Is IFB a cult?

tmjbog

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How about Demas? Was Paul to go have coffee with him?? And if he doesn't is Paul not Christ like? Laughable. John needs to go back and reach out to those from 1 John 2:19, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us".
This is part of the "why" I spoke of in my post. Of course if they leave and stand in opposition to you or to Christ there is no reason to have any contact.

I stand by what I said: you can't leave my church then dictate how/if/when I reach out to you
I would assume that someone who doesn't leave your church can't dictate how/if/when you reach out either-don't think that is really the point. Your statement was "If I've given my heart and soul to you for years and you decide to leave, I'm going to take it personally...But I'm not going to coffee with you. And that's ok." It is unChristlike to refuse fellowship because someone chose to switch churches just the same as it would be if you chose to take another ministry and the entire congregation refused to speak to you because you were "leaving" the church. Why would you take it personally? Is it your church?

When I was in middle school, I quit cross country. Coach didn't reach out to me. In HS I quit track. Coach nor teammates never reached out. Quit Boy Scouts as a kid. Nothing. Quit a few jobs. No one reached out. In all of these scenarios, neither the leaders nor the others reached out. It's funny how we compartmentalize church: if someone leaves you have an obligation to keep in contact or you're not "Christ like".

I lean introvert but most jobs I've had over the last 20 years I've had 1 or more people keep in contact-some for nearly 20 years. Seems very strange that all these groups/jobs you were in, no one ever stayed in contact. I don't think that's the norm. Again it's not so much that you must chase them down but rather the fact that you are holding a grudge ("I'm going to take it personally") and refusing fellowship ("I'm not going to coffee with you")
 

GeneFrenkle

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This is part of the "why" I spoke of in my post. Of course if they leave and stand in opposition to you or to Christ there is no reason to have any contact.


I would assume that someone who doesn't leave your church can't dictate how/if/when you reach out either-don't think that is really the point. Your statement was "If I've given my heart and soul to you for years and you decide to leave, I'm going to take it personally...But I'm not going to coffee with you. And that's ok." It is unChristlike to refuse fellowship because someone chose to switch churches just the same as it would be if you chose to take another ministry and the entire congregation refused to speak to you because you were "leaving" the church. Why would you take it personally? Is it your church?



I lean introvert but most jobs I've had over the last 20 years I've had 1 or more people keep in contact-some for nearly 20 years. Seems very strange that all these groups/jobs you were in, no one ever stayed in contact. I don't think that's the norm. Again it's not so much that you must chase them down but rather the fact that you are holding a grudge ("I'm going to take it personally") and refusing fellowship ("I'm not going to coffee with you")
It certainly isn't a barometer of my Christlikeness if I have coffee with someone. Zilch. You have nothing to back that up. We didn't have coffee before either. Were we not being Christlike then?

Wow. Every heard of hyperbole? Yes, I have kept in contact with people I used to work with.
 

tmjbog

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Well, I guess it's Gene vs. Gene then,
When I was in middle school, I quit cross country. Coach didn't reach out to me. In HS I quit track. Coach nor teammates never reached out. Quit Boy Scouts as a kid. Nothing. Quit a few jobs. No one reached out. In all of these scenarios, neither the leaders nor the others reached out.
Yes, I have kept in contact with people I used to work with.
 

tmjbog

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It certainly isn't a barometer of my Christlikeness if I have coffee with someone. Zilch. You have nothing to back that up. We didn't have coffee before either. Were we not being Christlike then?
Coffee in and of itself, no. But for most coffee is way of fellowship. The specific beverage isn't really important. However, if you are refusing to have coffee (fellowship) with a brother because you are holding a grudge ("I'm going to take it personally") that is a problem.

Col. 3:13
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Matthew 5:23-24
23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
 

GeneFrenkle

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Coffee in and of itself, no. But for most coffee is way of fellowship. The specific beverage isn't really important. However, if you are refusing to have coffee (fellowship) with a brother because you are holding a grudge ("I'm going to take it personally") that is a problem.

