How to be an Independent Baptist and Get Along with Others at the Same Time Part 2

A few weeks ago I posted Part 1 in the series about “How to be an Independent Baptist and Get Along with Others at the Same Time.” You can read that here if you haven’t done so yet: How to be an Independent Baptist and Get-Along With Others at the Same Time  It has been a busy few weeks and I have answered a lot of emails and calls in light of what I first wrote. So forgive me for the delay in posting the concluding thoughts. Here is Part 2:

4. Remember that good men can maintain a variety of positions with a loving, gentle, Christlike spirit, and should!

It is called love, and “is kind” and “envieth not” and “vaunteth not itself” and is “not puffed up.” It “does not behave itself unseemly, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (I Corinthians 13:4-5 AV).  John said it like this: “he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (I John 4:20 AV).  For instance, a few friends of mine host something called “Idea Day.” Love them. Pray for them. Ask God to use them to help our movement learn some good ideas and implement them to the winning of souls and the furtherance of the gospel.  One pastor may use a song you don’t prefer.  Pray for him.  Love him.  Ask God to use him to impact thousands of lives and through his ministry to win many souls to Christ.  Another pastor’s church may have a dress standard that is a full foot and a half longer than your standard!  Love him. Pray for him.  Thank God for the work he is doing and ask God to use him to impact thousands of lives and through his ministry to win many souls to Christ.  We must remember that Independent Baptists can maintain a variety of positions with a loving, gentle, Christlike spirit and should.

5.  Remember that good men should stop attacking each other and should stop reading the reports of those who publish such attacks.

Have you ever read David Cloud’s view of Lancaster Baptist Church’s music? You would expect a nightclub atmosphere with smoke and deafening volume and people dancing in the aisle. What they actually have is great services filled with good singing and great preaching and dozens who are coming to Christ. Have you ever heard some people’s views of the dress standards of my good friends the Van Gelderens?  Some would have you think that they are a weird communal cult, while they are actually a wonderful group of loving people who are desperately trying to honor God by living Christ-like lives and by reaching souls for Christ.  They are dear friends to our family and ministry! We should always remember that God’s word instructs us to “speak not evil one of another” (James 4:11).  We seem to have forgotten that the “wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy, and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).  I have tried to make it my practice for many years to do two things in light of these matters.  First, when I hear a negative about another brother, I try to jot him a note and encourage him in a specific area where I know he is being used of God.  Second, I ask God to help me not to be critical and unfair towards another. I fear that we too often make judgments assuming that we know another’s motives, the will of God for him and his ministry, and even his future!

In conclusion, I say it again: the Independent Baptists that I know love Jesus and are genuinely seeking to please Him. Many of them are sincere soul-winners and have given their lives to reach people with the Gospel. We don’t always agree.  Some use music that I am not as comfortable with as others are. Some write or tweet things that startle me. Some do things I would not do if I were in charge of their church. However, I am for them. I pray for them and hope they can impact this generation and that thousands come to Christ. I pray for their families and hope their children love God and serve God in the same way that I want my children to love and serve God.  I pray for their purity, that they will always have a clean heart. I pray for their churches that they will see thousands of lives changed by the power of the Gospel.  And I pray for me.  That I will be an encouragement to fellow believers, that I too will maintain a clean heart, and that I too will love souls and see thousands saved!

We don’t always have to agree wholeheartedly with each other.  But we are brothers and we serve the same Jesus!  Let’s pray for each other and encourage each other and in the midst of all of our differences of opinions, let’s pray for great wisdom.  After all, “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy, and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:17-18 AV).

16 thoughts on “How to be an Independent Baptist and Get Along with Others at the Same Time Part 2

  1. Brother Young,

    Thank you for your much needed thoughts. I appreciated your messages when i was a student at pcc. I’m wondering what your thoughts are considering intetaction with believers who are not IFB such as Southern Baptists, non-denominational or Reformed churches.

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    • Hey Kevin: always good to hear from you! Thanks for the encouragement. I believe that much of my thoughts can certainly apply to interaction with other believers. It worked for John Rice and many of the great men of the past.

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  2. Little did R. Hurwich realize the impact he would have on the future of the church when he introduced his little hand-held label maker device in 1958. Labeling had been such a painstaking and laborious task before; but no more, now, anyone can label! And the labels stick!!

