Since this site is named “Stuff Fundies Like” I suppose it behooves us to come up with at least a broad definition of who these fundamentalists are and what makes them different from their mere evangelical counterparts. The task is far from simple for a variety of reasons not the least of which is that those who claim the title of “fundamentalist” disagree vehemently about who should and should not be privileged to share it with them.

George Marsden has famously described Christian fundamentalists as “evangelicals who are angry about something.”1 That definition is, perhaps, more true than most fundamentalists will admit but it lacks a certain amount of specificity. There are, for example, many evangelicals who are prone to anger and yet fall outside of the the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) circles about which most of this blog is written.

When pressed many IFB members will claim that being a fundamentalist means simply holding “the fundamentals. The five most commonly held fundamentals of the faith have been:

  • The inspiration of the Bible by the Holy Spirit and the inerrancy of Scripture as a result of this.
  • The virgin birth of Christ.
  • The belief that Christ’s death was the atonement for sin.
  • The bodily resurrection of Christ.
  • The historical reality of Christ’s miracles.2

However, even this fails as an accurate test for this would cover many in the Southern Baptist Convention, some Bible Presbyterians, and many other non-denominational churches with whom any good Independent Fundamental Baptist would not associate. Indeed, neither the author nor many of the readers of this blog have any problem with many or all of these points even though they have long since left attending a fundamentalist church.

What becomes readily apparent after a certain amount of time is that the IFB movement has not only separated itself from those who practice “liberal theology” (which encompasses everything from infant baptism to using modern Bible versions) but also parts with those who participate in any part of the post-1960’s American culture that it considered to be “worldly.” This latter separation includes a large focus on certain types of music, styles of dress, the movie theater, alcohol, and a seemingly endless number of other activities. In reality it is these standards rather than any true doctrinal test that define the “fundamentals” for most Independent Baptist Fundamentalists.

As these fundamentalists have begun to vie for the position of being more and more separated from their brethren by taking more and more extreme stances, many thoughtful and reasonable people have left the movement leaving a good number of churches and schools headed by increasingly radical and isolationist leaders. As the leadership heads into what is formally known in ecclesiastical circles as “crazypants town” so the congregations follow them to the mixed amusement and horror of those of us who grew up in the movement. Here at SFL we chronicle and scrutinize this slow drift of the IFB to oblivion with posts that are sometimes satirical and sometimes serious and sometimes simply the fundamentalists in their own words.

If you’ve ever been an Independent Fundamental Baptist or know someone who has been I invite you to stay and chat a while. After all, your IFB friends and neighbors are mostly likely already here.

1 Marsden, George. Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991.
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalism#Christian_origins

586 thoughts on “About”

  1. this is a beam in the eye… Deacon’s wife cheats on her husband with choir member. Choir member cheats on his wife with teenager. Teenager and Choir member run away together and elope. This is the mote. Boy who loved teenager would rather listen to Music than hear a bunch of crap cartoon hilly billy incest drivel. you are a complete ass. All Child Abusers should die.

  2. this is a beam… Child molestor cries to pastor of his sin, sinner been forgiven by holy roman pope gets to play bus captain…. this is the mote…. Bus kids grow up to hate Jesus.

  3. Drug addict goes to Rehab of fundy church. that is the beam. here is the mote. step daughter gets raped by fundy drug addicts drug dealer….children grow up to hate Jesus.

  4. http://youtu.be/AXAMVxaxjDg

    The exponential decay function of your society has reached a point in which Fundies can no longer be tolerated in a civil society. Too much rape, too much child abuse, too much slander and murder. It has nothing to do with individual bwitterness. it has to do with saving our nation.

  5. here is the beam. Fundy parents are so concerned with sexual behavior of teenager they accuse him of sleeping with everyone. the mote. child knows nothing about sex and remains without a relationship for ten years. the mote. you have to let illegal aliens in your country because of the lack of population growth. The catholics take over your country… silly ass.

  6. BTW, I just now noticed for some reason, so IDK how long it’s been a feature, but I like the word cloud thing of various tags on your blog posts. I don’t really use those tags, but that’s a pretty cool/innovative idea. Most times I think word clouds are meaningless, but that one seems highly useful/informative.

    1. When I first found this blog, I used the cloud for days and days, and shrieked with laughter, amazement, and sometimes fury, at the things I read. It also helped me to understand obscure insider items, such as the white piano sightings, the identity and origins of George, and so on. I sort of hate to use that word, “insider,” because this is a welcoming group. Also an erudite, sagacious, hilarious one. :mrgreen:

    2. Being an ex HACer, I also love that Jack Schap’s name looms larger than his FIL’s name, in the loud. Wherever Jack Hyles is now, that is making him writhe. 😉

      1. All you revilers and sinners.
        You’ve turned from the Lord and now you mock and backbite and revel in your revolt against Him.
        Criticize all you will, we’re going up yonder and, if y’all reject Christ our Lord you’re gonna be in the flaming pit.

        God bless you all, all the same, I hope you find Him.

  7. I found this blog via two other blogs; I have absolutely no direct Fundy history at all (I’m Jewish, raised in a liberal, feminist household, attended a liberal arts college and grad school, etc).

    I love the site anyway. Why? Because I did go to high school in a community where you were either Catholic or Pentecostal, and I know some of my peers from high school struggled with fundy issues after transitioning to adulthood. I know they continue to have issues now that they are raising their own kids (how do I know this? Thank you, FB).

    Now I have a better understanding of their struggle to CHOOSE the path that fits best, rather than blindly following a map prepped by someone else.

    Thank you for this.

    Also, Mike? Shut it. You’re not helping your cause.

  8. I grew up going to an Independent fundamental Baptist church since I was about 11, I always hated it. The preachers are sick fat liars, they deserve hell more than the ignorant and arrogant people who make up the congregation of the church. Look up Hyles Andersen’s past too, they’ve had multiple cases of sexual assault and one case of child abuse. They make every one outside of the fundamentalist church to look evil when in reality they are.

    1. I’m going to say your making most of that up … Killadelphia…. To justify your own wicked life style…( except the Hyle’s crowd stuff) 😕

      1. Not all IFB’s are like Hyles. It’s judgmental to think so. I’m so sorry that you and, quite obviously, many others have had bad experiences, but just so you know, there are good IFB churches in the world. 🙂

  9. Hi.I,m new to the computer and to the website.I put in a message,but I don’t see it.I kind of needed the feed back.There’s basically no other Church near me BUT a Fundie Church,so I’m not sure what to do?

    1. Go to Google.com, and in the search box, put in your zip code plus the words church directory. You should be able to see at least a few names of churches in the broader area where you live.

  10. Thank you.Trying….I grew up Lutheran.There was ZERO accountability for anything.I saw kids get thrown under the bus BAD and NOTHING was said.Ever.Mind your own buis…It was a total mindbender.so I have to change denominations.The Baptists are so much friendlier,and they READ the Bible!!!…Now I’m scared of the Baptists,too !!!

  11. Someone help me out. When I first learned of this website I thought it was a spoof like the Landover Baptist Church (http://www.landoverbaptist.org/). I visit here every day to laugh at the stupid shit fundies say and do. So please tell me, is this a serious website by fundies for other fundies or is it satire? If it’s not a humor website I’m very, very scared!

    1. It is a site run by a former-fundamentalists where other former and current fundamentalists gather to have a chuckle and shake our collective heads at the craziness of fundamentalism.

      Some of it is satire. Some of it is actually direct quotes and real video of fundamentalists. It’s almost impossible to tell the satire from the real things sometimes which is called “Poe’s Law.”

  12. Ummm…doesn’t the Bible teach separation and holiness? sounds like you people need to get right instead of get mad. I am a proud fundamentalist because I not only believe the Bible, try to live it…kinda like Jesus wanted us to do.

    1. I no longer want to be a proud fundamentalist but rather a humble follower of Jesus Christ.

      As a fundamentalist, I judged other believers, was self-righteous, thought my high standards made me better than others, rarely was involved in helping the needy, failed to appreciate freedom in Christ, and enjoyed my safe sub-culture of my church family instead of interacting with and showing love to the lost. Way too often we gave each other a pass on actually demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit because we thought we were holy because of our strict dress codes or entertainment standards.

      I do want to be separate from the world, but I’m not satisfied with just wearing culottes instead of jeans or reading a book instead of going to the movies. That’s actually easy to do. Instead, I want my life transformed by Jesus Christ. I want to be loving and gentle and compassionate, peaceful and faithful and self-controlled.

      It was our desire to live the Bible sincerely that led my husband and me away from the traditionalism in which we grew up into the scandalous grace and liberty of the Gospel.

    2. You’re absolutely right, the Bible does teach separation and holiness. It does not, however, teach it in the way that many fundamentalist churches teach it. In terms of separation, look at the life of Christ. He spent his time in fellowship with the worst sinners of his culture. He didn’t just preach to them, he entered their homes and ate with them. Look at Paul, who knew the secular poets well enough to quote them by heart while preaching in Athens.
      In terms of holiness, look at the kind of life Jesus advocated. Was it one characterized by a strict adherence to a set of rules? I don’t believe so. It was one saturated with love, looking out for the other, and spreading peace and compassion wherever one goes. There are certain rules the Bible lays out for Christians, yes, but they do not have to do with the styles of music one listens to, whether or not one visits the movie theater, the English Bible translation one uses, or whether or not one consumes alcohol. Jesus taught love, not rules.

    3. Of course the Bible teaches us to be separate and commands holiness. It also makes it plain that we cannot meet God’s standard of holiness, despite our best efforts, and that we are utterly dependent upon His mercy and grace for our standing as His beloved children. Therefore, you, like the rest of us, have nothing to be proud of. The insistence on being a “proud fundamentalist” is, IMHO, of a piece where you instruct others, people you don’t even know, to “get right.” If we could do that, the Gospel has no force in our or anyone’s lives. Rather than trying to scold people into conformity with your notion of what “getting right” means, just do what you conclude with, and follow Jesus. It’s enough for any one.

    4. I think what you mean is…

      Separate from anyone who doesn’t believe everything I do or have all the “convictions” I do


      Holiness = making sure everything I project outwardly (i.e., pre-1968 standard of dress, activities and general morality) is squeaky clean so everyone thinks my heart is indeed godly

  13. Hey Jeff, thanks for the sanity and honesty for that matter. I’ve worked around these type quite often and had to contend with their Bitter spirit….and hatred for moral accountability.you see once they decide to stop living Christ- like or as Paul put it ” I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection” they seek mock and stop those who do…….misery loves company. Can you imagine if fundamentalist groups did what these liberal reform types are doing….. What a field day ….. I think my first attack would be comparing the “fundys” 3rd generation losses with this reform types not being able to get themselves through
    For a single life time …. Let alone any generation at all. Having been so Saturated with worldliness and sin excuse, the unsaved cannot tell them apart from themselves….. So much for lifestyle evangelism…… But we are to Gracious to lay open such things…… Most of the time. 🙄

    1. Where do you see hatred for moral accountability? Where do you see non-fundy Christians no longer living for Christ? I’d like specific examples with citations.

