Field Report: 2010 Sword of the Lord Conference

The following is report on the 2010 National Sword of the Lord Conference by an attendee. It is published in its entirety without modification (edit: except the adding of the names of the various session speakers).

My Background:
I come from a nondenominational church on the East Coast. Right now, our church is called a “Fundamental Bible Church”. We are a non-denominational church that uses the New Living Translation. We do not belong to a particular denomination since we prefer to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After a messy battle with our previous pastor, we are currently revising our Church Constitution (and looking for a new pastor, too). Unsure as to whether we should issue an invitation to candidate to someone who describes themselves as a “fundamental Baptist”, I have been sent to the Sword of the Lord Conference in North Carolina. I am there for the express purpose of finding faults with the conference. After our last pastor, the Board of Elders wants a worst-case scenario report. This will be far from “fair and balanced” reporting.

Monday Evening
The first things that I notice are the huge, ostentatious Bus Ministry signs – as if numbers are a competition. The platform area is raised and features Doric columns and ornate chairs – they remind me of a Greek temple. In this case, the one being adored is the pastor.

The presenter comes to the podium and engages in blatant Hero Worship – He talks about the “great” Dr. Rice, the “great” Gospel Light Baptist Church, and the “great” Sword of the Lord”. It takes over five minutes before anyone says anything about God or Jesus, and even then they fail to call Him “great”. The Presenter then goes on to say that “We will be using the same Bible as last year.” This is greeted with shouts, whistles, and Amens. He then goes on to say that “we will be using” the same complete, perfect, and infallible Bible as people have been using for over 400 years. I take pity on those using foreign-language bibles and determine to visit the booksellers and see if anyone is really selling a KJV 1611.

The music is LOUD. The speakers seem to be set at full volume, and it hurts. It’s worse than any concert of any variety I’ve ever been to. The tempo and beat of the music reminds me of some contemporary worship, but how can that be – isn’t this a bastion of fundamentalism? I must be missing something. Now the sermons start. There’s a small smattering of applause – are these people really applauding a pastor like he’s some kind of celebrity? Anyway, the sermons have begun. I will leave off the speakers names in order to protect the ignorant. Note: please do not consider these to be authoritative lists of stupidity. They are only the ones I could remember after the service, since all the pens seem to have been removed from the auditorium.

Speaker One (Shelton Smith, editor of The Sword Of The Lord) says that America’s problems are ones of repentance. Apparently, only going to the altar shows true repentance and brings revival. His sermon is about the “Amen” speaking – the “Amen” being a name of God. He uses as his text the passage in Revelation talking about the Laodicean church. (Rev 3:16) He says that the “angel” of the church is really the pastor. Strange, since my Strong’s Concordance says this word means minister and is the same word used to describe Michael and Gabriel. What happened to literally translating Scripture? He then says it’s the pastor’s duty to tell his congregation what the Amen is saying. How is this different from the Pope??? Anyway…

Speaker Two (Evangelist Lou Rossi, Jr.) comes to the stage. I can’t even remember what his sermon is about, but I do remember that part of his message was about how we cannot make doctrines out of things that are not in the Bible. He says that yellow busses, preaching in white shirts, and the order of a church service are all extra-biblical things and are only personal preferences, not signs of “rightness” with God. In almost the same breath, he says that when people want to “mess with this (holding up a KJV Bible), then it’s preaching time. He claims that the KJV is the only Bible and all others are fakes. (Please try telling this to the French, German, and Spanish….) He goes on to say that if a church is not KJV only, then it is not a church at all but is instead involved in mysticism and controlled by Babylon.

At another point is his message, Speaker Two complains that men have become effeminate, and blames – of all things – Trading Spaces. He says that the problem comes from “men watching Trading Spaces with their wives – especially that guy with the green hat.” This begs the question: How does he know about the green hat?? He says that men need to go back to being “real” men – men with no feelings. He proclaims that men should be able to say: “Slap me and I don’t feel a thing – I’m dead.” I guess we should also stop treating women with respect….

Speaker Two also blamed the hippies for today’s societal problems and denounced all forms of psychiatry and counseling unless it came directly from the KJV.

A phrase I have grown weary of hearing is, “Can I get an AMEN?!?”. Seriously, if you have to ask, you probably don’t deserve one. It’s especially annoying when it’s asked every 15 seconds. Apparently, a plague will come upon you if you don’t AMEN every time a preacher mentions some Super-Fundy He-Man.

Tuesday Morning
The preachers are treated like celebrities. The applause is LOUD and raucous when they are introduced. How is honoring a man bringing glory to God?

I can’t remember a thing about Speaker One’s (Tim Rabon, pastor of the Beacon Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC) message, other than he said that Paul was executed vial guillotine. Can everyone say “anachronism”? Sometime during his message, he started crying. I guess he missed Mr. No-Heart’s message last night… After he spoke, Speaker One came off the stage only to be greeted by his adoring fans. He walked through the front rows of three sections shaking hands and hugging people. Who does he think he is, taking the glory from God?

