An Anonymous IFB Pastor’s Response to “My Story”

Only a few days ago, I published My Story: Entrenchment in & Escape from an IFB Cult in an effort to allow others to find their voice and healing. I received a response from an IFB pastor (once connected to Falls Baptist Church and Baptist College of Ministry) regarding my story. The pastor denied me permission to cite him, but I am allowed under law to quote him anonymously… for which he writes simply, “thank you.”

I include this anonymous pastor’s response to provide a “pertinent-to-my-story” example of the IFB’s warped mindset and to show that their interpretations are completely inaccurate, leading them to continually miss the point.

Note the following items in his response:

–His never saying that the actions by the pastors mentioned in my story were wrong. He only apologizes for the “abuses as a youngster.”

–The hypothetical supposition that “much of your heartache could have been avoided,” if I had gotten professional counseling sooner… as in before (or, instead of) attending Bible college? “In retrospect, it is regrettable that you went off to Bible college before you received the healing you needed.” So, none of the professional abuses would have been existent or abusive, if I had gotten counsel for the sexual and physical abuses precipitated by the IFB doctrines (ex. Spanking)? In actuality he talks about the failed philosophy of education more than anything else.

–The postulate that Bible college is “only for a very very small group of people.” …as in elites? Now, I agree that Bible college was not the best choice for me. In fact, had it not been IFB cultish doctrine and sub-cultural pressure to teach a false dichotomy between sacred and secular, and that, “surrender to full time ministry” is the only way of being sure to follow God’s “perfect will,” then I might have followed a different path. However, the other unethical and even neglectful / illegal activities I report in my story are not excusable.

–The admission that most IFB pastors are incapable of providing counseling on the level of abuses ongoing in their own churches. Yet, as a rule, the IFB network refuses to send anyone to a professional counselor or psychiatrist…. and the pastors often build themselves up as the source for all counsel.

–The blaming of such ills on a philosophy of discipleship / education instead of unethical and sometimes illegal behavior. While it may be one of many root causes for narcissism, it is not an excuse for crime. Call crime by its name instead of pontificating.

–The charge not to be “bitter” and the implied promise of greater ‘usefulness to God’ if I do but “fly in the ointment” if I don’t. Usefulness to God looks far different than usefulness to IFB. I would rather speak truth and healing to the 2-3 people contacting me each day with their severe and horrifying abuse cases than to be seen as “ok” with IFBers.

–The statement, “My desire for you is that you vigilantly control the urge to lash back,” is typical of the IFB, who see an exposure of the common sins among their “leaders” as a threat. Clearly my story was not about lashing out but about others finding help, a voice, hope & healing.

–The Scriptural misuse and misinterpretation of Joseph’s keeping his mouth shut amid suffering. To use Joseph is bad interpretation, firstly because Joseph did speak out / act in correction of his abusive brothers. What do you think the cup in Benjamin’s sack was all about? And what about Benjamin’s portion at the table, which made his brothers feel conviction? And what about his covertly asking about all their father’s sons? What about his direct confrontation followed by their repentance? To remain silent is NOT what Joseph did to those who abused him. At the right time, he confronted them and saw their hearts. Then he was able to show his forgiving when seeing they had repented!! But, what we have with IFBers is “The pastors are doing nothing wrong, and people are just bitter and not willing to hear “‘sound doctrine.” In actuality, the IFB doctrines (non-essentials) are complete interpretational rubbish… as I demonstrate in the many linked articles scattered throughout my story.

–Posing the pastoral position as a “vulnerable” one (i.e. predator is victim). While this may be true and while a pastor can indeed become self-authoritative, his saying so misses the point of the victims’ plights under such leaders, irrationally turning the abused into the abuser.

–The claim that ‘this is a human problem, not just an IFB problem.’

–The false assertion/implication that those who are leaving the IFB are leaving Christianity altogether and/or leading lives destroyed by sin.

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BEGIN MESSAGE:

February 21, 2017 (11:37am)

Hi Sam,

I read all your posts in this series. I’m so sorry to hear of the abuse you endured as a youngster. I don’t know if there is a more devastating experience to endure. I’m so sorry you were subjected to such evil, and at such a young age.

I’m very glad to hear that you have been able to receive professional counseling. It seems that much of your heartache could have been avoided if you had been guided to find professional help sooner. Most pastors are not capable of providing the in depth counsel that is necessary for cases such as yours.