Col. 3:13
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Matthew 5:23-24
23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Forgiving and having coffee/fellowship are two completely different things. You can forgive and never talk to a person again.

If you're going to try to apply Matthew 5 to me, I will return with the exact verse to you. Well, actually I won't because this is an online discussion where I made one comment in defense of people who stay in churches but have no ill will toward people who leave. That being said:

Bottom line: I didn't comment here to discuss the minutia and nuance of every scenario possible. What I'm tired of is pastors and churches getting trashed (or called cults) because they didn't maintain contact with someone who left the church. That's it. Not sure why you've taken this as your opportunity to prove me wrong when you know nothing of me other than what I've said here. And I'm not going to go into detail about specifics. It's an online forum. Online. Not coffee. Simple statements with a little bit of hyperbole. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

tmjbog

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Forgiving and having coffee/fellowship are two completely different things. You can forgive and never talk to a person again.

If you're going to try to apply Matthew 5 to me, I will return with the exact verse to you. Well, actually I won't because this is an online discussion where I made one comment in defense of people who stay in churches but have no ill will toward people who leave. That being said:

Bottom line: I didn't comment here to discuss the minutia and nuance of every scenario possible. What I'm tired of is pastors and churches getting trashed (or called cults) because they didn't maintain contact with someone who left the church. That's it. Not sure why you've taken this as your opportunity to prove me wrong when you know nothing of me other than what I've said here. And I'm not going to go into detail about specifics. It's an online forum. Online. Not coffee. Simple statements with a little bit of hyperbole. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So I don't think I've heard anyone say that if you leave a church and the pastor doesn't pursue you it was a cult. It's more like someone leaves a church and then rumors started to be floated about that they weren't in God's will or they fell into sin. Its actively opposing the one who moved on. I typically look at whether the church is man centered or Christ centered. At a Christ centered church if you leave a solid well established church to go help build a new church down the road that is just getting started the pastor would be happy that another church is being built to glorify God. A pastor at a man centered church would take it as a personal insult. A pastor at a Christ centered church would be joyful to know the people of his church were following the will of God whether it meant them leaving his church or not. A man centered church could not perceive that there could be any will of God outside of outside of following him and thus hold a grudge against those who depart.
 

GeneFrenkle

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Well, I guess it's Gene vs. Gene then,
Dude. What's your deal? I notice you deleted my phrase that explained the difference in the two quotes in order make it look like a contradiction.

What attracted you to FF boards and fundies in the first place? Are you OCPD? One of the things that I've noticed is churches like ours attract people like you who see everything black and white...then get disillusioned and blame the church/pastor for having nuance.

Or do you just not know what hyperbole means?
 
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GeneFrenkle

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So I don't think I've heard anyone say that if you leave a church and the pastor doesn't pursue you it was a cult. It's more like someone leaves a church and then rumors started to be floated about that they weren't in God's will or they fell into sin. Its actively opposing the one who moved on. I typically look at whether the church is man centered or Christ centered. At a Christ centered church if you leave a solid well established church to go help build a new church down the road that is just getting started the pastor would be happy that another church is being built to glorify God. A pastor at a man centered church would take it as a personal insult. A pastor at a Christ centered church would be joyful to know the people of his church were following the will of God whether it meant them leaving his church or not. A man centered church could not perceive that there could be any will of God outside of outside of following him and thus hold a grudge against those who depart.
It was implied.

I said nothing about rumors. AAMOF, I stated clearly I didn't discourage anyone from contact.

ANYWAY...all I did was make one statement. And thanks to you, that statement is buried with online rants. Thank you. You've done well.
 

GeneFrenkle

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Anyway, for posterity:

Just because someone doesn't actively keep fellowship with you after you leave their church doesn't mean they're a cult. You can't leave a church then dictate if/how/when someone reaches out to you or responds. I'm only defending good churches and good people who are accused by those that have been hurt in their churches...because people still get hurt in good churches by good people. Not everyone stuck around Jesus. Paul probably had some fall out.