Speaker Two (Clyde Box, retired pastor) didn’t even preach. He spent his entire allotted time engaging in Hero Worship. He talked on and on and on about Rice, Hynes, Seitler, and Roloff. I thought about Roloff – should we really be worshiping a guy who essentially killed himself by his own stupidity? Speaker Two also asked all the pastors over 70 to stand, and then literally screamed at the audience, telling them to honor those standing and those already departed – apparently this can be accomplished through soul-winning. And here I thought that soul-winning was to bring glory to God. Glad he straightened me out! He tried to tie in his Hero Sermon with Psalm 45:8, saying that the smells mentioned there are referring to God’s glory, suffering, and healing powers. The Altar Call was to ask God that we “smell the acacia of his healing”. I’m pretty sure he meant that we should go out and win souls, but if that doesn’t sound mystical I don’t know what does. He also urged people to ask forgiveness for not honoring old preachers.

Tuesday Afternoon
I went to the Sword of the Lord tables this afternoon and asked for a KJV 1611. They said the table was full of them. I looked around, and then asked where they were. I was told that they were right in front of me. I pointed out that their KJV Bibles were written in modern English and, therefore, could not be the KJV 1611. I also did this at another, smaller KJV-only bookseller. If fundamentalists are going to proclaim themselves KJV-1611, then they’d better stop lying and start doing it! On another note, in my travels among the booths, I saw a sign proclaiming “2,000 Years of Baptist History”. I must go back to that stall and have a chat with them…

Tuesday Evening
Speaker One’s (Kevin Folger, pastor of the Cleveland Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH) message was on the “due order” of God. He seemed to use this as a springboard to preach against whatever he felt like. He said that CCM was utterly devoid of doctrine and had no spiritual value. It’s obvious that he hasn’t listened to any. He also preached against women looking like men and men looking like women. However, he never really defined any of his terms, but simply stated his personal opinions as if they were divinely inspired from God.

Speaker Two (Paul Chappell, pastor of the Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, CA) had a great message about listening and being filled with the Holy Ghost. The only thing I could find against his message was that he constantly referred to the present time as “The Laodicean Church Age”. How do we know that the seven churches of Revelation are ages of the church and not simply seven kinds of churches? I guess since he believes in seven church ages, there must be seven church ages.

After the service I found the “2,000 Years of Baptist History” people and had a nice discussion with them. They seem to apply the term “Baptist” to anyone that has held similar beliefs throughout history. Since the author is a Ph.D., he must be right. I guess I’m wrong for assuming that since the Baptist denomination began in the 1800s, then there were no Baptists before them. Some people need a basic history lesson: something cannot exist before its creation.

I am still unable to find a KJV 1611.

Wednesday Morning

Speaker One (Evangelist John Bishop) was great. I have nothing to say against him. He preached an excellent message on dealing with difficult times.

Speaker Two (Max Barton, pastor of the People’s Baptist Church in Greenville, NC) started with praise for Dr. Smith, the Smith Family, Dr. Rice, and Dr. Hyles. He then launched into his sermon, tied loosely to Psalm 80 (or perhaps it was 85). He dealt with the problems of America – apparently television being one of the most grievous sins of the past century. Second to television was America’s cultural abandonment of her so-called Christian heritage. Never mind the fact that many of the persons quoted were Masons (secret societies are frowned upon by Fundamentalists), Deists, or Agnostics. Since they mention God in a favorable light, they must be OK.

Speaker Two then expounded on the problems with “modern” preaching. He mentioned two problems. The first problem – no surprise here – is the fact that preachers are not using the KJV. Those that do not use the KJV are doomed to fail because they are not backed by the power of God found in the Authorized Version. Apparently fundamentalists have never read the preface to the KJV, which clearly states that (1) The KJV was authorized by King James and not God, and (2) that the purpose of the KJV was to advance the Church of England. I doubt that many fundamentalists would say the Church of England was ever a “Christian” church. The second problem with modern preachers is their use of PowerPoint. He never said exactly what the problem with PowerPoint is, he just said that his lack of PowerPoint knowledge somehow disqualified him from preaching….go figure.

Wednesday Evening
Talk about Hero Worship: Speaker One (Bobby Roberson, pastor of the Gospel Light Baptist Church in Walkertown, NC) was greeted with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. He then proceeded to spend his allotted time just talking without spending much time in the Bible. He talked about how great his church was, how great his bus ministry was, how great his Spanish ministry was, and how great his school was. He also talked about Hyles, Sightler, and Roloff. After each anecdote, he would attribute praise to God. However, it seemed to me like he was just blowing his own horn. What about all the churches that cannot do those kinds of ministries? Does that make them inferior? For a “Revival and Soul Winning Conference,” it had little to do with either.

Speaker Two (R. B. Oullette, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, MI) used as his text the passage talking about the prophet of God who went astray and was killed by a lion. He used this as a springboard to encourage the audience to “keep on the right path.” I’ve tried to remember the things he talked about, but please do not consider this to be a complete list. Throughout this sermon there were constant AMENs, yells, hand waving, et cetera.

