Recently, someone suggested that I quit being an Independent Baptist. Their reasoning was that since I no longer held to all positions that they personally felt defined an Independent Baptist I should leave. I have nothing to say about that person as they are certainly entitled to their own opinion, but I will say that I am still, and plan to continue for the forseeable future to be, an Independent Baptist.
At the same time, as this blog series shows, I do not want to be associated with some trends and practices held by those who call themselves Independent Baptists. For the record, even in those cases, it is the practices more than the people that I battle for change. Whether it be someone else’s standards or preferences, abusive practices, or an overall mindset that some call IFB, I feel perfect liberty to disagree without feeling the slightest need to remove the label Independent Baptist from myself. That some have chosen to leave (who I still love and respect) has no bearing on my choice either.
I can give you two good reasons:
As an adjective as I use it here, it means “free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority” (from first result on Google for “definition of independent”). Think what a lousy Independent Baptist I would be if I allowed any individual, periodical, or group tell me to stop being one! Really when someone purports to speak for all of us in narrow terms and particulars it is they who deny, by definition, what it means to be an Independent Baptist. They may have switched the adjective to a noun, but I never have.
The Baptist heritage is one I embrace. I just added to my Klock & Klock collection the 2 volume The History of the Baptists by Thomas Armitage and I marvel as I peruse its pages and see our history. It is a history of Christ and His Word first and that is exactly what I want my life and ministry to be about. In fact, the distinctives of Baptist thought are still where I stand. There are a few of them that some disagree on though they dearly love our Lord, but my understanding of the biblical evidence brings me down firmly on the side of these distinctives. Someone came up with an acrostic in the 1900s that summarizes well where we stand out, and have stood for centuries, from other Christian groups.
Autonomy of the Local Church
Priesthood of the Believer
Individual Soul Liberty
Saved Church Membership
Separation of Church and State
That last one was added on a little later, but no matter what one may think of them, they are what Baptists have historically stood for. These things I believe.
Notice I bolded two of them because 1) I treasure them, and 2) they are so pertinent to this discussion. When I think of what Christ paid to make me a priest where I needed no other mediator with God but Him, and the corresponding soul liberty that sprang from it, I will never lightly give it up–especially just because some man or group told me to. They are not my priest. If fact, and I am not trying to be a smart alec, it would seem they would have less right, again by definition, to the name Independent Baptist than I would. At least that is what this Independent Baptist with all his soul liberty thinks!
Find all articles in the series here.
39 thoughts on “Why I Am Remaining An Independent Baptist (IBTR #29)”
I agree. Where else should I go? Who else has the same beliefs?
Well that does really settle it, doesn’t it? Still, that does not mean we have to go along with the excesses we see.
I too am remaining an “Independent” Baptist. My concern has always been, and still remains, is with those who have morphed “Fundamentalism” into a tool to lead by control as opposed to being a “Gentle Shepherd.” They have become imams under the umbrella of Baptist beliefs.
The term “fundamentalism” has its roots in those tenets it considered fundamental to Christian belief. The term was popularized by the The Fundamentals, a collection of twelve books on five subjects published in 1910. This series of essays came to be representative of the “Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy”. The first formulation of American fundamentalist beliefs became known as the “five fundamentals”:
Biblical inspiration and the inerrancy of scripture
Virgin birth of Jesus
Belief that Christ’s death was the atonement for sin
Bodily resurrection of Jesus
Historical reality of the miracles of Jesus
And had they stayed focused on just those fundamentals all would be well today.
I find it ironic that even Muslims do not refer to themselves a fundamentalists, but a segment of Christianity seems to relish the term.
My suggestion, drop the word “Fundamental” and replace it with “Foundational”.
Great thoughts. I strongly hold to those five fundamentals too and wonder how the term got hijacked to mean something so different. I love its original meaning. Your term “foundational” puts it back in perspective! Thanks!
Even though I don’t identify baptist (Although I did train with them, taught at a baptist college and even pastored at a baptist church!) I agree with you strongly. It is sad when people want to re-define foundations into fundamentals.
The problem is that modern Fundamentalism only shares these Fundamentalist roots by loose association. The modern Fundamentalism movement has its true roots in the 50s or 60s, and is related to the white flight from the cities, and connected to the Christian school movement. Honestly, I find it a sad commentary on things, but how it began seems to be how it is ending–with segregation–not necessarily racial segregation (though it played a role), but the simple concept, not of biblical separation, but of dividing people into groups, based on arbitrary criteria (dress, standards, music, etc.) which people pick and choose, and then attempt to define and justify with Scripture, but which, in reality, is nothing more than what the Pharisees were guilty of in Mark 7. So, the roots were rotten, and now the whole plant is dying.