  14. I am curious. I’ve perused through this site because I’ve heard a few talk about it. I am a “fundamental” Baptist and have had an experience with one of the extreme fringe, cult-ish IFB churches that is mentioned on this blog. I was a charter member there for 9 years before leaving and now I attend another IFB church but one that does not “force rules on you” as the other church I attended.

    My curiosity lies in this: Most posts that I have seen on this site make fun of (or mock) IFB pastors and churches for “calling out” “liberal” Christians and forcing their (IFB) beliefs upon them. How is this different than what they are doing? Most posts (the ones that I have read) on this site call out IFB Christians and you try to suggest that their version of Christianity is the correct (or better) version.

    We should not compare ourselves with each other, it’s not wise! (2 Cor. 10:12)
    Each Christian (IFB or non-IFB) will have to give an account for HIMSELF to Jesus and it is up to Jesus on what works will be rewarded or not. Romans 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:9-10 😉

    1. True, but we should also warn others to be aware of error and cultish practices found in the IFB movement. To use a Fundie illustration, if you know the bridge is out just ahead, around that blind curve, and it’s a dark and stormy night should we not be signaling and warning people headed that way of the danger they face? Would it not be a greater sin to turn a blind eye to distructive practices and just leave it to the final judgment?

      If it were merely a doctrinal disagreement then yeah, I can see where sometimes we are over the top, but people’s lives have been seriously screwed up by the pulpiteering, the manipulation and the outright spiritual abuse found in the movement. The alarm needs to be sounded against the abuse, manipulation, empire-building and cult-like practices.

      1. I couldn’t agree more with the fact that people have been hurt by bully pulpits. My family (especially my wife) was hurt emotionally and spiritually by my former pastor. However, we didn’t leave the IFB “movement” because we believe the fundamental, Biblical doctrines of most IFB churches (some are out there on somethings). But, I guess that’s why their independent.

        It just seems to me that most of what is done here isn’t simply to warn of such practices, but is malicious toward individuals. Attacking them on appearance and beliefs. Maybe we should start a blog called “Stuff JW’s Like” or “Stuff Mormon’s Like”? I don’t care for a lot of Televangelists and Mega-church Pastors doctrinal beliefs and preaching, but I did hear Joel Osteen give a clear gospel presentation at the end of one of his sermons. I’m not going to blog about the fact that he has built an empire and has gotten filthy rich off of the “feel good” Christianity movement.

        I like the bridge out ahead illustration! It’s a good illustration to get people to witness for Jesus! It also reminds me of a comic strip I saw once (Far Side I think) where there was a guy standing with a sign that read “The End Is Near” and a guy driving scoffed at it, then drove off of a washed out bridge; then the guy with the sign turns to the other guy and says “Maybe we should change it to ‘Bridge Out Ahead’?” 😆

        Anywho, I guess, to use another Fundie illustration, we’ll just have to agree to disagree about the methods used in this blog.

        P.S. Maybe someone will start one called “Stuff Fundie Muslims Like”? 🙄

        1. Brian, maybe I have a different perspective because I don’t consider myself a fundamentalist, but I don’t see the material on here as mean-spirited. Only the truly hurtful and mean material is really mocked (as well it should be. Wrong teaching needs to be pointed out) – the stuff that’s just silly is more affectionately poked fun at.

        2. There probably should be websites for those other things, but most of us were brought up IFB so that’s why we’re here. It’s actually refreshing to be able to speak aloud what some of us thought for years but didn’t dare say, sort of like all the people too scared to yell, “The emperor has no clothes!” until the little child pointed out the obvious. Others of us didn’t realize anything was wrong for a long time, although there were practices and attitudes that bothered us but we didn’t dare look at those things too squarely just in case they’d shake up our world too much if we acknowledged them.

          I still hold to all the foundational truths of Scripture; that makes me a fundamentalists to many people. My husband and I don’t use that term though, partly because of connotations but also because all the fundamentalists we know reject us because of our music and our community outreach (neither of which is a doctrine; it’s a preference, but that hasn’t stopped people from separating from us and accusing us angrily of preaching another Gospel which is utterly untrue).

          Sure, there are times when we might get a little shrill, but there is a large number of readers here who still love the Lord and His Word and are really, really frustrated with perversions and distortions of the Gospel that occur in many of the churches and Christian schools with which we’ve been involved. Sometimes you want to get all “ye brood of vipers”-ish on the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen.

          I agree that Mormons, JWs, prosperity-gospel preachers, and others distort Scripture, but having never attended those churches, I would have nothing to say to them. I grew up in the IFB world, where I believed with all my heart (because I was told it) that we and only we had the truth and were closest to Scripture. It was rather disappointing to realize that there were many mistakes in our own ranks, among them the teaching of preferences as doctrine and the denying of Christian liberty in areas where the Bible does not clearly speak. This blog is about speaking up at last

        3. Brian, I think most of the things you are calling malicious is just simply mockery. Christian Fundies are just ripe for mocking, and it’s a healthy outlet for people that have encountered that garbage in one way or another in their lives.

  15. I don’t think this website really exists to warn of the dangers of fundamentalism; I think it exists to allow hurting people to hit out at the people they now believe were their tormentors.

    It is of course very normal when the balloon pops and you find out the wonderful church fellowship you enjoyed and embraced for years has flaws, and doesn’t always support you, to hit out at them; however, the pendulum almost always swings too far the other way. After a time of getting the hurt out, most people come back to a more balanced position, understanding their former church more realisticly; usually a company of well-intentioned but flawed people (just like all of us).

    I just hope you don’t hurt each other, or do too much damage to the objects of your anger, before you regain some balance and settle down to live a more balanced Christian life.

    However, I do agree that child molesters should be identified so that justice can be done and vulnerable people be protected.

  16. I do wish, though, that you would name your site to make it clear that the objects of your anger are the members of a particular sect of Baptists, and not all fundamentalists. I believe all five of those fundamental doctrines you list above, have never been a part of an Independent Baptist church, and don’t think I’m angry about anything.

  17. This website is for those who can not give thier bitterness and hatred over to Him, nor forgive, as that would require submission to the Spirit.

    There are no Josephs here, only Nabals. This is for those who want to wallow in the miserable flesh, with no intention of drawing close to the One who can deliver them from thier hurt.

    It is a magnet for those angry and ‘stuck’ in thier damaged pride, with no hope or direction offered to the searching newcommer that points them to a sufficient Savior.

    Yes I trusted, followed, and was hurt. I left the fundies but I didn’t leave a loving Christ who has enabled me to forgive and continue on for Him. And point others to wonderful peace.

    I did it by humbling myself to Him and confessing my pride and anger, thereby releasing the poison.

    Don, your just drinking a different brand of coolaid here, served in an even more subtle fashion.

    1. You’ve made some rather presumptuous accusations against other believers whom you don’t even know. That seems to violate Scriptural injunctions to be slow to speak and to always speak the truth.

    2. Dear SeekYeFirst:

      You wrote: ‘I did it by humbling myself to Him and confessing my pride and anger, thereby releasing the poison.’

      I reply: ‘I’m not buying it, mainly because the abusive behavior belies your assertions.’

      Christian Socialist

  18. Coolaid… ummmm no, but I did just have a Duck-Rabbit Barley Wine.

    Get back to me when you have lived through the skillful manipulations of a psycopathic M-O-g that torched his own home, the church, staged a self-inflicted gunshot wound to make it look like he was being attacked by a secret organization of homosexuals who had taken over the criminal justice system in two, no, three counties. And who is currently in jail for attempted murder and arson.

    Until then let’s not try and play the bitter card, ok?

    Oh, and while you’re at it read my posts on my view of God, and the person of Jesus Christ. I believe you will find that I make much of Christ and lift him up as necessary and sufficient for our salvation, atonement and redemption.

    But it’s always good to see our writings and arguments are making an impact on folks. Welcome to SFL.

  19. Darrell…did I hit a raw nerve? Your response reminds me of ‘them’ whenever I challenged or disagreed with their kingdom or how they ruled it. The ‘inner circle’ never responded to the objective or meat of my concerns, just always criticized the structure, the english, the format, clothes, hair, music, etc. But never the thought. Was hard to have dialog with them. Thanks for the memories. Were you actually ever damaged by theirs, or is this just fun for you? Is this website your kingdom?

    Let me help you. For me (in the first person) to tell you how ‘I’ was a part of them, and how ‘I’ left them, and how ‘I’ eventually got cleansed of the bitterness that was within me (that was the actual meat), I normally use, well, the word ‘I’. Yes, waaaay back in that middle seventies IFB College, they made me take freshman english. I’m sure I’m still terrible at it.

    What you might do is prove the statements in my post wrong, or offer some challenging thoughts of your own. That might get some cool dialog going.

    Pastors Wife…you are tender hearted and full of Grace, remind me of my wife. You were probably deeply hurt by your experience with them, as she was. The gentle are always hurt the most. Thanks for your continuing in the ministry despite that, and the help you provide your Husband.

    But as for presumptuousness and speaking truth? My dear lady, I did, and with honesty! As you did, and I thank you for it.

    Don…you’re an old sage and remind me of myself (no offence intended), and responded as I thought you would, with blunt but thoughtful honesty, some background and theology, and a challenge to boot (Darrell could learn from you). It’s because of you that I posted again. Who knows, we may have crossed paths in the old days, and could probably become friends. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

    I played the bitter card because it’s the only one I see on this websites table. I stumbled across it looking for a musical arrangement. I actually thought this was a website to offer advice on healing the broken and shattered hearts who left, or were kicked out, or shunned out, of ‘the organization’, and I was one.

    You assume I’m a novice to this? You think I would post what I did without in-depth knowledge of ‘the organization’ and how the human casualties respond to their experience? I got fairly close to the inner circle, and I can easily match blood curdling stories with you or anyone else and be bitter and angry till the very end. They violated my trust.

    But I found release. The problem was no longer with ‘them’ because I pulled out. I was high on the food chain and it ripped me apart. I was “disloyal” to a system and a pastor that promoted me, and I was dirt in their eyes. I was a ‘quitter’, to leave them would cause my marriage to fail, and my kids would rot as they worshiped and served Satan. I was scared.

    Yes, I found release, and none of that stuff happened to me. I’ve been so blessed, and have helped many others in the same situation I was in.

    As I said the problem was no longer ‘them’, it was now me. Their final chain of control over me (and you) was my hatred, anger, and bitterness toward them. I had faith that Christ through a miracle could forgive me and save my lost soul from hell, but not the faith that He could cleanse me from my experience. Back then I had to act to get saved, I had to want to.

    So I knew what I had to do now, and it was very difficult. I confessed the sins of bitterness, anger, hatred and all that goes with it, and gave it all over to Him. My life changed.

    Now if this website is concerned about that and somewhere explains and offers help so folks can get victory over and release from ‘the final control’ then I’m interested. But if it’s only about wallowing in the pig slop and perpetuating the bitterness and misery, then I’m outa here.

    So as I apologize for the length of this post, I ask you to prove my previous post wrong and show me the Balm, perchance I missed it.

    1. SeekYeFirst,

      You told your story again, here, which makes you Bitter.


