I have a problem. For some time now, my husband has been blogging almost every Tuesday morning about the danger in our Independent Baptist churches. I have grown up Independent Baptist. My husband grew up in a little country Southern Baptist church. I went to an Independent Baptist college. My husband went to the University of Tennessee. We met and married in an Independent Baptist church. We have always served in an Independent Baptist church. I was bred an Independent Baptist while my husband chose to become an Independent Baptist in college. All of my siblings attend an Independent Baptist church. Most of our friends either attend or pastor an Independent Baptist church. So, I am well aware and conversed in the practices and methods of the Independent Baptist.
My husband started telling me years ago, not long after we were married, that he worried for the Independent Baptists. He is a well-read man of great books by men of old. He has watched the timeline of history through the pages of wise men of yesteryear. He was greatly burdened for our generation and the general attitude among us. The more he talked to me about it, the more scared I got. Did he know that if he became vocal that we would lose friends? That we would be black-balled and rejected? Did he know that we would be called liberal and compromisers? Did he know that people would gossip behind our backs and would stoop to even making things up as long as it would validate their position that we were rebel rousers? Did he not know that he would be told he was a rebel for even bringing up an issue to discuss? Rebels never question. If we started questioning things in our own world, we were done for! I know. I have seen and heard these types of things all my life. I knew what happened to people if they spoke their hearts.
A couple of years ago, he started blogging about his concerns. I facetiously told him it would be better if we just skipped the whole process and just went ahead and committed the cardinal sin and left our Independent Baptist world, than to endure the journey we were about to embark on. But he loves being an independent Baptist (little i). He loves our history. He loves that we answer directly to the Lord Jesus Christ. He loves that there is an emphasis on the literal word of God and its final authority in our lives. He loves the autonomy of the local church. He loves that we do not have to get permission or support financially anything thing that as a local assembly would grieve our conscience. He loves that we have soul liberty and the priesthood of the believer. He loves the emphasis on missions. He loves being an independent Baptist and the historical path that those before us have walked to obtain this independence. As much as he loves it, he does not love the direction that he sees us going. It has him on high alert.
This brings us to my problem. I don’t like what he writes. I don’t like the idea that people are going to be upset at us. I don’t like knowing that those I love think we are off the deep end. I don’t like people thinking that my husband is feeding rebels. I don’t like him blogging about the bad things of our own. I don’t like that he can’t seem to see the sunshine and roses part, but can only see the pits and thorns along the path. I don’t like that he has to be the one to say these things! Isn’t it just safer to sit in our house, and read what others are writing about this? Isn’t it better if we just talk in the privacy of our room, knowing that we agree with that author but never having to stick our neck out there? Wouldn’t it be better to just carefully share every now and then a blog we read instead of being the one to write it?!! My man hates confrontation. Why did he pick this? Can you see where I am coming from? See why I don’t like what my husband writes?
I sit and muse on this. I have argued with him on a few occasions. That man loves me more than anyone or anything in this world and I can talk him into a lot of things, but I have never been able to get him to quit writing on this stuff. I am always in agreement with what he says, it’s just the posting of it!! You know, the part where everyone will then know!! He always tells me that he is sorry. He loves me, but he knows that God has made it clear to him to try to help salvage and repair the walls of our movement that have been broken down by pride, hypocrisy, deceit, arrogance, man-worship, and a leaving of God’s Word to follow the traditions of men.
As I thought about the voices of the past that were used as a warning, I figured something out. I don’t like what my husband writes because I don’t want to be the one to make a sacrifice for truth. I want someone else to do that for me. Oh, I want all the perks of the politics. I want invited to other churches. I want my husband to get to preach in big meetings. I want others to be pleased with us and our service to God. I want all the political kisses, head patting’s, and tail wagging coming our way. I don’t want to have to feel unpleasant when you enter a room knowing that you will be talked about as soon as you leave it. Am I willing to drown on a sinking ship just so I don’t have to be the bearer of bad news that it’s going down? Am I willing to be the one to let others be mad at for now? If we all worked together, the ship may not sink at all!! If all hands are on deck and bailing out the water that is bogging us down, we don’t have to drown! The ship can be repaired!
I wonder what they thought of John the Baptist – the solo crier in the wilderness to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. I wonder what they thought of Daniel – the man who prayed knowing they were watching him. I wonder what they thought of Moses – demanding that they let God’s people go. I wonder what they thought of Jonah – preaching repentance or doom. I wonder what they thought of Paul– declaring that there was only one true God. I wonder what they thought of Stephen – who alone told the story of God’s redemption in the very court room that demanded his execution. I wonder what they think of the hundreds who at this very time of our history are being murdered for their faith in other parts of the world. Individual voices that shape the course of history.
