Fundamentalism and IFBeXtremism

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by IFB Mole, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. IFB Mole

    IFB Mole
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    I recently had a deep conversation with a “Reformed” Baptist friend of mine that emphatically claims he is NOT a “fundamentalist” and he furthermore believed “my” form of fundamentalism is “extreme” . I claim any Christian the holds to the “historic” fundamentals of the faith IS a fundamentalist.

    So as a premise I first wanted to clarify the Fundamental Doctrines of The Christian Faith – the ‘Fundamentals’. If you adhere to these, then for the sake of clarity, you’re a ‘Fundamentalist’. They are:


    1.) Deity and humanity of Jesus Christ – God incarnate – the God/Man
    2.) Trinity of the Godhead – Father/Son/Holy Spirit
    3.) Virgin Birth and perfectly sinless life of Jesus
    4.) Jesus' death, burial, literal resurrection and bodily ascension into heaven
    5.) Atonement of sin - substitutionary death of Christ for the sin of His people, (not ALL people, only those for whom he died)
    6.) Being born again and living a changed life to Christian precepts (Justification by faith ALONE)
    7.) The Bible, the Bible alone and in its entirety IS the ONLY source of Faith and practice to His people and is inerrant.
    8.) The literal and bodily second coming of Christ
    9.) The depravity of man due to the original sin in the garden

    I then discussed what he says is “extreme” fundamentalism, he essentially said that IFBeXtremism (IFBx) is defined as:

    "A person who takes an ecclesiastical position, (other than the Fundamentals of the Faith), to an extreme point of exclusivity, and judges other Christians accordingly. They take most all doctrines and church polity to the levels of such extreme that they no longer hold paramount the true biblical doctrines and the important commandments of God, but rather trading them for the traditions or philosophy of men or a “movement”. Simply put they put a bunch of man made standards and opinions in the mix and if you don't follow it exactly, you are not spiritual. Generally these philosophies, opinions and traditions are Bible based, thus further confusing the adherents resulting in an imbalanced spiritual life”

    Now after much discussion and research we both seem to have agreed on the “fundamentals” and what IFBx is and that what some of those dreaded “markers” of the IFBx fringe are. Now if you or your church has one or some of these markers doesn’t mean you’re an extremist, but it may be leaning that way, so here we go:

    1.) “Extreme KJVonlyism”--I don't know that every IFBx church is this, but they are more susceptible to it because it can help them distinguish themselves from the majority of believers who are more concerned about the authority of the Word of God than one version of one translation. All other versions are “perversions” but as the English language has changed over the last 400 years so therefore many words and phrases have changed meaning but any updating to the KJV is tantamount to blasphemy. I like the KJV best, but I also read alternate translations like the New KJV, the HSBC and the English Standard Version (ESV) , all good “formal equivalent” translations.

    2.) “Hyper-Separation” I am not talking here ‘be ye holy as I am holy’, I am talking of the 2nd 3rd 4th 5th degree separation. They separate even from rational IFBers who don't separate from evangelicals who don't separate from liberals. They seem to have their own small group that is not necessarily defined by separation from anyone or anything that is clearly commanded in Scripture. IFBx’ers use the separation and secondary separation as one indicator of “holiness” or spirituality. They will cut all contact with a person if they should attend another church or don't believe EXACTLY like them or his/her church/pastor/staff/majority

    3.) “Unbiblical Standards”. Even unbelievers have standards. Again I am not talking of solid and balanced Bible based standards I am talking of the standards that are based on a twisted sense of Scripture. Where exactly is the "Standard" for the length of hair? Should we all have USMC reg. "High and Tight" haircuts? Can it touch the ears, collar, and flow around? How about the women in the church with their "bobbed" hair (hardly ever preached against - pastor probably doesn't want to get a rolling pin upside the head!)

    A Christian should look and act like a Christian but this should originate from the HEART working its way out! They claim however that the outside is not necessarily a reflection of the inside, but the inside is reflected on the outside therefore if you have the ‘IFB’ look, you must be spiritual!!

