Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Short Thoughts on Independent, Fundamentalist Baptists (IFB)

In many ways I would describe myself as a fundamentalist if by that definition you mean that I stand for the essential doctrines of the faith such as the doctrine of the Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, His sinless life, His vicarious atonement, His bodily resurrection.  I believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, in justification by faith, and in the second coming of Christ.  I would gladly stand with anyone who teaches these truths including my many Calvinist brethren.  In this way, I am a fundamentalist and I am willing to fight for the truths of Scripture.  I don’t believe the modern evangelical approach to trying to stay in the middle on all issues is helpful.  We should stand for the Word of God and be willing to defend the essential doctrines of the faith (Jude 3).  Titus 1:9 says, “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able to both exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (NASB).  This would be true of all true disciples of Jesus who love His Word and fear Him.

I also believe in biblical separation.  I believe that, at times, we can separate and should separate from those who deny the essentials of the faith (2 John 8-11) or who cause divisions (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).  I would not, for example, serve in a ministry with Roman Catholics or with cultists.  I would not serve with Word-Faith teachers.  I believe there is a place for separating from those who do not hold to sound doctrine or who serve openly with false teachers.

That said, many IFB people go too far in my estimation with regard to separation.  They separate for ridiculous reasons such as the use of a Bible translation other than the KJV.  Before his fall into sin, Jack Schaap was being attacked by his own IFB folks for making a few comments about how he believed the KJV was not a perfect translation (or something to that effect).  In fact, when Schaap fell into sin, some IFB folks claimed it was the judgment of God for his denying the KJV as the inerrant Word of God (and it alone!).  The IFB is splintered with groups over here who will not associate with groups over there because they associated with this man over here.

This is how IFB separation works.  Let’s take Mr. Smith.  Mr. Smith is pastor of Calvary Baptist, an IFB church.  He is disassociated by other IFB churches because he is friends with an evangelist named Mr. Tucker who once visited Dr. Albert Mohler in Louisville who once spoke at a Billy Graham Crusade and as everyone knows, Mr. Graham allows Catholics to attend his meetings.  Therefore, since Mr. Smith is friends with Mr. Tucker who is friends with Mr. Mohler who is friends with Mr. Graham, we must separate from this dangerous man.  And if you attend Mr. Smith’s church, you are a neo-evangelical as well and to be cut off from your IFB brethren.

Do you see how ludicrous such separation is?  My wife and I have tried to be friends with an IFB pastor and his wife here in our town.  They are always nice to us and since I am a fundamentalist at heart, I enjoy, at times, visiting their church.  Yet this pastor wants little to do with me.  I believe the large part is that I am not an IFB member, do not hold to the KJV only position and even oppose it, and I attend an openly charismatic church.  This requires separation.

Frankly, I would love to see a reformation movement started where the core doctrines of the faith are held in high esteem, where we abandon the fads of the evangelical movement, and where we preach and defend the truths of Scripture with passion.  There is a place for separation especially from the world (1 John 2:15-17).  Yet the IFB goes too far in their separation thinking.  There are hopeful signs. Just last week I visited Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC and was blessed to see their wide range of books in their bookstore from Puritans to a few Arminians to shelves of ESV, NASB, and NKJV Bibles.  Their doctrinal books were wonderful!  So there is hope and I praise God for that.


Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/25/2013 at 11:52 AM

One Response

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  1. Amen. The Body of Christ needs to be united.

    kerwyn wilson

    02/25/2013 at 7:18 PM

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