Preached Against: John MacArthur, Rick Warren and his wife, Charles Shuler, drinking, dancing, Hollywood, movies, television, CCM, non-KJV Bibles (the NIV is especially wicked), praise and worship bands, modesty (which was never really defined”, DVDs, radio, the Southern Baptist Convention, and everything that had anything non-fundamentalist about it.

Preached For: The Sword of the Lord, the KJV, the Old Paths, “good” music, and everything that Fundamentalism has stood for since it began.

Surprises: He said he was not against facial hair or the non-wearing of ties as long as no other doctrines were compromised.

Thursday Morning
Speaker One (Raymond Barber, pastor emeritus of the Worth Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, TX) and Two (Mike Allison, pastor of the Madison Baptist Church in Madison, AL) were essentially the same = America would fall into moral and economic ruin unless everyone adheres to Fundamentalist beliefs.

Thursday Night
Speaker One (Jeff Amsbaugh, pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Columbus, GA) preached a great message on power of God

Speaker Two (Norris Belcher, pastor of the Church Of The Open Door in Westminster, MD) preached about Hezekiah breaking brass serpent of Moses. This guy was anti-everything. I think this guy managed to fit in everything fundies hate; I couldn’t even keep up with a list. I remember him saying we should worship people like MacArthur and Warren, but didn’t say anything about the Hero Worship of the Pastors/Special Music that had gone on the entire week. He said that things shouldn’t be kept around because of how old they were or if that’s the way our ancestors did it. (Wait, don’t they use those arguments FOR the KJV? I guess it doesn’t apply here). Essentially, this guy was saying that unless we followed all the tenets of Fundamentalism, we were living in idolatry.

Cut my visit short. I can’t take it anymore.

[ for the record this means that he missed:
1. Mike Norris, pastor of the Franklin Road Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, TN
2. Jeff Fugate, pastor of the Clays Mill Road Baptist Church in Lexington, KY
3. Sam Davison, pastor emeritus of the Southwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma
City, OK
4. Joe Arthur, pastor of the Harvest Baptist Tabernacle in Jonesboro, GA]

I will recommend to the Board of Elders that we screen carefully anyone calling himself a “fundamental Baptist”. In addition, I will suggest that we drop the word “Fundamental” from the name of our church.

Are you going to be attending a fundamentalist event? Reports from the front lines are always welcome at SFL. Anonymity guaranteed.

188 thoughts on “Field Report: 2010 Sword of the Lord Conference”

  1. may I say to each person who reads this that, your pastor is no better than the prayers that are lifted up for him, prayer is the way we as believers can call on God ! he alone can give your pastor wisdom and knowlege to speak to you. however if you don’t pray and read your Bible each day you cannot expect much!!!!!! a realationship with God is personal !!!!! do you have that personal realationship? if you do my Bible says you can ask God for wisdom and knowlege and thru the Holy Spirit he will give it to you!!!!! it also says that we can ask of God things we need and receive them if they are according to his will. are you asking God each day to bless and protect your pastor? once again are you saved? we are living in a day and age where people want to be saved , have the things of this world and go to heaven. my Bible says, seek ye first the Kingdom of God!!!! are you doing that? the Bible says study nto show thyself approved, it says we should renew our minds. i feel that we expect the pastor to say some great thing on Sunday to get us thru till next Sunday. IT DON’T WORK THAT WAY!!!!!!! WE MUST START READING OUR BIBLES, PRAYING THRU OUT THE DAY AND SURRENDER OUR LIVES TO GOD!!!! BE NOT DECEIVED : GOD IS NOT MOCKED; FOR WHAT SO EVER A MAN SOWETH THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP. our churches are suffering today because people are not surrendering their lives to God. confess your sins , pray for the HOLY SPIRIT to meet with you at church and watch what happens!! it works at my church!!! put your hands on the plow and quit looking back!!!!!! the question is ARE YOU SAVED? THE BIBLE SAYS STRAIT IS THE GATE AND NARROW IS THE WAY, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT!!!! HAVE YOU FOUND THE WAY? PRAY ASK GOD HE WILL SHOW YOU!!! THAT’S THE TRUTH!!!!!! GET YOUR EYES OFF MAN AND GET YOUR EYES ON GOD!!! ALL WE LIKE SHEEP HAVE GONE ASTRAY! I LOVE ALL OF YOU, BUT WHILE YOU ARE STUDYING ABOUT THIS YOU ARE NOT STUDYING ABOUT GOD AND THATS WHAT SATAN WANTS. DON’T GIVE IN TO HIM.

  2. As it ever occurred to you all, that as you shred everything “fundies” do when they shred everyone else, you are doing the same thing they are?

    So as you want to rip fundamentalists for ripping you and whatever they deem to be sin, as you do this, you are essentially doing the same thing they are, only reversed.

    Um… “Hello pot? It’s kettle. You’re black”

    1. After 20 years under the fundie regime it doesn’t bother me one bit to expose them and it’s even better if I get to laugh while doing it.

  3. @ gary dude, there’s no need to yell.
    Could you provide chapter and verse for, “your pastor is no better than the prayers that are lifted up for him
    So not only is my relationship with God based on my performance, but now my pastor’s performance is based on my performance…. Performance based performance???

