Ibfna

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Salty, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    A thread on Kevin Bauder branched out to the IBFNA

    I have just received this Email from Dr. Payne, Moderator of the IBFNA
    I know it is lengthy, but I did not want to inadvertently edit any pertinent info out.

    "Feel free to quote as you like. Our IBFNA meeting is in a little over a week in Charlotte, NC. Sounds like attendance will be down this year. Had a great regional fellowship a few months ago in New England where they had 50 show up. "

    Here is the info Dr. Payne sent me:

    Thanks for asking about the IBFNA. Keep in mind when you look at that list of churches that we are NOT a church fellowship. We are an individual fellowship. That list of churches represents a few churches who decided to take on the IBFNA as a supporting church.

    Because we are such a loose fellowship, our membership changes from year to year. If a person does not pay membership dues, he is no longer a member (although we still list him in the phone directory for a few years). There are wonderful advantages to this, but it also has some drawbacks...although I believe the former far outweighs the latter.

    At the present time we have approximately 100 members.

    Happy to answer any other questions you may have.

    BTW, just read part of the post to which you directed me. Although I would consider myself a fundamentalist, and an independent Baptist, I think it is far better to place more emphasis on the Bible, hermeneutics, and doctrine than on labels. In the end, we are not defined by our labels (although labels are not totally unimportant...I still use them) but by the doctrine we hold and how we interpret the Word of God. You can label yourself anything you want, but the doctrine you hold is who you really are.

    Dr. Clay Nuttall, a former IBFNA Moderator wrote this in his Shepherd's Staff email publication a few months ago. He has the right perspective. Here is his article in part:


    My question was, “Why do we divide ourselves up into plastic categories when there is a better way to identify our similarities and differences?” Consider the general designations of liberal, conservative, evangelical, fundamental, Calvinistic, covenant, and denominational identifications. If I tell you that I am any one of them, what does that mean? Any conclusion would be based on presuppositions and traditional prejudice. At the heart of any designation is a wide variety of perspectives; trying to define them is like trying to pick up mercury.

    Titles such as those listed above are often used to discredit other people or to ridicule a group or movement. Even sincere attempts to seek the identify of a common belief or practice will end in frustration. When we were youngsters, we would often defend ourselves by saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. Words, however, do hurt and they do have meaning; thus it behooves each of us to handle this discussion carefully but deliberately.

    DANGERS OF ELUSIVE CATEGORIES


    One of the problems here is that broad classifications can often lead to a covering of theological error by referring to philosophical differences, denominational preferences, and toleration. There is no doubt that we should continue the discussion of a wide variety of ideas. We can, and must be, polite in our discussions and consideration of doctrine in the Bible community. Even the enemies of the gospel should not be subject to character assassination.

    The term “conservative” can hide a lot of views that are offensive to God and His word. That is true, also, of the terms “evangelical” and “fundamental”. Others have pointed out that even the “open view of God” has found a hiding place in evangelicalism. I, personally, have gone on record as saying that this theological perspective violates a holy God and is heterodox, if not heresy.

    SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER?


    Once again, my question is this: “Why do we divide ourselves up into plastic categories when there is a better way to identify our similarities and differences?” Wouldn’t it be much simpler if our fellowship and ministry participation was based on a theology that is biblical? One could, of course, argue that this is what those man-made categories do. That might be true in a general sense, but it doesn’t deal with the specific violations of biblical doctrine. All we have to do is to review that long list of movements, organizations, and groups, observing the pass that is frequently given to error.

    Let me be clear about this. I am not talking about personal fellowship or discussions that take place outside the political atmosphere created inside those categories. This is about silence that is demanded in academia under the fallacious idea that we must not criticize other institutions. It is about turning a deaf ear to the theological damage done by the rush to accreditation. One way to get a good whipping by one’s peers is to suggest that the intellectual pagans who planned this whole approval system have an unholy disdain toward God and His servants. It is about forcing us into the mold of their belief system, just as it has done in ecclesiastical circles.

