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?
5. Self-Appointed Guardians of the Truth
7. Missions-minded Pastor or Tyrant?
12. Letting Go
15. Join Me In This Revolution!
16. The Emptiness of Performance Based Christianity
17. Is There Hope For Our Children?
20. Why It It Pays To Be A Man In Our Movement
21. From The Pew
22. The Worst Crime
25. Are You Part of the Fringe or Mainstream?
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
34. Cannibalization In The Independent Baptist World
42. Stepping Down From An Abuse of Power?
44. The Ghosts of John R. Rice, Jack Hyles, and Lee Roberson
46. Urban Legends
47. Jesus For Sale
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
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
66. Where Will Independent Baptists Be In 10 and 25 Years?
68. A Truth We Baptists Should Never Forget
69. A Lesson In Light Of The Duggars
71. Is This Really The Time For A Witch Hunt?
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
110 thoughts on “It’s Time For An Independent Baptist Truth Revolution!”
Jimmy, Thanks for your willingness to begin a series to address the problems amongst the IFB movement. I to have been disillusioned at the utter chaos and lack of spiritual discernment in tackling the problems under the broad umbrella of the IFB movement. The thing that encourages me the most about our movement is the people who are rising to take the baton of Fundamentalism. So many of them want to be completely Biblical and do away with all this pettiness that divides us and harms the name of Christ. Keep up the good work and may the Lord use you as you make these posts.
Thanks Seth! Your encouragement is much appreciated! Pray that The Lord will use this. I am so encouraged by guys like you and the ministry you have!
Looking forward to your articles Jimmy. I appreciate the grace with which you are approaching hard topics! We will only move forward as independent Baptists to the extent that we are willing to preach an unfiltered Gospel and lift high the unedited Christ.
Jeremy, I couldn’t agree with you more about what the need is. Thanks!
Looking forward to your posts! May God amplify the voice of reason and wisdom that is from above.
Thanks Mike! You are always an encouragement to me.
I’m reminded of my children in the doctor’s office when it is time for their shots. They don’t want them, they cry about them, but their mother and I know they need the medicine. We need some medicine.
I suspect the crying will be loud! Great analogy!
Looking forward to your next article on this, and what the Lord lays on your heart.
Thanks Sue! You are such a blessing!
God bless you…….looking forward to your thoughts and truly appreciate your spirit in all of it. May Christ be magnified!
Thanks Curtis! I so want Christ to be magnified. Are you related to Jeremy who commented below? My wife went to school with him! Please stay in contact and comment as issues as you please!
Yes….younger brother. Don`t hold it against me. 🙂
I won’t! Thanks for commenting! Comment anytime!
Nice thoughts bro, indeed it’s encourage us , God bless you , keep it up ,
Thanks for your clear and Biblical articles. They have been refreshing and encouraging. I went to Crown with many of the other commenters and am now at Striving Together Publications in Lancaster, CA. Have you read Paul Chappell’s book The Road Ahead? If you have not, I would love to send you a copy. I think you would really enjoy it.
Thanks David. I have had that book recommended to me in the last week, but I haven’t seen it yet.
If you will email me your address I will send you a copy. email@example.com
As always, your writings bring encouragement and refreshment in our chaotic fundamental ranks. I appreciate your willingness to discuss these issues and I look forward to reading more of your godly and biblical insights! God bless!
Thanks Bob! You are an encouragement. BTW, one of the articles in this series will be one I once discussed with you!
If you would please forgive me, I wanted to point something out. I too acknowledge there is repairing to do in the Independent movement. The Lord had allowed me to come to Christ in the Southern Baptist church then when I was a teenager I became an Independent Baptist by conviction.
As a writer I believe we should clearly articulate what we mean, define our terms and be as specific as possible. The same is true of your article. I was eagerly looking forward to the article (which I did enjoy and agree with), but was disappointed with the lack of what issues need to be addressed. If you allow me, I would like to point out a few. I also understand this is a running blog and hopefully you will hit these same issues in further blogs.
1) The lack of due process. One of the biggest areas of destruction in the Independents is the area of due process. All that is needed to try and convict a “brother in Christ” is to write an article, post of face books, email or preach about the subject. This GOSSIP is believed without being check upon. The Bible also clearly mentions not receiving an accusation of a preacher without two witnesses to establish the true.
2) Issues preaching vs Biblical preaching. The next issue which is plaguing out churches will not be one that is easily fixed. It is my opinion that most church spent too much time with “issues” and less time with the actual word of God. I understand these issues are important, but I believe that should be handled as we see these issues in the text. In the church God has allowed me to the steward over, I stick with expositional preaching. As we hit the verse line upon line, the issues will come up clearly in the text, but it is not all we cover. Today more and more Baptist people know less and less about doctrine. When they don’t know doctrine, they are susceptible to Satan and His influence through false preaching. “God never promised to bless my preaching, but He did promise to bless His word. The more of the Word of God that is my preaching, the more I can expect His blessing!”
3) The Books we publish. As we look across the aisle, we see the New Evangelical book store have moved to self help “pick your self up by your bootstraps”, “regain your smile” and whatever else. The Independents have moved more towards issues related topics. It is a direct reflection on the preaching done in pulpits. I understand the publishing world of “supply and demand”. But in all reality, when is the last time saw a newly written book on theology, systematic theology, historical theology, the name of God?
These are just a few of the obvious sores upon our movement. As one of the new generation of Pastors and writers, I have been preaching for a revival in our movement. I’m glad to see there are move with my same concerns. I am currently trying to practice what I preach. I am currently writing books (two will be out in the spring, with more to come) about theology, the Bible. As well the Lord is allowing our people to fall in love with expositional preaching and influence a new generation of preachers through it.
