Doctrine of Separation Deception

“Be Ye Separate” Deception

A central belief among the Independent Fundamental Baptists is an ideal of Separation. The IFB prides itself on being “Independent” and separated from ALL that they perceive to be “worldly” (which is just about everything). This belief hangs on 2 Corinthians 6:17: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (KJV). The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination uses this verse to claim an exclusive monopoly on the truth, meaning that they believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Take a look at this part of the doctrinal statement from the church I grew up in:

SEPARATION: We believe that we are called to be a separated people to abide in Christ, to walk in the Spirit and to enjoy victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. (Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:16; I John 2:15-17; Colossians 3:1-17 and II Corinthians 2:14 & II Corinthians 6:17).

OUR RESOLUTION ON SEPARATION: Whereas the practice of inclusivism is infiltrating fundamentalism, and whereas fundamentalism is a movement of separation, be it therefore resolved that we re-affirm our historic separatist position by observing Scripture.

    1. “Mark them” (Philippians 3:17-18)
    2. “Avoid them” (Romans 16:17-18)
    3. “Identify them’! (I Timothy 1:20; II Timothy 1:15,4:14)
    4. “From such turn away” (II Timothy 3:5)
    5. “Reprove them” (Ephesians 5: 11)
    6. “Have no fellowship with them” (Ephesians 5:11)
    7. “Be not unequally yoked together with” (II Corinthians 6: 14-16)
    8. “Come out from among them” (II Corinthians 6:17)
    9. “Reject them” (Titus 3: 10).
    1. “Note that man” (II Thessalonian 3:14)
    2. “Withdraw yourself” (II Thessalonian 3:14)
    3. “Have no company with” (II Thessalonian 3:14)
    4. “Rebuke them sharply” (Titus 1:13)
    5. “Admonish him as a brother” (II Thessalonian 3:15)
    6. “Count him not an enemy” (II Thessalonian 3:15)
    7. “Keep not company” (I Corinthians 5:11)
    8. “With such an one, no, not to eat” (I Corinthians 5:11)
    1. Jude 22-23, “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Be it further resolved that while’ adhering to this separatist position, we “let brotherly love continue” – Hebrews 13:1.

Some may read those statements and proclaim the benefits of such a doctrine, after all we are Christians and called to be distinct in our behavior and worship right? Well sure, but unfortunately that’s not where the IFB stops. They use these verses to manipulate and coerce people into aligning with the IFB’s interpretation of what those verses say. If you don’t you will be considered a heretic and rejected.

The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination is blatantly pulling scripture out of context, misinterpreting it, and manipulating so that is supports this doctrine. It is because of this belief of separation and exclusivism that they teach that Christians should be as completely separate from the world as possible. The abuse begins when they interpret something that someone does, says, eats, drinks, thinks, etc. that is in the least remotely associated with the world as worldly. They believe that it gives them the right to judge others and accuse them of being worldly or at least not measuring up to their standard of living. When a person fails to measure up, they are seen as rebellious, living in sin, and in some instances unsaved. This is judgementalism in it’s purest form.

As you can imagine, since everyone lives in this world already, this is a very tall order, one that is unattainable. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination has very strict standards that include everything and anything that could be considered deviation from their separation doctrine. Anything that gives the appearance of “worldliness” such things as going to the movies, drinking alcohol, smoking, listening to secular music, listening to Christian contemporary music, certain styles of dress, certain styles of hair, tattoos, motorcycles, dancing, and the list goes on and on, are considered a violation of their separation doctrine and thus sinful.

So what does the scripture really say?

I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look. Let’s start with 2 Corinthians 6:17 since that is the flagship verse for this doctrine. For those of you who’ve read other material on this site, it’ll come as no surprise to you to learn that the IFB has taken this verse out of context and ascribed a meaning to it which doesn’t belong. Many Christians, not just the IFB, have used this verse to condone prejudice and bullying in the name of “separation”. Taken to extremes, some groups seclude and isolate their members, parents isolate and reject their children and Christians withdrawal from the public to avoid mixing with unbelievers.

