Church Planting in…Atlanta

Thank goodness somebody is finally planting a Bible-believing church in Atlanta.

This does make me wonder: are there people who also raise money to found a true “Torah-Believing” synagogue in Jerusalem or a “Quran-Believing” mosque in Mecca?

Update 1:

Here’s Patrick making his case (starts about 23 minutes in) for support in his church planting efforts. In so many words his claim is that 90% of the good Bible-believing churches packed up and left in the white flight out of the Atlanta urban areas.

Quote: “Today there are 951,000 people living inside [the 85 beltway]…and where there were 170 Baptist churches now we can find 3. There were 4 that still preach the gospel — I’ll tell you more about that in just a minute — there were 4 and one just closed its doors.”

249 thoughts on “Church Planting in…Atlanta”

    1. The candy bar is actually Oh Henry! and the writer was O. Henry, not O’Henry. Actually the writer was William Sydney Porter, but he started using the pen name while in prison on an embezzlement conviction. He gave assorted, conflicting accounts of where he got the name. The most popular is that he borrowed the name of a guard at the prison.

  1. I imagine that his slide show ends with someone singing People Need the Lord and a sunset over a wheat field. The voiceover says “there is currently only one IFB church per 39 people in the city of Atlanta. The fields are truly white unto harvest”.

  2. Thrive Church might be more appealing than Thrive Baptist. After reading about Patrick’s experience and preparation, he appears to be the real deal.

    Given the forced secularization of our society these days, another church in Atlanta probably won’t hurt.

      1. Not a store front, though sometimes a NT church was out of a home. I can understand you dont like IFB, no worries. I’m for Bible preaching denom (Presb,Method,etc) taking the Gospel and like Paul, starting local bodies that then start other local bodies. You and I dont agree, but who am I to judge another mans servant. I’ve got plenty of reformed friends in different denoms who feel the same way.

      2. I agree with you Don. “Local churches” are the logical and practical result of the gospel (good news of Jesus in proclamation and demonstration), not the goal of the gospel. The goal of the gospel is the New Creation. The Apostle Paul didn’t plant churches, as much as he evangelized, which resulted in churches forming for spiritual, social, economic, benevolence, and other purposes.

        1. Then why is the church referred to as the Bride of Christ? I don’t think the church is only established for the social, financial, benevolent and other ends, it was established as Christ’s means of bringing about the new creation. That being said, I’m not for “anyone” starting a church. Paul’s pastoral epistles make it clear that there are some serious qualifications necessary for eldership, which is necessary for the purpose of planting a church.

        2. Let’s not confuse the “catholic” or universal church with a group that has separated themselves from the rest of the body of Christ and claim to be the “local” church.

          As was so very well put by freeatlast, the church congregation is the result of the gospel and it is there for fellowship, encouragement and building up one another in the faith… not merely a business meeting where the CEO stands and lectures his herd on the sin du jour.

  3. The Lord has laid a burden on my heart to start a Bible-believing church in Mid-Town Manhattan (somewhere between 40th-50th Streets/Madison-8th Aves). And, yes, I have THE CALL. Would the posters at SFL commit to support me (i.e. pay for a nice walk-up brownstone)? Any/all supporters are welcome to attend the services, but not visit me at home (the MOG needs a refuge from the trials of church planting).

      1. Perhaps Tahiti can be an outreach of my Manhattan ministry. As soon as I find enough gullible marks – I mean people who see the need and share my vision – you’ll be our first missionary.

    1. WCBC does a ministry in Manhattan and Miami called “Jewish.” (I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. I’ve lampooned it sufficiently here before.) Basically it’s a super elite getaway program for hand-picked WCBC students who get to spend their summers hangin’ in NYC and Miami beach. My sister was a driver for this “ministry” two years running.

  4. Atlanta definitely needs more really, truly Bible-believing churches. The place is positively crawling with those other,godless, heathen Baptists! Such brave missionaries, to venture from the righteous countryside into the pits of iniquity to save the souls of city folk!

    1. Well, she has her own page on the website, called “Leslie’s Page,” so we know she is a brazen hussy who does not keep silent in church. I suppose we should not be too harsh since she is listed as his “wive.”

      Clicking through to her whopping THREE blog posts, one sees, among other things:

      (1) Her life is governed by “Patrick’s plan” not God’s plan.

      (2) “Never the less” is now three words.

      (3) They are called of God to minister in Chili. My wife is currently out to lunch with a friend of hers at Chili’s. It certainly is a place that needs the gospel!! (Obviously, because it has a bar.)

      (4) She adheres to the obligatory “no one knows how to drive outside of America” cliché. Check!

      (5) I kind of like her spelling of “per say.”

      (6) She didn’t know that putting ice in drinks was an American thing. How exotic to have to ask a waiter for some ice!! (Notice how much they seem to be eating out. Very common thing for faux “missionaries” to do.)

      To be fair, it’s actually heartbreaking to read her completely valid list of fears and concerns over her husband’s year-long junket to South America and to realize that he wouldn’t have given a rat’s ass about any of that stuff because he had The Call.

      Darrell might be able to speak to this much better than me, but having worked about a year and a half at an orphanage in Moscow, I can attest that “drop in, drop out” missionary tourism is usually a HUGE drain on full-time missionaries.

      1. Oof. Reading those blog posts…can anyone say naive? It’s not entirely their fault; did *anyone* prep them for life and work overseas??? Or did they get “The Call” and go, with no supporting organization at all?

      2. “(4) She adheres to the obligatory “no one knows how to drive outside of America” cliché. Check!”

        Obviously she hasn’t paid much attention to American driving.

        1. Ironically, my husband is the only person who knows how to properly drive in our Tri-State area… :mrgreen:

  5. “We are a church with a world view.”

    You’d think a church with a world view would locate to someplace like Istanbul or Moscow or Rome or Paris, instead of an overchurched, over saturated area like Atlanta, where nearly everybody has already heard multiple times that Jesus died and rose again.