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  3. Sir,
    I appreciate your use of scripture in this blog. I think your argument for getting along is valid, but isn’t that a command from scripture anyway (Rom 12:8)? That leads me to believe this argument is a deeper one- an unscriptural one quite frankly, and one that is highlighted by some of the responses I’ve seen such as (paraphrasing) “shouldn’t we be getting along with all Christians this way?”. In your first blog you mentioned that Josh Teis “would be somewhat to the left of where I am”- let me ask you: on what scale?? Is it the scale of holiness? If that is the case- aren’t you doing the same thing that all these commenters are bitter about from other pastors?? Secondly- if to the right of you is more holy or more adherent to Biblical standards, why would you not want to be to the right?? The scripture you used out of context in your first blog (Romans 14) is talking about weaker (Jewish) Christians– are you saying Josh Teis is weaker? Certainly none of the brothers in Romans 14 were called to preach until they became stronger. Are you saying that to the left is lower standards? Lower than what? Is to the left more worldly? How can you in good conscience ask people to drop all Biblical discernment and treat these issues as secondary to unity? We have all been treated poorly by Independent Baptists who use standards as a spiritual comparison between believers. Josh Teis’s entire ‘movement’ in my estimation is an appeal to bitter Christians inviting them to take one step closer to the world with him and still keep the ‘Baptist distinctives’ while ranking doctrines in order of importance so that no one is ‘judged’. You advocate this by ‘serving’ with him you applaud his methods by omitting the dangers of his ministry. I find it hypocritical that you rebuke David Cloud for warning about the lack of music standards in Paul Chappel’s ministry. First of all- I don’t agree completely with Bro. Cloud- but you didn’t mention that we should pray for him- you told everyone to stop reading his blog while applauding Josh Teis’s attack blog on the New Independent Baptist movement. These two blogs state something completely obvious on the surface while advocating something much more dangerous beneath. I would really appreciate this being posted- for transparency’s sake- unlike my comments on your previous blog.

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    • Hello again: I respect your thoughts, although I think your opening few sentences do not make sense. You acknowledge that we are COMMANDED to get along with other believers and then reprimand me for blogging that we should obey that command. I am in no way asking you to drop your standards or your positions or your views. I am asking simply that we who are Independent Baptists reconsider our refusal to GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER. That is all, my friend. I take it, from your comments, that you don’t much like Josh Teis. I don’t agree with him on everything he does, just like I don’t always agree with my own church on everything they do. Or with Bob Jones University. Or my own Alma Mater. Or the college where I send two of my children. Or with pastors who allow their wives to have short hair while preaching that men with long hair are liberal. Or with any number of issues and matters. I am going to preach and teach holiness and love, grace and truth, and on and on. I am also going to do everything I can to GET ALONG WITH fellow Independent Baptists.
      Respectfully yours, Dave

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      • Sir, thank you for your response– and for posting my comment- I know you are a busy man. The Lord has used your ministry in my life and family personally and I’m very grateful. My opening sentences reflect the pointlessness of asking Christian people to get along while never defining what that means. Based on your blog, you define getting along as ‘serving’ which I whole heartedly disagree with as against Bible teaching on separation (Rom 16:17, 2Cor6) therefore your position would be unscriptural when defined in the context of your post. Many Southern Baptists and even some Conservative Evangelicals hold to the Baptist distinctives (Westminster Confession of Faith 1646, London Baptist Confession 1689), would you ‘serve’ with them? The distinctives are apparently the only litmus for Independent since as defined in your first blog we are only Independent so that we can do whatever we want. I have a Christian friend at work who is a Charismatic- he holds to most of the distincitves, but I will not serve with this man– we have some great discussions and there is no animosity or ‘not getting along’. Would you ‘serve’ with my Charismatic friend? Or is my refusal to serve with him mean spirited and ugly? Where do you draw the line? Should there be a line? You also didn’t answer my questions about the scale of holiness or standards that you are using to define others’ positions relative to yours. Your argument collapses on itself in stating that David Cloud is apparently to be judged with a different outline because you deem what he says about a friend of yours to be an ugly exaggeration. As I said, I don’t agree with everything Bro. Cloud says- but you ironically exaggerate his position on Bro. Chappell’s music as well. Once again, I appreciate you, your family, and your ministry, I just believe that you have a responsibility to warn folks about dangerous practices employed by, yes, even “Independent” Baptists. Instead you have decided to encourage NOT using discernment when ‘serving’ as we are also commanded to do.