I pray that God will use your situation similarly to Joseph. Going through the fire that you’ve endured can prepare you to bring life to many. Let me encourage you to be on guard against bitterness. It could be a fly in the ointment that could limit all that God would like to do through you now.

In retrospect, it is regrettable that you went off to Bible college before you received the healing you needed. It is my experience that Bible college is only for a very very small group of people. It does not replace discipleship. I grieve that the local church has sold itself short and thinks that they are incapable of training the next generation of preachers as generations before us have done. The Southern Baptists are recognizing this and are partnering with local churches to work cooperatively in this regard. If more churches truly obeyed the Great Commission and had their own Bible institutes or equivilents, we wouldn’t have lost so much of the next generation. Schools are institutions and must run with institutional standards. Institutions cannot disciple as the church can. Even local church colleges that function as institutions often miss the boat. College is not discipleship. God help us when we confuse the two. I believe that the church is best served when pastors help each individual discover their gifting and come alongside them to encourage that rather than try a one size fits all approach.

I believe that we must return to apprenticeship vs. formal training. This avoids all the institutional machinery that has destroyed so many.

I believe that Christianity made a huge mistake when we started the Christian education movement. It was a colossal failure because we saw it as a discipleship tool. We no longer had the time to focus on training faithful men because it was all we could do to “raise” their children. It took all our time and money and caused churches to compete with one another, and created a kingdom building mentality. This is not a Baptist problem. This is a human problem.

I hired a professional coach for a year. This man works with pastors of all denominations. I learned that IFB problems are present in every other denomination. It’s called human nature. The pastorate is a very vulnerable profession if not viewed correctly. The pastor needs to be pastored as much as his people. We never outgrow that. Denominationalism tried to address that, but it wasn’t effective. The best situation is autonomous churches electing autonomous pastors who then select pastors that pastor them. If the pastor ever gets to a place that he believes truth is a one way street, he will begin to be self-deceived. We never outgrow a deceitful heart. The only way to gaurd against a deceitful heart is to remain approachable, transparent, and seek honest feedback.

I’m concerned that many who were hurt by IFB pastors see that hurt as being sourced in IFB rather than the heart of mankind in general. They often jump from one camp to another only to find the same problems there. They become disillusioned, and sometimes leave Christianity entirely. My desire for you is that you vigilantly control the urge to lash back at those who caused you pain as Joseph did. You will be the better for it and your ministry/usefulness will be expanded to more people. We need grace on all sides, but the only side we control is our own.

You’ve got a beautiful family. It’s so good to see you happily married and raising a little one for the Lord. God is so good.
Growing in Grace,

Anonymous IFB Pastor

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END MESSAGE

My Story: Entrenchment in & Escape from an IFB Cult

Chapter 1, The Juggling Act

Chapter 2, Not God’s Fault 

Chapter 3, False Dichotomy

Chapter 4, In a Child’s Mind

Chapter 5, Out of the Frying Pan…

Chapter 6, …Into the Fire

Chapter 7, Blessing, Crime & Punishment

Chapter 8, Summons & Complaint

Chapter 9, Broken. Free.

Chapter 10, Healing

Addendum–the How of My Healing

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OTHER RESOURCES:

An Anonymous IFB Pastor’s Response to “My Story”

Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Cult Survivors (And their Supporters)

5 Restorative Books for The Wounded & Weary Christian

Toxic Faith and in PDF

The Achilles Heel of Fundamentalism | Think Gospel

Ungodly Discipline | CNN

New Gothard Revelations Hint at BJU’s Ugly History of Abuse – BJU News

Explosive: Is WI GOP Operative Brian Sikma’s Church More Racist Than Westboro Baptist?

20/20 report (IFB) Idependant Fundamentalist Baptist Church’s | Video (YouTube)

With | Skye Jethani

The Truths that are Setting Me Free

BaptistDeception.com

The Case for a Deliberated Ecumenism | parts 1-4

SHOCKING TESTIMONIALS FROM IFB CULT SURVIVORS!!!

Breaking Silence on Indiana’s Racism

TINA ANDERSON’S STORY IFB CULT ABUSE

Teen Victim Claims Rape; Forced Confession

Healing Spiritual Abuse

Church told to change recruiting methods | CBS 58

Stop Baptist Predators

Exposing the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination

The Wartburg Watch: IFB & Who Do the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists Say They Are? & What are the Colleges of the IFB?