    1. Maybe they’re going to hold meetings at the top of one of those buildings in the picture, from which they will be able to see all of the Atlanta area, which is all of the world that they know about.

  6. Atlanta has many gentlemen’s clubs. It’s amazing how they stay open, since atheists are a minority. Maybe I’ll go to Scores this Friday and talk my favorite dancer, single mother & part-time college student Amber Waves about Richard Dawkins.

    1. You have an awful lot of knowledge of these places. You are supposed to be innocent of these things. Now get out of SFL before you plant seeds of carnal knowledge in the minds of these great sheeple.

  7. We have an “Ignite Church” starting in Peoria, because there are people not going to church. Yesterday our pastor was talking about seeking God. He mentioned that we have an Ignite Church, Fusion Church – but the most popular is Ignore Church.

    He did mention that he googled the Perfect Church, and its located in Atlanta! http://www.theperfectchurch.org
    They appear to believe the Bible.

    After I started attending other churches – I was shocked to learn that they also believe the Bible. I don’t miss the verse by verse preaching. That is what Bible study is for. I was really shocked when I discovered that churches that follow the Lectionary, and read 4 scripture lessons, read the majority of the Bible over 3 years.

    1. “I don’t miss the verse by verse preaching. That is what Bible study is for.”

      No. Bible study is for the preacher to yell at you mid-week also. 😉

    2. Raised in a liturgical tradition as I was, I was shocked to discover how much of the Bible “Biblical” churches don’t read. Sometimes we need two pages of small type in the bulletin to print the 3 Bible passages and 2 psalms we do every week. On high holy days, it may be 4 pages. And all of it is read aloud, with pauses for reflection.

      1. I was briefly raised in the Lutheran church as a small child before my parents turned IFB. I have attended a variety of liturgical churches in adulthood (Episcopalian and Methodist, mostly). When I told my parents what you said about Scripture being so paramount in liturgical churches, my mother pulled out the old cliché, “Yes, but it’s just so cold and dead. They just read the assigned Scripture for that day as a matter of rote. It doesn’t mean anything to them.” Typical IFB position to say we should read LESS Bible (like someone here today said we should show LESS love) in order to prove some point about not being liturgical.

        1. “It doesn’t mean anything to them.” — I’m always amazed when Christians say something like this. Who are they to judge another person’s heart? How do they know that the Scripture reading means nothing to those hearing it?

          (Fundies do the same with CCM – “Those musicians are just in it for the money” – and raising hands while singing – “They’re just trying to show off.” 😥 )

        2. I don’t agree that liturgical churches read the Bible by rote, with no meaning for them, but for the sake of argument, let’s say that they do.
          Why, again, is that worse than only reading a little of the Bible, and preaching on the same pet verses week after week?

        3. Because having a reading plan to get through the Bible in a year isn’t reading by rote. Sigh.

  8. Apparently, according to the “about us” page, Atlanta is a “hotbed for liberalism, hedonism, and tolerance.” As I read that I couldn’t help but think of the old Sesame Street sing: “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong.”

    1. Lord preserve him if he ever steps foot in New York, Miami, or San Fran…

      So Atlanta was able to rebuild itself into the business capital of the south by making it extremely attractive for businesses to settle. This brought jobs, which brought people, and now it’s a big, bustling metropolis. Most people move where the jobs are, so while I’m sure a few moved to the big city for the sin, I’m guessing not many. When you get an area with good wages and decent unemployment you get schools and better education, and diversity. And that breeds “liberalism” whatever that means, and tolerance. I’m still not quite sure how this is bad or warrants yet another IFB-listen-to-ME church, especially when Atlanta is still overwhelmingly Protestant. Unless liberalism was code for Catholicism?

      1. *Insert tape of sermon tropes. Press play.*

        “Now, I know that we don’t need to be correcting the King James with the Greek, amen? Because when the Bible says “all,” it means, “all!” Haymen?? But, there are three Greek words for love: uh-gap-pay, fill-ee-oh, and strow-gay. Now that last one has the word gay for a reason and some of you teenagers need to think about that. And uh-gap-pay is the sacrificial love of Christ on the cross, haymen?? But fill-ee-oh means brotherly love.”

        *Realizes Big Gary’s eyes have glazed over. Cassette player slowly sputters to a halt.*

  9. Ok, I tried to not comment for a week… then Darrell posts this.

    The world is sick with wannabes who think they have been CALLED™ to preach. These pseudo evangelists who are not qualified to do anything else, these professional god-marketers who seek to make a living off of others…. grrrrrrr.

    Yes, I will lump all of them into one bag. This idea that everyone who gets a piece of paper from a IFB indoctrination center who then thinks that they are supposed to become preachers in a pulpit “somewhere” and that planting churches is ordained in scripture, is sheer religious madness. This idea of a church on every corner is chaos and confusion. This abomination that only the IFB is Bible believing is Idolatry and is at odds with the Gospel of Christ!

    These so call home missionaries who are on perpetual deputation and will go church to church in order to raise support so that they can be “full-time” Christian Workers, cheapens the cause of Christianity. They go to great pains to separate the secular from the sacred and create their own religious caste system.

    ENOUGH! Lord, how long will you endure this crap?!

    These dime a dozen preachers that have no skills other than their oratory and manipulative abilities contribute nothing to society. They are religious ticks! They are paid heralds, who claim to love the KJB but have no idea of the contents of the book or the one whom it is about. They may be able to quote thousands of verses and do so out of context with everyone of them. If they actually read and understood the Scriptures then they would see that what they are doing is merely carrying on a man made tradition. All Christians are in full time Christian service! There is no separation of the secular and the sacred! It is this class of paid professionals that gather to themselves a flock and build their own empires that is making Christianity look like a religious Business enterprise!

