Is The Independent Fundamental Baptist Church Any Different Than the Southern Baptist Convention and Sovereign Grace Ministries?

 

Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street. -Elbert Hubbard

 

 

 

wikipedia

 

This week, we will be focusing on the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches and will use the 20/20 special on sexual and child abuse within that “family of churches.” Today we will look at an incident of molestation. Lord willing, tomorrow, the IFB and child abuse will take center stage. On Thursday, we will define the distinctive beliefs of the IFB as seen through the eyes of their leaders and on Friday we will contemplate Holy Week with a special video. Next week, we will attempt to define the differences between fundamentalism and evangelicalism. That one should get the juices flowing!

 

I, for one, have paid little attention to this group of churches. There is an IFB private school in my area. One young man allegedly got punished for buying a country western CD. During an evangelistic outreach, a little girl, from outside the school, came to the event dressed in pants. She was thrown off of the premises because girls are not allowed to wear pants in IFB schools, even if they are not IFB.
 

So, I wrote them off as being to the right of Doug Philips and not worthy of my time and energy. However, I believe I may have been mistaken. They may not be all that different than the SBC and SGM in some of their approaches to the faith.

 

I believe that there is a new legalism that is on the rise within the evangelical scene; particularly amongst the group that TWW calls the Calvinistas. Please visit TWW definitons for the meaning of this term. In some of these circles, in order to be accepted as a “real” Christian, one must toe the line in matters relating to the age of the earth, the exact method of Jesus’ return, a certain number of points of Calvinism, etc. And, if you don’t, be prepared to have your faith questioned. As one elder, attempting to be condescending to my husband, said “I don’t question your salvation but…” Blech!
 

After I watched the 20/20 special, I realized that I knew precious little about this group of supposedly autonomous churches (Where, oh where, have I heard this before? Maybe SGM and SBC?)  About a year ago, I read a book called Schizophrenic Christianity by Jeri Masi which was so startling that I could scarcely believe it’s contents. However, after the 20/20 show and further reading, I began to see that this book might be shining a light into some very, very dark and evil corners.
 

For purposes of ease, I will refer to this grouping of churches with the acronym IFB. However, there is a group, within this faction, that wants to be known as KJVIFB. Now, most of readers will understand that, in general, many in the IFB insists that the King James Version of the Bible is the only true Bible because, as we all know, Jesus spoke the King’s English. In some respects, they are not unlike the Calvinistas who insist on the ESV, preferably one signed by John Piper. As a side note, I believe in the JAAVSLAYARI version. (Just About Any Version So Long As You Actually Read It). ‘Nuff said.
 

Last year I read Schizophrenic Christianity: How Christian Fundamentalism Attracts and Protects Sociopaths, Abusive Pastors, and Child Molesters by Jeri Massi. LINK to Amazon.
 

I was dumbfounded at the reported number of pastors accused and convicted of child molestation. What is shocking is that many of these men continue to be involved in positions of leadership. The pastors, seen as specially anointed, are shielded from blame. Instead, the victim, who is under the age of consent, is usually censured for pursuing justice and there is a concerted effort to isolate and shun the victim of abuse.
 

The book also discusses the extreme patriarchal views that are taught in the IFB. Men are seen as the head of the church and family while women take a distant, secondary role. In this system, when there is a man and a woman at odds, the male “head” gets protected while the women are thrown to the wolves.
 

The following quote from the above link at Amazon tells the story. (Pastors) “…hold themselves above accountability by merging into a system that refuses to police itself or institute rules of behavior for its clergy.”
 

What bothers me about that quote is that it could have been written about the SBC as well. The SBC refuses to police itself, claiming that each church is autonomous. The SBC also duplicitously claims that it cannot create a database of pastoral offenders because of said independence. However, the SBC threw a church out of the convention that had a woman as a pastor. So, according to SBCspeak, having a woman as a pastor is far, far more dangerous than having a pedophile as pastor. To have a woman as pastor is soooooo evil, it is worth breaking the "autonomy" of each church in order to save the souls in the SBC.  Shame on the SBC and its leaders. No wonder the membership of the SBC is in decline. Hypocrisy speaks loud and clear and there are consequences to such actions.
 

There is a rumor that an effort may be under way by some independent persons to start such a database. It would be rather amusing if an “autonomous” group of individuals called an “autonomous” group of churches into account!

 

So, as self-assured members of the SBC and SGM smugly view the following 20/20 video, they should first examine their own “crowd.” They are absolutely no different in their actions than the IFB.
 

