- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WAR ROOM -
STUDY - MORAL
ISSUES - KING
JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
Micah 3:5 Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.
This is a very long page made up entirely of letters sent to me from people who have either been jack booted, or from pastors and saints who have found the alternatives. I trust you learn from it. Any jack boot preacher who reads here will be trying to figure out who the writers are so he can slam them or fink on them to their pastor. That is how it is in this warfare.
Dear Mr. Van Nattan,
I agree with many of your views. My dad was raised methodist, and quite naturally he became agnostic. I developed into a scientific atheist, although was divided, as I had some moral standards. I left the farm and became an emergency physician. I could not get along with corporate medicine. After banging my head bloody against this wall for a few years, I came home as a prodigal, and set about helping my aging folks and saving the family farm.
I made a decision for Christ about 12 years ago and immediately set about trying to find a church home. First, I tried going to an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church. The women all wore dresses except for one rebel woman who sat in back. The choir practiced hard and sang mostly the old hymns. Only the King James Bible was used. I noticed the preacher never got very far with any Bible teaching, though, when he gave his sermons. After a few minutes of quoting a few verses, he would fall into the same old song and dance routine which led up to his long altar call. He would yell and huff and puff and dance around bleating about the need for Jesus. Then the same supposed "sheep" would go up to the altar every week.
It seemed to me that these people lived a lie. They harped a Gospel of salvation by grace only. But, just as the Catholics I had grown up with who had gotten drunk Friday night through Saturday night, and then did the religous work of going to Mass on late Saturday night to cancel out the sin; so these baptists lived far from God all week, and then performed the religous work of going to church, working in the choir, paying the preacher, and going up front to the altar to cancel out their sin.
But I couldn't stand the contemporary muzak in the other churches, nor the modern Bible versions, and I sure couldn't stand the Charismatic churches or the liberal churches, so I tried to make this work. I made an appointment, and went in to see the preacher to see if I could get baptized. He seemed rather unfriendly one on one and wanted to get real legalistic about whether or not I was really saved. So he made me go through the "Romans road" with him. I was supposed to absolutely agree with him on a number of points. I didn't like the guy's condescending attitude, and I found some reason to dispute with him about doctrine. So he says I have to get saved again in front of the church before he will baptize me, whereupon I told him I done been saved and can't do it again just for show. So I told him off and parted ways.
Then I tried to go to another independent church, which wasn't quite so fundamentalistic. The preacher was a little more likable of a guy. He had some guy come down with his disciples from Kansas City and they were pushing some discipleship course. So I got into that. It was about 20 steps. Every week we did some studying and verse memorization. I think I was the only one there who actually memorized the verses. Even the pastor didn't quite get them right and I was his partner. I saw a severe dichotomy. They pushed a sickening form of easy believism and cheap grace, which I inherently rebelled against. But they pushed the Law hard when it came to church membership and tithing. The whole purpose of the course was simply to get us to go get people signed up as members to tithe to this church.
I rebelled against this, and preacher said I would have to take the course over before I could evangelize anyone. So I left there. More recently I attempted to get along in a house church some friends attended. The muzak was horrible, so I would go late. But they were all messed up with the Charismatic nonsense. They let women talk all the time.
Finally, one time we were eating at a restaurant after the service. Some woman was saying that women were more spiritual than men. The couple who owned the house church agreed with her. I rebuked them sharply. Then this same woman started in again telling about her prayers that God would take her Dad and make him dead, because he had emphysema, and it pained her to visit him. I rebuked the hell out of her and they all got up and left except the couple that was my original friends.
This house church was part of a group of house churches that came together on Sunday to this corporate church. I sent the head pastor an email, rebuking him. He never answered, so I just kept sending the email over and over and over. Finally he answered, and said we just had different theologies, but hoped we could get along through the love of Jesus, but that I was not to email him again. So I responded that I thought we had two different Jesus's in mind, and his was false. My friends apparantly chose their church over me as a friend. They seem to be heavily into churchy activities and just don't know how to live without it, even when they know it's false. They travel far and wide, spending much money, to hear so called prophets speak.
I think most of the churches of today have fallen for the heresy of Darbyism. They followed the notes in the Scofield Bible. They believe that when Jesus was telling about the judging of the sheep and goats, that that has no application to the Christian, but is only to the Jews. These Darbyists throw out most of the Bible. I believe there are few of any churches today fit to attend.
Editor's comment: I write this long after I first posed this man's letter. I am not flattering him now, but I know the biggest problem with this man and the jackboot preachers..... this man has a mind and can think. Having the zeal to be approved as a medical doctor, he did not check his brain and mind at the door when he went to church. Thus, the average dead head jackboot preacher could not force this man to submit blindly. He examined all things with the King James Bible, the Bible which these jackboots all claimed to love.
There is NO GREATER TERROR TO A JACKBOOT WOLF IN SHEEP'S' CLOTHING THAN A MAN WHO THINKS FOR HIMSELF. The first sign you are in a jackboot church is that you are shunned when you show signs of thinking too much.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Bro. Van Nattan
I've been looking through the material on your web site and all I can say is Amen! I'm a Pensacola Bible Institute graduate who pastored a very small Baptist church in [ a very large city ] for five years. I know from personal experience with many churches and preachers that the things you say are true. For years I questioned many of the beliefs and practices of those within our "camp." It always puzzled me why we did church the way we did, and why it did not line up with what I read in the New Testament.
I searched in vain for a one-pastor system, age-segregated Sunday School, altar calls, deputation, church buildings, titles, mission boards, a mixed multitude among the gathering of the saints, evangelists who don't evangelize, and a whole host of other church related things which we take for granted. These are things that are just not found in scripture and are as much based on the tradition of men as any Roman Catholic or cultic doctrine.
After much study and prayer I decided to step down as pastor. There were several reasons for doing so. One was that my family had gotten out of order and scripture commanded that I was to get that taken care of before I could be of any use to God's people. However, even if everything at home was alright I still would have resigned because of what I was seeing from scripture. Conscience would not allow me to do otherwise.
The New Testament teaches a church run by a plurality of elders, not by one man who loves to have the preeminence. The very office I held was unscriptural and therefore I could not remain in it. I had seen the devastating effects of this unscriptural set up among the saints and among the preachers. I saw it in our own church, and in myself. I had gotten to a place where I was the Jack Boot. I didn't mean to be. I believed with all my heart that I was doing God's work. I was wrong.
The final straw came while considering giving up the pastorate. As I was thinking on it, a strange feeling came upon me. A voice within me questioning whether I really wanted to give up this position of authority and power. It was at that point that I realized exactly what my position had turned me into - a prideful pastoral authority type who loved to lord it over God's sheep. I had become the very thing I hated, and it made me sick to my stomach. It was right there that I knew I had to leave, for the church's sake, as well as my own.
Power corrupts, and even in a small hole-in-the-wall church with only a handful of people like the one we had, the pulpit is a place of power that can corrupt everyone who is effected by it. After I stepped down, the church closed down. Although I offered the folks to stick around and help them during this transition, they chose not to continue. Rather than go on fellowshipping, praying and waiting on the Lord to transform the work into a New Testament style assembly, the members decided it was easier and more convenient to just go to another church and just sit under another man. Less work for them, and less accountability.
