I discovered the Recovering Fundamentalist Podcast after hearing Dr. Phil Kidd would be making an appearance. I was immensely shocked to hear the changes within Dr. Kidd that he has renounced the IFB Movement. As a result, I began to listen to the other episodes and began to discover why I myself, left the IFB Movement.
Growing up in an IFB church is hard. When you grow up in that church and are the recipient of the brutal bullying tactics of of not only the kids, but also the pastoral staff, growing up IFB is exceptionally hard.
The church I attended in Western North Carolina grew by leaps and bounds. Over the years, the church added a youth camp, a balcony, a Christian School, a short-lived Bible college, and land & buildings that was close by. The church’s youth choir began to have a following as we were likened to a traveling singing group going to out-of-state churches during summer vacation. Things were going well, until we found out some very dirty secrets that later led the pastor to resign as a result of multiple affairs.
I wound up being dumb enough to follow him when he started a new church in a neighboring town. If you were in the pastor’s graces and social circle, you had a bright future. If you were on the outside looking in, you were considered backslid or even lost. He was very bold enough to say he was joking with you when he insulted you, but you could tell that was a complete lie. Despite being the age of a grandfather, he’s got a wife that’s barely older than his youngest daughter. He’s often the target of IFB Preacher Clips on Twitter.
I wound up moving to the Raleigh-Durham area and began attending a church that was directly tied to the First Baptist Hammond / Hyles-Anderson College sect of the IFB Movement. When I started seeing the legalism, the ridicule (if you disagreed with them or wasn’t willing to join their circle), the sexism (they were very open to say that a woman’s only place was the home), and the worship of Jack Hyles, I knew that something was wrong with the movement and needed to get out.
I left in February 2017 and haven’t looked back since. While I have tried to find a balanced church, I have realized that finding one is like finding a needle in a haystack. I will never embrace the concept of contemporary worship as I find that contemporary worship is full of compromise and has an ungodly appearance. So unfortunately, my days of worship are spent at home finding whatever I can find.
I thank you men for your stand and for your compassion to those seeking a way out of a very tumultuous situation. Shame on these legalism pastors who find it their “ministry” to keep their parishioners under their control, and subject them to untold amounts of abuse.