In this video, keep in mind the following distinctives as elucidated by Masi in her book.

  • Blame the victim.
  • Isolate and shun the victim
  • Do not define rules of behavior for the clergy.
  • Men are protected and elevated
  • Women are denigrated and bear the brunt of the blame
  • There is a schizophrenic application of Scriptural beliefs (abortion,criminal activity)

 

Finally, isn’t it sad when the secular media cares more for justice than supposed, “law abiding” Christians?

 

 

Special kudos to 20/20 for its investigation. This segment is called:  Secret Pregnancy, Forced Confession?


 

 

Lydia's Corner: Joshua 15:1-63 Luke 18:18-43 Psalm 86:1-17 Proverbs 13:9-10

 

Comments

Is The Independent Fundamental Baptist Church Any Different Than the Southern Baptist Convention and Sovereign Grace Ministries? — 56 Comments

  1. “Finally, isn’t it sad when the secular media cares more for justice than supposed, “law abiding” Christians?”

    ************

    Sometimes it takes someone on the outside of a situation to be able to see & understand more clearly and objectively.

  2. this should make for some interesting comments. I am familiar with IFB but only as a casual observer. But where the SBC is involved I have a long history. I wish I could defend the sbc and say we have taken action neccesary to alert others when a pastor has shown deviancy. Look at what happened in Waco when a pastor was proven guility of killing his wife. And wouldn’t you know there was infidelity involved. Anyway I admit I am not in league with our so-called leaders because I don’t believe in a young earth theory and If God calls a woman to pastor what right have I to question it. Some would wonder why I still pastor a church which has a connection with sbc. One reason is we do have or have had a good missionary program. We have done harm to that program because we came up with what seems a creed that required missionaries to sign. Anyway I consider myself far more Christian than baptist. Need more info about sbc let me know.

  3. My only knowledge of IFB beyond 20/20, Tina Anderson etc was hearing SBC people say they fled the IFB for the SBC because the IFB was getting too legalistic. The SBC people prided themselves on being not as abusive and legalistic as IFB people. Anyone else ever hear (or lived) such things?

  4. There was also a pastor in Waco who had prevously, in another state, sexually abused one of his daughters, then abused the other one after taking a pastorate here. He was a real hierarchical guy and basically had the church on the road to death before he was arrested. “Fired” the deacons, took over total control, etc. He will be in prison a long time.

  5. Mara

    I liked your quote “The SBC people prided themselves on being not as abusive and legalistic as IFB people.” As far as I can see, their are some in the SBC who are going down the IFB road. For example, wait until Al Mohler starts the creation witch hunt.

  6. Oh boy, born and raised IFB, watching the 20/20 episode was . . . fascinating . . . in a train wreck sort of way. You see, all the IFB churches I’ve been in were small, unimportant and the pastors and leadership quiet godly men, I never saw or heard of any abuse like the 20/20 episode showed. HOWEVER, the overall teaching and mindset that lends itself to that kind of abuse was/is there, the excessive “respect” for the church leadership, a very strong complimentarian view of women sometimes shading into patriarchy, the tendency towards legalism coupled with a judgementalism that is almost inescapable, an often unspoken (ie rarely preached about) but strongly held definition of what a “good” Christian looks like and acts, this creates a unique subculture that guides all social interactions. Don’t be fooled, we may claim to be independent but there is a very strong, if informal, network of large churches and colleges that set the “tone” if you will for many of the IFB churches.

    If you would like to get a glimpse into the mindset of this subculture check out the comments on the Sharper Iron forum about the investigation http://sharperiron.org/filings/4-6-11/18565 warning, it may not be good for your blood pressure. Seriously, if anyone reading this has been sexually abused in the past the link may be potentially triggering.
    After reading that and wondering how Christians can make some of those statements read this blog post http://bobbixby.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/is-the-victim-guilty/ the blogger does an exceptional job in explaining the thinking process that is happening, actually his whole series of posts on 20/20 are a great critique of the IFB mindset.

    Listening to people I know and respect in the IFB nit pick over little things completely missing the big picture of what is happening and showing such a lack of love and compassion has been heartbreaking. Where is the love of Jesus we Christians are supposed to show all this?!?

  7. KayS
    This is not just the mindset of the IFB. I contend that legalism is on the rise within the SBC, SGM, and other Reformed groups. And that is worrisome.

    Thank you for the blog referral. I will use the info as I write more on this subject.