    I would not break fellowship with you if you prefer to wear a suit and tie and a military reg hair cut so long as you do not thumb your nose at me for being a little more "relaxed" in my grooming standards.

    An IFBx believes a Christian is woefully backslidden that may drink a glass of wine on occasion, smoke a cigar on occasion or wears shorts on a hot day. As a note I don't drink or smoke cigars, but I don't condemn those that do, in moderation.

    The IFBx music standard is such that even Southern Gospel Music –let alone CCM - is "of the devil" "worldly" or "liberal" or "modernism" or "sensual" or "fleshly" (funny thing is ALL hymns and the like were contemporary at one time or another) or in other words ANY music other than church approved is worldly and liberal

    They would never dance – even a slow song with their spouse – and they call theaters "movie houses". They would never go to the “movie house”, but they will rent DVD’s!!

    4.) “Micro management”— What we mean is the staff are managed to the point of when to polish shoes, wash their car and only white shirts on Sunday. Every detail must be approved by the pastor. Virtually no level of authority is delegated. Even members won’t make a decision without talking with the pastor, even those that have been members for decades. I believe if you counsel a man with a decision, that helps today, but if you TEACH him to make a decision that helps him for a lifetime.

    I am against UNQUESTIONABLE authority and BLIND LOYALTY! A pastor who refuses to consult with those in the membership who have great wisdom in matters he may know NOTHING ABOUT personally is dumber than a post IMHO!

    IFBx’ers follow the pastor unquestionably "always submit/believe/follow authority" and does not think for himself/herself and questioning or speaking out on issues means you're rebellious and "not submitting to pastoral authority"

    If a church believes that the Pastor should have the final say-so on EVERYTHING instead of a group of people then that is an IFBx position

    The Bible does say to submit and obey them that have the rule over you and I would give great weight to any counsel received from my pastor! In addition, I believe that all ministries should be under the direction and authority of the LOCAL CHURCH! If I had an idea or plan for some sort of ministry, outreach, or whatever, I would first approach the ELDERSHIP of my Church for their counsel and approval (as I WOULD be thus representing that assembly). It should be quite clear that those whom you submit yourselves to have YOUR BEST INTEREST, the interest of the congregation as a whole (testimony of Christ, Etc.), and NOT THEIR OWN AGENDA!

    5.) “Isolationism” You have kids today being raised in an IFBx "Ivory Tower" attending some CLOSED ENROLLMENT "ACADEMY," going straight into an IFBx Bible "College," finding themselves a pretty wife, and going into the "Full-Time Ministry" immediately upon graduation. Any real world experience they may have consists of that part time job they held at McDonalds or Taco Bell! Am I to receive counsel from such regarding personal "Career Decisions" of my own? GIVE ME A BREAK! I would no longer place myself under such incompetent leadership now so I guess such would be a moot point (for me personally).

    The IFBx churches isolate the members because there is so much “going on” that you get the feeling of guilt if you are not there all the time. Even taking a vacation that would be over a weekend or 2, one can feel guilty for missing church. Your whole life is essentially dictated by the schedule of the IFBx church nearly 24/7.

    It is a life in an isolated IFBx bubble.

    6.) “Hyper Evangelism” – this is the in your face type. The “soul- winning attack team” and the like. All the promotions, contests and “special-days” to fill the pews. You know all the stuff you find in the book of Acts and the Epistles (LOL) . It is characterized by a watered down gospel presentation lacking any emphasis on repentance. The entire membership is mobilized in the effort.

    IFBx generally have the multiple route, hard-core bus ministry. I'm all for a good Bus Ministry! Let’s just not get stupid with it and turn it into an absolute circus and end up EXPLOITING those we are trying to reach! In addition, you need to get BACKGROUND CHECKS going to keep the pedophiles and other sickos away. If such keeps you from growing a MONSTER BUS MINISTRY so be it! The end result is not how many pray and "Get dunked," but rather is Christ GLORIFIED as a result!