I am, and will remain a non-affiliated Baptist, and fundamental in doctrine, but the movement(s) will die, though many or most churches will remain, but changes will come and are coming. What that means for us missionaries, I do not know…
I do believe that there are other places that would hold the same fundamentals, even the independence – such as many non-denom/community churches. If you’re not as picky about the “independent” tag then it opens up to a world of different churches that hold the fundamentals – such as many non-denom/community churches, but also evangelical free, many presbyterian churches, Southern Baptist, and others that are slipping my mind.
I do think that the “independent” marker is really unnecessary for life and godliness. I DON”T think this is a reason to not be independent. There are many advantages to it, but I do believe that there are also advantages to being part of a larger organization. I am an independent fundamental baptist, but really have come to think it’s not that big of a deal to be independent – at least not as big of a deal as most of us make it out to be. I view “organization” like I view several things – the morality thereof is really tied to how you use it and what you do with it. The independence of our crowd really, when you boil it down, doesn’t really come down to Scriptural command, but rather a reaction to organizational abuse.
A couple advantages that come to mind concerning organization – 1. You have a broader sense of community. You have a greater connection with other believers. Isn’t it sad that our independent churches, with all the easy methods of communication we have today, still rarely know about the needs of the church next door when in Acts, we see churches in cities MILES away knowing each others needs and providing for each other, even without modern communication methods? Why so? well, they genuinely cared about other people, AND they saw each other as all part of the same Body. Our independence, I’m afraid, has resulted in a disconnected and uncaring Body for the most part, which gets on click on the “disadvantage” side. It was never the intent, but it’s a natural bi-product of a focus on independence and separation. 2. It makes it easier to combine resources for good. Say you want to send out a missionary. Within an organization, it makes it much easier to get and sustain support. If you have to find a couple dozen independent churches, it’s much harder to facilitate and keep support from a bunch of “independent” entities. Also, if there is a particular need that a church has, the other churches are easily made aware and can more efficiently tend to the need. There are other advantages, but for the sake of my own time, I must cease.
Something must be noted – these advantages to NOT require organization via denomination or other sorts of organizations. Any advantage that can come from an established organization can be attained by merely churches coming together in love for the greater good – just like they did in Acts. I do believe that many organizations started because they were seeking the greater good together. You don’t have to form an organization. You just need to get organized. Your church community needs to genuinely care about other churches within the Body. They have to first have a SENSE of Christ’s Body! Our sense has to go beyond our own walls and parking lots! Me and my wife are attempting to do this by currently holding a bible study for our church AND holding a bible study for another church (which came about via some strange happenings). We hope to gain a genuine concern ourselves for the Body outside our own local assembly, and hopefully be able to spread that to others. But the main thing is – it’s Christ’s Body and we are meant to build it up – both by bringing others in, and by cultivating a culture of charity and holiness. One thing is sure, and can be proven historically, is that an over-emphasis on independence and separation hinder the Body from growing as it should. Why? Because unity and oneness is an integral part of what is the Body. We MUST keep this in mind. I’m sure there will be some comments about the disadvantages of organizations, but please keep this final paragraph in mind. I don’t care as much about organizations as I do charity and oneness in the Body. That is my ultimate desire.
Some have written about isolation versus independence. I see your point about community and do not look down my nose at others in groups as long as they are right on the Person of Jesus Christ. Still, I value independence particularly in the matter of control. That is why I speak out against those who would do that in the Independent Baptist world.