Basically I left and the church crumbled. I am heart broken to have to look back and see that the church was not built upon the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather upon me as the pastor. When the pastor went, the church went. The sheep had no idea how to go on with God without the "man of God" to tell them what to do.
Sadly, this is the case with the vast majority of Bible-believing churches today. A bunch of power-hungry Diotrephes' in unscriptural positions lording it over a bunch of beaten down, dumbed down, apathetic and blind sheep. While claiming the headship of Christ, the pastors have usurped the authority in the churches and set themselves up as kings. And their subjects follow without question.
Anyway, we are currently holding Bible studies here in [ the large city ] with the possibility in mind of planting a true New Testament assembly. An assembly where there is only one Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. One where a plurality of qualified elders raised up by God from within the church will love, care for, teach and shepherd the flock. Where families will meet and worship together and not be separated into different rooms and groups. A church where the church is the church and not a building. A place where God's people can meet from house to house, opening their doors and lives to one another. Coming together with psalms, hymns, doctrinal teaching, and spiritual songs in order to edifiy and provoke one another unto good works. Where everyone comes to contribute and give, not just to vegetate and get.
That's part of my vision for a Christ honoring church. The way I figure it, we Bible-believers have it right when it comes to the King James and other sound doctrine. We are all messed up though in many other areas. There are churches outside the "camp" that may not have the doctrine or the KJV, but they are right on when it comes to the practicalities of assembling as a NT church, holiness and other issues.
If a person could take and put together what's right and true from all sides while spitting out the bones, he'd really have something going on. That's what I'm praying for. Please pray for us as well. Thanks again for the site. It really is a blessing.
Some self-righteous jack boots will conclude that this guy's problem is that he went to PBI. Not so. The ONLY Baptist school which attempts to lead its men away from becoming a jack boot is Peter Ruckman's school. Ruckman is often self-effacing, and he almost "rules" too lightly in his own church. Dr. Ruckman, with all his warts, is famous for his love to do manly things with men just for enjoyment. Why do church people not care about hospitality anymore? Answer: They don't need each other-- they only come to be under the "man of God" (a title used in the New Testament ONLY of all men in the local church- 1 Timothy 6:11 and 2 Timothy 3:17). The jack boot preacher knows that the sheep can be controlled if he does not let them see each other too much. He makes his altar call the ONLY place the saints can get right with God.
What Fundamental Baptists have is a Roman Catholic system of papal power whereby the saints relate to God through a man. These Baptists share this plan with Benny Hinn and Paul Crouch. This is summed up in the heretical statement, "You follow me, and I will follow Jesus Christ." Since the apostolic days, this has been considered heresy by true Bible believers. Follow Paul in the Epistles, but I defy you to find Paul telling the saints to follow Timothy or Titus. Paul tells the saints, over and over, to follow Jesus Christ.
One preacher even gave an altar call for everyone who vowed to follow him, their pastor. Those who did not "go forward" were "churched". This is also why altar calls are so long and loud. One preacher gets six inches from the mic and then rages at the people until someone comes forward. All Fundamental Baptists south of the Mason Dixon Line are infected with this demonic malady to some degree. It is the only way to survive as a pastor because the sheep will NOT follow Jesus Christ-- they demand a man to follow. Can you see why I say it is all over. Who will bell the cat?
Do you disagree? Well, you will want to "be there every time the church house doors are open." That is the only place you can get right with God, and that pastor is the only one who can make you right with God.
Here is the final word for Papist Baptists:
your pastor! He�s all that stands between your family and Hell."
Sam, baby, did you die and go to hell for me? If not, you are a big mouthed blasphemer!
Proverbs 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
nothing says it better regarding Fundamental Baptist preachers:
My name is T____________.
When I was about 5 years old, I was saved. Although I don't remember the details today, I have notes that I made to myself during my younger years relating that fact. My wife was about 7 when she was saved. Praise the LORD for his wonderful salvation! She was baptized when she was 11.
I was raised Evangelical Mennonite, while my wife was raised some form of Independent / Fellowship Baptist in southern _____________ . After we were married, we moved to southern M___________ in search of long-term employment. We attended a conservative / fundamental Mennonite church in the area for a while, where I was "baptized" (poured on, that is!) Even before this ceremony, I was struggling with the Mennonite traditions, while my wife was loading me with questions, trying to understand how these traditions related to Scripture. I'm sure that it was about this time that I came across your website, while searching for answers to different issues.
Only 6 months after the pouring, I realized I needed to be immersed. (This story is typical in this region of M___________, among baptistic believers.) The pastor of a local independent Baptist church, obviously had more truth than the church we were attending, and I was baptized there on New Years Eve. At that point I was attending the baptist church Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights, doggy-bagging truth and bringing it back to the Mennonite church.
When the leadership (pastor, deacons) of the Mennonite church found out I had been immersed, we were asked to pull out of areas of service until the situation was dealt with. (My wife and I were printing the church bulletins, leading an Awana youth class, and other sundry duties.) They asked me to publicly recant of the second baptism, with the reasoning that I had made it appear that the first baptism wasn't good enough. Of course, it wasn't!
After a few discussions like this, I asked to have our names taken off of the membership roll. I received a phone call later informing me that it wasn't their practice to remove a person from the church roll, unless they had died or transferred out. By this time we had decided to go to the Baptist church regularly and become members there. I don't remember how I responded to the call, but now I realize I should have said, "Perhaps you should consider me dead!"
We continued attending the Baptist church, but our marriage hit rocks. We had a lot of verbal fights. With 2 young children, it was a challenge to my university educated wife, and I was a lording husband. We tried getting counsel from our pastor, and had one meeting with him. Our time was spent "dealing" with the occult history of our forefathers, Neil Anderson style. (This stuff, by the way, is 100% bunk. Just read Ezekiel 18!) Our pastor's schedule was so full, we didn't ever get a second meeting with him. I'm not even sure how, but the LORD saved our marriage. We kept digging for truth (mostly independently) and over several years our marriage regained strength.
After getting married and moving here, I worked for a cabinet manufacturer for 2+1/2 years. I quit that job and struck out on my own as a consultant. (Mennonites don't typically hire consultants!) So I struggled along for another 1+1/2 years before landing a contract with ___________. I had been with them for about a year when they asked me to move to their HQ near ______________. I had never liked the political situation here in _______, so I readily agreed. I notified my wife on Monday, and we left Thursday. (Did I mention my wife was 8+1/2 months pregnant at the time?) She was committed to me. Our marriage was on the upswing, and I couldn't have asked for better, but S_________ was doing all she could to keep from going into shock.
We arrived in ___________ on our 5th anniversary. Our 4th child was due any day, and we were making preparations to move into a housetrailer in _______________. (There's another story here, but it takes too long to tell!) We managed to find a midwife that would take us, and E_________ was born the day after our first visit with her.
We went hunting for a church. We knew that __________ was ladden with Baptist churches, but few of them held the same standards. The Sunday after E_____________ was born, we went to a 10am church meeting and walked out during the offering. Drums and electronic keyboards were a little too "far out" for us. A church a few miles out of town was on our list with an 11am service, so we made our way there.