    This also includes “Revivalism” of the Finney type that has replaced true biblical Revival. Now we tell God when to have Revival because we schedule it on the calendar when the Revivalist comes!! With this came the “alter call” the “invitation” and “psychological decisionism”. Discipleship has been the victim of ‘Hyper-Evangelism’

    7.) “Anti-intellectualism” IFBxdom is so lacking in true scholarly men and teachers that they believe if you study books, commentaries, original languages, etc. you will get confused and get backslidden and won't be a "soul-winner" anymore. Jokes are made about preaching or teaching on the “deeper things of gawd”. People that do read the Puritans or Reformers are teased as being the “deeper lifers”.

    This anti-scholarly thought shows up in the IFBx pulpit as topical preaching instead of expository, it is issue based with emphasis on entertainment, i.e. long emotional stories, humorous illustrations, clever anecdotes, pew walking, jumping from the platform, pulpit pounding yelling and hanky waving

    If you can’t teach some Bible truth and expound the Scriptures you might as well entertain the masses, is the IFBx way, I guess.


    8.) “Old-fashioned modernism” which will included Scoffield/Darby Dispensational Premillenialism (7 year tribulation/rapture/millennium) Revivalism instead of Revival (Finnyism) Invitation/decisionism, full-time “employees” of a church/business (churches operating much like a business/corporation)
     
  2. Watchman

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    5.) Atonement of sin - substitutionary death of Christ for the sin of His people, (not ALL people, only those for whom he died)

    If you include those words "not" and "only", count me out of this definition of IFB I guess.

    “Old-fashioned modernism” which will included Scoffield/Darby Dispensational Premillenialism (7 year tribulation/rapture/millennium)

    The best fit for all the Bible has to say about eschatology.
    The Lord would not have us to be Calvinist's, or Darbyist's, but biblicist's.
    Taking the word of God for (exactly) what it says, and not read into it what it does not say-THAT is a good IFB definition.
     
  3. shannonL

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    I'm with watchman on the atonement part. Christ died for the sins of all people.

    Furthermore you will find elements of what you posted throughout IFB but not in every single place you look and not to the degree you mentioned.

    Why don't you spend a little more time taking care of your own walk with the Lord instead of ranting and raving over a particular group of folk or are whether you like it or not apart of the BODY.
    Go do your thing for the Lord and let God deal with the problem.
    I always get a kick out guys who love to point fingers at the IFB pharisees. When they pass judgement on them aren't they becoming a pharisee themselves?
    For example I don't particularly dig the seeker friendly mode of doing things and I don't particularly like alot of the authors, pastors etc.. that promote that style of ministry. Yet if those guys can pretty much line up with that list of fundamentals that you listed then I'm willing to call them brothers.
    So as a mature christian why don't you try looking past some of the pettiness and extras that some IFB try to add to the fundamentals and learn to apprectiate some of what they do for the body of Christ. Because like it or not most IFB to a degree would line up with the list of fundamentals you posted in turn your required by God and his word to Love the brethren regardless of some of their quirks. Even if they don't give you the same respect.
    Try thinking about that a little bit before you
    go off on a pointless rampage against a particular element of folk who make up the body of Christ. I will continue to try and do the same the next time I have to hear about PDL or Willowcreek.
     
  4. tinytim

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    I agree somewhat with all three posters above.
    I also have a problem with the Atonement as the OP states.

    And I understand shannonl's Point.

    But the problem with any type of extremism is the attitude of "it is either my way or it is not good enough"

    Extremism promotes self.

    Somethings I can overlook, but there are somethings that really bother me, and extremism is one.

    Of course there can be extremists on both ends of the spectrum.

    We should all strive to be Christ-like, nothing more, nothing less.
     
  5. Ron Arndt

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    Being a fundamentalist does not mean being a Calvinist. Allow me to repeat that.Being a fundamentalist does not mean being a Calvinist.

    By stating that Christ only died for the elect, is putting yourself in a Calvinist box. Most churches, including Regular Baptists do not hold to this narrow belief. For it contradicts scripture. Especially I Tim 4:10 and I John 2:2 and the famous John 3:16.