      See how easy it is? And any argument you try to make in response to me will simply prove how deep your bitterness really goes.

      Sometimes, the thing to say in response to a grieving person is…


      Or, “I’m sorry. How can I help you?”

      Every time we try to point out bad behavior, the biblical way, we get told we are bitter. It’s the Indie Fundy answer to EVERYTHING. It is almost always used to deflect the conversation from places the Indie Fundies don’t want to go, because they cannot afford to acknowledge the truth of our original question. So, when you come on here and start talking about our bitterness, don’t expect a friendly response. Even if your intentions are good, you are taking the side of the miscreants who throw “bitterness” in our face so they can continue to bonk the church secretary on Saturday night while screaming at us about sexual purity on Sunday morning.

  20. I read a few comments before I had to stop and post my comment that I am an Independent Fundamental Baptist and not all of us are child molesters, rapists, and “other”. But, I will agree with you that UNFORTUNATELY there are “these kind of people” in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches. It is heartwrenching. If a Godfearing man or woman does not go along, they are excommunicated. I try to remember that eventhough they are hipocrits, God/Jesus Christ/Holy Spirit is not a hipocrit. God is not the author of confusion. Satan is the author of confusion and that is who these people are working for. They think they are doing God a favor but in reality they are Ambassadors for satan. When Jesus healed the blind young man. The leaders of the synagogue were demanding from him and his parents to know how he was healed and his parents who were scared and did not want thrown out of the synagogue told the pharisees to ask their son because he was old enough to answer for himself. When the young man continued to tell the truth, the pharisees threw him out. The young man had a choice of either “going with the flow” and curse Jesus which would allow him to stay in the synagogue; or stay faithful and true to Jesus and be excommunicated. Why should I allow the wickedness and perverseness of another cause me to make the choice to “curse” my Saviour who willingly came down from heaven, died on the cross for MY sins, and rose again the third day so that I may have eternal peace and rest with Him for all of eternity? Why should I “spit” in Christs face and follow “the damned” that do not even pray for me because “I am not part of the church clique”? Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a part of a group more powerful, important, and valuable than ALL the cliques in the churches and world. I AM A CHILD OF THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!

    1. Well said, I couldn’t agree more! I see a lot of hypocrisy on this site. This group of people who run/participate in the hateful “warnings” against IFB’s, are doing the exact same thing they are complaining about. They call out IFB pastors and churches for calling out “Catholics and gays”. It’s a double standard. I’m quite sure if there was the internet back in Jesus day, they would have a website ‘Stuff Jesus Likes’ or in Antioch they would have ‘Stuff Christians Like’.

      I have pointed this out before, but this site and other hateful anti-“fellow” Christian sites clearly violate Romans 14:10 “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Instead they start a blog to make themselves feel better by running down people they’ve never met, people that weren’t the ones that hurt them all in the name of “warning” of perceived sins (which are really disagreements in their personal views of worship). While I won’t pretend that I’ve read every single thread on this site, the ones that I have read tho, I haven’t seen one bit of scripture to say we (IFB’s) violate.

      So let’s call a spade a spade, this is a hate site. Pure and simple. And made evident at the chest thumping over Jack Schaap’s sin. Even people in my own church are doing that, makes me sick. Yes, he sinned and yes, what he did was horrible and if there are to be criminal charges then he ought to be charged and punished. But let us look at the fact that there are families destroyed because of this, what about the girl and her family? What about Jack Schaap’s family? What about the people of the church? What about the cause of Christ? All have been destroyed or damaged and hurt.

      Anywho, enough rambling…let the replies begin and tell me how wrong I am 😆

      1. Hate site Brian? My goodness. Amazingly naive statement. I guess that’s where we are in American these days. Any criticism, judgement, challenge, counter or calling out of someones beliefs and actions, no matter how ridiculous, is “hate” — I think Christians in America should aspire to making a little voyage to places on this planet where Christians actually DO experience hate and violence against them simply for their beliefs. Perspective is sorely lacking.

      2. As someone else here said, God is not the author of confusion, but He’s not a huge fan of certainty, either (Job and Heb 11:1-2). That’s what faith is for.

        Since coming to this site, my faith has been challenged (in a good way) more than ever before. I’ve been introduced to questions I’d never asked and viewpoints I’d never considered. And I should have been asking and considering – that’s part of maturing. I need to know what *I* believe, not just what my parents believe (I’m discovering I didn’t know what they believed so well, either).

        This site has driven me to my Bible more than most other things. That’s a negative indication of my devotional habits, but a positive to this site. I come here to laugh, but also to learn. And a lot of what I’m learning goes with “there but for the grace of God go I”.

        You say this site calls out fundies like they call out gays and Catholics. Sure, in that everyone’s saying the other’s wrong. The difference here is perspective. I’ve learned to subject my beliefs to the criticism of Scripture – there’s plenty of times here that Scripture is used to show WHY a particular teaching is wrong. And I love that we are free to (politely) disagree, even strongly, with each other. Also, I’ve learned more about gays (you know, the actual people) and Catholic beliefs here than I ever learned at church – and my pastor was raised Catholic.

        My beliefs haven’t changed too radically, but I have learned to be quicker to love and slower to judge. Well, in theory – practice isn’t very good yet 😳

        Finally, I’ll point out that the same person that wrote Rom. 14:10 also wrote 1 Tim. 5:19-20, about rebuking a leader publically, as well as having some strong words about those who teach heresy in Gal. 1:7-9. Also, Rom. 14:10 is talking about those that hold others to their personal standards, rather than allowing them freedom in Christ. We work hard to avoid that here – we don’t begrudge fundies their standards, just that they try to force them on everyone (and use them to claim self-righteousness for themselves).

        I love this site – imperfect yet so instructional!

        1. God bless you all brethren, many of y’all make fine scriptural points, but I’d like to say that I’m a newly minted IFB believer from an atheist family and most of these criticisms really don’t mean much to me.
          If one pastor does something here, or another does this there then that is before God, it’s a mighty blow but more often than not you can see it coming.
          While I can never imagine a pastor committing such vile sins and I can only surmise that he’s not saved if his conscience can bear it, I don’t necessarily think that judges his flock by the same degree, that every fundamentalist is damned by sins that the devil done discerned. No, there ought to be a righteous fury upon him and much repentance to anyone involved in covering for him but the sins of Schaap and various others are not my own, nor does any I know share the opinion that you place at our feet… That we’d like to hide that sin?
          Brother if that were my pastor I’d just feel dirty all over, all the teachings I’d thought were righteous would suddenly appear corrupted, but no, I don’t base my whole understanding off man but that of God, and His Holy Word.

          And brethren I do believe we need a separation from the world, this wicked world has gone too far, I’ll practice a clean living and my very life will be a ministry unto others, that they can see the Christian life is something different, maybe something superior.
          And that’s not just about various teachings I’ve heard from preachers but I just feel everytime I mention anything Christian at all around unbelievers, they identify me as such, and by the Grace of God I am, I know most unbelievers won’t come into too much contact with the brethren, they go through their whole day desperately trying to forget the Lord, so I must represent Christ, and if my witness causes others to stumble then let me be accursed, as the Word says.
          If I get ‘Jesus Saves’ embossed on the back of my car then from that point on I know the eyes of the unbelievers will be upon me, and I daren’t slip up, I’ll give a righteous witness.

          But I never once thought to think that my Salvation unto the Lord, and this clean, bible living makes me somehow great, I understand that my Salvation makes me unusual and blessed, but I wont get a big head, I remind myself that ‘All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God’
          I am a miserable sinner, with a depraved nature and useless without Christ.
          Even as the fellers at work flout their pornographic magazines, filthy language, mud music and liquor, I know it’s wrong, and I know they’re unrepentant sinners, but I was like that once, I’ll do unto them as I’d have done unto me.

          Now that’s my long ramble folks, I had to get it off my chest in the face of all this Matthew 5:10 stuff, I pray y’all find this a blessing, and it dampens whatever hatred or bitterness you hold toward the cause of Christ and the brethren.
          God bless y’all and have yourselves a fine un’

  21. Firstly, I think there is a fundamental problem within the IFB churches (maybe more than one). Putting the pastor up on a pedestal, giving him far too much power and hero-worship, is setting any church up for disaster. The Christian church meets around Jesus Christ, not any man. The pastor or minister is only another member of the church, one who happens to have a spiritual gift of pastoral care or teaching. The Bible is quite clear – any “ministry” position is a serving position; serving the church, not lording it over the church.

    However, there does *seem* to be a bad (unchristian) attitude on this site. It doesn’t come across as real concern or compassion. Watching the site’s members’ reacting to the Jack Schaap incident, I couldn’t help but think of vultures excited about a kill and ready to swoop in and feed off the carcass.

    Finally, it seems to me an unworthy device to dismiss any dissenting poster as a “troll”. I suppose in that way you don’t have to do any self-examination, but it seems a cheap and shallow response, to continue on your path without considering any criticism, whether constructive or otherwise.

    1. I have no doubt Hermit, that many IFB devotees would love nothing more than people like Schaap and the many other sick individuals that lead these churches, to have their actions swept under the rug, ignored, or forgotten. That’s certainly understandable because of how it makes your organizations look to believers and non-believers. But from my perspective, if the “vulture swooping” helps highlight the Fundie sickness and keep people out of these organizations, the better off we’ll all be.

      1. I wouldn’t like to see people like Schaap or other leaders, if they have sinned with a minor, to get away with it. But the people at this site never “outed” him, they just got a huge buzz when he was caught out.

        I guess your attention is concentrated on the “Fundie sickness” in these organizations, whereas I am concerned about the name of Christ being upheld before the non-believing world.

        You must do as you believe is right before the Lord. And so must I.

    2. Thank you for your polite criticism and for not being adamant and absolute in your criticism.

      I agree, the comments here are not always Christ-like. Some of the regulars are very good about calling out such behaviour when it arises. They do it politely, without assuming superiority, and, perhaps most importantly, in relationship. “We” is a powerful word in criticism. Newer posters have a bit of a harder time criticizing without being called a troll, but it usually only takes a few posts before it comes clear.

      It should also be remembered (and I’m speaking to many critics here, not only Hermit) that not everyone here claims to be Christian. While that gives us Christians an even greater responsibility to show Christ, it also means that not all posts can reflect Christ because the posters are not His (by their own claim).

      We need to improve and be more careful with our words. Especially me when I get into sermonizing mode 🙄

  22. Pastorswife,I need answers, The only church I have ever attended were IFBC. I have always had an uncomfortable feeling about them.But now I can’t go to another church without walking in and the first thing I do is start judging. I really dont want to it’s what I have been taught I look at the people and how they are dressed. If the ladies dont have skirts on down to the shin bone then I automically say they are not right with GOD, I could never serve here. If there is a set of drums on the platform OMGoodness!! If the ushers dont have on white shirts jackets and necktyes WRONG! Oh and facial hair NEVER.I cannot get back in church because of this. I dont know what to do.HELP I also want to comment on the way I felt when i went to a ladies conference I should have got right up and left. But I stayed and laughed along with everyone else. The skit couldn’t have been any more hurtful.A very popular young lady in the church played the role of a big fat girl who nobody liked. Very sad you should feel love not humiliation in the house of God.