    /rant
    *Dismounts soap box, checks blood pressure. Walks away mumbling to self.*

    God save us from these professional Christians!

  10. I don’t remember ever feeling like the verse by version preaching taught me how to apply it to my life – more like this is what I know it means and you have to believe it too!

    1. Here, Here! Two of the deadest churches I had the misfortune of being apart of were Hades bent on the the “verse by verse” method of preaching. (cue Ben Stein voice) “This week we continue our 52 week study of the book of Jude”

      1. My parents attended a “verse by verse expository preaching church” just before slipping into the IFB. I remember my friends and I used to joke that the shorter the book of the Bible, the more sermons the pastor could squeeze out of it!!

  11. I love the ad on the sidebar today. It talks about 250 million Americans being infected. With what, I don’t know — the art on the ad makes me afraid to click it. It mentions issues of defecation. Clearly this ad is meant to punish me for something.

      1. LOL!

        Up to my usual no good, of course. I occasionally get the same ad you mentioned. Right now I have Lib er ty U. I’m not in the market for colleges and it certainly wouldn’t be that one if I were.

    1. Here’s another typo:

      The purpose of Thrive Baptist is simple, “To Glorify God and to Make Disciple.”

      I hope Patrick Henry achieves this purpose and actually only makes one disciple of Patrick Henry.

  12. Maybe he’s going to start a church in the downtown area — some churches have abandoned downtown areas. The Greater Atlanta area may have a lot of churches, but perhaps there is a real need in the downtown area… I’m kind of willing to give him a break on church planting there.

    I’m less willing to understand why someone who seems fully capable of working needs to be supported.

    1. nope, sorry… I live in the downtown area of Atlanta. There are more than enough churches here. They’re not IFB, but there are TONS of conservative mainline denominations in the in-town communities that are thriving.

    2. If he does plant a church in downtown Atlanta, I hope he will put aside any “separatist” notions, and join the Interfaith Childrens’ Movement. All the churches in Atlanta should join, find a way to involve themselves, and make a difference for the poor and marginalized in our great city. We can always use more help.

      He may also be able to get some great tips from Church of the Common Ground, which is an Episcopalian ministry that meets with the homeless folks each week. They also have an awesome foot clinic every week, where they meet up with people who need the tlc, wash, moisturize, massage, and assess the feet of those dear souls and make sure they have warm sock and adequate shoes. Come on down! There is a lot of work to be done to see Christ in every other person and to be His hands and feet!!

      1. He’d never do it. Separation is the last point on his list of what he believes. They could never join in any ministry with other churches that are not doctrinally “pure.”

        Also, many fundamentalists (I know it’s how I grew up) think that social outreach like helping the homeless waters down the Gospel. 😳 (They think time is better spent handing out tracts.) I do think that some younger fundamentalists are changing in this area, but it would be very unusual for them to do ANYTHING with other denominations. If they felt led, they’d start their own group, reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

        1. Feeding hungry people, giving clothes to inadequately clothed people, providing medical care to sick people . . . WATERS. DOWN. THE. GOSPEL.

          I seldom cuss, but I am STRONGLY tempted to do so just now.

        2. That passage in Matthew was one of the primary things impelling my husband to change his ministry that ended up propelling us out of the IFB.

        3. Pastor’s Wife said
          “If they felt led, they’d start their own group, reinventing the wheel, so to speak.”

          If they do reinvent the wheel, what are the chances they will actually make it ROUND ?

  13. I’d be extremely curious to know how he pitches Atlanta to fundy churches. And what pictures does he show for a slideshow? Smiling, playing children at a nice park? Business men & women crossing the street?
    Bro Don you said it all well. Very well. “God save us from these professional Christians.”

    1. I have some idea of the sales pitch. The last IFB church my wife and I were involved in (5 year anniversary last month – both of leaving IFB and getting married – yay!) was in Edmond, Oklahoma. At the “charter service,” they showed us the video that the pastor used to drum up support for starting a church in such a sin-soaked city. (Item: everyone knows all the heathens in Oklahoma live in liberal Norman, OK. Edmond is as white, wealthy, suburban, conservative, and religious as they come. Also it has lots of people with $$$. Perhaps the real reason for the urgent need to found an IFB church there!!)

      Anyway, the video had a segment in which the voice over said something like, “there are many false religions present in Edmond,” while shots of the local Catholic church, Greek Orthodox church, and Antiochian Orthodox church were shown. (I honestly think that he thought the AO church was a mosque because it had a dome.) That seems to have been the big draw that got churches to open their checkbooks for his important ministry endeavors.

      1. Classic fundy argument:
        Country A needs a mission because there are no (or few) Christian churches there.
        City B needs a mission because there are many Christian churches there.

      2. “Also it has lots of people with $$$.”

        This is not intended as a potshot at anyone in particular, but the song, “Big Spender” was just calling for a cheap, easy parody– one that happens to fit your suspicions:

        The minute you walked into church,
        Right away you were a man I respected– a Real Big Tither!

        Successful, so well dressed–
        So wouldn’t you like to join the church and really be blessed?

        So let me get right to the point;
        I don’t kiss the butt of everyone I see.

        Hey Big Tither! (Hey Big Tither!)
        P L E A S E support my mi-[hi]-ni-stry!

        1. Sadly, many churches of every denomination, whether Baptist, Catholic, Charismatic, tend to value those people with the most power, influence, and money as parishioners.

          That’s not really what we see in the Jesus of the Gospels, is it.

        2. GRACE GIVING

          Has anyone ever heard of that? I just saw that as a title of an IFB message recently.

        3. BJg,

          And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The SPIRIT OF THE LORD [IS] UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HATH ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HATH SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKEN-HEARTED, TO PREACH DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND THE RECOVERING SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED, TO PREACH THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD. Luke 4:16-19

          Based on the above, I completely agree with you, Sir!

