than their people. We were having financial problems, marraige problems, child problems and felt like hypocrites when reminded of the “leadership character traits” required in the Bible. Those weren’t good reasons to step down. Not being “cool” enough was a good reason. At this point, however, they were no longer IFB- they were not Rick Warrenites.

Then, accidentally, we happened upon a REALLY IFB church. Women in dresses and coulottes, music standards, you name it. I just wanted to fit in somewhere, and the rules seemed safe. I could see their points, but couldn’t be completely convinced. We went here for 7 years. I started questioning things and secretly considering differen ways of doing things…but then major family problems began! I thought it was my sinful fault. I considered disobeying them, and God was judging me. So, I was back to making sure I was in my place all 3 services, tithing my full 10%, taking my child back out of the evil Christian school and even having the pastor’s wife homeschool him because I couldn’t handle it- too much rebellion, etc. After a year of that, our relationships became better, and we questioned things together.

We didn’t like seeing how one family alienated their son. This family was the “effective, successful family.” However, I was not fooled. I heard their children talk. They followed all the rules, wore the suit and tie, sat straight, tall and quiet in church, sang in the choir, played the piano and their instruments- classical and hymns only. But, one freaked just before he left. They did those things because they would get spanked if they didn’t. None of it was in their hearts.

So, we reevaluated those things. We gave our son an iPod. We allowed CCM. We didn’t like the CCM he liked, but we didn’t have a SOLID Biblical reason. We say, it’s not our favorite, but we aren’t banning it. His old music about rape and murder, we have a solid Biblical answer for- so that is “No.” What kid wants an iPod with classical music? We put him back in Christian school- back with the “bad” influences. Even though the “good” family’s 2 sons were the ones who introduced our son to not just music, but music about rape and murder. Who introduced our son to R-rated movies.

We were treated like those bad people who “lowered their standards.” We wavered because our kid didn’t like the rules. We didn’t “stick to our guns.” We questioned God, and have turned our backs on His ways. We even sat through sermons we knew were directed towards us. (It is a small church.) If the pastor sees things he doesn’t like, he topically preaches on it Sunday nights, and everyone usually knows who it is for! Mostly, it is a manipulative way to make people afraid of questioning his judgment.

It will always be a small church. People who end up their who do not know Jesus Christ leave. Their tight pants are criticized, and they can’t listen to their music. If they are exercise instructors, they no longer have a job God can use because of dress and music! I could go on. I see people who do not know Jesus Christ leave, and I see other fundamentals come in. Their last pastor did something bad, so they find another fundamental pastor. Those are the people who attend.

Birth control is bad. Delivering babies and using medication is bad. The only way to raise children is on a strict schedule. If you don’t schedule your children, you are outside of God’s will. God is a God of order, and you have failed. You have to go to all services. If something bad happens it is either sin, unfaithful to church services or you are not tithing. You can not dance. You can not clap. Ever. If music makes you move more than your big toe or little fingers, it is sensual…you are sensual.

My husband is an excellent jazz musician. He has not played his horn in years. They only want a certain kind of music. But, you can’t find the music to play anywhere, so all an accomplished musician can do is play boring music out of a hymnal. Why play at all!

We left, my husband is playing his saxophone all the time. My son has picked up the guitar. His is a GIFTED musician who quit playing the piano because he didn’t want to be forced to play classical music and hymns only. There is music in my home again. Sunday I heard that God loves me regardless of my performance. I left getting a glimpse of the fact that I am accepted instead of being this wavering, inneffective, no- good parent! My son laughs with us- when 2 years ago he was punching holes in the wall and cursing at us!

He still wanted to go to camp with them. I sure wouldn’t have wanted to. They were going to “pray” about it. He had to interview with the pastor so they could get his heart on the issue. Forget it!

We were expected to keep our children 3 years and above in a LONG adult service. LONG! If they didn’t behave, they were to be spanked. We used to do that with our 2nd born. That was inneffective and wore us out. We started to with our 3rd born. How stupid. That makes them hate church. We quit spanking them for that. That was not sinful behaviour! They were bored out of their minds. So was I! So, we just quit going in the evenings when they were too tired to sit for 2+ hours and listen to things they didn’t understand.

I’m thankful for my mom’s upbringing. I learned that relationships come first. God is not a duty- He is a “get too.” I was also taught that the Bible is always right, people can be wrong. If it weren’t for her, I probably would have shyed away from the Bible altogether, too. Hopefully my son won’t.

Well, that’s my long story.

People do need a site like this to start to heal, a site that relates the true love of Christ to the sinner. I thank you for letting Christians have an outlet to vent their experiences.

I was saved in the 1980’s, I went from being a Catholic, saved born again, attended a Southern Baptist church and then ended up in an Independent Baptist Church. I was not going to respond here on this site, but I needed to respond in order to have peace with my situation and clear my mind of the past. Many independent churches teach saved by grace but then add on the law as a second blessing. One has to adhere to a strict form of do’s and don’ts in order to please God and be saved per IFC and the church hierarchy. Some of the laws presented are not even scriptural in teaching but pet peeves of whatever pastor they have preaching at the time, If you do not comply or you question the preaching you are marked and the deacons and pastors deny you and your family any association and any guidance, love from the church family. Instead of attending to the flock they ostracize you and your family, slandering you and your children for not agreeing with their interpretation of scripture or questioning the preacher, the preaching statements and comparing them with the scriptures. I was very active in the ministry and did see God work in people’s lives which is all to the glory of God and by God.

In another incident church staff would pick certain children to go on field trips, and award them in the youth group as long as you are in line with their demands and rules, the other teens did not get the outing church fellowship and were separated from the so called good teens, the whole salvation experience is based on keeping the rules and not on the grace of God, for if it were based on grace all would be welcome. When picking a pastor for our church, a few deacons picked the pastors coming in; not the congregation. I know of multiple families that their children left the faith because of the unloving ways of the Pastors and the staff. I even confronted the Pastor one time and asked him, I thought the Shepherd was to gather the sheep and not scatter them.

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Anonymous   
Anonymous   

People do need a site like this to start to heal, a site that relates the true love of Christ to the sinner. I thank you for letting Christians have an outlet to vent their experiences.

I was saved in the 1980’s, I went from being a Catholic, saved born again, attended a Southern Baptist church and then ended up in an Independent Baptist Church. I was not going to respond here on this site, but I needed to respond in order to have peace with my situation and clear my mind of the past. Many independent churches teach saved by grace but then add on the law as a second blessing. One has to adhere to a strict form of do’s and don’ts in order to please God and be saved per IFC and the church hierarchy. Some of the laws presented are not even scriptural in teaching but pet peeves of whatever pastor they have preaching at the time, If you do not comply or you question the preaching you are marked and the deacons and pastors deny you and your family any association and any guidance, love from the church family. Instead of attending to the flock they ostracize you and your family, slandering you and your children for not agreeing with their interpretation of scripture or questioning the preacher, the preaching statements and comparing them with the scriptures. I was very active in the ministry and did see God work in people’s lives which is all to the glory of God and by God.

In another incident church staff would pick certain children to go on field trips, and award them in the youth group as long as you are in line with their demands and rules, the other teens did not get the outing church fellowship and were separated from the so called good teens, the whole salvation experience is based on keeping the rules and not on the grace of God, for if it were based on grace all would be welcome. When picking a pastor for our church, a few deacons picked the pastors coming in; not the congregation. I know of multiple families that their children left the faith because of the unloving ways of the Pastors and the staff. I even confronted the Pastor one time and asked him, I thought the Shepherd was to gather the sheep and not scatter them. I guess I was then marked; if you say anything you are shunned and labeled as a trouble maker. Many are caught in a web of laws and do not hold on to the scripture which states; For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. They do preach this verse in the pulpit but really do not believe it. Instead of helping people that struggle they mark them and separate themselves from these Christians. They forget Jesus came to call sinners, not the righteous. I have so many sad stories of people leaving the faith because of the non- love presented to them, I even know of a few suicides that could be contributed to people losing hope. What a tragic end all because they were not good enough per IFC.

I am not bitter I am just sad for all the lost years, the toll it took on my family and all the others. The power hungry staff that put their needs over the church body will one day have to give an account to God. Once we had a whole church giving program where people gave up things in their lives to give to the building program, one member, his children needed shoes and he put this need on the back burner to give to the building fund, after all the testimonies of giving, it was announced that the Pastor was taking a trip, a vacation to Israel where was his sacrifice? I have so many stories that I could write, maybe one day I will write them all down, but at this time I just needed to clear some of these events from my soul since they put such a weight on a person. I hope people will read the account here and finally realize that salvation is all of God and nothing we have to do but realize our sin and need for a Savior and accept His FREE gift, and the laws God states he will write upon your heart not list them from a church. The only problem I have now is where to go for fellowship.

Hi Steve,

Just another e-mail of appreciation for your website.

I have read through almost all of your work and, while I don't agree on every point, it has been a blessing.

I have left my IFB church and just recently lost my best friend for doing so. It's sad, but I actually feel relieved to be able to leave it all behind! Amazing how often I would leave my church service, who have sincere and nice people, more shackled in my mind than when I entered it!

Thanks for reminding me I'm not crazy and backslidden when taking a stand on what I see in the Bible compared to the IFB movement.

It's my wish that I'd be able to grow in the knowledge of the love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and get a greater understanding of the height, depth and breadth of His love!

Hope you are well!

Love in the Lord,

Ben.

Ben Chaplin   

Hi, is it possible to get in contact with people from new Zealand who have come out of an IMB church? I cam e out 8 years ago and think it could benefit myself as well as others in their recovery?

thanks
simon

Simon Chisholm   

I am 16 years old and part of Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. I'm a student at it's school. My entire life revolves around this church. I feel trapped, and I want to leave. Do you have any advice for me?

Im sorry, if that was to vague. Basically I need help, I know I can't leave the church right now but I want to as smoothly and as quickly as possible. I'm just asking for advice on how to endure this.

Kevin   

Response to Cassandra on "memoirs of a Recovering Baptist "IFB" "Wow Cass thats amazing i had about 9 yrs under my belt before i had enough and started questioning stuff especially when i went through a divorce with my first wife, i am so glad God forgives and God understands divorce when adultery is involved, your story is so true.

ghostfire220   

I didn't grow up in a church that called themselves Fundamentaliststs. But I now realize the truth. I grew up going to church 6 days a week, the church's school, and almost a college they recommended to me that's not even a real college! I am so glad I have gotten out from under their hate and abuse and have a comfortable relationship with God. I can rely on HIM to sustain and support me, not attending church 6 days a week. For those that leave the church, don't give up on Him! I am now becoming a therapist to help others who come from similar situations and life couldn't be better!
If anyone needs an ear that understands, or needs help getting out. Feel free to email me at the address below. It's easy to feel isolated after leaving the church family, and I don't want anyone drawn back in because of that!
[email protected]

The Fox   

Hello there,

Last year I was "courting" a girl who is IFB. I grew up in a variety of denominations including generic Baptist, Messianic Judaism (Christians who follow Jewish tradition), Catholicism (I thank the Lord I am free of that church) and many other non-denominational churches. I currently attend a Christian Missionary Alliance church. I had never attended IFB before I met my ex-girlfriend (let's call her C). She was 22 going on 23, I was 25. She lived over 530 miles away from me. I would go out to visit her and her family about once every month or month and a half.

At first, they seemed like normal people with a sincere desire to serve God and live out the Scriptures whole heartedly. Maybe a little on the strict side, but normal. To give you some background, I went through a stage of life where I walked away from God, partied and participated in activities of which I am not proud. By some miracle, I retained my virginity though. I realized the foolishness of what I was doing and was coming back to God when I met C. The IFB at first appealed to me. I thought they would help me return become the person I used to be before.

Well, C and I became really close. It was after her father gave us permission to court that I began to see the true side of what the IFB church is all about. It seemed like no matter what I did, it was never good enough or Christian enough. C was always expecting more out of me. It was like she and her family were never satisfied. At first, I buckled down and pressed onward, thinking it was going to get better. It didn't. It got worse. I did a lot during our courtship. I read my Bible everyday, conducted Bible studies with Marie and her father, I read and studied every single book her father told us to, I quit chewing tobacco (the hardest thing I have ever done) at her request, I bought groceries for her family (they were poor and I made a pretty decent income) on several occasions and I always included her siblings on any activities C and I did together. It was never enough. She always questioned how serious I was, whether my relationship with God was for real,

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JR   
JR   

Hello there,

Last year I was "courting" a girl who is IFB. I grew up in a variety of denominations including generic Baptist, Messianic Judaism (Christians who follow Jewish tradition), Catholicism (I thank the Lord I am free of that church) and many other non-denominational churches. I currently attend a Christian Missionary Alliance church. I had never attended IFB before I met my ex-girlfriend (let's call her C). She was 22 going on 23, I was 25. She lived over 530 miles away from me. I would go out to visit her and her family about once every month or month and a half.

At first, they seemed like normal people with a sincere desire to serve God and live out the Scriptures whole heartedly. Maybe a little on the strict side, but normal. To give you some background, I went through a stage of life where I walked away from God, partied and participated in activities of which I am not proud. By some miracle, I retained my virginity though. I realized the foolishness of what I was doing and was coming back to God when I met C. The IFB at first appealed to me. I thought they would help me return become the person I used to be before.

Well, C and I became really close. It was after her father gave us permission to court that I began to see the true side of what the IFB church is all about. It seemed like no matter what I did, it was never good enough or Christian enough. C was always expecting more out of me. It was like she and her family were never satisfied. At first, I buckled down and pressed onward, thinking it was going to get better. It didn't. It got worse. I did a lot during our courtship. I read my Bible everyday, conducted Bible studies with Marie and her father, I read and studied every single book her father told us to, I quit chewing tobacco (the hardest thing I have ever done) at her request, I bought groceries for her family (they were poor and I made a pretty decent income) on several occasions and I always included her siblings on any activities C and I did together. It was never enough. She always questioned how serious I was, whether my relationship with God was for real, if I was going to make a good husband and father, etc. I found myself in an endless world of frustration and it was beginning to show after a few months. At her church, I never really felt loved or accepted, except by her pastor and his family. Strangely, they seemed to be the most normal of everybody there. Everybody else, it felt like they were looking down their noses at me and had their heads in the clouds.

