Beliefnet
Jesus Needs New PR

The above is a clip from last night’s 20/20. You can watch the whole episode here. The episode is an expose of sorts about the denomination Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB). I say “expose,” but it’s difficult to expose a group of churches that do not claim to be connected.

But they are connected. By belief. By strategies. By friendships. By doctrine. By theologies. By rules and standards. By “college degrees” from Bible schools where IFB ways are taught. One IFB church might not have any say or influence over another, but they are most definitely connected.

What makes this church subculture (and a very large church subculture in fact), is that each church has the ability to govern itself. A preacher boy and deacon board borrow the ideals set forth from one of a handful of Bible colleges and then takes those ideals to various spots around the country and do their ministry.

20/20 focused on a few of key issues within IFB–sex, secrecy, child discipline, and sexism. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s difficult to put your finger on the problems with IFB churches because every church has its own unique problems while sharing a long list of common problems with every other IFB church. An IFB church is only as healthy as the preacher boy standing in the pulpit and the men on the deacon board who rule and govern over everything imaginable.

I had a mild panic attack watching 20/20. About 12 minutes before it ended, I had to turn it off.

I’m working on my taxes today or I’d write more… But Jesus says I need to pay my taxes, so I shall do that first.

Peace to you, friends.

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