  4. hey don, not yelling. the bible says touch not mine annointed and do my prophets no harm. you look it up! also matt. ch 7 vs 1 says judge not lest ye be judged. Jesus said that! people are going to hell as we speak! we as christians need to get right with God so we can witness to these people. the devil wants us to bicker lets don’t give in to him . love ya in the Lord !

  5. The Lord Jesus made His people a nation of priests. Haven’t you ever heard of the priesthood of the believer? Therefore when a preacher harangues believers, he is the one accusing God’s anointed. Pretty scary, huh?

  6. Gary,
    We’re pretty picky around here about taking text out of context. The phrase you point out above is found in 1 Chronicles 16:4-24 This is also Psalm 105. It is a psalm of Thanks unto the Lord by David. The phrase, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm applies to the nation of Israel. A “group” of people…not an individual but a group. the whole sentence reads:

    When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; he suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

    Where in Scripture does this phrase specifically apply to only those who have the gift of preaching and teaching as outlined in Ephesian chapter 4?

    As for Matthew chapter 7, it does not say do not judge, just make sure you are judging righteously.

    You say, people are going to hell as we speak! People are also going to hell while we sleep, while we eat, while we work, while we are at church, while we sing, while we pray…. What’s your point? How many “good” people went to hell today? How many “good” people went to hell yesterday? How many “good” people will go to hell tomorrow? The only answer is “none.” Is God Sovereign? Is God all powerful? Does God not know all things? Did anything surprise Him today?

    Gary, please explain to me the phrase , “get right with God”. Can you give me some scripture where this is commanded of believers? I have heard this my entire Fundy life (40+ years) and I have yet to find it in scripture. It sound very spiritual but it is not biblical. Paul wrote an entire epistle to the Galatians exposing this works approach to earning God’s approval and His love as wrong for the Children of God.

    Dude, I love you in the Lord, I really do. I have a special place in my heart for you, especially because where you now are?… I once was.

    And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. God is honored when we use our mind and think.. because He gave us these minds and He wants us to use them to know Him better in all aspects of our lives. Let’s not just parrot our programming but question and seek and knock and ask and follow the truth wherever it leads, because all Truth is God’s Truth.

    1. The Truth About Eternity
      There are big questions that haunt all of us. What happens when I die? Where will I spend eternity? The single most important question that you will ever answer is this – “If I were to die today, would I spend eternity in Heaven with God?” Your relationship to Jesus Christ is central to the answer to that question.

      The Bible tells us in I John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” The simple truth is God wants you to know where you’re going! So, here it is in a nutshell:

      Our sin creates an impassable chasm between us and eternal life with God.

      1 Recognize Your Condition
      My biggest mistake when I don’t know my way is that I don’t want to admit that I am lost! My wife calls this, “pride.” In order to find the way to eternal life with God, I must admit I am lost in sin. Romans 5:12 teaches us that since Adam and Eve, the first man and woman on earth, a sin nature has been present in all people. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Sin is any act contrary to God’s laws and commandments, and those sins that I have committed separate me from God. Whenever I have been lost, I have paid some type of penalty. I have been late to a special event and, on occasion, I have received a speeding ticket. Sin also has a penalty. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The “wage” or payment for our sin is spiritual death, and eternal separation from God.

      Religion and good works cannot bridge the gap created by our sin.

      2 Religion and Good Works Are Not the Answer
      Religions try to create their own ways to God. Their systems may seem logical, but they cannot bridge the gap created by our sin. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” In other words, our thoughts and ways are not what matter. God’s Word, the Bible, provides true answers of grace and forgiveness. In Ephesians 2:8–9 the Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

      Through His death on the cross, Jesus Christ paid for our sins and delivers to us the way to eternal life in Heaven.

      3 The Good News—Jesus Christ Provides the Way!
      Even though we were lost and separated from God, He loved us, and because He is love, God sent His Son to die on the Cross and raise from the dead three days later. John 3:16 explains “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, He became the payment for our sin. Now, we do not have to pay for our sin ourselves. By His grace, salvation is provided. In Romans 5:8, the Bible says, “But God commendeth [meaning proved or demonstrated] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

      We must place our full trust in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness and eternal life.

      4 Believe and Receive Christ
      In order to have a relationship with God and an eternal home in Heaven, we must stop trusting ourselves, our works, and our religions, and place our full trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sin and eternal life. In Roman 10:13 the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is a promise directly from God that if you will pray to Him, confess that you are a sinner, ask Him to forgive your sins, and turn to Him alone to be your Saviour; He promises to save you and give you the free gift of eternal life. You can make that decision today by praying from your heart, something like this:

      Dear God, I know that I am separated from you because of sin. I confess that in my sin, I cannot save myself. Right now, I turn to you alone to be my Saviour. I ask you to save me from the penalty of my sin, and I trust you to provide eternal life to me.

      You’ll never regret that decision! If you have just trusted Christ, we would love to know about your decision and give you a Bible and some other materials to help you learn more about that new relationship! Give us a call at 661.946.4663 and let us know today!

      1. Give us a call at 661.946.4663 and let us know today!

        I have this sinking feeling that you may very well regret this invitation.

