Perhaps you too have heard about those who call themselves “recovering fundamentalists.” I don’t personally know those in this new “camp” but assume that they know and love the Lord just like I do. That being said, I am not in their camp and below are five reasons why.
- I am not a Recovering Fundamentalist because I believe some doctrines are essential (fundamental) to the Christian faith.
Being a fundamentalist means that I believe some doctrines are essential to our faith and that without them there is no faith. Fundamentalism, in its original and purest sense, is about essential doctrines and therefore is not a movement. I don’t need to recover or reform from the essentials which I believe the Scriptures teach.
- I am not a Recovering Fundamentalist because there is a difference in being a Fundamentalist and being part of a particular group within the Independent Baptist movement.
Sometimes good people equate the word fundamentalist with a specific “camp” within the Independent Baptist World. As an evangelist, I preach in a variety of “camps” and for a variety of pastors and churches. Every church where I preach would believe in the fundamentals and, at the same time, many would have varying positions on everything from dress to music to beards. We can agree to disagree on these and many other positions and still serve together. There are other pastors and churches, however, that would embrace ideologies and positions that I absolutely reject. In that case, I choose not to preach for or recommend those men and their churches. Regarding such specific errors, see the next point below.
- I am not a Recovering Fundamentalist because sin needs repentance, correction, and separation instead of ridicule and humor.
Within parts of the Independent Baptist world, there are several sins that have, on occasion, been tolerated, overlooked, and practiced. Some have been guilty of racism. Some have taught errors regarding who is to blame for a man’s lust (they preach that the woman who is immodest and “out of line” is to blame). Some have overlooked fornication and adultery and even continued to promote and serve with men who were blatantly guilty of such sins. Others have taught a “Man-of-God-theology” that basically says the “Man-of-God” is always the absolute authority, and when he is wrong, simply refer back to the first statement. In regards to such matters the Bible response should be repentance, correction, and separation. We should call men (and women) to repent (and we should repent ourselves if we are guilty). We should correct these matters in our own lives and challenge everyone within our influence to do likewise. Finally, we should separate from those who practice these sins and who refuse to repent and be corrected.
- I am not a Recovering Fundamentalist because some of the issues mentioned by recovering fundamentalists are somewhat silly to address.
This week, I listened to some conversations by those who consider themselves to be recovering fundamentalists. Although they did eventually and rightly mention several areas of “error,” they spent a majority of time listing and ridiculing things that are in fact silly to address. Wearing culottes may not be a preference for many, but it isn’t hurtful that some wear them or believe they should, in fact, be worn by all. Having to swim in long pants (I did), being asked not to wear beards (I was), and believing that shorts on men is carnal and worldly (I was there too), may be foreign and problematic to many, but I never felt a need to “recover” from these standards. I have changed my view of them, but I wasn’t “hurt” by them at all. Many of the other “humorous” references by the recovering fundamentalists crowd are held by some very godly and very sincere people. I believe that it is entirely Biblical for people to have personal standards, to embrace them, teach them, and even raise their families by them. I do believe in loving and giving grace to those who differ, but I have no issue with people who have standards that I don’t like, don’t prefer, or don’t practice any longer. In the spirit of Romans 14, I still honor them and receive them. That is the Biblical response we are to have.
- I am not a Recovering Fundamentalist because GROWTH is a better word than recovery.
Instead of ridiculing and being condescending, each of us should seek to grow in grace as we allow the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly in all wisdom. Keep applying God’s Word to your life. Live by Biblical truth and seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit to help you live truth. If you have been hurt by the sins of a particular “camp,” then the key to your overcoming the hurt will also be spiritual growth. A legal matter, of course, should be handled legally. A personal hurt, however, will only be overcome as you grow in grace and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into truth. If counseling is needed, get it. Biblical counseling is not a matter of “airing” our disagreements and ridiculing those with whom we disagree. Politicians do that. Biblical counseling is a matter of learning truth so that we can apply it to our lives and become more and more Christlike every step of our Christian journey.
