An open letter to all IFBs… from an IFB.

You may have followed all the drama about IFBs in the news recently. IFBs, or Independent Fundamental Baptists, have been getting some negative PR lately.

I want to let you know upfront that I am an IFB, and have been one, by upbringing pretty much since birth, and by personal conviction for the past 4 years.

With that being said, I would like to write to my fellow IFBs, and let you read it as well.

I firmly believe in all of the fundamentals that we stand for, such as the perfection of the KJV, baptism by immersion, the autonomy of the local church, etc., etc…

What I don’t believe in is the attitudes of a good portion of our “circle”. The abrasive nature, and haughty arrogance of some of us is an affront to a lost and dying world.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe that the cross of Christ is going to be offensive to the natural unconverted man. But don’t offend a person by your attitude, before they have a chance of being offended by Jesus Christ. If we cast Jesus in a bad light by our ignorance of His nature, we not only serve to push those lost people we come into contact with further away from the light, but we do a great disservice to His name.

I can just hear the angry howls now… “Jesus cast the merchants out of the temple with whips, and He also called them names!”  Sure He did. But, if you’re going to quote some references, you need to actually look at the whole Scripture. Like the part where he forgave the woman who was caught in adultery… or where He sat for dinner with publicans and sinners.

Jesus didn’t have malice towards sinners. In fact, He treated them with the utmost kindness, and ministered to them when at all possible. He didn’t scream at them to repent, or call them names, or even tell them that their women shouldn’t be wearing pants. I actually don’t find any of those instances in the Bible. What’s crazy is that I find Him telling people to come to Him for rest from their sins.

When He did have strong words for people, it was the religious right wing that He got mad at. He got mad at the people that were blocking others from the Kingdom of Heaven. By their hypocrisy, they were putting gigantic stumbling blocks in front of the ordinary person’s way to salvation. They added regulations and mindless rules to God’s simple law.

What is happening nowadays is very similar to what was happening in Jesus’ day. While the Pharisees had the correct doctrine, they were arrogant, self-righteous, and hypocrites. This can be similar to some IFBs who tend to try and play the Holy Spirit.

While I am 1000% for preaching against sin, we must be careful to realize that sanctification preaching is for Christians only! Why does the lost person you meet need to know the history of the KJV and 60 reasons it’s superior to the NIV? (It is BTW…)  Why does the person on their way to a literal fiery Hell need to know that we don’t believe in women preachers? (Which is UnBiblical…)

We cannot try and make a person more like Christ who is utterly incapable of becoming more like Christ. None of us are capable of becoming holy without the Holy One.

In the same vein, we must be careful to always present a kind, loving attitude towards the unsaved. Lost people should know that a Christian is going to be the most kind and generous person towards them. They should be able to distinguish between us and the rest of the world. The quote has been said “The world doesn’t care how much you know until it knows how much you care.”

I am not too worried about our church being “Seeker-Friendly,”  or even “Relevant.”  How about being “Christlike”?  I’m thinking that this should be our aim. If we are Christlike, we will be relevant, as well as seeker-friendly.  If you seek Christ, He will be found! You can come as you are, but you will absolutely leave changed. Christ was gentle, but Christ was firm. Jesus loved us, even while we were yet sinners! This is the beauty of the Gospel!

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a car wash with the Reformers Unanimous group. We washed 1,000 cars here in Rockford, free of charge to everyone who stopped. 1,000 people were reached with the Gospel of Christ, while witnessing a very simple act of kindness. Everybody that was lead to Christ that day was reached through simple kindness.

There was no “watering down” of salvation. There was no compromise. There was no backsliding. On the flip-side, there was no abrasion, no malice, and no hypocrisy.

It’s true. You can have kindness without compromise. Jesus did.

~                    ~                    ~                    ~

Andrew Wikel blogs over at Wikeloogle, and is a self-proclaimed Christian geek (meaning he’s pretty tech-savvy)! He blogs about anything ranging from the Christian life, church ministries, to technology and other brainiac stuff (meaning it’s way over my head)! He’s very involved in his local church’s Reformers Unanimous program.

Basically, Andrew’s an awesome guy with a wonderful heart for the Lord. I’m thankful to know him, and very grateful that I can call him my friend. He’s written a guest post before here at Grow Up!, which you can read {here}.

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About Andrew Wikel

I am your friendly neighborhood geek. I am passionate about my family, coffee, and other nerdy things. I work for Automattic on WooCommerce Payment Gateway Support.

Posted on July 14, 2011, in Guest Post, Open Letter and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Andrew,

    What an awesome post today. So nice to see other IFB’s who have the same mindset… I am the only saved person in my family and can’t tell you just how much damage has been done by Christians who have thought to reach them by their criticism and harsh judgement. 😦

    It doesn’t work… not only does it push them further away from where they should be, but it makes it terribly difficult for anyone else who would like to show them the love of our Saviour.

    Thank you for the great read : )

    S.

  2. Why thank you Samantha! It is absolutely necessary for people to know they’re lost before they can be saved, but they don’t need to be bashed.

    Salvation is important, and the Bible says in Romans “goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” .

    Should it surprise us that the lost act lost? Get out of God’s way and let the Holy Spirit do His convicting work that He longs to do.

  3. Thanks, brother. I especially liked the part about being like Christ. He WAS relevant at all times, from the Temple to the well.

  4. Andrew does it again. Another smashing article… which happened to cause a smidgen of drama on my facebook page. :]

    Thank you again, Andrew, for writing a guest post for Grow Up!

  5. While I don’t necessarily agree that the KJV is superior to the NIV (I’m an ESV guy), I do agree that we don’t need to burden the unsaved with such discussions. Sixty Reasons Why the King James is Superior would make for an excellent blog topic, but not necessarily the best topic for a Sunday morning sermon. A little too much of a hobby horse.

  6. This is absolutely amazing! It pretty much said everything that I often thought of at times but yet didn’t say because I was often convicted by others.
    I also can understand how Samantha Ann feels about her family and how they have been given alot of criticism by other Christians.
    Thank you for such and amazing post.!

  1. Pingback: Guest Post - Open Letter to IFBs From an IFB

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