        1. My guess is that he googled Sword of the Lord and found this site and realized that it was a satire site and decided to post the plan of salvation, perhaps assuming that people on here don’t know it.

          Reading through his post, I was just struck again by the beauty of God’s goodness in sending His Son. “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Beautiful truth.

        2. Don, he was randomly posting. You know, because like PW said, none of us have heard it.

          I have this image of an 18-year old, Hyles-Anderson bound preacher boy with all zeal and no brains.

      2. And, we have some great parting gifts for you, too!!!

        We have a leather-bound Scofield, a set of chick tracts, a Cross pen, some lapel pins, and some soap to wash the sh** off your nose.

      3. Ah the 4 spiritual laws. I’ve never understood why fundies will use them, but will never actually call them that. Presumably separation? they way they can discuss parts of the stations of the cross but can’t ever say the phrase “stations of the cross”?

        1. Oh, nice, copy and paste and make it look like you wrote it.

          Let’s count how many copyright laws were broken there…

        2. Hey. I’m out here in California for the week. I’m about 2 hours from Lancaster. I should swing by tomorrow evening and ask about their “plan”.

        3. LOL@Scorpio

          Well, I’d say you need it after being at Mardi Gras, ya big HEATHEN!!! :mrgreen:

        4. Yeah. Mardi Gras was something else. I have seen alot of things in my life. There were things I saw at Mardi Gras that I have NEVER EVER seen. 😯

        5. I asked HF if he’d ever like to be a cop at Mardi Gras. He gave me a fast “no”. 😉

        6. HF knows how to answer a bad question! Sometimes duty calls though and you have to do things you just don’t wanna do! 🙂

      4. Mr. Johnson,

        Yours is a pastor-focused, Scripture twisting, works sanctification, KJVO fundy church. No one who is interesting in real Christian growth should consider attending there.

        BTW, you forgot to mention repentance…

      5. Hey guys. Thanks for the welcome! I didn’t know posting the “plan” would cause so much. Sorry about that.

        Pastor’s wife, I actually stumbled upon this blog when i was searching something about the KJV (dont remember what) but I found Darrels “Antique (yet strangely new) Bibles” post. I could relate to some of it. Sentimental.

        Don, you’re right. I googled “truth of eterniy” and found that. It was pretty straight forward. Liked it. (I definitelly should have included the link.) Sorry about that.

        Natalie, thanks for the lable. Not a hyles boy and not your cookie cutter fundy that you guys decided pin.

        Yes, i do have major dissagrements with you guys. But it’s a blog, you guys don’t mind sharing your mind. Neither do I. I respect some of the site’s content and humor. Well, nice to meet you all.

  7. I am a Fundamental Baptist who resides on the West Coast and I came to become a “fundy” as you call it, at Lancaster Baptist Church where I heard the Bible taught, a sound position articulated and a sweet spirit purveyed from the pulpit to the pew. However, I have been part of other fundamental churches that seemed sick, anemic, issue-driven and rife with internal problems.

    The the author – Please do NOT categorize every “fundy” within the paradigm that you witnessed. There are some of us who do love Christ, preach Him with a broken heart and who love our cities with a passion. You did mention that there were a few preachers who did follow the Bible, lifted-up Christ and encouraged your heart. Do some more research on those men and see what they are doing that is different that what you witnessed overall. Those men are good men who seek to honor Christ and love people to Him.

    The position should be strong, but the presentation must be sweet…

  8. It is sad that the pulpit which is meant to spread God’s Word, a light to a darkened world has been so defiled, however, can’t say I’ve read anything in these posts that make us any different than those who we’re discussing. Judjing others and shooting our wounded. They’re wrong and I think we all agree, but how about praying for them, living out the Word so that we can be an example to them. Preaching what God says and not their preferences or ours. Can it be that this tearing down from all sides of christiandom is what keeps us from reaching the lost for the Lord. The world can only watch and laugh at us as we belie the very God we preach.

  9. @Bulldog

    Maybe I’m missing something but who exactly are the “wounded” who are being “shot” here?

  10. @Bulldog
    I think maybe it is the wounded who are shooting back after being strafed from the pulpits and ministries within IFB bunker-dom.

  11. I am starting to like this site somewhat, because it only takes a little while perusing here to see that you guys are waaa-a-a-y worse than Fundies about judging!

    1. Then according to your reply, how are you any different? I only takes reading a few of your replys to see you are a fundy apologist on a drive-by posting spree.

  12. Alrighty! You know NIV and other versions are not acceptable in the sight of the Lord, I think you should do your research and after that read Rev. 22:21. Those preacher’s preached the Word if you don’t like what the Bible has to say then it’s your problem. I don’t think it is fair to tear up people who were telling us what the Bible says

    1. I wish I knew what google search just landed us another trapped fundy? The King Jimmy is a bad translation from one of the worst greek manuscripts we have. Was functional/good at the time, but has long outlived its usefulness.

      If you read the report you wouldn’t say they were preaching the Word. In fact it’s very clear they were on personal diatribes, misinformed tangents, illogical rants, and rarely mentioned any Scripture other than as a launching board into the next tirade.