Well, after about four months of courtship, things blew up in my face. I hadn't quite told her all of my past sin (I had visited a few strip clubs as a young man and kissed a girl long before I knew who she was). I came out and told her the rest of it when I was comfortable because I wanted to be open with her. I was seen as a complete liar for it. Her father gave me a chance to redeem myself. He made me write him and her a couple of letters explaining myself: why I didn't tell them everything at first, how most people respond when trust is broken and what I felt God wanted me to do to restore the trust that had been broken. He wanted me to do this after time in prayer, reading the Bible and seeking the counsel of other Godly men I trusted. Because I loved C so much and wanted things to work out more than anything, I did as he asked. He rejected my first letter because he felt it didn't answer his questions, he thought I wrote and submitted it "too soon," and he thought I was looking for a "quick fix" to the problem. So, I took my time, wrote another far more descriptive letter and did not submit until the due date he had given me. This letter was 10 times better than the first. He was not impressed. He labeled it "acceptable," but nothing more.

I visited them about a week and a half later. That Sunday, everything seemed to be going better. We weren't exactly restored to where we were before, but we seemed to be on the mend. I picked her up for church. She had dressed to match the way I was dressed, so I thought, "Okay, we can do this, our relationship is healing." After church, she broke up with me in the church parking lot. It was like I had been run over by a truck. We had agreed to meet up with her brother and sister in law, our "accountability partners." She said we didn't need to, but I decided we should since I had given my word that we would meet and I was too much in a state of shock to really think straight. The breakup continued with them. The two of them actually had the gall to question whether or not I am saved.

It's been almost a year since all of this took place. I realize now that I was truly blessed by God that things did not work out. Being married into that would have been a nightmare. I would have been constantly having to prove myself to everybody. I could not see that at the time because my feelings blinded me. I happily attend church at the Christian Missionary Alliance church. What I have seen there is way less hypocrisy and far more love: love for God and our fellow human beings. The pastor delivers his message, encourages us to think on it and pray on it and then lets us determine what we believe while being available to talk to us if we desire that.

It was in the time afterward that I really began to see things and that church for the way they are. I hold no hard feelings against them, though I could never be talked into going back to that church or pursuing a girl through "courtship" ever again. I am hoping that God brings a young lady into my life who loves Him and loves me, but at the same is accepting, understanding and "normal."

Sorry this story is so long, but does any of what I mentioned here sound familiar to anybody?

Wow, I stumbled across this site months ago 6 or so and by accident. I was so floored that so many people see and experience what I from Baptist Churches altogether for the most part. It would be pages to tell you my whole store but to some very large degree I agree with everyone about this abuses, I suffer from panicked attacks and fear of going to hell for years . I feel I have never measured up to Gods expectations and I have failed him with my existence as a human being. I have suffered near 40 years and have been confused and not sure what God thinks of me and sometimes I really don't care if He hates me there would be no changing his mind anyways and I will be doomed from knowing his best. I struggle with this from time to time. I have picked up their bad habits and do the same thing they have done to me without even knowing that I commit the same sins and I have cause to be angry at my brethren the leaders, I seem to attract these types of abuses of Churches. I distrust all leadership! I'm opinated against them and sometimes tell them so in a wise manner they hate when a woman corrects them they love to show us that we are wrong and they are skilled at turning the conversation around on you and you will never get anywhere with these idiots who only way to deal with you is put you in a spot in their minds called the rabbit hole and leave it there! That's how they deal with us! They are more than dismissive they have NO idea about Christ and most of these pastors are gentile churches. This judgment that starts @ the house of God first is much needed and they will receive a greater CONDEMNATION, NOT COMMENDATION! And that is what they act like that they are so holy and they are commending themselves and are blind that it is judgment that awaits them! This is the same PRIDE that brought Satan down, he was so prideful he never saw it coming when Christ died upon the Cross until it was to late, JUDGMENT!!! I am leaving my baptist church soon because they too have hints of this, they never once came to visit me in 7 yes,

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Karla K   
Karla K   

Wow, I stumbled across this site months ago 6 or so and by accident. I was so floored that so many people see and experience what I from Baptist Churches altogether for the most part. It would be pages to tell you my whole store but to some very large degree I agree with everyone about this abuses, I suffer from panicked attacks and fear of going to hell for years . I feel I have never measured up to Gods expectations and I have failed him with my existence as a human being. I have suffered near 40 years and have been confused and not sure what God thinks of me and sometimes I really don't care if He hates me there would be no changing his mind anyways and I will be doomed from knowing his best. I struggle with this from time to time. I have picked up their bad habits and do the same thing they have done to me without even knowing that I commit the same sins and I have cause to be angry at my brethren the leaders, I seem to attract these types of abuses of Churches. I distrust all leadership! I'm opinated against them and sometimes tell them so in a wise manner they hate when a woman corrects them they love to show us that we are wrong and they are skilled at turning the conversation around on you and you will never get anywhere with these idiots who only way to deal with you is put you in a spot in their minds called the rabbit hole and leave it there! That's how they deal with us! They are more than dismissive they have NO idea about Christ and most of these pastors are gentile churches. This judgment that starts @ the house of God first is much needed and they will receive a greater CONDEMNATION, NOT COMMENDATION! And that is what they act like that they are so holy and they are commending themselves and are blind that it is judgment that awaits them! This is the same PRIDE that brought Satan down, he was so prideful he never saw it coming when Christ died upon the Cross until it was to late, JUDGMENT!!! I am leaving my baptist church soon because they too have hints of this, they never once came to visit me in 7 yes, they heard my struggles in prayer meetings but never came to help US. One person helped in a small way and I think it was all because she wanted me to join the church in the first place and I did found out that she lies to much and then denies it has to keep the image up as she is close to the pastor through marriage of in laws! I still somewhat can't tell if she is telling me exaggerated truths or what, she is a friend because at least she was the only one who did help me! I just over look her deception flaws! I'm getting to old for this BS and I have only tithed at this church about 4 times in all these years because of these things and Abuse's. I refuse to give to abusive churches that treat me like shit! So I tithe out to other good TV ministries more reputable in their missions, or give directly to the cause screw the church that abuses, dictatorship etc.. This is Gods department! He will deal with it but as for me I move on! The government is seeking to take away the 501 c 3 status of these churches in America, now that would humble these preachers, take that easy money away and see what they are really made of. Don't envy that position! They bring Gods correction upon themselves in many respects and then cry that I have been a servant, why? and still will never make the connection to their own arrogance that is the inevitably the sadness of it, because the victims never get enough emotional rest and restitution from the abuses. We lose out on our full function to be used of God because of the healing process leaves us so mangled that we become no good for the Kingdom. I never promote my church to other because of this! I do my gospel tract ministry on the streets and let God do the rest! My church wants us to pro ote people to get to church where I go but no way, I encourage them to find a good bible believing church. So sad that is what these church have created in me, not all the people in them some great people but they are followers and your problems would never be resolved and we would look like the trouble makers of the church. I get feed but at what cost!!!!!!!,,???????????. Thanks for letting me vent!

Great site! Already started recommending this site from my own blog that chronicles our abuse: http://independentfundamentalbaptistmess.blogspot.com/ This is our story/struggle. I don’t want to reveal the preacher just yet since he is my father-in-law. Feel free to share this, it may help other missionary kids that don’t have much options in life.

Louis   

felt compelled as young girl (6-8) to attend church even w/o parents, I'd ride the bus alone. My dad was a ordained Baptist minister and mother a heavier "spiritualist" and caused friction during discussions to say the least. I searched scripture& attended MANY churches & denominations to find answers and redemption even from a standpoint of not being a "heavy hitting sinner"I feel I fell from grace and sought repentance from sex outside of marriage at a young age. It has been a long perilous journey one I still struggle to stay on. Many baptist Sunday school classes skim through the scriptures and indoctrinate quite young people into a false sense of security by baptism after repeating the handful of verses and then there's Pentecostal church families that look like mindless zombies who hold to very strict standards but judge and condemn harshly then there's the non-denominations with quirky off grid classes teaching dances and mantras that summon who knows what?? It's brought me to my knees in daily prayer and family bible study which then led me to your website bc I'm concerned I'm not an adequate leader for my kids after finding weird controversial scripture passages that tend to infer a spiritual caste system namely in the book of Acts?? -helppp! My point to all of this is why do the scriptures in the books following the gospels contradict the message of equality and equal love for all in Jesus' words but through Peter ( whom seems highly likely to be influenced by Catholic influence to puff him up) there's a hierarchy? Why is Jesus never laughing or happy? Why stuffy and business like? What is the deal with Ananias & Sapphires?? This same spirit of comfort invoking fear and trepidation after this act?? Gah I'm grasping at straws

Valerie   

Hello Steve,

I grew up and am currently attending a IFB church and have recently had doubts or questions about how things are run or the legalistic nature of the denomination. Just curious though you're still a Christian correct? I also don't know if there is any other info on your site about churches, but I'd like to know what denomination or type of church you'd recommend that doesn't impose these same practices as the IFB church?

Thanks for your time,

Marcos

Marcos   

Steve, thank you for this tremendous resource and for featuring my book, "Profaned Pulpit -- The Jack Schaap Story." His buddy Geronimo Aguilar, another deviant preacher, was sentenced to 60 years behind bars this week for following in Schaap's footsteps.

Jerry Kaifetz   

Hi Steve,

How come Independent Baptists don't lift their hands and praise the Lord?

How come they don't say, "Praise the Lord." back when you greet them with "Praise the Lord."

What is with these unemotional people?

God Bless You.

Jariah   

I think you should write an article on "Revival Deception". In the weeks leading up to a revival conference in IFB churches, the pastor typically preaches on his congregation's "obligation" to be in every revival service, regardless of the fact that your kids have school the day and how late the services end. It's typically held on a Sunday through a Wednesday night with services on not only those days but Monday and Tuesdays nights, as well. The IFBs attitude is "If you don't plan to come to (all) the services, then you don't want to get where you ought to be with your relationship with God and you don't want to grow spiritually. It's guilt-drivin. The preaching in the revival services is meant to make people in the congregation feel guilty because its always about sin, the sermon topic. You see my point? The services I remember began at 7:00 local time and didn't get out until nearly 9:00 pm local time. Please let me know your thoughts on this topic of revival conferences held in IFB churches.

Brian Mears   

Steve,

I came across your website today and although I have not read everything (and to be honest I'm not sure if I will, no offense) I do appreciate what you are trying to do.

In my life, I grew up in many different churches (my father's job moved us every few years) and thought I had seen a decent cross-section of Independent Baptists (I'm not sure if they qualify for the full acronym.) I was pretty active in my church and my family used the ABEKA curriculum from my 5th grade on through graduation (moving made homeschool an easier option). My mom only wore skirts to church and then normally only the Sunday services (sometimes only the morning service.) To be honest the whole skirt/culotte issue hadn't even been brought to my attention until I went to my youth group to the Bill Rice Ranch. I thought it was odd but it was my only Christian camp experience and it was only for a week each summer so I didn't think anything of it (I was a guy and I was really only disappointed with not being allowed to wear shorts during the summer weather). The first real incident that raised my eyebrow was when one of the members in our youthgroup was docked points in
the weekly music competition because the song he chose ("People Need the Lord" if memory serves but don't quote me on that) was too "contemporary"!

My family is far more "typical American" we went to movies, played in local sports leagues, my family for the longest time had the car radio set to the local country station for most of my youth. In highschool, we were introduced to CCM and started listening that instead.

Then I went to college at Pensacola Christian College. Already the "What to Expect" booklet had me a little on edge. However, I considered PCC the "right-wing" of the Baptist circles so I would just put up with it and "keep my head down" and avoid trouble. PCC was something you could learn to survive if you were willing to although there was much there to disagree with. Having Bible teachers (I was Pastoral Ministries) that were willing to be fairly open even if they still agreed with the school was helpful. One reoccuring issue that you have brought up is the tithing issue and I had at least two teachers (one had been the Dean of Bible in one point of the school's history) that would agree with you.

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Tyler Baker   
Tyler Baker   

Steve,

I came across your website today and although I have not read everything (and to be honest I'm not sure if I will, no offense) I do appreciate what you are trying to do.

In my life, I grew up in many different churches (my father's job moved us every few years) and thought I had seen a decent cross-section of Independent Baptists (I'm not sure if they qualify for the full acronym.) I was pretty active in my church and my family used the ABEKA curriculum from my 5th grade on through graduation (moving made homeschool an easier option). My mom only wore skirts to church and then normally only the Sunday services (sometimes only the morning service.) To be honest the whole skirt/culotte issue hadn't even been brought to my attention until I went to my youth group to the Bill Rice Ranch. I thought it was odd but it was my only Christian camp experience and it was only for a week each summer so I didn't think anything of it (I was a guy and I was really only disappointed with not being allowed to wear shorts during the summer weather). The first real incident that raised my eyebrow was when one of the members in our youthgroup was docked points in
the weekly music competition because the song he chose ("People Need the Lord" if memory serves but don't quote me on that) was too "contemporary"!

My family is far more "typical American" we went to movies, played in local sports leagues, my family for the longest time had the car radio set to the local country station for most of my youth. In highschool, we were introduced to CCM and started listening that instead.

Then I went to college at Pensacola Christian College. Already the "What to Expect" booklet had me a little on edge. However, I considered PCC the "right-wing" of the Baptist circles so I would just put up with it and "keep my head down" and avoid trouble. PCC was something you could learn to survive if you were willing to although there was much there to disagree with. Having Bible teachers (I was Pastoral Ministries) that were willing to be fairly open even if they still agreed with the school was helpful. One reoccuring issue that you have brought up is the tithing issue and I had at least two teachers (one had been the Dean of Bible in one point of the school's history) that would agree with you.

While there I heard about institutions/churches/etc that would "make PCC look liberal." I almost couldn't believe it. Surely these were some backwoods nuts who didn't know any better...some sort of cult or something. Then I heard more and more stories and couldn't believe what I was hearing. Surely this couldn't be that prevalent.

Then I married someone who had come from just a background. Then after college we moved in with her parents until we could get on our feet post-college. Her parents are all right when you get to know them. Their church blew my mind. Luckily for me the pastor she grew up under and resigned a few months before we arrived and was in the midst of searching for a new one. The one we did get was far better and although I may not agree with him on everything he is a man I can respect and get along with. He actively avoids the dictator/Pope reputation that is prevalent in the circles this church is used to.