The context for 2 Corinthians 6:17 is 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. This is a warning by Paul, urging believers not to form partnerships with unbelievers. This is not a license to arrogantly display an “I’m better than you” attitude to unbelievers, which is what many Christians do. Nor is this a command or even a suggestion. It’s just a warning that partnering with an unbeliever could cause problems. Paul is simply cautioning believers about forming a commitment or partnership with unbelievers because this might cause undue hardship if the two commitments clash. Paul even stated earlier in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 that this doesn’t mean isolating oneself from unbelievers, just use caution when entering a partnership. Paul even encourages Christians to stay with their unbelieving spouse (See I Corinthians 7:12-13).

What’s more is that in verses 16-18 Paul was quoting from the Old Testament. Verse 16b is a quote from Leviticus 26:12, Jeremiah 32:28 and Ezekiel 37:27. The message is one of deliverance – salvation from the unlawful and sinful ways of the heathens. Verse 17 is a quote from Isaiah 52:11 and Ezekiel 20:34 – again message of deliverance, not from sin and separation but for salvation. Paul was referencing these passages to remind his readers that salvation has brought us close to God so that we are (not should be, but are by default) aware of the sin and sinful influence around us. As such we are to use extreme caution. Caution is warranted NOT seclusion and separation.

Let’s next take a look at Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:16; I John 2:15-17; Colossians 3:1-17 and II Corinthians 2:14

  1. Romans 12:1-2 – This familiar passage is used quite frequently and is one of my favorite scriptures. The IFB gets hung up on the terminology in the KJV where it reads: “and be not conformed to this world…” in verse 2. They take this to mean that we are to be separated from the world so that we aren’t living, in any way, a lifestyle that could be construed as worldly. This was taught quite frequently in the churches we grew up in. I distinctly remember one pastor teaching “Do not do anything that would make another person think that you are conforming to this world”. What a tall task eh?

    In reality, this passage is simply about sanctification. We are to build our relationship with God by allowing God to influence our thoughts. When we do that, the customs of the world will look unattractive and unappealing compared to God’s specific will for our lives. This verse is an individual charge to stay open to what God would have for us and allow Him to transform us into a new person (sanctification) by changing the way we think. This is the work of the Holy Spirit to change us and mature us spiritually. This is not a pass to judge people and secular society to determine what is sinful. This is largely a passive effort on our part by remaining open to the work of the Holy Spirit.

  2. Galatians 5:16 – This is an ironic verse to use, because the thrust of Galatians 5 is freedom from the legalistic righteousness that comes from the belief that we need to follow a set of man made rules and standards to find favor with God. Paul goes on to warn against the dangers of false teachings (like the teachings of the IFB). Then, having that message as a backbone or foundation, Paul leads us to an important aspect of Christian living that the IFB neglects, following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power for living lives that strive for sanctification. This, again, is a charge to the individual NOT the group. Each individual is responsible for living according to his/her convictions from the Holy Spirit, not conviction of the IFB. This verse leads me to not believe in separation as the IFB has outlined it, but rather separation from “false teachers” such as the IFB.
  3. 1 John 2:15-17 – This passage offers good advice… focus on the things that are eternal rather than temporary. We are warned against putting value on material possessions, accomplishments and status. One might wonder how to go about living while not putting value on these things. Well the IFB would have us believe that in order to do that we need to be as separate as possible so we aren’t tempted and influenced by sinful pleasures. This misses the point, however, as we can see in this passage that “worldly” simply means material distractions or things that don’t have eternal value not necessarily sinful things and there’s no mention of separating out selves from those things. The message is caution regarding where we put our “love” or emphasis. This is similar to Colossians 3:1-17 discussed below. (Isn’t it so freeing to know that we don’t have to give up everything life has to offer? We just need to be careful that it isn’t the main focus in our lives.)
  4. Colossians 3:1-17 – This is an interesting passage because it pretty much echoes 1 John 2:15-17 in that the thrust of the passage is to focus on things that offer eternal value. The defining verse is verse 3: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (KJV). The word “affection” is an interesting translation. The meaning of affection now is a feeling of closeness or regard, fondness. That’s not quite what it meant in King James’ time. There’s an archaic meaning that has lost it’s value over the years which is a willful deliberateness, mindful, purposeful. So with that in mind the KJV should read: “Set your [purpose] on things above, not on things on the earth.” Looking at the etymology we see that the word that’s being translated here is Boulomai (Boulomai – boo’-lom-ahee) which is a main purpose or a method of living that focuses on those things that have eternal value(1). This isn’t a command or even a suggestion to separate from earthly/temporary things, but a refocusing, if you will, on a different priority. Given the etymology, the word “only” could be safely inserted into verse 3 giving us: “Don’t ONLY think about the things that are associated with living on earth, but make sure that you prioritize anything that has an eternal value associated with it” (wording mine). The rest of that passage in context then goes on to give us examples of what that might look like, but it’s not a proscription for separation.
  5. II Corinthians 2:14 – The Romans used to have a triumphal procession and ceremony where they would display their captives and treasures and burn incense to the gods. This is a metaphor, used by Paul to describe how he felt about the way God was using him in his ministry. Nothing here about separation. I’m not sure why it’s included in this list.

