Dear Brian, Nathan, and JC,
I wanted to let you guys know that you all truly have started an amazing ministry over the past year. Mine and my wife’s lives have seen a huge transformation from the start of last year to the start of this year. We began last year experiencing a spiritual burnout while serving in our IFB church’s children’s ministry for the fourth year in a row with very little help. At that point we were growing stagnant and we seemed to be hitting a dead-end with no spiritual direction.
During this time, the virus came, and along with it our church’s doors closed and we started going to FB live services. I felt like there must be something wrong with me at the time, because I felt refreshed and relieved those 3-4 weeks that we stayed home for church. This was when I began to contemplate the idea of searching for another church, but I didn’t have peace about it or feel like it was the right time to leave.
Shortly after we resumed in-person services in late spring, my best friend who I went to Bible college with sent me a short clip from one of your podcast episodes. I was in shock with how much it resonated with our situation, so I asked him what the podcast was called and proceeded to listen to at least one episode daily for the next few weeks.
My wife was a little skeptical at first when I started listening to you guys, but after a few months and listening to some of the episodes together, we both began to seriously seek the truth by reading God’s word without the lenses of legalism, and praying for His guidance in our lives. He has revealed so much to us that we were blind to over the past several years – the hypocrisy, legalism, political preaching, and slander that exists in the IFB movement. I feel like this would not have been possible if we hadn’t discovered the RFP, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Over the past few months, my wife and I have slowly distanced ourselves from IFB traditions and even from our own church in some ways. Then right after Christmas I sent a letter to my pastor, letting him know that we were going to be heading in another direction in our spiritual lives, seeking for a church that promotes the gospel of Jesus above everything else and preaches truth over tradition. I let him know we were heartbroken to leave, but that we believe it’s God’s will for us. He responded gracefully to my letter, but in the very next church service he indirectly slandered us during his sermon, speaking of young people leaving the ministry because they are questioning their beliefs and “have everything figured out.” We have also had a phone conversation with some IFB family members of mine several states away about our decision, and they immediately assumed we were abandoning our core beliefs and God’s word itself, saying that we would let go of all our morals and that there would be no end to our spiritual descent.
Despite the slander and criticism, we know that we are doing the right thing. Out of the couple churches we’ve visited since leaving the IFB, my wife and I have heard more gospel preaching than most of the IFB churches we’ve ever been to. We are still searching for a new home church, but alas, we’ve started the new year with some light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you so much for all you do, and keep up the good work!
Love in Christ,