I wonder why in the world I have a problem. Hiding from truth does not make it false. It is still truth. Not identifying with truths that I hold in my heart do not make it all better. Ask Nicodemus. He was a silent Christian – sneaking around after dark to talk to Jesus so that no one would see him and label him. It took the crucifixion to shake him up and bring him out of hiding. It became very personal and so he had to do something then. He boldly asked for the body of Christ. I have a problem because I care more about what people think of me in the here and now, then I do in the big picture of our spiritual health. Shame on me.
Many are speaking up. Many have decided that it is personal because it involves our families and our children. Many feel that we live in a time that opinionated pettiness has no place, and the Word of God has power and can change lives! Many feel that it is time to get our eyes off of the pastor and back on Jesus.
I still don’t always like what he writes. Sometimes I look forward to them like a trip to the doctor. But, I know they are necessary. I know that if I care about the future of my children and grandchildren taking seriously what God’s Word truly says, then it must start with my willingness to be examined if I am following God or a set of man-made traditions. A regular, detailed examination leads to catching diseases before they are deadly.
I am glad my husband has stayed true to what God has called him to do. I am glad that he loves our independent baptists enough to try to help heal it. Sometimes a wound must be scraped of infection before it will ever heal. Sometimes a limb must be lost to save a body. I am glad he has cared more for the approval of God than the politics of the brethren. I am glad God is using him and men like him to stand strong in the admonition of the Lord. I am honored to be his wife!
Jimmy’s Independent Baptist Truth Revolution Series
13 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Like What My Husband Writes”
Reblogged this on The Reagan Review and commented:
It was surprising. Some time before I came through and asked my wife Alicia what she was writing and she kind of did not answer. I thought little of it. Later, I came through again and she said I am blogging on “Why I don’t like what my husband writes.” As I said, that was surprising.
Words did not come as that was hard to process. She said, “Is that bad?”
I replied, “No, it sounds catchy.” Real catchy! Then she read it to me.
That is when I realized even more fully just what a dilemma dealing with some of these issues I write on in this Truth Revolution series actually is for some folks. That is not to say, though, that I haven’t dealt with some hard things over people incensed with any rocking of the boat I have contributed to. Still, for those who were raised from birth to accept all thoughts pre-thought for you, this can be unsettling.
Perhaps this explains the many who would agree with me and those others who write on this general subject, yet have little to say about it. They carefully leave no public trail that can be followed to their real opinions. I offer no criticism for it, but I must admit to being rather mystified over it at times.
Perhaps what my wife Alicia feels proves just how hard it is. If you know her, you know that speaking her mind is not a struggle for her. That it would be in this one case shows how griping the tentacles of guilt and how strong the ties nailed down in one’s youngest days are.
Does this not prove something is amiss? If you are afraid of what someone is going to say or do, does not that person have control of you? I say the job is not done until we are free to be who we really are and answer only to Christ. So I re-blog my wife’s transparent article as a fine specimen of what the Truth Revolution series is all about.
I have never been for our movement for the main reason of any movement not being a Biblical thing. I am more for my local church just being and doing right.
We have a wonderful Pastor who is doing his best to lead by preaching and example the right things to do and be. Our church also happens to be an independent and fundamental Baptist church.
All the pastors under whom I served as a church member were also such men. From Brother Hyles all the way to Bro Kelley, Bro Hutson, Bro Woodward and now Bro House, they all point to Jesus and The Book, not themselves.
I was there when all of these men were lied on and were castigated for things they had not said or done, and watched them stay with the stuff on the outside while hurting deeply on the inside.
How do I know they hurt deeply? Because I had close relationships with every one of them except Bob Kelley, with whom I was only a member for a short time. But I know that Bob Kelley (in Heaven now as is Bro Hyles) was a great man and a good man whose hands were tied by a handful of men in his church who didn’t get it. But, God forgives when asked. And and in reality, way before the asking.
The larger the ministry, the larger for the potential for hurt to the preacher and his family; that is what I see. Independent Baptists are about the only group I know that attack their own and look to destroy hurting people when they’re down.
If there was something or someone to quit, I would quit the group called Baptists all together for the pain they have caused so may. But then, I would have to quit God’s Word and His best hope for the gospel to be preached on this planet.
All of the pain and hate dispensed from the ugly and vitriolic is all part of “…the foolishness of preaching…” By the human means of men being in co management of The Gospel with the Holy Spirit, God is saving every soul that He can before the trump sounds.
Something that most independent fundamental Baptists must learn is that it is God’s Gospel that has the message, not a movement. Folks get saved all the time without a Baptist in sight. Ours is the task of being the ever ready sharer of salvation, not the ever vigilant police of the brethren.
Every one of my pastors has shown that they knew this. It’s the people they are pastoring that don’t listen. And sadly enough, also their preacher brothers who have forgotten the main thing is more important than one’s status in a movement.