Here’s a little more about the passages mentioned in the lists above:

    1. “Mark them” (Philippians 3:17-18)

      This verse is actually telling us to “mark” or pay attention to those who follow Christ’s example. This isn’t telling us to “mark” or watch out for “schismatics and apostates”.

    2. “Avoid them” (Romans 16:17-18)

      This passage is a warning to avoid false teachers – kind of like I’m doing with this site – warning people against the false IFB teachers.

    3. “Identify them’! (I Timothy 1:20; II Timothy 1:15,4:14)

      To be honest, I have no idea what 1 Timothy 1:20, 2 Timothy 1:15 and 2 Timothy 4:14 have to do with this doctrine. I’m truly baffled by this one.

    4. “From such turn away” (II Timothy 3:5)

      This verse, in context, is about people who pretend to be religious, but reject God. Paul was warning Timothy about people who are just going through the motions and practicing a “counterfeit” (See verse 8) religion taking advantage of vulnerable individuals (much like the IFB preys on vulnerable people).

    5. “Reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11)

      The “them” this verse is refering to are the evil deeds and sinful behaviors in one’s life, NOT people and NOT sin in other people’s lives. We are to keep our distance from things that are sin in our lives.

    6. “Have no fellowship with them” (Ephesians 5:11)

      See “Reprove them” above. The correct interpretation is “don’t take part in these activities/behaviors” (ironically the NLT gets this one right. “Fellowship” is the wrong word and the reason why KJV users are confused about this verse. Back in King James’ time “fellowship” meant to partake of. That’s not what it means now. Fellowship means a relationship or association with a person. The correct interpretation is “to partake of”. We are taught to not partake in things that are sinful us.

    7. “Be not unequally yoked together with” (II Corinthians 6:14-16)

      This is about business partnerships – see above.

    8. “Come out from among them” (II Corinthians 6:17)

      This is about business partnerships – see above.

    9. “Reject them” (Titus 3:10)

      The context of this verse is Titus 3:9-11. When read in context this is clearly about “foolish discussions over spiritual pedigrees (genealogies) or…Jewish laws”. It really has nothing to do with “doctrinal schismatics and apostates”. It’s more about pious self-righteousness and pride.

    1. “Note that man” (II Thessalonian 3:14)
    2. “Withdraw yourself” (II Thessalonian 3:14)
    3. “Have no company with” (II Thessalonian 3:14)

      2 Thessalonians 3 is Paul’s final instructions to the Church at Thessalonica. He makes a prayer request in verses 1-5 and then an exhortation in verses 6-15. The exhortation includes instructions on how to handle people who were lazy in the church. Remember that back then the church was a backbone of the economy. It wasn’t a non-profit organization like we have today. It was crucial for everyone to pull their own weight in bringing food for the winter months and working to help the sick and feed the poor. Paul was telling them to take note of the people who weren’t obeying Paul’s instructions and to let them experience motivation through their own guilt and shame for not pulling their weight. This verse is about people in the church not secular society. If we go on to verse 15 we see that Paul even tells them to not think of those people as enemies, but to warn them in tough love fashion.