We fell in love with the people there. They reciprocated. We joined their membership a few weeks later and enjoyed their hospitality and fellowship for the next 8 months. In the mean time, S_________ and I were
What is really funny here is that the Mennonites have a heritage of being the Anabaptists from the 1500s, and they still exalt their origins in the Anabaptists.
Ana-baptist means- Re Baptize
The original Anabaptists rebaptized anyone who came to join them from the Reformed Movement or the Catholic Church. The Anabaptists even died at the hands of Reformed leaders like Zwingli and Calvin for rebaptizing.
It is the height of arrogance for these Mennonites to demand the brother recant of his immersion at a second baptism. Almost ALL the Anabaptists of the 1500s used immersion, as do most Mennonite churches today.
You don't have to be in a Baptist church to find jack boots.
studying Scripture for ourselves, occasionally debunking another Mennonite or Baptist tradition.
When a situation arose at work that required a response, I responded by informing my employer that I was quitting and would be moving back to ____________. Certain situations are just best to get out of, and this was one of them. A week later, we were back here, and I was wondering where I would work. I stopped in to visit the company office and my old manager. He asked me when I could start! Of course, he said, I can't pay you what you've been making... I told him I would need a week to settle in, and then I would start coming to work there.
Back in ___________, we rejoined the baptist church, although a little more hesitantly this time. By this time, I had gotten over the myths of tithing and faith promise; I refused to be a part of the choir, led by the pastor's wife; I was too busy taking care of my family to be an usher. I wouldn't put my children in Sunday School: between the preacher boys' children and the deacons' children and a few Sunday Facade S.S. teachers, we couldn't justify it! There was nothing left to do but listen (and cringe a little) to the preaching, greet our friends and go back home!
With all of the indoctrination that had been preached at us: only people that go with the church's blessing can start other churches, yadda, yadda... I felt we were doomed to be misfits inside this local church because there wasn't another body of believers around! Then one friend reminded me that the New Testament is full of home churches. He was actually complaining about our Baptist church (reasons different than ours) and threatening to home church on his own. He wasn't trying to convince me of anything. I was just a listening ear!
I decided to look into this a little further, and came back to your website. The resources there, as well as the Word of God, led me to where I am today.
Let's see... it was April 2____ that we moved back here. October 2_____ we decided to get out of the Baptist church. We would rather home-church by ourselves than spend most of our Sundays and Wednesdays cringing. We had debunked so many Baptist traditions, we just couldn't justify staying. We left all of our friends behind. There were a few that we informed of our decision, most of which have stayed behind, a few have joined us.
We now have a small work with four families regularly attending our Sunday evening church service. We chose the evenings, because it gives us a chance to have a peaceful morning alone with our families (and maybe sleep in!) Our life is much more peaceful, our children are better behaved, our marriage is MUCH stronger, our fellowship much more meaningful, our enjoyment of God's Word more full... I hope you get the idea.
In our quest for truth (God is true) we have seen a lot of dogmas take flight and seldom does any take their place. Many topics (like "Financial Freedom") take on new meaning.
I am independent, KLV-Majority Text, street preaching, fundamental Baptist background. There is a fundamental Baptist church nearby, but not satisfied, so beginning a house church. I'll keep referring to your page - Any advice?
Love in Christ Jesus / Bill
I was reading your article on pastors, sheep and goats and how it is so hard to get the pastors to spend any time with the sheep
I have been in that position many times and have just given up fellowshipping with pastors and many so called spiritual believers. We, my family and I, went to fundamental church one time for 8 years and in those 8 years the pastors never came to our house once to fellowship with us or any of the saints in that particular church, nor were we allowed to visit them or even know were they lived. We could not even talk to the pastor; we had to go though his bouncer (all unofficial of course)
We were constantly in sin and we weren�t the only ones, the pastors needed to keep holy and not to become contaminated by any unholy fellowship. They had to keep themselves pure so they could hear from the Holy Spirit. As you can guess, eventually we ended up leaving that church and it is now considered a cult by a lot of Christian in the area
Most churches are just plain old social clubs; there are no callings or leadings of the Spirit to the saint to be placed in the ministries of helps anymore. If a position is available, there is a mad dash to the finish line to get the position first, especially if it is a place were it is seen in the church congregation, or a place that can be noticed by the pastor. I virtually did the toilet ministry for most of my time spent in that particular church because no one wanted to do it (an unseen ministry) please don�t think I am complaining about that, I enjoyed doing it for the Lord. I�m just making an observation about what I have seen over the years.
I hate to say it but the churches are in trouble and the pastor can�t or won�t try to fix it, they are hirelings, only interested in their salaries (not all are like this) I�ve seen pastors with the biggest houses and cars in the congregation. Making sure their morgages are paid every month. Pushing the offering enveloped every chance they get to pay their bills and to go on trips to Israel every year.( some of it was their own money, I grant you) But once you have seen it, maybe the money could have been used else ware, maybe even to help some poor saint pay his rent or light bill. I�m of the opinion that the gospel is not even being preached anymore in some of these large social churches, and some are so far gone that if the truth came along and bit them in the nose they wouldn�t even know it.
They have trained the saints to rely on them totally by telling them to sit down, be quite and tithe-so much so- that many 30 year old Christian are still like baby lambs crying for their mothers. Pray that the Christians open their eyes and that they will start to pray for their pastors.
Thanks for your time
I visit Blessed Quietness Journal several times per week. I usually go to your site in the morning when I get to the office to check out any new editorial, and I often spend time during my lunch break reading some of the longer articles. I especially like your bible study articles, like the one on tithing by Dave Combs, and many others. Though I don't agree with you on everything, I think your site is a valuable resource.
I recently left the independent Baptist Church that I had attended for about two years for the following reasons:
1) The church is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Once, during the Sunday morning sermon, the pastor said something of a political nature and then declared, "I have to be careful what I say. We could lose our tax exemption."
2) In the two years that I was there, never did I hear the pastor warn the flock of false teachers such as Billy Graham, etc. (By the way, do you have a copy of Cathy Burns' book Billy Graham and His Friends?)
3) The pastor does NOT take a stand against Freemasonry. Some of the church members are Freemasons!
4) The sermons are twenty minutes--max. Why? There's a correlation between sermon length and attendance. Afterall, we're trying to maintain the cash flow for our building fund.
5) Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, etc. are big events! I dare not question why the church observes these pagan festivals lest I be accused of heresy.
6) Of course, there's the Baptist preacher's favorite sermon topic-- tithing.
