As an IFB, i’m of course urging you to find an Independent Fundamental Baptist church to join. There’s two common problems with them, and I’ll examine each in turn.
Hyles. There’s still a lot of IFB churches who blindly follow the teachings of Jack Hyles. It’s not TOO bad, but there’s problems with Hyles. Jack Hyles tended to preach sermons with little Biblical insight or content. A common saying of his was, “Just close your Bibles and listen to me.” That should have told everyone in the church to get up, walk out, and never return. Preach from your Bible, and not your vain imaginings! I know I could preach some total heresy if I relied upon my own imagination… so Hyles is no exception.
A further problem with Hyles is this – he believed in Quick Prayerism. He had a congregation of several hundred, but claimed to save over a quarter million souls. If you saved a quarter million, then your church attendance should be about… 250,000 people. If you have 800 there, you’ve saved… 800. Still a sizable number, but Hyles followers preach AGAINST repentance, despite clear references to it in the Bible. Any attempt to soft-sell the Bible leads to eventual apostasy.
Ruckman. A lot of other IFB churches are Ruckmanite. Peter Ruckman had a lot of problems, and like Hyles, preached a lot of things that had no source in the Bible. I don’t need to say too much about this, other than to say, seriously consider avoiding Ruckmanite churches. You’ll find pastors who hold Ruckman allegiance tend to be overly controlling. i accidentally attended one for a few months, and literally heard preached from the pulpit that the 144,000 were virgin born. Um… where did you get that from?
In view of his recent decease, I’ll avoid going into detail on his heresies right now. The members of his church are still going through a lot of suffering over his death.
Gail Riplinger. Usually, Ruckmanite churches and Riplinger go hand in hand. While she’s written many good things in her books I’m sure (just like I’ve heard good teachings from Hyles and Ruckman). However, Riplinger apparently believes her writings are Scripture, and many of the conclusions she reaches are the worst research and botch job journalism I’ve EVER seen! “avoid Strongs’, because Strong was a methodist and…” Yes, there’s a couple of errors in Strong’s concordance. He does allow his Methodism once or twice to corrupt the definition of a word. however, that’s no reason to AVOID his concordance! Be warned… and keep plugging!
I do encourage joining an IFB church, but these three stumbling blocks actually account for a vast majority of Bible Believing Baptist churches from what I’ve seen!