RE: was this a "real" Baptist church?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by free2know, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. free2know

    free2know
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, This is my first post here, so please be patient... I attended a spiritually abusive "Baptist" church for 10 years, and now I am wondering whether or not they should have been classified as "Baptist". They called themselves Fundamental Independant Baptist they also were separatist but that wasn't in their published title. They were not affiliated with any group or denomination because they were isolationists. I now attend an ABC church and am a much happier Baptist. Should churches who are not affiliated with a Baptist denomination be allowed to use the Baptist name to lure unsuspecting people who think it is a normal functioning church? Just curious on your thoughts.... [​IMG]
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    What in the world is a "spiritually abusive" church? That's a new one on me.
     
  3. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,146
    Likes Received:
    25
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>...Should churches who are not affiliated with a Baptist denomination be allowed to use the Baptist name...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Free2know, there are thousands and thousands of Baptist churches that are not affiliated with with any convention, association, or fellowship. They have every right to the name Baptist, because in Baptist theology there is no ecclesiastical authority higher than the local church. Some of these unaffiliated churches are isolationists, as the one with which you had experience; and some are involved in extensive interchurch fellowship. Among these unaffiliated Baptist churches there are, in my opinion, some of the very best Baptists and some of the very worst!
     
  4. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the more pertinent question ought to be "Should the ABC be allowed to use the name Baptist seeing as it no longer holds to the Baptist distinctives?" [​IMG]
     
  5. livin'intheword

    livin'intheword
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0
  6. Ars

    Ars
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Thomas Cassidy:
    I think the more pertinent question ought to be "Should the ABC be allowed to use the name Baptist seeing as it no longer holds to the Baptist distinctives?" [​IMG]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have no knowledge of the ABC. Could you please provide some reasons for this statement?

    Thanks!
     
  7. Ars

    Ars
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by free2know:
    I attended a spiritually abusive "Baptist" church for 10 years<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Please, explain to me how you define "spiritually abusive"?

    One of the things about Independent Fundamental Baptist churches is that although they have the same "name", they can be as different as red and green. But, if you want a good answer, its best to explain things a little more fully.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  8. free2know

    free2know
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    A spiritually abusive church is defined very well in following two books.

    The subtle power of spiritual abuse: recogizing and escaping spiritual manipulation and false spiritual authority within the church by David JOhnson and Jeff VanVonderen and also Twisted Scriptures by Mary Alice Chrnalogar

    They are cultlike in behavior and very destructive spiritually. I did not invent the term.
     
  9. free2know

    free2know
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    As for the post on the American Baptist Church USA, we have Baptist Distinctives in our church, perhaps you should check out their website.

    I have found that due to fringe churches like the one I attended, people have a negative view of Baptists. At least the people who have been tramatized by my old churches overzealous and at times bizarre behavior.

    One example of the old churches behavior is unincorporation. They don't want the Government in their business so they unincorporated in the state and can no longer deposit funds in a bank,(no EIN Number) they want cash donations only... this should raise some pretty big red flags, but the leader managed to convince the people to go along with this....scary don't you think [​IMG]

    If you want more details, please tell me. I can qoute actual twisted scriptures if you wish (that is scriptures they misinterpreted for their benefit!)
     
  10. Ars

    Ars
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by free2know:
    If you want more details, please tell me. I can qoute actual twisted scriptures if you wish (that is scriptures they misinterpreted for their benefit!)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, I am very interested in hearing more.

    In case you are wondering, I am an Independent Fundamental Baptist. However, it seems (so far) the only thing my church and your old church have in common is the title. [​IMG]

    Looking forward to hearing more.

    Dave
     
  11. free2know

    free2know
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    some of the "fundamental independant" beliefs of my old church were: Please note: I do not lump all fundamental independants together, I know there are some nice ones out there.