I'm now attending a home fellowship, and I'm growing!
i was amazed and happy [not that it goes on] to find out how many sheep r being eaten by the shepherd.....i was disfellowshiped from my church on jan 3rd ,2001 for discord! i had quit the church office because of the pastors wife's insane jealousy over him... i had put up with such offences for over 6 yrs.... [how stupid can one person be? read on and see]... i also was a sunday school teacher, member of the choir.... [pastor's wife led it too.... and was over the sunday school]. .... and cooked every wed. nite for the entire congregation [or those who could afford a plate] to aid the building fund... [out of my own pocket i bought the food].... well i got fed up with the gossip and accusations of "wanting the pastor" and quit.... when my sister [blood sister] also a member wanted to know what happened i told her.... well her husband told the pastor i told her the reason i quit the office and the cooking.... me and another sister [blood, 3 of us attended the same church] was dismissed for discord...... after 8 yrs of faithful service in many areas to this church i have been in a fog every since! how could this have happened?
i looked up the word discord and found that i never was guilty of it..... i never elaborated to my sister about the situation... just that i was having trouble with the pastors wife.... and that was grounds for discord.... the pastor and his wife own the church and grounds.... it is nondenominational. i was astounded to see my pastor in the jack-booted section of this journal.... it was as if u personally knew him...... I now know i had turned my eyes from jesus and on to this man and his wife.... making them my god..... praise god he threw me out... i might have stood before my god and have to hear him say.... "depart from me i never knew u.... go serve the one u served before" thank u for attention to this horrible plague on our churches.... god bless....
Editor: There is a priceless line in the above testimony-- "Praise God he threw me out." I am certain that the ONLY time a jackboot preacher can "minister" to you in Christ is when he throws you out of his church. This is God's way of getting you out of the goat herd and into a flock of sheep.
Dear brother Steve,
I have frequently visited your Journal for a number of years now and have found it very enlightening. Your article describing what goes on in IFB churches has confirmed many of the suspicions I have had for some time now. My wife and I have had limited involvement with these churches, but we have attended a number of them off and on. Both of us are from Oregon and were raised as west coast liberals. I'll spare you my long testimony, but suffice it to say that I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ through a personal journey of great searching and seeking.
I finally found the truth by reading a Hal Lindsey book which I happened upon in the library. Needless to say, having their pre-law, atheist/marxist, son/friend, become a "born-again" Christian was quite a shock for my friends and family. But, I had finally found the truth, and was not going to let it go no matter what. Of course I immediately devoured everything by Hal Lindsey, Dave Hunt, and a number of others. I went out and bought a KJV New Scofield Bible and devoured that as well. And in hindsight now, I can see the errors that all of these contained, but nevertheless they were a good foundation because I began with just me, The Lord, His Word, and my books.
Now I have always been a gadfly. Even as an atheist I was always getting in trouble in school by putting professors on the spot, catching them in contradictions, and setting logical traps for them. Well, I am not kidding you when I tell you that for a quite a while there I was convinced I was the only Christian I knew. Yes there were "Christians", in fact many of these were ones that I had attacked as irrational idiots during my years as an atheist/existentialist/marxist. It was very puzzling to me that these same people were not overjoyed that I had found the Lord. Their reaction was strange to say the least.
One couple invited me to go to an assemblies of God church with them to make sure I was really saved. On the way to the church this lady shared with me one of the books she had been reading. I can't remember the author, but the book was based on Jungian psychoanalysis. Needless to say, they were quite shocked when I rebuked her sharply and told her that what she was reading was a doctrine of devils that had in fact been directly channeled from a spirit guide.
My experience at the AOG church was spooky. They wanted me to speak in tongues and tried to lay hands on me. I saw through this and half-heartedly cooperated while praying privately to the Lord that he would protect me from evil. Even as a Christian of only one month old, their practices seemed quite contrary to what I read in my Bible. Well, I went there for a while, but there really wasn't much there to keep me, so I left. I have been to almost every denomination that exists in my fifteen years as a Christian, and sadly I find the same thing in all of them. The same old us vs. them club mentality towards other Christians.
Now don't get me wrong, I hold certain views very strongly such as pre-millenialism/tribulationism, dispensationalism, etc. But I would never take one of these beliefs and use it as a title for myself. I am a Christian, that title suits me fine. If it is not defining or distinctive enough for some, that is because Satan has done his work on that name. But he will do the same work on any other name as well, so I will just call myself a Christian. And if people want to know what I believe the about the Bible, they can ask me, or see how I live my life.
Now I have always been a contrarian by nature, whether it be in the markets, life, or religion. If the crowd is all doing it I am highly suspicious of it. And if the crowd hates it, I'd like to take a closer look at it. Well, if I am recalling correctly, one day my wife and I were in a "Christian" bookstore when we overheard quite a row over a particular book. It was New Age Bible Versions by Gail Riplinger. The store refused to carry the book because it was "very dangerous" in their words. So I knew right then I had to get my hands on that book. That was my first discovery in the area of Bible version controversy, and I was hard put to refute what this woman was saying. Ultimately my faith was strengthened by being able to disregard many of the New Scofield notes that I had been puzzled over such as: "better manuscripts omit...", etc.
The attack on Riplinger, mostly unjustified, introduced me to this group called Independent Fundamental Baptists. My wife and I agreed that after tossing out all other Bible versions besides the KJV, it would be a problem if we continued to attend churches where they used the NIV and the NASB. So we found a few IFB churches and visited them. I remember my first impression of these people quite well. I was really surprised by their obsession with baptism. Now I am not going to debate the role of baptism in this dispensation, but some of the things they said were quite strange like: "John the Baptist was the first Baptist". They'd all say this with a look of great pride. I remember thinking huh? What in the world are these people talking about?
Another thing that struck me as strange is why are these IFB people always shouting? It's as if they are always angry about something. I just cannot find too many people who claim to be IFB who show the character of Jesus in their lives like one would expect of a mature seasoned believer. Where is the meekness? Where is the patience? My experience so far is that many of these folks seem to be hot-heads or something. It is certainly puzzling.
I am very glad that I am not an IFB, or an AOG, or any of the other alphabet soup of denominations. I love Jesus and what he did for me, and I want to be around others who feel the way I do. Hopefully my wife and I will be able to have a gathering of believers in our home and share what we have with others. Maybe this is the way the Lord meant it to be in the first place. And to all of those poor souls who are caught up in this group or that, let us pray that they will see that there is really only one Jesus and one Bible, and that all they need to do is trust and worship that one Jesus, and read and obey that one Bible.
Something I failed to discuss is made obvious by this brother's letter. Fundamental Baptists, and many AOG and Pentecostals, are dumb-- very dumb. They have come to trust in their ability to intimidate the saints with their Jackboot tactics, and the saints don't ask any questions. This makes for pastors who don't think, don't know anything about the world around them, and who say the most illogical and idiotic things.
If someone comes along like this brother, who has been busy in the literary community before being saved, these preachers hit them with the doctrinaire blabber, and these people run for cover real fast. The fact that God has not chosen many wise and intellectual people to extend His Kingdom does NOT mean we have an excuse to play the fool and expect everyone around us to do so also. The wisdom which is from above is NOT based in ignorance and one syllable words. We do NOT have to see who can be the dumbest kid on the block in order to be right with God.
Some of you preachers need to get your act together and start using your brain more instead of your unrestrained flapping tongue all the time.
I hope you will have success in your endeavor. This, House Church, reminds me a cottage prayer meetings when I was a boy, although on somewhat of a larger scale.
If there is a common ground for us, it is the deplorable condition of present day churches.
I am a volunteer prison chaplain. My calling is evangelism, not pastorship. I don't qualify as a pastor, depending on how you see "husband of one wife." I have been told to remarry, it would make it easier, that there would be fewer questions. That is true. I know of preachers, now preaching, who have been married more than once. In Baptist circles, not Charismatic. I have been divorced (my wife's choice, not mine) since 1982. If it were not for the sure foundation God has put under my feet, I would have already quit, years ago.