    But even moving beyond this point, evangelical churches, for the most part, are NON denominational in the mainstream. There are literally HUNDREDS of evangelical churches with their own private interpretation of scripture. There are the Pentecostal group, the secret rapture group, the preterist group, the reformed group who baptize infants, the reformed group who baptize only believers, the group who holds to once saved always saved, the group who holds to once saved, one must be faithful to stay saved. The DIFFERENCES are numerous. Yet all these groups claim THEY are fundamental in their beliefs.

    When you say "I am a fundamentalist AND YOUR NOT to another Christian, what you are really saying is, MY WAY of interpreting scripture is the right way AND YOUR DEAD WRONG, so you cannot be a true fundamentalist. That is the truth of the matter. So you see, being a so called fundamentalist entails much more than what you claim is one. The folks in the "other church" across from your church on the same street, probably are claiming the same thing.
     
  6. Aundie

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    I've never heard of that.. what is that? [​IMG]

    Anyway, I too can be counted out of this IFB definition because of the last part of #5..
     
  7. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt
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    Aundie

    The secret rapture group is a belief held by many Christians that Christ will come for the church only, totally unknown to the world.The world will be completely oblivious to what is transpiring. The dead in Christ will be resurrected and the living Christians will be caught up with the dead in Christ, while the world will not know what is happening at this time.

    Can you really imagine millions of graves opening up, the trumpet sounding, Christ returning in the clouds and millions of saints rising up in the clouds and the world hears nothing, let alone sees nothing? Incredible! But believe it or not, this is what is believed by many Christians who follow after the teachings of Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.
     
  8. Paul33

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    Alot of what the IFB Mole described is true. And its not just true of the KJVO wing.

    If you do not hold to their view of the rapture, for example, you are forced out of the group. It is that simple. And that is extreme.
     
  9. Aundie

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    Thanks Ron and Paul. I had never heard of that.. until now.. :D I agree that I just don't see how that goes along with Bible teaching. Very extreme. What happens if the person flying a plane, or driving a car is saved and leaves in the rapute? How will that be explained? :D
     
  10. bapmom

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    However Ron and Aundie,

    the fact that we cannot comprehend every aspect of it does not in and of itself rule it out as a possibility.

    Not that I feel the need to defend Lindsey and LaHaye, their book (fiction, remember) does not portray a "secret" rapture. It was in fact very widely known and felt. Personally I believe that when the rapture comes the world will indeed know that something has happened. But I believe there will be some sort of explanation already prepared that the anti-christ will be able to offer the world, and the world will believe it. Complete conjecture on my part, and I do not claim it as "doctrine". [​IMG]

    There are some things you might call extreme that to others is just normal. To the world all of US are extreme. Does that mean we really are? Not necessarily.

    Those who place unnecessary burdens on people in order to determine their salvation....thats just unBiblical. And there are individuals who act extremely in every group of people.
     
  11. Johnv

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    Tinytim speaks with wisdom. Extremism never clandestine. It eventually becomes glaringly obvious. However, by that time, the ability to logically reason with an extremist vanishes.

    Logic and extremism are reciprical. When one increases, the other diminishes. For this reason, extremism is easily identifiable.
     
  12. Ron Arndt

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    The whole point is, is that the bible indeed teaches a rapture or catching away of the church, but NOT a rapture that is unknown to the world when Christ does return for his own. The very scriptures used for the rapture clearly states a trumpet will sound. Also, nowhere in scripture does it state the saints resurrected bodies will be invisible, but quite the contrary. Some will shine as the sun.

    Also a close study of II Thessalonians chapter one shows that when Christ returns for his own, AT THE SAME TIME the wicked will be destroyed by EVERLASTING FIRE. Notice this occurs at the SAME TIME the saints are glorified and not some seven years later as Lindsey and LaHaye falsely teach.II Thess 1:7 thru 10.
     
  13. Johnv

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    True. But likely not in any manner remotely resembling anything espoused by Lahaye, Hagee, Lindsey, or anyone else whose name ends in the "ee" sound.
     
