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Featured Fundamental Baptists: At What Point Does a Church Become a Cult?

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by NoQuieroUnQueso, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. NoQuieroUnQueso

    NoQuieroUnQueso New Member

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    Hello everyone! Glad to be here talking with you guys. This is my first post in the Fundamental Baptist board, so please take my questions with a grain of salt. I'm quite new. But I was hoping you all could help me understand some things better.

    So I've been going to a KJVO, Fundamental Baptist Church for about a year now. I like the core values of the church in regards to using the King James Bible, and I love everyone there. I think the Pastor is a good man in terms of not being a wishy-washy, politically correct kind of guy. He speaks his mind and isn't afraid to preach out of the bible. And when he does stick strictly to scripture, he does a great job!

    However, recently I've been starting to have questions.

    First and foremost, I do believe that the King James bible is completely true, and the inspired word of God. As God is infallible, so is the Holy Word. And as God is infallible, I also understand that men are absolutely fallible and prone to making mistakes, especially in regards to interpretations of the bible. It is very easy to take what is written in scripture and push it to the extreme. Oftentimes there are people in the congregation who can have disagreements with the pastor based on what is written in scripture.

    Is it okay to disagree with the pastor? Well...it depends on what it's about. If the pastor is speaking against what is explicitly a sin in the bible, ie. Adultery, fornication, drunkenness, etc. Then I find it foolish to try and contradict the Holy Word of God. When God says that something is wrong, it's wrong. Period.

    However, what about topics that aren't explicitly spoken against? For an example, dancing is a topic that the pastor has spoken against. While I completely agree that there are inappropriate forms of dancing that are meant for being lewd and dirty, one can point specifically to scripture that encourages dancing as a form of worship and examples where it is used as such. That's just one example, and this post isn't about dancing so bear with me here. But I've even heard of the pastor speak on the pulpit about there being Fried Chicken vs Tacos at the Wedding Supper of the Lord. (He had described a conversation he had with a Mexican, and was adamant that there would be Fried Chicken at the Wedding Supper, not Tacos. I mean...I like both and I can't find any scripture that supports either or neither.)

    It's not that my problem is that the pastor may have different opinions that aren't based in scripture. Again, this post isn't about dancing or fried chicken. But, recently the pastor gave a message that was unsettling to me. He preached about talking about the pastor outside of church. I understand that you shouldn't maliciously slander the pastor, or anybody for that matter, but he went as far as to hint that talking at all about the pastor is wrong. For instance, if you've got kids and your family does something that the preacher speaks against (Let's just use eating tacos as an example) and your kids ask you at home if eating tacos as wrong, that even then you shouldn't "make them doubt the preacher" by saying that the preacher may have gone a bit far on that one. I know for one that if and when I ever have kids and they ask me something like that, I'll point them to the Bible. I believe it's very important to teach kids that no, pastors aren't always right, but that's why you always need to be reading the Bible which is the Truth. You should always follow the Word of God instead of blindly following a man. And while I am a woman, I fully believe that the father is the head of the household, not the preacher. A man should not have his head covered, and the head of the man is Christ.

    So what I'm wondering is, at what point in a church do you have to say that things have gone too far? Again, I love that church and I think the pastor is a good guy, but talk like that concerns me. If you're in a place where you can never question the leader, or raise your own kids according to what you believe, isn't that a cult? I'm not entirely sure if my church has gone that far, but talk like that makes me wonder what I should look out for. At what point do I have to say, "Nope. This is a cult and I'm out."? What are the signs and how should I respond?

    I hope I didn't bother anyone by asking about this, and I value your time and advice. Thank you in advance for answering my questions and God Bless all of you!
     
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  2. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    I don't know about it being a cult, but I would have stood up and left over the fried chicken versus tacos comment.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm as patriotic as they come, but that's flat out saying that another culture isn't worthy of salvation.
     
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  3. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/downloads/Pastors_Authority_&_Members_Responsibility.pdf

    “The preacher must remind himself that suggestions, counsel, even correction, are not rebellion to authority. When the people approach the pastors in such ways, they are not rebelling against God, because God has commanded that they “prove all things” (1 Th. 5:21). No pastor has the authority to demand “unquestioning loyalty.” No preacher’s decisions are infallible. There are no divinely-inspired prophets today. The preacher’s sole authority is the Bible rightly interpreted and applied, and a wise preacher will be open to possible correction.“
     
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  4. NoQuieroUnQueso

    NoQuieroUnQueso New Member

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    I don't know if he was taking a jab at Mexican culture or just making a joke about personal tastes. Honestly I couldn't tell if he was serious or not, but I think it sounded a bit odd to me. He mentioned that at two different sermons, too.
     
  5. Wesley Briggman

    Wesley Briggman Active Member
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    I attended an IDBC until I learned they hold the KJV above their heads and declare it perfect and without error.
     
  6. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    "I think the Pastor is a good man in terms of not being a wishy-washy, politically correct kind of guy. He speaks his mind and isn't afraid to preach out of the bible."

    Unfortunately, I've found that often when one says a preacher "speaks his mind" and "isn't afraid to preach out of the bible" it means that he feels free to preach his own prejudices and inclinations with the Bible as backup. You can find examples on both the left and right.

