I was in a good IFB church for some years when I was born again.
This church broke apart after I moved, the old pastor moved on, and another pastor moved in. They kept the name, lost the building but merged and moved to another town, and all the old members left.
Today though, I have kept contact with many Christian brothers and sisters from that church. While there are perhaps a few decent independent Baptist churches out there, there are many of those too entering into apostate land.
I have visited a few IFBs in the last years, hoping perhaps I could find a place to fellowship again where there is biblical truth but the chance seems more and more remote. In many ways I have progressed beyond some commonly IFB beliefs, while obviously holding on to other essentials listed below. I suppose one could call me a "fundamentalist" like the ex-IFB pastor now atheist who told me I was still a fundamentalist in methodology though I know avoid the term for obvious reasons.
Based on the classic 5 fundamentals and the KJV as God's True Word in English [not a la Ruckman and extremists in the KJV Only movement], yes the world would probably consider me a "Christian fundamentalist".
I agree with even most of this stuff:
A – Autonomy of the local church: self governing
P – Priesthood of believers: every believer has access to the Lord Jesus Christ
T – Two church officers – pastors and deacons
I – Individual soul liberty
S – Saved church membership
T – Two church ordinances : baptism and the Lord’s Supper
S – Separation of church and state
But there's many things that do not match:
Many IFB churches teach these things I do not agree with and have exposed on this blog:
1. Dispensationalism. [a Pre-Trib Rapture] This is the majority by far.
2. Christian Zionism. Some stress this more then others.
3. Dominionism. This has grown even more in the churches from what I have personally seen.
4. Only some teach this but it's growing out there: The Patriarchy Movement.
5. Support of the Police state, Skewing of Romans 13 and Jingoism.
7. Pastor Networks that don't seem any different from the rest of the churches.
9. The One Man Show. [some of course are better then others on this one, allowing other men to preach, elder system etc]
Many of these per the links above, I've been posting on for some time. We know too the falling away of the churches isn't just for the mainlines but predicted for the entire church system and it's happening even to the conservatives and "fundamentalist" ones.
Over the years I have visited a couple IFBs including a long-distance one a year ago, and I made the mistake of visiting it on Memorial Day, and while this place seemed to cling to some of what was biblical, such as KJV Bibles and a direct gospel message, one telling moment was there as I sat in in the pews, and they had a jumbo-screen on the wall, actually with a picture of flying jets on it, singing the praises of America as a Christian nation, and I thought "What am I doing here?"
I didn't write about this church visit much except a little bit on the Scattered Sheep article because I was so overcome, thinking this was my very last option and it was a 60 mile round trip from home, which considering my humble budget would have meant occasional visits not regular ones. One strange thing that church had going was big burly men, with ear pieces and dressed in suits all standing guard around us. They never sat down and there were 6-7 of them I saw. For a church in a rural community that is not known for a high crime level and about 150 people in the pews it seemed unnecessary. I don't know if this church had a bad experience with someone violent or if the pastor read or saw a book on church "security" and decided to go all out with it but it was very weird. It reminded me of an event I wrote about on this very blog, where someone was hauled out and held for arrest, by another church. The Holy Spirit told me for this and multiple other reasons, I did not belong there.
The church world is it's own place. Many of my readers are out of the church system like myself. What gets me is the sameness of what I saw over the last 7 years.
I want to start exploring some Baptist topics here soon.
Some questions I want to ask and want to write about here are...
1. Why is full immersion so important to Baptists?
2. Why are so many IFB churches going to Calvin for answers? [and ignoring scripture in doing so]
3. Why are the majority of Baptist churches ecumenical outside of the few IFBs and independents?
4. Why did Baptists embrace dispensationalism and Scofield? Why do so few deviate from this norm?
5. What is the history of the Anabaptists? I know very little, far less about them then many other churches. Where did they come about?
6. What's with this History of the Baptist book from the 1800s, that claims linkage to early church fathers who are false? You all are quite familiar about what I think of early church fathers, as a false root. Was this author the norm in his thinking at the time?
7. Why are IFBs going Dominionist?
8. IFB pastors [old and present] with false teachings and dubious political and new world order connections that are as bad as the obvious Baptist deceivers.
Today I tell people I am simply a Christian, years ago I may have told people, I am an "independent Baptist" but that definitely changed and has ended. I have seen websites where they write that Baptist churches are part of the Babylonian church system. Let's be frank the majority of Baptist denominations outside the "fundamentalist" ones are signed on to the UN, Vatican, WCC system and part of the harlot.
"Baptist" as a word today means everything from Bill Clinton and Rick Warren. We already know those groups are far off the scriptural reservation. My main focus will be IFBs and exploring what they came out of and what they became today and how they are changing but I am wondering about Baptists as a whole.
I could be going into new territory here that may upset some of my readers since I suspect I probably have many IFB attenders among my readership. There was some wariness too about going into this new terrain, as for a long time as I held out hope of finding another church family perhaps in another IFB that preached truth but in many ways I've moved on making this more impossible. I can't say that day would never come but what are the chances of finding a church that has broken free of the Republican/Glenn Beck-watching/Dominionist/Easter-Christmas celebrating matrix?
There are saved Christians in these churches who are brothers and sisters of ours, and I suppose I want to delve into some of these questions even for their sake and what they are taking for granted from many of the pastors. Here tell me even if you have ever heard of an IFB that rejects or preaches against Christmas because I sure haven't. When I was in my good IFB, I remember asking a lot of questions. I warned against the new world order and passed out pamphlets warning against Christmas. Very few are writing about things happening in the "fundamentalist" churches outside of a few nonbelievers who are not Christians and wish to detract from Christianity as a whole.
We are to test all things according to scripture. There are many things in IFB churches taken for granted that very few question. Have any of you thought about these sort of things too? Tell me what you think and if there is any area you would like explored? Please share your own experiences, if you are a Christian without a church specifically with visiting IFB churches.