I agree with you on matters of control. If only we would all kneel daily before the one true Sovereign! Human nature does tend towards making ones self sovereign, which is where all the abuse comes from in leadership. And like you said, independents are not free from this. In the end, I do not think it is a problem with independent vs organization. It’s a problem with human nature, and we will always find a way to ruin anything. There will even be uprising during the millennium when people are under the perfect rule of Christ Himself! So I really don’t think the problem is with organizations as much as independents would like to make it out to be. The problem is carnality. That’s why I just don’t think there is really too much to be praised concerning a church’s independent status. This, however, is not a reason or plea to leave. I don’t know if you remember any of my past posts, but I’m very adamant about remaining and ministering to the needs withing fundamentalism. But one of those needs is a sense of unity and love both within our local assembly and beyond our assembly, and I think a focus on independence is merely fuel to the fire that is burning down our churches. Not only that, but also a focus on soul liberty only gives people an excuse to burrow down into their little holes and not let anybody in, which is another grave ill of our day. I believe it is true that we do have soul liberty, but it must be believed within the context of an edifying community that is the Body. We cannot see ourselves as a bunch of individuals doing their own daily devo’s thing, but rather a community of disciples following Christ together. The greatest character comes from practicing love in the midst of diversity. I’ve often said “iron cannot sharpen iron without a bit of friction!” But we get in the habit of running away from friction, when sometimes it is the best way to smooth out the rough edges and to make straight the path and sharpen the sword. Thus, we end up with isolation. Not because we believe wrong things, but because we believe the right things but practice them wrongly.
David, I do well remember your posts and always enjoy them. I see your points, and as I said, see them on community too. It has worked for some. I still believe that the community an individual needs could be in the context of a local church, that is, it would not require the additional layer of denomination to be effective in one’s life. I also do not believe that the community of fellowship among like minded requires structure as a demonization might give.
Carnality will sabotage anything, too, no matter our church structure and that is another issue of our day.
The term “independent” does have historical roots. The original independents came out of the conventions, and had to distinguish themselves from them. We have that issue here in Poland. All the Baptist churches belong to the Union–except a few, and for them, they need something to distinguish them, especially as the Baptist Union owns the term “Christian Baptist”. So we use the word “free” in Polish. So I can see the origins of the word. And I strongly believe in being independent, i.e. free from denominational control. I believe the scriptural church is a local church, even if what that all entails is different from what we see in Scriptures–which, to be honest, can never be replicated. (or almost never: http://blog.godreports.com/2014/05/missionary-died-thinking-he-was-a-failure-84-years-later-thriving-churches-found-hidden-in-the-jungle/) But like Pastor Jimmy. isolation is not the same thing. 🙂
The need to distinguish yourself via the way your do your church polity also varies from place to place. Here in the suburbs of Chicago, nobody cares who you are or aren’t associated with. Here, being independent really doesn’t really change a whole lot compared to being part of a convention or denomination. And being unified with other churches does not necessarily mean that you can’t be local as well. Also, if you’re going to call conventional or denominational control “wrong” – you have to point to some sort of sinfulness within it. If there is no sinfulness within it, then we really just have to leave it in the realm of Christian liberty. Some people see more value in being unified politically, and for many it does work. For others, they choose not to because they don’t see the risk worth even trying. Or, their only options would include some sort of unbiblical compromise. I certainly stand against sinful compromise. But I do not cringe when I hear the words “organization” or “denomination.” It’s the specifics that I’m interested in. And I do think that there is value in being independent, but as I pointed out in my previous posts, there are also dangers with it. I do think that for many churches, independence HAS become isolation, and many have a hard time practically distinguishing between the two. This in and of itself removes any value from being independent in my mind. It in and of itself has compromised Biblical unity and charity among the Body, which is one of the WORST things that can happen to a congregation. It redefines what it means to be the church. It eradicates the mission of the church and the brotherhood that is to be had among believers. If a denomination or organization would fix this, then it is probably the lesser of two evils, if not a really good idea. This historical and inter-cultural problems that some churches have do not necessarily apply to all churches. I therefore do not care if someone is part of an organization as long as they have not compromised sound doctrine or Christ’s headship.
Fair enough, and I make a point to not say it is sinful to be part of a denomination in and of itself, but I still treasure being independent myself.
David- The problem with denominationalism is very simple, and can be answered with one word–politics. And the result will always be something like what we read in Mark 7, wherein God’s Word gets supplanted by man’s doctrine. There has never been a denomination that has been free from it, and, in fact, even within the IFB movement, without official denominations, we see the “camps”, all of which are guilty of the same thing. If churches were truly directly under the stewardship of Christ, acting independently, the influence of such tendencies would be much weaker. As it is, among independents, any error or politics of man is of limited impact, vs. the more top-down impact that one finds in the true denominations, whereby a simple decree can change everything. I cannot find one denomination in history that has been free of politics and the resulting placing of man’s word above God’s Word, despite all the good that still remains within them. (My family is still quite involved with some evangelical denominations, so I am not ignorant of the good that is there, but the bad overrules it, IMO)
That is exactly why I so treasure independence!
