Is IFB a denomination?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Apr 8, 2004.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I am sure that this has been brought up, but I am relatively new here so would appreciate any thoughts.

    As an IFB since salvation (in 1974) I have always considered that IFB is only a label, not and denomination. Not too long ago a BB member criticised my website because it has both "Baptist" and "non-denominational" on it.

    I see no contradiction there. This brother accused me of being deceptive.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim
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    IMO, you are on solid ground. A denomination is an organization with a structure of leadership, etc. I think the only truthful argument he could really make would be that as IFB's we tend to identify "leaders" and try to emulate them, which makes us tend to be similar to each other in extra-biblical ways. Probably not good, but it doesn't make uas a denomination.

    BTW I really see being in a denomination as nothing to be ashamed of, even though it may have some drawbacks.
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    In my informed opinion (CAT3), IFB is the default position for Baptists. This as one of our distinctives is the independence and autonomy of the local church. Another is the Bible as our only rule for faith and practice. Between those two distinctives, IMHO, you can easily get the "I" and the "F".
     
  4. tinytim

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    I see it as a denomination. It has distinctives that separtate it from other denominations.
    When someone says "IFB" I immediately know what doctrines are taught in those churches.
    (Or at least all I've ever been associated with)

    So I'd have to say it is a denomination.
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Thanks Tim,

    In my view though a denomination has a structure and hierarchy.

    I think most of us who are IFB use that just because it is a description of a basic belief system, not a denominational structure.
     
  6. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Indapendant should be exactly that. Do IFB churches contribute to having things in common like Bible Colleges and missions and so forth?

    I suppose that most Baptist churches have autonomy of the local church which makes them indapendant in that sense. Yet what measure of control the denomination can have over them seems to vary from group to group.
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Each church can choose which missionary, school, mission board to support. They do support some in common, but it is up to each church.
     
  8. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Can they support none of the above?
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Yup - it is TOTALLY up to each church. Many support their own missionaries and have their own schools, etc.
     
  10. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Sweet [​IMG]
     
  11. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    While the IFB group may not be an official denomination, there is more denominationalism that transpires than any group of which I have been a part.
     
  12. LarryN

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    I would agree with SBC. They are some truly independant IFB-ers, but large numbers of IFB pastors & churches pay homage to some "IFB Pope" or other subgroup. I can give you lots of examples from personal experience; and I'm sure many others here could also.

    The Hyles (d. 2001)/FBC Hammond/Schaap-wing of IFB-dom is a prime example. Then there are the Bob Gray (Longview, TX) clones, the Sword of the Lord/Shelton Smith crowd, the Mickey Carter-ites, the Jim Vineyard wing, etc., etc.

    I heard a pastor a few years back actually bellow from the pulpit: "If you're not right with Dr. Jack Hyles, you're not right with God!", as if our supreme goal is to be Hyles-like, rather than Christ-like!

    There are a lot of IFB pastors who seem to look to other men for direction and approval, rather than looking to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Well, this is more like the kind of discussion I was hoping for.

    I do have a problem with the "camp" aspect of IFB churches. However as Larry just said, there are churches which are truly independent. As a missionary on deputation I was constantly confronted with that mentality.

    I think that SBC's comment about the denominationalism is a little over the top though. Several of my supporting churches are truly independent.

    Thanks for the frank comments.
     
  14. uhdum

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    I understand fully the idea that IFB churches do not want to be called a denomination. Having been exposed to IFB friends, as well as seriously dating an IFB person at one time, I understand their reasons.

    I tend to agree with Tinytim on this matter. It does seem to be a matter of semantics, but the reason I refer to IFB as a "denomination" is based simply on the fact that, upon hearing that a church is IFB, I can generally tell what they believe. Perhaps then a better word could be chosen than "denomination"; I cannot think of one right now.

    This is my opinion: IFB churches generally have similar beliefs; this places them in a sort of unofficial "denomination," one which shares similar beliefs and traditions.

    God bless!
     
  15. LauraB

    LauraB
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    IFB

    I = Independant - Meaning we as a church do not have anyone to answer to how things are run IE. Pope. We as a church and the members of the church decide what goes on as far as what to buy, where the money goes, who can and can not become members, although we have never turned anyone down yet!

    F = Fundemental - We believe in the fundementals of the bible. We believe in the "Good News" which means Gospel, and Gospel means the death, burial and ressurrection of Jesus Christ our Saviour!

    B = Baptist - A Label.

    Some are to say we IFBers are the radical of all the (denominations if you want to use that word).

    Proud 2 Be IFB
     
  16. Daniel David

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    LauraB, if that is the sole basis for IFB, then Southern Baptists are IFB also.

    As a member of a Southern Baptist church, we determine where the money goes, who can and cannot be members, etc.

    I will submit that your definition is a wee bit too broad.
     
  17. LauraB

    LauraB
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    Not too broad, just truth. Why do things have to be complicated? Why can't there be just a simple answer?

    That is what IFB is, simple and plain.

    Or is this what you are looking for:


    The Scriptures- We believe in the plenary, verbal, Divine inspiration of the Holy Bible. The Holy Scriptures of the Old (Masoretic Hebrew) and the New (Textus Receptus) Testaments are the inspired, inerrant Word of God; the complete and final revelation of God's will to man. The Word of God is the supreme standard of faith and practice (Isaiah 40:8; John 10:35; ll Timothy 3:16; ll Peter 1:19-21). The King James, AV 1611, is the inerrant Word of God, providentially preserved. There is no need to revise, update, correct, better explain, or change it in any way ( Revelation 22:18-10; Deuteronomy 4:2).

