141 thoughts on “Man-Centered Theology”

    1. Sure. I just meant there was no comment necessary from me. And “not necessary” doesn’t mean “not allowed.” πŸ™‚

      Then I went and broke the rules myself by adding a photo caption. πŸ™‚

  1. The sign produces guilt, pressure, demands.

    Darrell’s hidden comment produces joy, peace, and an overwhelming love and gratitude that makes me want to share how wonderful Jesus is!

    1. By “Darrell’s hidden comment”, I meant “hovertext.” I couldn’t remember the word for that – I was thinking “mouse-over” too. 😳

  2. No, nobody will be in heaven because of me. It isn’t up to me who goes to heaven or not.

    God has the power to save people, but I don’t. Frankly, I felt kind of relieved when I found this out.

  3. It’s simply about sharing Jesus. If you are saved, it’s because someone told you about Jesus. That’s all this church is trying to say.

    1. If you are saved, it’s because someone told you about Jesus.


      That’s all this church is trying to say.

      I also doubt this very much as well.

    2. AJ, that’s what I believe they are saying. The majority of people that I have know that were save was because someone shared Jesus and the Gospel with them. It had nothing to do with the person saving the lost themselves. Sometimes the folks on here can get a little cranky about witnessing to others. Just have to look past it.

      1. Sometimes the folks on here can get a little cranky about witnessing to others. Just have to look past it.

        Wow. That’s quite an exercise in totally missing the point.

  4. the thing with fundies is…the more remorse and guilt they feel…the more spiritual they believe themselves to be. it is so pathetic watching alter calls after a soulwinning message because that is an opportunity for these puffed up men and women to show off how spiritual they are.

  5. I wonder if the opposite is more true of Larue Baptist Church: Will anyone be in Hell because of you?

    1. We were told this in a fundy youth group message once. We were given an example of Marilyn Manson, who was supposedly rejected at a youth group which caused him to reject God. Then we were warned that if we made a visitor feel unwelcomed and they never got saved it, would be our fault.

      1. This ranked as one of the worst youth group messages ever…right under that down-right evil message about purity where they pass the rose around the whole room for everyone to touch.

        πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ

  6. Short Answer (to the billboard): no. And that goes double for the people who think the answer is yes.

  7. I think a lot of fundies will get to heaven and think, “wow, I could have actually ENJOYED life down there on earth, why did I always feel so awful when I was forgiven all along? “Restore to me the JOY of Thy salvation” We are to enjoy life but some IFB churches actually have pastors that preach that if you are enjoying your life you aren’t doing enough for the Lord and or that you are probably doing stuff you shouldn’t. Sad, I have heard that preached many times. I will maybe post some stuff soon, we are having revival meetings coming up. If anything especially onerous happens I will let you know. πŸ˜›

    1. Reminds me of William Sloane Coffin’s comment about fundamentalists: that they have just enough religion to make them miserable.

  8. I felt terrible about this for years. I wasn’t a very successful “soulwinner” when street witnessing, and my attempts at street preaching were pretty fruitless. Every sunday, when everyone would be giving there “I led 10 people to pray the sinner’s prayer yesterday”, I would sit silent, thinking it was some sin I had committed, or some lack of service that led to my failure to win souls. However, I consoled myself with the fact that I was still doing something at least, and that had to count for something right?

    Even up to this year I still get the “But Free, you aren’t doing anything for God”. And I need to remind myself that it is God who works and wills in me to do of His good pleasure.

    Because of my past offensiveness at sharing what I thought was the Gospel (“stop sinning, you are awful and God hates you”), and the hurt and anguish and hypcrosy involved in preaching that, I find it difficult to share the peace and love of God now. I pray that the change in me is evident to those around me, and that God might provide opportunities in the future. But I just can’t seem to swing conversations around to “So, if you died tonight are you 100% sure of going to heaven”.

    Noone will ever be saved because of me. I hope that I might be able to introduce people to the Saviour who will save them, but God will continue to save regardless.

    1. I hope this helps a little, Free. When I got saved, going to heaven wasn’t even something I thought about. My life was such a mess and I was so despondent that hearing about God’s love for me and what Jesus did for me that love is what totally broke my heart and made me repent and agree that I was a sinner in need of a Savior, it was His love, not going to heaven that drew me to Him. And, for the record, I didn’t get saved in fundyland. I got saved πŸ˜› by hearing the gospel through a tv evangelist and didn’t make it to church for a couple of years after but the Holy Spirit changed me drastically from the moment I was His!
      Then we joined a fundy church and the oppressive black cloud of rules was…well, you all know the rest. So just be open and when a hurting person shares their despair with you, tell them why you have HOPE in this wicked world.