  8. Hokay. First thing that you need to know about IFB is that they have a doctrine which they place (without really admitting it) as high as the fundamentals of the faith. That doctrine is separation. They take seriously the verse, “Come forth and be ye separate.” So, these churches are supposedly all islands unto themselves.

    However, as KayS has already mentioned, this view of IFB churches is entirely false. True, they don’t belong to a “convention” and send messengers to a meeting each year. And they don’t make up a “denomination” that has oversight beyond the churches themselves. What they do have is a loose network, usually centered around the universities that teach the preachers.

    Each of these networks has a slightly different “flavor”. Within the networks they share mission boards, camps, school associations, and quite often each faction is at odds with the others. For example, Bob Jones University people look down on Hyles-Anderson graduates, and Pensacola Christian preachers think poorly of Northand grads. Which is why those who are upset by the 20/20 exposé are accusing it of “painting with a wide brush”. I say that you need a wide brush to hit all the various different factions found in the IFB movement. They wouldn’t lump themselves all together, but looking in from the outside, there’s little difference to be seen. Mix in some ATI (Bill Gothard), Quiverfull, AiG, and, yes, Vision Forum, and you have a recipe for an authoritarian, patriarchal, “protect the ministry” mess. And just like in the SBC, if a church gets out of line (usually the lines are drawn by the universities) they’ll be cut off and cut out and very likely be sermon fodder for some time to come.

    For an eye-opening (and most times funny) view of IFB, check out Stuff Fundies Like. When Tina Anderson’s case first broke, over a year ago, the webmaster, Darrell, wrote a very angry and hard-hitting post on it. Now, he’s dealing with the fallout from the 20/20 episode, and the fact that Jack Shaap (the IFB idiot who was talking about women letting themselves go) has been alternately daring people to put up his sermons, then sending out DMCA take down orders for those same sermons. It’s a movement that considers itself the only true church… but more and more, their separation is showing them to be shallow and unloving – especially to the littlest of us.

    Oh, and I’ve heard some call the SBC “fundy-lite”, mostly because they teach many of the same things but are a little looser in the music and clothes areas.

  9. Was it the SBC that dismissed a church for having a female pastor or was it a local association?

  10. Scott, Good question. But I am not sure it matters. If SBC churches are so “autonomous” as they like to brag. I know the “Exec Committee” makes recommendations for disfellowshipping. Does that count?

  11. Scott,

    Yes, it was the Georgia Baptist Convention that disassociated itself from the church, but they were probably carrying out an edict from the SBC kingpins.

    Here’s a summary of what happened.

    http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4575/53/

    “DECATUR, Ga. (ABP) — The Georgia Baptist Convention has ended its 148-year-old relationship with First Baptist Church of Decatur, Ga., over the congregation’s 2007 vote to hire a woman as senior pastor.

    Pastor Julie Pennington-Russell read a letter at the end of both worship services Nov. 15 from Robert White, executive director of the 1.3 million-member state convention. It informed her that messengers to the group’s recent annual meeting took action to declare them “not a cooperating church,” because “a woman is serving as senior pastor.”

    White said funds received from First Baptist Church of Decatur during 2009 will be returned.”

  12. Scott

    I wil check but note your question. Was it an “association” that dismissed the church? Either these churches are autonomous or they are not. How can an “association” tell an autonomous church what to do? Gender roles now trump abuse of children in the SBC.

  13. Lydia

    Yep, it counts and it sheds a spotlight on this hypocrisy of autonomy. You know what the real problem is? The SBC has marginalized women who are not represented well on many of these committees. Ask any mother about pastors hiding pedophiles. My guess is that such a question would elicit fireworks.

    BTW, pastors’ wives do not count. They have married these men and have to toe the line in order to survive. They are not in a position to defy their husbands to speak truth. We need independent women to give input but since most of the men in leadership in the SBC now buy the Council of “So-Called Biblical” Manhood and Womanhood underlying belief that women “are gullible and easily deceived,” I doubt that real, honest input will be found in the coming years.

  14. Tikatu

    Thank you so much for illuminating some of the issues within the IFB. I had planned to write on this issue a bit on Thursday. I definitely want to include the different “flavors” of the IFB which centers around the colleges.

    Also, your point about separation is very important to any understanding of this sect. I am not sure why they don’t form compounds like the polygamous crowd.

    You know, if is funny, that Jack Schaap talked about women letting themselves go. Mark Driscoll has said the same thing and he isn’t even SBC. There is definitely a gender thing going on here and i believe that, until the men in these groups cut out the nonsense, they will see more and more of these incidents becoming fodder for the media. And they will continue to lose members.

