Bible InstituteChurch History ClassDan Eberly
Preface:My hope is to throw some light on the very movement of which
I am involved. I am excited to write about that which is current,
ongoing, and I am apart of every day. That certainly does not mean it is
all together totally right and the only bastion of truth. With that
said, I would clarify that I am a fundamental Baptist preacher and
missionary in an independent fundamental Baptist church. First an
foremost I am a born again Christian, who is a Bible believer. I have
learned (an am still learning) to follow the principles of God as I
understand them and not follow man except he follow the Bible and Jesus
Christ. 1Cor. 11:1
Intro: It would help
to give some definitions of the words being thrown around (even in my
title). I want to say these definitions are Webster’s and the way we
‘should’ understand them. This may not be the way they are understood or
put forth by many in the movement.
Modern – Pertaining to the present time, or time not long past; late
Fundamental – Pertaining to the foundation or basis; serving for the
foundation. Hence, essential; important; as a fundamental truth or
principle; a fundamental law. A leading or primary principle, rule, law
or article, which serves as the ground work of a system; essential part;
as the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
believe a Fundamentalist would have to use the King James Bible!
Independent – Not dependent; not subject to the control of others;
not subordinate. A local church that is not subject to any superior
authority but Jesus Christ, and able to perform every act of church’s
affairs as the Bible allows and guides.
4)Baptist – As a contraction
of Anabaptist, one who denies the doctrine of infant baptism, and any
saving grace attached to it, and believes that baptism ought to be
administered only to saved individuals by immersing them in water.
What is the
Modern Fundamental Independent Baptist Movement supposed to be?
definitions and departing or adjusting as I see fit it would be as
ØAn indeterminate number of local
assemblies (Churches) who are obeying and practicing the commands and
instructions for the New Testament church in obedience to Jesus Christ.
ØThese same churches would only use the
King James Bible for faith and practice. Their goal would be to adhere
as closely as possible to the scriptures and live godly lives in a dark
and sinful world.
ØThese churches would hold to the Baptist
distinctives as they understand them, and would seek to promote unity
and fellowship accordingly.
the Modern Fundamental Independent Baptist Movement (MFIBM) in 2010?
If we consider the above attempt at a lengthy but hopefully
clear and distinctive synopsis of what the MFIBM is about, then where is
it found? How is it doing in fulfilling the Great Commission? How is it
the “right” movement and not the others?
All through the centuries back to the beginnings of the church
there has been a called out people who simply obeyed the commands of
scripture. They obeyed from the heart the things they were told to do
and served with joy their King. Now, a perfect man we will not find but
we should be able to find the movement that began some 2,000 years ago.
Simply put what was begun with Jesus Christ was a Christian
movement, followers of Christ. Christ came and preached the
of God. A Kingdom
that dwelt in the hearts of born again believers. Rightly said it may be
referred to as “Christ on the throne of our hearts” dwelling in His
kingdom. If that is the case and it is, then a yielded Christian then
and today would and should be considered of the same mind. All through
religious history the battle has been fought by a few to remain
separated from any and all things that were not sound doctrine and did
not promote holy living. Whether 65AD or 2010AD we would hope to find
this separated group of believers.
This movement grew in great part to the zeal of early Christians
and their desire to obey the Bible. Today that same group should have
those same characteristics. If we are looking for the MFIBM today then
that is what we should be looking and we should find it.
Today we see a decline in the study of God’s word. Christians are
enamored with the world and consider it their playground. The focus has
moved away from Jesus Christ and the will of God to the flesh and self
interest. I give a short list of the primary reasons for a declining
the blending together of all faiths, denominations and creeds
Separation – Dress, Music, Worldly Entertainment & associations
from the KJV – any version will do, there is no single authoritative
little emphasis on literal interpretation of scripture, embrace
higher criticism of the bible, tears down everything fundamentalism
I hope to give some clear
cut reasons the MFIBM is fading not getting bigger. Today there seems to
be a remnant in the remnant of believers. We have modern churches,
fundamental churches, independent churches, and Baptist churches, but
what about Modern Fundamental Independent Baptist Churches. We have some
big churches, little churches, rich churches and poor churches but we
don’t seem to have the Power of God in and on the church like the early
Christians did. Why are there fewer and fewer modern fundamental
independent Baptists? And churches?
The Move away from The
King James Bible
What is this King James only controversy? I am King James only.
That to me means I only trust and believe the 1611 King James Bible to
be the Word of God. It is the ‘only’ bible translated from the right
Greek and Hebrew texts so that means it is the only right translation.