    KJV only!!!!!!
    premillenial
    separatist - no involvement with any denominations, NO community charity works - NO internal charity works - the pastor actually worked through a bunch of "widow verses" regarding charity to justify why the church shouldn't be helping out a lady in our church who was estranged from family (they live hours away)with health problems who was struggling financially and of our faith. These people were tough legalist! Technically she wasn't a "widow" and people of the church could help her, but the church shouldn't use THEIR money to help her.

    Severe Dress code - if someone should happen to show up wearing slacks if a lady, or shorts (either sex)it was HUGE scandal. Of course if you were a member you weren't allowed to wear this stuff period. While I think there is such thing as appropriate attire, I think they really stretched the verses they used to justify the very strict dress code. It is much more than I mentioned but for the sake of space...

    They also bashed other faiths from the pulpit in a most un-Christian type manner. It is one thing to pointout theological differences, quite another to be beligerent.

    Shunning was encouraged, especially if heaven forbid, your child attended public school instead of being homeschooled. I do not have a problem with homeschooling, but I do not appreciate the attitude of superiority that was encouraged by said homeschoolers which translated to their children.

    I can dig up particular scriptures when I have time later, but the whole problem with the church is they seemed to have lost the message, even though they "fired and brimstoned" from the pulpit everyweek...they lost the love of Christ, the grace of Christ.
    They replaced it with man's legalism. They made you feel like you were a criminal every single solitary sermon near the end of my time attending there. Yes, all sin and fall short of the Glory of God, no argument there.... but preach the solution in a loving manner so people want to find Jesus! These people made you feel like dirt, like there was no sense in trying EVEN AFTER YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST. That is spiritual abuse!

    My neighbor who used to attend this church also has thrown the baby out with the bath water and now is an atheist because of this militant legalistic preaching church. This is legitimate problem...spiritually abusive churches and the books do a much better job than I of explaining it. I sincerely hope that people realize this churches hardline anti-Christ like spirit is damaging to souls and the term Baptist. That is my original point I guess [​IMG]
     
  12. Pioneer

    Pioneer
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    If you can go from an independent Baptist church to an American Baptist church (or even a Southern Baptist church) and feel more comfortable then it is probably because you have become comfortable with sin and false doctrine.
     
  13. free2know

    free2know
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe I am uncomfortable with other people interpreting scripture to suit their own nefarious confrol freak goals, ie my old Pastor. I have a bible, actually a couple of different versions, and God gave me a mind. I know what sin is and I know what excessive demeaning control is.
    You sound very scarily like the people at my old church, it has to be "unconfessed sin in your life" every time you don't agree with them. What a sad guilt trip to lay on someone.
     
  14. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Free2know, if you are so spiritually superior to those "nefarious confrol freak(s)" at your former church, why did you stay there for 10 years? Don't you have to accept some responsibility for being a supportive part of that abuse?
     
  15. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,146
    Likes Received:
    25
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>One example of the old churches behavior is unincorporation. They don't want the Government in their business so they unincorporated in the state and can no longer deposit funds in a bank,(no EIN Number) they want cash donations only... this should raise some pretty big red flags, but the leader managed to convince the people to go along with this....scary don't you think?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Free2know, I am aware that some independent Baptist churches have gone to extremes on the "unregistered" and "unincorporated" ideas - some even going so far as to say that incorporation causes a church to "lose its candlestick". But I would like to balance this with a few thoughts. I don't what part of the country you are in, but in this area it is not all that unusual for churches not to be "registered" in any kind of way with the government. I have been a member of a church that had no bank account. This is not particularly "scary" if the person caring for the funds is accountable to the church. It is, in fact, the churches money. One problem I have seen in some churches, not all of them ibf, is that a dictatorial pastor (or perhaps the treasurer) is not held accountable to the church. But further, at least here, a church does not have to be incorporated to get a bank account. Some banks will try to require it, but if handled carefully, it can be done to the satisfaction of the church and the bank. So I just want to caution that it should be the nature of financial accountability required by the church, rather than the method used, that raises red flags.
     