    1. Dear Mary,

      I must admit that my knee-jerk reaction still often is to judge people who don’t look like I was brought up to think Christians should look. But now I see that as a sin and I instantly repent. I just keep running to Jesus again and again, which is such a relief. Before, in my pride and self-righteousness, I honestly didn’t see that I had that much of a need for Jesus because I was such a “good girl.” But now, as I see my tendency to make assumptions about other people and to think the worst instead of the best, I realize how much I lack love and grace, and I just keep going back to Jesus, confessing my sin and asking Him to give me His eyes, to view people with compassion and love.

      I had to change my mind about what “worldliness” was. I used to think it was pants on women or tattoos or drums in church or going to movies. But now I see it as being filled with selfishness, anger, and irritability instead of love, peace, gentleness, patience, and joy. We are absolutely to be holy, but we do this through the power of the Spirit and the evidence of His Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit being seen in our lives. If I see a pastor who claims to be preaching the Bible but is harsh and arrogant, I now realize that he is disobedient to Scripture and I do not allow his extra-Biblical preferences and rules to cause me guilt any more.

      One big step for me was reading the Bible in another version than the KJV. Verses that I was overlooking because of familiarity became alive in a new way. I especially enjoy the ESV and the NLT; I also enjoy reading the NIV (especially Psalms) as I realize how many of the lyrics of praise and worship songs are taken straight from Bible verses (often the NIV).

      Music was a BIG thing for me. It STILL feels funny to me to have a praise band on stage instead of just a piano and organ, but I no longer think it’s a sin; it’s just something that’s different. It helped me to realize how Biblical so many of the songs were. I’d been told they were shallow and man-focused, but they exalted Christ and often quoted Scripture word for word. I also realized that I usually sang a hymn intellectually but I could approach CCM better emotionally, as a personal cry of my heart out to God. I was used to a more formal and reserved approach in worship, but that doesn’t mean that a more direct and passionate style is wrong.

      I’ve often heard fundies describe hymns as “God-honoring music”, but the only way we can know what honors God is to read His Word, otherwise we’re just putting a stamp of God’s supposed approval on what WE like. Reading the Psalms showed me that worship could include loud music, shouting, hands raised, and even dancing!!! (That was a shock!) I determined that I would not allow my upbringing to force me to turn my back on passages like Ps. 150 and reject that kind of worship.

      Also I was convicted by the story of David dancing with joy before the Lord in 2 Sam. 6. I realized with grief that I was like Michal sitting in the window, judging and disapproving and making unfair accusations about David’s movitations in worship. I determined that I wanted to be like David not Michal.

      The skit you described is so sad and it shows how easily we can deceive ourselves when we exalt anything over God’s Word itself. Most IFB churches put their standards and preferences above what the Bible itself teaches — that is sin. That is idolatry. And the result of that sin is such things as that skit where Christians, who are supposed to be humble and loving, especially of outcasts and rejected people, were instead mocking them.

      “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ… God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ…
      Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (from Col. 2)

      Thank you for your questions. I just keep praying day by day for God to conform me to the image of His Son and focusing on loving God and loving others. It was also a powerful revelation to me when I saw how much fear I had: fear of the world, fear of what other Christians would think of me, fear that I wasn’t really saved, fear of God’s anger. But now I am trying to live in the realization that THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION for me because I AM IN CHRIST JESUS!!! It’s so eye-opening to study all the “fear not”s in the Bible! God offers me freedom in Christ, yet I spent so many years filled with fear. Now I rely on the Gospel every day – the story of God’s grace that covers me so I am UTTERLY ACCEPTED and BELOVED because of Jesus. Now I am beginning to find the joy that eluded me in the IFB.

  23. Pastorswife,thank you so much for answering so promptly.After I posted this I was scared,scared that God would punish for me for daring to say thinngs like that even though they are true.I want to get back in church I miss serving and I miss christian fellowship, I just dont want to get hooked back up in all that again.i have a neighbor she is so godly,I see her and ladies from her church getting together at her house and planning from the heart suppers,making crafts and decorations for the church.She invited me to one of the suppers and i really enjoyed myself. the speaker had a wonderful testimony of how good God had been to her after living a rebellious life. I felt out of place though I was the only one with a skirt on and the only KJV 1611! I do have a conviction about that. I really feel convicted about reading other versions of Gods word.Dont some of them take out the blood?
    I think I will start reding Psalms and praying that God would open my eyes and help me find a church. Thanks again you have helped me to open my mind and my heart to what really matters and that is the love of Jesus, How can I be a wittness when im so busy judging?\

    1. Dear Mary,

      I hope you can find a church because you need other believers and other believers need YOU! Focus on the essentials of the Gospel; if the church teaches those, other things are really just preferences and shouldn’t be as important.

      As for the KJV issue, if you are uncomfortable with other versions, stick with the KJV. I just know that for me reading God’s Word helped revitalize my spiritual life, and I found myself reading it more when I read other versions. I’d rather read another version than have the KJV on my shelf not being read.

      I gave up reading KJV-only arguments. They sound so very convincing! I just read God’s Word (especially in parallel Bibles) and saw that almost always the same general idea was being conveyed. To me, it was like listening to a pastor explain a verse in his own words. We don’t think THAT is wrong, so why would it be wrong to read what other men believe those Greek and Hebrew words to be? Also I read the preface that the KJV translators wrote; they never intended their translation to be the be-all and end-all of Bible translation.

      A word here or there may be left out of certain versions, but this is because it’s not in the manuscripts from which they are translating, not because they’re trying to subvert Scripture. They’re just trying to be accurate.

      And the blood of Christ is there! For example, look at 1 John 1:7 —

      KJV(Cambridge Ed.)- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
      NIV – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
      NLT – But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
      ESV – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
      NASB – But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
      ISV – But if we keep living in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
      Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
      But if we walk in The Light as he is in The Light, we have communion with each other and the blood of Yeshua his Son purges us from all of our sins.

      GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
      But if we live in the light in the same way that God is in the light, we have a relationship with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from every sin.


      But I’m not trying to convert you away from the KJV, AS LONG AS YOU ARE READING IT!!!!

      You are on the right track: you know that showing the love is Jesus is important and you know that you should be gathering together with other Christians in church. Don’t let extra-Biblical standards – things that aren’t actually in the Bible – became an idol that keeps you from obeying what God has actually commanded.

  24. You were absolutely right about at least one thing: it was hard for you to pin down a definition. First, you define “fundamentalism” too broadly: those who reject German higher criticism and Darwinism; hold the five fundamentals. (If that is the definition, then I am happily fundamentalist. I fail to see how that could be the bad word everyone would have it be. Perhaps there are particular ways of rejecting those two or endorsing the other five that would warrant derision but certainly not in general.) Then, you define the word too narrowly: IBF churches. That leads you to criticize a stand-in moniker for the errors of a portion of the people to whom the moniker applies. Additionally, as others have indicated, IBF is also a wide spectrum itself. In the end, I suppose there just is no time for precision (or accuracy) in mockery by humor.

    1. Satire is a blunt instrument and requires a certain assumption of homogeneity to work well. On the other hand, the satire here is still pretty darn accurate given how many people here identify with it. 🙂

      1. Perhaps it is also hard for you to pin down a definition of “accurate.” Even when people identify with satire, it almost always relies on perceived straw men, not accuracy from experience. Yes, it is a blunt instrument, and that is fine. A certain assumption of homogeneity would be fine, if it were remotely the case.

        1. “Not accuracy from experience”? This site contains hundreds if not thousands of stories of our actual experiences in fundamentalism.

        2. Not sure why I cannot reply to pastor’s wife, so I am replying here.

          You have read something into my comment that was not there. I haven’t read a single one of those stories, so my comment was about them, per se. Even if every single story is an accurate account of their experiences, that does not, ipso facto, mean that the conclusions reached based on those experiences are themselves accurate. Many people create straw men based on accurate experiences.

        3. This is one of the more, um, “interesting” defenses I have ever read.

          GM says, and I quote, “Even when people identify with satire, it almost always relies on perceived straw men, not accuracy from experience.”

          Pastor’s wife then quotes GM accurately, “Not accuracy from experience”? and then asserts that we are speaking from our own experience on this site.

          GM then makes the, ah, “special” assertion that PW read something that wasn’t there, when it most certainly WAS there, and was reinforced in the later comment; to wit, that we are erecting straw men even though we are telling our actual stories – WHICH HE HAS NOT READ.

          Seems to me that GM is the one erecting a straw man here.

          “Even if every single one of our stories is true, that doesn’t mean that our story is true.” Oy.

          Perhaps the alternative is too horrifying to contemplate. Perhaps our stories ARE true, and our overarching story IS true, and the IFB movement has MAJOR issues that are causing it to wither and die before our eyes. Believe me, we know how that feels: the sickening realization that our entire life was based on something that was WRONG. That it was a perversion of what the Christian life was actually supposed to be. And we have suffered the loss of family and friends and pastors who cut us off to one degree or another because we don’t worship at their shrine anymore, even though they can find no fault with our core doctrine (which they have abandoned in favor of arguments over hair length, hem length, shoe style, music style, Bible translation, school choices, which preacher should be worshiped in place of God, and the like). I have made the argument that we, in our pursuit of actual Bible doctrine since leaving them, are the true fundamentalists, and they have followed various rabbit trails until they have completely lost their way. They can’t argue the case on the merits (if they are honest, anyway), but they sure don’t like to hear it.

  25. What she read into my comment was that I was saying that your experiences are not true. That is not what the comment implies in the least.

    Your rendition of my alleged straw man is the straw man. You have seriously misinterpreted me, if you think that I am suggesting that your story is untrue. I have not had any of those experiences, but I do sympathize with your pain. I do not mean to downplay that in the least.
    I only said that many people create straw men based on real experiences, and my only real qualm was the definition of “fundamentalism” and its loose application. I really wish people would read more carefully, though.
    For the record, I am not IBF, and I could only hope that the IBF would wither away for reasons you list and more!
    Maybe you are a true fundamentalist, but we may never know. We don’t know what that word means.

    1. I did not understand your original statement. I understand this: “Even if every single story is an accurate account of their experiences, that does not, ipso facto, mean that the conclusions reached based on those experiences are themselves accurate. Many people create straw men based on accurate experiences.”

      I actually don’t like the “About” post as it’s not particularly clear; I’ve given Darrell my own potential rewriting of it, but he hasn’t changed it yet! 🙂

      Still though, I must say that it seems that if there are hundreds of people saying, “My IFB church taught thus and so and these were the consequences”, it seems reasonable to make certain conclusions based on those experiences, all the while recognizing that there are exceptions to every rule.

      1. After re-reading that comment, I realize how easy it would have been to make the assumption that I meant to attack your stories in my comment about “accurate.” I apologize for not being more clear myself and thank you for your reasonableness. God bless

        1. Thanks for coming back! I certainly know that I’ve said stuff that required subsequent clarification, backtracking, and/or apology.