    4. “Rebuke them sharply” (Titus 1:13)

      This passage is also about false teachers, people who teach wrong doctrines and lead others to a personal opinion rather than scriptural truth (kind of like the IFB).

    5. “Admonish him as a brother” (II Thessalonian 3:15)

      See comment on 2 Thessalonian 3:14 above.

    6. “Count him not an enemy” (II Thessalonian 3:15)

      See comment on 2 Thessalonian 3:14 above.

    7. “Keep not company” (I Corinthians 5:11)

      Read onto verse 12. This is about people in the church who are believers and blatantly and openly sinning. It’s NOT about a rogue responsibility to judge society.

    8. “With such an one, no, not to eat” (I Corinthians 5:11)

      See above

    1. Jude 22-23, “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Be it further resolved that while’ adhering to this separatist position, we “let brotherly love continue” – Hebrews 13:1.

      Jude 17-23 (context) is about using discernment when sharing the gospel. Some people will need a gentle approach while others will need a more firm approach. It is our responsibility to rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance in any given situation while taking care to not be pulled into the sins of others.

      Regarding Hebrews 13:1… do you see how the IFB uses this verse? “…while adhering to this separatist position, we ‘let brotherly love continue'”? Well that’s not the message of Hebrews 13. The IFB would have us believe that we show love while simultaneously judging and rejecting people when we judge them to be in error or sin. That’s not what Hebrews 13:1 says! The message of Hebrews 13:1 is that we are to love people with true Christian love despite what people do, how they act or what they believe. The is an epitome of the IFB’s twisting of scripture. They’ve taken a passage of scripture and, based on a false doctrine of separation (or rather because of a faulty belief in separation), have twisted it’s meaning and manipulated it to align with their way of thinking. It’s a belief followed by finding scripture to support that belief rather than basing beliefs on true scripture. This is an EXTREMELY subtle and dangerous practice.

With correct Biblical exegesis we can see that some of the above scripture references do create a message of caution about certain circumstances. The thing to remember, however, is that these were specific instances and problems that are found in a body of believers NOT believers finding problems and sin in the general population. These do not give us license to judge others (See Matthew 1:1) or to develop a doctrine of separation from people who we think should fit into these categories. The general message is NOT separation, but rather caution and discernment and then distancing ourselves if deemed necessary. This is to be done ON AN INDIVIDUAL CASE BY CASE BASIS. There is nothing we can extract from these verses that give us sweeping authority to judge and separate ourselves as a group/denomination from those we’ve (wrongly) judged. This doctrine of separation doesn’t have a leg to stand on when proper hermeneutics is applied.


(1) The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. (n.d.). Boulomai. Retrieved from


  1. Jim Battle, In due respect to your reply to John’s erroneous outline concerning IFB, keep in mind that every local church has “wrong’s” within its membership, including the Pastor. This John character sounds to be very much among the liberal media, even though he could be somewhat moderate (my opinion). I am a long-standing member of an IBC and John has taken good scripture out of context which is clearly because scripture is spiritually discerned and cannot be understood by the carnal mind. With any denomination, you’ll find a few that are judgemental, Laodicean, or gimmick/entertainment centers. Finally, if I felt as he does, I would not attend an IFB Church. As for me, I have found that IBF churches are closer to God Word than any other. If you follow their Doctrine, you will be as safe as can be in a local church.

  2. You told a lot of truth about the IFBs. I used to be one of them. However, 2Corinthians 6:17 is clearly a command. “Be not” which means “Don’t be” is a command. Whenever the Bible says “Don’t be” it is giving a command, it is not just cautioning us. So I will not form any partnerships with unbelievers and idolaters although the Bible commands me to stay with my wife if she is an idolater or unbeliever because I married her before I became a Christian. So please be careful not to use scriptures wrong to build your case against the IFBs. Just use the few verses that do show where they are wrong.