    2. Free: I’m “guilt ridden” because I was in a church where one’s standing was determined by how many souls one “won”; I rarely went out “soul-winning”; I was sensitive and shy and didn’t like how people were given high-pressure sales treatment to say a prayer, and then then badgered to come to church… (“win” them Thu, go by Sat, call them Sun AM to wake them up, go pick them up so that they cannot leave church until you do). I was turned off and didn’t go out… then I was shunned; because I wasn’t going out on those travesties, I wasn’t allowed to serve anywhere. The “good” Christians decided that I might contaminate them & their children, so I had no one to “hang out” with. It induced great guilt within me – we were told over and over again that if we weren’t going out, God was angry with us, and we could never be right with Him unless we went out. Years of that have permeated my thought process, so I’m trying to recover and understand that God loves me, even if I don’t do everything that I should do.

      Also, in the New Testament, people didn’t have to be coerced into coming to church or getting baptized after they trusted Christ. It was a life-changing decision when they were found of Him. So many of these kind of churches apparently do not believe that the Holy Spirit can do a work in the sinner’s heart.

      Thanks for letting me rant!

    3. Free,

      β€œSo, if you died tonight are you 100% sure of going to heaven”.

      You are mistaking true evangelism for what passes for evangelism in IFB. As such, your question is the wrong question because (as the song writer said) “everybody want to go to heaven, but nobody want to go now.”

      True evangelism is speaking the Word of God into people’s lives, so that the Holy Spirit has something to work with in bringing the spiritual dead to life.

      Romans 10:14-15

      14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: β€œ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

      Sharing a personal testimony is eliminated as well. Our task is to speak the Gospel, the Holy Spirit’s task is to use our speech to accomplish salvation.

      This endeth the sermon, now pass the offering plate!

  9. I think the question on the sign should read, “Will anyone miss our street number?”

    And, by all means, make sure it’s a BAPTIST school instead of a Christian one, because that just screams higher education.

    πŸ™„ πŸ˜‰

    1. Reminds me of a visiting preacher we had at our church one time. He was semi-joking when he was talking about this, but he said that where he’s from the “good” churches have Baptist schools and the liberal churches have Christian schools, and when he was on his way to the church he saw a Christian School and automatically thought they were liberal. Then he got to the church and saw that it had a Christian school as well.

  10. Guilt guilt guilt that’s what the IFB does best. No, no one will ever be in heaven because of me, but because of JESUS! He’s the one who died on the cross to save sinners, I didn’t.

    I used to be quite successful at the easy prayerism type of “soul winning” but like so many others, people would “pray the sinner’s prayer” but never darken the door of the church, or follow through on the supposed decision they made. In all the years I went faithfully every week, sometimes twice or three times a week, how many followed through being baptized or joining the church? Only a handful if that. None actually stuck around. We’d have a tent at the fair every year and supposedly win hundreds of souls but where were they come Sunday morning? Not following through on their decision to trust Christ and be baptized, that’s for sure.

    I kept having niggling doubt feelings about what we were doing, but of course they tell you that’s only the devil whispering doubts in your ear. After a while I couldn’t take anymore of that, I knew in my heart it was a farce and I quit doing it. I couldn’t in all good conscience believe that these people were sincere when they did not follow through. And I saw several cases similar to the story about Curtis Hutson that was posted the other day, people being strong armed into praying a prayer. I never did that, at least, I always tried to be as gentle and thorough as I could be, but I just knew it wasn’t right.

    Whether any of the people I supposedly “led to the Lord” were genuinely saved or not only God knows. But I don’t accept the guilt manipulation anymore that by not going anymore people will end up in hell because of me.

    In Hyles-ology you don’t get to win them anyway, you only “see” them get saved. You’re not allowed to take any credit since that belongs to the Lord, but at the same time, they will guilt you by saying things like, “How many will be in heaven because of you?” Good old IFB, speaking out of both sides of their mouth. πŸ™

    1. A new KJVO, Hyles IFB church has just started meeting almost directly across the street from our church. (They’re renting from another church and holding their meeting Sunday afternoon.)

