Independent Baptist

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Independent Baptists (a.k.a. Independent Fundamental Baptist or Bible-Believing Baptist) are a particularly cranky fundamentalist branch of unaffiliated Baptists.[1] The origins of the Independent Baptist movement are sketchy but the origin is believed to be local congregations who left the conservative Southern Baptist Convention and the slightly more moderate American Baptist Association over perceived liberalism and modernism in the two largest Baptist denominations.[citation needed] If those two are too "liberal," one can imagine where Independent Baptists lie on the theological spectrum.


Independent Baptist churches exhibit some similar beliefs and practices. Since they are, by definition, independent, it is foolhardy to make sweeping generalizations about their belief systems. Many independent Baptist organizations, in fact, hate everyone except their own little clique. However, the following characteristics have been known to be promoted by many of these organizations:

  • They tend to believe that the King James Bible is the only reliable or genuine version of the Bible.[2]
  • They believe in baptism by immersion.
  • They often exhibit extreme criticism of the Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention, non-IFB megachurches, Pentecostals, Promise Keepers, and just about anyone else other than fundamentalist Independent Baptists. They maintain a distance from and suspicion of the broader evangelical movement. There are even times when they separate from fellow Independent Baptists!
  • Independent Baptist churches are fond of sermons on the threat of hell. Often times they scream at their congregation and bang their fist on the pulpit when talking about certain topics such as same-sex marriage, socialism and women preaching. They criticize the broader evangelical movement for emphasizing a "love gospel" and downplaying God's wrath and judgment.
  • Sermons are sometimes followed by an "altar call" offering salvation to the wicked sinner. This is a feature of most Baptist services in general.
  • They generally oppose any form of modern music in the church, such as Christian Rock and charismatic "praise" choruses. Even Southern Gospel is regarded with suspicion.
  • A prayer meeting before the sermon will sometimes be separate prayer meetings with the women and men in different rooms. Men are exhorted to have short hair (without facial hair in college) and wear plain suits, women are exhorted to wear their hair in buns and to wear long dresses or skirts. Jeans and shorts are bad for both genders. Opposition to members playing cards, attending movies, public swimming pools, listening to any music other than traditional gospel hymns, and dancing. Church is to be attended Sunday-Friday (2x Sunday, 2x Wednesday). Attendance at Christian Concerts and Fine Arts Series is also mandatory. Even ONE missed church service or Fine Arts event will result in eternal Hell.
    • You mean besides yet more prayer and God-praise?
  • Tithing. Hand over thy money or else, bud!
  • Complete independence of the local church. Independent Baptists are not a "denomination" per se. Individual local congregations are the only institutions recognized.
  • Though the Baptists began in 17th-century England, many Independent Baptists hold to a myth of "Baptist successionism", whereby modern Baptist congregations are said to derive from the very earliest Christian churches by a succession of shadow churches outside of Roman Catholicism. While there were groups of Western Christians independent of the Catholic Church, they were fiercely persecuted in the West and were generally doctrinally rather unlike any modern Western church.
  • As with most things indie, touts itself as better and more intellectual than the mainstream, which has "sold out" in their opinion.
  • Child Abuse: IFB's believe at least one of the two following statements: 1. That there is no such thing as "Child Abuse" because the Bible "justifies" it. 2. That child abuse should be "legal" in the United States. Residential schools like New Beginnings Girls Academy have parents sign up their children for up to 15 "swats" with a wooden paddle for each 24 hour period. [3] For more information, see Jack Hyles (below) and To Train Up a Child.
  • Death to the LGBT: Steven Anderson leads a "think-tank",, containing other pastors who think similarly to him. [4]
  • That every Christian should own a gun (in reality, this means every IFB [and it must be an AR-15]; and not to protect themselves, but rather because they are probably planning some type of mass shooting where they plan to kill atheists, liberals, Muslims, and homosexuals, probably being planned out by the Andersonites to be conducted sometime between 2018 and 2030).
  • Opposition to video games and violent or sexual television programming, often blaming them for things like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, which is contrary to the fact they often celebrate mass shootings.
  • Hatred for LGBT people, atheists, and Muslims. Blames these things on the fallen nature of the world.
  • Reprobate Doctrine: They believe many people, especially homosexuals ("sodomites") are "reprobates" meaning they have "rejected the word of God" too many times, and would never be able to get "saved" even if they were to try and convert.
  • Homeschooling: IFBs believe that public schools and even Christian private schools are evil places run by the "evil Liberals". Therefore they homeschool their 8+ children while keeping daily child abuse a secret.
  • Quiverfull Movement: They believe in the Quiverfull Movement and believe that birth control is murdering potential babies. The Quiverfull Movement gives women and daughters no freedoms, sometimes with forced marriages.


People and institutions closely associated with the Independent Baptist movement include:

See also[edit]

  • Fred Phelps — was an "independent" Baptist but not closely associated with the movement, nor with anyone else for that matter. He thought God hated everyone, presumably including all other independent Baptists, but excluding himself and his 70 or so followers. Phelps was a Calvinist, a doctrine which is rejected by most Baptists. [6]

External Links[edit]

  • Stuff Fundies Like — Silly blog dedicated to displaying/satirizing Independent Fundamental Baptists' standards, weirdness and craziness