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      • Hello: thanks for posting. Please do sign with your full name. I think that is only fair if I am to leave your comments on my blog. I will simply state several things: One, I will serve with Independent Baptists. Are there exceptions? Of course, but I have always preached with men who hold to varying positions and will this week and next week and the week after that and so forth. Using a different style of music or taking a different position on dress or holding a different degree of KJV-only has always been normal practices within the Independent Baptist movement. Always. Two, in this blog I am not discussing the SBC or the Charismatic movement. I am discussing the Independent Baptist movement. Three, of course I exaggerate a bit on David Cloud’s view of Lancaster Baptist’s music. However, I have the privilege of answering questions for people who have only read his view and who have never attended a service there. I know from personal experience that some, based on his writing, do have that view of Lancaster Baptist. I am not against him, and believe that he is likely a good brother. I also believe that our movement should stop reading and embracing that kind of stuff about a good brother. Obviously you disagree and that is between you and Jesus Christ. Finally, I am not setting a standard of holiness for anyone’s ministry. I am very comfortable leaving that up to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to lead my Independent Baptist brothers in their particular ministries. Each of us can teach and preach our particular positions and applications but each of us are independent and, I say it again, can “get along with each other” and should!

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  4. Thank you sir, and God bless. I did want to clear up that I do not ‘dislike’ Josh Teis or any other person with differing views- but in a way, that proves my point- you aren’t quite as tolerant of my view (or David Cloud’s) as you expect me to be of someone else’s. Just because I stated strong disagreement does not mean that I ‘don’t like’ someone or don’t want to ‘get along’- my issue was with the disregard of discernment before “serving” with someone– and again- because my view is “to the right” of a person, and I won’t “serve” with them (even if they’re Independent Baptist) apparently in your view I dislike them. Thank you for clearing up some of the issue- I appreciate you and seriously appreciate your time. I apologize for not signing my full name previously- I was not sure what proper commentor etiquette was.

    Grace and peace to you,
    Jeremy Richard Puckett
    West Florida Baptist Church

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    • I know who you are now, Jeremy! There is no real etiquette necessarily. I just wanted to know with whom I was corresponding. So thanks. And I think you are misreading me. I do not fault you for your views and would serve happily with you (and have). I actually believe Dr Cloud can write anything he wishes to write. And he very obviously does. I do believe that he tends to further divide a movement that is already splintered in hundreds of different factions. There are Independent Baptists in your area who believe that your pastor has liberal standards of music and dress. I always defend him and encourage them to love and encourage him just like I encourage him to do the same for them. I even know some who have accused your church of being contemporary because they use songs that are more modern. My post seeks only to say that we can have differing views and still be friends and still serve together. I love you bro and appreciate the work your church does. And that you do too. We need each other in this movement. I in no way want to be less tolerant of your positions. I hope you are seeking the Lord to the very best of your ability and that you are doing everything in your power to please our Lord as His Spirit leads you and guides you. I think you are and I love you for that. Keep it up! I trust you and your family are well.

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      • Sir, I apologize if I misread anything that was said- I was pretty sure we were on the same page about all these things and the blogs caught me off guard as I read them, but interestingly enough I have been studying this very issue a lot lately so thank you for helping me to study even more thoroughly (2Tim2:15). Thank you again for all you do and the influence you have had on myself and my family- I’m sorry for taking so much of your time, but I always enjoy a good discussion. We love and respect you and it has definitely been an honor and a privilege to serve with you. Thank you for the kind words- God bless you and your family.

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      • Hey bro. Glad to discuss with you. Thanks for inquiring further. Let’s grab a meal sometime and I can sit and answer your questions in person. My treat of course! Keep studying. Keep praying. Especially for me. We are praying for all of you too.