DIARY OF AN IFB CULT SURVIVOR

True Confessions of a Convert

Teen Charged With Sexually Assaulting a 6-year-old Girl | I know first-hand that the staff at FBC claimed Mucha was merely a visitor, when in fact he was a long-time attender (at least 8-10 yrs.) with his grandparents and known to be troubled. This false claim perhaps was done to reduce liability and scrutiny.

Girl, 15, Allegedly Raped, Pregnant, Then Forced to Confess to Church | ABC News

The fundamentally toxic Christianity | Patheos

Jack Schaap, Indiana Pastor, Claimed Jesus Wanted Him To Have Sex With Teenage Girl | Huffington Post

Jack Schaap Charged, Paul Chappell Speaks Out, and The Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement’s Next Steps | Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer

Dr. Charles Phelps | Wikipedia
First Baptist Church, Hammond IN

There’s No Wrapping Your Head Around Israel-Turkey-NATO-Russia-Iran

The 4th of July weekend for Americans is a time to let one’s hair down, to grill out and enjoy friends and family. Apparently, last weekend was a time for the Middle East to weave bizarre, self-contradictory webs of irrational alliances and partnerships. All of this can only lead to further tension build-up, inevitable fallout and the full eruption of the Gog and Magog War (WWIII).

“Star Wars and the Ancient Religion” -Ligonier

Star-Wars_620

The appearance of a new episode of the Star Wars film series is an important moment for Christian witness. To be sure, we can shrug our shoulders, since Star Wars is old news. Or we can enthusiastically introduce our grandchildren to what we might think is a beloved, harmless yarn. Or we can—and should—discover in the series an occasion to sharpen our presentation of the gospel message and help our children and grandchildren, and anyone else who might be interested, to understand the culture in which they live.

In this famous and creative saga, which we must respect for its artistic value, we find many positive ideals—bravery, friendship, love, and spirituality, and others—which help explain the success of the series. However, in examining Star Wars’account of the mystery and nobility of human life, the Bible’s answer, in comparison, emerges with incomparably more convincing power.

The Star Wars Phenomenon

Answering questions of morality and spirituality was the goal of George Lucas when he created Star Wars. In the 1970s, in the heyday of secular humanism, people were hungry for spiritual truth. Lucas realized that stories were more powerful than intellectual theories—especially for children. He intended to produce a children’s fairy tale set in outer space as a “teaching tool” for the re-creation of “the classic cosmic mysteries.” In so doing, he influenced audiences young and old and deeply affected the last few decades of Western civilization. The new films will no doubt extend that influence into the next generations.

Understanding Worldview

As millions of people stream, perhaps naively, into theaters this weekend to reconnect with the powerful Star Wars adult fairy tale, most of them will be unaware of the worldview that gives this saga its structure and coherence. The term worldview simply means the way we think about the world without stopping to think about it. The fish doesn’t need to think about the water in which it swims. I’ve spent much of my teaching and writing years showing that there are only two ways to see the world. I call them “Oneism” and “Twoism,” which is another way of describing what the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 1:25. He says that there are only two ways to be human—we either worship nature (in a thousand different ways) or we worship the Creator. If you can count from one to two you can understand worldview. Worship of nature is Oneism because nature is all there is and everything is made of the same stuff. “All is one!” This is the essence of a pagan worldview. Worship of the Creator means that in all of reality there are two kinds of existence: the uncreated Creator, and everything else, which is created. That is the worldview of Twoism.

By this standard, Star Wars is clearly Oneist. In spite of the fun elements we all enjoy, the message of the film is self-consciously pagan. If this sounds harsh, check out the following elements….

[Read More of the Original Article at Ligonier]

It Begins

By “It,” I mean a religiously charged, geopolitical war centered around Jerusalem… and which will require a religiously oriented, geopolitical peace treaty to bring about “peace and safety.”
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OTHER RESOURCES:

PA joins ICC — No Fooling

Questions for the Pope

The Revived Roman Empire is Upon Us

The Consolidation of the Covenant Community

The Last Empire to Rule Jerusalem – Part 4

The Last Empire to Rule Jerusalem – Part 3

The Last Empire to Rule Jerusalem – Part 2

The Last Empire to Rule Jerusalem – Part 1

It’s an Anti-Semitism Thing

“West hopes for a breakthrough as deadline arrives with Iran” via Jersalem Post

“Iran’s Nuclear Showdown” — Bill Salus