Well I don't know if my original intention was to ramble about my background but there it is. I won't take up much more of your time at least in this email except to say I understand where you are coming from and appreciate what you are trying to do. Thank you for your efforts.

A brother in Christ,
Tyler

P.S. feel free to email me back if you so desire to but do not feel obligated.

Steve, I hated your guts a few years ago after reading the anti material of the IFB. I have to tell you now, I am out of the IFB church and realizing what true freedom in Christ is. I still have emotional baggage from my 26 years in the IFB but I am praying that God will help me overcome this too!

God Bless you,
Tim

Tim   

When I gave my life to Christ in 1969, nobody mentored me. Consequently, I had no discernment skills. I joined a cultic house church thinking it was an advanced group of Christians with a divine teacher. He made many strange prophecies and taught blasphemous doctrines. The elders also chided me constantly whenever they laid hands on me but my poor vision never improved. I grew so bitter and angry that I left the church and turned my back on God for 9 years. The Lord brought me to my senses and led me to excellent apologetics teachers. It took a while but now I'm free from all the rubbish the church taught me. I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. In it, I show how the heavenly Father providentially guided me to the truth about his character. I also learned a technique for ridding myself of emotional baggage.Please visit http://www.virtualbookworm.com/bookstore/product/How_I_Was_Razed_ebook.html to learn more about this testimony of the Father's love.

Bruce Atchison   

I am a young, normal, married guy who within the last year found my relationship with God. I found it through a Baptist Church which a good friend introduced me to. At that time I was an exCatholic Athiest. Then I made a huge spiritual leap, and it changed my life. Thankfully God used the church to save me, but now I need some advice about the church.. I have been part of a FIBC for a few months now. I have learned alot there and am beginning to get into a bus ministry thing(talked into it). But like you I cannot help but notice some things That I absolutely need in a church, are missing. Also there a few things that I am having increasing harder time ignoring.

I’ll list them:

1.The absolute need to be separate hurts any idea of community outreach and caring for others(which I want to be part of)
2. I fall asleep reading KJV and am a closet ESV reader.
3. I don’t hate other people for being gay or catholic.
4. My tithes are being used to support a pastor and his family…I would teach, study, and pray with ANYone for free Anytime…When did this become a career? (Tithing is a not so private thing)
5. Our church is small but has several unused buildings that I can’t help but cry thinking of homeless people freezing outside. We own 2 churches (1 unused), camp, and a school (unused)
6. Church is held at 11am and 6 pm so that the entire day is messed up (I’m not saying I don’t want to worship God, but we aren’t gaining points for hours put in to hear someone preach are we?)
7. There is no bible study/discussion, just extra mini preaching services.
8. I really don’t think all black people are hamites and cursed by God.
9. I like contemporary music AND hymns, but we only get hymns
10. they believe Soulwinning (via door knocking) trumps Soulwinning (via serving others)

So I’m in this Church. My family is Roman Catholic. My wife and daughter don’t go with me, but are not against me going there. So what keeps me going to this place that I know is in some ways hindering my walk with Christ? The people there. I have become great friends with some of the people in the church.

...more
B. W.   
B. W.   

I am a young, normal, married guy who within the last year found my relationship with God. I found it through a Baptist Church which a good friend introduced me to. At that time I was an exCatholic Athiest. Then I made a huge spiritual leap, and it changed my life. Thankfully God used the church to save me, but now I need some advice about the church.. I have been part of a FIBC for a few months now. I have learned alot there and am beginning to get into a bus ministry thing(talked into it). But like you I cannot help but notice some things That I absolutely need in a church, are missing. Also there a few things that I am having increasing harder time ignoring.

I’ll list them:

1.The absolute need to be separate hurts any idea of community outreach and caring for others(which I want to be part of)
2. I fall asleep reading KJV and am a closet ESV reader.
3. I don’t hate other people for being gay or catholic.
4. My tithes are being used to support a pastor and his family…I would teach, study, and pray with ANYone for free Anytime…When did this become a career? (Tithing is a not so private thing)
5. Our church is small but has several unused buildings that I can’t help but cry thinking of homeless people freezing outside. We own 2 churches (1 unused), camp, and a school (unused)
6. Church is held at 11am and 6 pm so that the entire day is messed up (I’m not saying I don’t want to worship God, but we aren’t gaining points for hours put in to hear someone preach are we?)
7. There is no bible study/discussion, just extra mini preaching services.
8. I really don’t think all black people are hamites and cursed by God.
9. I like contemporary music AND hymns, but we only get hymns
10. they believe Soulwinning (via door knocking) trumps Soulwinning (via serving others)

So I’m in this Church. My family is Roman Catholic. My wife and daughter don’t go with me, but are not against me going there. So what keeps me going to this place that I know is in some ways hindering my walk with Christ? The people there. I have become great friends with some of the people in the church. I left once to try other churches and was kinda talked into coming back to give it another try. Now I am absolutely certain that this church is just another legalistic institution that promotes holding others to the standards of the law. I want to serve God and I want to be Christ like. But How can I leave people who will be hurt by my leaving? I have tried showing different points of view, but if it doesn’t fit in with their view its evil. I don’t want to sound like a pushover, but I generally like making people happy. If I leave I would feel like i’m wounding these people. So what I want from you is pretty much some suggestions.

IFB: Being mean-spirited and self-absorbed in the name of "old-fashioned", KJV Only, righteousness.

Anonymous   

Hey again/again Steve.

I have a request. On your post on Jack Scaap, there's a man who commented named Kevin. Do you have his e-mail address and, if so, may I have it? What he said was very meaningful to me, and I'd love to know a bit more about his Christian life since leaving the IFB. I'm really missing fellowship and, as such and because I allowed the IFB to affect my walk with God and create bitterness towards Him, I'm in sin and really need to know how to get back to how things once were.

Ben   

I do not have a testimony about coming out of a IFB church, but I do see the legalism and cult like activities, and it even expands to the streets with street preachers.

Dave Reed   

As usual, the IFB are known for their fiery anger in the name of "defending righteousness." It's really their self-righteousness that they are defending in anger.

Anonymous   

Thank you for your most supportive website. It's essential that you exist.
I've been judged as being judgemental for writing this short story/poem, simply for the motive of defending the vulnerable, & taking a stand for those victims suffering, or who have suffered at the hands of 'spiritual abuse', who are sadly not able to fight for themselves.
Please feel free to include this on your site. (Obviously with Copyright.)
Many thanks. I trust this finds you well. x

Who Would Like To Now Confess?

Jeanny lost in emptiness.
Heading nowhere to rid her mess.
Hatred in the world, but promise on the board;
‘Trust, & find peace in the Lord.’
“The Spirit is alive – amen!
Here in ‘the body’ everyone finds rest.
Jesus died so we can live.
Who would like to now confess?”

Jeanny leaps up from her chair,
Saved by her ‘salvation prayer.’
“This is your new family –
welcome to a life set free.”
“The Spirit is alive – amen!
Here in ‘the body’ everyone finds rest.
No going back, this is where you belong.
Live your life in faithfulness.”

“Pastor Sam will speak today.
Trust in what he has to say.
A righteous man will speak no wrong.
Doubt him, & your faith is gone.”

He shook his Bible in his firm right hand.
His pale blue suit covered a handsome man.
Assurance in ‘The Word’ & his piercing brown eyes;
“My prosperous plans won’t harm your lives.”
“The Spirit is alive – amen!
Here in ‘the body’ everyone finds rest.
Go in peace, in joy, in love,
& may you all be richly blessed.”

Now Jeanny’s life was never shamed –
kept pure what no man had stained.
Man will be man, of world or of the cloth,
Preaching love or preaching wrath.
‘The Spirit is alive – amen!’
Here in ‘the body’ EVERYONE finds rest?
Free by the law when unconfessed.
By your Lord, you’ve guiltiness.

“Speak of this, you newly saved soul.
Speak of this, ‘they’ still won’t know.
Remember my sermon ‘bout the enemy?
Blame him, don’t blame God or me.”

“Jeanny can’t join us in praise.

...more
Debra Rufini   
Debra Rufini   

Thank you for your most supportive website. It's essential that you exist.
I've been judged as being judgemental for writing this short story/poem, simply for the motive of defending the vulnerable, & taking a stand for those victims suffering, or who have suffered at the hands of 'spiritual abuse', who are sadly not able to fight for themselves.
Please feel free to include this on your site. (Obviously with Copyright.)
Many thanks. I trust this finds you well. x

Who Would Like To Now Confess?

Jeanny lost in emptiness.
Heading nowhere to rid her mess.
Hatred in the world, but promise on the board;
‘Trust, & find peace in the Lord.’
“The Spirit is alive – amen!
Here in ‘the body’ everyone finds rest.
Jesus died so we can live.
Who would like to now confess?”

Jeanny leaps up from her chair,
Saved by her ‘salvation prayer.’
“This is your new family –
welcome to a life set free.”
“The Spirit is alive – amen!
Here in ‘the body’ everyone finds rest.
No going back, this is where you belong.
Live your life in faithfulness.”

“Pastor Sam will speak today.
Trust in what he has to say.
A righteous man will speak no wrong.
Doubt him, & your faith is gone.”

He shook his Bible in his firm right hand.
His pale blue suit covered a handsome man.
Assurance in ‘The Word’ & his piercing brown eyes;
“My prosperous plans won’t harm your lives.”
“The Spirit is alive – amen!
Here in ‘the body’ everyone finds rest.
Go in peace, in joy, in love,
& may you all be richly blessed.”

Now Jeanny’s life was never shamed –
kept pure what no man had stained.
Man will be man, of world or of the cloth,
Preaching love or preaching wrath.
‘The Spirit is alive – amen!’
Here in ‘the body’ EVERYONE finds rest?
Free by the law when unconfessed.
By your Lord, you’ve guiltiness.

“Speak of this, you newly saved soul.
Speak of this, ‘they’ still won’t know.
Remember my sermon ‘bout the enemy?
Blame him, don’t blame God or me.”

“Jeanny can’t join us in praise.
Our Sister’s loss, our respect pays.
Suicide, we know is sin.
And sometimes Satan has to win.
We know she was pretty, & we know we all fall.
We know that the holiest sometimes fight God’s call.
So let’s bow our heads in prayer, & let’s try to understand.
And if you could for me, would you bow them in the sand?
‘The Spirit is alive – amen!’
Here in ‘the body’, well . . . . most of us find rest.
Let’s thank God for all our lives,
& let’s thank God for forgiveness.”

No-one feels the sorrow if they’re only getting caught.
Repentance comes when conscience is fought.
“Close your eyes, & you’ll see fear.
Pastor Sam, it’s Jeanny in your ear.
When you dream your nightmares, I’ll be running through your head,
when you recall my downstair’s tightness, & remember how I bled.
When you preach against abortion, I’ll be stood here with your son.
When you preach of sin & caution, God will block you when you run.
When you preach of Hell & torture, it’s waiting here for you.
Your ‘magic prayer’ will falter - words alone won’t get you through.”

“The Spirit is alive – amen!
Here in this body, everyone finds rest.”
Jesus died so we can live.
Who would like to now confess?

Copyright 2014. Debra C. Rufini.

Steve,

You've taken a lot of the right steps to free yourself from the tyranny and abuse of the IFB, but your journey is not complete.

Like me, you were brainwashed into Christianity as a child. In my thirties, I realized that something was wrong with the story, and I spent the next several years figuring it out. Overcoming the effects of brainwashing takes a strong will, and an open mind - and a lot of time.

What I've discovered is that Christianity is nothing more than a spinoff of the pagan religions of the first century, that Jesus likely never existed, and that the Bible was constructed by the Roman Empire for political means. Furthermore, I discovered that the god of Christianity is nothing but an evolution of the pagan gods of Isreal and Judea in the first century. There may be a creator, but Christianity, its god, and its bible are products of the superstitions and myths of the first century.

I won't go into more detail here, but here are a couple of websites that explain what I've learned in much greater detail.

Keep an open mind, and the truth will set you truly free...

www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm
pocm.info

Michael

Michael W. Gilbert   

Hello Steve,

I am writing to you tonight because I need some advice on how to help a young man who is essentially bound to an IFB church. The young man is 17 years-old, his name is David and I met him while grocery shopping. He works at my community supermarket, which is how we met.

From the day I met him, David struck me as odd. I later found out that his father was the pastor of an IFB church; David considers himself an ultra-conservative who hates anything that is liberal. He is also fanatically religious: everything the KJV Bible says is true without question. The family home schools him, of course. He loves talking about history but of course it's a biased view. He also has some racist ideologies as well as a love of weapons, guns, and violence. The one thing that does not make very much sense is that he and I have some kind of friendship (it's a relatively new one). I myself am not very religious (I don't generally believe or agree with organized religion), and I tend to have an open-mind. The problem is that I have to be careful what I say around David, which results in me feeling like half a person around him.

I really would like to help David. He is deep down a very sensitive, intelligent, and creative young man who can probably do a lot in life if he were to get out of that ministry. I especially am fearful of him going to the Heartland Baptist Bible College, which is not a real college. I fear that his father's grip is very strong. Is there any advice that you can provide me with to better help the lad? If you need more information please feel free to email me.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Francisco

Francisco Miranda   

Dear Steve,

I was working on Sunday School material for Romans 8, and was puzzled when I saw the second half of the KJV version of Romans 8:1. I quoted this verse from the NET version, then proceeded to write my own study notes on it, and was happily expounding on the liberating truth from it, then perhaps like a man who is still savoring the sweet taste of the verse, I thought let's go to the KJV version with Strong numbers corresponding to the Greek text to try to squeeze out every bit of its life giving power, and I was shocked to read the part that bursted my bubble.

Though I had already worked out the true meaning of being "in the flesh" in Romans 7:5, that it had nothing to do with falling into sins or temptations, but with being under the dominion of the law, the appearance of this part of Romans 8:1 in the KJV is a definitely killjoy, a reducing of the heaven sent covenant to no more than that of even the most powerful ruler of this world; a fine print that puts doubt into the promise.