    I do like that site “Stuff Fundies Like.” Maybe I will mention it today and link to it on the site. Thanks for the reminder.

    Loved you comment.

  15. Deb/Scott/Lydia

    Do you all remember last year when Lifeway removed the magazine that had women pastors on the cover? well, actually they didn’t fully remove it. They hid it behind the counters. I spoke with the Vice President of Lifeway and asked him what was going on. he sad it was against the SBC to have women pastors and so they had to act.

    I asked him is he carried books by Ann Graham Lotz (rhetorical). I then went on to ask if he carried that month’s Christianity Today. Affirmative. I said that they were being hypocritical because Lotz, in that particular CT magazine said she believed in woman as pastors. I told him he had an obligation to remove her books and the magazine as well.

    Bu, you see, her books make money. CT makes money. The black Christian magazine does not make money.
    So, the SBC demonstrated that only one things trumps women as pastors and that i the almighty buck.

    So, here is the hierarchy of values in the SBC.
    First Money
    Then Gender
    And, if they get around to it someday, protection of children from Baptist preacher pedophiles

    What a bunch of yahoos.

  16. Dee, You said “For example, wait until Al Mohler starts the creation witch hunt.” I thought he’d started it already, at SBTS at least.

    Scott/Lydia, There have definitely been instances of state conventions expelling churches that have women pastors. I believe that there are some SBC churches which have women pastors, contrary to the BFM, but I’m not aware of any expulsions over this. Remember that the BFM is not binding on SBC members.

    Tikatu, Your description of IFB networks is spot on. You may be interested to know that I’ve observed something similar in independent pentecostals – you get groups of churches, sometimes geographically diverse, forming loose networks, in this case often centred around itinerant preachers and/or eschatology.

    I think it’s Roger Olson who has coined the term “neo-fundamentalist” to describe the way that conservative christianity (including the SBC and the T4G bunch) is heading. That sounds about right – closely related to fundamentalism in all but name.

  17. Scott

    Mohler said that this year was going to be the year he focuses on creation. What that means is that he will take the Inquisition from SBTS into the churches and convention. I wish he cared more about children than some discredited science from AIG. But, he is the “smartest man in the world” isn’t he?

    Scott, there can be no expelling of churches if the churches are independent. And said conventions also have churches in them that have hidden pedophiles in the pulpit. Also, the SBC could make a big stink, if it so desired, on this issue and it refuses to do so.

    I like that term “neo-fundamentlism.” I still remember a pastor in a former church who, when I mentioned that the dating of creation is a secondary issue said “You are saying that creation is not a primary issue?” He lumped in the time frame of the age of the earth into the bigger picture of a Creator God. This is a trick of these new fundies. Of course I called him on it and eventually left the church. What a pile of codswallop.

  18. That church that was thrown out…..

    “The Georgia Baptist Convention / First Baptist Church of Decatur, Ga., over the congregation’s 2007 vote to hire a woman as senior pastor….. was a Mike Everson lead attack when he was the Executive Committee Chairman for the GBC.

    We all know that man, his legacy of throwing people out of churches ( and the church having to apologize later) and his past very well. If not just go on this site and look for Pray’s Mill, Doug Pittman and other links.

    Or go to this site and see for yourself just a couple of issues on him – http://www.thecultbuster.blogspot.com

    And just think he got a raise and is now in charge of over 900 churches for the Georgia Baptist Convention.

    But CultBuster is on it.

  19. There is nothing “neo” about fundamentalism, ditto with conservatism. Both are inherently “retro”! ;-)

  20. Peter, IMB missionaries were required to sign the BFM to stay in missions. We are not a creedal people. Many offered to sign their Bibles, but that was not good enough. This is also required by most entities.

  21. Lydia

    Instead of the readers signing their Bibles, they now have the likes of Piper signing their Bibles. I find this intriguing and an indication that they see their Bible through the eyes of their intrepid human leader which is un-Biblical in its essence.

  22. Dee

    I have over the last year or so wondered if the prelude to Al Mohler’s ‘creation’ witch hunt is not at least part of the reason a certain mutual friend of ours felt he needed to leave a SBC seminary and find work in the secular educational system.

    Zeta

  23. Anyone read Mohler’s most recent article on his blog? He talks about Giberson’s and Collins’ new book.

    “Giberson and Collins reveal their true understanding of biblical inspiration when they locate it, not in the authorship of the text at all, but in the modern act of reading the text.”

    Interesting to say the least, and I would love to hear their response to that particular statement.