      1. PW, do you feel targeted by their decision to open right across the street? Looks a bit suspicious to me.

        1. I’m a little weirded out by it, but at least we’re on a busy street in a highly-populated suburb.

          I really don’t know why another HAC church is starting up barely a mile from another one. Do we really need another KJVO, women-in-dresses-only, hymns-only type church in our area?

        2. I am sure that they are hoping to get the ones that get disgruntled from the other nearby churches because they aren’t “Sold Out” or “Seperated” enough. It doesn’t seem like there is any unity in that group (Under the common theme of Christ) but rather, I have a bigger group in MY attendance, that makes ME a better PREACHER, AMEN!

  11. I think there are going to be a lot of goats, I mean Baptists, who will have a rude awakening when they discover that the King really wished they would have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited those in prison.

    1. That is really unfair to label an entire denomination goats because of the faults of their leadership. Many IFB’s do visit those imprisoned, do feed the poor etc etc. While it’s rarely heard about from the pulpit or on sunday morning blessing time (because the number of souls that prayed a prayer is more important and if you share anything else, the pastor dismisses it), it is done.

      I’m the last person to defend the IFB, but the goats label is unfair and uncharitable πŸ™

      1. Be fair, Free. SW didn’t say all baptists are goats, and so didn’t label the whole denomination.

        That said, the question is not one of fairness at all, but one of truth.

    2. Christ’s parable of the sheep and goats was one of the things that convinced my husband, an IFB pastor, in the ministry for nearly 20 years, that we had been wrong all these years to focus only on the spiritual and ignore the physical. We didn’t want to be goats.

      1. Thing that amazes about that parable is that the sheep weren’t trying to feed Jesus; they were feeding hungry people. Their efforts were not a witness nor a testimony nor a ministry.

  12. NO JOKE……MY DAD IS THE PASTOR AT THIS CHURCH!!!! LOL!!! And no, I am not the source of the photo here either. Darrell, I would appreciate you backing me up on that too!

    1. Then I hope my smartassness didn’t offend you. I do mean it in good fun. Forgive me if it did. πŸ˜‰

      1. I’m not sure what camp it’s in but I remember them hosting revivals with MOg’s from Tennessee Temple, and the Sammy Allen network.

    2. No, no offence at all. I just think it is really funny that I look on here and BAM there is my dad’s church. SMALL WORLD! Whoever submitted this pic I would really love to meet them. This church is in the middle of nowhere and I am more than curious to meet the person who sent it. My dad and I have a good relationship with each other despite our differences. He knows where I stand and I know where he stands and we love each other despite it and get along really well…exceptionally well. The church is just an independent church. He has been there for 6 years now and the church was a pool of IFB in the past. Jack Hyles, Lee Roberson, Sammy Allen, and everyone else under the sun would speak there but now it is just a little country church just doing their own thing. My dad does not beat a drum for any “camp” out there but just loves his people and loves the Lord. In his words, “I have enough issues with the people in my church to care to worry about what everyone else is doing.” I agree with him on that and testify that is true because never once has my dad tried to correct me and make an issue of the way my church goes about things. That may not seem like much to anyone else but for the guy who raised me with so many rules and restrictions on everything else as a kid; he has mellowed out a ton. It is amazing what grandkids will do for you! So wrapped up into a nut shell, my dad is a good man who has never had a moral failure and who loves being a pastor and ministering to people. Does he do things I don’t agree with? Sure. Do I wish he would do things differently in his church? Yes. But, he is my dad and I love him regardless. If you think I am defending him, it’s not that, I just want you to know that this guy is not your mean spirited, rude, hollering, spitting, woman-degrading, MOG that we have grown accustomed to seeing on SFL. I love SFL because of this reason, my dad is on it and that just makes it hilarious. Like one person said one time, SFL is great because we get a chance to laugh at ourselves! Thanks Darrell for the post! I love you dad and welcome to Stuff Fundies Like!!!!

      1. If you think I am defending him, it’s not that, I just want you to know that this guy is not your mean spirited, rude, hollering, spitting, woman-degrading, MOG that we have grown accustomed to seeing on SFL

        I could say the same exact thing word-for-word about my own dad.

        The problem with the nice non-typical fundies is that there’s really not much to say about them on here so for the most part I don’t cover them. Unless they have a theologically interesting church sign, of course. πŸ˜‰

        1. LOL! Darrell, I should go and put something funny on his sign next time I visit! Maybe put up “Visit our church on SFL.com” and get my dad to take a pic in front of it. He would so do it too!