Simple statement. Don't read into it.
 

sawthruglassclearly

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There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that IFB is a cult!
It harbors criminals of every kind as long as the criminal ”has something on” the one in power. (My abuser showed me carbon copies of letters to Jack Hyles he had written detailing Dave’s crimes. He showed me those to try to convince me that no one would believe me. He himself had been brought to Hammond by Jack Hyles when my abuser’s former pastor asked Jack Hyles what to do with this man whose crimes had come to light. Jack Hyles offered to take him and “help him with his problems“. He really only helped him find another handful of victims. I was among them! When my abuser left town for another hunting ground (church), all of his relocation expenses, including a new car, were paid for by Jack Hyles!) The ones in power use the harbored crimes to force loyalty. It supports authority without questioning “man of God”. Watch Leah Remini’s series on Scientology! You could slap IFB right on there! Those who say it is not a cult, are the weak who stay for all of this. You can use your experience in an IFB “church” as a ladder or a crutch. I used my time there as a ladder, but it sure was hard to build that ladder high enough to get out! When I escaped, I ran and never looked back! I am out here trying to offer reach to those who are seeking escape. It can be done, and with great success! God does not have an electric fence waiting for you when you leave an IFB. He is still the loving Savior you’ve accepted. If you let Him speak to you, and not through some “man of God”, you will find freedom in His love, His guidance, and in His will.
I will not debate my comments here with any of you. God does not require THAT of me either! I do extend a helping hand to those who’ve awoken from the nightmare.
 
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tmjbog

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Dude. What's your deal? I notice you deleted my phrase that explained the difference in the two quotes in order make it look like a contradiction.

What attracted you to FF boards and fundies in the first place? Are you OCPD? One of the things that I've noticed is churches like ours attract people like you who see everything black and white...then get disillusioned and blame the church/pastor for having nuance.

Or do you just not know what hyperbole means?

Yours statement in full:
When I was in middle school, I quit cross country. Coach didn't reach out to me. In HS I quit track. Coach nor teammates never reached out. Quit Boy Scouts as a kid. Nothing. Quit a few jobs. No one reached out. In all of these scenarios, neither the leaders nor the others reached out. It's funny how we compartmentalize church: if someone leaves you have an obligation to keep in contact or you're not "Christ like".

Yes, "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse!", that's hperbole. There is nothing in your statement that is an obvious exaggeration. In fact you call out several scenarios and in each claim no one ever reached out. In fact your argument kind of falls apart if you backtrack and say "no one" reaching out wasn't quite accurate. Seems like if secular folks don't take it personally when you leave their organizations that a Christian ought to have at least equal grace.
 

tmjbog

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It was implied.

I said nothing about rumors. AAMOF, I stated clearly I didn't discourage anyone from contact.

ANYWAY...all I did was make one statement. And thanks to you, that statement is buried with online rants. Thank you. You've done well.
I'm here to serve.
 