  24. Joey,

    I don’t think you can divorce one from the other. The original text/writer is/was inspired. But the Holy Spirit reveals its truth to us as we read. It takes both for the Word of God to transform us.

    Zeta

  25. Thanks Joey for bringing to our attention Al Mohler’s article “Throwing the Bible Under the Bus”, which was posted just today. Here’s the link:

    http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/04/19/throwing-the-bible-under-the-bus/

    See folks, if you believe in an old earth, you have throw the Bible under the bus!

    For those who may be new to TWW, we recommend your reading our 1/11/11 post.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2011/01/11/al-mohler’s-young-earth-rhetoric-heats-up/

  26. OB

    Could be but he sure hung around our former church and put up with his kid getting abused in the youth groups on this issue. On his way out the door he refused to acknowledge some recorded evidence. So, he is certainly a complex individual for sure.

  27. Deb,

    No problem. Zeta I enjoyed that Giberson response a lot (despite my leanings towards Mohler’s side of the debate). He is an excellent and winsome writer. I would love even more now for him respond to Mohler’s main point in his most recent article. I have a feeling he would go along the lines of what you were getting at.

  28. If you watched Night at the Creation Museum, there is a reference to dinosaurs boarding Noah’s Ark two-by-two…

    That’s NOT A JOKE! Ken Ham actually believes it was possible. Here is an excerpt from the Answers in Genesis website where Ham addresses one of his critics.

    Ham’s critic states:

    “It seems Noah solved the problem of fitting dinosaurs into his vessel by only taking baby dinosaurs.”

    Ham responds to his critic as follows:

    “[We have never said (nor do we say at the Museum) that Noah took baby dinosaurs on the Ark. The majority of dinosaurs were not that big, the average size being that of a sheep. However, for the large Dinosaurs, we do say Noah could have taken young adults on board.]”

    Check it out for yourself at this link:

    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2007/05/08/what-are-we-smoking/

    Also, be sure to check out this article to understand the intent of Collins and Giberson in writing their book – The Language of Science and Faith.

    http://evolutionarychristianity.com/blog/general/what-collins-giberson-hope-to-accomplish-with-the-language-of-science-and-faith/

    Yes, here at TWW we are doing our best to keep you both entertained and informed…

  29. Re: my comment about there being nothing neo in fundamentalism or conservatism. I was perhaps wrong. Mohler finds a way almost every day to come up with a new misrepresentation of history or science, and Congressman Ryan comes up with a new mathematical system that makes billions in revenue disappear and more billions in cuts appear to have no consequence. So we have fundamentalist neo-history and new-science and political conservatism neo-math and neo-accounting. ALL in the name of being RETRO!!

  30. Joey,

    While I do not really go as far as biologos tends to, I think a lot of what Mohler is saying falls into a kind of black and white/either or view of the text of scripture. And it is odd to me that so many gravitate to this because it really is NOT the way we typically approach scripture on other issues. We often, especially as regards descriptions of the physical reality, allow for metaphor or phenomenal language. We do not take texts that speak of the heavens being as a molten (cast) mirror, or the earth standing on pillars, or being ‘unmovable’ in such a superficial fashion. We accept that even though the write might have had this view, might have literally thought these things were true, God did not and so we accept the text as speaking in terms familiar to the write but not necessarily technical.

    Yet, when we get to Genesis, we do a 180. We suddenly demand the text be speaking superficially, technically and literally about the history and structure of creation, and if it isn’t, we draw a hard line in the sand and say such a thing would render scripture ‘uninspired’ – or at least Al Mohler does.

    I think it is OBVIOUS this text is just a phenomenal, just as written from within the cultural conception of the cosmos as any other old testament reference to the fixity of the Earth or the motion of the sun, moon and stars in the sky. So to turn around and pin the legitimacy of God’s inspiration at being able to derive, sola scriptura, the correct cosmological structure and history from the text from a superficial reading is just ludicrous. But it is common in conservative circles – maddeningly so I would say!

    The other symptom of Mohlers approach is an all or nothing rhetoric. Every aspect of this debate is discussed as if there are only two options, Mohlers view or heresy. And that just is not the case. There are Theistic Evolutionists that accept the reality of Adam and Even as individual humans and the first physical humans, and those that accept them as individual humans but NOT the first physical humans. There is Old Earth Creationism that essentially rejects purely naturalistic evolution for animals and any kind of evolution for mankind, but accept the 13.7/4.5 billion year ages for the universe and the Earth.

