By Todd Lockwood
After seeing all of the bashing going on against the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) since I left the sect, I felt it necessary to balance out how it is perceived. One of the main sites that criticize IFB is “Stuff Fundies Like”, which can be very appalling at times. At its worst, people on the site can say things that are borderline heresy. The site is far from being a site where mature Christians can address their concerns about IFB. The site is full of people who believe God has given them a license to be sarcastic and absurd 24/7.
It is true that IFB has many problems but what denomination doesn’t? The Southern Baptist and other Protestant denominations have their fair share of problems too. It would be just as easy to bash them 24/7 like IFB. I currently attend a Southern Baptist church and I could easily say that there are just as many problems in it then in my past IFB churches. On the flip side, both also have just as many good qualities.
I say all this to share some good qualities of IFB. One of the things that I appreciate about the IFB churches that I attended is their ability to run the church like a fine tuned machine. Some of the best managing abilities that I have seen have come from my past IFB churches. Just a few things that usually accompany them are weekly evangelism, bus ministry, and financial stewardship. There are more things but what matters most is that they are able to get things done, visions are fulfilled.
My father-in-law, an IFB pastor, just finished a new church across the street from their old church. I had the privilege to walk through the new church and hear of the reasoning behind its design. For example, the roof top was crimson red but the siding was white as snow to represent sin and forgiveness. The nursery was one of the most professional nurseries I had ever seen. But the one thing that impressed me the most was how my father-in-law was able to get the whole church involved in its making. The whole church was unified to use it for God’s glory.
Another quality that I enjoy about IFB is their ability to give. When it comes to theology, IFB can be unrelenting, but when it comes to giving IFB is very gracious. Some of the pastors that I know from my past experiences walked the talk when it comes to giving. In my experience, giving to Missions was emphasized constantly. Sacrificial giving started from the pulpit and influenced the congregations.
There are more things that could be said but I think my point is made. I understand that the bad tendencies of IFB are easy targets but don’t forget about the good. When God judged the seven churches in Revelation, he shared the good and the bad. And I don’t believe that IFB is getting this from sites like the one mentioned earlier or from people I know that have problems with IFB. IFB is being made out to be wholly heretical and that is not reality.