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trc123
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With many years of the word "fundamentalism" or "fundamentalist" bearing a very negative connotation due to extremist muslims and christian sects like Westboro Baptist, has the use of the word "Fundamental" out lived its usefulness as an effective way of letting others know that Independent Fundamental Baptists are simply those believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ that hold to rudimentary and fundamental teachings of God's Word?

Seeing as the use of the word "fundamental" is not in the KJV and was not used with much frequency until the movement came along in the USA back in the 1920' to 1930's (G.B. Vick, J Frank Norris, etc.); why should current Bible believing, separated Christians continue to use the word?

What would be a more effective word to use by today's Independent Baptists to convey the same meaning, without using it?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
http://nation.foxnews.com/justice/2011/01/07/westboro-protesters-overwhelmed-100-patriots

Maybe we need to become Patriot Baptist

Notice the pic was more of the biker types than real Americans. ( I was scooter trash at one time myself)
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think "Independent Baptist" should be fine...because "Independent" is just that....not associated with anyone else.

Fundamentalism is definitely getting a bad name...for many reasons.


Good points.

We are reaching the point where it really doesn't matter what name a church goes by, one must do some close examining in order to determine just where they stand.

The attempt has been underway for years now to associate "fundamentalist" Muslims (you know, the "bad ones", as opposed to all those other 'religion of peace' sorts :icon_rolleyes: ), "fundamentalist" Mormons (the ones who practice currently illegal polygamy and marrying of young girls), with fundamentalist Christians (those really scary folks who actually take the Bible seriously and want to live by it!). Thanks to the mainstream media and liberal Christians, fundamentalists Christians are viewed by many as anything from odd or spooky to dangerous.

Sadly, the IFB churches in this area have gone the way of the world. Thankfully, most changed their name in the process, but a few still call themselves IFB though they no longer practice separation, they embrace worldly music, lowered or dropped modesty standards, replaced the KJB with some MV.
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No matter what term you come up to explain fundamentalist it will always be turned into a negative meaning by the media.



yes, it really doesn't matter. We might use it among ourselves in a reference to where we stand, but once the media and the world in general get hold of it, no name will be considered "honorable"
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I'm sticking with my guns for "separated" :makmiday:

Seems like separation is a thing of the past in Independent Baptist Churches. Anyways, I really do not think the name is a big deal, I think our reputation with the lost in our community is the bigger deal at hand.


Very good and true, but our reputation has been further tarnished by the continual association of "fundamentalist" with those who are evil and dangerous. For some, simply hearing that word causes their defenses to go up and their ears to close to us.

However, for those in our community who we interact, they should be able to see Christ in us and know that at least when it comes to us, the evil associated with "fundamentalist" doesn't describe us.
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Very good and true, but our reputation has been further tarnished by the continual association of "fundamentalist" with those who are evil and dangerous. For some, simply hearing that word causes their defenses to go up and their ears to close to us.

However, for those in our community who we interact, they should be able to see Christ in us and know that at least when it comes to us, the evil associated with "fundamentalist" doesn't describe us.


That is why when I dealing with those outside the church or our circle I tell them "I a Baptist just a plain Baptist."

BroMatt your right about the separation.
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Very good and true, but our reputation has been further tarnished by the continual association of "fundamentalist" with those who are evil and dangerous. For some, simply hearing that word causes their defenses to go up and their ears to close to us.

However, for those in our community who we interact, they should be able to see Christ in us and know that at least when it comes to us, the evil associated with "fundamentalist" doesn't describe us.


I'm sure it is different in certain areas of the country, but the people in my city do not categorize us by the label 'Fundamentalist", they more know us by what they have seen from our members. It is like the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Our community is watching our actions not what we call ourself. If we throw out fundamental, why are we keeping Baptist?
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I'm sure it is different in certain areas of the country, but the people in my city do not categorize us by the label 'Fundamentalist", they more know us by what they have seen from our members. It is like the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Our community is watching our actions not what we call ourself. If we throw out fundamental, why are we keeping Baptist?


Did not "Baptist" come before "Fundamental"?

As far as I thought, "Fundamental" came on later as Baptists seem to get more liberal..."Fundamental" was sort of the "Hyles" (etc) way of saying "We are Old Fashioned". Which was fine then...but due to the current bad connotation of "Fundamentalists" in our country, I'm not so sure its wise to hold onto the name as Baptists. I don't think throwing out that word has anything to do with being Baptist, or Independent Baptist.