          I agree with you about the muddiness of “Fundamentalist.” I think it was probably pretty clear once upon a time: it meant the basics of belief. What MUST we believe in order to be a Christian? But the term has been hijacked, or the people who were once fundamentalists have lost their way. Maybe a mixture of both. I suspect that this drift started in the very early days of the movement, as they got their knickers in a twist on non-doctrinal issues from the beginning. I have known quite a few of the leaders in this movement, and all I can do is shake my head at some of their pronouncements and behavior.

          At this point, it would probably be best if they died out altogether.

  26. I was raised in an ifb, homeschool family, and never experienced anything like anyone has mentioned here, praise God! Not all ifb’s are crazy. Please don’t lump us all together.

  27. I just found this blog. I too grew up in a IFB Scofield-only, no slacks on girls, no hair touching the ear for boys, no drinking, no movies, play rock music albums backward and hear satans voice etc. Church and Christian school/Christian college. I’m in my mid 40s now and I’m blessed with two girls of my own. I’m so thankful that they have never been exposed to any of that. It is sad that as a young girl I had the experience over and over again discovering how many extra-marital affairs were going on among the culotte wearing and clean cuts of the church. I do not have enough fingers and toes to count them. Two of my youth pastors left in shame after being discovered, Several other pastors and church members I knew growing up were having affairs too. By the grace of God, I decided early on that I can only look to Jesus and His example. Church human’s on this earth will fail me. Thankfully I quit putting pastors/church leaders on a pedestal in my late teens/early 20s. It was a hard lesson. I study God Word and still attend church (not IBF). It breaks my heart that the churches I was exposed to as a child were all based on the superficial and surface. How you looked was your ticket to be accepted into their church. I see now there was never any real depth there. I still occasionally battle viewing life thru the lens that I was raised in. But I am grateful that at least I know it when I see it now and I avoid it at cost. That’s my story.

  28. Haha, so funny to see a bunch of people getting angry over people who they accuse of being bigoted, pedophilic, arrogant butts… “Everyone is right but the blasted Baptists!!”…. Lol, get a life, people…

    1. Bro. Steve, do you not think those who have suffered genuine injustice at the hands of people who abuse the name of Christ should have a way to connect and share with others who experienced similar things?
      Also, I see very few people getting angry – except about the things which also make God angry, i.e., the clear examples of abuse and sin.

      1. And yet Episcopalians, Methodists, Catholics (esp.), Pentecostals, Nazarenes, Mormons, Lutherans and ‘Christians’ of all stripes have had many scandals, by that measure the Baptists, and moreso the Independent Baptists are pretty clean.
        Why don’t y’all revile their names?

  29. Bro. Steve, I can only hope that you are not well informed. The IFB’s have had simply too many outrageous incidents of men in authority sinning in some very evil ways, particularly preying on young girls and women. One of the “stars” of the IFB church is now facing a minimum of 10 years prison. I assure you, there is nothing funny about this, and nothing funny about the victims trying to deal with the damage that has been done to them, so that they can get on with their lives. You’re not a deep thinker, are you? I find your comment very shallow and offensive, and I’m not even a member of this community.

  30. Hi everyone. I’m new here, been visiting your site quite often lately. I’m an “IFB” guy who grew up in the church since I was very little. My father was saved from a life of alcoholism that nearly destroyed my family. Now as an adult and looking back I can see that this movement is in serious spiritual trouble and needs major revival. I would have never said this even a few years ago but I find myself with a lot of questions.

    I recently have been skipping services (which my job keeps me from making every service so I’m already on the low tier of saints) but I recently visited a “non fundy” church that had ccm and wasn’t kjv exclusive.. and I felt very lied to. I saw smiles on people that wasn’t plastered on their face and they played music with drums and “7/11’s” and guess what? The preaching was amazing (even though he didn’t use KJV ) and people responded to the invitation and were met by people who prayed wiht them, people were getting saved and doing business with God and I felt His presence. Since that time I have been very conflicted about a lot of things so I would ask prayer from the Christians on here as I start this journey. I don’t know where it will lead.

    1. Sitting,
      I too was where you are. I was afraid to visit other churches and little by little I did and found the Spirit at work, good music, great preaching and people who wanted to walk with the Lord and serve him gladly. I pray that you will continue on your path and find joy again.

    2. Welcome aboard The Black Pearl of Great Price Before Swine. Glad to have you sailing with us! You are among like minded and similiar experienced saints and sinners here on SFL. I pray that the Lord will open to you the cornucopia of Grace and sweet fellowship of the saints among his children wherever you may find them.

    3. I know the feeling of realizing I’ve been lied to my whole life. God is so good to lead us out and into a much fuller understanding of who He is and what Christianity can and should be. Of course we will pray for you as you continue to seek the truth.

  31. I have been reading the comments on this site for some time now & truly I feel bad for many of you. I feel bad that many of you have had such bad exp. in so many churches. I pastor a IFB church & I can honestly say that I never preach that your externals are what is more important than the internals. I never preach that my word trumps the Word of God, in fact I preach the exact opposite. I tell people on a regular basis that if I ever say anything contrary to the Bible that I am wrong & God is right. I never exalt any particular pastor from the pulpit. In fact the only man that I try to exalt from the pulpit is Jesus Christ. I do believe that the Received text is definitely superior to the Wescott & Hort, however I do not think that this makes me a terrible person. I would hope that there are certain versions on the market that some of you would not use, does this make u a terrible person? I @ all times try to preach a very Christ centered message b/c I know that it is Him Who will make the difference & not me. We do have a weekly time to go door to door, but there are some very good God loving people in my church that cannot make it, however I know & preach that is what is most important is being witness everyday, not just with our words but with our actions as well. I do think that it is a shame that many churches that used to run buses fail to do so anymore b/c many little children come to our church every week & get saved & many of them have grown up to continue serving the Lord (I believe that little kids are as important as reaching adult souls, as I’m sure many of you would agree. I have had people leave our church & go to churches I do not personally agree with but this does not mean that I have ever treated them differently, in fact 1 of my best friends did this & now go’s to a Non IFB church. I am not in any way trying to be rude or to put anybody down. I just think that it is very unfair to broad brush every single IFB church out there the same color. In a world with so many hurting people that need reached desperately I really don’t think this site is going to make any eternal difference @ all, however I do believe that the family that woke up early Sunday morning & came to church to run a bus & pick up many children & parents to take them to hear the gospel will make a difference. & after all isn’t this what we are to be doing “Making a Difference” for the glory of God.

    1. after all isn’t this what we are to be doing “Making a Difference” for the glory of God.

      I can’t seem to find that commandment or commission anywhere in Scripture Pastor. Unfortunately you are preaching the same thing that many of us fled once we saw it for what it is, pragmatic Man-centered theology.

      Your approach comes off as works sanctification, that because of what we “do” we are sanctified/”loved more better” by God. Scripture teaches just the opposite, we act (the way we do) because of who we are in Christ. It is the natural manifestation of Christ in us. Those are two polar opposite positions.

      And yes we often do paint with a broad brush, and in doing so we paint very few by accident. Such indictments that we charge the IFB movement with will color all those who adhere to it’s practices.

      The IFB is a broken and dangerous religious cult practice. It seduces men with the power found in the pulpit and even the best of men with the most noble of intentions will eventually be unable to resist the temptation and will use that power for their own purposes and their own agendas. There is no safety net for them, because they are accountable to no one. When a pastor gets up and claims that they are accountable to God and to God alone, you can be sure that they will soon become the only god they are accountable to.

      Are there “Good” churches out there? Perhaps it would be better to say, that given the template the IFB follows, some are not as far gone as others. I will grant that there are humble, Christ following Born again, believers in IFB churchs who love God with all their heart and try to do right to the best of their abilities… just like there are in the Presbyterian church, and the Luthern Church, and the Episcopal, the Church of Christ, and yes even in the Catholic church. (as well as the other denominations I have missed listing)

      The IFB movement is a spiritual death trap. It is a special kind of cancer that has infected the body of Christ. It is an idol unto itself and it’s pulpits (like many others that label themselves as “Christian” ) are filled with men drunk on the power they wield over their congregations.

      I am glad to hear you say, “I @ all times try to preach a very Christ centered message b/c I know that it is Him Who will make the difference & not me.” That gives me hope. That you would post here and converse with us also gives me hope. Take our combined experiences and learn from them and perhaps you will be better equipped to avoid the error and abuse we are all too familiar with.

      In conclusion: The Great Commission is: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:18-20(NIV) Likewise Acts 1:6-8 says, “So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

      Be Witnesses for Christ with his Gospel and make disciples. This is done through the ministry (and that doesn’t mean the dude in the pulpit is the only minister in the congregation) Ephesian 4:11-16, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” I know of no IFB pastor who practices any of Ephesians 4 past verse 11.

      You say,”In a world with so many hurting people that need reached desperately I really don’t think this site is going to make any eternal difference @ all, ” How can you read how people have been helped by our being here and make that statement? I believe that this site had made an eternal difference in many who have been here and read, the realized they are not crazy, not stupid, not condemend to hell but have suffered so pretty awful abuse, spiritual enslavement and worse at the hands of the IFB movement and many of its leaders. No, we don’t get decisions, and now we don’t have altar calls, and we don’t baptize and get names on the rolls and collect tithes… but this ministry has made an eternal difference in people’s lives.

      I’ll dismount my soapbox now. Glad to have you stop by “A Pastor.”

      1. I fear you are wasting your breath Don. I am realizing that the majority of men who claim to be a “pastor” are arrogant power grabbers. They can never be corrected and their indoctrination is “inerrant”. Fools they are and fools they lead astray.

      2. Even when a real man turns up you turn him into a strawman. oh Don… I could just see you witnessing to the lost.
        Well, I went through this whole page and I must’ve spent 3hrs reading various degrees of backsliding and reviling,
        Some of you backsliders I believe are yet saved, although I reckon you’ll lead your children even further away and into full-blown Christ rejection, Goldilocks gospel and sin.
        Some have honorable reasons, many most likely, but it often looks like the book of Job if Job wasn’t Job.
        And much mean-spirited hate directed towards the brethren.

        But if I compare the two comments I’d say brother Don comes off as the arrogant and ‘inerrant’, not his strawman.
        You picked a mote out of this man’s eye Don, while there’s a log in your own, repent while you yet have time brother, you don’t know how long you got.

  32. Let’s hear from the late ‘Pope of Fundamentalism’ Dr. Jack Hyles, who made the biggest impact on late 20th century fundamentalism:

    “It is rather popular to define the term “fundamentalist” as one who believes the fundamentals; for example, one who believes the verbal inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the vicarious death, the bodily resurrection and the second coming. Now, to be sure, such a one believes the fundamentals, but the term “fundamentalist” probably should not be ascribed to him if he is still a member of an apostate denomination. The term “fundamentalist” is given not to those who simply believe the aforementioned fundamentals but to those who have separated themselves from those who do not. This brings the doctrine of separation into focus as a vital and necessary part of being a fundamentalist. This author, for example, could not call a member of the American Baptist Convention who believes the verbal inspiration, the deity of Christ, virgin birth, vicarious death, bodily resurrection and second coming a fundamentalist, nor could he call a Southern Baptist who believes the fundamental doctrines a fundamentalist……..and I could not do so until they severed their yoke with the movement which is departing from the faith…..It is not believing right within the movement that makes one a fundamentalist; it is the withdrawal FROM the movement and returning to the original dogma, practices and convictions of the apostate group that gives one the title of fundamentalist. The basic difference is the degree of importance that one places on the doctrine of separation. – pp. 101, 111 from the book Jack Hyles Speaks on Biblical Separation; 1984

    This statement coincides with Darrell’s assessment of fundamentalism and fundamentalists, in the above post.