    God- There is one supreme God, omnipotent, omniscient, manifesting Himself in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; one in nature, attributes, power and glory ( Genesis 1:1; Mark 12:29; Matthew 28:19; ll Corinthians 13:14; John 1:1-4; John 5:17-27; Philippians 2:6-11).

    The Person and Work of Christ- Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. He is therefore true God and true Man. Jesus Christ is impeccable in His nature and sinless in His life. He died on the cross and shed His precious blood as an atonement for our sins; was buried and rose again the third day. he ascended into Heaven and as our High Priest intercedes for us. He is coming again for His church (Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-4, 14; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 1:26-35; l Timothy 3:16).

    The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit- The Holy Spirit is a Divine person; the third Person of the Trinity. he is the administrator of the things of God; convicting of sin, revealing Christ, teaching the truth, restraining evil, energizing believers in prayer, worship, and service and is ever present in the believer as our Comforter and Helper (Psalm 139:7-12; John 7:38-39, 15:26, 16:3, 14; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9; l Corinthians 6:19; ll Thessalonians 2).

    Salvation and Security of the Believer- All who believe on Jesus Christ as Saviour are justified on the ground and merit of His shed blood on the cross, and are saved by grace through faith, wholly apart from human merit and works ( John 1:29; Acts 13:38-39; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:3-8). All who are born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Christ are eternally secure (John 5:24, 10:22-29; ll Timothy 1:12; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:32-39).

    The Church- The local church is a called out assembly of believers who assemble together in obedience to Christ's command for this age. The local New Testament church is the agency through which God works to carry out the Great Commission to the lost and dying world ( Matthew 16:18, 18:17, 28:19-20; l Corinthians 1:2; Mark 16:15-16).

    The Ordinance of the Local Church- There are two ordinances of the local church; Baptism and the Lords Supper. The Scriptural mode for Baptism is by immersion (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Matthew 3:16-17; l Corinthians 11:23-32).

    The Personality of Satan- Satan is a real personality; a created being of great beauty and power, the prince of this world, the god of this air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. He fell through pride, and became enemy to God and deceiver of man. He will ultimately be judged and cast into the Lake of Fire (Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-14; Job 1:1; John 8:44; Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10).

    The Eternal State- We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead; the saved to a life of eternal glory and bliss in Heaven with God; the unsaved to eternal judgment of conscious suffering and woe in the Lake of Fire ( John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:6, 11-15, 21:1-8; Matthew 10:28; ll Thessalonians 1:6-9 ).

    The Millennium- After His personal, bodily, visible return at the end of the tribulation, the Lord Jesus Christ will establish His kingdom on earth and reign as the blessed and only potentate for one thousand years (l Timothy 6:14-15; Revelation 20:6-7; Isaiah 65:15-25).

    The Great Commission- It is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to engage in personal evangelism and to do their utmost to give the Gospel of Christ to the whole world ( Matthew 4:19, 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 1:8; John 17:18, 20-21).

    Personal Separation- God's people are called to be separated people who abide in Christ, walk in the Spirit and enjoy victory over the world, flesh, and devil (Romans 12:11-2; Galatians 5:16; l John 2:15-17; Colossians 3:1-17; ll Corinthians 2:14).

    Ecclesiastical Separation- In obedience to the Holy Word of God the people of God should practice Scriptual separation from all forms of ecclesiatical apostasy and compromise. This would include ( but not limited to) the Ecumenical Movement, Neo-Evangelicalism, and Neo-Orthodoxy ( Philippians 3:17-18; Romans 16:17-18; l Timothy 1:19-20; ll Timothy 3:5, 4:14; Ephesains 5:11; ll Corinthians 6:14-17; Titus 1:13, 3:10-11; ll Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; l Corinthians 5:11).

    Charismatic Movement- We reject this movement and it's teachings of Faith Healers and it's speaking in tongues as evidence of being filled with the Spirit.

    Music- Music should be Christ Honoring and not Glorifying the individual(s) who sing or play it. The modern Christian Rock and Contemporary music along with Broadway Production Style are worldly and only please the flesh.
     
  18. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Your post allows us to make another point Laura.

    Not very Independent Baptist Church would agree with your stand on eschatology, music, and even possibly some aspects of your church's stand on charismatics.

    Your post points out how independent we all are!
     
  19. Siegfried

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    SBCbyGRACE is largely correct about the tight denominationalism characteristic in the IFB "denomination." In many ways it really is tighter than the SBC. On the other hand, there are many IFBs that truly are independent and don't pay homage in any way to the Hammond sect, the Greenville sect, etc.

    There are pros and cons to these denominationalistic tendencies among IFBs. A con is that there is inconsistency in claiming to be independent when your church is really under the influence of a Fundy "leader," A pro is that IFBs seem much less likely to be in direct cooperation and fellowship with rank liberals through a cooperative program that funds apostates. I realize that much progress has been made at the national level (still not enough), but at the state level the conventions have light years to go.

    There's another factor, too. Among IFBs the denominationalism is much more amorphous--amoebalike. Although there is no strict hierarchy, there tends to be a fear amongst IFBs that if you just poke your nose outside the IFB box even a little bit you're liable to get stepped on. Question one little detail in the accepted system of separation and your IFB card gets revoked by the catty circle of pastors who are constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure your church isn't on the "slippery slope."

    The pastors and churches who bow to these external influences are abdicating their autonomy and crumbling under fear of man, not fear of God. Comments by those on this board who talk about how oppressive it was to be an IFB and how much better it is to be SBC may be characteristic of this tendency. The solution is not to join a denomination, but to become truly independent.

    Please understand this is not an attack on SBC brothers and sisters, even though I would have trouble in my conscience cooperating with many with whom they cooperate. If there is an attack here, it is at the mindset of those who claim to be independent but are not.
     
  20. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Excellent post that points out a major flaw in the IFB movement. Thank you.
     

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