Because I am divorced, I am not included in the majority of functions and get-togethers unless it is a church function for everyone. I am accused of being gay because I have not remarried. Often, I sit alone or at a distance from anyone on a pew in church. Not by choice.
I can't join a mission board because of divorce. I cannot get support to be a full time evangelist in prison because churches don't consider me a minister worthy of not qualifying for support; they don't always make it verbal, but most don't think prisoners have any redeeming qualities. God help them all for forsaking the refuse, the outcast, for such was He.
God bless you.
Your dismay with the IFBs parallels mine; it seems that every one that I've checked out has major questions: dubious connections with Hyles, pride in intellectualism, love of the things of this world, dictatorial leadership, given to tasteless or suggestive remarks, et cetera, and, sometimes, just plain bad doctrine.
Although they are to be commended for generally avoiding the "praise teams" and "contemporary" trash (at least, this has been my experience), levity and nonsense in the pulpit is all too common. Bellowing frequently replaces content in the sermon - the less content, the more bellowing (could they be taking lessons from Hitler who was adept at working the crowds with his bellowing?); meanwhile, God's holiness and awe of God seem to be forgotten - although "liberty in Christ" isn't, when engaging in something questionable - in the end, not much different than various other groups.
A personal note: I was recently conversing with someone where I had mentioned that people can make gods of material possessions, and was challenged by an IFB pastor who has an abundance of the goods of this life, who wanted to quibble over whether one might be worshiping them or not. Rather telling, I thought.
I'll stop here before it gets to sounding like hard-core gossip, but these are just a few of the things that I have experienced in attempting to find a group that I can worship and fellowship with. Regretfully, I have concluded that "IFB" is one more tag that not only does little to identify diligence to the narrow way but may in fact indicate something to be avoided.
Your ideas for the new department of your website sound like something that could be helpful to many; I do hope and pray that the Lord will be glorified in this endeavor and will bless you and your efforts. I continue to pray for all of you.
We have been here and will be back again. At this time we are exhausted in our battle with the �Jackboots�.
Thank you for this site.
Our path over the past 4 yrs has been dark and confusing and you are shedding much light. It has been in quietness with our Lord that we have found strength and clarity of thought through this time. We live in Australia and feel we have in many ways �lost� our 3 adult children through the teaching of what we gather are Baptist Briders. If it is appropriate we would appreciate the chance to share our story with you so as to check our own understanding and maybe to help others avoid the same pain. Thanks for what we have seen of you and your site. We will return to read more and maybe communicate with you further.
One reason the Way is so narrow is because people can't come to know Jesus in a vacuum. Because Jesus is the Word, the only way to know who the Word is is to either read the Torah enough to know it, or else have it read to you that much. In other words, in order to believe in Jesus, you must first know Jesus. At one point we believed in Santa, but when we get to know who he is, we quit believing in him. In essence we believed in a lie. A person who is not versed in the Old Testament simply has no concept of Jesus to believe in. You can't "believe" in Jesus and then read the OT to discover what it is you believe. No, first of all you must believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, and the Prophets, before you'll ever have any idea who Jesus is, and how he fulfills His role of Christ and the Jewish Messiah.
The great falling away? For those who fall away, it will be as easy for them to stop believing in Jesus as it was for them to stop believing in Santa -- because they are not grounded in the Word, who is Jesus. The foundation of their belief is the sand of their own imagination, and it will easily be blown away and washed away. For those who fall away, Bible "Study" was a coffee & cookies weekly social event where they discussed their kids, their homes, and their lawns. They would never dream of quietly and privately reading the Bible from the beginning to the end, and then starting over again.
Don't be discouraged. The Way is narrower than we think. There are practically none of us. That's why nobody stops by.
Waiting with you for the Rapture.
Editor's comment: I believe most Fundamental Baptists, and their pastors, will not be in the gathering up of the Lord's Church. The reason is that they have already believed a lie. They believe in a Jesus of a quickie prayer, or works by baptism and tithing, and of many salvations in many revival meetings over their lifetime. Their pastors do not preach from the Old Testament for its own truth. They only use it for proof texting. They just do not know the Jesus of the whole Bible. Frightening, right?
I just wanted to let you know that one of your "sayings" popped in my mind the other day. I was telling my neighbor (he's 74 years old and has been going to the Southern Baptist church here in Manassas for 35+ years) that I led a 13 year old girl to the Lord last Friday night. This girl used to live in the house that I just bought, so the neighbor knows her and her family.
My point to him was that although her family was Catholic and she had been through confirmation, etc., she still did not know the simple truth of the gospel. My neighbor's response was, "her family is Christian, just Catholic." Basically his point was that there was no problem with Catholicism and that they have the same gospel.
Instead of getting into a big argument with this man way older than me, I just remembered that his Southern Baptist denomination and pastor has kept him "dumb as snot" about the truth. To quote you...
Thanks for your hard work and for your heartfelt comments about "this and that." Your sense of humor is exactly what I need in this battle from time to time.
God bless you,
Every accusation is either a twist on the facts or a bold faced lie.
I am "Van Nutty" in the following.
From: Herb Evans
To: David ____________
Subject: Critic Steve's Critics
>Van Nutty was painting ALL Independent Fundamental Baptists with the same broad brush.
> >That site is very appropriately named. Van Nutty says that any pastor who
>allows Patch the Pirate materials in his church is probably not saved. I
>am not a fan of pirates, and not all of his music is sound, but a lot of his
>materials are fine and certainly use of them is not an indication that a
>man is hellbound.
> > Van Nutty also preaches that all remarried people should divorce their
>current spouses and return to their original spouses, despite the fact
>that the Bible says that's an abomination.
> >Something is seriously wrong with Van Nutty, and I cannot recommend
>him at all and I avoid his site.
This is a pack of lies.
I did not, nor do I ever, paint ALL Fundamental Baptists with the same broad brush. The writer lies and would find himself in deep trouble in a court of law if he tried this trick on men of the world. Many Jackboot Baptists will trash their fellow Christians wickedly because they can count on the fact that Paul forbid us to go to law against one another. Thanks, friend, for showing us how it works.
The writer doesn't trust me, and that makes us equal. I don't trust a man who accuses another brother behind his back with false fabrications from Mother Goose and Jack and the Bean Stalk. I think this writer proves my point about Jackboot Baptists.
To the writer:
I have NEVER attacked you in my writings. I hope you are proud of your attack on me. What can I say sir?
2 Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
I'd rather be "Nutty" or "Nuthin" than a Neo Nazi Jackboot Baptist like you.