And this ties back to my point – there cannot ever be an organized local church without a certain level of politics. It just can’t happen. Where there is a leader/follower relationship, there will ALWAYS be politics. I would venture to say you understand this, and that is not the issue, but rather the extent of the political structure. And it really just serves the major emphasis I’m getting at – many of our independent churches today, mostly due to our glorying in independence, have absolutely 0 relationship with believers outside of our 4 walls. They have 0 concern for anyone but themselves. Yah, they support missionaries, but only in the form of a check. They really could care less about missionaries other than the general feeling that we should have them because that’s what good baptists do. My main emphasis is that the independent circles have fallen away from a true sense of Church (upper case), fellowship, brotherhood, Body, unity, and welcome. There are a lot of different issues that are tied into this. Take the idea behind “greet one another with a holy kiss” which is directly commanded 4 of 5 times in Scripture. We apply this to modern times to mean “handshake,” but it was much more than a general greeting that someone could share with anyone anywhere. It was a sign that someone was truly excited not just to see that person, but they were glorying in the Body of Christ, that they were counted worthy in Christ to worship Him together. There is a special bond between believers that is all around unnoticed and unappreciated, and I do very much believe that our emphasis on Independence, as though it were a fundamental of the faith, causes. Independence is not a bad thing. But I contest that neither are certain forms of unifying organizational tools, such as denominational ties. The fact that a more detailed political structure exists is not in and of itself a bad thing. What the people do with it and who the people exalt is what it comes down to, and that still something that individual churches deal with. Just because you are an e-free church does not mean you do not function the same way that an independent baptist would function, just with a title. I grew up through college being told that e-free’s were false teachers and leading people to hell. Upon further inspection, there are just like us, only with a unified goal that brings churches together to reach that goal. I see nothing wrong with this. What WOULD be wrong is if that goal was something other than that which pertains to the reason the church exists – to glorify God through fulfilling the great commission of making disciples of unbelievers and believers. There are orgs out there that really just exalt man-made systems, and those I would not approve of. And there are e-free churches and IFB churches alike that exalt man-made systems and even individual men. Heck, how many conferences have we all been to where it seems that being a fundamentalist gets more rise out of the crowd than someone being saved? This is sinfulness – a folly that seemingly follows the IFB circles everywhere they go! I believe that IFB circles are far more corrupt to the core than many of us are willing to admit, and much of it comes down to worshiping man-made structures such as our independence or our fundamentalism, rather than the principles, goals, truths and Person that those things are there to keep and exalt – just like those that we speak poorly of for their more detailed political structures.
My beef is not with more politics or less politics. Those things are all but a non-issue for me. The issue is our response to whatever structure we find ourselves in. Either can be done right. Either can be done wrong. You say that “God’s Word gets supplanted by man’s doctrine” is a reaction to politics, but this is one of the BIGGEST problems with independent fundamentalism! You also say “among independents, any error or politics of man is of limited impact, vs. the more top-down impact that one finds in the true denominations” but I must submit that independent fundamentalism as a whole is just as corrupted as any other denomination, if not worse, and appear to have all the same issues as though it were passed down from a hierarchical leadership. The fact that we don’t have a pope or apostle does not seem to have made any difference. We are none better because our political structure doesn’t claim a political structure. The movement is corrupted just like the next one. It is here that I believe we would share the most disagreement.
In a local church, the potential, at least, exists for politics to play a minimal role. But once you go outside the local assembly, there is no way to exist without politics, power plays, etc. None. And if there politics in a local body, they are essentially restrained to that one body. Politics among many churches must, by necessity, embrace a much larger group. I’m not sure why the argument in favor of denominationalism. The bad far outweighs the good every time I’ve seen it. An organization may last even a generation or two, but never longer, and usually not even that long. In any case, decentralization by keeping each church limited to its own four walls does work wonders in preventing major sideways movement into doctrinal or practical heterodoxy. Any body that drifts is essentially, by virtue of its own movement, set aside. Each church answers to its Master alone for its doctrine, just like, btw, Rom 14 points to. 🙂
Perhaps we have a misunderstanding from the beginning. I’m not saying that it’s right for a hierarchy to determine what people can and cannot believe. I’m more defending the right for churches to get together towards a goal that serves a greater purpose. If that results in an organization or denomination, I really could care less. Ideally, I would like to see churches within the same community come together to help each other reach their goals. Such as a handful of Churches in the same area supporting the same missionaries 100%. Or putting together a homeless outreach that they all work together on, join forces to put together an education program for the lay-people, or otherwise sharing resources to, as a group, do other things they could not do individually. Organizations are essentially put together to do something like this – it takes people to be “in charge,” i.e., organize everything. But these types of things do not require people to believe a certain way to be acceptable or qualified, other than the fundamentals required to be a member of the churches. That is really what I am pushing for – a vision for our people to see outside of their own churches and join in unity to provide for each other, build each other up, and pursue the Kingdom together in fulfilling the great commission. I’m by no means trying to justify a Catholic type of organization where someone tells you what to believe, and you have no other choice. Perhaps this may clear up some of the confusion. We juts need to change the scope of our ministry, starting with those leading our churches. We could do so much more for the Kingdom of God if only we’d join hands with those around us, even if they worship to a music style we don’t like, are more calvinistic that we’d prefer, have a bible version stance we don’t agree with, or whatever. We take our independence to the point that we just separate with anyone who is slightly different than us.