So glad that I attend the Longview Bible Baptist Church, instead of some movement. God blesses churches, men, preaching, soul winning, families, missionaries, evangelists and prayers of the saints. I don’t see anywhere in His Word where He blesses movements.
I am not for promoting any movement. I am for holding up the callused hands of my preacher and supporting the works of our local church and sister churches and anyone who is trying to do the right thing by God.
My opinion on these series on trying to save this movement? Who am I to question to what God has called a man?
Praise the Lord for His goodness. Just preach the Word.
Thanks for sharing!
Very well said. From experience, do the right thing regardless of what people will think. It is an amazingly freeing experience to no longer live in fear. Only perfect love will cast it out, and sometimes perfect love is “tough love”
Alicia…. if I had gone to an independent Baptist church like your husband pastors, I’d still be in the independent Baptist church. We left our IBF church over a year ago for all of the reasons your husband has pointed out in his blog posts. I, too, am a wife of a husband who began to see the problems with the IBF movement, and I have experienced so many of the same feelings you have written about today. I thought it was just much safer to “try to change things in our church” rather than leave the church and the people I loved. I pray for our church, but we did not like the direction the church was going so with many hours of prayer and tears, we decided to leave out IBF church of 40+ years. We are now attending a church which practices grace, and we could not be happier. I want to thank you and your husband for these blog posts. I have hope that the IBF movement can be changed with a huge dose of God’s grace and love which it so desperately needs.
So what is he writing, what are the problems?
Thank you for your courage and honesty. I felt as if I was reading my own story. I also was raised independent baptist. My father was an independent baptist pastor from an independent baptist college. I went to that same independent college as did all my siblings. I met my husband there. He also was raised in an independent baptist church. I believe I am a bit older than you, so I think the change I have seen is maybe greater. I remember as a young girl when the “no women in pants” movement came into our camp that my dad stood alone for grace. But by the time I was a young married woman and my husband and I also in the ministry, the segregation and separation was on a greased downhill slide. After my father passed away, the alienation for us began. My husband has pastored a southern baptist church, an independent baptist church and is now pastoring an american baptist church. Ironically, non of these camps have accepted us. The southern baptists and american baptists won’t accept us because we are independent, and the independents have refused to fellowship with us because we have served at southern baptist and american baptist churches. We have just decided that the only approval we need is the Lord’s. It’s really very freeing.
I am glad, too, that your husband is standing strong in the face of adversity. I have been so encouraged by what your husband writes. I am grateful, too, that he has such a loving, supportive wife and co-laborer. Thank you!
Both articles are very well written. We as IFB are losing our credibility due to our lack of love for people. We have come from a time where men of God were willing to do whatever it took to further the Gospel, to a time we are more concerned about standards or the fear of offending the “Man of God.” All the time that same man is free to say and do whatever he wants, because he answers to God. Yes, we have to be careful we don’t go on a lynch mob, but we all need checks and balances as well as someone visible we answer to. I did not grow up IFB, but have been one for 40 some years and I love it. That is why it hurts so to see what is happening. I have worked side by side with some great Godly men over the years who loved the Lord with all their heart. Now, I see many men in the ministry are there for a pay check or a way to make a name for themselves. What do we do, where do we go from here? I really have no answers, and that troubles me. I want my grandchildren to grow up with the same love for the Lord and other people as my kids did. Now I see more and more confusion and the result of that is walking away from church all together.
As a barely-hanging-on independent Baptist, I see your husband’s series as kind of an Emporer’s New Clothes tale. We all know there are issues, but few are brave enough to speak, to tell the truth “the emporer is naked!!”.
God bless your all’s sweet, humble attitude through this.
Youb and I have had some discussions about my struggles but I’ll be honest if it was for meeting Jimmy and you I was leaving IB and going back to the SBC. Thankfully I found this series and it has helped me see that I wasn’t the only radical IB out there. I’d rather be a radical Baptist than a lazy one. And for me going back to the SBC would have been a step in laziness. I had forgotten how much fun God’s work truely is. Now thanks to being fired back up I have found a new church home that welcomes me fully into the ministry of the church. Just in the 8 days I have been going to this church there have been 4 saved and 14 baptized! I have started being led to write sermons again. I praise God for putting the burden on Jimmy to bring this series.
You and I have had some discussions about my struggles but I’ll be honest if it was for meeting Jimmy and you I was leaving IB and going back to the SBC. Thankfully I found this series and it has helped me see that I wasn’t the only radical IB out there. I’d rather be a radical Baptist than a lazy one. And for me going back to the SBC would have been a step in laziness. I had forgotten how much fun God’s work truely is. Now thanks to being fired back up I have found a new church home that welcomes me fully into the ministry of the church. Just in the 8 days I have been going to this church there have been 4 saved and 14 baptized! I have started being led to write sermons again. I praise God for putting the burden on Jimmy to bring this series.