So what do you think? Are my thoughts valid? Am I right? Am I wrong? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading,
Your sincere friend,
42 thoughts on “Why I am Not a Recovering Fundamentalist”
Good perspective. Still IFB here, although (no doubt) many would reject me if they new me.
Well, the beauty of being Independent is that we are – well – independent! 🙂
Love the way you wrote this— I couldn’t agree more!! Miss you & your sweet wife!!!
Good Article, many feel this way and you articulated our frelings well.
Thanks for reading!!
I’m a recovering fundamentalist and the large majority of my church is comprised of people who also identify as such.
I feel like you’re close, but not really addressing the core issue with the modern independent fundamental Baptist sect.
As I can only speak to my personal position on this, I want to start with hating the term fundamentalist. It’s become twisted and loaded to not mean what it should. I agree with the fundamentals of the faith- diety of Christ, virgin birth, Trinity, 5 Solas (though I don’t consider myself reformed and not a Calvinist in the least), etc… When I refer to fundamentalists here on out, I am specifically referring to the independent fundamental Baptist Church sect (IFB).
It’s no secret IFB churches struggle with personal preference being taught as Biblical principle. You do address some of those (shorts, beards, etc). All too often, the IFB judges a man’s heart by his conformity to the preferences of that particular group. People are pressured to feel they are in the wrong if they don’t wear a suit, if they have tattoos, go swimming, use an ESV, or happen to attend the “wrong” college. I was told I was out of God’s will, and in sin, for going to PCC and not Bob Jones.
But what does Christ himself say about this situation? In Mark 7, He is addressing the Pharisees in regards to the oral traditions stemming from the OT law, such as Corban (personal wealth assigned to the temple to avoid taking care of family like parents), and how the Pharisees have taken law, expanded their preferences upon the law to ensure conformity within Judaism.
Jesus drives the point home in v19 where Mark adds a parenthetical phrase that Christ declared all food clean (shellfish, pork, etc) showing that the age of Grace has come and the law is being fulfilled.
While not all IFB churches are like this, the ones I’ve been a part of follow a similar pattern to the Pharisees. They’ve created oral tradition upon the principles in the NT and passed them off as they only way to be “right” before God.
I agree with most of what you say above, and would expect us to be aligned on all major doctrines.
So you’re in the ballpark, but I feel like you’re addressing around the issue, and not the actual issue (legalism stemming from pride-we are independent and do Christianity “right”).
Thanks for your lengthy reply. For me, your key statement was this: “not all IFB churches are like this.” The ones who are wrong should be called to repentance – as should those in every movement and denomination. The areas of preference, however, can be handled with grace and kindness on all sides, can be discussed and defended, and can even be disagreed upon. Blessings to you as you seek to be right with God. I am attempting to do the same.
Definitely agree with you there, and it’s unfortunate that it *appears that there is little grace coming from most (don’t have objective data on this except for personal observation) IFB churches towards those members who don’t align with the preferences.
It’s unfortunate that members in IFB churches have to hide things like translation preference, raising of hands during singing, or even listening to Steve Green for fear of ostracism and being seen as backslidden.
Appreciate the engagement. You were one of the few preachers during my time at PCC that actually came across as a joyful believer!
Dave… i really appreciate your perspective. I was raised in the independent, fundamental culture. One issue I think is so important is not that some have standards with no beards or women no wearing pants, but i have heard many preachers clearly call these things “sinful.” Also, they make outward standards a measure of godliness. I know not all fundamentalists think this way, but it’s pretty common. Again, thanks for articulating well some good perspective!!
Thanks Don. I agree that those matters would be problematic Scripturally. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I don’t know you, never have until seeing a friend of mine share this article – but it was an excellent read. Thank you for sharing this. I grew up in an IFB church and work in one now, and I hold those who trained and taught me growing up with the highest regard and honor. Do I agree with them 100%? No. But I’m more than grateful for those who set the bar high for me. Some standards I was taught – I agree with 100%, some partially, and some more than they do, and very, very few not at all. I believe we are to live as the Holy Spirit leads, which will never, in turn, contradict the principles nor the commandments of His Holy Word.