I have read your article, MARKS of a Cult- Are they now found in Fundamental Bible Believing
and have agreed and agreed over and over. I am a born-again Bible (KJV) believing Christian without church fellowship. The power of the Holy Ghost has removed me from my former life and anything "worldly." I don't feel a part of this world anymore and am "waiting on the Lord." I was raised in the Baptist Church and my grandfather was a Baptist minister, later became a member of a Pentecostal Church, went out into the world and later became a Catholic (God forbid). After learning about the Catholic Church, I immediately left. All of this without "turning it ALL over to God and truly living his word." It has been a long and difficult road, but when the Holy Ghost starting stirring my heart, and I truly placed my sins and repentance at the Lord's feet, my "worldliness" was completely taken away. I have not been a member of any church affiliation in over ten years, although I have gone to several in the area, mostly non-denominational, but have been turned off "by the Worship Service" and many of the things you mention in your article. I worship at home, continually study the Bible at home, and find what I can in truth by articles like yours.
I am over 65, a divorced female who has not dated in over ten years, because I am convicted thru the word of God that it would be wrong for me. I trust the literal meaning in the scriptures regarding this. I want to be in church and have fellowship in a truly Bible teaching church. I live in __________, a Nashville suburb, and if you know or can recommend a church here, I would be so grateful. I know I need Christian fellowship, but the churches have really turned me off for a long period of time, and if it's not in the Bible, I don't believe it. I am always on guard for false teachings, doctrines, and prophecies.
When someone asks me if I am a member of a church, I simply say, "yes, I belong to Christ's church," and know I'm saved only by his blood and HIS GRACE. I just can't wait to get to Heaven, but I know it would be just grand to have real Christian fellowship here on earth. I once was a sinner, but now I am saved, and I praise God for his Son, my Lord and Savior. I want to put on the whole armour of God and be prepared to come face to face with Jesus. I want to be in a church that allows the Holy Ghost to work in the hearts of the people. I know it has worked in me because it changed my life of sin. It didn't happen in a church. It happened in the privacy of my bedroom and it didn't happen over night.
It was night after night of praying to God for him to change worldly desires of the heart. It took me a long time to realize that when I truly repented, God placed a spirit in my heart that would change me. I became a member of the Baptist Church at age 12 and was baptized. At the age of 18, I had left all that behind and became a member of the world. Thank God, he didn't let me fall by the wayside. Little by little he worked on me until I came back into the fold. It took divorce, the loss of my 20 yr old daughter, and an auto accident putting me in bed for almost nineteen months, for me to be still enough to listen.
I praise HIM for what HE has done in my life and I know I now have eternal life.
If you are a NON-jackboot pastor near Nashville and would like to help this lady, SEND MAIL
I ran into a fellow yesterday who is about 10 years younger than me, and plans on being a missionary.
Anyway, we were talking about this very thing; the "situation" with jerk pastors in churches these days. He told me that he had been doing a lot of work at his church for their building program. He had just built a very nice looking sign in front of the church, but the trim didn't fit perfectly around the sign. It had a very slight and hardly noticeable imperfection which was probably due to the way the trim had been cut at the factory.
The pastor saw this, and got mad when he saw it. When this brother tried to explain the problem to him, the pastor smacked him in the face, and said that he couldn't believe that anyone who was doing work for God would do that lousy a job. Nice, eh? Someone should have ripped the trim off the sign and force-fed it to Herr Oberst Bishop Jerkenhalter.
Can you imagine the hypocrite who would disallow divorce or some other sin, but figure he had license to slug church members when I Timothy 3:3 says a bishop is to be "no striker"? It is no wonder there are so many Christians sitting at home, drying up and doing absolutely nothing for God because of the "hypocrites in the Church". It would seem that a goodly number of those hypocrites are pastors, nowadays.
Editor: We do not give the identity of anyone in most of these letters since it is not our intent to destroy people and splitchurches, but the story and writer are absolutely believable.
JACK BOOT PAR EXCELLANCE
I started going to a church that my husband told me I had to go to. But when I got there, I really liked it. The pastor preached the truth of God�s word. But recently, he has started teaching on tithing. He recently preached a sermon condemning the congregation for not tithing as we should. He said that it is a shame that we are not able to pay him a decent salary and that the preacher shouldn�t have to work for free. He quoted some scripture about the laborer is due his wages, but I can�t remember where that is found (he didn�t give us time to look it up). He was a used car salesman (manager) and used to talk about how much money he was making, but he recently quit his job because the owner of the car dealership had fired many of his peers and juniors.
Also, this past Sunday he preached that we could lose our salvation. I talked to my husband about it, and he agrees with the pastor. I don't understand how we could lose our salvation. I have read Hebrews and James several times, as well as other scriptures, but I still don�t see where we could lose our salvation. My pastor claims that the Bible teaches this. I don�t have my Bible with me right now, so I can't state which scripture he used. I have read your teaching on this. Could you please send me the link?
From: Gregor C__________
Subject: Neo-nazi baptists
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000
I think you might be right on the button.
When we come across something that we don't like or agree with, our natural reaction is to swing to the opposite extreme.
I personally find the soft, effeminate, lovey-duvey, wish-washy, brand of Christian that likes to share a little something that may meet our needs in a holistic way, alien to the Bible that I read. Maybe its something to do with the bibles they read.
There is another extreme that I see. This seems to be an American thing. Maybe it comes from watching too many cowboy movies (that stuff does help to conform the mind). This is the OVER-emphasis on the military metaphors in the Bible.
So where does it leave us? Probably outside of the church. Lets try to walk like good King Josiah, who turned neither to the left or the right, but walked straight down that narrow way :-)
Keep on writing, I'm listening like those men of Acts 17:11
saved by the Blood of the Lamb
From: H. O___________
Subject: So you are no longer a Fundamentalist Baptist?
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 Pastor Steve,
I have been following your site regularly for over two years. In 1958 I was saved in a BBF church and was a bus kid for over 3 years (even drove a church bus for SS and Sunday evening). I got right with the Lord in Jr and Sr High in a Weslyan bapticostal church, got under conviction about some of my confusion and went back to the BBF church that I was saved in and then spent a good 15 months in a BIMI church in Okinawa while fighting the Vietnam war 12 hours a day in an air conditioned Communciations Center at Fort Buckner.
You know that anna-baptists and pentecostals used to have a love for the same kind of sinners with similar socio-economic backgrounds. Somewhere between the Charismatic renewal and their so called neo evangelical sanitization of our unwashed flocks, God's Redemptive story to the lost has been traded for "seeker friendly church" plattitudes.
I read your comments and editorials and like what you say. I am a little more on the edge than you. Since I consider myself a "small b" baptist, I see my history earlier than most evangelical "protestants." The great historic persecuted, blood bought believers were as much protestant as the reformers. They just came along earlier and forked their way up from SE Europe and the eastern orthodox branches into the terra firma hot bed of the later Lutheran and Calvin influenced denononinations of north central Europe.
I used to think of myself as a Fundamentalist, then, never quite an Armenian, maybe a two and 1/2 Calvinist at best. But Anna-baptists are not the revered "historic Christianity" variety of the Hankster, et al. In fact, the So. California Dutch Bomber said on a recent BAM broadcast that the anna-baptists and their predecessors were a "radical fringe group" during the reformation. It seems as though that the Mennonites, and anna-baps never have been recognized for their true contribution to "historic, evangelical Christianity." What ever people may say about Dr. Martin, this bunch out of Santa Margaritaville do not have the mettle of old Uncle Walter.
