Around the world, there are many different religions, and within those religions you will find a variety of different groups and/or denominations. The same is true with Christianity. Under the umbrella of “Christianity”, there are many different denominations. Denominations such as Catholic, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, etc. And within Baptists, there are a good amount of different types of Baptist churches! With so many options out there, how do you know that IFB is the right choice? What is IFB and what makes it so unique?
Church – “A local assembly of saved, baptized believers”
There is a good amount of churches mentioned in the Bible, while they all had the same core beliefs, they were completely independent from one another. (Some examples)
Jesus Christ is head of the church!
”And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” – Ephesians 1:22
Other “Christian” denominations have groups, founders, or books that determine their doctrine
God’s churches should be completely autonomous and separate from each other. This means that no church or organization can make any decisions concerning other churches. A church is a local assembly that is led by their Pastor in which Jesus Christ is the head.
This is a movement that started with Presbyterian theologians at Princeton Theological Seminary. Fundamentalism is essentially a way to identify with people who belief in the “Fundamentals of the Faith.”
While Baptist do agree with these “Fundamentals of the Faith”, there is so much more than just these five areas in the Christian life!
“Keep the main thing the main thing” is a popular saying. It is usually used as an effort to keep our focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ (where it should be!), but it’s important to realize that although it is the main thing, it’s not the only thing!
God desires us to grow as Christians after we are saved, which means that we need to look past the very “Fundamentals of the Faith” in order to continue to grow.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – II Timothy 2:15
“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” – Acts 20:27
So, although we identify with the “Fundamentals of the Faith,” we also realize that the Christian life is much more than these core beliefs!
This is a rough indicator of what the church preaches and teaches, but every church that says “Baptist” on the sign isn’t necessarily a good church.
I don’t put too much weight in the term “Baptist”, because our name has changed plenty of times over the centuries and it may very well change again in the next hundred years. Throughout history, our people have been called…
God’s people have always been persecuted and hated by this world
“(36) And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:”
“(37) They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;’
“(38) (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” – Hebrews 11:36-38
B – Bible as final authority – No organization or man supersedes the Bible (KJB)
A – Autonomy of the local church – Each church is separate from another
P – Priesthood of the believers – Once saved, you have direct access to God
T – Two church ordinances – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
I – Individual soul liberty – God gives us a free will
S – Separation of church and state – Jesus is the head of the church
T – Two church offices – Pastor and deacons
As Independent Fundamental Baptists, we are just that! We are completely independent of other churches/organization and we see Jesus Christ as head of the church. We believe the “Fundamentals of the Faith” but also realize that Bible doctrine goes well past those few fundamentals. We are also Baptist in our doctrine, preaching, and teaching. Every denomination will teach something different because they have different founders and use different “Bibles”, but God’s true church was started by Jesus Christ himself nearly 2,000 years ago and still stands today!