  16. free2know

    free2know
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sir Thomas,

    It was a gradual slippery slope into dictatorship. I became increasingly aware of the lack of accountability in such issues of the money etc. and made a decision. I do not know where you get the impression that I believe myself to be superior. That was just rude. You do not know how spiritually damaging this church was to me and my family and how pleased I am to have escaped with any faith intact. I have read up on the subject with aformentioned books on this subject. Perhaps you can read them and understand where I come from. This isn't busting on Fundy Independents or any other Baptists, this is busting on Control Freak scripture twisting churches who use people. This church was NOT NORMAL!!!!

    As for the money issue, I live in Pennsylvania and the only people who get away without tax numbers in a bank account are the Amish. No we never saw the money. I kinda have a problem with that! Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This guy really didn't answer to anyone, he controlled them real well. Think Jim Jones, people!!!!!
     
  17. free2know

    free2know
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Also I would like to add to Thomas that I was actually afraid to leave this church for a time, which is classic in an abusive situation.Please don't view this topic lightly as it had a profound impact on my life.
     
  18. Danette

    Danette
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Another thread on this topic has been started in this same forum, called Spiritual Abuse.

    For those who have participated in this thread and have been demeaning and derogatory, your words are completely intolerable. You are either judging in ignorance (and an apology is in order) OR you could be yourself involved in such a church and feel the need to be defensive. I have NEVER said anything like this on the Baptist Board, period, but this time it is absolutely warranted, even needed. I am not being ugly. I am stating a FACT. This is a significant and literal issue.

    Attacking free2know because she is not in an IFB church now is completely aside from the point. It was not until recently (16 years AFTER leaving the abusive variety of IFB myself) that I learned that all IFB churches are not like the ones I experienced. Those were the only kind I knew and you couldn't have paid me enough money to walk back inside one wearing that label. The hurt I experienced was REAL and EXCRUTIATING, AND THE ENVIRONMENT WAS PROFOUNDLY UNGODLY AND AGAINST SCRIPTURE. There is absolutely NO defense for those type of churches.

    I am not in an IFB church now. I am in a church in another Baptist brand, but I don't agree with some of that "brand's" distinctives and therefore do not adopt the label myself. What I have found is one church within the brand, and one pastor, who have a clue about truly following God. There are NO PERFECT DENOMINATIONS, BAPTIST OR OTHERWISE. When it comes down to it, each church has to stand or fall on their own practices, even IFB ones, I have discovered.

    A couple weeks ago I went with some precious friends to their IFB church in another state while I was visiting. It was a delightful surprise. At the same time, I had to work to hold down the panic sometimes with some things that were similar on the surface to what I had experienced in the past. That's exactly the type of reaction anyone who has experienced abuse will have to events or circumstances that bear similarities to events or circumstances that occurred in the context of the abuse. It is that very reason why free2know and MANY OTHER people I know, may never darken the door of an IFB church again (and some, unfortunately, will not darken the door of ANY church), regardless of whether it is one of the bad ones. It's hard to worship in freedom and joy when there are reminders of a very painful past.

    -- Danette
     
  19. Danette

    Danette
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    OOPS! It was just brought to my attention that previously on the board mention was made that I knew Dr. Bob Griffin back in my college days, which are in this thread referred to in an extremely negative light. Just to clarify, yes it was the same college but NO Dr. Griffin was not a part of the garbage. In fact, if asked I believe he will verify my assessment of the place. His wife was once a great encouragement to me when I was trying to deal with severe, demonic, daily, nightmares I was having because of the environment. Dr. Griffin was there near the end of my stay and didn't stay all that long. I left before him so I don't know exactly what his reason for leaving was, but I do know he is VERY MUCH not a fan of that system.
    -- Danette
     
  20. Pioneer

    Pioneer
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Free2know you said you are from Pennsylvania. I am interested in knowing what specific church you are talking about and who is the pastor of that church. I am originally from Pa. and know quite of few pastors out there. Would you be willing to divulge this info?
     

Share This Page

Loading...