        4. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD [IS] UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HATH ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HATH SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKEN-HEARTED, TO PREACH DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERING OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED, TO PREACH THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD. Luke 4:16-19

        1. Not gonna prevaricate, it was Lighthouse Baptist Church of Edmond, Oklahoma. Pastor was Russ Bishop. So, he told us that scripturally we could call him Bishop Bishop. Which was supposed to invoke peals of laughter.

          Their website is a prime candidate for FWOTW:

          http://lighthousebaptistchurchedmond.com/

        2. talking of names, the Catholic Primate of the Philipines was a guy called Cardinal Sin. Do I detect a fundy sermon?

  14. I am going to harp on two HUGE pet peeves of mine that are both evident in this guy’s website.

    (1) This website is part of a growing trend in IFB circles of trying to adopt a veneer of hip, suburban, neo-evangelical cred. Calling your church “Thrive,” using graphics that look like a Starbucks add, and using a website design from the last 5 years are all part of the marketing strategy that is becoming the hallmark of Crown and WCBC. It’s like, hey, we cool, man! Yet, they preach against the same sort of “seeker sensitive” methods when other churches use them.

    (2) This website contains many excellent examples of the sort of stilted writing that Bible colleges are teaching these days in an effort to make their woefully-undereducated graduates sound intelligent. I have noticed this for quite some time now. It’s hard to put my finger on in exactly. Maybe some of the grammar mavens on here will have some ideas. A few things that stand out to me are a gross abuse of passive voice (I should have said, “Passive voice is grossly abused.”); extremely stilted wording; run-on sentences; use of sentence fragments as whole sentences; etc. I am starting to call it IFB-speak.

    1. Great insight on point #1. I’ve started noticing that too.

      (And, btw, I have no problem with a church that uses the KJV. I take issue with a church that teaches other versions are sinful to use. I don’t mind churches that use only hymns until they start touting themselves as spiritually superior to other churches that have praise and worship.)

    2. Deacons Son, Ive seen the video of the church in Edmond and know the pastor as well. I dont disagree with the reasons that bring people to this site. I’ve had IFB blunt force trauma to the head as a PK everyday of my life.

      Where is the page telling the stories that pissed everyone off so bad? And who cares about this dude going to Atlanta!!! So he is typical IFB paper mache. Big deal. STOP THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN!!! A goofnut wants to start a church in the heart of the South.

      The IFB isnt a blip on the radar which is why it pisses us off that the Honcho’s of these fundy schools act like the president is waiting around the oval office to hear any updates on their doctrinal position.

      The IFB is local and independent which means all kinds of weird. But what if someone got saved in Atlanta? Should we still hound him because he looks like a poser?

      Considering the antics of those who follow these updates. Is it safe to assume we would admit that anyone is doing something right? Or is everyone a stupid, uneducated, graduate of some, unaccredited, podunk, self proclaimed “institute”?

      I’ll say again, I can never shake the impact that IFB fundy-mania will have on the rest of my life but they are such a minute little faction of the big picture that, were this a painting, you would have to look at significant detail to notice them.

      Plowing this fundy missionary guy and his family is an insult on his character and our intelligence.

      Some of these people are just people. Brainwashed like many others but in some ways unaware that anyone could be bitter (oops) about their approach or see them as people that think they are right on all stages and everyone else is wrong. Theyre simply parts on a conveyor belt made by the fundy factories. Some missionaries, some church planters, some pastors, some lay people lookin for something . . . . . but still people with a corrupt nature. C’mon, Deacons kids and Pk’s know corruption.

    3. I wouldn’t try to pass myself off as a grammar expert, but maybe people are being taught that the passive voice comes across as less confrontational.
      Then again maybe it’s being used to reduce the number of times the writer uses the word, “I.”

      The guess probably isn’t worth much, but it’s free.
      There seem to be some very literate folks on this site, so maybe someone else can offer some better informed opinions.

  15. I doubt that this young man’s background (as evidenced by the the verbiage and errors on his website) has prepared him to grow a church in sophisticated downtown Atlanta. Success is possible (Passion City Church), but I doubt that his church would be as vibrant and attractive to young urbanites as Passion City using the IFB approach.I agree that he should confirm his calling by working himself into a job rather than expecting to be funded with no church to show for it.

    1. Why is it that men who feel called to ministry in the IFB orbit never feel called to go help out in a church that’s already there? Why do they all have to plant churches?

      1. Control
        “Ministry” = Pastor
        Pastor = M-O-g
        M-O-g’s are CALLED™

        Plus their argument is that there is only one head of a local assembly multiple, Alpha dogs at the top only creates confusion.

        1. While it’s possible for the assembly-of-elders system of church government to devolve into “Hey, Reverend, I’m going to work out my Issues with authority in the middle of this meeting, ‘kay,” while other people sulk passive aggressively, I still think it’s loads better than one guy on top, insisting that he alone has The Call while he polishes his shaft. Plus the notion of a group of people getting together to manage the group affairs of a congregation is mentioned in this old book of which people may have heard.

  16. Does anyone know this guy? Is he Jack Hyles incarnate? Can we truly say that God didn’t lead him to start a church? Has this guy ever advocated a “skirts only, ladies” policy? This thread, methinks, has taken this young guy who obviously is sincere enough to go out and try to do something (though limited in his learning), and made him the scapegoat for several people’s anger toward IFB. There is a difference in pointing out the wickedness of Hyles and being a keyboard bully and knocking this kid, who never did anything to one person on here.

    1. If Jack Hyles preaching about skirts was all that was wrong with the IFB, this blog wouldn’t exist. For those of us who grew up in the IFB, this young man is a highly-recognizable classic IFB output. Looking at his background, doctrinal statement, and what he has done with his life so far, we can make certain assumptions, predictions, and conclusions about him with near-99% certainty.