        2. dvd, I completely believe you when you say that Pastor Kennedy is a good guy and he loves his people.
          But I still think the answer to the question on his sign is “No.”

      2. dvdkndy, I took the picture on Saturday. I live in Louisville but am from Green county. Some of my family went to Larue Baptist school many years ago. I have had no contact with the church since they graduated so I never met your dad. I took the picture because I knew the people on here would appreciate it. I’m glad you have escaped Fundystan.

        1. fifth that is awesome! I live in Florence, KY just outside of Cincy so I usually get down there every so often. That is crazy your family went to the school. They did not have the school this year for the first time in YEARS! Just not enough kids to make it worth the costs and efforts to run it. Anytime you pass by, be sure to check out the sign because knowing my dad he could be a great source of material for SFL! Hope to meet you one day and give each other the right hand of fellowship. πŸ˜€

  13. Ok. We all know how this works itself out in the IFB world. We also know no one will be in heaven BECAUSE of any fallen human being. We all know “soul-winning” shouldn’t be merely equated to a Saturday morning visitation program. However, we also know that God has ordained that believers share the gospel with others. I mean, who couldn’t stand to engage the lost more? Soooo, how could this have been properly stated in a simple way so folks driving down the road would have something to think on?

    1. “God really does love you. Be reconciled to Him through Jesus.”

      Focusing on heaven and hell is pragmatic and humanistic. It’s not about our Eternal real estate and the size of a mansion or room or whatever. It’s about who we spend eternity with. And I want Jesus. He just happens to be in Heaven.

      1. You said “Focusing on heaven and hell is pragmatic and humanistic”

        Very well said!

      2. Perhaps my view of this is radical, but I think the focus on a future heaven is misleading. Through the Gospel, we are offered abundant life in the here and now. The Gospels are actually quite vague about the afterlife, but clear about the eternal life we are offered right now.

        1. Abundant life here on earth, yes. But I think it’s also clear that we are supposed to look forward to Heaven and the sinless, perfect life we’ll have there.

          On that subject, the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn completely changed my way of thinking about Heaven – I can’t recommend it enough for fellow fundy escapees.

    2. But, ultimately this does stem from bad theology. There is the understanding in IFB churches which I have gone to that we were ultimately responsible for a person getting saved. (and guilted for doing something or saying something which will send that person to hell.) Bad, bad theology…

  14. You are correct, I shouldn’t label all Baptists as goats. However when I was a Baptist I never heard or was allowed to participate or encouraged to participate in any kind of social justice.

    Oh sure there were the rescue missions that pastors would speak at, but that was to make the that was to “save” their souls before they could even eat.

    I wasn’t even allowed to put money in the Salvation Army Red Kettle @ Christmas because they really didn’t “save” people.

    So sorry if you were offended, but I have met a lot of goats! Some of them are my relatives who spend all their time sitting on their butts, watching for Jesus to whisk them away while the hungry are next door!

    1. You do have a point there. My fundy ex-church never did anything for people besides hand them tracts. My mom used to bake things for some poor families in our neighborhood (and it had nothing to do with our church, but more to do with her nature since her mom is the same way), but one time she was discouraged from doing it by our pastor because the people weren’t Christians and had no apparent intention of becoming so! 😈

      My family’s current fundy church also doesn’t do any kind of social service. The last time I visited them and attended there with them, it was right after the earthquakes in Japan and I was very angered by the completely unfeeling way the pastor prayed for them. I don’t remember his exact words but it was something like, “Lord, we think about the poor people in Japan today…help this be a painful reminder to us about the shortness of life and the importance of getting right with God.” I wanted to vomit.

      Anyway, never good to generalize but it’s certainly true that most fundy churches don’t care very much for people’s physical state.

      1. I remember our fundy pastor telling us ALL financial giving should be done only through the local church. That meant ALL tithes and offerings.

      2. There was a guy that had been attending for awhile at my ex-fundy church. I don’t believe anyone knew that he was a drug addict, except the pastor and a few family members in the church (and probably anyone that has any sense about signs of drug addicts πŸ™„ ). One night, there was a “discipline” meeting and all the “secrets” came to light. The church (meaning the pastor) had given this man a few hundred dollars and he went and spent it on drugs.

        I have since wondered if fundies even need to participate/run any community service because their views of sin, needs, and addiction are terribly skewed. Who needs real therapy when Jesus is the answer to all our problems πŸ™„ ? I guarantee you my ex-fundy pastor was counseling this man himself – and by God, that was good enough.

