SBC vs. Independent

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by PreachTREE, Dec 18, 2006.

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  1. PreachTREE

    PreachTREE
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    I still don't understand the great divide between the SBC and IFBs. How does the SBC affect the automony of the local church? And is that the only issue? I read the SBC mission statement and it seems that it does not affect the local church. I really don't get it.
     
  2. SBCPreacher

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    I pastor an SBC church. We participate with SBC causes and other SBC churches voluntarily - the convention has no authority over us. We are just as independant as the IFB church.

    The SBC is the framework we use for missions support (among other things), through each church's participation in the Cooperative Program. We pool our $$ to support missions efforts, both in North America and around the world.
     
  3. PreachTREE

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    thanks for the response SBCPreacher.

    Do you know what the problem is with the two camps? Is it the cooperative program that most IFBs have a problem with? I go to an IFB college, and the mention of the SBC is very minimal; when there is a conversation, it is one on separation.
     
  4. John of Japan

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    PreachTREE, a knowledge of fundamentalist history is necessary to understand this. First of all, the IFB churches with a background of coming out of the Northern Baptists (now American Baptists) have never had much to do with the SBC since the Northern and Southern Baptists split over slavery in the mid-19th century. So that includes IFB groups like the GARB (founded in 1932), Fundamental Baptist Fellowship (FBF), etc. This does not include transplanted Southerners like Tom Malone, etc.

    For the southern IFB churches which came out of the SBC, we need to go back to the 1920's, which is when great conflicts began in the major denominations between the fundamentalists and the liberals. The SBC was one of those denominations. Three men in particular opposed SBC liberalism.

    In 1927, J. Frank Norris and John R. Rice objected to evolution being taught in Baylor U. on Norris's radio broadcast. I'm going to say here that John R. Rice was my grandfather just so no one embarrasses themselves by posting false or insulting things about him on this thread. At any rate, Norris and Rice were blackballed by the Texas SB Convention over the issue, and with that the Southern IFB movement was started. (See Rice's biography, Man Sent From God, by Bob Sumner, for more on this incident.)

    Norris went on to start the World Baptist Fellowship, still in existence, but in 1950, because of Norris's abrasive personality and dictatorial leadership style, men like Beauchamp Vick, John Rawlings and Noel Smith founded the Bible Baptist Fellowship.

    Rice went on to plant 11 IFB churches in Texas through tent meetings, founding the Sword of the Lord in 1934. This paper criticized the SBF cooperative program extensively for it's support of liberal missionaries and projects and institutions, and also continued to attack liberalism in SVF institutions. Many SB churches and pastors left the convention and became independents through Rice's influence.

    SIDE NOTE: When I say "liberalism" I don't mean people who think smoking and drinking are okay, or use a modern version instead of the KJV. I mean people who denied one or more of the following: the inspiration of the Bible, the virgin birth of Christ, the deity of Christ, the literal creation of the universe by God. This is the proper theological understanding of liberalism.

    To continue, in 1946, Lee Roberson founded Tennessee Temple College and Temple Baptist Seminary because of the liberalism in the SBC schools. The SBC opposition to an independent school caused Roberson to leave the convention, and his schools trained many of our current IFB leaders. When I went there in the 1970's there were about 5000 students, as I recall.

    The SBC finally began to address it's problems with liberalism in the 1970's due largely to a book by Harold Lindsell, The Battle For the Bible. In fact, until very recent years, SBC missionaries did not have to even believe in the verbal-plenary inspiration of Scriptures. I went to Japanese language school in 1981-1982 with an SBC couple like that--both husband and wife ordained and serving in Japanese churches!

    I think I'll quit here, PreachTREE, and let you ask questions, if you have any. :type:
     
    #4 John of Japan, Dec 18, 2006
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  5. PreachTREE

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    Thanks JoJ.

    Should IFBs separate from the convention now? The SBC seems to be solid in their theology. Their seminaries are producing solid men. What is the issue today? I know history is important, but I believe it shouldn't dictate our actions today as far as separation goes. Everyone messes up. We are all fallible men.
     