Thank you for writing. God bless.
Thanks for reading and for your comment. Every blessing.
Thanks for your article. This is a conversation that needs to be talked out.
Have you listened to the Recovering Fundamentalists Podcast? I don’t think these guys are being silly or flippant about important things. They definitely use humor to make a point, but their hearts are in the right place. I know several people who have been chewed up and spit out by the IFB and this podcast has helped them.
You would be a great interview on the podcast. I think that would be beneficial to people on all sides of the discussion. Thanks
Hello Adam. Thanks for reading and for your comment. I have heard the podcast and don’t know the men or their hearts. I don’t mind humor (I use a ton of it myself)! I am very thankful for my upbringing as Independent Baptist. That is where I got saved, learned the Bible, gave my life to Christ, was called to preach, met my wife, was taught how to raise a happy and Godly family, and so forth. I know several who are “jerks” in our ranks and have even been on the receiving end of some of their “issues.” I also know many many men and women who are filled with love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, and so forth. I can’t leave an entire “group” because some have been wrong. I suspect (and could be wrong) that in every camp there are some problematic and erroneous groups and individuals! Know what I mean? At any rate, I really am honored you would read my thoughts and take the time to comment. Every blessing my friend! Keep growing and loving Jesus. He never fails!
Yep I know what you mean. I’m sure that’s the case. I think the problem is that if you differ from the normal position held by most in the movement you are not welcome. It’s not that I or someone else wants to leave necessarily it’s that there isn’t room for differences. With many even minor differences are a deal breaker. I think if you were on the podcast there would be a very helpful discussion. I hope you’d consider it. Guys like me respect you and sense your genuineness. I think you would bring a good perspective. I see your point, but things have to change in the IFB. I don’t want my kids growing up in a movement that measures godliness by outward appearances and has a glaring problem of abuse and abuse cover ups.
Hey Adam. Thanks for reading and commenting. I am especially happy that you are concerned for your family. Remember that your kids will become what you train them to be, so you and your wife are number one in making that happen, no matter what “camp” you are in. As to your other thoughts, it is my experience that the IFBs I know are all over the place and hold just about every position known to Christianity. While it is true that a few rather prominent ones get all the social media focus, there are many of us who love the Lord, are growing in grace and giving grace, and who will love you even when we disagree with your position. I have many differences with any number of IFB people but at the end of the day, I am not those particular people! I am me. Independent. Baptist. And Fundamental. I can tell you that for every group that abused and covered it up, there are many who never did and who would never cover it up. And I assume you are one of them. Now having said that, if we focus only on one or two extreme groups, then the IFB will be a place you cannot stay. But when you are not part of that group, and when you are a part of so many other groups (quiet and not well known obviously), then all is well. That is my group. One more thing I would tell you. Seek God and follow Him. He. Is. Good. Every blessing Adam. – Dave
The key thing to remember is that the church is autonomous. But I believe the “recovering fundamentalists” are right to address the legalism that is rampant in the IFB movement.
I know of churches that have allowed the pastor to lord over them(asking his advice on what car to purchase). Or a church that took a (female)visitor wearing pants and put a skirt on her!
I personally adhere to the fundamentals of my faith but outright reject the legalism and scandalous behavior of(not all) IFB churches.
I think the church needs to take a long hard look and see where they stand and if their preferences line up with the bible or if it’s pharisaical (Matthew 23)
Thanks for reading and commenting. Blessings.
Thanks for the good summary. My goal has always been less about throwing the baby out with the bathwater than it has been about cleaning the bathwater. Sure, things were petty and misunderstood 20 years ago, so let’s move on and do better and chalk it up to “that’s who made me who I am today.” I strive to have the most biblically balanced, graciously held, Jesus-focused standards for my family and my church. But others will always think I’m “off” because we tend to want everyone to react the same way to church experiences that way we do. Just because I have not run the other direction to the degree that others have does not mean I’m a legalist, an indy-fundy, unhappy or trapped where I am, or sitting in judgment of others. I don’t think the only two choices are staunch IFB or recovering from stauch IFB.
