Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


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April 15, 2011
Have I bragged on our church lately? I didn't think so.. There are many churches around which are called 'Baptist'. There are even some which are called Independent, Fundamental Baptist. However, in our all travels - visiting literally hundreds of churches, I have to say there is only one which is as Biblically solid and yet as balanced as our church. The Word of God is preached without apology, but with love. People are saved on a regular basis and the congregation is real. Perhaps this is the important part. The congregation is real. It is not a congregation composed of one or two families which run the church. Nor is it a congregation filled with graduates or students of a Bible college. It is a congregation composed of a cross-section of our community. We have people who are wealthy, people who are poor. People of all races attend our church. Recovering addicts are in our church and serving along side of people who have served God all their lives. However, social classes are irrelevant. Everyone is equal in our church just as everyone is equal at the foot of the cross. I love our church. I must also say that I love the ministries in which the Lord allows us to participate. We have just recently started a program with the third-sixth graders. It is much like Sigma, but modified slightly to fit the needs and skills of this age group. I must say, I have been so impressed with our young people. They still don't really understand what we are doing, but they are loving it. When it is operated correctly, Sigma is a great program. On another note, there has been a lot of conversation about the recent 20/20 episode claiming to expose IFB churches. One thing I have seen in some IFB attendees, and even a few so-called preachers, is hypocrisy. People will paint on their fundamentalism when at church yet act like the rebels they are everywhere else. It is these hypocrites which are the ones giving us a black eye. They are the ones who make us all look like hypocrites. We are not all hypocrites. How can a man preach against Hollywood when he has cable television in his office? How can a man preach against worldly music at one moment, then joke about his favorite drunken country singer the next? How can a man preach on Ephesians 6 and the order of the home when his children are in rebellion? Yes, when you examine IFB churches, you will see they are full of people and people are sinners. You will also see they are led by men who are sinners. The difference, the critical difference, is in wisdom.
Pr 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
A wise man will respond to instruction, even if he is a leader. When the Lord shows the pastor of some error, the man of God will respond. However, many so-called preachers are too proud to admit they are sinners. They are unwilling to give up their pet sin. Because there are some churches which are led by men who may not even be saved, should we throw out every IFB church? Of course not! The true Independent Baptist Church is the only church which can trace its heritage back to Christ! The true Independent Baptist Church which holds to the fundamentals is the only church which has the true path to salvation and service. As IFB churches, we are independent. Unlike other churches, IFB churches do not have an earthly authority outside of the church. The Pastor is the leader of the church and Christ is the head of the pastor. (Does that mean that the pastor 'rules' every aspect of a church member's life? No!) One reason why our church is so blessed is our pastor. He has a wonderful balance of preaching the truth and seasoning it with grace. The 20/20 episode mentioned a Facebook page for people who were "recovering" from being in IFB churches. Is it possible these people were never really, genuinely saved? I believe there are many people in our IFB churches who are not saved, including many deacons, Sunday school teachers and even Pastors who are not saved. I am absolutely convinced that these who are not saved are the source of hypocrisy. I am also convinced that when these kids (unsaved) grow up and leave the authority of their home, they jump into absolute rebellion. You see, one who is not saved does not understand the things of God. The Bible is foolishness to them and the standards of the Bible (which they do not understand) are repulsive.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Second, we often see standards forced upon people, but the "why" behind the standard is never taught. So, a little girl is told she must dress a certain way, but she is never taught the concept of Biblical modesty. Kids are taught that they should not drink alcohol, but they are never taught the Biblical reasons why consuming alcohol is a sin. (yes, Jesus turned water into wine. No, Jesus did not contradict Scripture and make alcoholic wine.) Perhaps the worst case is the kids who are taught to listen to their pastor then go home where momma and daddy live a different way. Each of these cases, in their own way, produce rebels. Anyone who studies the Word of God with a sincere desire to learn the truth will see that they must be in an IFB church. I am not saying that one must attend an IFB church to be saved. However, if one is genuinely saved and responding to the Spirit of God, he will be IFB. One last thing... Dr. Surrett of Emmanuel Baptist Church recently posted this in response to the 20/20 episode. It is an excellent examination of the core fallacy of the 20/20 episode.