WE are just so full of ourselves and uplift the way WE do things to the point that we refuse to join forces with others over the stupidest stuff. After all, Romans 14 does say “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God…”
We do a good job of preaching truth, but we do a better job of adding our own amendments to it to make sure people understand our opinions about the truth being spoken.
If your point is that there are beautiful, Christ-honoring ways we could work with other churches, I fully agree with you. Still, I love an Independence that does not force me into something that I cannot work with. In other words, I love no pressure to conform to what some higher up said.
I’m not denying anybody any right to form denominations, or whatever. I think, though, that history has shown that to always be bad policy. Even the Apostles didn’t hold it over the churches, as we see in Acts 15. Why should a denomination? Those are my thoughts, and mine alone. 😉
What is the “it” you are talking about? “Even the Apostles didn’t hold it over the churches” – perhaps our dispute is merely categorical confusion.
History has also shown independence to produce some bad fruit too.
The key is that leaders should be leading their churches to Christ, not to man. But since it’s a fallen world, even the best ideas break down at some point.
Sorry. Bad sentence structure. Maybe better to say that they didn’t lord over the churches–wield authority. My point is not that independents are pure or perfect, but that any error tends to spread much more slowly, and is self-weeding by virtue of the fact that churches that fall into doctrinal error tend to be self-purging. When I was on deputation, I called a few churches where I was told that they were no longer independent Baptist churches–most had become charismatic, but some had gone to the SBC. And maybe one had just gone non-baptist–whatever that meant… that one confused me… However, in the movement churches, and in the denomination churches, when the leadership makes a move, the entire group makes a move. Yes, there may be revolts (Catholics are not immune, look at the backlash from Vatican II), but in general, sideways movement is much easier and takes hold much faster wherever there is any kind of structure or even informal leadership (Hyles group–100% Hyles!!!). In fact, I would suggest that this is what is corrupting the independent Baptists today.
All I am doing is observing and drawing observations and conclusions. One of my conclusions is that any kind of extra-church organization is bound to bring unscriptural results to the local body. It’s quite inevitable.
You two have a great conversation going here. I really agree with krakowian on the value of independence, but think David has some good thoughts on how we should not abuse that independence.
I miss this comment before somehow. That story you linked is one of the most encouraging stories I have ever read. Great points here.
Thanks Pastor. I didn’t say, but I grew up in the C&MA church, and my dad even did a stint as an SBC pastor for a few years. I graduated from a Reformed-Presbyterian-run Christian school, and spent one year in a Dutch-Reformed college before going to a fundamental college (and I also had friends who were members in a local E-Free church) (in FL, near white sandy beaches, as a hint) 😉 I don’t want to get into the specifics, but I’ve had lots of experience, so to speak, with denominations. I’ve also had lots more experience with independent Baptists. Like Dave said, there is an ugly underbelly to the movement (as such), but in most cases, that ugly side comes from the denominational aspects of politics, man-worship, etc. And yes, a strong independence streak is a bad thing as well, but on balance, I would chose that over the other options. Some of the smaller, fiercely independent churches I’ve known have strong outreaches into their communities, and have fantastic testimonies, and are a great witness to boot.
