Category Archives: Doctrine

The Highest Priority

Ask any fundamentalist what the most important mission of the church should be and at least nine out of ten will tell you “winning the lost.” After all, in heaven’s eternal economy what could be more valuable than the saving of one soul which will live forever. Winning “souls” is the nominal focus of just about everything an IFB church does.

If you want to confuse a fundamentalist, however, you should then follow up with this question: “If souls are the most important thing, wouldn’t it be more effective to support any ministry that gives out the gospel regardless of whether they agree with you on things like standards, Bible versions, and politics rather than plant new churches and send out new missionaries as competition for them?”

About five seconds later you will learn that winning souls is actually NOT the highest priority. To a fundamental Baptist making people look like themselves will almost always outrank helping them look like Jesus.

Denial

noevil

In a strange fit of unintentional honesty, Bob Gray sums up the issues with fundamentalism in four paragraphs:


[Noah’s sons] knew their father was not perfect. They knew their father was a sinner, drunk, and naked in that tent, but they did not want to see it even though they knew it was true. Anyone who is over you is there because God placed them there in your life, and if you are not careful you will miss the fact that God put them there and you will end up excusing your rebellion because of their imperfection. Here are some sons who said, “We know it’s true, but we don’t want to see it.”

I had the wonderful honor of preaching with Dr. Jack Hyles at least once a month for 22 years. Wait a minute, I knew he was not perfect because he was a human being like me, but I did not want to see his imperfection. I needed a hero. You need a hero. I knew he had weaknesses, but I did not want to see them. I knew he had sins, but I did not want to see them. I refused to allow myself to get that close.

Most divorces are caused because there is no mystique between husbands and wives anymore. Ladies, dress up for your husband like you would for guests in your home. Most church splits are caused because people become too close to each other. They begin to see all the warts. They see all the imperfections. They see all of the sins and here comes trouble in that church.
If you become too close to a staff member, let me tell you what you will find! As it is written, he is not righteous, he does not understand, and he does not seek after God. Let me tell you what you will find if you get too close to anyone. Romans 3:10-18 describes what you will find. Paul is speaking here about the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews thought they were better than the Gentiles. The Apostle Paul is saying you are no better than the Gentiles. He describes every human in these verses. This is the biography of Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. John R. Rice, Dr. Curtis Hutson, Dr. B. R. Lakin, Dr. Lee Roberson and the Dr. Tom Malone’s of this world.

We have lost our mystique! You are going to find that your wife has the poison of asps under her lips, she is unprofitable, a throat that’s an open sepulcher, a tongue that uses deceit, her mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, her feet are swift to shed blood, and wives who become too close to their husbands will find the same thing out about them.
Let me see the beautiful forests, but do not let me become too close to see the knots, broken branches, dead branches, serpents, insects or the spiders. Let me stay at a distance and see the autumn time as the forest puts her coat of many colors on like Joseph of old. Let me step back and see it! Don’t let me become too close to see the diseased and dying tree. These two boys said, “We know daddy is a sinner, but we do not want to be reminded that daddy is a sinner.”

Denial is a virtue. Truth is overrated. Fantasy and magical thinking is what we need more of.

Gangland Christians

Take down the signs and crosses on the fundy church and put up instead a banner that reads “Post-Christian.”

For Independent Baptists talk about the Christian God; they still wave around the Christian book; they still use Christian words like “sin” and “righteousness” and “grace” but many, many are not Christian. Christians follow the example and teachings of Christ above the teachings of a culture stamped Made in America.

The fundamentalist church has left off being a church and has become instead a gang of people attempting to find self-worth and self-empowerment through the practice of dominating others.
The local church is in a perpetual turf war against all comers with weapons of words to protect its power and possessions.

When someone is declared “saved” they mean “has passed initiation and is now wearing our uniform and displaying our colors.”

When these people say “biblical” they mean “the rules that make you one of us.”

When they talk of soul winning they mean “recruiting the strong and preying on the weak”

When they bestow the title of pastor they mean “The leader of the pack. The man who declares himself strong enough to keep us safe and make the outsiders tremble.”

When they call someone “apostate” or “heart-hearted” or “bitter” it is the sign that the protection is lifted and that person it is now the duty of every member to exact cruel justice on them.

Fundamentalists may mock the Southern Baptists or others as being social clubs instead of churches. Many apparently don’t realize that the club they have joined can be far more dangerous.