tmjbog

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There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that IFB is a cult!
It harbors criminals of every kind as long as the criminal ”has something on” the one in power. (My abuser showed me carbon copies of letters to Jack Hyles he had written detailing Dave’s crimes. He showed me those to try to convince me that no one would believe me. He himself had been brought to Hammond by Jack Hyles when my abuser’s former pastor asked Jack Hyles what to do with this man whose crimes had come to light. Jack Hyles offered to take him and “help him with his problems“. He really only helped him find another handful of victims. I was among them! When my abuser left town for another hunting ground (church), all of his relocation expenses, including a new car, were paid for by Jack Hyles!) The ones in power use the harbored crimes to force loyalty. It supports authority without questioning “man of God”. Watch Leah Remini’s series on Scientology! You could slap IFB right on there! Those who say it is not a cult, are the weak who stay for all of this. You can use your experience in an IFB “church” as a ladder or a crutch. I used my time there as a ladder, but it sure was hard to build that ladder high enough to get out! When I escaped, I ran and never looked back! I am out here trying to offer reach to those who are seeking escape. It can be done, and with great success! God does not have an electric fence waiting for you when you leave an IFB. He is still the loving Savior you’ve accepted. If you let Him speak to you, and not through some “man of God”, you will find freedom in His love, His guidance, and in His will.
I will not debate my comments here with any of you. God does not require THAT of me either! I do extend a helping hand to those who’ve awoken from the nightmare.
The churches I've been a part of were probably more IFB lite. On top of that I was a Christian prior to becoming IFB so I, for the most part, already knew what I believed. So I didn't really blindly follow or believe. Have wondered a bit what the impact on my kids has been, since they were a little more trapped there (school & church). The last one I was a part of was a Hyles-Anderson copy until everything fell a part. I came right after that, and while my beliefs differ in too many areas to be an IFB, the new pastor really did make vast improvements in transparency and a more balanced approach. But, I know that is more the exception than the rule.
 

Starlifter

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When somebody leaves our church, I don't necessarily go out of my way to 'have coffee with them'.
However, many times I will write them a nice letter, even if they leave under less than civil circumstances, letting them know that we are always there for them, that we are praying for them, that they are always welcome back, and I do not speak evil about them from the pulpit, nor spread stuff about them to the flock. I do have to explain to the church, privately, one on one, why they left b/c people naturally have questions.
One such couple left after writing a scathing note about what they thought about the church and myself.
I have never discouraged our people from talking to them, and when we found out that the wife was in the hospital, tried to text them to know we were praying and found that we were blocked.
I came from such a church that when somebody left, it was 'they weren't saved', or they were into porn, or some such nonsense and we were 'encouraged' not to have fellowship with them anymore.
I don't pull that garbage b/c it IS cultlike. (And, btw, I am KJVO)
 

tmjbog

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When somebody leaves our church, I don't necessarily go out of my way to 'have coffee with them'.
However, many times I will write them a nice letter, even if they leave under less than civil circumstances, letting them know that we are always there for them, that we are praying for them, that they are always welcome back, and I do not speak evil about them from the pulpit, nor spread stuff about them to the flock. I do have to explain to the church, privately, one on one, why they left b/c people naturally have questions.
One such couple left after writing a scathing note about what they thought about the church and myself.
I have never discouraged our people from talking to them, and when we found out that the wife was in the hospital, tried to text them to know we were praying and found that we were blocked.
I came from such a church that when somebody left, it was 'they weren't saved', or they were into porn, or some such nonsense and we were 'encouraged' not to have fellowship with them anymore.
I don't pull that garbage b/c it IS cultlike. (And, btw, I am KJVO)
When I first started attending, my former church had just went through a tough time then a split. When the new pastor came as people were still leaving he told them on their way out "you're always welcome here if God leads you back". Never said anything negative about the ones who left. Today 15-20% of that church are people who had left and came back. I'm no longer IFB but when I talk about my former church I kind of sound like an IFB cheer leader. I've told my wife if I was forced to be IFB that would be the church I'd go to. The pastor took a very man centered cultic church and changed a lot of things for the better.
 

illinoisguy

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When I left an abusive Ruckmanite IFB church, my former pastor and his preacher friends spread the word around that I was a Satanic infiltrator and that I had been plotting to destroy two other IFB churches in the area, which they mentioned by name. I don't know if I can ever prove to everyone's satisfaction that these allegations were untrue. However, the pastors of both of those other churches sent me letters stating that the allegations were not true and that I would be welcome to join their churches. Over the years, I was invited to preach and teach at both of those churches. Apparently they didn't think I was a Satanic infiltrator after all.
The IFB church and preachers, that made the false allegations against me, stood by them and never retracted them. I never wanted them to invite me to have coffee with them, but it would have been nice if they had not blackened my reputation in an effort to keep me from joining any other IFB church in the area.
The IFB movement as a whole is not a cult. However, some IFB churches appear to be in a contest to win the prize for "most cult-like church in town." Ruckmanites are especially good at that. Do yourselves a favor and avoid them.
 

