Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ABC's 20/20 on the Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement...

My future mom in law mentioned this in her comment on my previous blog post and it made me I went and found it...if you are interested in watching it is...

Having watched this in its entirety I would like to make a couple of comments based on my personal experience.

1) I have heard of cases of child abuse in IFB churches but I would have to say that it is no more or no less than any other religious denomination (Catholics ring a bell?). Having said that I do not think that it is necessarily fair to paint all IFB with the broad brush just like I think there are well intentioned Catholics that do not condone or practice sexual misconduct I believe there are good people in the IFB movement. Having said that I believe that any environment that is built on absolute control results in an abuse of absolute control and there is little question that that abuse can extend and often does extend to sexual abuse as well as emotional, verbal and mental abuse.

2) I grew up in this environment and outside of the above comment about not all of them being guilty of sexual abuse or misconduct I would have to agree that the rest of it is pretty accurate. The demeaning and humbling of women, the public confessions of sins, the church "discipline", the insistence on corporal discipline, the absolute authority of the church and the pastor being the Man of God who is to be respected and obeyed.

As I watched it I remembered standing outside the Brightlight Baptist Church in Concord, NC and the pastor's wife telling me quite bluntly that my daughter's death was God's punishment on me for being in a movie theater. When my two month baby died I was in NC trying to start a church. That Saturday morning that she passed away I decided to take the morning off and rest and went to catch a movie, something that is very much taboo (as noted in my previous blog) but I have always been a bit of a non conformist. Hence the accusation from the pastor's wife.

I have my own personal beliefs, obviously being an atheist, about religion as a whole and I feel that all religion is built around control of some sort. I will admit freely though that not all things are not equal and some, such as the IFB, take it to a whole new level. The venom spouted by some of these pastors and preachers is scary and it is good to see that someone is speaking out on the abuse of control.

For those that might be interested on reading more you can look at these websites:



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