If it was not for those future Weslyans, those Anglicans who called themselves Puritans, many of the persecuted believers, greatly influenced by the anna-baptist faithful's enduring love for our Saviour, perservered with the other persecuted sects to become Pilgrams to America.
For years, my wife and I have attended these so called anna-baptist and Baptist spin off chruches, BBF, Bible, IFCA, Baptist Gen Conf and this neo bunch called E Free. I know I'm being critical here, but I'm talking shop. I am so dismayed by the Pretarist, 4.5 point Calvinistic approach the Baptist brands are soft peddaling now.
Number one, whether they be conservative So Baps, BBF, Bible/IFCA or the neo-spin offs like Baptist General Conf and E Free, they do not teach (know) where they came from. Same goes for a lot of the Weslyan/Methodist/Holiness spin offs, they do not know their Bible, Blood Bought personal salvation with a heaven to gain and scripture priomised Things to Come doctrine. I am not talking about your garden variety, nodding off on the preacher's second sermon point, are we having fun yet denoninationalist, but those whom should have received practical Biblical teaching, baptists, Wesleyans, pentecostals etc.
Secondly, very little preachiing or after the pre-sunday school latte and mocha slam down, do these espoused equippers actually teach, preach or "share by relating" how to make the average slug know he/she is a sinner, bound for a Christless eternity and needs to get saved. Many former fundamentalists, seeker type neo-evans do not use those "S" words, . . . sinner, saved, sanctified, you know, "Love to, can't!"
I believe you get my drift. Anyway, I like your polemics, commentary, editorials and general wit. Your missionary endeavors and broad experience outside of the States flavors your web presentations, in a refreshing and heart felt way.
So, from a former Capital B, fundamental, pre-trib baptist to a show me your practical Wesleyan applicaition salvation to a small b anna-baptist and pre-mellenialist, just call me a . . .
Bro H. O____________, a friendly reader
I don't think I've ever heard a whole lot about the most powerful sermon ever 'preached', that is recorded in the Scripture. Consider this: It was preached by a grumpy, backslidden, out of sorts, super-legalistic preacher who hated preaching in the first place, and was only there to 'save his own neck'; did as little as possible to 'obey' God and 'pay his vow'; preached a grand total of eight words; did it incognito from a street corner; hated those to whom he preached; hoped his hearers would not listen so God would destroy them; when the hearers listened, wanted God to take his own life, rather than have to associate with those 'undesirables'; was angry that God did not kill him; sat down on a hillside and pouted; and then got angry again, and said it was his right to want to die- Old Jonah. I'd offer that he makes most of the worst we know look tame by comparison. In His grace,
Comment by Steve Van Nattan: If you think it is cute to be like Jonah, consider this-- this fellow was given one of the most powerful sign experiences in the whole Bible. Jesus used Jonah to prophecy how he would die and be raised again from death. In order for Jonah to participate in this rare and landmark sign experience, he had to be part of the whale's vomit. Be sure you want your mighty works that way before you start using Jonah as your example.
My name is John, I spent 10 years in the Word of Faith movement and was totally immersed in the teachings of Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn and the others. I spent countless hours listening and watching their messages, owned hundreds of books, tapes and videos, spoke in "tongues" an hour a day, everyday. By God's grace, about 4 or so years ago God, through his word and some good godly books by puritans and the like, showed me the error of that movement, of my beliefs and of my experiences.
Instead of "speaking in tongues" I wept in repentance. Instead of hearing "fatih messages" I read my Bible and the puritans and Charles Spurgeon. I threw out all the teachings I had in the rubbish bin and have not looked back since. Now God is more real to me than ever, I don't chase after unbiblical experiences and I am an active witness on the streets of Melbourne for our glorious Lord!
Also, your piece about whether the Great Commission should be taking place every Sunday in the church house was dead on. I grew up in an SBC church, but every Sunday was an evangelisic sermon with lots of manipulation to get us down the aisle. Two things stick out in my mind. Once we had a revival and the guest preacher spent a lot of time explaining grace. After about three nights, I remember hearing a lady remark, "I am sick and tired of this grace stuff. I'm ready for some hell fire and brimstone." The second thing I remember hearing was a disdain for teaching. One lackey summed it up with the comment, "Once you've gone past Calvary, you've gone too far." as if salvation was all there was to being a Christian. And they were proud of this going so far as to ridicule the bible church movement because of their emphasis on expository teaching.
No problem here with what you have had to say. I find that, though I disagree with his ideas about many things, John Piper has a great point in stressing that people need to learn the value of God. They can then trust God and delight in Him. That has put me on a profitable study of the nature and attributes of God.
I try to spend our Sun. PM services on these things. In the AM we've been working through Romans for the last 5 years. I spend about 40% of the Sunday AM services each year in Romans. I have other burdens from time to time, so I don't stay in Romans every Sunday. On Wed. nights we study verse by verse through a New Testament book. Lately, it has been Galatians.
We have many traditions of men down here. Galatians addresses many of these attitudes about "what will make you right with God." Some of the things being taught here are good, such as: modesty, headship, TV. The problem is that, if you don't fit some men's mold about these things, you're ostracized as being "unqualified to preach", "not following the Spirit", "liberal", etc. In addition, we fight about fellowship halls and baptisteries!
There are those who think that they are wrong, and will bust up churches over them. For a 34 year old, this is a lot to tangle with. I've been in it all my life, though, so I feel the need to stay put and invest myself in teaching truth to help things turn around.
Liberalism isn't our only problem. I am sure it is just as sinful to be conservative in theology and not have a heart for the glory of God and the good of the people. In the future I plan to put some of my sermons online. I shall try to remember to send you a link to them when I do so. Here is one who hopes to feed the sheep and find a few lost sheep.
Thanks for my turn to vent.
I've been looking through the material on your web site and all I can say is Amen! I'm a PBI graduate who pastored a very small Baptist church in NYC for five years. I know from personal experience with many churches and preachers that the things you say are true. For years I questioned many of the beliefs and practices of those within our "camp." It always puzzled me why we did church the way we did, and why it did not line up with what I read in the New Testament. I searched in vain for a one-pastor system, age-segregated Sunday School, altar calls, deputation, church buildings, titles, mission boards, a mixed multitude among the gathering of the saints, evangelists who don't evangelize, and a whole host of other church related things which we take for granted. These are things that are just not found in scripture and are as much based on the tradition of men as any Roman Catholic or cultic doctrine.
After much study and prayer I decided to step down as pastor. There were several reasons for doing so. One was that my family had gotten out of order and scripture commanded that I was to get that taken care of before I could be of any use to God's people. However, even if everything at home was alright I still would have resigned because of what I was seeing from scripture. Conscience would not allow me to do otherwise. The New Testament teaches a church run by a plurality of elders, not by one man who loves to have the preeminence. The very office I held was unscriptural and therefore I could not remain in it. I had seen the devastating effects of this unscriptural set up among the saints and among the preachers. I saw it in our own church, and in myself. I had gotten to a place where I was the Jack Boot. I didn't mean to be. I believed with all my heart that I was doing God's work. I was wrong.