  6. StefanM

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    Except for our fallible sisters. :D
     
  7. John of Japan

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    I'll just give you a short answer right now, PreachTREE. It's late here in Japan and it is a complicated subject. Until I can answer more, here is something to think on. I believe that the lingering damage of SBC tolerance of liberals for so many years is deep and has left tender scars and warped positions behind in some--if indeed the tolerance has gone away. I'll just give two examples tonight. (I may get in trouble with the SBC BB members here! [​IMG])

    (1) About ten years ago on furlough I ate lunch with my father and an SBC pastor (a good man, by the way) who told us he had lunch once a week with the liberal SBC pastor across town. John R. Rice called the liberal a "wolf in sheep's clothing" (quoting Jesus, of course!), but many SBC pastors evidently still call him their friend.

    (2) Here in Japan the damage is very deep, so that I have been told there is a schism between the Japanese Baptist Convention and the SBC missionaries, who are now required to sign a conservative statement of faith. In my town, a JBC pastor recently said from the pulpit that Hell was outdated, and no one with any sense believed in it anymore. Also, the JBC seminary has been openly liberal for decades.

    And with that, good night! :sleeping_2:
     
  8. gb93433

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    Many of my pastor friends have left the SBC over what they believe is a serious lack of evengelism and discipleship. When I was pastoring I saw a lot of maneuvering by SBC leadership to get what they wanted at any cost. It was not too long ago that the SBC stood against masonry and did nothing about it. It wasn't too long ago that the truistees of SWBTS fired Dr. Dilday and lied about his performance in an effort to quietly remove him to keep away from the media. They lied instead of telling the truth and caught the attention of the media. The chairman of the trustees at the time was caught shacking up with two ladies in his church.

    One of my friends was in leadership at SWBTS recently and noted some very serious concerns about academic rigor and was promptly placed in another position. Shortly thereafter he left the SBC and has not looked back. Not one person I know has cited differences in theology as the reason they left. It is more pride and arrogance of the SBC leadership as their issue. Anyone who has been around very long has seen the manipulation and and efforts to cover up the things they do not like. Rather than just let the truth stand and admit the organization has problems they try to avoid the real issues by covering them up. There is serious favoritism among the leadership in the SBC.

    One mentions that the SBC has no control over the local church. I have watched as a man was pastoring a small church which died and then all of a sudden he was in a large church in another state. His father in law is one of the main leaders in the SBC. I also watched as a pastor came on board a church tainted with lies from someone in SBC leadership because he did not like it that the large church was considering someone he did not particularly like. So instead the SBC leader lied about the possible candidate and the church considered someone else. He later admitted that he lied and nothing was done. Why should liars continue to be placed in leadership?

    In about 1975 Peter Lord spoke publicly about some of the things which were happening at the time. Do you hear of him now?
     
    #8 gb93433, Dec 19, 2006
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  9. Tom Bryant

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    John, as usual, you have spoken factually and accurately. The SBC had and still does on some mission fields serious doctrinal problems. We have politicians when we need statesmen. We have apologists for the SBC when we ought to have preachers who stand and declare the Word of God.

    But we are moving in the right direction. I was trained in TTU and grew up in IFB churches. But now pastor a SBC church. I told Dr. John Sullivan, who heads up the Florida Baptist Convention, that I had been an independent baptist. He looked at me and said, "All Baptists are independent, some just choose to cooperate." As a pastor I can choose to use SBC material or not. In order to be a part of the SBC organizationally, we have to give $250 or more per year to the Cooperative Program. Our church chooses to give more, but there is no enforcement police looking over our shoulder.

    There is pride and arrogance in some SBC circles. But I've seen that in every group or denomination. I've seen favored pastors in IFB churches destroy a church only to be resurrected in a larger church. So it's not just the SBC. We need to fix that. And some of us are trying.

    I hate the fact that there are liberals in our missionaries in Japan. It's wrong and needs to be fixed.
     