    2. I don’t think it is fair to tear up people who were telling us what the Bible says

      Now you see there is the difference. The fundy waits for the M-O-g to tell him what the KJVB says. The rest of us dig into the Scripture to see what God tells us in his word. Big difference between passive pew dwelling, hero worshipping cult members who are spoon fed and the ones who want truth and not just the pre-chewed version from the hired gun. Big difference between the traditions of men found in the fundy cult and the Word of God found in Scripture. (and yes I paint with a very broad brush, but fewer get painted with my brush who don’t deserve it than those who get painted with it who do.)

      1. george, george, george *sigh*
        you should have closed the “bold” after “God.”

        That last line should have read:
        There are fewer who get painted with my brush by accident and don’t deserve it than those who don’t get painted who do deserve it. Or you should have just said “There ain’t that many who get painted by accident.”

        but you’re getting there george, you’re getting there… 🙄

      1. I’d like to assume you were as disgusted as we are by the conference. You’d think if someone claims to be for Biblical preaching, goes to a Sword of the Lord conference you’d notice that they weren’t actually using the Bible.

        1. No I wasn’t disgusted at all. Because they were preaching out of the BIBLE and telling the truth. Alot of people who disagree with the truth are the ones who don’t want to hear it, so again its a personal issue. I noticed that they were preaching God’s Word, do you know why we talk about How God has been and is being good to us? We don’t deserve it, but we acknowledge if we do as GOD wants we will be blessed. If you listened to the music you hear the message, “WE ARE SINNERS SAVED BY GRACE” and Christ came down to sinners and saved us–a bigger point is that Christ DIED for us! If that doesn’t touch your heart I don’t know what will. God has preserved His Word, if you don’t believe that the KJB is the Bible then you believe that God’s Word is fallible and is not with error. Meaning you don’t know then what God’s Word says…How can then we call any version a Bible?

        2. God has preserved His Word, if you don’t believe that the KJB is the Bible then you believe that God’s Word is fallible and is not with error.

          That’s non sequitur. 😉

          The KJVO camp believes that there are NO errors in the english translation. But all english versions are translations, and cannot be without error… unless you believe in re-inspiration. And one really gets off in a ditch and in gross error when one compares translations against other translations and saying we will use translation “x” as our standard. That is poor academics at best and ignorance at its worst.

    3. “who were telling us what the Bible says”

      OK genius. Please tell us the chaprter and verse where the Bible says that the KJV Bible is the only true Bible?
      Oh, and when you reference the KJV Bible, are you referencing the 1611 version, or the 1769 version or any of the other versions?

  13. I get caught up in the moment and I accidently put without error, my bad. Has anyone read 2 TImothy 3:16? The King James was translated in English from the original manuscripts. Other “versions” take out so many words and alot of times takes out the words. Look at these verses:
    Luke 4:8-Satan
    KJV: “And Jesus answered and said unto him,Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written,Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
    NIV: You won’t find it
    NASV: You won’t find it
    Col.1:14-Through the Blood
    KJV:”in whom we have redemption through his blood,even forgiveness of sins:”
    NIV: “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin”
    NASV:”In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin”
    Acts 8:37-Salvation
    KJV: “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
    NASV: cast down as a footnote
    KJV:” for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
    NIV:” for I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”
    NASV:”For I did not come to call the righteous,but sinners.”
    Luke 4:4-the Word of God
    KJV:”And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
    NIV:”Man does not live on bread alone.”
    NASV:”Man shall not live on bread alone.”
    99% of existing manuscripts agree with the King James, including the Dead Sea Scrolls. So you can continue to debate me, but it will do you no good because I will not be writing on here again. I was mislead to this site and I won’t make that mistake again. I hope this helped someone I don’t know how,but if it did Praise God

    1. “The King James was translated in English from the original manuscripts.”

      Uh, not even close. The KJV, like all current translations was based on translations and copies of the original manuscripts. The originals went through several sets of human filters before the KJV was ever thought of. If you’re going to make ludicrous claims, at least try to do so with statements that can’t be so easily refuted and that don’t demonstrate your ignorance.

    2. “Other ‘versions’ take out so many words”

      Or perhaps the KJV added the words in? Possibly for clarity’s sake, but still added in? Not saying it’s definitely so, but the possibility should at least be considered. Especially since 99% of manuscripts do NOT agree with KJV or any other translation.

  14. Oh to add something to my loooong blog. Those words are very important, you know the ones taken out by other versions. The blood is required for the remission of sin, Lk. 4:4- the Word of God is important, repentance is necessary for salvation, and Satan this is our adversary who tried to tempt Jesus in that chapter. Salvation is the great gift Jesus gave and to not really tell someone how to get saved that is awful

    1. What are you doing here then. Go get repenting. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. I think you probably forget to confess a few thousand so you should spend the next week praying that the Holy Spirit shows you all your errors so you can confess and repent of them. And then ask Him to show you some more. Nevermind that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. Apparently it’s only the sin we repent of consciously.