Out of disgust I queried the Internet for "why does KJV 8:1 have extra part," and came a link to your article. Then I read your testimony and thought here's another kindred spirit who knows the meaning of Hab 2:4 and Heb 10:38. Like you I had a glimpse of grace through the writing of Max Lucado, especially Six Hours One Friday, but not until almost twenty years later that a friend I met 3 years ago on the Internet, Doug Olsen of myredeemer.org, pointed me to life changing verses that has opened my eyes to true joy unspeakable, those verses that formed his writing on Law vs. Grace.

Since then I have become a prolific writer on my church's website as vacsf.org. Through my writing you may find that we have a common thread of understanding. For decades I used to go to church with a heavy heart, communion Sunday was heavy indeed, especially when the hymn that ends with this lyric: "I gave, I gave my life for thee, What hast thou done for me?" But now, many in my Sunday School class expressed amazement and joy in their Christian walk. They know now that the reality of the non-KJV Romans 8:1 is not just a theology,

...more
Nghi Nguyen   
Nghi Nguyen   

Dear Steve,

I was working on Sunday School material for Romans 8, and was puzzled when I saw the second half of the KJV version of Romans 8:1. I quoted this verse from the NET version, then proceeded to write my own study notes on it, and was happily expounding on the liberating truth from it, then perhaps like a man who is still savoring the sweet taste of the verse, I thought let's go to the KJV version with Strong numbers corresponding to the Greek text to try to squeeze out every bit of its life giving power, and I was shocked to read the part that bursted my bubble.

Though I had already worked out the true meaning of being "in the flesh" in Romans 7:5, that it had nothing to do with falling into sins or temptations, but with being under the dominion of the law, the appearance of this part of Romans 8:1 in the KJV is a definitely killjoy, a reducing of the heaven sent covenant to no more than that of even the most powerful ruler of this world; a fine print that puts doubt into the promise.

Out of disgust I queried the Internet for "why does KJV 8:1 have extra part," and came a link to your article. Then I read your testimony and thought here's another kindred spirit who knows the meaning of Hab 2:4 and Heb 10:38. Like you I had a glimpse of grace through the writing of Max Lucado, especially Six Hours One Friday, but not until almost twenty years later that a friend I met 3 years ago on the Internet, Doug Olsen of myredeemer.org, pointed me to life changing verses that has opened my eyes to true joy unspeakable, those verses that formed his writing on Law vs. Grace.

Since then I have become a prolific writer on my church's website as vacsf.org. Through my writing you may find that we have a common thread of understanding. For decades I used to go to church with a heavy heart, communion Sunday was heavy indeed, especially when the hymn that ends with this lyric: "I gave, I gave my life for thee, What hast thou done for me?" But now, many in my Sunday School class expressed amazement and joy in their Christian walk. They know now that the reality of the non-KJV Romans 8:1 is not just a theology, but a shout from heaven when God took an oath upon his name that it is a trustworthy promise.

Yours in Christ my precious Redeemer,
Nghi Nguyen

I would like to share something from the perspective of someone who is in an IFB church. However, I am definitely not a part of the IFB “movement.” While IFB often taut being people “of the Book,” they often operate outside of it and according to a “gang mentality” which I have seen firsthand. While I haven’t noticed this particular practice lately, for the longest time the pastor right at Sunday morning service time would come down the aisle to the platform. As he ascended the platform steps, the rest of the staff would always stand to shake his hand, as if in special honor and respect for a man. Then, he would go to a seat on the platform, the choir would sing an opener, and he ALWAYS opened in prayer at the pulpit. No one else does it unless he is away. This took place as a ritual EVERY Sunday. There was no mingling with folk before the service that I ever saw. This action (and others I cannot recount since this is anonymous) said, “I am it,” “I am the Big Cheese.” As I have seen of the IFB, it is common for them to thrive on outward appearance while lacking greatly on characteristics such as brotherly love, spirituality, and depth of Bible study. They often taut the KJV but many times don't even believe what it says! They regularly descend to "men following" (politics) as did the Corinthians of Paul’s day. (See chapters one and three of First Corinthians.) We must realize that when there is a faulty foundation to a building, the structure at some point will show weakness (-es). This is what we are seeing in the IFB, and this shows that it has always been a movement initiated by men and not of God.

Scott   

Thanks for this website. It's saddening how people in the IFB church can intentionally be hurtful towards other people. It's mostly because people like Jack Hyles, Al Lacy, Steven L. Anderson, Bill Gothard, John R. Rice and so many others are very self-absorbed.

Take Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, more like Hurtful Words Baptist Church (nothing wrong with Baptist churches, just people like the IFB). He is known for his fiery anger, that a child was brought to tears during his sermons.

This smiley comes to mind in regards to Steven L. Anderson:
http://images.clipartpanda.com/anger-clipart-1311615083_Vector_Clipart.png

What's your opinion on other IFB like Curtis Hutson or David Cloud from Way of Life Literature?

Ironically, David Cloud from Way of Life Literature openly acknowledged that many IFB churches are abusive and hurtful in his article at http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/20_20_hit_piece_against_bb_baptists.html, yet insisted that the IFB can't be stereotyped as having cultic tendencies.

This makes you wonder. IFB. Old-fashioned, or self-absorbed?

Anonymous   

Testimonial * I do it in an ifb Church however I don't go in for everything you're talking about because I was raised Methodist and there's some things I will never accept. But one thing I happened to notice it looking on the internet I was looking up the thing about false preachers and all that and guess what I saw a website that was called Jesus - is - savior and on this website it had different preachers who they claimed or false. I could not believe it they had dr. Martin Luther King on it among others. I wanted to write a comment and say I didn't appreciate it but I could not find any admin or anything. The bottom and it's a website by the IFB .. No particular Ministry just that and there are several that just like that. These sites are KJV only and boy do they make any of the translation seem like it's from the Devil. And most of these comments come from Africa were a lot of them have been brainwashed into thinking that the ifb way is the only way. Also what bothers me is the cult of Jack Hyles. They called him as if he had written the Bible that bugs me to death. I am conservative on some issues moderate on others and liberal on a lot. I am pro-choice but a lot of the things you talk about I go along with you because I believe it.

Author *Wylma Harmon   

A few weeks ago I visited a Independent Baptist Church. I grew up Southern Baptist and thought ok since its baptist I may fit in. First of all it was KJV only. I do not own a KJV Bible or read from the KJV text. The next thing was the sunday school class which I was the youngest adult in there at 24 mainly was couples and the big topic was parenting/ disciplining from the bible. Yes they talked about spanking, but we were told to spank them in a private place if they misbehaved and explain their sin and pray with them about it. Everyone in there was suit and tie for guys all women wore dresses/ skirts about knee length.There was also a lack of modern worship music mainly old hymns which I did not know. When the preacher came up to the pulpit he singled me out as a visitor and told the church to make me feel welcomed. Which to me singling out kinda makes me embarrassed and i'm a ENFP on my Meyers Briggs Personality test. which usually i'm not embarrassed or uncomfortable. Then they wanted me to fill out a information card. Then 2 weeks later some guys from the church on a soul winning mission came to visit me and gave me a John and Romans. They kept asking me if i died tonight would I go to heaven 100 percent sure. I said yes. The next week the pastor and a elder came to the house again asking the same questions and handed me another J&R (John and Romans) they kept asking me where I got saved and who the pastor was who saved me. It was at a youth conference in 2006 in Asheville, NC and the pastor was Clayton King, the pastor seemed kinda confused never hearing of said youth retreat or speaker. Apparently not big on the contemporary christian movement. The more I think about it the more I kinda seem curious to why they want to single me out to become part of the church or visit again since they do not get a lot of young adults there (18-30). In a way I feel like the home visits were kinda unneeded, and kinda made me question the church's practices. Are all or most IFB churches like this?

Stephen Mahala   

This story is just scratching the surface of horrible events that take place in IFB churches. Perhaps you should investigate North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, CA. where 30 years ago the Pastor's son-in-law serving in the capacity of Youth Pastor was caught having sex with several of the teenage girls who attended the IFB high school. He acted as principal at the school and head of the cheer leader squad. He had a favorite few girls who got special privileges and special time with him. One girl got pregnant and she was sent away. The Pastor did not report this abuse to the police, but instead sent his son-in-law out of state to a church in Illinois where I'm told he got the church secretary pregnant. He eventually came back to the Santa Clara church when most of these things blew over. The irony of it all was that years earlier another church member was accused of molesting his teenage daughter to which the Paster alerted police and the church member was sent off to prison....big double standard. We left the church disappointed after realizing we were involved in a cult.

John Neese   

I am also an ex member of an IFB church, which has been labeled a cult. My children and I have experienced great harm and abuse from Leaders, establishments, employees, and members of the IFB. Sadly, our battle is not yet over.

I was wondering how, if at all, your feelings on the IFB have changed since you started this page. I can only assume you are aware of the countless. IFB Leaders who have been charged with child abuse and molestation and the staggering number of IFB "boarding schools" that have been shut down after their abuse against children was exposed.

My final question is one I've asked hundreds of IFB survivors, law enformentment officials, lawyers, and judges. It is: At what point does abuse stop being excused as religious freedom and become a crime?

Thank you for your time! Jo

Jo   

Not all Independent Baptist churches are cultic, but there are some cultic IFB cult leaders out there who espouse cultic views of the KJV (KJV is indeed an excellent translation). There are plenty of Independent Baptist churches that are not cultic. Even, David Cloud from Way of Life Literature has criticized the likes of Peter Ruckman and Jack Hyles for
running their church like a cult.

Indeed, people like Jack Hyles, Peter Ruckman, and Steven
L. Anderson fit the cult mold.

Anonymous   

Thanks again for this website. Those who were exposed to IBLP or Bill Gothard know well that Bill Gothard teaches Santa Claus-theology, or rather behavior modification (those who behave self-righteously will be rewarded, but those who behave without self-righteousness will be punished). In regards to Titus 3:5, we are not saved by our self-righteousness, but by the Lord's Mercy.

IFB churches (including ATI/IBLP) teach what we would call Punisher-theology given that they are centered around extremely punitive behavior modification. This is nothing more than legalism given that it instills an intense fear of punishment if one does not behave in a self-righteous manner.

Anonymous   

Hello Steve. I am an ex-Catholic turned Bible Believer. Born into a Catholic family I was disillusioned early on by the hypocrisy. I searched other denominations and finally my mother suggested I read the new testament. What an eye opener.
I accepted Christ in an IFB church which at first caused me to think that they were the true church. Shortly I realized my mistake. My pastor clued me in to the fact that that there is no such thing as one true denomination. However there are true believers and there are false believers.
Since my surrender to God I've studied the Word and the teachings of other denominations and visited other denominational churches. I have found one thing to be true. Man typically gravitates to that which makes him feel good. We try to mold the church in our image where as we should follow the scriptures which requires much study.
I agree with much of what you say but not all IFB churches are the same. I have had good and bad experiences. The same can be said of any denomination.
I accept the basic Baptist doctrine of salvation. I will not mention any other teachings because I am not interested in converting anyone or everyone to my way of thinking but encourage all to keep questioning what you believe about other teachings. I have had my eyes opened more than once. Praise the Lord..

Paul D   

With my experience for the most part not all was bad, but as far as these revealing truths definitely accurate, especially divorce. Personally i would recommend a more healthier church family than IFB but definitely a learning experience just be careful.-ghostfire220

ghostfire220   

I have tried to figure out why IFB are the way they are, if they have always been this way, or is this something that has evolved. Probably a mixture. It’s my understanding after 17yrs and 4 churches that most IFB’s came from Southern Baptists or at least they broke from a convention somewhere. I also believe that what drove these folks to separate was probably a sincere desire to live for God the best they knew how. As with any sysytem over time it tends to degrade. (Law of thermodyamics.) Conventions, Southern Baptist etc became to liberal or taught some error so Pastors chose to leave a couple generations ago. They started IBC’s. What I think has happened is similar to the days of the Pharasees in Jesus day. The Temple had become corrupt from the influence of sinful men and they turned the sacrifices and the Law into something mechanical that you would just do and then you would be right with God. The sacrifices of animals were supposed to make you feel sorrow for sin and repent. IFB churches took a desire to be right with God and over time it has evolved into the same Pharasiacal process to be right with God. Wear this, read only this, attend 3 to thrive, etc.. and you will be right with God. It’s like warmed over Catholicism. They left the Holy Spirit, if they ever had Him, and have chosen to follow men. Pastors will answer to God for the sad condition of churches. Most church members tend to desire to follow the Pastor. It is my conclusion what we see today is a result of dismal leadership in churches. God help us.

Al   

Dear Steve,

I just loved your post(s) exposing the tithing doctrine (extortion). Do you know about Dr. Russell Kelly's book and 2 hour video exposing it? He did his doctorate on tithing.

Also I have compiled a list of 25 Reasons why St. Augustine was Not a Saint.

But I would need an email to send it to you.

Would you like me to? Would just need an email address.

btw, I wrote two books exposing Rick Warren, who also promotes tithing.

Blessings,
James Sundquist

James Sundquist   

Steve, my daughter join a ifb church in **** 4yrs ago. We are lost in what to do…..they are very distant from us ,they starting spanking our grandchildren with dol rods and scare them with God sending them to Hell etc. I have tried to talk to my Daughter and she will not listen.She feels that because I do not agree with her church I am wrong. What can I do to try to get thru to her????I need to talk to someone who can inform me how to deal with this???Please contact me by e-mail and I will give U my cell # or can U put me in contact with someone who can help me . Thanks Robyn

Robyn   

IFB,SBC,Pentecostal,non-denominational. Give it any name you want. Many are hypocrites and violent. Mind control is a plus with groups that pressure membership. I know many masons are ministers or have perverted intentions.Read and study your bible is the best way to avoid these types of illogical pushing memberships.

ex-rc   

Hey There!

My name is Dave Chew. I am the Sole blogger of a ministry known as Chew on This. I have been blogging since 2010, but my ministry started in 2009 (we just had a 5 year anniversary last may).

Although I never was a part of an IFB church, I did label myself as a Baptist until September 16, 2013.

What I can tell you is that I fell in love with a woman who went to a school that was a part of an IFB Church.

As I was transitioning back to the San Francisco Bay Area, She recommended that I check out that church. I praise God that I politely declined.

I even tried to look for Baptist Churches in my new home, I then called a Baptist Church in Newark and asked about their church. Come to find out it was a IFB church. They told me that they read the KJV and solely that. They were not okay with me reading the ESV, the NIV84 or the NASB. When they said, "we hope to see you here on a Sunday!" I said, "ok, I'll consider", hung up and thought...Yeah right.