If there is anything I can do to be a blessing or an encourage to you or anyone who reads this article you came email me at SupersInc@aol.com. I will eagerly be looking forward to your articles and be praying for you as the attacks come your way. There are many in the old guard who are stuck in their ways and are unmovable.
I am honored to have another pastor put such a thoughtful comment on my blog. I agree with you. My next article will discuss your number two. I have at least 17 article ideas so far and may add some from you. Thanks again and I look forward to what you will have to say in the future!
I appreciate the spirit in which this is being done. For several years now, I have taken an honest second look at many of the things I’ve been taught since I was saved at an Independent Baptist church, and some of the conclusions I have come to have made me really scratch my head and wonder what Bible they’re getting their information from, because it sure wasn’t in mine. Whether the issue was that we should all shun and disrespect women who wear pants or if the issue was that the KJV was the only inspired Word of God and if anyone wanted to be saved, they had to learn English to read the KJV and be saved (what?!), I just had to wonder, where have we come as a movement? During this journey of reevaluation, I’ve been on the fence, back and forth, about whether or not to break association with the movement (not people in the movement, but the movement itself). I found that the IFB name was so tarnished in the eyes of many lost people because of what is being boldly and ignorantly proclaimed, that they were less likely to listen to the gospel from one such person. I have since come to the conclusion that God is not done with the IFB movement, but we are sure heading in the wrong direction in many cases. I have also come to the conclusion that my associations with people and churches ought to never lie in denominational lines (IFB only) but on Biblical lines, so that I would be willing to associate with and work with any person who holds to the same biblical truths that I do.
I firmly believe that we, as Independent Baptist need to have a revolution back to the unadulterated, unbiased truths of God’s Word. What the Bible says, we ought to do; where the Bible stands, we ought to stand. And where the Bible is silent, we ought to refrain from dogmatically declaring preferences and allow for individual soul liberty.
Anyway, I’m not trying to steal your thunder! But, I do appreciate your post as well as your post on dress standards.
Thanks John! I think many feel as you do. I want to do my little part to point us back to the unadulterated word of God as you said!
Jimmy, I enjoy reading your blogs and Alicia’s blogs. You and Alicia are such an inspiration. I would like to offer to proof read for anyone who is a writer. It would be a blessing in my life because I am disabled and often feel useless. If anyone feels led to allow me this blessing I would be very grateful. If anyone is interested, you can reach me at Tennessee_Tornado at hotmail dot com. (Be sure to put the underscore between Tennessee and Tornado) You can also message me on Facebook. Please keep me in your prayers. Thank you.
Thanks Jane. I haven’t met you but I have seen your nice comments to Alicia on Facebook. Alicia and I appreciate readers like you. Please come and comment anytime. It is great that you do proof reading. May The Lord bless and use you and I look forward to getting to better know you.
I just wanted to offer to proof read as a favor to anyone who is interested. It would give me something to do and make me feel needed. I don’t do it professionally and I do not charge anything. I am kind of a speed reader and when I come across errors, it is like my brain hits a brick wall. 🙂
Thanks for offering to be a blessing to others!
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Sign me up.
Amen Tony! Thanks for commenting! Are you a preacher? Or a Cristian who wants to hear the right kind of preaching?
Has there been any negative responses to your blog?
Not really. Good so far. Perhaps some are still thinking.
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As a Christian, Husband, Father, and servant of the Lord, I wonder how affective these blog articles will be. I’ve just read this first article today so I have some catching up to do, but from my perspective the problem with the Independent Baptist churches that I’ve been apart of are simple:
1. The Pastor doesn’t really love God’s Word, and he doesn’t study it for himself. This is my impression because many IFB Pastor’s that I’ve been under preach the same few messages (with different points & launch texts). They get stuck, even as Pastor Backhaus said, preaching on issues. It seems that many IFB pastors rail against homosexuality, abortion, and immodest dress for women, but most churches that I’ve been in don’t have those problems, so the preaching is vain.
2. Many, many, many “church members” are ignorant of Scripture and can only parakeet what their pastor says. See #1 and you’ll see that it is not such great depth.
3. We’ve made a business out of the ministry, and Pastors don’t “work” for that which doesn’t profit them. Here is what I’m thinking (just skimming the surface): When you look at Acts 20, Paul says that he kept back nothing from the Scripture that was profitable to them (vs 20), and in verse 27 he says that he declared all of God’s council. The stark contrast today is that many pastors are only giving milk from the pulpit, but if you want the meat, you need to pay extra for Bible college courses or evening schools, or buy my new book. God has freely given His Word, and the Scriptural principle is that things that are freely received should be freely given (Matthew 10:8). With this thought in mind, read also I Corinthians 2.
My personal opinion is that the IFB movement is organized throught Bible coleges as the only rule of faith and practice. Until Pastors stop handling God’s Word deceitfully and Christian men stand up for truth in their own homes first, these things may never change.
I agree to some extent with the problems you mention. The only thing I would say is that there are far more Independent Baptist as repulsed as you and I than you might think!
Thanks for you thoughtful comment!
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I have joined. I thought I was alone in this line of thinking. It is good to know that I am not alone in this “revolution.”
Thanks! I would love to meet you! May The Lord bless you!
I am seldom in SC, but if you make it to KY, drop me a line. I would love to hear your story. I just found you as I started playing with wordpress and felt a sense of camaraderie in your convictions.
If I get that way, I definitely will. God bless!
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Just started following your blog today. We have left our IFB church after 45 years and your blog posts explain the reason why. Thanks for trying to open eyes within the IFB circles.
Thanks for the encouragement!
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Greetings; I’ve been reading the articles and generally enjoying them.
However, #13 (The Silent Majority) keeps coming up with a “page not found” error — did you take down this one?
Yes, there are two or three in the series I think that I took down for one reason or another. Glad you are enjoying the series!