You only have to recover from something that you allow to hurt you. I have struggled to understand for years how people who claim NOW to have such a grasp of grace since they have broken free, why they can’t let more stuff go from their past. Sure, I think it was weird and unnecessary years later that I had to sign a paper at my Christian school that I wouldn’t go to movies or listen to certain genres or music, but it didn’t kill me. If I am still dwelling on that and posting about it 20 years later, I don’t think grace really got a hold of my heart. You are correct, when you think of the extreme examples that are often referenced, they are silly and need to be told as jokes, not as a basis for a new movement.
There are a whole bunch of people like me (I hope) that find themselves quiet and happy and content in the middle of the fringe right-wing crowd and the pushy, over-liberated crowd who seem to flaunt and make fun of the other crowd. God help me mind my own business and walk with the Lord according to the dictates of my own conscience.
Take care, my friend. Keep pressing on. I always appreciate your spirit.
Hey my friend. So glad you would read and comment. And I think your thoughts would sum up many many other peoples thoughts as well. We can be honest about our disagreements and still serve the Lord with joy! Every Blessing. I am praying for you frequently.
Don’t know you sir, but just thought I’d say I appreciate the article.
I’m an IFB pastor in Arizona and I’ve been a part of IFB churches and movements all my life – but apparently not the “boogeyman” ones the “recovering fundamentalists” all seems to ridicule and whine about.
I know literally hundreds of IFB pastors all over Texas, Okla, Missouri, Arizona, and then throughout the United States, and I can honestly say that I don’t personally know a single IFB pastor who preaches that garbage MOG theology. And I honestly know very few who hold to their personal or church standards/convictions in the legalistic/judgmental way that the “recovering fundamentalists” always say that all IFB do. Absolutely they sometimes have strict standards, but I’ve always seen it handled biblically and with grace.
I guess my point is that I’m a bit tired of seeing the literally 1000’s of good IFB churches and pastors get broadbrushed as being problematic when really from my observation it’s a very isolated few. Yet I suppose that’s the way it always is: entire movements always get unfairly maligned by their detractors because of the excesses and eccentricities of a (often loud) few.
I honestly wonder at the heart of those who walk away and become “recovering fundamentalists.” When I encounter someone who has a wrong philosophy of ministry or doctrine, I just disassociate with that someone – i don’t walk away from the entire movement.
Anyway, maybe we’ll cross paths some time if you’re ever out in Arizona. God Bless
Hello and thanks for reading and commenting. It is true that many many good people are in the IFB movement and are really great people. There are always some people and some groups that are unwise and they can become the face of an entire movement. I hope our paths will cross as well. Every blessing!
Is it necessary to believe these “fundamentals”, or “Baptist Distinctives” to be a Christian? If so, why does the Bible present the gospel without them? Of course the doctrines are presented in the Bible, but the requirement is not.
Hello Josh, I answered your questions where you posted them on Facebook. Let me know if you cannot locate them. Blessings -Dave
This is such an interesting article. I would agree with the things that you have pointed out. However, it would appear that you aren’t very familiar with the podcast (I admit, you may have listened to every episode). The podcast is more geared toward those who have been injured by the legalism of the IFB and challenging said legalism. I’ve listened to almost every episode and I haven’t heard the guys neglect or belittle biblical doctrine. The “camp” the guys speak about the most is the camp that you pointed out having abused power and people. So while you say you’re not a recovering fundamentalist, from this article I don’t see how you disagree with the guys hosting the podcast because from what I can tell they feel the same way you do.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have heard you preach in the past and have been helped by it. Keep living and serving Jesus!