    The real issue we run into is that the evidence for the history of life and the age of the universe stands absolutely opposed to the simplistic hermeneutic Mohler and others use. Just as it stood against the simplistic reading of the Catholic Church regarding Joshua’s long day and the immovability of the Earth in Galileos day. A paradigm shift in terms of how we read Genesis is REQUIRED. We can’t just keep pretending the sun goes around the Earth, as it were.

    Mohler and those like him hinder the Church by digging their heels in over the issue. And just like current generations of Christians can’t fathom how those in the RCC that locked Galileo up could do so, so will future generations of Christians gasp at Mohler’s (and many others) Rhetoric and wonder how in the face of such overwhelming evidence he could take such a backward position.

    Zeta

  31. Arce

    Could this sort of fundamentalism be called the “new black?” The fashionistas declare each year a new basic color that goes with everything. Why not fundamentalism? It goes with SBC, SGM, Reformed, Pentecostal, etc-a true basic.

  32. Zeta

    I’m afraid that a nice guy like you who is very smart and could run rings around some of these guys is at a disadvantage. One the “heresy” charge gets pulled out, the argument is over and you have lost. That is exactly what Mohler is saying when he claims that they “throw the Bible under the bus.” It doesn’t matter how careful and logical you are, you lose. That is why I have resorted to just saying “Yabba Dabba Dooo!

    Personally, I would like to see you debate Al Mohler with the ground rules to include “Cut the heresy baloney.” Bet he couldn’t fight fair. Ham can’t and Mohler knows less than Ham in this arena.

  33. Thank you for your reference to Schizophrenic Christianity. I would also invite you to link to my blog (referenced in my signature). I continue to track cases, and my point of view remains Christian. The almost unanimous response of IFB people who have left comments on my blog and on my facebook page after the 20/20 program was to be defensive of the IFB, to counter-accuse, to blame, and to call names. Not a word of grief or sympathy for the victims. And that is how it’s been in the 10 years I’ve been documenting these abuses.

    Jeri Massi

  34. Welcome Jeri! Thanks for having the courage to write Schizophrenic Christianity. What a great title! I want to repeat your book’s subtitle for emphasis – How Christian Fundamentalism Attracts and Protects Sociopaths, Abusive Pastors, and Child Molesters.

    Here at The Wartburg Watch we have made it a priority to alert our readers about wolves who masquerade in sheep’s clothing. Thanks for putting together such a wonderful resource!

  35. Jeri

    I will link to your blog. I still remember ordering your book through Amazon. When I receive it and starting reading, I though i was reading a parody of the faith. At times, I became so upset, I could scarcely read on.
    You have done the IFB, and current and potential members a great service.

  36. Thank you very much, deb and dee. I appreciate the link. I did have an excellent experience in the IFB as a teenager and college student, as much as one can. Those who have been so badly abused as children in the IFB have a certain insight that I would not have. But being a person who came into tracking the abuses as one unaware of the dark underbelly of the IFB also has a certain advantage in terms of perspective. I remember, when I first started documenting cases in 2001, I really thought IFB pastors would see my documentation and urge change in the IFB. Yes, I was that naive. Instead they called me a lesbian and a drunkard.

    Over time (a fairly short time), I realized I was fighting a true monster, and that the reasons I had not been exploited as some of my brothers and sisters in Christ have been are 1) As a teenager, I came in as an outsider with clearly defined expectations, 2) I was “damaged goods” or “dangerous goods” in a lot of ways in terms of not being submissive enough and having too many interests outside the IFB circle (like martial arts, Doctor Who, etc.) and 3) I was able to speak in my own defense on any point that anybody threw at me, and 4) I was loud.

    In fact, the reason I had gotten out of Fundamentalism (in the 1990’s) was that it failed to provide a coherent, Christian rationale for dealing with the major questions of life. I recognized its theological failings way before I realized how corrupt it is. For several years I regarded Christian Fundamentalism as the dumbed-down version of Christianity, trying to offer glib (and stupid) answers to profound questions of faith.

    So I was out of Fundamentalism and then started learning more about what had been going on around around me in the dark hallways and back rooms. When 9/11 occurred, I took it as a wake up call to do something with my life to serve the cause of Christ. So I made a commitment to God to document these abuse cases that were being swept under the rug.

    The was really the beginning of seeing how truly evil Christian Fundamentalism is. Over the next five years as I experienced their hatred and viciousness and cowardice, I realized that sociopathy finds a home in Christian Fundamentalism, and I wrote the book, with review from a psychologist who gave me the OK on the analysis (and even commended me for my research!)