Starlifter

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When I left an abusive Ruckmanite IFB church, my former pastor and his preacher friends spread the word around that I was a Satanic infiltrator and that I had been plotting to destroy two other IFB churches in the area, which they mentioned by name. I don't know if I can ever prove to everyone's satisfaction that these allegations were untrue. However, the pastors of both of those other churches sent me letters stating that the allegations were not true and that I would be welcome to join their churches. Over the years, I was invited to preach and teach at both of those churches. Apparently they didn't think I was a Satanic infiltrator after all.
The IFB church and preachers, that made the false allegations against me, stood by them and never retracted them. I never wanted them to invite me to have coffee with them, but it would have been nice if they had not blackened my reputation in an effort to keep me from joining any other IFB church in the area.
The IFB movement as a whole is not a cult. However, some IFB churches appear to be in a contest to win the prize for "most cult-like church in town." Ruckmanites are especially good at that. Do yourselves a favor and avoid them.
I'd be interested in knowing the knucklehead preacher who did that to you. I could probably guess. Was he in the western part of the country?
 

illinoisguy

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That pastor was here in Illinois, but he ran off so many of his own loyal tithing members, and lost so much income, that he ended up bailing out and going to pastor a church in New Mexico. He died around 2007 but his church is currently being sued by a former member claiming abuse (including sexual) by the same pastor who ran me off. That church got "dishonorable mention" in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article in December, 2018 exposing IFB sexual scandals. Their web site was up until recently but is now gone, and Google has a notice saying "Permanently closed." If you want to know more about that church, here is a link: Lawsuit alleges Temple Baptist Church leaders turned blind eye to woman’s abuse | Local News | santafenewmexican.com
At the time that this pastor left Illinois, his congregation here was disbanded and the building was sold to a heretical Mexican cult, Iglesia La Luz Del Mundo (now they really are a cult).
Here's another good one. I was a member of a different IFB church and we got a new pastor out of Bob Jones University, who almost immediately started bullying people and running off longtime members including me. I don't know the details of the church finances and his salary after I left, but the church did not do well under his strict authoritarian leadership, and I do know that for whatever reason, he and his family were literally going hungry and his wife was begging food from non-members in the neighborhood. Eventually he bailed out, too, going back to BJU. You would think that word would get around that the arrogant, bullying style of leadership, which works well in the sealed, hothouse environment of places like BJU, does not work well out in the real world. But apparently the word has not gotten out yet.
 
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sawthruglassclearly

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The churches I've been a part of were probably more IFB lite. On top of that I was a Christian prior to becoming IFB so I, for the most part, already knew what I believed. So I didn't really blindly follow or believe. Have wondered a bit what the impact on my kids has been, since they were a little more trapped there (school & church). The last one I was a part of was a Hyles-Anderson copy until everything fell a part. I came right after that, and while my beliefs differ in too many areas to be an IFB, the new pastor really did make vast improvements in transparency and a more balanced approach. But, I know that is more the exception than the rule.
I agree with you and I believe your children were probably more impacted. I was the trapped young person whose father was “all in”. Thank God my Mother knew what she was witnessing was not really religion or anything of Christ. It was her clear-headed stubbornness that saved my life and she refused to cooperate with Jack Hyles. (He thought he could scare her and was so undone when he didn’t scare her at all! She had the evidence and refused to give it up to him. He wanted it so he could destroy it.) I had to be put back together bit by bit, but it shook me to my core and I finally saw FBCH for what it really was. Hyles tried to block my path in every way he had the power to do so, but he did not succeed. Jesus was protecting me during that time, and so was my Mother!
 

Binaca Chugger

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Not sure why all the formatting stuff is in my reply box.
 
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