    1. In 2 Corinthians 6:17 Paul is quoting a verse in Isaiah, he’s not giving a command. Paul can’t give commands anyway, only God can.

  3. In leading us to the Lord’s Supper, my pastor just likened people who leave our Church to Judas Iscariot and thereby to Satan. He further demonized people who leave us by labeling them as betrayers and equated their betrayal of us with Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of our Lord Jesus Christ. He then called for our church to shun contact with those brothers or sisters in Christ who leave our church. My son recently the left our church to be with his fiance at her church, with her family. It was a difficult choice but the right one for him and his intended. I have been crying for over 4 days over what my pastor said; and, I did not go to church today because of it. I thank you for your article as I am searching for truth and resolution in this devastating circumstance. I believe my pastor abused his authority out of his own hurt pride. How can what he said be biblical?
    Did he abuse his authority?

    1. Pastors do not have any authority – at least they aren’t supposed to. Scripture never bestows authority on a pastor. Pastors are supposed to serve, guide, be an example and lead NOT provide authority (see 1 Peter 5:1-4). Only the scripture and the Trinity can have authority over a believer’s life. What he said isn’t scriptural and yes he’s being abusive and manipulative. Get away, as far away as possible as fast as possible.

    2. @ Deborah . Dont be worried. I had the same experienced. When I came out of the a local church, I felt, may be I was wrong. Sometimes, I feel loneliness and hard to be adjust with other believers. Later on everything became normal when I prayed and maintained relationship with God. I think IFB keeps people in fear that they cant leave the church. Once you accept Christ, you are saved for forever. Nothing and no one can separate us from the love of God.Pastor was trained that way, He also trains other people the same way. Our accountability is to Christ, not pastor. He is not a controller. I recently broke up with a lady from IFB. Her issues were music and Sabbath day. If you like , I can have fellowship with you.I believe your age is like my mom. here is my Thank you

  4. Corinthians Chapter 6
    1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

    Matthew Chapter 7
    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    2 Corinthians
    Chapter 11..4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him…12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    Philippians 3 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

  5. If you don’t agree with the IFB’s practice and doctrine in your local church, then find another church. If you don’t think these values are for you, then find a non IFB church. It really is that simple. Owning your own life and decisions means choosing these things. If you want to continue whining about how awful your old church was (unless they were participating in pedophelia in the worldwide ring which includes a LOT of people and cultures and groups), or some other grievous sin, or are otherwise inherently illegal and wrong, Then they need to be in jail. Otherwise, why would you not be free to carry on your life and own your choice and not drag yourself down (and others with you) with bemoaning their wrongs on you forever? Henry Cloud (NOT an IFB but a Christian boundaries expert) says, “Pull the tooth”.

    1. Your objections are answered many times through the site and comments. Please read them for more information.

    2. Been there done that 25 years

      Pull the tooth?? Please dont comment on ” Tooth pulling” unless you’ve had an abscess!! Do you realize that when your whole family and best friends go to these churches , that your “CUT OFF” from them and the pastor will tell the members and members will tell their kids to stay away and shun u ..OUT OF LOVE Of course..What Heretical nonsense. You’ll get right because you wanna be with your family but you’ll spend the next 5 years proving yourself from ONE WRONG When theres over 600 other commandments in the bible that they’re neglecting to address that everyone else is doing but it gets over looked and people develop thier own rules..It destroys families and never works ..It cast kids out that have never been in the world and are helpless when they get out there. Satan loves when IFB kids get out. He devours them..What heretical damnable doctrine this is!!!

  6. Reading this post was interesting, and you had many relevant points about the IFB movement in specific that could also just as easily apply to the whole Evangelical Movement generally. We should all take these points to heart, whether we are IFB or otherwise. It is true that some Christian groups have read those “Separationist” Passages (especially of Paul’s) and have used them as an excuse for being mean-spirited. You are right to point out that The Scripture does not give any of us the right to be nasty, or to condone prejudice or bullying in the name of “separation”. And you are right to point out that we are not to manipulate or coerce people to agree with our views, even when our view is the right view. And that we are to love people despite what they do, how they act, or what they believe.