    2. “…I will not be writing on here again.” posted: October 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm
      “Oh to add something….” posted:October 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm

      tisk, tisk 😯

  15. Grew up going to the Sword and this post was spot on about what it’s really like.

    As you’ve noticed, if you criticize it in any way, you will get really treated ugly. But, drink the Kool-aid and you’re fine and part of the club.

    They’re really passionately defensive about their conference.

      1. It’s funny you mention that, because I always remember the sales pitches that Shelton Smith would always do from the pulpit to sale books and other whatnots. Seemed like every year there would be more push to sell more stuff.

  16. Dr. Norris Belcher: he came to a Sword conference we had at my church, but I had class that night and missed him.

    We’ve had Max Barton and Joe Arthur: I’m kinda said the “informant” didn’t stay long enough to hear Joe Arthur’s: his sermons are always….interesting

    1. If that’s the Joe Arthur I’m thinking of, the church I grew up attending had him come preach a lot…what’s his deal/spiel? I was too young to remember anything about him.

  17. Question… Does anyone ever video tape or podcast these conferences? If not, why not!? There always appears to be an element of secrecy in these type conferences..
    Would be interesting to be able to get my own view of the things spoken (as a “recovering Pharisee”) to hear and analyze for myself too.

    1. Um hello…the meetings are obviously not secret. Anyone is welcome to attend. I think it’s just the fact that you are afraid to come because you just might find out that you are wrong.

      1. Been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt.
        Spent 30+years in the local orbit of the IFB/SOTL mothership. Finally realized it was an Imperial Cult and got my family out of the IFB before it could do any more harm with it’s legalism, easy-believism and hero worshipping indoctrination.

        You might try getting out of the bunker every so often and get some fresh air yourself. Breathing the same old, moldy, stale, “Old Paths” air causes psychosis. If appearance and guilt are your primary motivators then you are in a cult. Idolatry comes in many forms: the cult of personality found in pastor worship, the worship of a Bible translation as practiced by those who worship the King James translation only, worshipping man centersed efforts and programs like soul-winning programs that require one to close the deal and make the sale via the sinner’s prayer.

        ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
        Yep, been there, done that and have the tee-shirt.

    2. Of course they are not gonna podcast or youtube the speakers…Then they wouldn’t be able to sell all those cd’s.

  18. First let me say, I’m new to this site. I found it quite by accident, but do enjoy it and will spend many long hours reading the articles and comments.

    Now for the meat of my comment. I went to this church for many years…grew up there. I have heard Rice, Oliver B Green, Hyles, Bob Gray, Rolloff, the two Hutsons, Cuttis and Tony, Shelton Smith…I’ve heard them all preach at this church. For many years, I though to myself that the Sword of the Lord (SOL) was a business for the money… I’m convinced it is.

    I left this church because of a broken marriage….partly my fault…partly hers…but I’m the one who left. I was immediately castigated and looked down upon…talked about…many, many rumors started which were not true or were partly true….and half a truth is worse than a whole lie. Most of my friends, my life long friends, turned on me….and most do not speak to me now. The gossip mostly came from and originated in the church office.

    I said all that to say this….being on the outside has allowed me to really take a look at myself and what I was compared to what I am now. I would never go back there…or go back to that way of living. I am now free to live my life as I want to and not be who or what someone else thinks I should be.

    I would like to address some comments made about Bobby Roberson. Yes, the people there revere him…yes they pay most of his expenses….yes they buy him nice cars and clap for him when he comes on the stage. In his defense, Bobby never asked for any of this. He is truly a country boy with just an 8th grade education who believes his life’s calling is to preach…and he has dedicated his life to that. I have seen him wording day and night to be with the people of his church in trying times….and like what he says or not, it’s a comfort to them. Whether you believe he is right or wrong (and for many years I took his word as gospel) they look up to him and he has been faithful to those people and that church. Even now, after several years away from that church, I know I could call Bobby and he would do whatever he could to help me, if I needed him. Right or wrong, Bobby Roberson is a good man who does what he feels God tells him to do.

    I will keep my “real” name out of these posts….I still have some friends and family at
    GL and don’t want to show any disrespect to them.

  19. @Beth, I am a graduate of Tabernacle Baptist College. I attended the church some beginning in 1984 and started school there in 1988. In a way, I agree with some of the things you said, but I did like the church and I thought that Harold Sightler was the best.

    My darkest days in IFB were in the church I moved to from Tabernacle in 1990. That brought about 14 years of religious hell that somehow I did not escape until my family and I suffered damage that continues to this day even though we got out seven years ago.

    By the way, the Tabernacle Baptist Children’s Home sex charges you mentioned at

    Before you say it, I realize that just because the charges were dropped doesn’t really mean anything.

    P.S. I’m Southern Baptist now, which – though much better than IFB – has some scary similarities at times.


  20. Darrell,

    Apparently, the Pharisee-ism that you and the ilk of this website accuse “fundies” of is not contained only within Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches, but also in Non-Denominational Churches as well.
    I quote you above: “I have been sent to the Sword of the Lord Conference in North Carolina. I am there for the express purpose of finding faults with the conference.”
    Really? I’ve heard of fact-finding missions, but never fault-finding missions.
    “And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.” – Mark 7:2

    “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” – Matthew 12:36

    God takes very seriously criticism (particularly un-constructive) of a Preacher.