      1. Burned by extreme IFB too, brother. As said before, I love church planting people; I do not care if it’s Methodists, Presbyterians, Southern Baptists, etc. If the church preaches the death, burial, resurrection of Christ and points people to by faith believe on Christ; I’m for it. All I’m saying, is what spirit is this being done in? Half this post is mocking the kid. I’m not for anyone being all truth and no grace, which is what is going on here, much like my Fundy College I went to. I say that with brotherly love.

        1. If people loved this kid, then reach out to him and try to help him. Be a Paul to him (Timothy). No, we are just gonna hate on him.

        2. I don’t hate him but I personally don’t think he should be in the pastorate, just based on the information I can glean from his website. As for mocking, I don’t have a problem poking fun at anyone who sets themselves up to be an authority figure but can’t be bothered to use correct English (typos are one thing; illiteracy is another), do an honest day’s work for a day’s pay, and who uses their position of authority to promote false ideas.

        3. The thing is, I’m almost 100% sure that he wouldn’t agree with you. You say, “I love church planting people; I do not care if it’s Methodists, Presbyterians, Southern Baptists, etc.” But he would care. It’s in his final point under what he believes on his website: separation.

          “If the church preaches the death, burial, resurrection of Christ and points people to by faith believe on Christ; I’m for it.” — This is where I am now too! But it’s not where IFB pastors are. In contrast, they tend to be divisive, teaching their people that only their church is truly “Bible-believing.” They come to a town and refuse to have anything to do with other evangelical or Gospel-preaching churches over secondary issues.

          There is a remote possibility that he wouldn’t be like that, but I doubt it because 1) it’s how he’s been trained to be and 2) if he’s not, he’ll be rejected by other churches in his circles, the very ones he’ll be depending upon to support him.

          I’d been told all my life that other churches didn’t preach the true Gospel, and I believed that for years, well into my adulthood (reinforced, of course, by the fact that I DIDN’T KNOW ANYONE FROM ANY OTHER CHURCHES!) Thankfully, I’ve realized that that was a lie. Only a year or two ago, I was at a rummage sale at an area Methodist church, and there on the wall was an acrostic for BELIEVE with the plan of salvation written out so clearly. I nearly burst into tears there amid the used-clothes and second-hand toys, realizing how wrong I’d been to have dismissed most other churches with the faulty assumption that they didn’t preach the Gospel.

        4. How could I help him?
          He doesn’t want my advice, nor would he listen to it.
          Giving him financial support (even if I were able to) would only prolong his delusions.
          I can only wish for him that he will be a fast learner, rather than a slow one, in the school of life.

          “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.”

          —–Benjamin Franklin

    2. As I mentioned in my initial reaction, although with slightly more tongue in cheek, what really bothers me is that he lists “liberalism and tolerance” in the same sentence as “hedonism” as the things dominating Atlanta that he wants to fix. As someone who is proud to be liberal, both religiously and politically, and who believes in tolerance, I can’t help but be skeptical of someone who treats these things as obvious evils that need to be opposed by the church, and would clearly be opposed by HIS church.

  17. I will say, though, I do agree he should work full time and plant the church without 50 churches paying his way. It would be okay to get a love offering, as Paul did to meet needs.

    1. Peter,

      I apologize if I am mistaken, but I have to question your IFB “cred”. HAC and most other “bastions of fundamentalism” explicitly teach that it is wrong for the MOG to have an outside job. In practicality, your suggestion is a very wise one…in reality, it would NEVER happen with a true IFB MOG.

      Bro Bluto

  18. I humbly ask a few things, brother. Do we discount people by a disability? DL Moody had terrible grammar. If he is our brother, do we have a Bible example to help or hurt the weaker brother? Is it Christian to talk behind his back? Grace and truth has no mockery, brother.

    1. Lots of fundies discount disabled people.

      Fundies are always ranting about the need to be better than everyone else. If they make a mistake it’s somehow wrong to point it out in order that they may improve. The usual response is that no one is perfect, which is followed by an excuse-filled rant. Great logic.

    2. At BJU, teachers and pastors always stressed striving for excellence. Whatever what done, printed, or presented ought to be as flawless as possible. It was especially important to carefully proofread any material related to church so as not to be a stumbling block. Proper punctuation doesn’t offended an uneducated person, but it can turn off an educated person, and I honestly don’t want any hindrance to my message beyond Christ Himself, Who is called a stumbling stone and rock of offense.

      Also, as an English teacher, I am saddened when people don’t bother checking for errors, especially on something that requires a lot of time, effort, and expense. Why strive so hard to present oneself effectively yet fail to check for errors (especially since computer programs exist to do the checking themselves)?

      As for D. L. Moody’s grammar, many people understand mistakes in extemporaneous public speaking, but if he had a book published, I hope he used an editor!

      1. My former fundy CEO, a graduate and former administrator of BJU, also emphasized”excellence.”

        Unfortunately, it was at the expense of grace and pastoral care for those imperfect tithers, ulike himself (who knew no imperfection). God’s people were marginalized when they didn’t meet his standard of excellence in his self-proclaimed fundy world where he is the sole governor and standard for all others to meet.

        Nice building, nice lawn, nice suit and tie, shiney shoes…just like a cemetary and caretaker. No life, but bye golley, EXCELLENCE!

        1. I hear you! The desire for excellence can easily turn into elitism and judgmentalism if not balanced with love and grace.

        2. That’s true, PW, thanks for establishing some balance.

          It’s been such a short time since I left the elitist and judgmental atmosphere of my former fundy “church” that I’m having some difficulty striking a nice balance. Things are coming along, however, as I really read the Word and truly fellowship with some terrific believers.

    3. “weaker brother” is out of context here. it is in the context of the conscience, not the physical or mental prowess of a person.

      I suppose we could rip “bearing one another’s burdens” out of context to support your statement too, but it is in reference to a person dealing with sin.