The final straw came while considering giving up the pastorate. As I was thinking on it, a strange feeling came upon me. A voice within me questioning whether I really wanted to give up this position of authority and power. It was at that point that I realized exactly what my position had turned me into - a prideful pastoral authority type who loved to lord it over God's sheep. I had become the very thing I hated, and it made me sick to my stomach. It was right there that I knew I had to leave, for the church's sake, as well as my own. Power corrupts, and even in a small hole-in-the-wall church with only a handful of people like the one we had, the pulpit is a place of power the can corrupt everyone who is effected by it.
After I stepped down, the church closed down. Although I offered the folks to stick around and help them during this transition, they chose not to continue. Rather than go on fellowshipping, praying and waiting on the Lord to transform the work into a New Testament style assembly, the members decided it was easier and more convenient to just go to another church and just sit under another man. Less work for them, and less accountability. Basically I left and the church crumbled. I am heart broken to have to look back and see that the church was not built upon the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather upon me as the pastor. When the pastor went, the church went. The sheep had no idea how to go on with God without the "man of God" to tell them what to do.
Sadly, this is the case with the vast majority of Bible-believing churches today. A bunch of power-hungry Diotrephes' in unscriptural positions lording it over a bunch of beaten down, dumbed down, apathetic and blind sheep. While claiming the headship of Christ the pastors have usurped the authority in the churches and set themselves up as kings. And their subjects follow without question.
Anyway, we are currently holding Bible studies here in NYC with the possibility in mind of planting a true New Testament assembly. An assembly where there is only one Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. One where a plurality of qualified elders raised up by God from within the church will love, care for, teach and shepherd the flock. Where families will meet and worship together and not be separated into different rooms and groups. A church where the church is the church and not a building. A place where God's people can meet from house to house, opening their doors and lives to one another. Coming together with psalms, hymns, doctrines and spiritual songs in order to edifiy and provoke one another unto good works. Where everyone comes to contribute and give, not just to vegetate and get. That's part of my vision for a Christ honoring church.
The way I figure it, we Bible-believing Baptists (although I don't particularly care for the title much anymore) have it right when it comes to the King James and other sound doctrine. We are all messed up though in many other areas. There are churches outside the "camp" that may not have the doctrine or the KJV, but they are right on when it comes to the practicalities of assembling as a NT church, holiness and other issues. If a person could take and put together what's right and true from all sides while spitting out the bones, he'd really have something going on. That's what I'm praying for. Please pray for us as well. Thanks again for the site. It really is a blessing.
my name is cindy, i am a born again christain, saved by Grace. my experience of salvation came from the drawing of the Holy Spirit, reading the Word, talking to God. alone. i wasnt dragged down a alter or emotionaly pursuaded by outside influance i was not raised to believe any religion, which i am glad of because there is no room for doupt, i know. i met with the Lord Jesus and i have loved Him every since. that said, i came across your site because i joined a "baptist" church when we moved. the problem they bagan to teach that only baptist are the Bride of Christ, the other people that are saved will go to heaven BUT they will only be "guests" at the marraige supper? this i have never heard befor, now i feel i should run for my life from this group. thanks for your web site it helped me a lot. i just want to serve Christ and live a life pleasing to Him, not because i have to but because i love Him so much.
As part of our search for a church, we visitied one in a small town nearby. We've been there 5 times since November. We mainly listen and keep our mouths shut, trying to get a reading on what's happening there. This one is a 40 yearl old pastor. The congregation is young, meaning guys and gals - mostly couples - ages under 30. There are about 45 there, and they've made us feel welcome. We don't really fit, but they are real nice people (kids, to us). The only church where we feel welcome, and hear a reverence and love for the scriptures.
We've felt compelled to pray for the pastor, starting about three weeks ago. Then 1 week ago I noticed he was missing a tooth.
Anyway, this past Saturday, some folks brought in the county sheriff (related to the instigator) and confiscated the building and gave the pastor 30 days to leave his residence. Turns out somebody from time past, before this guy started pastoring there (he's been there 6 years and the group is the biggest it's been in 20 years) gave him a beating, knocking out teeth and knocking him out cold. The beating was 2 weeks ago. Then they distributed flyers full of ugly accusations about him. He's pretty much destroyed.
Knowing none of this, we walked in this Sunday morning as the pastor was saying "goodby for now" as he was putting some distance from the town for the sake of his family.
We put him up in our house, along with his wife and 3 sons. We left for the week. I work in a town 2 hours from home. We'll see them again this weekend.
Interesting, huh. This assembly is, or maybe was, the only one in the area that seemed to be on track. We'll see how it plays out...
you have any contacts in the uk .?
we have ,with anumber of other families and friends left a "jackboot"church.
we believe God is leading us back to His original plan of house church!
and that was before i found this site .
any help/advice ?
where do we go from here ?
how is house church run ?
what`s the format .?
is there aformat ?
in Christ Jesus.
Dear Bro. Steve
I just wanted to drop a line to let you know I appreciate your Blessed Quietness webpage.
I pastor Grace Baptist Church in ____________ and have since 1998. We're a small church, running about 35-40 on Sunday morning. I left the Hyles/BJU/Pensacola/FBF rat-race years ago. I just pastor my church, preach the Word and be a father to my 4 kids and a husband to my wife. Oh yes, I'm also a working pastor- fulltime on the outside, right out there in the world with my people, doing hand-to-hand combat with the devil like they do. We also homeschool for a variety of reasons.
Your articles "ring the bell" and I've been "hit" once or twice but overall, I think you burden is an honorable one. It does encourage pastors of small churches who don't participate in the Baptist Fundamentalist mess. I've been there and have done that and have walked away from it. I just want to pastor my people, raise my family, be with my wife and serve my God and stay out of all that Baptist politics.
Thanks for the good words and I'll keep reading!
Until He Returns
Pastor John __________
The brethren here, (Independent Fundamental Baptist) I believe would agree with you repentance speaks of a turning, in salvation "repentance" is turning from unbelief, it is unbelief in Christ that damns people, other sin is only fruit of unbelief.
My pastor has told me a number of times he has always been a "loner" (speaking of the fellowships and the like) compared to the others of his generation and background.
Also the "1,2,3 repeat after me" is abhorred here and preached against here.
We meet in a church house, if for no other reason that there is no house that could contain us, we have about 80 brethren who uniformly meet on sunday and wednesday, all but about eight people you see on sunday morning you will also see sunday night and wednesday, we are tightly knit together I am young yet I know where everyone lives and know all that come, we meet for Bible studies for visitation of ill members for simple fellowship and yes for inviting people to church.
I've seen the people you speak of and the many splits that happen in churches like that I've seen pastors that lord over the heritage of God, that when it boils down to it they are shallow and fall early in their christian lives.
My pastor has defended and taken in the ones who have fallen, those that have made foolish error, and those that have been attacked by the type of people you spoke of.
I never have said this to him, but I have learned more from his actions and life than I have from his preaching and teaching, he has always worked a secular job aside from his pastoring, and I have seen him drop critical things in his own life to help a brother or to reach out to someone who the Lord is bringing to salvation.
I just want to let you know these things, I pray that the "It's me against the whole world" idea does not harm you as it has the ones you have spoken of.
Be happy in the Lord my brother.
Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- I am, especially when I read something like this from one of the folks in the pew.