After my friendship with the girl that I fell in love with was terminated (which she initiated and was therefore beyond my control), I asked my college group from a baptist church to pray for me as I was recovering from the loss. Several of the current students as well as half of the alumni interceded, but unfortunately, the other half did not support me. Their responses ranged from siding with the other party to accusing me of bringing up a prayer request that fell under the category of Gossip (as interpreted by them). I went on Sabbatical and thought about what God really wanted of me as an Evangelist.

Well, I thought about removing Baptist from my label to see what would happen next. Unfortunately, when I reconnected with some friends, for lack of better term, all hell broke loose! They started getting nasty with me and even tried to get harsh with me by trying to "rebuke" me for things I did not do. (rebuke is in quotation marks because I didn't consider that a rebuke, but as an Abuse of Process, using social media for an approach that is only reserved as a face to face procedure)

It was clear based upon all that that I made the right decision to remove "Baptist" from my label.

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Dave Chew   
Dave Chew   

Hey There!

My name is Dave Chew. I am the Sole blogger of a ministry known as Chew on This. I have been blogging since 2010, but my ministry started in 2009 (we just had a 5 year anniversary last may).

Although I never was a part of an IFB church, I did label myself as a Baptist until September 16, 2013.

What I can tell you is that I fell in love with a woman who went to a school that was a part of an IFB Church.

As I was transitioning back to the San Francisco Bay Area, She recommended that I check out that church. I praise God that I politely declined.

I even tried to look for Baptist Churches in my new home, I then called a Baptist Church in Newark and asked about their church. Come to find out it was a IFB church. They told me that they read the KJV and solely that. They were not okay with me reading the ESV, the NIV84 or the NASB. When they said, "we hope to see you here on a Sunday!" I said, "ok, I'll consider", hung up and thought...Yeah right.

After my friendship with the girl that I fell in love with was terminated (which she initiated and was therefore beyond my control), I asked my college group from a baptist church to pray for me as I was recovering from the loss. Several of the current students as well as half of the alumni interceded, but unfortunately, the other half did not support me. Their responses ranged from siding with the other party to accusing me of bringing up a prayer request that fell under the category of Gossip (as interpreted by them). I went on Sabbatical and thought about what God really wanted of me as an Evangelist.

Well, I thought about removing Baptist from my label to see what would happen next. Unfortunately, when I reconnected with some friends, for lack of better term, all hell broke loose! They started getting nasty with me and even tried to get harsh with me by trying to "rebuke" me for things I did not do. (rebuke is in quotation marks because I didn't consider that a rebuke, but as an Abuse of Process, using social media for an approach that is only reserved as a face to face procedure)

It was clear based upon all that that I made the right decision to remove "Baptist" from my label.

I am now considered a Follower of Christ involved in Interdenominational Church Ministry and am glad to be involved in it. Seeing fellow believers from different churches, worshiping God in Spirit, Truth, Song and Prayer!

I am currently on the 4th Season of Chew on This and have released 2 episodes in that season relating to my belief when it comes to IFB Churches. These Episodes are called "No Comprende KJV" (Season Premiere) and "Depends on the Context".

Thank you for taking the time to hear my story, and please feel free to check me out on my website,

chewonthis.webs.com

Peace Out & God Bless!

My daughter has married a man who is totally indoctrinated by IFB. You could never say a word against the "church". She has hurt her whole family. She and her brother are not speaking and we all know she has been brain-washed. No clue what to do until she realizes what has happened to her.

Myrna Payne   

Hi Steve,

thanks for your site. I am in an IFB church, been so for 1 year or more...I realize their error...tithing, kjv onlyism, ...I need a bit more insight on separationism...can you help...or is the fact that they separate from other denomanations fact enough to classify them as a cult because they think they are the only saved ones (reminds me of JW's)

any input would help...

Im think it would be biblical to approach my Pastor and follow Matt18:15-17 ...what are your thoughts.

Steven   

I was a member of an IFB church for just over ten years. I started going to the church because at first I felt that it was biblically right and I had a strong desire to serve God. I was young and knew very little about what the bible actually said. For several years I was happy and felt that I was growing. Then I put my kids into the school that was affiliated with the church. Slowly I started feeling oppressed. More and more I started feeling like the traditions of the church were more important that the example that was set by Jesus Christ. By the time I had been in the church for 4 or 5 years I started to feel like I was serving the pastor more than God. Then the abuses of the church became more clear to me. An unmarried woman in her mid-twenties brought before the congregation to be shamed for becoming pregnant out of wedlock. A family ousted from the church for being eccentric (I guess bringing a goat to a nursing home is a bit eccentric) and challenging the pastor. Being told that if I didn’t tithe 10% of my gross income I would not be blessed, and people being called out in front of the church for not following the standards of the church standards and being made an example. When it wasn’t happening to me it was easy to overlook, but over time I started asking “where is the grace?” Then you have the “good ole boys club” mentality of the church. Pastors who went to college together twisting the arms of the congregation to send their children to run-down expensive camps run by their buddy’s. Why would I want to pay $150 to send my kid to a run-down camp for a week where they sleep on the ground and are fed bologna sandwiches? The answer I was told is because they are getting to hear good preaching! Then I wonder why I have to pay for preaching in the first place?
From messages titled “I can’t wait to spank my children” to a pastor that believes that there is a university in Iowa that the folks are “floating around in the air” doing this satanic ritual called “Yoga” because some idiot IFB pastor told him that (He doesn’t question anything a “good man of gawd” says) it started to open my eyes and made me question why I should continue to blindly follow these people.

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Thom Griffey   
Thom Griffey   

I was a member of an IFB church for just over ten years. I started going to the church because at first I felt that it was biblically right and I had a strong desire to serve God. I was young and knew very little about what the bible actually said. For several years I was happy and felt that I was growing. Then I put my kids into the school that was affiliated with the church. Slowly I started feeling oppressed. More and more I started feeling like the traditions of the church were more important that the example that was set by Jesus Christ. By the time I had been in the church for 4 or 5 years I started to feel like I was serving the pastor more than God. Then the abuses of the church became more clear to me. An unmarried woman in her mid-twenties brought before the congregation to be shamed for becoming pregnant out of wedlock. A family ousted from the church for being eccentric (I guess bringing a goat to a nursing home is a bit eccentric) and challenging the pastor. Being told that if I didn’t tithe 10% of my gross income I would not be blessed, and people being called out in front of the church for not following the standards of the church standards and being made an example. When it wasn’t happening to me it was easy to overlook, but over time I started asking “where is the grace?” Then you have the “good ole boys club” mentality of the church. Pastors who went to college together twisting the arms of the congregation to send their children to run-down expensive camps run by their buddy’s. Why would I want to pay $150 to send my kid to a run-down camp for a week where they sleep on the ground and are fed bologna sandwiches? The answer I was told is because they are getting to hear good preaching! Then I wonder why I have to pay for preaching in the first place?
From messages titled “I can’t wait to spank my children” to a pastor that believes that there is a university in Iowa that the folks are “floating around in the air” doing this satanic ritual called “Yoga” because some idiot IFB pastor told him that (He doesn’t question anything a “good man of gawd” says) it started to open my eyes and made me question why I should continue to blindly follow these people. Then the thing with Jack Schaap happened. My pastor was roommates with him in bible college. I started doing more research about the IFB and started seeing that many of the men that preached in the pulpit of my church had been accused of sex crimes and they were covered up. Jack Hyles himself was accused of many abuses and the IFB is modeled after this man in many ways! I then brought my concerns to my pastor. He told me I shouldn’t be reading anything that wasn’t written by a good man of God, like his buddy Dennis Corle or Keith Gomez. Otherwise, I would be led astray. As if reading some material that isn’t IFB approved will be the wrong influence and cause me to sin. It reminded me of how the Catholic Church forbid anyone from reading non-Catholic literature in the 16th century. The following Sunday he preached a message about not reading material on the IFB found on the internet. He used extreme examples of good bible college students who got into the internet and left the holy grail of religion, the IFB, and now they are into Humanism and voodoo.
Shortly after this I decided to leave the church. All my friends were there, and my wife and kids loved the people as well. Our whole lives had revolved around the church for 10 years. I am not the kind of person to just follow someone because I am comfortable there or because it would be difficult to leave. If the church isn’t right, it isn’t right to stay. I have a desire to server God, that’s why I started going there in the first place. That was before I realized they are more interested in their IFB traditions than God.
As soon as I decided to leave and let the pastor know my desire to look at other churches the people who have been our friends for 10 years were discouraged from speaking to us. We are “of the devil” now and will lead the people astray if they have contact with us. I kind of expected this would happen because I had seen it so many times before, but I have to admit that it still hurt. I am glad that I was able to see the light and get my family away from there before it was too late. The people there are blindly following a group of men that discourage critical thinking and use extreme examples to control the minds of the people. People should do their research before jumping into following anyone.

I come from a very fundamental, "Independent, Bible Believing, Baptist" Church. It is the only type of church I have attended since the day I was saved by Christ on March 24, 2004. As of recently I have come to the conclusion that maybe I didn't understand things as well as I thought. That maybe I never had a right to give unsolicited advice even if I did. That maybe my preferences had more of an affect on my "beliefs" than I thought. That maybe I'm human after all. However, through all this I have not yet questioned the inerrancy of the King James Bible. It is probably because I had the preconceived notion when I was saved that I don't worship a dumb God. By that, I mean how can we in one breath say that God is powerful enough to create everything we know of (and more) and in the next breath say that He couldn't give me a copy of his words. His very words... that is until now.

Even after removing myself from the fundamentalist church, their authority in my life, and its members (actually they did that part for me), I continued reading my King James Bible, daily. I didn't see any reason to stop reading and witnessing just because I didn't belong to the same lunch table of 100 people I sat at for 9 years. I continued to take a lot of notes when reading and because of my amazing memory, studying the Bible still came quite easy for me. In these more recent months I noticed some things I have never noticed before. It took me awhile to share them with anyone, but after mustering up the strength (or audacity, depending on your point of view) I would like to pose three questions to any KJV-only believers and strike up some friendly discussion. Note to the reader: all of the quoted bible verses come straight from a King James, Authorized Version, circa 1611 as found on www.blueletterbible.org.

1) Who are these two Timna's? Are they the same person?

Genesis 36:1-4, 11-12 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom. Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth.

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Johnathan Celso   
Johnathan Celso   

I come from a very fundamental, "Independent, Bible Believing, Baptist" Church. It is the only type of church I have attended since the day I was saved by Christ on March 24, 2004. As of recently I have come to the conclusion that maybe I didn't understand things as well as I thought. That maybe I never had a right to give unsolicited advice even if I did. That maybe my preferences had more of an affect on my "beliefs" than I thought. That maybe I'm human after all. However, through all this I have not yet questioned the inerrancy of the King James Bible. It is probably because I had the preconceived notion when I was saved that I don't worship a dumb God. By that, I mean how can we in one breath say that God is powerful enough to create everything we know of (and more) and in the next breath say that He couldn't give me a copy of his words. His very words... that is until now.

Even after removing myself from the fundamentalist church, their authority in my life, and its members (actually they did that part for me), I continued reading my King James Bible, daily. I didn't see any reason to stop reading and witnessing just because I didn't belong to the same lunch table of 100 people I sat at for 9 years. I continued to take a lot of notes when reading and because of my amazing memory, studying the Bible still came quite easy for me. In these more recent months I noticed some things I have never noticed before. It took me awhile to share them with anyone, but after mustering up the strength (or audacity, depending on your point of view) I would like to pose three questions to any KJV-only believers and strike up some friendly discussion. Note to the reader: all of the quoted bible verses come straight from a King James, Authorized Version, circa 1611 as found on www.blueletterbible.org.

1) Who are these two Timna's? Are they the same person?

Genesis 36:1-4, 11-12 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom. Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth. And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz. And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife.

Genesis 36:8, 20-22 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom. These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom. And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan's sister was Timna.

If they are, then Timna was Eliphaz's half sister when he took her as a concubine and they had Amalek together. Just mentioning that to make sure I am right in my understanding. My issue in the inerrancy is found here...

1 Chronicles 1:36 The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek.

How is Timna both the concubine of Eliphaz AND his son?

2) When did Eliphaz have a son named Korah?

Genesis 36:15-16 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz, Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.

Why didn't the translators include Korah with the first mention of Eliphaz's kids just a few verses earlier?

3) Did Arphaxad really have a son named Cainan who was the one who actually had Salah?

Luke starts with the genealogy of Christ in chapter 3, verse 23 by starting with Him and going backwards up the tree of His "supposed" human lineage. He was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, which was the son of, you get the idea. At verse 35 we see this...

Luke 3:35-36 Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,

So reversing that order we get: Lamech, Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Cainan, Salah, Heber, Peleg, Reu, and Serug (using their names as they are in Genesis). Well when we look up that portion of scripture in Genesis we get...

Genesis 11:10-13 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

The writer of Genesis says that by the time Arphaxad was 35 he had a kid named Salah. No mention of Cainan anywhere. How could someone closer to the events of Genesis completely miss a member of this family's tree?!

If my incepted assumptions are correct, then the King James Bible isn't completely clear of errors. I mean simply errors within the text itself. I’m not talking about “issues” some people have with the Bible. I am evaluating just the actual, sincere, purity of the King James Bible's letters and words. I believe the whole of God's Word is pure and complete, but it isn't limited to just one book in one language, or more importantly, one's mind. Before I asked God these same three questions I am asking you, I asked Him these four:

1) God how much of the King James Bible do I actually know?

2) How much of the King James Bible do I actually understand?

3) How much more is there to know and understand besides just what is in a King James Bible?

4) Will you have mercy on me and forgive me for being such an idiot?

Sincerely;

Johnathan Celso

Wow, Thank you for this site. Being raised in a "spiritual abusive" IFB, this site has been amazing to read through. We (wife and I) recently started attending a church that spoke of the same topics you have put into awesome articles on this site. I told the Speaker (NOT PREACHER) of the church the same thing I will tell you. I have had all of these same thoughts that you have written about for years, but every time I tried to bring them up to the pastor of a IFB I would be told I was blinded by the devil and to never question what the man of God has told me. To the point they would make me question my "walk with christ".... But wow, since being out of the IFB realm I feel as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I actually have a "better relationship with Christ" now than ever. And to know that there are individuals like yourself who make these kind of articles available for people to read is awesome. Please keep it up, I enjoy every minute of reading all of the information you have provided.