    1. Kind of ironic considering that the Church Fathers in the first few centuries considered schism to be far worse than heresy. They considered both to be sins but regarded schism as far worse because it irreversibly tore the church apart (Jesus said in the Bible that he came here to found only ONE church, not myriads of “Independent Bible Fellowships” or whatever). Heresies on the other hand could always be rooted out eventually through debate, reproof, or if all else failed, excommunicating the offending false teachers (akin to pruning the vine). What Hyles is essentially doing is turning schism, which is one of the worst possible sins, into a virtue by calling it “separation” and saying it is Biblical. It is NOT!

      Of course, IFBs probably consider the Fathers to be heretics themselves despite the fact that many of them personally knew the Apostles. Or else they doubt that the Church Fathers existed at all, because in IFB-land, “if it isn’t mentioned in the Bible it either never happened or it doesn’t matter to me”.

      1. Like Don said, great point. I have found more unity sitting around a table at work (during break or lunch, of course) with guys from other and even non-denominational worship groups than at a lot of IFB churches I know and have visited. It is too bad the IFB have cut out By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. from their Bibles.

        Of course, as I was falsely taught in my younger days, they don’t believe anyone else is a disciple.

        FCAP, the Fellowship of Christian Airline Personnel, recommend that Acts and Revelation not be a part of work Bible studies. I agree with this position. No arguments about end times/prophecy, tongues, healing, or church government. There is plenty of Scripture left to discuss.

      2. The Church is the fellowship of the believers, not the brick and mortar, nor even a collection of churchhouses.
        What you have said shows yourself a catholic, is extrabiblical and therefore has the stamp of approval by Don.
        God bless you, I hope He saves you.

  33. Hi, Pastor, thanks for stopping by.

    Part of your argument seems to boil down to “not every apple in the barrel is bad!” And I think that is a true statement. However, apples that remain in that barrel will not be good for much longer.

    You will not hear many people here condemning the KJV or those who use it. I love it, and think that certain passages sound wrong in any other rendition (Psalm 23 and Luke 2 come to mind; my opinion only!). Our problem is not with the KJV per se, but with those who worship it rather than the Creator; who insist that Elizabethan English is the only right way to reach the common man of 2013.

    I know other men who are IFB pastors who sound quite a bit like you. Their intentions are good. They are kind, humble men who want nothing more than to serve God and introduce people to Him. That’s all fine. The problem is that they come up through certain schools (the Mother Ships), and certain churches, that inculcate all manner of foolishness into them, and those non-essential teachings tend to dominate their lives. In short, they are not truly fundamentalists, because they spend all their time arguing about tithes of mint and cummin, while ignoring the weightier issues. I had a preacher boy roommate who came back from preacher boy class one day, stood in the doorway, puffed himself up, and announced:

    “I’m feeling so spiritual, I think I’ll go separate from my own grandmother!”

    Then he collapsed on his bunk, muttering and shaking his head. He recognized the foolishness for what it was. I’m not sure whether he ever succumbed, or whether he allowed his natural common sense and decency to guide him through that slough of despond of a seminary.

    I know an IFB pastor right now, here in Germany, who appears to be struggling. He is too smart to be totally bamboozled by the likes of West Coast Baptist College forever, but it is all he knows, and he is holding onto it with the desperation of a man who doesn’t know how far it is to the bottom if he were to let go. I have caught him using the NASB, word for word, in his explanations of a KJV text, but he refused to admit it, or even discuss it. He says that clothing and hair and other stuff don’t matter, and we should allow each other to grow in grace at our own pace rather than someone else’s preferred pace, but when it comes down to it, he demands certain clothing in the church. This means that he has to go with lesser talent in certain important positions in the church, because the more talented people insist on standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made them free. He gives indications that he wants men to step up into leadership, but he gave his 16-year-old daughter authority over men and women in the church, and he would change stuff willy nilly without telling the “responsible” person about the changes (absolute authority, absolute control), and so nobody is willing to step up anymore.

    The easy answer to all this is a daily reading of Romans 14, but the IFB will only read one or two verses from that passage while ignoring the overall point. It is also for IFB pastors to admit that they are NOT the way for their congregation to get to got; in the infamous words of Jack Treiber, “The pastor is my shepherd; I shall not want.” No. The temple veil has been destroyed, and each congregant has direct access. IFB pastors may give intellectual assent to this notion, but their behavior indicates that they don’t believe it at all. It would also be helpful if he would allow others to stand on their own two feet and exercise their spiritual gifts, instead of dictating everything down to the gnat’s eyebrow. The church will never grow if people are never allowed to do anything without saying “Mother May I” first.

    As for the value of this site:

    I find it immensely valuable. I read things here that make me think, and that make me study the Bible to see whether these things are so, or whether I have been reading it wrong. I strongly disagree with some things people say, while assenting whole-heartedly with others. I watch people float ideas for others to argue, and I see how people try to use the Bible, rather than some pastor, as their authority. This is the basis for growth! I see shell-shocked IFB survivors, wounded people who may have been disowned and slandered by IFB family and friends, come on here and begin to blossom. This is fantastic!

    So…best wishes to you, Pastor. I hope you’ll be a contributor here.

  34. I have read each of the comments written regarding my post & I guess I have some questions going back to the fact that so many here broard brush every church the same color. I have read some things regarding the ememnce lack of accountability within IFB churches. I cannot speak for other Pastors but as for myself I try to stay as open as I can with everything from finances to internet usage & our church has certain safe guards in place for all these things. Some years ago I learned a very valuable lesson & that is if u think u never would do something then you’ll probably be the next to do it. 1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. On your site I see much talk about Pastors falling & instead of this breaking peoples hearts instead many seem to get joy out of it. I can’t remember our Lord ever having this type of attitude before.I thinnk we must remember several things when a Pastor falls. 1st behind every pastor that falls is a family that suffers greatly, 2nd when a pastor of any church falls often the world paints all churches with a broard brush as well & we all get lumped into 1 group, 3rd remember it could happen to any of us & the one who thinks that it never could happen to them will probably be the 1st to fall. I wonder how many on this site has praid for these churches & these families that are hurting…
    Next I also read a great deal on this site about people never being aloud to question the Pastor. I am sure in some cases this could be true, however in every church I have been in throughout my life including mine I’m in right now this has never been the case. I tell our people all the time that if I ever say anything contrary to the Word of God to feel free to talk to me about it. I do not claim to be perfect nor do I claim to have all the answers & I am sure that on occasion I have misspoke some things & I need to be made aware about these things. Also when it comes to non-Biblical issues in the church my way is not always the best way & I am thankful for the wise people that God has surrounded me with that sometimes see things differently that I do & their ways @ times work better than my way. Again I am open to wise counsel.
    I guess what bothers me more than anything about a majority of the posts I see on thise site is there overall negativity. It seems that this site (no matter why it was started) has turned into a group of disgruntled believers who do nothing but sit around & thrive on making fun of other churches. Even the name of this site “stufffundieslike.com” seems very sarcastic in tone. Look i will never reach a Catholic by making fun of their doctrine or anybody else for that fact, but I will reach them by lifting up Jesus. & I read very little on this site that is Christ exalting & I read much that is ecocentric. We are called to be consumed in Christ & nothing else.
    As for my family (children) & our church my greatest desire is that they would fall in love with Jesus. I do not want the ministry I have been called to to revolve around me or anyone else or any other particular camp, I want our church to revolve around Christ. I believe the 1 statement that best sums up why the Apostle Paul was the man he was was “that I may know Him…” & this should be my goal as well as all of ours.
    I wrote all this because I want u all to know that not all IFB churches are the same. & I have a number of friends who pastor & I know that their ministry phylosophy is not what u all are describing either. I am aware that there are churches out there that I would never step foot in, but just because they are like this does not mean that I have to be like this. To say anything different is to say that every other church in Paul’s day was just like the church @ Corinth. This would be an absurd statement but no more absurde than what many of ur saying. I love God, I love God’s Word, & I love people & I can’t find a place in the Bible where this is wrong.

    1. Pastor,

      I’ve been following this blog since almost day one and I guess my claim to fame is being the “discoverer of the white piano.” But regardless, I certainly haven’t agreed with everything on this site and have even at times voiced my disagreement.

      Having said that, I agree with you that not all IFB churches are the same. Sometimes extreme examples are profiled here to show some of the weirdness that is out there. But still, there are certain practices and traditions that just about all IFB churches hold to. How do you feel about tithing? What if someone in your church told you he didn’t think modern-day tithing was biblical, would you be ok with that? Does your church practice faith promise giving? Do you expect your members to be in church “every time the doors are open”? Do the deacons in your church act as a pseudo board of directors or are they primarily there to meet the physical needs of those in the church? Do you give altar calls? Have you seen hundreds a year get saved on visitation yet very few are actually discipled and perhaps even less join the church? Are you the head pastor or are there a group of elders sharing the leadership? Are you under the influence of a bible college and/or mother-ship church in your area? Do you voice concern over deplorable practices in other denominations yet remain quiet when it happens in churches “of like faith and practice”? Do you preach grace about salvation but shove it aside with sanctification? Are divorced persons second-class members in your church?

      You can see where I’m going. When I left the IFB my doctrine changed little, but my performance-based mindset changed a lot. This site certainly has made me think and perhaps you’re there too. I hope you stick around. You seem to be very level-headed.

    2. One of the phrases that I hear IBF and other pastors use is: “our people” or “my people”. I can’t tell you how much the use of those words rub me the wrong way. The people who happen to attend your church are not “your people” They do not belong to you and your wife or whoever “our” is. That sends the message that the church members belong to you and that there is a hierarchy. Also an implied control. The head of the church is Yeshua or Christ as you probably say.

    3. Pastor, I think most of us know all churches aren’t alike, even all IFB churches. This is a parody site, which means that yes, sarcasm is used sometimes as a tool. At times, it may seem as though people get joy out of someone “falling,” but I think I will be the first to say that no one gets joy out of a fall that involves the victimization of another person, which so many of these “falls” seem to entail (Schaap, for instance). These are painful and sad, but if we can take joy out of anything, it is that he cannot hurt anyone where he is now.

      I was in a church that, in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t that bad. There was a real love for others there. Unfortunately, there was also the tendency to protect the church’s reputation above all else. That meant that sometimes, abusers were protected when they shouldn’t be. It wasn’t done out of spite or wicked intent. I’d never call the pastor an abuser. I believe he was a genuinely good man. But his behavior also made him an enabler.

