I was actually turned onto your podcast by a preacher that helped us during revival at the Baptist Church I pastor in Alabama. I have enjoyed listening to your stories. While I did not grow up in an IFB church, I did grow up in the Missionary Baptist churches in the area. Some of the stories you share are very similar.
For example, I cannot count the number of times I have heard “just get you an old King James Bible. Those others aren’t worth anything.” I like to say that they believe Moses brought the 10 commandments from the mountain, Amazing Grace was written around the side, the Articles of Faith were written on the back, and they were all in the King’s English.
While IFB preachers say Jesus wasn’t a bartender, the Missionary Baptist preachers would say that if you don’t take wine at communion, they would berate you.
They would says that if it isn’t a hymn, God didn’t inspire it. Women can’t wear pants, but we don’t worry about how we handle a bird’s nest.
My grandad was my pastor for 21 years. He was never as “hard-headed” as some of the preachers here. It wasn’t until I began to pastor a church outside of “the association,” that I realized how shallow some of the preaching was and how many man-made rules I really grew up around.
I have had multiple pastor friends ask me if anyone had said anything to me about pastoring outside of the association. I’m sure that I am talked about and looked down on, but it isn’t important to me. I preach to glorify God, to stand upon His Word, and to feed the flock God has entrusted me with. I am learning from His Word and trying to remain faithful to it as I preach by expositing it instead of topically inserting things into it.
God has also placed a few preachers on my path that have helped me see much of the foolishness that I grew up around.
I am learning so much listening to your podcast, and it has reiterated the damage that can be done from the pulpit if you stray from God’s Word into man’s traditions.
As Gold City’s song said, “Preach the Word. Preach the cross. Preach Redemption to a lost and dying world.” Keep up the good work, brothers!