I’m going out on a limb. You may want to rev your chainsaw before you reach the end of the blog post and take care of that limb for me. But I am compelled. Three months of prayer and thought precede this introductory blog post of a series calling on we who march under the flag of the Independent Baptist Battalion in the Lord’s army to shape up our sloppy group. We are a passionate group with a high number soldiers decorated for valor and about as many needing time in the brig. I am as convinced, though, that we are a most valuable battalion that is greatly needed in the battles ahead. When I say battles, I mean some of the most ferocious ever, particularly as we see developments all around us.
Two theories must be dispensed with immediately:
1. God is finished with Independent Baptists.
If you think so, you simply don’t know some of them as I do. Many of them are kind, giving, and passionate for Christ. Their lives are wrapped up in Him. Even though some may carry a few traits that are worthy of reevaluation, they are sincere. Many of them have an undaunting zeal. Some of them would charge Hell with a toothpick and a squirt gun. Though some of it might be zeal without knowledge, I think we would be worse off if it all went away.
2. The Independent Baptist Movement is perfectly fine.
Our excesses are finally catching up with us. Our being convinced that we are the greatest blessing the Lord ever had is blinding us to glaring failures. The bitter poison of pride boils in a cauldron of conceit as many of us are now convinced that we are the only group that actually pleases the Lord, follows His Word, or has His blessing. Many on the outside looking in can easily see what has never occurred to us–we have a superiority complex. We aren’t the first, likely we won’t be the last, but we have got it good. It makes a mockery of the label “independent” as it is classic denominational pride.
I write because I care. I want Independent Baptists to succeed, but I would love to see them address the critical issues demanding attention. Actually, that is the only pathway to success left!
To ignore the issues only deepens the problem. To claim there are no problems is to disconnect with reality. We cringe when a 20/20 or CNN exposé comes out, but besides some skewing there are ugly truths in them. We lambaste the critical or mocking posts on sites like stufffundieslike.com, but we sadly give them material that comedians salivate over.
I write because, perhaps, it would be better to hear it from within. I guess that remains to be seen, but I will make a stab at it.
Why me? No special reason. I am not an “important person” within the Independent Baptist movement, but that might be a plus too. If I were, I likely would be thought to be associated with one clique and so have all my comments interpreted though that filter. No clique in the Independent Baptist world has any power over me. On the other hand, I have been around almost all of them at some point. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly– I mean the really good, the really bad, and the really ugly!
So I plan to write an article and release it every Tuesday morning for this series. I will not give names as I do not want to be guilty of what I must criticize, but I will come hard at the issues. Even if you disagree with all I say, I pray after it is all over you will consider me a Christian gentleman.
Would you come along on this discussion with me? You can follow this blog via email or I will still share on Facebook and Twitter. In any event, join the discussion and leave comments. I won’t delete them unless you are vulgar or attacking of some individual.
Again, I know the risks. When I wrote a blog on dress standards last December, we went into a nuclear winter of sorts. People who play the game don’t want change. So I sending out an urgent call–a call to an Independent Baptist Truth Revolution!
The Dress Standards article mentioned above
Posts in the series:
2. We Preach the Word of God. Really?
3. Personality Cults
4. Jesus and the Old Paths
5. Self-Appointed Guardians of the Truth
6. The Weight of Omnipotence
7. Missions-minded Pastor or Tyrant?
8. Christmas–A Case Study
9. Peripheral Vision
10. Staffs Under The Gun
11. The Missing Ingredient
12. Letting Go
13. The Silent Majority
14. The Cost of Disloyalty
15. Join Me In This Revolution!
16. The Emptiness of Performance Based Christianity
17. Is There Hope For Our Children?
18. Plastic Christianity
20. Why It It Pays To Be A Man In Our Movement
21. From The Pew
22. The Worst Crime
23. Is Shunning In The Bible?
24. Fringe Versus Mainstream
25. Are You Part of the Fringe or Mainstream?
26. The Idolatry of Success
27. So Jimmy, Why Do You Write This Stuff?
28. Grace Killers!
29. Why I Am Remaining An Independent Baptist
30. Soulwinning–The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
31. Truth Versus Tradition
32. Would Jesus Like It?
33. Dishonesty In Preaching
34. Cannibalization In The Independent Baptist World
35. Crucifying Our Straw Men
37. Academic Inbreeding
38. Win Them…To What?
39. Hopeless Inconsistencies
40. Spiritual Gestapos
41. Fake It Till You Make It
42. Stepping Down From An Abuse of Power?
43. The L Word–Liberal
44. The Ghosts of John R. Rice, Jack Hyles, and Lee Roberson
45. Spiritual Profiling
46. Urban Legends
47. Jesus For Sale
48. Standing Up To The World
50. A Cult?
51. The Greatest Motivation to be a Pharisee
52. Straining At Gnats and Swallowing Camels
53. The Inverted Spiritual Gift of Griping
54. The BJU Probe
55. Cookie Cutter Christians
56. Have You Left Doctrine?
57. Make Sure You Leave Right
58. Why I Don’t Like What My Husband Likes
(My comments and an article my wife wrote about how she feels about me writing this series.)
59. So You Must Be in Full Time Ministry?
60. It’s What’s Right, Not Who’s Right
61. So Who Is Your Lord And Master?
62. I’m Out!
63. Misconceptions About the Truth Revolution
64. Old-Fashioned Church?
65. Our Brand of Idolatry
66. Where Will Independent Baptists Be In 10 and 25 Years?
67. Are You a Narcissist?
68. A Truth We Baptists Should Never Forget
69. A Lesson In Light Of The Duggars
70. A Sword Or A Club?
71. Is This Really The Time For A Witch Hunt?
72. The Priority Of Bad News
73. Sola Scriptura–Is The Bible Our Only Guide?
74. Do You Have Your Own Spiritual Litmus Test?
75. The Five Key Issues Facing The Independent Baptist World Today