  10. PreachTREE

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    I'm 23. I'm going to speak on my age group (18-25). One of our required courses is "Fundamentalism." I took this class last year; the thrust of the class is speaking on where/when fundamentalists and evangelicals split. From this class, we should know who to separate from.

    We (18-25) barely even knew the history of who "was" liberal or who was tolerant of liberals back then. Should we reopen healing wounds and base our separation on things in the past? My generation to tell you the truth, does not care for the past issues. We care for what people are doing now; tradition matters, but truth and present reality has more authority.

    I believe IFB institutions are trying to train their youngens to separate from those who they (older IFBs) separated from. We are being trained to fight their old battles. It's wrong in my opinion.
     
  11. av1611jim

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    Tom said that in order to be part of the SBC oraganizationaly, a church must give 250$ a year to the Cooperative program. This does not sound like autonomy to me. This sounds like the convention dictates a minimum to give.

    This is just one of several issues I have with the SBC. But it is enough to illustrate the difference between IFb and SBC. With IFB there are no dictators determining before hand how much to give and to whom to give it to.

    When one gives their missions monies to the SBC, one no longer has control over which missionary it goes to. Not so in the IFB. We give to the missionary directly through a Mission board. The mission board does not then send that money to whomever it wants to. The mission board sends that money to whom it was given in the first place.

    The SBC has gone way past being a cooperative and has morphed into a monolithic institution which is dying on the vine.

    IMO
     
  12. SBCPreacher

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    av1611jim,

    If I may be so bold as to say, it's easy to stand on the outiside and throw rocks. It would be just as easy for me to stand on the outsied ot the IFB group and throuw rocks. This accomplishes nothing.

    If you don't like the way the SBC funds and supports missionaries, don't participate. You fund your missionaries the way you want and we will the way we want. Either way, it seems that we are both trying to spread the gospel.

    As far as dying on the vine, not the church I serve. God continues tio grow His church here, and we thank Him and give Him all the credit for it.

    Now, this does get me thinking about how IFB churches fund missionaries. Do IFB missionaries have to return home every few years or so and raise funds? I ask because I really don't know. I do know that the SBC missionaries are fully funded so that they can remain in the field.
     
  13. PastorSBC1303

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    Are you really sure of this statement?
     
  14. dispen4ever

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    Reading thru this thread you may become aware of why there is a divide. Personally, I have been in, have preached at, been a missionary for, a "messenger" to various meetings, local, state, national, for a number of SBC churches, and I have not encountered anyone lying, dictating, manipulating, covering-up, etc. We give our tithes and offerings because we believe that to be biblical. We pay out dues to the SBC for the tiny amount of $250 so that our programs can be funded world-wide. We don't want our $$$ to go to building tents downtown, or sending drinking water to Berlin. We permit those who count our pennies to make those decisions so that $$$ go where they are needed.

    gb93433, you made some pretty strong statements. I'd like to see your sources for each of your "lie" stories ~~ but not from national media.

    :flower:
     
  15. swaimj

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    I appreciated John of Japan's history of the IFB movement. There are other strains of the movement that separated from the SBC at other times and for other reasons. For instance, in North Carolina where I grew up, many Baptist churches left the SBC in the 1950s when Wake Forest College moved from Wake Forest, NC to Winston-Salem, NC. At that time, Wake Forest became somewhat of a power in Atlantic Coast Conference basketball and began to allow beer to be sold at ball games and dances to be held by the students. Others left because they became convinced of dispensational theology and their views were not accepted in the SBC.

    Today, SBC seminaries are conservative, whereas, in the 50s through the 70s they were not. Also, today, many IFBs in the south are KJVonly and have a tendency to be legalistic. I no longer live in the south, but if I ever move back I am not sure whether I would join a conservative SBC church or try to find an IFB that is without these deficiencies. I guess I'll have to put my finger in the wind and see which way it is blowing!
     