Why this is such a controversy would be beyond me if I didn’t know the
other side of the KJV only controversy. Let me just say that some
believe that the KJV is advanced revelation, and that it is a
re-inspiration from God. I believe it is not advanced revelation but the
inspired word of God in no less power and authority than the original
autographs. If I didn’t believe that God preserved His inspired
revelation to man for me now in my KJV well than I might just as well
throw it in the trash. God’s inspiration carries on through His
preservation. I believe with strong conviction that the KJV is the only
preserved word for the English people. Many though have moved on or
should I say backslid to the NKJV or some other plate full of serpent’s
The Watered Down
Preaching– The Preachers Fault
What happened? How can it be that the preaching today in some ‘so
called’ fundamental independent Baptist churches is so watered down you
would think an Episcopalian pastorette was preaching. The preaching has
been relegated to the back seat while the music is moved into the
driver’s seat. That is another topic altogether. It is not enough to
open the bible and say some relevant things. God said “preach the word.”
The problem lies in a least two areas.
There is the preacher who doesn’t study but just gets up and
yells out his same points that get their amen’s, but never
really helps anybody. There is no real teaching or feeding of
the flock. The great truths and principles are never taught to
the people. They go away hungry because the preacher never fed
them. Because there is a lack of personal study by the preacher
he cannot give to the people what he has not learned himself.
Preaching is also not a popularity contest, nor is the pulpit a
place to beat the sheep. The goal of the pastor is to feed the flock
good sound doctrine not moldy bread. When a man takes his place behind
the pulpit he should know his subject. He should preach what God has
given him and deliver the message in the power of God. My point is many
good churches begin to lose people because they are not being built up
and strengthened in the word of God. Sunday’s are the time when the same
things are yelled out over and over to the benefit of no one. We know we
should use the KJV, we know women shouldn’t wear britches, and we know
only heathen go to the movies, sic. I am not saying we shouldn’t preach
strong messages but not at the expense of prayerful study of the word of
God and give people the whole counsel of God.
The other side and problem area is the preacher who doesn’t call
sin, sin! He just will not name some sins from the pulpit. I can
think of two reasons why; he is afraid of offending someone in
the congregation or he is neck deep in that sin. So, every
Sunday the bible is preached but with care not to step on toes
or rub the cat the wrong way. This preacher is not pasturing his
church but he is a compromiser, because he will not say what
needs to be said. He has watered down the preaching not by what
he says but by what he doesn’t say!
Churches are starving and growing weaker because they are not
getting the whole counsel of God. Paul said his hands were clean and
conscience clear because he had not shunned to preach it all to
There are probably several reasons why this happens but I think
the main two reasons are pastors dabbling in sin and also afraid their
numbers will drop if they preach hell fire against sin in the church.
They think somebody (the biggest tithers they think) is going to up and
leave church. The preacher who will not be honest before God and preach
the word isn’t worth the powder to blow him up! Shame on us if we fail
in this vital area of growing the church.
The Move away from God
honoring Music and Standards.
The music in many MFIB churches today is the very reason (along
with their move away from the KJV) that within a few years they will
lose any power they had with God at all. The standards in all areas will
grow weaker and their outreach to the lost will be less and less. The
outward vision for souls will turn inward more and more as the flesh
seeks to please itself.
Some of us are labeled Pharisees and legalists (though they have
no idea what a biblical legalist is) because we take a strong stand on
how we live. That would include what we watch, our music, dress,
friends, and places we would go. How we would entertain ourselves should
be of less importance than how the world sees us. We can have some fun
in social gatherings with other Christians but we need to take care of
that becoming the focus of all gatherings.
The Lack of Separation
with the World – James 4:4
Christians today think they can be a friend of the world and a
friend of God. Scripture tells us that is impossible! You are the enemy
of God if you are a friend of the world. The bible tells us that: JohnFor all that is in the world, the
lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is
not of the Father, but is of the world. So, we must choose who we are
going to be friends with but not both. Why? God will not be second and
the world hates God. It has got to be one or the other. Today the church
knows this but still choose the world at the expense of their
relationship with God. The desire today even in good churches with high
standards and strong preaching, is that we find a larger and larger
fringe group that loves their electronics, entertainment and earthly
treasures more than God.
church grows weaker everyday with less impact on the world around it.
More playtime means less service time. More entertainment means less
bible reading let alone actual study. Later and later night’s means less
morning time devoted to bible study amd prayer. There is no line in the
sand or gauntlet thrown down that says enough! The Christian today says
I want both. I want to be saved and be a friend of the world. What a sad
Christians today will not separate and live holy lives. They refuse to
put away the toys that weaken and distract them. The home suffers from
lack of strong leadership and the children are reaping the consequences
of the fathers. Today a pastor has to almost beg people to serve the
Lord. If someone does start in a ministry they seldom finish their
course. Why? Because they are carnal! Serving God isn’t fun like xbox
Kinect, or mind numbing as T.V. or doesn’t appeal to the flesh like the
filth in movies or on the internet. Little do they realize the joy of
serving Jesus is a million times better. There is a true deep
fulfillment not superficial gratification for a moment. Moses knew the
difference we read in Heb.11:24-26. Paul knew he had to die daily and
walk in the Spirit so as not to fulfill the lust of his flesh. They
wanted to finish their course with joy.