Joshua Kleczka   

website blessing

just found this site and want to THANK YOU. It will be in my favorites. We joined an IFB and I have been sorry ever since- at first I thought it was "me" but learned that others were also having misgivings and left "abruptly". Now I know I am not crazy nor and unbeliever with your site.

Thank you for allowing my comment.

VL   

I've been browsing the site for a bit, coming from a Google search inspired by discussion of the Orlando shooting and aftermath. You mention "Bible With Holes" by Dr Charles Taylor, but I'm not finding that as a book or website. I'm assuming it's an older book? Amazon lists it, but says it's unavailable.

Regards,

Bob Mueller   

Do not wish to share my story at this time. I was just wondering if you have a book of the articles you have on this site? Or if you reccomend a book that is similar to your website?
Thankyou!

Rachel Robinson   

It is said that legalism is just another path to license because legalism hinders the Grace of God. In some way, legalists think that they have a license to sin. They burden others with their own self-righteousness, but the legalists are sinning behind the backs of the non-self-righteous. Talk about hypocrisy.

Anonymous   

Hey bro, I've only read a small part of your website so I can't make an overall statement, but thank you for what I've read. I just left the IFB for very similar reasons to you, as I felt before I joined I had liberty and peace and joy, but with every week that passed in this movement I seemed to become more full of burdens and then, eventually, began to slip into my old man and his ways.

I also struggle with depression and anxiety, so thank you for what I've read on that.

Love you, bro. See you in heaven if not before

ben   

Saved by Grace….BUT… I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… my infant baptism & confirming of my belief as an early teen wasn’t good enough…I’d have to be “immersed” to really please God… I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… after being fully immersed in baptism by a christian preacher, that wasn’t good enough either, it wasn’t “valid”….. I needed to be baptised yet again, by one of *their* properly ordained preachers…( I listened to tapes from a tape ministry of that “church” that I got in college. I drove to another state to be baptised!! hard to believe, but it’s true)

I was told I was saved by grace….BUT… since being baptised by *the properly ordained preacher*, I was now a member of *their church* = the *true church*, which had the true faith & practice. Evidentally, no other churches did???? I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… to not go to any other churches…just listen to the sermon tapes & get in for “church” as much as possible. I was living in one state & my LOCAL church was in ANOTHER STATE????? How was that church MY local church?

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… since there were no *true churches* in the state I lived…..to be pleasing to God it may be that I needed to “forsake lands & family for the kingdom = their local church….” In the bible, I only read where the Ethiopian eunuch went his way rejoicing, I never read anywhere where he was told…”well, if a true church doesn’t pan out back in Ethiopia, you need to consider moving your life…guilt trip…guilt trip…guilt trip….” Anyhow, isn’t the church a spiritual house??? Doesn’t Christ built it?

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT…. that if we weren’t concerned about relocating for the *true church*…that “we probably didn’t love the church enough to even be members” …quite a judgmental remark, I wonder if that preacher says the same things to his “non-resident” members today as he did to us back then? Lots of pressure was put on us to move our lives to be in the “perfect will of God”.

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT….God wanted me closer to the *true church*…& us moving our lives 2 states from the only home we’d ever known, “would make life easier for *pastor*” ( he said that on more than 1 occasion!!)…what about the burden put on us?

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April   
April   

Saved by Grace….BUT… I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… my infant baptism & confirming of my belief as an early teen wasn’t good enough…I’d have to be “immersed” to really please God… I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… after being fully immersed in baptism by a christian preacher, that wasn’t good enough either, it wasn’t “valid”….. I needed to be baptised yet again, by one of *their* properly ordained preachers…( I listened to tapes from a tape ministry of that “church” that I got in college. I drove to another state to be baptised!! hard to believe, but it’s true)

I was told I was saved by grace….BUT… since being baptised by *the properly ordained preacher*, I was now a member of *their church* = the *true church*, which had the true faith & practice. Evidentally, no other churches did???? I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… to not go to any other churches…just listen to the sermon tapes & get in for “church” as much as possible. I was living in one state & my LOCAL church was in ANOTHER STATE????? How was that church MY local church?

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… since there were no *true churches* in the state I lived…..to be pleasing to God it may be that I needed to “forsake lands & family for the kingdom = their local church….” In the bible, I only read where the Ethiopian eunuch went his way rejoicing, I never read anywhere where he was told…”well, if a true church doesn’t pan out back in Ethiopia, you need to consider moving your life…guilt trip…guilt trip…guilt trip….” Anyhow, isn’t the church a spiritual house??? Doesn’t Christ built it?

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT…. that if we weren’t concerned about relocating for the *true church*…that “we probably didn’t love the church enough to even be members” …quite a judgmental remark, I wonder if that preacher says the same things to his “non-resident” members today as he did to us back then? Lots of pressure was put on us to move our lives to be in the “perfect will of God”.

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT….God wanted me closer to the *true church*…& us moving our lives 2 states from the only home we’d ever known, “would make life easier for *pastor*” ( he said that on more than 1 occasion!!)…what about the burden put on us? I guess making our lives easier didn’t matter to him…? I was told I was saved by grace…BUT…. God may expect you to walk away from a career, a loving family & friends….didn’t I love God enough to make these sacrifices for HIM?? Yet, I thought that all God requires is “to do justly, love mercy & walk humbly w/ thy God”?? Micah 6:8 LOVE is the greatest commandment & Jesus fulfilled the law…so why was the LAW put back on me by this “Sovereign Grace” preacher???? Calvinism is NOT the TRUTH….so if a person loves Jesus & his fellow man, they are following the TRUTH.

Also, DOCTRINE is SECOND to the FRUITS, WORKS & EXAMPLES. Sorry, but being a good *preacher* & yelling & screaming & ranting & being persuasive with mans’ wisdom & speeches & putting fear into people, & manipulating & all of the logic in the world…this is not what Jesus is about. This is not the truth. **I informed pastor that I considered Arminian christians brothers & sisters in Christ (the group we were in is Calvinistic)….the pastor glared at me & told me “so….you have changed…” You bet I had!! I no longer believed in this “prove yourself & we’re doing church better than everyone else..” religion, that claimed salvation by grace! It was hypocrisy & selfrighteousness to the core.

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT…. there were no other churches to go to except *their* churches (the few that there are). Those others false churches, didn’t use the right bible version, celebrated those pagan holidays, didn’t baptise properly, didn’t wash feet, used musical instruments, weren’t from the true lineage & were not pleasing to God in many other ways including being “lukewarm” in addition to other reasons…… OK…..wow…you just limited in my mind any other group except yours. Gee don’t abusers do that???…”you can’t go to anyone else???..you can’t make it without me…” In sermons it was implied & oftentimes stated that “you can’t go to any other churches & believe that God will be pleased with you. To be right with God, you should join us, those other groups aren’t righteous”. The pastor would mention some evil befalling a person who left & imply or sometimes out & out state that evil befell that individual because they left the “true church.”

If you hint at leaving, pastor will scream from the pulpit that “anyone is free to leave this church!!” …but then the “man of God” (cough cough gag gag) will imply how you will not make it, & God might be so pissed that he would kill you & the “brethren” will shun you. We were told if we left that the brethren would “wash their hands of us” This sounds more like a gang than a church! I was told I was saved by grace…BUT.. if a *true church* didn’t materialize in our homestate, “that we would do well to consider relocating our lives to live by the *true church*” Of course I don’t recall pastor teaching on..”the kingdom of God comes not with observation, neither shall they say, Lo here! or Lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you”? Luke 17:20-21 what about we are members of a “SPIRITUAL HOUSE” what about “where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there am I …?” Rarely if ever heard these verses preached on..

I was told I was saved by grace.. BUT….because of the pastor manipulating bible verses & the pressure & guilt we moved our lives from the only home we’d ever known, left our family to live close by & be a real part of that supposed “spiritual family”. Yet…the majority of folks there didn’t go out of there way to befriend us or make time for us. This was very disconcerting…told pastor about our struggles, missing our family, feeling like outsiders…then….. I was told I was saved by grace..BUT.. in a sermon was blasted at us that “the church didn’t owe anyone friendship!!!”…..(never mind that we moved our lives for it & were told *they* were now our “spiritual family”….) talk about a bait & friggen switch!! We were told to move our LIVES, walked away from loving family, friends, career, opportunities, for our “spiritual family”…..gee…thanks, wish I would have known that “the church doesn’t owe anyone friendship” before we friggen moved here for that bible-cult! (mind you the pastor & members were incredibly solicitous to us when we lived out of state.. they love bombed us …BUT..once we moved here….well, their duty was done. They achieved their goal. We were now completely seperated from our friends & family…my husband starting his career, his ability to earn a living & support his family, from SCRATCH. Don’t abusers try to seperate you from your support system?

Our lives were a blip on a screen to them…they had no idea what it was like to MOVE YOUR LIFE for a group of people who were just too busy w/ their lives to make time for you. The stranger in a strange land is on their own…. I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… pastor informed me that if I was unhappy being in the “true church” & leave, they, (meaning the people in the *true church*) would “wash their hands of us”.(meaning cut us off from “fellowship”/friendship)……quite a frightening proposition considering we relocated to this state for that *church/cult* & the majority of people we knew were in the *church*! Obviously this was meant to scare us, manipulate us into not leaving the “true church”…..as if anyone can? Isn’t Christ the builder of his TRUE church? I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… that if we wanted to move back to our homestate, that was something the *pastor* could not condone. You see, we didn’t feel love or much true friendship after moving here for the “true church”.

We wanted to move back to our home state, where we have extended family, friends & connections.(we were even willing to stay nonresident members of that church/cult!)..doesn’t God say “I will be with you whithersoever thou goest?” Would God leave us because of where we choose to LIVE?? Pastor coldly informed us that he couldn’t be there for us if/when God would choose to judge us for moving back to our home state! We were in disbelief…. I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… “the pastor is to rule the church as the minister of Christ…hence the church is governed by Christ through His written word being administered by His appointed overseer, the PASTOR”…..that’s just fancy wording for THE PASTOR RUNS THE CHURCH..end of story. what about the Holy spirit leading us & the priesthood of believers? Who is the pastor accountable to in this setup? ………& not some lame answer of the pastor is accountable to God & the scriptures….I’m talking being accountable in the flesh to people who can question him without fear of the bullypulpit…..& other underhanded tactics. REAL ACCOUNTABILITY to REAL PEOPLE. There were NO checks & balances for the pastor. Another question….who preaches to the preacher? Funny how he would brag that he, like Paul was “chief of sinners”..well, if you’re a sinner like us lowly sheep, how come you have absolutely no checks & balances set up to make sure that you don’t become corrupted with power & narcissism?

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… that to leave that *church* would be leaving the kingdom of God & the body of Christ. In addition, it was implied that God might kill us for the decision to walk away from that group. We wanted to leave what we believed was wrong for us, not healthy, not right. We no longer agreed w/ the half anymore, yet we were judged for following our own God given conscience. No, that is not FREE to leave. I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… was told that those holidays were pagan & I shouldn’t celebrate them…never mind that when I celebrated Christmas I NEVER worshipped the tree! What about not judging a person “with respect to an holy day….?” I guess forbidding holidays is a good way to keep folks alienated from their families who choose to celebrate the holidays. We were not allowed to be “convinced in our own minds “. Pastor made up his mind & convinced us of HIS mind. I was told

I was saved by grace…BUT… that if I was going to miss church, I ‘d need to call *pastor* I didn’t realize that my spirituality or relationship with God was tied into “church attendance”. It didn’t dawn on me that I’d have to be spoon fed from the same *pastor* my whole life. What about the holy spirit teaching a person??…..did Jesus say I’d need some MAN = pastor to be my shepherd for the rest of my days???? I have only one shepherd…the LORD IS MY SHEPHERD…not some “pastor”.

I was told I was saved by grace…BUT… that if the *church* felt like a prison, not to worry, because Paul said “he was a prisoner for Christ….” What a twisting of scriptures! Didn’t Jesus come to set the captives FREE? I was told I was saved by grace…BUT….but upon willingly leaving the group, we were then punished by being “excommunicated – church disciplined” & judged. Pastor assassinated our characters from his bully pulpit. I was told I was saved by grace…BUT…. when we finally got the courage & left the abusive group, we were told to “watch out for God’s fiery judgment & indignation to devour the adversary….” US…being the “adversary”. We didn’t walk away from CHRIST & we certainly are not God’s adversary’s…but evidentally that is the conclusion the pastor had of us, for WHAT??? following our conscience & being convinced in our own minds that staying in that *church-cult* was not good for us. For disagreeing w/ pastor & his man-made doctrines? Pastor was judge, jury & executioner of us & our characters.

I was told I was saved by grace.. BUT… upon exiting abusive cult church, people who knew me for some 19 years have turned their backs on us….we are shunned. We gave up so much of our lives for that group….cruelty & betrayal describes what we experienced, in addition to other adjectives I wont bring up right now. I was told I was saved by grace….BUT….in the pulpit *pastor* screamed “anyone is FREE TO LEAVE this church!!!!” Free to leave would be a hug & a blessing, not a curse in an “excommunication/exclusion letter”, public rebuking, character assassination & made to feel that you are satan’s minions because you wouldn’t bow down to an Independent-Primitive-Baptist-Calvinist- religious dictator. People on the outside don’t get the whole picture.

I will believe Xpastor has an ounce of integrity when he has our excommunication sermon & the sermons of every person ever “church disciplined”, UNEDITED & available for purchase or download to the general public so that people can REALLY see what goes on & they can see what “Free to leave” is, according to Xpastor. I was told I was saved by grace….BUT…. was put under the law in ways that the Catholic church I grew up in NEVER DARED. I had burdens heaped on me HEAVY to be borne that the Catholic church would never have imagined to put on me in this life. Yet this was GRACE RELIGION…..I dont think so! What about what JESUS SAYS RELIGION IS???? “visiting the fatherless & widows…is religion pure & undefiled”.