        The real issue was masked by this man’s mis-spending of money handed to him. The real issue was that the church refused to actually help the man by getting him REAL help. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus can TRULY transform people … but let’s come to grips here. The man needed rehab.

      3. Don’t feed hungry non-Christians?? 😯
        Where in the Bible does the pastor find THAT?

        As you probably know, many churches took up special offerings and used various discretionary funds to send supplies to people hit by the Tsunami in Japan. Your prayers are more convincing if you’re trying to do something about it.

        1. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

          More than once have I heard this verse interpreted as “my brethren”=christian, my brother in Christ.

        2. George stole the rest of my comment!

          Meaning that Christians should only help other Christians.

        3. @Kat

          So true, but they are also being disingenuous. When do they ever think of themselves as “the least of these.”?

    2. None of the IFB churches I’ve been part of were involved in “charity” work. They considered it a compromise, the “social gospel”; they wanted all the attention to be on saving souls. We never packed shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse even.

      We were often warned that getting involved with charities would be a slippery slope to forgetting to share Jesus with people.

      Some folks did kind and generous things on an individual basis, but we were told that the church could not do it as a body.

    3. I think such churches (or leadership) are afraid that they will be lumped with the liberal churches that ONLY attend to the physical and neglect the spiritual.

      It doesn’t do much good for people to get them clean drinking water, but not tell them about the Living Water… but it doesn’t have to be one or the other, and most IFB churches seem to leave out this part.

      1. Who says liberal churches only attend to the physical?
        Just because they don’t force people to join the church or to say a Sinner’s Prayer before the churches will help them?

        Did Jesus say, “If thine enemy hunger, don’t feed him until he agrees with your theology”?

      2. I’m with M.K. Gandhi, who said, “The only way a starving man can know God’s love is through a crust of bread.”

    4. This is true. They think “soul winning” is the answer to everything. At my old church in Michigan after the pastor had preached strongly against abortion I asked if I should get involved in the local chapter of Right to Life. He said not to waste my time with that, just go “soul winning.” That would change people’s hearts so they wouldn’t have abortions. But that wasn’t so, that church had been in existence for around 60 years or so and the people went “soul winning” every week, and over those years there were enough “salvation decisions” to have easily turned the whole city to Christ, but where were they all? Not in church on Sunday morning. The liquor stores and bars still did a booming business, and people were still sinning and nothing changed. 😑

      1. The anti-abortion people I respect are the ones who are busy taking care of abandoned or neglected children, and promoting sex education and contraception (to actually reduce the number of abortions).

        The ones who just condemn pregnant women and their doctors have nothing to say that I’m interested in.

        1. I also like the ones who support universal healthcare insurance. Insuring that mothers get pre-natal healthcare and that children get post-natal health-care goes very far to actually being pro-life.

  15. I believe that salvation is by grace, through faith plus nothing. But at the same time I have trouble believing that God will condem someone to hell for being born in the wrong place at the wrong time. What if someone is born in a country that does not have the light of the gospel? Or what if someone is born in this country to a family that is non-Christian or anti-Christian?

    Could it be that maybe God would give someone a chance to trust Him as Saviour when they stand before Him? I can’t prove from scripture that God would give someone that oppourtunity but would it not fit in with the character and nature of God for Him to do so?

    1. I was born into a non christian/anti christian family and God found me when He knew I was humbled enough and ready to receive The Truth! What a glorious day that was for me! People could tell something was different about me the next day just by looking at my face! The smile on my face told the world around me, “Under New Management”. Praise God. πŸ™‚

    2. I’ve struggled with that too, Jason. I have to trust that God is good and just. I have to trust His character when I am overwhelmed by heart-rending questions like the one you posed.

    3. I’ve struggled with the same question too, Jason. I have no answers, but both yours and PW’s answers are interesting to consider. I can only hope that an omnipotent, just, and merciful God will not limit Himself to man-made explanations/concepts/interpretations for how to get to heaven.

    4. The best response I’ve heard from someone is two-fold. John 1 tells us that God has given light to EVERYONE in the world. I have heard and firmly believe that light accepted will receive more light, and light rejected leads to darkness.

      Secondly, Genesis tell us that the Judge of all the earth shall do right. He is good, and He can be trusted to do right. It really isn’t my problem.

      I’m not including anyone here, but some people ask this question because they want to set themselves up as God’s judge to see if they think He is fair.