      Asking a person who is for lack of a better term “marketing” their church plant to use professional and correct grammar and syntax is not mockery nor is is inappropriate. Anyone, even someone who has issues with spelling and grammar could have used a spell check program to validate their written copy for the website (its a WordPress site, so there were probably red lines under those mispelled words in the editor, that’s not ignorant or “folksy” that’s just pure laziness) if proofreading is not turned on in your wp control panel, just go here to turn it on…http://en.support.wordpress.com/proofreading/

    1. The fundamentalists I know are leery of love. They see it as a weakness. They equate it with compromise and liberalism.

      I have heard sermons (not preached by my husband!) warning the congregation of being “too loving.” Preaching against love! 😯

      1. You bring up a good point. It seems that a lot of fundy thinking conflates “love” with something sensual/romantic/not something you would feel for your neighbor. One of my pastors (who was not so fundy) said love is the act of wanting only the best for a person. Take it for what it is worth, but that cleared a lot of Jesus’s teachings up for me.

      2. I have heard sermons like that too. Said in a sneering tone: “Do you want to be like those looooove churches that just say ‘Oh, we just love everyone’?”

        Um, yes! 😯

    2. True, but . . . there is a famous quote that I can’t get google to regurgitate for me, for some reason, that essentially says that the prime motivator of most men is the fear of appearing ridiculous. One major problem with the IFB, as I see it, is an adherence to silly and false doctrines with a corresponding obsession with insulation from any sort of criticism or ridicule, which is dismissed as gossip and rebellion (from within) or persecution (from without). Basically, they inoculate themselves from appearing ridiculous and thus never have to sincerely question their beliefs.

        1. True. I will be open, though I will be brutally attacked on here for saying this. I used to be a extreme “shave your sideburns, hippie” IFB guy. It was actually the love of people who were not as off as my college friends that got me back into church and serving God when I fell out to bitterness. Love your enemies, yes?
          I am bulldog-matic in my historic orthodoxy and am a Baptist, but I can appreciate many reformed thinkers. I worship no man and like my KJV (even though I have scores of reformed friends who use the KJV). All I’m saying is, you don’t know him nor his heart. Loving those who disagree with you gets rewarded by God, not making fun of them. If it helps, treat them like the weaker brother.

        2. Perhaps you’re right, but note that the NT does have some pretty harsh words for those who purport to be religious leaders and yet follow false doctrine. Jesus didn’t say, “woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, except for Nicodemus, Gamaliel, and that guy that has me over for dinner.” Jesus condemned their school of thinking and those who aligned themselves with that thinking. You may not agree that the IFB religion is essentially a revival of the NT Pharisees, but for those of us who do see it that way, it does not seem to us to be unbiblical to condemn those who clearly associate themselves with that movement.

        3. Historic Orthodoxy? Isn’t that simply what a bunch of sinful men believed once upon a time?

          So what? Let’s all pay attention to what the word of the Lord says!

        4. ” Isn’t that simply what a bunch of sinful men believed once upon a time? ”

          Clearly the sinful men of the early church didn’t know what the Lord was talking about. It’s a shame that you weren’t there to set them straight greg.

  19. Reading that page was painful. Until they can produce a website in a literate, grammatically correct, professional way, they should not be doing what they are doing.

    1. Actually, I am not a big fan of DL Moody, who was an early fundamentalist pioneer of off-the-cuff, extemporaneous, DIY preaching. I believe that good, sound preaching requires something more than simply training oneself to rattle off, however smoothly, a number of folksy clichés, bon mots, anecdotes, random Scriptures, and ranting followed by an altar call. That being said, DL Moody only ever purported to be an evangelist (which is a separate calling, according to the NT, notwithstanding the IFB’s rejection of this doctrine). Perhaps his bag of sermons was more than adequate to the task to which he set himself, but I would not have wanted him as my pastor.

  20. I humbly disagree, deacon. Ive never heard extreme dress and music standards as a qualifier for heaven. I’ve heard salvation in Christ. The pharisee taught the Law justified Romans 3. Thats legalism, the keeping of law for salvation. Crazy IFB churches teach you are just backslidden, which is wrong, but not legalism.

    1. That is what they teach in theory. In practice, however, there tends to be very little grace for those who violate the IBF’s pet “sins.” The burdens they lay on people are designed in part to supplement the “are you sure you are saved?” and “perhaps you were never saved in the first place” nonsense that gets thrown at sincere Christians who do not accept the IFB’s unbiblical rules.

      1. AnotherPleasantValleyFundyJanuary 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm

        Deacons Son, Ive seen the video of the church in Edmond and know the pastor as well. I dont disagree with the reasons that bring people to this site. I’ve had IFB blunt force trauma to the head as a PK everyday of my life.

        Where is the page telling the stories that pissed everyone off so bad? And who cares about this dude going to Atlanta!!! So he is typical IFB paper mache. Big deal. STOP THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN!!! A goofnut wants to start a church in the heart of the South.

        The IFB isnt a blip on the radar which is why it pisses us off that the Honcho’s of these fundy schools act like the president is waiting around the oval office to hear any updates on their doctrinal position.

        The IFB is local and independent which means all kinds of weird. But what if someone got saved in Atlanta? Should we still hound him because he looks like a poser?

        Considering the antics of those who follow these updates. Is it safe to assume we would admit that anyone is doing something right? Or is everyone a stupid, uneducated, graduate of some, unaccredited, podunk, self proclaimed “institute”?

        I’ll say again, I can never shake the impact that IFB fundy-mania will have on the rest of my life but they are such a minute little faction of the big picture that, were this a painting, you would have to look at significant detail to notice them.

        Plowing this fundy missionary guy and his family is an insult on his character and our intelligence.