Thanks for reading and for commenting. I don’t know those who host the podcast but would expect they are good men who love the Lord Jesus just like me. I just know many in the IFB world who are gentle, loving, gracious, kind, and incredibly Christlike. They are not legalistic at all. Are there some who are? Yes. Are there apparently some groups who are? Apparently. The same, I would assume, is not limited to the IFB world. In fact, Galatians was written quite some time before IFB existed. 🙂 My heart is to live differently than that, and I appreciate every person in the IFB world who does so. And I can tell you, I have met thousands of them. At any rate, thanks for your words of encouragement. I hope you will also keep living and serving and loving Jesus. He is worthy! Blessings my friend.
Quite definitely agree. Though there are more outrightly malicious anti-IFB podcasts out there other than the Recovering Fundamentalists podcast.
Hey Sam. I am not against the men on the podcast. I think they are good men (I hope they are). I just want people to know that many of us are still in the IFB world and love the Lord!
The RF hosts are fine and sincere, they are in my Facebook debate and discussion group where there is a mix of mostly Baptists, mostly IFB, but also former or other Baptist denominations. I am referring to the Preacherboy podcast and another one, I believe called Former Fundy podcast, that are much more bitter in their portrayal than Recovering Fundamentalists.
I believe they are! Thanks for following up.
“Many of the other “humorous” references by the recovering fundamentalists crowd are held by some very godly and very sincere people. I believe that it is entirely Biblical for people to have personal standards, to embrace them, teach them, and even raise their families by them.”
Is it Biblical for someone to claim “an issue of preference (pants on women, music, movie theaters, etc.) as an issue of holiness for everyone?
I understand where you’re coming from, but why should we excuse the teaching of someones opinion as Bible? The only one calling it a preference is you. (I mean that respectfully.) The one teaching their “preferences” as doctrine does not consider it preference. Why do you?
We don’t get to wrongfully put Gods seal of authority on our own whims because of Romans 14.
(Perhaps you would condemn teaching and leadership that would do such, but it seems like you’re invoking “liberty” to defend those who teach error along with those who just choose to live a certain way personally.)
Hey William, Thanks for reading and commenting. I don’t know you and therefore don’t fully understand perhaps the spirit and direction of your comments. However, I think I can answer, and I hope I am reading your question right. Apparently you do agree with the part of my article you quoted above? That is my position. I never want to undermine people’s conscience nor their convictions. People have ALWAYS held varying positions and even feel strongly about them. Some in the IFB world feel very strongly about their convictions, and quite often have very specific Biblical reasons for them, although they may not. Many who are not in the IFB world feel just as strongly against them, and may or may not have specific Biblical reasons for it. In my opinion, Romans 14 covers that aspect by reminding us that we each are accountable to God individually, that we should give incredible grace to those who feel strongly about a matter, and we should do everything we can to refrain from wounding their conscience. Does that make sense? As far as my calling it a preference, I do so on the basis that many of our standards are applications of various Biblical principles and that is often why they vary so greatly, even in the IFB world. My point is that I will honor them and love them. I am not sure that I am addressing all of your thoughts, but maybe that will help a bit. Again, thanks for writing and for dialoguing. Every blessing, Dave
My intention was to disagree with the quoted statement above. However, I am thankful for the benefit of the doubt on the spirit of the question. My question was supposed to be respectful, but challenging.
I know what you mean. My point is, when feeling strongly about a “standard” starts to become twisting Scripture and consequently teaching error, then I have a problem with that.
I am not seeing how that could be construed as “undermining conscience or convictions.” Being silent about Scripture taken woefully out of context is not a matter of giving grace to me. That erroneous teaching should be corrected by friends or respectfully denounced by ministers (in the general sense of every believer) to their own friends or those whom they teach and mentor.
I appreciate your desire to create unity among brothers Scripturally. I just think often these “preferences/standards/convictions” are symptoms of deeper problems, the most concerning one being man-centered theology (not referring to dispensationalism necessarily). Adam Hubbard’s concern for his children above hit the nail on the head. I have no emotional ties to the label or movement. I feel no allegiance to it, and see no redeeming qualities that could outweigh the problems I see. Grace and peace to you as well sir. And I appreciate kind and thoughtful servants like you who call themselves independent Baptists.