The religion I was in for some 19 years had NO FREEDOM, it was BONDAGE. It certainly wasn’t Jesus’ religion. All of what I was told WASN’T ABOUT GOD OR HIS GRACE it was about a RELIGIOUS SYSTEM & putting my family & I in BONDAGE. It’s all done under the guise of TRUE RELIGION where supposedly God’s grace is taught. People BE CAREFUL, these supposed “Sovereign Grace” preachers will talk, talk, talk about God’s GRACE, but be careful because we were made to jump through hoops that the apostles never even dared to make believers jump through!! written By April If anyone is told these things I was told PLEASE PLEASE BEWARE PLEASE THINK TWICE BEFORE THROWING AWAY YOUR GOD GIVEN FREEDOM! You will be living under a religious dictatorship. God guide you!

reading the testimonies from most of the people on this site has helped me so much. my husband and i were raised in the 'southern' missionary baptist church. his father, Grandfather & uncle were all preachers. my family were church members in the same circles, just a different location. my husband was sunday school teacher for 25+ yrs, my son, a deacon, my daughter was a sunday school teacher and married to a 'preacher'. my brother is a 'preacher'- one with huge amounts of influnence in this group of 'southern' baptists (which also included several churches in maryland as well as tennessee).
our own church was small with 30 or often less, members attending services.... majority of members were late senior citizens.. my husband & son were the first to pick up on the things being 'preached' that did not follow the bible's teachings. it was 'I did this or that" or if something had not gone as the preacher wanted it was ALWAYS the churches fault. we started to notice other things: the preachers would travel in 'packs', there just is no other word for it...

most everthing i have read written by so many people on this site, happened to us..it has been the most horrifying experience of my entire life. i don't expect death to be any worse, and it probably will be a relief. these pitiful excuses for men, & i include my brother & my son_in_law in this, (i will not call them men of GOD, because they are NOT!) have destroyed my family. my daughter is so filled with HATE, she won't have anything to do with us, she has raised her 2 children to hate us. we had not seen her or our 2 grandchildren (now grown) in 10 years!

(until) yesterday, we heard our daughter has ovarian cancer! our son came to tell us yesterday! he said we need to try one more time to see her, at least just to tell her we love her and are deeply concerned for her health. so we went, his wife, 2 children and me & my husband. she wouldn't let us in, yelled and screamed at us, the hate in her eyes was demonic. my husband, myself & our 2 grandkids got back in the vehicle. our son & his wife stayed on the porch telling her why we came and we love her,

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jean   
jean   

reading the testimonies from most of the people on this site has helped me so much. my husband and i were raised in the 'southern' missionary baptist church. his father, Grandfather & uncle were all preachers. my family were church members in the same circles, just a different location. my husband was sunday school teacher for 25+ yrs, my son, a deacon, my daughter was a sunday school teacher and married to a 'preacher'. my brother is a 'preacher'- one with huge amounts of influnence in this group of 'southern' baptists (which also included several churches in maryland as well as tennessee).
our own church was small with 30 or often less, members attending services.... majority of members were late senior citizens.. my husband & son were the first to pick up on the things being 'preached' that did not follow the bible's teachings. it was 'I did this or that" or if something had not gone as the preacher wanted it was ALWAYS the churches fault. we started to notice other things: the preachers would travel in 'packs', there just is no other word for it...

most everthing i have read written by so many people on this site, happened to us..it has been the most horrifying experience of my entire life. i don't expect death to be any worse, and it probably will be a relief. these pitiful excuses for men, & i include my brother & my son_in_law in this, (i will not call them men of GOD, because they are NOT!) have destroyed my family. my daughter is so filled with HATE, she won't have anything to do with us, she has raised her 2 children to hate us. we had not seen her or our 2 grandchildren (now grown) in 10 years!

(until) yesterday, we heard our daughter has ovarian cancer! our son came to tell us yesterday! he said we need to try one more time to see her, at least just to tell her we love her and are deeply concerned for her health. so we went, his wife, 2 children and me & my husband. she wouldn't let us in, yelled and screamed at us, the hate in her eyes was demonic. my husband, myself & our 2 grandkids got back in the vehicle. our son & his wife stayed on the porch telling her why we came and we love her, we're family... son said he refused to be pulled into the 'he saids, she saids' & firmly explained that we were blood, family, we loved her. he said he saw his 'old' sister just for a few seconds, but it quickly passed...

we believe in GOD, and know him personally, as born again believers. i know what is right & what is wrong. it has taken us several years to see exactly how we were being manipulated & used as well as, abused. as the other folks on this site, in telling their expierences, have so aptly described their encounters of abuse & years spent of living under this oppression, we lived thru so much of it too! it is NOT Right! GOD is NOT about that kind of thing! i truly believe, what is coming from behind that pulpit, is what the bible calls the 'abomination of desolation standing in the place it ought not be!'

can i asked the people on this site, "please pray for our daughter as well as her children, please..." pray for us all....

thank you, God Bless all of you

My daughter and her husband are moving to Knoxville to join an IFBC church--Temple Baptist Church. Myself, my daughter's two aunts, her cousin and cousin's husband ( a PhD in Theology and a pastor) are all being shunned. I am shunned due to me speaking against all the changes that have occurred in the last 18 months. My older grandchildren have given up the church they grew up in, all holidays, time spent with extended family on holidays, no K-love radio, no sports, the list goes on. I spoke against this religion when their step-father pulled them out of Upward Christian basketball league. My daughter is still speaking with her father and her sister. Her father is not saying anything that she could use against him. The only advice we are getting is to pray. Our lives have centered around these 5 grandchildren and they are being taken away from us. I feel the need to do something, but what?? My words to my daughter are met with total resistance and it appears disbelief.

Leigh McDonald   

I grew up in a popular ifb church in the south. my paster hoasted several camp meetings featuring many celeberty (cult) leaders like “Dr.” Jack H___s. I can still hear their fiery sermons ringing in my ears. I went to church school, visitation, bus rout, vbs, prison ministery. when i graduated high school, i traveled across the contery with an evangilist and later attended a well known bible “colledge” in oklahoma city. the presadent of that “school” and paster of it’s mother “church” was an ex-military comando and war hero. problem was he used military mind-control tatics he picked up as a green baret in vietnam. tactics including public humiliation. A few years prier to my enlisting in this institution, the son of the V.P. commited suiside because he was cought making out with a girl…!!! Now, i’m not perfict, but i could see something wrong with this picture. i didn’t wanna quit (that in my mind would be wrong), but i didn’t exactly belong there as i was beginning to see. at this time i bought into the ibf shpeel 110%! i wanted to be a preacher. i was a soul winner. my school requiered steet preaching. standing out in the street necktie on, and Bible in hand like a raving lonatic. (not that i minded, i had done this before on my own. the world was going to hell after all.) well, the staff pretty mutch told you who to date and how often. who would be married to whom. i had the greatist respect for our pastor and school presadent, however he was not Moses, and i didn’t see a burning bush behind his pulpit. i began to question things. not willing to quit if it wasn’t God’s will for me to do so, i prayed for him to make it impossable for me to stay if indeed these things were incorect. the following summester, i was expelled without breaking any rules or doing anything wrong. in the years following, i have lost my way, been married and divorced, in and out of prison, been on and off drugs, and attempted suicide…but one thing is still the same: my sleeping dreams are disturbed with nightmares of the ifb cult.

Absalom   

Thank You for your site. I was raised at Trinity Baptist Church Jacksonville, Fl and Trinity Christian Academy for 20+ years! As you might well know TBC is a very well known IFB church. Thankfully I left the church and the IFB denomination in 1993 and have never looked back. I now attend Savannah Christian Church and use the NIV! Praise God! Thank You for exposing this CULT for who they are! Carl Wells Jr.

Carl Wells   

I am a former IFB church member of about four years. My experience is one of cult like and anti-intellectual retaliations. My site, Tip of the Tongue Theology, was primarily started to spread healthy theological discussion, unlike my past experiences.

Todd Lockwood   

Very helpful to know I'm not dealing with problems of spiritual abuse on my own. I grew up in a ifb church sometimes 6 days a week. My dad also brached of into his own church at times. Ten yrs after leaving the religion I am now finding God more on my own then I ever had in these churches. God is everywhere and the bible is inspired written to each one of us individualy . One mans translation on a letter written can mean something opposite to another. If I wrote one letter saying I love you to my mother and sent the same copy to my husband the message contains the same words but the words hold different meaning. Hope this helps free someone's mind in some way bc then I feel I have done some of Gods true work by helping someone use Gods gift free will aka free thinking. Enjoy the beauty in life appreciate and above all LOVE

Jade   

I too grew up in IFB. I felt scare, bullied and alone. I also knew growing up that to even ask a question was to labeled rebellious. I also experienced other forms of abuse at the hands of our "pastor". I lived in constant fear of being 'sent away'. I am now 38 and managed to find peace with my past for the most part. My leaving IFB split my family i'm afraid. I have an Uncle who is an IFB pastor (to be clear NOT the same as referenced above) and my 'worldliness' is a constant topic. I just want to say how much I appreciate what you have done here. Until I found this site I had never even spoken to one person that 'got it'. I used to joke that I would start a support group but quickly realized that no one really even got the joke. Leaving IFB is not simply 'quitting a church' it is leaving behind everything you know and being shunned for it. All this to say that even at 38, happily married and a career it is comforting to have 'someone' that understands.

Thank you so much

Jen Skipworth

Jen Skipworth   

I just wanted to say, continue what you're doing. You are helping a lot of people (myself included) who grew up in the cult known as IFB. I am still in contact with a few of the kids from my church and school from childhood and we are all scarred by certain things. Don't listen to the people who are still involved with the cult saying that you generalize or that you're incorrect. They're wrong. They're brainwashed. Just like so many before them. Keep doing what your doing. And thank you.

Ange   

We truly regret the abuse perpetrated by the Jack Hyles and
Peter Ruckman types. We really need to exercise discernment before following the likes of abusive cult leaders like Jack Hyles, Peter Ruckman, or Steven L. Anderson.

It's really depressing to see Steven L. Anderson, Jack Hyles, and Peter Ruckman ranting in anger. We pray that Steven L.
Anderson and the Young Baptists will see the error of their
self-absorbed, self-righteous anger and legalism. It's rather
ironic in that Steven L. Anderson claims to be against living in sin, but he clearly shows evidence that the sin of anger has
gotten a hold on him. Even then, hurtful anger directed at
others, even in the name of righteousness, is a sin that can be
pardoned by the Blood of Jesus Christ. It is because Jesus paid for all sins, even hurtful, self-righteous, self-absorbed anger. It would be worth looking at 1 John 1:7. We must avoid being self-righteous by realizing that we too are sinners in need of
Jesus as Savior and Substitute for our sins.

Also,

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).

However, there are Independent Baptist churches who have treated their congregants with much compassion as David Cloud from Way of Life Literature has documented.

Anonymous   

I just wanted to say thank you! You have taken time to share with all of us the experiences you have gone through in your quest to walk with our Lord and Savior. I for one am glad you are sharing them. It has given me hope and a fresh look at scriptures I had spent years reading and really not understanding them. Please keep this site going. I have sent your link to several friends so they too can see there is a difference. May the Lord continue to bless you and teach you the truth as He has been doing all this time. Thanks again!

Bruce L. Scheffler   

Good morning Steve! Say, I just submitted a comment in regards to your response to the lady who had thoughts regarding breaking away, and how difficult it was. (Agreed!) Anyway, I submitted my comment, and to my slight horror, there was a photo of me (must be through my Google account) that is now alongside my comment. That's never happened before, and have submitted several comments! I can't figure out how to get it off. Now it's not an emergency if you can't take it off either, but I guess I would prefer it not be on there...it's one thing for folks in my old church, who might stumble across this to wonder if Traci is me, it's another to have them know, lol. So thanks in advance if you can, and again many thanks to you for a site that has helped so very many people escape a true cult!!!!

Traci   

Just felt compelled to contact you and say thank you. My husband and I are still healing and it makes me sick to my stomach with guilt to even write this, but it helps at the same time. I graduated from an IFB college with honors and was working for a "mega" IFB church, but quit shortly before graduating because of illegal and hypocritical activities I witnessed. Unwilling to leave the denomonation in which I was raised, I accepted a job offer as a teacher in the Northwest. As it was my only available option, due to not having an accredited four year degree, I left home and moved across the country with no friends or family. I had acquaintes there that I had met while becoming the top recruiter for the IFB college during summer tour groups. A few months after I arrived, I broke up with a long-distance, verbally abusive, lying, cheating, but outwardly perfect IFB boyfriend. He threatened and stalked me on social media. During this time, I was encouraged by the pastor of the IFB church who owned the school where I taught to give "Tom" another chance. This same pastor had offered this guy a job. After waking up to the fact that I was miserable and had already given many chances, I declined. A month later, a couple in the church ended up taking me out to dinner with a man who had been coming for about a year. This man recently received assurance of his salvation, previouslu hitting rock bottom and voluntarily returning to Christ. Overnight, he turned his life around and radically started serving the Lord. Every Sunday, he drove the bus and bought treats for all the "bus kids" (what they call children from low-income homes) He also taught a Sunday School class and loved and invested in those kids. I admired him, but thought he was way too good and REAL to be true. We started talking and knew we both liked each other. He felt "unworthy" to be with me (since I was the epitome of perfect IFB-ness). After our first "date", he confessed everything in his life (a little overboard), but unlike any IFB guy I'd ever met, he was completely honest and humble. The only response I had was, "Hey, ever hear of a guy named David? He did some pretty messed up stuff, but God said he was a man after His own heart." This man (my now-husband)'s horrible sin?