        Some of these people are just people. Brainwashed like many others but in some ways unaware that anyone could be bitter (oops) about their approach or see them as people that think they are right on all stages and everyone else is wrong. Theyre simply parts on a conveyor belt made by the fundy factories. Some missionaries, some church planters, some pastors, some lay people lookin for something . . . . . but still people with a corrupt nature. C’mon, Deacons kids and Pk’s know

        1. APVF,

          Fundamentalism is, as you say, a small blip in the grand scheme of things. But in a way so is this website (sorry Darrell). It’s a small community of people who come together to vent and heal from wounds inflicted from the one institution that should have set itself to the task of healing those wounds, not inflicting them. If you have read my posts over the last few years here, you will know my story. Sometimes we magnify some of the errors in fundamentalism for the sake of humor/satire/sheer frustration. Other times we aren’t exaggerating at all no matter how much we wish we were. I can assure you that there are plenty of “world issues” that I care about a lot more deeply than destroying the IFB. It’s just that I find more overlap between caring about those issue and having problems with the IFB than you might. It’s probably because literally ALL of my immediate family and my wife’s family are dedicated fundamentalists so we deal with it on a daily basis. I was just unable to attend my fundy sister’s wedding this weekend because we are no longer fundamentalists.

          The false teachings and bad practices of the IFB, like those of other cults, ARE damaging and DO matter. It’s not useful to minimalize the hurt that the IFB has caused so many people just because there are also other bad people out there doing other bad things. For many of us, it was the IFB itself that made sure it was the only “world” that we knew. Perhaps we have an overly-inflated sense of how much of an impact the IFB had on us, but for many of us it really did shape our lives in profoundly negative ways. And for that, I think we do have a right to speak out.

          As for this guy, I truly have considered the points raised by the commenters today to the effect that we shouldn’t be so hard on him. I don’t agree, but I understand that some may be offended by our snarky comments and barbs here. However, in my opinion, that is exactly the value of a site like this: it makes people think. Maybe not in the most comfortable or pleasant way, but it does make people think. And, for many of us, it also reminds us that we are not alone in our experiences with the IFB. For that, I am grateful.

    2. I disagree that legalism is ONLY saying that works are required for salvation. The IFB knows better than to say THAT! They certainly teach that salvation is by grace through faith.

      However, as Deacon’s Son explained, their insistence that you’re not a “good Christian” unless you keep their list of extra-Biblical rules puts the Christian back under the demands of the law (their own law, admittedly, not the OT Law).

      Remember, Galatians 3 was written to people who were saved by faith but thought that they still had to keep the Law to be right with God: “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?” (NIV) The entire context of this chapter is for those who already believed, thus I believe that the charge of legalism DOES apply to IFB churches. If charges of legalism only applied in salvific instances, why would Paul even be addressing this topic with the Galatians who were already saved?

      1. Dear pastor’s wife:

        That is precisely the text that needs to be put to our friends. And since salvation is not only a present but also an eschatological reality, I think some folk should be held accountable for works-based salvation whether or not they wish it.

        Christian Socialist

      2. Hear, Hear!

        I couldn’t even reply to that it was so ridiculous and the retred of that old mantra being trotted out was enough to make me realize I should just not respond since I couldn’t say anything nice. Thanks for graciously responding to that lie of Satan.

        “If you are truly saved you will/will not…” is just as much legalism as out and out works salvation

        1. Perhaps it is true that being saved frees a person from certain destructive tendencies.
          But I am not the judge of who is saved or not, nor are you, nor is any pastor, bishop, or pope.

  21. Deacon, I get you, I really do, sir. HAC is not the only IFB’s out there. I grew up Catholic, got saved in a neo pentecostal service, discipled by a very warm Baptist church that never preached on dress but was very BJU in music and preaching style, and then went to Crown where I got caught up in the get dressed right movement. Lol I was so concerned with white shirts and no side burns, it was crazy. I drifted after college and was forsaken by uber fundies, but my warm home church (IFB) full of wonderful people never gave up on me. The Baptist Church I go to now is refreshing, just a pastor and a people that love Christ. We don’t push any school and we preach salvation through faith. I know and have been burned by some IFB camps but I just try to love people like our church does. I’m not angry at this post, I just feel like its bullying someone who could be influenced by kindness like I was. God bless ya, brother.

    1. I see your point. I don’t agree, exactly, but I understand. I appreciate your willingness to make your points without going negative, as many have done here before! Sometimes even the saints here at SFL need someone to poke us in the eye a bit!!

  22. Is it at all possible that you might have turned into the very people that you hate? You condemn men on this forum every week, and often times rightfully so, but to do so to a man and his wife that you know very little about just seems like you all are a bunch of whiny ass bitches living in your moms basement.

    I mean seriously, get a life. You complain about the IFB and their constant bashing of others, and how legalistic they are, that they don’t preach Christ, that they don’t give Bible, that they are full of pride….and then I read the very same things here.

    I am all for calling out the abusers, the liars and the con artists that fill our nations pulpits. I am all for riding our churches of the cancer that causes so much hate and contention. But I can’t imagine living a life that is consumed with so much negativity.

    I have an idea…why don’t you go start a church somewhere? Why don’t you go make a disciple? Why don’t you get off your ass and do something and quit your damn bitching already!

    How ironic that YOU have become the very pharisee that you hate!

    1. Unfortunately in today’s age when you are bold enought to have a website you open yourself up to anybody and everybody. Personally, I don’t see why these guys put pics of there wives and kids up there for all the world to see with no restrictions. I would be extremely PO’d to see other people taking shots at my family. I suppose it is par for the course for these fellows, or it doesn’t occur to them. Unfortunately the more you lampoon them, the more credibilty they build up within their circles. He’s young and you can only pray that he will come around sooner or later 😥

  23. I’m a little surprised by how “soft” some of the language is under the “Our Beliefs” tab on the website , especially concerning the KJV. He simply states, “We use the King James Bible for all teaching and preaching in English” with no statement about it being preserved or all the other dogma that accompanies the KJV only crowd.

    1. There are definitely some pastors out there like that. They prefer the KJV and only use the KJV, but it’s not their primary emphasis and they’re not going on rants about it.