Thanks for the follow-up. I have enjoyed the dialogue and trust that you will grow in grace and lead your children to do the same. Every blessing. -Dave
Great article my brother. I’ve only met two folk that have turned from the faith “because of an IFB church”. The people mentioned that they were either mistreated by someone in the church or spiritually deprived. Meaning they felt that the Holy Spirit was missing in the services and that in turn caused them to see no point in participating in the church. They left and went to a more “contemporary” church where they may have experienced what they could only explain as that Holy Spirit power that the IFB church they left was missing and were not expected to meet any sort of standards like in the previous church.
Two dangers I see in that experience:
1. Most “contemporary” churches have very low standards of dress and music which tends to lead to a lack of importance in personal holiness that is commanded by scripture. In turn the spirit is deprived of the Spirit’s influence due to a grueved Spirit. A full circle has happened to this person, and they will most likely quit and despise church altogether.
2. The disunity that leaving a church body creates is damaging to that particular congregation and the overall New Testament Church as well. Many people are effected by this disunity and some even depart from that church and some from the Faith. The Holy Spirit then is grieved in the lives of the people at the church and can no more work because of the disunity. Thus creating another full circle of a grieved Spirit and little to no Spiritual influence.
I believe that unity in what the Bible teaches as fundamental and essential to the Faith is what matters (although I do not say we will ever reach that point this side of Heaven). A lack of personal unity with the Spirit is what pushes a person away from the fundamentals and creates standards which do not line up with Scripture. This goes for fundamentalists and “recovering” fundamentalists alike. #proudfundamentalist
I don’t know you personally, Dave, but I am glad that your experiences and interactions within the IFB world have been (mostly) positive and beneficial to your faith and spiritual growth. But I think you’re missing the point and purpose of the podcast. And I think you’re overly dismissive of the abuse that many have endured in some of the most toxic and hyper-legalistic elements of the IFB movement.
First of all, I think you’re missing the point of the nomenclature for the podcast: “The Recovering Fundamentalist.” You stated, “I don’t need to recover or reform from the essentials which I believe the Scriptures teach.” However, the guys on the podcast are clear about explaining that they are not “recovering” from the fundamental doctrines of Scripture. They stress that they are recovering (or restoring to their proper importance and preeminence) those fundamental doctrines of the Bible after years, decades, or a lifetime of seeing those core doctrines diminished and neglected in hyper-IFB churches that elevated their ministry standards, preferences, traditions, and methodologies above those essential fundamental doctrines. There is also an acknowledgment implicit within the title that people who have finally escaped those abusive ministry environments are truly “recovering fundamentalists.”
Secondly, it feels like you’re defending the IFB because you’ve had mostly good experiences within your sphere of that movement while ignoring or minimizing the sinful, abusive, and cultic experiences that others have endured within their particular sphere of the IFB. In the most abusive, authoritarian, and hyper-separated camps of the IFB, those pastors, leaders, churches, and colleges do not consider themselves a “camp” within the IFB. They ARE the only true IFB. They criticize, disparage, and reject any ministry (even other “so-called” IFB churches / pastors / evangelists / ministries / colleges) that don’t align perfectly with their preferences, priorities, and positions. That’s part of what makes it so difficult for people to leave those ministries. They’ve been indoctrinated that to leave their “church” or “camp” is to leave “fundamentalism” and join the unbelieving compromisers. People who have left (or are considering leaving) those types of ministries are the target audience of “The Recovering Fundamentalist.” (And I’m guessing that you and many of the IFB churches in which you currently minister would be deemed “compromising liberals” by those hyper-IFB groups.) The toxic elements of the hyper-IFB are not as charitable as you portray them in your article.