    “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” – Matthew 18:15

    Perhaps you’ve already discussed the issues above with the men that you listed as Matthew 18:15 tells us to; if you are offended, you have a command of Christ that tells you how to proceed.

      1. When I had to help with bingo, when my son was in high school football and it was their fund-raiser, the place ran “specials.” The same rules did not apply, but new, fun, special rules did. I think this post is a special, and so yes, you’ve got BINGO!!! 😉

      2. Not quite enough yet for BINGO. If the grammar was off more then you would be close. Don’t forget to add a square if it is from a juno account.

        1. Okay, Scorpio, you make very cogent,and very funny, points, but DD works so hard for all of us, that I wanted him to win!!! 😀

  21. I am a former pastor. And I believe in the fundamentals of the faith, but I am not a fundamentalist by any measure. As a matter of fact, I am a former pastor in part due to fundamentalists. My inlaws, who were died in the wool fundies, believed women had no soul, because God breathed into ADAMS nostrils the breath of life. This attitude intruded into married life to such an extent we ended up ending the marriage. Well, we all know where that leaves a fundamental preacher. There is no forgiveness for THAT sin.

    I personally know Shelton, and a lot of these other guys. They mean well. As long as you do exactly as they do.

    I still preach from the KJV. It is probably one of the better TRANSLATIONS. I am familiar with it, and it is just what I use. It is also a 1975 edition. I have had a copy of the 1611 version, and I could barely read it.

    So there ya go. If you see my resume sometime you will see, in some detail, that I am a fundamentalist with a lower case F. Then I explain I am NOT one of ‘them’ .

    1. Welcome to SFL.

      This “women have not souls” belief is a new one to me. Which big named preeeeechers or Bible Kawledges teach this?

  22. He then says it’s the pastor’s duty to tell his congregation what the Amen is saying. How is this different from the Pope???

    Actually, it’s VERY different from the pope. According to Catholic belief, the pope speaks infallibly only under certain extremely rare and carefully defined circumstances: i.e., when he’s formally speaking “ex cathedra” (from the Chair of Peter) for the express purpose of instructing the entire Church on a dogma of on Faith or Morals. This hardly ever happens — in fact, there are only a few occasions in Church history when the pope has taught infallibly “ex cathedra.” The rest of the time, he speaks authoritatively as our universal pastor but NOT infallibly.

    E.g.: When the pope expounds Scripture — say, at his Wednesday audience or in one of his sermons — he is not speaking infallibly, nor does he claim to be speaking infallibly, nor does the Church claim that he is speaking infallibly.

    In fact, papal infallibility is a very modest doctrine. It says only that the Holy Spirit, for the protection of the faithful, prevents the pope from uttering error when he is issuing a formal, official Faith-and-Morals teaching for the entire Church. The pope could actually think or believe an error under those circumstances, but the Holy Spirit will prevent him from stating it…from issuing it formally as Church Teaching. IOW, it’s a negative protection: It does not keep the pope from believing error but just from teaching it “ex cathedra” under those exceedingly rare and carefully defined conditions.

    Whatever you may think of the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility, it is a far cry from the IFB claim that the pastor speaks infallibly pretty much every time he opens his mouth. No Catholic would ever make such an outrageous claim WRT the pope. No pope would ever make such a claim.

    A few months ago, I happened upon the website of Woodland Baptist Church, an IFB church here in the Winston-Salem area (same area as the host site for this Sword of the Lord Conference). On one of the website’s pages, the pastor stated that he, the pastor, was the only one who could correctly interpret Scripture for the flock…so, if a member had questions about any Bible passage, he/she should come to the pastor and the pastor would ‘splain it, and that explanation would be The Truth.

    NO pope would ever in a gazillion years make such a claim. Seriously. Even the Catholic Magisterium — comprising the pope in communion with the College of Bishops, the formal dogmatic decrees of the ecumenical councils, and the body of Sacred Tradition — does not claim to be able to infallibly explicate every single verse in the Bible. Good grief!!

    Fundy pastors are not mini-popes. They are super-popes — going where no actual pope would ever dream of daring to go. :mrgreen:

  23. As a fundamental pastor, I recommend discovering what fundamental means. It is a set of basic Biblical doctrines to which one adheres. Misdefined and improperly applied has resulted in their KJV-onlyism, anti-CCM, girls can’t wear pants beliefs – of which I m not a part. Those aspect is not part of fundamentalism. The word “fundamental” was coined after A.C. Dixon’s (and R. A. Torrey plus many other authors) series of booklets: The Fundamentals. (about – Sword of the Lord crowd produces very helpful articles in their paper though you have to wade through some KJVism and anti-CCM articles.
    Though your articles was brought to my attention two years later. I find it overcritical but insighful. I would suggest taking a historic look at baptist confessions of faith and observe their historical trend of biblical doctrine as well as a look at a better understanding of fundamentalism. Sword of the Lord personalities are fundamental in their doctrine (minus KJVism) but, in my opinion, unbiblically extreme in their application of it.

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