I consider myself Independent Baptist...I no longer consider myself Independent Fundamental Baptist.....anyway....under what authority do we believe we are "Fundamental"? Whose "Fundamentals" are we following? The President's of a college? The pastor of an IFB megachurch? The Sword of the Lord? No, we are independent of all that...we follow the BIBLE...we follow God. We are under our local pastor, whom we follow as he follows Christ.

As a disclaimer, I speak for myself and not my husband, although I imagine he prefers the word "Independent" to "Fundamental"...but I do not know if he would completely throw it out or not. Nobody can deny the word has a terrible reputation these days though.

(Oh good...just asked my husband and he agrees...he considers himself a "Biblicist" and he is "Independent Baptist"...he does not like the word "Fundamental" any longer either. Glad I was not speaking apart from him this time.)
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What would be a more effective word to use by today's Independent Baptists to convey the same meaning, without using it?


Hellfire and brimstone "bigots"? :frog: Seriously, I haven't found a lot of people that rejected fundamental baptists because they didn't know what that really meant and were turned off by the name, I have found a whole lot more that rejected it because they did more or less know what it meant and didn't like what IFB's(most of them anyway) generally stand for.
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I'm sure it is different in certain areas of the country, but the people in my city do not categorize us by the label 'Fundamentalist", they more know us by what they have seen from our members. It is like the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Our community is watching our actions not what we call ourself. If we throw out fundamental, why are we keeping Baptist?


Agreed. It's typically those who don't know us (which happen to be the majority) that think ill of "fundamentalists". As we have said, those in our community should see Christ in us and know that attacks they hear against "fundamentalist Christians" don't fit with what they know of us.

Baptist is a name while fundamentalist is a descriptive. I'm not saying we have to drop any aspect of the name. The question is, what do we do when in this time when anything associated with fundamentalist is being painted as evil and more and more hearts, minds and doors are being closed to such...and what do we do as this gets worse?

As we know, the name Baptist used to say it all but today has become near meaningless as one can find Baptist churches ranging from very liberal to very conservative. The reason descriptives such as independent and fundamental were added to some Baptist churches was in order to distinquish them from all other Baptist churches.

Perhaps we could reframe the question to ask whether we may be entering a time when one or more new descriptive terms are needed in order for our churches to more clearly known for what they are, what they stand for?

It's not only a matter of the term fundamentalist becoming associated with evil, but the fact so many IFB churches today are joining the watery mainstream churches. Already in some areas IFB means no more than Baptist by itself because several churches calling themselves IFB have taken the liberal course.

With such being the trend it would seem likely that at some point IFB will no longer rightly distinquish who we are and will not give a proper description of us. What then?
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts and ideas. I understand the various and differing viewpoints.

I would like to add that we Christians in our local churches are sometimes very naive and do not necessarily have a clue what others in the outside "world" are saying or think about our local assembly. While I would like to think that the vast majority of our neighbors evaluate us on the merits of our Christ like conduct and speech alone, I fear that this is simply not the case.

It is my contention that given today's circumstances and context, when most of our neighbors see the sign in front of our churches or on our literature and it says, "an independent, fundamental, bible believing church" they almost assuredly conjure up thoughts of right-wing nut jobs like Westboro Baptist.

Also, insisting on using some variance of the word "fundamental" on your sign out front or on your outreach literature simply because it is a good word and because you are not going to let the world's crowd ruin or taint it is very much in the same vein as if one were to insist on using the word "gay" to describe them self, rather than saying they are a happy person. Both are good words and may be appropriate to describe things within the context of church members discussing things (or a bible study); but totally ineffective and counter-productive if one is attempting to convey to the outside world that they are bible believing separated followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and would like an opportunity to tell them about the Saviour.

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I heard a preacher speak about this many years ago. He didn't want to be aligned with folks like the jw's, etc., so the church renamed itself "The First Biblicist Baptist Church." A professor I had in college told me he thought we should start a new movement (not he and I...fundamental Baptists), to separate ourselves from those who claim to be fundamentalists but aren't truly. His term? Biblimentalist. He said, after all, that we should really have a Biblical mentality, not a fundamental one. :icon_mrgreen:

My mom's church is Independent Baptist. The pastor believes all the fundamentals of the faith and is a godly man who teaches truth to the congregation. But he doesn't want to be allied with the often pugnacious and obnoxious fundamentalists. Can't say I blame him. But I'm still IFB. :clapping:

trc - one thing I can honestly say: we in our church know exactly what folks outside our local assembly say and think about us. :lol:

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