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Anonymous   
Anonymous   

Just felt compelled to contact you and say thank you. My husband and I are still healing and it makes me sick to my stomach with guilt to even write this, but it helps at the same time. I graduated from an IFB college with honors and was working for a "mega" IFB church, but quit shortly before graduating because of illegal and hypocritical activities I witnessed. Unwilling to leave the denomonation in which I was raised, I accepted a job offer as a teacher in the Northwest. As it was my only available option, due to not having an accredited four year degree, I left home and moved across the country with no friends or family. I had acquaintes there that I had met while becoming the top recruiter for the IFB college during summer tour groups. A few months after I arrived, I broke up with a long-distance, verbally abusive, lying, cheating, but outwardly perfect IFB boyfriend. He threatened and stalked me on social media. During this time, I was encouraged by the pastor of the IFB church who owned the school where I taught to give "Tom" another chance. This same pastor had offered this guy a job. After waking up to the fact that I was miserable and had already given many chances, I declined. A month later, a couple in the church ended up taking me out to dinner with a man who had been coming for about a year. This man recently received assurance of his salvation, previouslu hitting rock bottom and voluntarily returning to Christ. Overnight, he turned his life around and radically started serving the Lord. Every Sunday, he drove the bus and bought treats for all the "bus kids" (what they call children from low-income homes) He also taught a Sunday School class and loved and invested in those kids. I admired him, but thought he was way too good and REAL to be true. We started talking and knew we both liked each other. He felt "unworthy" to be with me (since I was the epitome of perfect IFB-ness). After our first "date", he confessed everything in his life (a little overboard), but unlike any IFB guy I'd ever met, he was completely honest and humble. The only response I had was, "Hey, ever hear of a guy named David? He did some pretty messed up stuff, but God said he was a man after His own heart." This man (my now-husband)'s horrible sin? Being divorced, Since I had a background in IFB, I expected some resistance and judgement, but nothing I couldn't handle. He expected nothing. After all, these people were our friends! They loved him, they said. They called him "Brother" and had him over for Sunday dinner. He was the outcast "visitor" who was just now becoming spiritual (though he had a successful career and was a kind, loyal, compassionate man). Still, he had the irrevequable, un-fixable stain of divorce...as we soon found out. The first day we sat together in church, it began. He was pulled aside and told he needed to check himself and that he was going down a "wrong path". The pastor posted on social media after a very public discussion in which my boyfriend at the time cried openly after being told he couldn't ever be with anyone and could never remarry. We were shunned publicly, blatantly referenced during sermons. I was called into a three hour long meeting with the two male pastors and forced to defend why I was dating someone like "him". They literally said that as my spiritual authority, if I did not cease being with him, they would remove him from all service (he sung in choir, taught Sunday School, ushered, and drove the bus). He was devastated. I was broken. And SO, SO angry. But still, we suffered in silence. We took it out on each other, but smiled publicly through the pain. And, amazingly, in the end, it just drew us closer. Things were brought to a boiling point when I was called in, on a three separate trumped-up, ridiculous charges at "work"...and then fired from my job. No notice. No explanation. Just the assistant pastor, smiling, telling me to gather my things and leave the premises. Immediately." I was 22 years old. No job. No family. Renting a room from a family in the church. A virgin. Naive. Alone. I had done nothing but date a man I loved. Who God loves. By the grace of God, I had a job within two weeks as an Office Manager at a doctor's office. But not even two days after my termination, a vindictive letter stating that I was terminated was circulated to every parent of every child who had said they loved me and who were my friends. It was sent to me by two friends, also mothers of my students, in tears, saying they did not believe it. Though we quietly left the church with a short, professional email explaining we would no longer be able to teach classes and I would no longer be providing the "special music" on Sundays, we still tried to remain polite and amicable with the few people we kept contact with, but no one would speak to us. Three months later, the day before our wedding, my "best friend" who had introduced my husband and I, who was to be my bridesmaid, texted me and backed out. But I t didn't matter then and doesn't matter now. We have God and each other. His family is southern Baptist/Pentacostal and loves me. My family was still warming up to him at the wedding. Both of my sisters still attend the IFB college and basically everyone I've ever known is IFB. It's so hard knowing what happened to us and I fluctuate between rage at the injustice to remnants of guilt at going against the (insane) words from the (abusive) "Men of God" The list of horrors I've encountered at the hands of IFB members goes on and on. But this is the first time I've ever told the full story to anyone but immediate family. I apologize for the ridiculous length, but this was so cathartic. To actually put it into words. My husband and I have the best marriage I could ever have hoped for and dreamed of. The Lord has greatly blessed us financially. And we are attending a Christian Fellowship that breaks every rule I've ever known and yet manages to be more "biblical" than I ever thought possible. Crazy. Anyway, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for standing up. Thank you for being a voice. I'm sharing this site with my sister, who is currently still trapped at the IFB college and hates every minute of it, but is helpless to go anywhere else. The hardest thing is loving my family who acknowledges everything that is wrong and horrible with IFB, but chooses to remain anyway, because "God hasn't called them anywhere else" sigh. Anyway, thank you again. God bless you!!

Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona should be called Angry Words Baptist Church because Steven L. Anderson has a lot of anger. Well, King James Only proponents are known for their anger.

Anonymous   

Possibly another story that reveals the reality of the "discipline" that the IFB instills. Please view:

http://www.wlky.com/news/pastor-arrested-church-school-closed-amid-abuse-allegations/35072962

Derek   

While not belonging to an IFB church I spent nearly 30 years in Evangelical Baptist churches in the UK. While I was in them everything was hunky dory but when I left them I became a pariah. After 10 years away from them I still feel in a very fragile emotional and spiritual state. Because of their reaction to me and what I see as their rank judgmentalism and hypocrisyI never been back inside a church. Nor have I any time for their God. I have been left in the wilderness. But I would rather be there than anywhere near their false way behaving.

Ian Moore   

Thanks for this website. It pretty much explains all of the Independent Fundamental Baptist churches general teachings.

Anonymous   

Your website really clarifies what the IFB churches are all about, the typical "I'm right, you're wrong," mentality. This mentality is clearly reflected by Steven L. Anderson from Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona and the Young Baptists from Morgantown, West Virginia. The thing about Steven L. Anderson and the Young Baptists is that they are so full of anger, that they quote Isaiah 58:1 as a pretext for screaming, raving, and ranting as a form of preaching righteousness.

We cannot have a solid interpretation of a particular passage in the Bible based on one verse. The entire chapter, as well as the following verses, give the context of the verse. For example, the IFB uses Psalms 126:5-6 as proof texts for shedding some tears before "soul-winning," but Psalms 126 is referring to the restoration of Israel from captivity.

The chapter begins with the statement saying, ""When Jehovah brought back the captivity of Zion," (verse 1). Now ask yourself this. Is this passage about "soul-winning" or the restoration of Israel from captivity?

This website explains more about the IFB dogma at: http://www.a-voice.org/qa/ifbdogma.htm.

Hope that this explained things.

Anonymous   

It seems that legalistic churches like IBLP/IFB attract the kind of people with a lot of resentment like stated in the previously mentioned testimonials. Resentment, in that those who become IFB members resent those who reject their desire for so-called, self-centered, ego-boosting "recognition."

Anonymous   

8 Comments

  1. With my experience for the most part not all was bad, but as far as these revealing truths definitely accurate, especially divorce. Personally i would recommend a more healthier church family than IFB but definitely a learning experience just be careful.-ghostfire220

  2. To:Cassandra on “Memoirs of a recovering fundamentalist”-Thank you for being so honest and brave for stepping out, from experience i too was involved in IFB churches for a good part of 10 years and i learned a lot of good basic fundamentals but also a lot of scriptural legalistic stuff that “they”(IFB) claim is wrong; that’s the kicker they preach and teach against all the very things they do themselves. Another thing i would like to say is they are infamous for categorizing all different labels together(I.e. liberals,charismatic, contemporary, new age ect…) anybody that’s not IFBaptistically saved is automatically going straight to hell and not collecting 200 dollars. Well as for my divorce forget telling them that my wife wasnt going to trade in her lover for me and my demanding self! And i can’t remarry thats wrong even when the scriptures give the exception for adultery and fornication. And man i should have never mentioned remarrying or wanting to be with a Pentecostal girl. Bottom line is you and your husband are in the right and if you and him know that not to mention God than that’s the only verification you two need, not the pastor’s or congregation’s pat on the back or “stab” in the back! sincerely -ghostfire220

  3. Many people feel stirred by the Holy Spirit to walk closer with their Lord. Many are stirred from lethargic churches to find this closer relationship with Jesus. The next step can look like a fundamental church. “Getting back to basics” is often our first thought after considering that we have gotten “off-track”.

    Jesus warned his disciples about the dangers of the “leaven” of the Pharisees. Paul wrote the book of Galatians to an entire church that was just starting down this road. Conservative Christianity can appear to be the answer to liberal Christianity. However, often it is just another manifestation of the flesh.

    We shouldn’t let our experiences with those who claim Christian expertise to cause us to neglect our Savior. We just have to get creative about finding those who can helps us mature to be like Jesus. Walking in truth is not the same thing as “being right”. Let others flail away hitting each other over the head about who is “right” while we grow in truth which can only lead to humility which opens the door to greater grace.

    [email protected]

  4. It is noteworthy that others have commented on the noticeable bitter tone of your site. It is an obvious observation rather than judgment of you. Anger is so common in our culture that it is accepted as normal. Attempts to justify angry attacks is acceptable in many circles, but it does not measure up to the reconciling spirit of Christ. Bitterness hurts your objectivity and discernment. Your harsh judgment of others by generalized labeling is unfair to all those in good churches. My personal example demonstrates that your attack on IFBs is unfair and unwarranted to all those churches with the label but not the spirit of anger and control that you judge so harshly and condemn. It is obvious that your attacks fall short of credibility because you are not careful to be accurate. A ministry of reconciliation involves peace and love in Christ. I am praying for you and the many other hurting people suffering from the root of bitterness. Fortunately for us, Christ’s love is greater than the evil shown toward Him. It is a standard for all those who desire to be His disciples to follow.

    1. I agree with Jennifer and I would also add that “Judging” as mentioned in Matthew 7 as far as I know is only applicable between Believers and Non-Believers, that’s not entirely applicable toward us.

      The Matthew 18 approach, which is absolutely applicable between believers alone, gives us the right to correct one another if one is caught in sin.

      With respect to you, Pastor, I would strongly challenge you to rethink about what you posted. I would also challenge you rebuke face to face in the future, not rebuke on the web (which is not a rebuke, but an abuse of process). Using Instant Messaging, email and public comments (that’s even worse) will revoke your right to rebuke.

      I commend this website because of the truth being made to those who either are tempted to consider or have left the IFB church.

      To the website: Keep up the Good work! Peace Out & God Bless!

  5. @PRB

    What I find ironic, PRB, is that you’ve chosen the Testimony page to submit this comment on. A page with hundreds of people sharing support and similar experiences of abusive spirituality among the IFB. I can only think of two words to explain this: ignorance and denial. (There, see, I can just as easily throw around unfounded accusation and assumptions).

    I would guess ignorance for you because your objections are clearly addressed within this very site. You’ve chosen to ignore the site content and hand wave the author’s critiques of a very dysfunctional and unhealthy denomination and react with defensiveness (which is another form of anger, hmmm) before you even took the time to read what’s already available. This makes you hypocritical because you came here and you’ve done the very thing you accuse the author of doing – judging. The only difference is that, while the author provides ample evidence to support his information, you’ve said nothing to support your accusations. Your comment amounts to nothing more than “you’re wrong” in an abusive tone (again, hypocritical as you point out the author’s “bitter tone” all the while ignoring your accusatory and abusive tone).

    Anger is a normal human emotion. Anger is part of the healing process for many issues including abuse, trauma and grief. Anger is a God given emotion and it shouldn’t be ignored. Anger isn’t a sin (at least there isn’t support for it being a sin in scriptures).

    You emphasize peace and love, but ignore the spiritual obligations to expose false teachers (Colossians 2:8, Romans 16:17-18) and confront people who refuse to acknowledge their sin (1 Timothy 5:20, James 5:19-20). Christianity isn’t ONLY about peace and love! It’s also about doing what’s right and scriptural as in calling out false teachers and abusers of the scriptures. You accuse the author of not being peaceful or loving, but what about all the supporters and people who say they’ve been helped through this site? That’s indicates peace and love towards them does it not?! Just because YOU don’t see peace and love doesn’t mean it’s not included. How arrogant and pretentious!!!

    Your pious self-righteousness is glaringly apparent and nauseating.

  6. As usual, the IFB/ATI/IBLP world is centered around self-righteousness, isolationism, legalism, behavior modification, and the like. In regards to ATI/IBLP, these folks are a much friendlier IFB, but their self-centered legalistic ways remain intact. The IFB on the other hand, is known for self-absorbed anger, hate, legalism, ignorance and the like all in the name of righteousness. In short, people in the IFB/ATI/IBLP world (IFB would include ATI/IBLP even though they’re not aligned with the IFB in anyway, but have similar teachings and practices) tell their committed followers to ignore those not within their circles because they’re supposedly not “raised in the right way.” Does this count as selfishness in the name of “the right way?”

    As for soul-winning (aka door-to-door soul-winning, more like cold calling), Acts 20:20 does not support door-to-door soul-winning, but is referring to Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders. Why does the IFB feel the need to use Acts 20:20 as a prooftext for door-to-door soul-winning?

    The IFB, though legalistic, feel that they have a license to sin in some way. How so? Well. they burden others with their legalistic practices and beliefs, yet evade carrying the burden on others’ behalf. Seems like the IFB can accept being a lying, sinning, hypocrite while pinpointing that non-IFB are “wrong.” It’s really God who is right and humanity who are wrong.

    After all, Paul did tell the Roman believers in Romans 3:4, “let God be true, but every man be as a liar.”

    So remember, it’s not ATI, IBLP, IFB who is right. It’s Our Lord Who is Right about everything.

  7. Frances,
    My heart was touched by your testimonial. I am so sorry for what you have endured, but at the same time am thankful that you haven’t left following the LORD. It is a shame and disgrace when God’s people do not heed God’s Word! Sadly, those who claim to hold to “right” in all areas–speaking of the “IFB”–exhibit some of the most egregiously anti-Scriptural behavior! IFB are so often full of themselves, as the Corinthians were in Bible times who followed men such as Peter (Cephas), Paul, Apollos, and even Christ. (See chapters 1 and 3 of 1 Cor.) We are in ministry in mostly IFB churches, and haven’t seen a situation near what you have experienced, but we have seen some pretty bad things. The fact of sin is even among church goers. I truly think that the emphases on externals (e.g. using the “right Bible,” dressing certain ways, keeping a right ‘facade’ in marriage) that are common among IFB results in a great lack of inner strength, spirituality, and Bible knowledge (since their preacher does that for them). Too often the ‘preacher’ does not know the Word he preaches! We see problems right and left, and they are but the fruit of a corrupt root, the root being that the IFB movement as one of men and not of God. This isn’t to cast all of them into one pot, but these things are all too common that this website is a very good place to share and learn!

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