  16. racer84

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    PreachTREE, We older IFB's are trying to train our young generation to seperate from the world. We are trying to raise a generation the will hold the fort, take a stand for Christ. We do not see that happening in liberal churches. Now, I know there are conservative SBC churches, and I have been a member of one - I did not know it was SBC until the Pastor visited me and I asked him point blank. I was actually shocked, considering their conservative stand and preaching. I know there are liberal IFB churches - I wouldn't be a member of one. If you want to see where liberalism is headed, all you have to do is look at Europe, where what some call "relativism" is in place. Nothing is wrong, it is all "relative". Even the "mighty" Catholic Church is losing ground in Europe.

    I'd love to know what school was teaching the "fundamentalism" class, to see how it was slanted.

    I appreciate the history, John of Japan, that was great stuff. You have a great heritage and its good to know that your family is still producing men of God.

    Get out your Bibles and read Ephesians Chapter 6

    "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

    Ephesians 6:13
     
    #16 racer84, Dec 19, 2006
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  17. John of Japan

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    PreachTREE, right now you are responsible for your homework and tests. :cool: So you have to please your teacher on this. :smilewinkgrin: However, I assume that someday you will be responsible before God for a church with many of the Lord's sheep in it. At that time you will need to have Biblical principles ingrained in your heart that will guide you. That is the great thing about being a Baptist--we believe in "Scripture as the sole rule of faith and practice." For that purpose, I would like to suggest some books by genuine IFB scholars. (I'm not aware of any recent ones by the pro-ecumenical side.)

    Be Ye Holy and Contending for the Faith, by Fred Moritz (the director of my mission board, with a D. Min. from Central Baptist Seminary)
    Biblical Separation, by Ernest Pickering (Th. D. from Dallas)
    Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalism, by Douglas McLachlan (Chairman of the board of Central Seminary)

    When you are a pastor, at that time you yourself will have to make the hard decisions on who your church will fellowship with. Make those decisions based on Biblical principle, not the winds of theological change, and you will be just fine. :thumbs:
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    "Doin' the best I can with what I've got."--Bert Gummer, "Tremors"

    Hey, a fellow TTU grad! God bless. From what I've heard, I also think the SBC is moving in the right direction. My question is, will they move far enough in that direction?
    To clarify things, the SBC missionaries now are required sign a the Baptist Faith and Message, and that has forced out the liberals, including the couple I went to language school with. The pastor in town who preaches that there is no Hell is a Japanese.

    But that brings up the question, how are the SBC Japan missionaries handling the liberalism of the JBC? I don't know. (There are no SBC missionaries in our city.)
     
  19. tinytim

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    John, do you know any ABC missionaries?
    Specifically, David and Lisa Turley?
     
  20. John of Japan

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    SBCPreacher, we go home every few years on a furlough for several purposes. The main purpose is to report our missionary activities to our supporting churches, and this is Biblical (Acts 14:26-28). Another purpose is to recruit new missionaries. A third purpose might be to raise more support if it is needed, depending on inflation, the strength of the dollar, etc.

    This past furlough we only went to a couple of new churches, and only one took us on. The loss of percentage due to inflation is usually taken up as churches that support us raise their level of support. Unfortunately there are churches that never think about inflation, so as I said an IFB missionary sometimes has to raise more support on furlough.

    Having said this, I view this as a positive rather than a negative. Why? The "faith mission" concept (not originated by and not only practiced by IFB's, by the way) requires close contact with the supporting churches by the missionary. This means: lots of prayer support, visits to the field by supporting church members, close accountability to the supporting churches rather than a denominational or mission board bureaucrat.

    The cooperative (or denominational) method does get the missionaries out, but I believe it is inefficient because: it lacks accountability to the local church; a church will only have a burden for missions if the pastor is on fire for missions or if the church has produced a missionary who went out under the cooperative program. The majority of SBC churches, therefore, have little contact with a "real, live missionary." :type:

    P. S. True, the SBC missionaries do not have to raise more support, but that does not mean they stay on the field. They take furloughs just like we do, but their purposes are different: R & R (an IFB furlough is definitely NOT R & R!), etc. :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #20 John of Japan, Dec 19, 2006
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