    That being said, however, I am afraid I disagree with your larger premise. The Scripture in fact DOES teach a doctrine of Separation, and ironically you yourself kept coming close to pointing that fact out throughout your own article, and had you pushed some of your valid points to their logical conclusion, you yourself would have likewise been making an argument FOR at least a mild form of Separationism. The truth is that if we are to be honest, the “Come-Out-Of-Babylon” motif is EVERYWHERE throughout The Scripture, and one would almost have to be blind not to see it.

    Born Again, Baptized Believers ARE called to be distinct in our behavior and worship, but that is not all. Our distinctiveness goes beyond that. It is an understood precept of Bible Religion that God’s People SHOULD be as completely separate from this world as The Scripture allows us to be. And that DOES mean we should leave off as best as possible everything that is even the least remotely associated with “worldliness”. You say that is a tall order, but according to Scripture, it is easy for the true Believer because by His Indwelling Spirit we are enabled to keep His Commandments as that He has now written them in our HEARTS. So that as the Apostle John noted, “His Commandments are NOT grievous (heavy, burdensome). Contrary to what so many these days would rather preach, The Bible DOES give Believers the right to judge others. In fact, Scripture COMMANDS every Believer to judge, but to “judge in righteousness”. Yes, we are to judge others. We are given the responsibility to do so. What we do NOT have the right to do is SENTENCE others. that alone is God’s job.

    As much as id possible, we SHOULD avoid mixing with nonbelievers. But that does NOT mean isolating ourselves in some hermitage.

    Some so-called Christian people these days are comfortable with an idea that it is perfectly acceptable for Believers to blend in to the world, to assimilate into the surrounding culture. But if we take the Revealed Verses of Sacred Scripture both seriously and literally in their plain sense, it apparently is entirely NOT alright in God’s Eyes for Believers to blend in to the mass cultures of the World. This is not simply a matter of men “over-interpreting” Passages of The Bible to fit into a prefabricated Separationist imagining. No, we are talking about the plain sense meaning of the Text (and not just the few you exegeted here, but the overall Bible including The Old Testament). According to the Text, it was clearly the Apostolic belief that Believers abide “separately” from the cultural practices of the larger world.

    Biblically, then we are not supposed to accommodate to the modern cultural standards of this World. We are supposed to be “separate”. That is the Apostolic position. We are not to just be “discerning” or “cautious” . . . we are to be SEPARATE. Bible Faith is not merely a matter of adherence to certain beliefs, doctrines, or even worship practices. True Bible Faith is fully holistic, encompassing ALL areas and avenues of life. More than a collage of doctrinal statements, Bible Faith is an all-encompassing lifestyle and culture in and of Itself. As Believers, we are supposed to maintain and uphold a distinctive Bible-based Culture, as PART of our religious practice and observance. As much as clean-living, charity, honesty, lovingkindness, and hard-work are part of real Bible Faith, so the distinction of Bible-based Culture is also part of that Faith.

    So where concerning the IFB movement your criticisms of self-righteousness and exclusivism might be right, and well-deserved (as I am sure they are), I am afraid it is the IFB who are right when it comes to the basic premise of the Separation of the Believer from the worldly culture, even if for you and maybe some others, such a life of complete surrender, self-sacrifice, and submission to God’s Divine Lordship is a “tall order”, or maybe too “hard of a word to bear”, it IS the biblical position.

    1. Raffi, You’re wrong! You’re the epitome of the point he makes in his pemise in this article! Read Matthew 7:1! Only God can judge you far right-wing Pharisee!!! You are mean, sick and cruel.

      1. Brian, what you wrote would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Take a moment and reread what you wrote. Can you not see how judgmental your words are here, all the while you are calling Raffi judgmental?

        1. Lynn, there are different types of judgment and you are conflating them (as does the IFB). The type of judgment that Jesus warned against is the judgment that the IFB does which is to judge people’s hearts, salvation, relationship with God, status of sinfulness on the manmade sinfulness hierarchy scale, etc. We aren’t supposed to be judging other people in those ways.