    5. The IFB answer to this of course is that they will burn in hell for eternity, but again that’s our fault because we didn’t surrender to go to the mission field. If only we hadn’t been so rebellious and me-centered and want to keep our creature comforts we would’ve been on the mission field telling them how to be saved so they could go to heaven. So it’s our fault.

      I began to resent the whole doctrine of hell though I’ve always believed in it even before the IFB. But like one poster said, “Shouldn’t the judge of all the earth do right?” Boy those were bold words Abraham used! I guess we will have to leave this up to God. He knows people’s hearts and He will judge rightly! πŸ™‚

    6. It seems to me that the message of Easter is just this: Love Wins, with no apologies to Robb Bell.

      That seems to me to be true Good News: that love does not consider a single one of us it’s enemy.

      Certainly there may be those that refuse love, out of pride, mostly, but I don’t think love would punish anyone for refusing to accept it.

      Hell does strike me as a place where there would be no love, but many find it here on this earth right now.

    7. God has provided enough revelation for people to respond to Him. First John, Romans, and places in the Psalms point that out clearly. I believe that if a person responds to God’s love, even if they don’t understand Chafer’s Systematic Theology πŸ˜› they will spend eternity in God’s presence. Rahab, for instance….

      1. Susan, I have often thought that myself. I think many of us will be surprised at who makes it to Heaven

  16. I had to repost this to Facebook with the status, Poor God…if only he wasn’t so helpless. =P What a pathetic view of God this is.

  17. For years I was wrapped up in the fundamentalism that taught “your friends and neighbors will go to hell if you don’t pray enough or witness enough.” When the Bible says salvation is not of works, it doesn’t mean just the works of the recipient, but the works of all those around them, “lest any man should boast.”

  18. I took this pic! I posted it on FB with the caption, “Not unless you’re the son of God!” It made me think immediately of SFL and the comments about how weak the Fundy god is and how he desperately needs us because his hands are tied.

  19. The sign reminds me of a chapel service I was at in college. There was a skit involving one of my best friends. He and a girl talked about all sorts of things while she coyly mentioned Jesus. Uninterested, he changed the subject. Then we were told that he died. My friend started running around the gym asking people where he was and why it was so dark. He eventually realized he was in Hell. He then spots the girl he was talking to earlier and begins to scream at her, “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME? IT’S YOUR FAULT I’M HERE!” She then begins to cry and say how sorry she is for letting him go to hell without a chance to be saved. Then the worship band started to play “How Great Thou Art.” I laughed, but wanted to cry.

    1. Umm.. I thought she breeched the subject and he sidestepped it. Also, why was she in hell? This is what happens when people build their doctrines from one chapter in the Bible (Luke 16 – surprisingly, God is absent (figure of speech) from that chapter. Lazarus isn’t with God, he is in Abraham’s Bosom.) I sincerely doubt that hell is a stones throw away from heaven.

      1. Yeah, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus should be interpreted as an illustration that riches will not get you into heaven, which is Jesus’ message in the immediately preceding verses. The fact that one parable defines so much Fundy theology- the location of hell, the state of OT believers, our responsibility for the state of the lost- says a lot about the shallowness of it. They would rather find one heart-tugging story and extrapolate their own ideas out of it than rigorously study the whole Word of God.

      2. The parable doesn’t say that the rich man went to Hell for not accepting Christ. It implies that he went to Hell because he was greedy and he did not love his nieghbor, Lazarus.

        1. “… he did not love his nieghbor, Lazarus.”

          Um, not only that, but he didn’t love his neighbor, either. 😳

    2. There was a Chick tract along this line, called “The Letter.” Two women were friends and one was a Christian but never told her friend about Jesus. So the friend dies and somehow sends a letter back to her friend on earth (how would that be possible?) saying she’s now in hell and it’s all her friend’s fault!

      What a load of baloney! First, if they were really close friends the Christian wouldn’t have been able to NOT tell her friend about Him because He’d be a big part of her life. Even if it wasn’t the “four point plan of salvation” she’d be telling about Him because He was so important to her. Second NO ONE goes to hell ONLY because of ONE person’s failure to witness. Everyone knows so many other people in the world that there are many other Christians who could’ve witnessed to them NOT ONLY ONE! I get so tired of people raking themselves over the coals because they failed with one person and now they’re sure they’re in hell for all eternity ONLY because of THEM! What about any other Christians who failed to witness? If there’s blood on one person’s hands there’s blood on all of their hands. We simply have to stop accepting this guilt. I know some of you are out of the IFB, I’m not yet, but the writing is on the wall, it won’t be long.