      I’m not going to address everything else you mentioned. I just hope you consider that many people here HAVE been hurt and some of us have been hurt deeply. Before tossing the “bitter” or “disgruntled” label at us, consider where we are coming from, and love us as Christ would love us. He preached at the Pharisees/religious hypocrites, and He comforted and healed the wounded.

    4. I have some questions going back to the fact that so many here broard brush every church the same color.

      The broad brush colors so many because they are engaged in the same extra biblical practices. (such as many of the ones Stan has listed above)

      On the accountability front the IFB is a complete and near total failure. That is why so many men of lesser character are drawn to its pulpits.

      Pastors falling & instead of this breaking peoples hearts instead many seem to get joy out of it.

      In regards to preachers falling?? It’s no accident, usually it is natural outcome of allowing sociopaths, con artists, and Elmer Gantry types into unaccountable positions of power. The IFB especially, elevates the pastor position to the level of papa localis (Local Pope). This position is not to be questioned because to question the pastor is to question God Himself. *Many of times I have heard it from the pulpit, “If you don’t like what I’m preaching, take it up with God.”

      It does break our hearts when this happens to a congregation because many of us have experienced the “ministries” of these wolves in the pulpit. Usually it comes out that this didn’t happen in a vacuum but it was part of their character from the beginning. Hard to have sympathy for the demise of a wolf. Paul had some harsh words for those he warned other believers to avoid and have nothing to do with. Now can you name me one pastor who has fallen who was restored to fellowship in the congregation from where they “fell?” You will be hard pressed to find one because generally they cannot submit themselves to anyone else, having been the one everyone submitted to for so long.

      The IFB, single leader template, sets men up for failure. It concentrates too much power in the hands of the M-O-g. This template combined with the passive pew/lecture series preaching/preachertainment approach to the way church is done creates a Cult of Personality that give undue focus on the man in the pulpit; taking away from the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Here’s a quick way to see if your church is infected with it: Announce that next Sunday you will be preaching away and you are going to have some unknown preacher preaching for you. Then see what the attendance was for that service.

      Next I also read a great deal on this site about people never being aloud to question the Pastor. I am sure in some cases this could be true, however in every church I have been in throughout my life including mine I’m in right now this has never been the case. I tell our people all the time that if I ever say anything contrary to the Word of God to feel free to talk to me about it.

      So how many have ever taken you up on it? I’ll wager not many if any at all. Are you that good or do you have a passive audience of nodders? Or is the “we would never dare question the man of god” syndrome keeping them from asking? Or are you seen to be above the others since you are the “pastor?” In other words are you teaching your brothers and sisters how to think or are they sheep you feel you have to tell what to think? (the later is most commonly found in the IFB pulpits I have ever observed in 30+ years)

      If you are the single leader/pastor I would also wager that there are two other factors present: (1)the Clergy/laity caste system is in place in your congregation and (2) you are not actively practicing Ephesians 4:12-16. Quick test to see: Who is doing the “ministry” in your church? Who are the ministers? No, not everyone is given the gift to preach/teach, and not everyone is able to evangelize, but are you training and discipling everyone to use the gifts they have been given to do the ministry in that congregation of believers? How many carpenters do you have that can help with building a handicap ramp for someone in your community? How about Habitat for Humanity? Meals on Wheels? Another quick test: Is your church only involved in what takes place inside the four walls of your building or are you invloved in what is going on in your community. See, the IFB will not have anything do do with the community or the culture at large because they are afraid they will be contaminated by, or infected with, sin by association. The IFB is big on appearance of Victorian morality and have adopted Billy Sunday’s idea that sin is something external to be fought against and not a problem of the heart.

      Back to you post.

      I guess what bothers me more than anything about a majority of the posts I see on thise site is there overall negativity

      mmm, maybe we are. But you can’t identify with what many if not most of us have experienced while in the clutches of the IFB. Your experience in the IFB has not been one of betrayal, control, lies, manipulation, false doctrine and false teaching. I pray that you never have to go through any of that. Maybe there are congregations out there that are not man worshippers and pastors out there that are not drunk on their own power but if there are they are the exception in the IFB. Sadly most of them do not see it in themselves and deny they are caught up in the pragmatic, mancentered gospel church growth movement, hunker in the bunker, King James Only mentality.

      I love God, I love God’s Word, & I love people & I can’t find a place in the Bible where this is wrong.

      It’s not, and in continuing the dialogue here with us you give me hope.

      *but I still would not regularly attend an IFB church ever again. 😉

      1. My dad — die hard fundie and all — used to say that no one ever just “fell” into sin. My dad wasn’t a perfect father or a perfect man, and he made some pretty serious mistakes in his life, but he is still a very, very smart man. No one just “falls” into sin. You step right into it.

    5. Pastor,

      You may think that we paint every IFB church with one brush, and all the same color. But have you thought about the fact that Darrell usually posts stuff that they posted on the internet themselves? If the stuff comes off as a caricature, whose fault is that? If the web posts make them look ridiculous or lunatic or unchristian, should Darrell take the blame for that, or should the IFB start examining itself to see if it has not missed the boat somewhere along the line, to the point where it cannot see itself for the inbred crazy that so many of its churches have become?

      If our tone is negative, whose fault is that? Do you seriously think we are HAPPY about the failings of the IFB…the failings which have rendered it largely irrelevant in today’s world? Have you considered that YOU might be too negative about what is going on at this site? I know that many of us grieve over what we see in the IFB. We see wrong doctrine, overbearing personal preferences being taught as doctrine (Matthew 15:9), or a shallow level of teaching that results in NO spiritual growth in the congregation (seriously, it is not necessary to turn every passage into a salvation message, every single Sunday morning! Ever heard the phrase, “preaching to the choir?”). We see nepotism on a grand scale, to the point of covering up crimes. We see dwindling congregations in huge buildings that once were vibrant, growing churches. We hear the Same Old Sermons in these churches. We see “pastors” who are too busy following after some Great Man or God’s Ordained College to notice that their congregation is either sitting, stagnating, and stewing in utter frustration, or leaving for a place that has noticed that it isn’t 1975 anymore. We see other pastors who are so angry that it isn’t 1975 anymore, they rip into their people with the kind of rage that they used to use to preach against open-toed shoes on women.

      So, tell me: what reason to we have to be joyful when we consider what has happened to congregations we loved? And that was plural. I have seen it happen in more than one congregation. I see precious little reason to be optimistic about the IFB. And I grieve. You are probably aware of the phases of grief, as demonstrated so clearly by “grief giraffe” (search it on Youtube). You should understand that you are seeing different phases of grief here. We will move on to the next phase when we are ready to move on; not when some sanctimonous (fill in your own angry word here) comes and tells us we should move on. No grief counselor would ever try to push someone along to the next phase of grief; would ever start throw around foolish words like “bitter.” Only the fools who have been “educated” by the IFB would do that.

      Those of us who have made it out often have significant portions of our family and friends who have NOT made it out. As much as we would love to completely forsake the foolishness and ugliness, we cannot, unless we wish to completely forsake our family and friends. And so this is a place where we can come to vent our frustrations. Anyone who can’t handle that needs to wake up and realize that absolute control over people is something that is not going to happen out here, outside the walls of the IFB church. If you want to question us for the purpose of gaining understanding, that’s okay. But if you (or anyone else) plan to just keep asking the same old questions over and over again because you don’t like the answer we gave you the first time, then that’s a different matter.

    6. I know that my comment is coming out of the blue, long, long after the discussion is over. But A.Pastor, may I note that if you wish to be taken more seriously, it would help for you to use good grammar and spelling in your messages. Using ‘u’ for ‘you’ may be acceptable in a tweet, where messages are usually birdbrained at best, but it is less than acceptable in a serious forum.

  35. “In this account of my life, I will resort at every turn to amusement, for laughter is the perfect medicine for the tortured heart, the balm for misery, but I will not beguile you. I will not use laughter as a curtain to spare you the sight of horror and despair. We will laugh together, but sometimes the laughter will hurt.” – Dean Koontz, “Life Expectancy”

  36. @ A Pastor–I was in a Hyles clone ministry from eighth grade until my early to mid twenties. I have seen the man worship that is a great deal of the IFB. I am still in an IFB church. It is far from perfect. It has its share of people who will not question anything said from the pulpit. I am an ordained preacher, Bob Jones alumnus, and formerly was on deputation trying to go to the Amazon region of Brasil with a small independent Baptist mission. (Independent as in not SBC or other formal umbrella. Not IFB) I have been an active deacon and currently teach a college and career age Sunday School class. I stepped down as a deacon because I realized that I was not doing the job well as prescribed in Scripture, and felt that the children’s ministries I was involved with deserved my time more. I grew up in a family that was at the church way too often. Some of my younger siblings have rebelled against true Christianity because of the grotesque parody of Christianity the IFB has become. I am 50 years old, and have been in Independent Baptist Churches since I was 9 years old. I think I have a little knowledge of what is going on there.

    There is a lack of accountability in most IFB churches. They do, as has been pointed out, ignore the example of the church from the New Testament being run by a group of elders and misinterpret Hebrews 12 to say the central man is God’s unquestionable representative. The words may not be there, but the attitude certainly is. The brush may be broad, but it fits. The fact that many IFB churches never have any problems is more likely due to the fact that so many don’t exist for very long. There are some very good men in the position of pastor. There is also a plethora of megalomaniacs and egomaniacs in the position of pastor.

    Most of the folks at SFL understand the basic doctrines of the Bible. We also understand all too well the made up doctrines of dress, hair length, the KJV, old hymns, and other extra-biblical beliefs of Fundies. Those are the things lampooned and satirized here. The only way these things can become “doctrine” is by proof-texting by the leaders with no one following the example of the Bereans in the Book of Acts. They searched the scriptures daily to see that the things taught them were in Scripture. That may be given lip-service, but is not practiced in a typical IFB church.

    I believe you are guilty of painting us with the same broad brush without reading our comments and getting to know us. We really aren’t negative. I for one am positive the IFB needs to change if it truly wants to emulate Christ’s example.

      1. If it’s really you, you’ll know me by my current residence being a 1968 bus. And we’d still love to have you on the Amazon though I’ll soon be with a different mission agency due to some of the stuff discussed in this blog.

  37. All I can say is that I’ve gone to Presbyterian, Southern Baptist, and even a modern Community Megachurch and found the experience to be pretty dreadful. I’ve learned more and grown more as a Christian from going to KJV IFB Churches than anywhere else. This isn’t to say that IFB’s can’t have problems, the biggest IMHO is when they get too big. Then it becomes more about the human organization than the word of God, that counts for all of the above.

    1. Amen Brother,
      I first started to regularly attend my first IFB Church 3 years ago. I have grown as a Christian in this 3 years than I can even begin to explain in a setting such as this. At the core of it the Fundamentalist has a true desire to show themselves approved unto God. It is unfortunate that some Churches to get wrapped up in a lot of legalistic hippidy-hop. I have had the fortune of helping plant an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, and I can say I have never seen God’s work the way I have through this experience. Now we “Fundies” are peculiar but frankly that’s the way God wants us to be. There is a lot that we don’t do. Our standards are not the problem. The problem is that we as the “First Generation Fundamentalists” are not teaching the next generation WHY we do what we do. All they see are rules to live by with no understanding of them, and Legalism is Born! Frederick von Steuben once the peculiar trait of the American soldier was that they always asked why they were doing something, they sought out purpose. We not only need to teach the standard but also the purpose of the standard.