Thirdly, you rightly point out that sin needs repentance, correction, and separation instead of ridicule and humor. I have a hard time laughing about some of the things I witnessed within the hyper-IFB movement of my past. There were so many abuses of God’s Word and God’s people; so much glorification and worship of man (the “Preacher” or the “Man of God”); so many cover-ups (that I wasn’t aware of at the time); so much shame & imposed guilt; so much manipulation and intimidation; so much performance-based sanctification; so much hypocrisy; so much judgmental condemnation of everyone not just like your group, etc… But by the same token I think there is a place for some appropriate humor in healing. Some of the craziness people have seen in those circles deserves to be exposed and laughed at. I may not always agree with the humor of the podcast but I understand the cathartic nature of it. There’s a reason it’s called comic relief.
Fourthly, while some of the issues they address may seem petty (that will be especially true for people affiliated with IFB churches that were not so legalistic with their standards) there are far more issues they address that are incredibly important. Not the least of which is that many of the most toxic IFB leaders and ministries have been found to engage in gross immorality and sexual molestation and abuse (all while enforcing the “highest” ministry standards) with a history of covering up the sin and continuing to promote and use the abuser while disregarding or blaming those who were victimized. The influence of this toxic element of the IFB has thankfully begun to wane in recent years as their abuses and false teachings have been exposed and called out, but there are still too many of these types of IFB pastors and churches.
Finally, when people who haven’t suffered abuse tell those who have that they don’t need to recover they just need to grow… it sounds eerily reminiscent of their past. The hyper-IFB pastors dismiss any notion that the people they abuse are “victims;” instead they’re told they are weak immature Christians who just need to grow in their understanding of God’s will and their loyalty to the man of God. I don’t believe for one second that you would be dismissive of someone who had been sexually molested or abused in one of these ministries. I believe you would do everything you could to help them recover from the horrific abuse they endured. Some of those people may be reading your blog. Please consider them and give them the dignity to acknowledge their need for recovery as part of their continuing journey of spiritual growth.
As I mentioned at the start, I don’t know you personally. But everyone that I know who knows you speaks highly of your personal integrity, your faithful exposition of God’s Word, and your heart for God and God’s people. Thanks for letting me share my feedback with you on this matter.
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Hello Andrew: Thanks for reading my article and for writing your own in the comments. lol Several things have become very apparent to me as I have spent more than a few hours following-up on my article. 1. All of us are approaching this from our experience and the many, many responses I have received from your perspective does indicate that there are more than a few who have been far less than Godly, righteous, and sincere. I have known about them for much of my life and I have refused to be part of their “crowd” for my entire ministry. Apparently many of you did not feel you had that option. I don’t understand that, but I do acknowledge it. 2. My experience was and is very good and draws attention to the fact that there are many, many who are IFB and who are everything you would want them to be if you were them. They are kind. They are full of grace and truth. They are against abuse. They walk with God. They love souls and love people and want to see people grow in grace. 3. It appears to me that there is at least one main group in the IFB world that has caused some very, very serious harm. I was never part of that group and I can sincerely thank God for that.
Now having said that, I will add two more things: First, I am against wickedness and always have been. I mentioned that briefly when I wrote about legal matters being handled legally. I still believe that. Second, my fear is that many see recovery as simply airing their disagreement. I see recovery as growing in grace and becoming the believer that those who were wrong should have been as well.
I am sure there is much more we could write about. Thank you for being kind and for sharing your thoughts.
Every blessing sir. Your friend, Dave
This. This. This. I read his article, disagreed with the author’s dismissive ‘silly things’ comments about spiritual abuse….but couldn’t put it into words WHY. You did this perfectly and I thank you for voicing what I couldn’t. I AM a recovering fundamentalist.
Not sure how to best word this, but I’ve heard more times than I could count regarding ifb services, that there was a lack of The Holy Spirit moving in services.