          We are allowed to make a judgment call (make a decision or come to a conclusion) about whether we think someone is wrong or not. That’s a completely different type of judgment than what the IFB does with their separatist mentality.

          The IFB has a separatist mentality because they teach that in order to be saved and to be a good person and have a right standing with God you need to ________________________ (fill in the set of standards to live by) and then they judge a person’s heart and standing with God based on their set of rules. For example, in one of the churches attended growing up, women weren’t allowed to change their hair color. I remember one girl from the high school went to college and when she came back to visit, her hair was a different color. They shamed her and used her as an example of what can happen when you’re influenced by the world and they openly questioned her salvation because of it. This is exactly what the Pharisees were doing and exactly what Jesus said they shouldn’t do.

          The IFB is notorious for this type of judgment and it’s highly toxic. What Brian is doing and what I’m doing with this website is a different type of judgment – we are judging (coming to the conclusion) that with the IFB is doing is wrong and we are explaining why. That’s not the same thing.

          1. Praise the Lord Brother what you are doing is correct The IFB says that they seperate from Unbelievers but actually they eat drink and also wear clothes stiched by them very funny and also Brother I a former IFB

    2. Raffi, well said. (thumbs up)

  7. In your introductory paragraph you wrote that the IFB “prides itself” on its doctrine of separation. So true! Ironically, where ever pride is mentioned in scripture it’s in a negative context and is never recommended for God’s people. Having spent decades in the IFB wilderness wanderings, I know that they are proud of their separation as though they invented it. The pride I’ve seen co-exists with carnal ambition and is wrapped up in sacred trade lingo. This results in an obnoxious smugness that makes them difficult to interact with. Then one day I was reading Jude and found this nugget: “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” (vs. 19). Yeah, I know the context is mockers, but the smugness I’ve seen in the IFB is indistinguishable from the sensual ones. My recommendation for a smug one in the IFB is that they make sure they have the Spirit, and not “separate” themselves like the Pharisee in Luke 18, who prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are…”

  8. I don’t know who who publishes this website, but I am certain that it must be a bitter person who was one a member of an Independent Baptist Church, and who had his “feelings hurt” in one way or another.

    No IFB church I have ever known of believes that they are the only ones who have all the right answers. Yes, they have strong convictions. Yes, sometimes IFB people can be a little over the top when it comes to judging people.

    I’ve been there, and I know!

    But, they are the first to admit that they are imperfect sinners, saved by grace, and that there are NO perfect churches, just as there are no perfect Christians.

    The author of this website would do better in working to critique and expose churches and denominations practicing REAL apostasy and error. (After he learns his Bible a little better!)

    IFB churches and IFB people aren’t perfect, but they are GOOD PEOPLE!

    1. Yawn.

      So since “No IFB church [YOU] have ever known of…” then there must not be any right?

      The author of this website thanks you for providing a perfect example of what he’s “bitter” about.

      1. Then Pull the Tooth and move on. Own your decision. I joined the IFB’s because It was what I was looking for. If I was looking for something else, I would have joined some other thing. I don’t mourn and moan over the denominations of my past, because I like the one I am in (not a denomination technically, since they are congregational and not under an umbrella. I prefer the word “sect”).I feel They teach the word where others pick one verse and invent their feelings over an hour on it. You may prefer that. I do not. The IFB’s I have sat under (visiting when traveling) refer a BUNCH of verses, or entire chapters or books. Very different from the other, lighter denominations. BUT there is no guard at the door preventing folks from leaving. If there is, that is a cult and there is something wrong. If God stands for anything it is OUR right to choose to love Him or not. Everything is a choice. Own that.

        1. You’ve obviously been indoctrinated by the IFB because it seems as if you enjoy telling people what to do. God has called me to this ministry not you. If you don’t like it then take your own advice and move on.