      1. Timothy, you’ve been in a movement for three years that I spent over 25 years in. You’ve been involved in one church. I have been in literally dozens. I’d recommend you listen a little more before you jump to conclusions.

        Legalism isn’t “not teaching why.” Legalism always has a good reason. It always claims to help.

        Legalism is telling people that what they DO is what makes God love them and use them more than he loves and uses others. Look closely at your own church. Look at how they relate to other Christians in the world around them. Look at how they see the unchurched. Take a long, hard look and then get back to us.

        1. Legalism is rooted in the sin of pride, the attempt to achieve salvation and holiness through our own efforts.

          Or, if you prefer, the conceit that it is up to me whether or not other people’s souls will be saved.

          It’s the opposite of the Christian teaching that our best efforts are insufficient to overcome sin, but God’s grace is wholly sufficient.

      2. Simple tests to see if your church is teaching Legalism:
        – Who (or what people groups) do you separate from and why?

        – What does your church do in and for the community at large?

        legalistic churches will be self contained inside the four walls of their buildings where they isolate themselves from sin contamination found in society at large. Not realizing that the internal sin they carried in with them is just as deadly as the external they are so vigilently guarding against. Its The Billy Sunday effect: sin is an external thing to be fought against so there is no appearance of evil. But the evil is already inside. This produces a type of Christian Perfectionism that is deadly to the Christian faith.

        If you believe that what you “do” makes God love you more… then you might be a legalist.

  38. We not only need to teach the standard but also the purpose of the standard.

    No, no, no, no….
    That is phariseeism.
    That is the path to legalism.
    Extra-biblical “standards” are man made moats, fences and barriers in an attempt to isolate the practitioners from the appearance of sin. It is adding to God’s commandments because his commandments were not quite good enough, they didn’t go far enough or into detail enough. We can do it better.

    The IFB thrives on its rules, its check-lists of self righteousness and works sanctification. The greatest cure for the IFB is to do indepth studies of Galatians and Romans.

  39. I go to Marion Avenue Baptist Church which is a IFB church. I have never felt more welcomed at a church before. Iam fully covered with tattoos from my head down. I have been to many oyher churches and have been judged so bad it almost made me give up on God. but God brought me and my family to a wwonderful church.

    1. My friend i truly hope this is the case. However; your personal anectdote is meaningless against the vast body of evidence that points to the rotten core of fundamentalism. Even if your story is true, which i will concede to you, it doesnt mean that it will remain true nor dies it mean that any of the other bad things are false. My advise: leave now! Run!

      1. IT IS 100% true. if you are ever in Washington Iowa come on by. I know there a lot of controveries with IFB churches and it is a utter shame that there are some that have fallen from God. But out of the over a thousand IFB churches across America it is actually a small percentage that have fallen by the wayside. I wish those that.have went through these terrible things could find happiness in God. I served a lot of time in prison and had no hope in life at all being free again. By the Grace of God I was released from prison after 9 years met my wonderful wife and have 4 kids now. And if it wasnt for my Church I would have threw all that away. But God prevailed and now I am more happy in my life than ever before. Sorry that some have had bad experiences with unGodly people but to bash all IFB churches isnt yhe way to go. Great though to get the names of those that have done wrong out in the open. God Blesd

        1. I’ve also been to Marion Avenue Baptist Church and know the pastor & many members & can attest to what proarborist says. Not all IFB churches are like that…

  40. Love this site. Moved from NH to VA to be closer to my parents. Holy Cow there are fundies everywhere down here! Haven’t read much on this site in the last year glad to see it is going strong!

  41. There are a few things that bug me about this website, and I want to stress that I refer to MANY people on here, not ALL.

    1) I dislike the fact that many of you group all “fundamentalists” together. The IFB movement contains many churches with many different (and sometimes conflicting) views of how Christianity should be lived, governed, etc. Yes, there are many churches who are very closed-minded and persecutive (not sure if that is actually a word or not…. but hey, it fits…) to those who do not adhere to their legalistic guidelines in every aspect. Fortunately, there are also many IFB churches who are very welcoming, accepting, helpful, and loving. Churches who adhere to and teach the principles established in the Bible without creating a religious court to condemn sinners.

    2) I also dislike the fact that a few–I won’t even say many on this one–encourage people who testify to have found acceptance and love from an IFB church to leave that church. Refer to what is stated above. Just because many of you have had bad experiences with IFB churches does not mean that everyone will experience the same. People should be allowed to decide which church is right for them on their own based on their own convictions and comfort level. Are we not instructed to encourage each other?

    3) Thirdly, I dislike how hostile (not exactly the word that expresses what I mean….I mean something more to the effect of “negative,” “unwelcoming,” or “unfriendly”) many people are on this site toward people who identify with an IFB church. As stated before, not all IFB churches are like the ones many of you have had bad experiences with. As far as I can tell, every agrees on the doctrine of salvation, correct? That we are saved by grace, through faith in the death burial and resurrection of Christ as a perfect sacrifice for sin? If that is the case, then (this statement applies to both sides) why are we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, so critical and discouraging toward one another?

    “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
    (Hebrews 10:23-25 NIV)

    My bottom line is summed up by the verse above. We all need to remember that we serve the same Savior–we fight on the same side. We should love one another, and encourage those around us to love as well. Yes, to many of you, fundamentalists have created a gulf between not only the non-Christian world, but also the Evangelical world. Unfortunately, many times no one–Fundamentalist or Evangelical–do anything to close the gap, or even make the gap bigger.

    God bless everyone on here, Fundamentalist or Evangelical.

    In Christ,

    1. TW, I have stated the following several times on this site and various others. This is an explanation of what the term “IFB” has come to mean and what this site is about.

      We do not lump all people from churches that classify themselves as independent fundamental Baptists as bad guys. We understand that there are kind, compassionate people who think it’s okay to go to movies, to consume alcohol, to get tattoos, to listen to ‘worldly’ music, to use other than the KJV, etc., in these churches. Nice people who aren’t legalists aren’t our focus. It’s the churches who insist that you be there 20 hours a week, conform to dress codes and other outward signs of supposed holiness, etc., and the people in those churches who hold to those things that we have a problem with.

      We also have a problem with people like Schaap who commit statutory rape and publicly simulate masturbation in the guise of ‘preaching’ and the people who keep them in office, not to mention the people who defend them.

      The problem is that the term “independent fundamental Baptist” is pretty much synonymous with self-righteous, uber-religious legalistic wackos. Words and terminology change meaning over time, and the term “IFB” is no exception.

      I hope this clarifies things for you.

      1. All right, thank you for that. I understand one hundred percent where you are coming from. I can actually somewhat agree. When I see the type of people that you are referring to I tend to think “Wow, that is why people despise and reject Christ… because so many Christians act like that.” I’m assuming that is the same reaction you, and many others have as well.
        Thank you for your reply and clarification. I appreciate it.

        In Christ,

        1. You’re welcome.

          Stick around. There’s a lot to see here. I’ve learned much and I think I’m a better person for the experience.

        2. Semp, I’ve already learned a few different things. I had never heard of Schaap before you mentioned him. I googled him and learned a lot about that scandal…. My church usually shies away from mega churches for reasons similar to that. It’s a shame that men like him find their way into the pulpits of America’s churches.

  42. Pauly Kirby stated it best in her essay from a few years ago; “Religion, The Ultimate Tyranny.”

    The reason this site takes a negative tone on religion is because there is so little that is positive about organized religion, especially the orthodox form practiced by Fundies. For over 2,000 years Christianity has contacted and consumed cultures different than its own. The result in every case is social decay, broken relationships, and poverty amongst those it purported to “help.” A Deatheater religion that gives a soul sucking kiss to all it encounters. Christian created poverty has only been broken when a society rejects its hatred and turns to science and a secular identity.

    Go ahead and quote selected passages from the bible. That won’t change the fact that the bible is and always has been a handbook of hate and oppression. No religious or fundie should expect anything other than hostility when they share the most oppressive and tyrannical invention in human history.

    If there is a god let’s all pray for a day when all forms of religion are purged from our Earthly home.

    1. Repulsed,
      First of all, this site does not have a negative opinion of religion, or even Christianity. It has a negative opinion of Fundamentalism. Many people on here are Christians who have simply moved on from Fundamentalism to more charismatic, progressive churches. I was simply pointing out that the Bible–which many people on this website still point to as supreme guide to life–states that we are to lift each other up, not tear down.
      Secondly, I’m not here to get into arguments. You are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to mine. Unfortunately, the only person here that seems to be spreading hate and oppression is you.

    2. Dude, seriously? I’m not sure where you come from, but for thinking people you can’t just say stuff and expect people to swallow it whole. There are mountains of empirical evidence to eviscerate your claims – but I suppose it wouldn’t matter to a zealot like you. In a lot of ways you are exactly what this site lampoons: a fundamentalist who puts your cozy, preconceived notions ahead of facts.

    3. Uh, you might be mistaken when you say that this site (I’m assuming you meant SFL) takes a negative tone on religion. I’d love for you to find evidence of that. There are some commenters/members that take a such a tone RE all religions (like yourself apparently), but most only take a negative tone towards fundamentalism & abuse.

  43. Yes. This is why I have taken to differentiating between true fundamentalists (those who hold to the actual fundamental doctrines of Christianity while giving grace on the non-essential matters) and Indy Fundies (those who rarely talk about fundamental doctrines because they are too busy fighting over the silly little things).

    1. Well said. There is definitely a big difference. It’s a shame when people do not live as Christ did, and instead turn to legalism and tearing down others that do not live up to their standards.
      There is also a difference between wanting to be separate from the world, and completely rejecting the world. We’re here to reach the world, not make everyone in it hate us because they think all Christians have “Holier than thou” attitudes.

      I can understand the idea of wanting to associate with people of your same views in grey areas regarding music, dress, etc., but never is it okay to be derogatory toward those who disagree with those views.

  44. I was raised Christian and attended numerous fundamentalist churches growing up. I remember how I was taught that rock music is of the devil and any other version of the Bible besides the KJV wasn’t acceptable. And a whole lot of other BS that I’m so glad I don’t buy into anymore. I left religion altogether about a year ago, and I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made. Why waste your life on worshipping and adhering to the rules of a being that has never and will never be proven to exist? Anyways, nice website. Keep up the good work!

    1. I guess you couldn’t accept it by faith that God is real for whatever reason but there is still time for you. When I left the Baptist Organization, I didn’t abandon the King James Bible, in fact, it was because of it, God’s word, that my eyes were opened and I started to question Baptist traditions. I hope you will pick up the King James again and read it yourself.

      John 20:29 KJV

      Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

  45. M.L.A., just wanted to comment, many of the things you said are true and outrageuous, I left it myself, but, you can still worship God and live peacably with all men and it doesnt have to be under the umbrella of the IFB.

    would love to hear from you

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A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.