      The IFB steals the joy of the Lord which is our inheritance as Christians and turns it all into a guilt trip, and boring duty, do this, do that, serve here, serve there, but have no joy in it, it’s only your duty and obligation. I want the joy of the Lord back! πŸ˜₯

      1. @Macushlalondra, isn’t it amazing when we wake up and realize that guilt and joyless duty isn’t what the Christian life is supposed to be about? God promises that at his right hand are pleasures forevermore, and that those who seek him will find him. I’m still feel new on this journey, but it’s awesome to be “diving in; in over my head I wanna be!” I’m done with trying to prove something by ceaseless church activity; I want to fall in love with Jesus and see what He does through me.

      2. Jack Chick: Spreading bad theology for over five decades.

        According to this kind of thinking, either God is not able to save people by God’s own action, or God is able to, but is so mean that God refuses to save anyone who doesn’t get the exact right formula. No wonder so many people reject this kind of God.

  20. I remember a few preachers telling us that the blood is on our hands if someone we met goes to hell because we didn’t take the time to tell them about Christ. And that when we’d get to heaven, we’d see all of our loved ones tormented in hell crying out to us, asking why we didn’t tell them about Christ, begging to go to heaven.

      1. Yeah. It bothered me that heaven was supposed to be this perfect place, where all sins were forgiven and all tears wiped away. Yet we would be reminded for all eternity of those we failed to bring to a saving knowledge of Christ.

      2. The way I heard this taught is that it’s at the great white throne judgment, the unsaved would be judged for rejecting the Lord, and He would sentence them to the lake of fire. They would look up at all of us in the stands (like a baseball game I guess) and recognize someone who he’d known in life, then he’d scream, “I know him! Why didn’t he tell me how I could escape going to hell?” and the person he meant would shed copious tears. After this happens a few billion times and every one of the Christians is crying because of all the times they did not witness and all the souls who are in hell BECAUSE OF THEM, Revelation 21:4 takes place, God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. They will go to heaven and will have had their memory of those people wiped away so they can enjoy heaven. πŸ˜₯

    1. That’s because sensationalism, dramatics, and most importantly, guilt trips are how we get people to do what we want in greater Fundyland.

      1-2-3 prayer gets people in the church because after all if they’re REALLY saved, they’ll be there, right? Then, that gets them tithing, because if they’re really saved, they’ll tithe, right? And, that gets them going out and getting more people in because if they’re really saved, they’ll do this, right? Which brings in more money and so we’ll use more guilt trips and now we have a bunch of followers who are guilted into doing stuff and pastor gets to drive around in the new Cadillac on the hard working backs of his followers.

      1. i.e., the discipleship model.

        Reminds me of the song: Each One Reach One:

        So will you go and labor?
        Will you hold high your light?
        One by one, and two by two, we can win our world
        For Jesus Christ.

  21. Similar to Pastors wife, it was the parable of the sheep and goats that messed with my world. The first time I read it was one my first mission trip with the church I currently work at. I never remember it being taught in Sunday School.

    I asked my Baptist pastor from high school on Facebok why it never taught or preached about and he said that it was referring to a future event. How nations treat Isreal during the millennial reign of Christ, because he isn’t king now.

  22. Keith Green has a good song about the sheep and the goats. We listened to him ablot before my parents started attending a fundy church. I think having his message as an underlying theme in childhood kept me from going off the deep-end in fundy-ism.

  23. No, we do not save people, Jesus does. But we do introduce people to Jesus, for without the introduction, how would they know him? If we are not burdened with witnessing for Christ, with introducing others to the Christ who has saved us, then our faith becomes totally selfish. If it is God’s responsibility, why did Jesus have disciples? Why do we have pastors? We cannot be absolved of the burden of introducing others to Christ. Matthew 28: 19-20 and Acts 1:8 are just two examples of our instructions as Christian disciples of Christ.

    1. But we do introduce people to Jesus

      Which is not at all the same thing as saying that people will be in heaven “because of us.”

      For we cannot convict any person of sin, and righteousness, and judgment. And we (being in need of grace ourselves) cannot impart grace unto anyone. We cannot make a man or woman a new creature. In short, we have absolutely no credit whatsoever for ANYBODY being saved. Period.