    I was raised in Baptist churches and can still remember a relative telling me when I was a youngster that she went to "Brother Bob's church." That rankled even then; churches do not belong to pastors, they belong to the congregation.

    Pastors are due honor, Paul said, but they are not due blind obedience. As Baptists we believe we are all priests before God and have an integral role (as Paul said) in the church by ministering to each other. A pastor who doesn't want to be questioned is in the wrong line of work.
     
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  7. NoQuieroUnQueso

    NoQuieroUnQueso New Member

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    Do you mean that they do that as a ritual or metaphorically?
     
  8. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Baptist COUNTRY preachers in Georgia joke about Fried Chicken alk the time.
     
  9. NoQuieroUnQueso

    NoQuieroUnQueso New Member

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    I completely understand what you mean. However, I tend to work better with pastors that speak what's on their mind instead of keeping their opinions and beliefs to themselves. I can disagree with opinions, but it's hard to find out if a church is on the right track if you don't know what the pastor is really about.

    Which is why I started to worry about what's going on when the pastor started preaching about talking about the pastor outside of church. Granted, he has gotten some undue harassment from someone (he won't say who, I don't think they go to our church) and I think that may be what started this. But again, there is a big difference between slandering someone and having biblically-founded disagreements. I especially don't think the Lord is going to punish someone for disagreeing with the preacher. It is not anyone's place to look at someone in hardship and determine what the Lord is doing in regards to them. We aren't Him, we don't know His plans for people, and we have no right to make those kind of assumptions. And yes, he did talk about that too. Like I said, I like the guy as a person, but biblically I'm starting to wonder what's going on. He's very young, mid 30s, so I'm hoping the "no-questioning-the-almighty-preacher" concept doesn't continue. I'll certainly be praying for him and his family in this.
     
  10. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    My general opinion is that when a pastor begins to think he is The Pope, it's time to leave.
     
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  11. Wesley Briggman

    Wesley Briggman Active Member
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    I don't know. As soon as I learned they did this I left.
     
  12. NoQuieroUnQueso

    NoQuieroUnQueso New Member

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    Okay, because I would be concerned if they literally held it over their heads and did that at every service. We have "Revivals" every so often where churches come to visit and the visiting pastor will preach, and there was this one church that read the verses in unison. And it was very monotone, too. Like they were all zombies or something. I mean, there isn't exactly anything biblical speaking against doing that, I won't necessarily knock it. But imagine someone walking in and seeing a room full of people talking in unison like that. That and you kind of lose the tone of the passage when everyone drones on like that.

    I mean, I understand if you want to do that, I can't find anything that speaks against it nor can I find anything commanding to do it. But does a practice like that make you stand out in His eyes? I know it doesn't save you, only the salvation through Christ's blood can do that.
     
  13. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Y'all best stick to fried chicken, then, and leave the BBQ to the pros in Eastern North Carolina. ;)

    See, I'm all in favor of some good natured joking about regional food...but I just don't know about the pastor's remarks.
     
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  14. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    I respect opinions. I have them, everyone has them. I hope mine are informed, but I know they aren't always. But I really, really reject anyone who thinks his opinions are the Word of God.

    Good for you. Humility is perhaps the prime Christian virtue. I am not God, and I should not go beyond the clear teaching of Scripture. Paul said that we should not think more highly of ourselves than is prudent; many Christians would do well to remember that.

    As you should.
     
  15. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Even though y'all have good BBQ, low country South Carolina and it's mustard sauce is king. You do have the best slaw.
     
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  16. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Denial of the Orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.
    Denial of the deity of Christ and/or the incarnation.
    Denial of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    Denial of the Visible Bodily return of Jesus Christ.
     
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  17. Tennessee Gal

    Tennessee Gal Member
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    Back in the eighties scandals broke in different branches of the Independent Baptist. I was also working for a major Independent Baptist ministry at the time. My pastor husband and I left the Independents and began working within the Southern Baptist . We didn't change what we believed, but what made us leave was that well known leaders didn't want to confront the sin , but wanted to sweep it under the rug.
    In the nineties I believe it was 20/20 had a program about sexual abuse in the Independent Baptists and those who were abused called the Independents a cult. We had several individuals contact us because they knew we came from an Independent Baptist background and wanted to know if they were really a cult.

    We assured them that on matters of doctrine they were not a cult, but some of them had cult like ways in how they opp orate their churches.
    Some of the characteristics of a cult are:

    1. You don't question leadership.
    2 . You have to follow certain rules to be accepted.
    3 . Group think.
    4. Your personal life is controlled.
    5. Pastors can be dictators.

    Many of these characteristics are found in Independent Baptists Churches, while some of their church leaders are living in sin.
    A pastor and other church leaders must be held accountable.
    I respect a pastor who faithfully preaches the word and then steps back and allow the Holy Spirit to work in each individual heart.
     
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  18. Wesley Briggman

    Wesley Briggman Active Member
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    Active traits that I observed while attending a IBC. One of the rules (#4) I found unacceptable was members could not have fellowship in their home without notifying the pastor and receiving his approval of the attendees.
     
  19. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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  20. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Woah, I would run not walk away from that situation.
     
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