I believe the gifts of the Spirit are part of the Gospel and are meant to show that the Kingdom of God is at hand; to reveal God’s mercy and love for His people. I’ve heard from the ifb community that we should no longer acknowledge the gifts, but it seems that nowhere in scripture is it indicated that the Kingdom will start out with power and great growth, but will than decrease and come to a stop. Romans 11:29 teaches that “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable/without repentance,” meaning God does not change His mind, first giving them and then taking them back. 1 Corinthians 1:7 says, “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” Since Paul said the Christians were not to lack “any” gift, this is clear scriptural evidence for believing in the continuation of the gifts until Jesus comes again. 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 says, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect [τέλειον] is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [τέλειον] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”
These signs will accompany those who believe. In my Name, (Mark 16:17) They will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues, they will pick up serpents with their hands, if they drink any deadly poison it will not hurt them, they will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover. So the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken with them, was taken up into Heaven, sat down at the right hand of God, and they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the message by accompanying signs. It does not say it’s only believers in the early church, it says believers, period, will have these accompanying signs, one of which is speaking in tongues.
We are to expect this power to bring Him glory “throughout all generations, forever and ever!” (Ephesians 3: 21).
Ephesians 4:12 tells us they are meant to prepare us for works of service so the Church can be built up. This is still a need in the Church today.
Ephesians 6 urges us to put on the full armor of God. Verse 10 admonishes us to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Along with that, we are to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (verse 18). The way to be strong in the Lord is by putting on the whole armor of God and by praying in the Spirit.
As long as the message needs to be given, the gifts will need to be given by God. Today, it is the power of the sign gifts that can cause unbelievers to turn and believe.
In John 14:12, Jesus states, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Anyone here actually means anyone and is not limited to the apostles. Jesus does not say “anyone who believes in Me for the next two hundred years” (or until the Bible is canonized) will do great things; He simply says anyone.
The Greek term [erga] used in John 14:12 to mean “works” denotes miraculous works. So Jesus is saying that anyone who has faith in Him will do the same miraculous works that He did. Of course not in our strength, but all through Christ’s power alone.
Matthew 28:18–20, baptized believers were to be taught to obey everything Jesus commanded: 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.” The persons baptized as a result of Jesus’ instructions were not apostles, but those who were yet to become disciples.
it is clear that miracles were worked by others who were not apostles, such as Stephen (Acts 6:8), Philip (Acts 8:6–7), Ananias (Acts 9:17–18; 22:13), Christians in the several churches in Galatia (Gal. 3:5) and those with gifts of “miracles” in the Body of Christ generally (1 Cor. 12:10, 28). Miracles as such cannot then be regarded as exclusively signs of an apostle. “Workers of miracles” and “healers” are actually distinguished from “apostles” in 1 Cor. 12:28; “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers.”
Jesus said, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:56). The word save in the original Greek language is the word sozo. It refers specifically to the forgiveness of sin, the healing of disease and the deliverance from torment. Jesus made the provision needed to save the whole person— spirit, soul and body: Spirit—forgiveness Soul—deliverance Body—healing. Unfortunately it’s well known in American churches that the gifts of the Spirit are taken WAY out of context just as they were since the day of Pentecost.
Paul states plainly to “desire earnestly spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 14:1). Desire earnestly actually means “to be zealous.” This commandment is telling us that we are to burn with zeal in our pursuit of the “gifts of the Spirit.”
God confirms His word through miracles, signs and wonders. As 1 Corinthians 4:20 says, “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power”
I would love to hear your thoughts and I wholeheartedly respect and honor you and your work in the kingdom Pastor Young. We all have different roles in the kingdom and what really matters is that sinners are being brought to repentance and saving faith in the knowledge of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! God bless you!
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Thanks for reading my blog and for your comment. Many IFB would consider themselves “cessationists.” I am not one because I believe that God can do miracles and does do miracles – and that spiritual gifts are from him. I do not believe they are for “show” or for “self” but that they are for “service” and “soul winning.” Hope that makes sense! Every blessing. -Dave
Culottes makes women appear to look bigger than what they are. I am not sure that culottes do modesty justice.
Hmm. I hesitate to comment on anything that has to to do with a ladies weight. Lol. You may be right and ladies were modest for many years before culottes were invented and can still be modest now that they have fallen out of style. Right? Every blessing my friend. -Dave