      1. Right… and thus the error, of awards such as “soul-winner of the year”, or contests to see who can “win” the most. Such things smack of retail sales contests, but Jesus compared it to farming.

    2. Acts 1:8 says that the disciples (and, by extension, all believers) will receive power after the Holy Spirit descended, and that they (by extension, all believers) would BE witnesses — not that they would go out “soul-winning”.

      Regarding Matt 28:19-20: Firstly, it is a church commission, unless you believe that individual Christians can baptize (I’ve never met anyone who believes this). Secondly, being a witness, or “soul-winning” is only 1/3 of this commission.

      1. unless you believe that individual Christians can baptize (I’ve never met anyone who believes this).

        ummm?? Why not.
        Why can’t any believer baptize? There is no biblical requirement regarding who can baptize. Paul rarely ever baptized and it’s un certain if Jesus ever baptized anyone.

        Sounds like a good Forum topic.

        1. I was thinking primarily of Baptist churches; it is a “Baptist distinctive” that there are two ordinances – baptism & the Lord’s Supper.

          Most churches don’t seem to make a big deal about it, but I’ve heard some messages where the preacher went on a long rant about who was authorized to baptize… and it had to be someone authorized by the church.

      2. Well Guilt Ridden, let me introduce you to a church that has millions of members all of whom can baptize. It is the Catholic Church!! Surprised? So was until I entered the church about 5 years ago.Any christian can baptize.

  24. I think the question alludes to witnessing and soulwinning. It can probably be asked in a different way, “How many people have heard the Gospel and responded in faith because of you?” Nevertheless, it produces guilt towards people who do not “go soulwinning” and pride for those who “see people saved” each week. Evangelism is God’s means of spreading the Gospel, but this is the wrong way to get people to be witnesses of Christ.

    1. BTW, the question I posed above is what I think the church might be referring to in the church sign. I am in no way showing approval of the sign.

  25. I think this is funny because of the name of the church… which happens to be my last name. Now I need to make a point to visit this little village where this church is located at some point in my life… lol.

  26. A cousin of mine who has had fundy tendencies for a long time, and we ‘don’t’ get along either, recently joined a very fundy Baptist church in his Canadian city, which he believes is the ‘perfect’, ‘one true church’ you ‘gotta go to’ if you are gonna go to the right place. When I heard about this from an in law who attended a family wedding in this church, I got quite upset. Before this cousin was just a bit extreme. But now he’s gone fanatical. It really bothers me. He’s 71, for crying out loud, and you would think a man saved for 35 years, would have ‘mellowed’ somewhat spiritually by ‘now’! But this one got worse. I know I need to mind my own business. But it still bothers me. No one is even allowed to belong to this church unless they ‘have a testimony’ of being ‘saved’ and they are also willing to agree with the church’s doctrinal beliefs. Like it’s a , play ball by ‘our’ rules, or you can’t belong here. So ‘where’ do the unbelievers fit into ‘that’ kind of peculiar equation? And do they call ‘that’ kind of a Baptist Church a perfect one, simply because everyone ‘has a testimony’? I used to have a positive atitude about Baptists in general, highly respecting them for their love for the Bible and, their holding on to the doctrine of the New Birth.I believe there are many fine people who are Baptists. But the negative ones, including the religious power brokers in some of the pulpits, have really given Baptists a bad reputation. I think it’s really very sad. It’s like, for years you believe the best of people, that having had a conversion to Jesus Christ, that they would actually ‘live that faith’ out in a tangible, authentic way. Only to only find out later, how really ‘bad’ the worst of them really ‘are’! And I agree that most certainly , they are ‘not’ all goats. Some of us are so naive and gullible, when we first meet Christ in personal salvation, that we believe everyone wants to be as sincere and committed to the Lord as ‘we’ want to be. And some simply ‘don’t’take their committment seriously at all. God has to open our eyes to the reality of that, and quite frankly,it can really shake us up, when shallow christians like that betray us. Would’nt it be wonderful if Baptists and Baptist churches,all got back to the real Gospel and started loving Jesus again,with real humility, honesty and respect, showing this by truly loving one another? Instead of this ‘fetish’ of all their man made rules and being controlled by this childish need for power and control?

  27. God is the sovereign One who decides who enters heaven, not man! I’ve got news for this church, they have absolutely nothing to do with someone getting saved, its all of God!

  28. It’s a very honest sign in my estimation. People will believe what they want to, beliefs and changing them by force and coercsion are like bashing your head against a brick wall. It’s God that does the saving.

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