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  5. Am I the only one who finds it interesting that you are attempting to be an expert at getting along all while you have a long resume of falling outs and broken relationships in the indie fundie movement? First, how many people did you step on to get onto the PCC board of directors and get that honorary doctor you think makes you so smart? Then, how could you be so foolish as to take on the powerhouse of that Board and get voted off that same board? How many relationships did you have to destroy to get in thick with Dr. Bill Rice and get to preach consistently at the Ranch? Then what falling out happened that you no longer preach at the Bill Rice Ranch on a regular basis or at all for that matter? Even more recently, what happened that you couldn’t you get along with Pastor Tim Fellure at Victory Baptist in Milton, FL to the point that you and your family had to leave there to seek another home church? Do you see a pattern? It is very arrogant for you to give a virtual lecture on how Independent Baptists are to get along when it seems you have never done it. “Dr.” Dave, I submit to you that there is a common denominator in all these situations – you are an opportunist. However, your bloated, opinionated ego always gets you into trouble every time and you blow the opportunity. Now all you have left are the shards of broken relationships. The truth is the purpose of this “blog post” is to drop names for an opportunity to get noticed by riding the very short coat tails of Josh Teis. But in the process you will blow this opportunity and probably end up parting company with Josh “Left of Me” Teis as well and end up offending a number of people who couldn’t really care about your position otherwise. You sir are an opinionated opportunist that may fool people for a while, but they ultimately figure you out and weary of your endless contriving. Now let’s see if you are man enough to allow this comment be published on your blog.

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    • Hello Luke: That is quite a comment. lol I want to be careful in answering you because I don’t want to make the same mistakes you made by assuming that I know the motives behind your comments. Each of your questions and unfounded accusations are answerable and I would be happy to answer them. No, I am not trying to be an expert! Anyone who knows me would know better and as you strongly attempt to point out, anyone who reads me would know better than that too. I am, however, trying to be right with God, obedient to Scriptural truths, and to be a brother who loves other brothers. That is all and it is commanded repeatedly in the Scriptures. I will be listing those in a future blog post and I hope you will take the time to read it when I do. I think it may be of help to you. As for PCC and the Board of Directors and the Bill Rice Ranch – we had disagreements along the way, but are STILL friends and STILL get along. It seems that you only know part of each story, that you may be overly confident about things which you know too little about, and you certainly are completely unaware of the friendships I still have with these institutions and people. In fact, each of us still loves and supports and prays for the other even with our disagreements. As for the honorary doctorate, you are absolutely right that it does nothing to make me smarter! Which is why I prefer to be called Dave or Bro. Dave. My twitter account uses “drdaveyoung” but only because everything else was already taken when I set up my account. Of course you would have no way of knowing that and I could see why you might make an incorrect assumption about that matter. As for the departure of my family from our former home church, that was a matter that was handled privately between me and my pastor and we both agreed that due to some differences between us that my family and his church would be best served by our seeking a home church elsewhere. Because we departed with an agreement that we would do nothing to hurt his ministry, I refuse to answer your accusations in order that I may honor that side of my agreement. I hope you will understand that I will not hurt my brother. He is a great preacher and I love him and still pray for him. You see, brothers and sisters can disagree and yet “get along.” At any rate, thanks for reading my blog, and taking the time to share your thoughts and disagreements. Your sincere friend, Dave

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    • Hello Luke: I have made an attempt to reach out to your personally but it seems that your name and email address are designed to prevent me and the my readers from knowing who you really are. I am requesting that you make that clear. No one should hide such remarks behind the cloak of secrecy. I will remove your comments if I don’t receive an identification from you.

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  6. Luke, it’s opinionated attitudes like yours that has caused the IFB movement to have a bit of a negative reputation in society.
    Luke, imagine this scenario:
    Dave Young preaches a message at a church and God used that message to prick the conscience of an unbeliever and that unbeliever “liked” Dave Young’s Facebook. Upon scrolling through the newsfeed this unbeliever sees that Dave has a blog! So the unbeliever begins reading the blog. The unbeliever then reads this post. The unbeliever then reads your comment.
    Question: did your comment represent Christ well to that unbeliever? Did your comment show Christ’s love to your brother to that unbeliever? If this scenario were true, are you prepared to have that unbelievers blood on your hands because in a moment of pride you decided to put Dave “in his place?” Did it feel good when you clicked “post comment?”
    I heard in a sermon once that Christians are harder on each other and are the primary reason why believers leave the church. Because the anger and bitterness toward fellow believers is so strong.
    I think you just proved that preachers point.

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