  14. Ron Arndt

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    Johnv

    Correct. Allow ALL the scriptures concerning our Lord's return for his church to be studied. And not just a few isolated ones and you will see very quickly the world will be VERY aware our Lord has returned.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    True. But likely not in any manner remotely resembling anything espoused by Lahaye, Hagee, Lindsey, or anyone else whose name ends in the "ee" sound. </font>[/QUOTE]Johnv!

    Something on which we agree!

    At least I think?
     
  16. MikeinGhana

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    The point made in the original post was "extreme" fundamentalism. There are indeed those who are extreme in their methods and interpretation of the scriptures. Some of them happen to be fundamental baptists. There are extremists in other groups as well. Would you not consider catholics to be extreme who believe there is no salvation outside the holy catholic church?

    Look at the seeker movement. Within that movement there are extremists as well. Not everyone or every church who claims to be seeker friendly would host an ungodly rock party. Some certainly would.

    I teach my bible school students that in any issue the truth usually lies right in the middle between the extremists. Look at Calvinism and Free Will. Those who agree to disagree and remain in fellowship have decided not be extreme in their dogma.

    Look at the Bible version issue. There are extremists at both ends of the debate.

    While I tend to agree, in part, with the original post, I think it is an extreme opinion!!!
     
  17. Johnv

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    Very astute. I guaratee, the extremists will likely disagree with you, though [​IMG]
     
  18. shannonL

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    You know what is fascinating to me about the old testament. Is most of it is written to explain to the "brethren" on how to get along.

    I will say this for an example : I do believe in a pre-trib rapture, a seven year trib and a literal mill. kingdom etcc... Now I have friends who are reformed baptist who disagree with my position. I definitly consider them brethern.
    Now I know plenty of IFB who would consider them to be liberal or label them as such. I disagree with that type thinking.

    I went to a Dispensational school for most of my undergrad. then I transfered to SEBTS. There I studied Church history our history prof was a calvinist yet we had pre trib,rapture guys on campus too. Anyway I would never have learned about the reformers or any of that if I hadn't attended that school. I'm very glad that I did.
    I say that to say that alot of fellows that go to a Disp.type school or have went to one alot of them at least fellows that I know they have never read any theology outside of their dispensational theology. At least your average IFB dispie. fellow.
    What I'm driving at is the fact that alot of guys are pre-mill but they can't tell you why they aren't amill. Alot of fellows are of a dispensational bent but they can't say why they don't believe in some of the tenets of reform theology.
    The fact of the matter is this. You just don't have any dispensational type guys publishing anything of much substance at least it seems that way. I think this is why alot of IFB guys that are looking for some "meat" so to speak like guys like Johnny Mac. etcc..... They are starting to look beyond the scope of what they were taught.
    Do any IFB guys get what I'm saying? I'm not putting this out there to say this is right or wrong or what have you it is just a observation. For example how many guys that came from a dispensational background are actually teaching their people the 7 dispensations? give or take one I suppose. I have even heard some of my more astute dispensational friends relate the fact that they believe that dispensationalism is kind of waning.
    I know I just threw red meat to anti-dispies but what says some of you other brethern?
     
  19. bapmom

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    I can say that since college I don't think Ive ever been taught anything specifically called "dispensationalist." I mean I haven't seen it defined, or described or taught as such. In fact, I was very surprised awhile back when dispensationalism was discussed on this board. I didn't realize there was such a controversy about it, nor that there were such extreme views within dispie-land.
    I also have known people who were very hesitant to declare that they held a mid-trib view, and I couldnt at the time figure out what they were afraid of. I didn't have any problem with them.....

    Now I see more.
     
  20. Ron Arndt

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    bapmom

    The greatest dispensationalist of all was not Scofield but Clarence Larkin. Most of you are to young to know who he was. But he was and still is to me the BEST. His charts and books are a lifetime of work. His book "dispenstional truths" have never been countered as far as I'm concerned.

    You are right, dispensational truth is almost unheard of now in Baptist churches and never in non denominational churches. Surprisingly, 30 years ago dispenstional truths were the mainstay of Baptist preaching and teaching. Everyone who was Baptist carried a Scofield bible. My, how times have changed.
     

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