    2. JGross.
      You are definitely Brainwashed. God Bless you. Pastor Jonathan Edward Mann.

    3. Yes J.Goss, there are Christians in the IFB churches that do teach the Scripture but they are in a minority. What I see is nothing less than total condemnation from their pulpits, finger pointing, fa and condemning others to hell because of the clothing or jewelry they wear, the Bible version they read, and they demand for total conformity. God help you if you visit one of their churches and your wife is wearing a pant suit, and they find out you play canasta with our friends or have a pool table in your basement.

      1. Then don’t go to an IFB church. Your choice.

  9. If I used that same philosophy I would have to treat them this same way. However we need to read each scripture in context and take into consideration the entire paragraph and what God is really saying. The analogy story is exactly what it’s like. They believe that if you leave an IFB church, you had better choose another IFB Church or you’re out of sync and headed for destruction.

    1. Or not. Who’s in control of your lie? You? Then it’s your CHOICE. I am part of one by CHOICE and am happy with my choice. If I wasn’t happy here, I would not be here. This is still America, ostensibly. If we really think we have no choice, then join the Muslims and see some real legalism. Understand too , I joined the IFB’s as an adult in my 40’s, having spent many years as a New Ager and several years born again but without a “label”. Went to Pentacostal churches and non denominational churches. Was not entirely happy with their lack of doctrine, and lack of full bible explanation. Also, be aware that it is not the church’s job to read your bible for you. It is all the responsibility of the individual to read it and seek to understand it, and the purpose of the Pastor is to shed light on some things that may be unclear, and to preach the whole word, but it is like pulling teeth to get Christians to read their own bibles. Unless you drag your Preacher with you at all times, he can’t explain everything or read it or you. We have even bought the Bible on CD (read by the beautiful voice of James Earl Jones) for certain folks, and yet they still could not be bothered to listen to it passively. “2 Tim 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
      Regardless of what the Preacher says, YOU are still responsible for your own life and choices.

      1. Choices aren’t an option when one is brainwashed by a cult. Maybe one day you will realize that just as we have. I urge you to stop drinking the KoolAide before you die.

  10. Wow. I didn’t realize it was that bad. I knew that IFB churches were radical in their faith and were anti-baby baptism, but didn’t realize just how deep they were in the resolution of seperation. Christ said there is one church, one body. Where do they get the idea that it is ok to say “you do things your way and we’ll do it the right way…but we still love and accept you. We just won’t work with you.” That does not hold up to the one body scripture…and if, in fact, they are a strictly new testament church they should be a totally inclusive denomination…not exclusive…getting of my soap box now…

    1. Babies are not to be says it throughout Acts,what must I do to be baptized?believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.Can you tell me how many babies believe ? ZERO!!! And it doesn`t wash away sin like the Catholics believe, the BLOOD does & this author is wrong about many things,especially about NEVER judgeing but I can show you @ least 12 verses that say righteous judgement is OK & commanded & he is wrong about homosexuality not being a sin,visit Sodom today.

      1. “What must I do to be SAVED” – Acts 16:30 – NOT baptized! There is no scriptural proscription against baby baptism. Some faiths teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. I don’t personally believe that, but it’s not for us to judge those who do believe that.

        This author never claimed to be right about everything so please show us your 12 verses that say righteous judgment is OK and commanded. I will be glad to reconsider my stance against judging if you are correct.

        Homosexuality and sodomy are different topics. There isn’t one passage of scripture that says homosexuality is a sin (at least not when properly interpreted).

      2. Bruce, it may help you if you found out WHY some churches baptize babies.

        I did and what I found is that they believe as circumcision was the rite of entrance into the Old Covenant, baptism if the rite of entrance into the New Covenant. They do not view it as a salvation issue at all, but simply a rite as commanded by Jesus “o therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
        While I can see their reasoning, I believe in believers baptism – something that I myself was committed to do.

    2. Amen. I just left a Independent Church in the Baptist way of there life’s and not mine and they were judging me on my Marriage. I told them about my Marriage and they told me I was in sin. I told them I have had no Physical contact and we’re getting officially married by a Pastor like myself in Caribou ME soon.please be careful of these Independent Baptist Churches. I had no idea until now about them. God Bless you for your website. Pastor Jonathan Edward Mann. Christian Minister.

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