      (My husband used only the KJV in his preaching for years, but he was far from KJVO.)

  24. Wow. Here is his daily Bible reading entry from Jan 12. I would put the writing at about the 7th-8th grade level. This is sad.

    “Two of Jacob’s sons were involved in killing a bunch of folks, one of which treated their sister “like a harlot”. This was retaliation. This also really brought Jacob to worry. Things were not going to be good for Jacob and his family around those that were around that heard the story, especially after they heard about the dissection that was used to kill all of those people! When Jacob worried, God told him to go to Bethel, a place that Jacob found peace with God in before when turmoil and great change was taking place. Bethel means house of God. I have applied this to the church in this day, but the truth is that Jacob was fearful for his life and the lives of his family and he needed a peace that only comes from God. When fears come, we can find peace with and in our God!”

    1. Given that he provides the opportunity for people to respond to his daily bible reading, I’d be curious to see how he would respond to anything that the contributors to this site might have to say. Would his reply reflect grace and love or the judgmentalism that often seems to pervade separationists.

      1. The most honest reply I could give would be that he should learn how to write before trying to do so.
        Would he respond in gratitude?
        More importantly, would he follow that advice?
        Somehow I think not.

  25. If his introduction of his wife went like this – ” Henry the 8th I am
    Henry the 8th I am I am
    I got married to the widow next door
    She’s been married 7 times before
    Everyone of them was Henry
    Should wouldn’t have a Willie or a Sam
    I’m her 8th old man I’m Henry
    Henry the 8th I am. — I’d support him no questions asked.

  26. Listening to Patrick on the video, I am gathering the following:
    1960s through 1990s: Out-migration of Caucasians from core area of Atlanta

    During this time “we” (=Caucasians) only went into ATL for Braves games or a car show. We White People ask if you’re armed because it’s such a dangerous place.

    Things are changing. It’s becoming hip and trendy to move back into Atlanta.

    So this new ATL has become a huge mission field.

    Here’s the sub-text, from an old (former) Southern IFB caucasian such as I:
    During civil rights era, whites left ATL because they were afraid of the blacks. Whites were way outnumbered (and didn’t like that worth a damn.) The religion of IFB was based, in part, on segregation. So they were really scared. (Besides those Black people don’t want to go to the IFB church anyway.)

    Now that hip and trendy people (=well to do hipsters, young white professionals) are moving back, it’s become a fantastic mission field! Well to do white people to save! YIPPEE!

    This is one more example of the race-baiting dog whistle. Between the lines, all I see is that African Americans are to be feared and avoided in this so called deputation sermon. Gets back to my belief that the IFB is largely racist, at least in the American South.

    So where is the Gospel of Christ in that?

    1. His appeal in the video identified 3 “problem” groups from which he feels that Atlanta fundamentalists need deliverance:
      1. Black people (not named, but his meaning is clear enough)
      2. Gay and lesbian people (named)
      3. Muslims (his brother-in-law was horrified that a Muslim group offered free water to runners at a running event in Atlanta)

      All of these groups live in my city, too, but that doesn’t create any spiritual problem for me.

  27. Dear Patrick:

    You say: ‘…90% of the good Bible-believing churches packed up and left…’

    I reply: ‘Is your assertion based on any credible research?’

    Christian Socialist

    1. If they *were* actually “good” churches, they wouldn’t have packed up and left over a thing like having black neighbors. They would have seen it as a mission field at their doorstep.

      The trouble is that IFBism is largely cultural, segregationist, full of black prejudice. My own IFB church has a couple of token black members (older black ladies), but is otherwise lily white. They have a bus ministry to get kids to AWANA, but the comments made behind the kids’ backs are sometimes shameful, especially if the kids are black.

  28. Christian Socialist

    Does your boy say anything about reaching white or black? Based on your research is the IFB the only racists? Seems if you go back far enough racism was everywhere North and South. Racism is racism. Surely your not surprised at racism as deeply rooted as it is in this country???? Line’m up cause it ain’t just the IFB.

    1. While racism is certainly not confined to the IFB, in the American South of the 1960s, segregation was taught as being God’s plan. Integration was a communist plot. The communists, we were taught, were bringing in “outside agitators” to stir up African Americans against whites. This was all taught in the IFB pulpits of the South at that time. And you’re right–not just taught in the IFB, but from state capitol buildings. George Wallace ran a successful campaign for Gov of Alabama on the promise of “segregation now, segregation forever.”

      The issue at hand, however, is the intermingling of such hateful teachings with the Gospel of Christ. Wallace was not ‘evangelizing’ for Christ. He left that to the minions in the pulpits of (largely IFB) churches in Alabama. I went to Bob Jones Univ where that teaching was reinforced, and interracial dating was forbidden, as being against the plan of God.

      I was there. Raised in the 1960s in Birmingham, I was a firsthand witness to these events.
      Respectfully,
      BJg

    2. Dear AnotherPleasantValleyFundy,
      You asked Christian Socialist, “Does your boy say anything about reaching white or black?” I presume that, by “your boy” you meant the church planter under discussion? I looked back at CS’s last comment and just couldn’t find the antecedent remark you allude to. Although Christian Socialist is more eloquent than I, please allow me to respond, if only for myself.

      In an Aug 2009 column, conservative writer Kathleen Parker talked about the phenomenon of Southerners responding to the “dog whistle” of racism, latent in Southern conversation. Parker noted:

      “Sarah Palin may not have realized what she was doing, but Southerners weaned on Harper Lee heard the dog whistle.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/04/AR2009080402424.html

      This racism, couched in coded words, is perfectly understood by those raised where nuance is an art, subtlety a sign of superior intelligence.

      Even in the 1960s in Birmingham, overt racism was frowned upon, not for its essential immorality, but for its crudeness. In Kathleen Parker’s words, I was “weaned on Harper Lee”, so I heard the dog whistle clearly.

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