I think, though, that the single biggest factor in everything is simple. Are we out for our own glory or to do what _we_ want, or are we doing what we are doing–are we living–for our Saviour and Creator? When our focus is on Christ the Great Shepherd, our eyes aren’t on men, and we will follow His footsteps. Even a church in a denomination can do this (and I’ve seen some buck their denomination. I once knew a main-line denomination church that lost their building because they refused to bow to the denomination for the sake of the Gospel–those people had a fantastic heart for their community, and was heavily involved in missions, children’s ministries, and other non-directly evangelistic outreaches, but they couldn’t tolerate the modernism their denomination had turned to–this was in the 70s). But I am still convinced that the best way forward for a church is through non-affiliation. Oddly, I suspect that most churches in America these days are non-affiliated, but who could prove that? I am in no way a big-I Independent, but I am a big-B Baptist. 😉 I hope, Dave, my position is clearer now… 🙂
Yes, I see what you are saying K. And to avoid repeating some things I said, I first want to say that I’m not really trying to make any point about how we should embrace denominationalism. It’s merely a springboard to speak of the fact that there are advantages there that we can glean from – such as the fact that the Church should work together. We need a view of global Body, not just local assembly. We can look back at history and see what didn’t work for certain people and learn from it, but when we look at the current state of fundamentalism, that is not sufficient in and of itself. We must then turn and ask ourselves what must we do to make the future more productive for the Kingdom, starting in our own community. I’ve been told by some that I’m an idealist. Probably true. But I think it comes from the fact that I am not satisfied with the present and the past. I try to look into the future and imagine what could be, and how we could get there. If we are going to be more effective in the future in our effort to carry out the great commission, I do believe that both intra and inter-church unity has to be at the top of our list.
well, I believe all those foundational truths…and i am not an independent baptist. many of my brothers and sisters also believe them and wear a variety of labels. they are not doctrines exclusive to indies. Indeed, i would say all true believers acknowledge them. the problem, for me, of being” independent” is that it proved not to be so. My belief system, my values, my “standards” were enforced and taught by a man, an individual, and his understanding of these things. too much power and authority reigned in one man, the pastor. I am so over that. my King is Jesus Christ and those who, in union and unity, live under His rule. I found that hard to come by in independent Baptist circles. have lived among the Amish and found there to be great similarities in the way they unquestioningly submit to a bishop as to the standards of dress, behavior and beliefs. No more. will sit through no more dissertations on why young men should not wear jeans, have long hair or ” have zippers,” if Amish..or why women may only work in the nursery or teach small children/and or women (who seemed to be in the same category as the children they taught in the eyes of most independent baptist pastors…done and done. fundamentalism is dying, Jimmy. you are living proof. I know you love Jesus. but so do myriads of others, called by many names. I got so saddened and weary of seeing godly people put down as less than acceptable because they were not indies. Not for me, any longer. and not for you, either, if you are honest with yourself. you are quibbling at a very fine line you have already crossed, in my opinion.
Nancy, the reason for remaining among the fundies really comes down to something that is very simple – there are people there. People who need to be reached and discipled. There are people everywhere, yes, and these are the people PJ and I have chosen to serve. You do not need to agree with everything a person does or says to be willing to love and serve them.
So well said and accurate!
Nancy, I must respectfully say you missed my point. I was not down on those outside of the Independent Baptist world, nor was I sending any criticism their way. I certainly do not believe that only Independent Baptists believe those historic fundamentals. I was down on some of what you mentioned, which is essentially a man-run denomination when those off balanced practices take place. Really, my heart goes out to those who have suffered what you have. It should not be so.
I am remaining an Independent Fundamental Baptist, but I am dismayed by the reputation that this name carries. I have spent a decade studying our Baptist heritage and personally knew or know many of our movements leaders. I believe our movement is in need of reformation to draw us back to our heritage of fundamental faith. I wish to see our name restored, rather than continuing to redefine the different camps within the movement. As Jesus and Paul spoke against sectarianism, so will I refuse to stand by and watch the Truth be ignored while camps are promoted. We were not called to go camping, we were called to preach Christ and Him crucified.
Could that reformation be a Truth Revolution? 🙂 The camps are splintering us and are often rallying around nonsense in my opinion. I pray the change comes!
I am working on an complete opinion that I will publish later. I do believe that the IFB needs to return to preaching Christ at their conferences and revivals, rather than personal vendettas. Yes, I will claim my independence allows me the right to have a relationship with God without agreeing with the traveling speaker on every point.
I will enjoy reading it when you are done!
Good write up. Thank you for taking the time to type it out. I too am an Independent Baptist. In fact, I’ll even throw in the word “fundamental,” as I hold to the fundamentals of the Christian faith. The silliness has gone on long enough. Appreciate people like yourself that recognize error and being attention to it.
Thanks Joe! I think there are many of us in this category.
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