Yes, a lack of separation and a lack of faith iin the Lord has weakened
the MFIBM. We are going the way of the same churches we preached against
just 20 years ago. The music worldly, the minister is a compromiser and
the men are spiritual mice!
Christians not Preaching
the Gospel of Repentance
I believe this is a big problem today in our Baptist churches. We
seem to want to tell the world God loves them and died on the cross for
their sins; but we stop short of their personal accountability for that.
The lost are told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and they will be
saved, and that is true. That belief cannot come at the cost of not
realizing their own responsibility for Christ Sacrifice. He had to die
because we are wicked sinners. We must preach that the sinner see his
condition and his standing before a Holy God. They have broken God’s Law
and are guilty, hell deserving sinners. The reason we got saved was
because someone told us how God sees us. Yes, He loves us and sent His
Son to die on a cross for us. The question is why? That is what needs to
be told to people that Jesus died for THEIR sins. They must see their
responsibility in this thing. They must be told they have to repent.
Turn around and away from their to God’s way. The sinner who sees
themselves as God sees them; lost, hell bound, guilty sinners now has
the broken ground that faith can take root in. This notion you just take
Jesus in your life and everything is fine, phooey! That sinful heart
needs to be cleansed, and forgiven.
Churches that are not preaching repentance wind up with a house
full of unregenerate members. People who got Jesus they say but never
got saved. This happens in fundamental independent Baptist churches all
the time. A church that increases it’s numbers at the expense of the
preaching of repentance in salvation will be in for a congregation who
looks inward instead of outward. This church will be more about social
gatherings and entertainment than preaching, prayer and fellowship. Many
good churches have forgotten or neglected to preach repentance and now
must suffer from struggle with at best nominal Christianity in their
What is the answer for bible believers
today who want to see the MFIBM grow?
Back to the Bible
The Bible was written by 40 different authors representing
some 19 different occupations (shepherd, soldier, farmer, fisherman, tax
collector, medical doctor, king, etc.) who lived during a period of some
1,600 years. That is approximately 50 generations. The first 39 books of
the Bible were written in the Hebrew language over a period of about
1,000 years. There was then a 400-year gap when no Scriptures were
written. After that, the last 27 books of the Bible were written in the
Greek language during a period covering roughly 50 years. The writers
could not have collaborated, because they did not live at the same time.
Yet the product is one book that fits together perfectly and contains no
contradictions or errors. There is nothing else like this in all of
man’s history. Some have claimed to have found mistakes in the Bible,
but I have studied it for years and any time I thought I found a
supposed error or contradiction, I have found that the Bible is true and
the critic is wrong. The only way back to a strong fundamental Baptist position is to
get back to the Book of books. There is only one (no pun intended) and
that is the King James Bible. Also let me say this that a return to the
bible is not enough but a diligent study of it and a obeying of its
commands. 2Tim.2:15It would suffice to love God’s word.
Preach the Book – Not your
opinions or convictions
As I have already stated we are to feed the flock. The preacher
that takes this duty of preaching seriously can and will be used of God
greatly to feed the flock of God. The people don’t need our opinions but
truth. Not our convictions but their own developed by strong, spirit
empowered preaching of the truth!
The church should always be encouraged to study the Book so they
are of a ready mind. The people should be good Bereans, daily searching
the scriptures. The man who preaches the word will be encouraged that
his people are growing because he took them to good pasture and
encouraged a good diet. Eat hearty of the eternal truths because that is
what we all need. Preach the word Paul said to Timothy – reprove, rebuke
and exhort with an attitude of longsuffering. This is what the church
needs and if their ear tickles let someone else scratch it.
Honour God in Our Churches –
Music, Worship, Standards
Music is one of the most potent tools in the devil’s hands. Today
in the church the devil is weakening entire works by slipping in the
world’s music under the guise of so called Christian songs. Too many
pastors and lay people are ignorant to the lure and power of music to
draw away Christians. If the music starts to slide in the church you can
be assured the dress standards will follow. Soon enough the sermons on
hell and sin will get weaker and few and far between. People will not
want hard preaching because they will be enamoured with the music,
entertainment and the compromise will have begun. The slide is always
slow and imperceptible to those many times that are in the church. Have
an outsider come in who may have been in the church only a year before
and they will see and hear the change.
Come out of the World and be
Separate - 2Cor.6:17
Before we know it this life we is over. We will stand before a holy
God and He will take account of our life of service.
Preach the Gospel of the
There is only one
gospel and that is repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus
Christ. It is believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus
Christ that we are saved. 1Cor 15:1-4,
Mark 16:15 "And he
said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every