    And that’s the back story on Schizophrenic Christianity. Again, thank you for recommending it and thank you fro the link.

    Jeri

  37. Here is an article showing TRUTH and PROOF who was heading the removal of the church ran by
    (deep breath needed here) a dreaded” female” Pastor who was the Sr Pastor in Decatur GA by the Georgia Baptist Convention in 2007. It was none other than well known Spiritual Abuser himself – Mike Everson. It also has news and issues concerning the Ga Blogging issue.

    These issues were written by non other than Mike Everson’s buddy and pal-Gerald Harris.

    http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=26858

  38. “Re: my comment about there being nothing neo in fundamentalism or conservatism. I was perhaps wrong. Mohler finds a way almost every day to come up with a new misrepresentation of history or science, and Congressman Ryan comes up with a new mathematical system that makes billions in revenue disappear and more billions in cuts appear to have no consequence. So we have fundamentalist neo-history and new-science and political conservatism neo-math and neo-accounting. ALL in the name of being RETRO!!

    I find this very insulting. I suppose you think we can continue to go trillions more in debt? To link that with spiritual abuse is not very wise. Jesus did not tell us to look to Ceasar to pay our bills.

  39. Cultbuster

    Well darned if you aren’t right and we should give credit where credit is due. Mike Everson, the man who went after Doug Pittman, was also the chairman of the report from the committee about the woman pastor. Once again, note the passing of the buck in the report.

    “In an additional GBC Executive Committee report by Chairman Mike Everson, messengers were informed that no immediate action would be taken regarding First Baptist Church in Decatur calling a woman as senior pastor. Instead the convention would observe what action, if any, the Atlanta Baptist Association would take and then revisit the issue at their March meeting.

    Churches which call women pastors are in violation of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, which was adopted by messengers to Georgia Baptist Convention that year. But church autonomy is part of the lively discussion in determining a congregation’s relationship to the local association and state convention and whether the BF&M is a guide or a binding statement.”

    As we all know, they throw autonomy under the bus regarding women as pastors yet continue to refuse to address pedophiles in the pulpit. Couldn’t the GBC have addressed this issue and created their own database? Could it be that Mike has allegedly had some issues of his own of another nature and doesn’t care about sin of a sexual nature?

  40. Dee,

    Yeah, Mike Everson was THE one behind this churches removal and the funny thing is, it was only because of the Ga Blogger blasting truths about him on his website and the GA Blogging resolution presented by his other GBC buddies, that he shyed away from taking the hit. I am told, Up until then he walked around with his chest out as if he were “superman”.

    I researched this man and I am horrified that he now is in charge of over 900 + churches in Middle and South GA. representing the Georgia Baptist Convention. I have read your blog and others blogs concerning many within the ministry who have agendas other than proclaiming Christ as our Lord expected.

    Not only did he go after Doug, he went after anyone who opposed his agenda or stood in opposition of his desires. Seen the letter on my site? He was known as the bulldog and go getter for the G B C because no one would ever face him, stand up against him, or call his bluff – until Doug did.

    This man is very dangerous to those who he comes into contact with. They just have no idea about him or his agendas – yet!

    The Calvinistic movement is exploding within the Baptist world, and the sad part is no body has any idea what it really means.

    The actions of this man clearly shows what it is all about within the Baptist denomination whether they will admit it or not. The Pastor – Lead Pastor Fed Calvinistic actions are really becoming more and more………. Cult Lead – Cult Fed…… and this guy (Mike Everson) is approved by J. Robert White to run 900 + Middle and South Ga Baptist Churches – who says he opposes Calvinism –

    It is time to Bust the G B C’s secret plan.

  41. Pingback: Wartburg Watch and IFB | Why Not Train A Child? UNITED STATES

  42. Thank you!

    I’m an ex-IFB who left for the SBC, watched the SBC start acting like IFB-lite, and left that as well. I’ve been given all kinds of grief for recognizing the two groups have way too much in common and for warning abused ex-IFBs not to go SBC. Nice to know not only that someone else admits it, but that others agree.

    The dirty secret about the IFB and the SBC is that, for all the hoopla the IFBs give about separation from the “liberal” SBC and the SBC folks considering the IFBs crazy, they’re really the frenemies of the Christian world. Laypeople flow freely between the two groups, like my husband’s family and others have done. Many IFB churches started out SBC, including the church of my youth. Their young people go to each other’s schools. And Liberty University? Obvious. I will grant that the SBC/IFB connection is looser than the connections between the various IFB networks, but someone who can get on the inside of either group can easily find it.