    Once again, this is not meant to condemn the practice of inviting outsiders in to review and assist us. It is just another one of those areas where theological error is tolerated for the sake of a false man-made category. It also reminds us that we are to be ready to take the criticism that comes from holding people’s feet to the theological fire.

    So how, then, do we establish theology as the standard of fellowship and ministry participation, rather than a category that changes constantly? It does not mean we can’t have fellowship with any of these groups. Why can’t we participate with individuals in any of those groups who hold a theology that is biblical? Why is it that, when I fellowship or minister with someone who has a theological belief like mine, that I have to be identified with the group they may be associated with?

    The confusion here is not about a theology that is biblical; it is about erroneous theology that hides inside a larger context. It is about the demand that we give respect to error. The final insult is the demand for silence about our differences. The trap is set when we are told not to let things such as the time of the rapture become a hindrance to our fellowship. We do know that there is no such thing as an “independent error”. Silence on what appears to be small things turns into silence about big things, like Preterism. So, in the end we are to respect and be quiet about the discarding of huge portions of scripture so that we can have broad fellowship? Not on my watch! Why don’t we use theology as our standard?


    God bless!


    Dr. Bob Payne,
    Moderator, IBFNA
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    This was exactly what happened in 1922 in the Northern Baptist Convention. The desire of the FBF (Fundamentalist Baptist Fellowship) that met BEFORE each annual meeting of the NBC was to draw some solid line, doctrinal position, label, etc, to try to stem the evil encroachment of liberalism, modernism and godless evolution.

    The far left said that labels divide, words don't have meaning, blah blah blah and said the NBC should adopt just "we believe the Bible" and not be so divisive with labels and picky about doctrine.

    Well, who is going to vote against the "Bible"?? It passed, as did the last opportunity to save the NBC from its slide (look at it today; a bastion of liberalism with only a few churches even holding to basic Bible truth and practice)

    So to throw out labels, doctrinal distinctives, polity, etc because some my use them to mislead or everyone in a category may not be monolithic is the certain step into the abyss of liberalism.

    Oops. There I used a label. But everyone reading knows now exactly what I believe.

    (BTW had to look up what splinter/split was the ifbna - not my crowd for sure)
     
    #2 Dr. Bob, Jun 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2010
  3. Gospelizer

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    Dear Dr. Bob:

    I have to chuckle a bit with the NBC comparison. I have to say that is a first for me. Those who know me know that I am not a doctrinal compromiser and neither is Dr. Nuttall. My point was missed.

    My point is not to throw out all labels. My point is that many people use labels instead of talking about the Word of God.

    Let me give you a "for instance." I read some well-known names mentioned on this board that were labeled "fundamentalist." Some I would agree with, and others I would label differently. If I chose to, I could respond in one of two ways: 1) I could argue that some are not fundamentalists and the label was used incorrectly. A discussion of correct labels and what they mean would then ensue. 2) Alternately, I could discuss principles, point to scripture and discuss the text. The first approach is philosophical, the second one is biblical.

    Too often today labels are thrown around and the text is disregarded. An example: "all Calvinists are heretics." Not a very helpful statement, is it? Far better to go to the scriptures and discuss the subjects of the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man.

    In the end what I am saying will not result in a broader fellowship, but a narrower fellowship. Those with whom I have contact (your experience my be different than mine) are using labels to broaden fellowship (unlike what has been done in the past), I am calling for a discussion of the text which will result in a narrower fellowship (no one has ever accused me of being too inclusive).

    Any confusion on the issue should be cleared up by reading some of our conference resolutions (http://www.ibfna.org/IBFNA/resolutions.htm), our doctrinal statement (http://www.ibfna.org/IBFNA/articles_of_faith.htm), as well as one of the articles that I have written (http://www.ibfna.org/IBFNA-Docs/TheReview/2005-11.pdf ...page 2).

    Hope this clears up any confusion.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Bob Payne,
    Moderator, IBFNA
     
    #3 Gospelizer, Jun 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2010
  4. Gospelizer

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    Sorry the quotes did not come out very well.
     
  5. Gospelizer

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