  43. Lydia,

    No, I do not like debt. But Congressman Ryan’s proposal cuts taxes on the wealthy and businesses by $4.3 Trillion and expenditures by $4.2 Trillion over a several year period (10?) worsening, not solving the debt crisis. His budget proposal is an excuse to shred the social safety net while continuing to cut taxes, which are already lower than any time since 1952. His proposal would put them back to 1922 levels. And would result in many people going hungry, freezing to death in the winter, not having access to health care, etc.

    We need an honest budget balancing measure. Keep in mind that the national debt was $1T when Reagan took office, $4T when Clinton took office, $4T when W. took office and $12T when Obama took office. I know there are other numbers for Bush, but that is because they took the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan off the budget, and then put them back when Obama took office. The last 3 R presidents presided over more than $11T of the debt and people want to blame Obama.

  44. LMmC

    Frenemies!!!!! Love it. I may use that term next week! It describes the situation perfectly.

    Actually, I believe the legalism of fundamentalism runs throughout a number of groups at the current time. I just read a statement of beliefs of a new SGM church. It all looks really good except, right in the middle of it all, it launches into a justification for strict complementarianism. No discussion about the Trinity, no discussion about the sacraments, etc. Those are just listed. But, the women thing has to be emphasized as major, major, major. One would think that this is the emphasis of the Bible.

    My thinking is this. When a church majors so much on a point, one can assume that there is more legalism in the structure to be found.

  45. Aree, Both sides have their numbers game they like to play to blame the other side. I do not wish to get into that. I am sure you think national health care would be a great thing. After all, the government does such a great job.

  46. Medicare manages a health insurance system for less than 6% of costs for administration. Private insurance averages over 12%. Some things government does well, other things it does less well. One thing we need is to figure out what it does well and keep those things, and figure out what it does not do well, and figure out how to make it effective or end it. Congress, quite frankly, is one of those entities that does not work well and we need to improve that. My own suggestion is to change the way we draw congressional districts to take the politics out of it and make compact districts, get rid of primaries, and have instant run-off voting.

    BTW, the numbers are correct at the level given. We are now basically at $14T, less than two years into the Obama budget system.

  47. “Medicare manages a health insurance system for less than 6% of costs for administration. Private insurance averages over 12%”

    Sorry Arce, you could not be more wrong about admin costs. Are you including the HEW Department? The state levels? but I would like to see your source.

  48. Lydia

    I am very right about the admin costs. Medicare is a federal program. The entire Medicare staff performs the functions that a health insurance company or the health insurance division of a private insurer performs. It is an apples to apples comparison of functions and costs. Sorry Lydia, you attempt to speak about that which you do not know. My numbers have been used by both houses of Congress and by the administration, and have been documented and audited by the CBO, among other independent entities.

  49. I believe it is time to see what the BIBLE says both about the qualifications of a pastor, and sexual abusers. No one should tolerate sexual SIN of any kind – icluding those who are in the pulpit. None of you have yet to say what the WORD OF GOD has to say. Opinions are nice, but they have absolutly no scriptural authority. Yes, I believe that women should not hold the office of pastor, but not because of any gender bias or ungodly attitudes. It is my understanding that God’s Word is the final authority…not man’s. I would like to hear what any of you have to say within the context of Scripture. I would be willing to have an open,civil, and honest discussion with whomever would like to. Keep in mind, that I will base what I state on God’s Word with scripture refernces to back up my arguments. I will expect the same from you. Lastly, I will not personnally attack anyone for their beliefs or opinions. I may or may not disaggree with them, but I will respect the right of them to have such. I also would ask the same condsideration towards me.
    Let me state plainly, that I do not condone any sexual sin or its coverup by anyone. I do however, believe that the one who commits such sin should be allowed to repent and turn from such wicked ways. I also believe that such a person should not be allowed back into a position or situation where the same sin could tempt them again. I do believe that when one repents, that one should be forgiven. I believe the victims of such sin should be protected from such situaions, be given counseling, and ecouraged to forgive the violator. According to the Scriptures, we should all do so, since God has also forgiven us of our sins. Forgiveness is a way to help the victim heal from the hurt they received, and to move on with their lives.
    Please understand, we need to refer to the Scriptures for how to live our lives, in public and in private, att all times.
    Again, I am willing to discuss this or anyother topic, based upon God’s Word as the final authority. I may get it wrong, but I will try my best to be fair, honest and reasonable and clear in my writing. I would like to hear from you.
    In Christ’s Love and Service:

    David Hamlin